Episode 30

Including your audience when creating products to foster community with Paul Charlton 

In this episode, Paul shares how he uses his email list, validation, pre-selling and a community approach to creating and selling digital products.

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Paul is a designer and content creator who is fuelled by a passion for education. In fact, his drive to educate has led him to create a thriving YouTube channel and community called WPTuts, where he shares all of his free content. But his journey doesn’t end there. Recently, he’s taken on the exciting challenge of creating digital products, and it’s been a truly eye-opening experience. This new endeavor has unlocked a world of possibilities and has only ignited his passion even further.

Check out the books by Pat Flynn.

Find Paul online, visit his YouTube channel, follow him on Facebook, connect on Twitter and check out his documents pack and his courses.

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[00:00:00] 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.

[00:00:28] Hey everybody. Today I’m here with Paul Charlton. Paul is a designer and content creator who is fueled by a passion for education. He’s the man behind WPTuts, a thriving YouTube channel and community where he shares all of his free content. Hey Paul, how are you?

[00:00:45] Paul: I’m very, very well, and thank you very much for inviting me onto your podcast today.

[00:00:49] Rene: Yay. I’m so excited you’re here and I am really excited to learn about your first digital product. So tell us about your first digital product, and then we can talk about all of the other ones and all of your plans upcoming. But let’s start with the first.

[00:01:04] Paul: Well, I’ve just released the Essential Web Designers Documents Pack, which is fundamentally a collection of documents that I’ve kind of put together during my career as a web designer working with clients, coming across the hurdles that I think as a web designer, you kind of come across dealing with late payments and things like that.

[00:01:20] Mm-hmm. And not everybody’s that confident in creating their own sort of sequences to deal with late payments, to deal with proposals and things. So I’ve kind of distilled the information that I’ve kind of gathered over the last sort of 15 years doing this professionally. The sort of stumbling blocks that I’ve come across and tried to make something, put something together that eases that burden that new designers, whether you’re a freelancer or an agency, you don’t necessarily have the skills, the experience, and the knowledge to handle these things in the potentially the most professional way.

[00:01:51] So it kind of made sense to me to put something together, to give people, not necessarily a word for word, verbatim way of dealing with things. But [00:02:00] enough information that if they wanted to take it word for word, they could use it and put it into practice immediately. However, if they wanted to just use this as a template to start off with, there’s advice and information about the key parts of, for example, the proposal.

[00:02:13] That means then that anybody can kind of look through it, adjust the wording to meet, you know, their way of saying things and doing things to bring their voice to the sort of the document and just give them a good starting point of the key things they need to get up and running. So it’s been an exciting process to kind of grab all that information and distill it and look at it from different points of view and try to make something that is incredibly useful from the get-go and people can just grab it and run with it if they want to, or take their time and modify it to their heart’s content to make it 100% their own.

[00:02:46] Based upon my starting building blocks.

[00:02:49] Rene: Awesome. Yeah. So how did you come about this? You said you were running an agency for a long time and you know, you’re gathering these things. So like at what point did you say to yourself, oh, hey, I have all of this. What if I packaged it up, you know, was it a conversation with someone or, you know, how did it, how did it come to be?

[00:03:06] Paul: As you said, the WPTuts has a, a good community of almost 13,000 people and predominantly web designers, and I’m also a member of other Facebook groups and talk to other content creators and, you know, digital agencies and things, and you very quickly start to realize that lots of people have the similar kinds of problems and during live streams you get questions and you know, you can kind of answer those in a small part.

[00:03:31] But it kind of made a natural sort of sense to me to say, well, I’ve been doing this for many years and I’ve kind of gone through those, those problems, those issues with clients, potential clients, and you know, all the different problems you can have with documentation and just processes. So it made sense to kind of look at those questions and see, right, well what are people struggling with and how can I kind of help them?

[00:03:53] I mean, my background is teaching. I spent 10 years as an adult educator, so I’ve been working with education for [00:04:00] many, many years prior to, you know, sort of becoming a web designer and having an agency and so on. So it kind of just, it was looking at the community, looking at what people struggle with and seeing what can I do to ease that burden and not make it, you know, exorbitantly expensive.

[00:04:15] Because I think a lot of people want to create a side hustle. They want to sort of start, dip their toes in the water, not necessarily jump in head first. And one of the things that I think is vitally important is you need to keep your costs manageable, whether you’re freelancing or whatever. So anything you can kind of do to keep it manageable.

[00:04:34] It made sense to create a pack that was versatile enough that anybody could sort of take it on board and make it their own or run with it like I’ve already said, but also not to make it silly money. You know, I’ve, I’ve omitted putting a contract in there for the very obvious reasons that this can be used anywhere in the world, and I don’t really want to go into the legal aspect of things.

[00:04:53] So it’s everything bar the contract, which I advise in there. If you want a contract, you know, you really need to get this checked out by a legal professional to make sure, mm-hmm, it’s water tight in your country. But the other areas are just basically looking at what people struggle with and trying to find a solution to that, that they can use without breaking the bank and keeping their costs down.

[00:05:12] So that’s fundamentally the reasoning behind why I created the product.

[00:05:16] Rene: Nice. How long did it kind of take to create, you know, did you get stuck anywhere along the way? Did you just kind of like knock it out over a couple weeks or, you know, some, some people struggle with like the creation process, or were you just so, so excited and so like, oh, I, I, I think I have this great answer to this, these problems I’m seeing, I’m just going to, you know, do it all in, in one sitting.

[00:05:38] Like, how did the creation process happen? Did you have iterations, did you get feedback? Stuff like that.

[00:05:43] Paul: The process was, was relatively smooth because most of this is documentation that I’ve been using myself primarily in a digital format. I mean, for example, with the proposal, I use an online proposal management software.

[00:05:55] So all of the pieces, all the component pieces are already created in there, and then I can [00:06:00] very quickly flesh out those different sections. So it was, it wasn’t something that took a huge amount of time. It was just looking at how can I package it and how can I combine it to make everything have exactly the same tone of voice, but also versatile enough that someone can put their own voice in it very quickly. So the process probably took me around about two weeks. And big part of that is my, my, my partner. She’s very, very good in this sort of, um, you know, making sure processes work correctly. Mm-hmm. Making sure that the wording is consistent and so on. So it was liasing with her to kind of go through to make sure everything was fine and then come back with the amendments that I should make and then making those amendments and looking what areas need to be taken out cause they don’t make sense in the context of giving this as a sellable product and filling gaps that maybe I would’ve naturally filled out when I was creating a proposal. Mm-hmm. Or, you know, something along those sides, part of the pack and just trying to combine everything into a logical structure.

[00:07:01] So around about two, maybe three weeks at a push, but that wasn’t spending huge amounts of time. I would probably say if you boiled it down, probably about a day’s worth of work, but spread out probably over a couple of weeks just to have that error checking and that consistency to make sure that that was all in there.

