Through my regular reviews of discussion forums and talking sheds to gain an understanding of where people’s struggles are with their online business, this question is raised time and time again “Do you need your own e-product?”
In this blog entry I aim to answer this seemingly simple yet complex question as best as I can.
If I take a trip back down memory lane to around 2010 when I first started to research the possibility of me developing my own information marketing business there was a lot of conflicting information bundled around depending on who you chose as your expert source to follow.
It may sound naive but I didn’t have much real business experience back then so when I was looking at this topic to research I just assumed that there was one way to do it and this was more of an argument between how two businesses of the exact same setup did things, but did them differently.
The more research I did and the stronger my connection was and trust was in certain businesses at the time, the more I leaned to the “no, you don’t need your own digital products, not unless you are an expert in something that others want to learn”. The emphasis was on the age old issue of getting traffic to a specific offer of a digital product from someone who was ‘qualified’ to release such information and collecting lead data within that process so that you could easily contact them again in the future when another quality product or service came along.
What I didn’t fully realise or understand at the time was that the information wasn’t in fact conflicting but more that I was looking at 2 similar lines of business in two very different business models that had crossovers in many areas of how they operated.
I was looking at both ‘Information Marketing’ and ‘Affiliate Marketing’ and I, through the pockets of information I was researching, was conflicting the two. It was kind of like adding 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5. This took me about a year to fully wrap my head around and to ensure I followed very specific businesses that operated in these lines of business and worked to flesh out my own structure in my business.
When I first got started playing around with the idea of building my own internet marketing business many years ago, there wasn’t so much emphasis on actually having your own digital product for sale.
Now I look in the marketplace on various forums and digital marketing vendor sites and find that they are quite literally flooded with e-products and services and its more noticeable now than its ever been. This could be down to me being more conscious now as a vendor myself, and doing what I can to stay ahead of the competition and offering a variation of a similar service that already exists. This turn of events I believe is what has lead to a lot of people being left less than satisfied with a number of online product purchases that they have made within the information marketing industry.
There will always be a need for information to be made available to people online and if there is gain from the information then people will always charge a fee to share that information with the fee collected increasing as the vendors time factor is accounted for and included in the purchase. I do find it amazing sometimes when people complain about the fees charged to work directly with a leading figure in the industry because if they tried to get a similar proposal with an offline consultant the fees would be much greater and the time allocated would be much shorter. Price has also always been a factor for many people online because we all want access to the best information out there but are a little reserved in our choice to commit to making a purchase seeking a cheaper alternative unless we can justify the cost in our own minds that even though the number might be big, our hard work, drive and determination coupled with this information can yield astounding results.
So it takes me back to the question, do you need your own e-products online if you want to be successful in this industry?
Well for the most people this is going to be true, and I will include myself in this. I know some people in this industry have super human powers when it comes to turning on traffic in whatever direction they want to and are compensated handsomely for doing so either through the sale of their own products or through the promotion of other peoples, but not a lot of people are in this position, at least until they’ve spent a long time building their business to a position of authority online, collecting leads as they go along so that they can utilise the power of their mailing list or have a proven method in place with paid advertising that pays a handsome ROI. With your own products in place online, you will either need to learn to master the art of traffic generation or network extremely well with other marketers who can provide the traffic if you provide the high quality products that convert well so that the affiliate can be compensated.
My advice, do both.
Learn your trade here, this online business industry is like anything else that you need to learn and you do that by actually doing things, getting some things wrong and learning from your mistakes, lots of testing and tweaking, collect data for your leads who enjoy the information you provide, make sure that whatever information you share with your readers is of good quality and build relationships with them so that they can come back to you to ask your advice and tailor their needs into further good quality information that they can action and implement.
The most important piece of advice I can give you, is to make a start and then be consistent with your efforts to build your business.