How to make a great information product

 

how to make a great information product

It’s hard to live off your creativity. There are so many things that you take into consideration when you take the job as creator and decide to stick with it. Not only do you have to create – but you also have to convince people that you’re one of the best in the market of creating.

For me, it’s about creating products that need to stand out at first view. But these products also need to leave an experience of ‘great product’, so the good old viral effect and word-of-mouth sets in and the product starts to sell itself.

The key to a great information product is to be very aware of the benefits – and maybe not just listing them, but also communicate them extremely well – to different kinds of customers.

You shouldn’t only be looking at the product and how it’s build – it’s even more essential to look at the experience and outcome that your potential customers get by purchasing your product.

You need to focus more on how you want your potential customers to feel after they’ve tried your product.

How do you make sure your product is so great that it exceeds expectations?

Start by building an information product roadmap. A product roadmap you define what processes you want your potential customers to go through. Showing initiatives, processes and how you want your product to launch, communicate, and succeed. There you will also find your way through pitfalls and discussions.

Make the experience of the product and the outcome for the potential customer top priority.

Most of the time the key is how much value you can put into an information product. That’s all good and well, but in my experience one of the things that you also need to do is to keep thinking ‘customer experience’ and ‘outcome’. For example a lot of information products have a Facebook group where everybody who has purchased the product they meet up and connect afterwards.

Sometimes you, as an information product owner,  ask them if you can keep their email so you can send them new information when something new is coming up in the field.

There’s a lot of tricks to information products, but one of the things that has worked for me is to find  products that you can benchmark up against. How do they communicate? what do they promise? what are the outcome and how does the product exceed expectations? Why do people refer to them? Do they have an affilliate programme or something similar?

Enjoy building rockers!

rock on

 

Managing fear in your business

managing fear in your business

I have been practicing a thing lately in Henriette Weber Inc: fear. Looking fear straight into its eyes. Corner it and telling myself; what are you afraid of? I have become great at identifying my fears and asking questions around it – where the most action-packed question I can ask myself is: how can I turn this into something I am not afraid of any more?

Let me give you an example. Last week I was in a meeting with a potential client that I want to work with. I am in a place where I don’t take new freelance work in, but this client would be close to a con-amore project, so I would totally make room for it in my calendar. Our values align, I think they’re awesome – but not that digitally-savvy, yet. Even though, I do a good job of communicating technically hard-to-understand issues to people who haven’t been introduced to them before. I have a metaphor for every issue that could be hard to understand to have people understand it better. However, I just didn’t feel like I was coming across properly. I did my best, but I left the meeting feeling kind of down because I know my message, and the reason they should hire me, hadn’t come across clearly. Now, normally I would have been hitting myself in the head for a day or two because I hadn’t done a great job. I probably wouldn’t be the one running their brand strategy and turning them into the most admirable company in their field. But this time I opened my notebook and wrote down ‘to-do: plan more basic content around my work for newbies’. I turned the fear of being misunderstood into an actionable to-do that I am already working around.

After my illness, and having looked the worst of fear in the eyes and lived with it every day (yes, the fear of dying far too soon). I’ve changed my looks on fear. I could go into the wildest of details, but believe me, having battled a life-threatening illness will make you change your views on pretty much anything. You have to hope for the best and celebrate the small things you can do today that you haven’t been able to do yesterday. For me, every full breath of air was a winning-streak. I have gotten a brand new perspective on how I run my business and how I make my money.  And I have promised to treat my bad-ass self better and more lovingly. Getting myself caught in being misunderstood is not something I want to be afraid of anymore. It will be something I create new cool initiatives around to prevent.

If you turn your fear into actionable items then it will become manageable. If you turn your fear into something, where you have a ton of backup, then at some point it’s not fear anymore. That’s how you’re managing fear in your business.

rock on

 

Add action to your personal mission statement

personal mission statement

You should create a personal mission statement, so you always know where you need to go, where your true north is.  My personal mission statement has become a way to adjust what I am doing and what choices I am making.

Another  important element is to start showing the world how you’re living your mission statement. Adding action and documenting those actions in pictures, blog posts, tweets, pins, snapchats, you name it. Documenting your journey is  something I refer to as “storyliving” – a word I have developed and a cornerstone of my branding work with my clients.

