Episode 174: Sharla Jacobs on Your Information Product
Sharla returns to walk you through whether YOU have what it takes to create your own information product.
- What makes a good INFO MARKETER?
- How to AVOID THE BIGGEST MISTAKES Most Heart-Based Entrepreneurs Make with Their First Info-Product
- How You Can ADD AN EXTRA $5,000-$10,000 Each Month After Doing the Work Only Once
- How to Know If You Should Create a Book, CD Set, or DVD Set First (and Which One Will Give You the Most PASSIVE INCOME)
- Why Other People Usually Don’t Promote for You and How to Change This Immediately
- How to CAPTURE YOUR PEOPLE'S ATTENTION so They Buy Your Product Instead of Thinking About It
- The Simple Secret to Getting Your Info-Product Paid for BEFORE You Create It
- How to STOP TRADING TIME FOR DOLLARS and Make More Money While Working Fewer Hours (and Serving More People)
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to get to meet again Sharla Jacobs. Sharla has been on the show recently actually. We did a whole episode on teleseminars, how to have really good virtual teleseminars using them as a sales technique, as a marketing tactic. And Sharla is a font of knowledge. I mean I could probably have her on every week for a couple of months. She knows a lot of stuff. She has a lot of experience because she teaches these things to people. She and her husband, Jesse Koren, have a company called Rejuvenate Your Practice, and they got their start helping people who had special talents and capabilities and knowledge, coaches, trainers, anybody who was in a primarily a service business, learn to take the knowledge that they had and turn it into an information product. And you know, since I got into the information product publishing I really wanted to get some of the best people in the industry to tell you how you could also successfully create your own, I’m not sure I would call it passive income ‘cause you have to work your ass off to make this stuff happen, so it’s probably in this number, but at least more active income. And so Sharla offered up the possibility of coming back on DishyMix and I said definitely. And I wanted to get to the baseline of the concept of what she does when she teaches Leverage Your Genius and some of the other things that we’re going to be talking about. Just essentially like are you information product material? Do you have enough content? What kind of content should you create, you know? What’s the best for you? How do you get it promoted? How do you make money on it? Just the baseline kind of stuff. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about on today’s show. So lets get Sharla back on DishyMix, welcome her again and get started. Welcome Sharla.
Sharla Jacobs: Thank you so much Susan. I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me back on the show.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, absolutely. Are you kidding me? Pretty soon you’re going to be doing episodes for me if I have my way.
Sharla Jacobs: I’d be delighted.
Susan Bratton: “Welcome to DishyMix. This is Sharla Jacobs, your host.”
Sharla Jacobs: I’ll be your guest girl.
Susan Bratton: Like you don’t have enough going on, right.
Sharla Jacobs: Right.
Susan Bratton: So hey, thank you so much for coming back on the show, and we really wanted to talk about creating an information product, and so I want to start with my first question, which is what is it that makes a good information product marketer? You work with a lot of entrepreneurs. What are those talents that you see that are a good set of skills and ambitions that makes someone well suited to actually be successful?
Sharla Jacobs: That’s a great question, and you know, I’m going to start with kind of the cold hard true because I know that your listeners…
Susan Bratton: That’s what we want.
Sharla Jacobs: are really smart people. It does take a lot of ambition. This is not, it’s not necessarily easy business. It can be once you get going and once you get rolling. But I think that the biggest elements that you need are you’ve got to be a great relationship builder because in my experience the relationships matter more than anything else and that’s really where the promotion comes from. Either that or you’ve got to get really good at something like SEO or Pay Per Click marketing and I’ve never done any of that. Everything that we’ve ever done has been through our relationships and through marketing through our partners and their emails lists and hosting us on teleseminars. So that was a little bit about what that other interview that I did with you was about. But I think that’s one of the big pieces is you’ve got to be somebody who’s likeable, who creates great relationships and people want to do business with you. Another piece I think that’s really, really important is you’ve got to have a lot of ambition and drive. There is a lot of marketing out there about how it can be easy, and it can be if you know the steps, and I definitely recommend that you do some kind of a program if you want to get into this business. You know, there are tons of great gurus out there; I mean Eban Pagan is fantastic. We do some great work on it. I could talk about, you know, tons of people that can teach you how to get into this business, but definitely learn from somebody whose done it. Don’t try and figure it out on your own, ‘cause it can be really, really painful.
