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A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing a Digital Product For Keynote Speakers and Authors

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing a Digital Product For Keynote Speakers and Authors

Digital products are the new Gold Rush.

You can stop trading time for dollars.

You can speak less.

You can stop pursuing those elusive high-paying speaking engagements (or they lead you right to them!).

And you can spend more time doing the things you love, like your hobbies or spending time with family.

When you develop a digital product, you spend X amount of time developing the content, some time marketing it, but then, once the “system” is all set, you let it go and watch the revenue roll in.

In this blog, we’re going to show you how to develop your first (or second, or tenth) product/course. It’s a step-by-step breakdown of the exact strategies we use for ourselves and our clients – keynote speakers and authors who have bought into the digital product strategy.

The Preparation

To start, you’ll need to:

  • Know your audience, or buyer persona. This is who you will create the course for. (Don’t skip this step!)
  • Dive into your audience and learn their pain points. What problems are they trying to solve, and how do your products/services benefit them?
  • Create a sales proposition – or what you will sell. This could be some material you already have (like a speech or workshop) or a small ebook you can expand upon.
  • Create a list of elements you’ll need to make the campaign successful (like a Stripe Account, a tool to create landing pages, calls-to-action, a Powerpoint template, and ads.

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Digital Product Development

Step 1: Test the Market And Gauge Interest

Decide on a certain number of early adopters that will show that the interest for your product exists. This may be 20, 50 or 100 people. This is a sign that people want the digital product, and that you should continue with the development.

Step 1.1: Build a Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a simple document that outlines the course. It’s structured as a long sales page, covering the Buyer Persona’s problems and offering solution to their problems.

It’s important that the hypothesis document clearly outlines the benefits of the product and how it will affect their overall success. Here's the example.

The hypothesis should include a call-to-action for buying the product. A stripe account (or PayPal, etc.) is needed for payment processing.

Step 1.2: Build a Survey

Build a simple survey to gather feedback about the hypothesis. The goal of this survey is to discover the readiness of your audience to buy the product. The survey must include the question “Would you buy this [PRODUCT]?”.

Step 1.3: Segment Two Test Groups

You should segment the audience via:

  1. Email.
  2. Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram.

Step 1.4: Create Emails/Messages

Part 1

Conduct outreach to the groups via email and direct social media messagesmessages.

Draft a personalized email to the group you’ve chosen to be your test group. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish and ask for their honest feedback. Include a link to your hypothesis so they can take a look and a link to the survey.

Here’s how you can structure the email:

Hi, NAME

You recently downloaded NAME OF MATERIAL.

Since you found that topic interesting, I wanted to get your thoughts on a project I’ve been working on over the past few months.

I would LOVE to get your feedback.

Here’s the scoop…

I’m building a XYZ that will give you exactly the steps you need to [list benefits here].

Sound interesting?

I’d like to ask you to do two things:

  1. Read about my product (link to the hypothesis)
  2. Give your feedback about the group (It’ll only take 3 minutes!).

Thanks! I know your time is valuable, so I truly appreciate your response.

-- YOUR SIGNATURE

Apply the same principle to any social network. Let’s say you want to gauge the interest of your LinkedIn connections.

The next step is to identify this test group. Then, send each person a direct message, similar to the email above.

Tell them that you value their time and input. You’ll be surprised how many people actually want to participate.

Part 2

Follow up with a “Buy Now” option to lock in additional value (like a free book chapter), since customers are paying before the actual launch.

Did some of your test group people to respond and provide feedback? Awesome! Now, this is a vital next step:

To anyone that responded to your survey and said YES to “Would you buy this product,” send them a “buy now” option also.

Make sure to address any other comments they provide in the survey! You want them to feel heard and valued, not tricked and sold to.

Side Note:

You should aim to pre-sell 8-10% of the total test group to validate your product.

If the testing meets this goal goals, only then should your proceed with development the digital course/product.

If the testing doesn’t meet set goals, adapt the hypothesis and repeat the cycle – until you reach the preset goal of a certain number of early adopters.

The importance of this can’t be stressed enough. Don’t waste your time, energy, and money on something your audience ultimately doesn’t want. Listen and improve based on feedback.

Maybe you were planning to create a leadership course but what your audience really wants is to learn how to improve their communication and sales skills? Course correct and adjust your product to fit their need.

Step 2: Build the Course Outline

  1. Create the course outline. Make sure it covers the major sections or topics of the course.
  2. Divide it into multiple modules and lessons. A larger numbers of shorter videos/lessons may be desired by your audience. See what the competition is doing.
  3. Write scripts for all the videos or write the chapters. Keep your audience’s pain points in mind, and be sure to provide SOLUTIONS.
  4. Design a Powerpoint template if you’re giving a webinar. You can also use PowerPoint slides for a course.
  5. Create the course in ClickFunnels so you can distribute the course via landing pages and emails.

Step 3: The Product Launch

Step 3:1: Pre-Launch Email Sequence

This sequence should be based on the “PAS” copywriting formula: Problem, Agitate, Solve.

Here’s an example:

Email #1: Problem: Tell a personal story and use it to highlight the main pain points of the Buyer Persona.

Email #2: Agitate: Recap Email 1 and share additional issues the Buyer Persona might have or mistakes they might be making. Offer no solutions.

Email #3: Solve: Recap Emails 1 and 2, introduce the solution to problems and mistakes from the first two emails (i.e., skills they’ll learn in the digital course), and provide a quick strategy subscribers can immediately use (this will build your credibility and expertise).

Step 3:2: Product Launch Email Workflow

  • Build a sequence of 7-9 emails that sell the product.
  • Create a sense of urgency and incentivize subscribers with added value.
  • Remind subscribers of deadlines to buy and the course’s open enrollment. Create a high sense of urgency and exclusivity.
  • Use testimonials, examples, and case studies.

Step 3:3: Post-Launch Email Workflow

The goal of the Post-Launch Email Sequence is to extend the deadline for 24 hours and offer additional value to entice people to sign up and buy.

These emails should be the last push for the product before the open enrollment period closes. The sequence should have 2 to 4 emails.

Final Thoughts

Give this guide to development a digital product a try, and let us know how it goes!

Share your experience with creating digital products in the comments below.

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Blog Comments

Josh Coffy

Josh is an entrepreneur at heart, dropping out of college to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Fast-forward five years later, and Josh’s unique ability to marry technology with creative marketing strategies has led to Flight Media’s steady and swift growth. Now one of the leading Inbound Marketing companies in Ohio, the U.S. and abroad, clients trust Flight Media’s expertise, agile approach, and transparency. You can find Josh at CrossFit, backpacking the West coast with his wife, Kelsey, or reading a personal development book from his ever-growing library.