How to Sell Digital Products (Plus 7 Ways to Get You Started) – Episode 93

how-to-sell-digital-products

Have you ever thought of adding digital products to your business? If you offer services or products, you’re running a blog or an online business, you can definitely add a digital offer to your mix. I am so excited to bring in Gemma Bonham-Carter to talk about the endless possibilities of selling digital products in your business. She’s going to run us through what digital products are, its advantages, the types you can include in your business, and so much more.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Gemma Bonham-Carter Website

Gemma Bonham-Carter Instagram

Free Class on Marketing and Selling Digital Offers

Profit Pillars

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Women in Business Retreat 2020

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Consulting Instagram

Prefer to read How to Sell Digital Products (Plus 7 Ways to Get You Started)? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 93.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both, by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well, hey there and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host Ange, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I’m a Business Consultant and Coach who has helped hundreds of amazing women business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent five-figure months and then on to six-figure years without burning out in the process.

Have you ever thought about adding one or maybe a different digital product to your business? Or even wonder what the hell is a digital product and what is Ange talking about? Or how does this apply to my business? Here’s the thing; whether or not you sell services, you’re an e-commerce business, you’re running a blog or just getting started in the online business, you can add a digital offer to the mix.

It’s amazing. It helps you grow. It keeps you on your toes. And that’s why I’ve brought on the amazing Gemma, to chat with you today about the endless possibilities on how to sell digital products in your business and will get you really thinking about all the possibilities that you might be missing out on.

In today’s episode, Gemma and I are going to chat with you about what is a digital product? What are the advantages of creating digital products for your business? Gemma is also going to share with us a variety of different types of digital products that you could explore in your own business, and so much more. So get ready for another awesome episode where we’re going to be chatting about all things digital products.

But before we hop straight into this amazing episode, I’d like to remind you that if you enjoy this episode, I’d love for you to share your key takeaway, a fun fact, or anything in between on your Instagram stories and tag me @angelahendersonconsulting because that would put a smile on my dial. 

Also, this episode is sponsored by my 12-month group coaching program, Profit Pillars, which helps women in business create consistent five-plus months. Not only does it help you to create those 5K plus months, but it also decreases your overwhelm, increases your clarity, gets you taking the actions that are necessary; those ROI actions that are needed in order to grow your business while giving you the support and community you need to grow that sustainable and profitable business.

In addition, my program also has a complete Profit Pillars training system, monthly live strategy sessions, monthly hot seat calls, monthly guest experts, 24/7 access to our amazing Facebook community, and so much more.

To learn about my 12-month group coaching program, you can head to angelahenderson.com.au and simply click on, ‘I Want Help Creating 5K Plus Months.’ Now let’s hop on to today’s amazing episode with awesome Gemma, all the way from Canada.

Welcome to the show, Gemma.

GEMMA:

I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

ANGELA:

I’m equally excited for you to be here because what people don’t realize is this has been five months in the making. And so, we were giggling in emails back and forth to each other because we had Christmas, we’ve got kids to take care of, we had New Year’s; both of us were travelling to different things. And I think at one stage, you were like, “If we actually get to this recording, we’re going to be sipping champagne because we will have made it.”

GEMMA:

And you’re forgetting the big part, which is like the time zone difference.

ANGELA:

Yes. 100%.

GEMMA:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

Because at time of recording, it’s 7:41 a.m. Monday morning here, but it’s Sunday back home in Canada for you guys.

GEMMA:

It is. It’s Sunday afternoon. We’ve just wrapped up a day of skiing and my kids are totally plugged into a movie while I’m up here taking a little work break.

ANGELA:

But this is the thing though is when you want something bad enough; it will eventually make it work. And what I say to people, to my clients is it might be a NO now, but it’s not a NO forever.

GEMMA:

Totally.

ANGELA:

And so, again, we’re like, “Okay, it’s a NO for November, December, Jan, etc.” But we knew and we were okay with that because we knew. And so, I’m recording you on my podcast today, and then after this, I’ll record with you. But again, for those people that are out there listening, just because it’s a NO now doesn’t mean it’s NO forever, and if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

GEMMA:

Absolutely.

ANGELA:

So welcome to the show, Gemma. It is a thrill to be here. And what I like to do with every episode guest when we first start off is I like to ask them a fun question because I think it feels good that they get to know a little bit about you before we dive into all things digital products today.

GEMMA:

Uh-oh. I’m nervous.

ANGELA:

Oh, dun-dun-dun. So my question; it’s going to be super easy. You’re Canadian, I’m Canadian, we love Canada. But we will have obviously seen different parts of Canada. So my question to you is of all the places to go back home in Canada, where is your all-time favourite?

GEMMA:

Oh, that is a hard question. Okay. So, I live in Ottawa myself, and I love where I live, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, and it’s an amazing place to raise a family; so props to Ottawa. But I will say that if somebody is coming to Canada for the first time and you want to visit somewhere that’s insanely magical, you need to go to Vancouver Island and just travel around Vancouver Island, hit up all the little towns and marvel at the insane beauty of that part of our country.

ANGELA:

And now, tell people a little bit more; so they fly into, say Vancouver?

GEMMA:

They have to fly into Vancouver, and then, either you can rent a car and hop on a ferry across, or you can hop on a little floatplane, and it takes like 20 minutes, and you get over to Victoria. So Victoria is a beautiful city; you spend some time in Victoria, but then, what you need to do is you need to rent a car, and you need to just go on a little road trip around the island and spend nights here and there, and I don’t know; Airbnb’s or camping or whatever floats your boat. 

And you could do whale watching, you can do the most amazing hiking, you can just hang by the beach; check out the mountains; like it’s really such a beautiful spot. And I will say, at time of recording, it is also where Harry and Meghan Markle are currently at.

ANGELA:

So you can do a little Royalty; is that the word I’m looking for; watching, equally?

GEMMA:

Yeah. Exactly. Go on royal watch and see if you can spot them. 

ANGELA:

And I am. I’m super excited. Actually, I’ve never; I mean, I’m from Alberta, initially, which is on the West Coast, but I’ve never been to Vancouver Island. And I’m heading there to speak at Canada’s Leading Social Media Conference in May. 

GEMMA:

Amazing.

ANGELA:

So I’m heading back to that part of the world. So, yes, I’m super excited. My best friend is flying in from Edmonton; so it’s like a girls’ weekend slash business trip. So I’m super excited because I heard it’s absolutely magical, but I’ve been more East Coast than I’ve been West Coast.

GEMMA:

Right. I mean, I have like mad respect for all parts of Canada because I think it’s one of the beautiful things for this country is the diversity, but I think you will have an amazing time on the West Coast.

ANGELA:

Yes. Well, thank you so much. So that is your go-to spot for back home in Canada.

GEMMA:

That’s right

ANGELA:

And in regards to business, now, you’ve been in the online space for a while now. You started out as a lifestyle blogger back in 2020. So can you tell us a little bit about your business journey; where you started and where you are now?

GEMMA:

Totally. That was actually 2010.

ANGELA:

Oh, 2010. Sorry. What did I say?

GEMMA:

Yeah, it’s been ten years. You said 2020.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness. Sorry. 

GEMMA:

No, that’s alright. Like, the people who are listening are like, “Ah, that was like two weeks ago.” 

ANGELA:

No, 2010. Sorry.

GEMMA:

Yeah, yeah. So I started a blog way back then. It seems like; I don’t know; a million years ago now. I feel like a bit of a dinosaur in terms of like blog age because I was like one of the earlier blogs out there. But I didn’t do it as a business; this is a pure hobby for me. I was blogging about home decor, and our little fixer-upper house that we had, and DIY projects, and stuff like that, basically for family and friends.

And long story short, over the course of a handful of years, I realized the business opportunity that blogging provided, I started to monetize it, I grew my audience, I really turned it into a really legit side hustle. Like, this was making me like really quite good money, and eventually, even more than that, and I was able to really; once I started having kids, I was really able like to not go back to my 9:00 to 5:00 at that point.

And I have lots of people asking me like, “How did you make that happen? How have you made this like lifestyle possible so you can be a stay-at-home-mom but who’s still making him really great money?” So I started; first, I was going to like start an e-book, but then, I realized I had a lot to say, and the e-book was going to be way too long.

So I started my first course. And I could tell you about like the ebbs and flows and journeys of like to where I am today, but it’s not like I started when I launched my first course ever, and within 30 days had some six-figure business. Like, I think a lot of times, when we see those ads on Facebook; it seems like so much easier than it actually is in real life.

But anyway, I got started with all my courses, eventually shifted into a second course where I helped other bloggers. The first course was around helping bloggers monetize their blogs; second course was about helping bloggers launch online shops, which is what I had done with my blog. 

And then, eventually, I started having people, like a lot of my audience asking me for advice on digital products. And so, I made the shift to talking about how to grow your business selling digital offers like online courses, like memberships; that kind of thing. And so, actually, in 2019, I sort of retired those earlier courses of mine and just went full force with talking about digital products. 

And so, that’s what’s led me to where I am today and I have an incredible community of like students and people who are just crushing it with their offers. And so, yeah, that takes me to 2020.

