Eight times out of ten the solo business owners that come to me for help want to create information products so they can create passive income.
It is possible!
However, they've usually been sold on the idea (by someone else) that all they have to do is put a product together, launch it online, and the passive income will start pouring in.
In my personal experience it never works that way. There is a learning curve, and there are virtually always steps in the process that are skipped, which results in failure and disappointment.
Here is what some of the top experts are saying about why people fail to create information products that sell.
1. You don’t understand who the target market is.
One of the biggest mistakes that solopreneurs make when trying to sell their information product is that they try to sell to everyone. You need to be specific and avoid being vague according to Myrko Thum in his TOP 10 Mistakes in Creating & Selling Information Products . It’s a common misconception that trying to appeal to everyone will make you more sales in the long run. In fact, by targeting your audience and being as specific as you can, you can fully meet their needs instead of only solving half a problem.
2. You don’t understand what the target market actually wants to buy.
There is a big difference between what customers need and what they actually want to buy. It’s not enough to create a product that you think your target market needs. You need to ask yourself (and them) what they are prepared to buy now. Michelle PW makes a great point in her 3 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When They Start to Sell Information Products that many of us on a regular basis will say that we need to exercise more, but then don’t put any action into it. You need to not only solve a problem, but you need to solve a problem that your target market wants to fix at this time.
3. You create the product first and then figure out who to sell it to later.
A usual mistake concerning your product is not getting your target market’s opinion on it before creating it. You need to know who you will be selling your product to and you need to be asking the right people what they want to buy. Chris Guillebeau states in his guest post, Why Most People Fail At Making Online Products And How You Can Win, on I Will Teach You To Be Rich that you need to avoid asking your friends for their opinion. They are not your target market. He also goes on to say that you must also be asking the right questions otherwise the answers are useless. “Do you think this is a good idea?” is the WRONG question. Asking “Would you buy this?” and “If so, how much would you pay for it?” is much better.
4. You spend too long a period creating the product.
Tara Gentile, in her 4 Mistakes You Make While Marketing, Launching, and Selling Your New Product, believes that the faster you can bring a product to market, the better. It is never too early. You don’t waste your time if the product doesn’t sell, and you don’t miss the boat on the idea. You can always amend your product down the line to better fit in with your customers.
It’s very easy to get “trapped by perfectionism” according to Jeff Herring in his Here’s Just 3 Common Mistakes Made When Creating Info-Products. This can either be down to a fear of criticism or a belief that perfectionism is “noble”. Either way, you need to move past it, create your product and get it out there. Only then can you get feedback and make it better.
5. You don’t think about how you’re going to sell it before the launch.
Marketing, according to Leevi Romanik in his guest post on Entrepreneurs Journey called 3 Mistakes That Kill Product Sales (Even Before You Start Selling!), is even more important than the product itself. Because if you think about it, what’s the point of using all your time and energy creating something, only to quietly launch it and not market the thing? Both Michelle PW and Chris Guillebeau agree with this fact and insist on spending as much time and energy selling the product as you did to create it.
You have to do more then just inform your email list once when it launches and stick up a sales page for it. As important as the product aspect is, it is worth nothing without the launch and sales strategy. “If you have no marketing, you have no sales” – Leevi Romanik.
As well as the marketing aspect itself, Tara Gentile states that it is never too early to start getting your audience excited about your product. You must think about the marketing as far before the launch as you can.
6. You price it incorrectly.
A big mistake, and a common misconception is when pricing is “the lower, the better”. These days, people want quality and are willing to pay for it. You really need to research into what your target market would be willing to pay. What have they paid for similar products in the past?
Brad Sugars talks of a “pricing paradox” to avoid when pricing your product in his 7 Biggest Mistakes in Setting Prices article on Entreprenuer.com. This includes pricing too low, automatically matching or undercutting your competition and discounting instead of adding value. Plenty of research must be taken to avoid falling into this paradox.
7. You package your product incorrectly for your target market.
Michelle PW believes that if you know your target market inside and out, then you can avoid this mistake. Do they hate to read? Don’t make an e-book. Are they visual learners? Then make sure to include lots of video content. Or maybe they are busy individuals on the go who prefer to learn audibly. These are all factors that need to be taken into account when creating an information product. Otherwise your target market won’t be tempted to buy it. You need to package it in a way that gives them the option to consume it the way they want.
If you've tried and failed to create passive income with information products, what have you found to be the obstacles? If you've succeeded in this area, please share what you've learned.
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Adam Dudley is an author, coach, mentor, and consultant. He writes. He mentors. He adventures. Explore, learn, grow, repeat.
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