The world is more digital now than ever before. Almost everything that a person could want or need can be found at the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. Digital products may seem like a hard concept for some – it’s not a product that can be held or touched, but they are incredibly lucrative. It’s a business that anyone can tap into and make extra money per month with digital products.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs have been able to build their companies around these types of goods and make a sizable income. How do they do it?
Freelancers, bloggers, educators, and other business-savvy people have developed many passive income streams. They have figured out how to make an extra $1,000 a month with digital products. Taking a deep dive into some specific ones that are sold frequently online, we can explore how business owners have utilized small, digital products for profitability, and in some cases, establish great success.
TYPES OF SMALL DIGITAL PRODUCTS
So what exactly is a digital product? It’s a piece of media that is sold and distributed exclusively in an online market. Part of the big appeal of these products is that there is no need for replenishment of inventory since it is digitally downloaded.
Many of these goods come in streamed files like MP3s, PDFs, videos, templates, and more. Here is a breakdown of some of the more common types of small digital products you might see, and how they are produced.
An e-book is a great digital product that is more typically created as a PDF download for those who purchase it. Canva is one such free platform you can use to create such a PDF for consumers to download digitally. E-Books can be made describing a multitude of educational materials, resources, advice, and much more.
When creating an ebook it can be anywhere from a page to 100 pages if so desired, which should play into the price point. Entrepreneurs like to work with the technique of providing a free template to those who sign up, wherein they get a small “taste” of what they need or something of value. Then, the Ebook would be promoted as the next-step-up, for a relatively low price point.
MP3s are another common smaller digital product that can be downloaded. MP3s can consist of things like instrumental music that people can use for various projects, or educational recordings. Using free audio software like Audacity can work here.
Videos are also great for educational recordings like tutorials or courses online that people can purchase to learn a specific trade, or advance their current skillset. With the added visual along with the sound, you can demonstrate and appeal to your consumer by showing them exactly how to do something.
Templates are very similar to e-books, but they are more of an outline version in a condensed package, or in more bite-sized chunks. In some cases, this can be a free product to get someone interested as mentioned to be a precursor for an e-book. Other times, it can be a true educational resource for consumers in need, having large value, in which case you would want to be sure and charge a fee for purchase.
Photos are also great for people to purchase because people like to use pictures on many things like blogs, websites, social media – so being able to purchase a package with multiple pictures can provide a great service. People don’t have the time to set up lighting and take professional-looking photos, so if this is your expertise, you can easily turn this into a digital product.
PAID WEBINAR AND MINI-COURSES
Webinars have increased in popularity, and this is another chance to create a passive income where you can utilize the webinar in what is known as evergreen. Once you have a mini-course up and running, the webinar is used as a precursor to getting people interested in what the course is going to offer them. You can utilize video, PowerPoint, or other forms of templates and digital documents in order to get a webinar or mini-course together.
Webinars and mini-courses are also similar to master classes online, utilizing expertise and knowledge in a particular area where you can instill that into smaller, broken-down modules for people to easily understand. It’s a great way to make an extra $1,000 or more per month with a digital product.
Making any of these digital projects might require you to purchase some equipment upfront, such as a good microphone for recording, or good lighting for your videos. There is also a lot of work to be done initially to get the product up and running. However, once you have finished your recordings or completed your E-book writing and had it edited, you can launch your digital product for multiple purchases and downloads, so your work is essentially done.
BENEFITS OF MAKING DIGITAL PRODUCTS FOR SELLING
So now that you’ve clued into some of the types of digital products you can make for selling, how do you know if it is right for you?
One thing you must know is that you already possess a lot of knowledge about something. Whatever you might be good at or thoroughly love to do, you can probably offer services related to it in some way.
For example, someone who enjoys graphic design may easily be able to offer services to create stock photos on a monthly membership for entrepreneurs to use in various settings like social media, or blogs. You could also create an online course showing someone how to create their own graphics in a step-by-step fashion. This can be done with multiple hobbies that people may enjoy like cooking, photography, crafting, or fitness. The possibilities of creating digital products from something you love are endless.
Selling physical products differs from digital products in many ways. Though there are many online platforms where you could sell actual products for people to buy, with those physical products, sellers have much more work to do, including:
- Stocking and maintaining inventory levels
- Packing and shipping products
- Sourcing merchandise
- Working with customers on shipping updates/status
- Working with customers on returns/exchanges
Running a business with physical products can be messy if you become backed up with orders and end up with disappointed customers. You also run the risk of having too much inventory without customers interested in buying.
Digital products don’t involve doing any of that, since everything is stored on the computer and there is nothing physical to ship. Not to mention, there is more gratification for the consumer by being able to receive something instantaneously in an email, or after a short download.
