Digital entrepreneurs are building empires by selling digital products.
They are operating the entire business from one single room, sitting on their couches.
Digital products are something that is tasteless, have no smell, and can't be touched but are selling like hot products and are very much in fashion.
Some of the digital products can be converted into physical form like an e-book (PDF format); you can print it on papers.
Digital products are very popular among creators because:
a) Selling digital products business is infinitely scalable.
b) Once created, digital products can be sold repeatedly to the customers.
c) Their ease of distribution, almost zero delivery time, no need for replenishing the inventory, low cost, instant payout, and value addition has made them equally popular among the creators like freelancers, educators, bloggers, small businesses on one side and the buyers on the other side.
Also, the current pandemic (COVID-19) situation has increased the importance of digital products many-fold.
Creators are exploring new opportunities to showcase their talent to the world and selling digital products is the best way to do this.
I'm sure that the year 2021 is going to be the year of Digital Creators.
If you're an expert in any topic then encasing it in digital form and selling to the interested ones is a great idea.
Let us discuss the digital products that are hot, popular, and creating values for the buyers:
(1) Online Courses
An online course is like a classroom where you teach your students through recorded videos, text presentations, audio, downloadable assignments, and other materials.
The lessons are systematically arranged and are filled with live examples so that the students can understand the whole concept easily.
Online courses have made anyone to learn from anywhere and that too without being expensive.
Moreover, these courses are in no way inferior to the classroom courses in delivering value to the students.
You too can create an online course on any topic of your interest.
However, the following points should be kept in mind while designing it:
a) Choose the course topic based on your qualification or your profession.
For example, you're a nutritionist then designing an online course on "Healthy Eating Habits" would be more relevant than offering a course on "Financial Planning".
for instance, you're running a blog on small business tips then your target audience would be expecting something in that line like an online course on "How to bring in your first customer?"
b) Use a combination of delivery methods to make your online course interesting.
Add videos, interactive quizzes at the end of the chapter, worksheets, downloadable templates, beautiful slides to make your online course a fun learning.
c) Keep your course content simple and easy to understand. For example, you can choose a strategy to deliver one lesson per day into their mailboxes. So that students feel comfortable and can grasp the whole lesson in its entirety.
You can even choose to deliver the whole content in one go, mentioning each lesson. After that, the student can go through the entire course at her/his own pace.
d) The pricing of the online course is another important aspect that you should consider as a creator. If you think that keeping it low would help you in driving sales then my friend you're mistaken.
The price of the online course reflects your brand and offering it at a low price may convey a wrong message of cheap quality product.
Therefore, you should derive the right price for your online course. There are various techniques for doing this and I have written a detailed post on this and you must read it.
d) Don't expect that your online course will start selling automatically by just embedding on your website.
You need to design an effective landing page that gives complete information about the course. E-mailing the link to your subscribers and sharing on social media platforms is a great way to let people know about your product and services.
If you think that you need someone from designing to marketing and finally selling your online course then I feel it is important to share those platforms which are helping thousands of course creators in building their online business.
These platforms give you the freedom to customize the course, enrich it with multi-media, accept payment in multiple currencies, 100% secure, get paid immediately, and much more.
Read the story of Elizabeth Rider how she became an online course creator from a food blogger and scaled her online business.
It is a book in an electronic form. It can be easily read on a computer, mobile devices, laptops, and e-book readers.
The e-books are generally packaged in PDF format and can be printed on papers if required.
The global e-book market is anticipated to reach above USD 23 billion in 2025 from USD 18 billion in 2019.
The digital creators can ride on this growth story by writing e-books and selling to people who are willing to learn.
E-book offers you unlimited possibilities as you can write on any topic like:
Take out a pen, start jotting down your ideas on a paper, create a beautiful e-book, and showcase it to the world.
Let me share a few tips for writing a good e-book:
a) The title of the e-book should be attractive so that the visitors feel reading it.
(i) It should be time-bound
(ii) quantifying the results
(iii) should reflect value-addition in their lives
(iv) solves the problem in an easy way
b) Not only the title but the inside content of the book should be engaging, connecting, full of real-life examples and it must give the same quality what you have mentioned in the title, otherwise the buyers will feel cheated and you’ll lose your brand and value.
c) A nicely formatted book offers smooth reading to the buyers.
