Thanks to the continuous rise of social media and e-commerce platforms, selling digital products is more rampant today than ever before. Due to its growing popularity, many entrepreneurs develop these kinds of products to complement their physical items or to completely change their business offerings. However, understanding how to sell digital products is about a lot more than just uploading your files online and expecting customers to drop the cash.
You’ll also need to have the right strategies to be successful – especially knowing what kinds of products to sell and which platforms to be present on.
In addition to their social media, blogging, and other digital marketing efforts, this is an avenue brands should explore. To help you better understand how it works, here’s a guide on how to sell digital products.
Wait, What Are Digital Products, Exactly?
Digital products are any intangible assets, pieces of media, or digital software. These can be streamed, downloaded, or converted into physical media (once a copy is printed out by the customer), but they’re primarily accessed after a quick download. Also, digital products can be sold or distributed repeatedly, without a manufacturer and supplier or the need to replenish inventory.
These products include audio files, checklists, downloadable workbooks, ePublishing or eBooks, exclusive memberships, online courses, and videos. These can also be creative assets like fonts, graphics, printable patterns and templates, or software products like mobile and desktop apps or plug-ins.
Essentially, digital items are those that people and users can acquire or purchase online, from any device of their choosing, without the need for any physical installation or product.
Got it! Now, What Are the Benefits of Digital Products?
When considering what products to sell, you might be quick to choose physical items. Sure, products that you can hold and physically use have their own set of advantages, just like most things. There’s something about a tangible product that just feels more real and valuable.
However, in this day and age, opting to sell digital products also has a lot of benefits that make them attractive to venture into. Let’s look at them one by one.
They Have Low Overhead Costs
With digital products, there’s no need for you to hold any inventory, think about product shortage, and worry about storage space or warehouse costs. It also takes away small costs, like shipping charges, handling fees, and rent, which might add up to big expenses in the long run. Moreover, you don’t have to get warehouse insurance, which can get complicated and expensive as the business grows.
They Offer High Profit Margins
Since there’s no recurring cost of goods, you get to keep the majority of your sales in profits. And with all the costs and fees gone, most if not all of the earning goes to you. This means that selling digital products gives you great profit potential and allows you to automate your sales with little day-to-day work needed. Thus, it’s an excellent opportunity to make passive income — music to any brand owner’s ears.
It’s Immediate Revenue
This is huge. When you sell digital products, the revenue you make is nearly instant. And considering that it can take some time to make money through your social media and blogging efforts (which is okay!), having another stream of revenue that’s faster can be a real life-saver.
Digital Products Are Highly Scalable
When you get “orders,” you can fulfill them instantly as you’re completely hands-off with fulfillment and delivery. Apart from your web host and marketing services, which can be simple and cheap when you find the right platform, you won’t need any middleman such as manufacturers or product suppliers. This means you can manage and scale your business the way you want to, without the unnecessary layers.
Digitals products are an amazing opportunity to automate some of your revenue.
You Have Full Control
When you sell digital products, you’re better able to do things on your own terms. It’s up to you when you want to create and offer new content, or you can sell the same products over and over again.
Similarly, it offers low barriers to entry, low costs, and low risk. More importantly, it’s easier to provide customer service or offer self-service, so you can conveniently get feedback, test your idea, and implement changes if needed.
Essentially, digital products take away the common barriers both brands and customers encounter with physical wares. They easily adjust to market trends, involve fewer middlemen, offer you complete control of what you create, and provide you with good earning potential.
What Digital Products Can You Sell Online?
Now that you know what digital products are and how you can benefit from them, it’s time to look into what profitable items you can begin to sell today under your own brand.
These can be a value-packed and cost-effective option as they’re relatively easy to produce and distribute. You can easily self-publish these days – just create your content and upload it in eReader platforms like Kindle and Kobo. You can also offer them as PDFs.
If you’re highly knowledgeable in certain topics or have an existing reputation as an expert, you can sell your eBooks to those looking to learn new things. For example, let’s say your brand sells yoga apparel. You can sell an eBook that teaches beginners basic yoga poses they need to know. If you own a social media agency, you can teach people how to increase organic engagement or nurture their private Facebook community.
