The team at DigitalMarketingLab.io has been entrepreneuring (is that a word?) for a long time now, and teaching other people about entrepreneuring for the last several years.
We get a kick out of helping other people start their own business, and we are constantly on the lookout for opportunities that will make it easier for people to achieve their dream of business ownership and financial independence.
Due to their many benefits, we particularly like helping people start an online business. That’s why we are super-excited to share our experiences with launching our business DigitalMarketingLab.io.
DigitalMarketingLab.io is an information marketing business.
Information marketing is one of the best business models we’ve found, because you can easily operate it from anywhere, take advantage of automation, and the margins are very high.
But it can also be challenging for many people to get started because they don’t know what markets to target, which product is likely to sell best, or think they have to have established affiliate relationships to help them get launched.
That’s why we set out to launch DigitalMarketingLab.io from scratch, without any affiliate support; to prove that you can start an online business without the ‘connections’ of established marketers.
And the good news is that we had great success! And if you follow the model outlined in this series of posts, your likelihood of success should be very high as well.
Our goal is to help you get started generating sales at your information marketing business as quickly and easily as possible by providing you with a roadmap showing how we did it.
Now, let me be clear with an earnings disclaimer: EVERY business requires hard work at some point or another.
Your success in this model is NOT guaranteed, just like it’s not guaranteed with any business. The results we have experienced may not be typical, and certainly shouldn’t be expected for those unwilling to do the work!
That being said, some business models are just easier than others, and information marketing is a great business!
So, let’s get started with…
8 Reasons Why You Should Start an Online Business Selling Information Products
There are a lot of exciting business opportunities out there; it can be hard to determine which one is the best for you to pursue.
So let me first tell you why you should consider starting an information marketing business, as it has many advantages over other businesses you may be evaluating:
Very low startup costs
You can start your information marketing business with nothing other than your laptop and an internet connection. Yes, there are a few pieces of software and services you should invest in (an email service, as an example), but the costs of these are so low they are negligible.
Very low overhead
The ongoing costs of running an information marketing business are very low.
Very high margins
Your product margins in this business are very high – nearly 100%. Combine that with very low overhead and you have a very profitable business.
High degree of automation
This entire business can run largely on autopilot. Advertising networks, email autoresponders, and membership sites software combine to make a business that can run without you.
There are many strategies to turn your information marketing business into a recurring revenue stream that has customers paying you for months or even years.
Tap into existing distribution channels
Getting distribution for your products is one of the biggest challenges of any new business. In the information marketing business, there are pre-established channels such as affiliates (people who will promote your products for a percentage of the sale) and marketplaces that will help you find affiliates and customers (such as JVZoo and Clickbank). These channels can dramatically accelerate the growth of your business.
No inventory or shipping
Fulfillment in the information marketing business is usually done online by sending your customer a PDF file or giving them access to a website that contains their purchase. But even in the case where you may want to send them something physical, like a book, there is a huge number of service providers willing to do it for you.
You can live and work anywhere
Most people start an online business with the dream of being able to travel or work from home on their own schedule. This business model fits that dream perfectly!
Combine all eight of these benefits together, and you’ve got a business model that is very hard to beat!
And the beauty is that this business can be done by anyone, no matter your age, race, location, accent, or education level.
Have I done enough to convince you that it’s a business worth exploring? Good!
Now let’s look at…
The Seven Steps to Launching Your Information Marketing Business
There are many ways to launch an online information marketing business, but we are going to show you one way that has worked for us that is both simple and profitable.
There are seven steps to start building your online business and generating an income selling information products. If you’ve never done it before, these steps may seem a little overwhelming to you at first.
Don’t let that stop you!
I promise you that it’s a heck of a lot easier than you think, and once you’ve gone through the process one time you’ll realize it’s quite simple.
Here are the seven steps:
- Determine your niche and topic
- Determine the offer you are going to make
- Create ‘Lead Magnet’ blog posts to attract the right audience
- Run Facebook ads to your blog post to build your audience
- Build a high-converting funnel
- Launch to the email list and retargeting audience you’ve created
- Approve affiliates that want to promote your product
We’ll cover these seven steps in pretty good detail – starting in this post and finishing in the remaining posts in this series – so you’ll have a good understanding of what’s required to be successful.
We’ve invested a lot of time, energy and money to learn from them, and we suggest that once you have your information marketing business up and running and generating some income, you do the same.
