Here is an article I wrote with some of my most powerful lessons learned along my information product journey. I hope you enjoy it.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Making a Living with Information Products: Real Life Versus the Fairy Tale

1)         When the star chicken in “Chicken Run” had a feeling that life could be better beyond the chicken coop, he was right.  But there are always naysayers.  You have to believe in the journey you wish to travel and keep moving ahead, even in the face of doubt.  It’s not easy to blaze a new trail.  My CPA looked at me sideways when I said I wanted to walk away from fee-for-service public relations consulting to launch an information products and training business.  I knew it would take time to make the transition, and I remained undaunted.  I am glad I made the journey because I how have better control over my own destiny and my income potential than before.  I have more control over my time and my life.  I enjoy my work more.   It’s been a good decision for me.

2)         Take a lesson from “Green Eggs and Ham” and taste a lot of options to find the perfect success recipe.  Your first information product may not be the key to riches. You have to keep revising the recipe to create tools that ideal clients truly need and are willing to spend money to enjoy.   I created a family of do-it-yourself information products over a period of three years before creating Bye-Bye Boring Bio.   This has become the best-selling item at my online store to date  and is the foundation for a suite of products and services that earn raves from clients in my own backyard and well beyond.  

3)         “The Tortoise and the Hare” fable is a good metaphor for what it takes to win the race.   Slow and steady progress toward the end goal really is effective as opposed to getting distracted with shiny bright object disease.  It may not be the glamorous path, but it is the path that has worked for me.   While others may have dabbled with their information products, I’ve been steadfast and consistent.  I am among the last few standing, and that does make a difference.

4)         Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you are going to get.    These sage words of advice were spoken to Forrest Gump by his momma in “Forrest Gump.”   You make a post on a popular social networking site one day, and nothing happens.  The next day, someone influential responds and opens up a whole new world of opportunity, including introductions to influential internet gurus who now become your colleagues, friends, and co-collaborators.   It’s important to walk through these doors of opportunity when they strike because wonderful things often flow.

5)         Just like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” it is an odd feeling to realize that you are not in Kansas anymore and are along a yellow brick road to a destination that is all too unfamiliar.   Dorothy had to learn how to avoid hazardous poppies, flying monkeys, and angry apples along her journey and remain resilient in her quest to reach the wonderful world of Oz.   Along my own journey, this former writer/journalist has had to learn a host of new skills and abilities that had prior been completely foreign.

– How to speak in public with confidence

– How to use a digital audio recorder and convert WAV files to MP3 files

– How to use WordPress to blog

– How to set up and use Skype

– How to set up autoresponders

– How to set up and host teleseminars

– How to write sales copy that earns consistent sales

– How to set up a squeeze page

– How to set up and produce YouTube videos

– How to set up an affiliate program

– How to write Tweets to make it easy for affliates to advocate for featured products

– How to set up a Facebook Fan page

– How to launch, sustain, and grow my ezine and the list that grows with it

– How to set up a merchant account and choose an online shopping cart

– How to interview on the radio and create action by listeners

– The list goes on and on.  There is something new to learn every day.  It is humbling.  It is never-ending.  And it is at times exhausting.

So with all that said, here are among the most humbling lessons I’ve learned so far:

  • The road to information product sales is not a get rich quick scheme.  Don’t quit your day job or abandon your primary source of revenue generation.  It takes time to create the systems and the platform to support a business based on expert status, information products, and speaking.
  • In the beginning, it’s easier and definitely more profitable to trade time for dollars than to develop and learn the systems for sustaining and promoting a line of information products.
  • Invest the time to create a sustainable strategy and create products that your ideal clients need and are prepared to invest money to buy.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Engage experts to accelerate your journey.
  • Your webmaster and IT expert are the most important people on your team.  Pay them first and express your gratitude regularly for the value they offer.
  • Create a starter product, and add to the family as inspiration and opportunity strike.
  • Create products in printed and digital versions to appeal to customers with either preference.
  • Products that appeal to sight, sound, and experience sell better than those that appeal to one sense alone.
  • Workshops and public speaking have proven to be the single best ways to invite consistent and ongoing purchases of my information products.
  • Don’t underestimate the appeal of a sassy event name.
  • Don’t get too attached to your events if they don’t deliver the revenue impact you need to grow and remain profitable.
  • Learn how to sell your products from the back of the room to make every speaking engagement – paid or not – pay back to your business for your investment of time, passion, and effort.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of becoming a “Master of Client Enrollment.”  It’s a game changer in a good way.  I’ve learned a lot about this from Bill Baren.  He’s very good at this.  Masterful in fact.
  • Buy a digital recorder, and learn how to use it
  • Leverage everything you do to reach even more people.
  • Receive the endorsements of those with the influence to carry your message far and wide, and return the favor.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
  • The long sales letter you pay the expensive copywriter to craft is not necessarily better than the one you write yourself.
  • Just because you post the letter to your website or blog doesn’t mean people will buy.
  • Branding matters.
  • Don’t skimp on the packaging.
  • Promote products in a wide variety of ways consistently.
  • Nothing you do one time is enough to deliver ongoing results.
  • The learning never stops. Be prepared to learn a new vocabulary of terms and tools to grow the information product division of your company.
  • It’s overwhelming at times how much there is to learn and do.  You either stick with it, or you don’t.
  • The idea of “earning money while I sleep” is a myth so far.

Since creating my first information product, my mission has remained consistent and true. It is to empower business owners everywhere with useful, time-tested, and proven tools and tips to help them get seen, heard, and celebrated in their own backyards … and beyond through the power and impact of storytelling and free publicity.   As a consequence of supporting others along their journey to success, my own success has grown. The “thank you” notes I receive every week from happy customers all over the USA  and beyond demonstrate to me that I am delivering on my mission. These notes are posted to bulletin boards in my office to fuel my enthusiasm to stay on this path.

Do I still provide fee-for-service public relations services? Yes, but far less than I ever have since starting down my path to become an infopreneur in August of 2006.  Today, I am my own best client, and stories that feature my perspectives show up on FoxBusiness, NPR, Puget Sound Business Journal, and a host of quality regional and national media venues.

Am I glad to ventured out on this journey? Absolutely.  Was it easy? Absolutely not.   Would I take this road again if I was starting today? You bet!  Now that you know the most humbling and useful lessons I’ve learned so far, you can get to success faster along your own journey to information product prosperity. The only thing left to do is strap on your rocket belt, hang on tight, and get to work.

And, oh by the way, you can save $50 on any product or service at my online store valued at $97 or more when you enter “50Gift” into the promotional box and click “apply” when you buy.  Savings are valid through January 2, 2013.  Here are popular choices:

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