After pouring all your time and energy — and likely sweat and tears — into your digital download products, take time and reflect on the journey and really see how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ve turned your services into products, or a system into products. Which is amazing in and of itself! You may also be selling physical products to accompany digital products or services. Whatever it is you’re doing, I’m proud of you for getting started. You should be, too.
If you’re at a point in your journey where you’re feeling all the feels because things aren’t growing the way you envisioned, I get it. I’ve been in your shoes. This is the part where you have to get ready to play the long game, my friend. That’s why I’m going to share my experience growing my own digital product shop, and share 8 steps to keeping sales rolling in your online shop.
I launched my first contract template months before I sold my first one. As time passed, I wondered if I was going to find success with this “crazy little idea” I had. However, I stuck with it and, in April 2021, we hit $40,000 in a single month over at The Contract Shop®.
No sales. No promotions. Just our long game paying off. I hope that inspires you a bit more to stick with it when the going gets tough.
Of course, I know you might not be anywhere close to $40k months, so let’s focus on your current sitch: Perhaps you’re feeling like you’re not growing your shop, or making the money you wanted to make. I know these feelings can be discouraging. I’m a big fan of setting a timer, having a bit of a pity party (hot cocoa included), and then really getting back to work when you’re feeling a bit lighter. Ready? OK. Let’s think about the steps you can take RIGHT NOW to move forward. Here they are:
Next, I want to share with you my 8 steps to keeping sales rolling in your online shop.
My favorite piece of advice to use when I’m worried about my shop sales? Take a break. I know this may seem super counterintuitive, especially when you’re down on yourself or feeling like everything is so close to falling apart. But mental breaks are essential.
When I get discouraged, it’s usually a sign that I need to step away. A few things I have tried that work well: getting outside for fresh air and sunshine, taking a nap, going for a walk, snuggling with my dog, reading a good book. Basically, do anything other than your shop. Step away for a day or two if possible. Road trips are highly recommended.
One thing that keeps me in check is my daily journal. When you’re feeling especially down about the growth of your shop, it’s important to sit down and brain dump everything that you’re thinking and feeling.
Maybe you are feeling resentful that people said your product was awesome, but that didn’t amount to sales. Maybe you’re worried the products you’ve created aren’t strong enough. OR maybe you’re overwhelmed by what goes into marketing your digital downloads or other products. Whatever it is that you are feeling, dump it all out.
Journal, draw, color, just get those feelings out on paper. Feel free to stop reading this and give it a try. I promise the results are worth the time. Consider it an investment in your mental health (and business).
Sometimes, we get so entangled in what’s not working that we overlook the good and what IS working! Take a minute, take an hour, meditate, and write it out. If you are a fan of journaling, grab that journal again and write down 3 to 5 things that are going well. Perhaps you’ve got a rockin’ podcast outreach, or you’ve got great reviews and amazing happy customers. Find 3 to 5 good things and write them down now.
Now it’s time to compare your notes on what you’re worried about or feel isn’t working. Compare this list to what IS working. Are there things you can do more of? Like pitching more podcasts or possibly asking past customers to share your products for a commission or discount. Whatever it may be, think of an area you can focus more attention on. This can be a really great exercise because it actually shows you what you like doing, what’s working, and what you can make more time for to improve your business.
Spinning off the last tip, now it’s time to really focus on what’s not working. Don’t just say “everything”. Now is not the time to be vague! Look at your notes or doodles. What stands out to you as the thing that’s just not working?
Is your social media time and energy paying off? Did you miss the mark with promotions and launches? Maybe you’re realizing for the first time that you need more help. No (wo)man is an island, and perhaps you’ve realized you can’t do it all alone. Whatever it is, think about 2 things you need to stop or change.
Have you completed the steps above? Are you really seeing what can be improved or cut from your to-do list? Great! Take care of business first, then take your big break after. Once you’ve stepped away from the computer, make a cup of coffee or tea, enjoy a walk around your neighborhood, visit the library, go for a hike.
The key is to try and “shake it off” — breathe deeply and remove yourself from being so “deep in it.” You might just come back with a happier outlook (and a new idea or four).
When I’m feeling frustrated about my business growth, I turn to my trusted team members, coaches, or biz besties for a chat. (I only have 2 coaches a year and really focus on absorbing all that they have to tell me.). These conversations help me vent it out and keep my sanity!
My confidants allow me to have a little pity party if needed, and then give me helpful feedback for my situation. Most of the time, these conversations have me feeling lighter, more energetic, and ready to tackle the next move.
Most of the time, when I talk to shop owners, they don’t always have the strongest goals. Your goal may be to “create digital products”, or “make $10,000 this year from the shop”. Those are great goals, but they’re not specific enough. Not really mapping out a strategy to make them happen will hurt you in the end.
So it’s time to pull out another piece of paper or open your journal and start writing down how you’re going to reach your shop goals. It’s imperative to BE SPECIFIC! Make sure that you choose goals that are actually what you want and not what someone else wants (six figures is an arbitrary number).
Now is the time to be honest with what you can do to make those goals happen. Will you be creating more content to offer value before asking for purchases? Do you need to attend more events or grow your affiliate program or network of peers? Perhaps you need to hire help? Do you need to create certain assets like opt-ins or trainings to help boost sales?
Try to really break down what you need to do in order to reach your goals. Then, task them out or break them up into smaller projects. If you’re working alone, it’s important to be realistic. You can’t possibly do 50 things in a week (trust me, I’ve tried!). Doing too much too fast isn’t the answer, and it is the quickest road to burnout and frustration.
After reading this, my hope is that we’ve managed to shift your mindset from “This isn’t growing fast enough!” to “I’m planting the right seeds and this will bear fruit soon”. You simply need to review what’s working, what’s not, and make a plan to move toward your goals. I won’t lie and say it will happen overnight – run from anyone who tries to sell you that!
But I do promise it will happen if you remain committed, consistent, and realistic. Are you still hoping to find support with sales strategies that help your online shop grow? Or have you reached a plateau in your business revenue? You can check out my digital shop sales coaching program, Simple Sustained Shop Sales.
In it, I’ll walk you through the 8 sales strategies I’ve used over the last 6 years, and offer you group coaching, templates, workbooks, and even swipe copy to help you make things happen faster in your business. I want to empower you to reach those sales goals! If you want to grow your online shop ever further, S4 might be for you. Learn more about it at christinascalera.com/sales