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Why And How To Create An Information Product

by Mark Silver
Heart Of Business

Have you put off, or given up entirely, the idea of writing that book, or creating a CD or DVD, for your business? Maybe you've let that idea slip away because you thought your business wasn't suited to it. I mean, what you do is so individual and personal, or too complicated to explain, or so intuitive in nature, that it can't be captured in a product. Or maybe you already sell a product, and you can't imagine what a book or CD would possibly do for your business.

These kinds of products- books, CDs, DVDs and their digital downloadable equivalents: pdfs, mp3s, mpegs - are called information products, 'info products' for short. And, if you are putting off creating one, you are doing a disservice to all the people who are waiting for you.

What's the purpose of having an info product?

Some people will tell you the purpose is to have 'multiple streams of income' or to 'fill your business to overflowing.' It's true, a good info product can create these kinds of results.

But that's not why you create one. If you create it for that reason, you are chasing the money, and you'll end up chasing away your customers.

The purpose of an info product is to help the wallflowers.

A wallflower is that term used at dances and other social events where someone who is feeling a little shy or awkward will take a seat next to a wall, and plant themselves there, and never get out on the dance floor.

In junior high I was painfully shy, and lived as a wallflower. High school wasn't much better, but I was able to retreat into punk rock and avoid the 'popular' high school scene.

Even today, as my 20th high school reunion approaches, I can find myself in wallflower situations. I have better coping mechanisms, but it's still painful.

How many wallflowers are in your business' dance hall?

People who are struggling with something are unsure of themselves. They are upset, insecure, hesitant. They want to dance the tango, but they don't want to look foolish and be rejected.

Do you think it might be easier for those wallflowers if you met them at their seat with a glass of punch, and talked with them awhile, before you even asked them to dance?

A good information product doesn't recreate your business to give the full dance-hall experience. It doesn't deliver the same intimacy, or the same instruction, or the same in-depth support, or the same results that your main products or services do. That's not its job.

The job of a good information product is to help people dance along off to the side, out of the spotlight. This will not only help them get some of the results they need, but it will also get them ready to get out on your dance floor and engage more deeply with what will really help them: your main products and services.

And, it's not a bad thing that info products can create a nice flow of income for you as well.

Ready to deliver that glass of punch and create an info product?

Keys to Creating an Info Product

* What seats are your wallflowers sitting in?

Identify the main hesitations of some of your reluctant customers. Some common hesitations have to do with:

- Is this weird, or is it normal (do people like me do this?).

- Does it really work?

- Do you really know what you're doing?

- How does it work?

There are others, including ones specific to your business or industry. Search your heart, and also ask your newest clients what concerns they had before they purchased from you.

* Where does your record skip?

With new clients or customers and in newly-started classes, you give them explanations, key ideas, and foundational notions. These notions may be new to your clients, but you've repeated each of them 1000 times in different situations.

At a dance, if the record skips, maybe it's a DJ working the grooves, or maybe it's just a bad scratch. (But you hear it repeating the same line over and over.)

When you repeat yourself it's like a scratched record- and you've just found a prime place to focus on a product. Stop the skipping record, and turn it into a workbook, article, or recorded audio product.

* Don't forget the how-to's.

In your info product, you want to teach them something, and include instructions on how to actually do it. But, remember, that this is a 'getting-ready / dance-along' product, and not the dance itself.

This means that while you want your how-to's to be complete, and you expect your reader or listener to apply them to some extent, don't worry about trying to recreate the dance hall experience. Because you can't.

Instead ask your heart to show you how much (or how little) they really need to know to feel comfortable dancing. Lead them up to the edge of the dance floor, maybe have them dance along to the music a few steps off to the side. And, believe me, people can get a lot out of dancing along off to the side.

Then, they'll be ready for the dance hall. And that's when you'll find your dance card overflowing with new customers and clients.

Go mix up that punch, and start serving out info products to all of your wallflowers.

My very best to you and your business,

Mark Silver

About the Author:

Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without losing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online:

Copyright (c) 2006 Mark Silver

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