Information products are an author’s best friend; they offer far more profit potential than authors can earn from book sales alone. Last week, we explored the 3 main issues involved in creating profitable information products: copyright, format, and topic.
This week, we’ll take a look at creating a process to produce, market, and schedule information products.
As I’ve stressed throughout this Author Journey, the goal of a system, or process, is to help you increase efficiency, reduce stress, and increase the likelihood of success.
The same systems I described to help you write your book also apply to creating and marketing information products that leverage off your book. The ideas I described when we discussed finding the time to write your book are equally applicable to creating information products. In both cases, success involves breaking big tasks into a series of smaller tasks, each with their own starting and completion dates.
Creating a process for Info-product success
The starting point to creating a process for managing and marketing your information products is to use a worksheet similar to the Info-product Production Worksheet, shown here, that I created for myself and my book coaching clients.
Like all Published & Profitable worksheets, it is designed to be downloaded and printed and filled out by hand.
The choice of format is important: in a world where we are usually tethered to our computers, there is often something liberating about writing by hand. Perhaps its the freedom to jot down ideas as they occur to you, and perhaps its the freedom to work wherever there’s a flat surface- -even if there’s no computer available.
The purpose of this worksheet is to be used after you have decided on the info-product formats and topics for your back-end products and services. (Other worksheets are available for evaluating options and prioritizing the information products you’re going to use to create back-end profits based on your book. )
Working with the Info-Product Production Calendar
Here are some ideas and tips for working with the Info-Product Production Calendar worksheet:
- Multiple copies. Start by making several copies of the worksheet. Print a separate copy for each project you’ve decided to create and market. Print the worksheets on 3-hole punch paper, and store them in a a 3-ring binder. Add the project name and the current date at the top of each worksheet.
- Dates. Note that for every task, there are spaces for entering 3 separate dates; a Starting Date, Goal date (i.e., desired completion), and Finished Date. The Finished Date is there to help you and your Info-product Team track your progress.
- Create tasks. Begin by identifying the steps needed to create the Info-product. These tasks break down into Planning, Production, Copywriting, and Bonuses. Planning involves testing and market research. Copywriting involves preparing the marketing copy that will form the basis of online and offline product descriptions, downloadable one sheets, and press releases. Bonus are there to remind you that Info-product best practices include offering bonuses, often audios and videos, that enhance the perceived value of your offer.
- Market. Many authors make the mistake of concentrating their time and energy on producing information products, then compromise the quality of their marketing materials by rushing them to completion. The purpose of the Market section of the worksheet is to encourage you to prepare the online pages needed for marketing your Info-products as far ahead of time as possible. Luckily, WordPress and other online marketing tools allow you to prepare drafts that won’t be published until your Info-product is ready for sale.
- Distribution. Likewise, it’s important to schedule your time so that you and others you’re working with have time to set up and test your delivery system, such as shopping carts to take and process orders and autoresponders to deliver them.
- Tracking. One of the most important sections of this worksheet is the final section, which permits you to track the results of your marketing and compare page visits with the resulting sales. You can also use the Tracking section to identify and test variables, such as price, headline, or marketing copy, in order to constantly refine your marketing for each product or service.
Worksheets, such as the Info-Product Production Calendar, are valuable in many ways. They remind you of the numerous tasks involved in marketing and selling even a relatively simple Info-Product. They make it easy for you to track your progress. They improve quality and reduce stress by helping you plan your time so you’ll avoid “deadline madness.” And they provide an easy way to consolidate a lot of different project information on a single sheet of paper.
Visit Published & Profitable’s Active Garage Resource Center where you’ll find examples of many of the worksheets described in previous Author’s Journey installments, as well as other resources to help you speed your journey. And, if you have any questions or suggestions, or examples of your favorite Info-products or Info-Product marketing, submit them as comments, below.Roger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles