YES! You can definitely make money by selling information in the form of e-books and e-courses on the Internet.
As an infopreneur myself, I will share with you the #1 secret to making money by selling information online.
Before we dig deeper, let’s first understand the basics –
Who Is An Infopreneur?
It is someone who makes money by selling information on the Internet.
Traditionally, there are only 3-4 steps for this process:
#1: Create a blog and start publishing articles centered around a certain topic.
#2: Start gaining followers or subscribers (could be via email or social media).
#3: Start selling information product to your subscribers (either created by yourself or by an affiliate from whom you take a commission).
#4: You invest some of the profits that you generated back into the business in order to scale it up.
The above blueprint of being an infopreneur seems relatively simple and straightforward, right?
What is difficult though, is making it highly successful.
How Many Infopreneurs Are Actually Successful?
Income of different bloggers:
- 2% bloggers make more than $150K per month (Example: Tim Ferriss).
- 17% are able to sustain their lifestyle.
- 81% never make $100 from blogging.
As for me, my Internet business generates 4-figure income monthly; therefore, I’m within the 17% category. Isn't it scary that 81% don't even make $100, despite putting in all the effort and money?
What Makes An Internet Business Truly Successful?
After 9 years of experience and umpteen amount of research, I realized one simple truth – people buy from friends!
Therefore, your task is to create a community of like-minded people.
Think from the other point of view – imagine a time when you were a customer.
Would you have liked to be perceived as a “lead”, who is going to be converted into a customer through various marketing gimmicks?
Even if a sleazy salesman managed to dupe you into buying something, you’d probably never come back again.
At the same time, a REPEATING CUSTOMER is the foundation of any business.
When we are trying to learn about the Internet business, we usually hear something like this:
“Use marketing automation to increase CLV (customer lifetime value), and optimize your sales funnel.”
Even though this makes sense, it somewhat shifts the focus away from the fact that we are all human beings before being customers or businessmen.
As human beings, we like:
- To be happy
- Communicate with like-minded people
- To have fun
Think about yourself – Which salesperson would you choose to buy a product from?
Obviously, you would compare the prices and the product features, but nowadays there are a plethora of shops where we can buy similar products. Therefore, good customer experience becomes very important. A friendly salesman always wins.
Here is another example –
Do you know what inspired Howard Schultz to start Starbucks?
He took inspiration from Italian cafes – cosy coffee shop where people can socialize and drink a cup of coffee.
Schultz noticed that the Italian Baristas knew most of their customers by name. These customers were usually from the same neighbourhood and went to the same café for many years.
The clients shared jokes with the baristas, made conversations and had a fun time – overall, it was a homely environment.
Howard Schultz used this concept to create his Starbucks cafés.
Have you noticed that Baristas are not called ‘salesman’ or ‘customer assistants’ or anything like that?
Also notice that the customers are willing to pay a premium price for the coffee (even though there are lesser expensive alternatives), just because they wanted to be within a cosy and friendly community.
So your task is to build a friendly virtual community of like-minded people
If you do so, people will routinely keep buying from you. This is very important for a successful business.
How Do You Build A Friendly Virtual Community Of Likeminded People?
First of all – DETERMINE YOUR PASSION.
What do you enjoy doing?
It could be your profession or your hobby.
Sit down and list the things you like doing – pick one that you wouldn't mind spending a lot of time on.
Second – Find a community of people who are passionate about the same thing.
You can find these people on different websites and social media pages.
Your task is to build a friendship with these people. Understand who they are. What their needs are. Perhaps, engage in private conversation with a few of them.
Once you do this, you will understand better what kind of products and services you need to create and produce for your future clients.
My Infopreneur Experience
When I started my first Internet business 9 years ago (it was about chess game), I used to sell my products by sending email offers directly to those whom I knew personally.
Back then, I didn’t use any email marketing service. I sent out 50+ emails manually. Out of these 50 people that I knew personally, around 15 bought my product.
Even though my product was very primitive and basic, people still bought it.
In fact, during the first few years of my online business, I didn't have much IT expertise nor did I have enough money to pay for technical experts.
So, I faced a lot of technical challenges (my website crashed!) and logistical failures. Despite these obstacles, many clients continued being part of my online community for many years.
This is because they trusted me. They knew that even though something went wrong, I would find a way to compensate them for that.
When you concentrate on building a community (rather than a money making business), things get nicer for everybody – including YOURSELF!
For you, it will not just be a ‘money making job’ but rather a joyful time of socializing and making money at the same time.
Once my Internet business started making money, I started travelling a lot. I visited 21 countries and was also fortunate to meet personally some of my clients (with whom I had previously only communicated online).
For example, in the photo below, I am with Albrecht in a pub in Munich.
Me (on the left) and Albrecht, in Munich (Germany)
In this photo, I’m with Joshua in Singapore.
Me (on the right) and Joshua, in Singapore
Finally, here is a photo that captures the launch of my very first paper book. I am in a hotel room with my colleagues from India.
P.S, the guy in the center had just woken up!
Launch of my 1st paper book: Me (on the left), Hariharan (center), Soundar (right)
In order to reiterate my point – nobody wants to be a “lead”, who is going to be converted into a customer by some marketing gimmick.
On the contrary, everybody would love to get useful advice from a friend. If you base your Internet business on this idea, it will thrive for sure.
- People buy from friends. Your task is to build a community of like-minded people.
- Here is a step-by-step plan for you – a recipe for thriving internet business:
1. Determine your passion – Your Niche.
2. Engage in communities of Likeminded People. Make friendships and understand who these people are and what their needs are.
3. Start serving your friends with Useful information products
P.S. When are YOU going to start your online business?