Today I’m here with a solo episode about the mistakes I’m seeing blogger make when it comes to creating and selling digital products.
With all the tools available like Canva, Zoom, and ChatGPT to name just a few, there’s no easier way to monetize in 2023 than by selling digital products.
But you have to know where the pitfalls lie.
In this episode I’m not only sharing the 10 digital product mistakes to avoid, but also what you should do instead to have success!
Table of Contents
Why You Will Like This Episode:
- Quick tips on what it looks like to build a successful digital product empire
- 10 mistakes to avoid
- 6 tips on what you should do to make it easy for yourself
- An understanding of how selling digital products and services can help you make more money and change your life!
- Personality Quiz: What Digital Product Should I Create?
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Join My Blogger Genius Email List
- Catch My Party
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- MiloTreeCart Affiliate Program
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
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Jillian Leslie 0:10
Hello, my friends welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie. I am a blogger and a serial entrepreneur, my husband and I started our online business adventure in 2009 when we created Catch My Party. By the way, there are some awesome Valentine’s posts over there, just saying.
Jillian Leslie 0:31
Then we built MiloTreeCart our pop-up app, which many of you use to grow your social media followers and your email subscribers. And now we’ve launched MiloTreeCart, which is the easiest way for you bloggers and creators to sell digital products to your audience. It is built for beginners and non techies.
Jillian Leslie 0:53
For today’s episode, I wanted to do something special. When I learn, I always want to share it with you. For MiloTreeCart, I have been getting on a lot of calls with you, our new customers to help you onboard to hear what you want to build to troubleshoot all of that. So, I’ve learned a bunch of things that I wanted to share.
How To Avoid These 10 Digital Product Mistakes
Jillian Leslie 1:18
And really, I’m titling this episode, How To Avoid These 10 Digital Product Mistakes. So, these are the things that I am seeing over and over again. And by the way, many of them I have made myself because being an entrepreneur is a learning process.
Jillian Leslie 1:35
And so, that’s really the point of this episode, I am going to move quickly. But don’t worry about taking notes, because I’m offering these 10 mistakes as a digital download that you can get at milotreecart.com/mistakes.
Mistake 1: Believing You Know What’s Going to Sell
Jillian Leslie 1:50
So, here are the 10 digital product mistakes I am seeing the most and how to avoid them. The first one is believing that you know what’s going to work what product idea will sell. Chances are you have a hypothesis about what your audience is struggling with what problems you can solve.
Jillian Leslie 2:12
And I recommend you look around in Facebook groups, you do keyword research, to look at what people are talking about. And where you can find a place to create a digital product that you think people will want from you.
Jillian Leslie 2:27
However, you will only know until you’ve tested it, I have fallen for this previously where I’ve created a product, I think it’s going to sell and it falls flat. So, the way that you find out if something is going to work or not is by putting it in front of people and seeing if they will take out their credit card and purchase.
Mistake 2: Not Moving Fast Enough
Jillian Leslie 2:51
This leads me directly to the second mistake I see entrepreneurs and bloggers make and this is not moving fast enough. They want to dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s. And by the way, I fall into this. But the goal is to be brave. The goal is to let things be messy to do B- level work and put it out there. Because again, you don’t know you’ve got to test.
Jillian Leslie 3:19
So, I challenge you to be uncomfortable, I challenge you to be embarrassed, I challenge you to put out something a little more raw. But this is how you start finding traction.
Mistake 3: Making Your Digital Product Too Complicated
Jillian Leslie 3:34
And this leads me to the third mistake I am seeing bloggers and entrepreneurs make and this is making things overly complicated. We like to tell ourselves stories. We like to have visions of how things are going to look. And I can’t tell you how many times I have said to a blogger, hey, you’ve got to simplify this.
Jillian Leslie 3:59
They’ve got a vision that their membership is going to have all these moving parts and they imagine it with 1,000 members and it’s all beautiful. And the technology works perfectly. And I’m like no, no, no, it doesn’t work this way. Pare it down, think of this as an experiment and make sure it’s working. And then you build off of this.
Jillian Leslie 4:18
So, please pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves. Because when we imagine our digital products, they’re beautiful, and they’re perfect. And we’ve got thousands of people purchasing them, joining our programs, buying our courses. And I have not seen that to be reality.
