I am working with a lovely therapist right now who has written a great book, and is looking to promote it and make money from it online. I really look up to what she's created and the value she can bring to people's lives. She's got something original to say. But, I'm worried for her.
See, she is like many people I know - she's heard that she should write a book, have an info product, build an email list. She is psyched. Thinks she'll be raking in the dough. I'm a bit dubious.
It reminds me of people over the last 3 years saying "I've heard I should blog! I've heard it will do wonders for my business!" If you've heard me speak on this topic (and I'm a pretty good Devil's Advocate on many things) you know I think most people aren't ready to write regularly and passionately about topics for weeks, then months, then years. A blog last updated in 2009, in my mind, looks crappy.
Anyway, back to information products. Selling e-books, MP3's & videos is something I think most anyone *can* do. I just don't think most people are ready to do everything necessary to make it successful. And, frankly, I don't think most people do the math about the ROI (return on investment) of it all.
See, to do this whole thing properly, you'll need to learn about, and either do (or outsource) a number of different things.
First, you'll need the information products themselves. You'll need things at least 3 different price points (free, cheap, and profitable). This is all part of working the "sales funnel".
Then, you'll need a website that sells the products. A good sales website is a LOT different than a therapist's site. It also operates to get people to trade their email addresses for a free e-book or white paper (this is called the "squeeze page" with the "ethical bribe").
Now, you're into auto-responders and email marketing. You have to send some emails to start trying to sell these new list-members your more profitable items.
And, I haven't even gotten to the question of "how do you get leads TO your website in the first place."
So, sorry to be a wet blanket, but for most people this level of learning and commitment (it takes continuing effort) isn't realistic.
Listen, most of the therapists I know really love doing therapy. They aren't great salesmen or marketers. There are exception - the Casey Truffos and Juliet Austins of the world - who actually DO it online, but they are skilled and stick to it.
When you look at what we can get for an hour of work ($100 at least, I hope) versus what you'll spend in either time, consulting or money to make an info products business run - I strongly suggest you do your homework before diving in.
Best to you all, Peter