ANGELA:

To 2020. And listen, so digital products, like you said, it’s not something that’s new. You’ve been utilizing this space for a very long time. But a lot of the listeners in this particular; who are listening to Business and Life Conversations Podcast might be like, “I think I know what a digital product is. No, maybe not.” 

So I always like to start when we start these types of conversations when we’re going to be really diving deep into it is can you just start off with the definition of about what is a digital product so that others out there can understand it a bit more?

GEMMA:

Absolutely. So at the most basic level, a digital product is a product that’s being offered digitally to your consumers. So rather than them purchasing an actual physical product, for example, something we would order off Amazon that gets delivered to our door; there is no physical product with a digital offer. It is something that’s delivered via the internet. So whether it’s video; in a video format, an audio format, it’s a PDF, it’s a combination of those things; that basically is a digital product.

And so, you can see, it can take a huge variety of formats. So you might have had this like preconceived notion that it’s just an e-book, or it’s just an online course, but it could be something like crochet patterns, or a how-to watercolour paint tutorials, or anything; like, really the sky is the limit in terms of what you can offer digitally.

ANGELA:

And for you, obviously, with your own business, but now with the businesses that you’re also supporting in this space to be able to scale their business, can you talk a little bit about what are the advantages that you’ve seen businesses come from and have by creating these digital products?

GEMMA:

Yeah. There’s so many. So the first off is I think probably the one that comes to mind for most people, which is that you create this item once, and then you can sell it again and again and again. And so, especially if you’re coming from the world of physical products where you have to have inventory, and your cost of goods’ sold is always quite high, or not necessarily high, but it’s always there, right?

ANGELA:

Right. Yes.

GEMMA:

With a digital offer, yes, you’re putting in time and you’re probably putting in some finances to create it the first time around, but then, every time you sell it, from then on out, that’s pure profit unless you’re spending money in ads and that kind of stuff. But the profit margins can just be so huge with digital offers.

So those are; I mean, I think that’s like the top advantage, but also, as you can imagine, the scalability that is available to you as a digital product-based business owner is really incredible because it doesn’t take; if you sell one course or a hundred courses in 24 hours, there’s no extra time needed from you, right? Or extra resources needed from you. 

The only thing is as, like as I’ve learned as I’ve grown my own business and scaled it, I require some more time in terms of customer support, right? But I still only have a team member doing an hour a day in my customer support email inbox. So it does not have to be crazy, right? If you set things up in a really great way that really supports your customer through their purchase journey, then there doesn’t have to be a lot of support from your end of things for each and every sale. So the scalability factor is really amazing.

And then, lastly, is that like this can; I’m sure your listeners have a whole variety of like business types that they’re coming from, and you can really add a digital offer to just about any business type out there, whether you’re a coach, or whether you’re a service-based business owner, or you’re a physical product-based business; whatever it might be, there’s probably some creative way that you can add a digital offer into your monetization plan, which can really like have a great effect on your bottom line. 

So there’s kind of no; I don’t know; there’s not really many downsides to digital offers other than the work involved, and the time involved in getting them set up, creating something really amazing, and then marketing it.

ANGELA:

And I think that’s the thing is like once you go in on it, it’s like, yes, like you said, the time, right? At the beginning, you got to design something, come up with something, and set up the text out of it. But it’s like, once it’s done and tested, I mean it’s not like you just completely forget about it, but it’s just like, hello, it’s there, it can help.

And the thing is I think people forget is that sometimes imposter syndrome comes in, sometimes people start to self-doubt themselves, whatever, is that any business owner is here to make a much bigger impact, right? And so, the more, like I know for me is I want to be able to, by 2025, help another few thousand women be able to have the tools, resources they need to grow a sustainable and profitable business.

But if I limit that just to one-to-one support, the problem there that I have is that I’m not going to be able to reach that bigger impact and help those women get as much tools and resources they need. So by creating a digital product, I’m able to still give them the help that they need while still being able to scale. What are your thoughts about that?

GEMMA:

Absolutely. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And so, those are the things that again, I just find. And this e-commerce business I know when I had my first business, Finlee and Me, e-comm, everything; we would still do a 30-day challenge; it’s 30 Days, 30 Ways To Connect With Your Child, 30 days 30 ways to do this. And off the back in one of those, someone said just like, “I don’t want to keep going back to all of your emails. Could you just like collate this and then turn it into just an e-book?” Right? That we sold for $9.95. So even though it was a digital product, we still had it mixed in with all of our other e-comm products.

So I think again if you can get creative, there’s multiple ways this can benefit in e-comm business just as much as it can on service-based business.

