Why Focusing on “One Concept” Helps Create Powerful InfoProducts

by Sean D'Souza

Why Focusing on "One Concept" Helps Create Powerful InfoProducts

I don’t know if you’ve read a watercolour instruction book before.

But no matter which book you read, the instructor will tell you one thing: You need to understand ‘values’. Without ‘values’ in your painting, you will never create a watercolour that is dramatic.

And then you open the book, and guess what?

One page.

One measly page.

One measly page among about 150 pages of the book has been devoted to ‘values’.

So what just happened there?

The instructor told you what was important, and then failed to drive home that importance in greater detail. Why? Because there’s so much to teach that they feel this need to rush from one thing to the next; one concept to the next.

And this is approximately what we tend to do with any training program or infoproduct. We are in such a hurry to create this massive infoproduct, that we fail to understand that one concept needs to get far more mileage than the next.

So why does one concept need to get more importance?

For one, because your clients are plainly confused. When they start learning any new skill or system, it’s like being sloshed around in a whirlpool of information. And the moment, you, the teacher, says: “Hey listen up, this is important!” all the ears perk up. Now the clients know what is important. And they feel a sense of relief.

Instead of being tossed around madly, someone (that someone is you) has taken the trouble to hit the “pause” button and identify what’s important.

When you’re a student, it makes perfect sense to slow down, understand and implement the most important fact. But of course, as the teacher/creator, you’re in no mood to pick just one thing and make it important.

That’s because you think everything is important

And it is. Everything is important.

All that you have to say is important, but ONE thing is more important than everything else.

And if it’s not, it’s your job to drive home that factor of importance. It’s your job to pull out that single element from a tangle of elements—and then drive home why it’s so important for the client to focus on that one point. This not only calms down the client but also gives you the chance to create a solid foundation that you can go back to many times over.

But let’s take an example or two, shall we?

Let’s take the DaVinci cartooning course, for instance (It’s a course we conduct at Psychotactics). When we teach cartooning, it’s easy to get lost in hands, legs, faces, and a ton of other things that you need to teach in cartooning.

But instead we start off with what is called ‘circly circles’. And if you were to speak to anyone who’s done this course, and you asked them what ‘circly circles’ was all about, they would tell you clearly.

They not only understand the importance, but know how to implement it, and know how to fix the problem. What’s happened here is that despite having dozens of elements to choose from, we had to focus on one element and drive that over and over, until it became second nature. And it doesn’t just apply to a course. It can apply to a book or any type of infoproduct as well.

So let’s take another example

In the book called The Brain Audit, (which is about ‘why customers buy and why they don’t) there are seven critical points that need to be considered. But when you read The Brain Audit, it’s quite clear which one gets the most attention. It’s the element called the ‘problem’. What’s interesting is that it’s not even the most important of all the seven elements.

You don’t always have to pick the most important. You just have to pick one and give it the highlight so that you slow down the learner and get them focused. And in The Brain Audit the one element that gets picked, is the ‘problem’. And the message is driven home over and over again.

But how do you pick what’s important?

Because in every infoproduct you’re going to have many elements to choose from…

And in your brain, at least, everything is just as important. Sure it is. There’s no one thing that’s more important than the next. Even in watercolour painting, if you don’t have a ‘focal point’ or don’t have ‘foreground, middle ground and background’, you can still create a crummy picture. But still, one element has to be picked.

Which one is important?

They’re all important. So make a choice. Pick one.

Then make it important.

And highlight its importance drive home the point—in great detail.

And that makes things easy for you, as the creator of the product. And makes things easy for the student as well. It makes your work stand out from the rest. And that’s what you want, right?

P.S. Do you have a question or comment? Write it here and I will respond.


Next Step: Links you should visit

1) How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action? Find out more…

2) Are you serious about getting your business to the next level in 2013? Have a look at 5000bc.

3) Are you losing tons of potential business because you don’t know how the brain works? Read how The Brain Audit can help you.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Amelia Hirota February 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Sean,
I was just wondering how the Da Vinci cartooning class is offered? Is it a live class?

Thanks!
Amelia

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

It’s not a live class, though I’m itching to do a live one. This one’s online and usually starts around July-Aug every year (well, every year, so far). And it’s sold out about 2-3 months in advance. We should be announcing it around April, so keep your eyes peeled.

You’ll want to sign up at this waiting list. When the course is announced, it fills up really quickly as there’s already a waiting list in place.

http://www.psychotactics.com/davinci

Reply

Heidi Thompson February 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi Sean,

This couldn’t have landed in my inbox at a better time! I am trying to figure out my first product and my aim was to create an all encompassing course but it sounds like it works better to break it up by topic. My business helps wedding pros with marketing so would it be best to do 1 product on Facebook (or on social media as a whole), 1 on wedding fairs, etc?

Thanks,
Heidi

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:19 am

Yes, it’s what I’ve found to be true. Both from the writer’s point of view as well as the reader’s. It’s easier to handle one thing than several things. That’s because you’re really struggling when you start up. For example, I’m learning watercolours and there are so many concepts like focal point, washes, shade, light etc. Three years later I’ve yet to find one watercolour book that doesn’t go all over the place. And it’s the same no matter what you look for. You can look at Indesign and they have a Bible. Hey, I just want to do an ebook, do you mind? :)

I’m not saying you should not have a comprehensive course or product. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying you should make sure you don’t happily skip through concepts without making sure I understand.

So if you’re going to introduce a concept, make sure I understand. Cover all the angles possible and then move along. Then I’m a big fan. Bigger than you can ever imagine.

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

It could be that you’d have one product on just wedding fairs. That would be cool. But even if you decide to have all of the marketing in one book, take the time to explain the information in detail.

If you find that the book is looking like it’s going to 300 or 3000 pages, you don’t have one book. You now have many books. So you need to make those many books into—many books after all :)

I recently wrote (and am now making an audio book) on the topic of ‘Membership sites’. Now I have too much stuff in my head. The book was looking like it was headed to 500 page land. Of course, my ego was proud of it. The early “beta-readers” of the book were upto their ears in concepts long before. So we had to cut, chop and at the very least move things that didn’t clutter the book.

Now instead of one massive book, I have two or three books and quite a few ready-to-go bonuses.

Reply

christine February 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm

OMG – I get i… however, I don’t seem to be able to put what you say into practice. I am so frightened of failure that I put everything out there, which is obviously wrong – but how, do you then step back and re focus the mind to let you tell the story… and this is it seems where I keep falling down.

Is there any hope for me?

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:28 am

Read some of the comments above that I’ve made.

You’re not holding back, but you’re not dumping it all as well. The key is to make sure I’ve understood the concept before moving along. If you read The Brain Audit for instance you’ll see that it’s a 180 page book. And it has seven concepts.

Just seven.

Over 180 pages.

That’s 20-25 pages per concept. This allows you, the reader, to get in, swim around, get used to the temperature, have a ball before moving to the next pool (chapter). And sometimes, even that isn’t enough because you know so much.

So for instance, every concept in The Brain Audit could have its own book. We have “seven bags” in The Brain Audit. And one of the bags is called “Uniqueness”. Uniqueness has a three-day course. Another bag is Testimonials. That has a 120 page book.

So yeah, in The Brain Audit, we’ve restricted it to 20 pages, but at the same time, it can later be expanded. Nothing is more intimidating than having a 1500 page book to read :) Though I’m sure that wasn’t your intention.

Reply

Tony Pfeiffer February 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I love the image of the “pause button” to slow down and point out what is important. Your comment is spot on: “there’s so much to teach that they feel this need to rush from one thing to the next; one concept to the next.

And this is approximately what we tend to do with any training program or infoproduct. We are in such a hurry to create this massive infoproduct, that we fail to understand that one concept needs to get far more mileage than the next.”

Yesterday, I made presentation to 4 women for a key resource organization to day care centers in 4 counties in Ohio. My main point was the 10 MINUTE LEARNING EVERYDAY! practice to help rookie moms and dads focus their love and time with their children.

The main point and related points were made well and there were comments like” I love the idea of 10 minutes”. I keep my calm and focus. Then, I tried to introduce something not remotely related to the main point. It landed flat. Ouch! The good news is I brought the conversation back to the 10 minute learning practice.

Focusing on one thing gets a richer and deeper quality of content. Inherently there are layers and textures.

Here’s to making the main thing the main thing!

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

Yes, we do this often. We think we have so much to say that we keep moving on. But the client wants us to linger. Like the taste of yummy kulfi. :)

Reply

Brijinder Singh February 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Hi Sean,

This focus on one point is great. But why did you not say instead, ‘find the most important point, even if it is only from your point of view, and drive it home?’ Why say – ‘the point does not even have to be the most important one…?’

Your writing on chunking down is great. There, I assumed you were talking about articles. There, I understood you to say: Pick a point you want to write a particular article about, and focus on it. Dig deep. Don’t try to cover every related thing you can think of. Of course, a point to build an article around does not have to be the most important point in that subject – just one worth making.

BUT – is an InfoProduct not different? Is it not necessary to find THE important, core point, and focus on it in the way you talk about in this article? Or – at least one of the 2-3 crucial points?

Thanks
Brijinder.

Reply

The Mad Webmaster February 6, 2013 at 12:34 am

It’s true:
“when the student is ready the teacher will appear”

I’m in the middle of creating a e-course and it just wasn’t coming together until I read this article.

My challenge?

Trying to nail home too much… too soon.

When I focused on one main element it came together like a regulator on a fire hose and allowed my thirsty customers to drink (not drown in a sea of information).

Thanks Sean!

All the best,
Mad Guy

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

Yessss!

Drowning is not a nice feeling is it?

Reply

Debbie Z. Lattuga February 6, 2013 at 5:19 am

Hey, your link

1) How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action? Find out more…

doesn’t work from my email.

Just sayin’

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 7:18 am

I’ll check and get back.

Reply

Sean DSouza February 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

Here’s the right link:

http:/www.psychotactics.com/products/black-belt-presentations

Reply

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