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Episode 02: How one $17 digital product made over $200,000

Have you been on the fence about creating or scaling your digital product? Do you still not believe that it could be profitable?

Well, I’m here to prove to you that it’s definitely possible!

In this episode, I’m taking you behind the scenes of my very first digital product that has now made me over six figures. Not only has it been profitable, but this is a product that I was already using every single day in my own life for years before I ever sold it.

I’ll be deep-diving into how I made a healthy profit as well as breaking down the four major lessons I learned from launching my first six figure digital product with nothing but a very small email list.

In today's episode we discuss...

  • All about what my first digital product was and the success of it
  • The 4 biggest lessons I learned from launching my first digital product
  • Approaching digital products in a way that takes your customers on a journey
  • Providing a solution to your customers problem
  • How to make a big impact even with a small audience

Give yourself the permission to create simple yet effective solutions for your customer. My advice is to approach your digital product with the thought process that your customer has a problem and you have their solution. When you do this, it makes it a lot easier to build your products off of each other and bring your customers on a journey.

Starting your own digital product business may not be easy, but it is definitely possible and profitable!

Talk soon,

Monica

 

Resources Mentioned:

[00:00:04]
You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast, I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business.

[00:00:16]
I’m on a mission to help 1000 women make 100000 dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to one hundred million dollars. Sound good? Then let’s jump in.

[00:00:47]
Welcome back to the Empowered Business podcast today, I’ve got a great show for you, I’m taking you behind the scenes of my very first digital product. This digital product has made me over six figures. And it’s a product that I was already using every single day in my own life for years before I ever sold it. Before I tell you all about what it is and how it generated a healthy profit, let me set the stage for how it all came to be. I’m going to break down the four lessons I learned from launching my first six figure digital product with a very small email list. Let’s rewind back to mid 2016. At this point, I had quit my corporate career to pursue my business full time. I started blogging regularly, penning to Pinterest and growing my email list. At the time of my first digital product launch, I had less than 1000 people on my email list. The problem was I was impatient and for good reason. My family depended on my paycheck to pay bills, not for fun spending. No, my paycheck paid important bills like student loans and electricity. If I really wanted this online business to work, I had to replace my corporate income and I had to replace it best. My husband had just received a promotion which bought me a little bit of time to figure out how to make this work, or else I’d be going back to corporate America real quick.

[00:02:16]
When I started redefining Mom back in 2013, my mission was to help working moms find a balance between their careers and motherhood as my own ambition turned to starting my own business so I could make my own rules. My small following took notice and wanted to know how they too could leave their corporate careers and pursue an online business. Here’s tip number one for creating your first successful digital product. Meet your customer at the beginning of their journey. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people try to boil the ocean with their very first product. I get it. You are a wealth of knowledge and you want to share everything you know with the world right now. You know you can help. So it’s natural to want to throw everything, you know, at your customers at once. And I’m here to tell you that is a very bad idea. Your audience isn’t ready for you yet and you need to validate that you’re on the right track before putting too much upfront effort and expense into your first product. So let me tell you about what my very first digital product was. I launched it in June 2016, and it’s called the Family Budget Spreadsheet. If you think about it, it seems like there’s not a huge connection between my audience asking about how they can start their own online business and their family budget. It seems at first glance that I completely missed the mark, except I didn’t, because when I thought back to the very first thing, I need it before I could ever entertain the idea of leaving my very stable career and paycheck, it was a family budget.

[00:03:56]
The women who were following me started following me because of opinions about paid maternity leave. This means they already had a career. And most women who have a career are also responsible for important family bills, which means they can’t just quit unless they have a solid financial plan in place. Now, here’s tip number two for creating your first digital product. Repurpose what you already use yourself. Tanah My husband and I put together our first family budget spreadsheet back in 2012 when I was pregnant with our first child. At the time, we were paid on commission and literally had no idea how to project out our cash flow to account for what happened. If one month we didn’t hit our commission, pay out that same spreadsheet helped us to pay off over sixty five
thousand dollars in credit card debt. Honestly, without this spreadsheet, I don’t think that I ever would have started my own business because we likely would still not have our finances under control. When I was thinking about the one thing my people need it for me, my family budget spreadsheet made the most sense. Plus I already had it created. It took me about four hours to format it as a template.

[00:05:11]
And Google Sheets record a quick how to video, which, by the way, there were no good ways to edit a video back then, so I had to do it in one take. There was no editing. I could not figure out how to edit. Just goes to show you that don’t let something like that not having a skill to edit a video. Don’t let that stop you. OK, so I set up the template. I did a quick how to video and then I set up a simple sales page which I didn’t know what I was doing there either. So here’s the question to ask yourself. What do you already use in your own life that can help your audience right now? Now on to tip number three, one problem, one solution, your ideal customer has many problems and there is no way that you can solve them all. I know you want to, but it’s not possible for you to. In fact, I’d argue the business who tries to solve several complex problems at once fails the majority of the time. And here’s the thing. You don’t have a team behind you when you’re first starting out. So the more problems you try to solve, the harder it will be for you to get traction when you narrow in your focus to one specific problem that your audience has. You give yourself permission to create a simple yet effective solution for them. Your customer has a problem and you have the solution.

