Episode 60

Growing as business owner after a failed product with Raina Willick

I don’t get many business owners who want to come on the show and share that their first product didn’t sell at all, but I am so glad that Raina Willick joined me to tell her story. Even though her first product failed from a sales perspective, she doesn’t consider it a failure. She learned a lot and grew from the experience. We also chat about potential digital products for her new venture, Baguette Bound.

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Raina Willick guides business owners to create more flow and fun in their work by cutting through their Shiny Object Syndrome and organizing the focus of their businesses around their Personal Jedi Code of Values.

Her goal is always to turn the internal clarity coaching brings into external action plans her clients can use to make their business a better place for them to work.

She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), a member and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) of the International Coaching Federation, and a Fellow of the Institute of Coaching McLean, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Since 2020, has spent hundreds of hours coaching owners of small service location based businesses, freelancers, content creators, agency owners, and consulting firm executives.

Previous to coaching, her experience as a Registered Nurse in critical care leadership taught her how to prioritize under pressure without loosing sight of the human element in every situation, and experience as a community manager for entrepreneurial memberships gave her unique insight into the lives and time challenges of business owners behind the scenes.

Personally, Raina has a deep understanding of when to dive in and when to turn away, like when she left a religious cult at age 18; when she signed up for (and completed) a triathlon without knowing how to swim; when she first enrolled in, then dropped out of, pastry school; and when she left a 17 year career as a critical care nurse to turn her talent for community organizing into a service building community growth and facilitating masterminds for entrepreneurs.

Raina grew up unschooled. She claims she will never have time for all the books on her list, and has seen every episode of The Office, Schitt’s Creek and Downton Abbey more than once. She is mother to one human child, wife to one human man, and reluctantly cohabitates with one talkative orange cat name Grits (she won’t claim to be his owner in case he reads this bio).

Links 🔗
Raina’s coaching website
Baguette Bound YouTube channel

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[00:00:00] Raina: In retrospect, I look back now and I think it was just another stepping stone um, in, I don’t know about everyone listening, but I’m guessing that whatever you started doing, maybe when you started freelancing or entrepreneurial journey and what you’re doing now, probably looks different.

[00:00:18] And so when I look back on it, I just think of it as like part of the evolution and you know, part of the stepping stone and the experience that you get as you, you know, grow and learn um, as a business owner. I do kind of see it as a fail as far as a revenue generating project, but I don’t really, it doesn’t feel like a fail overall, if that makes sense.

[00:00:43] Rene: Hey everyone. Welcome to Your First Digital Product, a show that helps maxed out service providers create their first digital product so they can gain an additional income stream, grow their impact without increasing one on one work, and experience more time freedom. On the show, I talk to business owners who have launched digital products and dig deep into how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. I’m your host Rene Morozowich. Let’s go!

[00:01:11] Rene: Hey Raina! How are you?

[00:01:12] Raina: I am good. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:14] Rene: Yeah, I’m excited you’re here. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself before we dive into your first product?

[00:01:20] Raina: Oh sure. I like to work with business owners who just wanna have a happy, healthy life that their business fits into, which I think is usually the goal when you start a business. And I live in France. That’s kind of a whole other story. We moved here last year, my husband, my 11-year-old daughter, and our cat Grits.

[00:01:39] Rene: Aw. I didn’t know the cat was there. That’s awesome.

[00:01:41] Raina: Oh yes, he came with us. And he was born in a junkyard. Now he’s a French cat. He’s come a long way in life.

[00:01:47] Rene: Aw That’s like a Disney movie, right?

[00:01:50] Raina: I know he got a French passport before anybody else in this house.

[00:01:54] And fun fact, I have seen every episode of The Office more than once. So.[00:02:00]

[00:02:00] Rene: Nice. I can’t watch it. Like I, because I worked there, not, obviously not at that company, not at that fictitious company. But I’ve worked at so many places like that, that like after a while I was like, I just can’t, like I.

[00:02:11] Raina: Post-traumatic stress when you watch it.

[00:02:13] Rene: It, it’s too, I’m too sensitive.

[00:02:16] Raina: Yeah.

[00:02:18] Rene: I’m like, oh my God. That actually happened. It’s like Dilbert, like Dilbert. I don’t know if you remember

[00:02:21] Raina: I do.

[00:02:22] Rene: the cartoon strip from like the whatever, but

[00:02:24] Raina: daughter of an engineer. He loved that cartoon.

[00:02:26] Rene: So yes, they love engineers. Love that. Yes. I worked at a semiconductor factory and yeah, all the engineers were like, this is exactly it.

[00:02:35] I’m like,

[00:02:35] Raina: felt heard. They felt understood,

[00:02:38] Rene: Yes, yes, too real. But I mean, it’s a great show and like the cast is amazing, so I, I, I wish I could like it, but.

[00:02:46] Raina: No, I get it. I get it.

[00:02:48] Rene: Anyway, Awesome. Okay, so let’s talk about your first product. Well tell us like what it was and like, you know, kind of like the business around it and why you created it. I don’t know, just kinda launch in there and then I will ask more questions.

[00:03:05] Raina: Absolutely. Yes. So I wanna just say upfront, this is gonna be a fail story, which I think can be really valuable.

[00:03:14] We talked about it the first time when I found out what you did and we kind of laughed about it. So, that’s partly why we’re here. So, my

[00:03:20] Rene: Yeah. People don’t wanna come on and tell their stories, but like, I think it’s so important, but gets, because really like there are people out there who like this has happened to like, and I think if we, I think we need to normalize that not everybody’s gonna sell a billion copies of their first product, like in the first 10 minutes.

[00:03:38] Like, let’s just

[00:03:40] Yeah,

[00:03:41] Let’s set the expectations differently.

[00:03:42] Raina: Totally. So I my history is in healthcare. I worked for 17 years as a critical care nurse. Stayed home with my daughter for a couple years and then I started to do online community management. I had done a lot of real life community organization, and so those skills [00:04:00] actually sort of transferred on into the online world.

