How to Market Your Info-Product When You Don’t Have an Audience
There’s a myth circulating in the infopreneur community that you need a huge audience to start selling info-products. Without a raving community of loyal fans, you won’t be able to get a single product off your metaphorical shelves.
Confession time: this isn’t true.
This myth is stopping knowledgeable individuals and businesses creating info-products that will help people, simply because they believe they need an audience of thousands clamoring for their goods.
In actual fact, you can create and start selling your info-product with barely an audience member in sight. It’s certainly more work, and you have to get creative with your marketing methods, but it’s definitely do-able.
Successful infopreneurs don’t sit around and wait for their audience to come to them and then create a product. They start researching, creating, and promoting before they’ve established a name for themselves.
By using a variety of different marketing methods that, a) grow their email list (one of the most important things you can do as a budding infopreneur), and b) get their name and product out there in front of a wide selection of people.
How to Market Your Info-product Without an Audience
Not having an established audience means you have to reach out to people rather than them come to you. You have to excite them, educate them on your product, and let them know why they need it in their life. You can do this in a variety of ways.
Relevant Content Upgrades
Content upgrades are a downloadable addition to your blog posts. You draw visitors in with great content, and then tease them with a little bit extra that they can get their hands on if they give you their email address.
A content upgrade can be anything from a simple checklist to an e-book or a video – anything that adds to the topic of your blog post.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Performance Marketer offers subscribers free marketing reports and other relevant materials when they sign up. These aren’t just extensions of blog posts, but they are useful pieces of collateral that aid readers in their quest to better their marketing strategies.
The Alisha Nicole offers a checklist that visitors can subscribe to after reading “4 Myths About Running a Service Based Business”. The graphic here clearly promotes her latest info-product, the Purpose to Service e-course.
How You Can Use Content Upgrades to Sell Your Info-product
Create blog posts around your info-product
The first step in getting people to your site is creating content they can’t ignore. At this stage, you want to be educating readers on the topic of your info-product and telling them why they need it in their lives.
For example, if you’re selling an e-book about social media, you might want to funnel interested people to your site by writing a post about social media myths, or a guide to setting up the perfect social media schedule.
How do you find out what readers want?
Ask them. Literally just reach right out and ask them. There are several ways you can do this:
- Post a call out on Twitter or Facebook or, if you’re looking for more detailed responses, link to a survey on SurveyMonkey:
- Browse relevant forums like Quora and make a note of common questions people are asking about your topic.
- Use BuzzSumo to determine the most popular posts in your niche. Simply type in your keyword in the search bar to see what titles, topics, and types of posts are performing best (like the example for “Paleo Recipes” below)
Add a content upgrade to your post
The important part here is to not give away all your secrets in the blog post. Yes, you want to make it in-depth and valuable, but you want to hold something back that you can offer as a content upgrade.
Let’s take the social media e-book as an example again. Maybe you add a checklist for creating the perfect profile as a content upgrade, or a list of popular hashtags to use.
This fitness content upgrade offers a personal look into the trainer’s life. Though it might seem simple, people love reading about others’ stories and experiences.
If you’re ready to create your content upgrade, check out these useful posts to get started:
Add subscribers to a sales funnel
The great thing about this method is you know the subscribers are interested in what you have to offer. Once they’ve signed up for the content upgrade, you want to put them through a mini sales funnel that leads to your paid info-product on the same topic.
Between five and seven emails is ideal, introducing them to the topic and then ending in a pitch for the info-product.
One of the best ways you can reach an audience without actually having an audience is through targeted Facebook ads.
Think about it: there are a billion Facebook users browsing through their feeds every day. How will they know your info-product is something they need if they don’t know about it?
Facebook ads give you the chance to put your product in front of an audience who might otherwise not know it exists.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Here, PlateJoy, a delivery company, advertise their recipe plans via Facebook ads. Their main service is delivery, but to attract customers and build an audience they tack on recipe ideas, custom menu building options, and printables to capture email addresses and add multiple revenue streams to their business.
The Secret Method to Facebook Ads
It’s easy to really niche down who you target with Facebook ads, but the easiest way to reach people who will be interested in your product?
Tap into someone else’s audience.
When creating an ad, you can select to target people who follow or like another page.
Here, you can see I’m targeting people with an interest in Jeff Goins, an internationally renowned writer. The only people who will see my ad will be people who like his Facebook page.
So, I might not have an audience of my own to sell my info-product to, but I can easily tap into Jeff Goins’ huge audience via Facebook ads – simple, but so effective.
At this point, you want to get really specific with who you target. For example, if your info-product is about sustainable farming you’ll want to think about:
- Where sustainable farmers live (it’s more likely to be in the countryside than urban areas)
- How old they might be (is it a younger collection of people thanks to the new sustainability craze?)
- What other interests they might have (it’s unlikely they’ll be fans of hunting, but they might enjoy yoga, cycling, and other stress-relieving outdoor pursuits)
While a lot of info-preneurs think Facebook pages are where marketing on Facebook begins and ends, there’s actually a secret underworld that provides a much better platform for sharing your info-product.
