Nine reasons why you need a range of digital products
Todays’ post explores why a properly thought-out collection of digital products can boost your sales and lead to happy customers who keep coming back for more.
- Maybe you made an amazing signature course that covers everything in your niche.
- Or maybe you have only got as far as releasing your first small ebook.
- Or you have a few digital products, but they’re all a similar style and price, like embroidery patterns for example.
- Perhaps you haven’t got started yet, but you know want to create digital products.
Whatever your current situation, unless you have a strategically planned range of products, you’re missing out.
Here’s why you need a digital product range:
1. The cost of getting a customer
You invest a lot of time and money into making a sale.
All the promotion on social media, all the sales pages and copy and blog posts and newsletters you write. And your customers love your product when they find it. They hand over their $10 or $50 or $100 or whatever and off they go.
If you only have one product, that’s where the relationship ends. Fair enough, they might subscribe to your newsletter and follow your Instagram, but they aren’t going to send any more money your way, because there’s nothing else to buy.
But if you had more products that would keep them coming back, you could change that one-off $10 or $50 or $100 into a steady stream of income. You need a way to create repeat customers.
Let’s imagine you make quilts:
Your collection might include
- PDF quilt patterns
- Quilting templates
- Collections of quilt block patterns
- Workbooks, tutorials and courses
- You could even sell your own fabric designs on Spoonflower
You’re giving your customer lots of reasons to keep coming back.
For the ultimate in repeat customers, create recurring products or subscriptions and generate a steady stream income. This kind of product takes some work to set up, but you can create 12 months’ worth in one go, automate the marketing and delivery, set it and let it run.
Recurring product examples:
- A block/pattern of the month club
- Membership of your sewing forum
- Subscription to your podcast
2. Not all customers are alike
People have different budgets, different problems and different learning styles. Offering a range of products increases the likelihood that visitors to your site will find a product that’s the perfect fit. Bingo! Another happy customer.
Include different price points
So when you’re planning out your range, include items at different price points. Your target customer for a $12 sewing pattern is probably not the same customer who will buy a $500 signature course.
Find the perfect format
Everyone has their own learning style.
I like to read and re-read information. You might prefer a video. So mix up the way you present your products.
Offer different products for different levels of experience too: A short quick masterclass might be better for a beginner than rather than a more detailed ebook.
You’ll find out over time what works best for your niche. And test new formats with something small before you make a big investment in a new format. Clearly, there’s no point in making hours of video if your customers don’t want it, and if you dread doing it.
Which brings me to the next point:
3. It gives you the chance to test the market and your own creator style
There’s a trend appearing in online marketing. Instead of the one-size-fits-all way of doing things, creators are matching their marketing strategy to their personality style.
This makes perfect sense to me. Just like there’s more than one type of customer, each creator has her own style, strengths and weaknesses.
The main thing to remember is the right format for your products is the one that works for you.
So if the thought of doing live video fills you with dread, plan an email or PDF product.
Your technical skills
You also need to think about the technical skills you’ll need to create a digital product.
For example, if you’re planning to sell PDF patterns for clothes, soft toys etc, you’ll need to be able to do several things:
- use a vector drawing programme like Inkscape,
- make physical samples,
- write instructions and recruit testers to check their accuracy.
Think about the equipment you’ll need.
For video workshops you’ll need
- a microphone
- software to record and edit,
- software to create slides
To create fabric patterns for a site like Spoonflower you’ll need to know how to use graphics software.
Find out what resources I use
It’s helpful to do a quick audit of your own skills and resources. I wrote about that here:
3. You can combine physical and digital items.
There’s no reason why you can’t sell both. Suppose you blog about your knitted toys, you could sell:
- the toys themselves,
- the patterns to make them,
- a course on beginner knitting,
- a kit with all the yarn, needles and pattern,
- and a subscriber club for the toy of the month.
If you sew things to sell, how can you add digital products to the mix to enhance your customer’s experience?
4. Offer several smaller products
Rather than creating one single big product that overwhelms your customer, like a complicated quilt pattern with many parts, or an ultimate course on couture techniques, divide it up and make a few related products.
This way you allow your customer to take a pick and mix approach. Several digital products with a sharp focus means that your customer can choose the one that matches their need exactly.
Your ultimate course might have a module that covers exactly what she’s looking for, but maybe she doesn’t need the rest of it just now, or maybe she doesn’t have the time to go through hours of classes for the one aspect she’s looking for. Split that course up into separate components.
You can target these smaller products more specifically.
Going back to the example of a blog about knitting, suppose a visitor lands on your page looking for your ebook on knitting for beginners. While she’s there she sees a video workshop on different knitting techniques. And wait, there’s a collection of simple knitting patterns too. Brilliant. She bookmarks your page, signs up for your newsletter and buys the ebook.
