I’ve had several conversations this week with established business owners who are looking to create leveraged income. For all of these entrepreneurs, their business model to date has focused on direct client services, either individually or in groups, alongside workshops and trainings.
Most of these business owners have written at least one book, and have been building their platform. This means they have a lot of ideas. A lot of content. And a lot of desire to create leveraged, residual and mostly passive income from their intellectual property.
And this makes good sense- not only in terms of enhancing the transfer of their best ideas, but also, because people have preferred modes of learning, and prefer to consume information in different formats. So even though you wrote the book on it, it’s still very likely that someone will want the audio, the video, and the workbook.
There are a fixed number of ways to turn your intellectual property into leveraged income- all reside on the pay for access model. And there are a finite number of distinct modalities within which you can change your content format. At the most basic level, there is written, audio, and video. Sure, you can add fancy tweaks and bells and whistles, but, essentially, you begin with one of these three formats.
Why am I reviewing what may feel obvious?
It’s because my conversations this week show that the really super smart folks are overthinking their monetization. What I mean is, they are trying to decide- “I have a book. Is an audio better? Or a video? Or a workbook? Or a….”
And my answer to those questions is yes.
All are good, warranted, and worthwhile to consider offering. With the improvements in desktop publishing, digital publishing, and just in time printing/print-on-demand technologies, we have much more freedom and creative license to offer our products in all sorts of combinations. Since we don’t need to pre-pay for CD’s, or DVD’s, or workbook printing, it makes sense, to my way of thinking, to develop a complete line of products for each book. You can get one graphic design for the whole set, and adjust it fit the media.
I bring this up because too often, we think “either/or” when we want to be thinking “and/and”. If I have a book and a workbook and an audio, I suddenly have multiple options for how I bundle and sell that material. I could do book or workbook or audio. Book and workbook. Book and audio. Workbook and audio. So, from three items (one of which- the book- had already been written anyway)- I can create 6 different offers.
If you price these well, you, very often, will end up selling the larger bundles because people like to feel that they are accessing complete information. If the problem is compelling and worth solving, most people want to be certain they have all the information they need.
In the past, it used to be that determining monetization streams required a great deal of thinking and planning. After all, you didn’t want to invest in graphic design, layout, printing, shipping, and storage costs if you weren’t reasonably certain of receiving a return on your investment.
But now, when storage costs have essentially disappeared, printing and shipping only happens on order, and you can access affordable graphic design and layout services, there is almost no reason to hold back on creating your monetization streams.
When you have additional products in a themed product line, it’s easy to set up systems for upselling or cross-selling. You don’t need to do a lot more promotion, but you have a gateway to make more money with every sale.
So, if you find yourself overthinking your monetization, I suggest two things. The answer to “what format do I create?” is, in most cases, “all of them.” and the answer to “how do I do this? is, in most cases, as directly, easily, and inexpensively as possible.
When you reduce the lag between idea and income generation, you will become more profitable. As one of my business mentors always used to tell me, “Money follows speed.”