Jillian Leslie 4:38
When you see people who are incredibly successful selling these big programs. They have built this over years and years. So, as you start your digital product journey, please keep this in mind. Notice the stories, the perfect products that you imagine and no it’s going to be nothing like that in reality.
Jillian Leslie 5:00
I was reading something that I thought was very powerful. And it said your first product needs to be good, not great. If it is great, you’ve worked too hard on it.
Mistake 4: Thinking You Don’t Have Time to Create a Digital Product
Jillian Leslie 5:09
And this leads me to the fourth mistake I see people make, which is, they feel like they don’t have enough time. In today’s world with all of the resources available to you, like Canva, like ChatGPT, like Zoom, there is time, because you can put something together quickly to test to see if you can get traction.
Jillian Leslie 5:36
So, this idea again, I suffer from this, I want all my ducks in a row before I do anything. It’s like I need to clean my house, before I can answer my emails. And that’s not true, it is about carving out a couple of hours to create something. So, my head of marketing, and I challenged ourselves to write an eBook an entire eBook using ChatGPT to help us for ideation.
Jillian Leslie 6:01
And we rewrote it and made it our own. And we timed ourselves to see how quickly we could do it. And we could create an entire eBook, in may be three hours, and then it probably took another two hours, to put it into the template that we offer, the Canva template. And it was so much easier than we thought.
Jillian Leslie 6:25
And by the end, we have a 20-page eBook, that’s really good. So, we do test this ourselves to go, okay, we’re telling people, they can create a product pretty easily. Is that true?
Jillian Leslie 6:37
And you know what? It is, especially if you’re going to start off with a printable, or a checklist or something like that, you can do this in just a couple hours and using MiloTreeCart, boom, you could be selling that, upload it sell it in 10 minutes. So, you want to be going toward ease. And again moving quickly and knowing that you have the time to do this.
Mistake 5: Not Getting Feedback from Your Audience When You Build
Jillian Leslie 7:02
And then this is the fifth mistake I see people make which is they think that they should go off for a while to create their digital product. And the reality is, you want to create that good but not great product. And then the goal is to iterate and learn.
Jillian Leslie 7:23
And the way you do that is by talking to people, whether it be getting on a call with somebody, whether it be emailing, whether it be DMing. But the goal is to build with your audience not to go off, go up to your mountaintop, create your product, come back down and think people are naturally going to buy it.
Jillian Leslie 7:44
So for example, you get three sales, you go and befriend those three people, and offer them the world in order to say get on a call with you. So, why do you think I am getting on calls with virtually every MiloTreeCart customer, because I want to build a one-on-one relationship with that person.
Jillian Leslie 8:07
So, that they will come to me when they have concerns or issues or features that they want to build or successes. I love it.
Jillian Leslie 8:15
When they feel comfortable emailing me telling me about the success that they’re having with their eBook, or they just did a workshop. And they made thousands of dollars. I want to be part of that. But I am listening. It’s like why I’m doing this podcast, because these are the mistakes I’m seeing.
Jillian Leslie 8:31
So, I’m learning and then I want to share it with you, I would hope that you would do exactly what I’m doing. And you might go well, I don’t have the time to get on calls with people. But if this is what you’re planning to do to build a digital product empire, this is what you need to be doing. And in fact, this is for everything in your business.
Jillian Leslie 8:53
You want to be building with your audience with your people. Let’s say you don’t even have an audience. Okay, go into Facebook groups. See if people who are in your niche suffering from problems that you think you could solve, see if they will talk to you.
Jillian Leslie 9:08
And then other people say well, I can’t scale that. No, you can’t scale that. Right now is the best time to buy MiloTreeCart I’m just saying because you will get such hands on attention from me and my team. Because we are so dedicated to you being successful and learning from you.
Jillian Leslie 9:27
And so, that’s what you want to be putting out to your customers. I hope that you turn this on, and you put up your sales page and you send it to your email list and 1,000 people purchase your $100 product. But remember the image of you being a miner mining for gold.
Jillian Leslie 9:47
And you go up into the hills with your pickaxe and you start mining looking for gold specks, and where there are gold specks typically there are slightly larger pieces of gold and you dig deeper and maybe you dig a little. Look to the left and you find more and more gold or you go up into the mountain or you go up into the hills and there is no gold.
Jillian Leslie 10:07
You go over to another hill and start digging there. That’s such a great description of what you’re doing. So, start building the relationship with your audience from the get go, and start listening to them and iterating over and over again, this is how those small gold specks turn into gold rocks, and ultimately into gold boulders, this is how you grow your business.
