Sell your knowledge without creating a course

When I first thought about creating a digital product to sell, I figured that meant creating a course.

Taking your knowledge and experience and packaging it into 20 hours of expertly produced videos.

Sounds daunting, right?

No surprise imposter syndrome kicks in hard.

Yeah, I knew some stuff, but I sure as hell didn’t think I could teach it.

Wouldn’t I have to rise to guru status or something like that? Start doing Facebook lives and webinars and video sales letters and all that other guru stuff?

Wasn’t for me. Still isn’t.

My thinking was completely wrong. If you have knowledge you can teach others. You don’t need to do any of the guru playbook.

But that didn’t stop the imposter syndrome talking me out of creating a course. I might not have to be a “guru” but I’d putting myself out in the firing line as an expert.

If you don’t feel you can create a course, what can you do?

Resources.

Package together information that helps your audience solve a specific problem.

You don’t have to be the teacher taking them on the journey from beginner to expert.

Instead you provide resources that help them on the journey.

Here’s what I did…

I talk a lot about newsletter businesses. And through a combination of experience and being fascinated by the business model, I can help people get started.

But I didn’t feel experienced enough to create a course that I could sell. The imposter at the back of my brain had me pinned down. No way up.

I still wanted something digital to sell.

How could I help budding newsletter operators without going full on with a course?

I looked at the problems a newsletter faces in the early days.

By far the biggest is figuring out where to find subscriber growth.

If you’re coming at it without an existing email list or reasonable sized social audience, it’s a challenge to get traction. It’s honestly frustrating. And I think it’s a primary reason so many newsletters quit.

In reality there are many places to get in front of potential subscribers. You just have to think outside the box.

So I pulled together a list of ways a newbie can go and “find” subscribers.

Nothing revolutionary. A simple list fleshed out with real world examples from myself and other newsletter operators.

I packaged it into a notion doc, added categories and basic navigation to make it easy to use.

There were over 80 different ideas by the time I was ready to offer it for sale.

Seriously useful for a new newsletter operator struggling to find subscribers.

The final product

I was able to provide something of value and I didn’t have to teach anything.

Zero imposter syndrome.

This was a small product and didn’t take a lot of time to create. It sells for $20 and has done around $1000 in sales. Sure, it’s not life changing but it’s better than sitting around listening to the imposter and doing nothing.

I can continue to use that asset. I can promote it to make more sales, I can look for affiliates to sell it or I can give it away as a bonus when I sell other products.

An added ego boost bonus… I can use any positive feedback and testimonials to quieten the imposter syndrome when I create the next thing.

If you want to sell something digital but aren’t ready to create a course, here’s your simple process:

Think about the journey your target audience is on. Dive into the different steps they have to take.

A little trick is think about what you’d include in a course if you were to make it (don’t worry you’re not). Or go find someone else’s course and look at their outline.

Now consider those steps. What obstacles are they facing at each point? What would they need that can help them get over those obstacles?

That’s what you create.

Examples:

  • Copywriter: Swipe files
  • Electronic Music Producer: Samples
  • Finance Analyst: Excel cheat sheets, spreadsheet models
  • Designer: Templates, elements, curated lists of resources
  • Social Media Manager: Content templates, viral post swipe files

You get the idea.

If you need help with whatever your market is, drop a reply below.

Also worth noting — my product was small, low priced. That doesn’t mean you only think small. People package resources and data and sell for 10x or 100x the amount I charged. It really depends how big is the problem you’re solving.

So next time you see a social post or read an article that says “create products from your knowledge”, don’t get scared because you think that means make a course.

You don’t have to be the guru teaching the topic on 20 hours of video. There are simpler products you can create.

If you want to check out the product I created, here’s the link:

Get Your First 1000 Subscribers


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

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