9 Strategies for Finding Your First Profitable Product
Whether you are a blogger who wants to diversify your income sources or someone who has never stepped into the world of online businesses, you will quickly realize that having a profitable product under your name is one of the best ways to make a steady source of passive income in the long-term.
According to Statista, an estimated 1.92 billion people purchased goods or services online and e-retail sales surpassed 3.5 trillion US dollars in the same year.
You will also probably agree with me when I say that half the battle is figuring out exactly what your product should be and what your audience is going to appreciate the most. Once you figure this out, you can put your head down and create a great final piece.
So, let’s get that element of the process out of the way. Here are 9 strategies that will help you find your first profitable product.
#1 Focus on one of your audience’s pain points
You could have a great product that brings in no sales because it is simply not what your audience needs. The first step to creating a great product is figuring out your audience’s everyday annoyances, which will help you determine possible solutions.
If you manage to solve even the tiniest problem, you will have tons of people willing to invest in the solution. A good way to find a pain point to target is by being more attentive during your everyday life situations.
Try to keep a close eye on everything you are doing throughout a given week and note what annoys you while you are performing basic tasks. Once you are able to focus on something that can be improved or have a better solution, you can create a product.
Rover, a pet sitting and walking service, saw a problem that needed a solution and created a product that is now known and used in multiple countries around the world. Dog owners often find it hard to find walkers and sitters trustworthy enough to leave their pet with. Rover solves this by taking care of the vetting process so that owners can receive lists of prospective walkers by simply creating an account on their website.
You may be thinking that you do not have the ability to create a service like this one because you do not have the money to invest in creating a database of dog walkers. This might be because of the large amount of resources and time that is necessary for a project of that scale.
You would also most probably need some form of capital investment for a company of that size which is not always a possibility for everyone.
However, this should not cause you to give up on the world of online business since there are plenty of other options that are more affordable for people who are just starting out.
For example, let’s talk about keyword research- an online business model that is more friendly to people on a budget. Most online creators know how important keyword research is when creating a new blog post.
Loganix, a keyword research tool, capitalized on this by creating a service that, unlike other fully-automated keyword research tools you need to use yourself, does everything for you. They find keywords with commercial intent that you can order and have delivered to you within a few days.
This saves busy companies time and money in the end, a pain point Loganix managed to solve.
#2 Enthusiasm is a powerful factor
When you are creating a product, try to appeal to humanity’s enthusiasm. If you can create a product that people want to invest in, you have a much better chance of building a fan base around your product line.
As examples speak louder than words, let’s talk about a few.
Nomadic Matt sells dozens of travel books that touch upon the various places he has visited. His products (travel books) work well as a passive income source because people are enthusiastic about travel. Backpackers and nomads live and breathe travel.
Matt’s real-life experience and unique tips make his books a great read. Since people are enthusiastic about travel in general, there is a good chance they will invest in more than one book once they discover his eCommerce store.
Using the same logic, you should try to create a product that people are enthusiastic about in a niche that has potential.
A good way to identify potential gaps in a market would be to conduct surveys. You could create a survey full of questions that you send over to your target audience. Of course, it is not always easy to find the right people to take the survey which is where companies like Survey Monkey fit into your strategy. This company, for example, finds you ideal respondents to fill out your survey for a pretty affordable price.
You can ask your target audience what products they would like to see in the market, what features they are looking for, and what they are enthusiastic about. This should give you some good ideas to use as your foundation.
#3 Listen to what customers are saying
When researching your product possibilities, make sure you take the time to read customer reviews that competitors have listed on their websites or eCommerce stores. These can be absolute gems when you are trying to figure out ways to improve your product or come up with something new.
Why? Because people often complain about things they do not like or praise what they enjoy within a product review.
Look for brands within your niche or companies that target your demographic and take a look at what their customers are saying. This could help you narrow down on the service you want to offer, the features you want to include, and the audience you want to reach.
#4 Online consumer trend publications
Many data companies create extremely useful data by surveying hundreds of people within a given industry that is freely available online. White papers, studies, surveys, and more are all good places to look when you are trying to figure out what consumer trends to focus on within your industry.
It can help you discover trending products for creation, what other entrepreneurs are focusing on within your niche, and how trends are changing. Here are some trend publications worth keeping an eye on:
- Trends Research -This website has been around for 40 years and is constantly updating with recent trends related to current affairs and news. They have valuable forecasts that include trend data pertaining to a couple of industries. In specific and in their own words, this includes- “trends on the economic front,” “trends in the markets” from stock market expert gregory mannarino, COVID-19 special reports, “trends in geopolitics,” “trends in survivalism” by self-defense expert bradley j. Steiner… and much more.
- Trend Watching -With clients like Air France and Viacom that take advantage of their advanced trend reporting data, Trend Watching has teams in Amsterdam, New York, Berlin, Singapore, London, and Barcelona that are constantly searching for insights and data that can be used to find new opportunities. The trends they follow cover a number of industries but focus on innovative measures being taken in each industry. It is a great way to stay ahead of the curve.
- The Cool Hunter -The place to be if you are searching for new ideas and concepts related to design, art, and architecture. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and offer your audience the best and most creative products possible, this site is worth a look.
Trends work particularly well when they are brought from one country to another, since ideas proven to work already have a high chance of success. Let’s take Ayurvedic remedies as an example.
