When to give away the farm in information products

Several entrepreneurs were recently commenting on starting businesses featuring information products.

The main concern was whether they’d be giving away all their business secrets.

In the information age there are lots of people into Do-It-Yourself kinds of projects whether that’s remodeling a bathroom, filing for divorce, or even copywriting. The fortunate thing for most professionals is that more often than not, people just want to know how it’s done… they don’t want to do it themselves. Sometimes it takes a few tries to figure that out. I met a concrete flooring expert who said half of his work came from people who tried it themselves first.

Giving away information is the way to gain trust. If you don’t give it away, someone else will eventually. Intellectual property law will protect you for only so long before someone comes up with a cheap knock off.

If you’re a service professional, one goal with a product is to demonstrate to the world your expertise. That’s what many authors say anyway. Being a published author doesn’t pay what it used to. Now it’s often about getting your name out there.

Once you’ve demonstrated you’re an expert, the thing that people need is you. Anyone can swipe a winning sales letter and change enough for their own purposes. It’s the expertise that allows you to see the approach to take, which letter to swipe and how to adjust it for a particular audience.

In the end, you’re probably better off giving away the info. Of course test it.

3 Responses

  1. Correction: you’re better off giving it away at first. A standard drug dealer’s strategy. When they’re hooked, jack up the fees.

    We’ve already seen that in numerous infotech products and serivces. Less dishonest is to charge from the start. Possibly less likely to provoke to distruct when the rates are inevitably raised.

    I’m thinking of some of the better anti-virus products that used to be free.

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