GEMMA:

100%. I mean, if you had some sort of e-commerce business selling craft supplies or something like that, right? You could have digital products in the mix that are; I don’t know; learn to watercolour for five to ten-year-olds or something like that, right? A little mini-course or a little package of downloadable instructions or something like that. There are all kinds of creative ways that you can add this into the mix and you don’t necessarily have to start a whole second business…

ANGELA:

Exactly right.

GEMMA:

To do this. 

ANGELA:

And another advantage is that your overhead costs are quite minimal. If you already have the business structure set up in place, and you’ve already got a website, and you’ve already got the tools, it’s just a matter of adding to site, adding to cart, purchase here, and creating that automation with it. So isn’t that much more work than what I think sometimes people think it is.

GEMMA:

100%. And like, yeah, like you said, the financial means that are required to set up this kind of business; like this is one of my favourite things, too, is like, anybody can do this, and you don’t need; you certainly don’t need investors, and you don’t need some big pot of money to get started.

I started my blog with; I don’t know: I think the domain name cost me 20 bucks or something like that and some hosting, and like that was it. And I was the type to like bootstrap things; I never had kind of the fancy software or anything like that until I started having sales. And then, I re-invest it in my business and upgraded all of the software I use. But it’s kind of this common misconception that you need the fancy software in order to build a business like this, and it’s not the software that’s going to sell your product, right? It’s having an amazing offer.

ANGELA:

I couldn’t agree more. So many people get so, “I just have to Google this.” Or even starting a podcast, right? “I just don’t know what mic to use. I don’t know if I need lighting. Does this going to sound good?” On the side, no, you’re procrastinating. Choose a mic; like I’m still on this mic from like; the only mic I’ve had. My coach gave me a mic, and then I never set it up. So I’m still using this like mic that cost me $249, and I’m just like, “Go because you’re here to make a bigger impact whether or not you think that or not at the moment.” I’m just like, “Don’t get so stuck in procrastinating.”

GEMMA:

100%. I know podcasters who still use like the Apple; they’re like the ear buds with the microphone attached.

ANGELA:

Yes.

GEMMA:

And they sound amazing. So like that; if they can do it, you can do it. 

ANGELA:

100%. And so, for those businesses out there that are like, “Okay. You guys are slowly convincing me a little bit here that maybe my business has a scope to be able to add a digital product.” Can you share with us a little bit more about maybe five to seven different types of digital products that businesses could be exploring within their business? I know you mentioned like an online course, online membership; what other suggestions do you have there for those listeners out there.

GEMMA:

Yeah. You can get really creative with this. So I guess the best thing is to think about what’s the best vehicle in which you can solve your customer’s pain point and serve up this; whatever the solution is that you’re trying to provide to them and come at it from that angle, as opposed to first thinking about like the vehicle in which it can be delivered. 

But I would say, online courses, memberships, which is where it’s a more ongoing relationship with your student and there’s more ongoing content creation that’s required for membership. You can have an e-book, you can have any kind of digital download that is, it might be like what we talked about a crochet pattern. Or kids; I don’t even know; like colouring pages, or yeah, like learn to paint type things; like if you’re in that kind of niche.

It could be checklist, or templates, or swipe copy, or some kind of tool or spreadsheet that you use in your business that you know your audience could really benefit from. Like anything that’s going to save them time or frustration; really, anything that can be delivered digitally. 

This could be audio, like if you are in; especially if you are in something like; if you talk about health and wellness, and maybe you talked about meditating. If you could sell audio files of meditations, like, what a great way to monetize your business that way. There’s so many different formats and you can get creative with which ones you deliver your content in, but also, mixing and matching and putting things together so that they become this incredible package.

ANGELA:

Exactly right. And that’s the thing is once you start building one or two digital products, the packaging part of it is great because people are like, “Damn. If she can do me this in one and I could get the other,” but I could this bundle pack, you’ve not only given and helped your client, but you’ve just increased your profit margin.

Well, it’s simplifying your life because everything is digital, so it’s not like you’ve got to then go and wrap; in the e-comm, you got to pick it, you got to print the order, you got to take a box in the back, and then say the order’s been shipped, etc. etc. Like, it’s literally everything will be done. And I know I hate that saying, but it is true is you typically could be making money while you sleep in some of these things because of the fact is it’s like it can all be delivered through online.

GEMMA:

Yeah. I mean, and when that happens is I find; so I run a membership called The Passive Project and it’s full of people who are growing and scaling their digital project-based businesses. And the first time that that happens when they have gone to bed, and then they woke up in the morning, and checked in on their business, and they made a sale in their sleep, that’s like such a turning point for so many people, right? Because it’s suddenly like, “Oh my gosh. This can actually happen for me. This isn’t just for the like unicorns I see on Facebook ads.”

