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13 myths about the digital product market and why you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet

Let's put an end to all the myths around the digital product market.

digital product myths - illustration of a man sleeping with his head on a pillow and with a blanket dreaming of money

As you already know, the market for digital products keeps growing. In the end, you clicked on this text, so you’re probably trying to figure out if it’s worth investing in this niche.

A quick search online is enough to find a ton of write-ups and videos from people defending or attacking this market. And probably most of them with a certain level of exaggeration.

But what’s true and what’s a lie in all this? Is everything we read on the internet about the digital product market for real?

To put an end to all your questions about the digital product sector, we made a list of the 13 biggest myths on the subject. Want to know what they are? Then keep on reading til the end.

1. You’ll bring in some easy cash

 

The first myth on our list is the main reason that people get disappointed when they try to enter the digital market.

“So you mean you can’t make easy money selling online?” Calm down, it’s not quite like that…

Just like any other activity, working as a Producer or Affiliate can be a profitable profession, as long as you use the right strategies and sell a product in line with the interests of your audience.

In these cases, it takes patience and perseverance to identify what you did wrong to improve and try again:

  • Is the problem in the product or service you are offering?
  • Are you solving a problem with your offer?
  • Are you talking to the right audience?
  • Is there a market for the product you are selling?

Until you figure out the right strategy for your business, you’ll need to perform many tests and this is not even close to being an easy task! Because if it were, everybody would be a digital entrepreneur by now.

2. You can put your online business on autopilot

Another myth that is widely heralded online is that it’s possible to create a digital business and just walk away. That is, once ready, you no longer need to worry about anything and can just kick back and rack in the earnings.

Yeah, that’s not really the way it works.

It is true that digital tools allow you to automate a bunch of things, such as email send-outs, replying to messages, etc. But that does not mean that you can leave a business “running on automatic.”

All of these tools serve to facilitate the day-to-day business, but still require you to act strategically, creating sales pages, setting up sales funnels, producing relevant content, analyzing data, and helping customers.

No business, however automated, runs on autopilot!

3. You’ll hardly work

digital products myths - hardly work

For starters, you need to know that “studying” is not restricted to classroom learning, it concerns knowledge of every kind, which you can use to perform a task well.

In a few words, you will need to study (a lot) if you want to stand out in the market of digital products.

To become a Producer, you need to go even further to understand the market, choose the right niche to invest in, and understand the needs of each audience, and only then will you be able to think of how your product/service might be the ideal solution for these people.  

And this work continues even after you launch your product/service. To ensure that your business lasts for a long time, you’ll need to nourish a relationship with your base, offering quality content and acting straight upon the “pains” of these users, to convince them to continue buying from you.

It seems like a lot of work for nothing, but it is exactly the opposite! The more you study the market and understand the needs of your audience, the more strategic will be your offer and, therefore, the more expressive will be your sales.

4. There’s no need to study

The term “study” is definitely not restricted to learning within the classroom, and refers to all kinds of knowledge that you can acquire through research, courses, and even hands-on tasks.

In a nutshell, if you want to stand out in the digital products market. you do need to study, a lot.

For those who want to create a digital product, for example, they need to understand the market, choose the right niche to invest in, and understand the needs of each audience. Just after doing that, they can choose the product/service they are going to develop and sell.

Even after you launch your product/service, if you want to ensure the longevity of your business, you’ll need to nurture a relationship with your base, offering quality content and acting directly on the “pains points” of these users.

It seems like a lot of work for nothing, but it’s just the opposite! The more you study the market and understand the needs of your audience, the more assertive your offer will be and, consequently, the more significant your sales will be.

5. The digital market is too risky

Because it is a “recent” market, people still question the Internet’s potential to generate value and business. This mistrust is even higher when we hear stories of online fraud, schemes, or promises to “make money overnight”.

If this is your case, we can assure you that the Internet is a safe environment, both for people who wish to sell and people who want to buy. You just need to choose the right platform to work with. We’ll talk a little bit more about this later on in the text.

6. I need to have a lot of money to work in the digital market

money

The market of digital products is extremely democratic, that’s why you don’t need to have a lot or any money to invest, once there already are platforms such as Hotmart to make your product available without charging anything for it.

Of course that if you want immediate results, you’ll need to invest in paid ads so that people get to know your work. However, if you have a business plan foreseeing these expenses, you won’t have great surprises until you have the financial return you expect.

It’s important to notice that we’re talking about a significant change in career, so, a financial plan is never enough: do the math of how much money you need to create a product, how much you plan to spend on ads, and add this amount to your fixed expenses (rent, bills, etc.) for the next six months. This amount is a good safety margin, just in case, your business doesn’t take off right away.

7. There’s some sort of secret sauce for selling online

Many people come to the blog looking for a magic formula to make more sales. I’m sorry to inform you that there is no one way to increase your business’s conversion rate, but rather a combination of factors.

A strategy that works well for a Producer in the fitness niche will not work well for someone who sells a product about music and vice-versa. As we’ve said at the beginning of this post, there’s only one way of knowing what works for your audience, which is by studying your market and performing tests.

