We live in the “Information Age.”
People’s “need to know” fuels online research, contributes millions to the self-help industry, and serves as the guiding motive with many of today’s D.I.Y. (do it yourself) projects.
“A recent report from Pew Research Center revealed that 82 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases.”
Resource guides, ebooks, video series, and online classes enable “the average Joe” to make more informed decisions to help save time, money, learn a new skill, and live a better quality of life.
Consider the popularity and huge success of Wiley Publishing’s “Books For Dummies” Series. These how-to titles range from investing, to test taking, to how to navigate various software programs – and according to their site boasts “3,000, 000 dummies” to date.
Information Brokering is Big Business
For today’s business owner and entrepreneurs, information products are a great way to provide value, strengthen their brand messaging, increase their customer base and their bottom line.
If You Are Contemplating Taking the Plunge, Here Are a Few Things to Consider to Optimize Your Efforts:
Your Goals: Is it to promote a product or service? Increase awareness of an important social cause? Draw more fans via social media? Gain a competitive edge in your industry? The clearer you are here, the fewer detours you’ll experience on the road to success.
Your Target audience and their “pain points”: Here’s an example for the purpose of clarity. Let’s take a look at celebrity Chef, Rachael Ray. She was able to distinguish herself, make a lot of dough (pun intended) and garner a cult-like following by simply teaching women (and men) how to cook delicious meals in thirty minutes or less.
As she expressed on one of her shows, this was in response to the many times she would hear women complain that cooking was too time consuming and complicated, with their busy lives. Ray’s success was cemented by creating information products through various cookbooks and popular culinary classes.
What problem does your typical customer or fan face? What information gaps might they need assistance with? Start here. Not quite sure? Consider conducting online surveys, polls and discussion boards. Survey Monkey is a great online tool to guide you.
Your Resources: This would take into consideration your marketing budget, available manpower or service providers, and your time availability for successful execution.
Here Are 4 Reasons Introducing Information Products to Your Company’s Offerings Makes Good Business Sense:
Increase your reach and your influence.
Unlike a “brick and mortar store” with limited shelf space, and heavy reliance on foot traffic, information products can be widely produced, marketed and distributed online indefinitely, with the potential to reach thousands of customers across the globe. It’s a savvy, strategic way to “win friends and influence people.”
Businessknowhow.com states: “Web can connect you with vast networks of customers, solidify your business image, and create continual growth. If you’re passionate and knowledgeable about something – whether it’s gardening or politics or investing in commodities – you can use the Internet to profit from your expertise. It’s all about providing valuable information and selling your knowledge in a way that people are willing to pay for.”
Expand your business hours and make money around the clock.
There is no “closing hour” to deal with. Operate 24/7. With digital downloads and virtual “shopping carts“, you can make money while you sleep. And information products can provide great passive income.
Broaden your customer base exponentially.
Social media gives today’s businesses the opportunity to connect and communicate with different demographics with minimal effort through Tweets, online contests, discussion boards and blogs.
Depending upon your business focus and the services you offer, you might create an information product such as a series of video posts on how to design a blog, or hire a gardener, or teach a class, or decorate on a budget. Sometimes these small efforts can have huge impact; particularly those that “go viral.”
Amplify your brand message.
Information products are a great way to further your mission, share your corporate values, and keep your products and services continuously in the eyes and minds of today’s consumers (even for future purchases and consideration).
For example, an ebook that’s provided through your website for free now, (on something like helpful tips on travel safety for singles) could result in the purchase of a paid class sponsored through your company next month. Get the idea here?
Below are some popular ideas to implement for information products for your business:
- Membership sites
- Printable forms
- Coaching sessions
Whether your business is just starting or has been operating successfully for many years, information products can help your company stay relevant, stand out from the competition, and “brand” you in a positive way.
Follow these timely tips to show others that when it comes to educating and enhancing your customers and clients, you mean business.
Author: Mike Hanski is a part of a team behind PlagiarismCheck, where he’s in charge of blogging and creating content strategies. He likes to write about writing craft and his freelance experience and often tweets about lit and sci-fi.