How to create a digital product when you don't have much time

Do you dream of creating a digital product, but can’t find the time?

I used to be the same.

In between client work, marketing and blogging, I struggled to make time for long-term projects and never seemed to get past the planning stage.

Then I broke my ankle and realised that I needed to diversify my income stream if I wanted to make my business more sustainable over the long-term.

I got down to business and created a new opt-in freebie, as well as my first digital product –a 76-page guide called How to Write an Alluring ‘About Me’ Page.

Launching a passive income product has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my business.

In addition to helping me grow my list and increase my income (without burning out), it has also allowed me to reach more people through my work, including those who normally wouldn’t be ready to invest in a copywriter. 

So if you’ve been trying to figure out how to create a digital product when you’re already flat-out with your existing workload, here are my top tips:

Put it in your schedule
As entrepreneur and author Tony Robbins says: If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”

Set aside a couple of weekends to focus on completing your project or, if you can’t manage that, schedule some smaller chunks of time throughout the month to get it done. Think of it like a fitness routine – even 30-minutes a day, a few times a week, will get results.

While I don’t think outsourcing is essential, it can definitely take the pressure off and help you create a higher quality product.

For instance, I wanted my guide to look really special, so I hired a fashion illustrator to create some custom artwork, as well as a talented graphic designer to do the layout and design.

For my last opt-in freebie, I hired a virtual assistant to help me with the layout and I also loved the end result.

Bottom line: if you’re getting stuck because you’re trying to do everything yourself, figure out what your weak spots are and find a professional who can help you out.

Keep it simple
When I originally sat down to plan my digital product, I was going to do a complete guide on copywriting.

Then I connected with an instructional designer, Stacey Howe-Lott, who taught me the value of starting out with a product that’s small and laser-focused.

I realised that narrowing down the scope of my project would not only allow me to get it finished sooner, it would also be less overwhelming for the people I wanted to serve.

In the end, I created an opt-in freebie that focused on how to write a home page, while my paid product was a comprehensive toolkit on writing an ‘about me’ page. My next product, which I’m in the process of completing, will cover sales pages.

Hire a coach
When I started writing my copywriting guide, I kept on changing my mind about the direction I should take. To a degree, this is a normal part of the creative process, but unless you get on top of doubt and indecision, you’ll never see the finish line.

That’s why I ended up hiring a wonderful business coach, Helen Hunter Mackenzie. Having someone to bounce ideas off, ask for feedback and keep me accountable was so important, and it helped me finish my product much sooner that I otherwise would have.

Choose the easiest option when you get stuck
I was so excited when I finally finished my digital product, because I thought the hard part was over. Then I realised I needed to figure out how I was actually going to deliver it to people!

I spent a few days researching various e-commerce platforms and membership site plugins, and ended up feeling totally overwhelmed and confused by all the options.

Ultimately, I decided that instead of trying to get my head around a new technology, I would just go with Simplero, a platform specifically designed for delivering information products. Since then I’ve changed to Selz, which I absolutely love because it’s so affordable and easy to use.

The key takeaway is that if you find yourself spinning around in circles at any point, just choose the easiest way forward. You can always change your mind later down the track, but it’s important to keep the momentum going.

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2 Comments on How to create a digital product when you don’t have much time

  1. Anne
    September 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Great post Jehane. You have just motivated me to get my ebook finished or should I say properly started. Loved the tips. Thank you. Anne

    • Jehane Sharah
      September 2, 2015 at 5:29 pm (2 years ago)

      That sounds exciting, Anne! I can’t wait to see it. 🙂


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