What Are Digital Products
If you have an online business, a website, or a blog, you’ve probably heard of digital products. You probably have downloaded a fair few too already. They are brilliant, aren’t they? Little or sometimes not so little downloads that people are giving away for free and those that you can buy too. Maybe you’re looking at them thinking ‘ I could make these’ or maybe ‘I want to offer these to my readers’. They can be a nice side revenue stream to your business and even a nifty way to collect emails when you give them away for free. Before you can start to think about creating digital products, it’s important that you understand what exactly they are.
Digital products are information products that can be downloaded online. They could be in the form of an eBook, a video course, a webinar, an audio recording, or even a handful of printable checklists or a workbook. Digital products come in a variety of different formats from pdfs to mp3s. What product format you choose depends on what you’re comfortable creating, what works well to convey the information you’re sharing, what you’re teaching, and of course what your target audience prefers.
Before you start thinking about what you to create, have a look around and see what type of digital products are available in your niche. Buy a few and review them. Make some notes of the kind of information covered, how the material is organized and shared, what the product looks like, how it is delivered etc. Take note of price points too. All this research will come in handy when you are ready to develop your own digital products. Oh and remember this is research, you’re not, well I hope your not, going to copy what other people are doing.
Oh and here is another idea – affiliate. You offer digital products that are on an affiliate program and get paid a high commission on it. While the affiliate commission on physical products is often 10% or less than the purchase price, with digital products, commissions of 50% or higher are the norm. This is important for two reasons. First and foremost, this makes it easy and profitable for you to sell digital products to your visitors and subscribers. It’s a nice way to test the water, see how digital products are received, and create a passive stream of income at the same time. Secondly, setting up an affiliate program of your own is a great marketing strategy to help you make more sales of your digital products and grow your reach once you create them. Since there is not a lot of cost and overhead involved in digital products and it usually costs no more to sell one than to sell two hundred (aside from fees like those paid to PayPal for example), it’s possible to pay high commissions and still make a profit for yourself.
Why You Should Be Selling Digital Products
There are a lot of good reasons to get into the business of selling digital products. We’re going to look at the benefits of selling them both as an affiliate and as the creator.
First, you should be selling digital products because they fit well in the niche you are in. We live in the age of information and have knowledge available to us at the press of a button. We want to be able to buy something and instantly access it. Instead of ordering a physical book or DVD and waiting for it to arrive in the mail, we expect to be able to buy it, download it to our favorite digital device, and start consuming it right away.
From a seller’s point of view, digital products are a safe bet because there aren’t a lot of costs involved in developing the product. Your main investment will be the time it takes you to create the digital product. Start small, test the waters by selling info-products as an affiliate, and get your feet wet. You can type up a short report in a few days, turn it into a pdf, and have it up for sale on your website without spending any money. Of course, you have the option of hiring a writer, editor, graphic designer, etc., but it’s not necessary. It’s easy to create your first few digital products on a budget and outsource once you become profitable.
Another big reason why you should be creating your own digital products is that it’s a passive stream of income. You do the work of setting up the product once and then have something to sell going forward without any or much additional work. You can focus on marketing or create the next product while this one continues to sell for months and years to come.
Last but not least, you should consider creating digital products because it’s one of the most profitable ways to monetize your online business. Your target audience wants to learn, wants to solve problems, and wants to be entertained. You spend a lot of time engaging them, getting them to read your blog, sign up for your newsletter or emails, and gaining their trust. They are ready for more and happy to pay you for your time and efforts. Start creating a few different digital products and see for yourself just how profitable this business model can be.
The Biggest Benefit Of Selling Digital Products
There are many good reasons why you should look into creating and selling digital products on your website. They are easy and inexpensive to create. There’s a lot of profit to be made, and frankly, your audience is coming to expect to be able to pay for and download premium content. We order Netflix, buy books for our Kindles, and consume information products in a variety of different ways. If you’re not in the market for selling digital products, you’re missing out.
By far the biggest benefit of selling digital products is that it’s a business model that’s scalable. Here’s what I mean and why it is such a big bonus to getting into the business of creating and selling digital information products. The product is built once, uploaded to a web server, and can then be sold over and over again for months and even years to come. There aren’t a lot of costs associated with selling extra copies. There isn’t a lot of extra work and time involved in selling extra copies. In short, it’s easy to go from selling 10 copies of your eBook to selling 1,000 copies. You don’t have to worry about managing stock, ordering supplies and the likes. Instead, all your time and effort can be spent on marketing your product and continuing to make more and more sales.
There aren’t a lot of business models out there that allow you to scale up without a lot of upfront costs. Usually, you have to order a lot more stock, rent a bigger warehouse, hire more people, and ramp up your entire infra-structure before you can grow and double your sales. That’s a lot of upfront cost, responsibility, and frankly a significant financial risk to take. With a digital product business, you can scale up without any added upfront cost. Yes, as you make more sales, the shopping cart or payment processor takes a cut (think PayPal or Credit Card fees), but those only go up as your sales increase. Aside from possibly needing a bigger web hosting package and possibly having to answer a few more customer emails, your business stays the same whether you’re selling 3 products per month or 3,000.
This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to growth. You can scale up as slowly or as quickly as you feel comfortable. You can try new marketing methods like Facebook advertising, or broker Joint Venture deals. You can get others to help you market for a cut of the profits through affiliate programs. Since the profit margin on digital products is so high, it’s not uncommon to pay affiliates a 50% commission for every sale they refer to you. This makes it very attractive to other marketers in your niche and gives you the chance to quickly expand your reach without any upfront investment of time, money, or resources on your part.
How To Come Up With Info Product Ideas That Sell
Creating and selling digital information products is a great way to add a steady revenue stream to your business. They are inexpensive to make, and there’s no inventory to store or keep track of. The only problem is that it takes a good bit of time and effort to create them in the first place. Often your largest time and resource commitment are the initial product creation. It should come as no surprise then that the most important part of the product creation process is coming up with an idea that will sell. While there is no guarantee that you’ll come up with a bestseller every single time, there are some things you can do to hedge your bets.
Focus On Problems and Solutions
Most of the bestselling information products help us solve a problem. This could be how to get the baby to sleep through the night, how to cook dinner in 30 minutes or less, or how to drive traffic with inexpensive Facebook ads. In each of these cases, there’s a problem and the digital product offers the solution.
Think about your target audience and the problems and challenges they face. How can you help them solve that problem? The more urgent or painful the problem, the easier it will be to sell the finished product. Look at what those around you are doing. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and there’s nothing wrong in with spying on the competition to come up with ideas. Piggyback on their efforts, or come up with a better version of what they have to offer.
Test Before You Create
There are a few different ways to test a product idea out before you sit down to create it. The first and easiest method is to find a similar product to what you are considering developing and promote it as an affiliate. If it sells well, you can come up with your version, with a twist on what you’ve already shared with them.
Another idea is to presell your product before you create it. With this, you come up with the general idea and flesh it out just enough to grab your potential customers’ attention. Set up a sales page and a buy button, letting them know that they will be able to look over your shoulder while you create the product, or at the very least let them know of the delivery date. You could even create the first chapter or part, so they have something to download immediately upon purchase. If you make enough sales, you create the rest of the content. If you don’t, you refund the money you’ve made and move on to something else.
No matter what you do, be sure to do your due diligence before you invest the time and energy to create your digital products.
Defining The Target Audience For Your Info Product
You’re thinking of creating a digital information product. Great idea, but before you sit down to work on content creation, it’s important to define your target audience and do what you can to make sure you’ll come up with something they want and need. You don’t want to put weeks of hard work into creating an info product that no one wants to buy.
Your product creation process then begins with your target market. You don’t even need to think about what type of product in what format and on what topic you may want to create. Your first job is to become very clear on who your target market is, what it’s comprised of, and what motivates the people that make up said market. Because at the end of the day you’re dealing with real people who have to like and trust you to open their wallets for what you have to offer them.
