In this week’s episode of The Blogger Genius Podcast, I’m interviewing Michelle Marks, a business coach who specializes in helping women run businesses from home.
We talk about how easy it is to come up with a digital product idea and I challenge her to come up with one during the interview in real time.
Table of Contents
The Power of MiloTreeCart
Before diving into the conversation with Michelle, I introduce share how selling digital products is a breeze with MiloTreeCart. This tool offers features like fill-in-the-blank sales pages, check out pages, upsells, and amazing support.
Currently we have a limited-time offer where you can purchase MiloTreeCart for a lifetime deal of $349 or in three easy installments, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As a bonus, I’m offering a one-hour free coaching call for those who purchase before the end of August.
Michelle Marks: From Freelancer to Business Coach
Michelle shares her entrepreneurial journey, which began with freelance gigs in writing and photography. She later started a graphic design business and, after having kids, found a passion for working with women who run businesses from home.
She now specializes in helping them create and sell scalable digital products.
Understanding Digital Products
We discuss the definition of digital products, which Michelle describes as anything that can be sold as a file.
We also touch on the blurred lines between coaching and digital products, with coaching being a service but also a form of digital product. We agree that memberships are considered digital products because they are infinitely scalable
Creating Unique Digital Products
Michelle explains that even if there are already many products out there, someone can bring their own style, perspective, and lessons learned to create a product that reaches people on a unique level.
She suggests that a blogger should consider her target audience’s goals, problems, and desires when deciding what kind of product to create.
Selling Digital Products and Finding Initial Customers
Michelle says that an ebook could be a great option for bloggers who excel in written content, as it provides a shortcut for readers to learn and take action.
Understanding the Customer’s Journey
Michelle emphasizes the importance of understanding the next stage in a customer’s journey. She uses the example of someone who wants to expand their plant collection but has doubts about their ability to keep the new plants thriving.
To address this, she suggests creating a list of easy-to-care-for plants that the person can purchase. This way, they can continue to expand their plant collection with confidence.
Exploring Other Possibilities
We also explore other possibilities within the plant niche, such as selling the health benefits of being a plant owner or offering workshops on creating personalized pots.
Michelle encourages thinking outside the box and brainstorming different ideas to cater to various personas within the target audience.
Dealing with Products That May Not Sell Well
Michelle acknowledges that dealing with products that may not sell well can be challenging and may trigger feelings of rejection. However, she advises reframing these experiences as learning opportunities.
The Importance of Community and Mindset
Michelle shares her belief that having a supportive community is vital for success, as it provides validation, help, and feedback. I agree, stating that building a business can be lonely without people who understand and support your goals.
Connect with Michelle Marks
Michelle invites listeners to connect with her on Instagram and join her Facebook group, “Growing Your Business with Digital Products.” She describes the group as a place where digital product creators can find support, training, and resources from someone who has made mistakes and experienced both successful and unsuccessful product launches.
If listeners want to reach out to me to discuss their digital product ideas and offered to provide guidance and motivation please sign up for a quick Zoom session at milotree.com/meet.
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Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- 5 Tips to Get Out of Your Own Way and Sell with Joy with Jillian Leslie
- Writing an Ebook is Easier than You Think: Step-by-Step Guide – Solo Episode with Jillian Leslie
- Get Paid What You’re Worth and Grow a 6-Figure Biz with Kathleen Celmins
Imagine a World Where You Could Sell Digital Products in 10 Minutes…
If you are interested in selling paid workshops, digital downloads, memberships, subscriptions, or coaching in under 10 minutes, get MiloTreeCart at our lifetime launch price of $349. Just a one-time payment.
MiloTreeCart is built for non-techies. No coding, design, or website needed. If you’re a female creator, this is for you!
You get fill-in-the-blank sales pages, checkout pages, and payment collection, plus, a dashboard to manage your sales. Also, MiloTreeCart integrates with all major email service providers.
And of course, there’s a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee. We’re only happy when you are!
Transcript “Craft An Easy Digital Product in Real Time”
Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – My name is Jillian and I’m hosted the Blogger Genius podcast. Before we get into today’s interview, let me ask you a question. Are you wishing you could sell digital products like digital downloads or workshops, memberships, coaching mini courses, but you don’t know where to start? And are you tired of complicated tech and spending way too much money on monthly subscriptions? Well, you need a tool that makes all of this simple, and the answer is Milo Tree cart. So this is the tool we built for non techies who want to tap into a new income stream with military cart. You get fill in the blank sales pages, check out pages, a sales dashboard, upsells and support from people who seriously care. And right now, for a limited time, we are selling Milo tree Cart for a lifetime deal of 349 pay once or in three easy installments and enjoy it forever. Hit pause right now. Head to Milo Tree. We offer a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee so there is no risk.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:05) – And if you buy before the end of August as a bonus, I’m offering a one hour free coaching call with you, which I usually charge $300 for to make sure you are set up for digital product success.
