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LobowolfXXX
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Oh ok. I think it was I who was misunderstanding the system. So then the question is, what sorts of resources would you be providing, and how much would you charge?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
genius
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Well, the resources would consist of a test-bank, connectivity tools to collaborate with students / professors at the top graduate programs in terms of test preparation, the ability to take more practice (timed) tests, proprietary analysis of weakness / strength areas to focus the studying, and also study strategies that are developed for specific sections for specfic tests. The pricing is consistent with what students would pay for Kaplan Test Prep, for example.

The thing is, I can't compete with Kaplan Test Prep UNLESS I show RESULTS. By working with a small sample of students who thoroughly enjoy their experience and see the impact it has on their SCORES, then and only then can a positive momentum be established...in my opinion.

Hope this helps!

Mindblowingly,
Charles


Quote:
On Nov 9, 2014, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Oh ok. I think it was I who was misunderstanding the system. So then the question is, what sorts of resources would you be providing, and how much would you charge?
genius
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Thinking through this some more, I just realized ONE MAJOR WEAKNESS of my approach---if I were to conduct let's say 1,000 practice tests, it will take at least 1,000 hours of my time, and that equals 25 weeks of work, assuming 40 hours a week. Yikes...I almost need to give up my full-time income to support this side-business!

I need to think AUTOMATION---but how???

Mindblowingly,
Charles
LobowolfXXX
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Also, you'll have to pay licensing fees to provide students with actual past exams.

The other problem is name recognition. You're charging what Kaplan charges, but they (and Testmaster, Blueprint, etc.) already have a lot of market share.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
genius
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How much do the licensing fees cost? I'm less worried about the financing piece, as I am about the publicity piece. You are right---name recongition is key. How do I get my name out?

Okay, let me throw out a hypothetical. If I worked individually with let's say 10 students (I think I can do this), and I walk them through my service and offer it FOR FREE, and then I have them take a practice test, and let's say they score in the 90th percentile or higher (when they otherwise would have scored just average...and let's say that they themseleves are just average students and they also previously did not anticipate scoring so high)...and then, let's assume these 10 students post on the facebook, telling their friends that this is the most amazing thing ever and that they recommend it highly, do you think this would then potentially take off?

Mindblowingly,
Charles
LobowolfXXX
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I'm only familiar with LSAT licensing fees. It's somewhere around 3-9 cents per question per person, depending on how recent the question is. LSAT exams are 100 or 101 questions each. If you use older questions in your instructional materials, you'll save money on licensing, but you still need to use a lot of questions if you're going to thoroughly cover the various question types. I brought in a 160-page study guide for under $3 per copy, but it was a challenge.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
HudsonView
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".and then, let's assume these 10 students post on the facebook, telling their friends that this is the most amazing thing ever and that they recommend it highly, do you think this would then potentially take off? "

No. Very unlikely. People have to be able to see the testimonials and see your offer AT THE MOMENT they are thinking of test prepartion needs. When people are interested in test preparation products, they do what everyone else does: they go search for it on Google. Unless you are showing up in the first 2 or 3 results, no one is going to see the testimonials.

What sort of research have you done in this market? I'm assuming, not much, based on the questions you have asked.

I just did a search. There are hundreds of companies providing this service. How do you differentiate yourself? What are you providing that Kaplan, Collegebard.org, testpreview.com, testtakingtips.com, don't have (these are just some of the results that came up when I did a search)

There is no short cut to marketing. It IS a full time job, and if 1,000 hours scares you, entrepreneurship maybe just isn't in the cards for you.

Here is a random test prep page I found on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TestPrepReview . Start looking at all the facebook pages and websites already devoted to this subject by people who do this full time. This is a highly competitive field.
HudsonView
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Just because I love this kind of stuff (and it is what I've done for a living for the last 20 years), let me give you a quick guide to bringing products to market:

1. First stage of developing and bringing a product market is to ask yourself the following question: Do I possess the skills neccesary to achieve this goal? I've spent a lot of time on reddit helping people with this very question and it is amazing how many people start spending money developing products where they lack a basic necessary skill (my favorite, the guy who wants to develop a cool app, but has absolutely no programming or development skills).

