The Top 2 Best-Selling Types of Info Products (of 2012)

Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins and welcome to today’s episode of The Marketing Show. In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking about the top two bestselling types of information products of 2012. A lot of people don’t know this, but there are consistently two types of information products that outsell the others online, and it’s really easy to see when you know what to look for, so I’m going to be unveiling this and going deep with this material in this episode of The Marketing Show.

So if you follow The Marketing Show for any length of time, you’ll know that we usually do it on a live action set. We spend a lot of time on motion graphics and making it look good. This week, I do not have that luxury. I’m flying out to Austin and I’m doing a number of things, and I don’t have the luxury of doing it how I normally do it. So I’m going to do it old school.

Anyway, Tracy was like, “You know, you should still have a picture of you so people know that this is coming from a real person and not from some disembodied marketing weirdo.” So that’s my girlfriend and I at Seal Beach, and it was during a recent trip up the coast of California. We’re just about to go into a wine tasting. My girlfriend wanted to include this picture as well. No comment. I guess that’s a penguin on the right side of the candle and a ground hog on the right side of the wine glass.

So like I said earlier, I’m going to be telling you the top two bestselling types of information products of 2012, but before I do that, I want to lay out five different types of information products, and then I’m going to tell you which of those work the best.

So the first type of information product is the identity-based product. This is the kind of product where you’re selling someone an identity that they want to have, so an example of this might be the Third Tribe or Rich, Happy, and Hot, or Experts Academy where people are wanting this identity in a lot of ways in your marketing for these products. What you’re selling someone is the identity that they’re seeking to have and you make the connection that if they buy your product that they will then be able to have that self image and that identity.

The second type are mechanism-based products, and these are products that help people accomplish their goals through a mechanism that you’re giving them, and a lot of times, people have goals, but they don’t believe that they are achievable and tell you, point them to a mechanism that can help them accomplish those goals. And this is another type of information product. So an example of this might be Product Launch Formula or the Interactive Offer, and I have some more examples. We’re going to be diving into these in more depth.

A third type of information products is the goal-based product. So these products are basically about how to do X, right? So how to get up your WordPress website, or how to become a golf pro, or how to write a New York Times bestseller, or something like that. A lot of times, these products have how to in the title.

Another type of product is the philosophy-based product, and these products are all about a certain philosophy on life. They don’t focus at least in their marketing on mechanisms or identity, but upon the philosophy that is often created by the author of the product. And the fifth type, I call this stupid-based product, and I’ll be explaining what that means in a second.

So I’m going to tell you which kinds tend to sell the best in 2012. So the first kind is the identity-based product, and this is one of the top two bestselling types of information products of 2012, so an example of this is the Third Tribe. People who see themselves in the third tribe – and this is a community created by copy blogger media – purchased this, and a lot of times, they actually aren’t in the third tribe, but they seek to belong to the third tribe. Other people certainly are in that tribe. A lot of times, these things are aspirational or these identity-based products are aspirational, so people don’t necessarily have these self images or these self identities, but they are purchasing that product because they want to have that identity.

So for example, a customer of mine, Jonathan Mead, has a product called the Trailblazer, and it is for people who aren’t currently trailblazers who want to become trailblazers, and you know, inevitably, people do buy it who are trailblazers and want to become better at being trailblazers. So I don’t want to speak for Jonathan as to what that product is for. Rich, Happy and Hot by Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder is another example of an identity-based product. Presumably, someone purchases this product who is not rich, but they want this identity, and in selling this with the marketing around this program from what I’ve seen is selling someone the potential of having this identity and having this be the reality in their life.

Another example of this might be Experts Academy by Brendon Bruchard. Someone wants to become an expert. They want the identity of being an expert. They want this self image of being an expert. And so Brendon sells them that identity or at least sells them a product that potentially will help them have that identity, help them become an expert. This is all about becoming. That’s what these products are about. It’s about becoming a trailblazer; becoming rich, happy, and hot; becoming an expert.

So the first type is identity-based products, and usually, when you’re doing this, when you’re selling identity-based products, you’re selling to your prospect’s fantasy identity. There’s Jonathan Mead in one of his launch videos. He’s about to go on a run at this point in the video. He’s explaining that the way he lives his life is the way where when he gets up in the morning, he does whatever he wants to do, and he goes on running. That’s part of the video. So that’s part of the identity that he has and that’s part of the identity that he’s offering to his customers.

In Rich, Happy and Hot launch video, you see Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder walking around the streets of New York. You know, they are wearing expensive clothes. They got that rich part. They are smiling so they look happy, and people tend to think that they’re hot. So the second type of information product that tends to do extremely well is the mechanism-based product, and this is one of the top two bestselling types of information products of 2012. You know you’re dealing with a mechanism-based product when you hear the word formula or blueprint in the title.