A good starting place is to define your particular niche. You’re not just in the online marketing, weight loss, finance, or personal fitness niche. You have to be more specific. Better examples would be Facebook marketing for local businesses, low carb diets for post-menopausal women, getting out of debt with personal budgets, or personal fitness for pregnant women. You don’t need or want to be everything for everyone. You’ll do much better by offering specific advice to a particular target market. It will make your life much easier going forward because you’ll know exactly who these people are and what they are looking for.
Your next step is to define your target market and the people it’s made up of. Who are they? What’s their gender, age, income? Where do they live, what do they do for work and fun? Where do they hang out online? What’s their most urgent problem and how can you help them solve it? These are all good questions to ask. Spend some time to dig deep and learn as much as you can about your future customers. It’s some of the best time you’ll spend when it comes to growing your business and creating profitable information products.
Last but not least, create an avatar or an image of your ideal customer. Be as detailed as possible. Create a vivid picture of this person. Give him or her a backstory and flesh out this imaginary character that represents the people in your target audience. With that firmly in place, you’re ready to create your first info product. Create it for your avatar. Write or speak directly to this person both in the content that makes up your product and the marketing materials. Do that, and you’ll significantly improve the chances of creating a digital information product that sells well and for months and years to come.
3 Options For Selling Your Digital Products
Digital information products are by far my favorite way to monetize my websites and generate income. Not only do they work well for just about any niche and are easy to create, but you can also sell them in a variety of different ways. This means that one digital product can end up creating multiple streams of income for your business. Here are three of my favorites.
Sell It On Your Site To Your Audience
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your product and it’s ready for sale, the best place to start is through your channels and to your existing audience. You already have a relationship with these people. They like you, and they trust you. Ideally, the product you created is precisely what they want and need.
Set up a sales page and put up a buy button and start sharing it with your readers. You can blog about it, link to your sales page from articles and blog posts that are a good fit, and of course, email your subscribers about the offer regularly.
Set Up An Affiliate Program And Broker JV Deals
When you’re ready to branch out and grow your reach, getting affiliates and JV partners on board to help you promote your product is a good idea. Think of it as the next step in your promotional efforts. The first step will be to set up an affiliate program so you can offer commissions to your partners. Then approach other people with a presence in your niche and ask them to promote you. When they make a sale, they get a percentage of the purchase price. For digital products, 50% to 75% commissions are the norm. That may seem a lot at first glance, but remember these are sales you wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Use A Third Party Platform
Last but not least, you have the option to sell your digital products through a third party platform. Popular options include JVZoo, Clickbank, video platforms like Udemy, and even the Kindle and Apple Bookstores. The idea here is to branch out and tap into unexplored markets by getting your product in front of more people.
The biggest challenge with these platforms is getting the ball rolling, and making enough sales that your product rises in the ranks and is seen. Expect to do a lot of marketing yourself in the beginning and then some ongoing marketing to make sure you keep your best seller spots. If you can create enough interest in your products, this can be an excellent way to grow quickly and rake in a bunch of sales.
How To Launch A Digital Product
Having a digital product that sells well and makes you money is about more than creating a rocking information product. Yes, you need a good product on a topic that your audience is interested in, but that’s just the starting point. No one will buy said product when it’s finished unless you can launch and market it.
All too often I see people create information products, put them up for sale, and then sit back and wait for sales to come in. Sadly, that’s not the case. You have to properly launch and market your product to give it a chance of becoming a best seller. In fact, only 20% of your overall time and efforts should be dedicated to product creation. The remaining 80% are all about marketing and promotion. In other words, you have to launch your product, so people start to notice and buy.
Start by creating some buzz while you’re working on putting the digital product itself together. Let your audience know what you’re working on and what it can do for them. Get people interested, get them curious, and encourage them to let other people know what you’re doing and what’s coming.