[00:07:18] Rene: Yeah, that’s, that’s great. Yeah, and having somebody else to kind of look it over, you know, I think a lot of times we look at our own things over and over and over and then, you know, we, we just start to not see things. Uh, but yeah, having somebody else there to kind of go through it as a whole, you know, looking at it from a bird’s eye view instead of like, down in the weeds of every single document.

[00:07:37] I think that that’s really helpful. So then after it was created, did you, how did you launch it? Did you just launch it in one day and you told, you know, all of the people everywhere? Or did you kind of launch it slowly? Like, some people do, like a beta launch, um, you know, a coupon or things like that. So how did you, and then who are you marketing it to and how are you marketing ongoing?

[00:07:58] So just kind of all [00:08:00] those questions in one there.

[00:08:01] Paul: There’s several different ways in which I approached it. Um, normally what I would’ve done is validate the idea before I’d even move forward with it, but by basing what I created on the feedback and, and the sort of comments and things that I could see in general, it was kind of pre-validated, if that makes sense.

[00:08:18] So when it came to the launch, I kind of on the, the Facebook group primarily, uh, I put a sort of a post up on there that outlines what’s going to be included. So this was pretty early in the, the sort of the scripting phase of it. So I’m just literally collating the information and then I’ll sort of create an email list that’ll have a landing page that’ll give information about what’s going to be included in there, and let people sign up.

[00:08:44] So I kind of, I get that mailing list, and then as that mailing list starts to fill out, then I can kind of send information out to people. Tell ’em where I am in the process, what we’re gonna be looking at doing, what’s going to be included in this so they can kind of get more information and they kind of come along for the ride to a small extent to kind of see how it develops.

[00:09:04] And I think that generates a kind of, um, a link between people feeling that they are part of the process of designing and creating, you know, probably more so with more complex projects like courses and things. But I, I like to have that keeping people in the loop to have that openness about the project and the product.

[00:09:23] Uh, so it was, it was done like that. And then prior to the launch, it was a case of creating my sort of email sequences and things like that, getting those into place. Generally, I don’t put coupon codes to start off with. I would rather keep them for incentivizing people that are not necessarily, they’re, they’re a warm lead, shall we say.

[00:09:42] They’ve signed them to the mail, they’ve expressed interest, but they’re not necessarily there to buy just yet. Or they’re just, is this enough for me? So, I’ve kind of created various different stages of that email sequence to warm them up as it were. And then part of it I might give, uh, a sort of a [00:10:00] 25% discount, for example.

[00:10:01] Cause like I say, it’s a low ticket item anyway, but then I’ve got them on that list to promote them. And if I create future products that are in a similar vein or, you know, maybe content, training content or one-to-one consultations or those kinds of things, or webinars that I’ve got them on, automating this, they’re segmented to know that this is what they’re interested in, this is what they’ve purchased.

[00:10:23] So it’s, it’s primarily done through either the Facebook group, which like I say, is already used to me, they know me. Mm-hmm. So hopefully there’s a know, like, and trust as trust aspect to it. And then the mailing list for the people that I know are definitely interested. And then, like I say, they’ll put ’em into a sequence and it’ll, it’ll try to warm them up for the people that don’t immediately purchase it.

[00:10:42] Mm-hmm. And then on the launch, I’ll sort of push out, uh, a sort of mail shot to everybody. I won’t put it to other mailing lists sort of subscribers. The things that haven’t expressed in interest. I don’t think that’s really valid, you know, to sort of do that right at the beginning. But there, that’s primarily how I do it.

[00:10:57] And then when I do things like live streams, If I release an update, then I’ll send the information out to the people on the mailing list that haven’t purchased it, but have expressed an interest saying, this was already great value, but now this has been added to it. There’s no extra cost. This doesn’t go up in price.

[00:11:12] If you already own it, you get this for free. And I like that kind of mentality that once they’ve purchased, they’ve shown faith in me and my product and what I can provide for them. And then give them added value when it kind of makes sense to do that without trying to bump the price up and, and constantly upsell.

[00:11:28] Cause I think we get a little bit mm-hmm fatigued with the constant upsells we’re barraged with.

[00:11:32] Rene: That makes a a good point because I was gonna ask, once somebody does buy, how are you communicating with them? If you don’t have anything else to sell them and you just kind of drop off and they never hear from you again, that’s, you know, probably not great.

[00:11:45] So yeah, if you add other things, uh, live streams or you know, just anything else, it’s good, I think to keep in touch with them so that you can kind of keep them, just kind of keep them in like your ecosystem and, and your circle and um, that you know that you’re still in contact and I think [00:12:00] that’s really valuable.

[00:12:00] So. Very cool. So do you plan to do some specific things at different times of the year? Like I know in the WordPress space, like Black Friday is really popular. Do you have a plan, I guess, of the things that you will do going forward for it?

[00:12:16] Because I do think that these things, you know, need additional marketing ongoing.

[00:12:21] Paul: They do. Um, black Friday, I haven’t really given it too much thought at this point, but I think it’s such a low ticket item. I don’t really see that there’s a massive need to drop it further. Mm-hmm. That’s not to say that I won’t do it, but I would rather bundle things together that add value as opposed to strip cost.

[00:12:39] Yeah. I think that is, a better upsell for people, as it were, where they kind of feel they’re getting more value than constantly dropping your price. Cause I think that can be a very dangerous area to go into where you, you fluctuate your prices. I’ve been very sort of strict on like pre-sales and things like that for, for course courses that I’m looking at creating that it’s a case of if you hop on early when the course is being developed, for example, then you come on at a lower price.

[00:13:06] But each time the next module is released, the price goes up and it’ll never come back down. And that’s, that’s the way, so once it actually reach the full price, that’s the price it will always be. It may be bundled with other value items, but the, the product itself won’t come down in price. Mm-hmm. I’m not selling 20,000 pound, $20,000 coaching courses.

[00:13:27] So I think it’s a viable way of doing it where if people can see the value they can take away from whatever you create. If I can save someone time, if I can help them make more money, become more profitable, become more streamlined in their processes, that surely has to be worth the ticket to entry to that particular product, course, webinar, service, whatever it is.

[00:13:48] Mm-hmm. And that as a business person, when I was running a web design company, that’s how I would always look at my purchases. Is this something that’s gonna either save me time, make me more money, or just ease my life? If it [00:14:00] does any of those three things, I’ll invest my money into it. And I think that’s how people should look at products and services like this.

[00:14:07] Will it do one of those three things? If it does and you value those, so three things as a business person you should do. Mm-hmm. Then what you spend on it is worth it because it’ll do one or more of those three things again, if that makes sense.

