1. Establishing expertise should come first
When I launched my first e-book, I found it difficult to make sales at first because no one knew me as a job search advisor. Of course, I was just a bloody writer and researcher who only wanted to capitalize on the fact that there are many job seekers out there who don’t know how to go about hunting for their dream jobs.
The hard truth is, no matter how much you’ve put into creating your info product, people won’t trust you enough if they don’t already know you as an expert on the topic. In fact, it’s much easier for a renowned expert in a field to sell a crappy e-book than it is for a little-known person to sell a high quality e-book.
Just a few weeks after I launched the e-book, Mr Oyewale also launched his own e-book on job search. After two weeks, he had recorded about 100 sales! And as at the time, I had only managed to get four sales. What made the difference was that Mr Oyewale already had huge wealth of experience in the Nigerian job market plus a job search and career blog that attracts a large audience of job seekers. And he was widely known as an expert.
So, if you really want to succeed as an information marketer here in Nigeria, you need to first convince people that you really know your stuff. And the best tool for achieving this is a blog that offers lots of quality information. Alternatively, you can make do with a Facebook page or dedicated threads on popular forums.
2. Quality information is important
One major reason why people buy e-books and other information products is that information similar to those contained in those products isn’t readily available online. So, before coming up with an information product on any topic, be sure that a simple Google search for the same topic won’t return more than enough relevant answers.
Before going ahead to work on my first e-book, I made sure that there weren’t really any high-quality e-books that focus on job search in Nigeria. The few ones I found on the topic were created by lazy authors who merely copied content from foreign sites and packaged it together. And expectably, the content was useless to someone looking for a job here in Nigeria.
If your plan is to write an e-book on a beaten-to-death topic like “How to Start a Blogger Blog” and sell that here in Nigeria at N10,000 per copy, you can rest assured that you won’t make a single sale in 10 years. Why would anyone buy information that is available for free all over the web?
3. Simplicity rocks
No matter how enlightened your target market is, never make assumptions regarding what they already know. For example, if you’re writing an e-book on how to make money with Google Adsense, you should start by explaining what a blog is. You’d be surprised that many people who will show interest in your e-book don’t know jack about blogging. So, starting with a chapter on how to get approved for Adsense will leave such people more confused than enlightened. And that perfectly kills the objective of your e-book! Ideally, you should start with the basics of your chosen topic.
In addition, your choice of words is important. Even if you’re another Obahiagbon, you need to know that big grammar rarely impresses people these days, even in the outside world. At best, you’ll be taken as a clown and people would read your content just to get some comic relief. And at worst, you’ll be hated for ostentation with words that only you understand their meanings.
On the other hand, using simple words will never hurt you or your reputation. I’ve never seen anyone being criticized for using simple words in non-technical communication.
4. Collaboration is a magical shortcut
The journey to success in information marketing isn’t one you can walk all alone. You’ll need to take advantage of other people’s assets in order to achieve meaningful results. These assets include audience and expertise.
While creating my e-book on getting a job in Nigeria, I involved Mr Oyewale and other career experts in the review process. Through that collaboration, I tapped from their expertise and experience. And their recommendations helped me wind up with one of the best e-books for job seekers in Nigeria.
I have also gotten good results by tapping from other people’s audience. When Mr Oyewale told me he sold about 100 copies of his e-book within two weeks, I quickly came up with the idea of collaborating with him. I asked him to promote my e-book on his blog, and get a 40% commission on each sale. He wrote and published a nice review post on the e-book, and he placed the advert banner in his blog’s sidebar. And from that very day, sales started rolling in. It was a sweet collaboration!
Similarly, when I launched my e-book on freelance writing, I asked my good friend Mr Muhammed Tosin Abdullahi of NaijaWritersCoach.com to help me promote it to his audience. Because his blog caters to people who really love to write and are looking to make a living out of it, his readers were the perfect match for the e-book. We also agreed on a 40% commission for him per sale. After he sent an email promoting the e-book to his mailing list subscribers, I recorded a decent number of sales.
