Selling my own online courses and my membership site has really helped me to grow my income and not have to rely solely on 1:1 client work.
Last month (September 2018), I made over $9,000 selling digital products.
Digital products can include online courses, a membership site or even an ebook.
I know that some of you want to find ways to scale your revenue or diversity your income streams.
Selling either an online course, e-books or a membership is something that you can actually automate and make a consistent income with each month.
I in this article, I want to give an honest review of my experience selling digital products as well as my personal business journey.
So let’s start with the TRUTH - selling online courses isn’t as easy as some people try to make it seem.
You do have to put in some up front work at first to create the product and even do an initial launch.
It’s not entirely passive income, there is some work needed on your part.
Many people launch an online course and then no one buys it.
Some people have course launches that totally fail.
I have been fortunate that most of the courses I have launched have sold.
The first course launch I did sold just $147 within one hour of sending an email to my list.
The second course I launch did a little over $2,000.
The third program I launched did five figures.
And now I’m able to generate $9,000 per month selling my own digital products.
Here’s how I got to the $9,000 per month:
Selling a membership site that has a library of courses and templates
Selling a signature course
It is these two things that has helped me generate this type of auto-pilot revenue.
And I totally LOVE it.
I really want to help other people sell online courses and membership sites.
So I am going to share with you some of the things that has helped me create recurring revenue streams in my business.
Advice #1 - Know Your Customer
In order to make money selling courses and digital product, you need to do market research.
This way you know what exactly it is that people want to buy.
This is where a lot of people who have failed launches mess up, they sell what people don’t want.
The way I was able to find out what people will buy is through looking at feedback and reviews inside of Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups can really help you do market research on what people think about products.
You can also find out what problems they are having and then design courses that help them.
People want to buy solutions and outcomes. If you can create a course that helps them in some way, they will buy from you.
I actually have a FREE guide that shows you what tools I use to create and sell digital products. You can download it here.
Advice #2: Build an Audience and a Tribe
I know you hear people talking about building up an audience of followers on social media.
That’s a great way to make your business more profitable.
But even deeper than that, you need to build a tribe.
What is a Tribe?
A tribe is a community of followers that follow a specific brand, personality or influencer.
One of the best ways to build a tribe of loyal followers is to start your own Facebook group that focuses on a topic related to your digital product.
I credit my Facebook group and my Facebook page , in really helping me sell my programs.
Your tribe can also be your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter followers or people on your email list.
Seth Godin who is a well respected marketer defines a tribe as having these traits:
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”
“A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
“Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.”
Its really important to build a tribe or a community of like minded people who are interested in the topic that you plan to teach about.
It also allows you to get feedback about what type of course they would be willing to buy from you.
If you can spend time doing this, it will be easier for you to sell your digital products.
Advice # 3 - Pre-Sell Your Course or Program
A big mistake I see people make when trying to sell their digital products is that they create a course without validating it first.
What a lot of smart course creators do is that they sell the idea of the course and then offer it through a live webinar.
If nobody buys the course, then they don’t have to worry that they spent a bunch of time creating a course for nothing.
If people do buy, then they can deliver the course after enough people purchase it.
This is one of the best ways to validate if your course idea will sell.
Advice # 4 - Decide What Digital Product is Best for Your Personality
Both membership sites and courses are different ways to sell a digital product.
With a course, you create it once and sell it. You can make periodic updates, but it’s pretty much done.
With a membership site, you deliver ongoing content or you can include group coaching sessions for members.
A membership site is a good option for people who might have a lot of course topic ideas, and want to have a central place to teach various inter-related topics.
If you don’t want to provide ongoing content and support, then an online course might be a better option for you.
Advice # 5 - Use the Right Tools
One of the benefits of selling your own digital products is that it can be completely automated.
After you create the course lectures you are pretty much done.
You can also automate the sales and onboarding of new students to your course.
Instead of trying to build your own course platform on your website you can save time and headache by using some automation tools.
I use a learning management system tool (LMS) that actually hosts my online courses and even my membership site called Teachable.
If you want to get a complete breakdown of the tools I use to create my online courses and digital products, I put together this quick guide that shows you how to create and sell digital products with automated tools.