The market for digital products has never been hotter. But, how can you stand out from the crowd and create digital products that deliver value and sell well?
Let's go over everything you need to know about choosing, creating and selling digital products.
What digital products can I sell?
A digital product is something you can sell to someone in exchange for cash. The "digital" distinguishes it from a physical product like a t-shirt, car or laptop.
Selling digital products is different from selling a service in that the customer is buying a specific item vs. buying something like a coaching session. Many digital entrepreneurs see success using coaching as an upsell to their digital product business.
What are the advantages of digital products?
There are multiple advantages to selling digital products:
- You can sell anywhere, to anyone: Unlike a physical product, you can sell your digital product to anybody who has an Internet connection. That means your total addressable market won't be limited to your local geography.
- You can sell in your sleep: Coaching and services are great business but hourly-charges are ultimately limited by hours in the day. With a digital product, your business can scale beyond what you can earn per hour. You can literally make money in your sleep by having customers buying your products at all hours of the day.
- Less overhead and logistics hassles: Physical products often require storage and supply chains. Even if you don't hold inventory and dropship, there can be many logistic headaches to ensuring the product gets to your customer. With digital products, your customers can get it with a tap or click.
- Higher profit margin: digital products typically have enormous profit margins because it costs little to store and ship. Yes, there's time, bandwidth and tooling costs but it's far less than what you'd pay to create and ship physical products. Higher profit margin can make your business more successful by getting you to your profit goals sooner.
Using digital products as a revenue stream
Remember that you don't have to exclusively offer digital products at the expense of services or physical product. You can and should build multiple income streams related to digital products, coaching and maybe even physical products.
Kajabi Hero Quynh Nguyen is a great example of that with her business, The Posey Box. This business focuses on the amazing world of paper flowers. Quynh offers physical starter packs to create your own, as well as digital products like online courses and a podcast.
This offering makes a lot of sense for her target audience. If you're interested in making paper flowers, you'll likely need the specific paper to use. It also creates multiple ways for Quynh to make money off of her knowledge.
What digital products should my business offer?
There are numerous digital products in the world. Let's go over some of the most common that should be a part of your business.
The great part is nearly every business can benefit from offering digital products. Whether you run an in-person coaching service or own a traditional physical store, there are multiple ways to add digital products to grow your business.
Selling online courses is a big business. The e-learning market is expected to be worth at least $325 billion by 2025 and that figure is rapidly growing. The pandemic led to an explosion of online course taking and many experts don't expect that to recede.
Online courses are a great digital product to sell because it provides personalized value to people, in a convenient way.
For example, The Trucking Guru offers online courses on how to get started in the transportation industry, including how to become an independent freight dispatcher.
This valuable knowledge used to be hard to get for the average person. If you were lucky, a local trade school might have this information. But, most people just couldn't get in on the industry.
By creating valuable online courses, Kajabi Hero Kierra Henderson (The Trucking Guru herself) is empowering people anywhere in the United States to get in on this lucrative field.
A mini-course is an online course that's shorter. Think of it as an appetizer to the main dish that is the full online course.
A mini-course can still pack a lot of value in a smaller package. Some customers may also prefer the shorter format versus diving deeper into a longer online course.
A drip course is one that's "dripped" out over time. For example, you could offer a 12-day drip course on how to build your social media following. Each day would include a section of your course on how to achieve the stated goal.
You can drip your course over email or through your website. The advantage of a drip course is that it fosters engagement with the course taker over a period of time.
Think of it as a week-to-week show versus the binge model of a Netflix show. Some people really prefer having this information spaced out so they can digest it before the next lesson. Some people love the all-at-once delivery method.
You can determine what's best for your business based on your industry and audience.
Content like blogs and videos
This post you're reading right now could be a digital product itself. This one just happens to be free but there are plenty of people who pay for exclusive content from their favorite authors or publications. That content could be blogs, articles, videos, podcasts and more.
An online community
An online community is a digital space for your customers to communicate with each other, you and your brand. You can create the topics or let the community come up with them.
