Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 6/27/18 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Digital products are the new Gold Rush.
If you capitalize on them:
When you develop a digital product or online course, 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 who have bought into the online product strategy.
To start, you’ll need to:
Decide on a certain number of early adopters that will show that the interest for your course 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.
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 solutions 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.
The hypothesis should include a call-to-action for buying the product. A stripe account (or PayPal, etc.) is needed for payment processing.
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]?”.
You should segment the audience via:
Conduct outreach to the groups via email and direct social media messages.
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:
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 an XYZ that will give you exactly the steps you need to [list benefits here].
I’d like to ask you to do two things:
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.
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 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.
You should aim to pre-sell 8-10% of the total test group to validate your product.
If the testing meets these goals, only then should you proceed with developing 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.
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).
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.
You can have more time for the things you enjoy when you follow this guide to develop a digital product.
From testing the market right on through the product launch, these step-by-step instructions give you all the info you need for a smooth process.