Updated on January 8, 2021
Building a suite of digital products sounds like a daunting task if you’re already so busy that you don’t even feel like you have time to breathe. Read on though – I’m going to show you why you need a digital product suite and some ways to make creating your products a little easier.
Are you currently providing mostly services to your clients? Providing services can be very time consuming and mentally draining. Clients take a lot of energy. And even if you thrive on that energy, if your goal is to have time in the afternoon for yourself and your family, you have to be careful about how many clients you take on and selective about which clients you take on.
If you reduce the number of clients, though, how can you grow your business? You can raise prices, of course, but that may price you out of the market you want to serve. (Note: I can’t say that you’ll become too expensive, because I believe that there’s a market at every price point. See Tiffany & Co.’s Sterling Silver Tape Measure. For the handyman who has everything?)
You can grow your business with products. Products for your business include everything from your lead magnets all the way to your $30,000 retreat in Bali.
Digital products, in particular, are going to help the busy business-owning mom the most because you won’t have to deal with production, inventory, and shipping. And a digital product suite is the best way to leverage those digital products to build your business and give you the free afternoons you deserve.
Why do you need a whole suite of digital products?
1| Help more people – increase your number of customers
As I was saying above, you just can’t help that many people if you only provide services. It’s okay if your main offer is a service, but it can’t be your only offer or you’ll only help a handful of people.
Realistically, how many clients can you handle each month? What if I gave 30 people ready to buy? Could you handle that right now? Most service-only businesses couldn’t handle that many clients at once. But, if you offered products, the answer would be yes, you could help all those paying customers right away.
Not every one of those 30 customers is going to be at the exact same point along their journey. Some will need an introduction and have a tiny budget. Some will want the entire solution and have a budget to cover it. You want to have a product for each of these customers along the path to solving the core problem you solve for people.
And helping more people is really the way to grow your business, have more influence, make more money, and live the type of life you want to live.
2| Increase lifetime value of your customer/client
Have you ever bought a pair of jeans that fit you so well, you immediately looked up the brand to see what other clothes they made? Or have you ever bought a wallet and fallen so in love with the soft, smooth leather and the brilliance of all its little pockets that you just had to have the change purse, lipstick case, matching tote, and maybe even shoes from the same line?
Have you ever bought a set of student grade paints that were so highly pigmented that you remembered them when you were ready for artist-grade?
I give those examples because when you find a product you like, that helps you achieve a goal, you’re likely to look back to that same supplier when you have another similar goal, or want to get further along with that same goal.
Provide value with even the smallest of products, and customers will remember that value.
Think of your suite of products like a set of stairs. You customers can step onto those stairs wherever it makes sense for them in their journey. And here’s the part we often forget – and then they can step up from there. You can continue to help the same customer more and more if you have the products available.
3| Sell more of your core product/existing products
With a suite of digital products, you can sell more of your core and existing products. This is similar to #1 and #2 above, selling more products to more customers. But, there’s another idea to pay attention to.
When people purchase a small product from you, it’s a bit like a test. They’re checking you out to make sure you deliver what you promise and that they like what you have to say. If you prove trustworthy, customers are more comfortable paying for your higher priced products. You’ve proven that spending with you brings good results.
In addition, it is psychologically painful for people to spend. However, here’s the interesting part! It’s often too painful to go from spending $0 with someone to spending $1000. But, it’s about the same amount of pain to go from spending $0 to $10 as it is to move from spending $10 to $1000. So, having a very tiny product for someone to buy not only builds trust, but helps minimize the pain of spending on the next product. (Note: I believe this concept is from Roger Dooley’s book, Brainfluence.)
4| Increase the value of your core product/service
Whether your core offer is a product or a service, having a suite of digital products will help increase the value of that offer.
If you think about it, who produces quality digital products? People who are experts in their fields, who know how to help others, and who have the desire to help others. Having a line of digital products builds your authority and positions you as an expert.
Core offers from experts have a much higher value than offers from non-experts.
Two digital product suite models that serve business-owning moms
I’m sure there are more product suite models than I could count. But two stand out to me as the most helpful to busy parents trying to create some free time during the day.
One key concept for both of these models is that the business has one main idea, or offer. For example, I may offer different products and services, but my core offer is digital marketing to help business-owning women have more time. So all my products and services should reflect this core offer in some way.
Model 1 – Continuum of Digital Products
In this continuum model, every product does the same thing. The trade off is how much work the client has to do versus how much work you do for them. The more work you do, or the more in-depth the product, the higher the price the customer has to pay.
For example, some products in this product suite could solve the problem of how to design a logo. On the left side of the continuum, the price may be zero, and the product might be one blog post on the best colors to use in a logo. On the right side of the continuum would be an expensive branding package including consulting and a bespoke logo design with a use guide.
Some in between products could be (in order of left to right on the continuum): a lead magnet on choosing typography, a tutorial on sketching for idea generation, a semi-custom logo package with fixed choices.
Where the continuum model makes digital products easy is that they’re all solving the same problem – logo design. If someone has no budget, they can read blog posts. If they have only a small budget, they could read an ebook on designing a logo. If they have a high budget, they have the designer handle everything.
As the product creator, you just need to think about how much help you’re providing at each price point.
At first it may seem like customers who buy the ebook wouldn’t want to move to the right on the continuum and pay for something like a semi-custom package. But that’s only true for some customers, the ones who weren’t ever going to spend more. If the ebook was helpful, then there will be customers who want to buy even more, for more help.
Model 2 – Stair steps
The stair steps model is similar to the continuum in that at the lower price points, the customer is doing all the work, and at the highest price point, you’re doing the work. In the middle, there may be multiple products at the same price points. In addition, each product leads to the next, and creates desire for the next product.
This is a little more complicated but it also provides a good road map for the digital product creator to follow. To create your own map, think through the following questions.
If a customer just read my ultimate, best blog post, what is the next step she would have to take to achieve the solution she’s looking for?
You can also look at this the opposite way – if my customer isn’t ready for my core offer, what would I offer her if she did some of the work?
Part of the challenge is that you see this whole big wall of THINGS YOU MUST DO! When I see that, my brain pretty much shuts down. Just take one at a time. Start with lead magnets so you can begin collecting email addresses of people who want to hear from you.
I’m still working on planning out my digital product suite. What’s driving me is the desire to help more women have the time with their families that they really want. And I know that just doing client work isn’t going to help enough people. Digital products are the way.