How to Sell Digital Products Without a Large Following

By Yuri Burchenya read
20 Aug, 2014

You are locked in a basement with nothing but your tools of trade. Forget about bathroom, hunger and all other distractions that may come your way. You spend there enough time to produce the best product you are capable of creating. It may take a week, a month or a year. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is as perfect as perfect gets.

You get out of the basement and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. “Maybe I should sell this to others”, you think.

sell digital products

At this point there’s no one interested in seeing what you have created, except maybe your mom.

So here is your first lesson.

Before you ever start working on anything you think of selling, you have to be perfectly clear on who it is that you’re going to sell it to. Your audience. Make no mistake, the audience won’t just magically find you, even if you have the perfect product. You have to hustle and build your audience, one person at a time.

You need an audience

It’s important to get it right early on. Don’t think that you’re creating your product for everyone, this just means that you’re lazy and didn’t really think this through.

Instead, try to see who would benefit the most from the product you have in mind. Even better, think how this will tie up with your future products. Is there an overlap in these audiences? Good. This means you’ll have less work next time.

Name one thing that your audience has that you want. Did someone say money? You’re jumping the gun here. Money comes later, right now you just need their email.

Get their email

The most powerful piece of information one person can give another on the Internet is his best email address. This hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years, despite the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and whatnot. Focusing on these tools doesn’t even come near to producing the value that building an authentic email list does.

Email is the most powerful sales channel ANNO 1993

You may think that building email list is harder than attracting new followers or fans. But that’s actually not the case. Once you utilise all the tools at your disposal, collecting emails is even easier. You just have to blog.

Blog, blog, blog

Of course, you can start with Twitter and build your audience there. I know many of you do just that. But the problem with Twitter is that you can’t really gather email addresses from your followers. And your tweet only has about 18 minutes to make an impact.

Why bother with blogging at all? Consider this. Would you rather buy from someone you consider an expert in the field or a guy you just heard of? Blogging enables you to become that expert.

Be a real expert or wonder why you still have zero sales

And it doesn’t really matter if you’re a video editor, marketer or a designer. If you’re serious about your craft, you learn something new every day and try to apply it in practice.

Share this with your audience, let them know what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to teach others what you have just learned. If you’re consistent in your efforts, great things will happen.

Introducing tiered-pricing

What if I told you that you can get more money by asking for more money? And I don’t mean increasing the base price of your product, because that will leave out at least some of your potential customers out.To get more money ask for more money

No, I’m talking about something completely different – tiered-pricing.

It will certainly take some time to set the whole thing up, but you will double the money you make if you follow this advise.

Most experienced sellers already know this. The sales you will get from higher-priced packages will account for the same or even more dolla bills than the cheaper version you were planning to release exclusively.

Take a look at Samuel Hulick – user onboarding champion. He has set up two packages for his ebook. One includes the book and checklist. The other is stuffed with all kinds of great content apart from the ebook.

For the basic price of 49$ you can get a 130-page ebook, while at 249$ you’re getting so much more than that.

Samuel has included expert interviews, audio version of the ebook, videos including exclusive content that hasn’t been covered anywhere else. He also provides a team license that would enable all members to benefit from the content he has produced. And the premium package includes 45-minute video-chat.

I’ve reached out to Samuel and asked him to share the stats on how the sales of different packages stack up.

@slr436 Really glad to hear it! Over the last month, it’s been about 5.5:1 for book-only vs. complete package.

— Samuel Hulick (@SamuelHulick) August 18, 2014

This means that 15% of all the buyers have bought the premium version and each paid 200$ more than the basic price.

Think what that means for you and your products. Mentioned above are just some of the items you could include in your premium packages. Of course it will depend largely on what you initial product is. Shoot me a line at Twitter if you’re struggling with this part and we’ll figure something out.

Product Launch

The worst mistake I see people make time and time again. You have spent weeks buidling, writing or designing end product. Think about it for a moment. Does it really make sense to just send out a single email to the list of potential customers that you have so carefully collected?

When was the last time you bought something immediately after hearing about it for the very first time? Even if you liked the product very much, it was easy for you to put off the purchase and go along with your day, completely forgetting about the product minutes later.When was the last time you bought something after hearing about it for the very first time?

What you need is a product launch sequence. You have to build anticipation, so that every time you mention your product your audience gets more and more excited about it. You need to create an impression that you and your product are everywhere.

Every time people hear your product mentioned, they must salivate and think “When will the damn thing be already available for sale?” You want your inbox to be stuffed with messages with subject line “Just shut up and take my money”. That’s the kind of enthusiasm you are looking for.

anticipation and enthusiasm

This campaign has to go on for weeks, if not months. The day before the launch you want to send a last email, describing all the details of your product. This is a perfect opportunity for you to address any objections you think your potential customer might have. Include frequently asked questions section in this email, describe the difference between the packages, include testimonials of early customers.

You want anyone who receives this email to decide if they want to buy your product before it is even up for sale. Because when the launch day comes, you want to just include the link to your product and send it out to your list. Then sit back and watch the sales come in minutes after your product is live.

Do you have experience selling digital goods without large following? Are there any tips you want to share with our readers? Let me know in the comments section below.

Yuri is a Content Crafter at Sellfy. He's focused on inbound marketing, copywriting, CRO and growth.