[00:14:21] Rene: Yeah, no, definitely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I just wanted to go back to the, um, you know, about the pre-sale and the people expressing interest and I, it’s kind of like that, um, build in public sort of thing, and I think people do feel that sense of like you’re, you’re in it together almost, you know, and they’re kind of watching. I, my partner, um, will sometimes do Kickstarters and he, he loves like, to, to kinda watch the things be developed and, and get in early and get the updates. And then when the, the book or the game or the whatever is finally made and he gets it, you know, and maybe his name is in it or, you know, whatever it is.

[00:14:55] He’s really like that much more interested in it. So, and I think that is so helpful, you know, to have that pre-sale list and you’re in communication and you know, people are, they just get more and more excited about, you know, what it is, whenever it’s gonna come. So, yeah. I like that. That’s it. That’s great. Excellent.

[00:15:12] Paul: We all like to be invested in the things that we like. I think that’s the key.

[00:15:17] Rene: Yeah, definitely. Do you have anything else you want to talk about that, that we didn’t talk about? Maybe something that you learned, something that was unexpected.

[00:15:25] Um, you know, any, anything else surrounding that uh, Web Designer’s Documents Pack before we talk about some other products?

[00:15:32] Paul: I think the, the most important thing that I’ve kind of taken away from any kind of digital products and pre-sales and, and sort of dealing with building mailing lists and so on, is to get feedback and take that feedback on board because it’s nice to be invested in the process until release.

[00:15:48] But if you can also improve the product once you purchase it, cuz you might have not been on that pre sort of pre-sale list. You might have hopped on on the final release product, bought it at full price, whatever, and I like. [00:16:00] What I’ve got set up with this is after a set period of time, they’ll have a couple of follow up emails with some added value items in there, some information about how you can do something, maybe even include some extra downloads that are not included in the pack, but they compliment the pack.

[00:16:14] So when someone has shown faith in giving me their money, then I want to give them something back to say thank you, other than just the pack. Mm-hmm. So that’s been something that I think is instrumental to doing, sort of working with this kind of pack. And I say it is a low ticket item, but I think the amount of time it takes to create something and then add that value is, it’s tiny in the amount of, of what you can do in the sort of grander scheme of things.

[00:16:38] So I think it’s, it’s incredibly important to do that, and also once you’ve kind of released it, have somewhere along that process after sales that you ask for feedback. Is there anything I could have done better? Is there anything you think would’ve been, you know, you wish this was included or you didn’t get from this, you know, tell me what you think.

[00:16:59] It’s lovely if you come back and say, this was great. Everything I, you know, I wanted was in there, but that doesn’t help me. Right. Improve it. Mm-hmm. So I like to sort of find out, right, what, what did you like, what didn’t you like? What can I do to make it better? And then like you said just now, one of the things I’ll do then is if someone sort of comes back with information, feedback that I think is incredibly useful and I integrate that into whatever it is that whatever’s kind of digital product moving forward, I’ll credit them.

[00:17:26] Because I think again, that shows that you’re not trying to take all the glory for this. Mm-hmm. This pack or this whatever product, digital product becoming better and growing over time. You want to give back to the people that have actually taken the time outta their day to review what you’ve created and then tell you what they would like to see improved or what they wish had been done better.

[00:17:46] And I think that is incredibly important to, to build the community around your product. Mm-hmm. As it were.

[00:17:52] Rene: Right, right. Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. So how do you handle iteration? So let’s say that somebody comes back and they have, you know, really great [00:18:00] feedback and you decide to go into one of those documents in the pack and you make an update.

[00:18:04] And then so do you go back and tell everybody? How do iterations work? I think that’s a common question that people have about digital products is, okay, so I put it out there and then what happens if I need to change it, what do I do?

[00:18:15] Paul: Well, thankfully the platform that I use in to deliver the digital product allows to have variations or sort of, yeah, they call it variations, but it’s basically you’re sort of versioning.

[00:18:25] So when I released like version 1.0 of the pack, then I very quickly made some changes to that, added some extra things into it to, you know, add some extra value to it. And the nice thing is you just literally upload the new file that will then have that, you can have all the versions available, or you can just disable the old versions, keep the new one.

[00:18:44] And then what I’ll do is I’ll go back to my mailing list and I’ll put something together that’ll let everybody know that the pack has now been updated. There’s no charge for any of this. You get access to it for the lifetime of the product. If you want it, here’s the link to go and get it. This is what’s been updated in it.

[00:18:59] And kind of keep everybody in the loop then so they can just go back online, download the new version, and start using the extra sort of sequences or the extra documentation that’s been included in it. So they’re always kept up to date whenever a new release is, is pushed out and not that a system is gonna be updated very, very frequently.

[00:19:17] Cause I think once you have your sequences in place and you’ve modified the documentation or used it, there’s not much else you’re probably gonna want to have in there. I’m not dealing with things like, you know, sort of, um, ongoing maintenance plans mm-hmm. And things like that. That’s a totally separate thing.

[00:19:31] And I know you said you’ve had Kyle on from The Admin Bar on. Mm-hmm. He’s already got, for example, the Website Owner’s Manual (WOM). Mm-hmm. So it’s like, I wouldn’t wanna step on his toes because he’s a friend and he’s a, a very, very good creator, created a fantastic product. Mm-hmm. And for me, having that relationship with the other content creators, I would rather say, go and grab Kyle’s documentation than me try to create a, create a competing product.

[00:19:56] I don’t think that’s faye in the marketplace that we kind of [00:20:00] swim in, should we say. Mm-hmm. So that’s kind of how I’d handle sort of versions and updates and so on, and how I’d sort of keep everybody in the loop after I’ve made an update or a change to the documentation.

[00:20:10] Rene: And it also gives an opportunity, I think, doing it that way to kind of leverage each other’s audiences. For example, if Kyle is recommending your products, it gives him an opportunity to, to share things with his audience that aren’t just all of his stuff.

[00:20:26] You know? And then, you know, maybe you the same, like if you’re, if you’re pointing people to his things, you have maybe there’s an overlap in audience, but you know, I’m sure not a hundred percent where you can say, oh, hey, there are other great things out there, like Kyle’s product too. So I just think that that is valuable for, you know, let’s say like an audience member to not just hear all about the thing that the creator is creating.

[00:20:47] Like, oh, there’s great things out there too.

[00:20:48] Paul: With regards to Kyle, for example, there’s one thing that I wanted to put together probably around six months ago, and I’ve had the idea for a little while called the, the WordPress Creator Community, or it’s basically a group of creators that, that I know, or I’ve come to know over the last couple of years that we wanted to have.

[00:21:07] I wanted to have a platform that we could all talk and we could promote each other’s products and services and talk about different things and have each other on live streams. And that’s something that I’ve been really strong in my kind of like thought process to have something like that. So I put that together probably around about close to a year ago now, which time just flies so quickly.

