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Small Product Lab (Days 5–7): Rethink, pre-order, pricing

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
3 min read

Time for another update on my progress with Gumroad’s Small Product Lab. We’re at a point now (Day 8) where I’m panicking about whether I’ll get my product out on time, so I’m going to write this quickly.

But before I begin, I should say that you can now pre-order the Writing Style Guide Starter Kit. Use the offer code practice to get $5 off.

Day five: Cover image and sales copy

I’ve been using Canva recently for some work on my father-in-law’s accountancy and business development company, White Bruce. He loves it and I’ve found it very easy to use. It made sense to create my product cover image with Canva to save time and tinkering, which often slows me down.

Then it was on to sales copy. And this is where things took a turn for the worse.

I am a copywriter. I write for a living and have done for 15 years. Heck, it’s what this product is all about! And indeed, that was the problem. Until now, I’d been simply referring to ‘my writing style guides’. I noticed on the SPL Facebook group, everyone else had a fancy name for their product.

Why I had I not thought about this? There was a simple explanation.

Because I was so worried that it wasn’t enough to just sell my original, extremely useful template for copywriters and agencies that I use all the time, I threw the author style guide in there too. The author guide exists and is also very useful, but in writing the sales copy I realised that it should be a separate product for a similar, but mostly separate audience. I decided to cut back. The author template is gone. At least for now.

Note: I know many of you reading this site are creative writer types. If you would like me to make and sell that author style guide, please email me and let me know.

Day six: You can do this!

Feeling more comfortable about my product, I thought long and hard about a fancy name. However, sometimes a product, service or company does not require a fancy name. What it needs instead is to present a clear idea of what the thing actually is. So that’s the route I took.

Writing Style Guide Starter Kit. That’s where I ended up.

Because that’s what the product is. Yes, there are a few bells and whistles – internal document links, macros to track who saved last and when – but essentially, what I’m selling is a tried and tested Word document that saves time and gets you started. (It also works a treat in Google Docs.)

What else happened on day six? I took my twin boys to the park. We had friends over for dinner. I was delightfully distracted.

Day seven: Price your product

In my head, it was always going to cost $15.

And then everyone in the Facebook group started talking about the Pay What You Want approach and I began to waver. Is my simple style guide template really worth people’s actual, real-life money? Would it be less of a risk to say ‘pay what you want’ and collect a load of email addresses?

Well yes, I think it probably is. And yes, but collect emails is not what I set out to do.

Shall I tell you what my goal is? I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before. Basically, I would like to sell enough Writing Style Guide Starter Kits to make $100–200. Not a huge amount, but not tiny either. Achievable, I think. And much more likely if I set a fixed price. So that’s what I have done.

One style guide template. $15. Free updates after that.

Pre-order now

I know I’ve already told you this, but another reason for taking part in the SPL is to go through the process of asking people to pay for something I’ve made. So in that spirit, head over to the Writing Style Guide Starter Kit product page and pre-order your copy now. Again, use the code practice for a $5 discount.

copywritinggumroadsmall product labstyle guidestone of voicewriting style guideswriting templates

Iain Broome Twitter

I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.

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