The Resource Guide to [Smaller] Digital Products
Beyond online courses and membership programs, there are quite a few other varieties of digital products you can offer to your audience.
These could include:
some kind of printable/downloadable
an online workshop
templates or presets
or anything else that can be delivered digitally!
The idea is that you are creating the product once, and then it can be sold over and over again.
There isn’t a “right” kind of digital product. The best thing is to think about what would be most valuable to your audience. What would help them solve their problem? What’s the best format of delivery for that?
Just like with online courses and membership programs, I recommend that you keep everything as lean as possible when it comes to digital product delivery. Here are the bare bones of what you’ll need:
Your digital product (a PDF, a video file, a zipped file, etc)
A sales page (the place where you talk all about your product and why people should buy it!)
A checkout page (the page where someone actually inputs their payment details and hits “buy”)
The digital product delivery service (the software that will automatically send your digital product to the customer who just purchased it)
To sell the product, you’ll also need an email service provider, a landing page for some kind for a lead magnet, and a ‘timer’ to create a sense of urgency in your sales process, but those come later during the ‘Attract’ phase where you get into actually selling. For now we are just focusing on creation of the actual product.
Step 1: Create the Product
How to Create PDFs / Printables / Templates / eBooks:
No matter what kind of format your downloadable digital product takes, the likelihood is that you can create all of it using Canva!!
Canva is free, or there is a paid version (‘Canva for Work’) which is still extremely reasonable. Check out the Canva ‘templates’ for worksheets, eBooks, and more, which can save you time when you’re building something from scratch.
If you want something that’s even more custom or specific, check out Creative Market* for Canva templates you can use. Just use the search function to look up what kind of template you are looking for, and browse through the options! This can save you a ton of time.
If you haven’t used Canva before, check out their Tutorials page for tons of help. And seriously, google search whatever question you have and there is a very good chance you’ll find a blog article that solves it for you :)
How to Create Video Products:
If you want to deliver a workshop or some other kind of video content as your digital product, then obviously you’ll need some recording tools.
Recording video often seems more complicated than it has to be. You’ll need a computer, a camera, and a microphone. That’s it! It may take a few tries to get used to creating videos if you haven’t done it before, but once you have the first few under your belt… it’ll be easy!
Physical equipment recommendations:
Camera —> I personally use the Logitech HD Pro Webcam* (Canadian link). It sits on the top of my computer screen. Great picture quality, easy to install, and has been working well for me for years. You don’t need anything more fancy than this! I don’t use any additional lighting - I simply have it set up in a room with a good sized window and always shoot videos in the daytime.
Microphone —> I have used a Blue Yeti Microphone* (Canadian link*) for years and it’s great. Excellent quality at a good price point. If you notice microphones on other entrepreneur desks, you may start to see this one pop up. It’s popular!
Recording Software recommendations (you’ll only need one of these):
Powerpoint or Keynote —> These two programs are great for creating your lesson slide decks. Come up with a template that you can just replicate for each lesson. You can keep your slides simple - a few words of text per slide and some imagery. Don’t get too text-heavy!
QuickTime (free!) —> I use this program on my Mac computer when I want to record a “one-screen” video — meaning it’s either just my face on video or just my screen. It doesn’t have screen-share option where face + screen are shown. Quicktime instructions here.
Zoom (free!) —> This is a nifty little trick. Download Zoom, which is used primarily for online meeting conferences. Click “Start a Meeting” with just you, and then hit record! You can screen-share and deliver a presentation with your face in a corner box, and then simply hit “stop recording” when you’re done. The video automatically saves to your Zoom folder under ‘My Documents’. Free and easy to use! It’s how I record all the training videos for The Passive Project.
OBS (free!) —> A powerful, free, open-source tool that allows you to insert watermarks, embed a video of your webcam while capturing your desktop, or capture multiple windows at once and position them wherever you like. I personally found OBS a bit confusing to use to begin with. Hey Jessica has some great tutorials on her YouTube channel!
Camtasia —> This is a PC-friendly screen recording and video editing software. It does cost money though - so see if you can use the free options before you invest!
iMovie —> If you need to edit your videos on your Mac, iMovie is an easy-to-use and free software that comes with your Apple computer!
Step 2: Setup Delivery of the Product
Digital Product Delivery:
There are a few software options out there that make digital product delivery extremely easy. With all three of these options below, it’s a matter of uploading your digital product to their site, and then when a customer purchases, they automatically deliver the product via email. Literally no work on your part!
SendOwl* —> Extremely easy to setup, good payment processing (paypal and stripe options), analytics, and can automatically charge the correct taxes.
I personally use SendOwl for my own digital products as it collects enough tax data. As a Canadian, I am required to remit taxes for any products sold to fellow Canadians (the percentage differs based on Province/Territory). I do not charge the tax to my customer, but instead I just cover it myself from the “all-in” price I have charged. Therefore, I need to know the address where my customer resides, and to meet Canadian standards, I need to have two pieces of “evidence” to prove their location. SendOwl is the only option that we are aware of at this time that gives us the IP address of our customers along with their billing address (that the customer inputs). I realize this sounds overly complicated (it is such a pain!), but because we are scaling out business in a big way, it has been important to us to ensure we are completely compliant with regulations. I encourage you to speak to your own accountant on this matter. Visit the CRA website for more information if you are Canadian and want more information. [I am not an accountant or lawyer, so cannot give professional advice on this matter]
GumRoad —> GumRoad is another excellent choice (I have also personally used this software, too!). Similarly to SendOwl, it is easy to setup and they automatically deliver the digital product to your customer when purchased.
DPD —> Another very similar software choice. I haven’t used this one, but know many others who have!
Check out each of these software program’s “features” pages to compare price points and determine which is the best fit for you.
Your checkout page is the place where your customer actually PAYS for your product and hits that ‘buy’ button.
The digital product delivery software you choose from above will come with built-in sales page templates and buttons. You can either have a checkout page that is separate from your sales page, or you can embed a checkout button directly on your sales page that just as a pop-up checkout page. Either option works, and there is no need for any additional software!
Here is an example of one of my checkout pages using SendOwl:
Step 3: Setup Sales Page for the Product
The sales page is the place where you advertise your product and talk about how great it is and why people should buy it.
You can build a sales page on various different platforms: Wordpress, Squarespace, Leadpages, etc. Where do you currently have your website setup? Just use that platform! You shouldn’t have to go out and get another piece of software for this.
If you don’t have a website set up yet, or if you want something that is very user-friendly, that’s where Leadpages can come in handy. They have a lot of sales page templates you can use (check them out here).
Here is my own sales page for my Printable Blog Planner, built using Wordpress (it’s just a ‘page’ I created on my GemmaBonhamCarter.com site).
The sales page that you went through for The Passive Project was built on Squarespace (where I host The Passive Project website).
There are a number of sales page templates out there. Whether you use Wordpress, Squarespace, Leadpages, Instapage - whatever software you use - simply search around for templates that fit the style and look you’re going for!
Want inspiration on how to write a sales page that converts? Head over to my friend Courtney Chaal’s YouTube channel. She has a whole series of videos and is my go-to copyrighting guru!
Once you have completed these three steps - creating your product, setting up the delivery, and creating a sales page - then it’s time to move into creating a lead magnet, a sales funnel, and attracting the right audience (which we will tackle in ‘Step 2: Attract’).
Hop into the Facebook Group and let us know if you plan on selling a digital product. What is it and who is it for? Put a call out for fellow members to help promote it to their audiences!