In school, I helped my peers with math for small bucks. In my student years, I prepared kids for sports tourism competitions. In 2013 I started courses for newbie programmers. Now, we’re teaching entrepreneurs how to step into software products.
I love sharing my skills and experience, and I always been part of the “EXPERTS” community.
These days, regardless of your business type, you need to educate your audience to turn it all to the next level.
If you help people with your advice, knowledge, and expertise and make money with it, then this article is for you.
Have you read Expert Secrets book from Russel Brunson?
There is an idea about Value Ladder, which says you need to have a bunch of offers at different price points.
As soon as you start successfully selling MIDDLE or BACKEND offers, it’s time to think about the so-called “CONTINUITY PROGRAM.”
This is a kind of offer that provides value to your customers monthly and, in return, gives you recurring monthly revenue.
It might be a mastermind group, private online forum, or some support retainer on a monthly subscription basis.
The best offer for recurring revenue is software on monthly subscription, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).
E.g., Russel Brunson covered his recurring offer in his Value Ladder with ClickFunnels – funnel automation software. I bet you heard about it or even use it now.
It’s nice to have monthly recurring revenue without constantly introducing new courses and without pushing your existing offers to more and more new people every month.
And the best tool to achieve monthly recurring revenue is SOFTWARE.
Are you convinced yet?
Then let’s move on:
Whom can you sell it to?
You can sell software to 3 types of audiences:
- People like you, your PEERs.
- People that want to hire you. Your CLIENTs and students.
- People that want to become like you. ASPIRING experts, course creators, and coaches.
All three categories are people that you already know and are aware of their needs.
What kind of software products can you sell to them?
Let’s start with Software Ideas for Your Peers
This is the most natural category as here you build something for your own needs. In other words, you scratch your own itch.
Software Product Idea #1: Marketing Tool
If you are at $10-20k+/month revenue, you probably treat marketing seriously and employ a bunch of marketing automation tools.
These might be:
- Email marketing services like Mailchimp or InfusionSoft
- Facebook messenger automation tools like ManyChat
- Paid ads management platforms like Adstage or AdEspresso
- Social media schedulers like Hootsuite or Buffer
Chances are you are not that happy with some of them.
You probably want to change something in how they work to fit your specific process better. And chances are others also struggle with the same problems.
That is exactly how ConvertKit – email marketing service for authors – was created by Nathan Barry.
That is precisely how Drip – email marketing app for small businesses – was born.
There are a bunch of marketing tools on the market focused mainly on experts, coaches, and course creators.
So, it might be a good time for you to review the marketing tools you use now and build a list of improvements. That might turn into a new excellent software product.
Software Product Idea #2: Tool to Build Educational Materials
What software tools do you use to create all your educational materials?
- Audio/Video/Screen recording and editing tools like Camtasia or Quicktime
- Image editors, photo stocks and image composition tools like Canva.com
- Slides and preparation apps like PowerPoint and Keynote
- Subtitles extraction tools like Trint.com
- Podcast recording and arrangement tools
Same questions here…
Are you happy with all of it? Can you improve small things here and there and build a better product for coaches and authors?
That is how Slidebean appeared. To avoid direct competition with industry giants like PowePoints and Keynote, they focused on startup pitch decks at first.
That is also how ActivePresenter launched its software and became a video recording/editing tool for course creators.
Yes, it’s possible to launch a relatively small product even within such competitive niches.
You need to focus on the narrow audience at first and then extend your tool to cover other neighbor audiences.
Software Product Idea #3: Tool to Run Your Expert Business
Our agency runs courses for newbie programmers, where we teach how to code in Python language.
To run it all, we use the following tools:
- Teachable for online student cabinets
- Calendly to schedule 1:1 Implementation Calls
- Google Hangouts to conduct 1:1 calls
- PruffMe to do live QA sessions and webinars
- Slack for internal team communication and student support group
- Zapier to automate online sales and support requests
- Google Docs/Spreadsheets for documentation
- And a couple more things for financial reporting
What apps do you use in your business? Are you happy with it or some suck? Do your peers and competitors have the same problems?
Are you using a bunch of excel files to build reports and make financial projections? This also can be turned into a brand new software product.
It’s a gold mine when it comes to creating a new recurring revenue stream with software.
This is how many online learning management systems (LMS) started and found their place on the market. Teachable, Kajabi, Podia, Thinkific… Each of them is unique in their own way and started by serving different types of expert businesses.
Are there any business processes in your niche that are unique and deserve their own tool?
Software Product Idea #4: Automate What You Teach
This one is my favorite.
You sell it to the same people that purchased an educational product from you. It’s much simpler than selling to a new person for the first time.
So what kind of software can you build for your existing clientele?
The answer is super simple:
Automate a fraction of the steps from your educational program and help your students achieve results faster and with fewer efforts.
This is how Brennan Dunn did it. He helped his customers with user segmentation tactics to improve conversion rates. Then Brennan turned part of his done-for-you services into an online video course. Eventually, he created software to help his students automate website visitors’ segmentation, and that is how the RightMessage app started.
Same story from Russel Brunson and his famous ClickFunnels product. Those who can not afford $100k to have Russel personally setup sales funnels for their businesses can go for a 100$/month subscription and build funnels with ClickFunnels on their own. No programmers required.
Now, it’s your turn:
What do you teach people, and what kind of results they achieve?
Do you teach your people how to generate more leads from LinkedIn? Then build a tool to automate a good part of it.
Are you helping real estate agents make more deals by using FB messenger tactics? Then build your version of ManyChat with specific predefined templates and auto campaigns from your online course. People will appreciate how you save their time compared to using ManyChat and building all the templates and flows from scratch.
Are you a gym trainer? Then build a mobile app with reminders, motivation, and similar training programs your teach them at 1:1 sessions.
Are you teaching agency owners how to get more business from paid ads? Then build a tool to automate creating ad campaigns with your ad templates and strategies.
You got an idea…
Automating part of your educational program for your students will be an irresistible offer.
Software Product Idea #5: Courses Marketplace
So far, we talked about software tools, SaaS, and mobile apps. But there is one more category of software products – Online Marketplaces.
The marketplace connects two sides on the market: sellers and buyers. This is like an online store but with multiple suppliers.
I guess you heard about online course services like Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, Edx, etc.
These services started as an educational center for specific niches: programming & IT courses, sales & biz related courses, data & science…
Do you think the market lacks a separate online marketplace for your specific expert domain? Then a new Courses Marketplace might be a viable option for you.
The Bottom Line…
You don’t need to come up with a completely new disruptive idea to win in the software business.
In most cases, it’s enough to improve existing tools just a little bit and make it a bit more specialized on a narrow audience.
Do this with more teaching, ready-to-use templates, and predefined workflows that your competitors lack. And people will switch to your product.
When buying software, people are not paying for features and beautiful design. People pay for RESULTS.
That’s not the software that they want but the results that they want to get with it.
You’re an expert. You’ve got an audience that happily purchases educational programs from you and gets excellent results with it.
So you, my friend, are in the perfect spot to create a new recurring income stream with software.
Your students will be happy to achieve their goals faster and save some time doing it.
Just remember, whatever idea you pick, you need to validate it first and craft a detailed software blueprint in advance. And your humble servant is here to assist you with it.
Now, let’s do some homework:
- Review the tools you use to run your expert business
- Think about whether your existing students can get even better results having some steps automated with software
- Find out what’s missing, what’s wrong, and how can you make it better
- And then move on to software idea validation process
Are you still stuck with the software idea generation process? Download 5 unique software ideas which are popular among our clients and are not protected by NDA: