How to Make Your Intangible Products Easier to Sell

Michael Hyatt
September 10, 2012

Michael Hyatt

One of Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencers

Blog Post taken from MichaelHyatt.com

When you are in the business of selling intellectual property—books, courses, speeches—you have to work hard to make the product tangible to your prospect. You have to help them see what they are buying.hen you are in the business of selling intellectual property—books, courses, speeches—you have to work hard to make the product tangible to your prospect. You have to help them see what they are buying.

This is why, for example, publishers produce the book jacket or cover months before the book is manufactured and oftentimes before it is even written. Increasingly, publishers render these in 3-D images to make them look even more real.

Recently, I was thinking about this in regard to speeches. As a professional speaker, that is essentially what I am selling—a public presentation on a specific topic. Historically, booking agents and speakers bureaus have sold speakers on the basis of the speaker’s reputation and perhaps a demo video.

That got me to thinking. What if I packaged my speeches, just like I would package a book, a course, or any other intangible product? My goal was to help event planners envision exactlywhat they are buying.

To do this, I took seven steps:

1. Identify my products. In my case, I have six basic speeches that I give. (I learned how to identify my products at the Launch conference. A speech is only one kind of product, but this is where it starts.) I do custom speeches, but these are the presentations that are requested over and over.


2. Fine-tune the titles. Just like a book title, I needed a strong, catchy title and a subtitle. I came up with the following:

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
  • Life Plan: Designing the Life You’ve Always Wanted
  • Shift: Leading in Turbulent Times
  • More Margin: How to Shave 10 Hours Off Your Work Week
  • Authentic Leadership: The 5 Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  • The Leader’s Heart: Unleashing the Most Important Leadership Tool You Have

3. Create packaging for each product. How do you package something as intangible as a speech? I decided that the “cover” was essentially the first slide in deck for each speech. (Professional speakers often refer to a collection of slides as a deck, as in “deck of cards.”) Here’s the cover for my “Platform” presentation:

You can view all six here.
4. Create a summary of each speech. I basically took what I teach in my book Platform about creating an elevator pitch (Chapter 11) and applied it here. For example, here’s the summary for my “Platform” speech:

  • In today’s hyper-noisy world, it is hard to get anyone’s attention. You need a platform to be seen and heard. Thankfully, it’s never been easier. In this presentation, I share how to use social media to build your brand, decrease your marketing costs, and increase your impact.
  • You can view all six here.

5. Depict the product in its environment. If you are selling a car, you show people driving it. If you are selling an Amazon Kindle, you show people reading it at the beach.In my case, I had a designer build a “frame” of an audience viewing my title slide, as though I were about to walk onto the stage and make the presentation. Here’s what the “Platform” speech looks like in its frame:

The purpose here is to help the event planner envision the product he is buying.


6. Write copy describing the product. In the publishing world, this is one of the first things that must happen before the marketing process begins. Why should it be any different in the speaking world?I decided to write sales copy for each speech, consisting of six sections:

  • Quick Summary: This is the exact same copy I provided in the summary above.
  • Presentation Outline: Like a table of contents, I want to explain exactly what I cover in the speech. This gives a sense of the flow and how I develop each talk.
  • Target Audience: I want to make it clear who this presentation is for. I also provide a list of the types of audiences I have made this presentation to in the past.
  • Possible Formats: I explain how I can deliver this presentation—keynote, workshop, or seminar. I also talk about the ideal length.
  • Intended Outcomes: This is really what the event planner is buying. He or she is not buying the content per se, but the impact the content will have on the audience. I explain exactly what audience members will get as a result of my presentation.
  • Topic Authority: This section is intended to answer the question, “Why are you qualified to speak on this topic?” I list the relevant points from my resume that apply to this topic.

7. Create a sales page for each product. I always create a landing page for each product. (Here’s one for my Platform book and another one for my e-books.) Why should a speech be any different?A landing page is something that my booking agents at Premiere Speakers Bureau can use when talking with event planners. It is also something I can use when people ask for the details related to a specific speech. I often refer to it in my pre-event phone call with the sponsor.

I didn’t include some elements like the offer, because these are typically handled by my booking agents over the phone.

If you are a public speaker—or want to become one—this might provide some ideas for you to make your “product” more tangible. If you are not a public speaker but are in the business of selling intangible property, perhaps this will provide an example that will inspire you in your particular field.

For information on how to book Michael Hyatt for your next event, visit PremiereSpeakers.com/Michael_Hyatt.

Michael Hyatt

Want Michael Hyatt for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
How to Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work For You
Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt
October 25, 2016
Do you ever get uneasy-or even afraid-when you're close to achieving something big in ...
Best Year Ever
Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt
January 08, 2015
Premiere Speaker and New York Times best selling authorMichael Hyatt wants to help you accomplish your biggest goals this ...
How to Live a Life That Matters: 5 Lessons from Maya Angelou
Michael Hyatt
Michael Hyatt
June 03, 2014
The desire to create lasting transformation in the world is what really drives ...
How to Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work For You
Do you ever get uneasy-or even afraid-when you're close to achieving something big in your life? I do. In our recent relaunch ofPlatform University, for instance, we started with fewer responses than I anticipated. I began estimating the results for the entire campaign based on those early results and didn't like where things were going. I ...
Read More
Best Year Ever
Premiere Speaker and New York Times best selling authorMichael Hyatt wants to help you accomplish your biggest goals this year and for years to come. Recognized by Forbes Magazine as the #1 pick from their "Top 10 Online Marketing Experts to Follow in 2014", Hyatt deconstructs and simplifies the often grueling task of life goal setting with his ...
Read More
How to Live a Life That Matters: 5 Lessons from Maya Angelou
The desire to create lasting transformation in the world is what really drives us as leaders, right? Since the news of her death, I've been thinking a lot about Maya Angelou. Her legacy offers several valuable insights for living a life of true significance. The odds were against Angelou in her early years. Her parents divorced when she was thr...
Read More
Make Your Book A Bestseller: Platform Building Tips From Michael Hyatt
Written by Dorie Clark How can you make your book a bestseller? A good person to ask would be Michael Hyatt, whose 2012 book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World became an instant New York Times bestseller. He's seen book marketing from both sides - as an author, and as the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Here's the advice he shared w...
Read More
Two Reasons Why Copying Successful People Won't Make You Successful
Written by Tim Maurer Before you read another article on how you can be more successful, please consider that doing so may actually be unproductive without a proper frame of reference: We wake each day on a quest for personal validation that we apparently believe is found in someone's definition of success. We then presume that rote replicatio...
Read More
5 Characteristics of Weak Leaders (and How Not to Be One)
Article and Image from MichaelHyatt.com Sometimes you learn from positive role models. Often you learn from negative ones. This is one of the reasons I love to read history-you inevitably get both. After watching Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln, I decided to review Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I had read this book a few years a...
Read More
10 Types of Social Media Updates--How Many Are You Using?
Photo courtesy of ŠiStockphoto.com/pressureUA Afew days ago,I spoketo a group of a thousand plus real estate professionals onthe topic of Platform. I walked them through my five-part framework. As usual, I ended with fifteen minutes of questions and answers. I got my usual top three questions: Where do you find the time to build a platfor...
Read More
The Importance of the Leader's Heart [Podcast]
Article from MichaelHyatt.com We live in a very externally-focused culture. However, there is an internal issue which is largely ignored:the condition of your heart. Photo courtesy of ŠiStockphoto.com/Johan63 The corporate world is increasingly aware of the fact that you can't improve productivity without increasing engagement. In other words...
Read More
How to Make Your Intangible Products Easier to Sell
Blog Post taken from MichaelHyatt.com When you are in the business of selling intellectual property-books, courses, speeches-you have to work hard to make the product tangible to your prospect. You have to help them see what they are buying.hen you are in the business of selling intellectual property-books, courses, speeches-you have to work ha...
Read More
New Exclusive Speaker: Social Media Leader and Innovator, Michael Hyatt
Premiere Speakers is excited to introduce you to our newest exclusive speaker: Michael Hyatt Speaker Michael Hyatt pictured with, Premiere Vice President, Brian Lord at the Premiere office. Michael Hyatt has been speaking publicly for more than 25 years and has keynoted more than 100 events. He has also appeared on more than 100 television sh...
Read More