Chances are you’ve heard the buzz about needing to have an infoproduct and how easy it is to create one: Create a video for YouTube in 20 minutes. Record a podcast and you’ve got an audio download. Transcribe that audio and now you’ve got yourself an ebook.
While it may be quite simple to create content, your goal should be to create a product that is perceived as highly valuable. Something that your customers will not only love but rave about to other people.
I see far too many well-intentioned, passionate coaches, speakers, and solopreneurs investing time and money to create products that seem like a good idea, but will fail when it comes to delivering what their target audience needs. Plan on generating a constant flow of revenue from your products? In a market where there is an overwhelming abundance of information (free and for fee), it s critical to make sure that your infoproducts consistently satisfy your audiences needs. You need to make a product that S.T.I.C.K.S. That’s my acronym to help you remember how to create products that will keep your customers coming back for more. Here’s what the letters stand for:
“S” is for Solution Oriented – it needs to solve a problem your customers have. Just because you have extensive knowledge of a topic, doesn’t mean that your target audience needs it AND will pay for it. Before you write or record: observe and research. What blog topics do you get the most traffic to or the most comments about? What questions do you find yourself answering over and over again? What missteps and pitfalls does your audience fall into consistently? Where are they losing money and time? Don’t just go with your hunch or intuition, ask your audience. Start with your current client base and ask them directly or create an on-line poll for your readers and followers. Your best bet is to do both, start with an online survey and then follow up with current clients to confirm.
“T” is for Transforms. It needs to take your customers from point A to point B. If they don’t know more or can’t do more than before your product – there is no value for them. Have you ever bought an ebook or infoproduct, excited by the well written sales page, the long list of benefits, and the glowing stream of testimonials, only to be completely underwhelmed by what has been delivered? Remember, your clients can use Google and search the web just like you can. While there are many who are willing to pay for not having to search on their own, they will not pay again if what they pay for is so basic that it doesn’t improve their understanding, ability or results. This doesn’t mean that your product has to take them from 2 to 10 on the knowledge scale, in fact, small progress is sometimes better. But it does mean they need to make progress. If your product helps them grow, they are more likely to trust you enough to buy from you again and to recommend your product to others.
“I” is for Information, Instruction, Ideas, Innovation and Inspiration. Can you find a way to include each of these in your product? Information is not enough. There’s a popular book in the training industry called “Telling Ain’t Training,” and the premise is that most people will not learn from just being told about something. The best infoproducts go beyond the encyclopedia approach of delivering knowledge. They provide how to instructions, spark ideas through real-world examples, and inspire creativity and innovation on how the information can be applied to specific circumstances. One of my pet peeves is information products that narrowly focus on one person’s success (usually the creator’s) without helping you think through how to apply it to or modify things for your situation.
“C” is for Covers relevant practical information. While a 15-hour video series may seem like just the right amount of space for you to share the knowledge and experience you’ve acquired over the last 10 years, that may not be the best package to offer your clients. No matter how hard you try, you can’t transfer every bit of information in one shot and have your audience reach the same level of mastery as you in a fraction of the time it took you. While it might make you feel good to show your stuff – your audience will end up overwhelmed and frustrated. And you also miss your opportunity to upsell and create additional products. Don’t give them everything and the kitchen sink. Keep it to exactly what they need to take action towards a specific result.
“K” is for Keeps their attention. The best products keep customers engaged from start to finish. Use stories, examples, facts, steps, explanations, images, infographics, worksheets, questions. For printed products make sure you find ways to break up the long sections of text. For audio, video, and live teleseminars, learn to break up your monologue with questions, stories, and humor. A great way to keep their attention is with frequent calls to action. Don’t just have them read, hear or watch for long stretches of time without having them do something. Brainstorm, journal, search, question, get feedback, give feedback. The goal here is to make it less of a one-way data dump of content and more of an interactive experience that sets them up to create small wins and success over the course of your product. This is especially key if the ultimate benefits or results will take some time to see, the sooner they can feel like they’ve accomplished something, the stronger the perception will be that your product helped them.
The last “S” is for Structure – make sure your content is organized in a clear and logical manner. This can be challenging for two reasons: 1) if you are an expert and have been practicing for a long period of time, it may be hard for you to break down exactly what you do in a way that is most effective for newbies or those with intermediate skills. 2) On the other hand if you are just starting and with creating a product, it may be hard to figure out exactly how to organize your content so that it flows smoothly and naturally from one topic or step to the next. Either way, without a solid framework for your ebook or product, your customers will feel frustrated and may even dismiss the value of what you have provided. One solution could be as simple as providing a table of contents for your e-book or an outline they can follow for a larger home study course.
Does this mean that your infoproducts have to be complex and hard to develop? Not at all. But there does need to be some planning and consideration used if you are to ensure that you more than just a one-product wonder. The goal should be to deliver high quality products that consistently provide value in helping your clients get results.
Tai Goodwin on a mission to help 10,000 women entrepreneurs create more joy and wealth in their life and business. She's the CEO of Aligned + Bankable and creator of the Bankable Brilliance Course. An intuitive business growth strategist and teacher, her specialty is helping clients create bankable business models that allow them to increase their impact and income without burning out. Tai is a former corporate trainer with a master's degree in instructional design and over 20 years of experience designing course, training programs, and certifications. She is also the author of Girlfriend, It's Your Time and founder of Brilliant Business Girlfriends.