There is no reason you can’t or shouldn’t create information products, no matter what kind of business you are in or thinking about starting. They are cheap, easy and low risk to create, yet they have a super high profit margin. 90% for physical products like books, CDs and DVDs, and 97% for digital products like videos, audios, and various formats of e-books and e-courses. Besides being high profit, they lead to other sales of your products and services or affiliate products and services.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 019
Great Internet Marketing Retreat – http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[01:31] Tom on Quality Products [02:02] Why Information Products [04:04] How one product leads to another [05:45] Write a book to be perceived as an expert [07:26] Free and paid products [08:35] Creating quality products out of nothing [10:13] Intellectual property [12:29] Getting ideas for products [17:09] Interest in hobbies [20:34] Interview people that are good at the topic [22:12] Most people won't lift a finger to compete with you [23:16] Put really great detail in your product [24:27] Look at people close to you [28:21] Outsourcing your product [30:19] Find out if there's a market for your product [32:04] Becoming a dumb interviewer [36:20] Use Google to find “how to …” in your own words [38:03] Research Tools [44:41] Niche Markets [54:10] Public Domain [54:57] Private Label Products [55:40] Fads and Hot Trends [56:30] How to decide on what product to create [1:00:22] Outsourcing
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Great Internet Marketing Retreat – http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com
KickStart Cart – http://www.kickstartcart.com/
Click: The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing – https://www.antion.com/click.htm
Wake ‘em Up Business Presentations – https://www.antion.com/wakebook.htm
Tom's Famous Butt camp – https://antion.com/buttcampvirginiabeach.htm
Fatso Tennis – https://fatsotennis.com/
Magic for Speakers – http://magic4speakers.com/
Google Keyword Planner – https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/
ebay – https://www.ebay.com/
Ezine Articles – https://ezinearticles.com/
Clickbank – https://www.clickbank.com/
JVZoo – https://www.jvzoo.com/
Dummies Books – https://www.dummies.com/
Idiot's Guides – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/IDU/idiots-guides
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/
Project Gutenberg – http://www.gutenberg.org/
Outsource to the Philippines – https://tomantionwebinars.com/
(Scroll down to the last webinar on the page)
Upwork – https://www.upwork.com/
craigslist – https://craigslist.org/
Writers and Editors Network – https://writers-editors.com
Fiverr – https://www.fiverr.com/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Keyword Research – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/1-the-most-important-thing-you-can-do-keyword-research/
Top Ten Ways to Make Money Speaking – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/7-top-ten-ways-to-make-money-speaking/
Shopping Carts – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/10-shopping-carts/
Al Johnson – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/18-anti-bullying-tom-interviews-al-johnson/
Carol Amato – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/20-she-teaches-people-how-to-write-a-book-tom-interviews-carol-amato/
Upselling and Advertorials – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/22-learn-the-details-upselling-and-advertorials/
I discovered a great new headline / subject line / subheading generator that will actually analyze which headlines and subject lines are best for your market. I negotiated a deal with the developer of this revolutionary and inexpensive software. Oh, and it's good on Mac and PC. Go here: http://jvz1.com/c/41743/183906
The WordPress Ecourse. Learn how to Make World Class Websites for $20 or less. https://www.GreatInternetMarketing.com/wordpressecourse
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Episode 019 – How to Create Quality Products from Nothing
Episode 018 Was Al Johnson doing great work in anti-bullying
Great Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program
Year long program that includes an immersion weekend where you live in my home with me with a very small group of like minded people to study Internet marketing in the lap of luxury. Check out this unique program at http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com
In 1991 the great Dottie Walters AKA the grandmother of professional speaking told me, “Tom. You must become a product machine.” I listened to her and have had over 400 information products since she told me that. At that time, it wasn’t as easy to create products as it is today. There is no reason you can’t or shouldn’t create information products no matter what kind of business you are in or thinking about starting.
Why information products?
They are cheap, easy and low risk to create, yet they have a super high profit margin. 90% for physical products like books, CD’s and DVD’s and 97% for digital products like Videos, Audios, various formats of e-books and e-courses.
If you had if you invented something you have to find tooling for it and manufacturing and shipping and warehousing, enormous amount of money invested and cross your fingers that it's going to work. That’s extremely high risk.
Besides being high profit, they lead to other sales of your products and services or affiliate products and services.
Here’s another very important point you should keep this in mind. In addition to giving great value on information product “A” your product could and should lead to sales of products and service “B”, “C” and “D” and EIEIO.
For the most profit, every product you create should lead to another product. Don’t be obnoxious about this. If the original product didn’t give value and was just a big sales pitch for other products, nobody will buy because you betrayed them and didn’t give them value on the first product they bought. They will look at you as a rip-off (which you are if you don’t give them any value) and they will never buy again.
HOW DOES ONE PRODUCT LEAD TO ANOTHER?
For years I sold an e-book called “Click: the Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing”. The last version was 1042 pages. Don’t worry I’m not expecting you to create something that big and I don’t even do that anymore. Anyway, even at $97.00 it was a tremendous value and taught the readers hundreds of things they needed to know about marketing their business online. All that was great.