[00:04:03] So I was working for entrepreneurs who were running entrepreneurial memberships for people. And, you know, with engagement and, you know, managing members and things like that. And I was pulling together masterminds in these organizations.

[00:04:18] So are you familiar with the, with masterminds? I.

[00:04:22] Rene: Yeah, I am. I love masterminds. But tell the audience just in case. In case they’re not

[00:04:26] Raina: Sure. So basically it’s a, usually a small group, usually somewhere between say, four to seven people that come together to help each other, troubleshoot, challenge, encourage, brainstorm through business ideas issues, challenges, all those things. So it’s basically like a small group. And you rotate through being on something.

[00:04:48] Most people call it the hot seat but it’s really where you get to kind of bring your, like challenges, the things that you’re thinking through in your business to another group of entrepreneurs who will then kind of be a group brain with you to help you think through.

[00:05:05] And as I was pairing these mastermind groups up with people that I thought would be complimentary or had, you know, similar businesses, but different enough that I felt like they could help learn from each other and inspire each other and.

[00:05:21] It was just going so well. People loved it. It was one of their favorite things in the memberships that I was managing. And I was just so inspired. I thought everyone should have a mastermind group, especially solopreneurs, right? Because you know, you can be isolating, you know,

[00:05:36] to not have people to get ideas from and inspiration and encouragement and challenge you sometimes when you’re kind of stuck in a rutt, like all those things.

[00:05:46] Rene: And talk you down

[00:05:47] Raina: Yes,

[00:05:47] Rene: Hey, I’m thinking of doing this thing, and everybody’s like, no. Or like, Hey, I’m thinking of, should I raise my prices? Yes.

[00:05:54] Raina: Right?

[00:05:55] Yes. You,

[00:05:55] Rene: You need that.

[00:05:56] Raina: You do. And I mean, often I think when people, [00:06:00] especially, you know, this changes once if your business grows and you start to have employees and other people who maybe can be, you know, more in that role, but especially when you’re a solopreneur, a freelancer, I think this is super helpful. So when I started to think about this, I thought

[00:06:17] A lot of people weren’t sure how to do this outside of like these memberships or organizations I was in and I thought, well, it’s not that hard. People can

[00:06:25] pull things together. They just need a little structure about what to look for in pairing up a group and some formats to get them rolling and a little structure and some how to make it successful group.

[00:06:35] That felt pretty straightforward to me. I’m like. I know people love this and I can help them figure it out, even if they’re not in one of these organizations. And so I set to work. I actually hired a graphic designer who, looking back now, she actually wasn’t that expensive, but it was super early in my, you know, entrepreneurial freelancing career.

[00:06:54] And so it felt like a ton of money. I think I paid her. Maybe like it was like $795. Now as I’m thinking about it, I actually remember the specific number to help me design because it was so, I just had no idea about, I mean, at that point, I’m not even sure I knew how to use Canva or what it was. So, I paid her to help me put it together.

[00:07:15] She did a fantastic job. And then I had this, I had this thing and one of the entrepreneurs that I worked with said. Who are you gonna sell that to? And I was like really frustrated when he asked me that because I thought

[00:07:33] Rene: Mm-Hmm.

[00:07:34] Raina: like, that’s not very encouraging, you know.

[00:07:37] Rene: Yeah. This is something that people want.

[00:07:40] Raina: Right, right. And this person had always been like a huge supporter. But here’s the reality. I was actually freelancing for other people in other people’s businesses at that point. I did not have my own audience. I did not have my own platform in any way, shape or form. I, I don’t even rem. Maybe I had an email list and maybe there [00:08:00] was like 10 people on it right at that point, because, I mean, honestly, I hadn’t needed that.

[00:08:04] I had been freelancing you know, for others and was really happy at that point doing that. But it also meant I had no, there was like no connections there, with someone to actually offer this to.

[00:08:19] Rene: Often we talk about yeah, who you’re selling to as service providers, but I’ve never really addressed if you’re doing a lot of subcontracting work, so that’s great. Good point. I will need to circle back to that and talk to my audience about that because yeah, that’s a big thing. Like yeah, if you don’t have your own your, your own direct clients, you’re working for someone else. Yeah. You don’t have that audience, you don’t have that built out email list. Yeah, definitely.

[00:08:49] So Excellent. Yeah.

[00:08:50] Raina: Yeah. Yeah. And so I still, I still feel pretty confident, I’ll be honest with you. I was like, people need this. So then I finished building out my website because at this point I realized like, oh, I need my own platform, right? I had been working just through word of mouth. One entrepreneur that I was helping would say, oh yeah, I use Raina.

[00:09:11] She’s great with communities. So I started building my website and then I hired a copywriter to create like an email sequence with, you know, I had a like a freebie that would help you figure out how, who to ask to be in your mastermind. And then I had an email welcome sequence that I had written also by a brilliant copywriter.

[00:09:31] Her name’s Liz Wilcox. Shout out um, because she has like a really low cost email marketing membership now that is awesome. And costs like $9 a month. So yeah,

[00:09:42] I know it’s great and it’s super helpful.

[00:09:44] So total side note, but she actually doesn’t even do per copywriting for people anymore, specifically like one-on-one.

[00:09:50] But so I had her write me a great welcome sequence that was all ready. And then I put it out in the world.

[00:09:59] Rene: Mm-Hmm.[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Raina: And I bet you can guess what happened, which was zero sales. No one found that.

[00:10:07] Rene: So the, at the end of the welcome sequence that was selling the product, Right. Like, is that it? It warmed them up.

[00:10:13] Okay. Okay. So I mean, that’s good. I mean, that’s more than a lot of people have. Like a freebie that leads into that.