Actions and documenting those actions (the glossy word “storyliving”) when it comes to personal mission statements adds substance and trust to your brand. Suddenly you’re not only claiming you’re doing living your personal mission statement, you’re showing  the world around you how you’re true to yourself.

You’re not just sharing buzzwords and making your way to becoming an expert because of your brand. You’re consistently showing that you’re adding action upon action and that you mean what you say.

rock on

Could an online friend connection be a pact ?

friend connection pact

I want to propose something to you.
Something radical.
Something that could shift your brand purpose and how others view you.
I want you to see every friend connection as a mutual pact where you not only sign up to see what’s going on in each others life on social media. Where you also sign up to help each other grow creatively.

Where you help each other out.
In my perspective in my part of the pact, an online friend connection is as genuine as an offline. Where online is simply an extension to amplify the offline.

Where we help each other out – and not just click a “like” when your connection posts a picture.

I’m so blessed that I have a very creative network that launch things. They use blood, sweat and tears to build something fantastic.

The smallest thing I can do is to share their work and their efforts.

I’ve started to honor those genuine friend connections and help them launch their babies that mean the world to them. Sometimes by referring their work to others or sharing their updates.

I see it as a way I can serve the world and some of the people closest linked to me.

I see it as brand activism and viral effect  on an underground grassroot level, and that my friends, is one of the best things I know.

Peace out rockers!

That old “I should totally build a brand around this idea” feeling

I think it’s sad that people are so in doubt about what kind of personal or corporate brand they can be. What kind of brand is aligned with them. A brand is something that should be closely aligned with your identity or personality.

I totally get where you’re coming from. When I read some of my first stuff on branding I thought it was sky-high and I couldn’t but a finger on anything I could actually use it for. But then slowly I switched into action gear and started to create stuff around me that I thought was aligned with my personality and personal brand. Suddently I didn’t only see a blank canvas (my blog) I saw a million creative ways I could make a living being myself and giving my practical and curly inspiration to the world.

Listen rockers! it starts out with one thing: Great ideas! If you’re thinking about your branding and you suddenly come up with something that you, yourself think is a great idea, then it’s something that’s worth considering. If you get the “I should totally build something around this idea” feeling.  There’s probably an aspect of that idea that is aligned with you and what personal or even corporate brand you can have.

Let’s add all these great ideas and actions!

Business unusual: Becoming a relatable company in tiny steps

Ever since I was an activist teenager rebelling against the world and myself, I have been a sucker for change and companies- my definition of business unusual. I guess it was one of the things I learned most from hanging mentally out with Naomi Klein and Kalle Lasn and staying a whole summer in super rebellic Montreal, at that point in time where you could actually buy a coffin up there to sleep in (hello electronic goth days!). But I can get into total handclapping spasm if a company actually does something to better the world around them, or better themselves to be a larger part of the world around them. And I can as quickly grasp my pen and paper and write columns to the local newspaper if I think they are doing something wrong. Like when I was a teenager, I got so furious because the first thing you see when you enter my hometown Helsingør on top of a hill suddenly wasn’t the beautiful coast of Sweden but a gigantic McDonald’s sign (that was my first column and my mother vetoed me sending it to the local newspaper).

When I was a kid, if the teacher asked us to draw a company or a business we would draw a factory with smoke coming out of the chimney and wastewater coming out of a pipe in a lake and a couple of fish with x’ed out eyes (so they were dead). I wonder what people would draw now if you asked them to draw a company. Some would draw brands. But one problem that a lot of companies encounter is that they are not relatable. This is a HUGE internal problem for a company doing business in a world where business is largely personal and social. I see these companies as standing on the sideline of a football match saying “hey, why won’t you play with us?” and the companies and people playing shouts back “Because we don’t know you well enough”.
We all know that the conditions for business have changed. From business as usual to business unusual. Today the pace of society has made it hard for companies to brand themselves, not only on the aspect of technological pace but also more about how our buying behaviors changed – largely because of the internet and the closeness that social media has brought us together as overall societies. You can’t really do a standalone brand value chain anymore because it has become so incredibly disruptive.
When I get lucky and get hired into a brand brainstorming session, an advisor role or a concept building role (which could happen more you business people out there with a lot of money!) with a new client, I tell them that step one in making your brand more “cool and filled with substance” is to make sure that every touchpoint they have with their surroundings has a person attached to it. Normally the management hesitates for a second and then burst out: “But that would mean every person in our organization would be some sort of personal brand.”

