As I stare at my bookshelf I realize that we are in an age like no other.
Before the Internet, selling information products required a deal with a publishing house to print your work and place it in bookstores. If it was to reach a specific target market, a great deal of money would need to be spent on advertising.
Today, through the power of the Internet, there are thousands upon thousands of examples of people successfully sharing their information products via downloadable online PDF documents, audios, and videos.
Think I’m exaggerating? A quick visit to ClickBank.com reveals a vast selection of bestselling information products that are marketed entirely by the author and their affiliates. Carefully targeted advertising is still taking place but, because it is mainly performed online, the related costs are far lower than in the past.
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t create your own success story. To get you started, I’m going to show you how to obliterate the primary obstacle that stops most aspiring information marketers from even getting started.
Between 2004 and 2005, I worked as a business development coach for budding entrepreneurs. In 2006, Mike Filsaime and I started our own group coaching program (I5Gold). In both instances, the main concern expressed by students – time and again – was the belief that they had NOTHING of value to share.
This conviction persisted until I shared with them the story of the “Acres of Diamonds.”
Acres of Diamonds is a book by the American writer, Russell H. Conwell, based upon the famous speech he is said to have delivered over 6000 times. The title comes from a tale that Conwell was told by an Arab guide in Baghdad. The story tells of a man who gave up all his possessions in a futile search for diamonds; eventually – in great poverty – he committed suicide. The sad irony to the story is the discovery of a vast diamond mine underneath the farm that the diamond hunter sold to undertake his fruitless search.
The moral of the story, Conwell tells us, is to “dig in your own back-yard.”
I told this story to the entrepreneurs that I coached, and asked them to tell me of their own journey through life. As they talked to me and began sharing the stories they had collected over the years, many of these people quickly realized they had their very own, undiscovered, Acres of Diamonds. With a little lateral thinking, each person’s unique experiences are potential material for an information product.
How about you?
Allow me to briefly share with you some of the significant events in my life, and the Acres of Diamonds they are concealing. Once you’ve got the idea, start asking questions about your own life, and see what treasures you can unearth.
I was born to teenagers and raised around six marriages and four divorces. Could that experience have potential for a niche information product? Absolutely! The target market could be children of divorced parents, or parents contemplating divorce. The information product would be based upon my own personal experiences.
Here’s another one. At a young age I took up wrestling and ended up on the All-Marine team for the USMC. The obvious choice for information product here is: “How to succeed in wrestling.” I also played football, ran track, and played baseball; to reach a broader market I could try: “How children can benefit from sports,” “How to support your children in sports,” or “How to help your child find the right sport.”
At 20 years of age I entered USMC Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. In three months I became my platoon’s, Honor Graduate, and during my four-year tour I received three meritorious promotions. An information product called “How to become the #1 Honor Graduate from USMC Boot Camp” would appeal to a very specific market. If I wanted something with broader appeal, I could create “How to make the most of your military duty” or “How to rise to the top in the military.”
After the Marine Corps I entered the world of sales and became number one in several different sales organizations, including: advertising, copier sales, cutlery sales, and automobile sales. There are many Acres of Diamonds to be uncovered here. Possibilities include, “How to be a number one salesperson in your company,” “How to be number one in advertising sales,” “How to be number one in copier sales,” “How to be number one in cutlery sales,” “How to be the number one salesperson at your dealership,” and so on….
In 2001 I began my five-year quest to exit corporate America and in the process I made some good decisions, and I made some bad decisions. “Escape from Corporate America and start your own part-time business” has a nice ring to it. Even my mistakes have value if I decide to create “The 5 rookie mistakes that can kill your new business.”
Most recently, working side-by-side for over three years with Mike Filsaime has resulted in many Internet Marketing successes. These experiences are great material for a virtually endless list of possible information products.
Now it’s your turn.
A treasure is of no use to you while it remains hidden. You could be sitting on your very own Acres of Diamonds without even realizing it!
Life throws up many twists and turns but, with the right attitude, these experiences that have shaped your life can be seen as a rich store of valuable and profitable information. Identify them, choose a hungry target market, and get the word out to that niche in a manner that calls them to action. That knowledge could be worth acres upon acres of high carat diamonds.
What experiences have you had in your life that could be turned into an information product AND has a hungry target market waiting for your valuable information, guidance and expertise?
You may find that you have valuable information to share in the fields of: relationship and family, sports, health, business, organization, time management, budgeting, sales, marketing, advertising, insurance, investing, real estate, automobiles, beauty, success, and many, many more.
Open up your word processor and get started. Your first task is to scrutinize your life, chunk-by-chunk, and list all the experiences and wisdom that your journey has provided. Then consider which of those experiences would have value in the eyes of someone who has an interest in this area, but is lacking expertise.
Stay tuned for my next article where I will share with you the quickest and easiest way to transfer that information from head knowledge, into numerous kinds of information products.
By Tom Beal
This article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com