Hello, hello! This is episode 10 of the Brand, Market, Flourish podcast. I’ll admit that I’m still getting into the swing of things with this podcast but I guess it’s like most things – the more you do it, the easier it gets.
If you listened to episode 9, you’ll have heard me talk about the Expand Your Brand Mastermind. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet and you can see digital products in your future, then head on over to have a listen.
I created the Expand Your Brand mastermind after supporting other service-based business owners with their digital products on a 1:1 basis since the launch of my own digital product – my Showit templates two years ago.
At the time of recording this episode, I’m fully booked with 1:1 clients until November at the earliest and this mastermind has been brewing in my head and on paper for over a year now. With me being fully booked and supporting my 1:1 clients in this capacity, I felt like it was the perfect time to bring it to life.
The mastermind starts mid-September but you can save £500/$700 if you join before the end of July so be quick because you only have a few more days to apply to secure your saving.
This episode is going to be more about my own personal journey with digital products and how I got started so if that sounds interesting to you, then stick around and have a listen.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE
My first foray into digital products
My first foray into digital products was actually a workbook that I had originally created to use as a lead magnet. I was working with a business coach at the time and she told me that what I had created was far too valuable to use as a freebie. And to be fair, I did agree but I tended to get far too carried away with these things sometimes. I’m much better now haha! She recommended that I instead create a shortened version to use as my freebie and then have the workbook as a tripwire.
This was about four years ago now and I was kind of aware of what a tripwire was but it hadn’t even crossed my mind to create one. I loved the idea of having something that I could sell without me really needing to do much so I got to work.
Now if you’re not familiar with what a tripwire is, it’s essentially an offer that you display after someone has signed up to receive a freebie from you. The tripwire is displayed on your thank you page as a limited time offer and it’s relevant to the lead magnet they signed up to.
So my current lead magnet is a ‘How to Build a Flourishing Online Brand’ roadmap. This roadmap details my ‘framework’ (and I say that in inverted commas because I think frameworks have their place in certain areas of business but not in others) to building a flourishing brand online. Once someone has signed up to my roadmap, they are then presented with a tripwire mini-sales page for my workbook. This workbook is aimed at new business owners to help them gain clarity in the foundations of their brand.
There is an automated evergreen set timer for 15-minutes from when they land on this thank you page where they can purchase the workbook for 75% off.
My tripwire converts at an average of about 8%. This means that for every 100 people that sign up to my email list via a specific lead magnet, an average of 8 people will purchase the workbook. Tripwires are also great as providing they are converting well, they can also be used to offset Facebook advertising costs.
I’m not a massive fan of the word tripwire but it’s what they are commonly known as in the online space. The word comes as you are essentially tripping someone over the wire from being a subscriber to being a customer.
Creating a tripwire is a great way to get started with digital products and it’s also a great way for your audience to get a taste of what you offer.
How I launched my Showit website template shop
I think I launched my tripwire in June 2017 or around that time. It then wasn’t until two whole years later in July 2019, that I launched my Showit website templates.
I’d wanted to create website templates for some time before that to support those who perhaps weren’t quite ready for custom branding and web design. The only problem was that I was using WordPress along with the Divi Builder and to be honest, I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t enjoying developing websites in WordPress and was close to giving up on website design altogether so it didn’t make sense to me to create WordPress website templates.
Just as I was about to throw in the towel with website design and development, I came across Showit and instantly fell in love. I’d heard of Showit before back when it was a flash-based platform (those of you who are designers will know what I’m talking about) but then when it transitioned to HTML 5, it became an entirely new website builder and I loved it.
I was so happy that I could continue offering custom website design to my clients without resenting it each and every time. After about eight months of using Showit, I felt confident enough with the platform that I could start to think about building out my website templates.
But it didn’t happen straight away. In fact, it probably didn’t happen for another year. And the only thing that was stopping me, was me. Even though it was something that I knew I wanted to do, I didn’t prioritise it. I didn’t make time for it.
Now I know that finding the time in your business to create something new can be tough but I also know that if we create a plan for it and then actually make it happen, it will happen.
I then decided that enough was enough and I was going to stop taking on client work for a month or two so that I could make it happen. I took most of June and the whole of July off client work so that I could focus all of my attention on creating these templates.
It was scary as I didn’t know whether it was going to take off but I had set some money aside and I believed it would happen.
Normally I would suggest that you test the market and see what your audience wants and needs before diving headfirst into creating a digital product but with my website templates, I knew there was a market for it. I knew there was a market for business owners who were not ready to invest thousands in a custom website design just yet. Not only had I seen other business owners selling website templates successfully, I also saw lots of people asking about website templates in the Showit Users Facebook Group.
I had however noticed a gap in the market or at least a market that wasn’t highly saturated yet! You see, Showit as a website builder was and to this day still is primarily marketed towards photographers and other wedding industry professionals. This meant that two years ago, it was well known within the wedding industry but not so much within the online business world amongst business coaches and done-for-you service providers such as copywriters, virtual assistants, social media managers etc… Nowadays most people in our industry will have heard of Showit with many big names using the platform.
Anyway, so two years ago, as a relatively new platform within the online business space, I decided not to create templates for wedding businesses but for coaches and service providers. I could see that it was where the market was heading and I wanted to be at the forefront of it.
I also thought about what else I could do to differentiate myself from other people selling website templates and that’s when I decided to include a sales page, tripwire page and long-form opt-in page as standard within my templates.
Showit sales page templates and the like are easy to come by these days but back when I launched my shop, there weren’t many others selling them.
So I got to work during my month’s break from client work and created three Showit website templates along with accompanying sales pages. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and it resulted in a lot of late nights but a month later, I’d done it. I’d build three website templates along with the product pages on my website.
