When you decide to start making digital products, whether it’s paid trainings, templates, guides, ebooks, etc., you’re probably thinking about the investment it will all take upfront. You might need a designer to help make your PDF, or a copywriter to help with your sales pages or emails. You might not need to invest in other people’s services, but you’ll definitely need to set aside some of your own time to create your product and the marketing assets.
Before you get started, you’re already overwhelmed. This is usually why most business owners — especially service- or client-based business owners — delay their digital download products. They wait and wait and wait, until they realize their competition has already created the thing they wanted to create. I don’t want that for you, so let’s talk about why and how to presell your digital products.
When I first started The Contract Shop®, I started with basically one contract, for independent contractors. From there, I tested out other types of contracts by preselling them. That meant they’d be available for purchase on our website, but I wouldn’t actually create the contract until there was a purchase. This did leave a bit of scrambling to create some of the contracts, but for the most part, it was easy.
Plus, I didn’t make anything that no one wanted, which means I didn’t eat into contractor fees or profits to make something that didn’t sell. Over time, and as The Contract Shop® grew, I started using our preselling to test new contracts that were way more niche.
Of course, if you’re just starting out and only have 1 or 2 product ideas in the shoot, you might be wondering if preselling is the right approach for you. I think it is, because it means:
Of course, preselling isn’t just about “slapping up a product page” on your website, selling it, and never delivering on the product. That’s not preselling, that’s a scam. So let’s talk about what preselling entails, and how to do it ethically.
If you’re reading this and you’ve never heard of preselling, you might be thinking, “Wait… can I do that?!” Preselling is super foreign to people who are used to trading dollars for hours, and that’s OK! You should question it, because it means that you’ll use preselling to your customers’ advantage, rather than taking advantage of them.
Here’s how you make sure that preselling benefits your customers, rather than just sells them something they never get:
If you’re giving someone access to a new digital product, but not immediately upon purchase, make sure you’re disclosing that on your sales or opt-in page. You can also make sure that people know from your emails and social media that the product will be available on a certain date, or that you’re starting the “live” element on a certain date. People will still invest in something they don’t get immediate access to, if you’re transparent.
Create a Facebook group for shop purchasers to keep them engaged, asking questions, and finding connection with others. This will also be a great source of information once you DO open up the product for use because you’ll be able to see what buyers are experiencing. You may also include access to a freebie bank or other bonus, to give them something to work on in the meantime.
The biggest takeaway if you want to start preselling? Just deliver your new product when you say you’re going to, and don’t forget to surprise and delight people who’ve prepaid. Deliver everything you promised (and maybe even some extras along the way).
Interested in learning more about pre-selling? Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I share a ton of tactical advice on scaling your digital product shop.