Category Archives: products

Headline and image results from Craigslist product

In this previous post I tried testing out 4 headlines, and 3 images for this Craigslist Hiring Course …..the goal was to see which headline and image would convert the highest.

Well, the results are in…..and there were some pretty clear winners!

For the image tests, here’s the winner:

It was the very first image I Photoshopped for this deal:

Most people (including me) thought this image would do the best. It’s by far the most descriptive of the group, and the least distracting.  The images with the Sumo kind of took away attention from the text.


Now for fun, take a quick guess which headline test would win….before you peek at the results:

  • HEADLINE 1: Hiring Sucks. Let Craigslist do it for you….here’s the scripts to use.
  • HEADLINE 2: Hire Someone by tomorrow. Use these Craigslist scripts…
  • HEADLINE 3: Craigslist hiring scripts. This is the new way to hire. No sifting through countless crappy candidates.
  • HEADLINE 4: Hire someone by tomorrow. Use these Craigslist scripts…
  • (notice I’m an idiot, and the 4th headline is a duplicate).  Smooth.

 

THE  WINNER BY A LONG-SHOT:
1st PLACE HEADLINE (#2):

Hire Someone by tomorrow. Use these Craigslist scripts…

2nd PLACE HEADLINE (#3): 
Craigslist hiring scripts. This is the new way to hire. No sifting through countless crappy candidates.

LAST PLACE HEADLINE (#1):
Hiring Sucks. Let Craigslist do it for you….here’s the scripts to use.
I originally thought Headline #1 would’ve won.  Turns out the “Hire someone by tomorrow” proposition for people was the best (Usually every Craigslist success story I’ve had happens within 17 hours of posting…..so this isn’t some “made up” headline).

 

 

 As for the Craigslist Hiring Course itself….I’m proud to se people have been pretty happy with it (aka getting results)!

I just happened to use Craigslist 2 days ago to post a job the old boring way. Lots of qualified/unqualified resumes to review and sort to go/no go folders…
Anyway, the course was great! Head spinning with ways to use GoogleDocs/Forms. Integration of GoogleForm, video, AIDA – simple to do and full of value for me!!!
–AppSumo Customer


Very interesting lesson. I think I have learnd 2/3 things (Typing with HTML, Using a video, using Google form).

And most of all, very attractive lesson. Usualy I get bord. But this was exciting….
I had the sensation to really learn something…

Please, continue revolutionize.
–Alex

 

Sincerely,
-Neville

I wonder which headline and pic will win

Whenever I write kopy for a product I launch on AppSumo, I write FOUR headlines.

I also make THREE images for the product.

….those headlines and images then get split-tested in different variations.  The AppSumo “machine” shows each combination thousands of times, then picks the combination that works the best (a.k.a.  has the highest conversion rate).

FOR EXAMPLE:

The latest product I did called Hiring Sucks, has 4 headlines as follows:

  • HEADLINE 1: Hiring Sucks.  Let Craigslist do it for you….here’s the scripts to use.
  • HEADLINE 2: Hire Someone by tomorrow.  Use these Craigslist scripts…
  • HEADLINE 3: Craigslist hiring scripts.  This is the new way to hire.  No sifting through countless crappy candidates.
  • HEADLINE 4: Hire someone by tomorrow.  Use these Craigslist scripts…

 

I also made three different images in Photoshop (each needs to be exactly 440×248 pixels in size).  Here they are:

FIRST IMAGE: Simple visual and text.

 

 

SECOND IMAGE: Sumo with staggered words.  Weird to read.

 

 

THIRD IMAGE:  Plain sumo with hiring bling necklace.

So for everyone that looks at the deal today (it went live at Midnight this Thursday (9-20-2012), it might be a little different based on the split-test version you are seeing!  Cool huh?

Click and see which combination you are getting shown:
http://www.appsumo.com/craigslist-hiring-course/

I’m curious to see which combination eventually wins out (the “machine” always keeps testing, but the results are usually clear within the first 2 or 3 days of launch).

Pretty cool eh?  

I’ll update with which combination wins out.
My guess is the 1st image and the 1st headline.

Peace.
Neville Medhora

P.S.  Did you know I occasionally tweet?

@nevmed

Kopywriting Kourse Kase Studies

Every since I made that first Kopywriting Kourse….I’ve wanted to make a course with the acronym KKK.

I have no idea why, other than I thought it would be funny (and I’m not white so I might get away with it)  ;-)

I realllly wanted to do some sort of membership thing which would allow me to call it the Kopywriting Kourse Klub.  And it would have a signup pages that says JOIN THE KKK!!!

