Many a literal gold miner has been disappointed when theydiscovered that what they toiled so hard to acquire wasn't realgold, but only iron pyrite, better known as fool's gold. Similarly,while extracting 'gold' from information can be quite profitable,there are hazards involved in planning, creating, producing andmarketing information products that result in wasted time andmoney, leading to disappointment. If you want to avoid suchmistakes, pay close attention.
Mistake #1: Expecting To Make Real Money With One Product
Many novice information entrepreneurs expect to make sufficientprofit with one product, or only a few, but unfortunately, in thereal world, there are relatively few products that will makesignificant profit by themselves. Unless you stumble across one ofthose rare products, you will need to offer a line of relatedproducts and/or services to really extract gold from information.
Building a line of related products/services may seem harder thanit really is. Of course, you don't have to be the creator ofeverything you sell. You can complement and expand your line byalso selling products created by others. (If you have orders forother people's products filled by the drop ship method, you don'teven have to invest in inventory.)
Mistake #2: Failing To Sell Related Products/Services
Some information entrepreneurs smart enough to recognize thevalue of offering several products/services make the mistake ofselling a disconnected mixture of unrelated offers, appealing todifferent types of prospects, in various scattered markets. Thisspreads their limited resources too thin, and they fail to reap thefull benefits of offering more than one product/service, namely,turning more prospects into buyers, increasing the average size ofeach order, and converting more customers into repeat buyers.
Mistake #3: Failing To Give Marketing Top Priority
Frequently entrepreneurs put marketing on the back burner, butit's importance cannot be over-stressed. Marketing (or the lack ofit) can make or break a business. Or as the saying goes:"Marketing is everything." Therefore give it a high priority andwork on it accordingly.
Mistake #4: Ineffective Marketing
A large percentage of marketing communications don't stress thebenefits that the products or services bring to their audiences, butstress product/service features instead. The unfortunate outcomeis that sales are adversely affected.
Mistake #5: Failing To Use Persistence In Marketing Efforts
Many fail to realize that marketing is most effective when themarketing message is repeatedly brought to the attention of thetarget audience. A sizable number of prospects won't respond tomarketing communications the first time, for various reasons. Butpresenting the message repeatedly - perhaps a second, third,fourth, fifth time, or more - will eventually convince a percentageof them (as long as they are legitimate prospects) to act on theoffer. The key is using marketing methods you can afford to userepeatedly without breaking the bank.
Mistake #6: Trying To Create And/Or Sell Information Products With No Substantial, Growing Market(s)
Inexperienced info-marketers are often too optimistic aboutmaking money from information products. In their haste, theyrashly jump headlong into investing too much time, effort andexpense to produce and/or market them without first consideringwhether any sizable (and hopefully expanding) markets exist. Theyoften discover to their disappointment that they've wasted theirtime and money, which may have been avoided had they determined if any viable markets existed for the products in advance.
Mistake #7: Not Revising/Updating Products
Updating can inject new life into a product, and it's newness canbe used as a 'hook' to gain valuable free publicity. Unfortunately,many products are pulled from the market after just a few years.As long as worthwhile markets exist, it's smarter (and verypossible) to keep profiting from an information product for years(or for as long as money is the accepted medium of exchange, andyou are in a position to collect it)!
Mistake #8: Failing To Reuse Material From Products You'veCreated To Develop Other Ones
Developing a line of related products, as I've explained, is more orless essential to real info-marketing success. The best products toadd to your line are those you create or otherwise control. Thisdoesn't mean you always have to create entirely new materialstarting from scratch. Fortunately, some information from oneproduct you've created can be reused to create related, butdistinct, new products.
Mistake #9: Pricing Information Products Too Low
The value of an information product is often underestimated by it'screator/seller, as reflected in a selling price that is too low.Underpriced products don't profit their sellers much, if at all! Inaddition, some marketing avenues are more expensive, and sorequire a higher profit margin in order to make money. By pricingyour products sufficiently high so you can afford to market themthrough both expensive and inexpensive marketing channels, yourpotential for profit is greater.
Mistake #10: Not Developing Information Products That OfferSolid Value
A notable percentage of information product creators fail todevelop products that offer true, solid value for the money.Instead of creating products with detailed, step-by-step guidelineswhich help their audiences achieve what they want, all too manyproducts deliver vague, unspecific information that leaves theiraudiences disappointed. This may result in returns for refunds, anddiscourages future sales to the same customers.
For your own good, and the good of your audience, your objective should not just be to profit from writing, publishing and selling information - although that is a good incentive! It should also be to deliver solid, useful information that brings real value to your audience, even when you create a simple product like a report or booklet. Giving your customers more than their money's worth isn't just the right thing to do, but it builds good will and encourages customers to come back for more of the solid value you've built a reputation for delivering.
Mistake #11: Investing Too Much Time And Money In A ProductBefore It's A Tested And Proven Seller
Even if you're fairly certain a sizable market exists for a productbefore you create it, I recommend you develop your initial versionin as simple a form as possible, or as simple a form as you arewilling to risk losing your entire investment in. This is especiallyimportant when you have less experience and capital during thestart-up phase of your business.
As you test market a product and gather feedback on it from others, you will find mistakes and areas for improvement. Improvements and corrections can be made more easily and inexpensively while the product is in a simple form. Additionally, it's not wise to tie up substantial amounts of money in a product until it's a proven seller. A major product like a book, for example, can cost up to thousands of dollars to print, and printers generally want to be paid in full upon completion of the job. You could have big money invested in an untested, unproven productbefore a single copy has been sold. This can wipe you out financially so that you have nothing left for marketing/promotion. People have learned the hard way from such situations, so beware.
Mistake #12: Spending Too Much Time, Money And Effort OnExpensive Marketing Methods, Overlooking Low-Cost Ones
Especially if you're new to information marketing, you need to beextra cautious with the way you use your limited capital. You canlose a lot of money quickly, if not careful. A full page print ad in alarge circulation magazine, for example, can run several thousanddollars for just one issue, but may not pay for itself in sales. Onthe other hand, free publicity and other forms of low-costpromotion cost next to nothing, yet can be valuable marketingtools.
While there are no foolproof formulas that absolutely guaranteeyou will strike information gold, now that you're equipped withknowledge of common mistakes made in planning, creating, producing and marketing information products, you have a much better chance of striking the mother lode, not fool's gold.
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