Digital business was once considered a novelty, a quick fad that would disappear like pet rocks or Tamagotchis. But digital business has proven its strength, and according to Forbes, 89% of businesses plan to start or have already implemented a digital-first business strategy.
Leaders, visionaries, and traditional business owners all have a stake in digital business today. Its power will continue to grow, and to upend the priorities and habits of both large and small businesses. Digital is still the new frontier for many, and in five years or less, businesses without a digital presence will fall behind.
This is exciting news, especially for growing business owners and solopreneurs just getting started. Digital business provides massive opportunities. It’s a way to combine traditional and tech offerings, and a forum to monetize niche skillsets. Digital business has a more discerning customer, and it lets you create a dream experience for any product: immediate, easy, and accessible.
Digital Business and Digital Products: Your Ultimate Guide
1. What is a Digital Product?
- Photoshop, Photography, and Design
- Website Themes and Software
2. Digital Business Security
3. Bring Your Digital Business to Life
What is a Digital Product?
Digital business is revolutionary in one more way; the option to sell digital products. Most of us are familiar with digital products like Photoshop and Netflix. You may have a friend who has monetized their YouTube channel. But what digital products do small business owners sell online? It changes fast, because the internet has changed the way that we experience time and what we do with it. It’s best to organize your business around your existing skills. We’ve included a list of the most popular digital products for your business below, so you can see where your skills fit in the tech landscape.
“In traditional publishing, the writer sees a sliver of the profits — 5-15 percent…In small press publishing, that number goes up significantly, and indie writers get to keep the biggest portion of the pie.” – Cat Rambo, President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (Source)
Ebooks are the most popular digital product, and they’re also a great tool for promotion. There’s never been a better time to self-publish a book. A successful Ebook can be about anything: baking pies, sage business advice, or a collection of adventurous short stories.
It’s easy to forget when you’re starting a digital business, that audio is much more than music. You may not have the knowledge it takes to create the original music and samples that you can find online. Instead, you can earn money selling digital products like exclusive podcasts, guided meditations, sound effects, or foreign language lessons. Free tools like Audacity and GarageBand make it easy to record and edit sound from your home computer.
Photoshop, Photography, and Design
Another popular digital business revolves around digital products for the visually inclined. Help your customers make their communication more attractive, personal, and professional. There is a world of digital products that a designer, artist, or photographer can create to earn passive income with a digital business. Some options include:
- Photoshop presets
- Stock photographs and illustrations
- Digital wallpaper
- Templates for wedding or baby shower invitations
- Resume or email templates
Video is the most viewed media online today. If you have a message, video is the medium your customers are most likely to view and interact with. Your digital product could be a training video, for instruction in any and every subject you can think of. Savvy digital business owners are also creating videos for specific topic niches. If you have an interest in old samurai films or contemporary Danish lit, chances are there is a community hungry for your videos. A smart strategy for selling is to offer your videos in a subscription format. This will give you repeat income for your digital business.
Website Themes and Software
If you’re a wiz with code you’re a natural fit to transition to a digital business. Digital products in this area might involve advanced visual themes or writing complex scripts for businesses like 123Muse and Yuzool.
Classes aren’t the only services that people buy online. Your digital business might sell tickets to virtual or in-person events, meet-ups, or experiences in your community. The possibilities are endless!
Digital Business Security
A digital business selling digital products is also a seductive option because of the low start-up cost. But one big factor that can eat into your profits is a lack of security. Search engines like Google make it easy to find digital downloads that people are happy to use for free if they can. You’ve created digital products worth paying for, so as you transition your growing business online, take every precaution to secure your digital downloads.
Strategies to protect your files include:
- Create an opt-in email form and collect buyer information. Scammers are less likely to steal downloads with a sign-up process.
- Utilize digital encryption, like a stamp or watermark, for your files
- Use license keys, also sometimes called activation keys, they are a unique code generated for your customer at the time of sale. License keys are an effective and simple option to protect you as you sell your original digital files.
- Include your copyright in any file names to reinforce your ownership of your digital product
- Set limits for download sharing. Think about what options will be best for your customers. Is a limited amount of time the right fit for your customers? Or do you want to limit the number of downloads per customer?
Bring Your Digital Business to Life
Now it’s time to bring your digital business online. It can be tempting to go to large marketplace sites like Etsy or Amazon, but sellers often lose a chunk of profits because of subtle added costs. Selling independently gives you control of how customers see your digital business and how it operates. Do you want to sell from Facebook and build a community on social media? Sell directly from your blog? Or build an independent site?
Things to prioritize in an Ecommerce site when selling digital products include:
- Digital storage limits, bandwidth, and delivery options – These details are extremely important for selling digital products, especially videos.
- Shopping cart options – Abandoned shopping carts are common, and shopping cart options and tools like built-in email templates can make a big difference in your sales.
- Integrations with web tools – In your digital business you’ll be sending emails, building a sales funnel, and connecting with a range of customers. Integrations can simplify and streamline complicated processes.
- Customer experience – Customer experience is the first priority in selling online. Make sure the Ecommerce platform you choose has 24/7 customer service for you. You’ll also need options in the platform to help you respond to your buyers.
- Discount and coupon options – Limited discounts and special coupons are great motivators for hesitant buyers. They also make great lead magnets and will be an important way to motivate return customers.
- Marketing tools – Marketing is of premium importance for your growing business, so an Ecommerce platform with built-in tools for marketing, like SEO optimization, is essential.
- Upselling options – Many digital business owners have reaped big rewards upselling. Upselling is a sales strategy where you add bonus offerings to the initial customer selection to create a more profitable sale.
The internet is an incredible place. There are digital business options that no one imagined in the beginning. Your only limit is your imagination.
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