Mining an Audience for “Back-End” Profits

“There is no such thing as ‘soft sell’ and ‘hard sell.’ There is only ‘smart sell’ and ‘stupid sell.'” – Charles Brower

Would you believe it’s possible to make up to $30,000 an hour? Well, I attended a seminar a few months ago where I watched it being done. In fact, the fellow giving the presentation made at least $30,000 in just a few minutes.

His success is easy to copy. And you don’t necessarily need a super-high-priced, exclusive product or service to do it. Just a solid, useful, workable information product that you can create by yourself, for around $100, and an audience ready to buy it.

Here’s how…

The gentleman I mentioned above gave a two-hour presentation about a moneymaking opportunity. It was very convincing – in part, because he provided proof that he had made a high-six-figure income by engaging in that business himself, and had helped other people make huge profits. He then went on to share some of the details on how the people in his audience could go about doing the same thing.

The advice he gave wasn’t comprehensive enough to allow the average person to go out and get into that business without further help. However, the information he shared was valuable, and certainly could give anyone a good start toward achieving similar success.

I’m sure the man (who’s a well-known personality) made a few thousand dollars (at least) for giving his talk. But the really lucrative part for him happened after the seminar.

At the end of his presentation, he announced that he had additional, detailed information available for anyone who was interested in purchasing it. It was expensive – and when I counted the people standing in line to buy, I calculated that he was about to make $30,000!

This is one way to make money by selling “back-end” merchandise. In this case, the “front end” – the product or service that initially gets the customer’s attention – was the actual presentation. And once the speaker delivered useful, quality information to his audience, they were eager to get more of what he had to offer. The product he sold after the presentation – his back-end product – sold like hotcakes, because he’d already proven just how valuable his information could be.

When I saw how easily he made such a large amount of money, I decided that I wanted to try to do the same thing.

Now, as I said earlier, this gentleman had the advantage of being a well-known personality. Plus, he was able to offer proof that he’s made himself and other people rich.

Since I’m not nearly so well-known, I realized that I was unlikely to be able to make the same colossal profits. However, I do have expertise in fields that are of interest to others… several small businesses that I’ve been successful in. These are areas where I can prove levels of success that many people would find attractive.

I already had a nice little side business going as a motivational speaker. So, after watching him, I was inspired to mine my own audiences for profits by creating back-end information products to sell after my presentations. By doing this, I greatly expanded my options.

As a result, speaking engagements that I would have passed up because the compensation for the presentation itself was too low suddenly became much more attractive. Instead of just earning a single fee for my talk, I could look forward to making additional money by selling the products I’d created.

There’s almost no limit to the topics you can find a receptive audience for. In the world of business, for example, you could speak about sales and marketing, time management, and new technology, just to name a few. Plus, there are many special interests and hobbies (like sports, collectibles, cooking), and endless other subjects that could draw a sizable crowd.

And almost any time you have enough information about a topic to create a presentation around it, you also have the opportunity to create at least one back-end product – maybe an audio CD, a DVD, or a “how-to” book or course. Products like these offer huge profit margins, because the cost to reproduce them is nominal compared to what you can sell them for.

For example, at my last speaking engagement, I sold a combination audio CD/DVD for $99 – and my total cost per unit was $15. That means approximately 85 percent of all of the sales I made was pure profit.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about creating each of the above-mentioned information products:

  • Audio CDs

There are many devices that sell for no more than $100 and allow you to record high-quality audio CDs on your home computer. You can find them in almost any major electronics retail store that sells computers. With one of these devices, you can record your presentation and then dump the file into your computer. Using an inexpensive sound software program, you can then burn your own audio CDs, or you can burn a master and have a fulfillment house make copies for only a few dollars each.

  • DVDs

While it’s certainly possible to spend a great deal of money on making videos, it’s also possible to make a professional-looking DVD master for a reasonable amount. A cheap mini-DV camcorder can be bought for a few hundred dollars. Any files you create can be loaded into your computer digitally with what’s called a “fire wire.” Although video files takes up a great deal of storage, you can buy an external drive that has more than enough capacity to store them. And you can purchase video-editing software for another few hundred dollars.

Though producing your own DVDs might cost more than producing audio CDs, they have a higher perceived value and can be sold for a higher price.

  • Print Materials

The advantage of print materials over DVDs or CDs is that you need nothing more than a regular computer to create your product. The disadvantage is that it’s not cheap to have small quantities of a large book or course professionally printed. Plus, they’re more cumbersome to transport to your speaking engagements. However, a comprehensive “how-to” book or course can have a very high perceived value – and can probably be sold for much more than either a DVD or CD.

If you have an area of expertise you think others would be interested in learning about, speaking is a great little business that you can get into with almost no capital. And it’s something you can do at night and on weekends, while you’re working your regular job. But to really want to cash in on the moneymaking potential of this business, you should “mine for profits” by creating a back-end product to sell to your audiences.

[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter, direct-mail copywriter, and business author. He is also the creator of the Quick and Easy Microbusiness System, ETR’s program for starting a business for under $100. Learn more about the business of public speaking here.]