Things to Remember BEFORE You Start
In this chapter I’d like to give you some of my ideas about how this business really works. I could have called this chapter PHILOSOPHY, but that sounded too highbrow. But, these items are really about what mindset you have to hold to be successful in the field of information marketing.
Measurement Eliminates Argument
The information products business is all about numbers. Feelings are fine, but they can’t be measured. To make sure you are making the right decisions, you need to quantify things. Make sure that everything in your information marketing business can be measured and tracked. Without data, good decisions aren’t possible.
Done is Better Than Perfect
I use the above line in every seminar or speech that I do regarding information products. If you spend all your time trying to get a product perfect, it will NEVER get made. It’s like the writer you know who has been writing the great American novel for the past 12 years. He’s trying to make it perfect and as a result, it NEVER gets done.
The nice thing about info products is that they can ALWAYS be REDONE. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you should produce CRAPPY products. Hardly! What I am saying is that if you are producing great information for people to use, stop dwelling on the things that really aren’t important to your buyers.
If your product looks REALLY slick, it may actually be perceived as less valuable (I’ll explain this in the next section). Additionally, if you want to spend a lot of time editing, you won’t be making any money selling the product. It won’t be available to sell.
If you’re not completely happy with the product you produce, get it out there and start making money. Then spend some time to make it BETTER as soon as you can. This assumes that you are releasing products that have GREAT content but may need a bit of “cleaning up” in some area.
On the editing front, I myself do NO editing. When one of my dogs barks when I’m doing a recording, it stays in. I also spend virtually no time on packaging. The vast majority of people who buy my products are simply interested in how to do things, they could care less what the packaging looks like. And since the ultimate determinant of success in this business is whether people buy from you again, it hasn’t caused me any major problems.
The critical point to remember is this: People will always forgive poor production quality, they will NEVER forgive poor content!
Sell Free as Hard as You Sell Paid
As I’ll discuss in the section on list building, it is vitally important that you create some very good, high quality free material to give away to people who visit your site. Since opt-in names are so incredibly valuable, don’t think that giving away your material should be given short shrift. In fact, you should spend a good bit of time figuring out how to get the maximum number of people to opt-in.
In the ‚ “old days” of the internet, all it took was a little box on your site that said: SIGN UP to receive my free newsletter. Those days are gone! These days people barely enough time to read their own emails. Signing up to receive your regular notices is NOT in fact free. It is using your potential clients most valuable resource, their time!
This being the case, you need to PROVE to people who find your site that it is well worth their time to opt-in to your list.
I’ve seen people use multi-page sales letters just to get a larger number of people to sign up for your list. I give away e-books. The price for the books in physical form is over $100.
Make sure that YOU give away free material that is valuable and perceived as being something someone would even had paid for.
I don’t handle returns well. I know my products are good and take it personally when people ask for refunds. Here is an area NOT to follow my lead. Returns are a fact of life in the information marketing business. Get used to them. Try NOT to take it personally. Trust me, I’m STILL trying after many years.
IF you have people who work for you, this would be one place to use them. Get someone other than yourself to politely respond to all refund requests. Give them their money back and send them on their way.
Depending on HOW they ask for a refund, it MAY make sense to block them (using WebMarketingMagic.com) from ordering again from you. Don’t try and keep customers who are mean or nasty. They are NOT the kind of people you want in your database.
Don’t Believe Anyone’s Numbers But Your Own
There are a lot of LIARS out there in this field. When you hear people throwing around big numbers, don’t get discouraged. Much of what they say is complete and total HOGWASH.
Track and believe only your own numbers. You need to track them, but only concern yourself with whether yours are moving in the right direction. Don’t try and do any comparing. It won’t help you in the least.
Joint Venture Deals
Many years ago, I sat down for lunch with one of the well known “gurus” of this industry. He’s a household name that everyone would know. The portion of the conversation that I remember most revolved around revenue splits with joint venture partners.
My contention was that I try and make EVERY deal I do a 50-50 deal. That way, both parties feel equal. Neither party feels as if they are working for the other. Mr. “X” on the other side of the table thought I was nuts. He contended that there are numerous situations in which a NON 50-50 deal makes sense.
I just don’t want to run my business with people who don’t feel like they are equal to me in terms of the finances. When I don’t feel the deal is equal, I try and structure the workload and responsibilities in such a way as to MAKE it an equal deal.
Ethical Considerations in Information Product Marketing
If you want to make a lot of money quickly, please skip this section. If you want to make a career for yourself in the info product business, then keep reading.
I think it’s a universal fact that you can make MORE money if you bend the truth to suit your needs. Lie about your numbers. Embellish a story. All of it will help you to sell more products and services, AND make more money. SHORT TERM.
Integrity is one of those things that is either black or white. As my Mom used to say, you can’t be a “little bit pregnant.” The same is true with honesty and integrity.
