by Cara Lumen
Being in business is about helping people accomplish something – feel better, do better, be better. And that often means educating them. An information product may offer good information about your products and services. It may teach your target community some new technique they can use or it may inspire them to think bigger. There is some form of teaching involved with every business. And it often takes the form of signature information products.
As a teacher, or knowledge holder, you have an opportunity to share what you know with other people. When you put them in the form of an ebook, teleclass, radio show, or blog, they are called information products – signature products, actually, for they bear your name and express your views. And through them people get to know you for the knowledgeable, thoughtful, wise person you are – an expert in your field. And they’ll turn to you when they need what you have to offer.
Your first information product
Your first information product will probably be your opt in offer – the giveaway that you create to encourage people to give you their email address so you can bring them into your target community. The form of your opt in might be a “how to’ “list. It might be an audio or video, it might be a small ebook. Whatever you create you want to give them something of value that creates recognizable results so they know you can produce results and are eager to learn more from you.
Leverage your ideas
Let’s say you start out with a list of five steps that get a specific result. Each of those steps may become an article or blog post that details more of one of those particular steps. Those five steps might turn into a radio show, or a talk on the topic, or the foundation for a five week telecourse. You get the picture. One idea can dress up in many costumes to play many roles.
A lot of my radio shows on www.blogtalkradio.com/passionatelyonpurpose start out as posts. Then I expand them for the half hour show. Some of the material from my telecourses has become an ebook. And I’m certain I could create some strong keynote talks from any of the topics I address in my work.
Pick your medium
Be like an artist – work in whatever medium suits you best. Audios, videos, articles, blog posts, ebooks, audio books, telecourses, radio show, live courses, talks, and webinars.
And pick a medium that works for your target community. For instance, young people are more technically savvy than seniors so they may be more attracted to videos. There are visual learners and audio learners to be considered. And one idea can be presented in several mediums – a transcript of a radio show, a home study course from a telecourse. Consider your skill set and the manner in which your target community consumes information when you choose your medium.
Keep a beginner’s mind
We forget how much we know and how much someone new to what we are teaching does not know. Break your material down into small sections and teach them in an order that builds on the previous topic. My favorite way to start writing any article or ebook or radio show is to write down the answer to “Students leave with an understanding of…” That helps me clarify the purpose of that particular information product.
The great thing about signature information products is that when they are on your web site people can buy it whenever they want to whether you are around or not. I do find that it helps to keep promoting your signature products in some sort of regular cycle to interest new people and remind people they exist. Well-promoted signature products definitely create passive income. You can refer to a product in a blog post, expand a point from a product and mention they’ll find more on the topic in the original product. Tell the story of how the product came into existence and why. Talk about your products in a friendly, casual, open manner that invites people to check them out but do keep talking about them – not selling them – simply mentioning them.
Expand your expert status
When you have written at length on a specific topic you are seen as an expert – which you are since you are the only one interpreting things the way you do. Signature products let people know what you know, how you think, what you can do for them. And over time signature information products build the trust you need to inspire others to pick up the phone and engage you to help them.
The purpose of your signature products
Your signature products may be used to educate your target community about why they need what you have to offer, They may be the tool by which you teach a particular topic that will grow a business or change a life. They may be products that inspire and motivate. Put signature products to work for you to attract and serve your chosen community.
©2010 Cara Lumen
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