December 06, 2002
Yes, You Can Still Earn Large Profits from Information Products
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Update from Jeff...
Welcome back everyone, and a big hello to our new subscribers.
That was a huge cheer for something great that happened to our family this week.
You see, we have an 11-month old that slept through the night for the first time since he saw the light of day. Make no doubt we love the little guy, but as some of you may be aware, long-term sleep deprivation does funny things to the mind and body.
I suppose I should go back and check some of the newsletters from recent months. Clouded by 4 to 5 hours sleep each night for 331 nights (yes I've done the math) it's amazing I was able to think at all...
Anyway - my wife and I are going through that "punch drunk" feeling you get when you finally get a decent nights sleep after many all-nighters.
Just wanted to provide a ray of hope to any one of you going through a similar experience - it REALLY will get better.
On to business.
There seems to be a growing level of cynicism from those trying to break into the information product marketing business toward so-called guru's. I won't pretend I understand all the reasons why, but I do have a sense that many would-be infoproduct entrepreneurs are led down the wrong road. They are fed a constant vocabulary of "Instant", "Fast", "Simple" and "Easy" methods for creating their infoproduct fortunes.
To balance out the marketing hype, I've decided to let you peek inside the life of an infoproduct entrepreneur.
You'll discover the upside AND the challenges it takes to be successful in marketing your own information products. After all - nothing is free, so check out the feature article to know what lies ahead as you build your infoproduct publishing powerhouse.
Until next time...
Copyright 2002 - Jeff Smith
Ever wonder what it takes to make money marketing your own information products?
There's a TON of products out there that give you tips on marketing, selling, or creating your own information-based eBooks, Special Reports, audios, videos, etc...
Some of these deliver the goods while many others do not.
What you will NOT find in any of these products is a down-to-earth, honest and black-as-night list of what you REALLY need to have to succeed marketing your own information products.
Here is a list that comes straight from personal experience.
1. Burning Desire.
You need to start with a yearning to tell the world, or at least those who care, about what you know in a way that they will want to hear it. Your desire may come from a desire to write, it may come from a desire to improve someone's life with your knowledge or it may come from your desire to create an infoproduct publishing empire. Anything that has ever amounted to a hill of beans started with a passion to proceed.
2. Make Sure Your Idea Is "In-Demand"
It's not good enough to market information that appeals to YOU - you need to find information that touches and helps other people get where they want to go. You've beat a medical or mental illness, then others will want to know how? You've run successful fundraising campaigns, share your techniques. You've survived divorce, let others know how. Maybe you have raised 4 kids - there is TONS you could share with the world. Put yourself in your customer's position - what would you have wanted to know if you could have asked someone? Need some help creating In-Demand ideas, visit: http://www.infoproductcreator.com
3. Develop Your Product Quickly
Most of the people I know who had the desire and had a great idea, but are still working their full-time day jobs have given up on their dream because they were trying to be writers when all you need to be is a communicator. Develop a list of questions your customers want answered about your idea and get it done - focus on a few weeks at most, most of the infoproduct TOP GUNS complete their products in weeks, not months or years.
4. Create a Kick A** Title
Your title will be your main marketing vehicle, will separate you from the crowd, will usually be the title of your website, and will dictate keyword selection in search engines. Use action words and focus on the most important benefit you can provide your customers.
5. More Words, Less Flash
The old adage that words, not pictures sell is largely true on the internet. Your headline, sub-head, and first few paragraphs will make a HUGE difference to the success of your products. Don't be afraid to get help here from professional copywriters. Best of all, study successful copy - you can use methods (not plagiarize actual copy) from the best in the business. One of the best copywriters on this planet is Gary Halbert - you can luckily access much of his stuff for free at: http://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com
6. Go With Quality Web Hosting and Back Office Systems
Your office on the internet is your website. Do you close in the middle of the day? Do you leave the office unattended for 3 or 4 days at a time? Do you kick people out just as they are ready to buy? Do you move your office every few months? Take time to select the proper webhost - if you don't it WILL come back to haunt you, and you'll have much more to lose later on - TRUST ME, I have the bruises to show. You'll also need to put in place strong autoresponders, (I currently use Proautoresponder http://jbsmith.proautoresponder.com ) ), and affiliate management systems (Highly recommend Ultimate Affiliate from Groundbreak: http://www.infoproductcreator.com/groundbreak/)
7. Reviews, Testimonials and Joint Ventures
As soon as your product is in presentable shape, begin to selectively give it away to customers and leading ezine publishers/web page owners within your niche. You are looking for any or all of the following: constructive feedback which can lead to "fine tuning", reviews with testimonials so important to your sales page, and to open the door to potential joint venture partnerships which will make the difference between a "trickle" of sales and a "flood" of orders. Here's another tip - if you are looking for a testimonial from a TOP GUN, spend $30 or $40 on one of their products, then write them an email about how much you liked their work (assuming you did like it) with a request to review your product. It won't always work, but you'll get a much better response.
