From the time I was a kid, all I wanted was to be a published author. I think I was strongly influenced by the Peanuts comic strip that had a recurring storyline where Snoopy was writing his “it was a dark and stormy night” book.
I achieved my goal of becoming an author in 2001, but I didn’t reach the level of success I had planned until I made one simple change in mindset a few years later.
I stopped thinking of myself solely as an author, because I eventually realized that mindset is a huge mistake. Why? Because the maximum possible audience and revenue for any author’s work is achieved when you learn to think beyond the book!
Some people like to learn by listening (audio), some by reading (books, special reports, training manuals, transcripts), some by watching (video), some through interactivity (webinars, teleseminars, coaching), and many like to learn through a combination of some or all of these methods. If you only make your content available in book form, you are leaving audience and money on the table every single day!
Now, I’m probably like you. I came from the written word world, and I’m still most comfortable when I express myself in writing. However, I also know that while it’s my natural tendency to favor written content, that point-of-view doesn’t hold true for everyone else. For example, I personally find it annoying when someone asks me to watch a video. With my author roots, I’d rather quickly read or skim a traditional text blog post or article than watch a video.
On the other hand, I know other creative people who will only watch a video or listen to an audio, because they just don’t read, or find it easier while multi-tasking. It’s more in their comfort zone to bypass the written word and they create their content accordingly.
So who’s right in their approach to content creation? When it comes to reaching and monetizing the most people with your message, neither of us is right. Your customers should drive how your content is offered for sale. The savvy author leaves behind his/her author mindset and instead adopts an infopreneur’s (information entrepreneur’s) mindset.
An infopreneur, the way I define it, is someone who creates original content information products and services based on their unique knowledge in all the different ways that people would value learning. Your book is an information product; if you offer a live, interactive training on your book, it is an information service. Some authors don’t like to refer to their books as a form of information product. Get over it! Having information products and services will earn you more money than just being an author any day!
So when you open up your mind to the concept of infopreneuring, the path to maximizing your audience and revenue then becomes fairly simple:
Think about your area of expertise (or for fiction writers, your story), and identify how you could deliver your content in any and every possible format that someone would want. Think audio, video, written, interactive and a combination of these.
2. Think Like Product Managers Do In The Business World
Take the list of items you’ve brainstormed and create a plan for a comprehensive information product and service line. Logically scope out all the possible offerings you could have, and how you will strategically offer them in the marketplace.
3. Benefit From Being Perceived As Web 2.0 Friendly
Since your offerings now demonstrate a complete understanding of your audience (you respect the fact that they want to consume your content how, when and where they wish to do so), you’re not leaving behind any potential customers. You’ll no longer miss out on the person who wants to only listen to learn from you, watch to learn from you, or interact to learn from you, because you’re now thinking beyond the bookÖand your bank account is bound to reap the rewards!
Melanie Jordan, Everybody’s Infopreneur Coach, is the author of What You Know Is Worth More Than You Know (her sixth self-published book), producer/host of the hit show What You Know Is Worth More Than You Know, The Podcast and heads up SunLover Publishing LLC, her publishing, media properties and coaching company.
Melanie offers her Think Beyond The Book training for authors who want to learn how to successfully maximize their audience and revenue, as well as a complete array of author services including: infopreneur, marketing and social media coaching, affordable author interview teleseminars, virtual book tours, bookinars and podcast consulting.