3 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an Information Product
Having your own information product gives you considerable advantages in the Internet Marketing arena. For instance, being a product owner
- boosts your perceived expertise,
- makes it easier to advertise on certain platforms,
- helps you grow your list,
- enables you to automatize your business,
- helps you scale your business - you have a world-wide audience to sell to.
Moreover, as a product owner you have control over the product and how you present it to your leads and clients.
And it’s not all: when you have created more products, you can mix and match them in various sales funnels, which gives you tremendous flexibility in serving your clients’ wants and needs.
This sounds great… Yes? Who wouldn’t love having so much freedom…
But if you are like me, something deep down holds you enthusiasm in check and makes you ask: “Where is the catch?”
And you are right. After all, we are in the Internet Marketing arena! Just as all the other oh-so-promising IM strategies, product creation has its own set of pitfalls. So, before you take off and put all your energy, money, and hopes in your great idea, please slow down for a few seconds and make sure you avoid these three mistakes:
1. Creating content before doing market research
Many product developers are so deeply involved with their idea and so convinced that everyone else will recognize its value, they go ahead and create their product without checking whether it resonates with the market.
Believing in your product is great. Not doing your market research is not. It takes two to tango, in the Internet Marketing business just as in any other business. Unfortunately, great ideas don’t always make great products. Even if your market NEEDS your product, they don’t necessarily WANT it. Or they do not want it the way you made it. Maybe they are in for slow dancing, while you are tangoing away.
Anyhow, getting to know your clients and their deep desires, pains, fears and hopes might slow you down in the beginning, but it will save you lots of headaches and disappointments in the long run.
2. Focusing mostly on content creation
Converting our off-line skills or expertise into an information product is almost a must these days. But many of us underestimate the amount of non-content work required in the online space. That’s because content is the major focus of our work in an established off-line field or business. That’s what we are getting paid for! The supporting infrastructure and processes run quietly in the background, nearly invisible, taken for granted. Not so online.
Content creation is only one of the many tasks information product developers have to attend to. To start with, your clients must have access to your product online. Thus you have to purchase a domain, get hosting, create a website and most likely a secure membership area where your product resides. Not to forget that you have to automatize the whole sales process, including checkout and payment processing.
Does it sound too complicated?
It’s not. It’s all perfectly manageable. But it takes time. Time and patience, because all the involved technology has to be fitted together and integrated. Thus unless you thrive on stress, please do not schedule your product launch until all the technology dances to your tune.
You can of course subcontract all these tasks. But if you want to stay in charge and keep your processes lean and mean, I recommend that you take the time and learn about the involved technology and its pros and cons.
Tackling the technology is quite a milestone, but we are not done yet. Experienced product owners will tell you that the art of mastering information products is not in making them, but in selling them. A huge part of their effort goes to specifying their sales & marketing strategy - unique selling proposition, product presentation, price, proof, testimonials, scarcity, bonuses etc. - and working with JV partners.
Whether you work with joint venture partners and affiliates or rely on yourself, promoting and selling your product can take more time than creating it. Which brings us to the third pitfall.
3. Approaching the product creation in a linear sequence
Info-product creation courses typically follow the classical, comfortable straight-line approach. First you create your product, then you set up the necessary technology, and then you promote and sell (if the training covers this part). In some cases, you will not even get a description of what you have to do next until you have completed the previous step.
Based on my own experience, such A -> B -> C approach is neat and clean, but neither efficient nor effective when applied to information product development.
There isn’t one perfect way of creating a product, but outlining the content and focusing on your sales & marketing strategy is a pretty good start. In fact, many products – for instance live courses, boot camps and even e-books - are promoted and sold before they have been created. If nothing else, begin creating and cultivating your audiences and connecting with jv’s and affiliates as soon as you can. If possible, before you have started working on your product. You do not want that your finished product wilts on the shelf, unnoticed and unsold, while you are finally networking and mobilizing the affiliate army.
To fully enjoy the benefits of having your own product, please take your time and get on a reconnaissance mission first. Analyze your market. Jump in a heli and get a bird’s eye view of your complete product development path. Identify potential bottlenecks, risks and unsolved issues, and allow enough time in your planning to resolve them. Now, after completing your homework, you can submerge in the incredibly intricate details of your content, knowing that you are building on a solid base.
Nonetheless, even if you’ve done your due diligence, the path to creating an information product is paved with surprises and challenges. But I bet you’ve suspected it all along, and your mind is already busy contemplating your own product. Why would you read to the end of this blog otherwise? And if you’ve skipped the text and jumped to the conclusion, you too have the product making qualities – starting at the end and reverse engineering is one of the keys to success!
Wishing you the best of luck and lots of success,
P.S. There are a few more benefits of creating your own information product I haven’t mentioned yet:
- you will learn a lot;
- you will realize how much you’ve learned already;
- sharing your knowledge with others is a very rewarding aspect of product creation.
P.P.S. Please leave a comment below. I love to hear what moves you, inspires you, excites you...
Be you, be free, and the future is yours… starting NOW!