So you’ve decided to start an online business with digital products. Great! What’s next?
For a lot of newbies to the digital products business, the answer is, unfortunately, nothing.
In many cases it’s not for lack of trying. But there are 4 big mistkes that can keep you from achieving success with your business.
Here are those mistakes, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Continually Refining Your Digital Product Idea In Your Mind
Many people who decide to start a digital products business do so because they have an idea for a product they want to create. They’ve got a great idea for an ebook or an oline course, and they want to put it on the market.
These people are very excited at the beginning, when their idea is fresh. But, after a few days of thinking about it the idea no longer seems valid.
Because these people have continually picked apart their idea in their mind. They’ve thought it over many times, each time trying to refine their idea and make it better, until there’s nothing left of their original idea.
In the end, they abandon their idea altogether. They tell themselves it wasn’t a good idea when really, it might have been. Now they’ll never know.
How To Avoid This Mistake
When you get an idea for a new ebook, course, or other digital product, don’t think it over for too long. Realize that your idea is just the beginning, and that it will change and grow once you get started.
The product you end up creating may be completely different from your original idea. That’s perfectly ok. Your idea is just your starting point. It’s the spark that gives you momentum to continue moving forward. That’s its job.
Sometimes you can move forward with an idea, and find that another idea presents itself as being more marketable or lucrative. This is great too! Without the original idea, you would not have found the better one.
There are many companies today that are well known for products which were not what they originally sold. Ever heard of Wrigley’s gum? I remember seeing their ads on tv as a kid. Double your pleasure with double mint gum!
William Wrigley Jr. didn’t start out selling gum. He started with soap and baking powder. Imagine chewing that! Haha! Getting from soap and baking powder to chewing gum is quite a stretch. So, how did that happen?
Mr. Wrigley used the gum as a free bonus. Whenever someone bought his products, they got a free pack of gum.
Mr. Wrigley’s customers ended up liking the gum better than the soap and baking powder, so he switched to selling the gum instead, and his empire was born.
If Mr. Wrigley had thought about his soap and baking powder, and tried to refine them constantly in his mind, he probably would never have started his company at all.
Think about it. Soap and baking powder. What do they have in common? Nothing! They are two very different products, marketed in completely different ways to two different markets. That’s a sure recipe for failure for a startup if I’ve ever heard one!
It’s better to create one digital product and get the sales coming in, and then build on that with related products. Only when your market is well known to you should you try to branch out into completely different product lines.
You can see more companies that started with one product and switched to another here.
The point is, if you continually refine your idea in your head, as opposed to just moving forward with it, you’ll eventually whittle it down to nothing. It’s better to start, and if it’s a bad idea that’s ok. As you progress you’ll figure that out. You’ll learn what doesn’t work and why. And you’ll either know how to make it better from that experience, or you’ll know what to try instead. You can’t figure that out from guesswork in your head.
Mistake #2 – Allowing Too Many Ideas To Circle In Your Head Without Taking Action
Often an idea won’t present itself alone. You’ll get an idea, and then in rapid fire succession you’ll suddently get several more. Pretty soon you’ve got ideas for several digital products going around and around in your brain. And you have no idea what to do or where to start.
So you end up doing nothing.
It can happen to anyone. But, don’t let it confuse you!
Here’s how to solve this one:
First, be grateful! Ideas for digital products aren’t always so plentiful. In fact, there never seems to be one around when you need one!
Next, write down each of your ideas in as much detail as you can.
Now, go over that list. Which ideas seem the most viable to you? Are there some you would be able to execute faster than others? Do some appeal to you more than others? Your goal is to narrow down the list to just those ideas for digital products that you think will fly.
Once you’ve done that, your next step is to research your ideas. Come up with a list of questions to answer for each one – such as is there a market for it? Does anyone else sell a digital product that’s similar to it? What are people willing to pay for it?
After your research the winner should be obvious. If you have more than one, great! You get to choose!
The key point here is to make a decision. Don’t let too many ideas keep you from moving forward. You can only realistically pursue one at a time, so figure out the best one and get moving!
Mistake #3 – Starting To Create Your Digital Product Before You Know Your Market
One of the biggest fears new digital product creators have is that their product won’t sell. They worry nobody will like it or need it.
Yet, at the same time, they create their product because they believe their idea is good. So, they spend their time – and possibly their money – creating their product anyway. And they hope it will do well in the market place.
The problem is, when you do this you’re putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. And most of the time it doesn’t work. The digital product fails, and the person who created it decides they don’t have the right knowledge to put into it and make it work.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Here’s what you can do:
Before you ever create a product, you need to do some research. You need to find out whether anyone will buy the product, and who those people are. They are your market. If you can’t find anyone who would buy the product, there’s no point in creating it.
You also need to know what features and benefits the market desires in the product. Features are things like large print, and a user friendly interface. Benefits are the outcome the customer receives from using the product.
For example, I have an email platform I love called MailerLite. It has some really wonderful features, such as a clean, simple interface that’s easy to use, automated workflows, and beautiful emails and langing pages.
Those are all great, but the benefits are even more important. They include 24/7 support, great pricing – including a free plan, and most importantly, the ability to easily stay in touch with my prospects, clients and customers.
To say I’m crazy about this platform is an understatement, but that’s beside the point. The point is these guys have done their due diligence. They know their market, and they created a product for that market. Since I’m part of that market, I love their product. And that’s what you have to do too!
Create a product the market wants and it will be successful. It beats guesswork every time!
Mistake #4 – Wanting Your Digital Products To Be Perfect Before You Roll Them Out
Here, people actually begin creating their digital products and sometimes they even finish them. But they continually second guess themselves.
Their product is never truly finished because they constantly tweak it, trying to fine tune it to perfection.
For this group, the product is never good enough. It always needs something more – more material, better graphics, better sound, or maybe the font could be larger and easier to read.
It’s always something.
This deadly pitfal can cost you both time and money. You need to get your digital products out there.
Here’s how you do it:
First, you need to understand that nobody’s product is ever perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect product – no matter what kind of product it is.
For proof of this you need look no further than the tv and movie industry. Mistakes are made all the time. You’ve probably seen tv or movie bloopers. Those are the mistakes that were found, cut from the film, and saved for the fans.
But, there are a multitude of other tv and movie mistakes that were never caught – until the work was finished! Check out the link I just gave you. There’s too many to read, but just look at how many there are!
And these people are supposed to be pros! They even hire people to catch mistakes. And they still don’t get them all. Not by a long shot!
Also, consider the book industry. Have you ever read a book that had typos in it? Or spelling or grammar errors? I sure have! In fact, I recently read a book written by a famous personality that had quite a few mistakes in it. And that book was published through a major publishing house, so they would have hired an editor or used one in house!
Nobody’s product will ever be perfect. Not even yours. But you know what? That’s ok!
Your digital product doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to meet the needs of your market. They don’t care about perfection. They want something that will solve their problem – today!
What you want to create is what’s called a minimum viable product (MVP for short). An MVP is a product that’s not great, but it’s good enough to solve the problem. Think of it as a prototype or beta version.
Once you’ve got the MVP on the market, you can collect feedback from those who buy it. Then you can use that feedback to make the product better the next time around. It still won’t be perfect, but it will be good enough. And that’s really all you need.
Most digital products, no matter how good, will be updated at some point. And that’s when you can refine it a little futher.
So don’t worry about perfection. Your market doesn’t care as long as the product meets their needs or helps them accomplish a goal.
Did you see yourself in any of these 4 scenarios? How did you solve the problem? Was this blog post helpful for you? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
With you every step of the way,