Information – it makes the world go around.
In fact, many economies around the world are propped up by the information that the businesses and professionals within those economies hold. After all, you don’t necessarily need a warehouse full of products or massive factories to make money in today’s markets. Simply ‘being in the know’ can be a powerful and profitable position to be in.
There are countless professions that rely on information and knowledge and the skills to apply it – lawyers, business consultants, marketers, therapists…the list goes on.
So, it is clear that information can be valuable. This is why there’s already a growing market for those with information to sell it to those who can benefit from it. In this article, we walk you through everything you need to know about selling information products online.
Pick Which Information Product You Want to Sell
For the majority of history, information has been distributed in one of two ways – via written word, such as books, or via spoken word, such as lectures. These methods made the distribution of information limited and often only available to the ‘elite’. More recent technology has offered the world significantly easier ways to record, digest, and distribute information.
There are now countless ways to sell information online. Some of these include:
- Online Courses
- Coaching Sessions
- Membership Sites
Which of these methods you choose will depend on several factors, such as the type of information you are selling, your preferred communication style, and the audience you’re targeting with your information products.
Create Your Information Product
So, how do you pick the information product you’re going to create and sell?
Your own experience and expertise are by far the best place to start when considering this question. This is especially true if you hold information in a niche that others are keen to learn and expand their knowledge about. A few popular information niches include:
Once you have picked your niche, you then need to decide exactly how you’re going to deliver the information.
Different types of communication methods will be better for different niches.
For example, videos can be a good way to communicate workout routines in the fitness niche, whereas audio files may be a better communication method for those looking to teach languages.
Determine Your Price Point
Pricing information products can be a little more tricky than pricing physical products. There are several factors that you need to consider, such as how much time it will take to create the product, how much your time and expertise is worth, how many copies of the information product you expect to sell, and what your target audience would be willing to pay.
For example, if you decided to make a video course about making a website you may calculate your price in the following way:
How much you want to earn per hour: $100
How many people you expect to sell the course to: 100
So, to make the course worth your while you will need to generate $2,000 in profit (20 hours x $100 an hour = $2,000). If you expect to sell 100 copies of the course, then you will need to charge $20 for each copy of the course you sell.
This calculation offers a good starting point, but you will also need to assess whether your final figure is something your target audience will be willing to pay.
To do this you can take a look at some of the top-selling information products online – especially those in your niche, because it will show you how much others are charging for similar products. You may also reach out to potential customers to get their thoughts and ideas on what they would be willing to pay for your product.
Find a Name for Your Business
Picking the perfect name for your business can be tricky.
When picking your name ask yourself a few questions such as:
What name is relevant to my niche?
What name is different from my competitors?
Am I personally recognized for my expertise? If so, should I use my own name to sell my products?
Once you have decided on a name you will want to register it to ensure that others can’t use it. You will also need to check if your specific niche requires you to follow any special regulations or obtain any special licenses or permits before you can start selling.
You have your product, you have a great business name, and you are ready to sell. Now it’s time to get yourself online. There are several options when it comes to selling information products online including marketplaces, social media, and via your own online store.
Although marketplaces are a great way to reach your target audience, you will need to pay a commission on sales or a fee. You also have little control over the platform itself and are vulnerable to unfavorable changes the platform owners may make.
Social media is another good place to start selling your information products.
Using platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram allow you to sell to your target audience where they are already spending a considerable amount of time. This is especially beneficial to those who already have a large and loyal social media following.
However, it’s important to note that depending on the platform you use, you may need to host your information product on a separate platform and drive traffic to where customers can buy.
We recommend creating your own website if you want to sell information products long-term. Although creating your own site does take a little more time than selling on marketplaces or social media platforms, ultimately it will benefit you by offering a greater level of control and limiting the need to pay commissions on each sale.
Some leading website builder platforms which are worth considering include Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Each of these platforms offers specialist tools for hosting and selling information products – for example, you can sell online courses on Shopify, and all three platforms provide subscription areas and checkout capabilities.
Promote Your Website
There are countless ways that you can promote your information product website – here are a few tried and tested methods to get you started:
- Social media – post regular, insightful content that helps position you as a thought leader
- Email newsletter – regularly send out emails to your list with relevant content and even special deals
- Paid ads – target your audience with paid ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google
- Blogs and webinars – write helpful blogs and host engaging webinars that show your knowledge in the subject area
Grow Your Online Store
Once you successfully sell online products, it’s time to consider how to grow your business. Doing this will involve following best practices and learning from your experiences.
For example, it can be beneficial to set up a solid customer support strategy to delight your customers whenever they need help. You can also collect customer feedback in order to find the best way to improve, and monitor key metrics to assess how well the actions you are taking are working.
There are big opportunities for those that want to sell information products online. Using the steps and tips we’ve outlined in this guide you’ll be able to successfully create information products, get selling online, and grow your business.
So – what are you waiting for? Why not start planning your first information product today?
For other ideas of what to sell online, see our list of high margin products.