If I’m being honest with you, I feel like the odds are against us entrepreneurs right now.
Wars are happening. I start seeing people say WW3 might come and I think there’s a chance for it. But for now, I just hope that fewer people are affected and we’ll hear good news soon.
The economy is also not good. I hear numerous entrepreneur friends say that sales are slow. And some of them are looking for or already landed jobs.
Stability feels like a foreign word now.
If you’re selling info products, I think we’re currently experiencing the "low tide". Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from your angle!
But then, I’m also a believer that opportunities are there during challenging times.
The popcorn story
This popcorn right here can show you how to navigate this low tide. Don’t worry, a genie won’t jump out.
Let me tell you how I got this jar of popcorn home.
Last Saturday night, I went to this local night market with my wife, daughter, and some friends.
It was different from what we usually have in town so we had a great time!
You have to know that I live in Hong Kong so things are more regulated and organized compared to other Asian cities. We don’t really have a long stretch of food stalls, let alone along the promenade! (click here to see what it is like)
After getting a bunch of street food like satay chicken and beer. We spotted this stall selling popcorn. They were selling a jar for US$8.3. Or you can buy three and get a discount.
Of course, the guy started offering us free samples to try all the flavors.
We tried 5 different flavors, and at that point, I felt like I should at least support them so I reluctantly bought one.
I say "reluctantly" because none of us loves popcorn that much to get such a huge jar. This is just too much popcorn for us! 🍿🍿🍿
The buying friction was high.
If we didn’t try 5 flavors, I probably wouldn’t buy it.
What can the popcorn stall do differently?
This makes me wonder —
Why don’t they cut the portion in half and then sell it for US$4?
It would be a no-brainer for many people like me to do impulsive buying and then walk around the night market scarfing down popcorn like this kid.
But the real business question is - is it worth selling smaller portions at half the price? Can it create more sales?
There are two sides to this argument.
Some would say that offering a lower price point for smaller portions might hurt sales because people have to go for the bigger one when they have no option. This is true! Because I did buy one reluctantly!
But I think it depends on the situation and location. In a night market setting where people are there to spend money on inexpensive street food and have fun, smaller portions could drive more impulse buying. Wishful thinking - it could also be marketing if more people are walking around eating popcorn.
Of course, I don’t just want to talk about popcorn here. What the popcorn got me thinking was how we can apply this concept in our educational business during difficult economic times.
What you can do to your offerings during tough times
In fact, back in July, I shared in a video that I redesigned my program from focusing on live workshops to an action community. It was my plan to make learning more flexible and affordable, so I’ve already been taking action to adapt to the situation.
But I don’t think you need to redesign your product experience because ... that can take quite a lot of effort. It is possible to just be smart in positioning your offers.
Here are some ways I suggest so you can offer smaller portions at lower price points to still attract your fans during tough times:
- Offer installments: Split your big fee into three, six, or twelve installments to lower the barrier to entry
- Turn it into a monthly payment: Instead of charging $500 or $700 for your course, charge $30 per month
- Let people buy just one part of your program: Offer a small taste of your entire program for a lower price
- Offer an inexpensive trial: Give access to the first two modules for 14 days at a low cost
- Bring a friend discount: Offer 20% off when customers bring a friend along
The goal here is to lower the barrier for people to learn from you while not making your brand look cheap.
I’m not suggesting you to do all of the above. You should see which one fits your product offering and experience the best.
For me, I love running a 30-day sprint within my Build in Public Mastery program. It is something that gives the member a push to refocus and take action.
So then I started thinking, what if I extract this experience and let everybody join?
Some people might not need my full course and the year-long membership, but they might still want to make friends, take action, and get some results for themselves.
This is why I’m rolling out Build in Public Sprint and everyone can join this 30-day challenge that runs from Nov 1 to Nov 30.
The best part? I am pricing it at $50.
For $50, you can get training videos, 30 days of prompts, a leaderboard, and 4 weekly group calls. I know. I know!
It is my way of giving a small taste of my teaching to more people at a lower price point. That being said, if you still haven’t had the courage, friendship, or accountability to show your work in public, you should really consider joining us!
Can tough times be advantageous to you?
Overall, I see that difficult times could be a good time to show what you’ve got to more people. If the situation allows, you can focus on building more & deeper relationships with your audience.
Why's that the case?
I’m thinking about my own buying behavior now. I’m quite a tough person to sell to. I only buy from people I follow for some time and know that I can trust them. And I definitely don’t trust someone just by reading their content.
Can you relate?
So it is important to get past the “I’m your follower” & “I read your content” stage.
Once people buy something small from you, they’re exposed to the real experience you offer, not just your content and the packaged success stories. They are more likely to come closer to you because they want to get the most out of their purchase.
It might be difficult times now, but you never know when things might get better and people are ready to invest again. When that happens, you have the reputation and relationships to fuel growth.