In today’s podcast I’m going to share an epic 5 step process to create and sell a digital product.
You will learn:
+ What to do before you begin creating your product to make sure it sells in the market
+ how to add value to your digital product so that you can increase the price point and add more value to your audience and to your digital product.
+ What to do after you launch to continue to make money from your digital product months and years into the future.
+ Why most people who launch a digital product don’t make any money from it after the first few weeks of it being launched and how to overcome this common problem.
+ How to add the best value to your launch using social media by choosing not to use some platforms.
+ Common blocks to look out for when you launch so that you make the most of your sales opportunity.
Are you ready? Come listen.
I often talk about what I would do if I could start again with my blog, go back to the first day I even considered creating a space online and approach it using all of the knowledge I have now, sliding doors style.
There are definitely things I would do differently, especially if profiting from my blog was one of my main goals.
Over three years after I first pressed ‘publish’, I’ve turned a zero dollar ‘online diary’ into a $160k a year business, with the profit from that coming primarily from creating and selling digital products and services (while I was working from home with two littlies and a crazy staffy for company).
I’ve launched three eCourses, all with tens of digital text and workbooks within them, created four eBooks for solo launch, and designed and created over 30 digital PDF’s and resources for my audience.
Because of this experience I get a lot of questions from other people who want to know the advice I would give in creating and launching a digital product for their own business.
Personally, I feel that if you have a blog you want to take to profit, regardless of whether you sell physical services or physical products, or have an entirely online suite of offerings, and regardless of what your target market niche is, there is an amazing digital idea sitting within you that you can bring to fruition and profit from.
If you want to profit from your blog then creating a digital product using your own expertise is an excellent way to do so. Once you get your formula cracking, you can repeat the process again and again until you’re making money even while playing hookie from your desk.
In this amazing eGuide, I’m going to cover off the simple 5-step process to create and sell a digital product like a B.O.S.S.
Because why would you want to do it any other way?
1. Pick your niche
You probably have an idea of the general industry niche that you would like to work in.
Maybe it’s health and wellness or coaching of some description and hopefully you have some passion or interest for this type of industry. When you choose your industry, begin to zoom in on individual niche’s within to come to your target market niche.
When I first started blogging at The Whole Daily, the topics of my posts was incredibly broad. For example I looked at ‘health’ and wellbeing as a single niche, however there is 1000 different target market niche’s within the health industry.
I created a health eCourse that encompassed meditation, diet, self-love, ego, fear and freedom. Which does sound great still to me, however made it more difficult to take to market.
Creating a digital product with too broad a niche meant that I had to push that much harder when it came time to market and sell.
The first time I launched I only sold two places in the course – even though I had a budding audience who I expected to purchase.
That original audience weren’t as engaged though, because no-one had a specific topic they were coming to me about, such as Pete Evans does with paleo or Sarah Wilson does with quitting sugar.
I did eventually create success marketing and selling this health eCourse, however I know that it would have been so much more successful had I focused on much more specific niche.
For example, let’s say you want to sell a cookbook. Is it aimed at men or women? Are these women corporate women, single women, stay-at-home-mums, busy women, women who travel, women with an allergy of some description, women with kids with allergies, women with no cooking experience, women with a sweet tooth, women who only want to use 4 ingredients, women who want to use four steps or less?
The options are endless in every industry in this same manner. Choose one.
Look for a Pre-Validated niche
Is the niche you have your mind set on one that has been pre-validated by other businesses?]
Many new online business entrepreneurs believe that if there is no-one working or selling a digital product within a certain space that all the potential business is going to be for them.
However, trying to create a niche that doesn’t already exist is going to take a considerably longer period of time and effort than if your business niche has already seen proven results.
I have yet to hear a client say to me ‘I would like to make less money while working much harder on my online business’.
Consider the TV Shows ‘Shark Tank’ or Dragon’s Den’ which is the Canadian equivalent. Inventors or business people try to sell brand new ideas, products or services to professionals who have extensive experience knowing ‘what works’.
It’s incredibly hard to do and most don’t succeed.
Look at the weight-loss industry if you need proof of the idea of pre-validation.
For decades it has grown bigger and bigger and yet there are a gazillion products and services already selling in this industry and still launching and making a sh*t-tonne of cash daily. The same can be said for the fitness industry, health industry, cookbook industry, and subsets of the business, sales and marketing industry.
2. Customer Development Research+Positioning
Go and have a broad and high level overlook of the blogs, businesses and social media accounts in your target market niche and get an idea of what people are getting excited about in your space.
If you look at the comments, and interaction, and the volume of likes or shares you are going to be able to gauge a prime area to focus on.
Once you have an idea of where your market’s interest sits, it’s time to begin your communication with your target audience. They will validate your idea for free if you ask them for feedback. Ask them over and over again what they’re struggling with the most in your specific niche.
