What tools and services do I need to launch my info product business?

This is one of 52 questions I’m answering about building your own business. For the other 51 Questions, check here.

The beauty of running an info product business is that you can get your hands on some very powerful tools for little or no money. You can use these tools to automate your business, make it easy to do your day to day tasks, and more. Here are the top tools and services I recommend…

Autoresponder

An autoresponder will email your new contacts automatically. If they ask for a download, or purchase a product, they will automatically get a specific email the first, second and any amount of days you design. If two people on your email contact list get signed up on two different days, they will get the same email from you on different days.

You can use an autoresponder to set up a paid ecourse or a fixed term membership site by setting up which emails they get after they are entered into your email system. The Marketing Momentum Challenge is an example of how I’ve used auto-responders to deliver content to people for a paid product. 

You can also use an auto-responder to tell your story to people over a series of emails, or to unfold a product you want to sell over time. Most auto-responders also allow you to send regular emails without advance planning. This means you can send a regular email to everyone on your list and only the newer people will get pre-planned emails. 

I use Sendreach for my autoresponder. They have some great delivery rates and unique ways to allow people to show up with social media.

No matter which email responder you use, Be sure to take regular downloads of your email list because you don’t own their system! I’ve heard too many stories of people’s email list being held hostage by auto-responder services. Download your list regularly so if this happens to you, you can still stay in contact with people who have reached out to you.

Blog Platform

You need a platform to post your own unique content, offer things to sell and be found! There are plenty of ways to start a blog and website. However, only one of them is a free, secure, easy to install onto a domain that you own. That platform is WordPress. It was released as an opensource platform in 2003 and has only become more useful since that launch. 

Many people believe that because it is free, that it is not good enough. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here is a list of some of the largest companies using this free platform. One reason I love it so much is that it makes it super easy for Google to find your content. In fact, I stopped taking SEO (search engine optimization) clients unless they had a WordPress website.

Registrar

The key to remember here is to choose a reputable registrar. In other words, don’t be swayed by a new company that is offering deals to bring you in the door, as they could fold tomorrow and take your domain with them. I use Site5. They have great up-time and when you are getting enough traffic, you can upgrade to a larger plan that does not share resources with others. 

Freelancing Platforms

If you plan on doing any outsourcing (an you should), then you’ll need to find these freelancers. Good places to go include two of the most reputable and longest-running freelancing platforms: www.elance.com and www.upwork.com. You can also get hit or miss people from Fiverr.com.

All of those places are also great ways to get off the ground yourself! At one time, all 4 of my kids had listings on Fiverr with creative and fun ways for them to make money online!

When you are ready for more consistent help, you can look at hiring a virtual assistant.

Payment Processor

The payment processor you choose depends on what sort of payments you need to accept, what you’re selling and even where you reside in the world. Here are some of the top choices:

PayPal: This is a great option since it’s widely accepted, and you can sell both digital and physical goods. There is no built-in affiliate program, but you can integrate various scripts with PayPal to run your own affiliate program. See www.paypal.com.

ClickBank: Good option if you’re selling digital goods, especially if you plan on launching an affiliate program. ClickBank handles everything, including cutting checks to your affiliates. See www.clickbank.com for more information.

JVZoo: This is a popular alternative to ClickBank, especially if you’re selling in the “make money online” arena with an affiliate program. See www.jvzoo.com.

2CheckOut: This is an alternative to PayPal. It’s not as widely recognized and it doesn’t have a built-in affiliate program, but those who can’t or won’t use PayPal often turn to 2Checkout. See www.2checkout.com.

Zaxaa: Another alternative to PayPal. This one includes a lot of shopping-cart features. See www.zaxaa.com.

Product Creation

The tools you need for product creation depend on what you’re creating. However, most info product sellers create text products (such as ebooks and reports) as well as video products. Here are the tools you might use:

OpenOffice.org: If your computer doesn’t have Microsoft Office or a similar suite of tools, then check out this free alternative. This suite also includes a PDF writer, so you can convert your text documents to the widely used .pdf format. See www.openoffice.org.

TIP: If you don’t have a PDF converter already on your computer, then you’ll need to seek out a third party offering. The most well-known tool is the Adobe

converter, which you can find at www.Adobe.com. There are of course less expensive and even free alternatives available, such as www.cutepdf.com.

Camtasia: If you’re doing screen recording videos (perhaps using PowerPoint™ slide presentations), then Camtasia is a good choice for recording and editing. See www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html for more info.

Web Host

Be sure to pick a reputable host, and one that is NOT tied to your domain registrar. Examples include www.hostgator.com and www.bluehost.com.

Conclusion

So there you have some so of the most common tools you’ll need to launch your info product business. Go ahead and pick the ones that are right for you. I think you’ll be amazed at how the right tool makes light work of your business!

Once you’ve got your tools in place, then you can start building your business. Here’s a good place to start: