Savvy business owners know the power that products have to jumpstart stalled sales efforts, create new relationships, and scale your business like never before.
Nowadays it is so easy to create very high quality information products, a category which includes podcasts, ebooks, hard copy books, online videos, CDs, and DVDs.
Most computers come with just about everything you need to be up and running in full “product creation mode” in no time.
Couple this with a few well-placed freelancers who can help with editing or design, and there is no limit to what you can create. Be aware, however, that there are few subtle nuances that can spell success for failure here.
The Always-Increasing Price of Free
In 2009 you could give away just about anything that was in an ebook. iPads were the new rage, and everyone seemed to have a Kindle.
These new users were hungry for digital content to put on these new tech toys.
Now here we are several years later, and the price of free has changed.
Customers are more sophisticated, and they won’t just give out their email to anyone for a free chapter of your book.
What has changed is that people’s appetite for free has increased like crazy.
To stay relevant you have to provide more and more value — translation: doing more and more stuff for no immediate payoff.
You have to give away so much value that it will cause people to rave about you. I don’t say this lightly, and I know first hand how difficult it can be.
One Man’s Story of Growth
Check out this evolution chain of one podcast for one very notable figure in the expert/guru world.
- Started podcasting about 3 years ago. Did it all himself. No intro music. Lots of editing. By his own admission it took him 2-3 days to do one podcast.
- Refined his process to remove the time-consuming part of editing and found that no one cared about his missteps on the broadcast.
- Added intro music and started having more guests. Refined his process even further to reduce production time to less than one day per podcast.
- Today he has a host and moderator, full intro and outro music, and a complete line up of guests, not to mention a sizable following. His podcast is essentially radio broadcast quality.
Granted, not every listener expects this level of sophistication for every newbie. My emphasis here is that this level of growth is available to every one of us!
Through a consistent stream of high quality content, this man developed a substantial following and several very lucrative revenue streams because he went the path of free and stuck with it.
If you follow a similar path, you can scale your business in no time.
The 3 Golden Rules to make the most of your free products.
- Make is Sharable.
- Make it actionable.
- Hard copy is ok.
Make is Shareable
Sounds basic, but dig beneath the surface here. I don’t mean sharable in that it is possible for you to share it. Instead I mean make it so good that people want to share it.
Rule of Thumb: If you feel your product is so good that you should charge money for it, then you’ve probably added enough value.
Make it Actionable
This isn’t the time for “high-level overview”.
You can’t afford to be theoretical here. Your readers are going to insist that they be able to put your content into action right now — today.
If you can’t deliver that, you are dead.
Hard copy is ok!
In our world people are too quick to jump to digital versions of our products, but don’t miss the opportunity to go old school on this one.
I can’t tell you how many times people have lent me a book because they were amazed by the authors slant on some issue or technique.
So, don’t be afraid to go old school if you want.