[00:10:20] So how did you advertise, I guess, or how did you market the, the freebie specifically? Was it just on the website? Like was it SEO, like. Yeah. Let’s talk about like the actual launch. Did you tell anybody, like, did you tell, like LinkedIn, did you email your list?

[00:10:35] Like

[00:10:36] Raina: Yeah, I’m laughing

[00:10:37] Rene: did you tell your friends?

[00:10:38] Raina: in retrospect it’s like, well, this was obvious. Right?

[00:10:42] And exactly. I think one time I heard, did you, was it, I think you told me one time, there’s this idea of whispering from the rooftops

[00:10:51] Rene: Yeah, whispering from the rooftops, I was like, I have a product,

[00:10:53] Raina: Yeah.

[00:10:54] Rene: And like, that’s it. Like one time and you’re like, well, nobody heard that.

[00:10:57] Yeah.

[00:10:58] Raina: So I mean, first of all, just to be like perfectly honest, I was super uncomfortable at that point I think with marketing something for myself, because again, I had been working in other people’s businesses. I was usually promoting their things. I loved all the entrepreneurs that I worked for, so that always felt really easy.

[00:11:14] And, you know, easier in a way if you’re not, if you haven’t done a lot of like frankly, self-promotion and marketing of yourself before you have your own business. It’s like a learned skill. And I, not one that I had at that point, right.

[00:11:30] So, you know, I felt like I had this thing out in the world. It was up on my website.

[00:11:33] I had the opt-in. So then I thought, okay, and, and it did occur to me like, gosh, I’ve gotta start building my own, you know, audience. I’ve gotta start getting in front of people.

[00:11:42] Rene: Mm-Hmm.

[00:11:43] Raina: So I started blogging but with no

[00:11:46] Rene: is

[00:11:47] Raina: SEO? No. Right. Like, I’m just gonna, you know?

[00:11:52] Rene: I mean, it’s a good start. You have to start somewhere. So, blogging, yes. Good start. You know, and then like after you’re blogging, then maybe you learn SEO. But yes, [00:12:00] I mean, it’s good. I, I think you’re doing good.

[00:12:01] Raina: Okay. Okay. Okay. Yeah, so, so, as that started and then was, gosh, let’s see. I took a couple of courses and I just saw these groups that I thought it would be super helpful for, and so I just, it was a group that I was in personally, and so I just offered it up as something that might be useful as several people did it organize themselves into masterminds.

[00:12:23] It was super satisfying to see people actually using it, even if I didn’t get paid for it. And then as I started to be involved in other things like that, other groups I was coaching also. And so, at some point here during this time I started to take a few coaching clients. And I just started giving it away, frankly because it felt, I think I felt a bit it felt daunting to sell it, especially since it.

[00:12:54] I just felt really daunted with like how to really get it out there to people and I was frustrated with the idea that I felt like it was really something that could be helpful and it was going nowhere.

[00:13:03] It was just languishing there. And so instead I just started giving it away. And that was pretty fulfilling actually.

[00:13:11] And during that time period I was moving more towards coaching and getting my coaching certifications. And learning. And so I started to sort of gravitate away from doing community management as I was beginning to take more and more one-on-one clients. So it sort of naturally became less of a focus of turning it into a paid product.

[00:13:34] And the funny thing was maybe two, three years later, after the blog articles that I originally wrote on masterminding, had been out there in Google for two or three years, Google actually chose one of my articles to be the little snippet as the answer to should I pay for a mastermind? And there was like my snippet from this blog article.

[00:13:57] Rene: Mm-Hmm. Awesome.

[00:13:58] Raina: And people [00:14:00] started signing up to get it

[00:14:03] Rene: Nice.

[00:14:03] Raina: by that point, I, yeah, I had like, just made it part of that welcome sequence. Like I just had been giving it away.

[00:14:10] But it was funny that three years later. I guess I probably could have started selling it, but you know, kind of what is happening in your business moves on and in the end I feel good about it and the good that it did in the world, but it did not earn any money.

[00:14:26] Rene: Yeah. And probably cost some money ’cause you did pay some people to do it, which, I mean, that happens. That happens.

[00:14:31] But I like that you started giving it away, because I don’t love to see when people create something and it doesn’t sell and they pull it down and then they like tuck it away forever. And you’re like, well, that’s still valuable.

[00:14:42] Like even just because, you know, you didn’t have an audience or for whatever reason, like, it’s still valuable. Like, I, I, I don’t like whenever the products are kind of like hidden and, and never see the light of day. Like it makes me sad for the product.

[00:14:57] So I’m glad that you started using it. And even giving away, like I think that that’s you know, we have to pivot all the time in business.

[00:15:03] Like, you know, if this then, oh, well, okay, well that didn’t go that way. Like, okay, let’s try something else. So, you know, I think that that’s fantastic and awesome about the featured snippet.

[00:15:13] Raina: Oh yeah, it was, it was kind of cool.

[00:15:15] And you know, in retrospect, I look back now and I think it was just another stepping stone in, I don’t know about everyone listening, but I’m guessing that whatever you started doing, maybe when you started freelancing or entrepreneurial journey and what you’re doing now, probably looks different.

[00:15:33] And so when I look back on it, I just think of it as like part of the evolution and you know, part of the stepping stone and the experience that you get as you, you know, grow and learn as a business owner. So it’s, you know, it doesn’t, I do kind of see it as a fail as far as a revenue generating project, but I don’t really, it doesn’t feel like a fail overall, if that makes [00:16:00] sense.

[00:16:00] Rene: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you’re probably glad that you did it and everything that you learned from it. Like if you, if you just hadn’t done it then Yeah. How would you have gotten to where you are today?

[00:16:09] Because you learned some things in the process.

[00:16:12] Raina: It was, I mean, it was the first time I had hired other freelancers even, which, you know, I mean, looking back like, you know, like, we said it cost me money and it didn’t make me any money, but it also was, you know, that was part of growing and experiencing things that I hadn’t done before. And I think that’s also one of those things, right.

