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You’re an entrepreneur. You are working on building your online business. You know you need to create a digital product because, well, https://edenfried.com/the–real–reason–why–your–blog–is–not–making–money–yet/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>all the other monetization methods won’t necessarily give you any short-term returns.
Awesome. Sounds great. That is, until it comes time to come up with a https://edenfried.com/successful–digital–product–ideas/“>digital product idea to sell.
That’s usually when your blood pressure starts to rise and little beads of sweat appear on your brow. Enter anxiety attack.
I’ve definitely been down this rabbit hole of WHAT ON EARTH DO I MAKE TO SELL.
I’ve also been around plenty of entrepreneurs who feel like total failures because they can’t think of anything to create!
It usually goes something like this:
“Eden, I’m dying! I can’t think of anything to sell! Ahhhh!”
Okay, maybe not as dramatic as that. But still, you get the point.
One thing that I’ve learned about coming up with a digital product idea (and hopefully this will raise your spirits a bit): the first idea is always the hardest to think of.
I promise you, it gets easier.
Once you successfully brainstorm your digital product idea, more ideas will naturally evolve from that. It’s just hard to get going. If you’re feeling totally and completely frustrated that your creative juices aren’t flowing yet, rest easy – it gets better.
So now that we’ve got that covered and you’re feeling at least a smidge better about your mind failing you, let’s get started talking about ways that you can come up with a digital product idea to sell in your business.
Read: https://edenfried.com/successful–digital–product–ideas/“>8 Successful Digital Product Ideas to Sell On Your Site (creative ones!)
When I got married a little while ago, my family joked with me whenever I asked for something or said anything. They’d say, “Eden, stop. This isn’t about you.”
Get it? It’s funny because I was the bride and it actually was all about me.
I wish I had my super annoying siblings saying that to me when I was thinking of my first digital product idea. Every time I thought of something, I wish they’d whisper in my ear, “But Eden, this isn’t supposed to be about you.”
The first thing you need to know when trying to brainstorm digital product ideas for your business is that creating a digital product has very little to do with you and everything to do with the person you are serving (YOUR CUSTOMER).
When you’re trying to think of an idea for a digital product, stop thinking about you.
Stop thinking about how much you don’t know, or that you’re not expert enough in a certain topic.
Avoid thinking about what you like or don’t like (as much as possible) or what you want to create or don’t want to create.
This isn’t about you. It has very little to do with you, in fact.
Hop on out of your comfy cozy shoes and slide into the shoes of your ideal customers.
When you refocus the brainstorming session on your customer and not on yourself, a whole new way of thinking will surface and you’ll open yourself up to new potential ideas.
It’s not about you.
Related: https://edenfried.com/the–real–reason–why–your–blog–is–not–making–money–yet/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>why your blog is not making money yet
https://edenfried.com/wp–content/uploads/2018/08/How–to–Come–up–with–an–Idea–for–a–Digital–Product–this–Week–pin–1.png” alt=”How to Come Up with an Idea for a Digital ProdHow to Come Up with a digital product ideauct this Week” width=”298″ height=”528″ />If you don’t know your target audience all that well, you’re going to really struggle to come up with a digital product idea. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s true.
Brainstorming a digital product is best down when you know your target audience as well as you know yourself. You need to be their best friend.
Who is she (or he, but let’s go with she, for now)? What does she like to do? How old is she? Does she have kids? Does she work? What frustrates her? What does she do in her spare time? Where does she live? What shows does she watch on TV? What makes her laugh? What pisses her off?
The better you know your target customer’s demographics and psychographics, the more likely you are to identify the right product for her.
If you haven’t spent time (whether in person or virtually) with your target audience, it’s time to change that. Find ‘em, befriend them, learn everything you can about them. Ready, set, go.
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Okay, yes, we’re all human and we all have a butt-load of problems. But what problem does your target audience have that you can actually play a role in solving?
You’ll only be able to identify problems when you actually spend time with them.
As you spend that time together, be sure to make a list of common struggles or issues you hear them mentioning or talking about. Somewhere in that list might be some inspiration for an offer you can create.
Imagine, for example, that you blog about creating spectacular birthday parties for kids. After a little while of getting to know your target audience, you realize that she really wants to throw her kid an amazing birthday bash but has a serious craft deficiency.
The solution? You can sell her birthday printables so that she can throw a super Pinterest-worthy birthday party without going absolutely insane.
Do you see what happened there?