[00:21:25] Mm-hmm. But that’s been really, really good because most of us create some form of digital product or webinars and things like that. So I think it’s a nice, where, yes, we do have an overlapping audience, like you say, but there’s also, we’ve got a big enough audience out there that even if there is an overlap, there’s still plenty of people that are outside that overlap.

[00:21:46] And the nice thing is when we’ve kind of released products, we’ve promoted them through our mailing lists, through our Facebook groups, through live streams and things, and that has been incredibly successful for the people that have been involved in it. And that’s been something that has been [00:22:00] really, really powerful.

[00:22:02] Because as a content creator, it’s a very lonely world talking to a camera in a room on your own. Mm-hmm. You might be interacting with people, but the reality is I’m still staring at a little screen in a room on my own. Mm-hmm. So it’s kind of very strange scenario that if you’ve never done it, you don’t necessarily understand it.

[00:22:21] So that was part of it. I wanted to have like a little group of support for people that understand these kinds of things. But also, like I said, when the spinoffs is that we do have this group of incredibly talented creators that are creating fantastic products that we can all get behind and help push them forward to help make them more, more successful.

[00:22:38] So that’s been really, really positive. And I think, I wish I’d done it a long time ago, but it’s, it’s been a fantastic outlet for us all I think.

[00:22:46] Rene: Yeah, great points. Yeah. About, you know, when, whenever we’re creating, we’re just here, I was just thinking that earlier. The community hasn’t really picked up, you know, I don’t know, post pandemic and you know what, wherever we are, we’re not where we used to be.

[00:22:58] And I do, I feel like lonely sometimes doing this, you know, my solo episodes, like it’s, it’s not the same. So yeah, that community and I think when you go into a community and there is value. Like I have the WOM and I’m on Kyle’s mailing list. You feel connected in a way that is helpful and as soon as there is valuable information, you come back.

[00:23:20] Right. You don’t unsubscribe from that. You don’t leave. You, you continue to participate.

[00:23:25] So I did wanna ask, and I can’t remember if your, I know your, you have a design systems course, which we can talk about. Uh, but your Designers Documents Pack, is that on a different domain than like, so how are you selling these? And maybe why do you have a different domain for that other, you know, instead of just selling the things, you know, under one umbrella.

[00:23:48] Paul: Primarily because the WPTuts brand, shall we say, is primarily about teaching people how to use WordPress, how to build websites and so on. And it’s [00:24:00] not, not really 100% behind kind of creating, helping people create businesses and side hustles and things. So I’d like to sort of keep these things separate.

[00:24:09] It will be included in various different sort of places where I think it’s relevant. So if I have a, some content on there, for example, about setting up a business or you know, focusing on business aspects, I think I’ll put links through to the Essential Web Designers Documents Pack. But I’ve kind of liked the fact that I can promote it, I can have it as a standalone location.

[00:24:29] I can track everything about it. There’s probably pros and cons to doing it this way over the other way. And if we use Kyle as a, a good example, The Admin Bar. The Website Owner’s Manual on there, the WOM kind of makes sense to be on there because his site is primarily about building business, helping people grow and become successful in, in business as a web designer and those sides of things.

[00:24:50] So it makes sense to be on there for him. Whereas I kind of felt that what I’m doing is a little different from what the WPTuts site is all about. So it made sense to have it as a separate thing. But I also have a kind of project that I’m re rekindling, which was the Freelance Fridays, which is something I did, uh, a couple of years back.

[00:25:12] And on a Friday I would release a video that’s primarily focused on just business. Mm-hmm. You know, whether it’s, it’s a certain aspect of a business, you know, web design business or it’s a sort of broader picture of something to do with it. So I’ve kind of wanted to bring that back to the front. And I have a website which is still in development because like I say, I’m literally just putting it back together.

[00:25:32] But that will focus on solely about being a freelance designer. So there’s a definite synergistic link then that there’ll be episodes and there are already a couple of episodes that focus on a specific part. For example, the client questionnaire, how you deal with the initial contact from a client and how the questionnaire is so important and all different kinds of questions to ask and you know, those kinds of things.

[00:25:52] And then there’s a a document inside the Essential Web Designers Documents Pack that is a questionnaire. And then another episode will be about the importance of a [00:26:00] proposal and how you should structure it to win and how you may wanna look at it differently. And this is how I would’ve done it. And then there’ll be links on there because it makes sense to have information about a specific feature of being a freelancer or be a small agency in dealing with web design.

[00:26:16] And then having a link through so you can purchase directly from me. And my kind of thought process is, you can do all this for yourself, but if you don’t want to, this has been done for you so you can grab that. So that’s kind of why I’ve separated things out to have slightly separate identities so I can kind of.

[00:26:33] I don’t wanna water everything down and put everything into WPTuts because I don’t think it makes too much sense when it’s, it focuses primarily on WordPress, and this is kind of not about WordPress.

[00:26:44] Rene: And I think it makes it more clear for your audience. So if they’re consuming a video that is related to that and you direct them to that, great.

[00:26:52] If they’re consuming a video or, you know, whatever content there is, blog posts or anything, or email, and it’s not related. They’re not seeing it. So it’s, it’s not kind of getting in the way and being confusing. Um, a couple episodes ago we talked about, um, just your audience, right? So as a, as a creator, as a digital product creator, you know, selling to your peers versus selling to potential clients and you know, where you put that product you, you did, you don’t wanna confuse potential clients.

[00:27:20] If you’re obviously in the service space, but you know, your peers, you know, where are they? So I think it, it is, it’s a great, you know, that you took that into consideration and I think that’s a great way to do it. Having everybody has their own sites and then you can, you know, link to it as necessary and track all the things.

[00:27:36] I’m just thinking of people who are creating their first product, um, not necessary. So, you know, some of these things kind of come over time. You experiment, you know, we talked about them. Email sequences and whatnot, and maybe people creating their first product, you know, might not have all of that from the beginning.

[00:27:52] But, you know, you can build these things on over time. You can iterate on the product based on feedback. I like to showcase people who are, [00:28:00] uh, further along so that you can see like all the possibilities. Like, oh, you could do this, you could do this, you could do that. But you don’t have to start there.

[00:28:06] You can start at the beginning and you can grow, you know, as you grow. And, and you know, there’s no rush. Like, you don’t have to get to the end there. There’s no end. You don’t have to get there. And, you know, at, at the very beginning.

[00:28:17] Paul: I’ve been doing YouTube, for example.

[00:28:19] WPTuts is now around eight years old. Oh. So I’ve kind of, which is crazy, but it’s, it’s kind of like, it’s given me the opportunity to look right. How does it structure, what makes sense to be as part of that and what doesn’t make sense? And that’s kind of where my, my, my head has been is like, if that doesn’t focus and sit well there, it doesn’t make sense to me to be in there.

