Another Buzzword? Really?
I know... I am not a big fan of buzz words either. Every once in a while, in the buzzword factory, a cleverly constructed portmanteau word, hits the marketplace and provides real value to those previously underserved by our fast changing English vernacular. There is a case to include Infopreneur among those market changing buzzwords.
Unfamiliar with the meaning? Imagine this; all of the innovation an entrepreneur pours into a disruptive product or service now being poured into easy-to-consume content and information. Further, the Infopreneur not only sources the market changing content and information, but they are also smart and savvy enough to find the right business model to sell it for profit. An Infopreneur is a new source and storefront for information and content that creates great value for others; writ large.
Now that we have a common understanding Infopreneurship, let's evaluate some of the most common titles and business models utilized by Infopreneurs:
1 Authors of Non-Fiction titles
2 Executive Coaches
3 Life Coaches
4 How-To Subject Matter Experts
I could have kept going and built a longer list; however, these four examples are pretty standard. Most people understand the general appeal of these respective business models, which, stated plainly works like this, 'I need information that will help me be better or smarter, and these professionals convinced me their information would solve my problems.' In other words, it is all about knowledge and knowledge sharing!
Why not just hang a digital shingle and start selling?
Why would an Infopreneur have a hard time differentiating on the internet if they have such great information and content? Great question. Before we even dig into the fact that a successful informational site must have world class SEO, inbound marketing strategies, and integration with expensive distribution platforms (Like Amazon) for content, let's just examine the scale of competition for information on the internet:
A couple of facts to consider:
I challenge you to wrap your head around the facts reported by Forbes that recently; annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte ([ZB]; 1000 exabytes [EB]) threshold by the end of 2016, and will reach 2.3 ZB per year by 2020. By the end of 2016, global IP traffic will reach 1.1 ZB per year, or 88.7 EB per month, and by 2020 global IP traffic will reach 2.3 ZB per year, or 194 EB per month.
In perspective, experts from the Forbes article say it would take over 5 million years to watch the total amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2020. Wow! So that begs the question, how would you begin to differentiate as an Infopreneur?
Also, how do you overcome the skepticism of info consumers browsing the internet looking for reliable content? When supply is high, consumers use a skeptical lens to shuffle through all of the options. According to another study reported in Forbes magazine, 52.8% of Internet users believe that most or all of the information online is “reliable and accurate.” If we grossly generalize, you can assume only half of the traffic you might be fortunate enough to bring to your site will find your information and content reliable.
So what is an Infopreneur to do?
You do what all great entrepreneurs do... you face the obstacles head on and believe your offering is superior to all others. When fueled by the tenacity of perseverance of true entrepreneurialism, you put together a plan.
Here is a spectacular plan for today's Infopreneur:
1 Brand yourself at the top of the knowledge pyramid in your topic area.
Every topic area has a short list of subject matter experts that publish information and content that their consumers accept as reliable knowledge. Being one of the pack isn't enough to truly build a profitable and sustainable model. You must be on top of that knowledge pyramid. To be on top, you have to flip the model and share reliable, smart future perspective. Isn't that better than reporting what everyone else is talking about today? Yes, you become a true provider of knowledge when you can help people not only navigate in the short term with current perspective but proactively pace ahead of their competitor by utilizing your forecast of future disruption, change, or stability ahead.
2 Publish like a fiend with the following best practices in mind:
Set your voice:
You can't be both a successful Infopreneur and the best-kept secret! You must publish. And before you begin your prolific writing career, take the time to decide what voice you will consistently (yes, I said consistently) use to speak to the world. Two easy options to consider: editorial or fact based. If you co-mingle these two models often, the audience will misunderstand your brand, either share your educated yet subjective perspective (editorial) or provide an objective, research-based narrative (fact based).
Plan for success:
Set an editorial calendar that makes sense for your topic. An editorial calendar will help you plan and keep pace with a busy publishing schedule. If possible, align your editorial calendar with important seasons or milestones in your industry or topic. For example, if you are an expert on growing small businesses, you may want to start the year with a focus on communicating strategy to your people and how to get buy-in throughout the year; while closing the year with a focus on smart budget and planning.
Publishing can include something as challenging as a book, or something as personal as a blog. Of course, there are many options between those two. Use the publishing features of the social or professional network platforms with which you have access.
3 Know your business plan and stick to it
If your business plan as an Infopreneur calls for most of your profit from speaking engagements, stay focused on this opportunity. Build up to the larger paydays by speaking at local or conference based events to create a following. Alternatively, assume your plan calls for profit to come from one-to-one hourly sessions with an executive clientele, stay focused on building your sales funnel and converting prospects and traffic to paid customers. The point is to avoid distractions from your revenue goals.
4 Digitize and scale
Least but not least, think about how you scale your business. By scale, I mean to grow your profits. Let's go back to the idea of monetizing speaking engagements. If you do well here, you will soon find out that you can't be in enough places to generate huge profits. Moreover, some people do not like being on a plane every week. You can minimize the need for face-to-face contact by digitizing your content and making it available in smartly created e-courses and e-workshops. This digital footprint generates profits based on a one-time production of content, thus keeping your costs down and your profits growing. (Hint-Hint --- this is what Chairman's Academy Learning Studio is all about).
So now that you know what an Infopreneur is and what an Infopreneur does... and you have a roadmap to launch into the exciting market of content and knowledge sharing, we expect big things from you!
By: Bridgette Chambers