Helping Christian online business owners create success, a positive mindset & lifestyle
How to Create & Prepare Your First Info Publishing Product
Hang around with Internet marketers long enough and you’ll start hearing that if you really want to make it in this business, you simply must have your own product. And judging by the number of information products out there, it certainly seems to be true. After all,
ClickBank alone hosts more than 15,000 eBooks, software, and membership programs – and they’re just one provider. Combine that number with those who sell in another venue like E-Junkie or
JVzoo, and those who sell independently, and you can see that information products are a hot commodity.
Of course, everyone is quick to toss around the advice about producing your own product, but if it were as easy as all that, you’d already have it done, right?
The fact is, putting together a valuable information product takes planning, preparation, and work, and many marketers simply don’t know where to start.
In this post, I’m going to lay out for you the exact steps I take when planning and producing an information product.
We’ll talk about how to plan, how to produce, and where to find people who are ready and willing to help you out – often for the price of an affiliate commission.
So if you’ve ever considered selling your own information products but thought you didn’t have what it takes to pull a complicated project together, this report will be your guide.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Part One: Discover Your Perfect Product
Just knowing that an information product is the next logical step in growing your online business is not enough. It’s easy to say “Write an eBook” but if you hate to write, you’ll never accomplish your goal. A better way to go about it is to discover what you truly love to do, what your market is desperately searching for, and where those two intersect is where you will find your perfect information product.
Instead of coming up with your product’s topic solely based on what you’re interested in, it’s best to choose a topic that couples your skills with what your audience needs most. There are several ideas in this blog post, which will help you gain feedback about the type of product you should create. Below, you can also get your brainstorm on and plan it out even more!
What will the topic of your product be?
You’ve probably done some brainstorming in the past. It’s a popular tool in schools and corporations to generate a lot of ideas quickly, and is especially good for coming up with new ideas that might otherwise be overlooked as being too “off the wall.”
The idea behind brainstorming is that no idea is dismissed out of hand. Everything is recorded – usually on a whiteboard or easel – and saved for processing later. You’re never allowed to say “That will never work” when you’re brainstorming.
Just write it down and move on to the next thing.
Another trick to brainstorming is to write quickly. Set a timer for five or 7 minutes and write every idea that comes to mind. Your brainstorming session doesn’t have to be limited to product ideas.
Parts of your list might end up as chapters in an eBook, a free report to offer as a listbuilding incentive, or possibly something related, but which would be better off as its own product.
Another few things you can do.
1. Create a survey to send to your audience. Your survey only needs one question: “What is the #1 challenge you’re facing in regards to _______?” or “What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in regards to healthy eating?” if you’re doing a diet or health niche. You could niche it down even further and target certain demographics such as males in their 50’s who are diabetic.
Write out your survey question with your own niche (and your personality!) included.
2. How will you send this survey to your audience?
Some recommended survey providers: TypeForm, Survey Monkey, Wufoo
3. Make a list of 5 Facebook groups where your ideal audience most likely hangs out.
4. Observe these groups for several days in order to read as many questions as possible. Make a list below of every relevant question or topic that
someone inquires about. If a certain topic is asked about more than once,
Keep a tally next to it for reference.
5. Bonus: If your email list is small and you’re not receiving many responses to your survey, then ask your survey question in a Facebook group. (Make sure that you’re still respecting the rules of the group before posting). Write out the responses you receive.
6. Now that you’ve received some answers to your survey, it’s time to analyze! Were there any topics that people repeatedly mentioned? If so,
7. Which topics mentioned do you have the most knowledge about and passion for?
8. Which one topic seems like the best fit for both what people need and how you can help them?
9. How will this product topic help your audience?
Now, of course, it’s up to you to pull an idea from these survey responses that you’re actually able to teach. Don’t just choose something that is a popular answer if you’re still a newbie yourself. The best info products combine your skills and passion with what your audience needs most.
Finding out What Your Market Wants “Make something people want.” -Paul Graham
It’s simple high-school economics, really. The law of supply and demand. Find where the demand is, then supply the solution, and you’ll succeed.
Unfortunately, too many marketers skip this critical step, and instead assume they know what the market wants, what their readers need, and what potential customers are willing to pay for. They rush headlong into product creation, spend weeks or months planning and producing a beautiful information product that answers all the questions…that no one is asking.
I did this myself when I first started when I created and tried to sell a set of reports and CD’s on “How to Make Money Online”
At the time this was a new concept that people didn’t understand so consequently they though it was a scam or too complicated and so I didn’t sell as many as I had hoped.
If I had taken the time to visit forums and ask questions, then I would have seen what it was people really wanted to know about.
