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The Three Biggest Mistakes First-Timers Make When Developing Information Products

by Marcia Yudkin

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Published on this site: November 30th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

"Is it really worth developing information products instead of spending that time and energy working for clients?"

I’m often asked this question, and the answer is yes… as long as you avoid the top three mistakes I see others make when creating their first infoproduct.

  1. Starting too big: People think they should start out writing a book, or something of that length and complexity. But your first book can take years to finish. The same delay can happen if you decide to start out with a grand home-study course concept.

    One product developer asked to interview me as one of 12 experts in a big home-study course and promised to send me the whole package when it was done. Every couple of months I would email her to ask could she please send me a copy of the product, and she would tell me it still wasn’t done yet. It took her almost two years to finish creating that course! And when I did finally receive a copy, I could see half a dozen ways in which she had made her project much harder and more complicated than it needed to be. Worse, some of the information from the experts in her course was already out of date.

    I’m not saying don’t write books or don’t create big, complicated infoproducts. I am simply saying don’t begin with one of those. Start with an easy project that you can start and finish in a week or less, such as an audio interview of an expert or a compilation of commonly asked questions and answers. Start earning from that. Then tackle a bigger project.

  2. Creating a product focused on what they should want to know, what’s good for them to know, not what they actually want to know:

    For example, a small-business marketing expert creates a terrific workbook on how to translate features into benefits. This would be extremely beneficial to anyone who wants to find more customers or clients. However, the average small business owner has never heard of features and benefits, so they are not looking for this information and they may not understand its significance for them even if they accidentally stumble across a promotion for such a product.

    Another example would be creating a program for parents on how to listen better to their children. I’m sure that plenty of parents would create better relationships with their kids with advice on that topic, but if they don’t already know that listening is a key to better parenting, they wouldn’t gravitate to, seek out or respond to the topic.

  3. Producing a grab-bag product: This often happens when someone has audio or written content hanging around in their files that they want to repurpose. Miscellaneous or semi-miscellaneous collections of written or spoken information do not sell.

    One entrepreneur was struggling to make money from a collection of audio interviews with successful women. This was not specific enough to appeal strongly to women or anyone else. Another entrepreneur I know is determined to pass along all the secrets to running a business he’s accumulated while writing about owning an antique shop, running eBay car auctions and buying and selling Internet domains. These activities are so different from each other that they don’t belong in the same infoproduct, if the goal is a product that sells.

So start small, start on a topic people understand they need information on, and start specific. Then you’re on solid footing and have a far better chance of the rewards you’re seeking.

Marcia Yudkin: The author of 11 books and seven multimedia home-study courses, Marcia Yudkin has been selling information in one form or another since 1981. Download a free recording of her answers to the most commonly asked questions about information marketing by entering your information into the privacy-assured request box at http://www.yudkin.com/infomarketing.htm.

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