Have you been re-evaluating what you sell online? Maybe you’re even brand-new to selling products online to create a secondary income stream. Wherever you are on your journey, I’ve got you covered!
You’ve probably come across two main suggestions for what to sell: digital products and online courses. Not sure which one to choose, or even what the difference is between the two? Never fear! Let’s talk about the pros and cons between selling digital products and selling online courses, and which option is the best for you!
Digital products and online courses are perfect for online business owners who want to make more money without trading their time. But how do you choose between the two? Either one can yield great results for your online shop.
To help you choose, here are 5 key differences between digital products and online courses for you to consider!
For digital products, you likely have already created templates or workbooks (especially if you’re a service provider trying to standardize your client experience). That means you can post and sell your digital product relatively quickly.
Online courses are usually a more time-intensive endeavor. They could take up to a week to make or longer. If you have the time, that’s perfect! If you don’t, however, that may lead to some unnecessary stress.
Think about what you want to offer your customer. Do you want to give them immediate relief to a problem, or help transform part of their everyday routine?
Digital products offer almost immediate results. Think of social media templates: your customer can input their info, post, and then move along. Perfect! They’re short, sweet, and to the point.
Online courses are a little more complex. They may not give instant gratification, for better or for worse. They usually offer more of a long-term result (and even then, some people let certain courses sit on their digital course shelf just to collect dust). On the flipside of the social media example, a social media course would show someone, from top to bottom, how to grow their social following. It might include some of the templates, but the focus is on the A-Z structure of the course.
Digital products allow you to start building relationships with customers NOW which could then benefit you when/if you ever do decide to create a course or create another high-ticket offer.
Think of digital products like doing a favor for a friend. They help build trust immediately by establishing trust, since you’re offering help for a prominent pain point your customer has.
Online courses work best AFTER you’ve already established this type of relationship. Your customer should already trust in your expertise, and the online course lets you build this know, like, and trust factor on a deeper level. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck trying to accelerate your connection at warp speed, which can come off as less sincere.
Digital products are usually available 24/7. You don’t need to be active or even awake to sell them; that’s a huge part of their appeal!
Online courses don’t have to be quite as universal. You might only have your online course available for a certain time frame in order to build intrigue.
When launching digital products, your initial launch can be simple — “Hey, I have this awesome new product!” or it can have a lot of fanfare. The beauty of products, though, is that you can revisit your product at any time since it’s an evergreen product! You have some more flexibility regarding the timing of your launch and how you promote it. You can also decide how to launch your shop — whether it’s a standalone page with an offer on your website, Squarespace, or a third-party platform like Etsy or Creative Market.
Launching online courses is usually more of an ordeal, ESPECIALLY if people can only sign up in a limited time window. You want to market your course more intensely to get it in front of as many people as possible. Plus, your course needs to be more set in stone, because people have bought into it and you don’t want to add/remove/change things after that.
Even though courses are often the first thing people think about when they want to create a passive product, digital products are (in my humble opinion) a great way for any service-based business owner to create a secondary income stream.
Now it’s time to set up your digital product shop for 2022. Not sure where to start? See how to create your first offer and launch your shop in 30 days or less!