Ayurvedic brands (like Forest Essentials) do exceedingly well in India, the home of Ayurveda. Once brought over to North America, the brand developed an instant fan base of people who wanted natural alternatives instead of chemical products.
Focusing on trends helps you stay ahead of your competition and make more money online before someone else finds the idea first.
#5 Branding potential
As you begin to focus on a product and industry, you will want to make sure that your product has branding potential. This means creating your product in a way that allows you to target your ideal audience. You can do this by creating products with signature features that appeal to a certain group of people.
Let us look at the Grayl GEOPRESS Water Purifier as an example.
The product beats most other water bottle options because of its amazing branding abilities. The GEOPRESS bottle can purify water from pretty much anywhere (seas, oceans, lakes, hotel sinks, etc.), which means they can brand their bottle as a traveler’s best friend (and that is exactly what they have done):
Their product brings the customer a relatively unique feature (purifying water) to the oversaturated market of water bottles, which means they can cater to avid hikers and travelers in particular. By focusing on the idea of filtering water, Grayl was able to grow their audience and build a brand out of their company. You will often see their innovative advertising, great customer reviews, and tags on social media.
Once you have a brandable product, you can take it a step further and enlist the help of an Instagram growth agency, like Ampfluence, or an analytics tool to help you grow your following so you reach the audience you want to market your product towards.
A brandable product can also help your company attract new customers if it is used to create podcast episodes, start a blog, or even host webinars. It simply gives your company more ways to grow as a brand. Blog posts in particular are a great way to reach your audience with valuable information. This brings us to another example-
Zoma Sleep is a company that offers different types of mattresses based on the materials used to create the mattress (for example, the Zoma Hybrid mattress is made with coils and foam). They also allow buyers to customize the mattress they are buying by offering an ‘adjustable bed’ that allows you to raise your torso and legs.
This allows them to create blog posts about a seemingly dull topic (mattresses). Here is a blog post of theirs that is all about finding the best bed in a box mattress.
#6 SEO analytics
SEO analytics and keyword research are great ways of seeing whether your industry or product has an audience. These will allow you to figure out what keywords are trending in a certain geographical area and whether your product idea is actually as popular as you thought. You can use a free or paid tool to get this done.
- Google Keyword Planner -This free tool shows you average monthly search numbers and related phrases when you enter a keyword. You will also be able to see whether someone is paying to rank the keyword.
- Google Trends -This free tool shows you what is trending globally or locally within any industry of your choice on Google and gives you a fair idea on whether your product has the potential to bring in an audience.
- Ahrefs– An extremely thorough tool that costs $99 a month. It shows you stuff like keyword difficulty, volume, cost per click, related keywords and phrases.
Close is a company that uses SEO analytics to create profitable products. Let’s look at their predictive dialer product as an example. According to Ahrefs, the keyword ‘predictive dialer’ has a global search volume of 2,700 and a low difficulty rating in terms of ability to rank. This means that on average the search term ‘predictive dialer’ is searched for 2,700 times every month globally and based on the data available to Ahrefs, it is not a hard term to rank for either.
Close capitalized on this by offering the service as part of their CRM software.
If you have the ability to rank for the keyword associated with your product, you have the ability to get more people looking at your product and potentially buying it.
#7 Highlight your professional experience
People often make the mistake of trying to start an online business or get an online job simply to escape their 9-to-5. However, I would not suggest doing this because you are letting go of a valuable advantage. You could be using your professional experience and the valuable insights you have gained over the years to create a truly brilliant product.
Instead, I would suggest taking everything you have learned in your professional career and using it to create a great product. You can use your professional experience and connections within a given industry to enter the eCommerce world with a secret weapon.
For example, you can start a graphic design service if you have experience as a graphic designer or create a travel guidebook if you have worked as a travel guide.
For example, JUST Creative was started by Jacob Cass, a graphic design major graduate among other certifications and 16 years in the industry. This allows him to bring much more to the table when it comes to his clients as compared to someone who has created a service or product with no past professional experience backing them up.
#8 Niche selling
An oversaturated market will normally have a niche within it that can be used as a foundation for a new brand. Fenty Beauty, for example, entered the oversaturated makeup industry and made its mark by focusing on women of color.
Many of their foundations and makeup products are available in darker shades that match their targeted demographic and are not offered by competing brands. This has helped Fenty grow a loyal audience in an industry that is normally considered to be pretty difficult to make your mark in and is also deemed oversaturated by some.
#9 Enjoyable weaknesses
Most of us have one enjoyable weakness or the other. It could be anything from our favorite movie to driving around town looking at the sun rise. Creating products that serve as guilty pleasures is almost always a profitable route.
A brand that indulges a customer’s obsession will do well once they manage to create a solid base of loyal fans. A good example is the Yankee Candles brand. They sell candles with almost every scent you can think of and have a growing community of candle lovers that frequently buy their products.
However, if your industry does not come under the ‘enjoyable weakness’ definition, a good backup plan would be to position your product as a need rather than a want. For example, a company like Honda that sells cars cannot possibly convince their customers to keep buying cars. They can however convince their customers they need a car.
Another good idea would be to associate your car with a passion. This was done beautifully by Mercedes in one of their ads-
Creating cars meant for adventure or cars meant for families (minivans) helps you reach a niche audience as well.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully, this guide has shown you how important it is to select a good product as the foundation for your online business. You want to be able to create a brand, attract an audience, and enter a market with your product idea.
Now that you are armed with ideas, you can make a list of your own.