Taking care of essential information product creation preparation will help avoid costly errors and reap huge rewards throughout the product creation process.
Check out the resources below to get you started on the right track.
Set yourself up for Information Product creation success
Preparation Reaps Huge Rewards
Successful people understand how to prepare for great opportunities. Taking care of information product creation preparation is essential. While it may take time and be a bit of a pain when you just want to 'get on with it', the rewards far out-way the pain.
Examples of people who put a lot of effort into preparation and go on to achieve outstanding results are all around us.
Usain Bolt the legendary Jamaican athlete is the only sprinter to win Olympic gold titles for the 100m and 200m at 3 consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016). Where some saw his height as a hindrance he turned it into explosive power through hard work and preparation to become the fastest man alive.
Now I know I am no Usain Bolt, but I'm sure we have all experienced the buzz of achieving our goal after putting in the hard yards with some solid preparation.
Whether its preparation for a special family occasion, preparing for a product launch or preparing for an important business presentation. The pain of preparation recedes once you experience the exhilaration of success.
Pre-checks Help Avoid Costly Errors
When you embark on a long holiday you make a number of preparations and checks before you leave. It gives you peace of mind and saves both time and money. The thought of having to find a pharmacy in another country to source a basic item you left behind is not a fun experience. Been there, done that, definitely wasn't fun. 🙁
I now run through my overseas holiday checklist again before leaving to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. Expensive lesson learnt.
Pilots have a set of pre-flight checks they undertake to ensure the passengers and crew arrive safely at their destination. Surgeons don't start an operation without making sure that all the resources they need to operate are within arms reach.
Preparation for product development is no different. Taking time to check off the essential information product creation preparation activities can save significant time and money. They are also simple and easy to complete.
So let's buckle up and prepare for information product creation success.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”
So far in the planning phase of your online business journey, you have set up your planning framework.
At this stop, we cover off the essential information product creation preparation activities.
We will be:
- tracking reference resources
- selecting the tools we need for product development
- creating a style guide to be used throughout the product development
- preparing our working environment
- managing our personal energy so we perform at our optimum
Stage 5 - Essential Information Product Creation Preparation
As you research your topic keep track of relevant references. References may relate to:
- website URLs for hyperlinks
- quotes and the author of the quote
- case study references
- source of statistics
- images that you want to include with your content
You can then use the information you locate with confidence and provide a useful reference point for your audience. Using credible references helps build authority as it demonstrates an investment in research, up-to-date information and a desire to deliver extra value.
Reference lists are also a valuable opt-in freebie / lead magnet as you could save your audience hours and hours of work by providing a list of linked resources relevant to your topic. This is one information product creation preparation activity that has benefits not only for product creation but also offers a great opt-in incentive opportunity.
This information product creation preparation activity is about getting your toolset sorted before you start your development work. The toolset you need is directly related to the medium and format of the information product you have chosen to create.
As an online entrepreneur myself, I select tools that are 'fit for purpose', affordable for the stage that my business is at and where I have access to support. Either via training materials or directly supplied by the tool provider. It's a balance of time, cost and quality.
As a Kiwi (New Zealander) we are known for our "number 8 wire approach". The "number 8 wire" approach represents the ingenuity and resourcefulness which results from an ability to create or repair things using whatever scrap materials available on hand.
To me this means utilising tools for multiple purposes, reusing resources in a variety of ways and choosing to invest in knowledge and skill acquisition. You don't have to invest in expensive tools when you're starting out. I'd encourage you to do the same. Maximise your return on investment.
Below is a list of tools that you'll utilise in the creation of the various information product formats. Consider this a starter list rather than an 'all inclusive' list.
The complexity of the product you want to create will also influence the tools that you need to obtain. Creating tool information products such as templates, trackers and calculators are more accessible and a lot more 'doable' than more complex tool based products. To create more sophisticated tools you will need a toolset specific to your unique needs.
I have personally created a wide variety of products just with this basic toolset alone.
You can always add tools once you master the basic set and as your finances allow. When creating a video for example you may want to add a tripod to hold your smartphone or add a lighting set. But this is not necessary to start off with.