Announcer (00:01:23) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast brought to you by Milo Tree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie (00:01:31) – Welcome to the show. You know, I love talking about people making money selling digital products. So today I am interviewing business coach Michelle Marks. And what we do, we dissect how to figure out what you could sell. So you’re sitting here and you’re like, Well, I do have an audience. I’m not selling anything directly to them, but I don’t even know where to start. Definitely listen to this episode because I challenge her in real time to come up with actual products she could sell and what that really looks like in the nitty gritty. So if this is you, you’ve got your business, you’ve got your blog, you’re starting to really make money, you’ve got an audience, but yet you’re looking for new income streams like selling to your people and building that relationship up.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:24) – This is the episode for you. So without further delay, here is my interview with Michelle Marks. Michelle, welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast. Thank you, Julian. Thank you for having me. What I think is really funny is it’s 5 a.m. for you and you were willing to wake up for this recording.
Michelle Marks (00:02:51) – I’m awake. May not be conscious. I’ll do my best.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:57) – Okay.
Michelle Marks (00:02:58) – So would.
Jillian Leslie (00:02:59) – You share? Your entrepreneurial journey and really where you are today, what your expertise is?
Michelle Marks (00:03:08) – Yeah, sure. Business ownership, I think, has been in my blood my whole life because I always knew, even right back in school, that I wanted to run my own show. And my first. My first experience started when I was I think I was 19, 18 or 19, and I started writing magazine articles and sharing photography for camping magazines because I was very outdoorsy kind of person. So having those freelance gigs was like a taste tester. And then when I was 21, I started a graphic design business because that was my strength.
Michelle Marks (00:03:54) – Graphic design has always been one of my strengths. And then I had the buck. I had it my whole adult life. I’ve always had something on the go. And it really wasn’t until I had my kids six years ago that I really, really started getting into it. And I found that I just loved working with other people like me. So women who worked from home use their skills to to earn the money, basically. Having the. Financial freedom. Having the choice of doing what makes you happy, just the fulfillment of running your own business.
Jillian Leslie (00:04:45) – And so now what specifically do you coach? What do you lean into to help women?
Michelle Marks (00:04:52) – So about three years ago, I started. Finding that other women who run a business from home needed support in. The form of coaching, just guidance, mentoring, helping release blockers, self limiting beliefs, knowing the strategies that would help them grow their business and also community. So I started coaching women who run a service based business. Now, the more I work with these women, the more I realize how important flexible income is to them, whether it’s because they’re home schooling their children, whether it’s because they can only work during school hours, they need the flexible income.
Michelle Marks (00:05:43) – So now I specialize in helping women to create and sell scalable digital products.
Jillian Leslie (00:05:52) – And what does that mean to you? What is that? Because I have my definition of what that means. But what how would you describe that? So you say to me, Hey, you need some flexibility. Have you thought about digital products? Like what does that where would you start? Me?
Michelle Marks (00:06:07) – I would say that a digital product is whatever you can sell as a file. Now, of course, there are blurred lines, as you say, but digital products, typically we would think of of ebooks, of templates of. Photo files, graphic files like Svgs and all those sorts of things. But basically anything that you transfer as a file is a digital product.
Jillian Leslie (00:06:40) – So however the way yet you’re not thinking in terms of coaching or those or memberships or those kinds of things.
Michelle Marks (00:06:49) – Well, this is where the line gets blurred, I think. Coaching can be a digital product. But I think when we’re looking at flexible income, there are.
Michelle Marks (00:07:02) – I suppose, specifications that I look for if it’s scalable. If you can sell an infinite number. It’s a digital product. And the trouble with coaching is that there’s not an infinite number. Now it can be a form of of a digital product, obviously, because there’s no physical product being shipped. But at the same time, that’s a service as well.
Jillian Leslie (00:07:25) – Now, what about if it’s a membership and you could have four people, you could have 40 people, you could have 400 people?
Michelle Marks (00:07:33) – Yeah. The memberships I consider a digital product because it’s scalable and it’s infinitely scalable. Right. You could have 4 million.
Jillian Leslie (00:07:41) – Yeah. Yeah.
