$75,700 from owned products

🌲 By doing less (not more)...

🌲 Welcome to Passive Profits! The mission here is to help current & aspiring founders win back time & freedom by productizing your expertise into offers you build once and sell forever.

Hey founder 👋🏼

Last week I shared part one of my plan to build my newsletter (media) business to $100,000 within the first year.

Today is part two, where we talk about selling your owned products.

I just want to say… I’ve always regarded Founder-Creators who show their work.

I still remember when Buffer first started sharing every employee’s salary, including the founders.

I respect the shit out of transparency and vulnerability like that.

At the same time, airing my business plans for the world to see felt exposing at times. Especially toward the bottom of today’s issue, where I abandon my initial plans and brainstorm a new and improved, Plan B. Then again, Plan B is way better.

I’m happy I decided to do this. My strategy feels better, clearer, more feasible.

I hope you appreciate today’s build-in-public format.

Before we get into it…

I want to help you build your online business. To do that, I created the Product Bootcamp.

Use it to:

  • Find the right idea to productize

  • Create a unique and valuable offer

  • Begin growing your audience

  • Market and sell with confidence

I’ll work with you over six weeks to help you go from fuzzy idea to a launched online business. With my systems and dedicated support.

See how it works and apply today.

Last week I shared three pure newsletter-focused channels I’m monetizing to reach a first-year revenue of $100k:

  • Premium subscriptions

  • Newsletter referrals

  • Sponsorships

They’ll bring in ~$17k.

This week, we’re covering the three remaining channels — more appropriately three categories of owned products.

  • Exclusive (high-ticket) products: $1,000+

  • Commitment (mid-ticket) products: $200-$999

  • Impulse (low-ticket) products: <$200

How I price Passive Profits’ low, mid, and high-ticket products may be wholly different than your pricing. It’s all relative.

High-ticket for my consulting biz was $30,000+. And we were often dubbed cheap compared to our massive competitors like Deloitte & McKinsey.

These products will require more upfront work to build, market, and sell than the newsletter-y channels we covered last week. But they’ll generate more long-term revenue — some of which will be passive.

Let’s walk through one product category at a time, starting with exclusive.

Exclusive products

Exclusive products are your high-ticket offers. They’re your priciest products because they include direct and dedicated access to you.

Exclusive products might include:

  • 1-on-1 or small group coaching

  • Live training workshops

  • Consulting services

As we’ll cover below, impulse products, like ebooks and online courses, are do-it-yourself (DIY) offers. The customer’s success depends on their ability to apply the provided training, methods, and/or materials.

In contrast, exclusive products are done-with-you (DWY) or done-for-you (DFY) offers, where your involvement:

  • Improves the customer’s odds of achieving their desired outcomes

  • Reduces the time & effort needed on their part

  • Reduces their time-to-value

As a result, you get to charge more than you would a DIY offer.

Productized services

With enough experience delivering DWY/DFY services, your goal should be to package and sell them as productized services. Where the customer purchases a fixed price bundle, based on clearly defined deliverables and outcomes.

In the very first issue of this newsletter, I shared how New Haircut (my former consulting business) grew profits 1,353% by productizing its training into cohort-based offers.

How I’m monetizing

Let’s walk through two exclusive products I’m creating within Passive Profits.

You’ll see me use the acronym JTBD below. It stands for jobs-to-be-done. It’s the job my customer is hiring that service to do for them. I’ve stated them in the voice of my customer.

I also refer to a wedge: Free/low-cost versions of the product that primes your customer to buy the more premium upgrade.

  • JTBD: Be my sparring partner with all things passive income. Help me find the right idea to turn into my online business. Get me unstuck. Point out my blindspots. Help me build my dream business.

  • Format: 1-on-1 video calls

  • Revenue: $250 per individual session

  • Wedge: 1-2 coaching sessions included with premium subscription

For now, I’ll offer one-off coaching calls. Later in the year, those individual session prices will increase and I’ll add monthly coaching packages for $2,000.

2. Online Course Building Service

  • JTBD: Build my online course for me.

  • Format: A mix of DWY + DFY services

  • Revenue: $5,000+

  • Wedge: Any of my content or offers can trigger the Founder-Creator who’s too busy to do it themselves, or too worried about doing it wrong.

Revenue will be divided between me and the designers/builders/marketers I partner with.

Revenue projections

Here’s what the revenue for my exclusive products could look like over 2024:

Commitment products

Commitment products are your mid-ticket products. Commitment because they require time and effort on the part of the customer.

They typically include formats like:

  • Bootcamps/Programs: A combination of pre-recorded online learning + assignments, plus live calls/workshops/coaching.

  • Masterminds: A curated cohort you organize. Members meet regularly to share challenges, work through projects, and hold one another accountable.

How I’m monetizing

A few weeks ago, I announced my first commitment product: The Product Bootcamp. A 6-week sprint to help founders go from fuzzy idea to a fully launched online business.

This is a plane I’m building while I fly it. I have 25 years in product that I’m leveraging to design and run this bootcamp. But it’s also the first time I’m doing it this way.

So for now, I’m using a “launch price” of $1,500 USD.

Early enrollees get a lot of my focused attention so I can be in the trenches with them — to see what’s working and what needs work. I’ll tweak, toss out, and enhance the bootcamp.

After several runs, I’ll systematize things by pre-recording and templatizing. At that point, with a highly optimized program, I’ll begin to scale back my time.

Good > perfect

For the fellow perfectionists following along, this is a good moment for you to stop and take notice.

I could have waited to launch this program once I had built the entire thing and run through it several times. But as the saying goes:

“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Reid Hoffman, Founder @ LinkedIn

Actually, I’m not embarrassed at all.