I could say this more delicately, but it’s not my nature. There are a lot of CROOKS in this business. I won’t name names for obvious reasons, but I will just tell you that I will only personally partner with less than 7 people. This means that I am 100% certain of the honesty and integrity of just a handful of people.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you MUST be careful. Make sure and do your due diligence before doing any business with people in this field. If you make WRONG choices it will reflect VERY poorly on you and severely hurt your business. Don’t believe their claims, ask for proof. Don’t buy into the hype no matter how big or well known the guru. Only believe your OWN numbers!
I get offers daily to do joint ventures and/or speak at someone’s event or seminar. I turn down just about all of them. Why?
NO sum of money is worth sacrificing your reputation for. ‘Nuf said.
Sell Your Customers Crack!!!
Whenever I speak to a group, I always use the following way to illustrate a very important point. I tell people that I own a site called CrackDealerMarketing.com. There is nothing there right now. It is really a place-holder for a future site on this topic.
Immediately after telling them about the site I then ask: “How many crack dealers are in the room today?” I usually get a couple of people who raise their hands (I have no idea if they really are dealers or not).
I then say: How does a crack dealer do business?
If you can find something to sell to your niche that they MUST have, you’re in good shape. Sell people an indispensable product and your reorder rates goes to virtually 100%.
The “10 Times” Rule
Every time I create a product of any kind, I ask myself this simple question: “After people use this product, will they feel like it’s worth 10 times more than what I charged them?”
If the answer is NO, I go back and redo my product.
If you create products that people feel are worth MUCH more than what you ask people to pay, you’ll be in GREAT shape. People will keep ordering MORE from you and your return rates will be extremely low.
The Value Equation
People always ask me at seminars and events how much they should charge for their products. The value of a product and what you should charge for it is NOT based on the product cost. It’s based on the VALUE you deliver with that product. The SYSTEM you learn in this site is worth a TON more than the $200 or so you paid for it.
In most cases, except for a book, you want to charge based on the value you deliver. This is NOT true with books because people have a “mental set” about what the price of a book should be. Although, I have seen a book of around 200 pages sell for close to $300. In that example, the person was using the value equation to price the book.
If you want to know how to price a given product, START with the value equation. Then make adjustments accordingly.
Doing it “Your Own Way”
I was on the web pretty early on. I started going to internet marketing seminars in the late 1990s. Soon thereafter, I was speaking at those same events. Now, I do almost exclusively my OWN events. Why?
Because I don’t want to be associated with many of the folks I used to work with. They just don’t seem to care about ethical behavior. Sometimes in business, as in life, you just have to do it YOUR way.
For me that means forgoing a lot of cash and running as ethical a business as I possibly can. I suggest you listen to your conscience and do the same. In the LONG run, you’ll be better off.
Handling Difficult People/Customers
Every once in a while, you’ll get a NUTCASE who either buys from you or starts to pester you. In any business there are a percentage of people (just like in the general population) who aren’t “quite right.”
My suggestion is to let them go. If they bought something, refund their money. Then blacklist their IP address. If you’re new to the web, that just means that you make it impossible for them to order from you from the same computer.
When people get NUTTY, I leave. I don’t want to have anything to do with them. I suggest you do the same. Don’t ever get sucked into this rathole.
50% of Something vs. 100% of Nothing
A lot of people feel like they have to WIN the negotiating war. I don’t. I like to find a way to make SOME money rather than NO money. I try to always find a way to give people MORE than they would expect on a deal.
Why? Because any deal that I can work with another person where the heavy lifting usually falls to them is FOUND money. I’d rather make 50% of something than 100% of nothing. I suggest that you adopt the same thinking. Do this and you’ll be on your way.
Keeping this in mind, don’t be foolish. There are times when people don’t deserve the percentages they might request.
This term was coined by my good friend, Avish Parashar. I would always talk about how I was always on the look out for a way to generate 100 checks a month coming from 100 different sources. Avish heard this so much that he coined the term: Gleekanomics.
I would suggest you find a way to run your information marketing business using Gleeckanomics. It’s always better to have your revenue coming in from a diversified bunch of sources rather than just one. Thanks Avish, ! I agree.
People “STEALING” Your ideas
Information marketers are always worried about people STEALING their ideas. If someone doesn’t have a well stocked information funnel, they should be worried. The intelligent info marketer understands that to make really good money you have to have lots of products to sell at lot of different price points.
If you make sure that your products are packed with bounceback offers, you might sometimes encourage people to “lift” your material. In some of my books I will say something like: “As a registered user of this book you’re entitled to the following free bonuses.” Someone who has acquired the book without paying for it is now unable to get this promised freebie. Too bad for them! They now have to go back and buy the book.
Also, throughout a book or any product, I will liberally sprinkle suggestions about other products and services where I get paid either directly or indirectly. I suggest you follow my lead here.
Keep these ideas and concepts in mind as you start and build your information products business. Follow these principles and you’ll be able to build a thriving, ethical, info products business. One that you won’t have to worry about the Department of Justice coming to visit you.