Michelle Marks (00:07:43) – Let’s aim high. Yeah. So of course, the line is blurred and I just. I guess I prefer not to think too much over what is and isn’t a digital product.
Jillian Leslie (00:07:56) – Now, is it really possible to start with a $5 e-book and really make an income?
Michelle Marks (00:08:06) – I believe so.
Jillian Leslie (00:08:07) – What is that path look like? Because I get that pushback of like, I go, Hey, you could start your digital building, your digital product empire with Milo Cart.
Jillian Leslie (00:08:16) – And people go, Yeah, but like, I don’t know, I’m selling some templates. I’m not sure how that becomes an empire.
Michelle Marks (00:08:27) – I think one product probably won’t get you there unless you somehow land on the most amazing unicorn product. However, that one $5 product is where it starts. It’s where it starts. And the importance of a $5 product, one $5 product is what it can lead to. So if you have one $5 product, that $5 product can. You can make those sales. But we know that if somebody is willing to spend a small amount of money with you. They have the certainty in the trust that. Compels them to want to spend more with you in future. So that $5 product, you can sell lots of those as part of a marketing funnel if you use that as a strategy. So it could be an introductory product that leads on to coaching strategy membership courses. So start with that $5 product and that can lead to more $5 products, which helps you build momentum.
Michelle Marks (00:09:47) – And build your business from there.
Jillian Leslie (00:09:51) – I like that. I think of it as a ladder. That and that you in the way that I think about it is wanting. I want people to link them together. Hey, if you like this, guess what? How about this? If you like. Because if you get a customer that’s really valuable, somebody who’s willing to pay you like and if you deliver, you got to deliver. But if they can trust you, like I think about it this way, like you find somebody like a dentist, you’re I like my dentist. So like, I don’t need to shop around for a new day. Like, he’s he fills that slot. He’s my dentist. And I bet you I’ll be with him for 20 years. And it’s like if you’re, let’s say I’ve got issue parenting issues, if you could fill my slot of helping me with my relationship, say, with my kid or whatever it is, I’m not going to you fill that slot and then I’m not going to be looking for somebody else as long as you deliver.
Michelle Marks (00:10:50) – Yes.
Jillian Leslie (00:10:51) – Exactly. And so how do you talk to people about being that person, You know, like my dentist who like so I’m not I’m satisfied. And how do you think about then selling to people who are, say, looking for a dentist?
Michelle Marks (00:11:11) – The key is to know your audience so deeply. That they feel like you get them. And that you can deliver exactly what it is they need. So thinking about you dealing with your dentist, there’s probably. Ways that that dentist is understanding you and meeting your needs. It’s like it’ll be they’re gentle. They understand. They’re not judgmental about the state of your teeth. You know, I’m not saying, you know, but that’s something we worry about going to dentist.
Jillian Leslie (00:11:53) – You want to know why he sold me? Because I read this article about dentistry that a lot of dentistry you don’t necessarily need, but you don’t know that and it makes them a lot of money. And I feel like there was some situation where he could have sold me on something.
Jillian Leslie (00:12:11) – I know it was like I needed a like a sealant and I thought my sealant was gone. And he could have easily been like, Yeah, we should reseal your teeth. And he said, No, your sealants are fine. And by doing that, I trusted him. And so it’s like those little moments where I’m like, I trust you.
Michelle Marks (00:12:31) – Love that.
Jillian Leslie (00:12:33) – And so how do you say you build that with your customers?
Michelle Marks (00:12:39) – There’s there’s a there’s a quote that I love and I apologize. I can’t think of his name off the top of my head, but the quote has always resonated with me. If you can articulate someone’s problem better than they can, they automatically and subconsciously. Credited with having a solution.
Jillian Leslie (00:13:03) – Ooh, ooh. Break that down.
Michelle Marks (00:13:07) – Yeah, it’s a good one, isn’t it? So I’ll say it again. If you can articulate someone’s problem better than they can, they automatically and subconsciously credit you with having the solution. So they trust you. They trust that you understand them so deeply that you can solve their problems, help them achieve their goals, or give them what they desire.
Jillian Leslie (00:13:31) – So how do I go out in the world and do that? Like, let’s say, you know, I’m solving a problem that maybe I understand, but maybe I speak about it differently than other people speak about it and like, how do I get that alignment?
Michelle Marks (00:13:49) – So here’s the thing. Here’s a huge roadblock that a lot of my clients, my followers, people, women that I work with, that they experience, is that why should I create a product when there’s already so many out there? Ooh, I hear that a lot too.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:06) – Want to hear your answer?
