I often hear from folks that have enormous dreams of making a million dollars, and they’ve read online how easy it is to do this while sitting in their pajama’s all day drinking tea and eating bon-bons. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
The hard truth is this is not how it worked for the majority of online entrepreneurs – particularly in the beginning.
However, while there is work involved, creating information products and trainings is an excellent way to grow your business and create a work from home business model.
My last business, The Copywriting Institute, was a 100% online business and I ran it from home for ten years while I raised my three daughters. It took time, effort, and no bon-bon eating while watching TV all day.
The “if you build it they will come” model does not apply to internet marketing.
Getting started with your online business.
One of the first things you need to think about is who will buy what you have to offer and why. Who do you know that has an already established market? Do you have your own list already? I recommend you start by growing your own database or ‘list’ before you even start creating your product.
You can do this incredibly inexpensively by producing an e-zine each week and providing great content for free.
To create a profitable online venture, you need a following and a reputation first, product second.
Book publishers won’t even publish books from authors unless they can prove they have a following already.
Here are five tips for creating and selling information products online.
1. Take one step at a time, don’t get sucked into doing too much at once.
You’ll quickly become overwhelmed and unproductive.
2. Before you start creating get CLEAR on the outcome you want to create for the buyer.
WHY is this product needed? HOW will it make lives better? WHAT problem will it help your client solve?
3. Recognize that you don’t have to learn how to do everything yourself.
You should create your own content, on a topic you know well, the rest can be outsourced. I would like to see everyone learn to write their own copy – I believe it is a life skill and once you know how to do it and what works you can THEN outsource it and know what you are doing. All entrepreneurs need to master selling. Period. Copywriting is selling with the written word rather than the spoken word. Entrepreneurs cannot outsource their sales until they themselves have mastered it.
4. Keep it simple and start small.
I ran The Copywriting Institute for over ten years and it started with one product and less than a five-page website. It grew into an international, online business with multiple product lines and a variety of price points. It did not start there and neither will you.
5. Everything will take you ten times longer than you think – so planning can be difficult.
Set deadlines for yourself based on outcomes, not time. And then you edit and edit and edit. This way worked for me because if I had to write for three hours a day I might get five words done and struggle to focus. I can always eat up time. BUT, if I commit to writing five pages or on one topic I could know that jamming through it to get to my daughter’s volleyball game was possible.
I speak with clients about information products frequently because I have been teaching and selling products online for close to 15 years. It’s a great way to grow your business and expand your service-based business by creating something tangible to sell. It also gives you credibility as an expert, allows you to serve existing clients in a different way, and can round-out your marketing funnel by offering lower-priced items to nurture leads.
If you would like guidance on building your own online business or adding information products such as e-books or courses to your existing business, reach out!