I owe that mindset to years of built-up calluses, working in tech and product. That experience taught me to treat everything like a prototype… My products, as well as my social posts, newsletters, podcasts. Everything I create.

In a year from now, this bootcamp will be light years ahead. In two years, it will be a well-oiled machined that sells itself. But I would have never gotten there if I’d waited for perfect.

Case in point, writing this issue today inspired me to investigate my bootcamp’s landing page and application process.

I noticed my application process had a low (11.1%) completion rate. I removed some questions and simplified the process.

I also had the idea to add a Launch Guarantee. Not only are guarantees good business practice, it also felt like the right thing to do while tweaking & refining.

Revenue projections

So far one founder has applied and been accepted to the bootcamp. She’s set to kick off in March. I’m not sure which of us is more excited!

Here’s how I see this program contributing to my 2024 revenue:

In 2025, this program will run in cohorts of 8-10. The price will increase to $2,500+.

Rough projections are to run 1 cohort per quarter. 4 cohorts x $20,000 = $80,000.

Impulse products

Impulse products are your low-ticket products, like:

  • Ebooks

  • Toolkits

  • Webinars

  • Workshops

  • Communities

  • Assessments

  • Memberships

  • Email courses

  • Online courses

  • Digital downloads (swipe files, templates, scripts)

Creating low-ticket products from high-ticket products

Low-ticket products are what many first-time Founder-Creators try to jump straight to.

We see powerhouses in our industries making six and seven figures in online courses and want to do the same.

What we don’t see is all of the time that person spent delivering the service manually. Or the dozens of live training sessions they ran before they packaged it into a self-paced course.

The best way to create low-ticket products are to productize the services you’re already doing. That’s why I started today’s issue with exclusive and commitment products.

Those higher-tier products provide you with the customer insights and feedback you need to build viable, desirable impulse products. Because in order to drive an impulse purchase, the value needs to be crystal clear. And you need to be able to deliver on your promise.

In addition, some of my impulse products will be portions of my commitment and exclusive products that I package and sell separately. I’ll share an example of that below.

How I’m monetizing

Here are my 2024 impulse products:

  1. Digital Product Analyzer | Assessment | Free

  2. Pick the Right Idea | Ebook | Free

  3. $100k Newsletter | Workshop | $20 (free for PROs)

  4. LinkedIn Newsletter Slingshot | Email course | <$10

  5. Find Your Ideal Online Business | Toolkit | $100 (dropping in May)

    • Repackaged from Weeks 0 & 1 of the Product Bootcamp

Revenue projections

If I were to launch impulse products 3, 4, and 5 between now and May, here’s one potential snapshot:

While writing this issue, I developed a sinking suspicion that building and promoting three products in such a short burst would backfire. Not only will it be a heavy lift for me, but sales across 3 different impulse products and my bootcamp would cannibalize one another.

Which got me thinking about a plan B…

Plan B: One impulse product + the bootcamp

What if I only focused on the $100 toolkit, Find Your Ideal Online Business? After all, it addresses the biggest problem reported by the Passive Profits community — I don’t know which idea to build.

I could reclaim the time it would take to build + promote the email course and workshop. I’d reinvest that time in creating a killer toolkit. I’d focus all of my messaging, content, and promotion to drive awareness, excitement, and sales of the toolkit.

And since the toolkit is part one of the bootcamp, some toolkit customers will naturally convert into bootcamp customers.

With more people going through the bootcamp, I’ll be able to upgrade it faster. Which means I’ll increase pricing and run it as a cohort (instead of individually) sooner.

Assuming that goes to plan, here’s what the revised projections look like:

Not only does the revenue look better, but the workload seems more optimized.

I’ll organize a big toolkit launch in April. I’ll promote it through the summer, while ramping up more bootcamp customers. And in the fall, I’ll shift my focus to building and running two bootcamp cohorts to close out the year.

Let’s compare Plan A vs Plan B:

  • Plan A: Coaching + bootcamp + 3 impulse products: $57,660

  • Plan B: Coaching + bootcamp + 1 impulse product: $75,700

Sometimes, less is really more.

Just shy of $100k

When I decided to write this two-part series about monetizing my newsletter business, my $100,000 target was back-of-the-napkin math. My favorite kind of math. 🤓 🧮

Turns out, I wasn’t far off.

Here’s a financial recap of Passive Profits’ six channels:

  • Premium subscriptions: $10,000

  • Newsletter referrals: $500

  • Sponsorships: $6,350

  • Exclusive products: $17,700

  • Commitment products: $49,500

  • Impulse products: $8,500

Total: $92,500

Feeling grateful and grounded

Writing these past two issues forced me to face my financial demons… I’m a creator who prioritizes building over crunching numbers. But I’m so happy I invested the time and attention.

There’s something very grounding about writing down your business plans and attaching numbers to them. It becomes real. From abstract to concrete.

I’m not building this business to be a billionaire. I’m building it because it’s an important problem I CAN and WANT to help others solve.

Knowing that I’ve found the intersection between my passion, profession, (real) problems, and being paid makes me eternally grateful.

I’m doing what I love.

I hope by showing you what I’m building and how I’m doing it, you’re inspired and informed to do the same for yourself.

Let’s get it! 🔥

Founder-Creator Corner

📧 The Newsletter Conference is bringing together some heavy hitters to talk about building a profitable newsletter business (I’ll be there!)

📈 Noor Chopra’s newsletter just crossed 100,000 subscribers by writing great content and doing things that don’t scale

🪴 Passive Profits Community

Welcome Irene, Mark, Mahmoud, Timmy and 12 more founder-creators who joined us this week. Our little community has grown to 327.

Jay Melone
Founder, Passive Profits
 Connect on LinkedIn

Subscribe to keep reading

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to Passive Profits to continue reading.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now

Join the conversation

or to participate.