Michelle Marks (00:14:07) – Here’s the thing. And you’ve just already answered it. You are going to solve that problem in a way that nobody else can. So bringing if you’re creating any products that you create that solves the problem. Then you’re going to bring your style, your perspective, your lessons learnt to that product, and that is going to reach people on a unique level that no other product can. Yeah.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:41) – So how about. Okay, so let’s say I’m somebody, I’m a blogger, and I go, You know what? I’m ready.
Jillian Leslie (00:14:47) – I want to start selling digital products. Will you walk me through how I should think about it, what kind of product I should create, and then how I would go about finding my initial customers.
Michelle Marks (00:15:02) – Sure. So if you’re writing a blog. Chances are you already have a target audience in mind. The people who read your blog. There’s three things I want you to delve into. When trying to figure out what products to create for them. One of them is thinking about what their goals are, What are they working towards? Now, these don’t have to be huge goals. They don’t have to be huge goals. They can just be small mini objectives, things that they are working on week to week. If you understand their goals, you understand how you can help them reach those goals. If they have a problem. That they are trying to overcome. They want to get through because it’s preventing them from reaching their goals. You can create a digital product that helps them overcome that problem. You can also look at what they crave, what they desire, what they want.
Michelle Marks (00:16:06) – Which this one’s a tricky one. It’s typically emotion led. Like, I just want to feel part of something. I just want this process to be easy. That’ll be a desire for you, Jillian. With my electric heart. I just want it to be easy. Why can’t it be easy? You know? Those things are desires that people crave. And if your digital product can help, give them that. Who you are on to. You’re on to a winner.
Jillian Leslie (00:16:42) – You want to start selling digital products, but you don’t know what to create. No problem. Take my digital product personality quiz. Head to Milo Tree slash quiz. Fill out the fun quiz and see what kind of product you should start with first again, Military.com slash quiz. And now back to the show. Okay, well, let’s start. Wait. Okay, so I’m looking at you right now, but I’m noticing in your background that you have one, two, three, four, five, six plants, and they all look crazy healthy.
Jillian Leslie (00:17:22) – And I’ve just started leaning into plants, but I feel insecure and I’ve had a couple die on me and stuff. So let’s talk about logic, like how you would think about are you by the way, are you a green thumb? Are you good at plants?
Michelle Marks (00:17:37) – Indoor plants? Yes. Okay. All plants? No.
Jillian Leslie (00:17:39) – Okay. But like your indoor plants, they look really good. So talk through. I’m a person who wants to be a plant person. I have a couple plants in my house and they make me happy. But I feel insecure and I don’t really know how to take care of plants. What would in your plant, Doctor? What would you go, Oh, here’s a product I could sell. Jillian This is what I would create and this is how I would position it for her.
Michelle Marks (00:18:05) – Okay, So I know that you would love to have an office or a home. Full of lush, green, beautiful, thriving plants. There’s your goal. Yes. Perhaps you’ve tried to grow them in the past and they just haven’t thrived.
Michelle Marks (00:18:28) – So you’re embarrassed by them? There is your problem.
Jillian Leslie (00:18:33) – An insecure, insecure, like one plant’s working, but another plant’s not working. And I don’t know why. And I kind of feel like I don’t want to jinx the plant. That’s gross. Like, I just don’t feel confident. Yeah. In my plant abilities. I’m a bad plant, mom.
Michelle Marks (00:18:52) – So you want to feel confident and empowered knowing what your plants need for them to thrive. There’s your desire. So I’ve got your goal, your problem, your desire, and the best digital products are going to nail all three. Do you.
Jillian Leslie (00:19:12) – Do you recommend. I start with an e-book, a checklist, a worksheet, A like how do you decide?
Michelle Marks (00:19:19) – That’s going to depend depending on the content. Depends on a couple of factors. So one. Obviously, your blog writers are going to be really, really good with words with the written word. So an e-book is great. An e-book that shortcuts the learning curve. Now, this is.
Michelle Marks (00:19:44) – Here’s the problem. When people write or create a digital products, they feel like they have to share everything that they know, everything that they know. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the most valuable product is the shortcut. Just tell me what I need to know in a nice, succinct way that I can action now. So if I was to give to you, Gillian, here are my top ten tips for thriving indoor plants. Would you be like? Yeah, I’ll take that.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:21) – Thanks. Now, here’s the thing. As people who see this is a pushback I get from people creating digital products, they go, Hey, that information already on the internet and be it’s a checklist or whatever. I can’t really charge money for that. It needs like that. Somehow I find when I’m talking to people who are selling digital products or wanting to sell, they kind of disc. They think it has to be like a 100 page book in order to sell it, which is what you were just addressing.
