8 Steps To Productize Cybersecurity Knowledge

  1. Make A List of Topics 
  2. Stack Rank Them by Value to Your Prospect
  3. Choose Your Content Delivery Method
  4. Develop The Outline
  5. Build Marketing Collateral
  6. Create A Marketing Plan
  7. Test Your Market
  8. Build Your Product

Why Should You Productize Cybersecurity Knowledge?

Productizing cybersecurity knowledge allows you to create passive revenue streams.

Why is Passive Revenue Important?

Generating revenue while you sleep is the promised land.  Creating products allow your new clients to swipe a credit card and purchase something that has no significant COGS associated with delivering it.   

Creating a product – a book, an online course or masterclass, a webinar series, a podcast series, a training course – requires a one-time investment in time and resources, then allows you to generate revenue without providing any additional services.  You can also use products to capture more leads for higher value sales.

While selling managed services or cybersecurity services has a high price tag and a long sales cycle, selling a book or a course online allows you to position yourself as an expert while you generate more revenue.

How Did We Productize Knowledge For Managed Sales Pros?

At Managed Sales Pros, we realized many years ago that our highest margins came from not our appointment setting programs, but from our on-demand sales training courses.  I built them, taught them live and then made them available to purchase on-demand afterwards.  The live training was profitable, but the online products were pure profit.  

We hosted our first training sessions using Go To Webinar, a product we already paid for.  It didn’t have to be fancy, it just had to add value to the people paying to attend.  Later, we changed to another solution, and if you are on a budget, you can livestream on Youtube, LinkedIn and Facebook for free.

We Productize Cybersecurity Knowledge, Too!

This year we created a lunch and learn program for cybersecurity sales training.  We partnered with Huntress to deliver the content on a 32-city road show (thanks to everyone who came out!).  I built the program and process for this session once, but I now have the ability to repurpose that content as a cybersecurity sales training course.  Build it once, use it over and over! 

How Do You Get Started?

You can productize cybersecurity knowledge in eight simple steps:

1. Create A List of Topics 

Start by creating a list of topics that your prospects might be interested in learning about.  Focus on topics that you are an expert in.  

2.  Stack Rank Your Topics

Prioritize the impact, value and interest level of each topic, prioritize the ones you believe your prospects would be most interested in.  Not sure which topics would be of most value?  Ask your current clients to stack rank the topics they’re most interested in learning about.  Your current clients become important guinea pigs when you’re productizing – you will ask your current clients to help you a ton during this process, so offering them free access to the products you’re creating makes sense.  (What a great value for clients – access to a library of proprietary educational content!)

3.  Choose Your Delivery Method(s)

How are you going to deliver your new product?

  • Are you going to create one 60-minute course or a series of 10 minute courses? 
  • What about a members-only podcast?
  • Does writing a book seem more your speed?
  • Can you create a subscription focused product that releases new (pre-recorded) content weekly or monthly?

Once you’ve explored all of your options, you may elect to try more than one way to productize cybersecurity knowledge.

Start with the delivery methods you believe you are most likely to be able to complete.  If you know, for example, that you struggle to write the content you need for your monthly blog post, sitting down to write a book might be the wrong choice for your first product.  If you’re already speaking on stage, hosting webinars or hosting a podcast, a premium “members only” content portal might be more realistic for you.  Start where you are comfortable.  

4.  Create Your Content Outline

Having a written outline will keep you on track.  If you’re planning to create a sixty-minute training video, how will you split up the topics?  How much time do you have for each topic?  If you’re creating a much larger product – like a microlearning series or a book – you’ll want a plan to follow.  (A deadline is also helpful – how much time will you work on it daily and when will it be finished?)

