I was joined on this action-packed Q&A call by Amy Hoy. Former freelance web developer who made the leap into product creation with Freckle (amongst others) and who talks about all things online business at UnicornFree. This was super-enjoyable and carried a ton of takeaways, so here goes.
Products can deliver you true independence
By building a secondary income stream, namely creating products that solve a real problem you can transcend your current situation, breaking away from the hourly rate paradigm and achieving “true independence”.
In Amy’s case, this secondary (initially secondary at least!) income stream has delivered over $1m in lifetime revenue. Amy had a unique take on the question “should you tackle a software project if you don’t have experience in building software as a product (rather than books & video training)” make sure you listen to the audio to hear the response!
Use your advantages
To out-run what Amy calls the “failure bear”, you need to use every advantage you have in your arsenal, which aligns with my advice to leverage the expertise and experience you already have.
I think that is a great takeaway, try not to develop business skills “on the job” and instead look to teach your way to solving the problem rather than building a software solution straight out of the gate.
Look for the pains
Rather than developing your product with a topic-first strategy you should really get inside the pains and problems your ideal customer is having, that’ll help you figure out what they really want.
Amy had a great tip for building content as blog posts on each problem your audience has, then stitching that together into an ebook.
You can find pains from reaching out to peers within your community, listening and engaging with others in a similar situation to you.
Writing has the biggest leverage
As writing has longevity Amy advocates “focusing on what your readers need” and cites this as one of the primary catalysts of her online presence launch.
In particular Amy developed a cheat sheet and blog series which plugged the holes in the current available tutorials and online learning. This included wrapping together Q&As within forums which helped to build content quickly.
Getting shit done
If you want to grow your business, work on your “me project” or do anything that isn’t the general day-to-day Amy’s “go to” tip is to put aside just 1 day per week, this ensures its realistic enough to stick to but gives you enough time to really put in the hours you’ll need.
Other quick time management tips
Try to batch email once per day
Set expectations for freelance clients (Example: I only do XYZ 3-5 pm)
Identify & cordon off most distracting habits – to free up energy & concentration
Just take advice and run with it
Rather than looking for prescriptive advice for your situation, you should bypass that “waiting and screwing up cycle” to just take advice and run with it. This was a great takeaway to finish on. By taking loose advice and moulding it to work around you (as opposes waiting for that “perfect fit”) you’ll build up your own business experience and be better equipped to make the right growth decisions later down the line and you’ll develop a bias for action rather than procrastination.
Learn anything? Please share