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Video Transcript:

Hey, what's up? This is Jason Drohn. Welcome to GSDdaily number 64.

Today, we're going to talk about how to brainstorm your first ebook or your first textbook, or not textbook, but paperback or whatever. We're going to talk about how to brainstorm your first product, and there's a lot of ways that you can go about brainstorming your product, but there's a couple that we write like really, really well, mostly because they have some sort of user-generated news to them, and we'll get into that in a minute.

For those of you who don't know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn, and I created We specialize in three things, creating offers, building sales funnels, and setting up marketing automation, and then those offers sometimes are books, sometimes are digital products, sometimes are coaching programs or software or whatever. We help folks take what is in their head and execute on it. One of those things oftentimes is trying to figure out how to make sense of the mess that is going on in their head. Not necessarily even a mess, but I was on a call yesterday, and our client was like, "I'm a shy guy, so being that I am a why guy, I am a visionary, I know where I want to go, but sometimes it's, I have to then communicate it to an integrator who can take my thoughts and knowledge and run with them, basically execute on the direction that I want to go without me having to like execute on it," and that talent is hard to find in running a business.

Then why the guy or the visionary, oftentimes the knowledge that is trapped in their head is the knowledge that you build a business around. It might be standard operating procedures, it might be the way that certain strategies that they have used and unlocked, and they've had experience with, but until you package up that knowledge and put it in somebody else's head, then it becomes very difficult to scale, or grow, and sell, so it's not necessarily just leadership, not necessarily just scaling an organization, it is also communicating and teaching and selling products, and selling services, and so ... Do you know what I mean? Especially like this knowledge-based work, this information-based, this information economy that we have come to know and love, it's the knowledge that was created in one person's head, and then it was transferred somewhere along the way. That transfer is oftentimes through a book, through a digital product, through a coaching program, through webinars, through teleseminars, whatever.

Until you can get very clear on what knowledge is most impactful for your end-user, it's difficult to figure out what to write. It's difficult to figure out what to create because you don't have an end-user in mind. You don't have ... You're creating the roadmap that they are then going to follow, that they're going to follow word by word by word, so you have to put some thought and time into how to brainstorm this body of work, this content, this book, whatever. Today's live stream, what we're going to do is we're going to walk through some different ways of how to brainstorm your ebook, and that might be, it could be an ebook, it could be a digital product, whatever.

There's a couple of tools that I like. Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the Dummies, We talked about Amazon and niching out your stuff. Today, what we're going to do is we're going to discover what people want us to create, what they are into. The first place, not the first place, but one of the things that I love to do, and I do it all the time, is I will create a survey. Oftentimes, Wufoo ...

I'm just going to share my screen here. Wufoo is one survey platform, so we're just going to kind of take a tour of the internet, and then I'm going to walk through actually setting up one of these things. Wufoo is an online form builder. You can sign up for free. You can do a ... They have a live demo account, but basically, what you want to do is you want to put together a short survey that asks your prospects, your readers, your audience what they want to learn more about.

The first time I ever did this, so way, way back when I first started online, I wrote an ebook. It was an 18-page ebook called Client Crusher. This ebook, I wrote it, I didn't have a list of my own, I didn't have any audience. This was before Facebook and YouTube. Maybe not before, but in like the early, early days, so I wrote this 18-page ebook on how to pick up local clients and work with them, do internet marketing for them because that's how I was paying my bills, and so I knew a little bit about internet marketing.

This was 10 years ago, so I knew about internet marketing, I knew about SEO, I knew about paid traffic and websites, and I built a bunch of websites, so from a digital standpoint, it was pretty solid. I was working with local businesses, and this ebook, called Client Crusher was my 10 strategies on how to close these clients. Now, I didn't know this, but those 10 strategies were very well ... They're rooted in like some pretty good NLP practices. I mean it's, some of it, I just thought I was doing good business, but I was generating some clients, so basically what I was trying to do is I was trying to help and teach the person who was a couple of feet behind me, so this person was entering into the internet marketing space, not generating money from selling their own thing or selling affiliate stuff, but then turning around and helping other businesses with their internet marketing.

10 years ago, everybody needed help with their internet marketing. The market wasn't flooded as it is now with people who think they know how to write content and do SEO, so this ebook, gave away for free, 18 pages long, it took me a weekend to write, and I gave it to a friend and had her put it in our membership area. Well, she put it in her membership area, and a couple of days later, I checked my stats and I had 230, 240 downloads, which was incredible because I had worked for the previous six months, I'm building my email list. I had like 12 people on my email list, and then all of a sudden, in two days I had 250 people on my email list. That was eye-opening for me, and basically, that was my first audience.

It was the first time that anything that I was doing well from an internet marketing standpoint, so what I did was I turned around and I let, with this list ... The first email was giving them the report, which is great. Then, the second email was asking them, a couple of days later, I sent out an autoresponder email that asked them what they thought about the book or the report. It wasn't even a book, and I linked to a survey, and it was a Google survey. Was it Wufoo, SurveyMonkey?