It was actually a subtle nod to this Simpsons sketch:

HA!  That makes me crack up every time!

Anyhow, here’s the story of how I ended up doing a product called the KKKs.  Yes…. ‘KKK’ with a lower-case ‘s’ at the end (I had a feeling sending 700,000 people an email saying “10 REASONS YOU SHOULD JOIN THE KKK !!” wouldn’t fly so well.

First I decided to do a “Kopywriting Kourse Part 2″ ….which would go more in depth about Kopywriting.  The original course does extraordinarily well to this day because within two hours it changes the way people write forever.

But while trying to put together a “Part 2″ ……it didn’t feel right. Most of the material was just re-hashed from the first one.

So then I got the idea to drill down to about 15 more specific subjects…such as:

  • Kopywriting for eCommerce sites.
  • Kopywriting for landing pages.
  • Kopywriting for brick n mortar businesses.
  • Kopywriting for real estate agents.
  • Kopywriting for blogs.
  • Kopywriting for iPhone apps.
  • Kopywriting for daily deal sites.
  • ….this list went on and on……

Well a lot of these were good (I really wanted to do a copywriting for iPhone apps or something hot like that)…..but they were TOO SPECIFIC.

In a perfect world I’d make every single one of those sub-categories of products, but that’s A LOT of work.

The next thing I did was put out a page for FREE COPYWRITING (you can no longer enter so don’t try) ….in order to get some real case studies.

Within a week we got 100+ qualified people who entered (some crap ones snuck in there too).
Quickly we realized that people had ALL KINDS OF BUSINESSES WHICH NEEDED HELP.

!! :: LIGHT BULB DINNGG :: !!

The “Kopywriting Kourse Kase Studies” was born.

So the whole premise was to watch as we take businesses and make them convert higher (aka get more sales$s) with only minutes of work (well….sometimes with about 1 hour of work).

  • Some of the businesses needed better copy to explain their product. We would re-write pages.
  • Some of the businesses were nearly flawless, and could only be improved with a video. We would make them a quick-n-dirty video.
  • Some of the businesses were totally shit to begin with, and needed to be re-thought or abandoned (no amount of great copywriting can help a shitty business for the longrun).
  • Some of the businesses needed to stop getting people to their website, and getting people from places like Craigslist with easy ads.  We made those ads (which ALWAYS work btw).

I also noticed the side-effect of this course was people would learn how to consult for other businesses very quickly!

After watching several kase studies you quickly notice patterns.

Every kase study (except one) in the kourse so far has increased conversion rates even with the very half-assed-and-quick improvements we made.

For the one that DIDN’T improve conversion rates (it was an email promotion I thought would TOTALLY KILL IT ….but ended up doing 25% worse), we explain why that happened.

It was one of those things I could’ve easily just “conveniently not included” but I wanted people to see a failure…because sometimes tests fail in the real world (WHO WOULD’VE THUNK IT)!

I almost wanted to change the name from “Kopywriting Kourse Kase Studies” to ” Learn how to con$ult for businesses by improving small things”  ….but didn’t want to people to think ANYONE could do it with such ease.

My intention was also to FIRST have everyone watch the original KopywritingKourse before watching this.

Anyhow, that’s how products we make come along.

I’ll shortly be putting out some products not STARING me but PRODUCED by me….we’ll see how it goes :-)
-Nev

PRODUCING products

Hey all,

I’ve now made over 10 products on AppSumo:

SumoBusinessBlueprint
SumoBusinessBlueprint LIVE: CASE STUDY EDITION
Kopywriting Kourse
Kopywriting Kourse Kase Studies
Autoresponder Kourse
Social Krash Kourse
Sumo Diet Kourse
Course About Building A Course
Behind The Scenes of a Muse

Those are the courses 100% made by me.

I’ve also helped sell (or create) a bunch of AppSumo email template products and even a last-minute-but-well-selling course about hiring with Noah Kagan. And I even did 3 products before all the AppSumo stuff that were sold to someone else.

I’ve also done a bunch of these Sumo Dojo things too.

Now I can easily keep making products, and intend to continue….but there’s a major problem:

I ONLY KNOW SO MUCH SHIT.

It’s one thing to teach about things I know….and am good at, and have a proven track record at doing successfully (like kopywriting), but it’s NOT cool to hastily research a subject then teach about it.

It’s not fun for me.
And it’s a disservice to anyone buying that information.

I think most people would agree they’d rather be taught by someone EXPERIENCED in something.

Now on another note…..I’ve had the opportunity to occasionally “take over” the production of some of our products at AppSumo that were botched in some way or other (poor planning is usually the main reason).

