We ask the question in a variety of ways.
- “How do I know if my idea for an information product is a good one?”
- “How do I know if my market is interested in what I want to teach?”
- “How can I know if my community will pay for this information?”
The answer to these and similar questions is the same: Make an offer and see what happens.
What makes this answer a good one is to make that offer SMALL.
We don't want to spend the next six months creating a flagship information product with all of the related angst and concern about what to include and how much to charge. Rather, we set aside a small amount of time to create a yummy taste of our topic, floating out a free or low cost offer to see who bites.
Example: You're a Social Media Consultant
You believe your market is hungry for a product about Social Media Time Management.
Ultimately you envision a high end product with a group coaching component that tackles all of the top social media sites in depth with your tried and true time saving strategies spelled out.
Before you go planning everything out, let's test that vision with a small taste.
Tackle a Small Report outlining a single Case Study.
Present in simple terms how you manage one social site (Twitter) for one client for one week. In fewer than 2500 words, you can smartly demonstrate how you deliver maximum results with minimum time commitment.
Give it a sassy title: “Twitter Time: It Still Works When You Know How To Work It”.
Set up a simple optin page, tease on the common idea that Twitter has lost it's shine and offer the Case Study as a free gift for an email address. (DO set up some sort of analytics so you can measure the conversion rate. I like LeadPages for making this super easy – but you can also set up a simple goal in Google Analytics.)
Now, share it everywhere and see how it converts.
If you get optins, if your conversion rate is 30% or higher – I believe you've got potential in your idea. If hardly anyone says yes to your free offer – you can test and tweak to improve your presentation – but if that doesn't work, you want to face the truth. Your idea may be a dud.
Now, aren't you glad you didn't give six month over to it?
Sometimes our ideas are good, but we're missing something – the connection, the zinger… the element that makes people say ‘I need it!'. Personally, I love Small Reports for working this out. They require little time and deliver results quickly.
What if the Free Small Report IS a HIT?
Wahoo! Take another step. Develop your idea further. Craft a larger Small Report – say 5000 words that covers three Social Media Case Studies. Instead of giving this one away, let's offer it for sale for $20. If your tips are good, your market knows they can profit by at least much when they apply what they learn.
If your Paid Small Report sells – you've definitely got a good direction to move in. Keep stepping up your offers. Keep offering the freebie and the low cost report while you develop a larger product, say a Guide with accompanying Audio for $47.
As Your Offers Find Success, Keep Creating!
This is my style of information product development. I have a library of products for people to choose from at a variety of price points and formats. Some people won't buy an ebook but will buy an audio course – and some will buy everything that touches on the topics they care about.
Ready to get started? Have an idea to test out?
If you've blogged on the topic, you can save time by re-purposing that content. Expand your thoughts until you've got 2500 or so words. Add images, add an ‘About Me' page and all the important copyright and disclosures you need. Format it all neatly, make an eCover and get an optin offer set up.
Ok, I know – I'm making it sound ridiculously simple and it won't be that easy if you've never done it before. Good news though – I'm offering a full step by step guide to those who want it.
Recommended Resource: Small Report Smarts
Small Reports are like building blocks for our online businesses. Whether you're testing out ideas or simply building a mailing list – nothing is easier to create and deliver. Once you master them, it's easy to tack on audio or video for added usefulness and value.