ANGELA:

Totally.

GEMMA:

“This is the real thing.” And it can really; like it can happen in any niche for any business owner as long as you have the system set up in the right way, that it is absolutely possible for you.

ANGELA:

And like you said, the options are genuinely endless. You can be doing sewing patterns, knitting patterns, nutritional plan, meal-prep plans, workout plans. Like, if you were into an accounting, for example, or you’re wanting to work with businesses to scale their business by knowing their numbers, it could be easily a workflow that you put in place where they can just plug in their revenue numbers, and their assets and whatever numbers pop out, and this is how you can increase your profit margin. Like the options are genuinely endless in regards to what you could be doing with the digital product.

GEMMA:

100%. And I truly don’t, I’ve never heard of a niche where a digital offer was impossible, right? You just need to get creative about it sometimes.

ANGELA:

And so, for businesses out there that are like, “Okay. Great. I’ve got an idea. This could work. You guys are convincing me even more so now.” How do businesses start to craft that offer?

GEMMA:

So I have something that I like to call The Bucket System, and it just helps us to think about our digital offer with a kind of like a high, like a big picture vision. And so, one thing that I see a lot of people struggle with is they go and they create some kind of digital product, they put it out to market, and it doesn’t sell very well, and they’re not sure why. And often, it’s because their offer just isn’t irresistible enough.

So how do we get an irresistible offer? One of the things that I like to talk about is using the bucket system. And what the bucket system does is it basically breaks down what you can have in your digital product into five buckets. And you want to have your offer include stuff from each bucket. So let me talk you through what those buckets are really quickly.

So the first one is your teaching bucket. And so, this is going to include video lessons, audio lessons; anything where you’re teaching. So anytime you take an online course, and there’s some sort of like something included in any of the lessons, that would be some sort of teaching asset. It could even be like interviews, right? Like, I have master class interviews in some of my offers; that’s a teaching asset. So that’s bucket number one.

ANGELA:

Yup.

GEMMA:

Bucket number two are your digital downloads. So this is going to be things like the PDFs, like the workbooks, the checklist, the roadmaps, the guides, the patterns; whatever it is that’s going to make sense for your offer, these are those digital downloads. And they tend to be things that you could make like in Canva, for example.

ANGELA:

Right. Yup.

GEMMA:

Canva is a free software that I love to use; totally recommend it to everybody so you can create digital products like that. So you’ve got your teaching bucket, you’ve got your digital bucket. The third one are your shortcuts, and this is the one that I actually love the most because I think this is often what can really tip the scales for people to purchase a digital offer is because the shortcuts are sexy.

And so, what do I mean by shortcuts? Shortcuts are things like swipe files or copy and paste templates, or a spreadsheet, or basically, anything that you can provide that is going to save your customer time.

ANGELA:

Yup.

GEMMA:

Frustration in the implementation of what you’re teaching them. So really think about, “How can I make this?” It’s great to provide them with knowledge, but how can I make it faster for them to get the solution that my digital offer is providing to them? And so, whatever that looks like for you, that would be a shortcut.

ANGELA:

Okay. Yup.

GEMMA:

So the fourth bucket is the interactive. So this means, yes, okay; so you might have a digital offer that doesn’t really have an interactive component, especially, I see a lot of like lower ticket digital offers that may not really have an interactive component. But if you’re selling anything more high ticket, if you can have whether this is a Slack community, it’s a private Facebook group, it’s group calls with you; any kind of interaction between you and your customers, that is the interactive bucket.

And so, I’m sure you guys can all think about when you’ve purchased online courses before, they’ve come with a private Facebook group, right? That’s what I’m referring to with bucket number four.

And then, bucket number five, I have no fancy term for this. I just called it other, but this is when it’s something like software or an app, or if you haven’t created the software or app, it would be like coupons to use it or some kind of like extended trial. And usually, so let me give you an example; when I sold a course called Launch Your Shop, I referred them to this drop ship manufacture, print-on-demand drop shipping manufacture that I use, and I recommend it.

So I reached out to that company and just said, “Listen, in this course that I’m going to be teaching, I’m going to be referring people to you and recommending that they use you and your program. Can you offer some kind of incentive that I can give my students?” And they offered a $50 credit for every single student of mine. 

ANGELA:

Perfect.

GEMMA:

So, like what an incredible bonus that I was able to add at no additional cost to myself to my digital offer. It was a win-win for everybody, right? Because they were getting more customers, I was getting this great add on to my offer. So if you haven’t created the software or the app that helps your customers achieve the solution, maybe you can get some sort of coupon code or whatever it looks like.

