Internet Marketing – How do I get started?

The first thing is to understand the big picture. Even if you have a finished info product, that’s just one piece of the Internet Marketing puzzle – and you’ll need quite a few “pieces” to be successful. I call the different pieces “dominoes”. We’ve all seen those videos in which one domino gets pushed and all the others fall over, one after another to create a chain reaction. Well if one domino is not there, then the whole chain reaction stops at the missing domino and the reaction doesn’t go to the end. It’s the same thing with an info-marketing business. For example, it’s no good having a product and no way to sell it – or having a website with no product to sell, etc. Before you go spending thousands on expensive seminars, you might want to take a few minutes to understand the different pieces – whether you’re an entrepreneur, speaker, author, expert – or a business with hundreds of employees. So what are the dominoes? Well there are 15 which are essential and it’s a good idea to have a general idea of what you’re getting into so you can be mentally prepared – and – make sure to put each of these “dominoes” in place in your information marketing business so you can achieve the success you desire.

If you haven’t already downloaded THE DOMINOES, then click here to get your copy.

After you’ve listened to that, you should read this article

That should be enough to get you started.

For the shopping cart I mention in The Dominoes, click here.

You can find an index of articles about Info Products, Internet Marketing and Business Success here.

Ten Easy Info Product Ideas

Creating info products doesn’t have to be a big, long, drawn-out process. Here are 10 easy ways to create your next information product.

1. Create A PDF Report
If you can operate a word processor, you can create a PDF report. Find a compelling graphic, put it on the first page with a title and then get work dumping out the contents of your brain. When you’re done, simply select “Save As” and save the file in PDF format. Voila! You have a report you can give away as an enticement for someone to join your list or as a free bonus when you sell a product.

2. Record A Teleclass
There are many services these days that will allow you to sign up for a free account and record a teleclass up to a certain number of people in the hopes that you’ll upgrade to their paid service. Services like freeconferencecall.com will record your call and let you download the file as an mp3. Learn more about how to record a teleclass.

3. Offer A Coaching Package
While most people wouldn’t think of this as a “product”, it most definitely is. Spend some time thinking about how to structure it, what value you can deliver through your coaching and how you will market your program. Pros: it’s relatively easy to put together and you could be up and running quickly. Cons: you only have a limited amount of time, which means there’s an upper limit on income and it can be challenging to communicate the value to potential clients effectively.

4. Make A Screen Capture Video
Nowadays, this is easy with programs like Camtasia or ScreenFlow. If you know how to do something on the computer that other people are interested in, you can easily make a screen capture video to show them what to do. Even if it doesn’t have anything to do with computers, you can make some PowerPoint or Keynote slides and record yourself talking as you click through your presentation. You can record slides only, slides with you talking, slides with a video of you on part of the screen, or just make a video of yourself talking to the computer.

5. Make A Pamphlet
A pamphlet outlining the basics of your topic or a specific sub-topic is cheap and easy to produce. You can sell it as one of your low-cost offerings or give it away as a lead generator or a bonus. If you do sell it, be careful that it doesn’t cannibalize sales from your more expensive items.

6. Create an e-book
Just as in #1, above, all you need for this kind of product is a word-processor and perhaps a few graphics. You can always hire someone to do a professional looking cover. E-books are expected to be a bit longer than a report. Many people make them quite short, but if you want to be taken seriously, you may want to consider making your ebook as long as a “real” book would be. Of course, the more thorough and in-depth your information is, the more likely it is that people will take you seriously. If you need an e-cover designed, go here.

7. Buy some PLR products and modify them
PLR stands for “Private Label Rights” and are products that allow you to copy and modify the content and then use it as you see fit, even at a profit if you like. Generally, the content isn’t very “high-level”, but it can be a good starting point and take a lot of the basic work out of creating something. Be sure to modify it, though, and “make it your own”. Different PLR packages have different rules, so be clear on what exactly you have the rights to and what you don’t so that you don’t get into legal trouble.

8. Create An “E-course”
This could be as large or as small of a course as you want, depending on how much material you have. Break the course up into a series of small lessons, then put them in an autoresponder and deliver each lesson by email. Lessons can be delivered once a day, once a week or at whatever interval you feel is appropriate.

9. Make A Set Of Flash Cards
This can work for most topics; just about any information can be broken down into “bit sized” chunks and consumed this way. Flash cards are especially effective for things like learning music notation, vocabulary, geography, mathematics or just about anything, really.

10. Record A Series Of Skype interviews.
This can be done in either audio or video format. The nice thing is the convenience for everyone involved. You can record both sides of the call yourself with recording software that works in conjunction with Skype. Do a Google search for “Skype call recording software” and many options will come up. It really helps if both parties are on high-bandwidth Internet connections.
None of the above ideas for creating information products are particularly difficult, each just takes a little bit of effort. Use one or more of them and you’ll soon have an entire line of info products in your arsenal.

Why I love information products

Create a whole product line

Some of the reasons I love information marketing are that you can create info products from what you already know, it can be extremely profitable, and you can control the entire process from start to finish. This makes a lot of sense these days; with all the talk about failing economies, job losses, etc., it’s not a bad idea to do whatever you can to take control of your financial future. It takes a bit of effort to set up; that is, it’s not “get rich quick”, but it’s “get very rich over time if you’re willing to do the work”. Having info products increases your credibility and if you’re a public speaker (or “expert who speaks), they can help you to get more bookings because you become more attractive to seminar promoters who want a percentage of your product sales. The products are inexpensive to develop and produce, yet can generate lots and lots of cash. You can set your own price and charge whatever your market will bear. Contrast that with, for example, a record album that takes a huge investment to produce, only sells for 10 or 20 dollars and only returns you a few cents of profit per copy. In practical terms, this means far less copies selling for far more profit.

