Shit is crazy right now, but your customers still want to hear from you and quarantine has lots of people bored out of their skulls. So don’t bury your head in the sand and disappear. Keep your name in front of your customers by giving them new products that they can actually get (and get instantly).
Launching digital products that complement your physical products is a great way to keep people buying during this economic free-for-all. Online courses, templates, PDFs, plug-ins, MP3s, ebooks – there are a million ways to fit digital products into your business. Even creating something simple and free is a great idea. People will remember the companies that helped and offered something of value during these crazy times.
Advantages of Digital Products
Here’s the big advantage: No inventory or shipping costs, meaning extremely high profit margins. You’ll need to invest some time/money up front to create your digital products, but after that your costs will be minimal.
Plus, there’s the potential to automate digital deliveries so you don’t have to lift a finger to fulfill orders. Leaving you plenty of time to take a five-year coronavirus nap.
Yes, there’s already a ton of content out there, most of it free. Competing with all that noise can be tough. So it’s important to deeply consider your target audience and what they want.
Best-Selling Digital Products
Always always always focus on your target audience. Tech nerds don’t want life coaching. They want real substance. Like tutorials on how to do fancy computer things or exclusive access to the newest tech gear. Get creative when considering how to align your offerings with your audience’s needs.
Ebooks and Ecourses
Blog posts and video tutorials are a dime a dozen, so you’ve got to really stand out if you’re offering educational content. When marketing something like that, think about the end result the customer is looking for. Then sell that result.
For example, if you’re selling an ebook about how to tie your shoes, don’t market the educational part. Focus on the fact that you’re not cool unless you know how to tie your shoes, and chicks definitely don’t get with guys wearing Velcro shoes. Play up the transformation that can be had once you unlock the secrets of tying your own shoes.
Need an example of how it’s done? Check out our ebook on Building an Ecommerce Empire. It’s probably the greatest piece of literature written in the last 100 years. Yeah, I wrote it, but I’m not biased or anything.
This option works best for sellers who already have a decent following. They like you, they want your stuff, so create exclusive content or products for your biggest fans. Then lock it up behind a paid subscription and get that sweet, sweet recurring revenue.
Mark Manson does a great job at this. His main products are his books, but he also offers a $4/month subscription that provides access to exclusive articles, video courses and all the poop jokes he has to offer. Four bucks isn’t much, so it’s easy for people to say yes to the sale. Mark has roughly half a million subscribers (making him rich af), but even if you only have 1,000 true fans, you’re looking at $4,000/month. Not bad.
Online Consultations and Personalized Services
You’re probably an expert on whatever you sell. See if there’s a way to share all those nuggets of knowledge as a consultant. This is a little more work since it’s tailored to each customer, but you can charge a premium for the same reason.
Personalized services are huge in the health and fitness industry. Ever heard of personal trainers? People love custom exercise programs and meal plans and promises that they won’t come out of this quarantine looking like a fat lard.
It also works for the fashion industry. It’s why Stitch Fix got so huge. They sell clothing subscription boxes that are customized for each customer based on their size, style, budget and more.
Digital Product Examples
Here are a few examples based on some of the more popular product categories:
Food & Beverage – custom meal plans, recipes that use Corona beer, coronavirus drinking/eating games (drink every time you touch your face or eat a whole package of Oreos whenever you hear the words “self-isolate”)
Clothing – outfit templates (quarantine styles, anyone?), a custom style guide, personalized style consultations
Health Supplements – ebook or ecourse on staying healthy during quarantine, customized supplement packages
Pet Products – online pet profiles (like Facebook for pets), virtual pet training course, guides on teaching dogs tricks
Sports & Fitness – online accountability group, coronavirus exercise game (do 10 push-ups every time you hear the words “test kit”)
Lawn & Garden – victory garden guide, master gardening ecourse, diy lawn games for families
Random Weird Niches – host digital get-togethers via Slack or Zoom (people are in dire need of social interaction and they love talking to folks who share their love of ultra-rare Beanie Babies)
It takes a special kind of person to build a business. You’ve overcome oceans of doubt and miles of obstacles. You slowly hacked your way up the mountain of success, often getting knocked down, sliding backwards, feeling like you’ll never get ahead. But you kept climbing.
This crazy coronavirus thing is just another step in your journey. You’ve prepared yourself through all your past struggles. You can surmount this obstacle too. Keep thinking creatively and never stop climbing.
About the Author
Gennifer is the Marketing Manager at ByteStand, where she lives and breathes customer service education while sipping coffee in her pajamas.
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