Susan Bratton: Do you think another good – I know you weren’t done, sorry. But I was thinking that it takes a lot of writing. It takes a lot of writing and it also takes, you know, a bit of technological competence to even use something as simple as a one shopping cart solution or what have you. You have to kind of like internet applications a bit and you have to like to write it seems to me.
Sharla Jacobs: Well I think there’s two ways of going about it and it depends on do you have more time or do you have more money. Those are some things to think about. If you have more time then, you know, go ahead and figure out the technology yourself and just to some degree. If you have more money and you’re willing to invest some money into it hire people that can help you do that. I mean there are a lot of things that I don’t know how to do, I don’t want to learn how to do, you know, as far as it’s concerned. And, you know, when I first got, for example I first started out with one shopping cart and when I started out with the one shop system I wanted to learn it but I also wanted to get my stuff out there faster. So I hired somebody to set it up and show me how they did that, and I understood the software well enough that if I had to do it I could but I still outsourced that no matter what. Does that make sense?
Susan Bratton: Definitely. Any other things that you think are important attributes?
Sharla Jacobs: Well I love that you talked about writing and I think writing is really an important skill that you need to have because it does take a lot of writing, and that doesn’t mean whether you’re doing an e-book, if you’re doing video, if you’re doing audio, you still have to sit at the computer and write your stuff down. And one way that you can do this that I recommend is a little shortcut, is if you are a better talker than you are a writer you could certainly, you know, host a workshop with some people, record the thing, have it transcribed and then turn that into an info product or even just record the thing and have that big an information product. I mean even the Leverage Your Genius home study course is a video recording and we didn’t, you know, do very much editing to that. It’s just the live program, put it up there. That’s certainly an easy way to do it, if you like to be live and you don’t want to write. But then again you still have to write your content before you get there, right?
Susan Bratton: You absolutely do, and then you have to write your auto responders and your landing pages and, I mean there’s, it really feels in a way like a never ending… You know, it’s like the kid that just won’t stop sucking off your teat, you know what I mean. Like, “I’m going to wean you, you sucker”, and he’s just still drinking, you know. It’s like there’s always something to write.
Sharla Jacobs: You have to be totally committed, and yes you have to learn how to write and not just regular writing. You have to learn how to write, you know… We talk about copywriting. You have to be a good marketer. You’ve got to learn how to connect with your people in a way that they respond to what you offer, that they get it, that they feel connected with you. I mean it’s funny, right now the big launch that’s going on is Kajabi, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this…
Susan Bratton: Everywhere.
Sharla Jacobs: But I’m laughing because I look at it, I’m thinking heavy metal dude, right. That’s who that’s written for. And it’s funny because it still connects with me, but it’s very clear who they’re speaking with. They’re talking to the guy that, you know, it’s like he probably was a rocker when he was younger, and just really wants to crush it. You know, that kind of language they really know how to speak to their market. And, you know, the interesting thing is it also speaks to me as an internet marketer, but I also look at it and I kind of laugh, you know, chuckle because it’s not written for me but it still works and it’s just really brilliant marketing.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, it’s interesting, I recently wrote a bunch of email swipe copy for a product launch. And for those of you who haven’t done this yet and you’re thinking about doing an information product, what you do when you want partners to promote for you is you write the email for them and then they take it and sometimes they edit it and sometimes they just stick it in their email system and push it out to their list, and that’s what Sharla’s talking about with Kajabi. It’s a product that helps you do product launches and they had email swipe and if you’re on a number of peoples lists you’ll see, you know, either the same exact copy or slight variations of that copy when someone’s in a launch if you’re getting different peoples email. And I wrote all these email swipes for this particular product and a friend of mine whose done a lot of product launches read my entire product launch JV page and, you know, everything. He read all the copy, he looked at the product and he came back and he said, “The only thing that you’ve done wrong here, if you could call it doing wrong, is that you write too well. Like you overwrote your email swipe. Most of the people that send out emails would never write at this level of quality and you need to have a few dumbed down versions of your swipe copy.” And I thought ooh, lesson learned. That’s probably true. I get a little too clever, you know.
Sharla Jacobs: I think that’s really important, and it’s funny because Jesse and I have an editor who, you know, proofs our stuff and she’ll just want to make things very intelligent, and I come back and I say, “Nope, it’s got to be a little bit more cloak wheel ‘cause that’s our audience.” They are, you know, they’re educated people and they’re somewhat sophisticated in some ways but most people, you know, write and speak to somebody who’s about 12 and you’ll really capture most peoples attention ‘cause that’s how most of us talk, right?
Susan Bratton: Not me. Sharla…
Sharla Jacobs: Right, not you.
Susan Bratton: I speak highly eloquently and very articulately. Are you kidding me? So you’ve spent most of your Rejuvenate Your Practice business teaching what you call ‘heart based entrepreneurs’ to make their first information product. Most of the people who listen to DishyMix are people who know something about marketing or advertising or public relations or SEO or leadership or selling media or whatever it might be, but I don’t think it matters because I think that there are a couple of things that almost everybody makes a mistake at doing, and I’m going to throw out two and I want you to say these are not the biggest or I’m such that I want you to test me, right. I think these are the two biggest things people do wrong when they start thinking about their information product, no matter where they come from – heart based, entrepreneur or blood thirsty sales person trying to make more money. It don’t matter. I think they do these two things; one, they don’t actually solve a problem. They don’t clearly identify a problem to solve. And number two, they don’t figure out a niche enough target audience to solve that problem for. So are those the two biggest things or are they other things?
Sharla Jacobs: You are so right on about that Susan. I mean one of the biggest mistakes that we talk about is that if you assume you know what your people want then you’re going to make one of the biggest mistakes. And we actually say the only way to know what your people want is to ask them, and you know, give you templates for interviews and how to actually get their exact language that they use to talk about what they want and their needs and their desires and what my friend Lisa Sasovich calls pillow talk. It’s like what do they say to themselves in the middle of the night, what is that language inside their head that keeps them up at night. That’s really where you need to be connecting with people. They’re in pain, they’re suffering, they want a solution to their problem and I’ll tell you this is kind of a funny little thing, I said this to you earlier Susan, so, you know, the big announcement, I’m actually pregnant for the second time. And…
Susan Bratton: Yay!
Sharla Jacobs: Yeah. So…
Susan Bratton: Hence the reference to sucking on the teat for too long.
Sharla Jacobs: Right. That’s where that metaphor came from. And it’s a good one.
Susan Bratton: That was pre-show pillow talk.
Sharla Jacobs: That’s right. And, you know, I’m starting to get a little bit of that morning sickness, a little bit of nausea and I just want that thing handled as quickly as possible. So I’m going to go to Google and I’m going to look at, you know, morning sickness and I’m going to look that up as a very specific topic and that’s an urgent problem that really, really matters to me right now because it’s running my life and I can’t do anything else, you know, unless I get that handled. And so that’s the type of problem that you need to be solving. It’s that kind of thing that it is at the top of their priority list. Your people just, they can’t sleep at night because the problem’s bothering them. So absolutely, one of the biggest mistake is not finding out what your people are looking for and really finding out their specific language for the problem that you’re solving.
Susan Bratton: Any other ones that you see classic mistakes?
Sharla Jacobs: So another big mistake that I see a lot of people make is that they really once they decide what they’re going to create they, you know, make their offer, they really allow people to procrastinate and they just kind of have this evergreen offer that’s sitting out there and you’ve really got to give your people a reason to purchase now, because otherwise they’re going to think about it. And when people are sitting there thinking about it they’re going in their head and it’s basically, what’s going to happen is all the fear and logic and reasons why they shouldn’t take care of this and keep them stuck in the same place. And so I’m going to go back to my heart based roots because this is really, my husband and I are in this business to make a difference for people and to really help – the heart based entrepreneurs that work with us – to really help them get their stuff out there, to really help other people. This is really about making a difference and helping other people. And if you are allowing your clients to procrastinate, it’s like they’re in this situation, they’ve got this circumstance, they’re stuck, and if you don’t give them a reason to act now they’re going to stay stuck. So you almost need to make it painful for them not to get the thing that you’re offering that’s going to help them solve the problem. And I think that’s a big mistake that people make. They just put it out there and they’re afraid to be too salesy so they don’t a limited time offer or, you know, special bonuses go away or the price goes up or whatever that is. And I see that pretty commonly because people are really afraid to appear, you know, like a used car salesman, that kind of a thing.
