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Fast Free Course in Information Publishing

The article below is the first of seven articles by infomarketing guru Marcia Yudkin that give you a quick, well-informed introduction to the key principles of creating and selling information.  After reading this piece, click on "NEXT" to read the next article in the series.  

Service Providers and Experts: 6 Ways You Profit By Creating Information Products

by Marcia Yudkin

Hereís a question I received not long ago from someone whose income consists of writing and editing fees from clients: ďIs it really worth all the time it takes to create and market infoproducts? If your normal revenue-generating activities bring you $50 or $100 an hour (or more), why spend it on planning, writing and marketing these little projects? Isn't it better to engage with a prospect for a $4,000 white paper than work on a $29 or $129 infoproduct?Ē

If this skepticism rings a bell with you, see how you feel after reading my list of six ways that developing information products benefits any service provider.

Reason #1: Itís a great way to get potential clients over the trust hump to hire you. 

Just as the ice cream store gives you that little spoonful of an unfamiliar flavor so you can find out whether or not you like the taste before you commit to a full ice cream cone or dish, your infoproduct provides a sampling of your intellect, talent, knowledge and writing flair. Having someone read or listen to your infoproduct certainly takes up less time on your part than giving a free introductory consultation. 

One copywriter says his writing career was going nowhere until he developed a few infoproducts. Then instead of him unsuccessfully chasing down clients, they came after him and said, ďHey, your copy is pretty good. What would you charge for a sales letter? I'd like to hire you.Ē 

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Iíve seen it happen for myself, too. A man in England was wavering on whether or not to hire me to create a tag line, and I saw that he ordered a little $29.95 report I wrote. Then about 40 minutes later, his tag line order came through. That report gave him enough confidence to hire me.

Reason #2: You have something to sell to do-it-yourselfers whoíd rather save money or think they canít afford you. 

Interestingly, the do-it-yourselfers think they are buying a report or a home-study course to save money and learn how to do something themselves. But often what happens is that they learn whatís involved, they sort of understand it, but they donít have the time to do it, or theyíre concerned theyíll mess it up, and besides, you know so much more than they do, theyíve just seen the proof, and they end up hiring you to do it. 

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Iíve seen this happen again and again, both with inexpensive infoproducts and with expensive ones. If you donít have an infoproduct for them, do-it-yourselfers will go away and buy one from someone else Ė and then the other person gets the follow-up project as well. 

Reason #3: Infoproducts increase your perceived expertise. 

You can compare this effect to public speaking. By the mere fact that youíre up in front of the room rather than in the audience, in the eyes of the audience you are an expert. Itís also been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that publishing a book vastly increases your perceived expertise and earning power. 

In 2006, the web site Rain Today released the results of a survey of 200 authors of business books. Whereas the median direct income from their book was $34,000, the median indirect income Ė from more speaking engagements, ability to generate more leads, charge higher fees, close more deals, etc. Ė was $100,000. Of those authors, 84% said their books had a strong or very strong influence on their ability to stand out against competitors, and 63% reported a strong or very strong influence on generating new clients.

I donít know of a comparable survey of people who have published non-book infoproducts, but all of those relationships are still there, although in slightly weaker form. When a potential client is trying to decide between a service provider who has an infoproduct and one who only has clients, the one with the infoproduct comes across as more of an expert.

Reason #4: Infoproducts give you additional income. 

One copywriter said in her newsletter that sheís made more than $100,000 from her various infoproducts. Thatís a nice chunk of change. 

Some people think of infoproducts as only little ebooks that cost $10 or $20, and thatís probably the level at which you should get started, but they go all the way up to $1000 and more. My most expensive home study course is $1,297, and while I donít sell one of these every day, itís very nice when I do. Iíve already done the work.

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Reason #5: Infoproducts enable you to earn while on vacation or in retirement. 

When you earn money by serving clients, the income stops when you go on vacation, get sick or retire. In contrast, infoproduct income just keeps coming whether youíre asleep, in the hospital or on the beach.

This vacation earnings factor was the real motivator when I decided to develop more expensive infoproducts. In 2006, my most expensive product was $95. In 2007, my husband and I were able to take almost three months off to drive to Alaska and back (from Massachusetts) and finance the trip by sales of infoproducts while we were off having fun. I did not do any client work at all during that trip, and yet the money kept flowing into my bank account. 

Infoproducts make it easier for you to make it through slow times, or when you have family issues to take care of, when you want to switch niches, and so on. They give you breathing space when you need it. Whenever things slow down, you just step up promotion of your infoproduct or create a new one.

Reason #6: Creating infoproducts helps you understand your topic better. 

When you invest your mental energy and brain power in creating an information product of any kind, you develop a deeper view of your subject. Before making my list for this article, I knew anyone would benefit by monetarily and psychologically from creating infoproducts. But now I have much more ammunition to win the argument with the skeptic who suspects heís better off staying away from the infoproducts path!

Copyright 2010 Marcia Yudkin.  All rights reserved.  NEXT ARTICLE.

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