Jillian Leslie (00:20:52) – But how do you get past that? What is the difference between, Oh, this would be a good opt in, this would be a good digital product and they might look very similar.
Michelle Marks (00:21:00) – Yeah. Okay. Have you ever, ever in your life googled for a business plan template? Yes. Have you got it for free?
Jillian Leslie (00:21:13) – I don’t remember. I downloaded some. They weren’t great, but.
Michelle Marks (00:21:20) – Probably. You know, one of my top sellers is a business plan template.
Jillian Leslie (00:21:27) – So I love that. I love.
Michelle Marks (00:21:30) – The reason. Now there are millions of business plan templates. So here in Australia we have our governing body, which is for businesses business like is, is the Department of Business. They have business plan templates available and you would trust that like the government, they’re not going to steer us wrong. Right? Or you can just Google anywhere business plan templates and you can get them all for free. So why is it that my business plan template sells when people could get it for free?
Jillian Leslie (00:21:59) – How much do you sell it for?
Michelle Marks (00:22:02) – I think it’s $15.
Jillian Leslie (00:22:04) – And what do you what do I get?
Michelle Marks (00:22:06) – You get a Microsoft Word template with prompts that you complete. And I also have a workshop with that. Not a workshop. A tutorial where I guide you with how to feel something out.
Jillian Leslie (00:22:21) – Like a video tutorial. Okay.
Michelle Marks (00:22:24) – Okay.
Jillian Leslie (00:22:25) – So now tell me then why yours is selling and why? Why? If there’s a free version, why will people step up and pay $15 for yours?
Michelle Marks (00:22:37) – My audience at the time when I was selling that product were women who run a service based business from home. So if you can imagine a business plan that was designed for. Corporations or big companies. Commerce, businesses, retails restaurants. That wouldn’t apply to the people that I’m working. So basically my template filters out all the stuff they don’t need. And it’s presented in a way that’s nice and simple because it’s a business. Planning is not everybody’s favorite thing. But if I can make it so that I remove all the stuff they don’t need, that eliminates some thinking.
Michelle Marks (00:23:23) – If I can help them answer their questions in. A very simplified language. It helps them achieve their goal faster. So the goal is they want a business plan. They want direction. They want to feel like. They want to feel like they’ve got their. Their plan sorted out, something they’re going to.
Jillian Leslie (00:23:47) – And they’ve got their person. They’ve got their person in you who understands it. So like so back to the plants. So you’re selling me. So what are you selling me? A checklist. What was it again? That we’re.
Michelle Marks (00:23:59) – Yeah, a checklist guide that helps you understand the what you need to do to keep your plants thriving.
Jillian Leslie (00:24:07) – And how are you personalizing it for me? Meaning how are you targeting? Okay. I know you know, Jillian is a middle aged mom or like, how do you make it so that I go, you’re my plant person?
Michelle Marks (00:24:25) – One way is, as I mentioned, is deeply understanding what you struggle with, what where you are in your plant journey.
Michelle Marks (00:24:36) – Another way is my own style. So my branding, my style, the way I present, the way I design, the way I write and communicate to you through the written word. You are going to. Prefer that over someone else’s. Okay, So if you go into the grocery store and you’re buying milk, okay, how many different brands of milk are there? And you would think, well, no, there’s already one brand of milk. I don’t need to create new brand of milk, but everybody has their own preference with which brand they go for because they trust it. They know they like how it tastes. They like the label on the bottle. Let’s face it, we like the visual. And, you know, it could be lactose free or it could be Halo or it could be, you know, there’s even when there’s multiple things available out there, even for cheaper, there’s going to be a reason that pulls us towards one over the other. And it’s the same with digital products as well.
Jillian Leslie (00:25:38) – Okay, so I bought the checklist. Now you’ve got a customer and I like it and I feel more confident because that’s my that’s the solute. Like I want to feel confident. I want to keep my plants alive and I want to feel confident. So the checklist tells me water when the soil feels dry and make sure you put them in light and, you know, fertilize them or whatever the tips are. Then what? When you go, okay, can I can I can I sell to Jillian again? How do you think about this?
Michelle Marks (00:26:16) – Well, I would then think okay what’s what’s her her next stage. So right now she’s she wants to get. She wants to have an office or a home full of luscious plants, and she’s never had any luck before. But now she’s she’s been able to get a couple of plants. Follow my checklist and it’s working. There’s something she’s doing is working. But now what’s the next problem? She wants to get more plants. She wants to get more plants, but there’s still probably just a little bit of doubt in her mind that.
