On several occasions I have written about information products. Any writer can produce information products and create multiple streams of income–or even just one stream of income. Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? No worries. Today, Stephanie Chandler, author of from Entrepreneur to Infopreneur, is here to tell you not only what information products are but how to make money selling them.
It’s all well and good to focus on writing and selling books, which are, by the way, a form of information products, but not every writer wants to author a book. I like to be sure all nonfiction writers know their options, and producing information products represents a viable option, especially if you’d like to make money writing and selling products on the Internet.
So read on. Stephanie has lots of great information on this topic.
From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money Selling Info Products
By Stephanie Chandler
The term infopreneur is a relatively new industry buzz word that is making waves because it opens doors for entrepreneurs to generate new streams of income. Simply put, an infopreneur sells information.
Information products are offered in a variety of formats including books, e-books, special reports, audio formats, videos, workbooks, tips booklets, and virtually any method in which you can deliver information. Whether you want to launch a new business or add new revenue streams to your existing business, opportunities abound for info product sales.
Benefits of Info Products
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of info products is that once they are created and the distribution process automated, they can sell round the clock with minimal effort. And it doesn’t end there. Many infopreneurs have discovered hidden benefits of selling their product creations.
For example, authors can treat their books like business cards, using them to open doors to new business opportunities. A book gives you more credibility and makes you more interesting to the media. With the right spin on your topic, media exposure could bring a windfall of new business. Just look at any author who has made it onto the Today Show or Oprah. Even an article in a local newspaper can prompt hundreds of readers to buy your book.
As you add more info products to your line, you spin a web of opportunity. Each product may appeal to each customer differently. Some may buy one product, others may buy another product, and ideally, most customers will return to purchase multiple products.
Giveaways are another fantastic use for info products. For example, you can reward new subscribers to your e-zine by giving away an e-book or special report. Or you could send your e-book to other business owners and allow them to distribute it for free, provided all of your contact information remains intact. This strategy will ultimately bring you new customers and that all important exposure to your audience.
Developing Product Ideas
Everybody is an expert at something. If you run a successful business, that makes you an expert in your industry. You could also capitalize on your expertise with a hobby, sport, or other special skill. Here are some tips for discovering product ideas:
- Conduct a survey with your customers and ask them what information they need or would like to know.
- Teach people how to do something.
- Create a directory. Do you have a list of 50 or more resources that people in your industry need? Sell it!
- Read books from your field of interest. Is there a book that covers an important piece of information in one chapter that deserves to be expanded upon? Could you write a whole book or a special report about that topic?
- Make a list of potential guests that you can interview and host teleseminars. You could charge for the seminars, or offer them for free and sell the recordings.
- Teach classes at your local adult learning center or become a professional public speaker. You can sell your info products at the back of the room and also sell recordings of your live presentations.
- Produce a video of a demonstration, speech, or technique.
Keys to Info Product Success
In order to convince customers to get out the credit card and make a purchase, you need to follow a basic formula for success:
Credibility: Demonstrate any credentials that you have in your field. This is not the time to be shy. Publicize your education, experience, awards, or achievements in the area that you specialize. Strangers are not going to buy from you unless you can demonstrate your ability to deliver on your promises.
Quality: There are plenty of information products out there and some are downright lousy. Make sure that whatever you produce is of the highest quality. All products should be professionally edited.
Value: There is a fine balance when determining the price of products. Too many infopreneurs price their products out of the ballpark. Check to see how your competitors are pricing their products. Some price products higher to demonstrate the extreme value of the information they are selling. If you use this strategy, be sure you are delivering information that is worth its weight at checkout.
Delivery: With electronic products such as e-books and reports, customers who purchase want instant gratification. Though you can manually e-mail electronic products once a sale is completed, its best to set up a system to automate the delivery process. An added advantage of automation is that you wont have to constantly check e-mail for sales notifications and you can actually make money and deliver products while you sleep.
Strategies for Promoting Info Products
No business can survive without marketing. You need to let people know you are there so you can entice them into buying from you. A solid marketing plan is essential to success with info products.
The first place to begin is with a website. A website can reach a potential customer base that spans the globe. Your own website allows you to establish your credibility, build a database of site visitors, and promote and sell your products directly. Following are additional tactics for getting the word out:
- Conduct public speaking engagements (including workshops, seminars, and classes). Seminar speaking experience helps you earn credibility while gaining valuable exposure and experience.
- Hold teleconferences to share information. Ask peers to announce your events in their e-zines or on their website. Even if you aren’t selling your product up front, you are exposing people to your products.
- Distribute a newsletter or e-zine. This is an inexpensive yet valuable way to market to your customers.
- Up-sell and promote additional products when someone makes a purchase. Include a brochure about your other products when you ship an item or offer the buyer a special discount on a related product at the time of purchase.
- Establish yourself as an expert in your field by being seen and heard everywhere. Participate in interviews, publish articles in print and online, and seize every possible opportunity to get your name out there.
- Take advantage of media exposure. Radio is an inexpensive way to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. Many talk radio programs accept experts through call-in format. If your topic is interesting enough to reach a broad range of listeners, you could go on a radio tour right from the comfort of your own home. Print publicity is also beneficial. Find news angles for your topic and contact newspaper, magazine, and TV reporters.
- Create an affiliate program. Offer other businesses the opportunity to sell your products and pay them a percentage of each sale.
- Swap advertising with websites and e-zines that reach your target market.
As you develop a plan to generate and sell your own info products, take notice of how others are doing it successfully. Purchase some products from business owners that you admire so you can evaluate the content. While you should never steal from your competition, it is certainly acceptable to emulate their success. Soon you could be generating income while you sleep.
For additional resources on developing an infopreneur business, visit www.BusinessInfoGuide.com/infopreneur.htm.
About the Author
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including The Authors Guide to Building an Online Platform: Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books and From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products. She is also founder and CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, which specializes in custom publishing and internet marketing services, and http://BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com.