Here are some of the great benefits to take away from developing your own business model and launching smaller digital products to sell.
Digital products have almost no upfront costs, besides whatever equipment you might want to buy for production. However, most of the time, you don’t even necessarily need to buy anything. If you wanted to create videos for an online course, you could record on your phone in the daylight in front of a window for good lighting, without having to spend any money at all.
Some other costs you may spend money on initially besides equipment if you so desire might be a website, advertising/marketing for your products, or any specific supplies you might need to produce that product. But, after purchasing your necessities the only other investment you make is time.
MEASURING METRICS IS EASIER
Metrics drive sales, and when you know the numbers you desire or need you can easily make adjustments. Selling digital products makes measuring metrics far easier for tracking because you can use free and inexpensive tools online for viewing analytics on URL shorteners, as well as revenue and conversion rates, or anything that might help you identify opportunities to help create more income for yourself.
This also allows for more confidence in trying out new things. You might be hesitant to take the leap into selling a specific product or service. But, with the ability to track metrics easily, you don’t have to wait for approval before trying something new to quickly learn if it was a good idea or not, before adjusting if needed.
YOU CAN SELL IT OVER AND OVER
As mentioned before digital products have the advantage of being a type of “passive” income. Once the product or service is created, then you don’t need to put in any more effort and it can be sold multiple times over.
Think of it this way – you develop and create an online course for a specific subject with multiple video breakdowns. Putting all of the videos together in succession and getting them recorded and edited can be very taxing. However, once you have the course done and ready, you can make it available for anyone to purchase and learn.
Taking it a step further, you can always go back and re-record, update, or add-on to your current course. Maybe there is a more advanced technique or “next step” to what you’ve initially taught in your first course. You can sell it as an upgrade for more advanced learners in the next segment. This would depend on your digital business model, but however you decide to create it and set it up, you can always improve upon or add to it later as well (which also would raise your price point, don’t forget!).
WORKING WITH OTHERS
The online world also makes it easy for you to collaborate with others who may be creating or already have created something similar to what you want to sell. You can also build upon your current online products by working with someone else in the field, possibly an expert, who might be willing to partner with you in collaboration to boost your sales.
This can also be beneficial when working with others by finding another network to tap into. For example, if you create a fitness course on working out to get others fit, maybe you could collaborate with a dietician or someone who knows a lot about eating healthy. Maybe you could even work with a cook/baker who can develop healthy recipes to sell to your clients along with your fitness course so that they go hand in hand.
HOW TO GENERATE INCOME
Once you have your small digital products ready to go, the next step is actually selling it and making an income. Marketing is an important step in this area because without generating hype and/or alerting people to the fact that you have a product for them to purchase, you can’t expect to generate much to start.
There are some key and important things to keep in mind when looking to sell your digital products online.
Customers are still going to expect something of quality even on a digital scale. Make sure that you’re creating something of real value for the consumer so that they can get something out of it. If you develop an online course or some sort of membership site, make sure you take the time to test it out with a small audience, sometimes called beta testers, where you receive feedback on your product before the actual launch.
If you don’t want to give it away for free to a test audience you can always just use friends or family to try it out and give you their feedback. The benefit of utilizing testers is that you can use some of their feedback as a review to help boost the confidence in others to buy your product, too – something to keep in mind.
KNOW WHO YOU’RE SELLING TO
It can be a great resource to look around online and find out what it is that people want. You need to know your key demographic – and you can get as specific as you’d like here – who will benefit from your knowledge. Whoever you already think you want to sell to, reach out to people who fit the bill and find out what they truly think about your product before you even start creating it.
This is also known as branding. Developing a logo with a color scheme, etc. is what most people associate as branding, but there is more to it than that. Your objective is to appeal to your audience so that you know they will buy what you are offering, without a doubt. This is a very important step to knowing that you will generate income.
PRICING CAN BE TRICKY
Many times selling smaller digital products people run into selling them at too low a price point. Keep in mind that if you start at a price that is too low, customers won’t be interested in buying because they won’t believe that it is worth it.
On the other hand, if you set too high of a price point, you can also drive away business by outpricing what consumers are actually willing to buy. Don’t undervalue your product, but at the same time, don’t undermine your hard work. If you want to you can easily make $1,000 per month with your digital products – or more!
During all of this as you’re creating your digital products, you should be consistently staying in touch with your customers. You may find it beneficial to set up an email list where you can update potential buyers on what is coming. You should also utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., or your own website blog to talk up the products you’re making to sell.
Digital products can provide you with a consistent stream of income with a lot less hassle, not to mention the risk factor is very low and you as the sole proprietor have all creative control. Any expertise or skills you have can most likely translate into developing some sort of digital product. So what are you waiting for? Time to get to work, make it happen and start selling your small digital products today.