When you can provide customers with products which help them solve their problems and reach their goals, they are willing to pay for them.
Yes, that’s true even today…with the internet.
It’s funny, but it’s next to impossible now to talk about any form of information publishing without someone bringing up the subject of the internet and how much information is free online.
And they’re right. There is an abundance of free information online, although it would be even more appropriate to say and OVERABUNDANCE of free information available online.
It’s not a question of whether you can find the information you’re looking for online. You can. I don’t know if there is any information you couldn’t find if you’re willing to work hard enough, dig deep enough, and spend long enough to find it…while cutting through all the garbage and misinformation you’ll be faced with along the way.
That’s the point. Information marketing has changed somewhat in today’s world.
Instead of “selling information,” what we’re really selling is a better experience, quicker results, and a more organized system.
People are paying for information to save time and frustration.
That’s what they’re really buying.
When you’re a beginner in any subject, it’s sometimes a nightmare to figure out which information is true and which information is false. It’s so easy to fake “proof” on a subject (yes, people do get testimonials from their friends and family and use a little Photoshop on some before/after photos).
Find someone who has years of experience in the subject, a good guarantee policy, and purchase from them.
You’re much better off this way than trying to cobble together tons of information from different sources into somewhat of a system. What would happen if you were a NEW cook and tried to make recipes that way – taking a little bit of the recipe from each chef? I wouldn’t want to eat at your house for dinner!
Let’s say someone is trying to lose weight. They can watch a little TV to see what the biggest losers are doing. They read 5 different blogs to get ideas for diets and exercise. They see Shirley is a vegetarian, Joe is trying Atkins, and Sue over here is doing some strange banana only diet.
This person doesn’t have a plan or system to follow. All they have is mass confusion.
If we move a year down the road…let’s say this person continues to study until they finally think they have a pretty good handle on the subject so they can get to work. Too bad it took them a year of study to figure this all out. While at the same time their friend across the street has been following a system (almost any moderate system that involves eating less calories and exercising more) ALL YEAR…who is further ahead on their goal of losing weight? That’s right…the person following a system even if it wasn’t the perfect system.
Now…let’s talk about your internet business.
I want to give you 5 keys that will help you build an information empire. Do you need to get all this in order before you start. No, of course not. But this “little outline” is definitely going to pushing you in the right direction in your business.
1. Figure out YOUR message.
Part of the reason people have trouble selling an information product is it looks exactly like half a dozen other products.
It has the same benefits. It promises the same results. And it even follows the same basic system.
Have you ever noticed that those who EXCEL in an information business often create their own terminology. Let’s take Anthony Robbins for example. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with him or not, he has built a very successful information business.
Look at how he creates NEW terminology for anything he teaches. Even if the subject is common (like NLP) he creates his own terms for it in his product. This automatically separates it from others. And it also builds a community around the subject. If you know and understand the terms, you’re part of the in crowd. When you join his “cult” you have a whole bunch of terms to learn at first.
What language have you created to describe your subject?
What core message are you sharing with your customers? Everybody wants to stand for something. They want to get behind a movement. What movement are you creating in your market? This likely won’t be fully developed when you’re starting out, and that’s OK. But the question is what movement and what difference do you want to create in the lives of your customers?
Or in other words, what flag are you waving for your customers to get behind?
2. Use the SAME product creation method multiple times.
If you’re going to take the time to learn how to create a DVD, don’t just do one DVD. Do an entire series of DVDs. Create multiple DVD products.
This applies to any type of product you create. There is always a learning curve to go through in the product creation process. For example on a DVD, you might create a cover design. Use that basic format for the next one. You may create an intro and an ending for the video. Use that as a template for the next one. You might even buy some royalty free music that can be reused on future projects.
Whatever you have to learn or do apply it to muliple projects on the subject. Money is attracted to speed. So develop habits to create excellent products quickly (notice that I don’t feel that shooting for quick product creation gives you the excuse to do poor products although shooting for “perfection” will always kill you).
3. Multi-purpose for content based marketing.
This simply means to take some of the same content you’re using to create your products and use it for free content marketing. This means you could pull excerpts from your ebook and use those on your blog or in articles. You can pull excerpts from your DVD to upload onto Youtube and other video sharing sites.
At the very least, you can write and produce free content for content based marketing on the SAME subject you’re writing for your paid members. For example you can pretty much guess that most of the time what I’m writing here is related to products I’m producing or have just produced. Why? Because that is where my mind is at. It’s is on the paid products first…and then I share information with my audience and subscribers that both educates them on the subject and also leads them into making a purchase of what I’m offering.
The point is simply to line up and USE portions of what you’re creating as a free content to also market the product. The question here is just how much to use and how much to save for the paid product. You’ll have some which tell you to give away all the best parts of a product, but I find as a buyer that always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth if I buy their product. You feel cheated when the best stuff was in the freebies. So I like to keep the “best stuff” such as exact systems and step-by-step instructions for the product itself even if that doesn’t grab quite as much attention for the free stuff.
4. Offer a premium version.
You’ll find it very difficult to build a profitable business if you only have low cost lead generating products in your funnel. These are basically items in the $1 to $50 type of category which are used to get the largest number of buyers in for most information businesses.
A book for example is NOT a lifestyle information empire. It’s a lead generator. The goal of a successful book for how-to publishers is to grow their audience, their publicity, and spread their message. Then they cash in on the book with backend products, speaking, or other opportunities.
The question is where is your premium item…what is it that really brings in the cash in your business. Often that is a product that comes in at a higher price point such as $200, $500, $1,000, or even $5,000.
What if you’re in a hobby type market that doesn’t support those kinds of fees? You’d be surprised. Let’s take golf for example. To obtain those kinds of fees would likely be a “trip” of some sort and/or personalized instruction.
For many markets this premium version does include some portion of you…but you can keep that small by focusing on using items such as eclasses (where you provide training materials and some type of online support), group coaching, or limited direct coaching. I know a lot of people don’t like involving any type of coaching, but I personally enjoy it and love the excitement of different projects clients are working on.
5. Offer some type of continuity income.
Where is your monthly reliable income stream? It could be a membership site, a Cd of the month type club, group coaching (see above), or even affiliate sites you promote. Some of my FAVORITE affiliate programs are not the one time purchases. They’re the long-term incomes that come from continuity programs I’ve promoted.
I call this your monthly base income. And I’ve seen how much worry this removes from client’s minds also. It’s much easier to replace your job with your online business if you have a consistent form of money coming in that is more than your job expenses.
And membership sites don’t always mean you’re constantly producing new content for them either. You can put together fixed term membership sites such as a 12 month program where all new members go through the same series of steps and lessons over a 12 month period. At the end of the 12 month period you promote another program or even an affiliate program to these customers. A side benefit of fixed term sites is they usually have a higher retention rate as people know there is an end in site to the payments.
Where to Get Started
If you’re serious about building your own information empire, to replace your income or simply to give you another stream of income, you need to check out the full blueprints I’ve put together for you.