by Cara Lumen
I maintain that the one thing people will continue to buy in today’s economy is knowledge. Knowledge is empowering, knowledge increases in value over time, and it keeps working forever! What do you know that you can teach others and get paid for?
What you already know
Chris Brogan recently wrote a post about his typing skills – how he was a really fast typist and as a blogger that put him hours ahead of others. He suggested we look at what skills we need to strengthen or add in order to make life easier or faster or better or more productive. And it got me thinking about what skills I might need to add. And if I need to learn stuff, others do too and I started thinking about what I knew that I might teach others.
I am a natural organizer of ideas and I can help thoughtful leaders effectively organize their ideas so they can educate and inspire their chosen community. That can mean a business idea or an information product. That can be effective blog content. But the bottom line is I know how to organize and in my coaching and my information products I teach others to organize their thoughts and ideas and set up systems that fit with their learning and working style to keep them focused and productive.
So if I can teach people how to organize their ideas, what can you teach?
It may be as specific as “10 different ways to combine 8 food ingredients to make 7 meals for your family. “ It could be “Best resources for auto parts for your antique automobile.” It could be “How to teach your old dog new tricks.” What is your passion? What do you love to do? What can you teach? That’s the gift you have to give.
What does your target community need from you?
To create a successful information product it has to be on the topic your target community wants and needs from you. Who have you been targeting? What are their current needs? What can you offer them?
When I look at my target community I think they want to be empowered to take control of their future. So I’m offering them ways to learn to create their own signature information products and to improve their writing and idea organizing skills as they do. With a range of signature products I can offer different price points of information and meet the needs of anyone who wants to learn what I have to teach.
How will yours be different?
Here’s the deal. There is a ton of information out there for free – if you have the time and energy and willingness to wade through it. But what if someone did that wading for you and offered you a focused summary with action steps you could read in 20 minutes. Would you pay for that???
Your job is to take your years of expertise wrapped in your unique spin and experience and put it in an information product that makes it simple to consume. You will research new information; you will absorb it, sort it, compare it, update it and turn it into a product specifically for those who want to learn it. You will teach others what you know and get paid for it. How does that sound?
Information products create passive income
The fabulous benefit of information products is that once you create them people can buy them for years to come while you are off doing something else. They also increase your expert status. The more you write the more people understand how much you know. And they are drawn to you to learn more.
One idea can be leveraged into a multitude of products
Some time ago I was scheduled to give a talk in a course I was taking and even as I prepared the outline I knew it had to be an ebook. Later parts of it went into my radio show Passionately On Purpose. Your ideas may end up as blog posts, article submissions, or part of a teleclass or a home study course. You may take one idea and break it into little chunks or you may combine it into a big product. If you have a list of 10 ways to…. you also have ten articles – one on each of those ten ways. Once you start creating information products you’ll be kept busy with the new ideas they generate.
Your job as teacher
We are all teachers in our own way. We teach by example – the kind of life we lead, the words we speak, the actions we take. We teach our children. We exchange ideas with our friends. We lead our group. For me teaching is about learning as well as sharing. Every time I prepare a new course or ebook I learn a tremendous amount. As I organize the material and select the order in which it needs to be taught I learn what is important. As I create exercises that help me own the work I adjust them to help others do the work. Even if you don’t look upon yourself as a teacher, you can see yourself as someone with something of value to share. Whether you tell it to someone, or write an article on it, or create a course around it, you are giving others the gift of your knowledge.
What can you teach? And when will you do it?
©2010 Cara Lumen
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