Many first-time entrepreneurs have doubts about the creation process of digital products. As the objective of our blog is to share as much knowledge about the universe of digital products as possible, so it’s fair that we would make a checklist with a step-by-step of the journey, from the creation to the first sale of an online course. If you are thinking about creating a digital product, this guide is for you.
The benefits of becoming a digital producer
Creating rich material and starting a business of our own by selling digital products comes with many benefits, and they may vary depending on what each person is going through at any given time. Check out the main ones and see if they make sense to you:
– Make a living out of your passions: many professionals are frustrated with their careers, and if they were presented with the opportunity, they would work with what they love doing the most. The problem is that most of them have no idea of how to go about this change. Creating a digital course could be a solution to this situation, and thus having the opportunity to teach what you love to other people!
– More flexibility: having time flexibility leads to more autonomy to organize your day the best way you can. Be it with a full-time job, or only with a few hours per day devoted to your digital business.
– Versatility: it is possible to create materials in many different formats and direct them to different audiences, and it is up to the Producer to choose the best option for their new entrepreneurship.
– Better logistics: differently from physical products, the delivery of a digital product is immediate and the responsibility of the platform where the Producer will host the course. This makes it much easier for the entrepreneur, who is able to be focused on the product’s promotion completely.
– Better quality of life: this is one of the most sought-after aspects by those who wish to invest in digital products. The possibility of spending more time with the family, go on that trip of your dreams you planned to but never found the time, or even the fact that you don’t have to be stuck in traffic on your way to work. These are very important aspects that can become a reality when you invest in the digital market.
– Build scalability: scalability is one of the most important factors to achieve financial independence. Having scalability means breaking the barrier of time and space, and being able to reach clients anywhere in the world, at any time. And by multiplying your opportunities, you also multiply the chances of making more profit.
– Save more and have a return faster: while a physical store requires a significant initial investment and could take years to really start to make a profit, a digital business happens in a more simple way. It is possible to create a course with little money and start selling right away. The scalability factor is also a strong ally to achieve the first results!
What do you need for your digital business?
You will need, initially, 4 basic items to take the first step in your digital business:
- An idea;
- Identify an opportunity in the market;
- Proper tools;
- A strong will to work and learn.
But don’t you worry, we will guide through, at least, the first three steps, OK?
If you have got this far without knowing what to create – but with a strong will to become an entrepreneur – we can help you out. The best exercise at this particular moment, is to think about the subjects you like talking about the most and your favorite hobbies. You can also answer other questions that will direct you to the most interesting niches, according to your profile. I recommend you write the answers on a piece of paper so that, in the end, you can identify the patterns in your answers.
- What are your main activities outside of work?
- What are the activities that you have always enjoyed doing, but don’t practice anymore because you don’t have the time?
- When was the last time you lost track of time performing an activity? What was this activity?
- Which activities you don’t need any help doing?
- What do you like talking about the most?
- If there were no money in the world, what would you like to do for pleasure?
- What kind of activity do you get anxious do do?
- What do you read about the most?
- What do people ask you to teach them?
- What are your strengths?
After having written down the subjects you like the most, let’s identify which niches you can get in!
After identifying a market, you have to find a niche. The more segmented your niche is, the less explored it will be, and you will have more opportunities to offer your product. For example: you have found out that the market of healthy eating is very interesting and you have an affinity with it. Maybe it will be more difficult to compete if you have a generic material on dieting. But if you segment your product for women in menopause or women who wish to lose weight after pregnancy, there will be less competition. And it is possible to make it even more specific: women with a slow metabolism who wish to lose weight after giving birth.
After you have identified the niche, you have to think about the following: what can I teach? To do so, let’s move on to the next topic, market research!
When you have identified the possible niches, you need to verify if there is demand for a digital product, and to do so, we need to look into the market! What are the consumption trends? What kind of knowledge are people looking for? Are there materials that can meet this need?
Carry out some research with your friends, acquaintances, social media, Google Trends, Yahoo Answers, forums and any other tools that can supply relevant information. Look for content in other languages and check if there is something similar in your country.
Use Keyword Planner from Google Adwords to identify the search volume of the terms related to your niche. If the term is very generic and there is too much competition, your work will be much harder. If it’s a very specific term (a long tail), like the example “ women who wish to lose weight after giving birth”, it will be easier to direct your promotion efforts.
Identify your persona
After you have segmented your subject, you will need to identify your buyer persona, the fictitious character that represents your ideal customer and to whom you will direct all your strategy. We have a complete post on how to create a buyer persona for your business.
Choose the format
Now it’s time to define which format your digital product will take. At this point, you probably have a well-formed idea in your head, but you have to define, then, which format your consumer should receive your online course: ebooks, video lessons, audiobooks, a mix of materials, a subscription or a member’s website. Read more about 8 different types of digital products you can create.
Research on the topic
Even if you already are a specialist in the topic you have chosen, you will have to carry out a thorough research on the subject. This way, you will learn about the new things, update yourself on the matter, and, more importantly, find out about what is available in the market to create an even better material! Google can prove to be a great ally in the research, but don’t limit yourself to only one tool, visit social networking sites and carry out interviews with professionals in the area, if possible!
An outline of the material is like a draft version in which you can write everything that comes to your mind about your material. In a document (I recommend Google Docs), write ideas and loose sentences about everything that should be in your online course. Don’t worry about the organization, it’s time for a brainstorm!