2. Market research: who are your competitors? Just to give you a hint how crowded the test prep market is, you aren't even the only one doing it on this board, as Lobo has mentioned. He has a book doing this very thing. Research all the websites, facebook pages etc you can and start a spreadsheet on each competitor. What is their price point? where do they advertise? What do their testimonials look like. You can see here on Kaplan's site, they have an impressive list of testimonials already: http://www.kaptest.com/

3. Take a look at your market and determine if it has legs: is your product a recurring income product? (no). The problem with test prep is that you cannot upsell or sell multiple times to the same client. People are only interested in test prep products maybe once or twice in their lives. That means your marketing needs to be focused on Lead Generation. How much are you willing to pay for a lead? Much of this industry is driven by the affiliate marketplacde. You need to provide an incentive for top affiliates to take up your offer.

4. Marketing is a stats business: everything you do has a percentage behind it. Look at your sales funnel: it starts by generating awareness: how many people need to see your product before they take action? That is your first conversion stat. Of the people who take action, how many convert to customers? Typically, products like this have less than a half a percentage point in conversion rates. That means you need to expose your offer to over 200 people to make one sale. (you'll need to generate your own stats based on your experience. Don't be surprised if you find your conversion rate is way under half a percent.

5. You gain awareness through some of the techniques I listed above: advertising, word of mouth, content marketing, etc.

But the main thing you need to be aware of is that, for test prep products, 99% of your time will be spent generating leads.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On Nov 10, 2014, HudsonView wrote:
Just because I love this kind of stuff (and it is what I've done for a living for the last 20 years), let me give you a quick guide to bringing products to market:

1. First stage of developing and bringing a product market is to ask yourself the following question: Do I possess the skills neccesary to achieve this goal? I've spent a lot of time on reddit helping people with this very question and it is amazing how many people start spending money developing products where they lack a basic necessary skill (my favorite, the guy who wants to develop a cool app, but has absolutely no programming or development skills).

2. Market research: who are your competitors? Just to give you a hint how crowded the test prep market is, you aren't even the only one doing it on this board, as Lobo has mentioned. He has a book doing this very thing. Research all the websites, facebook pages etc you can and start a spreadsheet on each competitor. What is their price point? where do they advertise? What do their testimonials look like. You can see here on Kaplan's site, they have an impressive list of testimonials already: http://www.kaptest.com/

3. Take a look at your market and determine if it has legs: is your product a recurring income product? (no). The problem with test prep is that you cannot upsell or sell multiple times to the same client. People are only interested in test prep products maybe once or twice in their lives. That means your marketing needs to be focused on Lead Generation. How much are you willing to pay for a lead? Much of this industry is driven by the affiliate marketplacde. You need to provide an incentive for top affiliates to take up your offer.

4. Marketing is a stats business: everything you do has a percentage behind it. Look at your sales funnel: it starts by generating awareness: how many people need to see your product before they take action? That is your first conversion stat. Of the people who take action, how many convert to customers? Typically, products like this have less than a half a percentage point in conversion rates. That means you need to expose your offer to over 200 people to make one sale. (you'll need to generate your own stats based on your experience. Don't be surprised if you find your conversion rate is way under half a percent.

5. You gain awareness through some of the techniques I listed above: advertising, word of mouth, content marketing, etc.

But the main thing you need to be aware of is that, for test prep products, 99% of your time will be spent generating leads.


#3, above, is particularly important, if you haven't considered it yet. They're all important from a marketing perspective, but #3 is particularly important from a content perspective. This industry is the inverse of the vast majority of industries. Here, the better your product is, the less likely it is that any of your customers will want to use it again.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
genius
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Thanks so much for the feedback, guys!

Mindblowingly,
Charles
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