I've been creating digital products almost since I started creating content online.
I’m of the opinion that most people don’t start early enough and that’s probably due to the fact that the examples you see online are of big launches and people scrolling through hundreds of downloads.
In reality, for 90% of people product launches aren’t like that.
All that is just ego-driven & you should ignore it. Instead, think about it like this - it’s better to have a product in the market that someone can buy from you now. Rather than waiting for some 'right’ time that you should launch in the future.
That way as your audience grows they get the opportunity to invest in you right now, not sometime in the future.
Creating products can be really scary. How much time do you put into making them, what should you charge, and will people actually like them?
So after launching over 30 products in a messy chaotic way over the last 2 years I’ve boiled it down to three types of products that every creator should aim to build. Let’s dive in and have a look.
A gateway product is something free that introduces people to what you do, your knowledge and your expertise. I started by building a notion template to help people plan their best year (& it's still around today).
Free products can be any number of things. I find what works best are templates, guides, lists, ebooks, and calculators.
They should be easy to build and be packed with value (the more value you give upfront the more people will want to pay you for what’s next).
My general rule for whether a product should be free or paid is if it’s a simple page or database (I build mostly templates) then I make it free. For anything more complex or that involves my unique IP I start charging.
And the best part is that if you use a platform like Gumroad or Lemon Squeezy people can also choose to pay for your free products - which is a good indication you’re on the right path with that product!
So how do you go about choosing WHAT to build? My best products have come out of the content that is resonating. Go back through the content you’ve published and look for signals - is a certain topic always getting more engagement than others? That’s a good indication it will make for a product that resonates too.
And my final word on gateway products… don’t wait for some ‘right’ time to launch it. Start now, start early. There’s no minimum barrier for entry.
The next thing you'll want to build is your low-priced taster product. A small product that is kind of a no-brainer price that gives people a ‘taste’ of your expertise or knowledge.
Good taster products include complex templates, workshops (live or pre-recorded), guides and ebooks, and audits (loom recorded or live).
It’s always nice to have your taster product be a logical next step from your Gateway product. So let’s say you have a free template that helps creators organise their tax requirements. You might then have a taster product that is a workshop for understanding tax as a creator (by the way if anyone wants to create this I would buy it!).
See how that’s a logical next step for someone who already has a template or a calculator to then want to buy your workshop or guide?
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a creator was stopping at this taster level and it seriously hurt my revenue growth.
Just selling lower-priced products means you have to sell A LOT of them to make a decent creator income (which is OK when you're getting started). But to grow your income you’ll need one more level of product.
Your signature product is just that... your signature. It's what you're known & recognised for. Signature products take time & effort to build. This is why it’s always a good idea to start with your Gateway & Taster Products.
I’ve seen too many creators start by building a signature product first and they never actually get it launched (because of all the time & effort involved).
It's much easier to launch a signature product once you have positive signals that people are enjoying your taster & gateway products (plus you have runs on the board with other products, so you have some credibility built).
Good Signature products include courses (self-paced & cohort based), group coaching (or 1:1 but that doesn't scale very well), SAAS or No-Code Tools & even Productised Services.
If you can get your product mix right you’ll find sales flow in more easily. And as your audience grows they have an immediate path to follow. Don’t wait, start thinking about creating some products today.
What’s your biggest fear when it comes to launching your first product? I’d love to hear it if you’re willing to share in the comments.