Ok, let’s get started with…
Step #1: Determine Your Niche and Topic
The first step in starting your business is to determine the audience you are going to sell to, and the general topic of the product you are going to create.
Many people think this is backwards:
“Shouldn’t I create the product, and then find the people to sell it to?”
No! Exactly the opposite.
You want to find an audience that is hungry for something, and then give it to them.
It is far easier and less costly to capture existing customer demand than it is to create new customer demand. By finding an existing ‘hungry market’, you dramatically improve your chances of success.
A ‘market niche’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘audience’. You want to find people (ideally a lot of them) that can all be easily identified and targeted, and that are proven buyers of products.
That last point is really important, so read it again: ‘that are proven buyers of products’.
There is a saying in the marketing world, that ‘buyers are buyers’. You want to find audiences that are already proven to spend money on products like the ones you are considering creating.
If you think you’ve found an attractive market to target, but you can’t see clear proof that they are buying, then keep on looking for another market!
It helps to narrow your search down to one of the three mega-markets that are already proven winners and have massive audiences.
- Health and Fitness
- Making Money or Business
- Relationships and Personal Development
All three of these categories have thousands of successful new products created and sold in them each year. If you can create a product in one of these three markets, you are increasing your odds of success.
But these are massive markets, so you’ll want to do more homework to narrow down to a more specific niche within one of these major markets.
So how do we identify these attractive buyer niches?
There are a few ways that we’ve found work best:
Sell to a Niche You are a Part Of:
Do you have a passion or hobby that you spend a lot of time and money on? Is there a large community of people just like you that is easy to identify and target?
This is our favorite way to start an information product business, because you already have deep knowledge and insights about what an audience wants and is willing to pay for.
The way to win in any market is to add value to your customers’ lives so they want to buy more and more from you – it’s that simple!
So if you already have some unique knowledge to share with a market based on your experiences in that market, then you are off to a great head start!
Search for Products That are Already Selling Well:
The next great way to find your niche market is to find products that are already selling well and then do some detective work to find the audience they are selling to.
There are a handful of great resources you can use specifically to find information products that are selling well, the best being Clickbank.
Clickbank is one of, if not the largest, marketplace for information products. This is a perfect place to find products that are already selling well and get a sense of who they are selling to.
I recorded a quick video to show you how we do our research in Clickbank, using Popularity and Gravity as our two main measures.
There is no magic formula here. We recommend that you look at both of these combined to determine the overall attractiveness of a particular product and topic.
So if you see that product A has both high Popularity and High Gravity, and product B has high Popularity but low Gravity, we suggest you stick to product A as a better indication of what the market wants.
Finally, take a look at the products that have a ‘Vendor Spotlight’ link, as I indicate in the video.
This link will take you to a page that gives you some details about the product, the vendor that created it, and often will have information about their Affiliate Program.
The vendor’s Affiliate Program will give you all kinds of great information about who their product sells to, how to target them, and what kinds of ads work.
This is perfect information to help you start to identify the details of the market you are going to target, and what is going to work to reach them!
Watch the video on using Clickbank for market research:
Another great resource, particularly for those of you looking to sell Internet Marketing information products, is JVZoo.
JVZoo is currently the most popular marketplace for selling information products about Internet Marketing.
You can’t get as much detail about products in JVZoo as you can in Clickbank, but it’s still a great place to do some research.
Watch the video on using JVZoo for market research:
Identify What the Market Wants Using Online Forums
The last way to find attractive markets and product ideas that we’ll cover in this post is by searching online forums.
Online forums are filled with large audiences of people that are very passionate about particular topics.
You are likely a member of one or several forums on topics that are of interest to you. If you are, you know that people are often in the forums sharing their frustrations, and solutions to those frustrations, with other people.
Those threads are the source of great product ideas!
Once you’ve narrowed in on the market you are going to sell to and the topic of the information product you plan on selling, it’s time to…
Watch the video on using forums for marketing research:
Step #2: Determine the Offer You are Going to Make
The next step in launching your online business is to determine the specific offer you are going to make to your marketplace.
Creating good information products is a whole course in itself, but let me give you some tips that will help put you on the right track and allow you to build and sell your first product with success.
The product you create should:
- Solve a specific problem
- Appeal to a large segment of your overall niche
- Be relatively easy to create
- Be priced in alignment with the existing expectations of the market you are selling to
I think that for the most part, numbers 2, 3 and 4 are straightforward and simple enough.