Michelle Marks (00:26:53) – Maybe this is just a fluke. Maybe it’s just working for these plants. If I get more. Are they going to fail? They’re not going to thrive. So perhaps I could suggest something like and you’ve done an amazing analogy here, this is really making me think perhaps I can create a list of. Easy to care for plants. So that I can guide her future purchases. She can. Gillian’s got a list here. Here are ten plants that are really easy to care for so you can buy them. And here’s little nuances with each plant that allows them to thrive as well. So again, we’d like, Oh, I get to go shopping for plants now that’s a desire. Okay. Like we all want to shop, right? It’s like a little dope mint here, just buying things. But then we have the confidence knowing that the type of plants we’re buying are easier to care for. Giving me the best chance of them thriving. When I have thriving plants, I feel confident in my ability to keep them alive.
Michelle Marks (00:28:07) – And have a house and office full of luscious plants.
Jillian Leslie (00:28:11) – I’m just like going. Also thinking like, could you sell something of the health benefits of being a plant owner or how this fits into a healthy lifestyle or who knows? But like as I’m literally watching your plans, it like, makes me happy and I want to be I’m like, You’re a plant person. I can tell. And I want to be a plant person, you know? And so just thinking about what are these other possibilities as I continue to to think about how to build this ladder or these different stages or that kind of thing, because I wanted to pick something that’s like, it’s not it’s not like, Oh, this is some enormous thing in my life. But yet I do notice looking at your plants, they make me happy.
Michelle Marks (00:29:04) – Yes. And and he’s he’s the when we focus on people’s goals, their problems and we always hear you’ve got to solve a problem. You’ve got to solve a problem. But that eliminates so many dimensions there.
Michelle Marks (00:29:19) – That’s why I like to say goals, problems and desires, because it’s. It adds the depth that really allows you to create something because you can you can eliminate somebody’s problem, but it’s not it’s not the full solution. But at the same time, you don’t have to create something that solves the whole problem. So I could try to sell you an encyclopedia of botanical of like a botanical encyclopedia. Or I could sell you a three year horticulturalist course. You’re not interested in that. You don’t need to learn the whole solution in order to have really healthy plants. Just just the shortcuts. So I like to call them stepping stones that help you get closer. And often those stepping stones are more valuable because. They help somebody where they are right now. Mm. Yes. And it’s important to think outside of the box as well, because not only are we looking at plans. What about the pots as well? Okay. And you can’t see it if you’re listening to the. If you’re listening to the podcast, you can’t see it.
Michelle Marks (00:30:41) – But there’s a pot on my shelf that has a plant and it was created by my sister. It’s a white ceramic pot with stunning blue and purple alcohol ink.
Jillian Leslie (00:31:00) – It looks like. Oh, it looks kind of ombre ish.
Michelle Marks (00:31:04) – Yes, it is absolutely stunning. And she made it. But my sister hosts workshops, craft workshops because she is insanely crafty, where she teaches people how to create these alcohol, alcohol, ink pots. And it looks gorgeous, right? It’s on brand for me as well because purple is in my branding. But. It’s a new another new dimension to my houseplants is having pots that I love. So there’s another digital product here. Create your own pot, personalize your own pot if you’re a crafty first, like okay, so the ideas are going now.
Jillian Leslie (00:31:47) – Totally. I went to like in my own mind like succulent succulents are so kind of on trend and like how to create a succulent garden or edible plants that you could put in your salad, you know, or growing herbs in your house or all of these different things or even like venturing outside and just doing some pots on your patio, you know, those kinds of things.
Jillian Leslie (00:32:13) – Because chances are, if you like plants inside, you probably like plants outside. Yeah. So it’s fun to kind of start. And by the way, I love doing this, which is I will get on calls with people and I’ll go, let’s brainstorm together and because I’m not intimately involved in their business, I’m going to come up with ideas that might be crazy, but they also might be like, Hey, I never thought of that before. So it’s just fun to get out of your own. I don’t know your own little way of thinking. You don’t know that it’s limited, but to kind of branch out and go, what else? Now the thing that I want to talk about is this idea of you don’t know. You don’t know if, for example, I might buy your checklist, but I might be like, I’m not interested in pots, but I’m interested in different types of soil or who knows what. So how do you think about that? Because it feels safe to just go, I’m going to do the checklist and then I’m going to, I don’t know, like like not to kind of swing for the fences.