[00:16:33] Rene: Yeah. I think it’s been valuable when I have worked with other service providers. To kind of just take notes for my own, like for my own self and my own services.

[00:16:44] Like, you know, I, I’ve worked with some people before and the communication maybe hasn’t been that good, or this or that, or, you know, whatever it is, the organization.

[00:16:50] Something like, you know, I take those notes back. It’s like, okay, when, when I do this in my business. Or just just like tips and tricks, like, and you’re exposed to more people. And I, I just think that that’s valuable too.

[00:17:02] Like it’s a big learning experience and it can be fun if you look at it. You know, in, in, in a good way and not like, oh, terrible, terrible, terrible.

[00:17:10] Like,

[00:17:10] Raina: Yeah. And it was, they were both great to work with and, you know, so then I had that experience. It’s all, it all builds on itself , you know.

[00:17:17] Rene: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. This is a journey we’re on, right?

[00:17:23] Raina: It is with all the ups and downs, all the, but it definitely is.

[00:17:27] Rene: Yeah. So what did the graphic designer do for you specifically? You mentioned that they did some designs for you. Like was it a, like a video course? Was it like PDFs? Like what, what, what actually was the course content?

[00:17:38] Raina: Yeah, so it was it was a PDF specifically. So I had, you know, a few different sections. She actually helped me I would say she went beyond a little bit with just what a graphic designer would do and helped me think through how to organize the download. And then we created kind of some separate printable things.

[00:17:59] So like if you were [00:18:00] inviting people to the mastermind, you could send this one off sheet to them to explain like how the calls would go and structure. And then we also created some links to other things that I provided as resources. So she, you know, helped me figure out how to organize that. She thought about writing a few things in there that I had not occurred to me before, like around copyrights.

[00:18:21] And, you know, the right of use, things like that. So, and then primarily she helped me format and design all of it so that, you know, it was pleasing to the eye.

[00:18:31] Rene: Yes. Yeah, it looked good. Yeah.

[00:18:33] Yeah. I think it’s so important whenever, you know, a lot of people create their product alone, you know, which is perfectly fine. But yeah, getting some kind of feedback somewhere.

[00:18:41] You don’t have to hire a designer, but showing it to somebody along the way, because people are going to think of things that you don’t you know, I, I know this from many, many, many experiences where I have, you know, created something or designed something or whatever and given it to somebody and they’re like, like specifically when I used to write software, you know, I would write the whole thing and then give it to the user and they would get, and like, I don’t even know how you got to that part. Like how, how did you even make that do that? Because they use things in a different way.

[00:19:11] They think in a different way, their experiences, you know, so having other people look at it, I think is really important in getting that feedback.

[00:19:18] So, the product is all the better for it.

[00:19:20] Raina: Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, I, that was probably something I took away from that experience too, was just the fact that, you know, I had come up with kind of all these, this raw texts that needed to be formatted in a much more usable way, and she saw things in that that would not have even occurred to me just because of my different perspective on.

[00:19:38] Rene: Mm-Hmm.

[00:19:39] Raina: how it would be used particularly, we’re often making, I think, products like these based on our own expertise and seeing it through the eyes of a beginner or someone who knows much less or someone who’s gonna use this without your knowledge background is like super valuable.

[00:19:58] Rene: Yes. Yeah, [00:20:00] definitely the beginner thing because whatever it is that you’re sharing or you’re teaching or anything, like you are here and people are back here somewhere.

[00:20:06] So yeah, making it relevant and you know, we got some windows recently and you know, the window people come in and they’re using all their jargon or whatever.

[00:20:16] I’m like, I don’t, I don’t know any of this jargon. Like, you have to make this so that I can understand it. Because I do not understand it at this point. So I think that, you know, we have to kind of keep that in mind, keep our own experiences in mind so that yeah, when we go out and we’re like, yay, here’s, we’re talking about the things like we have to make it easy for people to understand or they won’t buy it or they won’t stay, or, you know, whatever it is.

[00:20:36] Raina: Well, I’ve heard someone say before that like, if you’re, you know, have a certain expertise when you’re talking about it. You’re probably talking at a six or seven. And when you normally just normally and you think you’re talking at like maybe a two , so whatever it is, wherever it is you think you are, like you probably gotta bring it down more.

[00:20:58] Not because people are dumb, but because they don’t have the same context that you do.

[00:21:05] Rene: Right? Yeah. They have other expertise that is just not, that’s why they’ve come to you so that you can help them because you’re an expert. You can help them with this. So yeah, you have to start where they are for sure.

[00:21:16] Raina: The values in making it simple.

[00:21:18] Rene: Yes, exactly. We just, we think, we kind of disregard that. We’re like, oh, it’s too simple.

[00:21:22] We can’t, you know, no, that’s actually what people need and once they understand it, you can bring them along then kind of on your journey, and then you can teach more advanced things once you’re sure that the foundation is there. I assume it’s like teaching, you know, like in a school, like you need to know that they have a foundation before you can move on because they won’t understand it.

[00:21:41] Raina: Yeah. Oh yeah. I once saw oh gosh, I feel bad. I cannot remember his name right now. But he runs a camera uh, blog and, gosh, it’s pretty big. I’m so sorry. I can’t remember the name of him or his blog, but he was saying their most popular post, at least at the point I heard him speak a few years [00:22:00] ago, was how to hold a camera properly.

[00:22:03] Rene: Hm

[00:22:04] Raina: He said when he wrote it, he thought, this is so dumb, no one’s gonna read this. And he said, but I realized later on that no one teaches you that. Because everyone assumes, you know, and you kind of don’t wanna ask because you feel like you should know. And those are the questions people Google that we can help answer for them.

[00:22:24] Rene: Mm-Hmm. Exactly. Yeah. Assuming, assuming, ah, that’s totally, totally right. Yeah. Don’t assume, don’t assume. Just ask. You can just ask your audience. Yeah. Like, do you need help with this? Or what do you need help with?

[00:22:35] And I think getting that feedback and having an audience to ask, you know, like we talked about you know, allows you to develop these products and, you know, develop this content, you know, specifically to what people actually need.

[00:22:48] Raina: Yeah, that’s actually now, so since then, this gosh, when was this? Was this 2018 or 2019 when I worked on this project, and I have not even attempted to make another digital product since then. You know, maybe like a free opt-in or something, but it was like, okay, I’m moving on with my life from that.

[00:23:06] Right?

[00:23:07] Rene: No more.

[00:23:07] Raina: Yeah.

[00:23:08] But now suddenly we have started my husband and I, a YouTube channel on moving to France because we were getting so many questions about it. It’s called Baguette Bound. I love the name. You’re bound for the baguettes and but now it’s the first time I’ve started to think about developing a digital product again, because I’m getting the same questions over and over and I’m starting to get tired of answering them

[00:23:34] And so I’m realizing, okay, now there is an audience and there’s, they’re asking specific questions and I know I can create something that would be helpful for them. And so it feels very different than before.

[00:23:46] Rene: Yeah, I’ve heard similar stories where some people, yeah, think like, and myself included, like this is what people need. People need this thing, but it’s not an important problem for them, or not something that they’re concerned about or not at that [00:24:00] level, or you know, any number of reasons or they just didn’t hear your message because they’re not in your orbit.

[00:24:05] Like any number of reasons. But yes, I’ve also had some guests on the show who have shared that the same thing. Like, people are asking me these questions and I’m tired of answering these questions.

[00:24:16] Raina: Yeah.

[00:24:17] Rene: So here’s your product.

[00:24:18] Like this is what you asked for. I think that’s the the best way to do it, because you can think of a product or think of an idea or ask your audience, Hey, what might you want?

[00:24:27] But when those questions are coming in, especially the same question more than once, it’s like prime, prime for it.

[00:24:33] Raina: Yeah. Yeah. And like answering, and I mean, honestly I say that I’m getting tired of answering. I mean, the whole reason we started this was because I love it here and I wanna share it with people. And so I actually am happy to answer questions, but it’s hard to answer a complicated subject in a YouTube response, to a comment, right?

[00:24:50] That’s not the right space for this. And I think you said something earlier, which is sometimes you might have a good product, but people aren’t aware of the problem. And so like I think most entrepreneurs may not necessarily even know that they’re missing a mastermind and it would make their life so much better, right?

[00:25:08] So those are the kind of things you need tons of marketing for, because you’ve gotta reach people, you’ve gotta make them problem aware. You’ve gotta convince them that this would help,

[00:25:16] Rene: Yes.

[00:25:16] Raina: even though you already know that it would. On the other hand, this making a product that people are already looking for, which, like in our case with this, you know, if you wanna do a long stay travel in France, like, you know, stay for like slow travel for many months or you even wanna move here to freelance, like you are looking for information and I’m realizing making a digital product that people are actually looking for.

[00:25:44] Whew. That takes a whole

[00:25:46] Rene: easier.

[00:25:47] Raina: audience so much easier.

[00:25:48] Yes.

[00:25:48] Rene: Yes. Yeah. And that awareness, like I feel like there’s some kind of funnel or diagram or something about Yeah. Like awareness of the problem and then, you know, potential solutions. But yeah, they’re already aware and they’re [00:26:00] already searching, so they are already that much further along in the journey. And you’re already, you’re creating free content to attract them. Right.

[00:26:08] So people are watching the YouTube channel and do you have a mailing list?

[00:26:12] Raina: Oh, we are just, we’re just starting. Yeah. We have a, we have a website and people have just been starting up for the, signing up for the mailing list.

[00:26:20] Rene: It comes. Yeah. Yeah, it comes, yeah. You can’t do everything at once. So like, you know, starting those little things like you have to, yeah, you have to have the website to put the email on and you need the email account before you can write the welcome sequence, I guess. You don’t have to, but yeah, the, the things come along.

[00:26:34] But yes, then so people will be finding you, be finding the YouTube channel, I dunno if you’re on social media or things like that, but like finding you And then asking their questions in there. And so have you thought about like what that product might look like? Like what kind of format or.

[00:26:51] Raina: I just really started thinking about this and I think the biggest question I have now is a lot of different. Questions to be answered. Like for example, you know, with moving to France people have questions about healthcare and they have questions about visas and they have questions about finding housing.

[00:27:11] Like every one of those is a huge topic.

[00:27:14] And so that’s one thing I think I’m getting a little bogged down in just thinking about this is. How do I choose one? You know, there’s part of you that always feels like, oh, but they need everything. But I, I know that’s not always the best approach. So what are your thoughts?

[00:27:32] Rene: Yeah, yeah. So like in terms of, so I guess if you’re already getting the questions, are they like on the YouTube videos or where are the questions coming from specifically?

[00:27:43] Raina: Two places.

[00:27:44] Rene: People are emailing you or,

[00:27:45] Raina: Yeah.

[00:27:45] So sometimes it will be in comments on the YouTube. That’s probably the most common is specific questions in response to videos in the comments section of YouTube.

[00:27:54] But people also email me pretty often. And interestingly, the emails tend [00:28:00] to be much more detailed and usually they’re much more specific to, at least at this point, like picking a village in France, picking a place to live.

[00:28:09] Those kind of things, which, you know, is, is a big topic, but yes. Email and comments on YouTube.

[00:28:15] Rene: So maybe for the comments, like, I wonder if you could maybe have like, like, I’m not so much thinking specific product yet, but like if you could write a blog post in response to a specific question, like that would help you create more content, you could add to it over time. And maybe with like as people ask more, you would then be able to pull from your own content bank, right?

[00:28:45] So if people are asking, let’s say about healthcare, they ask about like, you know, pregnancy or something like that. Or they ask about if I’m retired or something like that. You know, so they’re, they’re asking all of these very specific but small questions about healthcare.

[00:28:58] And as you’re addressing them, you’re addressing here, addressing here, addressing here, putting on your blog, writing in a comment, whatever it is, writing an email. Then you can take all of that information after you’ve written it. And basically your ebook, your um, your course, your whatever, your guide is already written for you, instead of sitting down and be like, okay, I’m going to write a book about how to do healthcare in France.

[00:29:22] Raina: Yeah.

[00:29:23] Rene: Blank page, chapter one.

[00:29:26] Raina: Yeah.

[00:29:26] Rene: And then you’re like, oh my God,

[00:29:28] Raina: Right. Yeah.

[00:29:28] Rene: This is gonna take me forever.

[00:29:30] Like, you’ve, you’ve already created most of it, and then you can fill in with other important information. So that’s, that’s kind of like a, it’s a longer game though, but I think easier for you than sitting down at a blank screen and writing all of that.

[00:29:45] So, does that make sense?

[00:29:45] Raina: Oh, totally. And you know, I hadn’t thought about the idea of almost like starting with a blog post about the general topic, and then as we get questions sort of building on that. I like that idea because sometimes it’s intimidating even to [00:30:00] write down it, to create a blog post because there are a million different things, right?

[00:30:05] People are like with, you know, who qualifies for French healthcare? Wait, what if I’m on medicare and I’m retired in the US and you’re trying to think of all these things. And it, it’s the same thing. So I like the idea of, you know, just starting somewhere and then adding to that over time and building on it.

[00:30:23] Rene: And even if it’s not one blog post, it could be a category, like a category on your website of like healthcare. So here’s where I answer this question, and we talk about this a little bit. And then here’s another post where I answer this question and they’re all tagged or categorized as healthcare.

[00:30:37] So then when I’m ready to write my, you know, comprehensive whatever, I have all of this information to pull from already.

[00:30:46] Raina: That makes a ton of

[00:30:47] Rene: be now in terms of the emails, because the emails are so specific, I mean, it, it could be that, you know, some of the same information applies. If they, if they’re asking a question that you think that other people would be able to benefit from the answer, you know, putting that in your newsletter, your blog post or whatever, I think would be valid.

[00:31:11] But if it’s so very specific to their situation, I feel like this is maybe where like a office hours or a one-on-one call or something where, and again, it’s not necessarily digital product specific, but it’s a stepping stone, I think, to a product. So if you had office hours or I, I probably wouldn’t call ’em office hours. Probably something with wine, right? Like it would be something something wine related.

[00:31:38] You’re in France, you know, it’s, there’s a theme you know, where people come, you know, every month and you’re answering the questions or whatever or or you know, like I will pay, you know, here’s my question. I’ll pay you, you know, whatever your fee is for you to answer my questions. You know, and then you’re, you’re spending, I dunno, half an hour, an hour answering my question and I pay you for that time.

[00:31:59] [00:32:00] Because it’s more in, in depth, because it’s more uh, relevant to my experience. But I think that like sometimes people can, you know, in a mastermind specifically, also, people can benefit from hearing other people’s questions and the answer to those questions.

[00:32:15] So some kind of group, maybe it’s a YouTube live, you know, maybe you’re live for wine at five or something like that, and you’re answering the questions that are coming along, or maybe you talk about a little topic and then you’re taking questions relevant to that topic. I think building that, that body of content could be helpful. But yeah, you could also just do like a 101. France 101 for people who wanna move here and answer very basic questions. You know, kind of get people started.

[00:32:45] So like you There’s not one way, I guess. It really, it’s like what feels good for you? And what are you ready to do? What do you have the, the time to do and the bandwidth, you know, all those things.

[00:32:58] Raina: Yeah. I actually, you know, it’s funny that we’ve talked a couple. You know about beginner content here and then like a general approach, because one thing that I have realized, we do offer one-on-one consults for Baguette Bound. Just because we were getting these specific questions that we felt like, oh, this was really like a conversation.

[00:33:16] But in those conversations, as you start to actually talk to people, I realized most of them were not nearly as far along in planning their move or their trip as I thought they would be. And they had a lot more questions that were, you know, sort of broad and basic things.

[00:33:33] One um, couple actually we had a consult with and they had been planning to move the very next month and after our consult they were like, you know, I, I think we need a little more time. And I, I sort of felt bad, like we had discouraged them. And my husband Jason was like, no. We just saved them so much stress of realizing that they needed more space and time to make this happen.

[00:33:58] And that makes me think [00:34:00] about like, kind of that basic product. Like, are you ready? Like, is there,

[00:34:05] Rene: Mm-Hmm? Yeah.

[00:34:06] Raina: really simple and really helpful just for people to actually gauge

[00:34:11] Rene: Mm-Hmm.

[00:34:11] Raina: you know, how, where are they really in this process? Because you don’t know what you

[00:34:15] Rene: sounds like a quiz.

[00:34:17] Raina: It does.

[00:34:17] Rene: A quiz that leads into the, a product that leads into like, okay, you’re ready.

[00:34:23] I don’t have a product for you yet, but you are not ready. Here’s how to get ready.

[00:34:27] Or something like that. We were just talking about the healthcare, you know, and kind of diving into each of the topics.

[00:34:31] But yeah, you’re right, like way back further starting. You haven’t started or you haven’t planned all that well, so like, here’s how to start doing something.

[00:34:40] And you can experiment with that. Like some people will, and I’ve seen this both ways. Some people will have a lead magnet that is free and then, you know, something happens. And some people will have a product and I’ve seen people take the product and make it a lead magnet and people take the lead magnet and make it a product.

[00:34:59] So.

[00:35:00] Raina: Okay.

[00:35:01] Rene: you know, you could start with something and if it doesn’t work as a lead magnet, you could try to make it a product or vice versa.