It’s number 1 that I think deserves a little more explanation.
Solve a Specific Problem
First-time product creators (and often times very experienced product creators as well) tend to create products that have a big, broad promise instead of focusing on solving a specific problem.
Big, broad promises do a poor job of activating the part of our brain that makes us want to buy, and also make it hard for a prospective customer to quickly identify why they’d want to buy from you.
For example, if I were going after the tennis market, I could create an information product titled:
“How to play winning tennis”
If I were Roger Federer, then that title would do just fine because my huge following and credibility as a tennis pro would sell the product for me.
But consider a product titled something like this:
“The proven 3-step system to increase your first serve speed and accuracy by at least 37%”
See the difference?
In this case, I am making the promise to solve a very specific problem. If I’m a tennis player that has a problem with my serves, then this is going to immediately appeal to me.
And since you have a specific solution to my specific problem, and it sounds like there is something to it – a “system” – I am much more likely to give it a shot even if I have no clue who you are.
Good. Make sure your product solves a specific problem and clearly identify this in the name of your product.
Create Your Product
The form and features of a product are often important to buyers, and greatly impact the effort you’ll have to go through to create it.
For example, producing a full color, hardcover book set is much more challenging than creating an audio recording of a conversation.
Both formats have been very successful information products, but they have different appeal and different product costs, in both time and financial terms.
Again, this topic can be an entire course in itself. Instead, let me share with you three product formats that we’ve found are pretty simple to create:
- Expert Interviews: interviewing experts is a great way to create a product that is both very appealing and very easy to produce. The hardest part is scheduling the time with the experts. After that, it’s just a matter of creating a series of interview questions that your audience would love to ask the experts, asking them on their behalf, and making sure it gets recorded!
- How to Guides: if you’ve solved a particular problem yourself, and you can capture step-by-step how you did it, then creating a ‘how to’ guide is one of the most popular forms of information product out there. Just document what you did…very similar to this series of blog posts!
- Resource Guides: many niches want to know the ‘best tools for the job’ to accomplish a given task or solve a particular problem. For example, if you are creating a product on how to do simple videos using your iphone (a great product, by the way), then you could sell a guide explaining the best tools for the job and how to use them.
All three of these product formats are easy to create using free or very inexpensive resources already on your computer or phone, or that can be easily purchased.
One important lesson to keep in mind:
Legendary information marketer Dan Kennedy frequently said to spend 10% of your time on the creation of your product, and 90% of your time on the marketing of the product.
Most information marketing rookies get this backwards, and spend wayyyyy too much time trying to make their products perfect.
And, perfect products don’t exist…so they never get launched!
Don’t make the same mistake! Don’t be a perfectionist! Get your product completed to ‘good enough’ production value and start selling it.
What We Did
We have experience and familiarity with the Internet Marketing niche, and we decided we wanted to launch a new business in that marketplace (DigitalMarketingLab.io).
After doing some research – primarily on JVZoo – we believed that there was an opportunity to create a reasonably priced course on how to sell products on Amazon.
This is a hot topic in the Internet Marketing marketplace over the last year, but the top product in the marketplace costs about $4,000!
That’s way out of the reach of most buyers.
So we decided to launch a product at a much lower price, and to try to make the steps to success as brief and simple as possible.
We called our product the ‘Simple Amazon Income System’ to reflect the position we were trying to take in the marketplace, and used the ‘how to’ format based on our own experience on Amazon.
In our case, our very first attempt at this process resulted in us reaching approximately $30,000 in revenue in our first month – not bad at all!
You can click here to see the sales page for the program to get a better idea of how we are positioning it to sell.
Are You Excited Yet?!
You are a third of your way through a simple system to help you succeed with this business.
Anybody that has identified a market and product idea can have an income-producing product up and selling online in as little as 30 days.
By the time you are done with my next post, you’ll be more than halfway to the finish line of creating and launching your own online business selling information products!
If you like what you’re learning, make sure to opt into our list so you get notified when the next posts are available.
Continue to the Next Post
Now that we’ve picked our market and determined the product we are going to create, it’s time to get the word out about our product so we can build an audience of people to sell it to!
In the next post, I’m going to show you the simple but very effective way we did this to launch our information product using blog posts to attract your ideal audience.
That’s step #3 in our 7 step process:
That’s where the magic starts to happen!
And please share this with others you think will find it valuable!
All the best,