Today’s episode is inspired by a conversation I had with a Lounge member. What do you do when you receive advice from internet experts about what to do next in your business? How do you know which piece of advice to follow?
So let’s talk about how to help you understand when to take the advice or suggestion of one person vs. another, as the internet is filled with many so-called experts.
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Recently I was on a velvet rope call with a lounge member, these are 30-minute 1:1 calls members can book for a super inexpensive rate to get direct feedback from myself or Nicole, our resident FB ads strategist and my co-host in the Lounge and as I was looking through her inquiry and what she was struggling with, one of my recommendations was to expand her product assortment.
When I was presenting that idea to her on our call, she said – I’ve been thinking about that but I always hear people say focus on going deep with your best sellers instead of wide and always wondered if expanding my product line was the right thing to do.
And that’s the problem when you learn from so many different ‘Experts' on the internet. And I say expert with air quotes because I don’t really believe anyone is an expert. You’ll never hear me refer to myself as an expert. Strategist, ninja, problem solver… yes. I am all of those things. But even the Google engineers who built the algorithm aren’t experts of the algorithm because they’re likely broken down into smaller silos working on specific characteristics of said algorithm, etc.
Anywho, that’s not the point of this episode. The point of this episode is to help you understand when to take the advice or suggestion of one person vs. another.
Most Online Educators are Sharing General Advice Based on Their Specific Experience
First, you have to remember, that 99% of the time when someone is giving advice on the internet whether through a blog post, an Instagram post, or even inside a course… they’re sharing that information in a general way, based on their experience or the experience of their students, clients, etc.
And we do this not to mislead you or confuse you, but to help as many people within our niche as possible. Or maybe we have a program that focuses on a specific strategy and so the content we share is designed to encourage you to try that strategy.
Yes, I work with eCommerce business owners who sell physical products. But I’ve got manufacturers, makers, retailers and even drop shippers in my audience. I’ve got people who sell consumable products and those who don’t. I’ve got multi-million dollar businesses and those who are just starting out. Some of you are great at data, others are great at marketing. There’s no way that every single piece of advice or recommendation I make it going to work the same for everyone.
That’s why you’ll always hear me say it depends on your business, your product, your customer, and I always try and give different examples so you can see how it would apply to one business and not another. My goal is always for you to understand the concept, the why and the how behind what I teach so you can make an educated decision on whether or not it makes sense for YOUR business.
You Have to Consider Your Own Business, Products, and Customers to Decide on the Best Course of Action
And this student was the perfect example of that. She designs and sells wall art for nursery’s and kids rooms. And sure, some people have multiple kids and could come back to buy more stuff, or maybe their kid grows up and it’s time to update their decor to more of a big kid room… but there isn’t a lot of built in repeat business with that model right?
So instead of having to focus on finding new customers all the time who are interested in what she has to sell, I recommended she expand her product line. Not only could she create more bedroom decor with her prints and designs so mom could outfit the entire room in one shot, but she could also offer more digital downloads and prints that mom can use with her children throughout their growth and development.
Instead of getting one sale upfront, now we’re in it with them for the long haul.
And the thing is, she was already thinking of doing this. I didn’t come up with some crazy, novel, never been thought of idea before. Really it was just about me giving her the “permission” she didn’t actually need to take that next step. Because she was holding herself back based on some other advice she had heard.
And, just to frame this one more way – this is how I explained it to her. Her prints, which are designed by her are the product. The stuff she sells or could sell.. they’re a dime a dozen – you can get that stuff anywhere at every different price point. What sets her apart are her print designs. So she can keep those narrow, but go deep with the prints by offering other products with those designs on them. Make sense?
To stay true to form here, let me give you another example of where I wouldn’t necessarily recommend expanding a product assortment. Let’s take a candle maker. Someone who has an emotional story behind their company, their candles and each of their scents. In that case, I would say create scent or vessel variations, don’t start selling other self-care items like sheet masks and slippers.
So, have I even answered this question? I’m not sure. There really is no definitive answer… that’s kinda the problem, right?
Listen to Different Perspectives and Test Their Advice in Your Business
I guess my best advice is to actually listen to multiple different people, don’t take any of their word as the end all be all, and do what feels good and right to you. And when I say good… I don’t mean comfortable because we all need to step out of that comfort zone – maybe aligned is more of the right word here. But somewhere, in the middle of all that conflicting advice is the perfect answer for you.
And when all else fails. Test. Play. See what works, what sits well.
An example from my own business is there are a lot of gurus in the online education space who teach this high-ticket group membership coaching model type deal. Where people are paying tons of money and are locked into a yearly commitment. And they do these big launches to fill those programs. And I see them teaching early entrepreneurs this model who have no team, no money to burn on ads, and it just sort of puts them in this feast or famine cycle, on this hamster wheel.
And I went to one of their free workshops to learn the model because I got all starry eyed at their marketing bullshit. And then I saw some business friends actually implementing the model. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was not the business model for me. But it took the research, the contemplation, the brainstorming, it took all of that before me to realize it wasn’t the right thing for me and my business.
My point is, you’re not always going to get it right. You might have to take a few pieces of bad advice before you hit on the one that makes sense. It’s all just part of the process. And you’ll totally survive, I promise.
Trust your gut!
Take the time to mull on the ideas you have, do the research, hold it up against your business, your product, your customer and say… hmmm – does this make sense?
And listen to your gut. It’s a lot smarter than we usually give it credit for.