[00:28:41] Like you say, it dilutes the message and that can kind of cause confusion. And then ultimately if someone’s confused, they leave. Mm-hmm. And that’s, you don’t want them to leave, you want this. Right. You know, so I, I think it makes more sense to kind of just wait, this, this makes sense as a, a whole. Let’s keep it there.

[00:28:57] Rene: Mm. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I agree. Yeah, because people, you’re right, they’ll leave right away and, you know, without a second thought. And keeping it as clear as possible, I think just only, I mean, it benefits you, it benefits me, it benefits you because it benefits your audience. So when they understand and they know what to do next and they know they’re seeing what’s related to them and um, you know, that kind of just keeps them clear, everybody’s happy and, you know, you can move forward.

[00:29:22] So, yeah. You have some courses, so you have a lot of free content, you have some courses. Do you wanna talk about those at all? Are the courses all just kind of independent? Is there any interaction from you?

[00:29:33] Paul: Yeah, I’m happy to talk about those. Let’s talk about the kind of two courses that I have mm-hmm to kind of clarify why I don’t necessarily look at those as being the same kind of vein as I do with the Essential Web Designers Documents Pack. Mm-hmm. The, uh, Design System for Designers course that you, you mentioned during the, the sort of the podcast that was originally a webinar and that was a kind of test run for me.

[00:29:56] I put out some sort of, uh, [00:30:00] questionnaire, shall we say, on my Facebook group to ask what were people struggling with and what were they like to me to create a course on, and then allow people to sort of fill out their own, uh, reactions to it and then kind of get votes, get up voted, and so on. And one of the ones that came outta there was dealing with design systems.

[00:30:15] And for anybody that doesn’t know where design system is, it is basically, two parts. The styling, for example, the typography that’s used, the colors, the spacing, those kinds of things you see not only on websites, but also in printed documentation and you know, all kinds of different media that you’ll see.

[00:30:32] And then the other side of it, if you want to go this deep, is the kind of ethos and the language behind the actual website and the brand itself. I mean, a good example, you’ve got like Google have theirs, you’ve got Microsoft got material, there’s Shopify, lots of big brands have a design system that can be hundreds of pages.

[00:30:51] But people wanted to know what is a design system? How can it benefit you? So I put a webinar together and this was my sort of first foray into dealing with automations and how you connect up your shopping cart to your emailing list, to your webinar software and all those kinds of things. And. I’m a geek, I’m techie.

[00:31:10] I love this kind of thing. So I was just like, I knees deep in the woods. You know, sort of just bits and pieces flying around everywhere and loving every minute of it. But it opened up my eyes to how you would approach validation to start off with, which I know we talked about this a little bit sort of before we kind of came on, uh, sort of talking and validation is a, a really important part of any kind of digital product, whether that’s a course or webinar, anything.

[00:31:34] If you don’t validate it, then you basically, you could do a lot of work for no benefit. Mm-hmm. A good example is, I mean, I’m sure everybody on your podcast knows Pat Flynn and his first book Will It Fly, which is all about validating your product to find out is there an audience there for it before you even start to create it.

[00:31:53] So that is incredibly important. So this taught me an awful lot about what to do, what not to do, [00:32:00] the technicalities behind it. And then once I’ve kind of done that, I felt like I don’t want to do another webinar. It’s one of those things that it was exciting. It was interesting, but it wasn’t the direction that I feel that confident in.

[00:32:12] I like to have more control to make sure that I can deliver as much value as quickly as possible, as opposed to potentially rambling, which you can do when you’re talking live. Mm-hmm. So that kind of opened my eyes up. So I turned that into a course, which is basically just taking the webinar and just flipping it around and creating a course from it.

[00:32:29] And then setting it as a, as a micro course. So it was like an hour and a half long, for example, with some extra bits that I put in. I put some bonus material in there. I then sold that as a low ticket item to again, test the waters for how you’d actually go about then creating a digital product, marketing it, selling it, those kinds of things.

[00:32:48] Mm-hmm. So I’ve taken what I’ve learned from that, which was an awful lot of different sort of parts of the process. From Figma to WordPress, which is showing people that are probably first and foremost web designers using WordPress, but want to know how can you actually use Figma and how can you combine the two because it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to kinda understand the best ways of working.

[00:33:12] That’s opened up my eyes to, again, a different way of working and a different sort of set of processes to put into place and taking what I’d learned on the very first one with the webinar then transitioning into a course. So putting your automations into place to connect up all the different parts of your process. So your email list is done. You’ve got your sequences inside your email list to track where people are, have they purchased, where did they purchase? Are they marked as someone that’s in, you know, all those kinds of.

[00:33:39] It can be for lots of people, boring things, but they just, once you’ve got them working, you sit back and you just marvel at the fact you don’t have to do all of this and that’s a beautiful thing. Mm-hmm. But that’s really opened my eyes to how you can start to create courses. And this one has gone a lot better in my personal opinion.

[00:33:57] And what I’ve done with this is I wanted to sort of, [00:34:00] I pre-validated the course anyway, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t doing an awful lot of work for no, no reason. So I did a pre-sale. So I really created the first two modules, which was the Figma module. So that covered everything about Figma for the course.

[00:34:13] And also then the first page builder, which was Elementor. Mm-hmm. And then I pre-sold that at a lower ticket price and they, the sort of cost to entry there was. Should run half the price of what the final ticket item would be. But people were getting on board early, understanding they could give feedback, understanding that they would have the next module released when it was ready.

[00:34:34] There was no guarantees of when that would be, but you know, okay, so you’re not paying for that module. And then when the next module was released, you do another round of sending information out to your mailing list. You update everybody, tell everybody that’s bought it, they now have access to the third module, then sell it and increase the price.

[00:34:50] And this is kind of what I was talking about earlier, where I won’t drop the price, but if people hop on board early, they can benefit from an earlier drop-in presale price where they get access to the full course when it’s finished, but they get access at a lower ticket price and come on board when it’s not finished.

[00:35:05] And then, I’ll be adding value to that course that go along. So I want to add some more sort of additional modules and things that will be specific to those courses that will add extra value.

[00:35:16] And again, going back to, like I said at the beginning, I won’t charge people more money for this. I think it’s my way of saying, thank you for putting your faith and trust in me now and through the entire process. And I’m always grateful for that. I don’t think we should ever underestimate the fact that we can spend a huge amount of time creating things and we think we might be answering a sort of an issue.

[00:35:35] But the world at the moment is a very, very unstable place, and money is, people don’t have money like they did a couple of years ago where they can just throw it around and not, you know, worry about it. We all make a lot more considered investments and purchases, and that is something that when people do that into my products, then that means a lot to me as an individual because I kind of feel like they putting their faith in what I put out there and, you know, don’t be wrong.

[00:35:59] I [00:36:00] put 850 free videos on WordPress and web design and so on, so they can see what kind of thing they’re going to get. But there’s still a big difference between a course and a free video where there’s no expectation.

[00:36:11] Rene: Opening your wallet. Yes, yes. It’s big difference, I think, between the two. Yeah. So I think that’s really valuable.

[00:36:17] Paul: Yeah, exactly.

[00:36:18] Rene: What is your definition of webinar? So what, how is a webinar maybe different from like a live stream or maybe it’s not, um, so tell, tell me about your definition of webinar, because I think people have used this differently, so I just wanna make sure I understand.

[00:36:32] Paul: Uh, I would consider a webinar something that’s either a paid for presentation of a topic. So my, my background and, and what I do is, is 99% education. So I want to deliver value, and if I’ve done a webinar in the past, it’s been a paid webinar, so someone’s paying me to actually deliver value. So I, I, I enjoy the live aspect and I can, I think the easiest way to kind of, uh, kind of say, this is my YouTube videos that I put out pre-recorded, but they’re free.

[00:37:01] Mm-hmm. So if they tank, it makes no difference. It’s frustrating because you spent a lot of time, but you haven’t charged anybody any money. Whereas with a webinar, if you’re charging someone and you are trying to educate, you know, put over educational content, if you don’t deliver, then there’s a different expectation because like you say, someone’s opened their wallet and obviously depending upon the price, if you’re doing like a $30, then people go, oh, that’s not the end of the world.

[00:37:26] Versus it’s a 300 or $3,000 ticket price to get entry to it. There’s a higher expectation to deliver, and I prefer to have control over making sure that what I deliver, I can condense it, take out the bits that don’t make sense. The only thing I think that’s beneficial when it comes to a webinar is the interaction you can have with the audience.

[00:37:47] And I think I like that when it comes to a live stream. And I liked that when it was the webinar side of things. So I kind of did a hybrid approach on the webinar. I pre-recorded the information I wanted to deliver. And then in between each of those, we’d have a [00:38:00] live Q&A about what I’d covered so we could have that question and answer.

[00:38:03] Same thing. So it was a hybrid approach just so I could make sure that I could hit all the points that I wanted. Some people are incredible educators. They can go on and they can deliver incredible education without even thinking about it. And the great presenters, I wish I was like that, but I kind of feel like I can give the presentation, I can give the information, but I would rather have control over getting rid of the bits in between that I don’t think are necessarily important.

[00:38:29] Mm-hmm. So that’s kind of why I did the hybrid approach. So I think that’s, that’s how I would consider the key difference, I suppose, between the two. If I was doing a live stream, I was giving education, it’s free. No one’s paying any money. If they walk away, they go, that was rubbish. Well, that, that’s frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world.

[00:38:45] Mm-hmm. When the wallet’s been opened. That’s a different thing. And I, I don’t like not being able to deliver when someone’s paying for that service. That’s webinar, that education, whatever it is that I’m doing.

[00:38:56] Rene: Okay. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.

[00:38:57] Some people, when they have the course, they will, like, I’ve, I’ve heard of people doing this different ways where maybe the first time they do it, it is live and they get that Q&A and then they sell it evergreen. Have you tried any, any of those things and or what about iterations to those?

[00:39:16] Like, do you have a personal kind of thought of, okay, I’m going to revisit these videos once a year, uh, and rerecord if needed. Um, I’ve heard so many different ways of doing this, so how, how do you kind of keep your courses, you know, moving forward from year to year, I guess?

[00:39:33] Paul: If you’re doing something like, for example, where we’re talking about the, the Design System for Designers, it is very much an evergreen kind of content.

[00:39:41] Mm-hmm. That should have a shelf life of a good many years because you’re talking about design principles and while you get fads kind of come and go, you know, we have different typographic styles and different art styles and so on. The fundamental underlying concept behind a design system is agnostic to those trends.

[00:39:58] Mm-hmm. And what I’ve [00:40:00] tried to do is, if I look at creating any kind of content that I would wanna put a course out, I try to look at only evergreen content, or at least as evergreen as could be possible. Now, if we go over to the course that I’m currently in, that’s a little different.

[00:40:15] But what I’ve done with that, I approached that differently. I approached that in a modular fashion. So for example, Figma, which is the kind of core part of what we’re talking about in that course. That while it changes, the skills that I demonstrate in there should be valid for a good period of time because they’re core skills using core tools.

[00:40:36] So it shouldn’t be faddy, it shouldn’t be something that goes through trends. The only thing that would potentially change then are the tools that we actually go ahead and create the, take the Figma design and actually create it in, in WordPress use in different tools. So if they radically change, I would literally only have to go back and re rerecord one module, which could be nine lessons, which would be annoying, but it’s part of the whole game.

[00:41:01] And I think if you can kind of approach things from an evergreen point of view as opposed to, you know, using software tools that are so rapidly changing that by the time you’ve created the course and released it, it’s probably out to date. And I’ve learned that from, uh, a good friend of mine, Dave Foy, who’s a fantastic online course creator.

[00:41:21] We’ve had conversations in the past, and he’s gone through that. He’s literally pre-sold a course, created the course. Over the time the course was released, there’d been a fundamental update to the software that he’d used. And then the course was basically out of date, but, and he had to go back and re-record everything and then redo the course to release it because he’d pre-sold it.

[00:41:42] That’s not something I wanted to gain. And obviously he’s taken away, he’s passed that information onto people like myself and that wisdom kind of, it, it doesn’t get lost. Mm-hmm. So I tried to look at how can I modularize the content so they are self-contained units that all go back to Figma, if that makes sense.

[00:41:59] Mm-hmm. Yeah. [00:42:00] That was something that was very, very important to me in the process of designing something, I guess is if it can’t be evergreen, that at least makes something that shouldn’t change. Or if it does change, I can quickly jump on, make the changes I need without how to do the entire course again.

[00:42:16] Mm-hmm.

[00:42:17] Rene: And that’s great to think about. Um, I had talked with a, a colleague recently, and I guess during the beginning of the pandemic, they, um, created this whole course and then by the time they were ready to release it at the end of the year, whenever it was, um, the software had a significant change.

[00:42:34] Everything was out of date already. It can be so difficult when you’re doing software tutorials and things like that.

[00:42:39] Paul: Exactly. And I think that’s, that’s something again that, that Dave was kind of to sort of pass on is lots of people when they sell their courses, they will say lifetime access. Mm-hmm. And that can come back and bite you if it’s something that is something that is prone to change. So there’s one thing he said to me, he said lifetime of the course.

[00:42:58] Rene: Okay. Nice.

[00:42:59] Paul: Always make sure that you say lifetime of the course because it, it’s, you know, lifetime means different things to different people. Mm-hmm. Some people think is it the lifetime of me as long as I’m still alive? Right. Or is it the lifetime of the product? And most people will probably err on the side of my lifetime.