A strong online community is great for your business. It lets your most passionate customers connect, solve problems on their own and advocate for your brand. It also gives you a direct connection to how they're feeling and how your business can improve.
You can go with something like Facebook Groups for this but there's value in maintaining control over your own community. You never know when an algorithm change or the whims of a social media company could destroy your community.
An e-book puts together your knowledge on a subject into one convenient package. The reader can consume this on a variety of devices, at their own leisure.
Writing a book can seem like a daunting challenge. And, it often is. But there are a variety of online services that can help you along the way. This includes tools for writing, editing, self-publishing, marketing and more. Kajabi Hero Angela has even created a website that coaches aspiring authors on how to write a best-selling book.
Podcasts are the modern version of radio shows. These are exploding in popularity for a variety of reasons. A podcast can be targeted very specifically to a particular audience, it's convenient for the user to listen whenever they want and there appears to be a strong affinity for this medium.
While you may think there are already too many podcasts, the industry is growing rapidly. There's also growing sophistication on the tools for creating, distributing and monetizing podcasts.
A digital coaching program is slightly different from a traditional coaching service. A coaching service is often 1-on-1 guidance and you're paid on an hourly basis. Yes, you may coach through digital video calling but the fundamental limitation is hours in the day.
A digital coaching program takes the same principles but packages it as a digital product. Your customer can take the coaching at their own pace over the course of days, weeks or months.
A major advantage of a digital coaching program is that it can scale beyond the hours in the days. Your coaching program can serve hundreds or thousands of people a day. That would be impossible if you were just sticking to a 1-on-1 approach.
Kajabi provides a built-in template on how to create a 12-week digital coaching program. This features the best practices by Brendon Burchard that he's used to build multi-million dollar coaching programs.
Your digital product doesn't have to be one-and-done. A membership site is a digital product that you have to continually update because the customer is continually paying you.
The best membership offerings will offer multiple digital products over a set period of time. That could be exclusive content, products, community and more.
Be sure to choose a platform like Kajab if you're considering a membership site because it enables you to handle the content creation aspects, payments, marketing, analytics and more all with one tool.
How to choose what digital product to sell
Building digital products is easier than ever thanks to tools like Kajabi. But, your goal isn't to build products, your goal is to have a successful business that sells digital products.
To choose what digital products to sell, you should consider three main questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the demand for digital products with your target audience?
- What kind of revenue and profit margin do you want to have?
Let's dive deeper into each of these questions.
Identifying your target audience to sell digital products to
Your knowledge and expertise is what makes your digital products stand out. But, it's important to target that appropriately. For example, a hard-core vegan likely won't be remotely interested in your online course on how to cook steaks.
Finding your core audience for your digital products is the first step to success.
Kajabi Hero Britt Sera is a great example of this. She offers marketing advice, education and business coaching for hair stylists and salon owners. There are plenty of business advice gurus out there but Britt is hyper-targeting an audience that has been typically underserved. This audience is also one that's willing to pay because it could lead to increases in their business revenue.
Key takeaway: Find a specific target audience you want to sell digital products to. That audience doesn't have to be huge but it must have enough buying power to purchase the items you're selling.
Gauging the demand for your products
Now that you've narrowed down your audience, figure out what the demand for products will be. You can do this through a variety of ways:
- Use keyword research to see what your audience is searching for
- Use online survey tools or social media polls to see what your audience would want
- Do market research on Amazon or other sales platforms to see what's trending in your niche
- Ask people you know in the industry what they'd buy and why.
People are willing to pay for valuable digital products. For example, these Kajabi Heroes are making at least tens of thousands of dollars through digital products — some are making much, much more:
Key takeaway: Use data and qualitative research to know what your digital products your target audience would buy.
What kind of revenue and profit margin do you want to have?
Now that you know who you're selling to and what you're going to sell, it's time to figure out the revenue and profit part. As mentioned, most digital products have a high profit margin.
Yes, it takes time and dollars to create your online course or eBook. But, once it's finished, your digital product can generate revenue for years. Unlike a physical product, selling more digital products doesn't dramatically increase your marginal costs of distribution.