Mistake 6: Falling Into the “Curse of Knowledge” Trap
Jillian Leslie 10:35
The next mistake I see people making is they’re falling into this thing called the curse of knowledge. And they are not getting basic enough with the products that they are selling. We all suffer from this, I see it in myself all the time.
Jillian Leslie 10:52
The curse of knowledge is this. I know what I know. And I think everybody therefore knows it. And I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know it. So I’m, let’s say at a more advanced level, but I don’t recognize that I am. And so, when I teach something, or create a product, I’m teaching at that advanced level, and I’m not making it simple enough for my customer.
Jillian Leslie 11:19
I see this over and over again, where I’m saying to somebody, I think you got to get more basic, I think you’ve got to lead somebody on a journey and start way at the beginning. And even though you assume everybody is where you are, they are not plus we think of things is like a funnel.
Jillian Leslie 11:40
The beginners are usually a larger pool than the advanced people, if you are teaching advanced people that know that and understand that your market will be smaller. Maybe you could charge more for that.
Jillian Leslie 11:55
A lot of times what happens is people are teaching intermediate stuff, when really they’re thinking they’re going to attract a beginning audience. So, step back and really think can I make this easier for my customer? Am I falling into the curse of knowledge trap?
Jillian Leslie 12:17
And is there a way for me to simplify this, then people say, but if it’s so basic, they could get that on YouTube. Why would they pay me for it? And I say everything is available on YouTube. Therefore, what you want to be selling is you, that I’m going to learn to knit from you, I’m going to learn to bake from you.
Jillian Leslie 12:39
And it’s by leaning into who you are, and what you bring to the table, what value you offer. That’s how you get sales, because yes, all that information is available.
Mistake 7: Not Focusing on The Transformation for Your Customers
Jillian Leslie 12:52
The seventh mistake I see people make is focusing on the features, and not on the benefits of what you’re offering. But I would go a step further. It’s not focusing on the benefits, it’s focusing on the feelings, the transformation that your product offers.
Jillian Leslie 13:18
What I mean by that is somebody buys your product, because they want to solve a problem in their lives. And what they’re purchasing is their future self in a better place. And that is where I recommend you lean in, it’s painting that picture. And it’s less about what you specifically are offering. For example, I got six videos or I’ve got a checklist for you.
Jillian Leslie 13:47
It isn’t even the benefits of I’m going to have this piece of knowledge, it’s my life is better, I’m going to be a happier person if I purchase your product. So, how can you paint that picture? So you know, we’re all such great storytellers. And we believe our own stories.
Jillian Leslie 14:07
Well, if you are a good storyteller, you can tell somebody the story of their future self after purchasing your product and that is so powerful. And to add to that, the goal is to give that person a concrete win. Let’s say they buy your eBook on how to clean their closet.
Jillian Leslie 14:35
So, you want to say by the end of this, you will have a clean closet and you will feel great about yourself. Promise them the clean closet. So, it’s not just you buy this eBook on cleaning your closet, you’ll feel great you need to string the story together. You will have a clean closet. That is the concrete win.
Jillian Leslie 15:01
You’re not going to say buy my eBook on cleaning your closet, and then you’re going to have a clean house, because you don’t want to over promise, but deliver on what you are offering and then paint the picture of the happy life, this person is going to lead.
Jillian Leslie 15:17
So again, think about storytelling, think about the transformation, but really lean into selling the feelings.
Mistake 8: Taking Failures Personally
Jillian Leslie 15:28
The eighth mistake I see people make I fall into this one very easily, which is when I put something out there, and it doesn’t sell the way I think it’s going to. Remember, I’ve got this story in my head of how this is going to change my business, I’m going to knock it out of the park, people are going to love me for this and it falls flat.
Jillian Leslie 15:51
And let’s say I make zero sales; I have a hard time not taking it personally. And I work on this over and over again, it’s not personal, it just means that what I’m offering is not connecting with my potential customers. This is called product market fit.
Jillian Leslie 16:09
And the more I can take myself out of this, that somehow I failed, instead of this test failed, the easier it is for me. And this is where my recommendation about move quickly comes in. Because if I have spent six months dreaming up this product; working on this product, again, investing in the story of this product, and it doesn’t work that is demoralizing.