The possibilities are endless.
With eBooks, you won’t have to handle inventory or deal with shipping hard copies. You can set your own price and control your margins. Basically, you just have to start writing, proofreading, and uploading.
Bonus: The best eBooks include topics in crafts, DIY projects, fiction, fitness, finances, and healthy food recipes. You can also check out Amazon and Jungle Scout’s bestselling book categories to see what topics buyers are most interested in.
With people’s growing curiosity and interests — plus their desire for self-paced learning — online courses continue to soar. If you’re knowledgeable in business management, entrepreneurship, design tools, social media/digital marketing, healthy living, or another niche topic, this is the opportunity to make money from your very own expertise, talents, and skills. Share valuable content to those who want to learn new things.
Similar to eBooks, online courses don’t deal with any physical inventory. Thus, you can produce them at low costs and maintain high margins. However, keep in mind that to be successful, you need to be highly knowledgeable, skilled, or experienced in the field that you intend to teach.
“But people can teach themselves for free,” you argue. Yes, they can. But people buy courses because they pay for speed and convenience. They’re paying you so that they don’t have to do that research. You solve their problems for them.
That’s why online courses are so successful.
Every day, people are looking for software solutions that will help make things easier for them. Whether it’s about email marketing, project management, or file storage, as long as you know how to code, you’ll be able to develop desktop, mobile, or web-based applications.
If you’re a designer, you can create templates and patterns for people to follow. If you’re a fitness professional or a personal trainer, consider developing specialized workout programs. And if you’re a chef, explore making an app or website with home recipes and easy cooking tips.
With software solutions, you have a higher price ceiling and you can easily control the price of your product. You can even charge more, depending on how competitive your intended nice will be.
There’s a continuous demand for high-quality, premium photos for websites and blogs. So, if you have the skills to take beautiful photos, consider uploading and selling them on photography e-Commerce stores like Shutterstock, Shutterfly, or Visual Society.
Don’t forget that you can use videos to sell digital products, too. Video is a highly effective and engaging media that people are likely to use and pay for. Plus, with advanced technology, it’s easy to create and share videos even with your everyday gadgets. Whether they’re educational, entertaining, or promotional, videos offer great profitability when sold online.
Similarly, music, sound effects, and other audio files are in great demand today. They’re essential in communicating messages, telling stories, and transmitting information. If you’re skilled in audiobooks, music samples, or DJ software, you can license these digital assets and get paid for your creative work.
By licensing your art, you can charge individuals and businesses that use your photos, videos, or music, whether acquired through your website or from different platforms. If you intend to sell them, be sure to protect them or apply security measures, like watermarks for photos.
Tip: When deciding what kind of digital art to create and sell, research what your audience will want to use, so you can create products that are actually in demand and sellable.
Templates and Printables
Most often, professionals need to do tasks that are beyond their skills or take too much time to learn. That’s why selling templates that address your audience’s needs can be very profitable. Consider developing product mockups for entrepreneurs, resume templates for job hunters, or icons and fonts for web designers.
Another highly sellable option is to create digital files that you offer to customers who can produce the print format. Whether they’re art patterns, lesson plans, or workbooks, printables are items with low costs, high margins, and they’re fully controllable.
Understanding how to sell digital products doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, it provides you with a business opportunity that has minimal costs and risk, yet a high profit potential. Digital products also enable you to manage and scale your business in the way and direction you want to.
Be sure that you have a trusty device and a stable internet connection when you begin selling digital products. Likewise, make sure you do sufficient market and consumer research, choose the right product, utilize the right platforms, and strategically invest your time and resources so you can be successful in this business.
Most importantly, keep in mind that you’ll still want to use your social media presence for advertising and promotion to get the word out about your product. Once in place, you can transform your expertise, talents, and passion into a passive stream of revenue.
With all the options available, which digital product are you going for? What other digital items do you think can be sold online? Let us know in the comments below.