So, if you really want to succeed as an information marketer, you need to collaborate with others who have assets that you lack.
5. Packaging matters
They say it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover, but most people still do that — even for e-books. A professionally designed e-book cover will attract more attention and will most likely fetch more sales than a poorly designed one. So, you need to ensure that your information product is well represented graphically.
No matter how detailed and valuable your content is, a poor cover design can send the wrong signals and discourage people from buying your product. So, don’t destroy all the effort you’ve put into the content with a poor cover design.
If you’re not good at graphics, hire a seasoned designer to do it for you. It doesn’t cost more than N5,000. To me, that’s just meager. After all, the e-book will get to fetch much more in the long haul.
6. Paid advertising works
One of the easiest ways to start getting sales after launching your info product is to pay for advertising. After launching my first e-book, I ran paid adverts on Facebook and Nairaland, and that fetched me a good number of sales.
So, if you’ve sworn never to spend a kobo to promote your info product, you might as well miss out on a huge number of sales. Of course, the fear of losing money is natural. But remember that every business under the sun involves some element of risk. Even at that, if you play your cards right, you’ll be a winner.
Now, paid online advertising isn’t just about slapping up your adverts on any platform that attracts a huge audience. Your ads must be targeted. That is, they must be displayed where only your target buyers will get to see them.
For example, while running the Facebook ad campaign for my job search e-book, I streamlined my target audience by country (Nigerians), age (21-30), interest (jobs, careers), and educational level (graduates). This way, I ensured that my ads were only displayed to job seekers in Nigeria — the same people I wrote the e-book for. Similarly, when I promoted the e-book on Nairaland, I had the ad displayed only in the Jobs/Vacancies, Career, and NYSC sections because those sections cater to job seekers.
Well targeted online advertising brings great results. Imagine spending N20,000 on advertising and generating N40,000 in sales. That’s 100% return on advertising investment, you know?
7. Instant riches is usually unrealistic
While it’s quite possible to fetch six figures in Naira immediately after an info product launch, only few people have achieved that feat. And they’re not beginners; they’re experts with several years of info marketing experience.
As with any other online business, information marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. So, if you’ve just lost your job or just graduated and are desperately looking for quick way to make money, you’d go absolutely wrong with information marketing. Similarly, if you think info marketing can replace your day job within one to two months, you’d be disappointed.
So, don’t expect huge riches from info marketing unless you’ve created several products that are all selling well or you’ve involved really influential people in the promotion process.
8. Pricing must be reasonable
The easiest way to kill your info product is to set a ridiculously huge price. Now, I’m not saying you should sell for a meager price. Of course, there are times when selling for a too-low price is a bad idea. What I’m saying is, before setting your price, consider factors like the financial worth of your target market and the scarcity of the information you’re offering.
My e-book on job search in Nigeria presently sells for just N1,500 per copy. That’s because most job seekers don’t have money. No matter how compelling and valuable the e-book’s content is, I would have recorded much fewer sales if the price was N5,000. But if I had another e-book on how to easily get a U.S. visa, then I won’t hesitate to sell that for N10,000 per copy — because only rich people can afford to travel abroad.
However, a price that is too low can sometimes send the wrong signals. If you write an e-book on how to get a U.S. Visa and decide to sell for N1,000 per copy, prospective buyers might think twice because they’ll think what you’re trying to sell to them is crap. People tend to attach quality to highly priced things. So, the rule here is to set your price at the highest your target market can readily pay.
I’m sure you’ve now learned a lot as far as information marketing is concerned. In my next post (click here to read it), I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your own information product (e-book). Just stay glued to this blog.
Does this post trigger your interest in information marketing? Do you have any questions, objections, or contributions? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. And… don’t forget to share this post with others via Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and what have you.
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