You’ve probably noticed the number of marketers selling information products online. Some useful, some not so useful. It seems an easy way of making money online. Have some knowledge about a topic or do some research, create, for example, a PDF or audio or video, and sell it.
Yet, why does it hardly ever work out for people who go into it?
It looks easy, and even fast to make some money, but there’s a fundamental mistake.
A business selling information products is just that: a business. It’s like any other business on or offline.
Here are some pros and cons.
1 There is a low cost to entry. This attracts many people. You can start with almost no money, and the world is your market on the internet. But for the majority of those people, the low entry cost means the prices they can charge are also kept low. There are many people doing just like you. The fundamental problem is they have no strategy of their own, They’re just repeating what they see online.
2 They’re not fitting their business to the needs of the people in the niche. Those people can get very similar products from plenty of other marketers. Thus the lower prices. The information is the same. Think of this usual advice you might have come across many times before to start an online business: create a website, publish some content on it, have an opt in page, build your list, and sell products to the list; or you might have ads on your site.
This rarely works as it stands. The technical side can be overwhelming. What products to sell is a common stumbling block. This is before you get to the problem of how to persuade visitors or subscribers to buy your product. Usually, people trying this have not considered or found out what their market wants. There’s nothing separating them from other sellers in that market.
3 Your products are your value. If you really do know your niche topic so you can present it in some detailed and/or wide way which is also useful to your buyers, then people will want your products if they fit their needs.
Think of it this way: you’re not selling products. You’re selling the value to your customers. You should be able to answer the question: Of what value is this product to them?
4 Be unique. To be competitive in your market you have to be different, in fact aim to be unique. That is, in your products, business organization, the processes in getting the work done, and relationship with customers. Give people something they can’t get anywhere else which has value for them, and they need.
In contrast to this, there’s often the urge to be the best and so beat your competition. But there can be many successes in one market. Because each business is unique in the same market and providing something their competitors aren’t.
5 Your business processes make up your business strategy. These are the actions you take in doing business. There’s attracting traffic, converting to customers, and creating products. Again, the strategy is not something like, “Be the best”. But your optimized practices.
6 Create unique and/or evergreen products. Do this to give value to your customers they can’t get anywhere else. Also, if you can create evergreen ones they will last for years. If you don’t then you’ll have to keep changing your products and creating new ones as circumstances, and even fads, change.
In effect all this depends on how you position yourself in your market. If you’re simply another business similar to all the others in your market, it’s unlikely it will last.