Even at $97.00 per sale of the e-book, I made more money from the nearly 700 affiliate links in the book. In ten years I never had one complaint about this book because it gave great value on its own, but you couldn’t do many of the things I taught in the book unless you bought a tool or service to allow you to do the marketing technique I was teaching.
People are reasonable. They didn’t expect me to create an entire shopping cart company just because I taught them how much extra money they could make by using a good shopping cart system to upsell the customer other products when they checked out. BTW I’m going to cover all the aspects of upselling and using advertorials in episode 22. You do not want to miss that. And if you want to know all about good shopping cart systems go back and listen to episode 010. We promote and use KickStartCart.com
Bottom line is each product should be great itself and also lead to sales of other products or services and if you want to become an expert on a topic to create high consulting and/or speaking fees, write a book about the subject. Even with all the crappy books people are putting out, if you put out a good one, you will be perceived as an expert on that topic. Here’s an extra tip. If people want to perceive you as an expert, don’t argue with them. Keep increasing your skills and let them tell everyone you are the expert. There’s no advantage of being humble here.
I have so many people that say well gee I'm not really an expert. Who says you're not an expert? Now I don't suggest that you go falsify credentials. I don't suggest that you claim to be an expert when you don't know a thing about your topic. But if you take the time to study and create a product on something and implement some of the stuff to a decent level you will know more than 99 percent of the people on earth about that topic. So, you will be called an expert. There's no exact definition of expert, so don't worry about calling yourself that. It will allow you to raise your fees for whatever your other services are. As soon as I started producing products, my speaking fee went up. My consulting fee went up. Jobs came much, much easier to me. A product is a great calling card. I used to give away books on airplanes and I'd be signing books up in first class and people really thought I was something hot and I'm just giving away books and signing books. And I got jobs out of it from just doing that. So really helps you raise your fees and increase your celebrity status.
FREE OR PAID
These products can be free or paid. I wrote an e-book in a 4-hour layover at McCarran airport in Las Vegas that’s brought in around 3.5 million dollars so far. It does exactly what I outlined above. It teaches you all the good and profitable things you could be doing but you can’t do them without the tool I’m promoting. You can get a copy of this e-book in the show notes.
It doesn’t have to be an e-book either to accomplish the same goal. I do a lot with screen capture video. You don’t even see me on the video so you can have a bad hair day and still use this idea. In this case I demonstrate a piece of software or online service that I like and I tell you the benefits of having it. If you buy it, you don’t pay any extra but I get an affiliate commission for recommending it to you. You can see many examples of this on my video gallery page at screwthecommute.com
OK. Let’s get into creating quality products out of nothing.
One thing you can do is create more than one product at the same time.
Let me tell you about the first time I did this topic as a teleclass years ago. I wanted to make the teleclass an example of the topic so I had the video guy record me on video while I was doing the teleclass. This went on to be a product called “The Anatomy of a Teleclass” where I taught people to create teleclasses. So, I got two products out of one.
I’m figuring that even though this episode has the term “out of nothing” I think when you get done with it you'll say well there's a lot of something here coming out of this nothing.
Also, I don't want you to feel bad when you’re done listening because you couldn't possibly implement everything I'm going to tell you in the next hundred lifetimes.
Just one of the resources that I’m going to give you will give you 2000 ideas for products and that's what this episode is about. Where do you get ideas for products? And What tools do you use?
So just keep in mind you can't possibly implement all these things. In fact, the hardest thing that you're going to have to do when I get done is you're going to have to figure out well what do I do first. That's going to be your biggest challenge.
So, I'm going to give you how to get product ideas. I'm going to teach you how to evaluate them. What research tools to use and a whole bunch of other stuff. So here we go
Also, I have a theory about working. I want to work and get paid paid paid paid paid paid Some of you have seen me speak in person and that's my theory. I don't want to create something and then have to do it over again.
So, when you create a product you can sell it over and over and over and over again and it creates a really great insurance policy for you and your family because you now own intellectual property that has a value to it. You can sell this when you're sick or if you want to go on vacation and you can come home with more money than when you left which how many people do that?
This intellectual property allows you to take a body of knowledge and get paid for it over and over and over again. It's an asset actually to your business. You could actually sell the rights to these assets to this intellectual properties for money. People do it all the time. Companies license your information for training programs and pay you every year. things like that.
It's also great for back of the room sales. You know I'm one of the top there is on selling at the back of the room and most of you seen me know that I'm not any kind of hard core high pressure obnoxious guy. I’m more of a show-you-the-value and have fun with you kind of speaker.
I won’t go much into speaking stuff here. In episode 007 I did the top ten ways to make money speaking and I’ll do future episodes on the topic, but I will say having products shows your depth of knowledge much better than a few minute demo video so products can and will lead toward speaking engagements if you want them. Plus, the cash flow from products means you won’t be desperate to take every Holiday Inn basement low fee event. You can hold out and only be seen at the better and higher fee events which again increases your celebrity status. There’s no downside to having products.
OK now let's get into the nitty gritty here. Getting ideas for products. The first thing I want you to do is start with what you know how to do. That's your first place. That's the easiest thing because you already have it in your head what to put into the product. You don't have to rely on a lot of research. You don't have to rely on coauthors or other people. Nothing. You can just sit right down and put down what you know. For me it started out with public speaking stuff. See my dad taught me many years ago, study real hard. Practice what you study and become excellent at it and other people will notice. And so that's what happened with my public speaking. I was coming out of the entertainment field and I didn't know anything about hotel rooms and microphones and professional groups and all that stuff. This was in 1991.
