Creating and selling information products online is an easy, lucrative way to make money quickly. Success involves understanding what your customers want and creating products around those wants. Focus your products around your prospects’ biggest frustrations, problems and challenges. Here are eight tips to succeed.
- Research your market – The biggest mistake people make with information products is creating a product no one wants. New content authors tend to try to teach people what they “should” know rather than what they “want” to know. Before you create your product, research what prospects want. Ask them directly. Go to forums and read what questions they ask. Then, create your product around those problems, issues and concerns.
- Start small - If you are new to information product creation, start with a small project like writing a short guide and focus on providing practical, action-oriented tips your readers or listeners can use right now. Your information product shouldn’t be a brain dump of all your expertise. It should have a defined scope with specific topics you will and won’t cover.
- Focus on quality – Quality content is useful and timely. With so much information available, your prospects feel confused and overwhelmed. They don’t know who to trust or what to believe. What they want most is a quick fix or magic bullet to their problem. If you can provide just one tip or trick that they can put into practice immediately to see results – one that doesn’t require too much effort – you will stand out from all the other “useless” sources of information out there.
- Commit to action – It’s better to launch something than nothing at all. Don’t get caught up in being perfect or providing the “end-all-be-all” guide to your subject. Rather, stay focused, get it done, and start selling it. If, after you have published the content, readers ask specific questions about topics you didn’t cover clearly or haven’t covered, you can either revise the contents or create a supplemental guide to address those specific questions.
- Perception is everything – Information products are difficult to value. When your prospects purchase any physical book or audio CD, they expect to pay around $10-20. When they see your course or membership site or even an ebook, they don’t know how to value it. They have no idea what a fair price might be because they can’t go to Google Product Search, find several stores carrying your item, and shop around on price. Help your prospects understand the value by including benefits in your product description, creating an attractive cover, and present your content in an easy-to-read format.
- Build social proof and preeminence – Information products are much easier to sell if your prospects already know, like and trust you. Preeminence is the perception that you are a top authority on your subject matter. Building preeminence involves demonstrating social proof – proof that other people within your industry see you as an authority and recommend your products and services. That can be done by associating with other top figures in your market, seeking testimonials from happy clients, speaking at an event, getting media coverage, or building up a loyal readership through blogging and social media.
- Don’t get bogged down with technical details – You can spend weeks analyzing the right shopping cart or membership software to deliver your products – the number of choices for each is staggering! Speed of implementation is crucial here. Pick one, set it up (or have someone set it up for you), and get your product out there.
- Think beyond one product – You won’t get rich selling one information product, so start brainstorming other products you could create. Package your content in different formats. For instance, if you write an ebook, turn the contents into an audio or video program. Expand out chapters to create entirely new products. Think in terms of creating a free report that encourages people to buy your low-end, mid-tier, and high-end products.
While information products take time to create, once they are finished, you can generate income from them indefinitely. Even if selling information products is not your primary income generating strategy, it can create an alternative stream of income to selling your services.