Jillian Leslie 16:36
So, please know we all feel this way it is supernatural. I think it is one of the hardest pieces in being an online entrepreneur, especially selling digital products, whenever I start talking about selling, lean into selling be salesy. People, they get so unbelievably uncomfortable.
Jillian Leslie 16:59
The truth of the matter is, I think they are protecting themselves from the feelings of failure, if it doesn’t work, so I want to shrink that down for you and say we all fail. It’s just part of the process. And I promise you, as you continue, you will get better and better at it and be much more willing to take these risks.
Mistake 9: Not Building Off of Your Existing Traction
Jillian Leslie 17:21
In fact this leads directly to my ninth mistake, which is people don’t quite see the traction. And this is where they notice they get some gold specks, they get some sales. And they then discredit those sales.
Jillian Leslie 17:37
I was working with somebody who created a membership. And she had I want to say 10 people to start with and she was charging something like $100 a month to join. And so boom, she was really please and making serious money from this membership. She did not have to show up very much for these people.
Jillian Leslie 17:57
But then over time, I think she got bored and the people got bored, and people started leaving her membership. And we got on a call and she said, “I’m going to make templates. I’m going to sell templates. And I’m going to close my membership.”
Jillian Leslie 18:11
And I said, “I don’t recommend you do that. I recommend you reinvigorate your membership, because the fact that you’ve gotten all these members to join, yes, some have left. But I think it’s because you’re not putting energy toward it. You’re not talking to the people in the membership. Just say what are you looking for? How can I serve you better?”
Jillian Leslie 18:34
I think that we all suffer from this. The concept of the shiny object syndrome, I know I do, where it’s like a future idea is so enticing and digging into something that feels like it’s losing traction, or yeah, I’ve had a little bit of success here. I just think we discredit our successes.
Jillian Leslie 18:54
And I think that if we were to lean into what is working even a little bit, you got two sales. Great. What else can you build off of those two sales? What else can you provide the two people who purchased from you, maybe they want to do a coaching call with you. Maybe they want to join your membership.
Jillian Leslie 19:15
And again, because they would be the early members, you’re going to love on them, and you’re going to treat them like VIPs. So, please notice when you have shiny object syndrome, again, a lot of times it’s because you’ve created a new story, I do this new story about a new product that’s going to, like be the best thing ever.
Jillian Leslie 19:34
And the reality is that building a business is a long slog. And so, when things are working, when they are clicking, even if it’s a smaller success, a smaller win than we thought it was going to be please keep digging. This is that thing where you’ve got to dig deeper. You’ve got to dig around what’s already working.
Jillian Leslie 19:57
That’s how you build your digital product empire when you feel that need to try something new, just ask yourself if this is the right move.
Mistake 10: Starting with a Course
Jillian Leslie 20:10
The 10th mistake I see people make over and over again, is to say, I want to sell digital products, I’m going to start with a course, if you have listened to my nine other tips, you know why this is probably not a good idea. This is not about moving fast. This is not about being messy.
Jillian Leslie 20:33
This is not about working with your audience or customers to get their feedback. This is about you going off for a long period of time thinking that you’re working on your business. But really having no guarantee that people are going to buy your course, if you are thinking about creating a course I have a couple of thoughts.
Jillian Leslie 20:54
The first is do three paid workshops and string them together as a mini course just sell the recordings of the live workshops. And boom, there’s your course.
Jillian Leslie 21:07
The other piece of advice I have is pre-sell your course and make sure that people not just will say they’re interested but actually purchase your course before you create anything.
Jillian Leslie 21:22
And then my third tip would be, don’t build an entire course, again, create something small, a mini course that you can then sell to test to see then if you should build something bigger.
Tip 1: Smart Small with Your Digital Product
Jillian Leslie 21:36
These are the 10 mistakes that I see people make over and over again. So therefore, I wanted to share what to do instead. Number one, start tiny. Think of an idea that you think would work and test it, create it in a Canva template, do something do a paid workshop live.
Jillian Leslie 22:00
See if people will join your membership. But don’t build out an entire membership with videos and resources. Just show up live with people. See if people will pay, be messy, make be uncomfortable, and know that you’re not perfect, and it’s not going to be perfect. So go be rough.
Tip 2: Move Faster Than You Think
Jillian Leslie 22:21
My second piece of advice, of course, is move faster than you think. I really hope that as you build out your digital product empire, you get embarrassed because I think it’s such a good lesson to be embarrassed and realize you’re not going to die. It’s okay.