So, I started studying. I have probably two hundred books on public speaking. I took a consultation with Dottie Walters who got me started in professional speaking and I learned how to do it. I got pretty good at it and then people started bugging me to teach them. I mean I couldn't hardly get my own work done because I was helping other speakers
So that’s when I just started writing down all the things I do on stage.
It started out as a 5-page checklist I sold for 5 bucks and eventually turned into the Wake ‘em Up Business Presentation Book which still sells to t his day.
Remember we’re in the section on stuff already in your head. I had already done the research of how to be great on stage. I just wrote it down.
I just compiled all this stuff I knew about being great on stage and I didn't have to research anything pretty much. I mean I had all those books that I had used for research so I put them in the bibliography. But I didn't have to leave the house to write this awesome book on public speaking.
The same thing happened to me when it came to selling on the Internet. I never intended to become a big marketing guru. I just wanted to sell my own stuff
I ended up getting so good at it that the same thing happened. People started bugging me to teach them. That’s when that Click E-book was born, ButtCamp was born.
Let me tell you about Buttcamp. Which is a product I might add. Public seminars are a form of product. Buttcamp is one of the top three longest running Internet seminars. I come from a comic background and I’m never going to do what everyone else is doing like have a “BootCamp”. I thought I’m sitting here on my rear end making all this money, I’ll call it ButtCamp. It caught on and I’ve done them in 11 countries except in England for decorum they made me call it Bum Camp hahaha
So, look internally first of what you know how to do and tell other people to do it.
Here’s the trap many people fall in to. If you've been doing something for a long time, you might think, “Well gee. Everybody knows how to do that.” No, they don't. You probably have expert knowledge about something, even if it's a hobby thing that somebody else would love to know how to do.
So, what I do is if I’m creating a product on something I know about, is I collect every piece of information that I know and start collecting it in a computer file. I’m going to give you my complete method for this a little later.
All right so that's what I did on Internet marketing. And then you may not know but my dad died in 2000. I got the inspiration of doing a eulogy for him. The only one I ever did in my life. But it inspired a eulogy e-book which sold more than forty thousand dollars a year for about 9 years straight. All I had to do was put my dad's eulogy in there and then I hired a freelancer and I'm going to do a whole section a little later on outsourcing during this episode. So, you can get other people to do it for you. But anyway, that was part of me because of my dad's eulogy so I was close to that one.
Your interests and hobbies are the next thing that you want to look at.
What do you like to do? Do you play golf? Do you play tennis? Do you have pets? I mean things like that. Do you play pool? …All of those things. There are niche groups that would pay money for your product about it. If you already do it, then you don't have to go too far to research to create a product about it.
I'll tell you one right now that I don't know if I'm very proud of this one or not but I created a tennis video. I have the dubious distinction of being the largest person ever to create and star in a tennis training video. You can see the trailer and get some samples of the DVD at FatsoTennis.com
The DVD is named “Winning Tennis for the Overweight and Hopelessly Out of Shape”
So, nobody has done this. And again, I'm going to be the biggest guy ever to have done this and it's all of the tricks that I use so that I don't have to run. And the other guy has to run more so he sucks air before I do and I win. So that's something that's just coming out of my own hobby.
And you might say well gee I like golf. But there's so many things on golf out there. Here's one thing I want you to get indelibly etched in your head. People that are fanatic about something buy every possible thing they can find on that topic.
Many of you will make the wise decision to join my mentor program and come to my house, and I know you're going to want to because I'm such a great guy. You’re going to see I have this one table and the top of my TV are just full of tennis books and DVDs videotapes every possible thing ever made on Tennis. I own it. And the next one that comes out I'm going to own it too. Because I'm a fanatic.
Here's a tennis tip to help make my point. When you hit an approach shot you should hit it down the line as opposed to cross court. This is because you don't have to run as far to the net to cover the potential ways the other guy could hit it back. I've read that tip in every single tennis book I've ever had my whole life. Guess what the next tennis book that says that I'm going to say Yep that's right I got approached down the line. So, I'm happy to buy it because I'm a nut about tennis so don't worry that somebody else has already said something about your topic. You say it again people will fall in love with you. You'll sell your fair share of your product just don't plagiarize or copy from other people. But don't worry that somebody else has done it. In fact, that's a good thing because that proves there's a market. If people keep coming out with tennis products and golf products that proves there's a market. So, don't worry about that. Just bring it out.
You can also Interview people that are good at the topic and just become the publisher of the material. I’ll cover that later.
Remember we're starting with things you know close to you. Things that you know how to do. How about your job skills? Let's say you've been in leadership, customer service, manufacturing, sales, maybe you're a carpenter, maybe you're a plumber. Maybe you do drywall, or interior design. I don't care what it is. You can tell other people how to do it.
One of the biggest mistakes you will ever make in your life if you do this is to say to yourself, “Well, if I put this in a product then people won't need to hire me.”
