Your Own Information Products
Information products are the ideal business to start if you are
looking for an online business. They are easy to produce,
simple to ship, and can enjoy high markups because people are
not paying for the physical form the product is delivered in.
paying for the valuable information contained within.
Although most people only see reports and books when we speak of
information products, I want you to see just how versatile this
market can be. You could produce software, videos, audio's,
newsletters, secret sites, and more. The only limitations in
this business are the ones you create yourself.
Below I am going to give you a quick system of producing audio
tapes (one of the easiest ways of getting into this business).
Don't just limit your potential informational empire to just
these techniques though. All types of information products can
be created out of your hobbies, your interests, or your
experience. What have you learned to do that someone may want
to learn about?
You may say to me, "But Terry, I just don't know how to do
anything that people want!" Well, I have a solution for that
problem. If you have found a market that wants a product of a
certain nature, contact an expert and do an interview with
them...then sell that tape! (Most experts will do the tape with
you right over the phone for just the cost of consulting -
Usually $100 - $1000).
If you do have knowledge that people want (which I highly expect
is true even if you won't admit it to me)...then you can do your
own audio tape course.
Below I am going to give you a quick 6 step system for creating
your own tapes...and then we will do a short overview on how to
contact an expert and get them to do a tape with you.
Step 1 - Make a list of your hobbies,
interests, and problems which you can solve.
Do people come to you often and ask for your advice on certain
things? If so...there is a product idea! Design a product that
solves their problems. Find a problem or a desire people have
that you have overcome, and then the system you followed is the
basis for your product.
Do you train dogs? There's a product.
Do you build model airplanes? There's a product.
Do you save money through auctions? There's a product.
Did you figure out how to set up a web site? There's a product.
Do you get Top 10 rankings on search engines? There's a
Do you write killer sales letters? There's a product.
Product ideas are all around you. There are probably at least
half a dozen products inside you waiting for the chance to come
Step 2 - Research your targeted market to
find out what they are interested in.
If you plan to sell your product online, make sure there is a
market for it first before you ever create the product. Visit
forums and newsgroups using http://www.forumone.com and http://www.dejanews.com
and do some research. Prepare a short Questionnaire and give
something away free to people who answer it for you.
Corporations spend millions of dollars a year in research, but
as a small home business you can do your research for free
online through contacting and networking through newsgroups,
forums, and mailing lists.
Step 3 - Purchase the necessary equipment.
You don't have to go to a studio to record your tape unless you
have an unlimited budget. If you can afford a studio, it will
produce a little better tape, but for most people starting out
that is just another undue expense.
Go down to your local Radio Shack and purchase high quality
audio tapes and a dynamic microphone. A good one will probably
cost you between $40 and $100. Ask one of the sales
representatives to recommend a good one. If you need an adapter
for your tape recorder, get one of those as well.
If you don't own a double cassette deck, you will probably want
to get one of those. Why? You can also dub your first couple
of tape sales right there in your home and wait to send it out
to a duplicator until you know for sure it is a real hot seller.
Notice that you don't need expensive equipment to get started in
this business, although you may upgrade later as you go on.
Step 4 - Make an outline.
When you did your research in step 2, what were your potential
customers interested in most? Now, create a product that gives
a step-by-step training on how to overcome that problem or
achieve that objective.
Rack your brain and come up with steps that will take your
customers to their desired solution. You have to make it
simple. This is probably the most difficult part of your
product. You have to boil down all of your research, your
experience, and come up
with a simple system people can follow to achieve their
Step 5 - Record your tapes.
Now, shut off the phones...and set-up your little recording
studio. Make a time on your schedule to do your tape or your
series and stick to it...because you will probably want to
procrastinate the process into oblivion.
Sit down and record under 60 minutes for the tape (Note most
tapes actually have 62 - 64 minutes on them). You have to be
careful to stop way before the end of the tape so that there is
room to record an intro or a "Please turn the tape over"
Step 6 - Start marketing today.
How much is your tape worth? You can sell an individual audio
tape for $9.95 - $29.95 depending on the subject OR you can
produce a series of tapes. I have seen these sell for as much
as $495 if they were on the right topic. You really have to
test your price.
Any secretarial service can transcribe your tapes for you if you
want to produce a higher priced product out of them. You do a
little bit of editing to them, combine your new manual to the
tapes, and you have a higher valued product to sell.
How to get an expert to do the work for you!
If you just can't come up with an idea of a decent product for
yourself, find an expert to do one for you.
You would still have to do step one, two, and three yourself
coming up with the product idea, researching, and purchasing the
equipment. Note that when you purchase the equipment for this
you may need to buy a microphone which hooks into your telephone
(ask the friendly sales people at Radio Shack and they will have
just what you need).
Then, contact the right experts for the mission. Find people
who are experts in the areas you want to present to your
customers and send them a letter telling them exactly what you
want to do. Most experts will agree to this if you approach
Show them the benefits they get out of this...
1. You are doing the market research to find a hot product.
2. You are paying them their regular consulting rate for the
3. You will prepare the questions for them to answer and give
ahead of time unless they already have something ready.
