Episode 45 – 9 Ways To Turn Your Knowledge Into Marketable Products And Services
You’ve got a skill or talent of some kind that you want to turn into a business, but how exactly should you sell it?
In what form does it make sense and what are all the options for making it into something you can ask for money for?
I do have a recommendation for the best business model to start a business with, but here I want to explain all the ways that you can transfer value so you have some different ways to think about what makes sense for you.
These options can also affect the type of business you start. I talk more about this in my book ‘Your Business, Your Rules’ which I definitely recommend you check out.
The good news is there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to delivering value.
There are some standard value forms you can look to for creating something to sell
The easiest form of all – you simply do whatever you are great at for the customer. This is where you look at how you can solve your customer’s problems in the form of a service.
I said this was simple but don’t be misled into thinking that means you should skip over this option. There really is a lot to be said for simple. Simple actually improves the likelihood of profitability and getting your business off the ground in the first place.
You can create an information product to teach the customer your skill.
This could take the form of either a physical or digital product.
Perhaps an eBook, an eCourse, a ‘real’ book, video or, another kind of information product.
If you have specialised knowledge about a field are you aware of any shortcomings in products currently available? Could you create a better version? Do you see any gaps in the market for variations or even perhaps something new?
Products can be more difficult to sell because they are less personalised but it does, of course, depend on your market.
You don’t have to sell your own stuff. You can sell on products providing your “knowledge” to help customers make the right choice. You could also onsell products that you have specialised knowledge about to certain groups.
Affiliate marketing comes under the business model of resale.
4. Shared resource
Is there a way of creating or purchasing something using your knowledge that people will pay for access to? A serviced office space or child play centre are some examples of a shared resource.
These tend to be more physical spaces but there are also other ways you can use this business model.
A lot of businesses are moving from the business model of paying for information to paying for access.
Instead of paying once or paying off a payment plan for a program, you might pay monthly for ongoing access until you stop your subscription.
Could you create something or provide an ongoing service that people would be willing to pay for regular access to?
A website help desk service for example or continuing access to a set of online courses.
A subscription-based service can be really great if you want to have a more predictable cash flow. I find this model can work very well for established businesses who already have a large audience wanting access to their resources.
Do you have something or have the knowledge about something to allow you to buy business assets that you can lease out to others and charge a leasing fee?
PA and stage/DJ equipment are assets that can be leased out. Machinery and tools are other examples.
This is less of an online business, but we are looking at all options here!
This is where you act as an agent for a service or product. You are the link between the buyer and the seller.
Could you broker a service of some kind or do you have links with certain suppliers that you could leverage?
I often have aspiring business owners coming to me asking about these kinds of models. The important to remember here is you have to have access to both sides of the business model here for it to work and there has to be a reason for people to go through an agent rather than direct.
8. Audience Aggregation
If you have an audience of particular characteristics you can charge for access to your audience generally in the form of advertising.
This is mainly relevant for established businesses that already have an audience but can be another potential income stream to look forward to in the future.
Having ads on your podcast, which I choose not to do, and ads on your blog or video channel come under this model.
An option is when you sell the consumer the ‘option’ to do something. A ticket to an event is an option. When you purchase the ticket you can go to the event, but you don’t have to. Gift vouchers are a classic example.
How do you know which form of value is best for you?
The answer is ‘It depends.’ It depends on a number of factors.
Think about the kind of person you are and what you like to do with your day but also think about what is going to be the easiest business to start and give you the best profitability.
Do you want to work with people one on one providing a service, or would you prefer advising people on purchases or setting up deals? Imagine what your day would be like if you chose a particular kind of product or service to sell.
You also, of course, need to consider the market. What makes sense in your industry?
It is also possible to create combinations.
Ultimately you need to make sure the business fits you and your lifestyle as well as servicing the market.