That is the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. Dumbest with a capital U
Dumb because here's the thing. Which do you think would make more money you
Teach people by means of a product around the world how to do what you do. Or you doing it on an hourly basis or one-on-one.
You can't possibly make as much selling time as you can sell knowledge. So, don't be afraid to make How-To products on or whatever you know how to do and it's a safer business to be in because now you have intellectual property that will sell when you're not there. And guess what. Here's the other thing that ought to push you over the edge to do this. Most people will never lift a finger and do it even if you told them how they will not do anything.
So, don't be afraid to teach what you know. I had a jeweler as a student years ago, he was really good and efficient fixing rings, watches, bracelets etc. He started making videos teaching his techniques to other jewelers and
I can’t remember if he charged per view or had a membership site. Anyway, he had lots of jewelers giving him money because it saved them time and made them better jewelers which made them more money.
Which position would you rather be in. Which position would you rather be in. Selling knowledge to people around the world or doing one-on-one or hourly work? If you really love your work, you can do both.
To do this I want you to put in really great detail in your products. I mean things that you forgot 20 years ago people would kill to know now. So, don't hold back.
When I’m creating a product one of the things I do is I carry a digital recorder (I use my smart phone now) with me because you can't just sit down and think of everything you know about a topic. So, as you're going through your daily activities you'll think of things that should go in your product. As soon as I get an idea I put my smart phone up to my mouth and record the idea. Then at the end of each day I type up the idea in my computer.
Then when I get enough idea inn there over about a week I start organizing them and boom I've got the outline for a product. So that's how I do it. Then I just start filling in the sections with as much detail as I can think of. A little smoothing out and I’ve got a variety of products to sell because I put the information out in different formats, audio, video, written etc.
All right now let's we talked about you know your hobbies your interests your professions. Now let's jump into people close to you. Let's look a little bit further around outside of your field of expertise. Do you have friends, neighbors or relatives that are good at something or into something? I remember one student of mine had a sister who was into scrap booking and she does these scrap booking parties and makes extra money on the side. I mean I don't know how much maybe a thousand dollars a month doing scrap booking parties at people's homes…. almost like the Tupperware parties well I don't really get the scrap booking stuff. I don't get it. But it doesn’t matter if I get it or not. What matters is are there other people that do?
So, she's making a deal with her sister she's going to create the information product on how to do home parties around scrap booking and split the deal with her sister who's given her all the information because she doesn't even have a clue how to do it. Her sister's doing all of that. It might be her sister or sister in law I can't remember. And so she's creating a little side business out of somebody else's business that's close to her. Here's an example from me.
There's a guy named Steve Hart down in Florida. He's been a professional magician for many years and he's a friend of mine through the National Speakers Association for years. And I do some magic in my speaking but certainly not professional level. I just don't get into it that much. Well so I called him I said Hey Steve why don't you come up here. We'll make a product together. And we'll create it I'll videotape you doing these magic tricks and the explanations will edit it and package it and we'll put a flyer in it so that if they want to buy the magic tricks you get all the business because I don't want to be in the magic trick business. And both of us will have a joint. We'll have a joint copyright so you can sell it and with no royalties to me and I can sell it with no royalties to you. Beautiful deal.
So that's a beautiful way to come together. Bring two different expertise together and create products that both of you can sell.
If you want to check out the magic site it’s Magic4Speakers.com We’ll have it in the show notes.
Who else is around you that might be able to make a deal with. You've got your friends your neighbors. I know this one guy it was just a master rebuilder of carburetors for racing cars and he did them one at a time.
He’s a perfect guy to make a deal with and I think someone did. I mean he'd spend weeks on one carburetor. You could go in there and do a DVD on how to rebuild a racing carburetor. You could sell that all around the world. So, if you located a guy like that just make a deal with them.
Where do you find people like this? You could ask your existing customers or survey your database. Where do you think I get all the ideas for these products? Here's the exact thing. I get questions structured like this, “Hey Tom how do you do....x And then you fill in the blank. With my big database people were asking me stuff all the time. If enough of them ask the same question, there’s a product idea.
So, they're telling me what they don't understand. And boom I can create a product about it anytime I want because they're giving me the information of what they want. I
So, ask your database if you have one or many people you know what problems they are having in a particular field and you solve the problem in the form of a product.
If you can solve a problem for somebody they'll buy the darn product.
OK now let's look totally outside of you. I really like this because you can sell things you don't even care about. Now I'm only going to address ethical and moral stuff here. But the thing is you don't have to have a thing to do with products other than sell them and get the money for them. If people are going to spend money on stuff anyway what's wrong with you getting the money. Nothing!
So, this is how my eulogy book came about you know I did one eulogy in my life and boom made let's see in 9 years it made about $360,000.00 on eulogy books and did only one in my whole life. the rest of it I outsourced to a writer for 275 bucks on a work for hire basis. He wrote the eulogy book I threw in the one I did for my dad as a bonus. It's been selling like crazy for years and years. It's an evergreen product. This is a product that you don't really have to change it much because it will last forever.
I also have wedding books on how to do a wedding speech and how to do a wedding toast. I think I did one wedding toast maybe I can't remember it's been so many years ago when my one buddy got married. But certainly I witnessed a lot of them because I had a nightclub and I saw a lot of people screwing them up. So that was one thing that I put my sales letters is that you don't want to screw this up.