Susan Bratton: I think a lot of the information product marketing tactics are super cheesy, although scarcity, limited time offer, bonuses going away. Yet what I found in – I’m like you Sharla, what I do needs to be authentic and real but also leverage persuasive psychology. And so a lot of times we will create content where the offer is only going to be available for a certain window. We can’t give this stuff away at this great price forever people, you know. You got to buy it this weekend or you got to wait until it goes on sale again. So, you know, there are a lot of ways you can do the work that it takes to create that, to capture that person’s attention and to make them realize that they do have to make a decision. Is the problem bad enough for them? And did you state the problem in a way with a solution that you can get them to take action? It’s a really fun set of variables that take massaging based on your target audience and how they react to marketing, copy, etcetera. It’s such a wide variety of types of people, that the things that would work for your heart based entrepreneurs would blow up if the, you know, biz opp information marketers employed them and vice versa, right?
Sharla Jacobs: That’s right, absolutely. And it’s funny because I had actually had a pretty well known information marketer, a very, very successful man. We were speaking at an event, and there were probably about 300 people there and we were having a conversation and he found out that I put about a hundred people in that room, and he had said, “Hey, can we do some cold marketing,?” and I said, “I just don’t think our people would connect with each other.” I mean really the only chance…
Susan Bratton: Our people aren’t going to like your people.
Sharla Jacobs: Well and it’s my people are, like your sales tactics, my people will hate it. And your people, the only thing that might happen is that your people might go, “Oh, that’s actually more like my tribe over there”, and might jump shit, you know. But I just know that the folks that are on our list, they’re not hardcore intense, like, you know, “Show me the cold hard cash” kind of people. I know my people; they’re very soft and, you know, they’re in this for making a difference and they actually have to be convinced that money is a good thing and I know that about my folks, so…
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah. It’s so true.
Sharla Jacobs: You know, so I speak to that, right.
Susan Bratton: Well you know what’s funny too, I’m going to go, we got to go to a break soon. I’ll just get this out and then we’ll go to a break. Yanik Silver does this event called Underground and he’s invited me to speak at Underground 7, which is early next year. And he just sent me an email over the weekend, “I need some bullet points. You know, tell me what you want to talk about”, and I thought about it for a few minutes and I kind of remembered the speakers who were at the last Underground and it’s all about, you know, how he made $247,000 his first month of business and how he went from, you know, this to being a multi millionaire, you know, and it’s all very focused on making big wads of cash doing information products, which is great, right. I’m all for that. But I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be one more person with that kind of positioning”, and I decided to come and present the ten stupid bonehead mistakes I made in the first two years of business and to actually tell the truth about things that I pooh-poohed that I totally should’ve just sucked it up and just done and things that I thought I knew better that I didn’t and things I completely missed in setting up my own information product business. Like, how could I have not thought of that, you know?
Sharla Jacobs: Sounds like a great cause, and I wish I was there.
Susan Bratton: Well you’ve got to come now. Oh, but now you’re going to be having a new baby.
Sharla Jacobs: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: It might be bad timing.
Sharla Jacobs: Yeah. We’ll see.
Susan Bratton: I hope you can come. Well we’ll see how it goes. All right, so we’re going to go to a break and when we come back I want to talk more about maybe like the content itself, you know. Should you do a book, a CD, a DVD? How do you build out a product line, you know, with an upsell and a free report, and like how do you approach that whole idea of I have some information, I’ve developed my niche and my target customer but what do I produce? Can we go there next?
Sharla Jacobs: Lets do that.
Susan Bratton: All right, good. We’re going to go to a break to thank my sponsor, and when we come back you’re going to get to know Sharla Jacobs just a bit more since pretty soon – well she probably won’t now, but she’s going to have a baby, I guess I can’t rope her into being the DishyMix host, but…. I’ll have to put that on the backburner for a couple years. So lets go to a break and we’ll be right back. Here we go.
Susan Bratton: We’re back. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. We’re with Sharla Jacobs. She runs a company with her husband, Jesse Koren, called Rejuvenate Your Practice. She teaches people how to make money selling what they know. And she’s also created a 17 minute video for my DishyMix listeners where she tells you some of these kind of over arching things. You know, she came on once to do teleseminars, and now we’re really talking about content creation in this particular segment. But to stitch it all together Sharla made a 17 minute video for you. And you go to bit.ly/dishymix, ta-da, and you can get that video it’s free. There’s an opt-in probably, but other than that you’ll get on her mailing list, and if you don’t want to get on her mailing list you can unsubscribe, but Sharla gives a lot of great content so go capture that if you can. So that’s bit.ly/dishymix. Okay, so Sharla, we were talking before the break about what kind of content to create. You know, you’ve got a pretty big funnel you actually need to fill between free reports and auto responders and, you know, other kinds of free line content or money magnets – and you’ll probably need to explain to people what those are – as well as your core product and upsells and things like that. So what do you teach people, how do you get them to understand the big picture and how to approach getting what they know out into some form and what the right form is?
Sharla Jacobs: Well I love that you’re asking this question Susan and Jesse and I actually have kind of a unique story on how we got here because I’ve gone out and I’ve seen other information marketers teach how you do, you know, the free report and then you have this e-book and you know, these offers that are around $47 dollars and all these things, and we kind of, we did figure out a lot of this stuff on our own. And, you know, we kind of skipped the whole free report thing. We’ve got an interesting funnel, and you know, one of the things that we’ve done is really I guess just found the shortcut to the money, if that makes sense. And not for the sake of that’s how we started. I mean we started wanting to help people, and you know, if you’re in business you got to make money to stay in business, and so we just kind of figured the shortest path to that. And so that 17 minute video that you talk about is really about, you know, what are the components that you need to set up a business for six figures and beyond, and it’s really the big building blocks and kind of how we’ve done it. And the free report is in there but I just really love the free teleseminars and I just got to tell you I love free teleseminars. And when it comes to what type of a product should I create first, a lot of people are wondering, “Should I do books, CD set, video, which one is the best one, easiest one?”, and I want to explain the difference between them and why, you know, the one that I’m going to share with you is my favorite. So lets talk about books for a minute. They take a lot of time and energy to produce, and most of the books will sell for $20. Sure you’ll make a few bucks when you sell a book. There’s a whole, you know, learning how to be an author and selling a book is a whole, like it could take two years learning how to do that. And the big thing that is really important and I was actually talking with a friend of mine whose got a lot of friends who are big time authors, including the woman who published, or I’m sorry, is the agent for T.R. Becker and a lot of big time authors, and she won’t even take on a new client unless they have an email list of at least 50,000. So I don’t think books are the best place to start. We have a book, we sell it in the back of our room. Really it’s a lead generator. You know, we do this great thing where we sell in the back of our room and people buy four books and they give three away. I really think the only reason to do a book is for lead generation, unless you’ve got a big following, you’ve got a great platform, you know, you got great distribution and you’ve got that potential for that New York Times bestseller, and you’ve got a great back in and you’ve got a bunch of stuff you can sell once they get on your email list. The whole point of a book is to get people on your email lists. So that’s what books are for. I don’t recommend you start with them. Even if you do want to write a book I suggest that you do some work with people first and get your great case studies and really have a solid book that, you know, that a publisher is going to find very, very valuable and really see that you’ve got something unique and you know your stuff. So that’s my thoughts about books. Video, video is really expensive. It’s a super steep learning curve. I mean we’ve been screwing around with video for about a year now, and I finally just tried to figure it out on my own, I finally just hired somebody who knows what they’re doing, and we’re setting up our video studio right now, and video has got a very steep learning curve. It can also cost you as much as $1000 a minute for video. Now video is really valuable. It’s seen as very valuable, but the cost of making high quality video really prohibits most people from doing it. Now how about a CD set, an information product that might be a CD set and a workbook? This is my favorite, and here’s why. It is very inexpensive to produce. The markup is very high. Just as an example, our very first information product was a CD set. It was six years ago. It was three CD’s and a workbook. We spent $550 to go into somebody’s sound engineering studio, and they edited it and put it together. We had actually taken, honestly taken content from workshops and turned those into the workbook that accompanied and that’s really where the script came from. And we were, you know, at the time it cost us $15 to produce each one and we sold them for $97 each, and it was a pretty easy sale. We have a product called The Complete Hearts Link System and that’s 12 CD’s and, you know, like a 400 page workbook, and it really is a couple of our programs that normally you pay, you know, $3000 or $4000 to attend, but we put it together and each copy cost us about $60 to produce and we sold hundreds and hundreds of copies at $497. So that’s $432 of profit for per CD set. And, you know, just selling a hundred of those will make you $43,200 and we’ve sold hundreds of them. So that’s an example, and I love CD sets and I’m going to tell you a little special thing that I really love ‘cause you know Susan, you know I love teleseminars. I love that you do a preview call, you do that teleseminar that sells – and I gave some content and, you know, some information on that in the last interview that we did – and you sell a four or five series teleseminar, like a teleseminar series, and you deliver that as a group program. If you’re doing it live people will, you can charge more for it, and people will be excited to be on the call live with you, and you can get Q&A, you can do an extra call that’s Q&A and you’ll actually get, see what more of the holes are. Produce that, do that a few times, and then go ahead and do a hard copy. You know, record it. You can even sell the recordings of the teleseminars that you do as part of the series, but you’ll just get more refined each time you do because you’ll find out more of the questions that people have. And that, you know, that really leads to another important concept that I haven’t talked about, which is pre-selling, and that’s the way that we do everything. You want to sell your stuff before you produce it. At least that’s my way about doing it, and it keeps you up at night. You might have some late nights and have to work a little bit harder, but it is the shortest path to the money and you do make sure that you’re not trying to sell something, you know… I’d hate for you to spend six months trying to produce some kind of an information product and then find out nobody wants it.