Jillian Leslie (00:33:19) – And what is your thought?
Michelle Marks (00:33:22) – Yeah. So if we create the checklist, we’re not done there. I’m sorry to say we can’t. We can’t just create one product and then build a thriving business off that. Right? We want to create the ecosystem so the digital product ecosystem and even fitting it in with your other services as well, with your blog, with your email list, with your coaching training, whatever else it is that you offer. Building that ecosystem then allows all the different personas in your target audience to find what they need. So the common ground, if we stick with the plant example, the common ground is thriving, healthy, healthy indoor plants that make us feel good. So that is our target audience. But within that target audience, there’s going to be people who want to do the veggie garden as well. There’s going to be crafty people who want to personalize their pots. There’s going to be the pet owners that want to make sure that they haven’t got poisonous plants. We’ve got.
Michelle Marks (00:34:38) – All these different personas where we need to help them. In a different way. So now we have products that will follow people on their journey no matter where they go. So the vegetable gardener will then go on and buy your ebooks or guides. That. Uh, help them with their veggie garden. The checklist to make sure that you’re not having poisonous plants inside your house. Like, I don’t have pets at the moment, but I’m pretty sure that a couple of my plants are toxic to to cats. So if I had cats, I wouldn’t want them in their.
Jillian Leslie (00:35:19) – But now what if, though? Okay, what if I create a product like, let’s say, like nobody’s interested. Nobody buys certain products. How do I think about that? Do I change them? Do I pull them? Do I still offer them? How do I deal with my sad feelings? What? How do I think about this? Because not everything I sell is going to do well. And I hear from our military customers that when something doesn’t sell, that can feel bad.
Jillian Leslie (00:35:48) – And I’m like, you like, okay, you know, go talk to people or come up with some other ideas. How do you think about that?
Michelle Marks (00:35:58) – It’s hard. It’s definitely hard. The feeling of rejection is not amazing, but it’s a mindset thing. We need to understand that feeling rejected is probably our minds way of saying Hi, I told you so. Because when we first start out creating digital products, there’s so much uncertainty because we’ve never done it before that our brain is automatically going to think of the worst outcome. Nobody’s going to buy it. Nobody’s going to want it. If someone does buy it, they’re going to want a refund because they’ll think it’s terrible, all the bad outcomes because we’ve never experienced the good outcomes. So our mind just wants to keep us safe.
Jillian Leslie (00:36:45) – I was just going to say, we want to protect ourselves. We want to protect. Right? Don’t do that. Do. Yeah.
Michelle Marks (00:36:51) – But then if we tentatively put it out there and nobody buys it. There’s reinforcement in our mind that says, Hi, I told you so.
Michelle Marks (00:37:02) – You know, we’re better off not creating digital products because people aren’t going to buy them. So it’s important to work through that. So that you can sell with ease. Because the thing is, the digital products that you create are only going to do as well as your marketing. And he’s a thing now. I don’t want to scare you with that. Because marketing can be a scary word for some people, but it’s just about telling the people that those products are created for telling them about it. So by telling him about it in a way that feels good for you. So if you’re a real if you’re a like a salesy person who thrives on trying to get that next sale, then you’ll be fine. But if you’re really hesitant about. Selling, then do it in a way that feels good for you. So if you’re writing a blog, for instance, where you’re providing some free value. Understand that the people reading, some of the people reading are going to want to know the next step.
Michelle Marks (00:38:10) – Just tell them about that next step. Hey, if you want to learn more about how to have thriving indoor plants, grab my checklist because it’s going to do this. It’s going to give you what you need right now and then people are going to be grateful. That you put it in front of them. So instead of being the annoying salesperson. And fearing, being salesy and annoying. You presented it in a way that’s helpful and people are going to be grateful for that. Okay. So but coming back to what we were talking about, it is a mindset thing. It’s a mindset blocker because we’re so afraid of whatever it is that we hold ourselves back that we avoid the thing. So work through those mindset barriers. So that you can move forward and sell more stuff.
Jillian Leslie (00:39:07) – It’s funny, I was telling you this before we pressed record, but for anybody using my lottery card, I say if you have a digital product and you feel uncertain about it and that voice shows up that says, don’t put this out there, this sucks.
