This episode is a part of the Brilliant Biz Bootcamp💡 podcast series designed to teach you a concept that is essential in monetizing your creative business. Each episode features a companion resource for further exploration. You can gain access to the resources by entering your email address below. 👇🏽👇🏽
Choosing a digital product idea really trips creators up because they undervalue what they know or assume that no one will pay for their knowledge. That isn’t true!
“Research and Markets forecasts the online education market as $350 Billion by 2025.” -Forbes
That means there are millions of people turning to online courses, ebooks, workshops, memberships, and other educational resources to learn new skills. Now is the perfect time to leverage your own skills or knowledge to create a digital product.
Instead of spinning your wheels chasing some elusive perfect product idea, I’m going to teach you a painless method for how to choose a digital product idea. I’ll also share how to evaluate your ideas so that you end up with the winning one.
But first, let me address the elephant in the room…
“Why would someone want to buy your digital product or pay you for your knowledge when Google is free?”
There are several reasons why people buy information products:
- To save time
- To shorten their learning curve
- To receive expert guidance
I’m sure the list could go on but the fact remains that people will and do pay real money for solutions to their challenges. It’s really no different than ordering a pizza when you have the ability to make one at home. Convenience and time savings are big motivators.
Find Your Sweet Spot
When it comes to product creation, there really is a sweet spot. Every product or offer that you create needs an audience that is willing and able to buy it. That means your audience has to have a need and the financial resources to pay to resolve it.
You need both elements to create a successful digital product. This is why having a clearly defined audience and being able to pinpoint their challenges is so critical. That insight is a key ingredient in developing winning products and offers.
The sweet spot of product creation is finding an idea that is the intersection of your knowledge, your audience’s problems, and your interests. Your winning idea lives in the overlap.
Mine Your Personal Knowledge Base
You have more to offer than you realize. You’re just not thinking broad enough. There is a lifetime of knowledge, skills, perspectives, and viewpoints that are unique to you living between your ears. It’s time to pimp your brilliance, boo!
Mine your personal knowledge base by compiling a list of skills or talents that you could charge for.
Things that make up your personal knowledge base:
Knowledge – What topics can you speak on confidently? This can be through formal education or acquired through experience.
Skills – What things are you skilled at?
Talents – What can you do that not everyone can? (Writing, dancing, drawing, etc.)
Strengths – What are you naturally good at?
Experience – What unique experiences can you draw from that not everyone has?
Creative voice – What is your taste level or a unique perspective?
Ideas/ solutions – Do you have unconventional ideas or solutions to common problems?
What do people come to you for help with? What advice are you always giving out? All of these things make up your personal knowledge base and they have value.
You’re looking for things that you already do well or that feel effortless. You don’t need to go out and learn something new. Leverage what you already have.
I also want to put out the disclaimer that your knowledge base doesn’t have to be made up of skills that you hold a degree or professional certificate in. Being self-taught is fine.
What is a challenge or problem your audience wants resolved?
If you’ve already defined your audience, you should be able to answer this. If you haven’t, go back to episode 116 where I walked you through the steps of defining your audience.
As a high-level overview, to create a successful product your intended audience has to have a need for it. People pay for solutions. Identify one to three challenges specific to your audience that you can help them resolve.
Your audience may be creative business owners who want to start YouTube channels to grow their e-commerce stores but don’t know where to start.
Some challenges that they could have are…
- They don’t know what equipment to use to produce the best videos for their budget.
- They don’t know how to edit their videos.
- They don’t know how to get their videos ranked in search.
I’m going to say it again… people pay for solutions. It isn’t enough to just give them more information. They want a solution to the problem. While you’re brainstorming ideas, start thinking of a problem -> solution.
Does this align with your interests?
Decide if what you’ve come up with so far is something that you would enjoy helping others with or if you’d enjoy creating it. If so, you’ve found your sweet spot. Yay!
Remix Your Knowledge Base Into A Digital Product Idea
This is the fun part! Let’s take your knowledge base and remix it into a digital product idea.
Take your knowledge base ideas and combine them with different digital product types to come up with ideas. Think about the ways that you can package your knowledge into an offer your audience would be willing to pay for.
This is like ordering from the Chipotle menu, you mix and match the ingredients to build your burrito bowl but in this case, the end result is a product idea.
The most common types of digital products are:
- Printable worksheets
- Digital assets (graphics, photos, or fonts)
Some remixed examples…
Ecommerce photography workshop, launch email templates, online course to learn iPad hand lettering
Narrow Down The Most Viable Digital Product Idea
Finally, it’s time to evaluate your ideas. You’ve already brainstormed and remixed so many great ideas but you need to choose one.
Evaluate your ideas against the following criteria:
- Audience needs – Which idea does your audience need most right now?
- Effort – How much effort is involved to create this idea?
- Time – How long will it take for you to create it?
- Resources – Do you have what you need to create this?
- Expense – What costs are involved to create this? Will you need to pay for new software or tools?
Once you’ve ranked each idea against that criteria, only the winning idea should be left. That’s the idea that you’re going to create. If you have other ideas that might be good to create at a later time, add them to your idea journal or project management system for safekeeping.