3 Days to Create and Sell a Digital Product

This is too effing complicated!

4 days into a 7 day product build and it was becoming obvious I’d missed the point…

Create a simple digital product (30 pages or 30 minute video) that solves ONE problem. Launch on Gumroad in 7 days.

Challenges in communities don’t normally appeal to me. I don’t need a challenge to get something done if I want to do it.

But this one in Evan Kelly’s community was attractive. I had a few product ideas bouncing around my brain and thought it would be a good experience to get something into the world, at speed.

By this point I had 30 slides and was only a third of the way through my structure.

There was no way this was going to be a 30 minute video. I’d be lucky if this was under 2 hours.

And finishing it in the next few days… unlikely.

My fatal error was not solving ONE problem.

What felt like a single problem at the start was really a bunch of smaller problems I’d lumped together, and tried to solve with some kind of ultimate guide.

Now, with 3 days left, I need to rethink.

The New Plan

Let’s go back to the old plan — the product was going to be a course taking someone from zero digital product to launching something.

As I type this now I realize how ridiculous it would be to do it properly in 30 minutes. No way.

For my new plan, I took one of the modules — “What problem will you solve?”and looked at the different things I was trying to teach.

Finding problems or idea for products is often a barrier to someone jumping into creating a product. A barrier to jumping into entrepreneurship all together.

I figured I could take this problem and create a resource of techniques and places to find ideas.

To up the usefulness level and value, I’ll create some simple walkthrough videos to support the written content.

I’ll host the whole thing inside Gumroad — there’s no point or time in coming up with a more complicated way to deliver it. Hosting content directly in Gumroad is underrated in my opinion.

Day 1: The core product

First thing today is to list out the basic structure of the product. Each of the techniques becomes an item on a to do list (in Apple Notes — nothing fancy).

Then I jump straight into Gumroad, start typing out the sections I need.

Where it seems useful to include short videos I include a placeholder. Day 2 would be my video day, today was about written content.

Once I got over the usual procrastination (amazing how important emptying the dishwasher seems when you’ve got other things to do) I make good progress.

By the end of the day I had the bulk of the content done. It just needed editing and short intro and next steps sections.

And I had a list of videos to create on Day 2.

Day 2: Video day

All the videos are me doing a walkthrough. No “teaching” presentation to camera — it’s all doing the thing I write about in the text.

I use Loom for screenshare videos. It’s simple and has an online editor that’s good enough for my needs.

The videos weren’t scripted. I did a bit of pre planning on some of them but they were mostly on the fly.

Did I make mistakes? Sure. Plenty. But it was easy to cut out anything in the Loom editor.

In all I made 9 videos and they came in at about 53 minutes after some quick edits.

I upload the videos into Gumroad and tick them off my to do list (satisfying 😀).

I even found time to do some editing of the written content.

Day 3: Sales page and polishing

I’m not great at copywriting. Or writing in general — I’m practicing.

So the idea of writing a sales page is daunting.

But no escaping it. If I want to sell this product, I need to sell it with words.

I loosely took a structure to make my life easier. It’s called PAS:

  • Problem — describing the problem I’m going to solve
  • Agitate — showing how the problem hurts and stops progress
  • Solution — introducing my solution and how it resolves the problem

I also like to add an FAQ at the end where I make it very clear who the product is for and why they should get it.

I had no testimonials at this point but as soon as I get one I’ll add to the page.

With my structure in place, there’s nothing else to do but get my head down and start writing… After I organize those paperclips, clean my keyboard, water the plants on my desk, straighten that picture and, aaarrgggghh! Just write.

I crash out a first draft and leave it to sit.

Went back to finishing off the product. Editing and adding intro and next steps sections.

Then back to the sales page and edit into something I think good enough.

Now one last decision… what to charge for this product?

From the start I had $20 in mind. That makes it an impulse buy. For the right person suffering the problem of not finding an idea to create a product around, it’s a no brainer purchase.

I could charge more. But I figured that I’ll see what the feedback is and raise the price later. I can also keep adding to the product to make it even more valuable. I have some new additions brewing as I type this.

And that is it. Only thing to do now is hit publish.

I called the product Idea Finder and you can check it out here

Now… all I need is some sales.

I send a short daily email about online business. Bet you can’t guess what today’s issue will be about… 😀

I don’t have many subscribers but I know there are people interested in starting an online business. So this product will appeal.

I write my email, schedule it and wait.

Boom… within minutes of sending, I have a sale.

And then a few more.

That’s a good feeling.

(and I got some great testimonials and was able to add them to the sales page to help future sales)

It can be as simple as that.

3 days to go from zero product to first sales.

Amazing what can happen when you don’t have the opportunity to overthink it.

I wanted to hit that 3 day deadline so there was no time to keep polishing it and tweaking and adding sections.

And that’s ok — the product solves a problem and visually looks good.

Going forward I can make improvements — more content, a better sales page, a better header image.

I can sell the product standalone as I am now. Or I can use it as a bonus for promoting someone else’s product as an affiliate.

Or I can use it as a module in the larger course I started to create (giving existing buyers an appropriate discount).

I recommend you create your own digital product. Something small. Put a deadline on creating it and get it done.

It’s a worthwhile asset and a worthwhile experience.

What will you create?

My newsletter helps creators figure out how to build financial freedom online with digital products. You can get it here

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