As content creators, we need to be open to the idea of creating and selling digital products.
If You Lead Them, They Will Buy
It's important for content entrepreneurs to think about the audience they have grown through live streaming, podcasting, and blogging, and how to bring them to the point where they're spending money with you.
People are attracted to you for the information you provide that nobody else does and because you are packaging that information in a way that makes the most sense for your audience.
They are interested in who you are as a person and they resonate with your values.
Expert Tip: Offering information and being transparent about who you are and what you believe will bring people into your world and build a loyal audience.
Offer Free Downloads
Your audience is going to be interested in your products because they're interested in you and your content.
They're going to be interested in a free download that is tied into that content.
Offer free downloads that make the most sense for what you're talking or teaching about.
Example: If I’m talking about building a course on my livecast, my free download might be a checklist on building a course.
Determine Their Desires
Ask yourself these questions about your audience:
- Who are they?
- What are they looking for?
- What do they really want?
- What emotions will stir them to action?
Bring their emotions into it because buying something is an emotional process.
People buy things that they desire because it makes them feel good.
Feelings of aspiration, longing, anxiety, and excitement motivate us to buy something.
Expert Tip: Determine the top desires and feelings your audience wants to achieve or alleviate so you can make a product that's going to be irresistible to them.
What Digital Products Can You Sell?
- Video courses
- Software and apps
Offer courses and memberships to bring them further into your world.
Courses and memberships are an opportunity for your audience members to spend more time with you.
Expert Tip: If you put something in your course because you thought it was something that your audience members needed and you find they don't have a desire for that, remove the module and replace it with something they do want.
I’m a Content Creator. Why Should I Sell Digital Products?
Because it brings in money.
It is a cost-effective business. There's no financial investment in stock or product manufacturing. You don't have to invest your money in inventory. You don't have to worry about packaging or shipping
You can bring ideas out of your imagination. Write them down, put them in a digital format that's accessible to others, and then sell that as a product. There are endless possibilities
There's no cost involved except for your time and effort.
Once you have a funnel set up for that product, you can run ads to drive targeted traffic there. It becomes a passive income machine.
You have online delivery, so a digital product can be sold quickly and infinitely. People can go to your site, click a few buttons then they've got the product and you've got the money.
It's budget-friendly because digital assets don't come with shipping fees.
You enjoy a higher profit because there's no product cost once the original product is created.
If you've made a course, you put it up on a platform for sale. Then it's there for however long you leave it up there and continue to sell it. There's no additional cost except for advertising if you choose to do that.
Book Publishing on Amazon
I was having a conversation with another friend of mine, and we were talking about book publishing.
She said a book is not exactly digital content until it gets onto Amazon.
We write the book in a digital format. We process it in a digital format. We upload both the cover and the book itself in a digital format, and it gives people the opportunity to buy the Kindle version, which is a digital format.
You don't have to worry about inventory because it's print on demand if you want a hard copy.
We published three of our own books on Amazon and we published books for clients and it really is a digital content production model.
Buying a paperback book from Amazon is similar to drop shipping.
Drop shipping is a way to showcase a product digitally that becomes a physical product after you order it.
If we wanted to sell a t-shirt with our logo and brand on it, we could contract with Spreadshirt or TeeSpring. We show you a picture of the shirt on our website and say, here's our shirt, go buy it at this link. You fill out the form and Spreadshirt takes care of creating and sending you the shirt. We would get a commission from them.
When you enter into a publishing relationship with Amazon, there is a fee associated with printing your book or publishing your Kindle book for sale on their site.
Once you upload your book, they tell you how much it's going to cost to print your book. Then you can base your final price upon that.
So if they tell you your book is going to cost $4.58 cents to publish, you can decide what you want in terms of profit and mark it up to $10 to $15.
Using Amazon as a platform for selling your book is a good idea because millions of people are on their site to shop and buy books. Alternatively, you can sell the digital copy on your website and keep all the profits, but you must bring people to your website through your own marketing efforts.
What would a membership offer you, the creator?
A digital membership offers a more predictable income.
That means you can plan out a budget and feel confident spending money on advertising to bring in more people.
Members sign up for a month, six months, or a year, and you can budget for that amount of revenue.
You can host an evergreen membership or a cohort.
With an evergreen membership, you can add new members every day. A cohort membership means you start a new group every 3, 6, 9, or 12 months and you will usually advertise heavily just before that cohort cart opens.
Keep your members happy and you will have a consistent income.
Repeat customers continue to pay your membership fees or purchase additional products.
Those loyal members will save you time because you won’t have to search for new leads and persuade new customers to buy.
Happy members will gladly help you by sharing your program, especially if you offer them an incentive.
Your membership becomes a money-making machine.
It offers community-based learning, which means you don't have to know all the answers. Community members help each other grow and learn.
What Membership Platform is Best for the Content Entrepreneur?
There are varieties of implementation schemes when it comes to memberships.
One option is something like Patreon, which is an online platform that offers your audience members additional perks.
I belong to a podcast Patreon where every week I get an extra podcast that the average podcast listener doesn't get. It costs me $5 a month. It's a subscription.
That's a pretty good model. Patreon also offers levels of membership at different price points.
About two years ago, YouTube established a membership capability. If you have a lot of regular viewers, you can offer a monthly subscription.
As usual, YouTube takes its 30% cut, but It's easy to manage. You can give members special emojis and offer them extra content every month.
There are many ways to implement a membership if you're already producing valuable content.
It can be nice to have a platform like Patreon or YouTube that handles the membership transactions for you, but keep in mind that if they make any changes that you or your members don’t like, all of those customers and their email addresses belong to them.
Expert Tip: It’s important to bring members onto your own email list. Then you have some way to communicate with them outside of that platform.
We have created video courses.
One of the best reasons to create a course is when people keep coming to you asking the same set of questions.
You can change a time-consuming one-on-one coaching session into a time-saving one-to-many product when you create a video course that explains the things you talk about with each client.
Courses offer self-paced learning.
People don't have to show up to our live stream on Thursday at 1 p.m. They can own our course and watch the whole thing or take three months to get through it, or they can go through it a hundred times.
It's self-paced learning and they have control.
All you have to do is build it once and then you can sell it for years.
We created a course called Livestream Like a Boss for Home-Based Entrepreneurs. We put it up for sale on Udemy. That's a great platform that does all the marketing and selling for you.
Once it's uploaded, they send you a check every now and then when you've made a sale.
You won't get a lot of money for each course sold because they frequently put them on sale. Only 5 hours left to save 40%! But, it is a good place to sell courses if you have no interest in marketing.
They even have a free course to teach you how to create courses.
Udemy is a great place to start if you don't know how to create a course and you want to test it out and see if it's something that you enjoy.
But you’ll have a lot more control over your income if you host the video course on your own site and sell it to your audience.
How to Create a Catalog of Courses
We suggest you start with a signature course that covers the range of your knowledge base.
For us, Livecast Lifestyle is our signature course. It covers everything about livecasting.
Then once you have released the signature course, you can create deep dive courses on the more challenging pieces.
For instance, I teach about getting over the fears that most content creators have. Our signature course offers an overview of this topic. A separate course could offer more conversation, exercises, and coaching for people who need that specific help.
Start with that signature course then see what students need more help with and where they are getting hung up. Then you can create a course to get them past that obstacle.
Other Digital Products
Other digital products that content creators might offer are mini-courses, checklists, eBooks, or snackable content that offers entry-level pricing.
Maybe a minicourse is $5. That starts the buyer-seller relationship that can increase trust when the buyer gets great value.
Bring those entry-level buyers into your funnel to enjoy a relationship with you.
Let them know, “You're in my world now and you're surrounded by all of my good content.”
That's going to help you become a successful content entrepreneur.
Maybe you're selling a digital form of your art or you're a musician and you create songs for people.
Digital products could be tickets to an online conference or summit that gives you access to digital recordings and other digital products like ebooks, courses, or private coaching.
Some content entrepreneurs are offering NFTs that combine digital products like art, music, conference attendance, and more.
Digital Product Platform Options
There are a lot of options for platforms that provide these various digital content production services.
Voice of Experience: You can try the free level to see if you like the app, but you’ll waste a lot of time getting set up if you change your mind.
The ideal situation is to have one platform that does it all for you and gives you control.
We've tried Teachable. Teachable is one of those platforms that will host your course, but you're still responsible for marketing it on your own. It does have some integrations and helpful instruction for course creators for a monthly fee.
I've also used MemberVault. We had a membership a few years back using MemberVault where people could get all of the information, documents and the ebook on the platform and they had the payment portal through MemberVault using Paypal.
We would just tell our members we're going to meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening on Zoom and give them the link.
Heartbeat is more of a community-building platform like Circle or Mighty Networks. It's less about courses and more about people talking to each other and communicating through that forum. It’s a good replacement for a Facebook group.
You can also add in events so the membership can come together online. Heartbeat does have a course component, but it's not easy to use. It has payment integration with Stripe and an app you can use with your phone, but they rely on Zapier for most integrations.
I’ve tried ProductDyno, which is a great place to house your digital products, but it's not user-friendly and it's challenging to adjust the design and text. If you’re selling software licenses and you are tech-savvy, it is a good solution.
Next, I tried Upcoach which is designed by Todd Herman who has been doing high-level coaching for over 20 years. It has everything for coaches to create transformation with their clients. If you're a coach with clients and offer a transformational course, then this could be a perfect product for you.
There's a massive amount of follow-up with your clients using Upcoach. The program helps you with consistently reminding people to do their tasks. The problem is it requires cobbling together an email service, a CRM, and other apps.
Vonza is the course and membership platform that I just found and it includes all the features that I thought I would have to cobble together. Everything I need is included in one app.
It's a super app.
AppSumo Helps Entrepreneurs Own Instead of Rent
We bought Vonza and we bought Heartbeat a few months ago through AppSumo.
We recommend AppSumo.com for applications because you can buy them. You don't have to rent them by paying a monthly subscription fee. They also offer a 60-day refund policy. I was able to try out several products until I found the exact right one by purchasing, trying it, refunding, and purchasing a different product to try.
Why I Chose Vonza
Vonza offers a platform for memberships and courses, as well as a website builder. It does CRM for you. It helps you to sell all your digital products by integrating with Stripe and it offers email marketing. It has a scheduling function, funnels, landing pages, forms, and coupons. It is very complete.
See the demonstration when you watch our YouTube video or go to Vonza.com to see their tour video.
Toby has expertise in the interview process. He’s done tens of thousands of interviews.
So imagine this…
Toby can start with a blog and then a digital book on interviewing.
Then he can create a digital course based on that book.
He can invite the people who buy the book or the course to join a membership group.
We meet on a regular basis to resolve any issues they may have with the interview process.
That's just one way you could use something like this to create a complete environment that is very responsive to your customers.
Expert Tip: Based on the expertise that you have, implement your idea into a fully integrated customer experience.
They buy your book. They buy your course. They belong to your membership group.
Each one of those is producing income for you on a regular basis.
Using a single product to get this done quickly and simply, inspires you to try new things, develop new products, and offer new services along with those products.
Becoming a Content Entrepreneur
We published a book on Amazon called Livecast Life, the Content Creator Lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is creating and selling digital products. You can get that book at book.livecast.life and there are great chapters in there about downloads and other digital products you can create.
Please get on our list for our upcoming Livecast Lifestyle course and membership.
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