Your digital products won't just sell themselves, though. You have to factor in marketing costs like paid social media. You should also factor in your production costs, including a reasonable hourly rate for your time.
For example, an E-Book may take more time to complete than a mini-online course. But, it might be a better fit for your target audience and you might be able to charge more for it.
Key takeaway: Digital products almost always have a high profit margin. Set your revenue and profit goals first, then find the right digital product to create for your target audience.
What digital products sell well?
Digital products are a big business. Kajabi Heroes have sold more than $1.5 billion worth of digital products on the Kajabi platform alone. When you add in all the other places to sell these, you're looking at a market with tens of billions in dollars of sales, at minimum.
Let's go over a few digital products that sell well.
Selling online courses is a great way to make money online. The e-learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025 and online courses will be a big reason why. These enable you to make money based off your knowledge while also providing customers with a great, convenient learning experience.
Whether it's online coaching or workshops through Zoom, digital training is a booming industry. With digital training, you can offer expertise on a variety of topics directly to people around the globe. This digital product sells well because customers are eager to improve their skills and are willing to pay for it.
Books have been around for a long, long time. The e-book market hasn't replaced physical books but it continues to grow. One report expects the e-book industry to be worth $23 billion by 2025.
Unlike the traditional book industry, it's much easier for entrepreneurs to break into the e-book industry by self-publishing. For customers, e-books offer a more convenient reading experience from a wider variety of authors.
Membership sites sell well because it delivers a lot of value to members. Not only do they receive exclusive content, there's also a community aspect, as well as other perks.
How do I sell digital products?
Selling digital products online come down to three key things:
- A digital product to sell
- An audience to sell to
- The capability to sell digital products.
We've covered what kind of digital products you can make. Be sure that it offers significant value to your target audience and that it can stand out from the crowd. Once you have a great product, you still have work to do.
Finding your audience to sell to
Just because there's a market for your product doesn't mean they know about your product. You're going to have to use marketing to gather an audience and then use sales to get them to purchase your products.
Congratulations if you already have a big audience through social media or other channels. Selling digital products is a great way to monetize your followers.
If you're just starting out, you need to build authority and an audience to sell to. You can do this through:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- In-person events
- Content marketing
- Paid advertisements on social media and other channels
- Joining industry trade groups or communities.
It may take a while to build authority and an audience and that's ok. You also may want to hold off on immediately trying to sell your products in these groups or communities. It's hard to build real connections with people if you're constantly trying to sell them stuff.
Start from a place of genuine empathy. You'll want to listen first and have genuine conversations before you start hard selling.
Ultimately though, you do want to sell.
Choosing the right platform to sell your digital products
It's easier than ever to accept payments for your digital products. But, you should still put some careful consideration into what platform you choose to sell your digital products.
All-in-one platforms like Kajabi include payments with a fast, seamless setup. You can integrate with Stripe to accept credit card payments, as well as PayPal. Best of all, Kajabi doesn't take a cut of the transactions, giving you the revenue you deserve.
You can also use online marketplaces for online courses and e-books. These marketplaces may provide some discoverability for your products but they often take a cut of revenue, sometimes up to 50%.
You can also put together your own payment solution through plug-ins and direct API integrations. This is great if you have a technical team or are technical yourself. But, if you don't have that capability, you open yourself up to security concerns.
How Kajabi helps you create and sell digital products
Kajabi is built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The all-in-one platform includes everything you'd need to create and sell digital products.
Kajabi includes world-class tools to create digital products. This includes pre-built templates for things like online courses, mini-courses, membership sites and more. You can also start from scratch and build nearly any sort of digital product you'd like.
You can use Kajabi for the end-to-end experience of selling these products, too. Kajabi includes:
- A website builder
- Landing page builder
- Automations to build sales funnels
- A CRM to track and manage your customers
- Robust analytics to optimize your business
- Email marketing software that's built in
- Secure, fast payments
- and much, much more.