You, the blogger, know your target customer so well that you were able to identify a pain point that she has (desire to create a super picture worthy birthday party even though she’s not craftsy) and create a solution for that pain point (printables). Oh yeah, baby, that’s what I’m talking about!!
Okay, let’s try another example of identifying a problem and turning it into a product/solution idea.
You’re someone blogging about your journey living a zero waste life. Your target audience (let’s call her Shira) strives to live zero waste.
Shira’s problem is that she doesn’t know how to be zero waste with a baby. You help her solve this problem by teaching her everything she needs to know about zero waste living with an infant – showing her how she can replace all those disposable things parents usually use for their babies with environment-friendly, all natural, sustainable products.
Realistically, you could also turn this into a course or anything else. Pro tip: it doesn’t really matter how you deliver your product (book, course, consulting, template, workbook, designs, workshops), as long as the product delivers on what you said it would deliver (https://conversionxl.com/blog/value–proposition–examples–how–to–create/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>the value proposition).
Let’s say you’ve spent a ton of time with your target audience, but you still can’t seem to identify a problem that needs solving.
The very best thing you can do when brainstorming a digital product idea for your audience is just to spend time talking to your audience asking what they’re struggling with. It’s okay to be forward and just ask.
Get on the phone. Hop on Facebook messenger and chat. Exchange some emails back and forth.
Do whatever you need to do to hear more from your target audience. Listen. Listen some more. When you’re done listening, go back and listen again. They probably wont’ explicitly state, “Hey, I’m struggling with this, can you create something to solve that?” It’s not that easy, but asking about their life and learning about their struggles is a start.
If you’ve been around for a while, you might have a queue of emails or comments on past blog posts that followers have written over time. Go back and peruse those.
Are there any trends or themes? Is the same question or concern reiterated over and over again?
If yes, you might have just found a problem that needs solving. Go on, put the resolution to that problem in product format – you’ve got something to sell!
Let’s say you’re new to the game. You don’t have a ton of emails to dig through. You barely have any comments on your own site. It’s not game over yet, friend.
Head on over to another site in your niche.
See what sorts of conversations are happening in their comment box. Notice any trends or themes? You just may find some interesting answers there.
Sure, I called it spying, but this is totally fair play and not sleazy by any means. Just some good old market research.
Join relevant Facebook groups or slack channels. Find out what your target audience is hanging out online and just spend sometime there listening to the conversations, the questions that come up or concerns they raise.
Chances are, you won’t get immediate gratification from this approach. But the more time you spend in the communities that your target audience hangs out in, the more likely you are to uncover a problem area that will lead you to a product idea.
If you already have a growing email list (even if it’s small and only a few dozen people are on it) send out a two to three question survey asking what your audience needs from you, what they have questions about, or anything along those lines.
Surveys are boring and bland, right? So how do you get people to answer them? Enter all those who submit surveys into a pool to win a prize. The opportunity to win a $20 amazon gift card just by answering 2-3 questions can be very motivating for people!
https://edenfried.com/wp–content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_5717–1–225×300.jpg” alt=”How to Come Up with a digital product idea” width=”198″ height=”265″ />
A lot of times, I find that people actually do have a ton of great ideas, but they won’t let themselves process them.
Set a time for 5 minutes. For 5 minutes straight, take a pen and paper (or do this virtually) and write down ideas. Don’t erase. Don’t hit the backspace button. Don’t question whether your ideas are stupid or not. Don’t think about whether or not your ideas are lucrative. Just jot all of your ideas down, good or bad, for 5 minutes straight.
When the timer is up, move on to a different, unrelated task. Don’t even think about it.
Come back refreshed an hour or so later to see what’s on your list and start to see if there are any plausible options. If you’re not sure, run the list buy a member of your target audience that perhaps you have befriended. Get some feedback.
When you give yourself time to brainstorm without really thinking too much about why or why not something will be successful, lots of ideas start to flow – a lot will be complete poop, but some will be gems.
Take a look at the picture. This could be the start of a “homeschool” blogger starting to think about a product for his/her audience. It's awkward and uncomfortable to get started but just try it out. You never know what may come of it.
The last thing I want you to do is to get yourself so worked up that you haven’t brainstormed that magical, profit-generating product idea just yet. The idea will come, sometimes when you least expect it. Use some of these ideas to start turning those gears in your head, and don’t forget to keep me posted on how your progress is coming along. The journey to finding a product idea for your business isn’t always easy, but just remember, the right product can totally change your life. If that’s not motivation enough, I don’t know what is!