My Showit template shop launched with a pre-sale to those on the waitlist on 11th July 2019 and then to the public the following week. I didn’t do a great big launch for them as, to be honest, I’d spent all my time creating the templates. In hindsight, I probably should have launched with two templates and spent a bit more time on marketing but hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I think I pre-sold four templates initially so whilst it wasn’t a huge launch in terms of sales, I was happy that they were finally out there and that people were interested in them. That’s the great thing about digital products. They are not like a course where you might only open the doors once every four to six months. They are constantly available so even if you don’t see a huge number of sales initially, they can build up gradually.
Once I started to see that I was building traction with the shop, I decided to slowly begin to take on less 1:1 custom branding and web design work until I stopped altogether.
Another reason that I decided to slow down on 1:1 custom design work was that by that point, I had started working with other businesses helping them with more of the strategy portion of their business without the design element. I had really wanted to incorporate more of my corporate marketing experience into my business and this was me doing that.
I think it’s important to say that just because you plan to introduce digital products into your business, it doesn’t mean that you too have to stop working with custom clients if that’s what you really enjoy doing. It simply allows you to have a greater impact whilst expanding your income too. It just so happened that I absolutely love working with clients in more of a mentoring/consulting/coaching capacity and chose to take my business down that route.
How I got started helping others with digital products
Shortly after launching my website template shop, I was approached by two fellow designers who were also looking to add digital products to their business. One was looking to create a DIY branding course teaching others how to create a brand identity and the other was creating WordPress website templates.
To be honest, this wasn’t something I had ever thought about doing, mentoring other designers that is, and I had only recently launched my digital product shop at that point too.
But I thought about it and decided to go ahead and work with them over the next three months. Not only were they looking to create and launch their digital products but they were also looking to grow their audience outside of Instagram and referrals which of course, was and still is my zone of genius.
In fact, it’s why the Expand Your Brand mastermind is six months long because I knew that I wanted to have enough time to support those inside the mastermind with firstly creating a marketing strategy and plan but also executing the plan so that they had time to grow their audience alongside building out their digital products.
You see, the Expand Your Brand Mastermind isn’t just about creating and launching your digital product, it’s also about building a marketing strategy and plan that helps you grow your audience outside of solely relying on Instagram and referrals. We’ll be setting you up on Pinterest, building or growing your email list, setting up simple funnels and we can also create an affiliate program around your digital product too.
Working with those two designers was something I really enjoyed doing and it was the start of me supporting branding and web designers in their businesses as well as other service providers.
I’ve since worked with many branding and web designers in a mentoring capacity supporting them with their business and marketing. I’ve also worked with other business owners such as photographers, social media managers and designers to name a few, in helping them with the digital product side of their businesses. It’s been a natural evolution of my business.
My template shop journey so far
As I mentioned, my template shop has been running for two years now and the past two years have been great. My shop was the main reason that I was able to take a step back from working with clients in 2020 when the pandemic hit. When the schools closed and I was thrown into the world of homeschooling with a two-year-old at home too, it was virtually impossible for me to continue working with as many 1:1 clients. My digital products meant that I was still able to continue bringing revenue into my business without having to work as many hours.
After I initially launched with three website templates in July 2019, I then added three more templates to the shop in November 2019. I had planned to launch new collections every six months but of course, the pandemic put a stop to that and I didn’t launch any new products until November 2020.
During the time that I was forced to take a step back from the business, I had a good think about the shop and what I wanted it to look like. I had fallen out of love with the current designs and I also wanted to position my templates in a different way. I, therefore, decided to remove the collection of six Showit templates and relaunch my shop. I utilised some of the aspects of the templates that I loved and created three new templates which are the current three templates I have now.
These templates are now available to purchase with add-on bundles. The idea is that you purchase the main template which has all of the main pages you’d need in a website such as home, about, services, blog, contact, portfolio etc… You can then choose to add on different bundles depending on what you need. There is now a shop bundle for businesses looking to add a digital product shop to their website, a sales page bundle for course creators and also a bundle which includes a podcast page, affiliate page, quiz results page, press page and a tools and resources page.
I also increased the pricing of my main templates from $497 to $647 as my experience in creating websites continued to grow. What’s interesting is that with this new collection and increase in pricing, I’ve noticed that I’m attracting a different type of customer. A lot of my customers now are not necessarily in the early stages of business but rather a little further on.
I’ve always offered payment plans with my templates and with my previous collections, the majority of customers opted for a payment plan instead of purchasing the template outright. Now, I can count on one hand the number of payment plans I’ve had with the templates with most customers purchasing in full.
The future of my Showit template shop
It’s been eight months since the launch of the current collection and I’ve now decided to separate the shop from the rest of the business. I have plans to grow the template shop to six figures and beyond and I feel the best way for me to do this is to make it a completely separate entity.
It made sense to combine my shop with my custom design services but now I no longer offer this, I feel that separating the two sides of my business makes the most sense.
I’m now working on this and the template shop as a separate business, which I have named Made by Fleurir so that there is still a link, will be launching later this year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into how I got started with digital products in my business and that it has given you some inspiration and knowledge on how you can develop your own digital product side to your business whether you’re a fellow designer or a different type of service-based business such as a social media manager, copywriter or virtual assistant.
If you have got to the end of this episode and you’re looking for support, accountability and guidance in creating a marketing strategy and plan outside of solely Instagram and referrals as well as building your digital product, then I’d love for you to check out the Expand Your Brand Mastermind. If you’re listening soon after this episode has gone live, then you can apply for the current mastermind which starts in September.
If you’re listening to this after September, then you can join the waitlist to express your interest for when it reopens again.
Visit fleurironline.com/mastermind or click on the link in the show notes.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll be back next week with a new episode.