[PODCAST] EP031 – Shelley Rostlund, Brand Strategist

Smart Profit Comes from Strategic Product Ecosystems

Oct 27, 2023 | Customers, Products

Are you competing with yourself?

I know your time is valuable. These show notes give you the gist of the episode, what is covered, any links or resources talked about in the show, and also gives you a few ways to listen, watch or digest this episode.


This episode’s topic, in a nutshell…

I thought it was time we had a little more of an educational or practical episode. While I enjoy sharing insights and strategic questioning type episodes, I also like getting into the nitty gritty of what’s happening right now in your business, and even perhaps in your day today.

In this episode I dig into product ecosystems. It’s a longer, WORKSHOP-type episode and a bit longer than usual for a solo episode.

Be sure to download and print the handout I have created for you to work with, while you listen.

Remember I have recorded a video too – so if it’s easier to get me up on your desktop or laptop while you listen and work on this – then do that. (Video below or on YouTube here).



As service providers, there are three inalienable truths we all come up against:

  1. It is easy to over think and over complicate our offers
  2. Sometimes we are really just competing with ourselves
  3. Our growth can (annoyingly) be stumped purely by ambiguity

In the full episode I flesh what that actually looks and feels like (in case you are thinking – ‘that’s not me’.) Make sure you listen in full.

In this workshop episode I unpack:

  • The big idea for having a product ecosystem
  • The five product categories I teach inside my group programme
  • The importance of each category inside your Brand Machine (see note below on what a Brand Machine is)
  • A full exercise to teach you about the five categories and get you to think about your current products/services in the context of these categories. The outcome will show you what’s working and not working.

I also give you a BONUS task to actually go and speak to two trusted friends and test out what you have right now and whether its as clear cut as you think it is.


The Five Product Categories

Here’s a quick reference for you. Remember they are also included in my download for you so you can save that somewhere useful. (No email needed – just to make it easier to do this exercise).

I also have another article I have written on this – which you can find here: Value Ladder – Map your Products



What: These are products you create to share your knowledge and expertise without expecting anything in return.

Purpose: Used to attract new people to you, create awareness and educate prospects.

Price: These are truly FREE. People do not even have to give you their email address.

Examples: Podcast, Blog, YouTube videos, Live Show, PDFs / downloads with no email needed.



What: These are the valuable products or tools you create as lead magnets for specific campaigns.

Purpose: They are designed to drive qualified traffic, and gain a data connection with interested prospects.

Price: These are FREE, in that there is no price for them, however, you do ask for an email address and you’ll send the recipient a sequence of warming emails.

Examples: A video mini-series, an online masterclass (Live or recorded), a quiz, test, or profiling tool.



What: These are low cost, valuable products or tools you create that your ideal client buys.

Purpose: They are a low buy-in way for someone to gain a closer understanding of your approach and a really low risk way of experiencing or getting to know you and your approach. (You would be smart about what this P4P looks like – as it warms them up to your bigger offer in your Core Product).

Price:  Typically we are talking about something that doesn’t total anything more that £100 / $100. (This needs to be proportionate to your value ladder or product ecosystem – that’s a general guide.)

Examples: A book, a webinar, a masterclass, a mini-learning series, or even a virtual version of something you’ve done live before.



What: This, in general is the main service you are driving people towards.

Purpose: It is a transformative product/service, which takes the client from A to Z on their journey. A complete solution with as much input from you as possible. It’s potentially your main high value  proposition.

Price: This would be priced somewhere around £3000 to £5000. (Again, this is proportionate to the rest of your product ecosystem.)

Examples:  Intensive consultancy package, a mentoring programme, a coaching programme, an in -person workshop, live event, or a group programme.



What: These are smaller investments than the Core Product, but are sold to existing clients. May be less profit margin, but can be sold in higher volumes (one-to-many solutions).

These can be one-off and would then be around £100 to £450 proportionate to your value ladder. So these could be little bolt on services to what you have already delivered

Or they could be retained services and then be around the £50 to £800 pm figures. These could then be a paid community or membership, retainer services, software licences, subscription support, etc


Quick ref to resources or links I mention

Brand Machine -> my definition of this concept

I refer to this term which I use to explain the larger machine within which you are operating your business. There is a specific podcast episode on this – so head over to ‘EP009 Brand Machine – The Mechanism of Freedom’ to hear more on that.

Daniel Priestley -> his four product categories

In this episode I have referred to Daniel Priestley and how I was inspired by his 4 product categories and his ethos that you make money from a well-planned ecosystem, as opposed throwing all your eggs into making money out of ONE product or service.

You can read more about his thoughts in his book – ‘Oversubscribed’. You can find that on Amazon here.


Ways to watch, listen or digest this episode:

Full transcription: Click here for the audio with follow-along transcription.


Listen on the go, on your mobile phone: Click here to find the show on your favourite podcast app.

You can watch the episode in full colour here:

All full episodes are recorded in video as well, and are uploaded to the show’s playlist on my YouTube channel. (Click here to quickly subscribe to my channel to see future episodes).

If you want to watch with auto-generated captions – click the captions icon on the YouTube play bar menu at the bottom of the video.



Ask a question

Click the button below for a chance to have your question answered on my podcast.

Episode Themes

Recent Episodes