Monthly Archives: March 2010

3 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When They Start to Sell Information Products


This series was inspired by the first time I dipped my toe in the info-product pool. You can read my story on my blog:

Last week I talked about the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they create an info-product. (You can check it out on my blog.) This week I’m covering the mistakes they make when they try and sell it.

Ready to get started? Here we go:

1. Your expectations are out of whack with reality. I once had a self development consultant tell me he wanted to sell a million dollars of his $497 product in one year. So I ran the numbers for him on what he would have to do to get that. He got very, very quiet.

Look, I’m all about thinking big. I’ve thought big my entire life. But if you want to do more than simply think big and actually accomplish big things, you need to understand what it takes to get there.

Let me give you a quick example. Let’s say you want to sell one information product a day off your web site. If you have a 1% conversion rate on your sales letter (and that’s not a walk in the park to do, but we’ll start there because the math is easy) that means one out of every 100 people are going to buy your product. To sell one a day, means you need 100 people looking at your sales letter a day. (Note, I don’t mean 100 people looking at your web site a day, I mean 100 people looking at that sales letter a day.) That means you need to get 3,000 visitors to that page a month. And if you’re not getting 3,000 visitors a month, you probably won’t sell an information product a day.

So let’s say you’re this entrepreneur. You just finished your product, you wrote the sales letter and stuck it up on your site and are now sitting back and waiting for the sales to pour in. And instead of getting one sale a day, you’re lucky to get a sale a month. Or every 6 months.

And when this happens, you’re probably feeling very frustrated and discouraged. But you shouldn’t be. Because if you understood how the numbers worked, you would know what was realistic and you would ALSO know what you needed to do in order to sell one a day. (Note, for more information about this, check out my “Why Isn’t My Web Site Making Me Any Money?” product —

The problem I’ve found is entrepreneurs create their first info product sure this is their ticket to easy wealth. Then, when the days, weeks and months go by and it doesn’t sell, they get frustrated and give up. And giving up is the REAL problem. Not the lack of sales. (Lack of sales CAN be fixed.)

2. You don’t spent the time and energy selling it as you did creating the product. Sending a couple emails to your list is NOT putting a lot of time and energy into selling your product. Or, worse yet, throwing up a sales page and expecting people to flock to it and buy is also not putting enough time and energy into selling it.

Products are great, don’t get me wrong. And while they can be passive income, what they mostly are is leveraged income. Making sales every day from your site is NOT magic. Nor is it an accident. It’s a combination of doing the right marketing tasks to drive warm visitors to your site, collecting their contact information, and starting a relationship with them with an ezine or some other communications. It’s about doing visibility activities. It’s about doing product launches to up your visibility and take your marketing to another level.

When you do all these things, you find your overall sales go up. And when you promote a product specifically, sales spike further.

3. You give up. I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs I run into who have unrealistic expectations about selling their product, and then do little to no promoting or marketing of their product, and then give up because they don’t sell any. They incorrectly assume there’s a problem with their business, their clients, the product, themselves, etc., when it’s a problem with their marketing.

Before you decide there’s something more drastically wrong, make sure you understand the numbers and the marketing. Only then can you make a determination if there’s a deeper problem then simply bad marketing.

3 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When They Create Information Products


This series was inspired by the first time I dipped my toe in the info-product pool. You can read my story on my blog:

So this week I’m going to talk about the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they create an info-product. Next week I’m going to talk about the mistakes they make when they try and sell it.

Ready to get started? Here we go:

1. They don’t create a product their ideal clients actually want. This can manifest itself in several ways. Here are a few of the big ones —

* Your ideal clients NEED this product, never mind that they don’t actually WANT it. Case in point — how many of you say to yourself on a regular basis “I really need to exercise more.” And how many of you are rushing off to hire a personal trainer to force yourself to exercise more. Or take out spending money altogether — how many of you are simply shifting your daily schedule around so you DO start exercising more? Or how many of you say “I really need to floss regularly.” How’s that flossing going?

Yeah, you get the picture. Need and want are two entirely different things. We buy what they want and then we justify the purchase by saying we need it. We don’t buy what we need only what we want.

* You’ve created the wrong product for the wrong market. This happens more frequently than you might imagine. You have a great idea, but you’re trying to match it to a client base that has little or no interest in it. There’s a mismatch. Luckily, this one can be (relatively) easily fixed — find your right ideal clients who DO want your product, tweak your product to fit that client base and all is well.