Susan Bratton: So how do you… I mean I understand you can do it with teleseminars, but what’s the timeframe like? You call it the simple secret to getting your info product paid before you create it.
Sharla Jacobs: Yes.
Susan Bratton: That just scares the crap out of me Sharla. I’m way too buttoned down for that. Like I can’t start to launch anything until I have it all created, and I don’t mind going back and fixing it or adding things or updating things or whatever, but this whole idea, I hear this a lot. I mean, Eben says it too, just get it started and then fill it in as you go, and I’m thinking to myself “I’d have an ulcer if I did that.” Do you know what I mean? Like that doesn’t feel authentic to me. So…
Sharla Jacobs: Sure.
Susan Bratton: what are you saying? Maybe you’re not really saying what I think you’re saying.
Sharla Jacobs: Well, you know, and maybe and it’s kind of a funny thing Susan ‘cause you and I just might have very different personalities. I don’t do anything unless people have already paid me for stuff. I mean, I don’t.
Susan Bratton: I’m working for free damn it.
Sharla Jacobs: I just don’t. I just as an example, we’re having a big mastermind retreat just for our graduates in December, and I’ve, you know, written the outline, we’ve made the offer, we sold a bunch of seats for it. I haven’t actually started on the script, you know, like the content of it. I know, I kind of know what it is ‘cause I’m teaching stuff I know. I mean and I guess that’s a piece that if you’re teaching stuff you know then you can feel really confident with pre-selling, because you can sell something and, you know, you have to write your copy. You have to write your sales letter. And I think, you know, going over to the bit.ly/dishymix, going to that and putting in your name and your email address you’re going to see that 17 minute video at the top and right below it is the sales letter for our Leverage Your Genius home study course. And I think it’s a pretty elegant sales letter, it gives a lot of value, it almost reads, you know, like a free report and it also is answering a lot of the concerns, and I think it’s a really well put together sales letter. So you have to write your sales letter if you’re going to pre-sale something, so you’re actually going to be creating your outline and putting your thing together before. It’s almost like it’s almost done. Does that make sense?
Susan Bratton: I see what you mean because I agree that by the time you actually go through the process of writing a sales letter or coming up with your, you know, your pitch for the product you’ve figured out what the solution is, you know. You figured out what the problem is that you’re solving. You’ve figured out what the top three pain points are, ‘cause they go in your sales letter. You know, you’ve essentially, you’ve created the frame of the product. I do remember that I created, I think it was, Talk Show Tips was the first information product that I ever wrote. I wrote Talk Show Tips first. Then I wrote the sales page. Then I had to go back into the product and add a few things ‘cause I realized that when I was solving their problem I hadn’t completely solved it with the product itself, so I do understand that.