These hidden communities are vibrant hubs of likeminded people (much like Twitter chats but in a more private setting). There are often promotional threads where you can share your info-product, as well as offer advice and content around your info-product’s topic.
Leah Kalamakis runs The Freelance to Freedom Project Facebook group, which is an extended community of her site, Freelance to Freedom Project.
Within the group, there are designated threads to promote your info-products, blog posts, and social media channels, exposing your stuff to a wide variety of interested individuals.
How to Find Relevant Facebook Groups
It’s really important to find relevant Facebook groups so you’re not spamming people with something they’re not interested in. But it can be difficult to find groups through the simple search bar function in Facebook itself – usually you need to know what the group is called in order to be able to search for it (which is great, if your niche is something like floristry):
If your keywords are less specific and you’re struggling to find decent groups that aren’t spammy, use good old Google. For example, here are the search results for Facebook groups dedicated to start-ups:
Facebook Graph Search
Just like with Facebook ads where you can tap into other businesses’ audiences, you can search for groups that have members with similar interests (outside of the group itself).
This is called a graph search. Basically, Facebook cross-references everyone’s information and groups together people with similar interests.
To tap into this valuable tool, type in “groups of people who like X” (where X is the audience you’d like to tap into). I’ll use Jeff Goins as an example again:
You then want to narrow your search down to “Groups”, which you can do by clicking the “Groups” tab at the top of the search page.
You’ll then be shown a ream of groups that have members who like Jeff Goins, or whatever it is you searched for:
Using these three methods, get yourself involved in about three Facebook groups. This way it won’t get overwhelming, but you’ll have a large enough audience to reach out to.
Once in the folds, there are several ways you can get your info-product out there:
- Answer member questions – not only will this help you establish a position of authority on your topic and let people know you’re there to help, you can also offer links to your content and drive people towards your info-product (remember to keep it authentic, though!)
- Get involved in threads – most Facebook groups have weekly or even daily threads where you can promote your goods and interact with other members.
- Ask questions – you can also be proactive and ask members what they’re struggling with when it comes to your info-product topic. Don’t get all sale-sy, but genuinely try to help people where you can.
Collaborative webinars and workshops
As I’ve mentioned multiple times, tapping into someone else’s audience is a great way to create an audience of your own. They’ll promote the webinar to their list and audience, exposing you to a new range of people.
Within the webinar, you can pitch your info-product to the audience, as well as offer some time-sensitive bonuses to encourage people to purchase.
How to Find Joint Webinar Partners
Like everything I’ve mentioned here, it’s really important to find relevant people to collaborate with. These don’t necessarily have to be people in your industry, but they need to be someone who’s topic can overlap with yours.
You can start researching them through:
- Twitter (using relevant hashtags and searching accounts via industry-specific keywords)
- Facebook groups (post a shout-out for people in a certain industry)
- Head to Google and run a simple search (these results are for the search term “web design bloggers”):
The most vital thing to remember here is that you want your audiences to match up. Or, at least, you want your future audience to look like theirs if you don’t have one yet.
No one will buy your info-product if you’re marketing it to the wrong people, so spend some time researching collaborators who have a similar audience profile to you.
Finally, you can write detailed guest posts for larger blogs and sites in your niche to reach a wider audience. These platforms will already have an established community of people who would be interested in your info-product, so it’s just a case of providing them with excellent content and a link back to your product or a content upgrade (which then feeds into your sales funnel).
Here, Elna Cain has worked alongside Brent Jones to promote her e-course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k, on his site. Not only has he promoted her course as part of a bigger, more-extensive blog post, but she’s written a guest post for him before.
How to Successfully Market Your Info-product With Guest Posts
Step 1. Start by finding relevant bloggers through the the same methods you’d use to find collaborative partners. We’re talking Facebook groups, Twitter, and Google here.
Step 2. Research their sites and reach out to them on social media to start making connections (a simple “Hi” will do at this stage). Make sure they accept guest posts, too.
Step 3. Email a short pitch detailing the post you’d like to write for them (this should relate heavily to the topic of your info-product, but it should also be something that’s a great fit for their blog and audience).
This is a pitch email I sent to Krista Rae after I’d researched her blog and found out we have an overlap in our audiences.
Step 4. If accepted, make sure you include a byline with a link to your info-product or a content upgrade that directs readers into your info-product sales funnel.
This was the byline I included at the end of my guest post on Krista’s site. Note how I encourage readers to get the starter pack, which feeds them into my sales funnel for my info-product.
As you can see, it really isn’t necessary to have an audience of thousands before you start selling an info-product. The best thing about these methods is that you can mix and match the ones that work for you. Perhaps you find more success in Facebook groups than with Facebook ads, or perhaps your info-product is more suited to webinars.
However you plan to run things, remember that there’s no time like the present to start researching, creating, and marketing your info-product to the right people.