[00:43:16] Mm-hmm. And that’s not something you really wanna sort of fall prey to where people come back and go, you said I got lifetime access. It’s no longer available. My money back and it’s like, yes, that’s not what I meant, you know?

[00:43:27] Rene: Yeah, no, and you don’t wanna deal with that. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve purchased a couple lifetime things and, yeah, and it was, it’s the lifetime of the product.

[00:43:33] Like that product’s just no longer used. We just don’t do it that way anymore. So I think just being really clear, and I think, and with anything, if you set those expectations, you know, I think the people, your, your customers, people who purchase, like, I think they understand as long as the expectations are clear.

[00:43:49] I would say for the most part, people are okay. You know, minus the outliers, but Yeah.

[00:43:54] Paul: Yes. Part, part of the, the joy of, of being an online trainer, I think, is that you always [00:44:00] will end up with at least one or two people that will take things sometimes at face value mm-hmm. And not necessarily understand exactly what you meant.

[00:44:08] And therefore, like I said, I think it’s our responsibility to be 100% clear. So if there is any confusion moving forward, you can kind of go, well, I addressed that, this is what I meant. Mm-hmm. And this is outlined here is the lifetime of the product. Yes. Not, like you say, the lifetime of, of you or I.

[00:44:24] Rene: Yes. Yeah. And having that to go back to like, you know, it’s, it’s like a contract, it’s like a scope of work. It’s, it’s any of those things like, let’s look back at what we said here and, you know, just revisit so that we can get back on the same page since, you know, if we’re not on the same page.

[00:44:40] Do you have some plans for some, some additional digital products?

[00:44:43] What are your thoughts about kind of going forward from here? You’ve kind of dipped your toe into this and now, you know, what do you want to do from here?

[00:44:52] Paul: I think for me, if, if I can identify more needs that I could address for a digital product like the, the sort of Essential Web Designers Document Pack, I would one hundred percent do that again. Because it’s been an amazing learning curve. It’s had really good adoption for what it is and the price point that it is, it kind of blew me away, if I’m honest. I wasn’t expecting the uptake on the product that, that I’ve got so far. And sales are coming in pretty much every single day, which is mind blowing for something that is, yeah.

[00:45:20] Why we consider pretty niche. Mm-hmm. Exactly. I think if you’re a content creator, create digital, digital products. When you wake up in the morning and you look at your emails and there’s sales there when you’ve been sleeping, it is a really, really surreal experience.

[00:45:34] Mm-hmm. It is. It’s amazing and, and I don’t think it’ll ever get old. Yes. It is one of those things when you, do, you know what I mean? It’s like when it pops up and you go, this, there’s a sale from so and so. It’s like, yes, woo. Yes. That’s something I’ve created and someone was bought it. It’s like, yes. So yes, future plans.

[00:45:50] I think digital products like the Essential Web Designers Document Pack. If I can find products that I think would actually bring value, I would absolutely do that [00:46:00] again, but I think probably my main focus is absolutely on the online training courses. Mm-hmm. That’s where my passion is. It allows me to take my experience as a, as a IT trainer, my experience as a web designer, and kind of combine those two passions into one.

[00:46:15] And I’ve always kind of been in the mindset if I can help people avoid the pitfalls that I’ve had to go through. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Then that in itself is incredibly invaluable. And, and to sort of, to give you a story, I can remember a couple of years ago, sort of like a Saturday morning, you’re having a lie in and, and having a note at your phone and looking at your emails and bits and pieces, the exciting things we do in our lives.

[00:46:36] Yes. And flicking through it, and there’s an email there and I’m sort of sat there and it’s this, this, this, this gentleman from, I dunno what country it was, he didn’t say what country. He said, I’ve gotta send you this email. This is paraphrasing, but basically I’ve gotta send you this email to say how incredibly grateful I am to you and how much I owe you.

[00:46:54] And I was like, okay, is this a sales pitch? And kind of going through it, he said, you literally, through the content that you created, this is my, my free YouTube content. Mm-hmm. He said, you’ve allowed me to create a web design business and take my family out of an area in a country that is incredibly hostile, that we were scared to live in and go and set up in a, in a house, in a nice area.

[00:47:15] And all of that’s because of the content that you put out to help me become a professional web designer. Whoa. And I, and I’ll be honest, I did have a couple of tears on that one. If you’ve ever seen, uh, video creators on YouTube, um, Tim Schmoyer, who’s, the whole concept of that is to help YouTube creators create better channels and create better content.

[00:47:35] I wonder, so his kind of phrase has always been create content that changes people’s lives. And I kind of, I was always very much of the mindset of how can I, if I’m showing someone how to build something on, on a WordPress website, how can that change someone’s life? And then you kind of get an email like, and this isn’t the only time I’ve had emails, you know, an email like that.

[00:47:52] I’ve about lots of different things and comments and things, which is amazing. But then you kind of realize what exactly he’s talking about. You [00:48:00] can change people’s lives by doing things like this, by creating this content, whether it’s free content or paid content or in whatever format it is. And that is incredibly humbling when you kind of think, like we said earlier, you’re in a little room staring at the screen.

[00:48:14] Mm-hmm. Trying to educate and entertain and be engaging, but you don’t know how that’s hitting home. And to get things like that come back through it actually, it, it, it makes you realize that it’s all worthwhile. And I think if I can create more content moving forward, that, that in, in any small part, can help people change any aspect of their life.

[00:48:35] Whether that’s side hustles, freelancing or just giving them skills to upskill what they can currently know to charge more money, to make more money, to, to have a better life in whatever format, whether it’s a simpler life or whatever. That’s my job, done, and I’m incredibly satisfied. I can go to sleep at night thinking that was a job well done.

[00:48:52] Yes. Yes. And that is an, an incredibly satisfying feeling to have.

[00:48:56] Rene: Yeah, that’s nice. And so nice that people take the time to, you know, kind of reach back out to people who are creating this content. There are good people in the world, you know, they’re, they’re recognizing, you know, and, and showing that.

[00:49:08] And I just, I think that if you are. If you’re passionate about something and you show up and, and you give it what you have, I, I think that is rewarding. We’re not like surgeons but, you know, I think we’re, we’re trying to make a difference and, you know, that your example, you know, really just illustrates that, so that’s really sweet. Very nice.

[00:49:26] Paul: It, it, it was very nice. Like I said, it was very heartwarming and, um, yeah, incredibly touching to sort of get something like that, so, yeah.

[00:49:32] Rene: Yeah. That is awesome. So what two to three things do you recommend for somebody who is starting at the beginning? They haven’t done anything yet, but they want to, they have this, they have this sort of pull to it or push to it, however you wanna look at it.

[00:49:46] Um, you know, of all the things that you have done or haven’t done or wish you would’ve done anything like that, what two to three things you recommend for people?

[00:49:53] Paul: There’s three things that I would recommend. Validate, validate, validate.

