Most questions we get from prospective 30x500 students fall into 3 categories:

  1. Will it work for my existing idea/product?
  2. Will it work for my audience?
  3. Will it work for me, personally?

Read on, because we answer each one in detail!

Will 30×500 work with my existing idea/product?

Anyways, 30×500 seems like it’s geared specifically for people who don’t have an idea yet. I’m already past the “get an idea” phase, but you guys really seem like you know how to go from 0 (or 2) paying customers to… at least 500. I’m basically looking for that kind of help…. What do you guys think?
– email in our inbox

This is a great question, because we used to be very strict. We’ve loosened up a bit.

In the past, we required that our students start fresh — no existing ideas allowed. And you should still be prepared to do that, if necessary.

But we have also had success with our students applying 30x500 skills to improve their marketing, their sales conversions, and even come up with new product features.

The deciding factor on if 30x500 will work for your existing product is:

1 Do you already have customers, plural?

That is, did you make at least $1,000 in sales already on a sub-$100 product, or at least 10 sales on a more expensive one?

If so, congrats! That $1,000 mark is a good sign that you’re already on the right track with providing real value that people need, want & are ready to buy.

Some of our recent students have joined 30×500 after making quite a bit of money in product sales, but because they had no idea what caused that success or how they could duplicate it, they chalked it up to luck. This kind of luck is paralyzing. You’re afraid to change anything because you don’t know what worked the first time. Or if you’ll manage to break it.

30×500 is all about creating predictable, repeatable results. The students who’ve taken our course after launching gained an understanding of why people have bought their product so far. They realized which steps they took – admittedly by accident – to get where they are so far. And from there, they can move forward confidently doing more of the right things.

The techniques you’ll learn in 30×500 will almost certainly help you do more of the right things: to upgrade your mind-reading abilities for your audience, to reach & persuade more with your marketing, and to pitch and sell your existing product better than you have before.

Granted, there are no guarantees, and retrofits are often difficult unless you’re 100% comfortable letting go of work you’ve already done.

If you haven’t made $1000 in sales yet, welllll…

Brace yourself: You’re probably about to find out that your ideas suck. Sorry. Trust us, it’s nothing personal.

Why? Because where did your ideas come from? How do you know they’re good, or valuable?

Instinct, right? They feel right. Well, where does that feeling come from?

Since you haven’t had any success with sales yet — and you haven’t taken a research-driven approach to study what people need, want and buy – then it’s pretty safe to say that your gut is totally uneducated and therefore untrustworthy. All it can do is pick out patterns. That “THIS IS GREAT” feeling is more often than not a feeling of THIS IS FAMILIAR. And when it comes to familiarity, just look around: 90%+ of all startup and product narratives are exciting stories, and very very bad business advice. What “feels right” is often very wrong.

The chances are nearly 100% that your “idea” was flawed from the start and, like most startup ideas, doomed to fail. Which means that no amount of 30×500 will fix it.

So when you’ve already created a thing and just aren’t sure how to market it, it’s possible that our Sales Safari + Ebombs + PDF copywriting can be used to grow your audience and your sales.

These 3 techniques work better when used as a system than individually, but some people have successfully used our individual techniques and even applied them to wildly different business types, such as Kickstarter projects, charities, traditional book publishing, and consulting.

But this cherry-picking ONLY works if your product is already fundamentally sound for your audience. Something they need, want, and are ready to buy. That’s the whole point of starting from research instead of ideas.

And, again: There are no guarantees. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There are no Ferraris or Photoshopped affiliate payout checks here. This is real life, and a real craft, and sometimes the answers aren’t pretty.

Will 30×500 work with my audience?

This is a really long answer because audiences are complex and multi-faceted.

The answer depends on these data points:

  1. Does your audience hang out together online, in forums, blogs, mailing lists, user groups, LinkedIn or Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, review sites, etc?
  2. Do they seek solutions to their problems, by sharing, reading, trying, and buying new things?
  3. Do they buy on value?

If your answers are Yes, Yes, and Yes

Then yes, your audience has all the ingredients for you to apply the 30×500 process! 30×500 works best on audiences that behave in a business-like way, because businesses understand value best.

Some audiences are mixed. If your audience is very large, and only 10-30% of them fit the 3 stats above, you still stand a good chance of making more than enough money to be comfortable.

And if “no”…? It depends:

No, my audience doesn’t hang out online.

First up: Note that just because you don’t hang out online, in forums, blogs, mailing lists, user groups, etc., doesn’t mean that the rest of your audience doesn’t. Just because you haven’t found those places, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

The internet is vast, and sometimes you just don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. In 30×500, you’ll learn how to find new Watering Holes (our term for those online hangouts).

So if you can think of ONE lively watering hole for your audience – even if it doesn’t seem like a good source – there’s a very good chance that your audience hangs out elsewhere and we can teach you how to find them. (Sometimes they are scattered inside other, slightly more general forums. We talk about this, too, in class.)

No, my audience doesn’t seek solutions, or buy on value.

Well, that’s a problem — if it’s a fact, and not a feeling. (Again: Facts over feelings, research over supposition. The value of Sales Safari at work.)

Not everyone wants to actually fix their problems — sometimes they just want to bitch. And yes, that’s cultural as much as it is an individual (or situational) trait. There are audiences out there where the culture is 99% driveby bitching. There are also audiences full of people who suffer many problems and simply muddle through, silently. There are absolutely audiences who spend money, but aren’t persuaded by value arguments. Or they spend all their money on things you can’t offer. Or they’re broke.

