Business Strategy

The Kitchen Sink Syndrome: The Massive Product Creation Mistake You Must Avoid and What You Need to Do Instead

If I had to describe my first product launch with a hashtag, I’d go with this one…

#epicfail

I spent nearly a year creating my first online program. I put everything I had into it and I thought it was good.

Actually, I thought it was better than good. I thought it was great.

But when I launched it, hardly anyone signed up.

Even worse…

Most of the people who did, didn’t complete the course.

I was heartbroken and I seriously thought about quitting.

I’d tried so hard to design a game-changing course but I’d missed the mark by miles.

It made me believe I didn’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

If you’ve just experienced a “lame launch story” like this one and if you’ve been having trouble selling your products, I KNOW how you feel.

And if you’re thinking, “Maybe I should quit?” here’s my answer…

No way…

Not a chance…

Never in a million years…

Why? Because there is a solution.

Since then I’ve learned exactly how to create products your students, clients and customers will love — products that are easy to sell and create consistent income for your business — which took me from zero to millions of dollars in program sales.

It all comes down to avoiding the BIGGEST product creation mistake you can make.

It’s a secret trap so many hard-working, well-intentioned entrepreneurs fall into it…

It’s what I call the “Everything PLUS the Kitchen Sink Syndrome” or simply “The Kitchen Sink Syndrome.”

This is when you try to squeeze as much information as humanly possible into your courses and programs. Newbies working on their very first product, are especially susceptible but even experienced entrepreneurs can suffer from this condition.

The Kitchen Sink Syndrome happens for many reasons.

Some entrepreneurs come from an ego-driven place of wanting to look good but — in my experience — this is a very small group.

Most talented entrepreneurs I know have a mix of good intentions and the “imposter” syndrome. They want to be of service and share everything they know with their customers and they want to prove their worth as experts.

Either way, the Kitchen Sink Syndrome is a disastrous mistake.

But there’s a cure…

1. Adopt a customer-centric approach.

Remember — value is in the eyes of the beholder and NOT the giver.

Forget about how smart you look or even how much value you can provide…

Focus ONLY on giving your students what they absolutely need to complete a specific project or achieve a specific goal.

When I created that first ill-fated program I talked about, I was obsessed with giving as much value as I possibly could because I felt the need to be worthy of receiving the money I charged for the program. I wanted to be seen as the expert with ALL the answers.

This also drove me to throw a TON of content into my program… which brings me to the second thing you need to do, to avoid the Kitchen Sink Syndrome…

2. Never overload your product with content.

If you do, you’ll have an incredibly hard time with the creative process. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours — an entire year — building out my first online program because it was extraordinarily difficult to organize, assemble and then write all that content in a way that worked.

A product with that much content becomes big and unwieldy — you’re going a mile wide and an inch deep with your teachings versus an inch wide and a mile deep. Your product will try to cover everything, without honing in on specific steps and solutions… and this is a marketing nightmare.

You’ll have a hard time selling it because it doesn’t have an angle that you can highlight as your unique selling point in your marketing and sales material. When your focus is too wide, your copy ends up feeling vague and general, and your audience will end up feeling confused or unclear on the exact transformation they can expect.

Lack of clarity = crazy low (or even zero) sales.

The third major problem with too much content?

3. The vast majority of your students will never finish your program.

Faced with massive information overload, your students will feel overwhelmed and give up long before they get to the end.

This means they won’t get the results you promised and they’ll never buy from you again.

The good news is you can overcome all 3 issues with one simple solution… craft a product mission. With a tangible product mission, your potential students will get a crystal clear idea on what they can expect to do through your product and they’re far more likely to buy.

Here are product missions from 3 of my popular programs that have lead to millions in sales:

Example #1: Start With You

Product Mission: Turn your desire to start a business into a viable idea that expresses your unique gifts, talents, and personality; leverages your experience and background; and makes a real difference.

Example #2: Website ATM

Product Mission: Create a beautiful, high-converting web presence that instantly resonates with your ideal clients, positions your expertise, and opens the floodgates to new customers.

Example #3: Experience Product Masterclass

Product Mission: Design, market and make $2,000 or more from an Experience Product® in 10-weeks or less, so you can get off the marketing treadmill, make more sales, and have more impact.

So there you have it, the cure for the Kitchen Sink Syndrome — craft a clear product mission and use a customer-centric approach.

It’s a “cure” that’s worked for me, it’s worked for hundreds of my clients and students and it will work for you too.

It’s the only reliable path to creating high revenue, continuous sales and happy customers who are satisfied with your online products.

Over to you…

How do you plan to integrate a customer-centric approach in your online products and what’s the product mission for your next course or program?

Share in the comments… I’d love to know!

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Neal Abramson

    I love Start With You. I learned a lot. And I loved the live session you held in L.A. Amazing. But my budget is so much less than what you were asking for the Blue Sky option. Do you have am inexpensive course that is the next step after Start With You? Or a follow-up for people who have done Start with You and now just want a targeted course that builds on it and using what we’ve already learned, so we can actually launch our business?

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Hey Neal! So happy you loved Start With You and Message to Money LIVE! Now that you have that vitally important crystal clarity surrounding who you’ll serve and what you’ll offer them, the most logical next step for you would be Experience Product Masterclass. You’ll get 10 weeks of targeted trainings and laser coaching to bring that True North business idea of yours to life! Registration for EPM opens next month –would you like us to let you know when the cart opens?

      Reply ·
  2. Vatsala Shukla

    I love the concept of the Kitchen Sink, Marissa. It’s also the Curse of Knowledge and wanting to teach the student everything we know without considering what the student might need most and making it simple.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Exactly Vatsala! It’s a tough balance but once you master it, your students will LOVE you for it 🙂

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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