A much more efficient method is to find out what your market wants and needs, and then plan your product around that. Instead of wasting time promoting a product that at best will sell a handful of copies, you’ll be able to produce exactly what your target audience is looking for. Of course, the first step is knowing who that audience is.
Define Your Market
Too many marketers make the mistake of thinking they are trying to sell to everyone. To a new business owner, this seems to make sense.
By broadening their list of potential customers, they feel they are also increasing their potential profits. In fact, the opposite is true. Only by narrowing your target market – and your focus – will you be able to find out exactly what the needs and wants of that community are, and to satisfy those needs with your expertise.
Let’s think about a real-world example – restaurants.
Most restaurants specialize in a particular cuisine. They might be a steak house, or a seafood place, or – one of my favorites – they might only serve breakfast. “But wait,” you’re saying. “There’s this little place right down the road from me where you can get anything!”
Of course there is.
There are a lot of those little places, and they all have one thing in common. They don’t serve very good food. They can’t. They’re too busy trying to be everything to everyone to be a specialist in anything.
Don’t do that with your business. Narrow your market and become the go-to person.
Remember, specialists make more than generalists in every field.
So, how do you define your market? You start by identifying your perfect customer. Think about her as only one person, and try to envision as much about her as possible.
Ask yourself things like • What is his economic status? • Does he work? If so, what is his job? • Does he have children? • Is he married? Divorced? On a second marriage? • What are his hobbies? • How old is he? • Does he live in a city or in a rural area? • Big rambling house or tiny apartment?
One of the most popular brainstorming tools is a mind map. A mind map begins with a central idea, and as a topic or subsection occurs to you, it becomes a branch of the main node. Each branch can also spawn its own sub-branches as well, until you have an entire tree-like structure bristling with ideas.
You can draw your mind map by hand, or using one of the many programs available online. Freemind is a popular choice, and is easy to use. The advantage of drawing your mind map on your computer is that it’s easy to move branches around, rearrange the order of your thoughts, or connect seemingly unrelated ideas. And of course you can easily share the resulting mind map with your JV partner, your ghostwriter, your VA, or your mastermind group.
Even though we love working at home, many of us miss the interaction with coworkers, and the ability to “bounce things off” others. That’s where a mastermind group can help. By sharing your ideas and asking for honest feedback, you’ll be better able to plan and produce an information product that will enhance your business, rather than simply waste your time and energy for little to no benefit.
Mastermind groups are best when they’re formed of like-minded people in similar – though not competing – businesses. Ideally, you want your group to understand what you do and have the experience and expertise to give you sound advice.
Know Your Strengths – And Your Weaknesses
Do you love to write? Hate the sound of your own voice on a recording? Are you uncomfortable on camera? These are all things to keep in mind when brainstorming your information product idea. But being aware of your strengths and weaknesses isn’t the same as ruling something out just because it’s not your favorite thing to do.
If you absolutely love to write and are happy to talk for hours about your subject, then an eBook might seem to be the logical choice. If you discover your market prefers video, you may be discouraged, and think information marketing just isn’t for you. That’s not necessarily the case, though.
Consider writing your eBook and reformatting it into a PowerPoint or Camtasia video – or even a series of videos. Not skilled at video editing? You could hire a video marketing agency to put your words in video format.
If you absolutely hate to write – and you’re certainly not alone there – then you can hire a ghostwriter, find some PLR products to give you a kick-start, or even purchase voice recognition software to “transcribe” your words for you. You might just find you like writing this way.
Take a few minutes to really think about what you love to do and what you hate. Make a list of all the formats and topics your new information product might entail, and put them in order from most- liked to least-favorite.
Keep this list handy, because later we’re going to decide on a production method, and knowing what you’re willing to do (and what you’re not excited about) will be a big determining factor.
Just as it’s important to select your audience and product topic, it’s also necessary to choose which format you’ll share your product in. Keep in mind which format would help your audience learn the material most easily
HERE ARE SOME INFO PRODUCT EXAMPLES:
- Physical Books
- Video Series
- Audio Series
- Email Courses
- Webinar Recordings
- Membership Sites
Four things to ask yourself
1. Which type of info product do you intend to create? Write them down and circle one.
2. Which format(s) will you deliver this product in? For example, text, video, audio, workbook, etc.
3. Why does this format work best with your product’s topic or your audience?
4. What are the drawbacks (if any) of sharing your info product in this format? How can you compensate for these drawbacks?
For example, a drawback of only offering video content is that it will be hard for people to consume it on the go. For that reason, you could offer written versions of your videos or put an emphasis on creating a mobile-friendly website.
Hopefully this has given you ideas and something to chew over. Don’t rush into anything else apart from narrowing down your ideal market audience and the writing down the questions for your survey. Once that is done you can then get into the chat rooms and forums of your audience and start building relationships as these will be who who will be selling to later on.