Basically, I had to both books written by some lady in Ohio. 550 bucks for both of the books and each one of them brought in about 2002 has brought in thirty-five thousand a year for 9 years straight.
Before you develop a product it’s a good idea to find out if there’s a market for it or not. We do this by using keyword tools to search out how many people per month are looking for a certain thing online and how many different ways are the search for the particular item. You really need to know a lot about keywords because it’s the basis for pretty much all success online. That’s why episode 001 is all about keywords.
The tool we currently use is “The Google Keyword Planner”. I guarantee you're gonna be floored when you see some of the results this tool gives you.
If you don’t get good results about your product or service idea from this tool, you’re going to have a hard time selling it….online anyway.
When I do get an idea then I check it in the Google Keyword Planner to see if there's identifiable words that people were typing in looking for such a thing. And if I can't find any then I probably don't proceed with the product unless I have some off-line way to sell it because online if they're not looking for it, you got a big uphill battle to try to sell it. So that's one of your determinants if there's no traffic on the keywords around your product you better think twice about actually doing it. So that's how we check out the interest online.
Now the next thing I'm going to tell you is going to open up the world for you. This is a way that you can sell any kind of product on earth. And I call it becoming a dumb interviewer.
Now what does that mean.
That means that if you interview somebody on a topic, most of the time people love to see their name in lights. They love that you're thinking they're an expert and they'll let you interview them and then you can make a product out of it. I mean this is great because there is no limit to what you can do and sell. I have been doing this for a long time. I mean I'm an expert in a couple of things but other people concentrate totally on certain aspects of Internet marketing. If I interview them, then I can sell that product with their permission of course. I have to tell them ahead of time what I plan to do. And I don't have to be the expert. I just interview them.
I'm going to give you an example of how this might work and I guarantee you I'm not going to do it but I guarantee you I could or any one of you could if you felt like it. I was sitting in first class coming back from I don't know Los Angeles or something. And I'm sitting next to a guy that's as old as me.
But in the seat pocket in front of him were three different magazines on go carts. I mean really souped up fancy go carts probably cost as much as your car. And I was sitting there thinking of myself hmmmm. That’s niche market.
I asked the guy about the go karts and he lit up, “Yes, my boys and I race them.” I asked him how much they cost. He said, you can’t get a piece of junk for less than 10K and that his cost about 30K. I almost fell out of the airplane seat. If it wasn’t for the seat belt I probably would have. With the go-karts, a trailer, a monster truck to haul them, extra engines, tires etc. he had several hundred thousand dollars tied up in go karts.
So, here’s what I'm going to suggest to you now: Let's say I wanted to do a book called “How to Buy Your First Racing Go-kart”
I would go to Google and type in Go-kart discussion or go-kart forum. This is where people are talking about go-karts. I would then watch for the most prolific posters and then contact them and ask if I could interview them for my book. How many do you think would turn me down? How much would they charge for the interview? Who do you think will help spread the word on the book when it’s finished. Who gets all the money?
I guarantee I’d be buried in racing go-kart information within three days that I could compile give to a freelancer and put it together in any kind of product I want it now Anybody out there could do this.
Anybody could do this with no experience no interest in go karts at all. All right. So, don't tell me that you don't know what to sell. There's loads of stuff. There's tens of thousands of things to sell and I'm going to tell you in a minute how to find them. I mean they're right in front of you on your computer.
Another thing is to type into Google “How-To” and then whatever you're trying to think of. “How to build a deck”, “How to remodel your kitchen” you know “how to buy an appliance” and you'll find tons of tips that all could be compiled into products. So, type that into google like How-To and all you do is compile all the tips from all over the different places. Put them in your own words and you've got a product that somebody would buy and you'd say well why would people buy such a thing if this stuff is free already. Because they're lazy that's why and they want it all in one place and they want it now.
You have no excuse when it comes to writing an e-book product and giving it a try. What the heck? I mean I have 17 eBooks. You know how many make money. I think about six of them. So, the other 11 aren't making much money or any money. I mean a little bit on eBay here and there. But you know so what. I wouldn’t have find the ones that bring in a hundred thousand a year if I didn't go through the process.
What I like about it again is information products are low risk
OK. Now let's get into some of the research tools. This is where you're going to just get bowled over with ideas.
First is eBay. Here's what you do. You go to eBay. Then either across the top or on the side of eBay's home page there's categories. There might be a drop-down menu that says, “Shop by Category” Right there alone just looking at the main categories would give you product ideas. you go to the bottom of the list and it says something like “see all categories” and then that expands it to some enormous humongous number of categories all of which have subcategories. This is a place where you can come up with thousands of product ideas.
Let's say my mother collected depression glass. And she did and I am in charge of it now.
