[FREE TEMPLATE] Step-by-Step Process for Creating Information Products

People love to buy packaged learning and experiences (AKA: Information Products). They’re easy to understand, and therefore easy to buy.

Perhaps you think that your service may not be as easily defined as a packaged product or program, and necessarily has a high barrier for entry. You might be underestimating what you have to offer.

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits that you get from producing information products:

  • Products create opportunities for multiple streams of passive or leveraged income.
  • Having a product enhances your credibility with your prospects, your peers, meeting planners, and the media because it establishes you as a category expert and sets you apart from your competitors.
  • Products can help you book more clients because they speed up the sales cycle. Since your services have a high barrier to entry, your potential clients may need to jump a few high hurdles to persuade themselves they need to hire you. Having a product to offer based on your services gives potential clients the opportunity to test you out without having to take a big risk. Then if they connect with you and are well served by your product, they will upgrade from the lower-priced product to the higher-priced service.
  • If you use public speaking as one of your marketing strategies, having a product at the back of the room when you speak gives you credibility, and you also have a relatively low-cost way to introduce prospects into your business and generate ancillary revenue at the same time.
  • Products leverage your time. One of the biggest problems service professionals face is the paradigm of trading time for money. If all you ever do is trade your time for money, your revenues are limited by how much you charge per hour.

Start with the End in Mind

You may be in the beginning phase of building your business and just be setting out on the course to book yourself solid, but as Dr. Stephen Covey says, “Start with the end in mind.” If you want to seriously build a long-lasting career as a service professional, you’ll want to start thinking just as seriously about creating information products.

Don’t let the idea of creating products intimidate you:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Don’t overwork it or feel that it needs to be perfect.
  • Don’t worry about being wildly original.
  • Tips, guides, or resource manuals are great formats.
  • Continually strive to add value to your clients’ lives in any way you can.

When considering how to create an information product, start by examining the different possibilities and ask yourself, “How can I leverage my existing knowledge and experience to create a quality product that I can produce and launch in the shortest amount of time possible?”

Be sure you don’t overlook any content you may already have created.

For example, if you’ve written an article, you have content that you can leverage into multiple product formats. You can quickly and easily turn your article into an e-course, use it as the foundation for an e-book, print book, or program, or present it as an introductory presentation or teleclass.

A single article can be leveraged into any or all of these formats, making it possible to create an entire sales cycle from a single source of content.

Case in point: this blog post is based on a chapter in Book Yourself Solid.

Define Your Product or Program

Choose the one product idea that you’re most passionate or excited about right now—and most important, one that is in line with your current business needs. If you’re starting out and need to build your subscriber or follower base, you’ll need to create a lead-generating product first, a product that you give away to create connection with a potential client.

You will then leverage that free lead-generating information product into other monetized information products over time. If you already have a lead-generating product and you’re ready to produce higher-priced information products like an video program or a book, then go for it!

As you define your product, you will need to consider not only the type of product you will create but to whom you’re selling it, the promises it makes, the benefits and solutions it offers, the look and feel you want your product to convey, and the ways in which you can leverage the content.

It’s important to be clear about your intentions for your product or program, and it’s critical that your product or program meet the needs of your target market. No matter how much you might love to create something, if your target market doesn’t need it you’ll be defeating your purpose.

A Written Exercise to Get You Started

For now, keep it simple. Just get your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

  1. What type of product or program would you most like to create? What would you be most passionate about creating and offering to your target market?
  2. To whom would you be offering this product? (target market.)
  3. What benefits will your target market experience as a result of your product?
  4. How do you want your product to look and feel? What image or emotion do you want it to convey?
  5. How might you leverage the same content into a variety of different formats and price points for your sales cycle?

Five Steps to Developing Your Product

I have identified five simple steps to developing your product.

Step 1: Choose the role you are playing

Step 2: Choose your product framework

Step 3: Choose a title that sells

Step 4: Build your table of contents

Step 5: Create your content

While teaching my process for creating information products to my clients, Jamie McKean, recorded a mind map of the lesson. It outlines the five steps and their many component parts.

DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE, follow the process and you’ll be well on your way to hearing the beautiful, melodic ka-ching, ka-ching sound of your web-site-turned-cash-register as the orders come rolling in.

If you found this helpful, please share it with others that will also find it helpful. Keep thinking big about who you are and what you offer the world.

UPDATE: Here’s another worksheet just created by another one of my clients, Lauchlan Mackinnon, to give you a more linear perspective on the process.

34 thoughts on “[FREE TEMPLATE] Step-by-Step Process for Creating Information Products

Candace Quinn

love the book, and thanks for this easy template!

Michael Port

You’re so very welcome Candace. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write for you and to serve you.

Amnuai Beckenham

Michael,

As the proud owner of both your recent books (Book Yourself Solid and Beyond Booked Solid)you have a huge fan.
My only concern re this blog post as wondering how best to apply the principles mentioned to a physical product like handmade Thai silk!
Perhaps it is part of the “role I am playing” segment where I could provide expert advice on the purchasing, maintenance and multiplicity of uses for handmade silk. I will go and try this approach and see what happens. Thank you again for such thought provoking information.

Michael Port

There you go… that’s a good way to think about it…

Skip Blankley

I just started writing my first e-book and this article could not have come at a better time! A great template and I love your approach to keeping it simple and getting it out there! Cheers!

Michael Port

Wonderful Skip. I’m so glad this is helpful for you.

Skip Blankley

and by the way, thank Jamie for me! love the mind map! very useful!

Susan Stitt

Michael,
Sincere thanks and appreciation for the template and all your great work. I discovered you a month ago on the World Executive & Business Coach summit and I can’t express just how helpful you’ve been to me. I just left my corporate job Friday to start my own business! I’ve been doing all the exercises in Book Yourself Solid and have written 3 articles so far – 4th due today! Not only have you provided a structure for me to follow, plus lots of tools, but you’ve also provided continued reinforcement and support to think big. I am thinking big and am totally excited about what I’m going to create! Thank you again for helping me along the way!
Susan

Michael Port

Congratulations! What an exciting time for you. I’m always here for you and happy to help.

Kathryn McKinnon

Michael, thank you for generously giving away a wonderful roadmap for others to follow. It puts a lot of pieces of the puzzle together very nicely!
Best wishes,
Kathryn McKinnon

Nancy

Thanks, Michael! Very helpful roadmap to help us get where we want to go.

BTW ~ Are you familiar with Jigsaw Box? I’m not selling it :-). Would love your opinion.

Michael Port

You’re very welcome Nancy. I’m aware of it but I’ve never used it not seen a demo of the back end of it so I can’t offer an opinion, unfortunately.

TPD

Hi, Michael. Thank you for so generously sharing this info with us. Just the post alone was enough to start me off thinking about potential information products, as well as helping me to look at my soon-to-be-launched website in a new way. However, I thought you’d might like a heads up about a problem I had opening the template file after downloading. I tried to do it three different ways—Adobe Reader, Google Docs, and Preview for Mac—and was not able to get into the goodies. Do you mind telling me what program you created the PDF in? Thanks for all you do!

Melissa Contreras

So inspired since your webinar I can’t even sleep!

Thanks! This time next year my business will be soaring!

Michael Port

You bet it will!

BTW, which webinar to you recently attend? I did a couple this week.

Melissa Contreras

It was the “75-Minutes of Book Yourself Solid Goodness” that you did last Wednesday. Pure gold!

I have so much energy going on for my business you wouldn’t believe it and you were a big inspiration. Thanks again. 😀

Ali

I love you to pieces (and not in a weird way) for writing this blog. This is the juicy stuff, Michael, that really gets my adrenaline going, and the kind of kick-ass, take-action provoking inspiration to always do what I do best, and continue to strive to be even better.

Consider yourself MUAHed! All the way from Sunny Florida♥

By the way, I’m going to re-tweet the hell out of this one. You’re simply brilliant.

Ali

Ah, and say thanks to Lauchlan. Love the role concept. I remember it from the PF.

mike poeschl

Thanks for this! Talk about timely for me too 🙂

Elizabeth

Hi Michael,

Two of my colleagues and I formed a mini-braintrust committed to systematically work through your book/workbook/all the exercises. We meet weekly to share progress, ask questions, stay focused. We love the format, rigor and our accountability to ourselves/each other!

We’re so grateful for your providing the book’s ‘mega-template’ and now we have another wonderful tool to incorporate. Thank you!

All the very best to you,
Elizabeth & company

Michael Port

Oh, that’s wonderful Elizabeth. What a great idea. Let me know how it’s going, ok?

Jeff Rose

Michael,

Great info and a superb time as I’m at the beginning stages of creating my own info product/course and have wracking my brain over all the various directions it can go.

This helps me simplify it – just what the Dr. ordered.

The templates are perfect!

Thanks so much for sharing.

Debora Crosby

Michael,
I am still working my way, slowly, through Book Yourself Solid….I don’t want to miss a thing. I can’t believe how spot-on your paradigm for success is. I’m also loving the many blog-posts, teleconferences and webinars that strengthen my understanding of these principles. And now I have a great template too! You truly are the Master of Marketing .

Even though I’m only beginning to incorporate your strategy into my personal business, I’m telling all of my clients they MUST read it too and even giving them a copy of to get them on the right track.

p.s. I love the idea of a mini-braintrust, posted earlier.

I can’t thank you enough!

Michael Port

Debora, I love the way you’re working through Book Yourself Solid, slowly and methodically. That’s shows that you’re committed to mastery. Keep up the great work!

Haroun Kola

Great article, thanks from a new subscriber.

Michael Port

Thank you and you’re welcome Haroun. I’ll do my best to keep ’em coming.

Sankar

Michael,

I am just about to publish my first book on social media enabled co-creation. I learnt useful tips as to how to position the framework within the modular-chronological- numerical categorization.

Thank you so much.
Sankar

Michael Port

You’re welcome Sanka. I can’t wait to see your book – sounds very interesting. It’s a subject that I’m particularly interested in…

Wendi Gordon

Aloha from Maui, Michael!

Thanks for this blog post. It was a timely post for me, since my first e-book, The Butterfly Principles: Nine Steps to Transform Your Life, is now available at the Amazon Kindle Store! I was in your Book Yourself Solid class last summer and really appreciate all of the wisdom you shared there and continue to share in so many ways.

Michael Port

Wendi, congratulations! That’s wonderfulI bet it felt so fulfilling when you saw your book available at the Amazon Kindle store. Now, the fun stuff begins – all the marketing to sell billions of copies!

Sheri Kaye Hoff

Michael- Thank you… your post spells out exactly what to do to create an info product in an easy to understand and implement manner… I am going to forward this on to my clients:)
Warmest,
Sheri

Brendan

Great info on product creation. Thanks for sharing.

Kay Franklin

Great tips. I’m glad that you mention a lead generation product as being the first place to start.
Kay

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