Key Mistakes to Avoid When Creating and Launching Your First Digital Product

Key Mistakes To Avoid When Creating + Launching Your First Digital Product |

I've been around the world of digital products for a few years now — working on them with my clients, and it's only this year that I've begun to really sink my teeth in and work on my own products.

I think they're a bloody awesome way to offer your expertise to a wider range of people, and if you do them right you can run your whole business on them.

From working with my clients and from creating my own products, I've picked up a few lessons along the way — including what not to do. I've rounded up my few top mistakes and things to avoid, so let's do this. 

:: You keep waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to launch it.

Guess what, partner? The perfect time is when you decide it is. 

If you have an idea to create a digital product, you gotta start working on it right now. Set yourself some deadlines, and make it happen.

Start before you're ready.

I’ve been wanting to build my own digital products for over 12-18 months now, and it was only in about May this year that I launched my first legit course. I kept putting it off, telling myself I didn’t have enough time to create it. But really, it wasn’t a question about time, it was a question about priorities.

So I made the decision to get my shit together + make it happen.

In reality, in some ways I wish I’d started sooner… But it is what it is.  

And if you want an extra kick in the ass to get it done? Announce it on your website/social media pages, and tell people what you’re making + when it will be out. This is pretty much what I did for my first course launch back in May, and it was super motivating for me. I had the idea, I got enough validation, and before I could think about it too much more I started telling people I was making it. 

:: You’re not open to feedback.

I think one of the most important things as you’re creating any kind of product or service, is being open to feedback and open to changes. I believe it’s important for you to believe in this thing you’re making, and you have to love it, but being open to opinions from possible customers, friends, and others can be really helpful.

One side note here ::
Asking for feedback, and actioning feedback are two different things. 

For example, after my Branding course Be Unmistakable ended, I sent out an email to get peoples thoughts, and to ask what they might like to see in future versions of the course.

I had a couple comments requesting that I include more DIY design tips and tutorials, something which I’m pretty opinionated about — in that I don’t ever really want to teach people ‘how’ to design. I would rather talk about the value of good design, and what makes good design. So while those design tutorials might be something people want from me, it’s not something I plan on doing.

But, I also had a few other suggestions that were really awesome + that I'm planning on actioning for future versions of the course.

So if you get some feedback that doesn’t align with your values or your mission, that’s totally okay. You don’t have to actually action it, but you do have to be open to ways of improving and changing your product. 

Here’s some example questions you could ask people, as they review your product ::

  • What was your favourite part? What did you love about it? 
  • What was your least favourite part? 
  • Is there anything you felt was missing? 
  • Would you recommend this product? Why, or why not? 
  • What hesitations did you have about purchasing [Your Product Name]? 
  • Have you made any changes in your life/biz after [taking this course/reading this ebook/etc.]? Have they made a positive impact on your life? 

:: You don’t focus on the outcome/transformation people will have, as you create and promote the product.

Throughout the whole process of creating and launching your product, it’s important to think about how it will really help people, or what the outcome will be for them after they read your book/complete the course/etc.

How will it help them? 

What’s the end game for them? 

:: You go into it with a ‘create it and they will come’ approach. 

This is probably the mistake I see the most, and it’s one of the biggest misconceptions around digital products. A lot of people think you can just create something, launch it, and it will sell. 

Well, that ain't really how it works.

You have to make it work. You have to get out and tell people what you’re making. You gotta give them sneak peeks and make them feel as though they’re part of the process. 

Nothing about this has to be sleazy or salesy.

You’re making something you’re passionate about that you know will help people, and if they choose to buy it — then you’re trading value. That’s it. No slimy tactics or mindfucking people into buying something they don’t need or want. 

Here’s some ideas for increasing the reach + hype of your product :: 

  • Put an announcement bar on your website. In Squarespace this is just called an 'Announcement Bar'. In Wordpress there are various plugins such as HelloBar that let you do this.
  • Put up an opt-in page so people can get updates and access to first dibs. Give people a basic run-down on what the product will be, and what they can expect from signing up.
  • Change all of your social media bio links to direct to that sign-up page.
  • Write blog posts + social media posts about what you’re making. Share the triumphs. Share the hard parts. Get real.
  • Write guest posts. 

ps. If you dug this post, you might be interested in a new toolkit I’m working on, which will teach you exactly how to create + launch your first eCourse, specifically using MailChimp and Squarespace.

It doesn't have a name yet, but it's launching in December! 

If you’re keen to get access to the exclusive Pre-Sale, you can join my tribe below and you'll be the first to know once it's out.  

Sian Richardson