Every time I enter a new market, the path for success is pretty much the same. Every time I start a new venture, there is a little bit higher of a base for me to begin with, but not as much as you would think. This is the general breakdown of my path to success, which I call my virtuous sales cycle.
Step 1: skepticism
People are wary at first. They have been burned many times, and they aren’t sure they can trust me. This is when I flood the market with free things, because I want to show that my work is incredible. The more people who try my work, the more will get hooked on it.
Step 2: cautious action
People hesitantly try one of my products (books, comics, courses, etc) for free, and most of them never read them. However, I keep giving them out to more and more people, because a small percentage of those people will like what I have made.
Step 3: slow adoption
It takes about 3-6 months for people to actually try what I have made. Most people still don’t try it, but it takes a long time before somebody dips their toe into my water. This is a very slow time, because you can only push so hard. Mostly, you just have to wait, and that part surks.
Step 4: limited engagement
The people who tried and enjoyed my first product buy, or try for free, a second product of mine. They are still wary that they will not enjoy my work. After all, anybody can luck out once.
Step 5: faster consumption
They try the second product more quickly than the first. This usually takes 2-4 weeks, or even less as many people try the second product immediately. Some of those people don’t like the second product, and their fears are confirmed. Others try it and like the second product as well, and realize that I’m not a one trick pony.
Step 6: fans for life
At this point, I have developed fans for life. Once I can get somebody to try and love two different products, I know I have hooked them. They will go and try all my other products, and fall in love over and over again. Those fans tell other people and rope them into buying from me.
Step 7: word of mouth
Those new people who have been referred to me go through steps 2-6, and word starts to spread. My goal becomes getting as many people as possible through step 6, because that is when the referrals start to trickle in and people start joining my ecosystem and moving though quickly. A referral from a friend is one of the most powerful marketing tool available.
Step 8: explosion of revenue
There is an explosion of revenue as every time I launch as more and more people eagerly await what I have to sell, knowing that I’m not going to disappoint them. This is the critical mass that I am trying to build. This is why I rapidly release products at the beginning so that I can build this head of steam quickly. Once I have built this steam, I can ease off the gas a little bit because I know my fans will be waiting for me.
I have sold phones to people, courses, comic books, novels, marketing services, and more, in all sorts of consumer service industries. In every case, this has been the cycle for my success. It takes forever, which is where advertising helps being in new people, but the results have been the same across every industry.
The key is making something great that delights people, and then showing it to more and more people to get them excited about what I do. Once the referrals start rolling in, everything starts to snowball, and then it’s time to put gas on the fire and try to find even more people.
This is my virtuous sales cycle of success.
I write cool things, filled with monsters, humor, action, adventure, and generally awesomeness. Then, I sell those things to humans. I am pretty good at it.