All packed up carefully in boxes in storage and it's you know a lot of trouble and you know she collected it and it's worth a lot of money and we're all happy about that. But the lady made the big money was the one that wrote the book about collectibles and sold it like crazy with no storage and no breakage and no theft or anything. Say so even if it's something that you don't care about you could write a book. Interview people on how to do it and you could go right back to eBay to sell it if you felt like it or make a website and sell it off or sell it at flea markets if you're so inclined. We used to have a flea market. My dad would fall asleep at the table. He was 90 years old and people would just throw the money on the table. They don't want to wake him up. hahaha
So, you know you can sell these things any way you want but eBay is going to be a huge source of ideas. If I just shut up right now. You couldn't in the next year get through all the categories and subcategories and potential products that are for sale on eBay. Now here's a trick on eBay. A lot of people don't know because you could certainly come up with some product ideas but maybe you want to see if the product idea or if similar things are even selling on eBay. Well what you do is you go to the bay and you click on advanced search.
And then there's a little checkbox and there's a whole bunch of things you could fill in.
But all I want you to do is check the box that says “Completed Listings only” and then put your topic in the search box. Let’s say you search for antique tables or something like that. Well the advanced search with the checkbox completed searches only brings up all the auctions in the past 90 days that were about that particular topic. And not only that it tells you if they sold and if so how much they sold for.
So, this tells you is are certain thing selling. Are they not selling. What happens if the price is in red. That means it didn't sell. If it's green it means that it's sold. And that's how much it's sold for. So, you can get the real actual figures of what's selling and what isn't on eBay just by going to advanced search and it goes back 90 days. Now if you're trying to do something seasonal like Christmas stuff well that would be kind of dumb to do in the middle of the summer because very little of that is selling that in the middle of the summer. But for the most part I don't like seasonal stuff anyway. I'm going to talk about that later. I want stuff that's going to sell all year round.
So that's eBay. Next thing is a website called ezinearticles.com. Even though article marketing has fallen out of favor with Google, blog post marketing is alive and well and there’s very little difference. When you go to ezinearticles.com you can put in any kind of thought that you have scuba diving or whatever it happens to be and bring up all the articles on that topic and that's cool. But beneath each article it shows you how many times that article was downloaded. This gives you an idea on that topic of what titles are the most popular. You get the titles that are getting people to look at the article the So that's another great research tool.
Once you have an idea of what you might want to sell now the next one is clickbank.com. Once you get there pretend like you're wanting to buy something and then scroll down to a list of categories.
And you can pick whatever category you want you can look at all the different ones they have health and beauty and sports and fitness and everything you can imagine.
But when you click on the category you see a list of products You can sort them by most popular which will tell also give you more ideas.
So, you can see what's hot in that category and come up with another or similar product and probably get up there if you're savvy enough to drive traffic to the site. click bank also has a lot of affiliates that will sell it for you. You do have to have a Web site or somewhere to display the sales letter for the product.
So Clickbank is a place not only where you can research to find out what's selling hot in specific categories but you can get other people right there to sell for you and you might find some things that you'd want to sell as an affiliate.
JVZoo.com is another place similar to ClickBank.
They are both great resources both for ideas and for affiliate products you can sell right away.
. All right. The next two are together. They're kind of funny. The next one is dummies.com and the one after that that's a similar is https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/IDU/idiots-guides They're the people that make the complete Idiot's Guides. And of course, the dummies.com makes the Dummies books. Well you couldn't ask for a better resource for niche markets. They have Dummies books and these Complete Idiot's Guides on all kinds of stuff. And in this case, you're getting the advantage of their research saying that there's a big enough market that we would bother to pay an author to write a book on this topic. All right. And they have hundreds and hundreds of them. You'll say well gee if there's already Dummies book why would I create a product on the same thing? Like I told you before, people will buy everything on a topic. People will love to hear your particular spin on things. You know if I do a tennis thing people are going to buy it just to see how ornery I am to do such a thing. You know they'll buy it. All right so you'll get people that either like or hate or they'll buy it to see what your take is on whatever the topic is so dummies and the complete idiot's guide. But the dummies.com takes it right to the Dummies books. All right great resources there.
Next is Amazon.com. I do not want you to use the best sellers list as your determinant for a product.
This is a mistake. Now I want you to look at the bestsellers list. But I want you to be very careful because there's things on the bestsellers list that there ain't no way in hell you're going to make any money off you tried to emulate. They have all kinds of bizarre things that some author had more money than brains mortgaged their house did all the tricks to put themselves up at the top there and they're probably going to be broke.
So, I highly recommend you don't emulate most of the things on the bestseller list. But what I want you to do at Amazon is when you get an idea from one of these other sources I do want you to go to Amazon and search for it in the books division and see what titles come up and how many titles come up.
What are the titles? Are they catchy? You can always go to each book at Amazon and see how well it's selling.
So, Amazon's a great research tool for you. But avoid the best seller list. That would be trouble. Another thing visit a large bookstore if there’s any left or magazine stand and look for niche magazines. Walmart even still has a magazine section and so does my grocery store.
They got photography they got model railroading they got rocket Rocketeer magazine or something you know these kids play with these estus rockets and all of those. if somebody has bothered to make a print magazine on a topic there is a bunch of fanatics right there waiting to be sold the next product that comes along. And again, you could just start calling up the people that wrote articles and interviewing them.
Another thing is to look for niche stores. They are everywhere. Not far from me in Virginia Beach, there are hobby stores, boating, custom cookie, ice cream, sail making, dog spas, hot yoga, kickboxing, every martial art you can think of, off road accessories, car parts, there’s even a violin repair shop. The list goes on and on. Hey do you have enough ideas yet should I quit folks.