The most common kinds of product are ebooks and video lessons, and each of them has their own specifications. In the case of ebooks, the creation is the writing of the material, the division of chapters and everything else that should be present in your digital book.
Video, in turn, is more complex: it requires a script, preparing the backdrop or your surroundings, and the equipment for recording the video lessons. Check out our post on ahow to sell online courses.
Choose the title
The title is an essential part of your material. After all, it is one of the things that will grab your audience’s attention. Devote some time to the title, write many options, so you can choose the very best one.
The layout or editing, in the case of videos, is an extremely important part to enhance your online course and give that professional touch to your material. If you don’t have the skills to perform this task, resort to a professional. There are different platforms where you can find the ideal designer/video editor.
Before you finish, you have to carry out a thorough revision to make sure the material is perfect. Go to a quiet place and avoid any distractions. Consume your content like a persona would, and then make changes that you deem necessary. You also have the option of asking a friend with a keen eye for detail to take a look and give you honest feedback on your material.
Once the material is ready, it’s time to put it online! In order to do so, you will need a simple and safe way to host it, define how your clients will receive the product and what the payment method will be. They may seem like very technical details, but there are digital product platforms that do everything for you, like Hotmart.
If your intention is to create a longer course with video lessons and other kinds of files, the ideal thing is that you host it in a members area. To find out how to create a members area and discover all the advantages and differences from a regular platform, click here.
The payment method you will use in your online course is a very important point of attention. This is because the platform you choose needs to provide the proper credibility and safety to your clients, and, of course, it has to be simple for you. Here are a couple of things that have to be taken into consideration when you define your payment method:
- Deposits from the sales made directly to your bank account, making the withdrawal simpler and easier;
- Customized checkout, which can have a direct impact in the number of conversions;
- Fast payment approval;
- Buyer information completely safe and protected;
- International sales: you will have the opportunity to expand your business to the whole world.
If you still haven’t decided what your payment method will be, learn more about HotPay, the system which is already integrated with Hotmart
Delivering the content
If you’re thinking about scalability, it is advisable that you discard the manual delivery of your digital content right away. Besides being subjected to many possible problems, it is not professional. You need to find a digital content distribution platform that provides automatic, safe delivery directly to your buyer.
Occasionally, a buyer may have problems accessing your material or a doubt about the digital course. For these cases, giving support quickly and in a friendly manner will make a huge difference to your business’s reputation. Make sure the platform you choose also provides an efficient customer support.
And you may also have some doubts about your business at some point, and you also have to count on a support that will promptly answer your questions. Make sure the platform you choose also provides this service, before you hire it!
If you have chosen your platform, it is time to put your product online. It then has to be available on a landing page or your website. A landing page is nothing more than the page that takes the user to your product/website. The advantage of a landing page that focuses on conversion is that the users won’t have any distractions and the chances of making a sale increase. You will learn more about Landing Pages here.
Is everything set to start promoting your ebook? After all, why have an excellent material, with valuable content, if it cannot be found by your audience? Let’s move on, then, to the strategies you can (and should) use to make your first sale!
Start a blog and write about the niche you act in. Blogs are powerful attraction tools, because besides offering valuable content to your audience, you become an authority in the market, generate organic traffic and drastically reduce your investment in promotion.
Search Engine Optimization techniques improve the way search engines (such as Google and Bing) see your website. Through the years, the algorithms used by Google have suffered updates that prioritize the sites that care about the user experience. The better the ranking, the more organic traffic it will attract and the less you will have to invest to get new users.
You can use videos in your promotion strategy! Be it in paid ads or in your social media channels, the videos bring users closer to the business, which is an excellent way of building authority in the market.
Social networking sites are channels in which you can have a closer proximity to your audience, in a more relaxed way. Research which sites your persona uses the most, and, based on this information, create your strategy! Don’t forget to have coherence and consistency in your posts.
Paid ads are an excellent source of investment to make sales! Through them, you can segment your audience, advertising to people who can relate to your product. It is possible to advertise on Google and Bing, and also on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube).
Email marketing is still a strong tool to build a relationship with your prospects and promote your product. In this stage, you will need a tool to send your emails. You can use free versions that are available in the market, such as MailChimp, or use a more robust one, when your business starts to grow. It is important to remember that your digital product platform should have a system that organizes your leads, like ListBoss, from Hotmart.
An Affiliate program is the ideal option for those who wish to increase their business promotion with the help of partners promoting the product. Affiliates promote third-party products and earn commission for every sale they make. The commission is set by the producers themselves, the way the seem fit. This partnership model is very interesting for both sides, and we can prove that with our own Hotmart Affiliate Program.
Monitor your results
From the moment your product is online, you will need to monitor each action you take in favor of your course. To do so, you can count on monitoring tools from social networking sites, such as Insights from Facebook, and Google Analytics, to keep an eye on your website and landing pages, and Google Adwords, to monitor paid campaigns on Google.
Legitimize your business
The moment your business takes off and starts generating meaningful results, you need to think about legitimizing your business.
Keep on studying
The market of digital products is in constant development, and therefore you need to keep up with the latest trends! The more you study, the better equipped you will be to run your business.
With the goal of qualifying the first-time entrepreneurs even more, and also those who wish to be constantly up-to-date, Hotmart has launched Hotmart Academy, a complete course on digital entrepreneurship. The good news is that this course is completely FREE and it covers everything in this checklist!
If you have got this far, it is time to put all your planning into practice. Document every step of the way, and control each stage of your business. If you liked our checklist, leave your comment in the section below!