In Information Marketing: It’s the OUTLINE!
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I just spent the last two days with a new friend, Bill O’Hanlon. Bill is the author of 30+ books that have been traditionally published. He got interested in information marketing a number of years back and has been on my list for about 5 years.
We got together to do two programs. One on how to get your book published by a traditional publishing house and the other geared to helping psychotherapists and coaches how to develop a “Plan B.” Most of their PRIMARY plans aren’t working out too well and thus the need for a back-up plan.
Before Bill came out, he sent me his outline for both of the products that we did. They were extremely well done. Not that I’m surprised. He uses a similar system to outline the many books that he’s done.
But for the vast majority of folks who market and sell info products, their outlines are WEAK. VERY weak. Thus, their products are equally weak. You can’t create a good information product without a good outline. But, what does that mean? What constitutes GOOD?
Here are a few things that a GOOD outline must have.
First, the outline should make sense when read by an outsider without any additional explanation. Outlines that MAKE SENSE without having to be explained are hard to find. When you find them, a strong product will most likely result.
Second, the ORDER of the outline should make sense. I’ve seen numerous product outlines that are convoluted and don’t make sense. Your outline should make it so that when the product is completed, the steps are in the exact order you need to take in order to make things work. Nothing should be left to chance.
Third, an outline should be as long as it needs to be to get the ideas communicated effectively when the product is completed. No more no less. Never any additional padding, but everything you need to fully understand HOW-TO-DO whatever it is you are trying to teach others.
Fourth, your outline should make it easy for me (as the interviewer), to ask questions easily and without any additional explanation. As a “professional” interviewer, I should be able to pick up your outline and get started with recording the audio product less than a minute later.
Lastly, your outline should be able to be used to write the sales copy for the product you’ll create. This means that when you put it together, think BENEFITS.
Every product you do as an info marketer MUST have an outline. A GREAT/GOOD outline won’t guarantee you’ll produce a great product, but it will VASTLY improve your chances.