You can use a survey such as survey monkey, and send it out to your email list, or you can simply ask questions and collate the responses from your social media accounts over an extended period of time. I created an awesome post on social media tactics I used to collate data on what to create over at The Whole Daily using open questions and communication. Find it here.
You can also pose a question at the bottom of your blog posts with a call to action, or within your newsletter with the request that the readers hit ‘reply’.
Validating your idea in the market is crucially important to understanding your target audiences problem or pain and being able to create your digital product to effectively solve that problem or pain.
Positioning for sales
You will also need to try to understand where you are going to position your digital product in the market.
Positioning is a marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Companies apply this strategy either by emphasising the distinguishing features of their brand (Why it is, what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through advertising.
Just as with your target market niche, it’s important to position it as tightly as you can in the market niche you choose so that you can advertise and market more effectively with your branding and message.
Who is the buyer of my product?
I met a woman in my coaching program last year who wanted to sell a premium software product to Uni students, but her target audience were broke and drinking $1 jugs at the Uni bar on a Thursday night.
Also, be careful when you consider who you’re going to market your digital product to. Who is spending money in your specific niche and how much have they spent in the past? For example, say you create a recipe book for kids who follow a FODMAPS diet.
Your buyer is a mother who has spent between $20-$40 on eBooks or books on the FODMAPS diet for children in the past. You know this because you have researched what is out there in the market.
This can give you an idea of where to price your product.
Your price point can increase the more niche you become. For example. Let’s say you create a cookbook on the FODMAPS diet for kids which covers all the generic, basic and general info and it sells for $20.
Now imagine that you create an eBook on ‘Primary School Lunches For FODMAPS kids’, or ‘FODMAPS for toddlers who hate vegetables’, or ‘A busy dad’s FODMAPS diet made easy cookbook’, or ‘How to follow the FODMAPS diet on take-away alone, the places to go to keep yourself on track’. You might look to sell this book for $30-$40 each.
And then, what value can you add to the table? For example, you sell ‘Primary School Lunches For FODMAPS kids’ AND you include one week of email support to the buyer. Now you might be looking at $60-$80 per digital book/sale. So many people buy an eBook and never look at it again, even though they want a solution, and here you are offering follow-up and support in those first few crucial weeks of learning. Amazing right?
As I always say, the opportunities online are unlimited and controlled only by your self-belief and imagination.
Find your buyer
Where am I going to find my buyer?
1. Facebook groups are an excellent place to start because their is a Facebook group for everything these days. Best thing though, within nearly all Facebook groups problems and solutions are being discussed.
Heads up! You are going to come across as a scammy-scammy-pants if you go into any Facebook Group and simply start asking people to buy your digital product. The best groups have free conversation and free support flowing through them and it is only when someone gives, gives, gives, gives, their support and communication in the groups that then has people coming to them to buy… without being asked.
Also in this situation you’ll find that other members of the groups actually refer you if you’re presence has been helpful and authentic.
2. If you’re already blogging in a particular niche then your buyer may be on your newsletter list or on your social pages already. Make sure you treat every member of your current and future audience like gold. Because they are… these people are your future and current raving fans and will pay for your holidays in years to come.
3. If you have contacts in the online world who already have an audience with your target buyer, perhaps you can partner together to give their audience value. For example, let’s say you create an eBook on Food Photography, and you have a blogger pal whose business is ‘How to Start Food Blogs’. Your eBook might help her clients or audience succeed in their business.
4. Sales And Marketing
Choose a mentor (who doesn’t necessarily know it).
If you have followed step one you will be creating a digital product in a niche which has already been proven and validated and you know how to position your digital product, price your digital product and you know who your buyer is.
Who are the online business people who are already incredibly successful selling within your niche. I’m talking instantly recogniseable in this niche and whose businesses you respect.
Spend a few hours and learn what problem or pain they are looking to solve with their target audience and understand what the value is of their product in your niche, the marketing message they are using and how they speak about their results and products in the market. Discern how they are driving sales and on which platform they are driving them from.
I don’t want you to copy these thought-leaders. I want you to be inspired by them, as I mentioned in previously.
Test Only Two Platforms To Market On
Choose your main marketing platforms based on who your target audience are and where they are the most (Mum’s are on Facebook or Pinterest, CEO’s are on LinkedIn or Twitter, 20-somethings are on Snapchat and Instagram for example). Then, learn how these two marketing platforms work most effectively.
Most of us launch and spray all channels with some advertising however we never truly understand the core value of each of them.
Limiting your marketing to two main platforms allows you try to master each of them, compounding your message.
Trying to master SEO, and Google advertising, and Twitter advertising, and affiliate marketing – even if you have a lot of time – which we don’t quite frankly – will result in diluted efforts and the inability to track how your progress is going.
What platforms are you going to learn to market on effectively and why?
5. Launch & Marketing Plan
You have locked in your market niche and your positioning, have created a product and you know where you’re going to market. Now, what is your strategy to launch?
