Why I Stopped Selling Info-Products & Being A Guru 6 Months After A Successful Launch

by Corey Philip
January 15, 2021

I drive a pretty basic pick up truck, an SR5 Toyota Tacoma, live in a $200,000 condo I have owned for 10 years, and have zero rolexes or other bling accessories... so I was never the cliche guru. 

With stories of people that make millions on a course launch, it's no secret that info-products have been a rapidly growing market.  I have had very good business and financial success, with a traceable 'footprint' and actual documented processes that I implement, so in 2017 I decided to dip my toes into the sand of the 'info-product' space. 

In my eyes, the ultimate win would be seeing other people thrive and making some money at the same time.  Yes I mentioned making money.  I know all the gurus say "I don't do this for the money".  Regardless of what any guru will tell you, the money is a big factor behind it otherwise it would be free.

My first product was a course on Facebook advertising for contractors.  Facebook ads were something that I had used to drive millions of dollars in sales to my local contracting businesses.  Literally millions. And earned me a Clickfunnels 2 Comma Club Award. 

And no one else in the space was doing it (Facebook Ads) with any level of success.    It had a ticket price of around $1,000.  I sold a few but it wasn't a 'big hit'.   I kept at it but I realized Facebook Ads was really only one small piece of the marketing system and that many of my clients were not necessarily ready for Facebook Advertising.  Many of my clients didn't even have a decent website, so no matter how much they learned about Facebook Advertising, they weren't really going to move the needle.

I went back to the drawing board and in the middle of 2019 launched, The Market Domination Method.  It was a 'full circle' marketing training program for contractors intended to be following this framework in-order from bottom to top.

Behind that framework were dozens of other frameworks each fitting into a section.  The whole program was based on conceptual frameworks like this.

This one 'took off'.  

I got hundreds of sign-ups pretty quickly within launch at a rate of basically $100 per month. 

However, less then a year after launching it I decided to call it quits.  

Here's why...

Everyone plagiarizes your material.

Imitation is only the greatest form of flattery... only when everyone recognizes you as the creator.  In a world where things happen so fast that no one can remember what is what, yet alone who created what, recognition of the creator is diminishing.  

In the time I was selling the course, many of my clients were signing up just so they could resell the same information or resell the information as a done for you service, to the exact same market.  

In every case, no credit was given back to me.  

This results in further frustration as the product I created was intend to help local business owners... but they were dwarfed by people who just wanted to plagiarize the material.

People use your material to compete against you.

I'm not talking about competing against my 'info-business' as I described above.  

There were literally clients of my info-product that were going out and directly soliciting competitors of my local businesses with the approach of "I've worked with Corey from _____ and I know how they do all their marketing and I can do the same for you for $_____".  In a small markets where my marketing was a major advantage this would cause a material impact on our bottom line.

This put me smack dab into an expensive legal issue...

In April of 2020 I sold one of my local businesses.  When you sell a business it is common place to sign a non-compete to protect the new owner from you competing with them using the IP of the business.  Well just weeks after I sold and signed the non-compete it surfaced to the new owner that someone from one of my courses was soliciting competitors of the new business.  The new owner of the business had a good legal argument that I was in breach of the non-compete as I was effectively assisting someone to compete with business, and filed a lawsuit against me.  I settled it for a six-figure amount effectively putting my profits back to $0

Promotion means constant bragging.

Info-products do not sell without published results.  So if you want to sell an info-product you have to constantly publish results either your own or your client.  

Think about it.  You see the headlines... they're all plastered with lines like;

"we 10x efficiency last week"

"we got a 7.9 return on adspend"

"Another client triples their business"

"I did this and got that".

It is constant bragging.  I like to think I am a pretty humble dude and the constant bragging just isn't my style.  

The market place is overwhelmed with Gurus / info-products.

Have one day of great ad performance?  Sell a course!

Do a million dollars in revenue?  Sell a course!

Take someone else's awesome course?  Knock it off and sell a course!

It's easy to launch a course these days.  People think it is easy to sell a course.  And everyone is now doing it.

You probably notice your Facebook feed is plastered with info-products.  As such the actual return on info products has substantially decreased.  

That leads to the next point...

You have to pay to give away your most valuable knowledge.

You have valuable information.  Information that in my case drives wealth (at least it has my own), yet in a competitive space you have to PAY money to give it away.  

Yes there could (hopefully) be returns, but paying to give away something so valuable is simply illogical in my mind.  

I'd rather just give away my information for free to my personal friends.  

Those who can't do, teach.  Those who can do, do.

I added the second part, but there's some truth to the old saying "those who can't do teach".   Over the last few years I've watched a handful of people that I know personally get into the info space.  They all have one thing in common... a facade of success, mixed with some charisma.  On the outside they (and their business) look successful but their financial records (and court records), tell another story. 

I consider myself a do-er.  I know that what I could teach and make me a ton of money.  So I've cut the info products and am sticking to applying it for myself. 

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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