[00:49:58] Rene: Yes. I like it. That makes [00:50:00] sense. Perfect.

[00:50:01] Paul: We, we’ll, we’ll keep that to one. I think validation is, is the most important thing, because as we’ve already said, if nobody wants to buy it, there’s no point in creating it. Mm-hmm. It just becomes a vanity project. Secondly, pre-sale. Always pre-sale. Because if you consider, and if anybody that might not know what pre-selling is, it’s basically if you’ve got an idea and you’ve validated the idea before you start creating that product, sell the idea and sell it to people.

[00:50:25] Get money on board, because that’ll do two things for most people. It will show that there’s a difference between validation and people putting their hand in their pocket. You can get validation that an idea is great, but then when you actually put it out there and you want money for it, you might have a very small uptake.

[00:50:39] Mm-hmm. So if you can validate it, you can pre-sell it, and then you start to get some income, which incentivizes you to actually create it because people have paid you for that. Mm-hmm. And then finally, don’t ever, ever underestimate the power of your email list from the get-go. As soon as you get a validated idea, build your email list, because that is the thing that’ll help you sell your product better than any adverts, better than any promotion, anything else like that.

[00:51:05] If you can do that, and you can build a list up. It doesn’t have to be a big list. It can be a couple of hundred people. If you’ve got a couple of hundred really engaged people and love what you are gonna put out there, you’ll sell to them so much easier than you will by advertising, doing Facebook ads, Google ads, those kinds of things.

[00:51:22] Mm-hmm. So my three things would definitely be to validate the idea to go ahead and pre-sell it if you can. And finally, to make sure that you have an email list from as early as possible to get people on there that are engaged and interested in your product or the service that you’re looking to put together.

[00:51:35] Rene: Right. Yeah, definitely. I totally agree. And I think that the pre-selling is like an, just an additional form of validation. So, you know, validation can come, I think in a couple forms where you go out and ask people, Hey, would you like this? And asking the right people, right? Like, not like your mom or whoever, but you know, asking the right people, your, your target audience, but then having, you know, people actually yeah, go into their [00:52:00] wallet I think is just an additional form of validation.

[00:52:02] And I think that with the pre-selling, it almost becomes like a, um, you know, as service providers, it becomes kind of like a client relationship at that point where, people have given you money, and now you kind of feel the pressure to deliver the thing. So I think that that can be more familiar and maybe more motivating for people than I’m gonna spend all this time building this thing and then sell it.

[00:52:27] So I think that the pre-selling is a fantastic idea. Um, if you can do it, definitely do it because it, there’s so many benefits from pre-selling. So I like, I like all of those to me. Yay. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

[00:52:40] Paul: I, I, I think it, it, like you say, it is another form of validation. And I think it’s one of the, it’s probably more powerful than the first one where you get people to say, that’s a great idea.

[00:52:48] I would buy that. Mm-hmm. You know, saying, that’s a great idea. I am buying that. Yes, yes, yes. And, and like you say, it, it creates that kind of contractual agreement between you and your audience. And I think if you also have, like we said earlier on, if you can kind of have them giving you feedback, if you were dripping that content out, uh, I’ll give you an example with my course, the Figma to web, uh, sort of WordPress.

[00:53:10] There’s one gentleman there that’s, I send out a, you know, after that sort of gone out, I sent out a little questionnaire. What would you see changed, updated. I’d love to get your feedback, you know, tell me I can take it on board and modify as we go along. And he was sending me emails probably every day, maybe a couple of emails every day over a period of


[00:53:27] Paul: say two or three weeks with, I think this would be clearer if you changed this or you didn’t explain that, or you kind of maybe skipped over that little bit.

[00:53:36] And I went back and edited various different aspects and put code into the descriptions and edited the videos a little bit and re-uploaded, edited versions of the videos and credited him where he said to change this, that, and the other. So anybody there and I, I’d had conversations then with another gentleman that I know was sending me on Twitter saying, I saw that you’d updated that and I also saw that you’d credited this particular individual.

[00:53:59] I thought that’s a [00:54:00] really nice kind of community way of, of doing things. Mm-hmm. And like I said, I don’t think you should ever underestimate the community that you can build around your product and incorporating them into your product. And like you say, I think Kickstarter has kind of made that something that we all now semi take for granted.

[00:54:15] If we give feedback, we are helping shape the product. Mm-hmm. You see it so many times with Kickstarter and other sort of projects that are being backed like that, you know, crowdfunded. But I think we should embrace that if we are doing it, even if it’s lower ticket items. I think there’s, there’s value to doing that.

[00:54:31] You know, when you’re creating your digital products.

[00:54:34] Rene: Right. And people giving that feedback. If, if somebody else feels like that, then probably another person feels like that. So if it wasn’t clear to one customer, one audience member. It’s kind of maybe the thing with the classroom where the kid doesn’t wanna raise their hand and say, but you know, when somebody asks and somebody brings it to your attention, you’re helping that one person.

[00:54:54] Sure. But maybe helping other people who have that same concern. I think it’s very good that you’ve created an opportunity for people to feel like they can write you, to feel like, oh, if I spend my time and give feedback, he’s actually going to change it. Or, you know, it will, it will get better.

[00:55:12] So I think that’s fantastic.

[00:55:14] Paul: Exactly. And I’m actually thinking of doing a little banner to put to the bottom of the thing, say this is now 100% Martin proof. I won’t give a surname, but he, he’ll know if he’s listening to this, you know, what’ll talk about, but it’s, it’s, it’s been Martin proof.

[00:55:25] Rene: That’s awesome.

[00:55:26] Nice. That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s like they’re like superfans. So your superfans, you know the people who are yeah, who are watching all your videos and consuming all your content and buying all your stuff. Like I like those people. That’s nice.

[00:55:38] Paul: Oh, I do. So if anybody hasn’t read Pat Flynn’s book on Superfans, they should do because it’s incredibly invaluable.

[00:55:44] Rene: Okay, so tell us where we can find you online.

[00:55:47] Paul: If you wanna find out anything about myself, then just go online and search for WPTuts and my YouTube channel will come up, my Twitter account will come up, my Facebook account will, I’m everywhere on there.

[00:55:57] So just to search for WPTuts and [00:56:00] you’ll be able to find me. But if you wanna check out the Essential Web Designers Documents, you can go to essentialwebdesignersdocs.com and you’ll find all the information if you wanna check that out.

[00:56:10] Rene: Awesome. Yeah. And the links will be in the show notes too for that. So thank you so much for being here today.

[00:56:14] Paul: No, my pleasure. And thank you very much for, for having me, and it’s been an absolute blast to kind of talk about digital products and yay and kind of nerd out a little bit.

[00:56:22] Rene: I like it. Yeah. It’s my favorite, obviously.

[00:56:24] 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 bimonthly emails about how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. Can’t wait to see you there.