Years ago that question used to frustrate me. The “I work at home” or “I work online” answer always brought the response of, “So you design websites?”
Nope. You don’t want me as your designer. I’m graphically challenged.
I publish information products.
Then came the normal blank stare. “You do what? Kind of like books?”
Yeah, kind of like that.
Today it’s a whole lot easier to explain because most people know that people buy ebooks through Kindle for example.
Amazon recently reported Kindle ebooks are outselling both paperback and hardcover books.
But don’t just stop with ebooks. You can create audios, videos, membership sites, software, coaching, etc. to help your customers reach their goals quicker.
I LOVE this business and I wanted to let you in on a few steps to getting started today.
Step One: Solve a problem people are already paying for.
My biggest mistakes have been right here. Whenever I came up with a brilliant idea that didn’t already have a proven market, it meant trouble.
Whenever you’re thinking of a new information product, check to see if there are already other products on this subject being sold on Amazon, Clickbank, and in pay-per-click. Competition is a GOOD thing because it means people are BUYING.
If there is zero competition, it often means people aren’t buying. The internet has been around long enough that someone is likely to have set up shop in whatever market you’re considering.
Step Two: Put out a teaser to your audience.
Do you already have some type of audience in the market such as an email list, a blog list, or even a forum you participate in?
If so, put together an article or blog post and send it to your audience. Ask for feedback.
This is going to let you know quickly if there is any interest in the subject before you do a full product. You also want to see what questions or suggestions come up from the article for other ideas you might have missed.
Step Three: Mindmap it.
You could do it old school style and simply draw it out by hand, but my “graphically challenged” problem above means I have to use mindmapping software. My personal choice is iMindMap. Freemind is the a free program and one of the most popular. And there are at least a dozen others.
Think about all the steps someone must take to reach the goals they're going after. Go over to Amazon and look through table of contents for other potential ideas. Go through the reviews there also looking for both good and bad comments. The more ideas you put together, the better. Not everything you write down has to be in version 1.0.
Step Four: Find your unique promise.
Look at what others are offering in the space (refer back to step one where you found competitors). What is the core promise and secondary promise each of them is offering? What can you offer that's unique from them? Sometimes this is as simple as a different product format (such as creating a video if all the other products are ebooks).
You can specialize in a subniche of the market. Or you can take a different angle from the other products. No matter what you do, you don't want to come in as a me-too just like everyone else. Find some unique point of difference to focus on.
Step Five: Outline it in step-by-step order.
Go back to your mindmap and now put the steps in the correct order. I've found the more extensive I do my outline, the easier it is to do the final product. But I have worked with others who went the opposite direction and preferred less extensive outlines at this point.
The key principle to remember here is you want it to in a step-by-step order that's easy for them to use and follow (even if they're a brand new beginner – usually the biggest purchasing segment in any market).
Step Six: Create your first version QUICKLY.
Don't let product creation drag on for months. I've made that mistake more than once, and it always costs me. Some quick ways around this is to set aside a weekend where it's completely quiet and knock out a product. Schedule an interview product and get it done. Or even schedule a webinar series and do your presentations live.
A good rule of thumb here is that step one through five should take longer than step six. You should be able to create the product in less overall time than it takes to plan it.
Step Seven: Add any tools/templates/charts you can.
Can you add simple checklists they can follow as they go through your steps? How about a cheat sheet that details the most important items?
The best way to add value are any tools or templates that make the work easier (for example in a diet book you add several full meal plans or in a dog training course you add which order to train each trick).
If you're ready for a jump start into your information business, meet me along with 17 other experts this upcoming week in Orlando.
If you join through my affiliate link, make sure to forward me over a message so we can try to meet together sometime on Friday.