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an increase academy whitepaper
An Inside Look At a 20k/mo Info Business With Zero Overhead
A Realistic Look Inside a 20k/mo Info Business - With Next to Zero Overhead
Why we're in an info-product resurgence, what strategies are working today, and what you should do now to tap into the gold mine!
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Why we're in an info-product resurgence, what strategies are working today, and who should tap into the gold mine.

Written By Sean Vosler

Founder Increase Academy
Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the concept of “Information Products”, even if they haven't considered creating one. It’s a wide-ranging product category that encompasses everything from a few dollar Kindle book to a $50,000 masterminds. 

In recent years it seems like everyone and their stepmother has dove head first into the space, sites like Lynda.com (Sold for $1,500,000,000 to Linkedin) and MasterClass.com (recently raised $80 million in funding) — not to mention the heavyweight Amazon (roughly $150m in just kindle sales per year) all are focused on selling you one thing; information… how to, what to, and why to do - well, just about anything. It’s a mouthwatering opportunity, and deceptively simple to implement - “capture knowledge”, “present knowledge”, "profit”. 
If only it were that simple.
The corporate players out there aren’t the only ones making a shiny penny or two in this product category. Folks like Tai Lopez, Sam Ovens, Grant Cardone, Alex Becker, Marie Forleo and many more are well into the 8 figure per year mark selling chiefly “information”

Yet, there is even a larger segment of individuals out there who make a handsome living in the 6 to 7 figure range selling info products as well. “Mom and pop” information sellers who either sell hyped up nonsense, or well-crafted boutique info-products designed to solve real-world problems.

In this write-up, I want to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of this unique segment of the information industry and explore why the info-product “gold rush” isn’t over, and why, in fact, it's just getting started. 

The “solo-info-product-prenuer” we might call them, probably not ~ but still, is a thriving industry, but it has become more difficult to break into, but that's a good thing.

Some of you reading this may have dabbled in the info product world, maybe even got the point of selling one, and experienced some success. Others reading may be in that 5,6,7 or even 8 figure earnings range. This white paper is designed help anyone interested or active in the info space to sell more, or get started on the right path!

Beyond the inside scoop on this gold rush, I'm also going to share an exact strategy I'm using with myself and clients to create profitable info-product businesses while avoiding all the headaches that are associated with the industry.
There’s A Way To Do It Better. 
Find It
-Thomas Edison
I want to answer three questions in this writeup…
1. What possibilities are still out there for those looking to break into the crowded info-product world? 

2. Who (and who shouldn't) should consider building an info-product either into their current business or as a full replacement for their current business?

3. What does it take to launch a successful info-product in 2019 and beyond? More importantly, how the average excitable entrepreneur goes about it all wrong.

Lastly I want to give you an inside look at a killer strategy that's been running circles around all others in the info product space.
but first, bugs.
Specifically, what a dung beetles testicles can teach you about building a successful online business...
PART ONE: STRENGTH & STRATEGY
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genus: onthophagus taurus | family: scarabaeidae
If you want to "make it rain" in the info-product space your first step is to make crystal clear the complex relationship between Strength & Strategy... 
The strongest creature on our planet, it turns out, is not to be a mighty African Elephant or the like, it's the dubious little dung beetle. With strength equal to 1,141 times its own body weight it out muscles every other living thing (by size). However, its mega-strength left it with a unique problem, one that holds a valuable lesson on how entrepreneurs must view their advantages & disadvantages. 

Even with the equivalent strength of a human being able to lift SIX double-decker buses (80 tones), our horned beetle friend often fails at its main goal - to pass on its genetics. 

You see, there are two types of males in this beetle's species… 

One, a big ole brute with horns they used to battle each other for the ladies (we’ll call him Chad), and second is weaker male with no horns who rely on a cunning strategy to seduce the ladies (we’ll call him Winston). 
Quick note to all my Entomologist readers, some of the bug imagery isn't 100% accurate, not from lack of trying but from lack of availability, I trust you'll see past this and enjoy the metaphor... right? Right!
According to the study, the horned brutes, “Chads", with their mega strength spend much of their time defending their females and tunnels against other horned rivals. All the while, unbeknownst to Chad, our hornless pal Winston spends his time digging covert side tunnels to Chad’s love shack

So, while Chad is off fighting with other Chads our underdog Winston sneaks in to have liaisons with Chad’s girl. To add insult to injury, Winston is kept quite well-fed by eating the dung that Chad’s collected in his tunnels. Being well-fed results in Winston also having "substantially larger testicles" than Chad

They're not just for show, they considerably increase Winston's chance of making babies with Chad's females. Thus passing on his genes, the end goal, instead of Chads. — You know the old dung beetle saying, the bigger the horn the smaller the testicles.

As the study colorfully summarizes, “Instead of growing super strength to fight for a female, they (Winston) grow lots more sperm to increase their chances of fertilizing her eggs and fathering the next generation.”
the result?
Winston’s strategy often results in little baby Winstons running around in Chad’s house, with Chad protecting them and being none the wiser. Chad may have questions for momma beetle in a few months when the little beetles don't have a horn.

Chad would also have little Chad’s from time to time, and both strategies work well to keep the species advancing... but strength (even the strongest animal on the planet) wasn't the end all strategy for success.
the point?
Strategy can beat advantages.
If you're not a Chad, don’t try and beat Chad at his own game… embrace your inner Winston and explore creative strategies to reach your goals.

Having success with launching an information product may come from a financial angle (having a lot of money to invest) a distribution angle (having access to a large audience to tap into) or simply having more time & experience. 

Everyone, including you, has these attributes in their life and business to a differing degree. Don’t have much money to invest? You’re going to have to rely on time and experience… don’t have much time? Ideally, you’ll be able to invest financially into leverage tools (e.g. employees, software, etc).  

Don't have much time or money? 

Well, you're going to have to be creative with how you execute, coming up with your own unique strategy to reach your goal. 

We all have at least some resources we can work with to reach our goals, the trick is to match the right strategy with the resources we have!
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the bottom line...
Even with all the advantages in the world - without an effective strategy - those advantages can be rendered mute. Looking at you Facebook Phone, Amazon Phone, Blackberry, Google+, Google Glasses, Microsoft Zune, and many more billion dollar companies with poor strategies. 
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence*. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
 - Calvin Coolidge
* Persistence is an effective (say it with me now) strategy.
This is fantastic news. 
A big problem when it comes to launching info-products is mindset related, most people think they need more time, money, or experience before they can successfully create and launch a product... what they need, however, is the right strategy to leverage the time, money, and experience they DO have.

You may feel like you're at a disadvantage due to your circumstances, and you very well might be right, but with the right strategy in place to follow you can overcome them, even turning some of them them into advantages.
PART TWO: KNOWLEDGE INSIGHT IS POWER
Q #1: What opportunities are there for those committed to breaking into the world of Info-products?
Strategy > Advantages. 
The Opportunity & The Catch
Strategy Beats Advantages. 
The Opportunity & The Catch
To describe the opportunity in a word Mouthwatering...
There’s never been more demand for concise, highly-structured, and impactful information. 

You see, most people see the influx information online as a good thing, in some ways it is, however there’s one major problem with most of this information...

It lacks structure. 

Without it we are left swimming in a never-ending sea of advice, with no real way to prioritize or filter the information; no way to measure its ability to solve our problem.
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That's the real end goal, isn't it? Not just to learn, but to put the knowledge into action in a positive, impactful way in our lives and businesses; to turn knowledge into insights.

The information-overload problem has created a unique opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to do a bit of digging, organizing, testing, and teaching of the information. I love how writer Kaye Ramos put it: "In a complex world where almost everyone has access to the same information, you’re able to deliver new value by putting ideas together in novel ways." 

Now's the best time to create a quality info-product. 
With one important caveat... 

That catch? The bar for what qualifies as "quality" has never been higher. Quality, more than anything else, is at the heart of the strategy that drives long term sales and profitability for your product.
You've seen infographics with titillating math similar to:

To make $1,000,000 all ya need is:
100,000 sales at $10 or...
10,000 sales at $100 or...
1,000 sales at $1000 or...
100 sales at $10,000
While the math isn't wrong, it makes success look deceptively simple. Gaining 1000+ unique customers right out the gate is more than challenging, it's unrealistic, and designing a $10,000 program to sell 100 of also should be on the "very difficult" side of the spectrum, taking years of experience and staff. 

I mentioned earlier that you must hold onto and follow your dreams, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to make a million or more; but so many people look at that number and get all excited about it without understanding the reality behind it.

Truth be told, you can spend a million WAY too quick. Especially if it's your first time having that kind of money. I challenge you to think in terms of MONTHLY income as opposed to a fixed goal amount.  

How about 80 sales per week of a product? Doesn't that sound a bit more attainable vs. 10,000? 

Well, 80 sales per week can translate to $20,000+ per month with the right strategy. 
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The advantage that no one can take from you.
Before we continue there's something I deeply believe and would like to share. It's an exception to the "strategy beats advantages" concept.  It's the strongest advantage we have and one we all can tap into when things look the darkest, it's also one that no one can take away from you. It's your ability to dream, and dream big. 

Ethan Hawke's quote from his book The Hottest State summarizes my feelings well: "Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.” 

Later in this write up I'll touch on the idea of not setting unrealistic goals, but dreams? Your dreams should be the glue that holds your strategies together, the place you venture in the darkest hours, the place you celebrate your biggest wins. Let them live large in your mind and heart, but let's not forget that a dream without a plan is only ever just a dream.
 
Before we continue our journey to the math and tactics behind a 20k/mo info-product strategy, let's take a look at who should tap into the info-product industry. It's not for everyone...
PART THREE: THE WHO
Question #2: Who should (and who shouldn't) consider building an info-product either into their current business or as a full replacement for their income?
A realists look at who should create info product in 2019 & beyond.
A realists look at who should create info product in 2019 & beyond.
If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive — no matter how skilled or talented you are.
― Cal Newport, Deep Work
Are you a producer or consumer? 
We’re all a bit of both, but which are you more of? You may fall into the boat of many who spend hours and hours, month after month, digesting this self-help book after that “get um crush it” podcast, but what have you truly created lately? 

Feeling a tinge of ‘hey stop that Sean!’? That’s understandable - it’s what I needed to hear before I could pinpoint what was holding me back from reaching my goals. In fact, it’s what I needed to change in order to stop feeling self-loathing, to stop feeling like I was only taking away from the world. As Winston Churchill summed up nicely: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” 

If you’re more of a consumer than a producer it very well may be the source of a lot of the pain in your life. The remedy is to start doing what humans do best, start creating.
Back to the question at hand… 

REALISTICALLY, who should consider building an info-product business?

It would be unethical to suggest that EVERYONE should. I do believe most have the ability, but not everyone is going to put in the effort, and still others will permit life to get in the way. 

If you’ve made it this far in this write up there’s a good chance that you have at least one of the core characteristics that makes a great info-prenuer, you’re not afraid to digest a bit of content!

In fact, the length of this page is somewhat of a filter, you probably wouldn’t be surprised that many of the people who want to make millions in the entrepreneur space aren’t even willing to invest the time needed to learn skills related to the goal; that includes reading - a decent amount of reading.

There are a few more characteristics that, at a minimum, should be on the radar of anyone interested in creating their own info-product. This isn’t just something drawn together at random, but from years of experience working with many different individuals who profess the desire to create, but often don’t adapt when the going gets tough.
By examining the kind of individual who excels in the info-product space we can avoid the missteps that are common in this industry, giving us the best chance of reaching our goals.
 
what are the key characteristics?
  • They’re not afraid to invest the time and energy needed to learn how to create, and to create.
  •  They’re humble enough to admit they need help, and determined enough to find it.
  •  They’re willing to listen to the needs of their audience instead of just assuming them.
  •  They’re a fan of improving themselves and helping others improve.
  •  They understand that fear is a product of a lack of understanding, and use knowledge to cast a light on doubt.
These are the core character elements of someone will thrive in this world.

Now, if you have the DESIRE to express those 5 qualities but feel a tinge of anxiety when you consider them, perhaps even a bit of doubt that you ever could live up to them… you are not alone. 

These are ideals, but no one fills them out perfectly. That, perhaps, is another quality to wrap them all into: be humble enough to admit you’re not the best, but determined to do your best at improving them. That quality the best we can hope for, and that’s all anyone who’s made millions ever had.

Here’s some exciting news that I think might just be the cure to crippling doubt and fear in this adventure… and my answer to "what advice do you wish you could give your yourger self".
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The process of creating quality work often fixes the parts of the brain that need fixing allowing you to create quality work.
Read that again, a few times.
It takes a lot of focus and energy to create something of high quality. And high quality is what separates a winning product from a flop. Most of us have never had exceptional quality demanded of us, "passing" was often the bar we were expected to meet - not excellence.

The bad news, it's not easy...
The good news, it's not easy...

The bar is high otherwise everyone would be pulling in $100k+ per month selling information products, wouldn't they? And if you can go into the project knowing it's not going to be "easy" then you'll be much more prepared than the average entrepreneur. 

To sum it up...
If you're willing to do what needs to be done to both create quality products and refine your abilities to do so, there's no doubt that you will stand out and find success. That's hollow advice without defining "what needs to be done" isn't it? We'll let's do that in our next section where we break down it down step by step.
Some FA questions...
Q: Do I need to have in-depth expertise before considering starting an info product business?

A: Will it help to already be an expert? Sure! Is that a requirement? No. The way the following strategy is designed and executed is not just to create a product, but also to develop/grow your experience in your chosen niche.

Q: What if I don't enjoy "studying" or organizing information?

A: 99.999% of people fall into this category, and the .001% who do love it don't love it all the time. The trick is to realize that enjoyment is DERIVED from DOING, not the other way around. You don't love it first then do it.
PART FOUR: THE END GAME
Question #3: What does it take to launch a successful info-product in 2019 and beyond? More importantly, why the average excitable entrepreneur goes about it all wrong.
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the value ascension strategy
  • OBJECTIVE: Launch a sustainable information product that helps its buyers solve specific problems effectively.
  • GOAL: Reach $20k/mo in sales in 30 days.
  • STRATEGY: (see below)
  • MEASURE: Hit 80 sales minimum of core product per month with a 20% take on up-sell product.
There are thousands of different ways to go about creating and launching an info-product, each with their own pros and cons. The number of options makes it difficult to know which strategy to follow. Let me share with you one that’s worked over and over again for myself and my clients.

This strategy is built from the ground up, with the base goal being $20,000 per month in revenue. 

The 20k per month figure seems to be a common (and realistic) goal for most exploring this entrepreneurial space, and for me represents an amount that allows for reinvestment in your business while also supplying adequate after-tax income to live on. Part of this strategy is to replace current income needs, providing even more time to focus on enhancing the quality of the product.

To hit the $20,000 per month range consistently with this specific strategy calls for two key products.

Info Product #1: A “Step by Step Tactical Guide” that solves a specific problem, presented in a book form or mini-course. — Price range: $24 to $49

Info Product #2: A “Time Framed Strategic Guide” that solves both specific problems, and presents a path to follow to attain something ‘new’ for the buyer. Presented in a step by step video course. — Price range: $199 to $499
what it takes to hit $20k/mo...
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the math behind $20k/mo
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Let’s not downplay reality, it does take time, experience, and effort to create these products and dial those numbers in, however, that "time, experience, and effort" can be developed alongside the product itself. Many of my clients are well into the upper six-figure and some seven-figure per month with info-products using this exact strategy, some who still only focus on their one core product line.

