As you create content, products, and services online, you may find that you feel unsure or uncreative with the question . . .
What are people willing to pay for?
It?s a great question to not only ask before you attempt to add an extra income stream to your life or go into business for yourself, but it?s also something you?ll likely ask every single week/month that you operate your business.
From what I can tell so far (after 10+ years in business and 6+ years in full-time online business), there are really only 7 things people will pay for:
People pay for more ? more security, admiration, time, money, escape, pleasure, and passion.
You may notice that ?health? is not even on this list. You?ll see why shortly, but please note this: I tried to keep asking ?why? at each level I got to with this list.
When we can understand the deeper ?why?s? a person has, without the person themselves even understanding them, we can create products that not only appeal to our clients but actually speak to them.
Have you ever discovered a TV show, book, product, or article that seemed to be speaking directly to you?
I?d bet it was doing so because it was addressing a deep ?why? that you yourself had not labeled or understood yet.
I?ve been thinking about people?s real needs and motivations during my quest to demolish my old business model and come up with a new one. I knew that if I was starting from scratch, I needed to revisit the question I encourage all freelancers, infopreneurs, and coaches to start with after they come to an understanding of what they?re passionate about. The question I ask before my 1-on-1 calls:
What will your business model be? How will you monetize?
Which in a deeper sense can always be driven by the real question we?re talking about today:
What are people willing to pay for?
And if you can think of this question and people?s motivations creatively, you can come up with better products than your competitors offer. And/or, you can come up with better ways to explain your products, which will typically mean better sales.
1. Humans pay for more . . . SECURITY.
Ahh, Maslow and his super smart hierarchy of needs. It comes into play in the ?what will people pay for? question as well. People will pay for security such as:
- a place to feel safe
- ways to advance/impress at your job to keep your position secure
- lawyers to work out contracts and agreements to keep your property safe
Etc. What types of security (think far outside of the norm here) does your ideal customer seek?
2. Humans pay for more . . . ADMIRATION, ACCEPTANCE, or APPROVAL.
Humans need to belong. We seem to have a deep need to be a part of units/communities and to be accepted, approved of, and then (if we can manage it), even admired. I?m sure there?s some really smart psychology to it that I could cite, but instead, let me translate it into what it means for brands selling online.
People will pay for admiration, acceptance, and approval in the form of:
- beauty products
- clubs, interest groups, or teams (like the adult volleyball league I payed to join)
- charity?even if it?s not publicly known what someone gave to charity, they might pay actual money to at the very least admire themselves and approve of themselves even more
- nice clothes
- new music or entertainment to be ?in the know? and able to converse on popular culture
. . . and so on. In your niche, are there any noticeable ways that your audience members seek admiration, acceptance, or approval? How can you provide for that need or cater to that desire through your products?
3. Humans pay for more TIME (and the QUALITY OF IT, and really just, FREEDOM).
People will pay for time, almost more than anything, because it is the main force that comes down on all of us, whether wealthy or struggling, whether happy or sad, whether this or that . . . we all operate with time constraints. Thus, people are motivated to pay for anything that ?creates? more time or increases the quality of the time they have:
- hacks and tricks that allow you to do things faster
- assistance from other people that relieve you of some of your duties
- technology that can do things for you
- health knowledge or products that give you more time to do what you love with the people you love (because with greater health comes fewer sick days and more comfort/abilities when gathered with people you care about)
- products that allow for true multi-tasking (ex: a course that your client can listen to as an audio file while they take the train to work)
Etc. How can you get creative with giving your audience more time?
4. Humans pay for more . . . MONEY.
Whether . . .
- investments plus a smart person to invest our money, or
- learning how to make more money, or
- learning how to make money out of things we already have or could obtain (a rental house, a home gardening course, a car that we only drive once a week, a collection of stuff we could sell on eBay or Craigslist, etc.)
. . . we can often be motivated to ?spend money to make money? or to spend money to learn how to make money.
5. Humans pay for more . . . ESCAPE (or RELIEF OF REGULAR DUTIES).
We can (most likely) easily be persuaded to spend money on:
- a babysitter
- an app to entertain the kids for a while
- movie night
- a book that transports us into a different world
- a vacation
6. Humans pay for more . . . PLEASURE.
Raise your hand if you?ve ever paid for (or reallllly wanted to pay for):
- a massage
- fancy food you don?t need
- a bougie hotel (my hand is raised ? I like fancy or fun boutique hotels ? it has become a serious problem in recent yers)
- a scented candle you don?t need
Are there any products or services you can offer that can complement or provide more epic moments for your audience? For example, you may coach athletes on mindset, but can you do so as a retreat in a tropical place with delicious smoothie bowls for breakfast each morning?
7. Humans pay for more . . . chances to exercise their PASSION.
Even if they have no intention of making money from their passion, or no idea how one would even monetize the thing they love so much, humans will still pay to be able to practice their passions. Think of things such as:
- creative writing courses
- golf, triathlons, and other sports that cost money to play or train in
- painting or pottery supplies
- calligraphy pens or classes
- a membership at a rock-climbing gym
What is something you do that you don?t expect any monetary compensation for? What is something your audience member does simply because they love it?
I?d like to encourage you to re-read the lists above and with each one, think through what your specific brand (in your specific niche with your specific intended customers) can provide for money that applies to each of the categories.
Even if the ideas you come up with seem completely ridiculous, stretching your imagination in this way WILL help you think of ways to attract and serve your clients better.
Regina out.Until the next episode.