The Truth About Business Information Products

One of the most saturated markets on the Internet is the “How to Make Money Online” or “Business Secrets” market. There seem to be endless Ebooks, DVD’s and audio downloads available but are they any good? You can’t buy them all, which should you choose?

I’ve bought quite a few of these products. Many were worth the money, some more than others. Some products are more fluff than substance and when you finally got to the substance that was actually going to benefit you, you found it was regurgitated from some other guru.

The fact is in any given particular sub niche of the make money market there will be a considerable overlap on what each info product will be offering. Say you want to learn about Pay Per Click marketing. There are so many Ebooks out there about Google AdWords and all the other PPC systems. And I would guess something like 75% of the information is the same in almost all the ebooks.

The question is which one should you choose? In a lot of cases Ebooks are written by someone who has read another great Ebook. Then they basically re-write it in their own words. In most markets there are a few people who are the true experts that have been doing it for longer than everyone else and have the most success at what they are teaching. Those are the people to seek out. It’s normally a good idea to go to the source of the information rather than get a watered down version

There are also products out there that have information on a new innovative ways to do things. These are also worth buying. The problem is knowing when there really is some original and unique benefit to a product. The people selling these products by definition should be marketing experts. That means, if they choose, they can probably sell you a sub par product by making it look way better than it really is.

My advice would be to be cautious when choosing products and use plenty of common sense. Go through the information on each product you think you might want to buy and compare them. If their product is any good then they should be giving away some very useful information just to convince you of their product.

Generally if their marketing is all fluff and no substance with claims (founded or not) of wild sums of money, but no actual information on how they did it then the product is probably of less worth than others. When the product is worth buying you will normally be given an outline or teaser of what they are going to give you that really shows you some worth and makes you want to buy the product to get all the information.

If the product mainly appeals to your emotions and you want to buy it because they’ve reminded you of the great car you’ll be able to buy, or wonderful life you’ll have then I would recommend not buying it.

The best advice I can give is to use lots of common sense and delay your purchasing decision a day or two so that you can be sure you aren’t just being swept up in the moment. One great way to learn how to market is to look at as many of the sales systems of these products as you can. Not only will you pick up a thing or two but you will gain experience of which products are worth buying and which aren’t.

At the site below I try to give away as much useful information as I can and recommend only the best and most worthwhile products. I would recommend that you check it out (but then I would say that wouldn’t I!).

Online Marketing Options and Building Your Online Business – Information Overload, Don’t Get Lost!

Many sleepless nights information overload – I can remember when I first turned on the computer and started my search to learn more about starting an online business. Many nights staying up to 3 or 4 in the morning wondering if I had just uncovered the next best product to sell or the next best marketing program to help me generate leads and eventually drive more traffic to this new business. I had lost many nights of sleep because every click of the mouse uncovered another product or opportunity and I began to get overloaded with information to the point of nausea.

Searching for the right product to get started – I was looking for the perfect business opportunity searching page after page reading and hoping that this was the product to help me get started. Being a single parent with little to no extra time many companies claimed their product was the best opportunity to secure a solid financial future for me and my family (two daughter’s). That their product would enable me to spend more time with my daughter’s and change my life forever. I began to get frustrated and lost in my search.

What I learned during my late night searches and what I can share with all of the other online business opportunity seekers – I had to reflect back to my previous career as a PGA professional to find answers to my questions. When searching for an online business product or marketing program it’s like buying golf clubs for the first time. They have so many club brands available and sell golf clubs at so many locations that the question is not what are the best golf clubs or where to buy the golf clubs. As in golf, the online business opportunity is similar because their are so many online MLM products offered and so many distributors to buy them from it can be extremely confusing. Everyone claims to have the best marketing program to market the products you eventually develop a sense of insanity. Ask yourself one question. Does someone really just buy a product or do they buy a product from someone they know and trust? Brand yourself and others will buy any and all the products you have to offer. I realized this when members of the golf club would spend a little more money and purchase the clubs from me instead of a wholesale outlet. The reason is they had developed a relationship with me and trusted me. I had branded myself and had the knowledge and experience to assist them throughout their purchase of their new clubs. Many marketing programs offered do not allow you to brand yourself but someone else. Make sure you buy a marketing program that allows you to brand yourself. Partner up with someone that you can relate to thus improving your chances of success in developing your online business. Best of luck!

