In a recent podcast episode, I explained why it’s so important for freelancers to create multiple income streams.
I made a case for info products, and why they can form the basis for a healthy, secondary income stream for you.
And I laid out two different paths for success in the info product market.
Today I’m going to tell you where to start your info product journey, if this is a path you want to pursue.
Focus on Creating Just ONE Product
First, let me talk about the elephant in the room.
By my calculations, there are around 45,872,982 “gurus” out there vying to teach people how to create and sell info products. Some of them are good. But many of them are making ridiculous promises and peddling garbage.
The info product path to success requires a long-term view, not a get-rich-quick approach. Developing a steady and reliable secondary income stream takes time and patience.
And the best way to start is by focusing on creating just ONE product.
That’s right, just one simple product.
If you’ve been following my advice for a while, you probably know that I’m a big advocate of taking fast and deliberate action.
In fact, nearly everything I do follows a “Ready, Fire, Aim!” pattern. I’m all about creating a “minimum viable product” and rapid prototyping. That’s because, in this business, nothing will stall you faster than months (or years!) of planning and preparation.
Yes, you have to pay the price of training, preparation and practice. But most of us overdo it. Mainly out of fear!
And before we know it life has gotten in the way. And our info product remains just a rough idea in our heads.
So when you’re starting out, the best thing you can do is to focus on just one product—one focused product for one single target market.
You’re not trying to be everything to everyone. Instead, you’re offering to solve a specific problem for a very specific audience.
Assuming everything works out well, you can later expand on that first product by creating other courses, classes, seminars, publications or coaching around your core topic.
Avoid the Extremes
Which brings up another question: What format should your first info product take? A printed book? A Kindle? A coaching program? A PDF guide?
Most people will choose to start with a low-cost product (say a Kindle e-book or PDF guide). A few brave souls will go to the other end of the spectrum and launch a high-end offering, such as a coaching program.
But here’s the problem: On one hand, a low-cost product, such as a Kindle book or PDF guide, won’t cover your costs of acquiring new customers. And it won’t cover your cost of creating your product in the first place (or at least not for a long time).
On the other hand, launching a high-end product is not a smart move either. It’s way too risky because you’re asking your audience to invest a lot of money before they develop a relationship with you.
The mistake I made when I was getting started was the former: thinking I could make a great living selling a ton of $19, $39 or $69 digital products!
Making a great living by selling low-priced products alone is no longer a viable business model. Yes, there are exceptions. I know a few info product creators who started out writing PDF e-books and are still earning a good living from marketing their advice in that format. And good for them!
But for someone starting out today in the info product space, that’s a very difficult road to take.
Your Best Bet When Starting Out
If low-end and high-end products aren’t good info product choices, then what is?
Today, your best bet is to start your info product journey with an online course.
An online course is typically a multi-media training program consisting of audio and/or video and handouts (it can be one or the other: audio or video).
This format has a number of advantages over other info product types, including the following:
#1: Higher perceived value
Everything else being equal, people perceive online courses as more valuable than books, e-books or other printed materials.
Part of the reason is that you’re including several modalities in your training: audio, video (totally optional), written summaries, worksheets, diagrams, templates, etc. So you’re addressing how people learn in a number of ways.
The typical price point for an online course is somewhere in the $50 to $500 range. Compare that to Kindles, printed books and PDF guides, which might command $3 to $30.
#2: Easy to create
Yes, this format often takes longer to create and produce than a low-priced product. But creating audio or video content is easier than you think. You don’t have to get in front of a camera if you don’t want to. It can be audio-only. Or if you want to illustrate some concepts, you could do it in your handouts. Or you could present it via a PowerPoint screen capture with your voice in the background.
#3: Simple to repurpose
Finally, when you start with a course, it’s easier to splinter off and reuse some your content in other areas of your business. For instance, you could use one of your course worksheets or checklists as a lead magnet for attracting new prospects. Or you could use the course as the basis for an interactive coaching program on the same material.
Don’t Just Follow the Pack
As you wrap your head around the idea of setting up a secondary income stream through info products, don’t get trapped into trying to replicate strategies that may have worked well in the past but don’t work well today.
And don’t get overwhelmed by trying to come up with an entire suite of products all at once.
Instead, take it from someone who’s been there and commit to starting with only ONE product.
And then consider making online courses your preferred info product format.
Want Me to Help You?
If you’d like to create a secondary income stream for yourself, check this out…
I’m about to teach a few ambitious freelancers how to create and launch a successful info product. If you’d like to join us, email me [ed at b2blauncher dot com] … put “INFO PRODUCT” in the subject line … and I’ll reply with all the details.