Knowledge, Skills and Ability: Why You Must Know the Difference When Creating Your Info Product

A few years ago I took an online course. It was back when I was just starting to learn about the world of digital marketing and how to launch a virtual business. The course was very exciting! It went over many of the things I already knew from being in the industry and launching global programs. However, there was still some new content.

One of my expectations from this course is that I would learn how to take all of the information, and apply it to my own business in a way, in a way that created results for me. Basically, I thought would be able to transfer the things I learned in class and apply them to my own business.

Unfortunately, at the end of this course, I had a ton of information… but I didn’t gain any new skills. I was stuck with knowing what I needed to do, but I didn’t know how to execute it for myself.

In this vlog, I am going to share with you a key step to enabling your info product to stand out from the crowd and be more than just information that paralyzes your audience.

My Biggest Pet Peeve

When I was first switching from the world of corporate global training into small business info product creation, I had some major issues.

I was really resistant to using the term “info product” across any of my materials.

Why? 

I felt that it was impersonal, passive, and implied more useless information that’s out on the Internet today… and I knew this wasn’t what I was doing!

Most of the standard info products that I had previously encountered were products that people called “training”, even though they were anything but. They didn’t have a single element of learning strategy involved! How could they!

My products and services were going to be more than this. They were going to leverage the science of learning and help people create action.

The term info product offended me because it was associated with learning. And, I didn’t want my business to be associated with another one of these passive product creations!

I wanted my products and services to stand out!

And if I used this term, info product… how could it?

But in reality, the term is industry lingo. What it really comes down to the value of the product that you are delivering, and that will make the greatest long-term impact on your audience and business.

So I succumbed, and moved forward...

Info Product or Info Dump?

Information is everywhere these days, and there certainly isn't any shortage of information on any topic that you could want to learn about. In fact, with so much information available to us at our fingertips, it can almost be overwhelming to sift through it all, especially if you want sound and validated content.

With technology, we are in the age of information… and passing information from one expert to an audience via digital product is a big business opportunity, and it's growing every day.

But often, even though we are excited to learn, to take in and to gain all of this new knowledge when we go to apply it we get in a jam… because knowledge does not equal skill which does not equal execution.

So you how can you help your audience, actively learn the content of your info product?

But often, even though we are excited to learn, to take in and to gain all of this new knowledge when we go to apply it we get in a jam… because knowledge does not equal skill which does not equal execution.

Passive Versus Active Learning

Typical info products on the market today are strictly passive in their methods of sending information out to an audience to “receive.” There isn’t any exchange back… any “activity” other than maybe a discussion forum or Facebook group. However, as we know, passive communication methods result in very minimal learning retention, if any at all.

Sure, you can make an excuse that it’s up to your audience to take what they need from the information and act on it; but didn’t you get into creating the product to actually help them out in the long term?

I am here to take a stand against info products being just a passive product and the incorrect labeling of info products as “training” and “digital courses.” 

If you really want your product to make a difference, to create action and cause change, you must integrate the science of how people learn into your product. Otherwise (I think), using the word training, is deceiving your audience!

Understanding the Difference Between Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge, skills, and abilities are a way of differentiating the different takeaways your audience may have from your course.

Knowledge is the underlying information that you are presenting. The theory and perceived notion of how it can be used. When we put out a talking head video, we are passing along knowledge.

Skills are the ability to take knowledge and apply it in a specific situation. Skills are developed through practice. When we provide our audience with activities and feedback, we are helping them begin to learn actively… learning by doing.

Ability is the higher level of skills learning, where a skill transitions from being a learned application to innate, or second nature. When we help our audience transition what they learned to their own environment, their own business or work, we are helping them have the ability to create. 

In our products, we want to take learners through the process of learning different knowledge, skills, and abilities. This strategy will help them product measurable results from your product, resulting in a better business strategy.

In our products, we want to take learners through the process of learning different knowledge, skills, and abilities. This strategy will help them product measurable results from your product, resulting in a better business strategy.

Growing Our Learners Abilities

You can set yourself apart from the status quo of info products developers by encouraging and providing your audience with the resources to move past just learning knowledge to acquiring new skills and abilities. 

How do you do this?

  1. Know your audience’s starting point. Pinpoint the problem they have and the solution you are providing. 
  2. Develop lessons that naturally enhance your audience’s learning using recall activities, practice, and feedback.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of your program and what results it delivered. 

Set a New Standard for Info Products

Thinking back to the business course that I took, that left me standing paralyzed in a pool of information, I encourage you to expand beyond a passive product.

Delivery of information is just adding more noise to someone's head. It may awaken, it may inspire. However, it is still just more content that someone needs to sift through… or worse, it ends up being forgotten a few days later.

While I am most certainly in the info product market, the term defined by my audience and niche, I stand for anything but passive information distribution.

I believe information is the key, that can drive measurable results and action. However, our audience cannot do this alone. They need us, info product creators, to help them make that transition.

It's like riding a bike… the first few pedals are hard to get that momentum… maybe you need someone to help you balance or give you a push. But once you get going, then it's a piece of cake.

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So what will you do next? Can you create an info product that inspires action, or will you create a "training" that fails to actually promote learning? Let me know in the comments below!