Are you an expert? If so, you might be able to profit from your expertise in a side business apart from your everyday work. How? By selling products teaching other people about your area of expertise.
You may have a hobby and find yourself answering other people's questions about what you do in online chat rooms. Or you may have developed great ways to perform services in a particular business. You may be able to package what you know into an information product.
It might take the form of traditional books, audio programs, videos or DVDs, magazines, newsletters, ebooks, membership websites, teleseminars and webinars, telecoaching programs, seminars and conferences, and combinations of these. Businesspeople and consumers alike need to learn about solutions to problems they have in a convenient and useful format.
As a money-making business, the advantages can be numerous. Consider the following:
You can leverage your knowledge.
Whether you're working for someone else or you're a professional selling your services by the hour or by the job, you are being paid for what you produce. The moment you stop producing, you stop getting paid. By creating your product one time, you provide that business solution over and over again instead of performing the service yourself each time.
Everything you need to create a new product is already inside you -- the information, the secrets, the techniques, the things you already know. You don't need dozens of experts or newfangled distribution methods.
Your products can double as marketing materials.
People say to me, "I'm already a consultant. If I create an information product that explains my entire process, won't people just do it themselves and stop hiring me to do work for them?" Absolutely not.
People who buy your information products are much more likely to hire you to perform services than other customers. Being published shows the customer the complexity of the services and the special ability you have to perform them, and makes you the obvious choice should the buyer need additional help with his business or hobby.
You can work at home.
You won't necessarily need a brick-and-mortar location for people to buy your products. This means you can work at home with your computer in a closet or build your information product on your kitchen table. As long as you've got a way to create a product and distribute it, you don't have to be in any particular location for people to buy it.
You aren't likely to need employees.
The kind of work you may need help with isn't likely to require full-time employees. You could pay independent contractors to help maintain a customer database, ship products, and handle customers' questions. You can operate a business that makes well above $1 million a year with little or no staff and have little operating overhead.
You can start with little money.
You also don't need a lot of equipment, furniture or computers. It doesn't require special licenses in most cases, and it doesn't require a special education or degrees. You will need to:
- Identify a market of people who are excited about the information you have
- Create a product those people want, and
- Offer it in a persuasive way.
Investing money in marketing when you are launching increases revenue more quickly. You can take a stair-step approach by investing a small amount in your first campaign and reinvesting your revenues into the next.
Some people are earning million-dollar incomes by selling teaching and training products. Each one started out like you, with no products and no customers, and they gave it a shot. This business is scalable -- you can make it as small or as large as you want.
But don't think this kind of business require little or no work. Just as you see entrepreneurs working hard in the mall, in a retail store or restaurant, you should plan on working hard on your business. It takes a small investment, but the payoff can be huge -- if you stick with it and continue to develop your business.
This article is an adapted excerpt from The Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing by Robert Skrob, published by Entrepreneur Press.