You feel the pressure to create one…
I mean, with them being all the rage…
…that’s about the only digital product that’s capable of making you income right?
There are plenty of different types of digital products you can create.
Somehow we all fall into the courses trap.
Our first product has to be a course because everyone tells you so right?
Well, I fell into the courses trap too.
Thinking back, I should have gone a different route. I should have first created a low-risk product that my audience can buy, to experience my paid content.
So if you’re feeling all that pressure to create a course, but don’t quite feel ready or know if it’s the right thing for you…
this post is an exploration of 10 different types of digital products you can create (that are not courses!).
Grab my personal rolodex of tools that I use to create all my digital products.
Megan Minns offers a goal and planning spreadsheet that ties in nicely with her business.
Why it works: If you’ve listened to Megan on a podcast or are familiar with her work, you know that she loves spreadsheets.
It’s her zone of genius. You can see her using it.This makes it all the more attractive to her audience. Spreadsheets are productivity boosters but they can be a pain to set-up. And when you don’t have the right flow, they end up giving adding more work to your plate. So if there’s a spreadsheet set that you use and has worked wonders for your business or life, consider offering it as a set or package.
Works well for: Fitness, productivity, planning, parenting, mom and budget niches
Abby Lawson offers printables which double as a planner.
Why it works: Similar to Megan’s audience, Abby uses printables and even teaches her audience how to create their own. She has several posts on her site which show them how she uses printables to simplify her life. If you have a DIY audience in particular, printables work very well.
Works well for: Productivity, planning, parenting, mom, DIY and budget niches
I offer a template pack as a trip wire and sell a few copies each day.
Why it works: Templates give people inspiration and a solid base to work from.
It basically makes your life easier when you have a source or swipe file to model after. You can offer templates for anything that is tedious and that your audience struggles with putting together but that they need on a day to day basis. In this case, email marketing is something my audience struggles with, so the template pack is something they want.
Works well for: Digital marketing, design, branding niches
Masterclasses are usually long video trainings of about 1-2 hours on a specific topic. There are a few ways you can conduct your masterclass.
You can speak from your slides, screenshare especially if it’s a technical process or do video teardowns cum tutorials if you’re teaching by doing reviews.
Masterclasses are not difficult to put together especially if you have the right tools. Grab my Rolodex below for a peek at the tech tools I use.
Caressa Lenae is a funnel expert and has a masterclass where she walks you through how to integrate your sales funnel with 3 different systems.
Why it works: It teaches your audience one specific thing that they know they’ll learn or walk away with at the end of the masterclass. It’s also so much less daunting than a huge course which they may or may not complete. If you have existing free webinars that you did, you can easily turn them into masterclasses.
Works well for: Pretty much any niche
My friend Amanda at Amanda Creek Creative offers a brand personality workbook
Why it works: Branding is highly personalized and is not something you can’t just read about. It’s specific to you and your business. What better way to help you discover it than through a workbook. If you have an audience who loves worksheets and don’t mind some homework, workbooks make great products.
If you have a strategy or process you teach, you can design a workbook that walks your audience through that process. You can also make it easilyfillable with the free tool PDF Escape.
Works well for: Pretty much any niche if your audience likes worksheets and homework
#6 Workshops/Live Training
Workshops are usually live events/webinars teaching a specific topic or process.
Most workshops are repackaged into Masterclasses once they are done which is why I wasn’t able to find a working example of it.
These are very easy to put together. You need a sales page connected to a payment processor and that’s about it.
You can work on your slides in the backend and then host your training via Youtube live.
You could also have a co-working day where you bundle your workshop together with a ‘work on it’ session. Participants can come together in a pop-up Facebook group to watch the live training and ask questions.
Caressa Lenae also offers a monthly mastermind which is a refreshing idea compared to the 3k+ masterminds you’re used to seeing.
Why it works: People love access to someone they can trust and bounce ideas of.
People will pay more for access too.
This is going to be a huge component in the online learning industry.
Masterminds are also very easy to package and offer your audience.
You’re offering access to your expertise.
You most likely need a sales page that shows your audience the flow or system of how you’ll be handling the mastermind group.
Will you have weekly calls or hot seats? How about personalized reviews?
These are the information your potential buyers will look for.
Works well for: This may not be the best small product to offer especially if your business is new and you don’t have solid testimonials as yet.
Masterminds usually work if you have established expertise in an area and your audience trusts in your ideas. These also work better if your masterminds ain rooted to a theme and have a minimum commitment period.
Sarah of Sarah Designs is a reader of my site who recently quit her job to pursue her mockups as a full-time business. If this is your zone of genius, there are plenty of mock-up types you can offer. Just check out Smartmock-ups to get an idea of the range. You can also expand these later on into courses which is exactly what Sarah has done with her Photoshop mockup mastery and social media mock-up courses.
Why it works: Everyone needs mock-ups to showcase their products.
A botched up mock-up doesn’t do any service to your existing product. And photoshop isn’t the easiest program to use. Sarah picks up on her audience’s pain points and I love that she gets hyper-specific about the target segment she is serving with her mock-ups as well.
Works well for: When your audience consists of designers and physical product creators
Why it works: If you have a system or workflow that’s working for you, people are going to want to hear about it…Especially if you can prove it works and they trust you to buy into your system.
I’ve seen trello boards being offered as well.
Works well for: Productivity, organization, home, self-development, fitness
Ebooks are the most common type of small product. But they are not necessarily inexpensive. Depending on how they are packaged, i have seen ebooks selling for as much as $150.
Why it works: Ebooks aren’t as scary as courses are.
The problem though, they are ripe for being left to rot in a hard disk.
If you want to make your ebook actionable, bundle spreadsheets, workbooks or even a community as part of your ebook.
In my ebook The Blog Startup, I have 3 different tiers depending on how much help or support someone needs.
Works well for: Pretty much all niches
Don’t be tied to a course
Does this mean a course should never be on your radar?
Of course not!
But it’s not necessarily the first product you should create especially if you’re new to marketing, selling and if you’ve just started to grow your audience.
Your first goal should be to give your audience a taste of your paid content.
Because once they do and they enjoy it….
Chances of them coming back to buy more, increases.
But if you stick your paid content behind a huge paywall, your audience needs a longer time to get warmed up to you.
What are your thoughts on creating low-risk paid offers? I’d love to know in the comments.