Part 1: From the Mountain Top

Estimated reading time: 06 minutes

Have you ever seen the view from the top of a mountain, any tall buildings or other high places?

From those vantage points you often see enough of everything around you.

You can also orient yourself with where you are located (depending on the height you’re at and how well you see).

Contrast that experience with being at eye level with the landscape you find yourself in.

Things look very different eye to eye than they do at altitude.

Researching an information product or eLearning product idea to figure out if it is worth pursuing is very much like the views from both of those perspectives.

When you’re in research mode, sometimes you’re on top of a mountain looking down and other times you are eye to eye with those you seek to serve.

This post is about getting yourself to the place you need to be to know if what you want to create as a product or a class has a good possibility of producing desired end results or a not.

To begin with, you have got to accept that there is no way to ever know for certain if what you want to create will work or not before you launch.

Possibility is the best outcome you or I can hope for even after any thorough research is complete.

There are no guarantees.

However there is research you can do that swings the possibility pendulum toward the success side of the equation.

Even if the only success you achieve is in eliminating an idea that had little chance of gaining traction in the first place.

Yes. Getting rid of an idea that likely won’t work also counts as a success.

Where do you start the research journey from idea to product go time or to just let it go time?

Start your journey from the highest vantage point you can find. Before you invest yourself in developing a product idea, you’ll want to quickly find out three things.

First: Is there already an audience out there with an interest in solving the challenge your product solves?

Second: Is that interested audience already buying similar solutions in the market place to solve similar challenges?

Third: Is the audience one you are interested in working with that you can also easily access on your own or with the help of someone you already know?

Honest answers (not justification stories) to those three questions are the first answers you’ll seek out from your mountain top perch.

Why? Because if your best objective answer to any one of the three questions above is “No”, your idea has hit the no go wall and needs to be abandoned. It is done. Over and out. Next.

The answer to the first question has to be a “Yes” before you move on to the second question. Same thing for the second question. Only a “Yes” gets you to the third question.

Only a “Yes” to the third question turns on the green light for required eye to eye level research.

Anything other than a “Yes” is a “No”. “Maybe” only leads to the start of a justification story so any “Maybe” is also a “No”.

Your desire is to create an information product or eLearning experience people are already looking for and buying, not to re-invent the wheel.

We already have wheels and they roll perfectly fine. Thank you.

How do you figure out if your digital product idea has any merit in the marketplace you serve though?

Simple. You go where people might already be buying similar solutions to solve similar challenges.

On top of the mountain the view is spectacular. From here you’ll see specific places where people buy information products and invest in eLearning adventures.

Those coveted “Yes” and “No” answers are easy to find when you look in the right places (without ever having to leave the comfort of your home or office).

Here are the research tools you are going to leverage to find out your answers:

Amazon – The Holy Grail of research tools. After all, books and eBooks (Kindle) are nothing more than information products.

ClickBank – For wide variety of digital information products, this one takes the research cake.

Udemy – In the category of digital classes and eLearning say no more. Hands down a research venue extrordinaire!

Hay House – For personal development plus spiritual and metaphysical topic research in books and digital courses this is the place.

Nightengale Conant – Well established and comprehensive resource for home study courses on personal development and so much more.

Here is the basic formula for what you will do once you’re inside these venues to find your “Yes” or “No” answers. This same formula will work in all of them:

Step 1. Choose the category your product or class might fit best in for each venue.

Step 2. Search through a category using the top seller criteria or most popular criteria for digital products and online classes.

Step 3. Notice if any of the products or classes listed complement or fit with your idea.

Step 4: Click through those products similar to your idea and look for details and customer reviews.

You’ll want to explore each venue so you are familiar with how each one categorizes and orders information for the various offers.

Be aware that there may not be a category on each venue that fits for the product or class idea you have so check them all.

What you want is to stack up three “Yes” answers for the questions asked earlier in this post or to get one “No” answer for any one of the three questions so you can go forward or move on to your next idea.

Eiether one “No” or three “Yes” answers and you will have hit the goal for this part of your research.

If your idea fits a category already listed, then you know certain topics may be represented on a given venue. That is good.

If the top sellers or most popular products feel similar to the idea you have, or feel close enough, that’s good too.

That means there is an audience, and in most cases that product or class is high on the popular list because the audience is buying.

Excellent!

Now see what people are saying about the product or class by reading reviews.

Reviews will give you an insight into the buyers and help determine if people who may be similar to them are an audience you could work with and reach on your own (or with help).

On average when researching for the “Yes” or “No” answers, allow an hour or less of research time per each product or class idea.

Any longer and you are may just be shopping or trying to turn a “No” idea from a “Maybe” into a “Yes”.

Remember where you are.

You’re on top of the mountain doing research and once you get three “Yes” answers, you’ve got to move down the mountain for a granular view so your research can continue.

In part two of this series, you will learn how to do the next critical research steps from an eye to eye level to turn on the green light for your information product or eLearning class creation.

Meanwhile, grab a few of your product or class ideas and take them to the top of the mountain for a test run.