I know you work hard — and it’s because you work hard that I’m going to let you in on a little secret: if you are not utilizing your skills to make passive income, you’re wasting a huge chunk of your earning potential!
Selling digital products online is one of the best ways to create truly passive income, meaning you create something once and you can sell it again and again without adding more work to your plate. Instead of working 24/7 with clients, you can actually make money 24/7 — by using the exact same skillset!
Your digital products can continuously market your brand, bring in new clients, and keep providing profit long after you have published them. That’s the art of dCommerce™, my friends. I want to cover some benefits of digital products, plus talk about how you can actually sell digital products online. Let’s dig in.
Digital products are a great way to provide for your customers’ needs, regardless of what type of business you have. There are also some behind-the-scenes benefits that you may not have considered before.
As a small business owner, your time is a valuable — and finite — resource. Developing digital products helps you save time by having readily available content and solutions available to people ahead of time. No need to come up with a custom plan, create a deliverable from scratch, or even hop on a sales call.
Better yet, these products are always working for YOU — 24/7. Customers can encounter them anytime, so even when you don’t have time to physically reach out to your audience, your digital products keep that connection strong.
Continuously marketing your services and connecting with customers or clients doesn’t just take time — it takes money. Creating digital products helps save you on expensive promotions, ads, or complex offers that require a ton of expensive software, all while still generating income. That’s the beauty of passive income with digital products.
Even small-scale businesses and service providers have the knowledge they can share with the world. If you are looking to establish yourself as more of an authority in your field and want to earn your potential clients’ trust, presenting that info in a slick digital product can help get your message across.
Ok so now that you know why digital products rock, let’s talk about the logistics of creating one.
When you’re ready to create your first digital product, a little bit of prep work goes a long way. Remember, you want this product to stand the test of time; by putting in a strong effort in the planning and creation, you can ensure that clients and customers will continue to flock to your digital products again and again. First, let’s do some studying.
Choose your niche. Resist the urge to appeal to as many people as possible. When you hone in on your unique interests, passions, and expertise, you’ll find a smaller pool of avid buyers who will get excited about what you have to offer (versus a crowd of people who are lukewarm about it).
Be honest about your skills. This is also not the time to get shy. It can be hard to pose yourself as an authority when you’re new on the scene, but you need to convince your potential digital product buyers to trust you as a resource. Kick that imposter syndrome to the curb! You have valuable information in that head and your audience needs to know it.
Specify what sets you apart. The good news is that you don’t have to be better than everyone else. However, per the wise counsel of Sally Hogshead, you do need to be different. Hone in on what makes you stand out — your innovative spirit, your overwhelming passion, etc — and put it front and center.
Psssst… not sure what your unique value proposition is? My shop, The Contract Shop® has a great program that can help you identify your UVP and help you attract new clients (who can work with you 1:1 or buy your digital products). Check out Clients on Tap®.
Now, it’s time to delve a little deeper into your targeted clients.
Identify a pain point. You want to pose your digital product as a solution to your client’s pain points. What is something that your clients struggle with every single day? Something that, if they could wave a magic wand and make it go away forever, they’d wish away in a heartbeat?
Learn their language. Does your desired audience tend to speak technically, with tons of stats and jargon? Do they prefer a warm touch with a moving story at the forefront? Do they prefer in-depth conversations or for things to be short and sweet?
Plug into their social communities. You’ll need to reach out to your audience wherever they are (versus waiting for them to come to you). Do your clients browse LinkedIn or check Twitter? Are they on Spotify, Youtube, or somewhere less mainstream?
Next, you need to decide what your digital product will actually look like. This will largely depend on your experience, your industry, and your message. You will have a better idea of what media will work best for your audience since you are plugged into their communities already.
Digital products can take many different forms: checklists, calendars, templates, eBooks, planners, and more. These are great for industry-specific information. They can be simple and artistic or lengthy and detailed, so you should know what your audience may need. (Are you appealing to newcomers looking to make their mark in the industry, or veterans looking to find a new angle?)
You may also want your digital products to be more sensory and interactive. These might include podcasts, videos, webinars, and online courses. If you are looking to reach out to newcomers who need a bit of hand-holding (or who prefer a personal touch), then dynamic resources allow for great collaboration and engagement.
Once you have your product, now you have to get it out in the world. Beyond the usual venues — email, social media, etc. — there are specialized platforms that can host your digital products, including (but not limited to):
Some of these third-party sites (like Etsy) act as creative markets, which means that people who come across your products are more likely to be interested in learning more about your services. You can even create your own online store to display a whole array of digital products, which looks great to new clients who want someone knowledgeable and resourceful.
While these platforms can get your products in front of new eyes that wouldn’t have seen them otherwise, there are a few downsides. Some of these charge membership fees each month, so if your audience is not likely to peruse these sites specifically, you’ll need to tailor your approach accordingly, such as using website shop templates with shop plug-ins.
Check out my YouTube channel for tips on how to find the right digital product selling platform for you!
Once your product is published, it’s critical that you, well, sell your products. You do that by driving traffic to your site. Some people will find your products because they know you, but you want to make sure that you’re also reaching the people who don’t know about you just yet.
Social media marketing is a great tool for this. You’re already plugged into your audience in the communities they frequent, so you can take your digital product directly to them. The key here is to make sure you’re warming up your audiences, taking them along for the ride on your digital product creation. This way, when you do finally start selling, people won’t feel like you’ve come out of the blue with this new offer!
Email marketing is another great way to drive traffic. Here, you can reach out to a well-established audience and pique their interest in your new products. It can be incredibly helpful to offer a freebie or other “lead magnet” to drive subscribers before you start promoting your new products to your email list. This way, you have fresh people who are excited about learning from you.
I can talk about affiliates forever. Over at The Contract Shop®, we have over 1,200 affiliates who help us sell our contract templates. We engage them when we have a sale coming up and give them resources to keep traffic going to our site and products. Affiliates essentially work as 1,200 mini-me’s, running around and driving traffic to the shop site. You can do this easily by connecting with people in your space who would complement (but not compete) with your new products.
Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to creating an affiliate program for your digital product shop.
Passive income products don’t have to be boring or cookie-cutter. In fact, the right product can launch your business to a whole new level of engagement and expertise. It is possible for you to start selling digital products online — and it’s also possible for you to start earning money in your sleep. It all starts with a digital product. If you’re stuck wondering what product to create or how to get started, our Ultimate Product Creation Guide will help.
Recently, someone messaged me on Instagram and shared that they actually generated over $8,000 in income by creating a product they made using our FREE guide.
Want results like that? Download your free guide here.