Jillian Leslie (00:39:22) – People are going to judge you. They’re not, Who’s going to buy this? It should be ten times better. I say send it to me. I’ll look at it. And I will tell you with all honesty that whether it’s ready to go or whether it’s not because we get blinded, because those voices start screaming at us. And again, I do think it comes from the place of wanting to we want to protect ourselves and and like kind of like I feel good about it, feel good about it. Feel good about it. I’m just about to ready, ready to put it out into the world. Oh, it’s not good enough. I will revisit it and revisit it and take another month and another two months. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to are like, Oh, I’ve been working on my e-book for ever, and that’s when I go send it to me. Like, let me just take a look at it because and I will be completely honest with you and I have to tell you, people have definitely taken me up on this offer.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:15) – And I have never once said to any but not that I wouldn’t because I’m honest, but I’ve never once said, Ooh, you know, it’s embarrassing. I wouldn’t necessarily sell it yet. Like I’ve never said that. I’ve actually said, You could have sold this earlier. So I do think that we are our worst critics, our worst enemies sometimes, especially when we need to put ourselves out there in uncomfortable situations or where we don’t know what the response is going to be.
Michelle Marks (00:40:43) – This is why community is so important.
Jillian Leslie (00:40:46) – Will you speak to that? And like how, you know, how you’ve been able to build community to help women sell.
Michelle Marks (00:41:00) – I found that community is so, so vital for their success of people. Just even just if it’s just validation of what they’ve created or just help. Can you help me? Like just double check this for mistakes, because even just writing a blog, you can go through it and you can just go cross-eyed looking at it, not seeing the typos, you know? So it’s the same with new digital products and being in a room full, even if it’s virtual, being in a virtual room full of people who get it, who are on the same journey as you.
Michelle Marks (00:41:34) – It makes you feel like you belong. And, you know, maybe, um, you know, the audience is probably like if they have sold digital products, like you get that sale and you’re like, Yeah, and you might tell your best friend or your hubby or your mum and. Tell them I just made a sale. And they’re like, Yeah, cool. I just don’t get it, though. But your busybodies, do they get it? That we’ll celebrate with you. So it’s so important to be. Amongst your community.
Jillian Leslie (00:42:12) – I have to agree with you. I think that business building can be lonely. I think that, you know, not having people there who get what you do can feel isolating. And it is you know, it is about consistency and putting one foot in front of the other. And when you’ve got people who know what you do, who can cheer on that first sale, oh, my God. Because they know what it took to get there. I don’t think there’s anything better.
Michelle Marks (00:42:43) – Yes. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without my best buddy community. Truly, because there’s so much that we get from them.
Jillian Leslie (00:42:55) – That’s so wonderful. Okay, So, Michelle, if people want to connect with you, learn more about you join one of your communities. What could they do?
Michelle Marks (00:43:08) – You can follow me on Instagram because I’m always there. Okay. My handle is at Michelle Marks, business coach. But I’d love for you to come into my Facebook group, which is called Growing Your Business with Digital Products. And we’ll maybe pop the link in the bio in the description, because that’s a place where digital product creation and community meet. So we get to be in that room full of people who get it, who celebrate with us, who validate, provide that feedback. But also have the resources like the training and the support from somebody who’s walked the path. I’ve made all the mistakes with digital products. I’ve had the ones that don’t sell. We’ve had the ones that do sell.
Michelle Marks (00:43:58) – So that’s the place to be.
Jillian Leslie (00:44:00) – I love that. Well, I have to say, I think the whole idea of the mindset stuff, of getting your your kind of head in the right space to go on this journey is such an important piece. I don’t think I talk about that enough. And and so I’m so glad that you you brought that in. And I do want your plant secrets because your plants are beautiful.
Michelle Marks (00:44:24) – Thank you. I don’t know what my secret is. I can’t explain it to you.
Jillian Leslie (00:44:31) – Well, I just want to say, Michelle, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Michelle Marks (00:44:36) – Thank you so much for having me, Jillian. I really, really enjoyed having a conversation with you. I hope you.
Jillian Leslie (00:44:42) – Guys like this episode. What I really liked about it was I was able to put Michelle on the spot and have her come up with an entire suite of digital products to sell. So this is not rocket science. This is about us all looking at our businesses and seeing what problems we can solve and starting there.
Jillian Leslie (00:45:06) – And I loved our whole discussion about what it really takes to be a business owner. I have a theory, which is if you’re a blogger and you’re just putting your content out there, that’s a lot easier than asking for a sale. It’s a whole different group of muscles. And my recommendation is you start flexing them. Now, if you want to get on a call with me to talk about your digital product ideas. So let’s say you’ve got an audience, but you haven’t started selling to them. I want to talk to you because I think I could potentially light a little fire under you. So please reach out to me at Milo tree.com/meet because I would love to meet you and I will see you here again next week.