Almost every successful online course creator I know can look back and point to a critical inflection point in their business.
The moment when the path to sustainable, long-term growth became crystal clear.
Most of the time, that inflection point was when they discovered their pillar product—that one flagship offer that’s powerful enough to be the core of your business.
For example, back when I created online courses and digital products, it took a couple years to figure mine out.
- First, I created a course that helped people create animated explainer videos (I can’t even remember its name)
- Then I made The Vault — a list of all the contractors I worked with, workflows for interacting with those contractors, and swipe files I’d collected
- In 2015, I launched 10k Subs: How to Get Your First 10,000 Subscribers — a course that helped people build an email list of 10,000 subscribers
10k Subs became my pillar product.
It solved a specific, painful problem, yet it applied to almost everyone my content was attracting.
Having that pillar product in place made growing the business 10x simpler than it was before. It’s not a coincidence that the next few years of revenue looked like this:
But how do you actually figure out and create your pillar product?
Fortunately, one of our clients not only just went through the process of developing his…
…he also launched it and generated 299 sales for a total of $29,000.
Below, I’m going to show you the plan he followed to do it.
The Client: Johnn Four
His Business: Johnn is the founder of RoleplayingTips.com, a website that helps people who play tabletop role-playing games become better game masters.
Remember when they play Dungeons & Dragons in Stranger Things? That’s a classic tabletop RPG.
Mike is the game master (AKA the person who organizes the game, sets the story, etc.). Doing it effectively is a lot harder than you might think, and Johnn sells a variety of online courses, ebooks, and tools that help people master it.
In fact, he has a whole page on his site listing them out:
Despite having all of those products, he still didn’t have that one core offering he could lean on as his “pillar.”
That’s where we came in.
How Johnn Discovered His Pillar Product and Launched It in 2 Months
The biggest mistake people make with their pillar product is not validating it first.
It’s easy to tell yourself you already know what your audience wants. Especially if you’ve launched a successful product or two in the past.
But the last thing you want to do is put a ton of time and energy into creating what you think can be your pillar product, only to hear crickets when you finally share it with the world.
As Johnn put it, “The validation and iteration steps leading up to launch ensured my offer and sales page were dialed in.”
So how did he validate?
- Looked at his website analytics to get product ideas likely to win (seeing what’s popular on your site is a great way to point yourself in the right direction)
- Created short product offers to think things through
- Narrowed them down to his best idea — the one that hit the sweet spot of what his audience wanted and what he wanted to build/sell
- Created a test offer and validated it with carefully selected segments of his audience with real transactions (pre-sales)
After that work, he had what he needed to create his product: The Epic Adventure Building Game Plan.
From there, the process was simple:
- We coached him through translating his validation process into the killer sales page you see above
- He surveyed his audience and tweaked the sales page based on responses to refine the copy
- He used our bonus creation process to make his offer even more enticing
- We gave him our playbook for planning and executing his launch from start to finish
- He created a 3-email sequence to warm up his audience
- Created a 1-week sales email sequence for his course
- Got our feedback on his entire launch funnel
- Executed like a champ
- Johnn generated 299 sales @ $97 each
- For a total of $29,000 in revenue
- Most importantly, he has a clear direction for the future: “Now I have a core product to include in my other marketing operations, and I have a clear and proven model for launching future products.”
What Johnn Said:
“I had struggled to get something to launch state for 18 months. I did not have a pillar product to sell. Growth University actually got me to launch-ready state in a couple months, including the research period.”
“Feedback from the GU team improved my sales page, offer, and emails, but they also gave me the confidence and accountability to keep going even though I thought of changing directions a couple of times.”
“Feedback from customers has been overwhelming and positive. They are so engaged in my course area, where before it was crickets. The launch really got folks excited, and it positioned me, my business, and my product in a way that was congruous, meaning I could be myself, market myself, and earn the kind of awesome customers that are a pleasure to serve.”
Do you want us to personally help you validate and launch your pillar product?
This month, we’re looking for 15 new course creators, consultants, or coaches who are looking to do exactly that.
When you click the link below to schedule a free Strategy Session with my team, we will…
- Audit your business
- Pinpoint your opportunities for growth (just like we did for Johnn)
- Map out a personalized, step-by-step plan
- If it’s a good fit, invite you to mastermind with me and a select group of other successful entrepreneurs to brainstorm and hold each other accountable
Our calendars are open but our time is limited, so grab your spot while they’re still available: