Cards on the table, I freakin’ love selling info products.
Over the years, I‘ve experimented with many different business models and markets, but now I’ve planted myself firmly in the Info product category for a few specific reasons. Here’s why…
During my time at ClickFunnels, I got to see behind the scenes and build some of the most awesome funnels ever.
I started to notice that there were similarities between various business models – and that, when it came to marketing, you could fit most businesses into four general categories.
For clarity, I’m going to talk in massive stereotypes during this article. There’s always going to be exceptions, but if you’re looking at the common principles and the typical “straight out of the gate results,” then these generalities are incredibly useful.
I’m guessing that this may be a bit of a controversial post… so let me know what you think?
4 BUSINESS CATEGORIES
The 4 categories that I’m using for this article are:
I’ve noticed that most solopreneurs typically start with one of these 4 models. Then once they achieve a certain amount of success – they’ll blow it up, and go into other areas as well.
Before I decided what business model I was going to concentrate on, I methodically went through all my options and assessed them based on the following criteria:
- What’s the potential for profit margin?
- What are the typical business expenses?
- How much time does it take to fulfill on the product sold in each category?
When I made my decision to go with info product, I answered the 3 questions above, and then:
I gave each category score out of #3 based on its potential for “profit margin straight out of the gate.”
For me, info was the clear winner.
I’m not saying that one category is better than another. I just want to show you the reasons why I chose info, rather than any of the other possibilities.
So let’s look a bit more of an in-depth look at each one of the categories.
Under the Affiliate category, I include sales and MLM – as the marketing for all of these businesses follows a similar model.
I actually started with Affiliate Marketing, it’s how I built my entire business without ever spending a dollar of my own – which is pretty amazing, right?
When I was working at ClickFunnels, I had this extra cash coming in because I had VAs in doing projects and getting cool things done for me.
Because I was doing affiliate stuff like crazy, I didn’t have to pay for this from my own pocket.
In the last year-and-a-half, I’ve made over thirty grand in affiliate commissions. It’s been the cash that I’ve needed to do the groundwork and to launch into the info space.
So based on my measurement of potential, where does the Affiliate category stand?
Typically with affiliates, the profit margin is small, right?
You’ve got the crazies out there, like Russell Brunson, giving you 40% every month for each person you bring in to ClickFunnels. That’s amazing, but it’s not typical.
So I’m going to give Affiliate a score of #1 or #1.5 for profit potential. There’s a lot of variation depending on the product, but generally, the profit margin is low.
TIME TO FULFILL:
No time, no time at all – which is great!
Now let’s take a look at Agency…
Under the Agency category, I include the service industry.
Agency’s freaking awesome. There’s a lot of cash to be made in this business. Agency is where I put into action everything I’d learned and proved that I knew what I was doing.
I spent a year and a half hiding in the college stadium studying Dot Com Secrets X. I filled an entire notebook, page by page – you know those Steno notebooks with the lines – the graph notebooks. I filled one from front to back just with the notes from that one course.
After a while, I wanted to test everything that I’d learned, so I started building funnels for other people. At first, it was Startups, but then I decided to pitch companies who already had a list, testimonials, and a successful mid-range product.
I blasted out an invite to a ton of people – I offered to build a funnel and not even talk about getting paid until I got results.
I had several people bite, and I started building funnels for different people. I went agency/ service style. And this was where I started making real money, on my own, ever.
Agency is great because if you can help other people make money you can build your reputation and increase your financial worth quickly.
It a great way to get some cash coming in if you want to finance one of the other models, like ecomm.
The profit margin potential for agency is good. Russell teaches that “If you need a lot of cash pretty quick, go into the service/ agency business.” So for potential profit margin, I’m giving agency a #3.
TIME TO FULFILL:
The main problem with the agency model is the time it takes to deliver the product.
Even if you have a team, you’re still managing the team and closing deals – it takes a lot of time to fulfill on agency – so agency gets a #2.
Next, let’s move over to ecomm…
I put supplements and retail under Ecomm. The funnels are different – but marketing used has similar aspects too.
What’s the profit potential of the Ecomm category? It’s not actually that high.
A lot of people get in two comma clubs in ecomm, but they don’t actually keep that much money. They don’t have that much cash to their name. There’s not “typically” that much profit margin inside of ecomm.
For something like drop shipping, it’s a #1 – If you own the product, you’re going to get more of a #2.
You can make ecomm way more profitable by using cool techniques, like my ‘Offer Creation Strategy’ – but ‘straight out of the gate’ – profit margin potential is typically small.
You have to purchase your stock upfront – which can create a credit card knife. For me, the ROI of Ecomm come later down the line – straight out of the gate, ecomm takes a lot of investment.
You’ve also got the expense of your fulfillment – i.e., sending out the product once someone has purchased it.
