In episode 13 of the Brand, Market, Flourish podcast, I’m talking about how you can get started with creating your first digital product in the next 30-days.
Listen to this episode
In episode 10, I spoke about how I got started with digital products so if you haven’t listened to that one, head over and give it a listen or have a read. My first foray into digital products was with a tripwire.
What is a tripwire?
For those of you who are not sure what a tripwire is, it’s a product that sits on the thank you page of your free opt-in.
The reason it’s called a tripwire is that you are essentially ‘tripping people over the wire’ from being someone who signed up for your freebie into a paying customer. It’s well known that once someone has purchased something from you, it’s far easier to sell to that person again. Now I am not a fan of the name or the meaning behind it so throughout this episode, you’ll also hear me refer to a tripwire offer as an entry-level offer.
Another great way to think about this offer is that it is similar to an upsell. Have you ever bought a course or digital product and then on the checkout page or after you have checked out, you’ve been offered the opportunity to add on something relevant that is only available for a limited time only. This is exactly the same as what an entry-level offer would be except it’s an upsell for a free product instead of a paid one.
Why a tripwire is a great first digital product
Starting with something small as your first digital product is a great way to test the waters.
It’s also highly likely that this product could be something that you are already using with your clients therefore you won’t need to necessarily create something new.
How to decide on your tripwire product
In order for the tripwire product to be successful, it has to be something that is related to your freebie.
For example, my freebie is a 5 step roadmap to building a flourishing online brand. My entry-level offer is a 50-page workbook with prompts and questions that helps someone newer to business, begin to understand what they want for their brand.
FUN FACT: The majority of this workbook was actually created as a freebie until my business coach at the time told me it was way too value-packed to give away for free.
Workbooks, masterclasses and mini-courses make great entry-level products as they are small and relatively easy to create. Also as mentioned earlier, it’s highly likely that you will have something relevant within your business that you can package up and sell.
The benefits of a tripwire
Not only are tripwires a great first digital product because they can be relatively quick to create, there are also some other benefits too.
- List building is a really important part of marketing digital products so by creating an entry-level offer, you are able to build a warm email list of potential customers who have already made that first step to working with you or buying something from you.
- Another reason why it can be really beneficial to have a low-cost digital product available on the thank you page of your freebie sign-up sequence is that if you decide to invest in advertising to grow your email list, it can be a great way to offset the cost.
For example, my tripwire converts at around 8-10% which means that for every 80-100 people that sign-up for my freebie, I sell 8-10 workbooks. Knowing these numbers really helps me when it comes to planning to invest in Facebook advertising.
Now I’ve explained more about what a tripwire product is, let’s move on to how you can create your first digital product in the next 30-days. I’ve broken each step down week by week and there are clear action steps for you to complete each week. Trust me, this episode is packed with value.
How to create your tripwire product
Now depending on how much time you have available, you can most definitely create and set up your entry-level offer in a week. However, in order to break it up and make it seem less overwhelming, I’m going to give you a step-by-step action plan over four weeks.
Week 1 – Decide on your first digital product and create a free lead magnet
The first thing to do is to decide on what your offer is going to be. If your end goal is to build out a suite of digital products such as a template shop or perhaps launch a course, then I recommend that you relate this offer to your larger digital product that you have planned for the future.
For example, let’s say you are a brand designer who is extremely passionate about brand strategy within the design process and you want to pass on your expertise to other designers. You may want to create a brand strategy course in the next 6-12 months, but for now, your entry-level offer could be a template of the brand strategy document that you send to your clients.
Or maybe you are a website designer and your end goal is to launch a suite of website templates. In order to begin to attract the right type of people for this product to your email list, you could start with a workbook that helps them to DIY their website. Perhaps it could even be a PDF of the strategy questionnaire document that you use with your website clients.
>>> Just a little side note whilst we are on the topic of digital product ideas…. If you are wanting to build digital products into your business model sometime in the near future but you’re unsure of what that could look like, download my completely free PDF – 20 Digital Product Ideas for Designers.
Once you know what your product is going to be, the next thing to do is to think of your free lead magnet idea. Some of you listening to this may already have a freebie and that’s great but what you want to ensure is that the freebie relates to the tripwire product that is going to be on the thank you page.
The only way that your entry-level product will sell is if there is a direct correlation to your freebie. If you create your freebie around something that is completely irrelevant to the offer then you’ll likely see a very low conversion rate if any at all and we, of course, don’t want that to happen.
ACTION STEP: Your action steps for week 1 is to, first of all, come up with a clear idea for your tripwire digital product. Once you have that figured out, decide on a topic and delivery format for your free lead magnet. You should then focus on creating or refining your lead magnet so that this is done by the end of the first week.
Week 2 – Create your digital tripwire product
Week two is when you are going to create your digital product. If your product is something that you already have then this hopefully shouldn’t take you too long. If you are creating something from scratch then it’s going to take you a little longer but remember, this is a small digital product, not a huge course or suite of templates.
In terms of what you’ll need to create the digital product, this will depend on what it is but again, you want to keep it really simple. My product is a 50 page PDF workbook that is saved in the cloud and delivered to my customers via a link in an automated email that I have set up.