So those are the five buckets. So it’s teaching, digital, shortcuts, interactive and other, and if your digital product can have something from all five buckets or as many buckets as possible as it makes sense for your offer, that is going to really increase the chances of your conversion rate, and just the chances of people wanting to purchase this because I may be the type of person who I think, for me, personally speaking, like from just my own experience, any time that I see shortcuts, that’s a big incentive for me to buy. Like that for me, that’s the tipping point.

But for other people, it could be the teaching, or it could be the interactive; like they really want the interaction with the creator and they want those calls, right? So that’s going to be the tipping point for them, and you want your offer to kind of speak to you as many types of equal as possible. Does that make sense?

ANGELA:

100%. And I think again, each client is going to have different needs and wants, right? So the more that you can have there, the more you’re covering yourself while still staying true to that ideal client. You’re just trying to give them different ways on how they’re really learning and how they can process that information to get an end result. 

So I think these buckets are a fantastic analogy to be able for people to understand what they need to use and what components they need to use. And the more you have, the more likely you are going to have people not just taking a product and doing nothing, but they’re going to get something out of whatever it is you’re offering.

So it could be that they maybe never even download the product, right? I mean, that happens. But they love the community so much, that interactive bucket so much that they’re still going around praising everything that you do because you filled their cup in some ways. So yeah, so I really like that, that again, the more buckets that you have, the more likely you’re going to hit more people. So fantastic. 

And so, for those businesses out there that might be going, “Well, this is great. Ange and Gemma, you guys have communities, and you guys have done this, and you’ve done that; like you can sell to people. I don’t have a big email list and I don’t have this.” I guess what are your thoughts about that because as I do; I mean, I don’t disagree with those people that might be having that thought right now.

Because I know this saying goes, is that again, when we sell an online course, or I’ve got a 12-month group coaching program, that when I do a launch, we need to be considering those numbers. And so, for me is I know about 1%, maximum kind of 2% conversion because again, it’s a higher ticket price that people are paying, etc. So if I’ve got 3,000 people on my email list, I’m going to guess that maybe 30 people will convert.

So for those businesses out there that have a small list or maybe don’t have a list, or they’ve got a small community but they’re still selling, right? So maybe they got a Facebook group, or maybe their page is quite interactive, or they’ve got Instagram, right? What are your thoughts about how big of a community, or lack of community, or whatever that is; what do you think that they need in order for this to make sure that they get a jump start on what they wanted to do with the digital products?

GEMMA:

Yeah. Great question. So I guess the first thing I would say is we all start at zero.  

ANGELA:

Amen.

GEMMA:

So although Ange and I are sitting here now, and we have a solid enough email list where we can launch products and make sales, we both started from zero, too. And so, you just have to like be okay with that and just start putting one foot in front of the other, and just start somewhere, right? And just started growing it, because otherwise, nothing’s going to happen if you don’t take action. So that’s step number one.

Step number two, if you’ve built up at any kind of following or audience on a social media platform, I would say the first thing I would recommend doing is just trying to get them to convert to email list subscribers as quickly as possible. So whether that means creating some amazing lead magnet, or doing even like a pitch-free webinar, or training or something just to get people to actually give you their email addresses to sign up for that, that would be step number one because we know that digital products, although you can use social media to amplify your sales for sure, you are going to get the vast majority of your sales from your email list.

And when I chat with my students, like I always talk about the two most important numbers being the size of your email list, but with the caveat that they need to be engaged. So I don’t care if you have 20,000 people on your email list, if they’re not opening up your emails, there’s no point.

ANGELA:

Exactly right.

GEMMA:

I’d rather you have 200 people on your list who actually open your emails and care about them. So that’s number one. And then number two, to your point earlier is your conversion rate. So how many of those people who are on your email list are converting into actual buyers? Those are the really only two numbers we should be concerned about as digital product business owners. 

Your Instagram following, the size of your Facebook group, the traffic to your website, those are all fine numbers to know, and like, for sure, you can have a goal to grow them, but they ultimately don’t make as big of a difference as the other two numbers, right? Like, we want everything geared toward growing the email list for instance. So that would be just kind of the lens that I would want you to approach with like your launching of a digital offer with. 

So I would say, if you have no email list so far, number one is get any of the audience that you already have on social media, get them on your email list with something really juicy. Number two is okay; so people talk about using Facebook and Instagram ads to grow the email list. That’s fine and I use ads. I’m not anti-ads at all. 

However, if you don’t have a budget for that, there are so many other ways to grow your email list that don’t require Facebook and Instagram ads. One of my particular favourites is to get yourself in front of other people’s audiences. So that means getting on a podcast interview, offering people; like let’s say you teach, you’re in a parenting niche, right? And you teach something related to parenting. 