Sharla Jacobs: You’re right. My copy, I always write my copy before I create something, always. And we’ve just done it that way. So, you know, that’s how I’m wired. Again, I wouldn’t do anything unless I’d already been paid for it. I just am a procrastinator. I mean just naturally that’s the way I’m wired, so I know that about myself. If you, you know, if you’re not in a hurry and you don’t… I mean we bootstrapped our who business, you know, so we’ve always been like what’s the next product, what’s the next program, our clients have asked us. You know, we start out teaching people how to build a private practice and we still have a program that teaches people how to have those one on one conversations to have a client talk themselves into working with you, what’s a good match, and when our clients started getting great results and filling their business, they were going, “Well what the heck do I do now? I’ve got a whole practice. I’m tired.” And honestly that’s part of where the Leverage Your Genius program came out of was just listening to that, listening to what they said they wanted. I mean everything we’ve done has been listening to what our clients want and then pre-selling it.
Susan Bratton: It makes sense. I see what you’re saying about it now. So in the remaining couple of minutes that we have left can you just take us from “I think I might have a product idea” to as many steps as you can tell us that a person’s going to have to go through. And they can come to Leverage Your Genius, they can come to your events, they can buy your products to do all this; I’m just really looking for like that kind of high level. Not all the detail, but just that high level, like, okay, so you’re still with us 30 minutes later listening to Sharla. You’re still thinking to yourself you might have something to solve somebody’s problem with. What do you do next? That’s what I would like to hear.
Sharla Jacobs: Yeah, the first thing that I would do is I would start interviewing people and start making sure that your concept – and this is a really tough for most people – you really got to get out of your own way and you really got to listen. You got to be just deeply curious about other people and their language and write it down. So really interview, like what are the biggest challenges that they’re having? What are they looking for most? What’s keeping them up at night that relates to your topic? That’s the first piece. The second piece is, you know, develop a concept, like what’s the title going to be? Kind of run that by people. Start to think about next. Once you’ve got a concept start to think about if you’re going to develop this thing and, you know, give it an outline and put it into, say, five modules – lets just say that for example – what would those big chunks be? What are the big chunks that you would teach? If you get that far you’ve probably got a pretty good concept. If people are interested, they’re leaning in, they’re excited, they say they might buy it, you could actually go ahead in conversations and try pre-selling the thing. That’s what I would do if it were me. You know, people really vote with their dollars. They might say “I’m interested in that”, but the question is would they buy it. And then once you have those kind of the five big blocks then start writing your bullets, start getting into your sales copy. You got to learn copywriting, you know, whether it’s from us or someone else. I have a great recommendation, irresistiblewriting.com, that’s Vrinda Normand, and she’s really for more like if your market is more of the softer market, more of the heart based entrepreneur. She’s just, you know, she doesn’t do that hit you over the head with the cheesy cold hard cash kind of language. So if you feel like you want to actually have more authentic sales copy, she’s a great, great, just a great, great teacher and I’ve learned a lot. She’s actually a former student of ours and I’ve learned a ton from her. So you’ve got to write your copy. And then start to really look at what are the channels that you’re going to sell this through. You know, I love joint venture partnerships. I love doing the teleseminars where I’m interviewed for somebody else’s list and I’m able to give value and sell my product on that call. There’s a, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a very, very eloquent art to be able to sell through teleseminars. You’ve got to be trained, and you know, we train you how to do that. Also my friend Lisa Sasovich from The Invisible Clothes is phenomenal at teaching people how to sell through teleseminars. And, you know, so if you’re going to do that, if you’re going to do pay-per-click, SEO, how are you going to sell this thing, how are you going to get it out there? You’ve got to really figure that out because that’s the most important thing. You could have the most beautiful wonderful amazing product in the world but if you don’t get distribution, if you don’t have people coming to your website to buy it, if you get no traffic… You’ve got to figure out where your traffic’s going to come from. So I think that’s a pretty good checklist. What do you think Susan?
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I think it is too, and the only other thing that I would add to it is I think you have to maybe at the end of the line, what really happens is you wake up one day and you say to yourself, “Wow, I’m making money and I’m actually not an information product marketer. Like, I’m a guru, yeah, and I’ve written stuff, yeah, and people buy it, yeah. But it turns out I’m an email marketer.” I think no matter what, whether you do JV’s or you do teleseminars or you do PPC you’re still grabbing peoples email names and you’re still marketing your products and others. So you wake up one day and you go, “Oh, I thought I was an information product marketing publisher but I’m actually an email marketer who does affiliate marketing for other peoples stuff that I think my list would like too ‘cause I simply can’t write all of this stuff myself.”
Sharla Jacobs: That’s right.
Susan Bratton: That’s what you end up being, you end up being an affiliate marketer using email.
