If you are looking to become well known in your field, then you need to establish yourself as an expert and there is perhaps no better way to do this than by creating and offering information products.
Think about this for just a minute. When you see someone or read something that someone has created, the person that created it already has credibility in your eyes. We tend to think of others who are authors, speakers, or writers as authority figures. We automatically assume that because we are learning from their material, they are an expert on this subject. Can you persuade others to believe that you are the expert in your field, and if so, why would you want to?
Why Is It Important to Position Yourself as the Expert in your Field
People perceive others who have information products as experts, they also tend to listen to them and follow their directions and guidance. Let’s take a quick look at the psychology at work here first…
A noted Psychologist and author, Robert Cialdini, has conducted extensive research in the areas of persuasion and has found that time and again, those people who are perceived as leaders or experts in a particular area are followed and obeyed by others even in cases where doing so may be harmful to their own personal situation…either financially or even their personal health. In general, people often discount their own knowledge in a particular area when they hear or see someone whom they perceive knows more than them, Cialdini found. This perception is often largely created simply because of the fact that the other person has taken the time to compile their information into an audio, video, or text based product and is now offering it for sale in an open market. Simply by creating the product and putting it in front of someone else, the perception is created.
Think about the last time you were in a book store. If you saw a bestselling book on dieting, you would probably automatically assume that the person who wrote it is an expert in the field of nutrition and/or health. Creating an information product can help to position you as an expert and will immediately give you credibility and authority in your field.
What exactly is an information product?
Types of Information Products
Anything that you can offer for sale can really be considered an info product. Be it a physical product that you ship or something you offer for download on the internet. Below are some of the most common types of information products and a little bit of an explanation on the usage of each.
- Books-Books are really the first information products. Books can be a great way to present large amounts of information as they are usually longer and more detailed than most other types of information products. They are largely text of course, but graphics can accompany text to illustrate ideas and concepts. If you’re going the book route, you will want to make sure your book is available on Amazon.com. Going through a service like Lightning Source will get you into the Amazon.com and provide you with an on-demand printing service to order and drop ship your books. If you are seriously considering publishing your own book, make sure you have a budget and contact someone that has experience in the publishing industry.
- Special reports/ebooks-Special reports can be a fantastic way to develop authority in a specific field quickly. You can make them just a few physical pages, or simply create a pdf file that you offer for download or email. An ebook is really just a book that is saved as a pdf file versus printed as a physical copy. Depending on the level of design quality you’re looking for, the creation of either a special report or ebook could be small. If you’re going to go the do-it-yourself path, all you need to do is type your thoughts into a document, save, and create a PDF or other file that cannot be manipulated. You now have an information product that is ready to sell or give away to potential clients.
- White papers-A white paper is a technical report on a specific topic or issue. These are often more academic and used to discuss a specific topic using research to support a specific claim. They are much more precise and to the point and are more fact based. These types of info products are great if your in a market that respects academic content and/or credentials. A white paper can be simply a document printed or a digital file available for email or download.
- Audio products-Audio information products have been around for a long time. Cassette tapes used to be the norm for speakers and authors and CD’s quickly took their place in the 1990’s. Now, audio information products made available for download on your computer are the norm and with the ease of online audio software available, you can create one using your own computer and the internet in no time at all.
- Videos-Videos have quickly become one of the most valuable information products of our time. They have been in use by info product marketers for years and, just like audio products, videos are easily created and distributed using the internet. There are a wide range of handheld digital video recorders available and most of them ship with software that will let you create a simple info product of you talking for no out of pocket expense at all.
So..what should your info product consist of?
Your information does not have to be life changing or even completely unique, it just has to include info that someone else can learn from. The product can be anything from you simply writing or telling your story, to the use of complicated diagrams and examples and everything in between. Some of the best info products out there consist of just one person speaking (on audio or video) about the subject they know best. Take Tony Robbins for instance. His audio CD’s sell MILLIONS…and it is just him, talking to you. Don’t be afraid of being simple, just offer honest to goodness information and be sincere in your approach. This is the best thing to do…you being you…that’s all it takes.
Afraid of creating your own? Hire someone else to do it!
While you may be an expert in your particular field, you may NOT be an expert at creating books or videos. That’s ok because there are plenty of professionals out there who are. Outsource the creation of your information product to someone else. You provide the content and they create the product. Depending on what type of product you choose (text, audio, video) you can usually get one created on a small budget of $500-$1,000. When you’re just starting out, it is wise to opt for something simple like a special report or audio file and graduate to something more in-depth as you progress with your product development. It doesn’t matter how flashy your product is, it matters what people think of the info you are providing and how they feel about you as the expert.
There are plenty of resources online that can help you find someone to create your info products for you. Freelance sites like www.guru.com and www.elance.com offer you the ability to reach thousands of freelancers who will bid on your project so that you can get a quality product completed that is ready for sale or to give away to prospects.
Follow the tips above and start creating your first information product. Before long, you too can become a well known expert in your field. Good luck!
If you’re interested in learning more about creating information products, please check out my book Author First Aid Kit: Creating Multiple Streams of Income with Information Products. In this book, you will learn how to turn your book into an asset. We show you how to position your ideas in the marketplace. You will learn strategies to create multiple information products and core techniques to take your product to market. We also give you a directory of links and resources so you can get started right now.