8. Focus on Building Your Prospect and Customer List
Less than 3% of visitors will buy - even if they are well targeted. Many of the non-buyers can be converted to customers of your current product or other products if you focus on offering them value to stay on your announcement list. Add value through providing a series of e-course lessons, ongoing newsletter, news updates, etc...
9. Have a Thick Skin!!
Understand that you WILL get criticism, product returns, many refusals for joint ventures, and even the odd piece of hate mail. Know that you will have software problems, webhost challenges, pc problems, and pretty much anything else that can go wrong, probably will. Internet infrastructure is still relatively new and is prone to hiccups - you'll need to take your lumps and move on. If you have trouble overcoming these challenges, then run now, for the sake of your own sanity.
10. Build For Next Year, not Next Month
This ones a toughie, especially when you first start out. Dedicate yourself to your business for at least 12 months. All out massive action for 3 months will bring in some sales, but the REAL impact will be felt 6-12 months out when people re-visit your site, partners look you up to for alliances with, lists grow and begin to respond to your newsletters, and your business moves into a comfortable automatic mode. When you get to this point, KICK IT UP A NOTCH - you are on your way to building your own infoproduct empire, take it to the next level.
It's not a bed of roses, but building your own infoproduct business can be incredibly rewarding, astonishingly fun, and best of all, you get to pee in your own bathroom, spend time with you kids when YOU want to and do business with some of the best people in the world.
Yanik Silver - "Lifestyles of Super Successful Information Product Developers"
Special Interview Excerpt
Awesome Lifestyle of an Infoproduct Creator Extrodinaire...
Today's interview excerpt is from an exclusive interview with master infoproduct creator Yanik Silver, of http://www.infoproductcreator.com/part/ysales.html and http://www.infoproductcreator.com/part/y33days.html who has, at a very young age, mastered the art of online information product production and marketing.
In today's excerpt, Yanik shares with us how terrific it can really be to live the life of an infoproduct marketer AND some secret tips on tools that helped him get there.
If you missed the last few powerful interview segments with Yanik Silver, Marc Goldman, and Willie Crawford then you can find them in our new online newsletter archive available at:
Now, for this week's interview excerpt!
One of the questions I know our listeners have in their minds is what levels of success can they achieve with information products. Can you give us an idea how your lifestyle has changed over the last year or two, what you have been able to do - quitting your very successful career to work at your infoproduct business is achievement in itself.
I quite my job in July of 1999 when we were selling products to cosmetic surgeons for $8,000 or so a month. You can really take this as high as you want to go. There's a guy I know in Texas who has a huge mansion, this moat that surrounds his piano that he has inside his house. Marlon Sanders was telling me about this house, it's just amazing and he did it all just through selling information products through mail order.
The way my life has changed now - is essentially, I have the ability to take off whenever I want to, take vacations and pretty much do whatever I want to do. I just got back from Las Vegas for a few days. I recently went on a cruise for a week where we had internet access for .75/minute - but that was ok, even though we ended up spending about $500 on internet access. It takes about 45-minutes to an hour each day to run the business and then you are free.
One of our internet sites - Instant Sales Letters
brings in $250,000/year and I make well over half-a- million dollars with information products.
Wow - that's terrific. And the best part must be not having to put up with sales trainings, territories and other downsides to working for another company.
Ya, that's definitely a great thing because you are not on someone else's schedule, you can do whatever you want. Like this morning, I got up at 10:00 in the morning and it's no big deal.
