Of the 1 billion people who now use the internet worldwide, the vast majority are searching for information--they're seeking financial services, looking for medical information, checking real estate listings, chatting with newsgroups, researching products and services, and looking for information that'll answer their questions and solve their problems.
So what does that mean for you, the entrepreneur? It means that information is a hot product!
To profit from this overwhelming demand for information, one of the first things you'll need is an affordable and simple way to package and distribute information products securely online.
That's where e-books come in. E-books (electronic books) aren't only the perfect vehicle in which to package your valuable information product, they're also easy--and free--to deliver. Plus, once you've put in the initial time to create them, your costs to reproduce them are zero--so you keep 100 percent of the profits!
The important thing to note about e-books is they aren't just books. Unlike a paper book, which can only contain words and maybe the odd chart or illustration, an e-book can contain absolutely anything that can be delivered over the internet.
This means you can easily take any multimedia presentation--including audio and video files--that would work on a website and package it in an e-book.
In fact, there are literally dozens of ways for you to use e-books to increase sales, capture opt-ins, generate sales leads, and more. For example, with e-books you can:
- Record a video presentation of your best salesperson pitching your product. A video sales pitch is a great way to reach a far wider audience because you can easily send it around the internet.
- Create an interactive demonstration of how your product works. People love to be able to see how something works before they buy it, and if you capture the contact information of everyone who views your demonstration, you can easily follow up with those leads.
- Create "preview" chapters--an incredibly powerful sales tool. You can let visitors to your site download your e-book and read one or two chapters, and then prompt them to "unlock" the rest of the e-book by paying for it. Once people prove to themselves that you're offering valuable information, they'll gladly pay to get the rest of it.
- Increase your sales with free or paid trials of text, audio or video products. It's easy to sell "free trial" e-books that give readers full or partial access to your information for a limited time. If you collect each customer's credit card information at the beginning of the free trial, you can simply bill them after the trial period is up. And if a customer decides they don't want your product, you can simply shut off their e-book access from your own computer.
- Compile audio or video interviews with industry experts. This makes for a highly marketable e-book that's fun and easy to create. Most people will agree to an interview if you approach them professionally and explain how they stand to benefit from the exposure of participating in your e-book.
E-books have come a long way from the simple electronic delivery of text-based documents. Just use your imagination and let e-books help you create and distribute professional-looking information products that'll wow your customers.
Derek Gehl is the CEO of the Internet Marketing Center, an internet marketing firm that has helped thousands of people learn to start and run their own online businesses.IMC hosts a new Search Marketing Lab Forum, where members have their strategy questions answered by search marketing specialists.