Last week I shared my tips for creating digital products, so this week we’re going to talk about selling. Yes, icky, spammy, annoying SELLING.
Most of us don’t get into online business because we’re great at selling. We’re creators, teachers, designers, coaches looking to share our expertise and then we start launching and realize that sales is a really big piece of the puzzle. And my guess is – it feels REALLY awkward.
So this week I’m sharing 7 tips that will hopefully make that process a little easier.
Resources + Links
- Launch your digital product (and learn to sell!) in my 12 week coaching program – enrollment opens April 21st! Visit https://xosarah.com/coaching for all the info
- Brian Tracy’s books on selling
This week we’re going to talk about selling because once your product is complete, selling will be your job for as long as that product is live.
We’re all creators, teachers, designers, coaches – selling is not usually a skill we pick up until we have to and it’s often uncomfortable.
Which I totally get – I started my business as a web designer attracting potential clients from my blog posts (that weren’t always business-related). But when I started creating ebooks and online courses the game totally changed.
I’ve sold in a bunch of different ways
- Instagram, facebook, pinterest, twitter posts
- Live on ig and fb
- Joint webinars
- Pre-recorded free trainings
- Facebook and instagram and Pinterest ads
- Marketplace sites
Some of those worked well, felt good, made lots of sales, and some of them didn’t. Not because they’re bad strategies, they just weren’t the best way for me to sell or the best way for my audience to learn about my products.
I recommend specific sales strategies to my Dare to Grow coaching students because I know that it’s the easiest way for them to start. We focus on Instagram and building an email list, but if you love going live or partnering with people – that might be the better option for you.
7 things I’ve learned in the process of selling 14 digital products in the last 8 years . . .
1 ➜ You need to give your audience a heads up
The “Surprise I made a thing” launch doesn’t work that well unless people are already used to buying from you. If you’ve never sold anything before or you’re transitioning from services to products, you need to start mentioning what you’re doing as soon as you start planning.
Most people don’t do this because if they don’t tell anyone then they don’t really have to finish the product or launch. They can spend months or even years on their product when they could have probably launched in a couple of weeks knowing someone was expecting it.
So tell your people that you’re creating something the minute you decide it’s a go. I like to tell my audience what type of product it is (course, ebook, workshop) and let get them excited to learn what it will be about in the coming weeks.
For my recent journal launch I announced on stories that I was creating a printed product, gave a few sneak peeks at pages I was designing, and then did a big reveal of the cover about 2 weeks before the actual launch.
You can picture this process as a pyramid – at the top (a month in advance) you mention it once/week or so and at the bottom, the week of your launch, you’re talking about it every time you show up. As the weeks go on you’re essentially doubling the amount of mentions every week
2 ➜ It’s the benefits not the features that get people to buy
To start, let’s define what each of those are:
If you’re selling an online yoga course, features are things like – 10, 30 minutes classes, classes focused on abs, arms, balance, flexibility, and unlimited replays. Things that would be listed under “Here’s what’s included” on a sales page.
Benefits are things like gaining flexibility, balance, and using the classes as daily stress relief.
These are the stories you tell on your sales page under a heading like “Imagine if…” You could finally fold forward and put your palms flat on the ground. You had 30 minutes just for yourself at the end of a long day. You felt more connect to your body.
Brainstorm stories around what people are doing with, getting out of your product, the experiences they’re hoping for.
3 ➜ You don’t need to make your product cheaper to get sales
This can apply to most products: Let’s say you’re shopping for a necklace and similar options are $10, $40, and $100. Most people are going to buy the $40 or $100 version because they perceive that there is something wrong or missing from the $10 version. Instead of saying – Why is this so expensive? people more often think – Why is that so cheap??
When pricing your product consider the transformation – what would people pay to get that end result with less struggle, time, and money invested?
It’s rarely dependent on how many hours of video or how many pages are in a book – you can make any price point work by increasing the value or perceived value of the result.
Which ties into the next point . . .
4 ➜ The middle part of a launch sucks
It sucked when I launched my first product and it still sucks now.
I’ve heard this from people selling their first $29 product and people with million-dollar businesses.
Here’s what happens when running open enrollment, a price hike, or offering bonus where there is a time limit or an expiration date: A few people will buy at the beginning, a LOT less will buy in the middle, and a rush of people will show up to buy at the end. (Like last day, last minute-end)
The middle part is frankly a mind fuck.
You’re showing up, you know your thing is great, and sales have STALLED.
And so you start second guessing – Should I have made it cheaper? Should I have added more? Should I have launched at a different time?? Do people even want this???
So if you get to the middle and you really are worried there’s an issue . . .
5 ➜ If you aren’t making sales your product isn’t the problem
You get to the middle of your launch and start to panic over all the things that might be wrong with your product, but the product is rarely the problem.
And I say this after 14 of my own launches and working on launches with a ton of students in a ton of niches. It’s not your product, it’s almost always how much you’re showing up and selling.
We’re all creators, teachers, designers, coaches and selling is not usually a skill we pick up until we have to, so most people are afraid and feel hella awkward showing up and ask for the sale
If you’re in the first two weeks of a launch or you’re running an open enrollment / bonus / price hike that will end at a specific time – you need to show up and sell every single day.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Remember – people are not paying as much attention as we imagine, so showing up daily allows you to talk about your product in 6 different ways, knock out all their excuses, and share multiple stories to get them to the sales page and clicking the buy button.
(If you’re looking for more info on sales right now, Brian Tracy’s books are fantastic.)
6 ➜ Figure out how to get organic sales before you spend money on ads
If you can’t sell to the 200 people following you on Instagram or on your email list, ads aren’t going to do any better.
Creating ads to convince cold subscribers to buy is a hard mountain to climb. It’s covered in ice and you’re wearing roller skates trying to drag strangers toward a product they’ve never heard of.
The better option is to create ads after learning what lands with your audience – if it does well on Instagram organically, THEN turn it into an ad.
However, you may not even need ads if you can figure out how to connect with your audience, sell to them, and get them results, then spend that cash elsewhere.
But if you do want to test ads, they’re great for attracting cold subscribers with a freebie – get them on your email list, following you on IG, and then you can sell to them.
7 ➜ Ask them why they didn’t buy
Did someone click the sales page link in every email or have an extended convo with you via DM but didn’t buy – ask them why!
DM them and say – Just curious you seemed really interested, mind sharing why you didn’t buy?
We assume that the person didn’t want it or didn’t have the money and we’re afraid to hear something negative, but the more you ask now and practice having awkward conversations, the easier it gets going forward.
It’s all just data.
If they say this wasn’t the right time, ask them how much time they’d be willing to dedicate, maybe they over-estimated how long your course takes and a quick convo could change their mind.
If they say it was money, ask if a payment plan would be helpful or what they’d be able to invest if you created a mini version of the product.
You wont know unless you ask and once you have that info you can use it to work through excuses and issues prior to the cart closing next time.
The sales process can be a million times less complicated than we make it / expect it to be
There is some psychology that can help, but it’s also about listening to your audience and communicating what’s coming.
You need to show up and be the most excited about what you’re launching – no one else will be more excited than you.
Sell from IG posts, from emails, going live, through collaborations – there isn’t a one size fits all sales strategy and you will learn what works best as you go.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to dive in, launch something, see how it works – you can only create better products and better sales strategies from a place of action.
If you’re interested in creating + launching + selling a digital product and you want to avoid some of these issues altogether, Dare to Grow, my 12-week coaching program is opening for enrollment soon. All the info is over at xosarah.com/coaching and if you have questions you can always DM me on Instagram @xosarahmorgan. Happy to chat!
And if you missed it, check out Episode #16 on the product creation process!