As I have said in previous articles, Information Marketing is an ideal way to bring your expertise into the lives of people beyond those you see in your practice. In addition, it is an excellent way for you to create an additional income stream that isn’t solely dependent on your showing up to do your work in person with your clients or patients.
In previous articles in this series, I have discussed identifying your target market, creating a web presence, developing a free report in written and audio formats as a means of building credibility and creating an email newsletter or e-zine as an ideal “keep-in-touch” strategy. Now it’s time to start producing income-generating information products that you will market online and as back of room sales when you are doing public speaking.
An ideal way to get started is with an E-Book. An E-Book or electronic book is a book that you create and publish in digital format. Though many people aspire to write a book, a traditional book requires finding a publisher…which may require that you get a book agent. If your book is picked up, it may take as long as eighteen months until it hits the bookstores.
The second alternative is to self-publish a physical book. There are several services that will guide you through the process for a substantial fee. The drawback with this is that you often have to order five hundred copies which is a lot of inventory for a solo-professional. There are also inexpensive ways to self-publish that I will talk about towards the end of this series.
But as a person just getting started in Information Marketing, creating E-Books is the best way to get your information out there. They cost next to nothing to produce. They are delivered electronically so there are no shipping costs involved and you do not have to contend with inventory.
As with the free report, the subject of your E-Book depends on what information your target market needs. You could go by the predominant presenting problems of your current and past clients. For example, as a family therapist you may often hear parents say that they want to learn how to get their children to listen better, so you could write an E-Book on the subject of helping children develop better listening skills. (By the way, when I checked in the Google Keyword Tools, there were 1.2 million hits in one month on the word parenting. This shows you that people are eager for information on this subject.).
You could also survey your current clients to find out what there needs are. You could do an in-person survey of your clients and patients or you could survey the people on your e-zine list. There are free services such as Survey Monkey through which you can develop a very simple survey. (Survey Monkey is free up to one hundred people.)
Here is a simple format to follow:
Use a regular document program on your computer to create the document. – Use a 12 or 14 font size and choose a regular document font – nothing fancy here. Make sure to put chapter titles or headlines in bold. Make sure to break up the text with bullet points, etc. Number your pages.
Though people may print your e-book out, most will read it on-screen, so having one paragraph after another will make reading tedious.
Have a program installed on your computer that converts documents into PDF format (there are free versions of these programs like Primo PDF, as well as software programs you can purchase).
Come up with a compelling or provocative title for your E-Book.
Create a cover page for the book with title and your name – You can easily create your own cover using clip art or you can purchase inexpensive cover art software programs. There are also companies that will create it for you but that’s an expensive alternative for beginners.
Make sure to put a copyright symbol – © – with the year of publication with your title.
Write an About the Author page and do include a photo of yourself that you format into the text.
Create a Table of Contents.
Create your content – address the “why”, the “what” AND the “how” of your topic. Include lots of case examples or scenarios.
Offer something at the end that might take them to another product of yours. If you don’t have another product just yet, make sure to still include a way for them to sign up for your e-zine list.
Because you are in a helping or healing profession, be sure to include a disclaimer either at the beginning or at the end of the e-book. (For example, “This book is in no way a substitute for…”)
What do E-Books sell for? Digital products have a higher perceived value than print books and range in price (depending on length and subject matter) from seventeen dollars to over a hundred dollars. And just for your knowledge, prices ending in seven rather than those ending in nine are popular now.
Though I’ll cover ways to market your information products in a later installment, you should know that you can either market your own E-Book on your blog or in your e-zine and you can also have others market it for you. Online retail outlets like Clickbank can sell your digital products directly online or through their affiliate program.
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