Here are some of the best digital products you can create and sell online.
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2:09 Digital Downloads and Printables
6:23 Online courses (A to Z)
9:37 Membership sites
12:20 Delivering/fulfilment of your digital products (Etsy)
Digital Product Ideas to Sell – Video Transcript
Welcome to the livestream. Whether you are joining live with us now, or if you are catching the replay. Today, in this video, I’m going to be talking about what are some digital product ideas that you can create, that you can make, that you can use for your business to generate more income, to get more revenue in.
And I’m going to break down some of my favourite digital product ideas so that you can kind of see the main categories and maybe get some of the creative juices going. Let’s get right into it.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Nguyen, and I help coaches, consultants and creative pros build their business using video on social media with ease. Now whether you are live with us now, thanks for being here, or if you’re watching the replay, please, if you have a question, drop it in the chat or in a comment and I’ll answer it at the end or after the replay.
And if necessary, I’ll create another video ’cause I love creating these videos for you. As usual, everything is in the description. All The links that I mentioned, all the resources are in the description. And I’ve got a few things to talk about today.
Let’s get right into it. Digital products, you know, I love digital products in terms of how scalable and how easy they are to create and how they can help you generate additional income. Whether you are a freelancer, whether you are an aspiring coach or whether, you know, you are a creator and you’re looking to generate more income, particularly if you are a YouTube creator.
Relying on YouTube AdSense alone is not going to be enough, particularly in the early stages. I love digital products because they can help us supplement income so that we can, you know, do the YouTube thing, do the content creation thing as well and build it up.
Let’s talk about some digital product ideas and I’m going to break down my favourite ones and ones that I think that, you know, are worthwhile pursuing and creating. Let’s get right into it. The first one that I highly recommend love and use for myself, because I wouldn’t recommend anything unless it’s something that I also do or I advocate is digital downloads and printables.
Now you may be saying, what are you talking about here, Sara? And these can include things such as calendars, planners, checklist, eBooks.
These are things that you can and create and you can package them so that people can download them and they can use them either on their computer, download and use the files on the computer, or they can use it on a mobile device. I personally love calendars. I love planners. I have multiple couple ones that I constantly purchase.
And I love the idea of digital downloads because it’s scalable, right? It’s something that you can create and you can sell many of, and the ideas are really limitless. I want you to kind of stop thinking about digital downloads as just a PDF, as just an image, as just a video file and think more of it in terms of the content that you can create and the value in that content that you can create.
I think like people kind of, poo-pooed the idea of digital content because it’s not tangible, but I can’t, I completely disagree. I think digital content particularly downloads and printables are so valuable, particularly if you can create content, you know, whether it’s an ebook that helps someone, you know, on a particular journey or help people with a particular workflow.
Regardless of which nature you’re in there are ebooks you can create there are checklist that you can create and you can sell. Even if they’re already part of your workflows, you can help people who are not as far ahead as you to make progress faster with your existing knowledge.
I love it. That it’s something that you can create quickly using your knowledge and you can sell. This is probably the first category of digital products that I use myself. I would recommend you look to create yourself and it’s really easy to do.
Now, let’s look at the next category. The next category is templates. And this is probably a cousin of the digital downloads and the digital templates. Examples of templates, Oh, there’s so many things, you know, you can create a Canva template and that means, for example, you could create a designing Canva, whether that’s a checklist, whether that it’s a Canva template for a media kit, you can create templates for email packages.
Once again, regardless of which niche or which category you’re in, it’s all about helping people by creating pieces of content that they can adapt for themselves. And then you’re saving them time and you’re saving them money in that time as well.
I love the idea of selling templates and will be looking to sell some next year as well. I’m getting quite a few things developed. I’m doing some myself and I’m outsourcing some as well. I will be looking to create some livestream overlay.
I get lots of questions about how I do the animations for my live streams, how I do the overlays. And I’m in the process of developing some to sell, which is really exciting. I also will be developing a couple of Canva templates as well. Different designs that you can use so that you can do your own thumbnails, you can do your own overlay.
There are so many things that you can create. And it really is about once again, taking those steps out of the steps in the process, out for people so that they don’t have to all the nitty-gritty stuff.
