Why is everyone launching info products and how to successfully create one? 0 645

Unless you have managed to totally disconnect from the online world since the beginning of 2020, you will have noticed that, in recent months, everyone seems to be launching one or more info products. These products aim to provide well-crafted explanations, through a variety of domains, delivered in a simple and digestible way.

Wherever you look, someone is advertising a new online course, a podcast series, a free or paid ebook, the updated version of a digital workshop, or several video tutorials.

For a brand, it can be a case of raising awareness or upselling a product.

For freelancers, an info product can become a sizeable income stream as, every time someone signs up for a paid info product, its creator will be the one retaining the majority of the amount charged.

The topics, as you would imagine, are as wide as the web itself.

From detailed steps on how to rank on Google; running a Facebook ad campaign for the first time; creating a Youtube Channel; learning to do your own PR; launching your own fashion label; becoming an Influencer; or, building a marketing funnel – to name just a few – chances are you will find info products out there for almost every need.

As someone working with influencers on a regular basis, I have never seen so many creators turning their hands to developing content that helps others – and charging for it.

However, before spending time and resources creating an online product, what are the tangible results that should be expected in a very competitive digital world?

Recently I set out to learn golden tips from the experts in helping brands diversify their digital portfolio, and from those ones who had already launched their own info products, and here is what you should watch out for if you want your info products to be successful.


Test it with a small group

“To avoid wasting time or money, sell your info product to a group of testers before you create any of it. This serves three purposes: it ensures you have a product that people are willing to pay for, it allows you to modify or add content as you are getting real-time feedback and, finally, it creates motivation to complete it!”

Joanne Mosellen – Online business coach


Aim to establish trust

“There are a number of ways you can create an online course, but I find using software like Thinkific is easiest – just upload your content and it will help you format your content into a learning dashboard. However, as there are a lot of really terrible courses and ebooks on the web at moment, to be successful you need to establish trust by including real testimonials on your sales page, offering a money-back guarantee, and even giving away a sample chapter or lesson of your course so individuals can get a sneak peek.”

Meg Marrs – Founder of online dog training course K9 of Mine


Be authentic and provide value

“I just launched a YouTube channel called “Millennial Tips for Small Businesses” because I felt powerless as my company Cropsticks Inc. took an 85% loss due to the pandemic.  We provide commodity products for the foodservice and hospitality industry. So, on my new YouTube channel, I share any business resources I have found with other small business owners.  Just 2 weeks in and 700 views down, I feel more powerful than ever because Cropsticks feels seen.  Our story was covered in a local magazine, a national retailer reached out after seeing the video, and I even secured a partnership with TikTok. Most importantly, I feel like I’m truly helping my community. It’s worth putting yourself out there but, as you do it, be authentic and provide value to your audience.  Ask yourself, is this information I am glad to have learned?

Mylen Yamamoto – Creator and Founder of chopsticks.co


Finding your niche is key for an info product’s success

“You need to focus on the relevant market and provide a product that is legitimately helpful to people looking to succeed in it. Always invest time and efforts in continued product creation and dedication to quality. And for those doubting, don’t get down on yourself or your knowledge. Something you consider basic can be exactly the piece of knowledge another person is dying to have.”

Rob Level – CEO at Smart Rapper – Online Education for Rappers and Recording Artists


Hire a good content writer to get traffic

“We launched a suite of digital workshops for new remote workers and haven’t paid for any ads to bring traffic to the site. Instead, we have invested time and money into writing content that is so helpful and original that it has driven enough organic traffic to keep us more than busy. For example, we hired a writer to create 51 unique icebreaker questions to kick off a meeting and it performed extremely well”.

Michael Alexis – CEO at teambuilding.com

Why is everyone launching info products and how to successfully create one?

Distance education and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are increasing demand for information products.

Carefully plan your sales page

“The barrier to entering the info product market is practically non-existent, as anyone can use free resources to produce, distribute, and earn money from an info product that can be sold over and over again, with little to no further investment, once it is created. However, as enticing as all of that sounds, consider the way you plan to drive traffic to the info product sales page. I see people spending a lot of time and energy creating a course or other digital products; however, without being able to drive customers to the sales page, they can’t make any money”.

Ian Kelly – VP Operations at NuLeafNaturals


Spreading knowledge leads to endless opportunities

“Your first info product should be about a topic that you can have hours’ worth of conversations with a stranger about, the subjects that makes your blood pumping with excitement. Take time to study how the content of other info Products similar to yours are creatively presented in a practical way.

Info products are a great way to spread knowledge that you feel strongly about and to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. You never know where your brand might end up and who might see your brand. It could lead to endless opportunities, as long as you put the time in and get better over time.”

Erin Rodriguez – Founder of dripacademy.org

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

How NOT to promote your Instagram if you want it to grow 0 529

Every business regularly spending time creating and adding content to an Instagram account has two things in mind: sales and growth. In the beginning, every new follower is celebrated, and engagement is followed closely.

However, not all businesses are the same, and nor is it a new Instagram account. Starting to see tangible results on social media can take a while, leading some small business owners and digital marketers to try and get ahead of the game.

From buying followers – a tried and tested technique that can seriously harm your Instagram – to binge posting, mass following, and other hidden ways of gathering more followers and leads. I have seen it all. The more desperate a new business or a novice social media professional is to get to the top of the social media pyramid, the more likely they are to fall into traps promising instant fame and money.

Here, 10 entrepreneurs, content creators, digital consultants, and even a magician share 10 hacks to avoid while promoting your business on Instagram.


1. Follow/Unfollow

“The worst hack is using some sort of automated application or Chrome extension (like Everliker) to gather followers through automatic following/unfollowing. On the one hand, it works…for a while. But the users you get from such techniques, for the most part, don’t actually engage with your content. This is also a great way to get your account temporarily or permanently suspended, as Instagram heavily monitors and cracks down on such abuse.”

Jay Andrew Allen – Technical Writer


2. Posting for the sake of it

“One Instagram hack or myth that should be busted is that you need to post every single day.

While consistency is key to keeping yourself visible, it doesn’t mean you need to post everyday. Curating an Instagram account is all about quality and not quantity. If you can post a quality image only 4 times a week then

That is better than several poor-quality posts per day. However, make sure you keep that weekly habit in place.

Mollie Newton – Founder at www.petmetwice.com


3. To use someone’s comment section to promote yourself

“There are several approaches that are not effective for promoting your Instagram. A few things that I see most newbies doing is spamming other accounts’ comment sections with self-promo and having no posting strategy at all.”

Brianna Desira – Content creator at www.girlhustlers.org


4. To buy cheap ads in countries with no potential clients

“I am based in San Francisco, however, when I first started using social media I bought lots of ads in Egypt. I did this because, for a long time, they had the cheapest cost per click. Over time I learnt that buying ads in countries your potential customers were not in is a waste of resources. On top of this, it also skewed who saw my future ads.”

Daniel Chan – Award-winning magician at www.danchanmagic.com


5. Aiming your content at the wrong audience

“I’ve known some companies tapping millennial influencers for IG growth but seem oblivious to the fact that it just won’t work because they’re in the wrong market. Millennials are, by nature, true digital natives. They’ve learned to know which brands to trust and which ones to avoid. They understand how brands are marketing to them. So, they approach campaigns with scrutiny rather than enthusiasm. However, they will react well if the message is authentic, if the product or service is valuable, and if the brand isn’t too pushy. Because of this, the best way to market to them is to avoid being overly aggressive and straight-in-your-face. It’s the reason why influencer marketing has become big business in the first place on Instagram.”

Michael Hamelburger – CEO at Expense Reduction Group.


6. Buying fake followers

“The worst technique that you could possibly use to promote your Instagram account is to buy fake followers.

By doing this, there is no promise of user engagement or promotion of your business. Essentially, most of these

accounts are bots or fake personas created for the sole purpose of inflating your follower count. Not only are these followers useless, but the spammy visuals often associated with these accounts is sure to deter potential customers away.”

Tom Mumford – Co-founder of Undergrads Moving


7. Promoting your Instagram while commenting on someone else’s content

“The worst hack that I have observed on Instagram is people engaging with others in the community with a reference back to their profile. This means commenting on a post with some valuable information, then ruining this connection by referring straight back to your profile. The comment with the valuable information is ok, but the reference back to your profile is not fine. In fact, this is considered spam by Instagram.”

Anjana Wickramaratne – Social Media Marketing Manager at Inspirenix Digital Marketing


8. Following people with the sole intention of selling to them

“One of the worst techniques I’ve seen is mass following, then immediately sending a copy/pasted sales message. Then, unfollowing a day later.

This approach will leave you disconnected from long term growth & authentic connection! Plus, it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. This hack is even worse as people do it so often. I’ve seen people follow/unfollow multiple times. This world is smaller than you think!

Sara Tea – DJ and Creative Consultant


9. Following everyone is not a strategy

“As the founder of a website, I made promoting my business my main responsibility. I do it on every platform that is willing to help, especially on social media. However, not all tips and techniques that can be found online can give an advantage to your business. For example, following everyone who follows you. More often than not, they are just following you so they can tag you in their posts to widen their reach. To prevent this, do not follow every account that follows you.”

Samantha Moss – Editor & Content Ambassador at www.romantific.com


10. Off topic comments is a no-no

“One of the tackiest tactics to get more followers and likes on Instagram is commenting on something completely irrelevant under the photos of other Instagram users just to get more attention.  I’ve seen a lot of smaller accounts try to comment completely ridiculous things under the photos of celebrities and popular influencers to try to get people in the comments to follow them. Commenting under popular photos and videos for the sole purpose of getting more followers is not just tacky, but it can also anger the person who posted the content.”

Liz Jeneault – Influencer and VP of Marketing at product review website www.faveable.com


Bonus tip – Using someone’s content without crediting it

“Our Instagram account is popular because it reposts content from customers, including celebrities, that use our products. These products include vehicle restoration projects and custom cars. Hence, reposted photos of those transformed cars always help grow our Instagram. However, a mistake you don’t want to make when sharing other people’s content is not properly crediting the person who made or owns that content. When you don’t properly credit customers or creators for their content, you are increasing your chance of frustrating others and potentially getting reported. You also want to properly credit people for their content on Instagram because those people will often share the reposts that you tag them in, which can help your account gain more followers.”

Sturgeon Christie – Auto industry expert and the CEO at www.secondskinaudio.com

Emily in Paris 0 822

5 reasons why Emily in Paris could not be an influencer in real life

In a year that people would rather fast-forward their lives, Netflix’s easy to watch ‘Emily in Paris’ has achieved an impressive entry on the list of the streaming platform’s 10 most watched shows. The plot is far from elaborate: An American millennial goes to work in Paris even though she cannot speak a word of French,  falls in love with the city, its cuisine, and its men – oh, and on the way, she also becomes an overnight influencer without much effort.

Created by Darren Star, the same man behind HBO’s Sex and the city (1998 – 2004), “Emily in Paris” stars Grammy and Tony nominated actress Ashley Park, and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones’ Lily Collins (who was also executive producer).  The series was shot in France last year, from August to November, in a pre-Covid era when people could still go out and maintain normal lives.

It is hard to realistic place Emily as a normal girl. She is perhaps the only twentysomething American with just 58 followers to be transferred abroad to work in a marketing agency. Even more bizarre, she is taking a post at what must be the only marketing agency in the world without any social media accounts, which makes it even harder to imagine the character thriving as a content creator.

Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of content creators and brands in Asia, Europe and America. So, believe me when I say that although the influencer marketing ROI is higher than most traditional sales approaches, it is way more complex than it looks. 

Here are the five main reasons why Emily in Paris could not be an influencer in real life.


Zero interaction

Emily is often impressed by the number of people finding her account, for no obvious reason, and following her, for no obvious reason, either. However, she doesn’t make any effort to check who those people are, nor to interact with them. Despite the fact that her Instagram goes from a few dozen followers at the series pilot, to thousands of people following her short posts once she starts sharing her Parisienne life in later episodes, Emily never replies to a comment or leaves even an emoji on others’ accounts.

Ask any real-life content creator and they will tell you how many interactions they have to create every day to keep people commenting and sharing their content. From a simple ‘thank you’ to a more detailed reply, influencers can’t afford to simply ghost post. Ghost posting is an expression created to describe people who disappear after uploading their content, instead of interacting with followers within the first few minutes of their content going live – these are the crucial minutes that will make or break a piece of content on social media.


No planning whatsoever

Emily is a free spirit in a new city and posts away with the same carefree attitude. here is no content planning. Emily just creates her next post in an improvised way. 

In real life, influencers spend hours planning their content. This includes crafting great captions, creating outstanding photos and videos, and meticulously planning what time they will post based on research and a deep understanding of their own Instagram insights. Knowing their followers well and what time they are most likely to be online is the key difference between content performing well or falling flat.


Ignoring Instagram’s tolls

In Emily’s world, it is good enough to post on the main grid. She lives in an unrealistically simple digital world.

In the real world, all tolls released by the Facebook-owned platform over the past decade massively help to drive engagement. We know that the protagonist is aware of Instagram Live, as we see Emily watching a live stream of her friend, Mindy, singing in a bar. However, she doesn’t explore Instagram Live while creating her own content, nor does she use stickers, location tags, filters, or any other available tolls.


No video content

Although Mademoiselle Emily works in marketing, she blatantly ignores the fact that, according to a survey by Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT and networking solutions, by 2022 online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. 

The changes in the way people consume video content is a forecast widely spread across the marketing industry. So much so that, a few years back, while outreaching content creators to be part of a new campaign, I would often be asked in which format the brand expected them to post – as they had different fees. 

Video content takes longer to be created and approved; therefore, it commands a higher price. The difference is that in 2020 most influencers are posting in any possible format to maximize their reach. So, instead of negotiating a static post, savvy content creators are now more likely to offer brands a package that will include videos, stories, Instagram reels and, in some cases, even blog entries and cross promotions. With the latter, the influencer would also post across different social media channels.  


No follow up

Influencers spend a reasonable amount of time doing something that only a few people see: following up with brands. Once they land a collaboration, be it paid or in exchange for a free product to review online, the partnership doesn’t end once the post is up on social media. In fact, this is actually only half-way through the process. Within the first hours of a branded content going live, often people will ask specific questions that will require the content creator to liaise with the sponsor to answer them. The more related to the post, the better the engagement. Companies and their marketing agencies also expect influencers to follow up with them, after a while, to share content insights (how many people interacted, how many clicked the promotional link etc). It is worth spending some time doing it properly and in a professional way because that follow up will allow brands to decide if a content creator is a good fit to work on future campaigns.


All 10 episodes of Season 1 of “Emily in Paris” are now available on Netflix. 

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