If there’s one thing that holds promising entrepreneurs back from launching their business, it’s this: a lack of confidence in their products. Sure, you think that new course or workshop is a great idea, but how do you know it will sell?
Imagine spending weeks or even months of time—plus the cost of printable designs, video editing and all the other pieces that go along with it—only to discover it’s not what your audience wants or needs. How frustrating would that be?
You don’t have to leave it to chance, though. There are plenty of ways to test your idea before spending the time and energy on a full launch.
Start with your market. Who are they? What do they want and need? What are they willing and able to pay for? Which formats work best for them?
Next, decide on the “minimum viable product.” That simply means that you want to strive to put in the least amount of effort for the biggest possible return. That doesn’t mean you’re trying to cheat people. But it does mean that you don’t
have to go so far overboard with promises that you burn yourself out before you even begin.
After that, you can begin to outline your plan, including any add-ons and bonuses you’ll offer.
When you break a large project down into smaller, more manageable steps (and you can probably do all of these in a single afternoon) all that’s left is to connect the dots and create your product.
Target Your Market
Without a doubt, your target market is the most important consideration when it comes to creating a product. They have very definite likes and dislikes; they have a preferred learning style; they have an ideal price point. All of these things must be taken into consideration before you begin creating your product.
This is the simplest way to get a feel for what your market needs and wants. Simply ask them. Create a survey with Survey Monkey, TypeForm, or even a Google form, and send it out to your mailing list.
For the best results, keep it short, but do ask:
• What they’re struggling with
• Their preferred learning method (video, text, audio, etc.)
• What they feel the product is worth (what would they pay)
These three pieces will tell you everything you need to know to create a product that’s practically guaranteed to sell.
FIND A SOLUTION TO THEIR PROBLEMS
Here’s where a lot of small business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to product creation. They mistakenly think the product they create has to solve every problem for every person on their mailing list.
They may start out trying to focus on a single issue, but soon enough the project outline includes an all-encompassing membership site that answers every question from “How do I install WordPress?” to “How do I manage my staff?”
We call this scope creep, and it’s killed more products that it’s ever helped.
The way to avoid it is to very clearly define your product in terms of the problem it solves for your audience.
If you’ve been in business for a while, then you very likely know the issues your market faces. Take a few minutes and:
- Scroll through your email looking for the questions your audience asks
- Check your help desk for the most common issues (you probably have a FAQ page you can refer to)
- Take a look at your blog comments for common themes
- If you have a community (or are apart of one), pay attention to what they’re asking about the most
These are the things they need help with. For example, if you’re a business coach and your Facebook group is filled with questions about running Facebook ads, then clearly there is a need for some training in that area.
Study Your Competition
Hopefully you have a list of competitors and you’re reading their blogs and emails, and lurking in their Facebook groups. This is a great way to gain insight into what they’re doing—not to copy them, but to discover what’s hot right now.
Consider buying their paid products as well. Again, you should never copy them, but you can either:
• Promote them as an affiliate
• Create a better, more comprehensive version
• Create a lite, lower-cost version
Creating products in a vacuum is a great way to waste a lot of time and money on programs that won’t sell. Instead, pay attention to what your market is asking for, find out what they’re willing to pay, and delve into your competition’s offers. The information you gain from these three activities alone will give you incredible insight into your market and what they want and need, and make it easy to create your own hot-selling program.
Bonus: Boost Sales by Including Add-Ons
Have you ever opened up a package and received a cool freebie? Or, have you based a past purchasing decision solely off of what product offers “extras” or “add-ons” that enhance the product?
If yes, you can start to recognize that add-ons are a great (and easy) way to increase the perceived value of an item without investing a ton of resources into completely altering or changing it.
The value that you pack into your product and the experience of purchasing from your business plays a big part in how your customer will feel when they download their digital purchase.
Of course, you don’t have to invest a ton of money into add-ons or freebies, but you also don’t want to simply type up a PDF file or e-course without putting an extra piece of love into it.
Think of your buyer when you’re creating your product and the packaging to go along with it. What kind of experience do you want them to have as they open their purchases?
Really simple things like handwritten notes, instruction cards, cohesive colors & fonts, or a small freebie goes a long way for customers.
Some ideas for add-ons or freebies are:
- Video Tutorials
- Private Facebook Group
- Samples of your similar products
- Coaching Call
Go the extra mile and let your customers know you’ve been thinking about them. They will definitely appreciate it!
Create a Product Worth Buying
Now that we’ve determined our target market, clarified the problem, and outlined our product, it’s time to finally get our hands dirty and create what we want to sell!
This is where the hard work begins, but by working through the previous worksheets, building your product should be less of a headache.
If this is your first time attempting to create this type of product, there is one question you should ask yourself two questions:
- Can I make this product myself?
- Will I have to hire someone to make this product for me?
Related Post: 3 Different Methods to Designing Printable Planners
CREATING YOUR PRODUCT YOURSELF
Think about the materials, tools, and time it takes to create your product. Is this something that you create yourself efficiently why still having enough time to run your business? If you don’t know already how to create this product, are you willing to invest in classes and workshops to learn how to make it?
You may even want to consider a DIY route by looking for commercial-use white label products, which will allow you to purchase the shell of a product, and you can go in and add your own branding & personality to make it unique to your business.
If you’re interested in going this route, be sure to check and double-check that you have the rights to sell that product after purchasing. Many times, white label digital products online are intended for personal use or have certain stipulations that don’t allow for the direct profit off of the product.
To avoid any legal trouble down the road, make sure you get the terms and conditions plain and clear in writing before investing.
Want to add digital products to your online shop for passive income? Check out our White Label Planners, Workbooks & Online Tutorials! (and yes…you can resell them!)
HIRE SOMEONE TO DESIGN THE PRODUCT FOR YOU
If you realize you aren’t able to physically create this product yourself, then you can turn to having the product made through a graphic designer to bring your idea to life.
This is definitely going to be the pricier option, but you’ll be able to get exactly what you want in a product without having to get your hands dirty.
The most important things to consider when hiring a graphic designer is:
- Check out multiple designers portfolios to see if you like their past work and style. Most likely, you product will end up with a similar “feel” as their other bodies of work
- Determine the deadline of your project and inquire with multiple designers to see if they can deliver within that deadline. Designers typically take only a certain amount of clients per month, so they may not be able to fit you in their schedule when you need it. So, if you really like a designer and they have an opening, be diligent and complete their onboarding process right away to lock in your spot
- Have a clear vision of your product in mind and be prepared to clearly explain to your designer what you’d like them to create for you. You may even consider going the extra mile and providing a sketch or an outline so your designer knows exactly what you’re looking for
- Don’t always go with the cheapest rate. We’ve all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for”. Yes, you may spend less money, but determine if the designer produces end products that you would be confident putting your name on
- Be sure to be upfront and specify that you are planning to sell the product once it’s completed. This typically isn’t a problem, but designers may charge extra for a transfer of copyright and will include it in your contractual agreement to protect both parties from any misunderstandings
If you’re looking for a graphic designer and are ready to get started, we’d be happy to work with you on your Custom Digital Project! Complete our Inquiry Form and we’ll reach out to you right away!
Once you have your digital product, the only thing left to do is start selling it! Whether it’s on social media, on a marketplace like Etsy, or on your own website, put your product out there and (hopefully!) watch the sales come in.
Head to the comments below and let me know:
- What’s your biggest pain point when it comes to design digital products yourself
- Have you ever used a graphic designer before? If not, what’s holding you back? If yes, what was your experience like?
- Shout out your shop! What do you sell and why? We’d love to support you!