January 06, 2024

How to create digital products: A guide to finding and executing on your ideas

Ah, the sweet, sweet allure of predictable, recurring revenue. That's what all digital business owners want—and one of the best ways to achieve this is through digital products.

From my time helping clients and scaling my own digital business, I've found myself at the intersection of design, entrepreneurship, and innovation—leaving me well-positioned to understand which digital products people truly want (and why). Drawing from that experience, I'd like to share with you not just how to create your first digital product but also the strategies for effectively marketing them and ensuring they resonate with your intended audience.

But before we get started, a word to the wise: While the draw of passive income is strong, the reality is that digital products can require significant upfront investment—not just of money, but of time and skill. However, the benefits are tangible: digital products have minimal overhead once created and can be sold endlessly. Over and over and over again.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let's take a look at how building a portfolio of digital products that complement each other can lead to sustainable, long-term business success.

Key takeaways (TL;DR)

Creating your first digital product

In my career as both a designer and an entrepreneur, I've found that crafting digital products involves a blend of creative ideation, keen market research, and meticulous design and development. Harnessing this trio efficiently can transform your digital product from an idea into a market-ready asset.

Ideation and market research

My first step is always to brainstorm; I sift through my skills and talents, seeking to uncover problems I am passionately equipped to solve. This could include my experience in business growth, systems, organization, coaching, or anything else I am uniquely qualified to share.

Next, I engage in market research, which involves analyzing competitors, understanding what's currently available, and identifying gaps in the market. Tools like Typeform for surveys and Ahrefs for keyword research are vital here to validate the demand. If you already have an audience, I recommend polling them often via social media or email to quickly explore ideas and gauge community interest. You'd be surprised how far you'll get with just a little direction from an engaged source.

Marketing and monetizing strategies for your digital product

Effectively marketing and monetizing your digital products are pivotal to growth and sustainability. Let's explore targeted strategies to help your digital products stand out in a crowded market and optimize profits.

Marketing and selling your digital products

Marketing your digital products begins with a clear understanding of your target audience and niche market. Through my experience, I've found social media to be an invaluable tool for reaching potential customers.

Platforms like Instagram and X (I hate calling it that) offer the ability to dive deep into demographics, psychographics, and behavioral characteristics, ensuring your digital marketing efforts resonate with the people most likely to buy your courses, ebooks, or templates.

Creating an email list is another cornerstone tactic. It allows for direct communication and nurturing customer relationships, building a community that's interested in the value you provide. For instance, offering a free webinar can entice sign-ups and provide a sample of your digital product, giving them a taste of your full offerings.

  • Identify your target audience: They're the foundation of your marketing strategy.
  • Leverage social media: Use it to engage and inform, not just to sell.
  • Grow an email list: Provide value to form loyal customer relationships.

Scaling and evolving your digital product business

Once your products are out there, focus on scaling and updating them to stay competitive. My course to a seven-figure agency was fueled by constant innovation and offering my clients new templates, content, and services that complement their evolving needs. For instance, hosting a podcast or producing written content can be a game-changer—it's been for me. Offering content in various formats helps reach a broader audience and caters to different learning preferences, which can be critical in education-based products.

Monitoring your profit margins closely is also essential when scaling up. As you grow, so will your costs. So my advice is always to streamline your operations and invest in tools that automate parts of your business, like customer support for your online store or content delivery, to ensure effective and efficient distribution of your digital products.

  • Innovate and diversify: Stay relevant by regularly updating your offerings.
  • Automate and streamline: Implement tools that help manage growth effectively.
  • Monitor profit margins: Keep track of finances to ensure sustainable growth.

Grow your business by understanding and leveraging these strategies, and you'll be on your way to maximizing your digital product's potential.

Expanding your reach

As a fellow digital business owner, I understand the challenge of expanding your reach in the digital product landscape. It's not just about creating valuable content but also about how you scale and distribute it.

For educators and creators:

Blogs and podcasts are powerful tools to establish your voice in the industry. By sharing insights on industry trends, you invite engagement and position yourself as an authority.

Consider leveraging educational content through online platforms. This not only enhances reach but also invites potential for passive income.

Building a community:

A membership model can secure a stable base of subscribers. This is actually a digital product that I'm currently working on. I plan to offer evergreen content and resources catering specifically to digital business owners looking to scale their products, services, and businesses. If you want to know when it launches, sign up for my newsletter today, and you'll be the first to find out.

Utilizing different channels:

Don't limit yourself to just one medium. Diversify. Here's a quick format for a clear strategy:

Channel Content Type Objective
Blog Educational Traffic Acquisition
Podcast Trends, Advice Audience Engagement
Membership Templates, Discounts Recurring Revenue

Wrapping up

Building your first digital product is a giant step toward creating predictable, recurring revenue within your digital business. Hopefully, this article gets you fired up and excited to create and share your expertise with the world. If it does, I'd love to hear about it. Best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

As a digital business owner who has successfully developed digital products, I've encountered a range of questions. I'm here to share insights and practical advice to help you create digital products that not only sell but also resonate with your audience.

  • What are some effective strategies for creating sellable digital products?

    To create digital products that people want, I focus on identifying unique value propositions and thoroughly understanding the target market. It's essential to provide solutions to specific problems and support those with high-quality content.

  • Can you guide me through the process of developing digital products online?

    Certainly! The process starts with ideation, followed by validating your idea with potential customers. Next is creating and launching your product, leaning on tools for digital creation and platforms for distribution. Continuous improvement based on user feedback is a crucial step.

  • What are innovative ideas for digital products that could potentially be profitable?

    Innovative digital product ideas range from eBooks on niche topics to bespoke tools like style guides or project management templates. What works best is something that aligns with your skills and passions, filling a gap in the marketplace.

  • Could you provide advice on how to create digital products suitable for platforms like Etsy?

    Platforms like Etsy are ideal for creative digital assets such as printables, planners, or art. My advice is to ensure that your products meet the platform's unique audience and aesthetic. Authenticity and high-quality visuals are key.

  • Is it possible for AI to assist in the creation of digital products, and if so, how?

    Yes, AI can play a significant role in creating digital products. From generating content to providing data analytics, AI can streamline processes and infuse innovation, making your offerings more compelling and your workflow more efficient.