Your first time out of the gate, you’re going to be tempted to tackle an information product project that is much too complicated. After all, you know so much and can’t leave out any of the valuable points! Or, you lack confidence that anyone will pay you a dime unless your ebook, book or course is crammed with every imaginable tip and technique.
Don’t give in to this temptation, or you’ll be hamstrung and unable to finish that crucial first information marketing project. Instead, choose one of these easy formats for compiling and packaging useful information, and you’ll have your first product on the market – and making money for you – in no time.
Five Easy Information Product Formats
1. Compilation of expert contributions. Here you request others who are respected in their field to provide you with content that you bring together into a product. Why would busy experts provide you with original, thought-provoking and useful material? They often will do so at no cost if you come up with an interesting enough question for them to answer and tell them their contribution should be a page or less.
Promise them a copy of the finished report, where they’ll be able to see how peers and competitors responded, too. Also tell them how you’ll be publicizing the product. No matter how well known they already are, prominent people love publicity. After all, that’s how they got to be renowned in the first place. In most cases, you’ll set up this compilation as a downloadable PDF report.
Examples: “Online Profits at the Speed of Light” by Bob Serling (http://www.directmarketinginsider.com/online-profits.html) and “First Contact Secrets” by Chip Tarver (http://www.firstcontactsecrets.com).
2. Q&A report. Instead of asking many others one question, you can create a product by asking yourself – then answering – many questions. This works well when you simply collect commonly asked questions. You can also focus or the hardest ones, the most unusual ones or the funniest questions. If you find the idea of writing a formal article or a book intimidating, this may be the ticket for you. When it comes to anything you know more about than the average person, you’re probably in the habit of answering questions on a daily or weekly basis anyway. This one too would get sold as a downloadable PDF report.
Examples: “Answers to the World’s Toughest Questions about Law of Attraction” by Andrea Conway (http://www.successfulselfemployment.com/toughest-law-of-attraction-sse.htm) and “An Insider’s Guide to Small Business Success” by Tim Knox (http://www.book-titles.ca/SuccessSecrets.htm).
3. Audio interview of an expert. In this option and the next two, you create an audio product in just one hour plus a little preparation time. Simply persuade someone whose opinions, experiences and knowledge others want to hear to be interviewed for an hour, and record the session. Voilà, a product! Many experts will agree to do this for free providing they receive a copy of the recording and permission to sell it or use it as a bonus product for something else.
It’s easiest to record such an interview on a conference-call line using a service like Free Conference Call (http://www.freeconferencecall.com). Sell your interview either as a downloadable MP3 or as a CD that you send to the buyer by mail. Some information marketers also provide the option of customers buying a transcript in addition to or instead of the audio recording.
Examples: “Inside College Eligibility” (http://www.collegeeligibility.com) and “Inside the Mind of a Listing Expert” (http://www.realestatesalescoach.com/paulearnhart.htm).
4. Audio interview of you. Just flip option #3 upside down, and you have another quick-start information product: Someone else interviews you for an hour. The interviewer could be a friend or someone with a great voice and smooth interviewing skills whom you hire to do the interview. Record the question and answer session, and in little more than one hour, you have a product to sell.
Prepare for the interview by writing an introduction and conclusion for the interviewer to use and a list of questions. Keep the illusion of spontaneity by not writing out in full your answers to these questions. Instead, make notes on the points you want to make during the session and keep them in front of you as you and the interviewer go through the agenda, question by question. To the listener, interviews arranged in this way sound exactly like those in #3, so I’m not listing separate examples.
5. Teleclass recording. This audio option differs from the interview format in that it’s instructional in flavor and may include participant questions and your answers. You can charge for this kind of session in two ways: First, those who participate in the call might pay to do so, and second, those who were not present on the call can purchase the CD or MP3 recording. While some teleclasses become products as a multi-session series, it’s best to start with just a single one-hour class.
Examples: “Creating Donor Evangelists” by Marc Pitman (http://www.fundraisingcoach.com/cde.htm) and “Create a New Financial Identity” by Joan Sotkin (http://www.prosperityplace.com/catalog/cd27330_identity.html).
When you’ve chosen the content carefully, provided useful information and described the product temptingly for your target market, these quick-to-produce information formats sell well. Henry David Thoreau put my point best: Simplify! Simplify!