Go and look up the other parenting; free parenting Facebook groups out there and go get in touch with the people who own those Facebook groups and offer to come in and do a free 20-25 minute training inside of their Facebook group where at the end of it, you have a lead magnet, right? And you’re just going to encourage people if they want to learn more to sign up for your lead magnet, then they’ll get more information that way.

So this could be like doing an Instagram swap with somebody where like you can mention them, and they mention you. Like, there’s so many ways to get yourself in front of other people’s audiences, and that can be one of the fastest ways and free ways to grow your audience.

I love to do something that is; I call it a lead magnet swap. And so, that basically means; this is better if you have a bit of a list already, but it’s where I’ll go and I’ll pitch somebody. So for instance, I did this recently with somebody who teaches about Facebook ads. Now, I teach about digital offers, digital products. 

So we have a similar target audience, but we’re not teaching about the same thing. So it’s not as though we’re direct competitors; we just share an audience. So what she did is she sent out an email to her list that talked about me and my lead magnet and why they should go sign up for it, and I did the same to my list where I talked to them about her and her lead magnet and why they should go and sign up for hers.

So it’s a total win-win where we both get exposure and free list building. So get creative with using strategies like that to grow your email list. I bet if you spent four to six weeks just getting very focused on email list growth and using partnerships and collaborations, you would be able to see some really giant results.

And then, to Ange’s point earlier about numbers and conversion rates, I do always, no matter whether you sell a $27-dollar offer or a $2,000-offer, I still tend to always just bet on the 1 to 2% industry average conversion rate because that way, if it’s higher than that, that’s like gravy, right? That’s like the cherry on top, you know?

ANGELA:

Totally. And I also think, too, it’s like we all started having to do these organic strategies. We all didn’t have money to put towards Facebook ads. We didn’t, right? So it was like, teaming up with other businesses, like you said, that have the same ideal client audience, you’re not competitors; doing a giveaway together, doing an email swap together, doing an Instagram swap together, going on their Facebook live, do a Facebook live with them that you do a Facebook live on their page, right? Like again, adding value.

Also with Facebook groups; in my group, The Australian Business Collaborative, it’s a super-engaged group and I’ve had people say, like, “Listen, we’ll pay you to advertise in that group.” And so, that’s not what I’m saying about; don’t come to me and advertise, but what I’m saying because I don’t allow it to happen, but I’m saying is this; there are people out there that have these amazing mom communities. Again, I’ll go back to your example, Gemma, where they don’t even know that they potentially could just like whip together a little media kit, right, and start charging people $10-15 dollars a week and they could start making some money on the side.

So one of the strategies that we say is go into these groups, then reach out to the admin, and just say, “Listen, I don’t want to spam your group. I want to know what the rules are. Do you allow this?” If they say, “No,” go back and pitch them, “Can I pay you to be in front of this community?” 

GEMMA:

I love that.

ANGELA:

And so many of these Facebook group admins are like, “What do you mean? You’re going to give me money?” Then they’re like, “Okay.” And then, what I say to my crew is I’m like educate them, “Did you know that if you allowed X amount of people to advertise here, this is how much money you could bring into your family?” And a lot of them don’t have; they never looked at it like that. They just thought it was their group.

So again, but when you take that stand, I guess, and educate them that that is an option, not only then are you the one that’s helped them just to make more money that they never even thought of, but you’re also; like you’re an early adopter. So they are probably just going to let you get the cheap rates. Not all will, but a large part of people who I know are like, “You help me do this, I’ll scratch your back, you scratch my back,” right?

So never be afraid to go that one step forward and ask them. They still might come back and say, “No,” but if they say, “Yes,” and you can get in front of thousands of people for say, $10 or $15 a week, remember at some stage, you are going to have to pay for advertising, at some stage. 

GEMMA:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

So you’re better off paying $10 a week, or again, if you can afford $10 that’s fine. But I do believe that transformation occurs when a transaction takes place, regardless of how big or small that is. There’s something that happens when people get put their credit card to their business and invest in themselves. So don’t be afraid to double down either.

GEMMA:

Yeah. I love that. And just to your point, I get a lot of pitches myself, and here’s what a lot of people forget. They forget to come to the person you’re pitching with the win for them.

ANGELA:

Exactly right. 100%. 

GEMMA:

I don’t really; like not to be a total sort of b-i-t-c-h, but I don’t care what you want for yourself, right? If I don’t know you, and you’re just pitching me out of the blue, props to you for putting yourself out there. But like, I need to know what’s in it for me.