And when I take over, it usually becomes a better product. I say that in a NON-humble way….and am OPENLY bragging.

My obsessions with being on schedule and conveying information in the LEAST painless way (usually by making it FUN) kick in when being in charge of the product.

The interesting thing is, I actually LIKE doing this! I thought the term for this was “directing” …but my video guy told me my role is a “producer”.

Whatever.

I guess I enjoy “producing” ….as much as I enjoy being in front of a camera, being behind it seems almost MORE important (think Steven Spielberg).

I enjoy when someone takes a course of mine and says, “Holy crap….after watching your course in two hours I now…” ….and then they gush about the benefits and actions they got out of it.

I LOVE the feeling of changing a persons life in a small way (plus I even get PAID for it).

So I might move more into producing some of these products, rather than starring in them.

Producing has a few drawbacks and some advantages.

DRAWBACKS OF PRODUCING PRODUCTS:

  • I have to find talented and knowledgable people to use as the star of the product.
  • I have to share percentages of the product with those people.
  • If the product is a flop, I get more blame (before…I was the only one disappointed.  Now other people have chips on the table too).

ADVANTAGES OF PRODUCING PRODUCTS:

  • I can crank out products MUCH faster (it normally takes me a full month to do my products….and usually by the end I’m killing myself working too much).
  • I can produce products in areas where I’m NOT an expert…..but I know people who are.
  • I can bring in people to produce awesome products that help the world….and me, and AppSumo.
  • The star of the product makes monthly income for the lifetime of that product and has to do little or no support work to keep it live.
  • I can comfortably make 2 products a month…maybe even 4 if I’m feeling ballsy.

So as with anything in it’s infancy, I’m not absolutely CERTAIN this will work out well, but it seems to have a shot.

With this course of action in mind, I’ve started going on the hunt for internet-famous people to star in these products. And since I live in Austin, and since I have cool friends who know other cool people……I think my first product might be made with Ryan Deiss as the star of the product.

Ryan’s got a $30,000,000/year company selling digital products (actually….the VERY FIRST QUESTION I asked him when he said he was interested was, “Why the fuck would you wanna make a product with AppSumo and not yourself??)

….his answer was, “To be exposed to a new market.”

I figured in this economy, and with a lot of people hating the sh*t out of their jobs….a lot of people would want to know how Ryan would start from scratch.

Even I’m kinda curious how he’d do it.

 

….anywhoozle, I’m still wondering what the topic of this new product should be.

Would you mind selecting which topics you’d be MOST curious to have a guy who built a $30,000,000/year digital products company teach you about?

Thank you!

The Autoresponder Kourse

“I make courses on AppSumo.”

That’s my current answer to “what do you do?”

Several of them have been big hits, and a couple flopped.

One of the primary reasons for the “flops” was simply trying to make a course that would SELL THE MOST COPIES.

However THAT was a mistake.

Instead the question should be, “What courses could I make that would HELP people the most?”

When I’ve stuck to that creedo, it’s served me (and others) very well.  Ironically when I’d make a course WITHOUT a focus on how well it will perform, it tends to do better!

This AutoresponderKourse I just released was the same thing……I was originally trying to make a “Kopywriting Kourse Part 2″ because the original product did very well, but when actually planning it out, it didn’t seem to make sense.  Most of the content was ALREADY IN the original KopywritingKourse, so this product was being created solely for money purposes.

I didn’t like it.

I even asked a pretty big marketing guy I respect about the dilemma, and he said:

I never build a product just based on what people will blindly pay for.  We make the products they NEED…….and THEN find a way to sell them.

I was actually very relieved to hear him say this, because it meant I could move forward with the course I WANNNTTED to make, not the one that would simply bring in the most dollar$$.

So from there I got started with the Autoresponder Kourse:

The reason I went with this Autoresponder Kourse was because the KopywritingKourse did such a dam-good job of teaching people to write copy……and if they applied those skills to an autoresponder sequence, it would multiple the usefulness (it sure did for me).

I wish I can go back in time and kick my previous-self in the face for NOT using autoresponders earlier!

Anyhow, the AutoresponderKourse (or A.R.K. as I like to call it) is officially out.
You can buy it here.
Or signup to the autoresponder sequence here. Someone thought the course was free because “the free emails were so damn good!”

…and if you like please leave a nice review!

-Neville

 

People just copied this….and it worked!

For the SumoBusinessBlueprintLIVE I wrote this particular email (below) as part of a sequence of emails.

What’s funny about this one, is that people literally COPIED AND PASTED the ad I made….and put it on Craigslist themselves (changed contact info obviously).

After that, I’ve got at least FOUR EMAILS that said, “I put this ad up on Craigslist just to see what would happen, and within a few hours I got people calling to schedule!”

I love when people have this “lightbulb” moment that this stuff (despite how simple it seems) ….REALLY works!

————————————————–
————————————————–
EMAIL STARTS RIGHT HEREEEE:
————————————————–
————————————————– 

Every time I hear a wantrepreneur talk about how they can “Make this cool idea and it’s goona be soooo great!!”

..I flip the hell out.
….and kick a trash can.
…….and sometimes even kick a puppy.

It’s because they’re THINKING about their idea too damn much, and doing NO ACTUAL real-world tests.

I can already hear you say,
“OK Neville…..then show us wantrepreneurs what you’re talking about if you’re soooo smart.”

Fine….I will.  In the next few minutes this email will show you how to make a basic page to validate your idea.

Let’s pretend we’re trying to sell WordPress design services to people in our area.  Before we “design a portfolio” and “try to cold-call clients” …..let’s do some simple tests:

LET’S START:
———————-
If you’re trying to measure if people will pay for your idea or service…..try something like this…..it’ll be a quick ad on Craigslist.

Craigslist is easy & free…..and it gets a shitload of traffic….so it’s perfect for us.

The point of this to see if people call us up and want to PAY $money$ for our services:

So we’d make a simple ad like this:

————————————————————————-
————————————————————————-
I MAKE WORDPRESS SITES IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.

Do you need a WordPress site put up and customized….but don’t know how to do it?

Let ME do it for you!

I have 2 years of WordPress experience and know how to customize themes.

I can even work with you personally, and we can design your site together.  I’ll even train you how to use your brand-new site (WordPress is really easy once setup)!

I charge $25/hour and can meet you anywhere in Austin.
Call Neville at 713-301-1546
————————————————————————-
————————————————————————-

Here’s a mockup of the ad I put up on Craigslist (took me 2 minutes to make in photoshop):

(click hereif you can’t see the image)That’s it!

Just put that bad-boy up on Craigslist….in this case we’d place it in the SERVICES → COMPUTER section.

I’ve done this before, and started getting calls within a few hours of people wanting to meetup and PAY me!

Most “wantrepreneurs” will do useless stuff like:

  • Make a portfolio (and spend a lot of time).
  • Register an LLC company (and waste money).
  • Try to set themselves up as a “We-Do-Everything” company and lose a lot of niche-power.

…..instead….just GET THE DAMN BALL ROLLING FIRST!

Within the first few clients you’ll make money PLUS get insanely-great feedback on what clients want and need (not to mention you’re getting PAID this whole time)!

See how easy that was to validate?
If we start getting calls and emails requesting our service….BOOM….we’re in business.

If no one bites….then we may have a service most people don’t need.

Peace,
-Neville – A Fatass Sumo

P.S.  Tomorrow I’m showing you my #1 go-to place for validating ideas right away (and fo FREE)!  Watch for the email tomorrow morning.

 

———————————————–
———————————————–
UPDATE (5-1-2012): I got  several MORE people using the same ad, but this was my favorite email from it:

Hey Neville,

Just wanted to let you know I used your Craigslist Ad example to grow my SEO business.

Within 12 hours I had 2 leads. One closed today – $300 for 4 hours of work, not bad. The other one will close later this week.

Before posting your ad it took me 6 months to make my first $300.

If you ever want to grab burritos let me know. I live in Austin. I owe ya one or two or three!

Cheers,

Joel

…an accidental way I “socially proofed” my product….with laziness

I’m all frazzled from releasing a new product today….but instead of trying to pitch you (since NevBlog readers aren’t necessarily all the target market of “wantrepreneurs”), I’m gonna show you a “Happy Accident” that occurred.

The SumoBusinessBlueprintLIVE: CASE STUDY EDITION is what I’ve been working on….and it shows people how to first VALIDATE their business ideas before going all-out making it.

Well in one of the emails I sent out….I wanted to “validate” if people even wanted this damn thing.  

So I included this little P.S. snippet…..literally JUST to see the reaction:

Keep in mind, when people reply to that email, it goes to my PERSONAL email.  Not some automated form or anything.

The email went out, and suddenly, I had page-after-page-after-page-after-page of this in my gmail:

….my iPhone damn near blew up when I checked my email!
It’s funny how I was simply tired & lazy, and didn’t feel like making a quick Google Doc for people to express their interest…..so I just told them to send it to my personal email, but I got this email which I found HILARIOUS!