One of the biggest profit blocks I see in this part of the process is that as the creator of the product we have been so closely engaged with it for such a long time that when we get to launch time one or all of these things happen:
- We are so spent by the effort to get this far we push the product out there (social media platforms and newsletter usually) and then we drop the ball with fatigue, figuring we’ve done all the work and now it’s the customers turn to make it work.
- The sales results on day one or week one of the launch are much less than we expected/desired so we fall away from the process dejected and humiliated. Hoping that no-one noticed we launched in the first place.
- We become paralysed by the fear of actual sales and marketing and of shouting our message to the world, so we don’t. Perhaps hoping that Oprah notices us and will sell our digital product to the world for us.
- We market too gently or softly so that we don’t get judged for ‘selling’ or of being scammy or spammy, only sharing info every few days or once a week and never with a solid ‘call to action’.
- We push hard for one -three weeks and then we move on to our next idea because… boring.
Better actions at launch + marketing
I always recommend to my clients that they create a time-centric goal for launch and then after that they create a launch and marketing plan that outlines the efforts and steps they need to take to continuously sell that product.
Make sure you use your blog, your social media platforms and your content wisely to engage with your target audience :
- How many blog posts are you going to write in a reverse marketing for- mula to bring customers to you. (Listen to a podcast I recorded on how to reverse market your content for sales here.)
- How often and on what days will you schedule your social media posts
- On what days are you going to look at your success rate on any paid advertising and adjust accordingly.
- How can you leverage others you know to help spread your message?
Your individual key actions will vary depending on what your product is and what your marketing strategy is.
Creating a weekly marketing schedule tends to work best as you can adjust what needs to be adjusted on the fly as needed and you’ll able to zoom in enough to make your daily tasks visible and you accountable for them. (During your launch you will have something happening on a daily basis).
Key actions to set up would be social media posts, affiliate partner emails and communication, creating blog posts, tracking your advertisements, sending a series of newsletters, sharing vlogs, hosting webinars etc.
All of these need to have strong calls to action within them of course.
‘click here, watch here, join now, buy here, see more, want me?, get the book, buy me, etc.’ as well as solid copywriting sharing the value to the buyer, the problem the digital product solves and what the buyer gets for their money.
Tracking your data during a launch is important. It will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. Play with copy in your newsletter headings and the text within them and track your open and click-through rates. Track ad conversion,
Don’t take your foot off the pedal after you launch.
The most incredible thing about digital products in today’s day and age is that nearly all of them are timeless. The FODMAPS diet will remain the same and people will still have allergies to fructose, the fundamentals of taking great food photos will remain relevant for years, Julia Child would tell you that cooking fundamentals have remained similar for hundreds of years, teaching people how to play guitar, how to change the oil in a car, how to paint like Matisse and everything else in between… All teachings relevant for an extended period of time, if not being timeless.
We need to look at our creations from the ‘long-end of the stick’ or rather, consider long-term gain and not just short-term excitement. My first health eCourse sold 2 spots for $180. Three years later that same eCourse has earned me over $130k in revenue. Imagine had I given up after those first two sales, or not continued to improve and re-launch.
However, many do invest so much time into researching and creating a wonderful digital product only to launch it and then forget about continually sharing the value of it with their target audience. Which is interesting because a lot of people in online business want passive income, or to make money while they sleep or relax.
To do so though, you need to make your products work for you and not have you in creation mode 100% of the time.
Create once, market and sell thousands of times. That’s what true scale is in the online business environment.
Of course, zoom in at launch time and put a lot of focus in making the launch itself of your digital product a success, but it is not the be-all and end-all of your profit from that product.
If you want to see continuing income from the same digital product, set yourself key actions on a month by month basis and look at the long-term over a few years even.
You can set up advanced social media sharing, continuously advertise at a low cost using social media content, or market to all new subscribers through an auto-responder (I recorded an excellent podcast with a free PDF outline of the auto-responder series which makes me an extra $400 to $700 per week here selling digital products I created years ago here.)
One more thing
‘Done is better than perfect’. Many people who want to launch their first digital product wait until it’s perfect before they launch. And it never is, namely because you can’t be 100% sure of the value of it until you receive your target audience feedback. And of course this can’t come if you don’t release it.
It’s so important to ‘take the leap’ and publish so that you can get feedback, update, and launch again in the future.
If I could go back to scratch and launch my first ever digital product, these are the steps and actions I would follow.
Of course within each of these steps there would be additional work you can do to set yourself up for success in your product creation and launch, but the outline is all here for you. Even if these steps were all you followed in creating and launching your digital product (like a B.O.S.S) you would still be streets ahead of 90% of those launching in the digital space today.
Go get em’ now tiger!
If you loved this post please feel free to share it with everyone you think could benefit from it. I want to make sure that you experience the best success with your digital product creation and launch.
If you want to learn more about designing amazing eBooks, then check out my simple eCourse on how to create amazing eBooks.