You can design a professionally looking e-book with free online e-book maker CANVA. It has many eye-catching colorful designs that stand your e-book out from others.
This software will help you design the e-book from scratch.
Another good news is that you needn't worry about its publishing after you finish writing it.
There are many platforms in the market that provide this service.
Let me make your search-task easy by sharing some of the very good platforms:
(ii) Instamojo (for Indian creators)
These platforms are very easy to use, 100% secure, fast payments, instant file delivery, you can upload any digital files.
And many more, helping you scale your online business.
Read the success story of Lucy Davis, how she earned $ 20,267 in the first 6-months by selling an e-book.
(3) Excel Templates and Spread-sheets
If you're an expert in Excel then you can design beautiful templates and customized spreadsheets.
Excel Templates are pre-designed spreadsheets with in-built formulas that serve the specific needs of the user.
These spreadsheets are easily downloadable and work fine with MS Office and Google Spreadsheets.
The user needn't know the Math before using it. Few inputs by the user provide her/him with the results and make the work easier.
Many freelancers, bloggers, solo-entrepreneurs, and small businesses are looking for customized solutions for their growing business needs.
They are tight on budget.
The solutions available in the market are either costly or have too many features that are left unused or are not relevant at this initial stage of growth.
They are looking for affordable and customized solutions that can not only fit in their budget but also fulfill their small-business needs.
Digital creators can fill this gap by providing solutions in the form of Excel spreadsheets.
For instance, someone wants to keep track of the daily expenses, you can create a budgeting template according to her/his needs.
You can create a Financial tool in Excel (Break-even analysis template) for a company interested in knowing the stage when it will cover its cost and will start making profits.
The solutions are many like:
The ball is in your court.
Let me share a few tips for designing a good template:
(a) First, it should solve a problem and make the work easier for the user.
(b) Explain the terms and formulas used in the template for a better understanding of the user.
(c) Use a simple, clear, and readable font such as Calibri or Arial in the template.
(d) Use different font sizes for headings and sub-headings.
(e) Name each worksheet used in the template.
(f) Lock the cells having formulas because the user might accidentally delete or can change it, resulting in an error in the output.
(g) Explain the results with the help of charts and graphs.
You should design a good landing page for the template so that the readers get to know about its features, benefits, and uses.
I too have designed the Excel Template called "Solar Feasibility Spreadsheet".
It evaluates the technical and financial feasibility of the Residential Solar Power System.
Kindly go through it to get a few more tips.
You can upload your excel templates on any of the platforms mentioned above.
I have published my excel template on GUMROAD.
They transfer the earnings from the sale of digital products to your PayPal account.
PayPal deposits the amount in your bank account.
1-last tip for templates:
You can provide 1 or 2 simple templates for FREE to the users so that they get the feel of the product.
Then offer your premium product for a price.
Audio is a very effective medium for communicating messages and providing information.
Its USP is that the user can perform another task while listening to the audio.
There is good demand for audio in the market.
The creators can sell:
(a) Look for quality equipment in your budget for recording.
(b) Look for a quiet place in your home or office. It wouldn't sound nice if a user hears a dog barking in the background or a bell ringing.
(c) Your confidence and tone will be reflected in your audio. So, practice well before recording.
(d) Good voice modulation makes audio more effective and it becomes a pleasure listening to it.
(e) Take pauses at appropriate places. It will help the listener to understand the content better.
Gumroad and Sellfy are good platforms for selling music, beats, and other digital products. Instamojo is the right platform for you.
Read the success story of Dan who is selling music and has established a successful online business.
Graphic design is a creative and vast field.
If you're a graphic designer then you can sell your innovative designs online.
You as a designer have the ability to create and give a unique look like vintage, classic, or modern to your designs and can attract many customers.
In fact, the field of graphic design is very wide and has infinite possibilities.
Using your skills, you can create different designs like:
However, you should know the online platforms where you can sell your artworks and can earn a decent income.
Here is a list of few good platforms for selling your creative work:
Let us highlight the basic points which are important for good graphic design:
(a) Your colour scheme should have a mix of primary colours and the secondary colours that compliment and blend with each other.
(b) Use a different shade of the same colour for adjusting the brightness and maintaining consistency in the design.
(c) The design should be clean, crisp, and clear. Each element used in the design should convey meaning. Avoid unnecessary details from the design.