Focus on producing irresistible content to a good standard first. Create a 'good enough' product and improve it with your customer's feedback. Remember we are not creating a Hollywood production nor do we have a Hollywood budget either.
- word processing software
- grammar check
- visual tools - for image creation
- audio software
- camera or smart phone
- slide creation software
- video creation and editing software
- screen capture software
- image snipping software
- image compression and resizing software
- image creation software
- camera or smart phone
- slide creation software
- word processing software
- spreadsheet processing software
- specialist software
Finding the 'right' resources can be a stressful headache. Spending some time to explore a variety of image resource libraries that suit your brand, as well as sourcing free or low-cost software applications, is worth it.
For me, sourcing or creating images then resizing and compressing them was taking a lot of my product development time. Maybe it's because I spend too much time trying to find the 'right' image. I'm certainly no artist as my stick figure pictures attest. However, I am a visual person, so I look for images that support the key messages and text I create.
I have saved heaps of time by identifying my 'go to' image repositories as well as utilising tools for colour and size identification. This means I now have a ready set of links I can access quickly when I need to. Listed below are a few other resources to help with your information product creation preparation.
- stock image websites
- font repositories
- creative design websites
- style guide
Tools - Accessories:
- colour picker
- page ruler
- font identifier
Tools - Productivity:
- online file storage
- free-form information organiser
Create a Style Guide to Help Maintain Consistency
The key to styling is to use style elements consistently. Creating a Style Guide will help you decide what fonts, bullets, spacing, heading formats, colour and other style elements you will use throughout your information product. Once created, a Style Guide can be used as a quick reference as you create your product.
If you choose to outsource your content creation, style guides are a useful tool that you can provide to others to ensure you keep a consistent look and feel across all of your material, no matter who creates the content.
This information product creation preparation activity is about looking at your physical environment and getting that sorted. Having a working environment that is conducive to high productivity is essential but often overlooked by online entrepreneurs who frequently work from home.
Carve yourself a quiet space that you can work in as well as leave your work materials out. The increase in productivity of not having to pack and unpack made a big difference for me. Sometimes just the thought of having to unpack my stuff and then pack it all up again was enough to procrastinate with starting.
Ideally, your workspace shouldn't be in a thoroughfare or you will be constantly distracted. Having a room that has good lighting (ideally natural light) as well as being warm or cool, dependent on your situation helps. Having wall space to place your Planning Board in clear sight is also very useful.
Personal Energy Management
Information product creation preparation is more than just getting your hardware, software and environment all sorted. They are almost the most obvious activities. In this section, we will take a look at an extremely valuable and limited resource. Your personal energy.
We are talking personal mental energy here rather than electrical energy. As Online Information Entrepreneurs our greatest asset is our mental energy, a precious commodity that needs to be nurtured.
The Pomodoro Technique is a useful time management method for managing flow and focus. It is a very simple, easy to apply productivity method. When you have any large task or series of tasks to complete, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called 'Pomodoros') that are separated by short breaks. The method helps your brain focus for short periods without the 'brain drain'. It also helps to improve your attention span and concentration.
Here's how it works.
- choose a task to be accomplished
- set the timer to 25 minutes
- work until the timer sounds, then put a tick or checkmark on a sheet of paper to track the number of periods
- take a short break of 3-5 minutes and repeat
- at the end of the fourth period take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
While the goal is to help you get into the 'focus zone' it is also a good technique to remind you to come up for air once and a while to take regular breaks, which will, in turn, improve your productivity.
I personally use this method as I tend to work for long periods without taking a break, often hours and hours at a time. For me, it is not so much about helping me stay on task as that is not my problem. I find it is a useful tool to remind myself to take a break. This helps me be more productive and focus on the 'right things'.
During the breaks, it is good to give your brain some fresh air and move around to relax physically as well. Too much time spent hunched over the keyboard is not good.
Give it a go and see if it works for you. 🙂
You have completed the essential preparation activities and set yourself up for success by:
Now it is time to move over to the next stop within our planning phase and get serious about some planning and organising before we start our product creation activities in earnest.