4. You will give them Full Reprint rights to the tape so both
and them can sell it.
5. They will be able to present other products and services
they have for sale on the backend of the tape.
It is definitely a Win-Win situation. They get all of those
benefits and you have a new product to sell in your business.
It's Not the Only Way - But It is a Good Start for You
This is not the only way to create information products by any
means, but it is enough to get you started. Are you going to
make some mistakes...YES....but you will have started in the
right direction. If you follow this process, you will have your
own hot product to sell online for years to come. All you have
left to do is write the ad, but that is a subject for another
Ten Types of Information Products You Could Create or Be
This is the most commonly known information product. So many
people just limit their potential businesses to just this one
avenue. They see how long it takes to create a full book and
they just can't imagine how they could ever get involved in the
information business. The big disadvantage to books is the time
it takes from creation to completion and the pains associated
with getting it published. The advantage of books over some of
the other methods though are a possible increased circulation
with all of the avenues of distribution that print books have
over the other forms of information.
A newer version of books are the electronic kind like you are
reading now. Publishing time is only a few minutes using many
of the software programs available out there. The only time
involved is the time it takes to create the product. If left in
format, there is a $0 fulfillment cost for the book and it can
be easily downloaded off of the web by any of your customers.
Shorter than full length books. Reports are great for subjects
which constantly change (such as internet marketing, etc.) or
are a shorter discussion of the subject. Reports are also
perfect for a Free or low cost bonus to go along with other
product you sell or to a be lead-in to your higher priced
products or services.
Reports can also be in a printed format or in an electronic
format just the same as books can.
If you come up with an information product that gives
step-by-step directions on how to reach certain results, you may
want to consider packaging it as a training course. (Course
could be books, videos, manuals, reports, audio's, etc. all
together in one package).
Training courses in general will contain very specific
information and step-by-step directions (including worksheets,
samples, etc.). They are also priced higher than some of the
other methods and are sold for between $97 and $997 in most
Videotaping a seminar often can make a good course as well.
If your presentation really works well with hands-on training,
then you may want to consider doing a seminar or workshop as
your product or as a backend to other products you may be
selling. They carry a premium price on them (generally $199 -
$15,000) and are usually the best training people could possibly
find on the subject.
If you are going to do seminars, you should spend quite a bit of
time learning how to do public speaking (joining Toastmasters
wouldn't hurt) and preparing workbooks and presentations for
your audience. Also keep in mind that most seminar presenters
were first speakers at other people's conferences before they
started running their own. Seminars are not for beginning
Videos are best if you want your customers to actually see how
to do something. They are most often used in the information
business for How-To products and for demonstrations of a backend
product. The biggest problem with videos though are the
technical skills required to produce them.
If you are planning for your first video, you are better off
hiring a cameraperson and professional editor to do the actual
technical work for you. Then, you concentrate on the content.
The price of the video equipment needed to produce your videos
much higher than the cost of hiring these individuals to help
you with your first few productions.
Audio's were discussed in length above but they bare repeating
again. They are an easy way to get started in the information
business and the spoken word can often carry a lot more weight
and value to the hearers than what is received through the
written word in many cases.
The other major advantage to audio tapes to some of the other
formats available for your information products is the fact that
they are easy to listen to. To read a book or watch a video,
your customers have to sit down and take time out of their
hectic days to learn. Audio tapes can simply be placed in a
tape player on the way to work, when you are out for a stroll,
or anytime they want.
As I travel the Internet, I am noticing more and more "Secret
Sites" are developing in all different industries. They
basically charge a one-time fee or a monthly fee to have access
to constantly updated web pages full of specific targeted
information for that market.
Secret sites appear to work best when you need to constantly
update your customers on new information. Successful models of
secret sites I have seen include Internet Marketing,
Commodities, Stock Trading, and News. I expect we will see an
these types of sites as time progresses and you could be one of
Just because the Internet "Information Superhighway" is growing
at an unequaled rate doesn't mean that print media has
disappeared. Specialized print newsletters are still
flourishing and present a good opportunity for would-be
Newsletter subscription rates run between $30 and $300 per year
in general (although I have seen newsletters as high as $4,500
in very specialized areas). If you build a list of 1,000
subscribers, you will be making a very nice income and will have
of doing Joint Ventures with other products in your market to
your subscribers with awesome results in many cases.
For those of you who would like to start out with a proven
information product, there are dealer programs. This is how 98%
of us get started in the information business and it gives you
the easiest time getting started. You can take someone else's
proven product and proven sales letters and start making money
immediately. The disadvantage to these programs is that you have
to share the money that comes in with the product owner.
Something to watch out for in dealer programs though are the
high prices some companies are trying to charge just for a right
to sell their products. 90% of dealer programs on the web are
free to start off and the ones which cost should just be
charging a small fee for dealer materials and training. Watch
out for HIGH prices on dealer programs!
The next step up from dealer programs are purchasing reprint
rights to proven products. Many information producers are now
selling reprint rights to many of their products in all
different formats. The advantage to this is that you get to
keep ALL of the
money that comes in. The problem with it is that reprint rights
carry a premium price: often $1,000 - $10,000 for each product.
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