As the title of this article already gave it away, we’re talking about those who master the art of earning a passive income through creating and selling digital products. If they’re not surprised by the cash that found its way into their checking and savings accounts is because once you launch your first product and start getting better and better at it, you just KNOW you’ll make money. You’ll be surprised when a product you created and launched into the world isn’t bringing you the money you were expecting, not when it does.
Becoming a product creator isn’t hard, but it requires some thinking and a dash of creativity. Since you’ve found your way to this article, I’m pretty sure you have what it takes and that’s only a matter of days, maybe weeks, before you’ll be able to launch your very first digital product.
Like anything extraordinary in life, launching your first info product requires some planning. Unfortunately, we can’t just snap our fingers or have Siri or Cortana do it for us, at least not yet. So, get your notebook ready, you’ll have to start inking some ideas soon.
What Exactly Is an Information Product
You might start thinking, “wait a second, what if I can’t create a digital product?”, and it wouldn’t be a weird thing to think that. Even the most successful product creators had that thought in the beginning. When you’re thinking of a “product” your mind is hardwired to picture a laptop or a bag of Minties – something you can’t create in your living room from scratch. A digital product is something else – it’s basically knowledge packed into the form of an eBook, a training course, a membership site or even coaching sessions.
An info product is something you create by distilling your experience in solving a very particular problem that a very specific group of people deal with, and those people don’t care much about the wrapping. They only need the solution. As long as you’re able to write or talk about how to solve that problem, you have the most valuable resource you’d ever need to create your digital product.
If you hate writing, do a video course. If you hate talking in from of a camera, do an audio book. If you hate the idea of hearing yourself (some of us do, and that’s OK), do an eBook. Your digital product can take any shape you want. If it passes on your knowledge and experience in solving a problem, you’re selling an info product and you’re a heck of a great product creator.
The First Rule of Product Creation
The first rule of creating a digital product is that you don’t talk about creating a digital product. OK, I’m just joking. The first rule is to:
KNOW WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU’RE TRYING TO HELP!
It’s simple. To have an information product, you need a problem to solve, but problems don’t grow on trees, they’re bugging the hell out of nice people. If you don’t know who those people are, you can’t really know what their problems are and how many other solutions you might help them discover through your products.
You might say that you know how to solve a single problem, and you can just focus on that. That leaves you clueless in front of all the questions you should answer regarding your own marketing plan. What key messages should you adopt? Where and how should you advertise the solution you’re selling? How much should you charge for a copy of your eBook/video content? Also, that one problem you focused on might be just the least important issue these people are dealing with, not the big one that they would pour money on your head to solve.
To create a good digital product, you need to know who is it that you’re trying to help. This is the most important rule about creating an info product and the source of all your ideas for profitable products.
Do this: Write down a brief description of your target group (the people you’d like to help): how old are they, what do they do for a living, what do they want in life, where do they live, what are some of their favourite brands, etc.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s dig deep into planning your info product creation journey.
Pit Stop #1: Get to Know Your Target Through the Things They Say
When you’re ready to start work on your product, you should schedule 3-4 hours for taking a look at the stories people in your target group are sharing online. You can do this by visiting the most popular forums and Facebook groups the people you want to help usually visit and search for the posts where people rant about the things that really get on their nerves.
It’s a good way to find out what type of stuff people are most passionate about and what sorts of situations they deal with in their everyday life. When your sock slips off in your shoe, you don’t rant about it online. It happens. When you try to solve an issue, and every solution you’ve tried has failed, you tend to get tense when talking/writing about it and you’re more inclined to spend a lot of money to finally solve it.
A user on a popular internet forum complains that they have spent thousands of dollars on a personal trainer, to be just as dissatisfied with their body as the moment they started.
Another user complains that their wedding is getting more and more expensive because they didn’t realise how many things were missing from the cost estimate the planner presented them in the beginning.
Do this: Visit a big internet forum and write down the top reasons why people wrote the most intense rants. Is there a pattern? Are there some topics your friends or colleagues had to also deal with in the past?
Pit Stop #2: Get to Know Your Target Through the Questions They Ask Online
The Yahoo! Answers pages are good for something more than the unintentionally hilarious questions. Together with Quora, they’re some of the best places to find out what people would like to know, what issues they find no solution for, and ultimately how your product could help them.
If you invest a couple of hours in browsing the platforms, maybe check out the trending topics, you might uncover a problem you can solve and start making money.
Do this: Head over to Quora.com and search for questions related to your professional experience. Write down the topics with no satisfactory answers.
Pit Stop #3: Get to Know Your Target Through Their Google Searches
How many searches do you think there are every month for Paleo recipes? What about searches for how to train for a bikini body? Getting into the world of affiliate marketing? Become a virtual assistant? All of these topics are helping product creators make money because they’re important issues that very specific groups of people want to solve.
Doing keyword research can help you find out what sorts of problems people have and how often they search for answers.
Do this: Go to keywordtool.io and search for some of the topics/problems you have identified on internet forums, Yahoo! Answers or Quora. Are the any new problems you can identify? Are there any problems for which nobody came up with a solution so far?
Pit Stop #4: Figure Out What You’ve Got to Offer
Now that you saw what the people you want to help struggle with, it’s time to take a closer look at your experience – what knowledge you possess and they might need.
Something that also differentiates an info product from a physical one is that the knowledge-based one focuses on your experience and expertise. They’re part of the product you’re about to sell. There’s no point in studying for 4 years a topic and only then getting the knowledge to launch your product. If you have to work for 4 years to get it out there, then it’s not generating a passive income, is it? That is why you need to focus on what you already know, the solutions you already found.
Many people underestimate their own ability and expertise, and you might be one of them. You might say, “oh, but I know nothing that people will pay for”, and you’d be wrong. You overestimate the abilities of others while you underestimate yourself. Just as there are things you can’t do yourself (mainly because you never studied in that field or never been interested in it), there are also many people who lack your expertise and are willing to pay for it.
You need to understand this thing I keep repeating: selling information products means that you’re creating very specific products for very specific target groups.
Do this: List the problems you have identified in one list, and your skills and experiences in problem-solving in another one. What problems could your experience help people solve? Is there a skill you have acquired that could be applied to a very different problem and solve it?
Example: People complain that the clothes they like are too expensive. Someone who worked as a sales representative could write an eBook on what hacks customers could use to get discounts on the items they want.
Pit Stop #5: Draft Your Promise
Once you know what problem you want to solve and what you have to offer, it’s time to state your product’s promise. What happens when people buy your product? What will they gain from it?
Think of it this way, your product’s promise can be used as its sub-headline, telling people WHY they should buy.
- Get Rid of 10 cm Off Your Waist Without Starving Yourself
- Improve your SAT Scores in Under a Week
- Launch Your Reviews Blog in Under 2 Hours
Do this: Write down a few versions of your promise and play around with them. How would your promise change if it had to relate to what can be achieved in a week? Is your solution the fastest or the cheapest or easiest to implement?
Pit Stop #6: Draft the Steps to Success
Once your product’s promise is clear, you can start work on planning the architecture of your product. With the goal in mind (the promise), think about, list, and organise the necessary steps one has to make to achieve it. How many steps will people have to complete? How will they know they did it the right way?
With these questions in mind, and focused on your product’s value proposition, it will be easy to draft the steps. What might prove to be a bit tricky here is to remain focused on the solution and not digress and start confusing or overwhelming your buyers. It’s vital to remember that the buyer isn’t trying to acquire all the knowledge you have to share, they only want to solve their problem, nothing more, nothing less.
Do this: Pick up your notebook and this time start listing the steps your buyer would have to compete to solve their problem by using your solution. When you’re done, try to identify the steps that left uncompleted would destroy all progress. Now ignore all the rest of the steps and only focus on the ones you identified a moment ago – you just created the structure of your first digital product.
Pit Stop #7: Figure Out How You Want to Deliver Your Product
There are many, many options and they’ll impact the time you’ll need to create your product, the budget you’ll need to invest.
If you plan on delivering your product as an eBook or a simple PDF file, the time you’ll have to dedicate to designing and editing the product will be of only a few days, but if you plan on launching a membership website, that can take even a few months.
Another thing you should take into consideration is the way the delivery method will impact the content consumption and decide if you need to adapt it to the medium you’ll use.
Do This: Go to JVZoo.com and check out some of the products people are selling. Make a list of the delivery solutions other people in your niche are using and then do a pros and cons list for each of them. It should help you decide what is the best way to deliver your info product.
As you saw, creating your own information product isn’t hard, you just need put your thinking cap on and get to work. Based on your notes or just on what you read, you can now move on to the next chapter in your info product adventure – writing, editing, designing or filming your digital product.