No matter what business you’re in, you possess specialized knowledge about your trade that other people will gladly pay you for.
Unlike consulting, which is time traded for money, with information marketing, you can leverage what you know and scale your business without having to give up more of your time.
I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the variety of ways that you can package your information into various formats at varying levels of value and price. If I’ve missed one, just let me know and I’ll make sure that I add it to this list.
Paper And Ink Information Products
Special reports: Usually 8-30 pages, special reports cover a very specific niche topic. Special reports are typically updated regularly to keep the information as updated as possible. These are generally spiral or comb bound or put into a report cover to make it look professional.
Booklets: Like special reports, booklets cover a specific topic and are smaller than books. Unlike special reports, booklets are generally produced similar to books, having a cover and either saddle-stitched or perfect bound.
Quick reference sheets: These can come in the form of a double-sided 8.5”x11” sheet or a folded 11”x17” sheet and are typically laminated. Quick reference sheets contain concentrated information on a given topic and are generally created to be used in the field where carrying a manual would be impractical.
Books: Probably the information product that people are most familiar with. Books are actually something to be avoided in an information marketing business because of it’s low price points, commoditized nature and the resources it takes to publish one. Books are great media tools and can land instant credibility, but it has limited value in an information marketing business.
Workbooks: These are interactive publications that generally include exercises for the reader to complete. These are best bundled with an audio or video component. It’s common for workbooks to be spiral bound as well to allow the workbook to lay flat so the reader and write in them.
Manuals: Similar in format to a book, a manual covers a specific operating procedure for a product or a proprietary system (i.e. a franchise operating manual).
Book bundles: Packaging several books together to increase the value as well as the transaction amount of the purchase.
Newsletters: Usually 8-16 pages, newsletters usually contain cutting-edge information from an expert or industry. Newsletters are a continuity product and are usually published monthly, although some are bi-weekly. Successful newsletters publish very specific and difficult to obtain information – the more specific and difficult the information is to obtain, the higher the subscription price. Newsletters are laid out simply with a limited amount of graphics and rarely ad-supported.
Back Issues of Newsletters: Sell past issues of newsletters to obtain a longer life for each issue.
Magazines: Like newsletters, magazines are a continuity product, usually published month-to-month. Unlike newsletters, which are member-supported, magazines rely predominately on advertisers for revenue. Therefore, magazines are usually larger publications with glossy pages and in color.
Forms: Useful when a complex or methodical process is involved, forms can be sold as packs of the same form or a variety of forms together.
Posters: As it pertains to an information product, posters would contain a step-by-step process or quick-glance information. Gyms make use of informational posters quite a bit.
Card sets: Useful as a learning aid for students as well as on-the-go information. A unique feature about cards is that they can be shuffled and picked at random, so this becomes useful in applications such as the fitness industry when choosing what exercises to do for a particular workout.
Transcripts: Usually compiled from interviews, seminars, webinars and teleconferences, transcripts offer a written alternative to its live counterpart. In the information marketing business, transcripts are often bundled together with the CDs/DVDs of the event, effectively creating a home-study kit.
Tests and exams: Seen the most from professional associations and certifying organizations, tests and exams are generally sold as a component or prerequisite to getting certified with that particular organization.
Directories: Compiled lists of contact information for a particular industry.
Audio & Video Products
In physical format, these can be sold as audio CDs and DVDs.
Interviews & discussions: A popular audio/video product to create because of its simplicity, recorded interviews also allow an information marketer to offer expertise beyond their own knowledge-base by tapping into their network of other experts.
Live recorded seminars & speeches: Recorded at the event. A benefit to this is feeling the audiences’ reactions and feedback. A downside is that quality is difficult to control due to extraneous noise and the unscripted nature of a live event.
Subliminal & hypnosis: These products walk a fine line between what is an information product and what is a program. These recordings are extremely popular in the self-help industry and are relatively easy to produce since the formula for each essentially remains the same.
Lectures & presentations: These are recorded courses, commonly teaching the audience “how-to” type information. They can be done either recording the expert making a presentation from the stage, or as a video screen presentation, similar to a webinar, where the viewer only sees the Power Point slides and hears the expert narrate the presentation.
Audio books: The audio counterpart to a written book. These are popular with people on the go who have long commutes or travel often.
Interactive audio/video: This is most commonly packaged with a workbook and it allows the audience to practice or interact with the material before moving on. The most common application of this format is with foreign language learning systems.
Home study course: For most information marketers, the home study course is their bread and butter. Home study courses can command a high price point and generally teach a method or system of doing something. Common formats include audio CDs along with a workbook or manual.
Trainer kits: These are sold to professionals who want to license your “done for you” course to deliver to their own clients. It contains specific teaching information not found in the student’s version such as: teaching outlines and timelines, Powerpoint slides, teaching notes, scripts, handouts and audio/video of a seasoned trainer facilitating their course.
Continuity programs: Members of a continuity program may receive a newsletter along with a CD of a recorded interview or mastermind session.
Digital Information Products
Downloadable reports: These are sold for profit, but are increasingly being given away for free as a lead magnet now as well.
E-book: Generally an Adobe PDF document that’s downloaded after purchase.
Online video: This format is evolving very quickly due to the merging of the internet and the television. Business models include both pay-per-view or as a monthly subscription to an online video channel.
MP3 downloads: CDs are becoming a thing of the past due to the rise of MP3 audio players and iPhones. Now your customers can download your audio file directly into their digital audio player and take it with them on the go without carrying a case of CDs with them.
Membership sites: A continuity product that allows the member exclusive access to regularly-updated information on a site.
E-learning courses: Quickly becoming the norm for continuing education, e-learning courses started off as email lessons, but quickly evolved into elaborate multimedia systems that can include video, audio, text, quizzes and interactive elements such as social media.