If you’re looking to get your feet wet as an entrepreneur— or even just looking for a way to reinvigorate and boost your marketing— nothing beats a well-made small informational product. Whether it’s literally “sold” (as in for profit) or simply offered as a freemium or low-cost bonus to your audience, the small info product is easy to produce, easy to deliver, and easily one of the best returns on investment a small business can make.
Small informational products can take any number of forms. The most common are infographics, short e-books, and videos. Whatever the medium, anything that condenses and delivers valuable knowledge is hard for customers to pass up— especially when it costs them little or nothing. By giving your audience access to these kinds of products, you’re accomplishing two things: adding to your own credibility, and honing your sales skills.
Fortunately for online entrepreneurs everywhere, there are a number of services that make moving your small informational product a snap. The following is not sponsored content, folks; these are simply the best ways to get your product out to the public quickly and efficiently.
Gumroad is one of the best ways to offer this kind of product. This service isn’t about high volume or massive numbers. It’s a simple, beginner-minded website that allows anyone to post and sell quality content with zero hassle. It’s easy to embed the technology onto your own website (though if you want, you can have someone on fiverr.com do it for you). Gumroad not only handles the transaction, but actually delivers the product itself to your customer through a simple download page.
Using the Gumroad embed code, you can actually keep customers on your website rather than send them on to any third party’s, including Gumroad’s. Whether or not you prefer to keep the transaction on your site, Gumroad takes a 5% transaction fee. From my perspective, this is well worth it. The ability to forget about the transaction and delivery process is invaluable in the early phases of learning how to sell. Gumroad simply takes care of everything so that you can focus on your next product.
Pricing The Product
With small informational products, the purpose is less to make profits and more to provide proof of concept. If you can sell small, you can eventually sell big. If your expertise is valuable enough to gain traction, the small product will act as a stepping stone to greater things. Keep this in mind when choosing your product’s price point.
When deciding how much (if anything) to charge, aim low! When in doubt, simply make it a steal. Make it an undeniable bargain for anyone interested in your industry. The return on investment isn’t supposed to come through profit— it will come in the form of established credibility and sales experience. It will come in the form of an audience, grateful for whatever problem of theirs your product has solved.
Gumroad even features a “name your price” tool for customers to decide exactly how much they’re willing to pay for your product, with a minimum price set by you (Gumroad takes no fee on free products). To offer free videos, use Wistia, which features an option that requires customers to submit their email after the first minute or two of the video. Build your subscription list— and your reputation— by enticing your audience.
The No-Pressure Product
When it comes to small informational products, it’s safe (and effective) to simply have fun. Don’t sweat the minor details or the minute features of your product. Whether it’s an infographic, e-book, or video, don’t aim for perfection. Each unnecessary improvement can only delay the launch and increase your overhead. Insisting on waiting until you have the “ultimate” version of the product defeats the purpose: to engage in the act of monetizing your knowledge.
The small informational product should be the epitome of the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. It shouldn’t cost much time or money to produce, and it shouldn’t require too much effort to bring to the public. We’re not advocating laziness or carelessness— it’s simply a matter of understanding that the act of selling your expertise is the true value of the exercise. Improvements and innovations will come as you gain experience.
Be creative. Be willing to experiment. Be yourself. Create a minimum viable product, and teach yourself how to bring customers around to your real value as an expert. With practice, selling small can lead to very big things.