So you’ve often heard like traffic attraction formula or product launch formula, or you know, commission blueprint, or you know, whatever things like that, but these are mechanism-based products. An example of a mechanism-based product in the golf industry is stack and tilt. They’ve got a mechanism and the method for helping you achieve specific results. The interactive offer is an example of a mechanism-based product. One of the most popular in bestselling books on relationships is called the Five Love Languages, and they’re saying that if you understand these mechanisms, these Five Love Languages, then you can accomplish your goal. Another thing is called the Presence Process. So I’m reading a book right now called The Presence Process. It’s extremely good. It’s by Michael Brown. I highly recommend it. Product Launch Formula is another example of a mechanism-based product, and by the way, there is me speaking at Product Launch Formula, so I’m a huge fan of what Jeff has done with that.

So mechanism-based products really allow folks to accomplish one of the biggest and well-known goals in the market. So generally speaking, mechanism-based products, if you’re in the marketing space, it’s going to help address one of the biggest problems in marketing. If you’re in the golf space, the mechanism generally helps people accomplish their biggest goal in that space, but it’s not a goal-based product. So here’s the deal. Often, people have given up on their goals. They believe that their goals are not possible, but when you introduce to them a mechanism that can help them accomplish what they previously thought was impossible, they will again renew their work in a specific area.

So marketing around mechanism-based products is all about convincing people and showing them and proving to them that a goal that they have or have had in the past is now possible or can be accomplished much quicker with a specific mechanism that exists. And sometimes, and in fact, in most cases, in some markets, the mechanism that is being told helps people accomplish a goal that they didn’t even know that they had. So they are excited by the mechanism and the possibility that it can create, and they go out, and now they’ve got a new goal that was actually created by that mechanism, and in a lot of cases, that can create confusion.

So you’ll see this especially in the marketing space. You know, so many products will come out that introduce so many mechanisms, and people think that they have to do article marketing because they saw a good mechanism for doing it, or they think they have to do social media because they saw a great new mechanism for doing it, and they find out about all these things, and they forget to focus on the basics, things like having a good solid offer in place because they’ve been distracted by these mechanisms which imply that they should have goals that in fact they never have had in the first place. So that’s something about mechanism-based products.

A third type of information product, which seems to not do as well is the goal-based product. Now there are some notable exceptions here. There are some goal-based products that have done incredibly well in the past, but on the whole, not so much. So examples in the past are How to Win Friends and Influence People. These are usually how to. You see “how to” in the title. The 4-Hour Work Week, right? So someone has a goal of having a 4-hour work week. This is not based on mechanisms, and it’s not based on identity, and frankly, it’s hard to sell goal-based products without a mechanism that is front and center and usually in the title.

So frankly, I had a difficult time coming up with goal-based products that have done well in the past because there are not a lot of goal-based products that have done well in the past. How to Create a Killer Website? How to Create a Logo? You know, these are not things that people are typically interested in because they do not believe, generally speaking, that they can do these things unless you introduce to them just an amazing mechanism for helping them accomplish this. And unless you make the marketing about the mechanism instead of why it would be great to have a website or why it would be great to, you know, whatever you’re teaching people to do.

The fourth type of information product, and this is a type of product that tends to not do very well is the philosophy-based product. So products like these are generally named after a philosophy on life or a philosophy of doing things. So you know, Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, things like that, that’s not really an information product per se, but it was hard for me to come up with list of this because there aren’t a lot of these that have done very well.

And of course, the fifth type of information product I call the stupid-based product, and these types of products tend to be inside jokes among clever bloggers who have a great idea about what to name a product, and these product names are generally an inside joke among a particular community. They don’t convert on cold traffic. They don’t convert on SCO traffic. They don’t convert on paid traffic, but they’re normally like clever names, and they usually don’t sell very well. They’re not going to be products that are sort of added to the cannon of information products that exist in any particular market, and they can be fun to name, but they’re not going to be your bestsellers. So that is the fifth and final type of information product.

And the winners are, right, the top two bestselling types of information products, of course, are identity-based products and mechanism-based products. Anyway, this episode of the Marketing Show was brought to you by you. It was brought to your enthusiasm around what we’re doing here. It was brought to you by your hopes and dreams and goals. It was brought to you by just the large number of people who have e-mailed me, telling me how this information has impacted your life. And so, if this has been a benefit to you, I would be truly grateful and humbled and honored if you would donate a Facebook share or a Tweet, and let people know about the work that’s being done here and about the content we have.

Anyway, my name is Clay Collins, and thank you so much for watching the Marketing Show.