Going big is over-rated. Starting small is the key to doing it right.

If you’ve got something to teach, preach, market, mentor, publish or offer up to inspire, I want to challenge you to start small.

A challenge to the creatives and service oriented professionals reading this.

(the authors, artists, the teachers, trainers and those who crave a connection to a community of profesional peers who share your passion)

HERE is the challenge:

Create a small 1-5 page product.

You can do this on a lazy, hazy afternoon.

It can be anything – a checklist (best practices for your profession) a blueprint – a cheatsheet – a FAQ is really effective in an area you have expertise – anything that offers insight, information or inspiration to folks who would be intersted in what you do.

Step 2

Upload to the Gumroad.com publishing platform.

Why?  It’s absolutely awesome – always improving – phenomenally free – and will make the next steps infinitely easier.

(and ultimately, much easier to scale when you’re ready to go back to thinking BIG as well 🙂

Step 3

Invite other people to promote your first product as partners or “affiliates”.

For example – if you have an existing business or audience, invite your facebook fans, your newsletter subscribers your daily readers…whomever you think appropriate, to particpate in your product launch.

(or to earn an income while helping you build buzz for a new product, program, site or service)

If you are just starting from scratch:

Ask your friends,  reach out to other people you know and like in your industry – find lateral or related business and so forth.

For example?

If you are a yoga teacher – a meditation or massage therapist – a nutrition expert, etc – find offers that are complimentary to what you do, but not necessarily directly competitive and invite them to partner up with you.

This gives them an opportunity to earn extra income, and gives their audience a wider window into a related world (your expertise) that they may be unaware of otherwise.

Ask yourself this:

How many life coaches would LOVE to have a Yoga teacher to recommend?

Or –

How many Yoga teachers would love a nutritional or dietary cheat sheet to offer their clients?

This is a great way to not only cultivate a community of clients, but also an amazing way to connect with professional peers in related fields as well)

Or –

Email people who show up in search results for the niche, market or industry you are publishing or competing in.

Ask your favorite bloggers or authority site owners, – be creative and think outside the box a bit – it’s guerilla marketing 101 and it’s a ton of fun

You can do ALL of this with a free book or product – or with a fee based product or service. (or a combination of both)

(both have advantages to your audience)

Step 4 (why this works)

Starting small allows you to boostrap, or “hack” finding new readers, new subscribers and a community of client who would be hard pressed to know you who are otherwise.

How?

When you apply this approach, everytime your friends, folowers, fans, or fellow professional peers promote your free or low priced SMALL products (the reports, blueptrings, outlines, cheatsheets, FAQ’s, etc you created in step 1) and you do this on the GUMROAD platform (it’s free – and awesome) they are adding new subscribers (what Gumroad calls followers) who are now part of your newsletter community.

Note/Disclaimer:  I get nothing for recommending Gumroad. No money.  No  little plaque.  No email from the CEO.  I know no one there, and other than a few recommendations I’ve made at 3 am by email after one bottle of wine too many, have no relationship with anyone there at all.  You don’t need to use them – it just makes this process infinitely easier – and other than charging a transaction fee like Etsy or Ebay or “insert your favorite E-commerce publishing platform here”  – they offer all of this completely free.

Remember.  Forget about the big picture for now.

Start small.

  1. Do what you love.
  2. Share your passion.
  3. Cultivate a community.
  4. And offer up your experience and expertise to the betterment of the world.
  5. (i don’t know if you’ve been watching CNN in your PJ’s for the last 3 days like me – but it’s pretty obvious we could use more people who are passionate about building people up, rather than tearing us down)

Also –

There are lots of nuances and wrinkles and fun little innovative appraoches you can use to optimize and improve, tweak and critique this strategy.

For example –

You can add a service to a free product – a coaching session or one on one time with you for example – which gives your affiliates (your partners who participate) the opportunity to earn a great commission while giving something free away.

(traditionally, about 10% of people will pay for a product or service that is bundled with a freebie if positioned properly)

But don’t even think of that stuff yet.

  • Just start small. 1-5 pages.
  • Or record something short.

Or think of something creative to offer I have’nt thought of above. (but will after i stumble to my coffee maker and get some cafeeine in my brain)

Also –

Make sure to include your product in Gumroad discover. (just check the box to allow your products to be “discovered” on email recepits and thank you pages)

This is the full marketplace where you can get “discovered” by people doing searches for the keywords that are related to your product, program, site or service.

They also will include your offer on receipts of the products that other people sell – meaning joe buys x from y – and on the receipt – joe is gently directed to check out related products he may be interested in as well. Including yours. I’ve already sold some of my own stuff this way in just the last week, simply by being “recommended” after someone buys something different, from someone not named me.

(much like Amazon does….or can also be done with Recepitful – a great free product from Woocommerce founder Adi Peinar – something I’ll be covering at length in another discussion)

This stuff is so super simple, and if you are a creative with passion and a sense of purpose and who truly enjoys your work – a ton of fun to boot.

Start small.

And begin above.

And i’m going to give you another incentive.

If you create it, I’ll help you sell it.

How?

You can publish your product on my marketplace or directory site for free. (I’ll be your affiliate) This way, you’ll have a whole new source of free traffic, and exposure, and a audience you won’t have to worry about, or work for on your own.

Plus, selfishly, I want to add people, products, programs, sites, services, and offers to my own mindful marketplace based communities….and if you’ve read this far, you definitely belong.

I’m also going to be sharing a simple strategy you can use to build your OWN “authority” site or marketplace in YOUR niche, market or industry, using the exact same approach, so stay tuned for that as well.

(it’s quick, it’s easy and very exciting as well)

Have questions? Ask me anything in the community comments below.

OR connect with me on Twitter.

Or on Facebook.

OR come over for lunch. Just give me 15 minutes to put on some clothes.

I’m having grilled cheese with Wolf Blizter blathering on in the background, and could use the company.

View all posts by ian

I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I'm a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he's super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says " it's always NOW" when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You're making me nervous.