By Joeel A. Rivera
The Information Age
We know you’ve heard the phrase that “we live in the information age.” And why is this? Because all of the information we could ever want to know is at our fingertips—just a keyboard or smart phone away.
Think about it. Today around 30 percent of the world population has smartphones with Internet access. By 2020 it’s predicted to be as much as 70 percent. Your cell phone now contains a number of sources of information or utility that you once could only access by other means. The smartphone has replaced your GPS, your HD video camera, your CD music library, your MP3 player, and even the need to read an encyclopedia, buy a book or go to the library.
So, who CREATES all of this information that’s so readily available through our electronic devices? You guessed it: infopreneurs.
What is an Infopreneur?
The role of a content creator or educator has changed and grown with access to technology. Technology allows more people to access information and for them to acquire it faster. Infopreneurs used to sell their information and products as audio tapes, print books, CDs, DVDs or through talk shows, seminars and conferences. In today’s world, infopreneurs sell their products as eBooks, video, blogs, emails and webinars, just to name a few.
Today, an infopreneur is a person who has specific knowledge on a topic, packages that information into an information product and then sells it on the Internet. There are generally two kinds of infopreneurs. First, those who sell information from their own expertise they have acquired or research that they have amassed. The second is those earning commission selling and marketing other people’s information products. This article focuses on the first.
The Information Industry
Technology creates the perfect storm for an exploding information industry: exponential growth in the ease of access to information, exponential increase in the amount of information accessible and exponential ease of creation and distribution of this information.
According to the experts, the information products market will continue to increase exponentially in the coming years, as more people gain access to the Internet all over the world.
Even knowing that, many people ask, “If information is so widely available, why would anyone pay for it?” Several reasons:
- Not all information that exists is currently available.
- Information that is well presented and organized is more valuable than free content.
- Information that is easy to access and offers a shortcut is more valuable than free content.
- Your unique how-to process, talent, skill or collection of knowledge and experience is more valuable than free content.
- Having a teacher to guide you through the process of learning is more valuable than free content.
For these reasons, you can become an infopreneur and build a business around what you already know.
Who Can Be an Infopreneur?
Literally anyone can be an infopreneur. Seriously. In order to be a good candidate for becoming an infopreneur you have to fit into at least one of the following categories:
Have expertise (knowledge, experience or wisdom) in a particular industry, business, career or hobby. There is a HUGE misunderstanding here…and that is that in order to be an expert you have to BE THE BEST—you have to have 20 years of experience and an advanced degree. WRONG. No matter how much you know, you know more than SOMEONE. To a 65-year-old business executive, a 10-year-old YouTuber is an expert on using a smartphone, a video game or even a computer. If you have something of value to teach someone that they don’t already know, you’re an expert. Here’s your hat, put it on.
Have a talent or skill that you can teach others that would offer them a shortcut to a higher level of skill. Many people think they can only make money if they teach high-value knowledge, like how to raise capital for businesses or how manage change in a Fortune 500 company. However, there are infopreneurs making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year sharing their passion with everyday people who want to learn about baking bread, playing an instrument, making smoothies or knitting—or who want to learn technical skills.
Have the solution to someone else’s problem. Whether you learned it the hard way or you learned it from someone else, people are always looking for a solution to their problems. In the high-speed world of technology, everyone wants to do everything faster, bigger and better, too, so you don’t even have to solve life’s major challenges; you can provide a tool for a slight enhancement and still be successful. The solution you offer could be anything from how to use a smartphone to effective parenting strategies or from how to put on makeup to how to decorate a cake or organize your home.
Have a process that you have learned, improved, created or used and would help others achieve a desired outcome or goal. Like the how-tos mentioned above when talking about solving problems, a process is simply a proven step-by-step method that you’ve found to be effective that someone else could learn, use and duplicate your results. Your process can be anything from how to increase your productivity to how to start a business or from how to lose weight to how to write a resume.
Truly ANYTHING you know that others do not can be made into an information product.
The only other requirement is that you have to be WILLING TO LEARN and WILLING TO TEACH.
Why become an infopreneur?
You add value to the world with your knowledge: There is tremendous amount of value in the information that you possess that can help other people in their life journey. You can make a difference in other’s lives by helping them improve their skill, their life, their career, their business or their favorite pastime.
