A few months back I was at a conference called Pressnomics. It's an absolutely fantastic event not only for the solid presentations, but the hallway conversations had at this event are better than any I've at any other event ever.
At the end of one of the days of presentations there was an after party. At it I had the opportunity to speak with somebody from our community who I respect immensely. Mainly because he walked away from a well-paying job in order to do what he really WANTS to be doing. Anybody with those kinds of cajones immediately has my respect. Anybody who does it and then starts growing that new gig in amazing new ways, well, that just excites me to no end for them and I am constantly waiting to see what they are going to do next.
So anyway, we were having a conversation and I was heaping some praise on him and also peppering him with questions. Since I hadn't scared him off yet, I felt like really pushing my luck. I said to him, “I don't know if you know this or not, but you are leaving a ton of money on the table.” This guy makes magnitudes more than I do, so for me to even be so presumptuous, well, it must have been those free drink tickets they hand out at the after parties… Still, I pressed on.
I said, “I want to know what tools you use for your business. What camera do you use for your podcasts? What software to you use to edit them. What project management tool do you use keep it all straight? Everything. I want to know all of it down to the smallest, stupidest detail. And if you had an ebook I could download right now on your website, I would buy it for $49.95 without giving it a second thought.”
He says “Nothing I use is all that interesting. Plus, so many people in my same space already have those. and…”
It becomes painfully obvious that the booze has taken over because now I just jump right back in….
“Screw those other guys. I don't care about them. I like YOU. I subscribe to YOUR channel because I like YOU. I like what YOU do. I like how YOU do it. I don't care what those other guys use, I care what YOU use. So again I say, if you had an ebook telling me all the stuff that you think is stupid and obvious and information I could go figure out myself, I will GIVE YOU MY MONEY in exchange for that knowledge and for saving me the time to go and test drive the 27 other options available. And here's the kicker… so will thousands of other people. Oh, and hey, while you're at it, when you write that ebook and you link off to all the products on Amazon, use an affiliate code so you get a slick of each product you sell, too.”
I tried to make him promise that he would release that product before I saw him again at next year's Pressnomics. I'll report back and let you know how it goes.
A funny thing happened when I get back home
After returning from Pressnomics, a friend reached out to ask me some questions about a couple of the projects that he was working on. I had to laugh because I ended up having almost the exact same conversation with him about the work he's been doing. “You realize people will pay you to have that knowledge you already have, right? All that work, all that research, all that time and effort, that is worth a TON! Put that in to an ebook and make it available for sale. Or, hell, if you don't want to sell it, just make people sign up for a newsletter and give it to them as a free download. Oh, and when you tell them about those tools, be sure and use affiliate links!”
This can work for you, too.
I want to let you in on a secret. The information you have in your head is valuable. What you already know, there are thousands of people wishing they had the time to go and learn it. Publishing an ebook these days is dead-fucking-simple. If you did nothing but give the book away and used Amazon affiliate links throughout the book, you'd still make money.
Think about a hobby you have. Think about all the different pieces of equipment that are required for that hobby. Now, think about how many different variations of each you've tried out over the years. Wouldn't it have been worth $4.99, $9.99, $19.99 or more to have purchased a book that saved you the time, money and effort to try all those different pieceses equipment?
My homework assignment for you is this. Take that information locked in your head and turn it in to an ebook. Then think of how happy you are going to make that person who you just saved days, weeks or even months of searching for all those answers.
Interesting perspective, but you’re not adding in an important part of the calculation. If someone takes time putting their knowledge in an eBook, they’re not going something else. Even if the eBook can make money, that doesn’t mean that it will make them more than something else they could do with their time.
Second, if you build it, people may or may not buy or download it. Sure you may get done from a few specific connections, but that’s usually a smart term local benefit. A long term one takes time marketing your eBook.
Finally, you may love what you do and hate writing an eBook on how you do it. If that’s the case, writing an eBook with your knowledge might be an awful idea even if it could make money.
Of course, none of these might be true, but I’m just saying that the decision is more complex. Many people make money teaching others how to do something and some prefer to make money doing the thing they could teach.
Proofreading aside… 😉
You make some very solid points. I, of course, have some counter points.
I’d say somebody who’s going pretty darn well with business likely isn’t doing everything themselves anyway. They could pay somebody a little bit of money to do the heavy lifting and then they could come in at the end, do a little cleanup/editing as needed and their investment in time goes way the heck down! This same point goes for your 3rd point in which the person may not enjoy the process of collecting info and writing about it.
I don’t think it’s always about the money. Like I said in the post, it has the potential to be a way to get people to sign up for a newsletter. So depending on where you’re business is at, the extra eyes may be worth more than the immediate bucks.
All that said, this is most definitely something people need to consider for their own situation. If they already have a decent following but aren’t earning big bucks, this could help. Or, if they’re trying to grow their audience, this could also help. But of course, there’s no guarantees in life.
I guess I should have proofread. A few mobile keyboard mistakes, but you got the idea I think.