And so, if you start your pitch that way with like showing me that not only do you know my name and know what I’m all about, but you’re going to offer like value for my community, or it could be like offering a bonus that I might use in my program, or whatever that might be, you’re putting the win at the top for me, and then, instead of what I get a lot is like a big paragraph just about the person who’s pitching me.

ANGELA:

Totally.

GEMMA:

And I glance over those and it’s a quick delete. 

ANGELA:

Yeah. Exactly right. See you later. Smell you later, buddy.

GEMMA:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

No, I couldn’t agree more. So for those listeners out there, again, we hope that Gemma and I have got you thinking about digital products and how you can add digital products to your own business little by little, step by step. But equally, what we’ve talked about is the importance again of growing that email list, either organically or paid. Like, they go hand-in-hand; like it’s inevitable.

Even if you’re not doing a digital product, you still are going to need an email list to sell whatever else you’re selling, right? So it’s like the sooner you can do that, the better. So thank you so much for sharing all things digital products with us today, Gemma. Where can businesses learn more about you and find out more about you?

GEMMA:

Yeah. So my main website is gemmabonhamcarter.com. You can also find me on Instagram, that’s generally where I hang out on the daily. So it’s @gemma.bonhamcarter, you’ll see me there, you might see pictures of my kids, and I chat all things business over there. And then, the other thing that your folks might be interested in is I do have a free class if you’re interested in learning more about marketing and selling digital offers. So, Ange, I will send you the link to that.

ANGELA:

Yes. 100%.

GEMMA:

So that you can put it in the show notes.

ANGELA:

Yes.

GEMMA:

So you can find that in Ange’s show notes to sign up for that free class. It’s basically just like a free webinar that is packed with 60 minutes of so much learning, things like The Bucket System, things like my Hybrid Marketing Method, and so much more are all in that class.

ANGELA:

Fantastic. And I’m sure many of the listeners out there would be loving taking you up on that offer. So fantastic. And I do have one final question though is what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out in business back in 2010?

GEMMA:

Oh my gosh, that is a tough question. Gosh, what do I know now that I wish I’d known then? I mean, everything? I think actually what I wish I had known was that there are incredible mentors out there to help coach you through your growing and scaling your business and that I didn’t need to do it by myself and to DIY it for such a long time.

Like, I just taught myself all the things, and it meant that my progress; I feel like was slower than it could have been if I had just made the investment in myself in learning from people who were two to three steps ahead of me earlier. Like, I didn’t buy my first online course for years and years and years as a blogger, and I just wish I had started with that sooner.

Easier to look back; it’s easy to look back on and see it in retrospect now, but I just; I didn’t realize at the time how much more advantageous it was to invest in something like coaching or courses, as opposed to just the university of Google.

ANGELA:

Google. And then going to Google to YouTube and then back there, and then downloading a freebie. 

GEMMA:

Exactly.

ANGELA:

And then you’re like, “Well, shit. I’ve just spent eight hours and I’m still no closer on this.” So I think it is so important that when you choose to invest in yourself, it’s not just about the course, it’s not just about the people, but it’s the time you’re saving, it’s the knowledge you’re receiving, I mean, it’s so much more. We could talk about that for a whole another episode, my friend.

GEMMA:

And it’s not something that goes away. Like, that’s not just for somebody in the beginning stages of business. Like, I will never not invest in myself and my business anymore because I see the value in how much faster I’m able to push things along.

ANGELA:

100%. It’s like, well, that’s how we first met was in Caitlin’s mastermind.

GEMMA:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

It’s like, it worked out to a $20,000 dollar investment by the time I convert it to Aussie, right? Like, it is, but I wouldn’t have met you, I wouldn’t have met many of the other people I’ve had on this show, you know? I wouldn’t have been educated. 

Because it’s not just; I didn’t just learn from Caitlin, but I’ve learnt from all of you guys, too. And also, it’s these connections. Like, you’re on my podcast, I’m on your podcast. So the growth that comes from that investment, and like you said, it’s a long term investment. Things don’t go; you just don’t stop learning. You’re always learning and growing.

GEMMA:

Exactly.

ANGELA:

And before we sign off, please remember that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au and we’ll make sure they include all of Gemma’s links over there. 

And as I mentioned earlier, if you enjoyed this episode, I would love for you to share it especially over on Instagram and tagging me at @angelahendersonconsulting. Don’t forget to tag Gemma, too. Or you can share it wherever; I don’t really care. I just would love for you to share it.

And for the rest of you, I hope you have an awesome day no matter where you are in the world and I look forward to you joining me again next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Thanks again, Gemma, for everything.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, How to Sell Digital Products. www.angelahenderson.com.au

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Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.