Digital products can be a fantastic way to establish authority in your given niche, nurture warm leads, collect email addresses for email marketing campaigns and provide value to your audience before they've even bought from you.
Even if the product is free, the person that downloaded it should be left to feel as though they would have been willing to pay for it. This is not something that you're throwing together; it should be genuinely useful and valuable to your readers.
Digital products are unlikely to be a complete source of revenue for personal trainers. But if you wish to charge for them and they provide unique value they can be a side income stream. These products take work upfront, though. To deliver useful, actionable information, you'll need to put some effort into finding the right topic, research it as comprehensively as you can and to create an attractive design.
From a delivery and admin point, aim to set the funnel up in such a way that downloads (and any payments) can happen automatically without any further input from you.
Types of Digital ProductWe all use digital products every day - pretty much any time you use the internet or your phone, anything you download, whether paid or free, they all come under that same umbrella.
As a personal trainer, you could publish a variety of digital products. Here are just a few ideas to get you inspired:
- Curated playlists to get your clients amped up for a workout.
- Video libraries that give step by step support on how to perform popular exercises.
- Your app used to deliver pre made nutrition or training programmes.
- Custom made ebooks such as recipes, home workouts or templated shopping lists.
- Pretty much any part of your online coaching service can be separated and offered as a digital product.
So let's look at how to create and publish your own that your ideal clients will love.
Step 1: Research What Your Clients WantThis is the market research stage of developing your content. This stage is vital to make sure your ideal client wants what you're creating. There's no point pouring time, energy and resources into any digital products that no one wants to download.
As you do your research, you might use your existing clients to learn some of the following:
1. What are your clients' pain points? This could give you an indicator of what they'd like to learn or skills they'd like to develop.
2. What are their goals from the coaching process? Something they expect from working with an expert.
3. What are their big grand ambitions? This may be something they've only can imagine in their daydreams.
4. What challenges might they face in their typical day? Their answer here could be something internal (like how they talk to themselves after slipping up on their diet) or something external (resisting the vending machine at work).
5. What are they Googling to help them to solve their problem already? You might want to pay particular attention to how they word their questions.
These questions and answers will give you a starting point to know what sort of digital products might help them. If you have no clients at the moment, asking open-ended engagement questions on your social media accounts, such as "which do you struggle with more, diet or exercise?" could give you an insight into what your market needs.
Step 2: Test IdeasIf you have clients at the moment, asking them to help you narrow down your research will be a useful step. Clients love to feel involved in the decision making processes in your business, and it shows that you respect their opinion. Simply being honest and asking for help is OK.
"I'm doing some research into what sort of topics would be most useful. My goal is to get a few more incredible clients like you, so by having a clear idea of which of these options you'd find most useful will help me to attract more people like you." Then list the options.
Your clients may even see this as an opportunity to make referrals, which is something that you should be asking for regularly anyway. You might choose to use software to make this process more streamlined, such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey.
Step 3: Create Content Around That Topic
Posting multiple times on your social media and your blog about issues around that same topic is one way to generate authority, as well as creating excitement about your resource in development. You can hint at a comprehensive digital product around this topic being released soon, to encourage comments and interaction around the launch of the product. The main idea is to act quickly, so you're generating a buzz around the launch itself.
For example, your content could be a Facebook post around some of the best lean sources of protein. Your free giveaway could be a recipe which includes one of those protein sources. Your actual digital product could be an ebook with 7 recipes for those protein sources, as well as a templated shopping list, and a short video of you showing 3 delicious ways to cook them.
Step 4: Collect Email AddressesAccording to a marketing principle called The Rule Of Seven, people need to see your marketing message between five and twelve times before buying into your service. So, the more you can increase the number of interactions between yourself and a prospect, the more quickly they will become a paying client.
A great way to ensure you can send your content directly to your audience is to encourage them to get on your email list. One of the main reasons to have a free digital product is to gather email addresses from your prospective clients.
You can do this through an email marketing provider, such as Mailerlite or Aweber. If you have a website, you can integrate the sign-up form within a hidden page and direct targeted traffic there. If you don't, most email marketing software products give you the option to build a landing page.
That landing page gives you a way to communicate the main benefits of the free download, and provides the visitor with the fields to insert their name & email. Once they sent their details, your email marketing software will add them to your list automatically and you can either create an automated response with the free download or send them to a download link.
ConclusionThe most critical stage of development for digital products is market research. It's of the utmost importance that your ideal clients want the product you're making. Where possible, consider investing in a professional to create the asset (there are affordable professionals on Upwork or Fiverr). This could be a designer, videographer or copywriter.
A carefully researched, written, and designed product will bring value into your business - potentially for years. It's also the first impression a new client will have of your services. This is the first opportunity to impress them and turn them into a client.