Sharla Jacobs: Yeah, absolutely. That’s absolutely true, and there’s one other piece about this that I think is so important and a lot of people miss this. You’ve got to have a business that surrounds this whole thing. You’re not going to make a whole lot of money by putting a $49 e-book out there on the web. You just, you might make a little bit, but you’ve got to think about what is your backend. Do you want to lead more, do you want to lead group programs or get people together and you teach them stuff? Are you going to have a continuity program where people pay monthly and they get value from you every month? Are you going to do workshops and seminars? I mean honestly the main focus of mine and Jesse’s business, we are a training company. We lead 18 live events a year, and some of those are more of a sales event and, you know, some of those are more backend delivery. I mean they’re all sales events ‘cause that’s what, you’ve got to really always be marketing and always delivering value at the same time in this business. But that’s why we have a million dollar company is because of those backend events. Our information marketing is, you know, maybe a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, but it’s part of what gets people into our funnel and drives people to the workshops that we offer, and that’s really where the big money is. And so I really want you to think about, as you’re listening to this, what’s the point, because you’re, you know, it’s not just like you’re going to do this and make passive income; you still have to figure out the newest best technology, the best ways of marketing, you know. People change all the time, the marketing tactics change. You’ve got to stay up to date with these things. I mean social media is so big now, you’ve got to include it in your marketing plan and you’re in good hands with Susan. And you’ve got to really figure out what’s you’re backend, and so that’s the point of it. Are you really going to make money with this thing?
Susan Bratton: I like Kevin Wilkies Nitro Marketing formula for the backend, like figuring out your whole product funnel so that, yeah, oh sure, it’s nice that you have a $27 or a $47 e-book, of which you’re going to give 75 percent of that to your partners, you know, and you’re going to get $5 back but you’re going to get a name on your list, and how are you going to leverage that into your upsell funnel. And I think, I don’t know who else you think is good, but I really like Kevin. I actually think I’ll call him and see if he wants to come on the show…
Sharla Jacobs: Great idea.
Susan Bratton: ‘cause I actually like that Nitro Marketing product funnel concept that he has.
Sharla Jacobs: That’s great, that’s great. And you know, ours is just a little bit different. I mean we, our real front end are the teleseminars and the interviews, and you know, if you’re a talker and you love being interviewed and you want to be a personality and you really want to be seen as a guru, then I would go that direction. If you want to be a little bit more behind the scenes you might want to go with more of an e-book and, you know, one of the lower end products. There’s different models and you just really have to figure out what’s right for you.
Susan Bratton: Exactly, what kind of content do you like to create? How do you like to get the information that’s in your head out to another person? How do you teach best? And that is definitely a big part of it too. Well Sharla, thank you so much as always adding a ton of value for the universe. And I just wanted to go over the video that you have on your sales page one more time. Just give people a little bit, you know, 17 minutes of video, that’s a big ask. That’s not a small offer, right?
Sharla Jacobs: Right.
Susan Bratton: So if they go to bit.ly/dishymix and they see this Leverage Your Genius they’ll get to see your sales letter, which is awesome. And what’s the video about?
Sharla Jacobs: So the video is about how to set up your business for six figures and beyond, and really how do you set up your funnel, what are the different components that you need to be thinking about that if you miss any of them it’s really not going to be a business that’s going to work for you. It’s really how do you make money in this business. And I really go through the different components and show you, you know, the model using teleseminars of, you know, what gets people on your list, how do they say yes, and then what are you going to sell on the backend and some different options for that. So it’s a really powerful video, and the other thing that’s on there are the ten strategies for setting up your information product business, and you need all ten of them. So if you’re even curious and you just want to know what those ten big building blocks are for setting up your information product business, it’s part of our sales letter and it’s part of the way that we give value. I think it’s also a great model of the sales letter that gives value and moves potential client closer to saying yes. So that’s what you’re going to get on the other side of that bit.ly/dishymix.
Susan Bratton: Perfect! Thank you for more of a description. It’s always good to hear it from you, rather than me. All right, Sharla Jacobs, Rejuvenate Your Practice, and I hope you’ll go check out all of Sharla’s work. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of DishyMix talking more about how you can take what you know and turn it into at least active income. Sharla, thanks for coming on the show.
Sharla Jacobs: So welcome.
Susan Bratton: All right, I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Have a great day and I will talk to you next week. Take care.