The million-dollar question these days is: How can I protect what I’ve built for the long run? How can we sustain through this season, and well past it? I can honestly say it’s been a question heavy on my mind and heart, too. As a business owner leading other business owners, we’re navigating a brand new challenge that no one could have anticipated. But it’s in times like these that I turn to creativity and resilience as my leaders. And, the basics… The advice that’s stood the test of time, through economic highs and lows of ages past. One of the best pieces of advice? To diversify your income with extra revenue streams.
I’ve talked before about how I once heard that most millionaires have at least 7 streams of income, so I went and created 8. I know that putting all my eggs into one basket isn’t wise. It’s why I moved away from being a wedding photographer whose every waking hour was siphoned into hustling, editing, creating, and working on the same thing again and again. It’s why I turned to digital products and education, to preserve what I’ve built and share my knowledge with others, with ease.
The perks of digital products
Why I love digital products specifically is multifaceted! They’re like the subtle meet-cute introduction to your larger offers. First, they generally don’t require a ton of heavy lifting or investment upfront. And they’re a great extension for your business, whether you sell products, services, or run an online gig.
I use Shopify to host my online shop that offers a whole slew of digital products, and some physical products, too! While physical products are a great way to create something tangible for your brand, I think starting with digital is smart because there’s less heavy lifting (no packaging, shipping, etc.).
I recommend Shopify to everyone wanting to create an online shop mainly because it’s SO easy to use. There are many different themes you can choose from to brand your shop, and they are always making new templates! It integrates with payment processors like Stripe and Paypal, their customer tracking and data is so helpful, you can integrate with your email service provider, add coupons, and dig into the code if you want to get fancy.
How to Know What to Offer
If you’ve created any sort of cheat sheet, template, preset, tutorial, guide, planning tool, or checklist for yourself because you couldn’t find it anywhere else online, chances are, someone else is searching for it, too. For example, I get asked all the time about best practices and advice for all things social media. While my courses cover the deep dives into different platforms like Pinterest or Instagram, some people wanted a resource that covered it all… all platforms and all the ways to rock them.
I took this need, gathered up my experience and tips, and built a digital product around it, The Complete Social Media Success Guide. It’s literally a giant PDF download that my team and I put together, and it’s chock-full of planning tips, posting strategies, and ways to up engagement on multiple channels.
A similar thing happened with my presets. As a photographer, I used my own presets for ages before realizing others could benefit from this quick-edit hack. I easily bundled up a pack and offered them as a digital product in my shop!
How to build your own digital products
People are always looking for tools to save them time, make them money, simplify a process, or simply add joy to their lives. Chances are you have something that people would be willing to pay for… it’s all about packaging it up and turning it into the right offer! Follow these steps to create a digital product you can sell:
Step 01: Ask yourself: What systems, processes, templates, or worksheets have I created and used that others could benefit from?
Step 02: Get that system or template down in writing in a document, and make sure it’s detailed with action steps for people to easily follow and implement. Try to package as much value and actionable advice as possible inside!
Step 03: Make it pretty or professional looking by using a simple design platform like Canva. You can also just make a clean document in Word that you simply save as a .pdf for them to download. It doesn’t need to be fancy!
Step 04: Add an intro that includes why this product is valuable and important to the buyer and how they can use it. Side note: If you’re offering something not content-based, like photo-editing presets, then there are tutorials all over online about how to package them to sell. Just Google “how to sell my own presets.”
Step 05: Price your product and write a description of the deliverables people will receive to be used on the sales platform where they can buy it. Be sure to paint the picture of opportunity and what wins they’ll get from your product!
Ideas to fill your shop:
- Templates that you’ve created to sell your services or products: pricing templates, email templates, website templates, DIY templates, brand templates, social media templates, etc.
- Questionnaires that you use for booking jobs, that you send to clients, to help you gather testimonials, that you use survey your audience, that you use to do your job better!
- Education whether that be in the form of courses, downloadable PDFS or ebooks, step-by-step guides, video modules, or trainings to walk people through a process or skill.
- Physical products that you’d like to sell – though you want to make sure you have a plan in place for fulfillment whether you do it yourself or outsource this part of it.
Why I use Shopify to host my digital product shop
If you’re worried about the how — like how in the world do you figure out a simple system to exchange these digital products for money online?! — don’t worry! You know I’ve got you covered. I love using Shopify to host my digital product shop. It’s completely automated so that I can just upload the resource or product, and then enter the description and price. When someone hits “purchase,” it’s delivered on the spot and I don’t have to manage a thing or lift a finger!
Automated delivery makes it the easiest sale ever. Imagine waking up and having an email saying that you made money while you’re sleeping! ‘Tis a dream. But Shopify makes it the easiest reality. Plus, you can use digital products as a way to test out ideas before you dive headfirst into creating a full-blown course or offer. You can see what people are more willing to pay for by playing with different small offers!
Shopify integrated so easily with our business while also keeping it on brand, and the set-up and editing is super simple to jump into. We did do a little custom coding because we knew exactly what we wanted, but if you’re just starting out, it’s entirely unnecessary! The platform makes it easy to track sales, adjust coupon codes, create pop-ups, and see which of our products are top-performing. It helps us to know what to promote, how to make changes that will influence sales, and which products to continue creating! In fact, I made over $200K on Shopify in just one year — listen to this episode of the podcast to learn more!
Right now, too, Shopify is offering an extended 90-day free trial, plus free email until October 1st, small business funding, free live workshops, and so many more goodies. I love businesses that are willing to work with the climate and with their customers, no matter where they’re at. And Shopify does just that, which is why I’m so proud to partner with them and use them for my shop!
This post is written in partnership with Shopify. We have loved using their platform for my shop for years and hope you find so much success adding revenue streams to your business with them, too!