Next, comes the big launch itself. As soon as you have your product up for sale and you’ve tested the sales process to make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to, it’s time to let the world know about it. In this context, the “world” is your potential target audience. Email your list about the offer. Don’t stop at just one email. Craft an entire series of emails for the coming weeks. Post about it on social media. Link to it from related content on your blog. Write a few new posts that highlight some of the benefits of your product, or point out the problems it solves. Go out there and reach as many people as possible about what you have to offer, starting with your own sphere of influence.
While the big launch will get you quite a few sales in the beginning, your work isn’t quite done yet. Going forward you want to continue to
promote and market your product. Email your list about it regularly. Link to it from new blog posts that you write where it fits. If you have an affiliate program in place, remind affiliates to continue to recommend the product to their audience. As you come out with other products or even lead magnets, recommend the original product within the content and on the download page. In other words, keep spreading the word about what you’ve created, and you will continue making sales for months and years to come.
Let’s Talk Product Funnel
Once you have your first digital product created and have committed to the idea of creating an information product business, it’s time to think about a product funnel. The idea is that you attract potential customers with a low-cost product that’s fairly small and basic. You show them or reach them how to take the first few steps to whatever it is they may be doing. For example, if I was working on a product funnel on creating and selling digital products, my first product may be how to write an eBook.
Then you want to think about what else your customers need to know. What else do they need help with? What’s the next step in the process? What’s the next task they need to tackle or the next problem they need to solve? Going back to our previous example, the next product could be how to write a sales page for the eBook, or how to package and sell it. It could be how to choose and set up a shopping cart on their site. Another product could be a course on marketing information products or how to create a product funnel and make cross sales.
From there, you can build out your product funnel even further by giving them more personalized, hands-on help through more intensive courses, group coaching, one-on-one coaching, and even done-for-you services. The more involved you become personally, and the more time it will take you to deliver what you’ve sold, the more expensive the product will be.
The idea with a product funnel is to start with a low priced offer and then move your customers up to higher and higher price products. Only a small percentage of your client base will take you up on your highest priced products, but that’s ok. You don’t need a lot of sales of a high-cost item to make bank.
Start thinking about what products you want in your own product funnel. Start with a few key items like that low-priced introductory product. Then make a plan to create more products for your funnel. Continue to come out with more digital products your audience can consume until you
have a well-laid out product funnel that upsells and cross-sells your customers to all sorts of products. The idea is to increase the amount of money the average customer spends with your over time. Do that, and your digital product business will continue to grow and flourish.
Improving Digital Product Sales With A Funnel
Once you have your first digital product under your belt (or maybe your first few) and enjoyed the first profits from the original launch of what you’ve created, it’s time to think about a long-term income strategy. You want to continue to produce and sell more and more digital products, and the best way to do that is to create a funnel.
The basic idea of a product funnel is to draw people in with a free or low- cost product and then continually upsell them to more and more expensive and involved products that go into more detail about what they need to know, become more complex, and give them more and more hands-on, advanced training. You don’t just want to see one little eBook about the basics. Instead, you want to be able to sell this same customer multiple products in a variety of formats and price ranges.
The hardest part of marketing digital products is finding your customers. Once you’ve made that first sale with someone and you’ve gained their trust, it becomes much easier to sell them other products. That’s why product funnels are so important. Marketing to people who know and love what you do is much easier and a lot more fun than going out there and trying to convert cold leads.
Get out a piece of paper and start planning out your own product funnel. Start with a lead magnet and a low-cost intro product. From there, come up with a list of other products you want to create going forward. A fully fleshed out product funnel isn’t something you’ll have in place overnight. It’s a work in progress and something you’ll continue to build and expand over the coming months and years.
As you work more closely with your target audience and get to know them better, you’ll be able to fine-tune this funnel and create the products they want and need. You don’t even have to stop there.
Once your basic digital product funnel is in place, circle back and look at it from a different angle. What other lead magnets and introductory products can you create that will feed more people into your product funnel. With each one of those you create, you’ll be able to increase subscribers, customers, and of course sales across the board. Since the rest of the funnel will be in place at this point, you’re multiplying your income potential each time you add another piece to the puzzle. That gives you the leverage you need to build a thriving business that will continue to grow.