TMBA 333: Info Product Talk

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If you’ve been listening to the TMBA podcast for a while, you’ll recognize this week’s guest from a show we did about a year and a half ago called “Is It Getting Harder to Grow a Successful Business Selling Info Products?“.

It ended up being one of our most popular episodes, so Dan and Ian decided to invite Shayna Oliveira of Espresso English back onto the program, to follow up on her story.

Shayna will be talking about a range of new topics, including pricing, positioning and marketing info products in today’s entrepreneurial landscape.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How long it should take for someone to learn a second language. (4:46)
  • The reason Shayna believes that info products are never going to go extinct. (7:30)
  • How Espresso English has evolved since the last time Shayna was on our show. (9:49)
  • Why Shayna has not been aggressively pursuing growth in her business. (12:54)
  • One of the strategies that has had the most impact on Shayna’s business. (25:15)

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian

Published on 04.21.16
  • SOOOO with Shayna on recurring revenue training or coaching. There is this “tug-o-war” that happens between you & your clients & it’s hard to make it a true win win.

    We are moving to fixed term training/coaching that has a beginning & end. This will hopefully set better expectations and happier customers who don’t just eventually “quit you”.

  • G.A. T

    Excellent episode. Two quick observations.
    First, Shayna mentioned that she is not interested in trading time for dollars. No more 1 to 1 or group English lessons. That activity doesn’t scale. How many of us are working on things that are only useful for a limited period of time? For example. Say you work at a movie theatre selling tickets for 8 hours. The tickets are sold and you earned a certain wage for the day. None of the output can be bottled up and resold in the future. On the other hand, say that Shayna produces a new e-book called “Essential English for Busy Working Mothers” or “Essential English for Clinic, Hospital and Dental Patients”. These are evergreen topics. Once she produces them she could sell them over and over without reinvesting more time. Better yet is that her “office” could be anywhere she wants to be and she still would get paid.

    Secondly, like Seth Godin says. “Choose yourself!” Produce your own content, add your unique insights and ship it. TropicalMBA has a large following and links people with a similar interests. Instead of just talking about it they raised the flag and just started it. Design your flag and raise it.

  • yeah I think it depends a lot on the nature of the service itself, like for some reason paying for Spotify on a monthly basis makes sense to me as a consumer… not sure why, perhaps because I feel that my need for it is ongoing and consistent, whereas with any kind of training product you’re need would naturally wax and wane over time which challenges the value-logic of ongoing rates: since the value of Shayna’s product was front loaded in my view (ie, access to all courses) I wonder what would have happened if she just would have put a big-ole price on it and tacked on a support community (thereby creating an asset out of the email work she loves). Wouldn’t people needing to learn english drop a few benjamins on this?

  • the first point to me is really fascinating and the implications are wide-ranging.. imagine if we *only* did activities (in our businesses, but could extend to life in general) that had long term asset value? Many of us would find most of our to-do erased. Honestly, probably much of our income as well. However, I suspect that if entrepreneurs took this strategy they’ll potentially make more money in the long run.

  • It’s a tough balance; I think when starting out it’s OK to do things that aren’t scalable just to get cash flow and be able to survive outside the world of regular full-time employment (like I was working quarter-time for an hourly wage for a U.S. client for the first couple years while I built up my business).

    But it’s important to consciously set aside some time to build up the long-term assets. For example, instead of filling up 100% of your hours with hourly consulting gigs and then hitting an income ceiling, instead fill only 70% and use 30% of your time to build a long-term asset… which will eventually earn enough to reduce your “on the clock” time even further or even get out of direct-exchange-time-for-money entirely.

  • I go back and forth on the support community thing. When I initially surveyed my customers about it, they said they didn’t want a community (b/c they all wanted to interact with ME, not with each other). Other online English teachers who have done FB groups tell me they’re often dominated by just a few members, and most don’t bother to use it.

    I’ve seen nice healthy communities in other niches, but am still trying to figure out if there’s an effective way to do it for mine, especially if I were to make it part of a paid product…

  • Hey y’all, I am a bit late on this one. Shayna did not really have a ready answer to the question “how long does it take to learn a language” but a ready answer is out there if you dig through various reports and social science research. I’ve done that and just wrote up an essay (linking to this conversation) on how long you–native English speakers-should expect it to take to learn various foreign languages. Giant inforgraphic included! Here it is:

    Sorry I couldn’t get it out faster

  • cheers thanks for that!

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