You can create passive and residual income: One of the best things about creating information products is that you create them ONCE and you can continue get paid from them for years to come. Passive income is money you receive with no or little effort after the initial creation (usually marketing and upkeep). Residual income continues regularly or automatically without your intervention, such as a membership subscription, royalty payment or money made when affiliates sell your product. The latter two terms are often used interchangeably, although there are slight differences. Even if you only created one information product in your entire life, you could continue to receive income from it while you continue your career or exploring other things, all with minimum upkeep! Plus, you can also make money around the clock, even while you are sleeping or on vacation. Sure beats trading your time for money (like a paycheck or an hourly fee).
You can work from home and have freedom and flexibility: As an infopreneur, you can work at home in your pajamas and be your own boss. You can do it on the side while you work a full time job, do it as an at-home parent, or build your information business until you can work full-or part-time on your own. At that point, the flexibility allows you to be able to make time for other things that are important in your life, make your own schedule and travel while working.
It’s probably the lowest startup cost of any type of business: If you have ever operated a physical business, you would know that there can be a large investment during start up, not to mention high monthly expenses. However, with selling information online through your website, a blog, or other websites the initial investment is very low. In fact, you can do it all for free if you’re a) willing to do all the work or b) resourceful enough to get others to help you (perhaps on trade) or use free services.
Statistically, over 95 percent of small businesses will fail in the first three years of launching. Many times, it is the high cost of maintaining the business while it develops that leads to that failure. However, as an infopreneur you have the advantage of not having to deal with those expenses.
Powerful technologies are already in place: As technology has increased, it has become easier and easier for infopreneurs to share their knowledge and information. Consider the fact that if you wanted to publish a book 20 years ago you had to send the manuscript to the gatekeepers of the industry (the big publishing houses) and hope they publish you (which they usually didn’t). Now, you can easily self-publish and have it distributed through many different sites—almost overnight. The same goes with creating a website. In the past, you had to have technological skills or be willing to pay someone a lot of money to build a website for you. Today, all you have to do is go to a website with drag-and-drop technology, where you can easily build a site for free or at a very low cost. Plus, there are a variety of other programs, such as email autoresponders, webinar and teleseminar services, online course platforms, and others that simplify the process and give you the tools to produce an information product that you would have struggled to create before.
You can automate most of it: With today’s technologies you can basically automate most aspects of your business. You will have to make the effort to do the work upfront to create your information products, set everything up, and market them. However, once it is done you can enjoy the benefits of what you have created without having to keep it up by doing a bunch of tedious things. The technology does it for you, and it truly gives you freedom.
It’s scalable: One of the best things about being an infopreneur is that once you figure out where your markets are, how to reach them, and how to present your material in a way that they like it (and buy it), you can scale it. In other words, it is about knowing your numbers. If you know that out of every 100 people that see your product 10 of them buy, then it just comes down to getting more people to see your product. And, once you know how to get 100 people to see your product, through various forms of marketing, you know doing MORE of that marketing will consistently present your product to more people. In other words, the only limitation that you have is your imagination and your ability to do the initial creation and set-up work. This is because, unlike in a traditional job, you do not have a limited amount that you can make that’s determined by someone else. And, unlike other business ventures, as an infopreneur you aren’t relying on your time to directly earn you money. So, when you want to make more money it doesn’t have to take more time.
Reach a worldwide audience: This is one of our favorite parts of being an entrepreneur! In fact, we have students from 170 countries. Yes, you read that right, 170 countries! Before we fully embraced being infopreneurs, we used to travel giving workshops, trainings and conferences. However, now that we primarily teach online, we reach a MUCH larger audience of students and clients, many of whom we were unable to reach before because they live all over the world. At the same time, this means that no matter what part of the world you are in you can develop clients and students without geographical limitations.
Are you ready to leverage the age of the infopreneur and join our ranks?
If your interested in learning how to make money teaching what you know and love, online, check out Transformation’s online course “INFOPRENEUR”. Transformation Coaching Magazine readers get 70% off with the following coupon code: info70. (That’s only $45!)
Joeel A Rivera, M.Ed., is a visionary, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. From an early age, Joeel faced adversity, including immigrating to the United States, failing his freshman year of college, losing his brother, and being in a nearly fatal car accident. These experiences inspired him to return to college, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Education and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology, with an emphasis on happiness. Joeel opened a non-profit teen center in honor of his brother and developed curriculums for the Juvenile Justice System. In almost a decade, Joeel has reached over ten thousand people as an educator, entrepreneur, speaker, and consultant. Visit www.transformation-academy.com