We’d recommend STRONGLY against trying to sell software to local small biz like salons or restaurants and bars (many baby businesses have died on those shores). Or music venues. Or yoga fans. Or artists. Or college students, except for the most demanding and valuable majors (engineering, science, law, etc) which attract those with drive and money.

It’s not that nobody can sell to those people — some businesses absolutely do — but on average, if the entire audience is famous for being complain-y, lazy, bad at business/life, or broke? Run away, as fast as your little legs can carry you.

Be wary, too, of audiences which will spend all their money on, say, equipment — things you can’t make — and nothing on software or education.

If an audience is notorious for being stingy, you’re unlikely to be the unique and special savior who suddenly convinces them to change their ways. Repeat: Run away!

(Ironically, the same is true of selling to large enterprise: Obviously many people make a lot of money in enterprise sales, but they have things you don’t: Massive sales teams and lots of patience to wait out 6-18 month sales cycles. It’s almost impossible to start there, especially when you’re one person. And if you think you’re going to “Kill Excel,” think again. The people who have enough feelings about spreadsheets to want to buy an Excel Killer actually LOVE Excel. Again: This is why Safari pays.)

You’re probably noticing a theme in our advice: Researching your specific audience’s buying habits is critical. Your gut feeling is most likely wrong.

Example: In every 30×500 we’ve taught, students have told us, “But developers don’t buy things! They’re used to free, open source tools. And they can build their own!”

“Developers don’t buy things” is patently false, and obviously, too, if you take 30 seconds to think about it. Even if you pooh-pooh industry spending stats in general, our students alone have earned (in total) well over $1 million selling tools and education to developers.

Again: Data. Data is better than anything else. This is why Sales Safari is at the absolute core of the entire 30×500 system, and why it’s the first thing you’ll learn and start practicing immediately if you take the class.

We hope this answered your question! But if you’re hesitating because of your audience, email us: [email protected].

Will 30×500 work for me, personally?

We don’t know you as well as you know you, so to answer this you need to consider these three things:

  1. your existing work situation
  2. your skill set
  3. your personality

Will 30×500 work with my existing work situation?

It’s a popular fallacy that starting a business requires you to quit the security of your existing job. Most of the time, we recommend strongly AGAINST quitting your job to start a product business.

Many of our most successful students have bootstrapped their 30×500 businesses on the side:

  • In the hours before and after a 9-5 job
  • One full day a week, having negotiated a 4-day work week instead of a raise (or at a pay cut)
  • While freelancing for one to many clients
  • At the helm of a 10+ person consulting firm
  • Keeping family a priority
  • And with a chronic illness (Amy has a chronic illness herself.)

30×500 is designed to make every hour of your work as effective and impactful as possible. That’s the best thing for busy people. The tiny baby steps that help you start winning right away also help you win when time & energy is limited. Yes, it’ll take longer — no getting around that. But it can absolutely be done.

**NOTE:** If you’re employed or otherwise under contract and you have legal questions about your rights and obligations vis a vis building a business, product, or IP on the side, please talk to a lawyer. We’re not lawyers and we cannot (and do not) give legal advice!

Will it work with my skill set?

Do you…

  • know how to create things, make decisions, or make people smarter and better?
  • have a well-let-me-try-it-and-I’ll-figure-it-out attitude?
  • know how to do any of the following (to a decent degree of competence):
    • write
    • record (audio/video)
    • present
    • guide/advise
    • design
    • code?

Then 30×500 can work with your skill set.

You DO NOT have to make software; software is actually not ideal for most peoples’ first product because even a small software product is so damn big. It has so many hidden/moving parts, and is difficult to support. And if you’re saying to yourself “software isn’t THAT hard”, compare it to selling workshops, ebooks, videos, code samples, templates/themes…yeah, software’s a pain in the ass.

Many of our students with the highest earnings so far have focused on a mixture of educational products: ebooks, video lessons, screencasts, workshops, membership programs. They’re easier to build, faster to launch, and in many ways easier to sell, too.

And some of the non-student product examples you’ll dissect in 30×500 include: books on home design, specialty diet and meal planning tools, equipment to save pet owners lots of money and pain, etc., etc.

If someone currently pays you to create value for them or their company as a freelancer, consultant, or employee, you have skills for creating a product. There’s a whole wide world out there, as long as you can make things and are willing to try.

The work is yours to do. Again, of course, there are no guarantees in 30×500 or in life.

Will it work with my personality?

  • Do you get excited about systems and processes?
  • Do you get joy from helping people?
  • Do you work hard to learn new things, even when they don’t come easily at first?
  • Have you had a Fuck This Moment?

If you know that the way you’ve been working isn’t working, and you’re excited to buckle down and do the unsexy but effective work to research, market, build…

If you’re much more interested in a slow and quiet success than a high-speed failure that ends in a ball of flames…

Then yes, it sounds like you’re ready for 30×500!

Here’s the key to creating success:

You must rely on yourself to watch the lessons, do the exercises, go out and do the real-world challenges, use your own brain & judgment along with our rubriks and study tools to evaluate your own work and get better.

We’ve designed the lessons to be short, meaningful, and actionable, to get you accruing tiny wins ASAP.

But there is no final exam in 30×500. There’s no hand-holding in business, or life. You’re accountable only to yourself.

If you’re in a professional career, you’re more than capable of doing the work! You’ve just got to show up and do it.

And that, my friend, is up to you.

Still have questions?

Drop us a line: [email protected]