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From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money Selling Info Products

The term "Infopreneur" is a relatively new industry buzz word that is making waves because it opens doors for entrepreneurs to generate new streams of income. Simply put, an infopreneur sells information.

Information products are offered in a variety of formats including books, e-books, special reports, audio formats, videos, workbooks, tips booklets, and virtually any method in which you can deliver information. Many successful entrepreneurs have been doing this for years. Here are some examples:

*Joan Stewart is a publicity expert and operates www.PublicityHound.com. With over 100 special reports and audio recordings of the teleconferences she hosts, Joan is a master infopreneur.

*Dottie Walters is the author of "Speak and Grow Rich" and several other books, and the founder of www.SpeakandGrowRich.com. In addition to her published books, Dottie sells audio programs, subscriptions to "Sharing Ideas," her magazine for speakers, and weekend-long seminars.

*Dan Poynter is the author of "The Self-Publishing Manual" and other books. This savvy infopreneur has built his enterprise based on his expertise in several areas: publishing, parachuting, serving as an expert witness, and cats. Dan sells dozens of special reports and mailing lists through his website: www.parapublishing.com.

Benefits of Info Products

Aside from the additional revenue stream info products generate, there are numerous hidden benefits. For example, many authors treat their books like a business card, using them to open doors to new business opportunities. A book gives you more credibility and makes you more interesting to the media. With the right spin on your topic, media exposure could bring you a windfall of new business. Just look at any author who has made it onto the Today Show or Oprah. Even an article in a local newspaper can prompt hundreds of readers to buy your book.

As you add more info products to your line, you spin a web of opportunity. Each product may appeal to each customer differently. Some may buy one product, others may buy another product, and ideally, most customers will return to purchase multiple products.

Each product provides the opportunity to reach new markets with your advertising efforts. You automatically create a new reason to send a press release when you announce a new product. You can also promote the new product to your newsletter subscribers and to other businesses that compliment yours. These target marketing opportunities could change with each new product introduced since each could appeal to a different audience.

Giveaways are another fantastic use for info products. For example, you could reward new subscribers to your e-zine by giving away a free e-book. Or you could send your e-book to other business owners and allow them to distribute it for free, provided all of your contact information remains intact. This strategy will ultimately bring you new customers and that all important exposure to your audience.

You can also negotiate rights to resell your content. Paulette Ensign creates bound tips booklets and has sold them by the thousands to businesses who use them as giveaways for their own customers and employees. Not only does she make money selling the reprint rights to the booklets, but she reaches thousands of potential new customers.

What to Write About

Everybody is an expert at something. If you run a successful business, that makes you an expert in your industry. Or perhaps you are an expert at a hobby, sport, or other special skill. Here are some tips for coming up with product ideas:

*Conduct a survey with your customers and ask them what information they need or would like to know.

*Teach people how to do something.

*Create a directory. Do you have a list of 50 or more resources that people in your industry need? Sell it!

*Read books from your field of interest. Is there a book that covers an important piece of information in one chapter that deserves to be expanded upon? Could you write a whole book or a special report about that topic?

*Make a list of potential guests that you can interview and host teleseminars. You could charge for the seminars, or offer them for free and sell the recordings.

*Outline some topics and consider teaching at your local adult learning center or become a professional public speaker. You can also sell recordings of your live presentations.

*Produce a video recording of a demonstration, speech, or technique..

*Take an inventory of the people you know. Can you incorporate them into your projects? People like real-world examples and advice from experts. Interview your peers and include excerpts in your print publications or audio products.

Keys to Info Product Success In order to convince customers to get out the credit card and buy from you, your products need to meet the following criteria:

*Credibility: Demonstrate any credentials that you have in your field. This is not the time to be shy. Publicize your education, experience, awards, or achievements in the area that you specialize. Strangers are not going to buy from you unless you can demonstrate your ability to deliver on your promises.

*Quality: There are a lot of information products out there and some are downright lousy. Make sure that whatever you produce is of the highest quality. Written documents should be professionally edited. Audio or video programs should also be edited.

*Value: There is a fine balance when determining the price of products. Too many infopreneurs price their products out of the ballpark. Check to see how your competitors are pricing their products. Some price products higher to demonstrate the extreme value of the information they are selling. If you use this strategy, be sure you are delivering information that is worth its weight at checkout.

*Delivery: With electronic products such as e-books and reports, customers who purchase want instant gratification. Though you can manually e-mail electronic products once a sale is completed, it's best to set up a system to automate the delivery process. An added advantage of automation is that you won't have to constantly check e-mail for sales notifications and you can actually make money and deliver products while you sleep.

If you mail products, be sure to set up a streamlined process for shipping. Compare shipping options with the U.S. post office (www.usps.gov), United Parcel Service (www.ups.com), and Federal Express (www.FedEx.com).

*Marketing: No business can survive without marketing. You need to let people know you are there so you can entice them into buying from you. A solid marketing plan is essential to success with info products.

*Development: All info products should be up to date. At the same time, new products should be in development and should compliment other products you have available. Think about how McDonald's structures its business. The fast food chain relies on a staple of products (Big Macs, French fries, Quarter Pounders) and introduces new products throughout the year. Some products are only available for a limited time-a chance to test the market viability. The products that sell best are added to the permanent menu.

Marketing

If you're going to sell info products, you need a way to promote them. The first place to begin is with a website. A website can reach a potential customer base that spans the globe. Your own website allows you to establish your credibility, build a database of site visitors, and promote and sell your products directly.

Strategies for Promoting Info Products

*Host a website that specializes in topics related to your info products. Provide free information as a sample of what you have to offer. If you offer free information that is useful, you can eventually convert many of those free users into real buyers.

*Conduct public speaking engagements (including workshops, seminars, and classes). Seminar speaking experience helps you earn credibility while gaining valuable exposure and experience.

*Hold teleconferences to share information. Ask peers to announce your events in their e-zines or on their website. Even if you aren't selling your product up front, you are exposing people to your products.

*Distribute a newsletter or e-zine. This is an inexpensive yet valuable way to market to your customers.

*Up-sell and promote additional products when someone makes a purchase. Include a brochure about your other products when you ship an item or offer the buyer a special discount on a related product at the time of purchase.

*Establish yourself as an expert in your field by being seen and heard everywhere. Participate in interviews, publish articles in print and online, and seize every possible opportunity to get your name out there.

*Take advantage of media exposure. Radio is an inexpensive way to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. Many talk radio programs accept experts through call-in format. If your topic is interesting enough to reach a broad range of listeners, you could go on a radio tour right from the comfort of your own home. Print publicity is also beneficial. Find news angles for your topic and contact newspaper, magazine, and TV reporters.

*Create an affiliate program. Offer other businesses the opportunity to sell your products and pay them a percentage of each sale.

*Swap advertising with websites and e-zines that reach your target market.

As you develop a plan to generate and sell your own info products, take notice of how others are doing it. You may even want to purchase some info products from business owners that you admire so you can evaluate the content. Learn from those who are already successful so you can emulate their success. Soon you could be generating income while you sleep.

For additional resources on developing an infopreneur business, visit www.BusinessInfoGuide.com/infopreneur.htm.

About the Author:
Stephanie Chandler is the author of "The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams!" and founder of http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. Subscribe to the newsletter for hot tips and small business tools.

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