They all do the same thing. I mean, they have their intricacies, of course, but Wufoo is great. SurveyMonkey is great. There's Typeform, which is pretty. There are Google Forms, which is what I ended up using for this particular project.

Google Forms, it's just a free form builder. You can add your fields and do some drop-down boxes, but I only asked three questions. Question number one was, "How did you like the book? How did you like the report?" Question number two, or question number one was, "What did you like about the report?"

Then, question number two was, "What didn't you like about the report?," and question number three was, "How can I make it better next time, or what would you still like education on? What would you still like to learn?" What happened was, is of the 230 people who downloaded the report, I got like 100 or 110 or something answers to this survey, and what I did was I chunked all of them together. Like I took their answers and I put them in blocks. Like this one was how to sell. This block was how to execute for those clients.

This block was how to manage the clients from a customer service standpoint. This block was pricing strategies. What I was able to do was based on their questions, based on what they wanted to learn more of ... Mind you, it was only 200 people who I sent this out to. It's the same as if you were to blast something out to social media. 200, 300 friends are going to see it.

Some of them are going to respond, some of them aren't, but basically what I was able to do is chunk these categories of questions together, and then I created videos, answering all of those questions in those same chunks, so this became module one, and then module two, then module three, module four, five, six, and seven. There were seven modules in that introductory course, and it was 100% driven from a survey, which is awesome because I didn't have to think about it. Like I didn't have to think and research and say, "Okay. Where am I going to go? What are people searching for?" which is all good stuff.

It's great to do some keyword research before you create something to see how much demand there is. It's great too, but if you have an audience who wants the knowledge that is wrapped in your head, very simply ask them what they want to learn from you, and then create whatever it is they want to create. In creating this video course, this seven module video course based on their answers, what I did was I created it, recorded all the videos, put $67 price tag on it, had all the videos like edited and everything else, and then I offered it for sale, but I offered it for sale to my list of 230 people, who many of whom filled out that survey, saying they wanted more information, and I gave them a 50% discount on the course. That was my first-course sale. The first time I sold the digital course online was that, was that Client Crusher course.

That turned into a product called Local Money Matrix, which we made probably half a million dollars on and the two or three years that it was life. That was the evolution of that thing, and it all started with a sample report. In that report, I just asked, "What do you want to learn more about? What did you like? What didn't you like?"

The insights that I got from that were what changed my path, I mean, in and of itself. I mean, that was the first course I released. Then, we released some more courses, a bunch of courses, and then moved down the affiliate rabbit hole. In every instance, we stopped whenever we were about to build something from scratch, or whenever we were about to create something. We would stop and survey the audience, survey the list, and say, What questions can we answer for you?"

"What do you want to learn more about?" I work with a lot of my clients, and that's one of the first things we do, is when we're about to create something new, we go to their customer list or their prospect list and say, "What do you want to know? What can we help you with? What is one of the challenges that you're having right now that you would like some help or insight or training or education on?" Oftentimes, those conversations, those surveys, they lead to some of the biggest breakthroughs in your business.

They put you on drastically different paths because now, all of a sudden, you're seeing what people want and what they will pay for, and what is going to make a difference in their business. That is what doing business online is all about. I mean, so many people confuse what happens online with this being kind of a new age thing. Internet marketing and online sales and digital business, it's not new. I mean, it's not a new age thing.

It's not, sales funnels aren't new. People have been doing it forever, selling upsells and downsells and complimentary offers. I mean, there was a book written in 1999 about basically how to maximize the value of an offer, and it was complementary of sales and offers, and everything. The technology has been used forever, but before that, it was used offline, so the online business is just an extension of good, solid, real-world business practices. The medium is different.

You don't have a person who is engaging in that sales conversation. You have a page, and the video, a video that is written and copywritten so that it maximizes conversion, so the sales copy works. You have best practices on upselling order forms and one-click upsells and all that other stuff, but at the end of the day, business is business. Getting people to buy something is getting people to buy something, so when you can use your prospects and your customers on how to brainstorm your products, to guide what you're building, then they're that much more invested in what you're building. They will help you, they will purchase your stuff, they will help you ...

They'll help you in a lot of different ways, so whenever you build something new, start with a survey. Start by asking your folks what you should be building. You can do some ... You can do some research. You can do some keyword research. You can look for keyword phrases that people are searching for and typing into Google.

You can look for related offers. You can look for competitors. You can do all of that stuff, but it all pales in comparison to just asking people what you should be creating, and it's really ... I mean, that's always where we start how to brainstorm offers. Now, once you get the idea of what people are creating, or once you survey your list or survey your prospects and figure out what you need to be creating, the next thing, the next part of how to brainstorm your first ebook or your first digital product or whatever, is going and doing a mind map.