Just like the scrapbooking example above, I don’t pretend to understand the market for all these products, but I will tell you one thing. If someone can afford to get space in a nice strip mall and pay the rent, there is something going on there worth noticing.
With what I know now, I pity them even though I applaud them for having their own business. With what I know I could make more money than most of them with little to no risk by creating an information product on their topic and selling it around the world.
What about the ice cream shop Tom? They could sell books of ice cream cake how to’s and most likely clear as much money with far less hassle and risk by just doing that.
Is that everything. By now you've got thousands and thousands of possible products just by opening up any one of those.
Here’s another way to get ideas about niche stores.
Type in the name of any mall near you. Go through their store list to find other niche stores. I did this in my area. They had a chocolate store there. They had a luggage store a travel store they have a store called everything but water. What do you think that store is about. Well it's bathing suits for women and they go as far as helping women with mastectomies and so it's a niche store. But bathing suits only for women. Now the Yankee Candle Company all it is decorative candles. You could come in and make an e-book how to make and color candles. I mean anything like that. There's a whole store in a fancy mall paying the rent by selling candles. Think about it. The finish line is thirteen hundred different kinds of tennis shoes. You could write the ultimate guide to buying sports shoes.
You know all the runners. There's another there's Runner’s World magazine there's people that are fanatic about running. They got to have good shoes or they can't run 26 miles with crap shoes.
So, people are wanting to get in the five Ks and 10 ks would buy information on this. So, let's see what else we got here. Here's one that just floored me. I didn't even know what this was. I didn’t know if this was a kid's item or what it's a store called Sanrio. And here's the description: it's your one stop shop for all your Hello Kitty needs.
My friend Starley Murray
To know what that is.
And you guys know and Hello Kitty yes. What is it.
The GameStop with gaming software this is all in Macarthur Mall. They sell books on hacks to be able to win better at these games.
Look at major hobbies. This is one thing sometimes you see them in malls sometimes in strip malls but major hobbies are a great great thing to do. Products about golf you've got tennis you've got NASCAR you could do how to attend a racing event. I know one time I made the mistake of flying into Charlotte and trying to drive through Charlotte on race day. Charlotte Motor Speedway there was RVs far as the eye could see. I mean it was 170000 people there all nuts about NASCAR. So, there is a potential product. I'm not sure if you can use the word NASCAR but all you have to do is allude to it by saying how to attend the racing event and get autographs from the drivers or whatever. And to do that all you would do is go to a NASCAR event and start interviewing people in the crowd. They'll tell you everything you need to know because they're crazy and fanatic about it.
Cats, Dogs, different breeds of dogs, beer, pool, model airplanes, photography, baseball cards, Elvis, archery, cheerleading, modeling, I mean I could just go on and on and on about the potential things that there's niche groups that would buy your product. They buy every possible thing they can find on their topic.
All right let's go to some stores not in malls. Army Surplus stores, camping stores, luggage repairs, sign shops, police supply. Just look around. Drive through your city and look at a lot of the little niche stores that are in it and see if there's an information product that could be created around it.
OK. Next major idea is
Public domain Now we're done with store's. Some information products are now free to you because they've run out of copyright and that can give you great ideas for products. I mean there's a guy that sells this wrestling course makes a couple million dollars a year it's a 100-year-old course he got out of public domain he made videos about it and all this other stuff. Public domain stuff can be found at “The Gutenberg Project” at Gutenberg.org is a place all about public domain stuff so you can go there and you can just grab stuff and do what you want with it.
There are companies that will sell you complete book products that you can either customize or sell as is and keep all the money. I suggest you buy it and add to it and customize it to make it your own. Many times they include a sales letter with the product. Just make sure you read the license carefully to see what you can do with the product. This is a superfast way to get a product and these products don’t cost much either. Just type in “PLR” into google AKA Private Label Rights and you’ll again find thousands of products.
OK. Now here's one that I don't really like so much because it has to do with fads and hot trends and seasonal topics because remember I like the work get paid paid paid paid paid paid paid. So, if it's a fad then it's going to go away. And that product's not going to be good anymore. But if you can make enough money in the short run on your fad it's OK with me. But I don't particularly like it but if you want to pursue fads and hot trends just watch your entertainment news. They'll tell you the people and I hate to admit it but I had a Jessica Simpson blog one time. It did ok but then quickly faded away. So, I don't really like this idea that much, but if you want to pursue that that's fine.
Let’s say you do everything I’ve talked about in this episode. Now you need to decide on what product to create. Here's some questions I ask myself before I develop the product. Is it a topic an adult would pay for? This is where you have to think a little. Heck I could go to that Google keyword tool and type in MP 3 which is a downloadable audio file similar to what you are listening to right now, and I’d probably get 600000 searches a day or something like that or more. I don't know well guess what. Those are all kids stealing the files.
So, this is probably not the best topic to have because it wouldn't be an adult that would pull their wallet out to buy something
So, ask that question first. Now if you want to make the most money from your product I mean big money ask yourself is there a back end to the product? I.e. does the product lend itself to leading to other products? Also, can I put the product out in different formats to have more chances to sell it. Different formats are important because some people like to watch, some people like to listen and some like to read.
