How and why to create digital products? In this article, we cover multiple ways to build passive income by creating digital products for interior designers. As an interior designer, you dedicate a lot of time to client projects, which can leave little time to work on attracting new clients or gaining additional income.
If a passive income stream is something you find yourself contemplating, consider producing digital products – whether it’s for the purpose of freeing up time for your client roster, to kickstart the customer journey, or because you want to increase your monthly income, digital products are an excellent way to do so.
What are digital products?
Digital products are a type of product that is delivered through a digital medium. Digital products have an online version, an offline version, or both.
Digital products can be anything from a mobile app to an online course, guides, mood boards, and coaching. They can also be digital versions of physical goods, like ebooks or online consultations. Digital products are usually delivered through the internet and are typically intangible goods.
Why are digital products preferable to physical products?
The digital era has changed the way we consume products. The world is going digital and physical products are becoming obsolete. Digital products have some key benefits that make them preferable to physical products.
Some of the benefits are:
- Lower costs: Digital products require less investment in manufacturing and distribution than physical ones, which means they can be sold for a lower price.
- Scalability: Digital products can be easily reproduced at a low cost and distributed globally, which means they can grow with demand without running out of stock like physical goods.
- Ease of use: Digital goods are more convenient to use than their physical counterparts due to their intangible nature. They take up no space in your house or office, so you don’t need to worry about storage or maintenance
But, you can also combine digital and physical products to create a unique offer
Digital and physical products are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you can use them in tandem to create a unique offer. Here are some ways that you can combine digital and physical products to create a unique offer:
- A digital product with a physical product as an add-on
- A physical product with an accompanying digital guidebook or information pack
- A physical product that is sold digitally, but delivered physically
Benefits of digital products for interior designers
Less admin than physical products
Online and digital products offer many benefits over traditional, physical products. For example, you can instantly access unlimited information, as well as be notified of new products, special offers, and discounts. You can even purchase from the comfort of your own home. One of the best things about digital products is that they can be updated in almost real-time.
When a digital product is updated, it can be sent to the user’s email inbox instantly. Imagine how many hours, days, and weeks it would take to update a paper product? If there were any changes to a physical product, you would need to print it out, update it, and then re-print it. This is why digital products are so much easier to manage.
They don’t need any inventory & don’t go out of stock
Digital products are not tangible, so they don’t go out of stock the same way as physical goods. There is no need for inventory management and you can sell them without worrying about running out of stock. Since a digital product doesn’t have any shelf space requirements, it means that you can sell as many as you want without any worries about how much space they’re taking up in your store.
Can be sent at less cost & globally
Digitally products are cheaper to send than physical products.
The cost of sending a digital product is very low. It’s not completely free, since you do need to have digital storage solutions or a platform where the customer can download the product, but the costs are far less than when shipping physical goods. It also takes less time to deliver, which means that the product will be delivered faster. Even if you sell a physical product, you can send a digital guidebook in advance, and get the customer excited about the coming delivery.
Can be sold many times over
Digital products can be sold many times over because they are infinitely reproducible. This means that digital products can be shared and sold without any loss of quality. However many companies use scarcity as part of their marketing, it just feels unethical given that what comes to digital products, there really aren’t any limits to how many pieces can be reproduced and sold. If you want to use scarcity in your marketing, make it rather limited by time than limited by inventory.
Cheap to create
Digital products are cheap to create, even if you’re not a digital designer. With a digital product, you can release it as soon as you have completed it. You don’t need to wait for the manufacturing process or worry about distribution channels. This is why digital products can be cheaper than physical ones. Also, you can create a version of the product and keep improving it once you have made some customers.
How to make money with digital products
Making money with digital products is an excellent way to generate passive or more correct: leveraged income. No business is passive by its nature, but you can create a leveraged income stream for your business, where you don’t need to serve your customers 1:1 but rather deliver your digital products per automation. however, marketing your business, your digital products, services, and anything you sell, is not passive. Check out the 4 Steps For Effective Online Marketing For Design Companies.
The types of digital products for interior designers
Courses are always popular, and a great way to teach your methodology and process to your customers. you could create courses for DIY’ers who can’t afford your service, or to your industry peers with who you want to cooperate.
Ebooks are another popular way to deliver great results in a very low, scalable way. You can create an ebook and sell it, or alternatively use it to generate leads for your business.
Digital mood boards are a great way to offer your services in a packaged way. You can create pre-made packages based on different styles and functions. For example, you can create a full color palette with product recommendations and an ebook as a guide.
Tutorials and Guides
Just like ebooks, you can create tutorials and guides that you sell to your customers. These could be, for example, a specific way to design a room, or a starter kit to prepare the house for an interior design project.
Shopping lists are powerful for DIY’ers who prefer to buy the interiors online or at a local store. You can add affiliate links to the shopping lists to make an extra income if the customer decides to buy your recommended products.
Templates and Calculators
You could create planning templates and calculation sheets that your customers can use to budget for the coming renovation and remodeling project. This could be a great way to have the customer calculate the budget in advance before they invest in your services.
Resources and templates for other design professionals
Of course, you can create tools and templates for your peers too! if you really want to become known in your industry, you might want to consider contributing to the community of design professionals and vendors, not only to the customers.
You could sell coaching and consulting packages that you deliver online. This is not a fully automated delivery, but you could make a great extra, or full-time income by offering interior design consulting in a Zoom call. The Expert is a great example!
A membership site
You could create a membership where you teach design. The membership could also give access to products and services at a discounted rate, together with events and other fun activities for your clients. If you want to develop it further, you could ask your industry peers to advertise their services for your members for mutual benefits.
Affiliate products are a great way to make extra income! You can sign up for various affiliate networks and programs, and sell products in your store, without having any inventory! Amazon has the most popular affiliate program in the world, but other brands and shops offer great programs too.
You could add affiliate products to your ebooks and guides as well to increase the LTV of your customer.
Last, but not least, e-design services are very popular. Even if consumers have access to the online stores to complete the purchase, they still need your design expertise to know what to buy and how to pull it together. You can create ready-made rooms or customize each delivery based on your clients’ needs and desires.
This is probably the simplest way to start with digital products for interior designers. You only need to package your offers and sell them, no need to create anything in advance, other than the onboarding process and sales page.
How to create and sell your digital products
First, you have to make sure to understand and use your audience’s needs and desires. You need to test your messaging and idea before you build it. The best, most reliable feasibility test of your idea is to actually sell your product before you create it. I know it might feel hard to pull through at first, but you don’t want to spend too much time and money on creating a digital, or any, product before you have buyers.
Start small and progress based on the feedback you get from your customers. Starting small might mean different things, depending on your product, but usually, it means any of the following:
- create a mini product and sell it.
- create the first 30% of your product and sell it, then continue developing your offer when your first clients progress.
- create a future timeline for your product: sell it now, and tell the customers when they can expect the delivery. You can call it the pilot version, but don’t call it beta. beta usually means crap.
Resources to help you create your digital product
- Online course creation/membership site: Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, with ThriveCart to collect payments
- Ebook: Canva + ThriveCart to collect payments
- Design packages: MyDoma Studio is a great tool!
Create a systematic journey – what’s the next step for your customer?
What does the customer value journey look like? What do you want the customer to do after they have completed or consumed your digital offer? Always think about offering the next logical step to your customers, both the help them progress towards their goals, and also to increase your profits.
Summary of the article