Information products, also often referred to as digital products, have been holding strong for some time now.
Information products can come in a variety of formats, including written text, audio / podcasts, or even video (streaming or recording).
In fact, many online courses you come across are info products, and these tend to be delivered in one or more of these formats once you sign up.
The beauty of information products is multi-faceted:
- Since they are handled completely over the Internet, you don’t have to carry any physical inventory or store a large number of items. You store it once and sell it multiple times.
- You can create and store an information product once, and sell it countless times. This is one of the better ways to build a semi- or completely passive income stream in the future.
- They can help you establish yourself as an authority in your chosen niche or expertise area.
The difference between information product providers is often one or two items, primarily, trust and customer service.
So if you want to get into this business area, give a read to the rest of this post for ideas on how to best create and sell your own digital products.
How to Create your Own Information Product
Let’s dive in first on how to build a good product that will sell. You never want to skimp on this step and go out trying to sell a second rate item.
That will brand you poorly from the beginning and could very well hinder your ability to succeed on future efforts.
Research Possible Information Product Topics
As any experience marketer will tell you, any product concept is only as strong as the value proposition, i.e. what pain points will your information product address for potential customers.
So start with a market need or problem you can solve.
First, identify who the target audience itself is. Not all prospects have the same needs and pains, so you want to make this as specific as possible. If you can even create a full customer persona, that’s the ideal jumping off point.
With this profile of your target customer in hand, start to do your research. Try identifying what information these prospects are searching for, and then figure out why that information is important to them.
- Do they have an unmet need that no business has figured out how to help them fix?
- Are they complaining about shortcomings of existing offerings?
- What gaps in the market are they trying to get addressed?
You get the picture. Their behavior, particularly on search engines and social media, can tell you more than you might expect. Use that to your advantage.
Deliver Your Information Product In the Right Media Format
Like I mentioned earlier, you can sell information products in a range of formats such as software, ebooks, online courses, online tools, videos, etc.
Which one of these many options will resonate best with your desired customer base? How will they be most likely to consume the content so as to benefit from it?
Think about who they are and how they’ll use your product.
- Are they in a target audience that spends hours a day on YouTube? Give them the materials in video format.
- Are they music enthusiasts? Provide a way to listen to it.
- Are they world travelers, or maybe even fitness enthusiasts? Both of these audiences will want to listen while traveling or exercising, so consider a podcast format.
Tailor your choice of media format(s) to the people most likely to buy and consume it. This is the best way to have a satisfied group of buyers.
Remember, a satisfied customer will talk to others about how great the product is. Word of Mouth is a huge factor in an information product’s success over time.
Build Your Information Product On the Right Platform
When you think of building our an information product, do you feel a sense of overwhelm before even starting?
This reaction could be caused by you thinking you’ll have to figure out how to create something that you don’t know how to create.
Don’t despair. There are many, many tools which can help simplify the process of creating your information product, while adding a lot of value with extra features you won’t be able to create by “bootstrapping” it.
For example, if you want to build an online course, you can select from dozens of options, depending on what features you’ll need to do so. You can find online lists of the best course building options via a simple Google search.
When evaluating platforms, figure out how you want to differentiate yourself from others in your niche. Then pick the one that offers you the best assortment of features and capabilities.
While evaluating these platforms, however, don’t overlook side-by-side comparisons.
One course might offer the best feature set, but others may be better in terms of pricing, technical support, customer satisfaction / reviews, etc.
It’s up to you to determine the right tradeoffs for your own business.
How Should You Sell Information Products?
Just like with any other product, you’ll want to pick the right marketing vehicles and tools for selling information products.
With a simple Google search, you can find more options than you know what to do with. Here’s a decent guide to selling information products in volume.
Start with this one and look for others that also resonate with you. Regardless of what you find online, here are some basics you’ll want to employ on top of those ideas.
Get Your Messaging Right From the Start
If you do the right research to map customer pain points to your target audience, you should already have a head start on your messaging.
Structure it in a way that your target audience will easily understand why they need it, what it is, and how they’ll benefit from making a purchase.
Once you have the messaging in order, start testing its effectiveness safely via social media and other means. This will help you ensure its clarity and accuracy for what others might actually pay for.
The final version will serve as a template for building out your website content, sales landing pages, and any outbound marketing such as pay per click or email marketing campaigns.
Of course, you’ll want to continually test the effectiveness of the sales messaging over time. Be sure to stay open minded as you push these messages into the market, and adjust as needed moving forward.
Consider Kicking off an Influencer Campaign
We’ve covered Influencer Marketing here on the blog multiple times over the past few years, and information products are perfect for applying this strategy.
The bottom line behind why this works is that people tend to trust brands more when people they admire or look up to use the products these brands offer.
Influencers also tend to have a huge number of followers. If you pick a credible, respected influencer within your own niche, you stand to position your information products well for increased sales numbers.
Sell On eCommerce Platforms With Established Audiences
If you plan to sell information products, you clearly want to have a website of your own as a starting point.
But don’t be shortsighted. If you can get your products listed on bigger websites with huge traffic already on it, your exposure should increase exponentially.
The majority of online shoppers will start with a bigger vendor like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. Anyone who sells ebooks should be listing them on Amazon, for the enormous volume of daily search traffic if for no other reason.
But don’t just focus on Amazon. There are dozens of ebook vendors online, and you would be surprised to see how many other options exist for selling different formats across the Internet.
Consider Offering Ongoing or Intermittent Promotions to Boost Sales
Promotions are very effective at helping convince prospects to push the “buy” button.
Typical promotions we see for information products include:
- Special Offers
- Bundles of “Free Gifts,” such as additional high value ebooks of related trainings
- One-on-one time with the author
- Special inclusion in a secret group, dojo, or mastermind
- Bonuses for referring or sharing your product with others
Of course, you could suppress sales after the promo ends if it is successful at driving short-term urgency, but it still a great way to get more eyeballs on your information product offering in the first place.
No matter how you decide to use promotions, if your product is of high quality and meets a real market need, you’ll do fine in the end.
A lot of solopreneurs have managed to build successful primary or side businesses with information products.
If you meet a real market need, properly communicate that need, place the product in the right places, and market the product well via promotions, there’s no reason you can’t be one of these successful people.
Just keep the materials educational and entertaining, and you’ll do well.
So try your hand at it…worst case you learn something without making much money. Best case, maybe you launch a new career in the information product space.
The sky’s the limit!
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