I took this photo during the "final edits" phase of an info product I am about to launch publicly. I emailed the PDF file to my local printer to print & bind so I could go back over it in detail.
So far my Elite Members are the only ones that have been privy to a secret look "behind the scenes" while I created this product over the last few weeks.
In this post I'm going to share all the nitty gritty details publicly...
And let me just say, this super affiliate has a whole new respect for digital product creators!
As you probably know, I've been doing some form of Affiliate Marketing for around 16 years now, and I've been doing niche affiliate marketing online specifically for well over a decade.
As an affiliate marketer I don't have to worry about product creation, sales pages, launches, recruiting affiliates, customer service, etc, etc, etc. And with physical products, no shipping!
It's been an ideal model for me over the years, particularly when I worked less hours due to my lifestyle. So why create a product now? Good question...
Digital products actually complement affiliate marketing quite well. As an affiliate marketer, creating information products is a great way to better serve your market. It also allows you to build a list of buyers, which is a great asset to any affiliate marketer.
In the screenshot to the right, you see thumbnails of my product. Writing a report is not that much different than writing a blog post. Since I created this product on my Macbook, I used a program called Pages. But you can use a free word processor like Writer from OpenOffice.org, which will allow you to create a document and export it as a PDF file.
In addition to having a product to sell, and building a list of buyers in your niche to follow up with, you'll also be able to recruit affiliates to do much of the marketing for you. So creating a product is a great strategy even if you don't already have a list or a following of your own.
As for why I decided to do this in my business now, there were two reasons:
First, I've been working on a list of new helpful tutorials & downloads for my Private Brainstorming Group members. I'm always looking for new ways to help them take their business to the next level, and wanted to add to the library of resources there.
It only makes sense, if I'm going to create informational products for them, to also make those available for sale publicly. Any work I do, I look for ways to make the most of the time invested.
And second, because it's high time I share my expertise with the world! It's one thing to blog for 10 years straight, but many of my tutorials are buried in the archives. So I've decided to create and release topical tutorials as a means of really helping people move forward faster with their online business.
And of course there's the Passive Income aspect. Once you create a digital product, and get active affiliates promoting it for you, you'll have a passive source of revenue that pretty much operates on auto-pilot.
The How and Why behind my Info Product Strategy
I'll just tell you upfront that my strategy with this product was bass-ackwards. I don't mind to make that confession, and I also don't mind to tell you why I did it that way.
You might call it brilliant, you might call it stupid, but either way I got it done.
We'll start there. I'm a procrastinator by nature. I doubt I'm alone on that one, lol. Procrastinating is different than being a perfectionist, which can also really hold you back. I'm definitely not a perfectionist! Bigger projects just tend to overwhelm me, and when I get overwhelmed I get stalled. So for this particular project, I used my micro-tasking method - which works GREAT for me.
I decided to sell my product before I even created it. I got the idea for this info-product one weekend, and published a blog post announcing the "live training" on a Sunday evening - scheduled for that Tuesday.
That gave me just over 36 hours to actually "create the product" IF there were any sales. And if not, no sweat. Since I was creating the product via a live webinar, it was easier to "create" (I just needed a topical outline).
What I did there was put myself on the hook. I forced myself to create a product on a very real (short) deadline. Procrastination was NOT an option.
This is a prime example of my Act Fast: Implement & Revise As You Go! advice.
If you don't ACT on an idea, it will only ever be a great idea. Nothing more. And I find if I dilly dally too long with the details, I tend to get overwhelmed in the "planning phase" and never make it to implementation.
Note: I don't recommend you follow this model if you don't feel confident you can bust your butt and pull off an awesome product on time. That said, it does work particularly well with live trainings, or video-based digital products where you can have people register in advance to attend live while you record the actual product.
I had a super low price point and a super short deadline for the pre-sale. Both, or either used alone, encourage an "impulse buy". Not only could people get a great deal, they could participate live, by acting fast on the offer.
Obviously if there was interest (meaning sales), the product would get created, and then the price would increase on the finished product for the official launch.
There were close to 70 sales, and my members got free access of course, so there were even more registered to attend. And so of course I showed up on Tuesday and taught the topic live:
The only real "set up work" I did upfront was to write the blog post, create a PayPal order link, set up an Aweber list for people to receive the log-in link and the replay, then email my list and invite them to join in live. I also invited people via my Social Media channels, of course.
In hindsight, I'm really shocked I was able to teach the topic in 2.5 hours. I originally planned for it to be 90 minutes or so, but looking back on it now I'm surprised I was able to pack all of that into less than three hours!
The topic was on creating a strategic social media marketing plan, by the way. You can see the details here.
I planned to wrap up a PDF version from the webinar outline, as a bonus, but ended up spending over two weeks fleshing it out with even more creative ideas and live examples. I also created six additional documents: reference sheets, worksheets, checklists, etc. PLUS set up a private Facebook Group for members-only brainstorming & continued resources.
Over-delivering is GOOD.
The people who acted fast on the offer got A LOT for a very low price. And once I got on a roll teaching the topic, and then writing the training guide and supporting documents, I ended up with an awesome product created.
Definitely a win-win!
Doing a pre-sale, or a pre-launch like this has allowed me to work some of the kinks out upfront with a relatively small group of buyers. It also means the Facebook group will be active (not empty) & engaging by the time I officially launch.
Speaking of an official launch, that's where I am now in the process. Instead of wasting time figuring out the best way to create or design a sales page, order buttons and cover graphics - I outsourced the sales page design & cover graphics quickly and inexpensively. (I've worked with him in the past with great results & recommended!)
First, I took care of my buyers and members...
I created a simple download page that includes the replay, an invite to the private group, and download links for all seven bonus documents. I also asked them for feedback and testimonials - which will be helpful for writing the sales copy (and/or making any revisions to the product before going public).
Tip: Always take care of your buyers first, ahead of finding new buyers.
Next on my list is to write the sales copy, set up the payment processing and affiliate program, upload the sales page with a working order button, create the email follow-up series to help buyers make the most of the product, continue keeping the Facebook Group active and engaging, invite members and buyers to join the affiliate program (first), then send out review copies to potential super affiliates.
So there you have it! This may not be a conventional (or even practical) product creation & launch method, but I shared it with you here to inspire you and hopefully give you some creative ideas as well.
p.s. Have questions or comments? Leave a reply below! And if you enjoyed this post be sure to like, tweet, +1, or share it...
* Disclosure: there are a few affiliate links in this blog post. That means I may earn a commission if you act on my recommendations or resources. That is what allows me to invest so much time sharing tutorials and creative ideas with you FREE here on this blog.