If you’re a professional speaker, info products might help you to land a highly paid speaking engagement or perhaps get you chosen over a competitor that doesn’t have any products (and is, therefore, perceived as being less of an expert). Info products can be created for just about any type of business and used as a calling card or lead generator, not to mention a serious source of passive income – that is, passive income where you do the work once and get paid over and over again. They can be created in many different formats (audio CD, video, e-book, MP3, MP4, etc.) and there are no shipping costs for the downloadable ones. It’s just “selling electrons” as my friend Tom Antion likes to say.  In today’s busy world, many people don’t have the time or energy to put together information they need on their own so they’re quite happy to pay you to distill your knowledge into a concentrated form, which ultimately saves them time. Finally, you can build up a brand that can be sold for a lot of money and leave a legacy that will continue to exist long after you do. So what are you waiting for?

If you want to know how to create info products and how to make money selling information products online, check out what’s available in the “products” section of this website.

How much product should I manufacture?

The last thing you want is stacks of unsold info products cluttering up your garage, so it’s very important to be realistic when placing orders. Nowadays, it’s possible (if you know what you’re doing) to produce a fully-finished info product all by yourself, duplicate a few copies and see how they sell, so there’s really no reason to make hundreds or thousands of copies unless you know you have confirmed orders.

Don’t assume that just because you have a finished product, that you’re going to make tons of sales. You really need to have a good marketing plan. The best thing to do is use duplication to manufacture in small quantities to see how something sells. You can always place bigger orders as your business starts to take off. Some fulfillment houses will manufacture “on demand”, which takes care of the problem of tons of unsold inventory sitting around – but some will not, so it’s important to do your homework.

Do I need music?

People often ask if they need music when creating an info product.
The short answer is no. You don’t “need” music; it’s possible to create a perfectly viable product with no music – but – you may want to think about the impression you’re creating. Most professional products do have music on the beginning and the end, so although you might not “need” it, it’s probably a good idea to add it. Be aware of copyright issues. Technically, you’re not supposed to use anything unless you get permission from the copyright holder and/or pay the appropriate royalty. There are very specific laws about this, so to be on the safe side, don’t use anything unless it’s “royalty free”. There are plenty of sites on the Internet offering royalty-free music at a reasonable cost.

Should I record myself or have someone else record me?

Well, that depends on the following:

- how technical are you?
- do you own any recording equipment?
- what’s your budget?
- how professional do you want the recording to sound?

If you’re not that technical, you might want to hire someone to come and record you. This is usually paid by the hour and can get quite expensive, but if you’re willing to make the investment and you’re dealing with a professional sound engineer, then the quality should be excellent.

If you’re not scared by technology, then you can always record yourself, although that will require investing in some equipment and learning how to use it. On the low end, there are cheap hand-held recorders that will function adequately and allow digital transfer to your computer, but they’re not going to be really high-quality because of the cheap built-in microphones. If you use one of these, connect an external mic. Pay at least $50 for the external mic if you want something decent.

If you want a higher quality recording, you could buy a stand-alone recorder and a quality studio microphone, which should deliver excellent results. Just make sure to record in a quiet environment (there’s nothing more unprofessional than hearing things like kids, dogs barking, TV/radio in the background, etc. -  so be aware that that can affect the impression you’re creating). It’s probably not necessary to install a full-fledged soundproof booth; you should do ok if you record early in the morning or late at night when things are more quiet. Make some test recordings and listen back with headphones to see if you can hear any of the ambient sounds. Big offenders: refrigerators, computer fans, air conditioning systems, lawnmowers, traffic, sirens, airplanes, etc.

If you can’t get a decent recording yourself, then you can always go to a recording studio. The technology to make high-quality recordings has come down in price significantly over the years and there are now tons of people offering the service of making professional recordings for much, much less than it has cost in the past.

What type of recorder should I buy?

If you’re not a “technophobe” and have made the decision to record yourself, then the first question is “how much money do you have to spend?”

If your budget is under $200, then you’re probably going to have to get a small hand-held recorder. There are plenty on the market by companies such as Olympus, Sony, Yamaha, etc. Look for one that connects to your computer and lets you digitally transfer the recorded files. Most will come with editing software bundled with them. To get a higher quality recording, use an external mic, which you’ll purchase separately. Be aware that some record in a proprietary format, which means that you’ll have to use the editing software that came with the recorder and if you choose to use another piece of software, you’ll run into compatibility issues with your chosen software possibly not recognizing the file format that the recorder uses. Also some of these recorders are compatible with Windows but not Mac, so Mac users beware.
These recorders often have several different quality modes. Always use the highest quality setting, even though that will give you the least amount of recording time.

If you have a bit more money to spend (more than $200), then buy a separate stand-alone recorder and a high-quality microphone. Flash recorders are popular nowadays, although the less technically-inclined may wish to buy a CD recorder. If you go with the CD recorder option, make sure to buy one that you can plug a microphone into. Be aware that you’ll be limited to a maximum continuous recording of 80 minutes (max length of a CD) and that you’ll need to “finalize” the disc before it’s playable in other machines.

Some stand-alone recorders have built-in microphones, so they may be an option.

You also have the option of using your computer to record, with the appropriate recording software. USB microphones are available for this purpose – or you can buy an “audio interface” which will allow you to connect a “regular” microphone. A reasonable model should also give you some physical controls to allow you to adjust things like the microphone’s input level and your headphone volume (beats having to make those adjustments in computer software using a mouse).

The computer option is the most technically demanding and has the highest learning curve – but it is, by far, the most flexible option because you can record and edit in the same piece of software, not to mention add music and create your master disc. This option isn’t for the faint-of-heart.

WHERE TO START
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