The phrase “how to make money online” is searched for an average of 74,000 times a month (!). A lot of people are looking for quick ways to make money on the internet. Many of them are unaware that with a good strategy, they can create a digital product and use the knowledge they already have to help other people and be paid for that.
What is a digital product?
A digital product is a product that any of us can easily create and sell it online. Digital products are ways of accessing knowledge through an online format.
Examples of products are:
- digital books (ebooks),
- online courses with lessons published on video, audio or text,
- and more.
How to create a digital product?
One of the difficulties I felt when I started working with digital products in Portugal, a very different country from the United States, was the adaptation of what I learned in the US.
Culture and context are two fundamental aspects of creating and sell digital products.
If you are selling your digital product in a language that is not English and in a specific country, you can still apply all the knowledge that you learned from international professionals “formulas.”
But you need to think about your customers and adapt all you learned to them. You need to adjust the strategy to their context, culture, and country.
There are very high-quality educational content about digital products out there with impressive results. But the most important of all the material that you read about digital product launches is the strategy.
After you learn the strategy, it does not mean that your work is done. You will need to be able to apply it in a way that suits the reality of your customer.
The techniques that American or Brazilian professionals use are the same, but their applications on their markets and niches are different.
One thing that many people forget when they read content that promises to “get rich by creating digital products” is that creating a digital product only to sell is not enough.
I will not talk about the importance of the quality, because your product must have the best quality and needs to deliver value to those who buy it. This is not negotiable.
But, in my opinion, the key to an excellent digital product launch is the distribution and sales strategy. You can create the best digital product; if no one knows about it, no one will buy it.
And here comes the importance of adapting the marketing strategy to the country and culture: you need to know your consumer and the type of people that you want to target.
Step by step to create a perfect digital product
- Set a clear goal for your digital product.
What goal do you want to achieve with it? Educate people? Maybe you want to increase your reputation in a particular field? Or prepare people for a service?
- Define what the purpose of the product is.
What do you want people to pull out of this content? What action do you want them to take after they read/see it? What change do you want to help create with this digital product?
- Think about the audience that you want to reach with this digital product.
What are their needs, problems, and issues?
If you already have an audience (with a blog, website, or social media), try to understand by their type of questions and comments, by the most shared posts and by the content of the conversations what are their most significant issues and needs.
See what your audience wants. This will give you ideas for a digital product that answers a need that people already have.
And remember: you do not have to be the best on the topic to create a digital product. You need to know a little more than most people. Any knowledge you have is desired!
Look for patterns and validate your idea
Knowing that you can help some people is not enough. You need to validate your idea with more metrics and patterns.
Read blogs, articles, and conversations on the topic to understand if there is a demand for your digital product. Define the questions and problems that you can answer and solve.
The process of validating your digital product is the same as in a tv show. The first episode is usually a “pilot,” i.e., a test.
The goal is to try to understand if the audience likes your idea and what kind of comments, opinions, and suggestions come up in reaction to this “pilot episode.”
Creating a “pilot product” lets you understand if your digital product can succeed. If this test product does not provoke curiosity, you know that you have to go through a restructuring process of your digital product.
Test if your digital product will work or not
The best way to test your online product is by answering questions using your knowledge related to your digital product.
And by this, I do not mean only answering questions when they are asked. I mean encouraging conversation around the problems and needs of your audience.
How to do this? Using a content marketing technique: create free content.
Why do I need to create free content?
Create free content rises your audience’s interest in the topic and nurture a conversation around it.
Imagine that you want to release an ebook about “Design for Beginners.”
You can create posts in your blog with exercises or design challenges in your social media. Or videos with short design tutorials. The goal is to create content that helps your target audience.
This kind of content makes you stand out as an authority. You will be seen as someone that knows about this topic. But it will also allow you to attract an audience that can and want to buy your ebook.
Also, every time that you publish useful content that is available for free, the readers will be sharing it. Thanks to these shares, there will be conversation and engagement around your work. The more social media engagement you have, the more chances your digital product will have to be successful.
Create digital baits (opt-ins incentives)
Your free content may be what is called a digital bait or an opt-in incentive.
Start leaving small bits of your digital product throughout your content. This will increase your audience’s curiosity about your final product.
Do you create free content with a lot of quality? If your free content is excellent, your audience will be ready to paid and get your digital product. They will think: “If what this person is offering for free is so good, what it be selling must be even better!”
What is the right product?
You need to think about the format. What is the outlet that allows your content to be more valuable? And what format do you feel comfortable offering?
Educational content that needs a more personal follow-up is excellent in a video format because the image allows an emotional connection.
Actionables and step-by-step content that has a lot of exercises and memorization of concepts and techniques are best in a written format, such as an ebook.
Think: if you were the customer for your digital product, in what format would you like to access the content?
The creation process will depend on the outlet of your digital product.
To write text, you can do it directly in your text editor and export the PDF document. You can also use Canva, which has ready-to-edit templates for eBooks and other document formats, and you can also export everything in a PDF format.
To record video, you can use native programs with QuickTime, or slightly more complex programs like OBS.
Sell your digital product.
The selling part will also depend on the digital product himself and on the strategy that you want to put in place.
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Also published on my personal blog on krystel.me