A few days ago I was in Baltimore speaking at an epically useful conference called Blogalicious. So many amazing people were there, it’s almost unfair. And I promise, this post will be about how to create info products, but please just let me share what got me here.
Two of my favorite people (okay, that’s cheating, they’re my sisters) also spoke at Blogalicious. We all attended each other’s seminars and had an amazing time. Check out Mattie of Mattieologie.com in the middle picture below on the left, and Maya of MayaElious.com on the right.
At the end of one of my sessions, Mattie posed a great question to get us all thinking.
Can anyone with information they’re passionate about (and truly knowledgeable on) create an info product?
And my answer was “YES.”
Why? Because I have an IRL friend who runs a chess website that makes a few thousand per month. He teaches people the basics of chess as well as complex moves (or whatever they’re called–I’m not epic at chess) in a membership site. I also have a friend who teaches people how to downsize to a camper and make a true home out of it. She too makes thousands per month from this one course.
In my personal experience, I happen to like talking about freelancing, coaching, and infopreneurship, because other than two briefly successful cleaning and t-shirt businesses back in the day, these three areas are the ones I’ve been able to build profitable businesses from. Whereas I rarely freelance or coach anymore, I still love teaching on how to get started and grow in those areas as well as how to get into creating info products and establishing your empire. I’m deeply in love with creating eProducts and teaching others how to monetize their information.
Today I want to share the three keys to creating a successful info product, my list of both common and uncommon info products, as well as an invitation to join a free 8-day email course on infopreneurship.
Step 1: Pick a Clear + Helpful Teaching Topic
It’s important to pick something clear. What do I mean by this? Your topic needs to be:
- One that you can explain.
- One that you can describe the benefits of.
- One that you know you can be helpful with.
- One that you feel confident hopping into a Q+A session on.
- One that you know you can present in a way that helps others really grasp it.
The key is that you will have to position your product. Positioning is about giving your product a distinct place in the market. If your info product doesn’t stand out from the countless other options, you’re making your job as the primary marketer and instructor/creator much harder.
You can position your product as:
- the ultimate guide to ______
- an authoritative niche guide to ______
- the low-cost resource for ______
- the luxury experience in learning ______
- the most interactive and community-centered guide to ______
It just has to have a recognizable position. When trying to figure out what position your eProduct will have, consider:
- what your audience doesn’t need any more of
- what your audience is not used to seeing
- how your audience processes new information in your industry (skeptically, excitedly, etc.)
- the information your audience is currently lacking on your topic
- the other resources and guides your audience has likely purchased
Think about it right now. Does the product you’re considering creating have a unique position or advantage in your market? What additional features or reconfiguring might help it get there?
The simplest and most noticeable ways to position a product away from its competition are (1) playing with how much it costs, (2) changing how comprehensive or niche it is, and (3) being purposeful about the experience it creates for your customers.
What are the brands with the most distinct positions in your mind?
- Apple? They position themselves as higher-priced (which is meant to communicate higher value) with a luxury experience (everything from the packaging to the stores in which they’re products are sold is all “ooh” and “aww” worthy).
- Wal-Mart? They position themselves as the low-cost leader in home and grocery needs with an extensive inventory. They don’t advertise the durability and quality of their items as much as a more luxury or higher-priced brand like Nordstrom would do.
You get the point!
Step 2: Pick the Type of Info Product (That Best Fits Your Audience and Your Information)
When you’re deciding what type of info product or eProduct to create, I have a few questions you can ask yourself:
- What types of media make the most sense for the information I’m sharing?
- How does my audience like to consume information?
- Which formats am I the most comfortable developing?
- Which formats will be quick and simple to create with the tools I have on hand now or ones I can easily access/borrow? P.S. You can always create the content in one format now and expand to another later.
- Which info product am I most likely to not overthink and just do?
That last question is in bold because for some of us, it’s the most important one. Even if you end up creating an info product in a non-ideal format, you’ll have a product that you can build on and repurpose. If you stay in your head with the idea, you might not get it done . . . which usually means someone else will . . . which then means that someone else is making your money.
Don’t let someone else make your money. Get out of your head and into creating.
P.S. For actual lessons on how to create some of the info products in the list above, stay tuned until the bottom of this post for information on the FREE 8-day email course on creating and selling information products.
Step 3: Build Value in Five Ways (But Choose at Least Two to Stand Out and Slay Your Market)
As you create your info product, ask yourself (and a trusted mentor or audience member) how your creation is doing in the five levels of value presented above. I feel that voice and organization are two of the items that are most overlooked when it comes to adding value for your audience. These are important areas that add greatly to a customer’s experience with your information.
Think about some of your best information product experiences. Classes you’ve taken, workshops you’ve attended, or books you’ve read . . . how did they measure up in terms of:
Now think of some of your worst information product experiences. What disappointed you about them? I met a woman at Blogalicious who said she’d spent over $600 on a course with content that wasn’t even as good as the free stuff the instructor made available. I’ve also met people who were so underwhlemed by the lack of organization of a course that they gave up and never finished the course. Other people in a recent scope I did told me that they’ve taken a class where the worksheet and video designs were the best things about the course, and that the content and everything else fell wayyyy short of the hefty price tag.
Your audience notices these things . . . and you have to have enough awesomeness built into enough of the five categories/levels of quality that people become delighted with your materials and happy to share great feedback about you.