Adding a second stream of income to my core business of being a professional magician was a big breakthrough for me. (Get the whole story at The Most Important Business Breakthrough In My Life…Could It Be Yours Too?)
It lowered my risk of going out of business, helped me make a lot more money, enabled me to pay off my debts, gave me more freedom, and for the first time in my life, I was no longer trading hours for dollars.
But having said that, it could have gone terribly wrong. And put me even further “behind the eight ball.”
Fortunately I followed a step-by-step blueprint and did not make the one HUGE mistake that many people make when adding a product or service to their business.
The mistake? Creating the product first and then trying to figure out how to sell it.
Remember after you’ve identified a particular, specific market that is hungry and responsive, your next step is to do market research to determine what they want. What exactly will they eagerly pay you to educate them about?
Dan Kennedy says, “The less you do based on your assumptions, opinions and ideas, the better.”
Here’s how I did it:
1) I created an ad and placed it in a magazine that reached my target audience.
2) People who responded to the ad were offered a free report which was really a sales letter.
3) After I started getting orders, I put together the product.
Let me back up a bit and talk about the research part, because it’s very important and it’s part of the reason people get the order wrong.
Authors write books about a subject they’re particularly devoted to—some taking years to write—only to find out that nobody is interested in the topic they so thoroughly researched.
People look at magazines or online and find somebody selling a particular product. They decide they can make a product similar to it before even knowing if the product they saw is profitable.
Make sure you completely understand your market and what they want to buy BEFORE you create a product.
Sure you invest some time into writing a sales letter and you spend a little money on advertising your idea, but you can do this relatively inexpensively. Plus, sometimes all it takes is tweaking the offer in your sales letter until you get it right. In the end, you won’t have wasted a ton of time or money on a product that no one wants.
When you start getting orders – that’s the time to start creating your product. Again, you don’t have to invest a ton of money or need super sophisticated equipment or materials. It’s the information people are buying from you. As long as your information is good and what they want; it is fine to package it in a binder or whatever.
I didn’t have sophisticated technology when I created my first product. In fact, this was so many years ago, I did all my writing on a typewriter! My product was a manual that consisted of the proven marketing documents that I had been using in my own business. I gathered those together, wrote a bit of explanatory copy and put them in a three ring binder.
I also promised audio recordings so I went to Radio Shack and bought a cheap clip on microphone and recorded the tapes (yes, tapes) on my stereo.
I didn’t want to have inventory, so whenever I got an order, I would create the package to send out on demand. This consisted of duplicating the tapes on boom boxes strategically placed around my house and running to Kinkos to get the manual copied.
It wasn’t pretty, but it got me started. Today manuals and audio recordings still work quite well—only it’s much easier to produce them and duplicate them.
The moral, do your research first and once orders start rolling in, then and only then is it time to create your product
NOTE: If you are looking to start your own information marketing business (or already have one) and would like an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to get you started the right way along with everything you need to continue to grow your information marketing business, then we’d like to offer you access to the Information Marketing Association (IMA.)
The IMA offers:
- Detailed “how-to” checklists based on the most successful info-marketers from around the world
- Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. INFO-Marketing Letter and INFO-Marketing SPECIAL REPORT that takes you behind the scenes, gives you examples from info-marketing businesses, how-to strategies and more.
- Tele-seminars each month that feature guest experts, case studies and more. Plus time reserved at the end to make sure all your questions get answered.
- Jump start coaching calls to help you grow your business, avoid obstacles and get your questions answered.
- Members-only discounts and preferred services, networking and more.
Dan Kennedy is the IMA’s chairman emeritus. Through the IMA you’ll receive Dan’s exclusive contributions to IMA’s resources as well as getting the benefit of his strategy suggestions he gives to make the association more valuable to members.