The beauty of info-products is that they are scalable by nature. As long as you build out customer service as more customers onboard your costs remain relatively low to other business models.
With over 500,000 new businesses started every month (in just the US) the demand for clear cut, structured, up-to-date advice isn't going anywhere but up; here's how to tap into that demand...
 
PART FIVE: ASCENSION
You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
Winnie-the-Pooh
The opportunity and who should pursue it  is clear. The objective, goals, and measures aredefined. Now we need to take a look at the core action steps needed to reach those goals.

There are three "big picture" milestones to accomplishing this strategy, each enabling the success of the next. The relationship between these steps is key to both developing your product and also building out a framework for constantly improving it.
YOUR COMPASS
Step #1: Picking A Direction
  Why is it that we don’t worry about a compass until we’re lost in a wilderness of our own making?” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough
A compass is used in navigation keep you heading in the right direction, and without it even the best map in the world isn't going to get you anywhere. One without the other is useless

In the Value Ascension product development strategy your compass is your unflinching commitment to quality. This commitment will direct you through the many storms that come with creating anything of value.

You can develop and refine your compass as you build out your products, accepting nothing less than the best; while also avoiding the trap of perfectionism.

It's the first step in the value ascension strategy because without it you'll be easily blown off course; distracted by the shiny objects, and not reaching your goals.
YOUR MAP
Step #2: Charting Our Course
  “You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” 
― Patrick Ness
Getting from point A to point B without a map is almost impossible. A map is more than just, well, a map; it gives you insights into the obstacles along the path, shortcuts, and (most importantly) it gives you a way to see the 'big picture'; where you are and where you want to be.

In the Value Ascension strategy our map is a working list of assets to create, standards to measure quality against, ways of doing things quicker, and much more. 

It is the TACTICAL approach to executing your strategy.

Your map may change as you learn better ways of doing things, and the beauty of this map is it can be used over and over again; getting better and more refined after each use. Using it along side our compass can navigate us to reaching our end goal.

The map both involves our business model, our product structure and assets, along with our marketing plans. These all tie together to create that big picture.

Creating the map starts by ... mapping out ... a tactical framework of "what works", this can be created through experimentation (slower) or starting with a strategy that's working and adapting it to your needs (much faster). This white paper, for example, holds many parts of a map that you can start with.
THE VESSEL
Step #3: Creating Our Vessel
 “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 
Sticking with our nautical metaphor after we have our direction established, map in hand, next we need to put together our vessel. It is our transportation, protection, and home for the many critical parts of our business. The vessel is in essence the sum of all the unique pieces that we create on our journey.

Our vessel is more than just our products themselves, or the marketing funnel, it also includes less tangible things like...

- Credibility.
- Strategic Partners.
- Our "voice" / brand.
- Distribution.
- and (as usual) a lot more.

This collection of assets can be complex as a battle ship, or as simple as a rowboat; but the goal isn't to create a perfect ship right out the gate... it's to give us a foundation that we can build upon over time.
VALUE ASCENSION 
FREE TACTICAL VIDEO TRAINING
Putting It All Together
You may have noticed that most of the content in this white paper is 'strategic' (love that word); for many of you reading this who have the technical and experienced this strategic content can serve as the start of your map for building out a $20k/mo information product business...

However, there's another type of content that will help the less experienced, and even the experienced who just want to know the exact steps...

It's called "tactical" information; that is, the specific tactics that you can follow to execute strategy.

Below you'll find the intro to that training video that leads to the full training video, available at no cost for a limited time.

If this white paper's message resonated with you and you want to see behind the scenes of what specific, tactical, steps you can take to take to reach your end goals fill out the quick form and unlock the training today!
PART SIX: TACTICAL TRAINING
- Value Ascension Training Preview -
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“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” 
George Bernard Shaw