And you’ve got something already there for them. One of the things that I will be creating as well is a media kit template for brand deals. I’ve got one that I personally use and I’ve learned quite a few things over the last year. So I’ll be creating a couple of templates to sell as well.
So I love the idea that you can use your existing knowledge that you have to help improve people’s workflows and give them templates. I’m going to talk at the end of this, about how you can actually deliver these things. It’s all well and great to have all these fantastic ideas for products, but then how do you actually sell them?
How do you actually get them out there as opposed to just being a beautiful file or a beautiful document that you’ve created? We’ll talk about that shortly. Now, the third digital product, and it’s one that I am a big advocate of is online courses.
Online courses allow you to really package your knowledge in the idea of, you know, information so you can sell online courses, whether it’s a comprehensive course, taking people from start to finish A to Z of a process, you could do like a shorter mini-course where it’s a certain piece of the journey only.
For example, if you are in the fitness niche, you could just do a mini-course on just eating on just diet. You could do a course just on, you know, weight training. You could do a course just on cardio. Like, it really depends on how you want to break it up, but it really is versatile in terms of what you can do.
And of course, with online courses, you can do them where you prepackage it pre-create it, or you can also do them kind of online as workshops as well, where you can get people on board, have them participate online. And it’s really a fun way.
And it really is a way of using your knowledge to make money. And who doesn’t like to make money, you know, with stuff they already have? That’s another way. I really love courses.
I personally have courses that I sell as well. And I’ve found that in terms of all of the monetisation strategies, courses is the most challenging, but the most lucrative and the most profitable. It’s one of those ones where it’s like, once you get it right, once you set it up, it’s just about tweaking it and scaling it. Online courses are definitely one of my favourite digital products to create.
Now let’s look into the next one, which is probably like a second cousin of online courses. This is online coaching. I like coaching, particularly if you are new to being a creator, you are new to business and you haven’t got a product to sell yet, but you need to make money immediately.
Selling your time and packaging it in terms of whether it’s one-to-one or whether you sell a package of five or 10 sessions, or you sell it over a period of one month, three months, six months is another way that you can kind of create a product, a digital product, so to speak and sell it.
I don’t do online coaching at the moment. I am focusing on the sales of my courses, but online coaching was definitely something that I was doing for a while to get money in where I would, you know, sell packages where I would spend time with people to help them set up their website, help them set up their, on my presence, help them set up their social media.
And the beauty of it is that it’s kind of like, you know, if there’s someone there who is willing to buy it, you’ve got the time to do it, particularly if new and you’re like, well, I’ve got nothing else to do anyway. I might as well make some money and help people along the way.
I love online coaching as an option. And particularly with some of the solutions that I’m going to talk about shortly, it’s really easy to deliver it as well. It’s much easier than people think. And you know, you’ve got so much technology to make it easier these days.
You’ve got the likes of zoom, which makes interacting with people really easy. You’ve got Google meet all of the Google suite, which makes online conferencing, online videos so much easier for that one-to-one coaching experience so highly recommend online coaching as another digital product.
Now, the next one that I am a big fan of and have started to investigate a little bit is the concept of having a membership site. With your online course, with your coaching, you may put the content for your course, if it’s online videos behind a paywall, right?
The idea of a membership site is probably the second or third cousin of all of these, and it’s putting the content, putting specific content behind a paywall. I am subscribed to a couple of membership sites, membership sites that I’m a part of include a lot of design and graphic design membership sites.
And what happens is every month, the creator of that membership site will drip additional content. Whether it is eBook templates or graphic design templates, I get new ones every month and I pay a subscription every month in order to access them.
There are lots of pricing models that you can do around these types of things. But this is just to kind of get the juices flowing in terms of what you can actually do. And I love membership sites because if you don’t like people, and if you’re kind of like, I don’t really want to deal with coaching people and managing people and getting them on the call and then cancelling.
Membership sites are a great way of creating content and being able to share it and making money with that actually interacting with a lot of people like by video or one-to-one or in a group scenario. Those are my crash course in all the different digital products that you can create.
Now, once you’ve created these products, or once you have the idea of these products, how do you actually fulfill them? How do you actually get them into the hands of buyers?