Are there other things that I could sell if I built up a database let's say of people buying NASCAR stuff? Could I get people to attend a seminar about NASCAR. I don't know about that. I don't think so. Maybe if you had some of the drivers there but that'd be risky and a lot of money. Can I do a speech based on NASCAR or the principle of racing?
Could I get people that buy the first product into a coaching program? Would they attend tele classes or webinars about the topic? Could you have retreats or coaching programs or mentor programs on the topic.
If you're interested in making the biggest possible amount of money from the product, you would want to consider all those things.
Maybe your decision of what product to create has to do with your field of expertise so that you become a bigger and bigger expert on that particular topic.
Then outside of the money aspect you need to ask yourself is the topic enjoyable for you if you're really going to get ingrained in it.
Is it fun. Now some of these. Who cares if it's fun. Like I hate golf. But I had golf sites for year that brought in money. I don't talk to anybody about golf. I don't answer any questions. There's no way to contact me. It just is a bunch of articles about golf. And if people click on the links I get a little money out of it. So that's something that. Who cares if you like the topic or not as long as it's ethical and moral.
Now another question you might want to ask yourself is does the product have consumables or is the product a consumable. I have a friend from Atlanta. He's one of the biggest experts in the world in the automotive industry. So, he teaches car dealers how to really sell it to you for as much money as possible. But I'll say that nicely because I would never what I went through his manager training when I was down there one time just for fun and I would never in a million years want to buy a car from a dealer that had been trained by this guy. There is no way you can win. But the thing is as he teaches the dealers he has a special form that they use that it's copyrighted and they have to buy him from him.
So, once he trains and they're using this system and they're making a lot of money selling a lot of extra cars they're not going to fool around and try to cheat him out of form sales so they buy his forms by the case. So, ask yourself that if that's something that because that gives you an ongoing or residual income.
Ok. Now let's talk a little bit about outsourcing this and then I'll talk about protecting your work and then we'll pack it in
How are you going to get this done if you let's say you're totally clueless? You don't have a website. You never ever made a product. You never recorded anything in your life. How are you going to do this?
This is the subliminal part of the program. If you can actually here this it means your subconscious mind is telling you you must join Tom Antion’s school or mentor program or both. If you cannot hear this, it means you really need help and must join Tom Antion’s school or mentor program or both. Now back to the regular programming
If you aren’t joining a program like mine and even if you are, it’s nice to have inexpensive labor to implement things for you. I highly recommend you listen to the webinar on outsourcing to the Philippines for $1.70 an hour.
It’s the last webinar at tomantionwebinars.com In the show notes.
You must understand the cultural differences or you will fail miserably just like I did in outsourcing overseas. This webinar explains what you need to know.
Here are several places you can get outsourcers on a freelance basis.
Formerly elance.com is now upwork.com
This is where you bid on help. Now what I have noticed over the years is that it's become so well known that a lot of the prices have gone a little too high for us as one of my students today said they got a bid for 900 dollars for an e-book the lowest bid on Elance was nine hundred dollars. And he found another lady did a beautiful job for two hundred she found her off of craigslist.
Everybody that works for me right now is off of Craigslist.
It's a wonderful thing it's a localized thing. Are you kidding. Don't get in trouble by trying to post the same ad in a bunch of different places and here's a trick for using craigslist.
I’ll probably do an episode on hiring using craigslist and other ways local buying apps can help your business.
Let's say you live in an area that's kind of ritzy.
There's not much unemployment. There's a lot of rich kids that don't care about anything and they would never get their fingers dirty working for you.
That's OK. Go to craigslist in a more depressed area and put an ad in because most of this stuff is done by distance anyway. You don't even have to meet them or hardly know their name in this business to outsource and get great work done.
So, go to an area that's depressed and there's more unemployment. There's more people desperate for work and give them some freelance work. They’re still just as qualified probably better qualified than the little brats in the ritzy areas.
So that's a great trick for Craigslist to find people that'll do stuff at reasonable prices. Another thing is getafreelancer.com is similar to a lot of Indian folks on here. Prices are much cheaper. You can get all kinds of things at these places including software development
So getafreelancer.com, As a last resort I would check with writers-editors.com.
I found that be a little bit snooty you know frustrated writers that wish they'd made it big but never did so they don't want to work that cheap.
You might find some folks there that are decent to work with.
Fiverr.com is also a great place to get all kinds of things like book covers, and just about anything you can imagine. It’s fun just checking out that site.
So those are all great places you can outsource where you wouldn't really have to lift a finger other than research into the topic and get somebody to make these into products for you.
So that's pretty much all I have tonight.
Like I said if you go and do even a fraction if you just heard about you’d have more product ideas than you know what to do with. By the time you got done looking at all the potential product ideas sometimes it might get down to where you just got to flip a darn coin and see which one you want to start with. But I encourage you to start and become a product machine like Dottie Walters taught me how to do it in 1991 and I'm sure you'll reap the benefits. And of course, I always want you to come study with me at the retreat center. Check out the video at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com.
Episode 020 will be the prolific writer and writer coach Carol Amato
Remember to check out the show notes at screwthecommute.com This is episode 19
Please Subscribe, gives us a review and get out there and make some products.
I’ll catch y'all later.
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