5.  Build Your Marketing Collateral

Until you create your product, your thoughts around the viability of the product are mostly best-guesses.  Maybe someone will want to buy it, maybe nobody will.  Personally, I don’t want to spend hours creating a product that someone MIGHT buy.  I want to know if there is any interest before I invest time and money into any new idea.  While your current clients will give you feedback, and even help you determine pricing, that feedback might be clouded by their close association with you.  You’re going to need to ask more people, and for that you’re going to need marketing collateral.  How are you going to show your prospects your new product?  More importantly, how are you deciding who your best prospects are?  Take time to determine who your target is.  What do they do?  What do they like?  What do they read?  What are their hobbies?  Before you begin marketing, make sure you know who you’re marketing to.  The more niche focused your product, the easier it will be to market it!  For example: “Cybersecurity Basics for Law Firms in Seattle” will be a much simpler product to market than “Cybersecurity Basics”.  

6.  Plan Your Marketing Campaign

Determine how you’re going to promote your new cybersecurity product.  

  1. Email campaigns?  Where will you get the list, who will be your best prospects, how will you comply with data privacy laws?  What will you use to create, send and track those emails?  
  2. Advertising online?  Who are your prospects?  What sites do they visit?  Would other venues work (local publications, association publications?)  Click funnels aren’t complicated, but they can be difficult to fine tune.  They need to be set up, monitored, and managed.  Advertising online is very expensive when you’re doing it wrong.  You can waste hundreds of dollars a day on Facebook ads that aren’t properly targeted.  
  3. Telemarketing?  If you’re already prospecting, pitching the product this way absolutely makes sense.  If not, it’s an expensive way to do market research.

You don’t want to build a product no one is going to buy, invest a little time and money in testing the waters before you spend a lot of time on building products.   If you’re not currently doing any marketing for your MSP/MSSP you may want to learn more about marketing before trying to market a product. 

7.  Test Your Market

Up until this step, everything is a hypothetical. 

You think you have an idea that will be interesting to people.  Your choice of delivery method might be appealing to prospective clients.  You’ve planned a marketing campaign that may be able to generate the results you desire.  Now, it’s time to find out if any of those things are true.  It will be very important here to measure responses and results.  Is your marketing process wrong, or is your idea bad?  Is your product going to be of value to those you believe were your best prospects for it?  Time to find out. 

It’s possible that you could have a good idea that flops because of bad marketing.  You could also have great marketing, but an idea that doesn’t resonate with prospects.  Make sure you understand how to process feedback effectively.  A/B testing for content, price and topics will help you determine if your product will sell, how much you should charge, and who the best prospects are.

Some content creators choose to pre-sell their product, this is an excellent way to determine interest.  If people are paying for it before you even build it, there’s a pretty good chance more people will buy it once it is completed.  

8.  Create Your Product!

If responses to your marketing are lackluster, it’s back to the drawing board.  Move down that list you created to the next topic and repeat the process.  If responses tell you that the market is receptive to buying your product, it’s time to get that product out to the market.  

Productizing cybersecurity knowledge isn’t as complicated as providing cybersecurity.  Find ways to monetize your content. 

You can create things for multiple uses.  A keynote you deliver for an association may make a great paid webinar.  Teaching your techs something anyhow?  Record it!  You can repurpose content in many ways, so once you begin creating it, remember you can change it and offer it to the market in many different ways.  For example, you may take an hour-long paid webinar and chop out small two-minute segments for marketing purposes.

Not Sure How to Get Started?

If you’re not already creating custom cybersecurity content that you’re sharing with clients and prospects, that’s a good place to begin.  Free content can be repurposed to become a paid product later, and you’ll need to practice creating and delivering content before you make the hop to selling content.  Most content creators offer a free product before asking people to pay for content.  Creating free content will help build your business and your reputation as an expert.

Want a little (or a lot) of help creating cybersecurity products?  Managed Sales Pros can help!  You’re a cybersecurity expert, we’re experts at finding new cybersecurity prospects.  If you’re ready to start creating and monetizing content, let’s have a chat.  Our managed webinar, managed podcasting and managed thought leadership prospecting offerings may be great places to begin!  Schedule a call with us here!

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