In my experience, the biggest mistake that a lot of creators, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of coaches make is they, they come up with this fantastic idea for a course, or they come up with a fantastic idea for a membership site. And then they spend six months to a year building out a membership site, building out the website.
And I think that’s a long time to be building something and not bringing in money. But luckily there are lots of services that have already done that for us, so that you can focus on just putting your content up on an existing service and then being able to just send that link out so that people can buy it.
The other challenge with digital products is the need to take payment, right? In terms of the products that I’m going to talk about, it’s all about getting it up quickly, being able to fulfill it and making it as painless as possible for both you and for both the person receiving your digital products.
I’m going to go over to my computer now. And one of the first low fidelity, quick ways of getting up your digital products is Etsy. Now I know that people think that Etsy is just for headbands and it’s just for bracelets and it’s just for jewellery and handmade stuff, but there’s actually this massive space for digital products in Etsy.
And I purchased a lot of digital products in Etsy, particularly templates, right? And Etsy is set up so that you can upload, let’s say you create a media kit template, like what you see here, and someone can purchase it.
Purchase will be made. They will be sent, they can download, they will be sent the email so they can download the files. And they’ve also got it within their account as well. And then Etsy takes a cut. There’s a tiny bit of a fee to upload the digital product, but you know, it’s not that high.
I think it’s like 30 cents or something like that. It’s really quite low. And you’ve got a way of selling, right? It’s free to create the Etsy account. It’s really cheap to create, set up products. And then you’ve got a way immediately to start selling your products.
And you can create an Etsy store. You can put a banner on it and brand it, and you can create multiple products. Definitely love Etsy as a, you know, as a starting point. And I would rather see you create a product and put it on Etsy, have it available within the Etsy search engine ’cause you know, people are searching Etsy, they’re buying all the time.
People on Etsy are looking to buy, right? At least you’ve already got traffic there. If you’ve got the right products. I’d rather see you put it on Etsy, and have it available and test it to see if there’s anyone actually wants to buy it and get feedback that way, than for your to spend three months, six months a year, trying to custom build your own website that can take payment and deliver a download.
Etsy is definitely one underrated, but highly powerful way of getting your digital products up and ready to be sold on a marketplace. The other service is Gumroad. And I like Gumroad because, Ooh, that’s my little thing here. I like Gumroad because they are quite affordable.
And they’re very versatile. This is similar to Etsy in the sense that you can upload your products. And with your Gumroad account, what you can do is you have a shop, essentially, you have a shop and then you can put multiple products on it.
There’s a monthly fee and they take obviously the credit card transaction and a percentage. But once again, you don’t need to spend months, weeks, and months trying to get up a shop. You can use Gumroad pay them a small fee, get the products out there, start getting that feedback, start getting money in right away.
And once again, they manage taking payment, they manage delivering the download so that you’re not, you know, sending an email to someone, sending a PayPal link to them, checking that it’s gone through sending them another email it’s not that efficient, see.
Gumroad is another one that I highly recommend that you look at because you can put lots of things on Gumroad. I’ve purchased apps off Gumroad. I purchased eBooks off Gumroad. I’ve purchased video courses of Gumroad. I’ve purchased a lot of things.
Okay. I’m a little bit addicted to buying digital things and other things. But Gumroad is definitely a good one, particularly for getting started. Particularly if you don’t want to put a lot of outlay into it. Now though, another one that I highly recommend is teachable.
Teachable. Let’s go to teachable pricing. Teachable is the platform that I use to host my online course. And you may be saying, why do you host it? Why don’t you just have a membership site that you put on your work, your website?
Well, back in the day, I did have that and it caused me so much, so many headaches, right? I had so many headaches with the payment gateway. I had so many headaches with members not getting a logins. I had so many headaches with passwords and just content not dripping properly.
And I spent so much money constantly getting developers to fix it because I used WordPress. And then I purchased a WordPress plugin that it just drove me crazy. And when teachable came out and I heard that there’s a solution where I just pay them a fee. I don’t have to deal with constant plugin updates and plugin conflicts.
And I don’t have to constantly pay developers. This worked out way cheaper, way cheaper compared to the cost of how much it was to set up a membership site on WordPress and just the headache that I constantly had. I am all for ease.
I am all for getting your content up and up and out quickly so that you can start seeing how it performs. And teachable really, they have quite reasonable prices for what they are, right? You upload your content.