TIME TO FULFILL:
Even if you got a shipping fulfillment house doing your work for you, you’re typically sourcing products like crazy. You’re spending a lot of time finding the next product.
Even if you sell expensive products, it’s still a game of trying to figure out the next thing to go sell. Typically, ecomm takes time to fulfill – I’m giving ecomm a #2 here.
Now it’s time to jump over to info…
Info is an interesting category – because to sell info products, it helps if you have a little bit of authority in the space that you’re selling to. While this tends to be true for most things, it’s especially true for info.
I didn’t start with info because I wanted to build authority. However, if you want, you can tackle it right away. Go for it.
MAKING A GREAT INFO PRODUCT
One of the gateways to a great info product is that it’s gotta get results for people.
If you look at what Dan Henry did (check out episode 24)…
Before he launched, Dan spent a spent a solid 5 – 6 months taking a beta group through the course.
He wanted to see what they would do and how they would react to his teaching and then make adjustment as needed.
He was spot checking and making a system that could deliver results.
He spent a lot of time proving his info product before he ever sold it. I did the exact same thing with my product.
Alex and Leila Hormozi have made 10 million dollars since last April.
However, for a full year before they started scaling and selling hard they were living in crazy areas and doing crazy things, just to prove the process that they were bringing people though.
You need to spend a lot of time with your prospective customers and make them successful – it’s one of the Holy Grails.
I’m not saying you can’t interview a bunch of people and toss out that an info product – You could totally do that. But for a brand/ vehicle to have the potential for two commas – it’s gotta be really good.
Guys, the margin on my main product is around 98%. Obviously, there’s a business margin, but the actual product margin is ridiculous. There’s no cost to fulfill on it at all. So I’m giving it a definite #3.
TIME TO FULFILL:
Time to fulfill is virtually nothing. It’s an email with access to a members area – and it is all automated.
So you can see why info is the clear winner in my eyes; the profit margins are the highest and the time to full is the lowest. Info is freakin’ amazing!
BUT… there is a caveat:
INFO WITH A TWIST
When people buy an info product, there’s an inherent understanding that the product is already made. Subconsciously they know that it’s not going to take you anything to fulfill on the product.
Because of this, the perceived value of info is usually kind of low. With ecomm you get a physical product in the mail – so the perceived value of an ecomm product is much higher.
Think about Amazon – there’s no sales copy – there are just bullet point descriptions and a button.
However, even though the perceived value of ecomm is high, the value to the entrepreneur is typically lower. So to counter this, when you buy an info product from me, I ship you some incredible physical products to you as well.
I’ve found a way to combine info with ecomm. It’s one of the reasons why my offer is doing so well. By adding the physical products, I’ve increased the perceived value of my offer significantly.
My offer stack rocks. When you buy my info product, you get physical products are shipped to you. You also get cool funnel builds that people usually pay me a lot of money for.
The category that I want to move to eventually is software because it has the perceived high value as ecomm along with the high-profit margins of info.
The business margins on software are a little harder – because you usually have to pay for a support team.
The time to fulfill is virtually nothing, which means the entrepreneurs can spend very little time doing any kind of fulfillment and focus on selling instead.
This is how Russell stays in the act of selling 24/7 – because he’s in software and the info game. He maxes the perceived value too because he combines his offers with ecomm – Genius, right?!
WHERE TO START?
If you’re stuck, I don’t know where to start, or just need some fast cash – one of the easiest places to start is Affiliate. For me, the agency model is next…
I know a lot of Ecomm people will probably fight me on this – and that’s fine, We all have our opinions
I wanted to show you the model that I’ve followed – and what my logic has been. My focus has been on ‘profit margin potential – straight out of the gate.’
- I started as an affiliate. I learned to sell other people stuff.
- Next, I moved on to agency and helped other people sell stuff.
- While I was at ClickFunnels, I built and worked on fantastic ecomm products.
- I nearly went down the ecomm route, but I decided I preferred the more immediate ROI of info products.
- I combine the high-profit margin potential of info products with the high perceived value of physical products to create killer offers that are crushing it.
- Eventually, I want to move into software – because it has the profit margin potential of info combined with the high perceived value of an ecomm physical product.
Whatever path you take, be cognizant of that industries costs, profit margins – and the times to fulfill associated with that.
Sit back, figure out where you’re trying to go to generate cash flow. I’m not talking about ‘change the world products’ – I’m talking about you making money and changing your life.
Change your own life before you try to change the world. It’s easier, do it that way.
I want to change the world too – I don’t know how yet. But first I’m changing my world so that I have the ability and power to change the world in the future.
Until next time – Go Crush it!
If you want to see the graph I drew to go with this article – then head on over to my YouTube Channel.
We push this content out to over 25 different platforms now.
Thanks so much, talk to you later – Steve