The online space is saturated with content, especially content showing you how to make money and conduct business online. Some of the content is awful, but a lot of the content available for free is excellent.
How can you up your game to provide better content?
Reverse Engineering is a method often overlooked.
The best and the brightest in business do this all the time. Gary Vaynerchuck often discusses it, but the most extreme example I have heard is from Elon Musk.
The legendary entrepreneur when designing his initial electric cars went to Mercedes and took their latest model for a test drive. He was studying every element of the car. He then purchased the car and brought it straight back to his factory and placed it into the hands of his engineering team.
The engineering team dismantled the car piece by piece, making notes on how Mercedes had crafted this spectacular car. They took their learnings and applied them to their electric car production and the stunning Tesla was produced a little faster. This was critically important as the business was losing a lot of money trying to perfect its product for the market.
This sounds extreme, can you imagine seeing a brand new Mercedes being systematically broken apart?
Elon Musk identified a competitor who was producing a product at a higher level than his business. To systematically pick it apart makes total sense. If you have a solid reverse engineering process you will learn a lot and improve your product or service.
For this to be successful you need a real eye for detail. Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the most successful football managers in history who won 49 major trophies for Manchester United has started sharing a lot of tips since finishing his management career within his books and lectures at Harvard.
One lesson which resonates is to “Open Your Eyes”. When managing the team he is constantly challenged with having to spot when certain players performance levels are dipping and he must forecast when they will no longer be top standard and replace them. It is for the better of the team, as to keep players that underperform sees reults slide and success wayne.
He must also spot the talent that is availible to replace existing players and get it first.
Without getting into too much detail about the greatness of Sir Alex, “Open Your Eyes”. All the information you need to make decisions and improvements is generally right in front of you. You need to have the right mind-set to capture it and make decisions based on what you see.
Pay attention to the small details, this is very important to successfully reverse engineer a product or a service.
Let’s look at the topic of lead magnets, something I have been spending time working on at the moment.
When I arrive on a website, I look to see where the opt-in is on the site. Is it above the fold? Is it a pop up box? What value is offered to me to sign up to the email list?
Then I go through the sign up process and note how long and how many confirmation emails are sent. How many clicks are needed to get access to the content?
When the lead magnet content is sent to me I then analyse it in detail. What software was used to create it? What colors/fonts are used?
How much time does it take to consume the lead magnet?
What was the actionable information that I took away?
Did I like the lead magnet? What would I have done better?
What is needed for me to replicate the lead magnet?
How much time and what are the costs asspciated with creating a similar lead magent?
Do I think my audience would like a similar lead magnet? Why?
As I am not on the email list, what is this experience like?
How many emails do I receive week 1? And Onwards?
Does their email marketing get me to take action?
Are there any tips with this that I could use to improve?
Well you get the picture, reverse engineering is a thorough process.
The real trick is how you present and take action with this information.
It is strongly recommended to produce a 1-2 page report that provides the recommended action steps taken away from the reverse engineering project.
This is very valuable, when you reverse engineer a few related products/services you can very quickly have an industry leading standard.
Especially if they are producing these services at a higher standard than you.