This is the Information Age. Like it or not, our quality of life depends on the ability to access, interpret, and act on information. Internet marketers face this challenge on a daily basis, sorting out the wheat from the chaff in order to succeed.
Last night, host Natalie Judd interviewed the always colorful Yanik Silver, copywriter extraordinaire and expert niche marketer. Yanik's online story began in 2000, shortly after foregoing his original goals of National Hockey League (N.H.L.) stardom and a sideline cartoonist career. He has established himself by selling and marketing a wide range of products, including the wildly successful "Instant Sales Letters". Silver is a highly sought after speaker and trainer, and uses financial independence to indulge his beach volleyball passion.
What Information Marketing is all about...
When prompted by Natalie to define information marketing, Silver came up with:
The ability to deliver meaningful, relevant and useful information upon request, to people in a timely manner. It encompasses the publishing of books, software, newsletters, articles, etc. Also, the presentation of live events (conventions, teleconferences, webinars, et al.).
As a nascent field of activity, many people claim to be "information marketing" specialists, experts, or gurus. So how does a consumer know who is a legitimate practitioner? For Yanik, you only need to ask two questions:
1. Do you have a track record? (i.e. Have you done it?)
2. Can you teach others?
Why Information Marketing Holds so Much Promise for Individuals.
In spite of the Internet's "Wild West" nature, or perhaps because of it, Yanik is a strong Information Marketing proponent for the following reasons:
1. No competition for specific, well-defined products.
2. Much greater profit margins (60-100%) when compared with traditional "brick and mortar" businesses.
3. Doing something properly online once can lead to lifetime residual income on "autopilot".
4. Flexible working arrangements. Ability to work from anywhere with a PC (laptop) and Internet connection.
5. No employees necessary. "Do what you do best, then outsource the rest."
6. Low start-up costs.
7. Tax advantages for home-based entrepreneurs (U.S., Canada, elsewhere).
How do you get Started in Information Marketing, Yanik?
Silver offered some nuts and bolts advice for newbies looking to pursue Information Marketing seriously:
1. Think hard about the expertise and skill set you can offer to others.
2. Ask yourself, "How can I create a website that creates money while I sleep and provides great customer value?".
3. Start small, then grow your business. Ignore naysayers; family and friends are often negative because they do not understand what you are doing. Find expertise online and through mentors and mastermind groups.
4. Learn about your niche and target market through magazines, advertisements, and public domain sources.
5. Evaluate the marketplace's monetization potential. Is my intended audience reachable? How "rabid" are they? Test keywords from Overture.
6. Come up with a "hook"; i.e., something that directly addresses your prospects needs. For ideas, check competitors' advertising.
7. Give people the "fish"; i.e. your remarkable product. They are more interested in the end product than the process of creating products.
8. Finally, focus on your sales copy. Or, do the sales letter first, then generate traffic to your web page.
Private Label Rights (PLR) and the Public Domain Space.
The sleeping giant within Information Marketing is the ability to exploit - 100% legally - existing publications that fall into the public domain space. Loosely defined, such work falls into four categories:
- Ideas, facts, statistics
- Works granted or donated to the public
- Government works
- Formerly copyrighted works. In the United States, all works published before 1923 are considered public. Also, works published 1923-1963 are public if the copyrights were not renewed in the 28th year.
Entrepreneurs are allowed to change book titles and become co-authors. You may even be eligible to copyright the work provided substantial changes have been made to the original text. Yanik advises strong due diligence and legal (i.e. copyright) advice before proceeding in this manner.
In business, speed is critical, so putting out your e-books should be an efficient no-nonsense process: Convert your document to PDF format with OCR scanning; ensure you can edit the document. Then, add a foreword. Once you have the PDF file in place, create your sales letter using lots of bullet points to trigger curiosity.
Will People Pay for "Free" Information?
According to Yanik Silver, 92% of us go online for free information, yet the (digital) paid information product boom continues. Why? Well, to quote Mr. Silver:
Free information sucks.
People want to solve their problems immediately, and will make both a financial and emotional investment if you have what they are looking for. A consumer's emotional involvement is directly related to price, so too much "free" is counterproductive for information marketers.
Common Internet Marketing Mistakes.
Natalie and Yanik ended the call by discussing common errors made by newbies and even experienced marketers:
1. Lack of proof in sales letters: Plain text testimonials may not always be enough. Consider adding audiovisual testimonials, statistics, a mailing address, an e-mail address, and a business phone number on your website.
2. Being too much of a "Me, too" copycat: There are not very many virgin markets on the Internet today, so you need a unique hook that draws eager and responsive buyers.
3. Not having a back-end: The first sale is the hardest, but once the prospect has committed, you must follow-up immediately with an up or down sale. The e-book must lead to something.
4. Lack of Market Research: As is the case for off-line businesses, Internet marketers must think through their intended audience, i.e, "walk a mile in their shoes".
Contrary to what you might think, non-"techno-geeks" do succeed online. Yanik Silver is a prime example. Whether selling $17 e-books or $15,000 apprentice programs, Yanik has exploited his skills to the fullest - and outsourced work that was beyond his expertise. He freely acknowledges his lack of computer savvy, and like most successful online entrepreneurs, uses "virtual" customer service assistants. PLR and Public Domain Space exploitation are simply Silver's latest example of succeeding without reinventing the wheel.
Can Rahul do anything else besides report on teleseminars? Check out the Info-entrepreneur RM Newsletter. Find out if he's legitimate or all fluff by clicking here.
Yanik's offers may be viewed at: http://www.internetmasterseries.com/yanik.html
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