In looking at our series the past few weeks, I bet at one point it occurred to you: “Golly, if you didn’t have to get people together for events or ship physical products, it could be a lot easier to make money.”
And so we have entered the world of e-products. From buying apps to having a member subscription to a favorite website, digital products are something not only everyone is increasingly comfortable with but also satisfied with. A few things to think about if you are selling digital products:
Limited Time Or All The Time
One way to get people interested in what you’re selling is to have it for a limited time only. This ‘B School’ is only open for enrollment for a few weeks each year. The rest of the time, the above screen captures leads.
If you want your product available all the time, that’s fine. But sometimes the ‘get it before it’s gone’ philosophy works as well for programs as it does for kitchen gadgets on infomercials.
One Time Payments or Recurring Payments
There’s something to be said of offering a product, taking payment, and that being it. Some products (a digital edition of a book for example) can and should be paid for at once.
Letting someone do recurring payments (typically monthly) can help support an ongoing service (though like Google Apps, you can give a discount when people pay a bulk of it up for the year):
Honestly, if you have nothing I can look at for free to give me an idea of what I’m spending my $10/month (or whatever amount) on, I’m not very interested.
In terms of a mainstream website that gives away some stuff but has the rest behind a paywall, Consumer Reports comes to mind. Here’s the screen you get to after you click ‘Sign up’:
If you want to appeal to different kinds of people (or maybe more accurately people at different levels in your sales funnel) is to have offerings at different tiers. You’ll see most every digital product you see has a sort of ‘lite’ version as well as versions for those more ‘heavy’ users:
What online products can you sell digitally?
Some ideas I found online were not limited to: blueprints, special reports, videos, educational programs, recipes, patterns/clip art/design templates, databases, turn key websites, photography, apps, software, and email programs.
Point is, you can get creative, set up some kind of online way to take payment (and automated product delivery), and theoretically you could be making money.
Yeah, I make that sound easy, don’t I? Honestly, the most work you do is creating the thing you want to sell. While you may be the mastermind behind the idea, it may be worth hiring a videographer, ebook designer, etc. to help you make a polished product. OK I’ll just say it, it IS worth it. 🙂
In planning, you’ll want to keep in mind the ideas above and decide how long your offer will last; how people will pay; and how/if it can be divided into a few different price points.
If you have less of a ‘product’ and more of ongoing information you want to pay for, a subscription website may be your jam. To get more ideas, check out 9 Most Profitable Subscription Websites (Mequoda).
Just because you didn’t put it in a box or meet the person you’re selling to in real life, doesn’t mean they aren’t a potential customer. Digital products help you reach exactly those people.
Other posts in this series: