The fact is, doing this information marketing stuff is really easy. It's just as easy as all those guru guys make it sound. Maybe even easier. If you don't agree with that statement, YOU'RE the one making it much harder than it has to be. I know that because I used to be just like you... But there's a cure for that and I'm going to share it with you now.
Here's the simple secret formula:
"Learn It. Do It. Teach It."
I forget where I heard it first, but it's one of those things that just sounds like it makes sense. It's catchy, and tends to stick in your head. Even though I didn't get it at the time I heard it many years ago, I remembered it.
But now, as I sit here outlining the info product I'm working on, the phrase is really resonating with me in a way it hasn't before. I wanted to take a break to share my small epiphany with you all here.
For years now, I've just thought of that phrase as just a cliched proverb kind of thing. "A penny saved...", "A stitch in time...", "A watched pot..." - But I was tricked by its simplicity, and I'm only just now realizing its incredible power and potency.
It's not just a fortune cookie reject. It's a self-contained business plan. It's how you go from a loser to a guru. It's how you go from broke to rich.
How? Just follow the formula: Learn It, Do It, Teach It.
Let's break it down bit by bit.
Step 1: Learn It. Learn ANYTHING - do a little research, spend a little time on the subject. But it should be something action based. Learn something you can DO. Learn HOW to do whatever it is. Learn the theory, the steps to execution, etc. It doesn't matter what the subject is, but it needs to be something actionable. This is important.
What happens if you don't learn something actionable? Nothing. You're going to get frozen up at this step. Paralysis by Analysis. The Fallacy of Information. You'll just learn and research endlessly, but never take action and get something done.
So take my advice, learn something executable, and as soon as possible, go to the next step. 79% of people who try to get into IM never make it past this point. Don't be like them.
Step 2: Do It. Execute on what you learn. It's time to take that knowledge and turn it into experience. See, knowledge is valuable by itself. There's no doubt about that. However, if you plan to achieve that position of expertise, that envied position of being able to get people to BUY things from you, just because you suggest they do... knowledge isn't enough.
The reason why is simple. If all you can do is repeat the knowledge you've gathered elsewhere, you've got no value to offer. You can trade on pure knowledge but you get by only by taking advantage of others. You're either taking advantage of their laziness (can't be bothered to look it up themselves), their hurriedness (just don't have the time to look it up themselves), or their ignorance (by masking the sources of your knowledge and pretending it's your own). None of those actions will do your karma any good.
And you can totally spot people who try to do this. They don't pass the sniff test. They just repeat what they heard like a pea-brained parrot, and they have no value to provide to anyone. They need to rely on a constant stream of new customers, because none of their current ones are satisfied with the recycled, re-hashed knowledge they've overpaid for. These "pseudo-gurus" are no more valuable than the source they learned from (which was usually free). Charging a premium for repackaging free information is predatory.
To be legitimate (not just to feel it, but to be perceived that way by others, you need experience, too. Experience literally doubles the value of your knowledge. It's the only real way to create new knowledge, if you stop to think about it. Now, after step 2, the things you know are not just theory. They become FACT. It's not just something that might happen. It happened. Now, when you repeat what you know, it's your story, and you've added substantial value to it.
And here's the fantastic part about step 2. You don't even need to succeed! Going through the process and failing has value, too!
Upon being asked about the 99 failures he'd had when perfecting the light bulb, Thomas Edison said that he'd made no failures. He'd simply discovered 99 ways to make a light bulb that definitely did not work.
That's profound for you and me.
You see, we often only think that a huge success is what it takes to make it as a big time guru. But it takes failure too. You can't just know what works. You have to know what doesn't work, what's a waste of time, and what will end up costing more than it makes.
Now about 19% of IMers never make it beyond this phase. Some fail. Some of those who fail quit IM altogether and give up the dream. Some keep their hope intact, but retreat back to step 1 and very likely get stuck there for good. And a rare few keep at it until they stop failing and succeed.
Ask any successful entrepreneur how many times they failed before they had their huge successes. I guarantee every single one has a long, LONG list of failure stories. No one who slams it out of the park on the first try can keep that success up for long. Why? They don't know what mistakes to avoid. That's one reason why failing is good.
The big reason why it's okay to fail - the reason why experience is valuable no matter what the outcome...
...is because it makes you better at the next step.
Step 3: Teach It. This is where only the rarest 2% will push it, and this is where extraordinary personal fortunes are made. This is the level above successful - this is the guru level.
If you want people to know, like and trust you - if you want to be able to influence your own "herd" of loyal followers and profit from them, you need to be able to provide a genuine value to them. And you can do this by being a balanced and well rounded expert. You don't just know what works, you can tell them what to watch out for. You know the good and the bad. And you know what? Having made mistakes is humanizing, and that helps build a rapport with your followers.
And that rapport is how you're able to make fat affiliate checks.
Now, I know some of you are probably getting upset with me calling people "herds" and talking about making fat checks off them. How can I turn around and say that, when I was coming down on the inexperienced "pseudo-guru" just two steps ago. Bad karma, indeed!
But see, this is different. Because you aren't just talking out of your ass. You've really done this stuff. You can make truly valuable recommendations because you have the benefit of real experience. You actually know (with factual certainty) what you're talking about. You don't just talk the talk. You've walked the walk. You're legit. Bona fide.
And you might have a "herd" and they may behave just like sheep, going wherever the shepherd leads... But you've got the experience needed to tend to that flock. The bad shepherd ends up with nothing but dried up old lamb chops. You eat the sheep once, and that's it. No more sheep.
The good shepherd, on the other hand, can keep his flock happy and healthy, and they willingly come to him to be sheared over and over. The shepherd makes a living off the wool, and the sheep get taken care of.
Now, I hope that analogy isn't too weird, but I think all of us here want to be "good shepherds", otherwise we'd be elsewhere scamming people, or hanging out on black hat forums, right?
Now that's the process, but before I move on, you need to realize this isn't just a once-through process. It's a loop. Even better, it's a compounding loop. What I mean is: You learn, do, then teach. But by teaching, you learn your subject better because you're the nexus of the experience of your many followers. You can apply your knowledge and experience vicariously, and that only increases your experience, but it drastically increases the perception that you're a guru-level expert. At that point, the loop starts over. Learn better. Do better. Teach better.
It goes on forever and ever.
Now that's all well and good, but that's just a process, not a business model. And I said I'd give you a business model here. You can take that process, put yourself through it, and start profiting immediately. Okay, okay. It's not immediate. You only have to go as far as Step 2 before you can profit.
Here's the business plan: Learn It. Do It. Teach It.
Duh! What? There are a couple of derived steps that fit in between.
Here it is with a couple of additional instructions:
> Record What You Did.
>> Sell It.
Charge To Teach It.
> Record What You Taught.
>> Sell It.
When I say "Record What You Did" I mean keep a journal, or screen capture yourself actually doing the task you learned about. This will be your very first product. If you're just going through this the first time, you might want to repeat the "Do It" step twice. Once to practice, and then once more to record your video, or refine the process if you're writing an e-book. If you're on your second or third pass through, you can probably be creating your product as you actually "do it" for the first time. Talk about maximum efficiency!
Moving on. I think when I say "Sell It" you know what I mean.
If you had a success at what you tried in Step 2, great! You can use that to sell it to people that want to make money. But even if you didn't make money with what you tried, you still did something. You can't make any claims about a financially gainful outcome, but lots of people might still find it useful.
For example, I spend a long time trying to get awesome at making automated blogs that made a killing with AdSense. I failed. I made the blogs easily, but I just wasn't making a ton off the ads. I decided to keep trying different things until I figured out a way to capitalize on the automated blog platform. I finally did succeed at that, and I'm moving to Step 3 as I type this.
But I didn't need to wait. I'm only realizing it now, but I could have completely left out the AdSense failure and created a product strictly about setting up automated blogs. Lots of people would have been interested, because lots of people would have had their own ideas about making money with it, or even just running it for fun. I missed an opportunity for profit, by not adapting and realizing the value in the experience I gained. Lesson learned.
Why did I fail at that point? It's because I didn't realize that levels of expertise are entirely relative. I'm not a blogging "expert", at least not to myself. There's plenty more to learn and try. I barely know anything, really. But I know more than most people. To them, I know a LOT more than they do. To them, I am an expert.
That's all an expert is - someone who knows more than you do about a subject you want to learn. If you're on any kind of path to knowledge, for every person you see in front of you that you aspire to, look behind you and realize that there are ten people who would look at you that way. Don't fall into the trap. Don't underestimate the value of your experience. Knowledge + Experience = Profitable Product. Period. (PPPPpppp!)
So we make a product. Boom. Moving on.
Technically, we've already eased into the "Teach It" phase. As we move into Step 3, all our followers are in Step 1, and just beginning their own journey. But now, you can really explode things and take it to the next level. Here you have the opportunity to actually teach.
Webinars, teleseminars, live coaching, membership site, continuity, etc. etc. I told you this was the Guru phase. This is where you demonstrate a higher degree of knowledge than your audience and you achieve instant expert status. Welcome to the guru club. Your reputation is made. You have superpowers. LOL!
Of course, you can charge for the teaching itself. I recommend you do. But don't forget to "Record What You Teach." Get that audio, get that video. Whether it's telephone audio over slides, or an actual on-camera of you teaching before a live seminar crowd - record it. That's your next product.
Now what's going to be really killer about this product is that you have the dual success of your first product, and your own league of followers who will recommend you, promote for you, and more importantly, buy again.
And this business plan is a cycle too. And even moreso than the actual process, the business plan starts looping back on itself pretty hard.
What I mean is, while you're selling your first product, you're already simultaneously Learning and Doing the whole "info marketing" thing. You've been recording that whole process too, haven't you? You should!
You know where this goes... Teach that now. Sell that now.
What do you think your asking price per product is when you reach this point? What do you think your consultation fee is? How about personal coaching?
How much money do you think you're making at this point?
How many people love every single thing you do because you're their "good shepherd"?
How many people are jealous because you're another one of those evil gurus! You're the "them" in their own personal "Us vs. Them" story.
Feels nice, right? Hell yeah!
That's enough teaching for me for tonight. Hopefully, I did an okay job and you learned something. Now go DO something and take your first step towards your own guru greatness.