Product Development December 1, 2020

How do you get the confidence to ship?

Micheal Waldrup @Nimblegoat

I do A LOT of writing as a side hustle, but most of it is ghostwriting or posts for blogs that aren't directly attributing me. I've grown accustomed to being behind the scenes and just collecting a paycheck.

But recently I've been planning, researching, and building a product that is incredibly helpful. I've spent over 200 hours on this because I'm using it myself and it's just getting better and better.

I'm getting to the point financially where I need to find other income sources, and I feel this product I've been building out is the kind of thing other people would love and pay for. Today, I started working on some basic marketing materials and the fear is just paralyzing. I feel scummy and guilty for even trying to sell something. Why do I feel this way? Do any of you get this? How do you deal with the balance between needing to make a living and the guilt / presumption of selling a product?

I'd really appreciate whatever help you all can offer!

  1. 3

    Perhaps pull your eyes and energy towards bottom of the hourglass marketing instead of top of the funnel. This shift in focus could change your "scummy" feeling into "helpful" feeling.

    What I mean by bottom of the hourglass is that Marketing Funnels usually end at "The Sale". But in fact a ton of action can and should happen after the sale.

    The Funnel looks something like this:

    • Awareness
    • Purchase Intent
    • Sale

    The Hourglass keeps going:

    • Awareness
    • Purchase Intent
    • Sale
    • User
    • Advocate
    • Ambassador

    If you, as a solo maker, spend your time in the bottom, after the sale, your marketing will breathe fire. And it will also kill 2 birds with one stone. You'll be able to create FAQs, Answer user questions and do marketing.

    1. 2

      100% great advice. If you're selling something helpful, you shouldn't ever feel scummy. Think of a product you love and use everyday, you don't feel scummy for recommending it to someone. Same should go for selling a product you think will help someone. You aren't trying to trick them into buying it.

      1. 2

        Agreed. I know I'm the type of person that would be poor, working at a non-profit if the world weren't more complicated. I'm starting to realize that's where my thoughts are coming from, maybe ego as well. It's like I'm whipping myself for not being completely altruistic. I need to create more of a "you get a helpful product, I get compensated for my effort" type mentality.

    2. 1

      I definitely feel the "helpful" part of it as well. I guess it's just a feeling I'll have to get used to. I have a deep desire to contribute to the world, and I think my decision to finally end my "contribution silence" is just getting to me.
      I know this will be really helpful, I'll be sure to think about this in terms of the other "bird" you talked about as well. Thank you!

  2. 2

    I don't think you're alone in having feelings like this at all, it happens to everyone in all different areas of life. But I'll tell you what you probably already know: you just have to do it, and the more you do it the more comfortable you'll get.

    It reminds me of people going to the gym. When you first go you're super self conscious and afraid everyone is watching and judging you. After a while you realize nobody cares about you in the slightest and they're all just focused on themselves.

    1. 1

      First, I super-appreciate your feedback!
      I know it's just in my nature to overthink my actions here. It's just marketing, and I know it's completely necessary. For some reason, it just feels like I'm the dude talking loud on his phone in a restaurant. I know the product is helpful. I truly believe in the integrity of my efforts. I'll just have to change my perspective from "marketing" to "sharing" somehow. Thanks!

      1. 2

        No problem, as a developer who is used to quietly making things in the background I relate to your feelings a lot. Marketing is still something I'm very bad at/don't know how to do very well but I have become much more comfortable sharing over time. Best of luck.

  3. 2

    Just ship it, that simple. Keep shipping.

    That's I think how you gain that confidence. After I manage to land my first a few sales I realized, people actually put thought on buying your offer. It's not like they are forced to buy it or misclick it, there is no deception. I can always offer them chargebacks if it'll feel better. And after you see people actually get the value out of it. That feeling is completely gone, you don't ever think about it. At least that was my experience.

    1. 1

      Yeah, thank you! I'm really going to work on my mentality about this. It helps to know others get the same feeling at first as well. I have no idea why I should feel guilt when the product is awesome, helpful, and comes from the best of intentions.

      1. 2

        comes from the best of intentions. this might be the main reason. I wanted my product to actually work for others, I wished they'd profit more than they've spent. You care, and it's not a bad thing.

  4. 1

    Don't feel scummy. People need your product! Look at it as a way to add value to peoples lives by solving a big problem for them.

    Good content writers are hard to find and most don't hit deadlines.

    You need to get behind the curtain and let the world see you and your work. You can do this!

    If you already have 1-3 areas of expertise, you can start marketing today. Try partnering with an existing agency by offering a flat monthly subscription for (x) amount of content per month.

    1. 1

      I’m a little late on this, but thanks! Not sure why it’s been so tough for me, but I’m moving forward with it and the product will see sunlight whether I’m comfortable with it or not. Thanks!

      1. 1

        It takes time but one step at a time is better than staying idle and waking up every morning in the same spot.

        Go for it!

  5. 1

    Gary Vee's podcast helps - I'm not even kidding - just ship and get the feedback haha

  6. 1

    Less confidence...more of I don't give a s****...none of my apps have been successes..but I will launch ...bcoz that's what i do ....
    I just launched a community site called (Yeah with that name LOL)

  7. 1

    I guess the exact term for what you're feeling is imposter syndrome?

    There is nothing inherently scummy in charging someone for the value you're providing them, in fact, people love to buy things that bring value to their life. You are probably feeling that you specifically selling something is scummy?

    It's natural to feel resistance, especially when it's something you know you need to do to get what you want out of life. It's about leaning into these feelings, finding what makes you uncomfortable, and doing it anyway. Once you do it you'll realize you had nothing to worry about and you can repeat the process.

    The pit in your stomach isn't going to leave, but you'll learn to take it as a signal that you're on the right track and to keep pressing forwards.

    Believe in your product and the value it's going to provide people.

    I'd suggest reading the book "The War of Art", while its focus is on artists, it's really for anyone that is working on something themselves that is externally validated.

    1. 1

      I've read "The War of Art", great book. I guess thinking about it I realize I felt the same thing when I started writing for other people. I'm so far over that now, hopefully this is just the same sort of thing.

      I like that point about just accepting that feeling as indication of being on the right track. That's from the same book right? :) I feel like I've heard that before but I never connected the idea to this feeling.

      I'm going to get back to work and stop thinking so much. Thanks for the feedback!

      1. 1

        Glad to hear you've overcome it. Yes it is, it's great advice from the book so I'm always spouting it haha

        Good luck with it!

  8. 1

    What fear? Just be honest!

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