Yes it would. And that’s a good thing. Yes, I want you to do personal branding galore. No, it’s not enough to create personal branding solely for the CEO because normally he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to people. No, you can’t keep personal brands as a part of your organization if they leave. It’s personal. It’s something that creates legacy for the person who has the brand, and better their chances of getting a job someplace else. See it as employee maintenance. But what if every piece of information going out from a company has a sender attached to it. What would happen if Mr. Larsen asked to talk to Betty every time he has a problem, and Mr. Jensen would ask for Sandy because they became the one to one face of a given company? It would mean that the trust of the company would increase. What if everyone in the company had their name as email addresses? Would you rather write betty@giganticboringcorp.com or BCM57@giganticboringcorp.com? The same on social media – what would happen if everybody knew the blogger/twitter/facebook/instagram team of company xx? It would turn a tiny part of the company from unrelatable to relatable.

Try it out and show the rest of us who you really are.

Have digital finally arrived at the correct action-packed plateau ?

I was so lucky that I got to attend the conference last week in Malmø. It was a great conference touching on all the different digital subjects and trends that’s currently happening. And it was So good! just the type of conference that I have been missing for a while. It felt very 2005-07 to me, before digital became a huge industry and everybody and their dog was doing something and made a ton of money.  Sadly – a lot of the digital conferences I have been attending have been more about startups and venture capitalists.  I had truely missed a conference where the ideas was the primary purpose and not launching in a new country/feature on stage. A conference where the speakers where accessible and everybody seemed like a part of the crowd! So thank you The Conference.

The motivation from the speakers was also different. –  All the talks I attended emphasized action in some way. From the incredibly cool beginning keynote from Ben Hammersley:

To the talks around local action, the education system, infrastructure in companies and so on. Digital is so übercool, and if we decide to use it for something purposeful it’s even cooler.

Overall I can’t stop being surprised by the creativity of these digital conferences – especially the conference, where they tap into something old to generate something new –  Reusing things that are old and cool to create newness. I mean all the crew was dressed in  outfits and hats that looked like they where taken out of Mary Poppins.

(pic by Heidi Harman)

I’m happy that the digital thought leaders they are now urging people to shift into action and start saving the world one day at the time.

Thank you for being the cool idea-filled geeky kid in the classroom of conferences! Thumbs up from here=)

Identity is key to rock anything digitally

 

Sometimes I wonder why many businesses seem to use social media, but fail to make it convert into something tangible, something on the bottomline, something that sticks to their identity, image and branding. Come to think of it, most of the people they connect to out there seem to be more disturbed than excited about what you have to say.

I wonder about  this because I have been approached by a lot of baffled companies requesting me to look into their social strategies and find out why the intended results do not match actual sales. What I found out is astounding  – ALL these companies, which recognize the importance of planning in every other aspect of their business and implement them accordingly, don’t have anything remotely resembling a social marketing/branding action plan. They may have a strategy, but they don’t have a plan for what happens from week to week and what they need to work on the long term haul.

Woot ?

Digging deeper into why these companies can commit such a basic mistake, I found out that all of them just dived right into social media with hardly any thought about how these tools will work right for them on a daily basis. I think the mistake is that they got the strategy, but they forgot or simply didn’t know how to launch it – from a-z.

And the primary reason why this sad situation has to play itself out?  Accessibility. It’s so easy to create accounts on various social networks, and start posting content right away, AND it costs you practically nothing – that these companies are lulled into a state of casual approach. They stop seeing social media as something strategic, as an opportunity to surprise their surroundings and saw it as just another communication channel where they don’t have to put enough resources to take it seriously. What makes social media work really well for me can be a curse for someone using these tools improperly.

Social media is a bane for those who tend to think in literal numbers – that having a thousand likers and followers is an end in itself; that business will just naturally take care of itself once you have attained a significant increase in traffic to your site.