[00:35:07] Raina: yeah.

[00:35:07] Rene: Sometimes people put value differently, so some people think that like a lead magnet, maybe not as much value because it’s free. It’s probably not worth much you know, so if you put a price tag on it, people are like, oh, well this is worth more.

[00:35:21] But if maybe the lead magnet not, you know, or the product’s not working, yeah, maybe you are reusing that content and making it free, so you have some options in there. I I hate to like, again, like dissuade people, like, but there’s a lot of ways you can do it.

[00:35:39] So just finding what works for you, I think is, is the best. What works for you and the audience, obviously.

[00:35:45] Raina: Yeah. Yeah. And I think one thing that I, looking back now on the mastermind product is like, and when I do this, like if we create a product for Baguette Bound, I will [00:36:00] actually spend less time on it before I get it out in the world and start to get feedback than I did on the other one. And not that I care less or want it to be less great, but another thing I realized is you can’t actually know what’s gonna work until you mentioned this earlier.

[00:36:19] You have users actually try and use it. So the longer I am like keeping it and tinkering with it and trying to make it perfect.

[00:36:26] Rene: Yeah.

[00:36:27] Raina: That’s probably not actually improving it as much as putting it out in the world, getting feedback and then bringing it back and being able to tweak it a little bit. So I think I would actually

[00:36:37] Rene: Right.

[00:36:38] Raina: create it and get it out there quicker than I did with the other one too.

[00:36:43] Rene: Yeah, and some people call that like a beta, like, you know, the, this is the guide is open for the first 20 people at, you know, a, a lower rate or for your testimonial, or, you know, something like that, that, you know, this is a version one and you know, we will be improving upon it. If you buy it now, you will get version two after we’ve, you know, beefed it up or whatever it is.

[00:37:05] Like, there’s a lot of ways I think that you can intentionally like let people know and intentionally create different versions over time. Yeah.

[00:37:16] Exactly. Yeah, iterations you know, and even saying like, Hey, we’re thinking of creating a product. What are your questions now? Like, get featured in the, in the document, send your questions in. You know, you’re like, I think there’s a lot of ways that you can kind of get that audience buy in. ’cause I think another thing that people do is they hunker down and they go make the product and then they come back and they’re like, here’s the product. It is fully done.

[00:37:39] It’s like a wedding cake. And you’re like, wait, what? Like nobody knows what you’ve been doing for six months.

[00:37:46] Like if you let people know ahead of time, I think that like it primes them.

[00:37:50] For it and getting people involved, getting people on the list and you know, that kind of thing like that. I think it just makes it better, you know, for you and for them [00:38:00]

[00:38:00] Raina: No, that’s a great idea. I mean, it’s funny, this is kind of a straightforward thing, right? You’re making things for people, just ask them what they want, which I realize there’s kind of a fine line with

[00:38:09] Rene: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:38:11] Raina: sometimes you have a deeper understanding of what’s actually needed to solve this problem.

[00:38:15] But you know, also there’s like, I think in my case, it just, I was thinking about that because there’s multiple things that you know, we could focus on, and so maybe trying to figure out which one is really the most pressing concern for most people that are in this situation.

[00:38:33] Rene: Yeah. And it’s not just like solving a problem, but yeah. Which problem are you solving? You know, are you solving the problem that people don’t dunno how to get started. Are you solving the problem of like, people are, they need to the plan, the specifics or, you know, and you could have many products over time and you know, you think if you think about it in like classes, like a 101, a 201, a 202.

[00:38:52] Like you can kind of build that. But yeah, you probably would start with the, you know, the the 101 first.

[00:38:58] Raina: Right.

[00:38:59] Rene: But yeah, also be able to iterate it. And I think I’ve heard this from some people before too, that, you know, so they have the product and you know, it exists for a while and it’s doing fine, and then they have a revision to make it easier, to make it more clear, to simplify it a little bit to get people to that solution more quickly.

[00:39:18] We always think like, let’s add. Let’s add a spreadsheet and add a template, and add a bonus and add a session with me. You don’t have to keep adding the stuff.

[00:39:28] You just have to deliver something that is you know of, of value to people that is simple and gets people to where they need to go,

[00:39:38] Raina: Yeah.

[00:39:38] Rene: literally and figuratively.

[00:39:41] Raina: Yes. That is really gold right there, because I do think the tendency is to wanna give people more, but I don’t know about you, but I frequently um, there’s, I would rather things be simplified and removed from my life than added. That is much more valuable,

[00:39:59] Rene: No more. [00:40:00] Stop adding. Yes.

[00:40:01] Raina: Yeah. And so thinking about doing that for people is, yeah, like you said, it’s really the more valuable thing.

[00:40:07] Rene: It’s a hard like mindset shift for us to make because we also have some insecurities like, is this product alone valuable enough? Will people think Yeah.

[00:40:19] enough? There’s a lot of enough. But yeah, like will people think that like if they pay whatever for it, they will have gotten their money’s worth and We tend to err on the side of like, oh, just give them more and they’ll be happier. And yeah, I want less. Just give me less,

[00:40:36] Raina: Yes.

[00:40:37] Rene: to do.

[00:40:37] Raina: Tell me the important, like

[00:40:39] Rene: my list.

[00:40:39] Raina: to figure out the most important thing and tell me that curation process. I heard someone say like, we live in the age of like it used to be, the information was super valuable. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, my parents bought a set of encyclopedias.

[00:40:54] It was the biggest deal. We did it instead of going on a vacation that year. My dad was so proud of these encyclopedias because information was very valuable. And now we live in an age where it’s super easy to get information. What’s hard is to curate that information and if you

[00:41:09] Rene: Yeah. Weed out the nonsense.

[00:41:12] Mm-Hmm.

[00:41:13] Raina: that is the value.

[00:41:14] Rene: Definitely. Yeah. Yes, I’m gonna get you from here to here and I’m actually going to get you there without, yeah, a lot of time investment and a lot of fluff and you know, there are are a lot of products out there that I think people are wary.

[00:41:26] So I think warming them up too, that, you know, with your YouTube videos and your other content that shows them like, okay, I trust her. I think that this product will be you know what she says it’s going to be, and I will find value in it.

[00:41:40] And I think that that’s a, you’re, you’re building that trust too with, with people who don’t know you, but they’re coming, you know, they’re, they’re searching the internet trying to find, you know, the answers to their questions.

[00:41:51] And um, but that’s cool though because then people can find you like, I dunno, I just think it’s a neat, neat thing.

[00:41:57] Raina: Yeah. Yeah, I’m excited. It feels, it’s [00:42:00] funny when we’ve had consults, because this is the first time I’ve really done a lot of video, and it’s like people come to the call already feeling like they know you to some degree, but you have not had that same interaction with them. So it’s kind of an interesting thing. That’s new for me, but very fun too, huh?

[00:42:17] Rene: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. And video I think can be really powerful. Audio too. You can pull out audio. Like, I dunno, there’s tons and tons of options, so I don’t wanna, yeah, don’t, don’t wanna overwhelm.

[00:42:27] Yeah. So anything else you have about, anything else you wanna say about the first product or, you know, thoughts about this potential one, or do you wanna dive into your advice, two to three things that you recommend to someone who’s creating their first product?

[00:42:41] Raina: Yeah, I, I think I have like two thoughts to sort of finish out. One is if you create a product, even if you spend money on it and it doesn’t go as you thought. It’s, it’s okay. Don’t be too discouraged because you never know, like how that is gonna move you along your path and what you’re gonna learn from it and how you might use that later.

[00:43:02] And so, sometimes it’s multifaceted and so don’t let that that one get you down. If it’s not the revenue booster that you imagined. Sometimes there’s other things.

[00:43:12] I think the other thing is just the idea of market testing. Having like a way to know that you’re making something people are already looking for and that this product is gonna help meet that need and, you know, testing it a little bit.

[00:43:29] I mean, that was the thing that I didn’t have to start with. I was creating something for people who were not problem aware and I didn’t even know where to find them. so.

[00:43:39] Rene: Yeah.

[00:43:40] Raina: Um, so creating something people are already searching for and knowing where those people are that you’re gonna deliver that so they can find it gosh, I feel like that will put you miles ahead.

[00:43:52] Rene: Yeah, it’s just, yeah. Where do you wanna be on this journey? Like, yeah. Do you wanna be a little bit further ahead than you could be? Like you can just create [00:44:00] something and start, you know, from no audience.

[00:44:02] But yeah, if, if you, if your goal, like what is your goal? If your goal is yeah to make some money with it or, or build your audience or whatever, like, yeah, you might wanna be a little bit further along than otherwise. So, yeah. Not to discourage people from yeah if they just wanna create something, because I feel like, yeah, I just created something too.

[00:44:19] I created a course about how to ask for testimonials in your service business, because so many people like don’t wanna ask for testimonials. But apparently not an important problem, or not a problem that people were actively, they weren’t like, you know what I need an answer to? How to get testimonials in my business.

[00:44:35] Not something that was happening, but it led me here, so,

[00:44:39] Raina: Yeah.

[00:44:40] Rene: You know, was it worth it? Yes. Did it make a lot of money? No. So,

[00:44:44] Raina: Right. Yeah.

[00:44:46] But it’s built, it’s always, all those things are building something.

[00:44:49] You know what’s interesting is it just occurred to me, many of us before, you’re in the world of freelance or solopreneur, entrepreneur however you define yourself, small business service, business owner. When you have a job, there are things like that that kind of go plunk, you know, in your W2 job.

[00:45:08] And it’s, we think of those as totally different than when we’re out on our own and those same things happen. But it’s really normal, like no matter if you’re in a W2 career or doing these things out on your own. And I hadn’t thought about that, that this stuff has usually always happened.

[00:45:25] Rene: Yeah, I think we take it much more personally when it happens here because we, because our identity is tied up in, like, I’m, I’m not just a service provider, like during the day, it’s like my identity if for better or worse, it’s probably some things to work on there.

[00:45:42] But yes, it’s, we’re much more invested and I think whenever we are, you know, selling that product, It’s not so much like, you know, do you want this product? It’s like, do you like me? You know,

[00:45:54] Raina: Yeah. Oh yeah,

[00:45:56] Rene: is it, tell me I’m valuable, tell me, you know, so there’s, there’s [00:46:00] some psychology in there. I think a little bit.

[00:46:02] Raina: Oh, of course. And but you know, just the idea that we can work for large corporations who have whole departments and big budgets, and things still sometimes don’t work.

[00:46:12] So the idea that we would be different is like, kind of funny that we take it as hard as we do because there’s people who throw tons of resources at stuff like this and you know, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

[00:46:24] So it’s reasonable to think it’s gonna be exactly the same for us, and it’s not because we’re doing anything crazy wrong.

[00:46:31] Rene: Mm-Hmm. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Great point. Yay. Awesome. So can you tell us where we can find you online?

[00:46:37] Raina: Yeah. So you can find me for coaching at rainawillick.com. I’m not super active on social media except for with Baguette Bound on YouTube. So if you’re interested in France, go there.

[00:46:50] If you’re interested in creating productivity that feels good and you’re happy with as a business owner, go to rainawillick.com.

[00:46:56] Rene: Awesome. Yeah, and I’ll put those links in the show notes. Yeah. And I can’t wait to check out the YouTube channel too. So thanks so much for being on today.

[00:47:03] Raina: Thank you. This was great.

[00:47:05] Rene: Hey, thanks for listening. I’d love to continue the conversation in your inbox. Email SUBSCRIBE to hey at yfdp.show or sign up in the show notes to get bi monthly emails about how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. Can’t wait to see you there.