When Fishing for New Business, Information is the Best Bait!

People are always looking for information. This is the major reason Google has been so successful. With that as a given, how can we as marketers capitalize on this phenomenon? The simple answer is to give away information. It is the greatest premium item ever conceived. It usually costs less than a pen, a note pad, or a coffee mug; especially if it is repurposed from prior programs, and it’s much easier to deliver. Plus, delivery is actually the first step on the pathway to purchase.

There are several ways to find folks who are looking for the information that you have to offer.

First, to cast a wide net, there are many specialized Double Opt-In email lists available for rent, and a simple, carefully crafted message (usually a text message, no fancy photos or graphics) sent out to a thoughtfully selected group of potential clients, offering a simple report, media file, or white paper, then combined with personal follow up, will yield significant numbers of well qualified leads, and, most important, the start of a dialog. And dialogs frequently finish with sales. I cannot emphasize strongly enough using Double Opt-In lists. These are people who have agreed to get mailings because they are looking for information, and they know that they won’t get spammed from these senders. These people are also much more likely to open your email. Industry trade publications are very good sources for this type of mailing. See additional comments about this below.

Next, you can create web pages to offer your information in exchange for people’s email address. A page that is search engine friendly, targeted at people who are searching for your information will always yield people who will to give you their contact information to get your information – the start of a dialog.

Finally, of course, the people on your own lists. These are people with whom you already have an existing email relationship, so you can legitimately mail offers of additional RELEVANT information to them, and they will very likely respond positively.

In addition to electronic documents, remember also if you have valuable information in other media formats, you can also distribute them. It could be a podcast or other audio file, a video, an informational PowerPoint presentation or other media file. Repurposing works very well here. It all adds to the excitement, interest, and value that you are offering making it all the more likely that you will get high quality leads who will want do business with you.

Step by Step…

  • First, you need a choice of several white papers, reports or other information relevant to your target audience. Make absolutely certain you have all the requisite rights and clearances to distribute these pieces. Like any premium or incentive item, you will give them away.
  • Next, decide how you will reach your target audience. The simplest, most targeted, and generally least expensive way is with email lists rented from trade publications in your field. Usually the mailing will go out directly from the trade publication’s mailing service, so it can legitimately have the trade pub in the “From” field. And, because the recipient will most likely already have the publication “white listed” in his or her email system, you will increase the likelihood that the mail will end up in their inbox, not the spam bucket. It also gives the message added credibility, and increases the chances that the email will be opened and read. And the publication will be very selective about what information that it will send out under its own name.
  • The “Reply To” in the email is a person or group in your company who will respond to each email individually. Though this could very well be done with an auto responder, the personal communication puts you that much closer to an in-depth dialog with the prospect, and therefore, that much closer to a sale.
  • The Subject line should be consistent with the information being offered, and also appropriate from the publication to whose list you will be sending.
  • The message itself should be a simple text only message with no images or graphics.
  • The reply from your staff should have the information papers or media files as attachments, and an offer to immediately get involved to address the prospects’ problem.
  • Decide how much you would like to spend, and how big you want the mailing to be. Negotiate with the list owners to make sure you buy at the best CPM for your budget. You never know, by jumping to the next quantity level, you may be able to send to many more prospects for very little more, which will reduce your cost/lead. Since this is a numbers game, more is definitely better.

The critical element is follow up! The main goal of this process is to open a dialog between a prospect and someone in your company who can affect a sale as quickly as possible. If those people don’t follow up immediately, momentum is lost and must be regained before the sale can actually be made.

One of the major benefits of this type of marketing is its speed. From idea to interaction with clients, it can frequently be turned around in a week or so, and is, therefore, very cost effective.

Extending the value of this technique

There are a couple of things that you can do to easily extend the reach of a program like this.

First, publicize the effort. A well placed press release with the email address to contact (or web page) to get the white papers or media files costs very little, and will get you many additional leads. Also, when people see the information appearing in places other than their inbox, it lends more credibility to the story, and increases the response rate.

Next, using standard online list building techniques as mentioned before, add access to the white papers and media files through Search Engine Optimized pages on your web site. But don’t just put them there as downloads; use the same process as with the email send. If someone is interested, and clicks on the link to get information, get their email address, and respond in the same way as someone who responded to the email promotion. Again, minimal expense for added program reach.

The side benefit, of course, is that you will significantly grow your email list with LEGITIMATE names, ones with whom you can legally continue to correspond.

Last, but not least – Measure!

Remember, “If you didn’t measure it, you didn’t do it!” (See related three part article here.) You must track how many leads and sales were developed and how much they cost. This works on two levels. First, you must know if this effort was worth the dollars spent. Most likely it will be. Next, if you use several lists from different sources, you’ll want to know which performed better. If the program works well only from one publication, it may be worth repeating, but drop the underperforming pub, or select another one. But you won’t know unless you measure. You can also see what media draws best, static (PDF or other files to be printed) or dynamic (files to view or listen to). And, you will know how much those names added to your list cost.

And though simple text emails have proven very effective for programs such as this, you may want to test an HTML version with images and graphics to see which draws better in your situation with your audience.

This is a simple program, easy to implement, has many side benefits, and will yield good results – quickly.

Investigative Detective – Find Personal and Business Information Like a Professional

Do you love mysteries? Is there a detective lurking there in your subconscious? If you are like most of us, your mind can’t let a puzzle go until you have solved it, but sometimes the answer you are looking for eludes you.

We are all amazed at the flood of information available to us online. Do we need a recipe for chicken? We can find 101 ways to cook chicken. Do we need to know how to remove ink stains from a shirt pocket? We’ll find 99 different answers. We have seen how children and young people have put themselves at risk on Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. Unscrupulous people are also on their computers in the middle of the night. We need a balance between our need for connecting and our need for protection and knowing the truth.

Most of us want information for very legitimate reasons and public information is available for anyone to see, and this includes our own records open to the public eye. Our privacy is important and we are warned about identity theft and how to protect ourselves. We want to be sure that information about ourselves is correct and then take steps to ensure we keep private matters private.

By the same token we have the right to public information about other people and services that concern us and this is where we can benefit from public information online. In this day and age when people are no longer growing up in places where everyone knows everyone else, we will need information services more than ever before. The data is there for our benefit and to assist us in making right choices in life, and to feel safe.

Here are some of the common kinds of information that you or someone close to you might need:

1. Mystery cell phone number or a misplaced important phone number. You have tried 411, the phone company and yellow pages and are stymied.
2. Background information on a company you would like to do business with. It’s a good idea to look before you leap.
3. Information on someone you would like to hire, but the personal references are insufficient. Perhaps you have moved to a new city and need a doctor or mechanic. Or you are looking for a church or particular kind of a minister. Perhaps you are interviewing for a nanny and you can’t take a chance on hiring just anyone. Our children are precious.
4. Information on possible tenants or even a neighbour that you don’t feel comfortable with. You don’t want to rely on gossip but would like to know more.
5. Your personal records — are they correct? Here is an opportunity to correct mistakes.
6. Doing a genealogical search? You can find this information too in public records.
7. An unexplained item on your bank account or credit card. The credit company has removed the charge, but you would like to know who used your card, for your own peace of mind.

Even though the information is completely open, searching online can be a long and tedious process of sifting through myriad data bases. It’s a good idea to look for packages specially designed to include all the specific needs described above. As the information age takes us into uncharted waters, we all need to be aware of what is at our fingertips to keep us safe and our privacy intact.