This idea was smokin’ ten years ago, or even five years ago. But today, what would you say if I declare that I can outperform your 2,000 likers and followers with a mere 200 or even 100 of my fully connected audience? An audience that are really interested in the value that I provide, and trust me completely enough to go for their wallets, once in a while, to buy my services?

The key to using social media properly is to rock your identity to the right audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you know what? (download pitch coming up) I have a method for that. It’s called the “value loop for social media” – it’s described in my ebook “Rock Your Identity” – you can download your free copy here.

Cindy Gallop is rockin’ up “action branding” for you

Pressphoto of Cindy from Cindygallop.com

A couple of weeks back I was at the London Web summit- a day conference in London about the web and everything related.  I was really lucky to get to talk to the iconic Cindy Gallop about her field of work : Action branding – Something I myself am wildly inspired by.  I think it’s so important, especially if you’re on a quest to make the world a bit better day by day, from your point of view and as a business unusual activist.

Cindy did an amazing talk at the summit, on her work with her make love not porn startup – a website you have to visit and an utterly important message to both incorporate yourself, but also to teach the children of tomorrow.

Anyway I wanted to talk to her about her work with action branding and her company if we ran the world. Before heading off to London Web Summit, I read up on her, and found out that she, amongst other things was deemed one of the most accomplished and authentic people by Leslie Bradshaw in this  8 page long article for Forbes ( it’s a must-read peeps – trust me=)

According to Cindy – what makes a brand sexy is it’s willingness to take chances. She believes that business being driven by personal philosophies is viable strategy for the economy of the future-  which, if I may add 2 cents of Henriette Weber – also brings my beloved substance to a brand. If you take chances and drive your business by personal philosophies, you’re actually being the change you want to see in the world. Cool n’est pas?

Right now we have a lot of human and corporate good intentions that never gets put into action – for the sake of running a business. We’re so busy running businesses, and yep, running a business is an artform in itself, but we need to have the good intentions incorporated – as actions- naturellement.

If you listen to Cindy (including reading up on her amazing body of work, I’ve listed my favorite links in the bottom of this article) you quickly figure out that her message is to make “good intentions put into action” a huge part of the core of the business. In fact, I take that back, it’s not “just” a message, it’s more of a directive for survival of your company.

We need something  she calls micro-actions – the equivalent of 140 characters, but where you don’t just talk – in addition to the talking you actually act on something. It give me a feeling of “enough of co-creation – let’s start to do some co-action” instead  (which Cindy also mentioned)- it’s a much more powerful tool – and a tool that I personally think we will see being much used in the future.

So if you where to take it from Cindy – what parts of your personal philosophies could you implement at the core of your business and create action and branding around ?

I’ve checked up on the core of henrietteweber.com and Toothless Tiger myself and even though I think it’s well aligned, I think it’s a checkup that everybody should do of their business – you always find something- right ?

Anyway here’s some more Cindy rockn’roll:

her talk from ted ’09 on make love not porn

her masterclass on the future of advertising – an hour of brilliance

her 3 min manifesto on adweek

4 tips she gave to authenticorganizations.com

in addition, I believe she’s one of the first people I’ve had on henrietteweber.com who also has been featured on theselby.com    and on Dwell because of her rocking black apartment =) nice

 

 

 

 

Saving the world by executing one creative curly thought at the time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A while back I got a question about some of my sales activities in Toothless Tiger. Somebody wanted to know how I made customers keep coming in. And yeah we’ve been doing some doorknocking in Toothless Tiger within the last year, but normally people they come to us/me because they have heard of us through their network – which is cool and I thank you all for having my back – You guys rock =)

Anyway my answer puzzled the person who asked the question, and she said – so that’s your plan ? having your network watching your back. I thought about it for a while and said:

I contact my 5 prospects a day for sales activities- but there are a lot of companies out there that really has seen that this is their time to sell more products by saving the world.  They end up contacting me, because im a person who believes in saving the world by executing one creative curly thought at the time.

No matter if it’s an app, a website, a campaign, a book, a launch – I am doing everything I can to help them out strategizing, structuring and helping them polish their concept to make it both offline and digitally viable. But when everything comes to everything my plan is that Im saving the world by executing one creative curly thought at the time. And that’s what I really love to do. Sure I have mile long to do lists – but I am keeping focused and I am prioritizing the tools I know works for me. Babysteps will get you there too – you know ?