Creating online training programs or info products is a lucrative business model. Most business coaches that I follow suggest turning knowledge into products so we can serve more people and stop getting trapped in the hours for dollars model. Don’t you think it’s time to package your expertise and get your first digital program out there? While I’m still in the planning stage of creating my own hot digital program, I wanted to know what other successful women entrepreneurs have done to come up with their own digital programs. I reached out to amazing women entrepreneurs and asked for their best tips on how to create your first info product. Check out their expert tips below.
1. Focus inward and dig deep to serve a market niche
My best tip for coming up with ideas for training programs or digital products: Focus inward and dig deep to serve a market niche.
I came up with the idea for my training product, the Campus Lead Her Success Kit, by first placing myself in my target end user’s shoes (college women student leaders). I asked myself, “What training did you need most as a young woman that you didn’t receive in college?” Then I asked myself, “What have you learned in the past eleven years since graduation that you’d most like to share with college women?” Then I interviewed college women leaders, surveyed my interns, reflected on conversations I’ve had with college women when I speak on college campuses across the country, and finally I re-read all the emails I’ve received from college women through the past few years. Each of these avenues led me to create a training product to help our nation’s young women step into leadership by first learning how to be the leaders of their own lives.
Thanks to Maria Pascucci of Campus Calm Companies, LLC
2. Make a list of all the steps you go through with a coaching client
The idea generation is really simple. I sat down and made a list of all the steps I go through when I coach a client. Then, I looked at that list and identified what I do over and over again for each client. And voila! An idea for an online training course was born.
Of course, the details take longer to figure out. But if you stick to the old write what you know adage, find something that you do over and over again in your coaching business, and figure out how much of that is teachable in a program or course.
Thanks to Felicity Fields of FelicityFields.com
3. Think about filling a need with your abilities
When venturing to develop a training program, one should first consider filling a specific need with their current skills, abilities, and interests. For service-based business entrepreneurs who seek to train others and promote their business at the same time, I suggest they begin with asking themselves: “What is a problem or issue that I often hear about from clients/friends – which I don’t consider to be a problem?” Once a businesswoman has pinpointed her strengths and abilities in a specific “problem” area, only then is there an opportunity to craft training sessions which will share with others the how and why she excels at something in particular.
Thanks to Rina Shah of Rilax Strategies
4. Pay attention to the questions people in your niche are asking
When I’m coming up with ideas for a digital product/training program (Like my Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging or my soon-to-be-released Guide to Freelance Writing for Non Writers) I pay a lot of attention to the questions people in my niche are asking. I get a LOT of email asking for advice, and I pay attention to the questions that pop up again and again, and look for ways to create products that address these questions.
It can also be great to send out a few questions on Twitter – that way, you get instant replies. I might ask people what they’re stuck on most in their business, or what would they like to see new in an e-product.
Thanks to Steff Metal of SteffMetal.com
5. Ask your clients about their challenges and listen to what people say
Ask your clients: create a survey (using Google Docs, free and easy) with simple questions to ask them what challenges they are going through at the moment, how they would imagine their dream solution. The best being to call them, to have a more profound knowledge of their needs.
Focus on your experience: what difficulties did you overcome? How did you manage? What would you do differently? Who helped? There you have a product : How to [solve this problem] or How to [obtain this solution].
Read the comments on your blog: what are your readers dealing with? What is the most recurring question? Are they missing something?
Read your emails from readers: same. What do you advise most?
Is there an existing product abroad that you love? Maybe you could buy the right and translate it. Easier solution.
What do you currently struggle with? Solve this problem and write about it.
Read forums: what are other people in your target struggling with? Study their words, phrases, emotions, and solve their problems.
General tip: always focus on what your readers say. See the world through their eyes. Talk to them with their words. For your lessons, use the words and phrases they used. So you can connect better.
Thanks to Géraldine Lepère of Comme une Française
6. Pay attention to what your audience and clients are not asking for
I believe the best way to come up with programs and products is by paying attention to what your audience and clients *are NOT* asking for!
For instance, a person may say they need time management help – when in fact it’s not time management that’s the issue – it’s balance, it’s them wanting to be more organized and take control of their business so that their business doesn’t take control of them. It’s clarity that they are wanting – when you clear the clutter then add action steps.
Thanks to Aprille Franks of Women Recharged, LLC
7. Pay attention to what people on social media channels ask you
As an Empowerment Instructor most of my work is hands-on but recently I launched an e-book called Spiritual First Aid – Finding Balance. This has been constructed with years of experience but the idea presented itself through the personal development questions I’ve been asked on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Pay attention to and engage with what your clients are looking for from you, no matter what your line of business. Get over your fear of ‘exposure’ and go for it!
Thanks to Lesley Rodgers of Dragon Dynamics (UK)
8. Create digital products from workshops
I make digital products out of in-person or online live workshops. I test the topics and work out all the bugs live before I digitize it forever.
Thanks to Erica Duran of Erica Duran International
9. Survey your list and do phone interviews
I always turn to my list because they have raised their hands to stay in connection with me. Then I find out what is going on in their lives. I find out their biggest frustrations and it helps me to get clear on what their problem is I am here to solve.
This is how to find out what your tribe wants:
- The fastest way is to do this is with a survey (www.surveymonkey.com) and actually ask what they want from you and are looking for in a product or program. Find out their biggest frustration and then find common thread. This gives you focus and will help you to create many products and programs. You can also put in your auto-responder a question asking them what it the biggest challenge in their life so they can respond and tell you what that is. The more you collect the data the easier it is.
- Choose a few of them to interview on the phone to get even clearer on the dream solution they want. This creates connection and gives a deeper insight into what the problem is you are solving for them. (It also helps to write copy.)
Most important is to be focused on your tribe and as one of my mentors says, step into the conversation they are already having. The best thing that has worked for me is to pay attention to what my clients want and not get caught up in what I think they need.
Thanks to Hillary Rubin of HillaryRubin.com
In the comments below, I want you to tell me your biggest a-ha. Do you have any tip to share on how to create your first info product?