Your brain is an ATM
Did you know that your brain is an ATM machine?
That’s right. You have enough information inside your head right now to create an information product that can be sold using the Internet.
And you can do it in the next two weeks or less if you are focused and follow a few simple steps.
I’m serious about this. You could begin selling your product only days from now.
And I’m going to show you how to create that product in this very article.
Don’t let the simplicity of the process fool you. This works!
There are six steps. Feel free to read through this now and return later if you like. I’m trying to be thorough enough that you can take action once you finish reading without writing a novel-article instead. A tricky balance sometimes.
STEP 1 – CHOOSE YOUR AREA OF FOCUS
You know things. You give advice to people all the time.
It might be how to bake a cake. It might be how to write a sales letter. It might be how to save money when you travel. It might be how to groom your Doxie. It might be how to avoid getting ripped off online.
The point is this — information is what the Internet is all about. And people will pay for good information all day long. You buy information products and I do too. So do millions of others.
If they are buying information products now why shouldn’t they buy them from you?
I know of no good answer to that question save one — there is no reason why people won’t buy from you if you give them the chance!
Bottom line – you know things right now and you can convert that knowledge into cash.
So, pick your area of focus.
STEP 2 – DO A BRAIN DUMP
Here’s the fun part. I suggest eating a chunk of chocolate if you can as chocolate is scientifically proven to help creativity. At least, it always works for me! 🙂
Now that you have your area of focus, grab a legal pad or open a word processing document and start writing down everything you know about that topic.
As much as I love technology I suggest you go low-tech on this. There is something about the process of actually writing on paper that is helpful. And drawing helps too. Seriously, draw or mind map if you feel like it. This is your information product we’re building here!
Two very important points.
First point – Don’t stop until you run out of things to write. This is not meant to be a 5 minute exercise. You need to get it ALL out there so plan in enough uninterrupted time when you do your first brain dump. This is critical.
Second point – At this stage, everything you think of goes on the legal pad. There are no bad ideas or “little” thoughts. Write it all down.
Hot tip: Random thoughts WILL invade your thinking. Have a second piece of paper handy and write them there. When an off-topic thought comes to your mind just jot it down on your random-thoughts page and then put it out of your mind. This works wonders.
Remember to stay with your area of focus and don’t chase off-topicthoughts that come to your mind. Write them down and move on.
As a way to measure, you should have between 3 and 30 pages of notes. More is better, but as long as you have something written you are good to go.
HOT TIP #2 – When I do this I pretend that I am leaving all the knowledge I have about a topic to my children for them to read after I’m gone. What to do, what not to do, shortcuts, pitfalls, lessons learned the hard way … I put it all in there.
This is the exact process I used to write the book Common Sense Internet Marketing.
STEP 3 – CATEGORIZE
As you write, make a star next to any new topic within your area of focus. Your area of focus can be somewhat broad, like ‘travel’ or ‘health’ or ‘money’.
But those big ideas will need topics or you run the risk of not knowing where to write down your thoughts.
Taking the travel example from above, you could have one topic for hotels, one for car rentals, one for traveling off-peak, one for cruises, one for airlines, etc.
The key here is to sort the information so that you can easily use it later.
I like to have one page per topic, with the topic name at the top, all spread out on a table so I can see the headings easily.
Then when a thought comes about a topic it’s easy to grab that sheet and jot down my thoughts without flipping through endless pages, which can be distracting.
STEP 4 – SORT
Now take the information by topic and decide what can be made into its own product.
It is entirely possible that you will end up with enough data to make several information products by the time you have completed your brain dump.
I have seen this true more often than not — a person begins the process thinking “I don’t know anything that is worth selling” only to discover they have three or four solid information products in their brain.
And people want to buy their information!
HINT: If you can write 30 intelligent pages about a topic, and that information will help someone save time or make money or save money, you have a product that can be sold for about $20.
Sell five a day at $20 each and you make an extra $36,500 in the next year!
If you don’t have enough information on one topic for a short report or book, consider combining topics into an overview type report or using the information in other ways.
There are many uses for good information that is too short to sell in a report. Here are a few:
- Ezine articles
- Blog postings
- Free one-page giveaways
- Kindle singles
STEP 5 – WRITE YOUR FIRST SPECIAL REPORT
Now it’s time to write your first information product. The key here is for the information to be helpful.
You are not trying to win any writing awards. Just write down your ideas in the same way that you would tell them to your best friend.
The truth is, most good books or reports are written the same way, so don’t let this intimidate you.
If your report defines a problem, offers a step-by-step solution, and has a summary that encourages the reader to take action, you will have a winner.
For now, outline what you have in a logical step-by-step fashion and then fill in those blanks in a very conversational style.
Remember this; you are not trying to be the ultimate expert of the world and convey so much information that the reader never need do or know anything again. You are trying to solve a problem, or set of problems, with focused intensity. Do that with integrity and you will produce a winner.
STEP 6 – SELL IT!
Now it’s time to sell your report. Or I like to call it — the fun part! 🙂
The happy part here is that you have options. This part can be very simple or very complicated so I suggest starting with the simple first.
Don’t be overwhelmed by these options. It’s just a choice and you can come back here and read them again. Plus, I’m giving you my specific “this is what I would do” suggestion in case that helps.
What you need here are two things.
- A platform from which to make sales
- A way to collect money
Let’s look at each briefly.
The traditional information product selling model says to create a website and drive traffic there. The people see your offer, click the good old “add to cart” button and sales happen.
That’s fine if you know how to make a website. But what if you don’t know how to make a site, or don’t want to?
While there are about a million options I believe two stand out.
First, if you have hosting, you can use a WordPress theme called Optimize Press. OP makes creating sales pages easy. Another option that is WordPress-centric is Premise. You can find both using Google.
Another way to go is to use a hosted service like Kajabi. That’s what I do. The Directory of Ezines and Follow Up Selling Systems are both with Kajabi. They provide a turnkey sales and membership site all for one monthly fee.
If you are starting out then a low-cost hosting account and the WordPress/Optimize Press combination is the quickest and easiest way to go.
A way to collect money
Here are five viable options for selling your work online simply and with minimum technical knowledge. I know there are more than these five but listing them all is too much. And please don’t think I am endorsing all of these because I’m not.
But I have seen each of these work and have worked with clients using each.
For the record, I would, and do, choose either PayPal or Clickbank. But that’s me.
If I were starting over today I’d likely go with PayPal alone until my business reached the level where I needed more than PayPal offers. PayPal has advanced to the point where it’s all you need when starting out.
What I suggest is starting where you can start.
Fiverr makes selling easy (no sales page needed) but you can collect only $5 per sale. It’s going to be hard going at that rate unless you have some advantage on your side.
Enter the 800 lb gorilla
Amazon is one of the most powerful online businesses in the world for one good reason. They make buying and selling easy. And they have the Kindle.
I have an entire article coming about publishing with the Kindle so stay tuned for that. I am in the process of consuming Kindle “how to” products and testing to see what works for my DOE and FUSS members right now.
I will report to you when I know what really works.
For now know this – you will want to publish your work on Kindle at some point. It’s as simple as that. The difference between publishing on Kindle and other “publish here” sites is simply traffic.
Amazon has so much traffic that it’s possible to publish there and be done, letting them handle the traffic headache. I’m working on a way to share with you how to do that now.
My last word is this – If I were starting over again today I would use a hosting account, Optimize Press and PayPal. Using those three I could have a site ready in a day and start collecting for my work quickly.
Following the process listed above will help you create a useful, and profitable, information product of your own in only a few days.
And THAT is a beautiful thing indeed!