* You’re writing it for you — NOT for your ideal clients. This happens mainly with authors who are writing books. Now there’s nothing really wrong with this — it’s your vision/message/brilliance you’re writing about. And sometimes this can turn into a massive success. But not always. Your ideal clients may either not be ready for it or you’re selling to the wrong ideal clients or you haven’t educated your ideal clients enough for them to realize they need it. (Or want it, as the case may be.)

There’s nothing wrong with crafting a book or a product that’s a labor of love. I’m a writer too. You just need to understand that labors of love don’t always translate into immediate cash or overnight success stories.

2. You don’t package your idea in a way your ideal clients want to purchase and consume it. This manifests itself in 2 ways:

* You write an ebook and your ideal clients hate to read. Or you force them to watch hours of videos and they really don’t want to watch videos, they’d rather listen to audio or read but you don’t give them that option.

It doesn’t matter how much your ideal clients want the information, if they aren’t comfortable with how you’re presenting they won’t buy or if they do buy, they won’t be happy.

* Your ideal clients are interested in the idea, but you’re going about it all wrong. For instance, you’re a sales trainer and you teach very high pressure close methods to a client base that’s uncomfortable with that technique. Or you want to teach “how to” to a group of people who really just would prefer to hire you to do it for them. If this is what’s going on with you, you may be perplexed why your sales are so sluggish when you KNOW your ideal clients are interested in what you sell. (Note, it also could be your selling methods, which we’ll talk about next week.)

3. You’ve taken WAY too long to complete your info-product. If you’ve been working on an info-product for longer than 6 months, this is you. You need to get it done and get it out there. The longer it takes you to complete it the more likely it is that someone else will bring your idea to market before you do. If this is you, set aside time THIS WEEKEND and map out how you’re going to finish your info-product. And besides, every day you don’t have it done is another day you can’t be selling it.

Tune in next week to find out the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make selling their info-product.

The Mistakes I Made Creating My First Info-Product


My first information product was an ebook called “Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money.”

Bet you didn’t know that, did you? That’s because it was a complete flop.

Yes, my first foray into the wonderful world of info-marketing was pretty much a train wreck.

So why I am talking about it now? Because I realized the other day the lessons I learned were invaluable and my failures could help you become a success.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and let me share the story of my first info-product. It was about six years ago (2004). This was my beginning of my 2-year “transition” period, where I transformed my business from freelance copywriter with 80% of my business coming from local businesses to entrepreneur/business owner with a national and international client base and having the resources and team to help my clients on a much bigger scale.

Needless to say this was a nerve-wracking time, filled with ups and downs and LOTS of “learning opportunities.” One of those “learning opportunities” came in the form of my first ebook.

When I first decided to make this transition from freelance copywriter to entrepreneur/biz owner, I did what many of you either are doing or have done — invest A LOT of time, money and energy learning stuff. And one of the things I learned was I should be selling an info-product.

Well, I’m a writer, right? I could write an ebook.

At the same time, I was also in the middle of a rebranding (remember, I was making a transition so everything was changing). Since creativity is one of my passions, I had decided to combine creativity and marketing/copywriting and have that become the foundation of my business. This would be perfect I thought. No one else is doing it, I could be the only one, and I’ll kick this whole thing off by writing a book about it.

So I spent MONTHS writing this book. I put aside HOURS of my time every day writing it. It ended up being 144 pages of solid content. I finally finished it that summer, put up a (pretty bad) sales letter and waited for all the money to come rolling in.

Needless to say, that never happened.

I did sell a handful of them. Maybe a dozen or two. Not nearly the amount I had assumed I’d sell.

Now, I wasn’t exactly discouraged after this but it was a shock. Like being dunked in the ice cold water of reality. It caused me to do a heck of lot more research into how to successfully sell online. I didn’t take my failure personally — rather I instead decided to use my failures as a jumping off point that would help me turn my next product into a success.

However, I know a lot of you DO venture into these murky waters, end up with a failure on your hands and become so discouraged you never sell anything online again. I don’t want that for you. You see, EVERYONE who is ever sold anything online has had a lemon or two (or ten or a hundred). It doesn’t mean the process doesn’t work (it does) it just means you need to know the pitfalls to avoid so you end up with a success and not a failure.

So what mistakes did I make? Well, let me tell you, I made a bunch and I’m going to share those with you over the next couple of weeks. But one mistake I did NOT make was having a bad product. Like many of you who are struggling selling a product, your product is fabulous. The flaws are in the other parts of the process and that’s why you’re not seeing the success you deserve.

So stay tuned for next week and part 2!