The hype around digital products has been crazy lately, hasn’t it? Major online marketers like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk are offering their own online courses. Media sites are selling coaching, PDF guides, and templates as key elements of their monetization strategies. Everyday yoga, photography and guitar teachers are sharing their tips on Facebook Live to help capture leads for their one-on-one virtual lessons.
Basically, digital products are everywhere now.
So you’ve got to be wondering – is it just hype or is there something more to it? And more importantly, is there something in it you can capitalize on?
Absolutely! Not only do digital products come in varying types and sizes, but they work in almost any industry. All it takes is finding the right fit for your audience. What’s more, you probably already have all the ingredients for digital products sitting in your files collecting dust. Why not put them to good use?
Let’s dive into a few reasons why digital products are worth exploring right now.
Passive income is the holy grail of online businesses. The idea of creating something once and making money from it in perpetuity is quite appealing, and there’s no easier way to do that than with creating digital products.
Once you have a product and a system in place for marketing, sales, virtual delivery and handling major customer service inquiries, you can quite literally be earning an income with very little involvement in the process after the initial setup. Imagine all the free time you’d have. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
One of the biggest reasons people stay away from creating digital products is thinking they have to some kind of industry expert or master marketing guru to do it. Sure, the heavy-hitters like those mentioned at the beginning of this article are doing it, but they’re not the only ones! People at all points of the spectrum are getting into this and seeing results.
Furthermore, the same online marketers making money from these products – like Marie Forleo, Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and even the passive income guru himself, Pat Flynn – are happy to show you how to do it successfully as well.
When you think of digital products, it’s easy to think of the big stuff like online courses and premium membership communities, without considering all the other simpler, yet extremely valuable, options such as PDF or document templates, photos or curated content. If you’re not ready to dive deep into the waters of content creation, these are great ways to get started with building an audience.
Of course, if you do want to dive into creating bigger products, there’s some great information out there on creating online courses using dedicated tools and best practices. However, there are also plenty of people who create courses by simply posting private videos on YouTube and sharing the links; and those who create ebooks using topic-themed compilations of existing blog posts. So even if you want to go big, you can still keep things as simple as you want them to be.
That’s right. If you have spreadsheets, formatted documents such as reports or checklists, high-quality photos or even a swipe file of inspirational content for your work, you already have a digital product on your hands. Put these together in some nice virtual packaging and you can soon start making money from your work.
Even if you never plan to go big with an e-book or online course, there are people searching online on a daily basis for products just like these to buy, so they won’t have to spend the time creating them from scratch. That’s your opportunity.
The ability to access the global market is one of the best things about the internet. The opportunities to be found in selling digital products and delivering them on an automated basis, without any diminishing supply, is another. There’s no packaging, no shipping, no inventory, no handling breakage or spoilage or any of that fun stuff you have to risk when selling physical products.
Sure, you’ll have the occasional email for a refund or customer service query, but that’s barely a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. Plus, a systemized marketing funnel and some comprehensive FAQs could take care of most of this for you. Check in once in a while, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, to make sure everything is running smoothly, and that’s all it takes.
As unnecessary as a complex product is, a complex business setup is likewise skippable in the digital product space.
Thanks to the advent of easy billing solutions like Stripe and dedicated landing page tools with pre-built templates like Leadpages, you can set up shop within a couple of hours. The best part, it will all look professionally done, so no one has to ever know that you’re just getting started.
So let’s put it all together. Digital products can be simple and easy to create by practically anyone. You may already have the beginnings of one lying around. You only need a simple landing page, for which templates already exist, and a system to promote and drive potential customers to your page, which you can learn from any number of online marketing experts, for free. Finally, you can sell your products all over the world in the blink of an eye with a free payment system you can set up in minutes.
In other words, there’s no reason to avoid creating digital products. Worst case scenario, you spend a few hours creating something great and make only a few bucks for your troubles. Best case scenario, you find a solid income stream that frees up your time and gives you peace of mind. That’s what we call a no-brainer.