5. Your range is a natural funnel
We talked before about offering products at different prices, for customers with different budgets. But the bigger benefit to you is that your lower priced items will tend to funnel your customers through to your high-ticket products.
Ideally, you’ll have three price levels, low, medium and high. The actual prices you set will depend on what you’re selling. Maybe you sell patterns and kits for $10, $50 and $100. If you’re selling informational products like ebooks and courses, your prices might range from $100 to $500 to $1000. Whatever the actual price, the principles are the same.
Reduce the risk
Low priced products are easy to buy, with no commitment. Customers can buy without worrying that they’re making a big investment. Its a low-risk way for them to try you out.
Medium priced products will probably be your bread-and-butter. Most of your income will come from these products.
Premium priced products are your highest price point. Customers who buy this will probably already have bought your lower priced products.
Having your bread-and-butter product bracketed with your impulse buy product and a higher priced product makes customers more likely to buy. So you’ll sell more $30 items if you also have a $10 and a $100 item.
You should also plan your product range so the $10 item leads up to the $30 and that leads on to the $100. Have related content and a common theme.
So your $10 pattern for an embroidery design leads to your $30 kit and then on to your $100 course on advanced embroidery techniques.
6. It helps build a relationship with your customer
Like any new relationship, it takes time to build trust. You need to date someone for a while before you decide to make a commitment.
It’s the same for your new visitors. Small, low-cost products are the ideal way to test whether you’re a good fit for each other, before making a big commitment in time and money.
Use those entry-level products as a springboard for giving even more value. Follow up with free extras that give even more benefits. I have a card called Customer Happiness on my main Trello board, especially for ideas I have to add value to my customers’ experience.
And always give give give, before you ask. So if you buy my $12 ebook on how to set up Mailerlite, I’ll send you three or 4 emails with extra tips before I mention I’m creating a course on growing your email list with Mailerlite.
7. You get more places to be discovered
In my head, (which isn’t always somewhere you’d want to be!) my product range is an octopus. Its tentacles stretch out across the interwebs, reaching into all sorts of corners where my sewing audience might hang out. (I like to think that it’s smart and adaptable too, like a real octopus, but that’s a story for another day).
Be more octopus
My point is that a many-tentacled thing reaching out is going to be a lot more visible and make it a lot more likely that your potential customers are going to find you.
The octopus analogy might seem a bit bizarre, but it illustrates how a strong brand image works in your favour. A lot of people’s reaction who happen across an octopus will be yuk! And they aren’t the people you want. You want the folks who say, Hey! A octopus! Lets see what this guy does!
So you’re going to be promoting your ebooks and your embroidery kits and your youtube tutorials across social media and in facebook groups. Each product increases the chance someone will find you and be curious enough to click on the link that takes them to your site.
8. It’s brilliant for SEO
Everyone knows that Google loves fresh, new, original content.
So the more you can add to your website, and the more you blog about your products, and link back to them, the better your visibility.
9. A range reinforces your message and strengthens your brand
I’m back with the octopus here. Having a range of products gives you the opportunity to expose your audience to your style, theme and personality.
Everyone must know the statistic about a customer needing to encounter your brand seven times before they buy from you? Having a well designed and on-brand product range makes getting that exposure a whole lot easier.
Make sure every image you use, and every word you write reinforces your identity so you are immediately recognisable.
Phew…that was a long list!
Creating a range can be daunting, but as in any other area of your business you can use templates and systems to automate the process. The content and format will vary, but the process of creating and launching each product will be the same.
When you’re deciding on your mix, bear in mind that some products are literally set-and-forget, others may need to be updated and reviewed from time to time to keep up with the tech or trends in your niche. Or perhaps there may be a level of support your customers need.
Of course you can create systems to automate a lot of that, or hire a VA.
So for each product you create you should be thinking of how it fits into your range, and how that range meets the objectives of your business.
Your products are part of your overall strategy: they fit your brand and your themes. That’s true for digital products as much as it is for physical ones, and planning your product range is a strategy like any other. You need to understand what problem your audience want to solve, plus your one strengths weaknesses and passions.
And remember that the most cost-effective strategy is to find the product that fits your audience, not the other way around.
So think about the physical products you make now, or the things you love to sew if you’re not already selling physical products, and decide what kind of digital product you might want to make.
What can you make right now, what can you develop to sell in the next 6-12 months, and what do you see yourself doing in the longer term?
Start with something that you can make quickly, with minimal time and financial investment, because you’re going to use it to test the market, or validate it. If nobody wants it, you’ll be able to find out why and what to try next, without wasting a lot of time and money.
- Brainstorm product ideas
- Think about what you’d like to build your business around: educational, subscription, patterns or a combination
- Send me an email and let me know what you think!
Hi, I’m Lisa
I help sewists and other makers to build profitable passive income streams.
LET’S HAVE SOME FUN
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