Will and I have been putting the finishing touches on the book for SelfMadeU (I talked about it’s conception in The Birth of a Product) and felt compared to share a section on information product creation with you. The following is from the “Money” section where I give a bunch of methods for procuring that potentially slippery stuff. This is part of the bit on information products that I had a ton of fun putting together (and using). What do you think of it? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments!
you don’t even have to steal – just ask
You don’t need to be an expert [insert topic/skill/anything] to teach others about [insert topic/skill/anything]. There’s another option: you can channel the experts! Compiling the expertise of others has the following benefits:
- You get to create a product you can sell for a bunch of money without knowing anything about the subject.
- You can get access to talk with fascinating people that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to spend time with otherwise.
- You can use the following of those experts to help sell your product.
- You can gain skills and knowledge from some of the smartest people in the field.
- You can build a product much more quickly by gathering information than producing it all yourself.
- It’s natural to create audio and visual content that sells at a premium to written words.
Pretty compelling, huh?
I’d like to emphasize the importance of the sixth point – audio and visual content sells at a premium to written words. Having an audio version of an ebook will often allow you double it’s price. Adding video to your course or product can boost the price hundreds of dollars. Pricing a product is a whole other topic so I don’t want to dive in too deep here but keep in mind that getting as much video as possible will boost the value of your product.
Pick one (or more) of these nine methods for creating an information product below and make the damn thing!
- Interview experts. Record the interviews (audio or video) and then transcribe them. You can also hire someone to transcribe them cheaply using a service like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Now take everything and organize it into a useful product! You will want to extensively interview each person to get specific action-steps that will make the core of your product. Be brave in seeking out your experts – you would be amazed at the people that would be grateful to give an interview. Doctors, college professors, PhDs, businesspeople, authors are all flattered when somebody is interested in what they have to say. Especially authors! They need to sell more books, they need their idea to spread, so help them!
- Buy Private Label Rights (PLR) products and revamp them. These are all products that you can buy, learn from, and then resell. You could buy an ebook that somebody else wrote, re-design it, and then sell it as your own (with your name and picture on it). You could read an ebook and create an audio book out of it. You could buy a bunch and then bundle them. What I’m saying is you can do whatever you want to with them. Check out www.master-resale-rights.com and www.plrwholesaler.com for some ideas.
- Adapt a successful ebook into another language. Hire a translator and resell that thing! Ebooks are becoming a massive market in the world’s most massive market – China.
- Steal bits of expertise. Go to a site like www.ezinearticles.com and steal bits and pieces from 60 or so articles. This isn’t illegal as long as you keep the author’s “resources box” at the bottom of the piece. You are going to want to use small chunks of information from each piece and in different places. Then go to YouTube and find relevant videos to spice up your ebook. Create a PDF out of the thing and start selling it.
- Find popular questions and answer them. Create a questionnaire for your target market asking them about the most frustrating problems they’re having. You can do this by creating a page with some content on it then putting a questionnaire at the bottom. After you have 10 or so popular questions go research them and write the answers. If you’re a true lazy ass – or just efficient – you can hire someone at Elance.com, ContentDivas.com, Guru.com, or similar sites to research and write the answers.
- Set up and record a webinar or teleseminar. Remember that video is ideal. Invite two to three experts. If you use GoToMeeting you can allow participants to ask questions. Have the whole thing transcribed and then put it into a format you could sell.
- Film a seminar. You probably aren’t the point of throwing a seminar on your topic yet. However, you could find somebody who is. Then offer to film it and create a product out of what you’ve made.
- Screen capture your skills. If there is a skill you have that you can teach people on the computer then record it! You can quickly create a product of you talking your way through any activity on the computer. You can use a free product like http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ or pay for something more professional.
- Create an audio course. In six hours of talking you will speak more than 50,000 words – that’s a lot. It takes me six hours to write 8000 words on a good day. The quality may not be the same but the power of speed is most definitely there.
There is a ton of value in putting form to knowledge. Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand is a great example of this. Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, never brought all of her philosophy into one non-fiction volume. While Atlas Shrugged was her magnum opus and supposedly included everything you would ever want to know about Objectivism (her philosophy) it was a novel at the end of the day. Peikoff came along and made his work giving form to her philosophy.
At the end of the day, “everything is a remix“, so don’t be afraid to give old information new form. It can be of great value to you – and great value to us.
Which of these is most exciting to you? Do you have any ideas that aren’t on the list? Post a comment and let us know!