Creating an information product can be quite a challenge. The operative word is “creating”. The act of creation involves thoughts, ideas, organization, and communication. You have to think about what you want to communicate, and how you will do it; and to a large extent, you’re starting from scratch every time you do.
You may know what your message is, but you still have to figure out what parts you will need in order to get that message across. This is, perhaps, one reason why so many digital marketers struggle to make valuable products. They simply don’t know what to include and what to omit. Therein lies the value. If you choose the wrong things, then your product will be worthless.
So how do you make the distinction? How do you decide what you should include and what to leave out?
Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to postpone the decision. It’s not often that you’ll be told that procrastination is a good thing. But in this case, it’s possible to get the cart before the horse, and if you do that, then it will have repercussions later on. You’ll find that you have to do things all over again because you tried to skip a step or two.
So while procrastination is allowed, lack of discipline is not.
First, Dump It
The first simple step is to jot down as many ideas as you can think of that collectively teach whatever is necessary to solve the problem. Do a brain-dump, if that helps you. Get it all out. Don’t hold anything back. You can’’t work with the information if you don’t know what it is.
You’ll also need to resist the temptation to put your ideas in any sort of order. The goal here is to get the ideas out where you can see them, where you can evaluate them. You could start by writing a quick product overview, then begin the brain dump. Ask yourself what details are missing; what other things you need to include in order to flesh out the basic ideas.
If you decide to write the overview at the end of the product, then you’ll be starting almost from scratch. You’ll have to look at the learning objectives instead, and ask yourself what your customers will need to do in order to achieve each one to the extent that collectively they’ll know exactly what to do.
One of the reasons that Internet marketers struggle with how much to include is that they start creating the product in the middle. You’ve been thinking about it for days, weeks, or even months; and by the time you actually put pen to paper, you’re so far down the process that you’ve forgotten what your customers need to know in order to get to the place where you’re at now.
In other words, you don’t start at the beginning because you don’t know where it is. That’s why it’s essential for you to get all of your ideas out where you can see them before you’ve done anything else.
Now Categorize It
Having done so, however, it would be easy to try to organize that information. However, to do so would be to skip a very important step.
You see, raw information is too scatterbrain. It’s all over the place. And so for you to organize it, you have to put it into a form that will help you to organize it.
The way to do that is to assign categories to each idea. That may sound like a tedious next step, but it will make the entire product creation process so much easier. And, you know, as you get more skilled at this you may not have to go through this step. But when you’re just starting, it’s safer to do it this way.
You can name the categories anything you want them to be. Just keep them down to no more than a few words. The goal is to come up with a succinct summary of the idea. You’ve already described what it is and included some explanatory comments.
All you want to do now is to name it so that you can work with that information; so that you can make some sense out of it, and so that you can begin to create your product efficiently.
You can take these categories and organize them to structure your product and begin creating it.