Let's talk a little about target markets and the importance of developing your product for a niche. I've had many infoproduct entrepreneurs tell me that that's one of the keys to success. Trying to create a product first, then find a market and try to get sales is really one of the biggest mistakes people make trying to break into this industry - so trying to find a niche market key problems and ideas up front is very important?
Yes, absolutely, it all goes back to the fact that you can't fall in love with your idea. It's much easier to sell something when you have a tidal wave of people going in that direction.
One of my friends Patrick Anderson, he heads Adnet, once told me all you have to do is find a wave of traffic and just throw yourself in front of it, and really, that's how easy it is.
You might not have the best copy, you might not have the best offering, or the best product, but if people are red hot and interested in that thing - it doesn't matter
So something you keep track of is the ongoing trends in the industry and try and keep a handle on what is likely to come up next for your market?
Yes, I do it with a couple of tools, there's one called Wordspot (http://www.wordspot.com) that gives you the top 1000 words that people are interested in. Also whenever I'm researching a project I'll go to - well it used to be called Goto.com, it's now Overture - to the keyword tool which allows you to type in a keyword and it tells you how many people searched for it last month.
These will give you an idea of how many people are interested in your product - if you are the only one typing it in, then you are not going to do that well.
Now these are free services right?
Yes, well for Wordspot, you get the first 20 words free and then you have to pay if you want expanded service.
OK - so these are simple, free tools people can use today to find red hot markets?
Absolutely, you can monitor best selling lists, Amazon, Barnes and Noble as well to understand what's hot.
You get the full 35-minute audio interview with Yanik and "Insider" access to product creation techniques used by many master infoproduct developers to earn their fortunes - find out more here:
** Some Recent Site Selloffs
We have mentioned the selloff of Wz.com's assets in past issues. This last week, they privately auctioned off their major newsletter list. The accountants will be in this next week to formally close the books on wz.com.
Another site recently put up for sale is Simon Baxter's Netincomesite.com Due to what Simon and his wife Karen term health reasons, they are auctioning off their entire site and list. In both of these cases, it would be interesting to know how well the new owner will do with each list. While the current owners pulled some $5,000 per month from each list, how another owner will do is of great interest. Especially since the buyers will have paid a premium price per subscriber (well over .20/subscriber).
** Product Review: Affiliate Mistakes Ebook by Chuck McCullough
I read a TON of eBooks each week, but this one stood out from the crowd.
Chuck McCullough is the mastermind behind many online sites including the super successful AffiliateMatch Affiliate Directory. He has recently released a **blockbuster** eBook that will put more money in the pockets of those of you promoting affiliate programs.
Chuck makes a very substantial full-time income from marketing affiliate programs and his directory. Here's just a few of the goodies I found in his eBook:
- Get the **EXACT** methods used by the top 2% of affiliate promoters to make BIG money from their marketing
- A listing of "secret insider" online resources used by the TOP GUNS of affiliate marketing, you can now tap into them too
- Discover the one single "hidden" secret that turns a one time lead for your affiliate product into a lifetime lead to build your online fortune
- Get the very techniques used by top income earners on how to build your affiliate websites for ongoing profits
- Discover powerful techniques you can use to find products that will make you the MOST MONEY for your effort.
- much, much more...
I can't recommend Chuck's eBook highly enough. I like information that's based on PROVEN FACTS. That's what you get from Chuck.
Check it out here:
A publishers portal that provides a little extra. I personally like the People section which profiles authors through interviews. Some really interesting reading. You will get authors from all genres covered - many are along the lines of How To products, but Fiction and other genres are covered as well
Everything you wanted to know about or use to apply for an ISBN number. Do you need an ISBN? You do if you want to get your eBook or tangible book listed with major directories. An ISBN number also will increase your level of credibility and trust in the marketplace. Find out how to apply from this site.
This site bills itself as monthly tracking of just about every consumer magazine published in the US - an amazing feat in itself. This site doesn't disappoint. Find out what new magazines are being launched. Look for trends and notice the amazing number of niche markets publishers are tapping into. Have fun!!
That's it for this week folks...
Have a super week. See if you can set yourself a goal to have get your next product idea or product completed - at least to a draft stage - by the end of 2002. If you do, you may just shock yourself with what you can accomplish in 2003!
I love to hear from you, this newsletter is for you so speak up and let me know what you like or dislike - any and all suggestions welcome You Can Mail Me Here
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