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The Most Important Ingredient for Info Product Success (is You)

Copyright (c) 2008-2018

Last week I was attending a conference and mentioned to someone I help small

business owners create information products. The other person was very friendly until I said "information products." Then the temperature in the room dropped about 10-degrees.

When I asked her why she seemed less than enthusiastic, she told me how disappointed she was with most of the information products she bought. In her experience, the products seemed like they were "just slapped together" and that "all the business owner seemed to care about was making money."

When people tell me this, I feel sad.

One reason I feel sad is because I've had the same experience. I buy an information product that seems to be what I need and what I get is a poorly written data dump. Even if there's useful information, I have to work so hard to figure out what it is and how to apply it, I give up in frustration. The other reason I feel said is because it doesn't need to be this way.

======================================= Why Information Products Suck =======================================

You see, the reason these products suck is not so much because they're information dumps or even because they're poorly written. It's because they're missing the essential ingredient that customers want: connection with the business owner.

Usually, when I buy something from a small business, it's because there's something about the business owner that resonates with me. It may be their take on business, or their sense of humor, or their way of explaining something. When this happens I want to hang out with them and learn more. If they offer information products such as books, articles, podcasts, and so on, this is a great way for me to get my daily, weekly, or monthly dose.

When a small business owner slaps something together and calls it an information product without investing themselves in the product, they may be

providing some helpful information but they're not providing customers with what they really want: a bit of themselves. When this happens, customers feel cheated.

======================================= How to Make Sure There's a Little Bit of You in Your Products =======================================

1. Tell a story --------------- Stories also allow you to personalize your experience and knowledge and allow others to experience you as your customers do. There's nothing better than a story about how you used your experience, knowledge, and resources to illustrate how add value.

2. Be real ----------

One of the greatest assets you have as a small business owner, is the human face you give your business.

When you can be real which means revealing your quirks and imperfections, you give your client permission to trust and ask for help. When I returned to school to get my MBA, I felt overwhelmed and scared for the first few months. All the other first year students seemed to be doing well and I assumed there was something wrong with me feeling the way I did.

Lucky for me, I was in a class taken mostly by second year students. I remember one of them asking me how things were going. "Oh, just great," I lied, "everything is going really well." "Really?" the second year student said. He was genuinely surprised. "Man, I hated my first year, especially the first semester. I almost dropped out." He then went on to say that as he got to know and trust the other students, the program got a lot easier.

Hearing this was a huge relief. It gave me permission to stop acting and start being myself. And when I started being myself, I began making friends with other students and actually enjoying school. The point is, you don't need to be perfect and your information products don't need to be perfect either. If you struggled to learn what you're teaching, say so. If you make mistakes and typos, apologize, fix them, and move on.

3. Take a stand, even if it's controversial -------------------------------------------

A few years ago, I spoke to a group of local business owners about guerrilla

marketing. I could tell the presentation didn't go well but I wasn't sure why. Over coffee, I asked the woman who booked me, why the audience seemed "less than thrilled." She told me a few people complained that when they asked me questions I kept qualifying my answers with "this is just my opinion." "We brought you in because you're an expert. We assume you're giving us your

opinion based on your experience in the field," she said, "when you apologize it sounds like you don't know what you're doing"

It's scary to take a stand on an issue when you're a business owner because you worry about losing prospective customers who disagree. But you are also demonstrating leadership for those who do agree and are looking for someone willing to speak up. There are issues in every industry that people have strong opinions on. If you sincerely have a position, and it's relevant within the context of your products, speak up and let your customers know where you stand and why.

4. Use your voice -----------------

You know when you read an article or listen to a podcast and you can just tell author is trying to be someone he or she thinks their customer wants them to be?

I'm not saying they sound bad. They just don't sound like themselves. The best thing that ever happened to me was when I stopped trying to write like a Corporate Marketing Android and started writing the way I would if I were explaining something to a respected friend or colleague.

======================================= Bottom Line =======================================

It's not hard to create information products customers love. Provide a bite-sized solution to a problem that they can easily implement. And put a little of yourself into your product using stories, being human, taking a stand, and writing in a conversational tone.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Judy Murdoch helps small business owners create low-cost, effective marketing campaigns using word-of-mouth referrals, guerrilla marketing activities, and selected strategic alliances. To download a free copy of the workbook, "Where Does it Hurt? Marketing Solutions to the problems that Drive Your Customers Crazy!" go to http://www.judymurdoch.com/workbook.htm
You can contact Judy at 303-475-2015 or judy@judymurdoch.com

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