(d) The elements in the design should be aligned and spaced in the right way so that the overall design appears aesthetically appealing and relaxing to the eyes.
(e) The design shouldn't be neutral rather it reflects different moods and has the ability to spark feelings in the minds of the viewers.
(f) Research about the latest trends in your industry before you start. It will give you direction.
(g) In the last, be original and don't scare to be experimental.
I found Lisa Glanz's post very insightful, sharing advice on selling artwork as a digital product. It shares the pros and cons of selling artwork digitally. You should go through it.
The digital photographs are more in demand than before.
Everyone from large corporations, mid-sized and small- businesses, freelancers, bloggers, and marketers need and buy digital photographs for their work.
As a photographer, you can sell your photographs to them and can scale your online business.
Look around your surroundings and see what you can capture that people are going to love it and buy it.
You can shoot photos of:
Let us discuss the best platforms to share and sell the photographs online:
(i) It couldn't be better than your own website if you want full control of everything.
Don't have a website?
It's easy to start with WEEBLY.
Read "Create a beautiful Photography website". This post will guide you on how to upload, display, market and sell your photographs.
You can also upload and sell your photos on other popular platforms like:
The following tips will help you to get better pictures:
(7) Green Consultancy
Another field that is gaining popularity in the digital world is Green Consultancy.
Large corporations, small businesses, and homeowners are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption.
Its demand is increasing day by day.
If you're an expert in conserving energy or have knowledge about alternate sources of energy like Solar Energy (which can be used to produce electricity and can run your electrical appliances)
Then there are people who want to learn from you.
you can sell your knowledge and time through online green consultancy.
The best way of doing this is to start a blog and start writing on energy conservation.
People will come to know your expertise and will consult for the ways for energy conservation.
You can set a consultation price for people interested in taking your services.
You can combine other digital products with it like selling an online course on energy conservation and also offering the online consultancy with an additional price.
You can also create an engaging online consultation by following tips:
(a) Your tone should be refreshing, professional, and enthusiastic.
(b) You should support the discussion with crisp content having helpful text, graphs, pictures, and video to clear the concept of the attendees.
(c) Online consultation also gives you the opportunity to ask for referrals.
(d) Placing a small quiz in between the discussion is a thoughtful communication exercise that makes consultation more engaging.
(e) Asking for the feedback will improve your next consulting session.
It is true that selling digital products is a very profitable and scalable online business.
it is filled with challenges too.
(i) Internet is full of free information then why anybody would buy from you?
This question disturbs the digital creator a lot.
But this information is scattered. It takes time to collect the relevant information, re-organize it and then extract the gist out of it.
Investing time is equivalent to investing money.
You are providing result-oriented concrete information in no time.
Therefore, the price is attached to it.
(ii) Another challenge is Poor Sales. Most digital creators experience poor sales at the starting of their online careers.
Let me share one thing that creating a digital product is one aspect of the game and then selling it is another one.
Many of us believe that just by creating the product and embedding it in the website, the sales will start automatically.
It is a misconception.
You need to put the same efforts into marketing your digital product as you did in creating it.
Share your product on various social media platforms, participate in forums, add testimonials to your website, offer live webinars, and if you already have a list of e-mail subscribers then sharing your product idea with them is a good idea.
(iii) Many digital creators prefer selling their products through their website.
No doubt, it is a great idea.
But it comes with certain issues like:
These issues repel buyers, affect the scalability of the online business and limit its potential.
When you decide to host your digital products on your website then it becomes important to choose the right platform that solves the above-mentioned issues and helps in taking your online business to the next level.
And for that,
WEEBLY is the right choice.
(iv) It is normal to have errors in your product.
But you cannot wait till you have no-error product version in your hand.
Launch the first version of the digital product. Sell it to people and ask for feedback and corrections they feel the product should have in its next version.
Upgrade it accordingly, offer it free of cost to your buyers by sharing the downloadable link in their mail-boxes.
Finally, never forget to re-target your audience with your upgraded product through customer segmentation.
What you will start selling in 2021?
The options are many and your creativity has no limits.
Be original and design a unique product that solves the problem of the people and make their lives comfortable.
But it is important to price it rightly.
Remember selling a right-priced quality product takes time.
Have patience and keep sharing your product.
Please let me know your product ideas for the year 2021 by writing them in the comment section below.
See you soon.