Strategies for Selling Digital Products

So you’ve created a digital product. NOW WHAT???

After taking the time to write an eBook or creating an online course, a digital product creator is eager to make sales. However it often happens that once their project is launched, they are disappointed in the lack of sales.

It’s important to note that the act of creating an eBook or course will not automatically result in people rushing to your blog. Regardless of how much love and care you put into creating your digital masterpiece, the next skill you must master is MARKETING.

Simply, marketing is mastering the art of being VISIBLE.

The saying, “If you build it, they will come”, is simply a quote from a movie. When it comes to having a successful online business, it’s more truthful to say, “If you build it, you have to tell people about it.”

This means making sure that you and your products are seen online on a regular and consistent basis. It means making sure that you are being a leader online, blogging, asking and answering questions, offering advice, and engaging with the community of your ideal customers.

READ RELATED: How to Sell Digital Products Online

To be visible regularly and consistently means having a personal system for marketing your products, and if you need ideas, I’m happy to share my Traffic Light Strategies for Selling Digital Products

Strategies for Selling Digital Products: The BASICS

To be successful with digital products, you need:

  1. Deep knowledge of your ideal customer, and what s/he desires.
    Targeting a SPECIFIC audience with a SPECIFIC desire is probably the most crucial piece of the puzzle. What exactly is your ideal customer wanting to do? What blogs does she read? Which Facebook groups is she a member of? Who are the other people making offers to her?
  2. A digital product of your own that addresses that desire, that is available for sale
    If you don’t yet have an eBook or online course of your own, I highly recommend that you take control of your online destiny by transforming your knowledge and expertise into a digital product that can be sold 24/7. If you are a blogger, author, speaker, you may already have content on your hard drive.
  3. A blog/website that has your product(s) on prominent display
    A blog that is under your control becomes a “home on the web” for your expertise and products. Regardless of how many social networks that you’re on, or how many online retailers carry your digital product, your blog becomes a central place to manage your content.

Strategies for Selling Digital Products: Cold vs Warm vs Hot Leads

Digital marketing is a long game, which means that the results aren’t immediate, but they grow substantially over time. The process to take someone from being a stranger, to becoming a prospective customer, to becoming a raving fan takes TIME.

The process that takes people from COLD > WARM > HOT is sometimes called a funnel. Some people don’t like to use the word “funnel”, but the idea is that continued contact with you and your content has the power to take someone from COLD to HOT.

Cold leads are the people who do not know who you are. They find about you via:

  • Keyword searches in Google
  • Keyword searches in other social media networks
  • Shared Facebook posts
  • Instagram hashtags
  • Tweets that are shared and favorited
  • Interviews on other podcasts
  • Guest blog posts on other people’s blogs
  • Networking events
  • Facebook ads

Warm leads are the people who know about you, and have connected with you online:

  • Return blog visitors
  • Blog subscribers
  • Mailing list members
  • Your FB group members
  • Past customers

Hot leads, aka ideal customers, are:

  • Customers who return
  • Customers who tell their friends
  • Customers who are happy to buy whatever you’re selling

Strategies for Selling Digital Products: The Traffic Light System


Once you’ve identified your ideal customer and her desires, created a product that addresses that desire, and built a blog to be your home base, it’s time to put the Traffic Light System into action.

Inspired by high-performance coach Todd Herman, the Traffic Light System is a way of choosing the correct business activities that will lead to sales. It can be so easy to fill our days with activities that keep us busy, but don’t lead to sales. The street traffic light is a good example of how to determine which promotion activities you need to be doing:

Green light: ACTIVE SELLING
Activities in which you are actively selling your project, giving people a “CALL TO ACTION” to purchase your product. This light is also green because it’s a money making activity. Ka-ching!

  • Sending a newsletter with a call to action
  • Livestream with a call to action
  • Give a workshop or webinar with call to action
  • Posting a new blog post
  • Publish a podcast
  • Publishing a guest blog post on another blog in your niche

Yellow Light: MARKETING
Activities that are a step or two away from selling your project, perhaps these activities move you to a better position to sell your product.

  • Livestream without a call to action
  • Newsletter without a call to action
  • Pin your product or blog post
  • Tweet about your blog or product
  • Give a workshop or webinar without an offer
  • Spend an hour answering questions in someone else’s FB group
  • Spend an hour answering questions in your FB Group
  • In person networking at event
  • Responding to a HARO Source request
  • Pitching a guest blog post
  • Pitching a podcast host

Red Light: PLANNING
Activities that are a few steps away from selling your product. If you need to make more sales, then it’s time to stop these activities, and refocus on Green Light Activities.

  • Optimizing your website
  • Creating content
  • Researching promo opportunities
    • Podcasts to pitch
    • Blogs seeking guest bloggers

No Light: PROCRASTINATING & HIDING
These are the other activities that we get caught up in instead of creating or promoting our content.

  • Procrasti-branding
    • Designing a logo
  • Participating in debates on Facebook
  • Mindless internet surfing
  • Research activities that are unrelated to making a direct sale

Strategies for Selling Digital Products: The Traffic Light Point System

To make the Traffic Light System effective, I’ve assigned a numeric value to each one:

Green Light = 5 Points: ACTIVE SELLING

Yellow Light = 3 Points: MARKETING

Red Light = 1 Point: PLANNING

No Light = 0 Points: PROCRASTINATING & HIDING

Add the points based on your daily activities, and aim for 8-10 points PER DAY before stopping. Having a goal keeps you on track.

Goal: 8-10 points PER DAY

For example: Thursday

  • Publish a new blog post: 5
  • Pin your blog post on Pinterest: 3
  • One solid hour in a Facebook Group: 3
  • Total: 11 Points

Tracking your daily promotion efforts this way can be a fun game that you can play by yourself, or with an accountability partner.

Whenever in doubt, do a Green Light Activity. Cross reference your promotion activities with your monthly sales, and adjust as necessary.

What are your strategies to sell digital products?

online entrepreneur

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Yeah okay but personally I think it’s a long-form version of a marketing calendar. Let’s face it, we all no that running a successful blog site is 20% content and 80% marketing. With that in mind it makes sense to have your calendar organised so that all of those tasks are addressed as part of good business management. I’m not sure it’s as easy as your ‘numbers’ system suggests because I think effective management involves more specific analysis versus ensuring you reach a specific number. Maybe I’ve misinterpreted your system but I’d love for someone to come up with a simplified management system. It would make life one hell of a lot less stressful and give a lot of, especially solopreneurs, some breathing room !!

    • Thanks for your comment, Debbie! This is definitely part of a marketing calendar, and you are right that this system reflects a larger strategy. This particular system, however, is designed for the new digital product creator seeking ideas for what to do with their time. This person hasn’t yet learned about 20% content, and 80% marketing, and they’re seeking a strategy to get started.

      I worked with a coach a few years ago, who offered a point system for performing certain tasks. I loved keeping score of my progress, and sharing my points during my session each week. The point system adds a fun, gamification element, in addition to the accountability. I accomplished a lot using a point system, but as always – different strokes for different folks!

      ~ Carla

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