There, they take the, manage the payment cart, they managed membership or the student pass, forgotten password is all managed with teachable as well. You don’t have to deal with that.
They’ve got the membership site in there, so you can see comments. It’s a really nice and easy way to kind of get your online courses. They’ve also got an offering for coaching as well.
You can sell coaching hours with them that I absolutely loved. There are a couple of the ways that you can get your courses up and running or get your digital products up and running.
And I highly recommend that you look to kind of use these services as opposed to trying to McGyver it yourself because you save so much more time and money in the long run using these services. Trust me when I tell you this one, I’ve seen it time and time again, where people are like, I don’t want to pay $29 a month.
I want to just set it up myself. And then a year later they still haven’t got the membership site or the product up. I’m like, well for 29 dollars a month, you could have already had a product that you were selling over the last 12 months and made sales every single month.
That’s my 2 cents on using services to deliver your actual, you know, digital products. I’m just going to go into the comments quickly, Jade Starr. Hey, great to see you. Jade Starr says, “I’m using Patreon tears to substitute money as the channel grows and it’s working well”.
That’s great. Patreon’s another, you know, interesting model. Where with Patreon, you can kind of set it up so that people pay an amount on different membership levels, and then they get things at depending on the level that they’re at. And it’s a nice thing to have as well.
It’s definitely one way to do it. And you know, I think there are lots of options. There’s not, there’s not just one way to do things, do things. It’s also about kind of seeing what’s out there, hence the purpose of this video and then testing out and seeing what works for you.
Jade Starr says, “It’s been fantastic. It suits my way of live streaming and allows me to test apps before streams, giveaways, and offer. One-on-one help”. Love it, love that it’s working for you and that you are getting it done. That’s absolutely fantastic.
I think like people get really overwhelmed when they think due to real products, courses, content where am I going to put it all? But I think it’s more important that you focus on getting it up, choosing something and getting it up.
And then like, you know, looking to scale later, use existing infrastructure like teachable, like Etsy, like Gumroad that are relatively low cost to get it up and running. True Norf Paul says, “how do you figure out how much to charge for your content?” This is a very good question. And the answer is, it depends.
Now I have a couple of thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts. I feel that if you are genuinely putting out quality content and you’re not a spammer and you put a lot of time into delivering a good experience, delivering quality information in your content and you can, and you put a lot of time into, into that.
I feel that that’s worth paying more. I, it breaks my heart when I see really amazing creators or really amazing teachers put out content and it’s $7 for like this really long course. And it’s like $7.
Like I can’t even get a coffee with an extra shot for $7. Like you’re worth more than that. I think it really is about the value that you put into it and the value that people can get out of it. And I’d like to see you create high-quality products and get paid well for it.
That’s my thoughts there. And I know people have lots of thoughts about, well, why– I remember when I was talking about courses to someone and theyre’ll like, why would you create a course? And why would anyone pay for a course? They can just get your content for free on YouTube.
And let me answer that one right now. In terms of the content that you put on YouTube and I put on YouTube, that’s great. It’s definitely– I hope yours is higher value. It’s definitely content that is valuable, but what people are looking for when it comes to digital products, when it comes to courses is a system is a framework, right?
Yeah, you can figure out, you know, from my live stream YouTube videos, how to get up and running. But if you want a comprehensive system, if you want all of my templates, if you want all of my workflows, if you want all my scripts, if you want my additional overlays, if you want extra one-on-one time with me, that’s in the course, right?
That’s the differentiation between the free content that you have on YouTube and then the content that you put behind a paywall. That’s slightly high-level yet. I’m going to put out good stuff, but you want stuff that’s even better?
You’ve got to pay for that. You’ve got to pay for that because we’ve all got to pay bills. We’ve all got to eat. We’ve got to drink a little bit and that costs money. Good stuff out and put the best off, you know, behind a paywall so.
Oh, Jade Starr says, Listen to your audience. Also ask them what they would pay. And I try to work with them. Yeah, definitely. I think get, get a gauge of, you know, what’s out in the market and I think it really comes. It’s a personal thing as well at the end of the day.
I can tell Jade that I think she’s worth, you know, a thousand dollars an hour of her time. And she may look at me and go, what are you talking about? Or she might be like only a thousand.