If it’s a mini-course that you are creating, then you’ll need a platform to host your course on. There are many course platforms available such as Thinkific, Teachable, Kajabi, Karta, MemberVault, Podia, Thrivecart Learn to name but a few. I recommend thinking back to some of the courses you have purchased and review how you liked the experience within the platforms. Failing that, you can sign up for a few trails so that you can see for yourself how the courses are set up and what the client experience is like too. I really think software is a personal preference so the best way to find what you like is to do some research.
ACTION STEP: The action step for this week is to create your digital product. Remember that because it’s designed to be a low-cost offer, it shouldn’t be a huge product therefore shouldn’t take up too much of your time.
Week 3 – Write your email welcome sequence
By now you’ll have created your freebie and your digital product. Now it’s time to begin to put everything together so that you can grow your list and begin to make digital product sales at the same time.
During this week, your focus will be on creating a welcome sequence that goes alongside your freebie. If you are not familiar with the term, a welcome sequence is a series of emails that are automatically sent to a new email subscriber once they sign up for your list.
Welcome sequences can vary in length and frequency depending on how often you like to email your list and who your audience are. However, I typically recommend that you send five emails over a period of one to two weeks and then move them onto your regular email schedule.
The first email in this sequence will be the email that delivers the freebie they signed up for. Now depending on whether or not they purchased the entry-level offer, they will then be split into two individual automation sequences. One for those that did purchase, and one for those that didn’t.
If they did purchase the product, you’ll want the second email in your sequence to be the delivery of this product. If they didn’t, then you may want to wait for a day before sending them an email offering them the opportunity to purchase again at less of a discount.
The next email in the sequence should provide value relating to what they signed up for/purchased and give them a quick win.
You’ll then want to build a connection with them by sharing your story and relating it back to how they might be feeling now. The purpose of this email is to show that you understand their pain point.
In the next email, you’ll want to provide some more value. A great way to do this is to share links to your own blog posts or podcasts that relate to what they signed up for. If you haven’t set up your own blog or podcast, this would be a great email in which to provide additional value via a free resource.
For the next email the idea is for you to be gently guiding them towards the goal you wish for them to take. Perhaps you have another product that you think might be suitable. Maybe you want them to join the waitlist for something you’re bringing out soon. You could also invite them to book a call with you for a 1:1 service you have. This email is where you give them a gentle nudge forwards.
In the last email of the welcome sequence, focus on really promoting the goal you want them to take. Ask for the sale.
You could also do a follow-up email that helps to segment them into your list depending on what stage they are at in business or what they are interested in.
ACTION STEP: During week three you’ll need to write your welcome sequence. This should be between 5-7 emails long but if this feels daunting to you, start with three emails and add to it over time.
Week 4 – Put all the pieces together and build your tech stack
You’ve got your freebie, your digital product and you’ve written your welcome sequence email. Now you’ll want to connect everything together. Depending on how tech-savvy you are you may wish to outsource this part.
I could do into a lot of detail on the various platforms needed here but I’ll keep it short. Essentially you will need:
- Somewhere to host your freebie – I recommend your website provider, Google Drive, or dropbox if it’s a document.
- A way to deliver your digital product – This will be different depending on what it is. If it’s a mini-course then you’ll need a course platform. For a PDF, it will be the same options as the freebie.
- A shopping cart – You’ll need a way to take payment for your digital product. I use and highly recommend ThriveCart. It’s a one-off payment for the cart platform and they take no fees. There are other options available such as SamCart, SendOwl and ShopifyLite to name a few.
- Sales page – You’ll want to create some sort of sales page for your digital product. As it’s a low-cost offer, it doesn’t need to be long and you can host it on your website as long as it’s hidden. You’ll also want a countdown timer to embed onto your sales page. I use Evergreen Countdown Timer with Showit and WordPress but you could also use something like Deadline Funnel.
- An email marketing provider – Lastly you’ll need somewhere to collect email addresses and send your welcome sequence. The options are endless here but I use and love MailerLite.
ACTION STEP: Your action step for this last week is to put everything together and build your tech stack. Don’t forget to test that everything works seamlessly before going live.
So there you have it. A step-by-step guide to creating your first digital product in the next 30-days. Of course, you can do it much quicker than that depending on the time you have available to you.
Although I hate the name tripwire, this really is a great quick way to test the waters for your first digital product.
Join the Expand Your Brand Program Waitlist
If you’re a brand and/or website designer and you’re looking to diversify how you work with your audience as well as how you can expand your impact and your income without sacrificing more of your time, I’d love for you to join the waitlist for Expand Your Brand. Launching in May, this high-touch hybrid ‘do it together’ group program is for designers who are ready to expand their reach, their impact and their income by packaging up their expertise into digital products. Simply visit fleurironline.com/program-waitlist.
I really hope you enjoyed this episode. I’d love for you to share it on Instagram and also if this has inspired you to take action with your first digital product, pop me a message on Instagram @fleurironline and let me know what you’ll be creating.