I think the next place we need to go is a mind mapping tool, and I brought this up quite a few times on these dailies because I use it all the time. I think it's an indispensable kind of tool in my arsenal, at least. Let's see here. It's MindMeister, and for those of you who ... I just need to log in. One of these accounts is a pro account.

All right, there we go. Let me see if I can just drop this in here. Can I drop it in? All right. I think I need to go and share a different screen, so ... All right.

We're going to share the MindMeister tool. All right. This is a tool called MindMeister that I use all the time. You can see by the number of programs we have here or the number of mind maps, but basically, how this works is you kind of start in the middle, and then you move out, so you start with a kind of a central idea. We're going to do like right-aligned.

Now, this particular mind map, we always start in the middle, and we start with our thing, so in the ... How to brainstorm just for sake of like kind of the example. We're going to brainstorm the Client Crusher course, so basically how to attract clients and sell them into your agency business. We're going to do Agency Attraction is going to be the name of the digital course. This isn't a real course, this is just us how to brainstorm something.

We type in Agency Attraction, and then what we do is we can hit the little plus arrow, so it adds like the next piece over or the first branch I should say, and then we're just going to do Chapter 1, or we can do, let's do Part 1. Then, we're going to hit enter twice and Part 2, Part 3, and then Part 4. We're on the phase of how to brainstorm a book here now. Now, let's go ... Part 1 is going to be all about, let's say attract ... Nah, it's not going to be attracting clients.

Part 1, yeah, so let's do ... Part 1 is going to be client-attracting. Yeah, let's do that one. This is ... Let's see. We'll have a chapter on networking for business, the chapter on local advertising, chapter on direct mail, which is a thing.

It's coming back because there's no other postcards or letters or stuff in people's mailboxes, and then we'll do another one on referrals, getting referrals, let's say. We have a paid strategy, people strategies. Now, Part 2 is pitching. This is getting them on the phone, but to say on the phone what to offer on the phone, and then objections. Then, Part 3 is going to be closing the deal. Part 3 will be how to close the deal, and we have to keep prospects warm through email, how often to call them on the phone, should you send text messages?

Then, Part 4 is going to be implementation, management. This book, Agency Attraction, if it's broken up into these four parts the first part is all about attracting your ideal client, networking for business, local advertising, direct mail. Then, Part 2 is going to be getting them on the phone, what to say on the phone, what to offer on the phone, what are your offers, and then how to handle objections. Part 3 is going to be how to close the deal, keeping prospects warm through email, and there's a calling section and a text message section, and then there is, once they become a client, there's implementation, client management, and then handling upgrades. If this was in a book, would you buy it?

If you were trying to build an agency and you're looking for clients, would this be enough for you to buy it? Would you want less? Would you want more? If you were writing a book about attracting people into an agency, does this then now serve as your roadmap? Of course. Now, a lot of hard thinking has already been done, so okay.

Part 1 is networking for business. Well, what are some of the ways that you would network for business? Well, I can think of a couple. I would join SBAs, join masterminds, join business owner groups. There's a lot of ways that you can join certain groups or volunteer it on boards. There are five ways, five different kinds of subheadlines that now you can write about.

You, as a master in your world, of your discipline, you'll have all of this information kind of in your head, about your thing. It might not be an agency. It might not be internet marketing, it might be planting a garden, or it might be setting goals, or it might be career growth. There's all kind ... I mean, you have your own ... You have the thing you're proficient in, you know the thing that you love, so this mind map is a way to start getting all that stuff out of your head.

I have created hundreds of these things and hundreds of books and hundreds ... Not hundreds of books, but hundreds of books/courses/reports, and so I have done ... I like creating content, so this is easy and it's not easy the first time. It's usually, the first couple of times, it's like, it's kind of grueling. You're going to sit down with a couple of cups of coffee and you can be like, "What am I doing?" you know, but it will get easier.

The point is that once you get used to it, once you get used to this mind mapping and the strategizing before you go live, you will realize that the hard work is already done, so you don't have to worry about putting a whole lot of thought into it. You can just show up and write, or you can just show up and have live streams, or you can just show up and talk. I mean, a lot of these live streams that I do, I mean, they're done for a myriad of reasons, but one of them is because, at some point, I wanted to create the content for a course or a blog post or whatever. Not necessarily just to do live streams. I mean, it's all great content and it's very valuable and the people who tune into it like it, but it's not to have a hundred thousand followers.

I mean, we have a hundred thousand followers, that'd be awesome, but that isn't the goal. The goal is to communicate with one person and have them implement maybe a strategy. If you can get a book done or get a book out and influence then a couple of people, then we start changing the world pretty quickly. Do you know what I mean? It's about this idea of knowledge transfer.

That is how to brainstorm books. We talked about surveys and forms, and we just talked about mind maps. I think we've covered quite a bit today. If you have any questions at all, go to and fill out the little form. We'd be happy to connect, put together an action plan for you, look at your paid traffic strategies, look at some optimization.

If you have any questions for a future show, go to, and we'll get you taken care of. All right. Thanks. Bye.