[00:06:33]
When you approach your digital products like this, it makes it a lot easier to build your products off of each other and bring your customers on a journey. We’ll talk a lot about a customer journey throughout this podcast. When I launched the family budget spreadsheet, I saw how many women it was helping. I was getting emails from people saying things like, thank you. I was able to show my husband the numbers behind how we can make it work if I quit to pursue my own business now that I had my audiences first problem solved. It was time to move on to the second problem. Now, I’ll leave you cliffhanging on this, and I’ll come back to what my original product letter looked like in a future episode, because it’s really a whole episode on its own. I made a few mistakes along the way, which I will tell you all of the lessons I learned and all the things that I did. But today I want to go over one more tip with you, which is tip number four, validate your idea with a search engine. Oh, this makes me so excited. You may be thinking, OK, Monica, but I just don’t even have an audience yet. How do you expect me to know what my people need? Well, no problem. I didn’t have a big audience at the time, but I did have a small audience. So I had a pretty good idea that my budget spreadsheet would help them.

[00:07:49]
If I didn’t have a small audience yet, I would validate my idea with a search engine. In fact, I still do this even with a big audience, because we don’t want to only reach the people we already know. We’re looking to make a big impact, which means we need to reach beyond our current audience. There are four ways to do this Pinterest, YouTube, Google and Facebook groups. My suggestion is to start with a platform that resonates the most with you. Where do you go to search for a solution to your problem? When I got started, I was drawn to Pinterest. I love the visual aspect of Pinterest. Every time I search my problem, I can instantly connect with the solutions being presented to me because search results are pictures, no matter which search engine you choose to use to validate your idea. Here are a few things you’ll want to understand about using a search engine. First, the actual search is the problem you are trying to solve. This is the keyword that your customer is entering into the search bar. Second, the results tease the solution and provide inspiration to get you to click on Pinterest. This is done with images on Google. You get text based results, you have an image tab and sometimes videos will show up on YouTube. You’re presented with videos to click on and on Facebook groups, you’ll see actual comments from a potential customer.

[00:09:20]
Third, the content you clicked on provides the solution to your problem. This is the content that you will create to convince your new visitor that they need your solution and your solution is your product, your digital product. So when searching the problem you think you want to solve, here are a few tips for what to pay attention to. I broke it down into seven things. Number one, what type of content are you being presented with? Is it how to content, video content, blog posts, a product to buy? How are the search results solving your problem? Number two, are you inspired to take action on the search results? Number three, what made you take action or why didn’t you take action? What rubbed you the right way? What rubbed you the wrong way with the search results? Number four was the content that you clicked on engaging. Did you understand how they were trying to solve your problem? Were you motivated to take an action? Number five, did it solve your problem? Did you take the action and did it solve the problem? You had no sex. Did you discover another way or better way to solve the problem you search for? This is where you’re going to want to pay attention to related searches that pop up related searches are a good way to brainstorm different angles for your product you may never have thought of before. And number seven, and probably the most important question to ask yourself is this what could you do differently or better? This process is what I call reverse engineering, and it is life changing for my students in a future episode, we’re going to dove into the exact details of how I’ve used reverse engineering to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for myself and many of my students.

[00:11:17]
So let’s recap my four best tips for getting started with digital products. One, meet your customer at the beginning
of their journey. Number two, repurpose what you already use yourself. Number three, don’t try to boil the ocean with one product. Focus on one problem you want to solve and one solution to make that happen. And number four, validate your idea using reverse engineering with your search engine of choice. As I was putting together this episode, I decided to go back and pull some real numbers for you, for my family budget spreadsheet. I’ve always sold the spreadsheet for 17 dollars with the chance to get it for nine dollars if you signed up for my free budget planner. First, this is called a tripwire or a limited time offer in the sales funnel world, which we’ll talk more about this later. But if you don’t know the tripwire, if it’s just a limited time offer. So in the first three months, the spreadsheet made three thousand six hundred seventeen dollars. I looked back on my emails and I only promoted it to my email list of under one thousand people once.

[00:12:27]
During this time since its launch in June 2016, I’ve not had to do anything additional to keep it selling. Besides the occasional advertising push and customer service emails, you really can’t get a lower maintenance product than this one. In total, I’ve made over 200000 dollars from the seventeen dollar product and spent less than five thousand dollars in advertising campaigns over the last five years. My point of sharing this with you is not to say that starting a digital product business is easy, it’s not easy. In fact, starting a business is probably the second hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life after birthing my children. What my point is, is to show you what is possible. My goal for this podcast is to break down the success and failures I’ve had over the years so that you can take advantage of the lessons I’ve learned to build your own successful business. I’m so excited to hear about your first or next digital product. Shoot me a private message over on Instagram at Redefining Mom. I always check my DMs and I’d love to hear what’s on your mind and what product you’re thinking about creating. And if you’ve done the reverse engineering exercise I talked about in Tip for tell me how it went and what you discovered. Also, I would be so honored if you took the time to subscribe to the Empowered Business podcast.

[00:13:55]
That way you won’t miss any future episodes and you’ll tell the podcasting gods that they should show the show to other people. I can’t wait till next week. I’ll see you then. Cheers. Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode of the Empowered Business podcast. If you’re ready to get started creating digital products and take your business to the next level, download my free digital product toolbox, head to Monica Froese.com or slash toolbox to grab it. As always, you can find all of the links and information mentioned in this episode at monicafroese.com/podcast for you. See you right here again next week.

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