My laziness made me “clever” …..I’ll take it ;-)
-Neville
P.S.  If you want to see all those sequenced emails that people really liked…..signup your email here and you’ll get them in 24-hour intervals:
http://www.appsumo.com/i-hate-wantrepreneurs/

“Should I Make An iPhone App?”

“Should I make an iPhone app??”

….it’s a question I’ve heard quite often, and a question I’ve asked myself a few times.

Then I remembered I’m friends with the three guys that started Mutual Mobile, which is the largest (or one of the largest) iPhone app developers in the United States.  They’re now so big (250+ people) they focus on huge enterprise stuff, but they have a TON of experience with apps.

So John Arrow, a friend, and also the CEO of Mutual Mobile was speaking at The Internet Marketing Party here in Austin, and his speech directly answered my question of “SHOULD I BUILD AN IPHONE APP?”

You see, I build all these online courses, and they’re only on the web at the moment….no iPad or iPhone apps yet.  However developers who’ve taken the courses and liked them have offered to put them on the app store for me.

Just for fun I mocked up what it’d look like for the KopywritingKourse to be on an iPhone :-)

Anyhow….I’ve thought about this multiple times.  And it makes sense, “If this works well on the web, it will work well on the App Store! I’m a GEMIUS!!”

Well after listening to John Arrow speak at the Internet Marketing Party I have some more insight on this, and here it is:

He said this (and I’m paraphrasing):

Just because something on the web works, DOES NOT mean it will work well as an app.  Think about it like this:

What additional benefit does product solve if it’s on a phone?  Does it make your service/product more valuable…easier to use?

iPhone’s and iPad’s are portable…..would your service be better if it was more portable?  Would it give the users more features that could use their geographic location?

Here’s something we did: The company People Finder offers background checks.  Just releasing the app as “People Finder” didn’t offer the user anymore benefits than using the service from their mobile browser.  So we made an app called “Are They Single?” …and it did phenomenally well.

It was a simple app, that when you meet someone, you can type in their name and buy a quick background check which shows you if they’re married, single, have kids etc.

This was a huge success because it solved a problem involving geographic location.

No one cares about having a People Finder app on their phone.  They just wanted answers to a specific question.  The way we released that app, DID in fact help people more than the web service.

So if you’re just taking a product from web, and doing a simple port-over to an app….it’s very unlikely it will work unless you add more functionality that’s helpful from a phone.

So there was my answer to “Should I put some of my courses on the app store?”

Not the way I was gonna do it.

That explanation was really helpful, because now I can put that thought to rest….until I find a way that having an app would be MUCH more beneficial to the users.  For now they can always load and watch the courses on their phones with their browsers.

Think about this advice before spending time and money on building out an app.  John has seen tons of successes and failures in this space.  He even started out his speech by asking everyone in the crowd if they’ve built an iPhone app.  Very few people raised their hands.

He then said, “Now give yourselves a round of applause for NOT wasting your money!”

….which is a testament to how many failed attempts at simply porting over a website to an app he’s seen.

———————————————

Has anyone out there seen proof of a course in app form do well?

Studio Time!

Soooooo the recent results of some ghetto test I’ve run at AppSumo show that the most requested course people want me to make…..is a:

Course ABOUT Building A Course.

HA!  I don’t know why that’s so hilarious to me.

Anyhow, I’m around half-way done with it…and it’s cool because we’ve been stepping the game up a bit and filming with higher quality cameras.

Normally I just use this Canon S95 camera to film,

but now I’ve started hiring someone who knows what they’re doing, and who has a Canon 7D (which is the same camera they film a lot of movies and TV shows with).  Look at the size difference :-)

It’s pretty neato to see the difference it makes.  The camera is one element of it….but me and Noah used a fancy camera to record THIS Sumo Dojo…and it looks almost the same as the previous ones:

The main difference is the lighting, and having someone around who knows what the hell their doing with the camera (aka NOT me).

So now some of the stuff we’re filming is coming out more like THIS (video screenshot):

So this Course About Building A Course launches on Jan. 26th and should turn out GREAT looking.

However as much as I’m impressed with fancy cameras and cool lighting….I really don’t give a SHIT about that stuff…..if it doesn’t teach people well.

I’ve seen a lot of videos that are filmed all fancy….but SUCK because the content isn’t strong.

This course will meld both those elements together (plus teach other people how to do it).

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is that not everyone wants to build a course to SELL IT…..but a lot of people wanna give them away for free.

I think one of the best uses for videos courses for startups is if you have a web app or software you’re trying to sell…giving away a free video course on how to use your service to it’s max is a GREAT way to get people to use your app more!

Here’s some random pics of recent filming stuff: