“How to Become an Infopreneur” – that’s the topic we tackled during a recent #ConnectChat featuring Andreea Ayers, CEO and founder of Launch Grow Joy. Writers are constantly looking to earn extra money on the side, or even make a living working from home full-time. One way is through freelance writing for various publications. Another way to generate income is by using one’s expertise to become an “infopreneur.”
An infopreneur is someone whose business is gathering and selling electronic information (“information” + “entrepreneur” = “infopreneur”). Some infopreneurs even eventually quit their day jobs to take on this self-managed role writing blog posts, consulting with clients, creating online courses, publishing books, speaking at events, etc.
In case you missed our chat, here is a recap:
First of all, how did you go about deciding what type of information you wanted to sell?
It was something other entrepreneurs were asking me for. I had a successful t-shirt business and others wanted to know more. People were emailing me asking how to market their t-shirt business, so I created online courses around that. I basically listened to what my audience was asking for and created that.
What are some things you should keep in mind while planning an online course?
Some things to keep in mind are:
- How long your course will be (how many modules/lessons)
- How much time you have to create it
- How you will deliver it
- What support *you* will personally offer to members
- How you will market it
- Who your ideal student is
- How you will deliver your course (live video/lessons vs. pre-recorded)
- What type of worksheets to offer along with the content
- Whether you will be on video or just your voice with slides
- How long your course will run
- How much to charge
- If admission to your course is ongoing, or only for a limited time
Have you had any prior teaching experience? And is this type of experience necessary?
I didn’t have any teaching experience before creating this course, and I don’t think it’s necessary to have experience. But it does help if you have a list of questions that you go into the course with – if you already have an audience. If not, think about the questions you would want answers to if you were to purchase a course around that topic.
What type of programs/services/apps did you use to create your online course?
- Wishlist Member to password protect the course materials
- Camtasia for Mac to record my screen and voice at the same time
- Infusionsoft for my shopping cart and to charge members for admissions to the course
- Social media and my own email list to promote and market the course
- Affiliate marketing partners to help me spread the word about the course
- OptimizePress to design my own sales pages when I first started (now I use a designer to design my sales page and members area, but that is not necessary to do when you first start).
How do you know how much to charge people for your services as an infopreneur?
It really depends on:
- How long your course is
- How much you will be involved in supporting members
- How long your videos are
- How many lessons you have
- If it’s a text-only course, or if it’s a live course
For example, I have charged anywhere from $47 to $1,997 for my courses. For $97, my members got 5-6 video lessons and no personal support from me. For $1,997, my course had 30+ videos, over 20 worksheets, support from me through our closed Facebook group. The more content and personal support your course has, the more you can charge.
What do you think is key to getting an audience to trust your advice?
I think the best thing is to establish trust *before* you launch your course by providing free and relevant content.
After your clients make a payment, which platform do you use to share your course videos – live and pre-recorded?
I use Wishlist Member to deliver the content, along with hosting the videos on Amazon S3. Some other platforms are Memberium, OptimizePress, MemberMouse, Wistia or Vimeo. I’ve also seen other infopreneurs use Facebook video and groups to deliver their course content. They were closed Facebook groups.
Other than through online courses and books, how else can an infopreneur generate revenue?
You can also generate revenue through:
- Speaking opportunities
- Live events that you organize
- Promoting other infopreneurs’ courses as an affiliate (where you receive a percent of sales)
- Having a blog or a podcast and getting sponsors or advertisers
- Creating a membership site and providing weekly or monthly live Q&A or trainings
How do you go about charging people you know or your friends?
Great question! You can either offer them a special price in exchange for their feedback on your course, or you can let them know that you put in X # of hours in your course and you have to charge everyone the same price. But interestingly, most people who end up paying for your course will not be people you know. I am a huge fan of charging what you are worth *regardless* of who is actually purchasing your programs.
Which do you prefer: live web courses or pre-recorded videos, and why? Also, which has proven more success?
I prefer pre-recorded videos because you can share more info that way and your members can watch it in their own time. Also, I think you can also offer a live Q&A with your pre-recorded courses to answer any questions your members have. With a live Web course, people might feel like they are missing out if they can’t attend live.
With pre-recorded videos, you can also break things down into bite-sized videos (10-15 min) to make it less overwhelming for your members. But with live Web courses, you have to cram a lot of info into one or two hours and it can get overwhelming for people. I think that you can also charge more for a pre-recorded course, because you can share a lot more info.
What is the *biggest* problem you’ve ever run into as an infopreneur?
The biggest problem I’ve ran into is not knowing whether your course is going to sell as you expected. In one word, the “fear” that holds you back when you think “what if no one signs up or buys this?” But, if you believe in yourself and if you create something that fills a need *and* if you market it well, people will buy. Also, the technology is always changing, so keeping up with tools/apps is important too.
And for our last #ConnectChat question: If you could offer one more *major* piece of advice to aspiring infopreneurs, what would it be?
Your course will not be *perfect* the first time, so don’t wait to launch it until you think it’s perfect. Launch it anyway and through feedback from your students/members you can improve it as you go along.
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Melissa Ibarra is an online community services specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources. In the past, she has worked for CBS Sports and News 12 NJ and done freelance reporting for New Jersey News Room and Reel Reporting. She specializes in social media, graphic design, and video production. Follow her media journey @melibarraTV.