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Years ago I interviewed a freelance copywriter who was (and still is) one of the top professionals in her particular niche. When I asked her how she became so darned successful so quickly, I expected her to say something like, “I cold-called like crazy,” or “I optimized my website for the search engines.”
But what she actually said surprised me . . .
“One of the first things I did,” she said, “was create an audio program on copywriting for my industry. That positioned me as an expert and, although I only sold two or three of those per month, I attracted several new copywriting clients.”
Interesting. Right out of the gate she positioned herself as an expert. And, as she tells it, within a year she was booked solid with client work.
Now most of the stuff on the internet about information products focuses on getting rich. And there’s no doubt about it — there are plenty of people who have done very well for themselves creating and selling e-books, audio recordings, how-to manuals, and the like.
But for us mortals, the real benefit of creating an information product is how it helps our target market identify us as experts at what we do.
And, these days especially, clients want to hire the expert. It’s the safe choice. It’s the obvious choice.
So, sure, you might make a few dollars with your info-product. But the real benefit is how it helps you attract more and better clients.
Now creating an e-book, audio program or some other type of product around your area of expertise is relatively simple. Hard work maybe, but simple. There are all kinds of ideas you can explore.
- Are you a graphic designer with experience creating company annual reports? How about a booklet called The Annual Report Planning Guide?
- Are you a freelance editor with a track record of proofreading documents and identifying 99.9% of the mistakes? How about an audio tutorial called The Practically Perfect Proofreader’s Guide to Finding Every Typo?
- Do you specialize in creating websites that sell? How about an Experts-Times Two series of Podcasts where you interview fellow expert in that field?
- Do you have a knack for getting trade magazine editors to run materials from your clients’ product press releases? How about an e-book called 9 Surefire Ways to Get Trade Editors to Cover Your Product Launch?
- Are you a fundraising consultant? How about a booklet called Donor Interviews: What to Ask and How to Ask It. (Actually that is a booklet by my friend and fundraising expert, Karen Zapp.)
How do you decide on a topic? Think about the kind of problems and challenges your prospective clients face when looking for your type of services. Then make a list of topics that address those needs.
I think every creative professional, consultant, advisor or expert should try his or her hand at creating at least one information product. Even if it doesn’t sell well, it can still do what authorship does best: build your reputation as a skilled and knowledgeable professional in your field.
The kind of professional clients want to hire.