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Business Strategy

The Ugly Truth About Info Products: 5 Essential Criteria for Success

Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians

True story: I was walking home from Starbucks and found an information product perched against a fence. It looked like it was time warped from the 80s – cassette tapes and all!

And it was called – get this – “The Secrets of Power Negotiation: You Can Get Anything You Want.”

I’m kind of ashamed to admit it – it was a good headline – got me hook, line and sinker.

Out of all the people who could have found this blunt relic of 1980s marketing, it had to me.

Was this a practical joke?

While peering around carefully for hidden cameras, I quickly bent down, picked it up, dusted it off and brought it home with me.

And here’s what I found when I got home and listened to the tape.

The secret is not what a voice from the 80s would have you to believe – power negotiating – the secret is a lot simpler…

Know what to do when – and do it. In other words, use the right strategy at the right time.

One big problem I’m seeing is that so many people put so much time, energy and money into creating info products that will never make any money and never go anywhere…
It’s not because their knowledge and expertise isn’t valuable, but because they’re not in the position to profit from info products. No one can magically create a lucrative info product business overnight. It’s not about flipping a switch, it’s about building a following and really understanding their needs. And that takes time.

While info products are without a doubt a great strategy for leveraging your time, creating passive income – and, yes, making money while you sleep – the question is are they right for you now? And how do you know?

This quick checklist will let you know once and for all whether you’ve got all the pieces in place to start building info products now.

If you answer YES to all 5 of the questions below, then it’s ready aim fire (or ready fire aim, as the case may be).

If you answer NO to 1 or more of the questions above, you may want to focus on turning that NO into a YES before fully throwing yourself into developing your info product.

  1. I make over $100K/year.It takes money to make money, and products are rarely the fastest way to the cash. If you haven’t crossed the 6-figure threshold in your business, you may want to focus on bringing in consistent revenue through one-on-one clients or group programs, before turning to products. It’s a common mistake to expect overnight success and income with products but it really happens that way. Most people spend a significant amount of time building their relationships and following before successfully releasing a mid-to-high-end product (from $297-1997).
  2. I have at least 2,000 people on my mailing list.You can’t sell products if you don’t have an audience to sell them to. Even if you form joint venture and affiliate partnerships, it helps to have a core following you can promote to. If you have a tested, viable offer, you should be able to make at least 20 sales – or convert 1% of a 2000 person list.
  3. I can reach at least 10,000 more people through speaking engagements, affiliate and joint venture partnerships.Success with info products really is a numbers game – the more people you reach, the more sales you’ll make. As a general rule of thumb, your sales will be higher the longer and more directly you are able to engage your audience. You can usually convert a larger percentage of the room from a 2-hour talk than a 1-hour talk; in-person talks convert better than webinars/teleseminars; webinars/teleseminars convert better than standalone email or video launch campaigns; email and video launch campaigns convert better than a single email and sales page. Even the best products often only convert at 3-5% online – and that’s with an email and video launch campaign.
  4. I have defined my audience, evaluated their needs, and created a product that solves a specific problem that they have. I am confident I can help my audience get the results I promise.Many people spend months – if not years – creating a product that no one needs and wants. Before you invest the time and effort on your product, it’s essential to do the market research to test and fine-tune your idea. Remember your product is not for you and your peers. It has to be developed, positioned and packaged in a way that meets your audience where they are and solves the urgent and specific problems that they have. In short, my product works and I’m confident that it will help my audience.
  5. I have studied “the competition,” I know my message, and I understand how my product is different from and more valuable than everything else in the market.Most likely, there are dozens if not hundreds of people who do what you do. Your audience needs to know why they should buy from you and not one of your peers or competitors. If you don’t stand out in the marketplace, there’s no reason for anyone to buy. Luckily, there are many opportunities to stand out in the marketplace, including how you do what you do, your story or why you do what you do, your unique framework or methodology, and the results you get for people.

If you answered YES to all 5 questions above, then it’s time to start creating and marketing your blockbuster info product.

Remember, if you answered NO to 1 or more of the questions above, that doesn’t mean you should giving up on your idea. It simply means, taking the time to set yourself up for success.

Now go out there and live your message.

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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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