I should be at least 10,000 an hour. It really, really depends on, you know, it really comes down to the creator at the end of the day and what they’re comfortable with and what they feel that their value is. And I want to tell you a bit of a story.
I was working on pricing of a course a while ago. And I remember like contemplating the course was at the time $297. And I wanted to raise it up to 497, so $500. And I wanted to raise it because I put so much additional content into it.
I had updated it and it was no longer in my view, a $300 course. It was definitely a $500 course. And I was like, Oh, what if people don’t buy it? What if people get angry with me?
What if people start, you know, yelling at me on the internet even more than they already do. And once I raised the price, I made a sale and like, they didn’t even flinch, right? It was all in my head. I think pricing is this personal thing. That’s only in our heads at the end of the day.
A bit of a story for you on how you feel about pricing and how you price set, so Jack Carter says, “people prefer free stuff for a reason. You need to do lots of free stuff before charging. Always added service”.
I think, you know, free stuff is a great way to be discovered, and I think the free content that you put up on YouTube is a great way of building a brand, building authority, demonstrating your expertise. But there has to be a point where if you want to be sustainable as a creator, you need to make money.
End of the day, you need to make money. If you are going to survive so that you can pay your bills so that you can eat and have that cheeky drink from time to time. Paul says, “differentiation is the key”. Absolutely differentiation is a massive key as well.
Back to me, ’cause this is my live stream and it’s all about me. When I was creating my course, you know, live streaming, it was, you know, it’s been something where there’s lots of courses out there, of course there are.
And when I was creating it, the key for me is, okay, how do I make it different outside of it just being me delivering the course. When I looked at all of the courses on the market, you know, I still address the key things that people have told me that they want with live streaming.
They want a way, a system to figure out the equipment, to figure out the software, to figure out how to look good. I had all of that, which everyone else has, but how do I make, how would I make it different? I made it different in a lot of ways.
I put a lot of mindset in there. I put a lot of camera confidence content in there. And I put a lot of just these little Sara Nguyen touches, which differentiated my course from, you know, some other live streaming courses out there. It really depends on you as a personality and what you feel you can bring is different.
Another way that you can make your course different or differentiate yourself. I find as well is to take stuff out. I find a lot of the time that creators get a little bit too crazy and the course is just so overwhelming.
If you can simplify things so they can still get the same thing done, but then like they’re not going through a hundred lessons of courses. That also is a major way of differentiating yourself. Jack Carter says, “I think a lot of people over and undervalue their work.” Isn’t that the truth?
Really interesting, so really differently interesting. Creating courses, getting people to pay for it. And Jack Carter asked an interesting question. “Why don’t you charge for content here, Sara?” I don’t charge, well, I do charge for content on YouTube.
I get paid by YouTube, you know, with ad sense. And I also have my paid courses. I have a strategy with the content that I put out for free of my organic, that generates organic traffic for me. Technically, I do get paid for that.
And I have a strategy where I have a funnel with my organic traffic, whether it’s on Facebook live or on YouTube. And I don’t think it’s actually for free, it’s all strategic in my view. I’ve got plans for all of this stuff.
I think, you know, people think that just because the content is free, that it may not be perceived to be as valuable, but I completely disagree with that, right? I think the content may be free to view, but it’s building brand equity, it’s building authority and that, that helped get you other monies.
That helps get you brand deals. That helps get you clients. That helps gets you, you know, email subscribers who ended up buying your products and your services. I think content needs to be thought about strategically.
And if you do have a strategy for using it, if you are funneling people into the top of your sales funnel, you will be able to be profitable. And that’s the whole point of the game. That essentially wraps up the crash course today in digital products.
What digital products can you create? How can you get them up and running? And bit of the Q and A. Paul says, “As usual Sara great, valuable insights”. Thank you. And thanks everyone for being here as usual. I was really excited to present this content today.
And I think that it’s time, it’s time creators that we get paid. It’s time that we see the value in what we do and it’s time that, you know, we make comfortable living doing it and not feel guilty about it. In saying that, I’m going to wrap up the live stream today.
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That’s our wrap tonight. My friends. Thank you so much for joining me. I will see you in the next live stream and bye for now.