So, if you are quick to give up in face of your first challenge, maybe the market of digital products isn’t really for you.

If you’re an Affiliate and hasn’t done any sale yet, this post here is also very helpful: How to make your first sale as an Affiliate.

8. You need to have previous experience with sales

Just like the muscles in your body, any social skill can be developed/acquired, and the same goes for sales.

See it this way: your main challenge is to convince someone to buy your product. When you succeed in this objective, there isn’t much difference between selling 10 or 100 units. After all, the process is the same, and even simpler, as you get more experienced in dealing with people.

Once you develop the right sales arguments for your audience, it is easier to optimize your processes and scale your profits. Take advantage to also read our post on 6 sales techniques for beginners.

9. All platforms are created equal

If you’re just starting out in the digital market, it is likely that you still don’t master the essential tools to promote your product or don’t even know terms such as “sales funnel” and “leads nourishment”. It’s likely that you’re also unsure about how to create a sales page on your own unless you already know about design and coding.

A good sales platform is the one that gathers all the services you need in one place, leaving you with more time to dedicate yourself to the development and sale of your product. Affiliates, on the other hand, need a platform to find the right products to become affiliated to and be assured that they’ll receive the commissions for the sales they make.

The benefits also extend to consumers, who will feel more comfortable about providing their payment information in a safe purchase environment. In short: using a platform to make your product available, not only makes your job easier but it also is a powerful sales argument.

10. I got to have a wacky, original idea

There is a perception that for you to become an authority on a subject, you need to launch a product never seen before in the market. With this in mind, many people end up giving up, after all, with so many people in the world and so many products available on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to create an idea that is 100% new and/or forward.

The good news is that entrepreneurship is not a race with a sole winner. You can be successful in the digital market selling a product in an already very explored niche, as long as the solution fits the needs of a user.

Let’s consider one area of knowledge: photography. You can create a course about developing analogic photos for people who are interested in old-fashioned cameras but don’t know much about it. Notice that there’s nothing forward about this example.

More than that, analogic cameras are considered obsolete in terms of technology when compared to the digital devices available today.

You can take advantage of the newfound interest of the new generation in analogic photography to launch a product that helps this audience.

Here’s the deal: from now on, you need to think about digital entrepreneurship as products and services that help people solve problems, regardless of the kind of problems these users might be facing. It’s by combining your skills and the needs of your audience that the concept of innovation can be found.

11. Every digital product will always be a success

The internet is full of stories of people who started investing in the internet and became leading entrepreneurs overnight. This can give the impression that the digital market is a gold mine and anyone who decides to invest in it will be guaranteed success.

This is not quite the story, however. As with any type of business, success in the digital product market depends on hard work and grit.

As we explained in the previous topics, you need to research the market, understand the target audience you want to reach, offer a product or service that satisfies the consumer’s needs and, above all, promote your business the right way.

With continuous dedication and effort, your chances of standing out in the digital product market and gaining a solid customer base are more likely.

12. I need a large team to create a product

work solo

Another myth that surrounds the digital product market is that it is necessary to have a huge team to put an idea into motion and to set up an online business.

Although having the support and work of other professionals helps a lot, it is not a rule. It’s more than possible to create a digital product yourself.

With the diversity of digital tools available, such as software and even websites, it’s possible to create a digital product yourself, even without a lot of technical knowledge in programming or design.

For example, if you have some knowledge or skill that can be useful to others, you can create an ebook where you explain everything you know. Using simple tools, like a text editor, you can structure the content and then use a presentation program, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, or similar, to give your text a facelift.

Of course, if you count on the help of others, this whole process will be easier and your digital product will have a more professional look. But it is not mandatory.

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13. It’s really hard to create a product

“I’ll have a lot of work to create a digital product”.

That’s how people give up on putting their ideas into practice, even before they try it. And we don’t blame them, after all, there are a lot of texts going around that highlight how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur. They say you’ll need to have a lot of free time, or that you’ll spend lots of money to have a shot at this market.

But the truth is that when you’ve already mastered the subject you intend to approach, creating your product is a minor detail. You can opt for an ebook, which can be written in Google Docs (simple and free software) and, later, convert it into PDF for your buyers to download.

It’s also possible to make a video lesson or a podcast using only your phone.

What we are trying to demonstrate with the examples above is that you don’t need a big production to create a high-quality digital product, as long as that content is valuable to your buyer persona and help them solve a problem.

Of course, if you have a team, and resources to make your idea available, we recommend that you use them. By doing so, you increase the value perception of your product. However, if you’re short on money to invest and you already have an idea, waiting around for the perfect conditions will only stall the beginning of your business.

João Pedro, CEO at Hotmart, has already granted an interview saying that action is more important than techniques, where he said exactly this. “Technique is around to optimize something. If you don’t have anything to optimize, you have nothing”.

 

Take action

After a long journey of myths and truths, we have reached the end. Now that you have finished reading, I hope you are more optimistic to start working in the digital products market and achieve your long-awaited financial independence.

Do you want to turn your knowledge into an online course? Check out our SmartCourse Maker and learn everything you need to get started!

This blog entry was originally posted in July, 2017 and then updated with further information. 

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