To begin the brainstorming process, make a list of everything you know how to do. For example, if you are a career coach, you probably know how to write a killer résumé, how to prepare for an interview, what to avoid saying during the interview process, what you should say during the interview process, how to dress for success, etc. The list of topics you create can become ideal products for your target audience.
- Find out What Your Audience Wants and Needs
It doesn’t make any sense to develop a product unless you know you have an eager audience ready to buy. Ask your audience for product ideas via your newsletter or social media. You can also get great feedback by conducting a survey. See http://surveymonkey.com to easily create an online survey.
- Pay Attention to Questions You Are Asked Most Frequently
Often, this can be the key to creating a high-demand product. Online business manager Sharon Broughton found herself constantly answering questions about how to set up online shopping carts. In response, she developed a series of online training courses that converted into self-study courses. This was a smart way to leverage information products and add a revenue stream for her business.
- Use What You Already Have
Compile your best articles or blog entries and turn them into white papers, or take topics from your existing book and expand them into short reports. Also, look at the databases you keep and ask whether people would be willing to pay for them. Years ago when the article marketing craze was happening, I began selling my own personal list of 100+ websites that accepted article submissions, which I eventually expanded to 600+ websites. It sold like crazy.
- Learn Something New and Share
I believe that to be the best in your field you should always be learning. So, go figure out how to do something, master it to the best of your ability, and then teach others what you’ve learned. For example, an artist might teach a class on a new art medium or technique, or an author may teach others about using social media or other online social platforms like Wattpad to generate an audience and sales.
Examples and ways to generate ideas for information products:
- If you’ve created a spreadsheet for tracking sales leads or monitoring your business or just about anything else that your audience would find useful, sell it as a pre-formatted template.
- Compile a list of media contacts for your industry and turn it into a directory.
- Compile a white paper that includes the latest statistics for your industry.
- If you’ve had success with antiques, collectibles, electronic products, homemade goods, or anything else on eBay, help others understand what worked.
- Tell your story: “How I took $500 and built an amazing business, and how you can, too!”
- Create an anthology. Contact others in your field and ask them to contribute an article or essay.
- Compile your articles or blog posts into a book or ebook.
- Show how to start a business in your industry. Include sample forms and worksheets that you use in your daily business operations.
- Compile articles that you have written and create exercises for each one to create a workbook that you can sell in print or PDF format.
- Show how you did something and then include an outline for the reader to do it, too. For example, you could explain how you marketed your business over a three-year period and then include an outline for a marketing plan, with room for the reader to fill in his own details.
- Develop a companion workbook that the audience follows through while you give a presentation.
- Conduct a weekly class via teleseminar, webinar, or email, and have students send back homework for you to review. Sell the recordings and materials after the course is complete.
- Offer daily exercises for a period of time. For example, “60 Days to Natural Living.”
- If you have contracts, forms, or procedures for your business, sell them as individual templates or compile a series of them into one bundle.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit covering websites, blogging and social media for authors. Check it out!