Bite-sized lessons in building an online business that feels good.
The Digital Product Kickstart Kit: Your guide to creating and launching a digital product that sells.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
You can't expect it to always be quick and simple. It's not going to happen overnight.
If it happened overnight, if it were that simple, everyone would have businesses.
Today, I'm talking about if I was starting my business from scratch all over again with no existing business, no product, no audience, absolutely nothing. Where would I begin? What would I do? So for the sake of this blog, let's pretend that I am starting over in a completely brand-new niche.
Nobody knows who I am or what I do. I haven't got a single follower or subscriber and I have never created any content or products around this topic. I'm not known as an expert. I'm not known as an authority. Nobody has any idea who I am.
This might be something that I'm good at. It might be a hobby that I'm interested in. So for an example that I'm going to use in this blog, it's a random hobby or an interest of mine and that is ultra-light hiking.
Now, ultra-light hiking is when you are doing multi-day hikes with a very light backpack. So in my case, when I did my five-day one last year, I think my backpack without food and water was like six or seven kilograms and it will be similar to the 14-day hike that I'm doing later this year.
So that would be my first place to start. Pick some kind of topic that you are interested in or an area that you are interested in.
I would go and find some related communities. Where are other people who are interested in this topic? Hanging out online? It might be Facebook groups but in the ultra-light hiking case, it's Reddit. Twitter is another place and I've mentioned these three because these are where people tend to have discussions.
I would hang out in these communities. I would spend a good amount of time in these communities and I would add some value by answering people's questions. I would be a nice human. I would get to know the people there. I would get to understand what they're challenged by and what they're struggling with.
I would listen to them about what specific problems people in these communities have. What are they complaining about? What questions are they asking over and over and over again? And from that, from listening to those things, I would find ideas for what I can solve for them.
So the best products are ones that solve a problem or deliver a transformation. So, if I can understand what kind of problems somebody has that need solving, that means I can start to build a product ecosystem or an ecosystem with products and services or just services, depending on what kind of business I wanted to build.
So when I know what I can solve for them, that gives me some ideas around the free content I can create as well as the price, the paid products that it can start to create. For example, a free blog post I could write would be five ways to lighten your backpack by a kilogram, for example, and then maybe a paid product would be a spreadsheet template to help somebody pack and plan for their multi-day hike.
This would probably be a survey. I would maybe survey the people in the community, or I would ask a couple of people if I could talk to them and I would ask some specific questions, maybe set up some zoom calls with them, and just dive a little bit deeper into what they are struggling with because there's only so much you can get from a survey.
There's only so much you can understand from what other people have posted in the communities. So you can ask people follow-up questions when you have them, you can communicate with them better.
This sounds so completely different from what we've kind of been taught over the last few years with marketing, which was on every single platform. Well, you know what? I would probably keep it simple. If I was starting from scratch, I would pick one platform where I can share longer-form media content, a podcast, a YouTube blog, or whatever suits my strength.
So rather than spamming everybody with links to my podcast or my YouTube or my blog, I would answer somebody's question with a link to the relevant content that answers it.
Because remember we are creating content, answering their questions, and solving their problems. So then it becomes a natural call to action. Hey, listen to this podcast episode, I answered your question there.
If you're not familiar with what a lead magnet is, it's a freebie that somebody needs to give you their email address and it's usually going to be something super juicy.
As I mentioned before, a spreadsheet template to help people pack and plan for the multi-day hikes, maybe instead of selling that I would offer that as a lead magnet because I thought of an even better product that I could sell.
Usually, your email list is going to be your most valuable asset in marketing your business and if I were starting from scratch, I would not be focusing on fall on growing my Instagram following. I would be focusing on growing my email list if I wanted to be on social media as a way to interact with my audience.
Once I started building that email list, I would then start emailing that list weekly and I would get in the habit of doing this consistently, even if I'm only emailing 10 subscribers at the start. I'd probably send them to my podcast or my blog or the YouTube video from that week.
I've started creating this content on my main content platform. I've created this super juicy free lead magnet. Now I need to get these things in front of other people.
And I'm not relying on the whims of the Instagram algorithm to show me to people. I'm not sitting back and being like, oh one day I'll post something that's good enough for the Instagram algorithm to show to other people. No, we're going to be proactive about this.
So I would look at what other podcasts are they listening to. What blogs are they reading? What media sites are they on? What online courses or memberships are they in? Can I collaborate with somebody who owns this audience to get in front of them? Can I offer to teach a class to their membership?
See how all of these things are getting you in front of somebody else's audience and it's proactive. Yes. It's a little bit more work than posting something and hoping that Instagram shows it to people, but you're also going to get better results from it.
Now if you have a budget for paid ads, great. Maybe I would start running ads just to start building my list but if you don't have that budget to pay for ads, that's fine. But where you're going to see those results is consistently pitching those podcasts, those guest posts, those masterclasses that you're teaching to other people's audiences, etcetera.
Most people think that social media is what is going to get you in front of the right people, but it's really not. Because sometimes you can get in front of those people and you can start to grow your audience from scratch. Those things will help you a lot more.
I would keep sharing content, growing my list, and getting in front of the right people consistently for a while until I see the momentum. You do have to be consistent and it's really tempting to give up, but when you start to feel that momentum, it feels good.
I would start launching that before I've built it. I would spend 60 to 90 days talking about the things that they need to know to be ready to buy. I would use my podcast or my blog or my YouTube channel to share that kind of content, that longer form content that is going to get them to where they need to be, to be ready to buy.
I would definitely launch it before I make it. And then if they buy it, I would create it. If they don't buy it, I would spend some more time doing some more research. I would conduct a non-buyer survey to find out why people didn't buy.
You can't expect it to always be quick and simple. It's not going to happen overnight. If it happened overnight, if it were that simple, everyone would have businesses.
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I help online entrepreneurs (like you!) to build a profitable online business that keeps growing even when they're offline.