Jillian Leslie 22:36
And chances are nobody is really thinking about you anyway. So, go be embarrassed because then you get braver, and then you’re more apt to put stuff out there.
Tip 3: Invite People Into Your Product Creation Process
Jillian Leslie 22:47
My third tip is invite people into your process, even if you’re an introvert, then just DM with them or email them some questions, but do not build your products in a vacuum. And it’s fun when you invite people into your process.
Tip 4: Use MiloTreeCart to Sell Your Digital Products
Jillian Leslie 23:04
My fourth is to use a tool like MiloTreeCart not something expensive and complicated. When David, my husband and I started building MiloTreeCart, we had a really deep conversation about why are we building this and what is the purpose. And what we decided is we want to take on the technical load.
Jillian Leslie 23:28
We have super complicated technology on our end, so we can serve up a simple solution for you. Because we realize that tech is hard. We all struggle with it. And it’s such a barrier for creators for bloggers who don’t like it. It’s like a mantra I hear over and over again.
Jillian Leslie 23:50
It goes something like this, I suck at tech. I hate tech. Tech hates me. I’m awful at tech. I can’t handle this because I can’t handle complicated technology. And that’s when we knew we were onto something.
Jillian Leslie 24:04
So, what we decided to do was create a digital product sales platform that’s super easy to use, where you can sell digital downloads and workshops, memberships, coaching, subscriptions, mini courses. We offer free sales pages there, fill in the blank, and you can get one up in 10 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 24:21
But what we also decided to do and again this came from feedback from our customers is sell a lifetime deal. So, you buy it once for $349. And then you can create and sell as many products as you want with MiloTreeCart.
Jillian Leslie 24:36
If it’s a digital download, when you upload it to MiloTreeCart we deliver it directly to your customers.
Jillian Leslie 24:56
So, please don’t pay for some expensive platform with really complicated technology.
Jillian Leslie 25:02
One last thing I wanted to share is if you’re listening to this podcast, you are really special, because most people cannot do what you are doing what I’m doing, which is really creating something out of nothing. It is very brave. So, I just want us all to take that in. And it can be lonely. And we can live in a lot of doubt.
Tip 5: Make Sure You Have Support
Jillian Leslie 25:29
So, one of the things I wanted to do when creating MiloTreeCart was to be there for you to let you know, you’re not alone in this. And from this podcast, I’m asking you to take some serious risks and do stuff that feels uncomfortable.
Jillian Leslie 25:45
And I want you to know that we’ve got your back. So, we want to support you in any way we can, which is, again, why I’m doing these onboarding calls, why I’m offering to review people’s sales pages or their products or be there for questions, because I know how scary it can feel.
Jillian Leslie 26:05
And building something like this, and people saying thank you for holding my hand through this. I just feel like there’s nothing better.
Tip 6: Selling Digital Products Can Transform Your Business
Jillian Leslie 26:13
The final thought I want to leave you with is that selling digital products can really transform your business, while getting you off of the social media treadmill.
Jillian Leslie 26:24
And being so worried about algorithm changes, you can get closer to your audience help them in a deeper way, turn on a whole new income stream where the sky is the limit and find that freedom you’ve been looking for. And notice what I just did right there, I’m selling you the transformation and the good feelings.
Jillian Leslie 26:46
If this sounds interesting to you, then one, you can get on a call with me a 15-minute call and we can talk about your digital product strategy. And you can do that by going to milotree.com/meet. Because again, I’d love to meet you.
Jillian Leslie 27:00
And if you’re ready to start building your digital product empire, please go to milotreecart.com purchase MiloTreeCart. Remember, we offer a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee. I do not want you to keep it if you do not love it and get on an onboarding call with me where I will help you in any way possible.
Jillian Leslie 27:24
Get your products up, get them selling so that you can find success and make more money. Again, book a call with me at milotree.com/meet and purchase MiloTreeCart at milotreecart.com. So far, the feedback we’re getting is phenomenal. If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jillian Leslie 27:48
And if you want the digital download of these 10 mistakes, just go to milotree.com/mistakes and I will see you here again next week.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- The Perfection of B- Work and How to Get Stuff Done Solo Episode with Jillian Leslie
- Proven Strategies for Making Money Online with Casey Botticello
- Get Unstuck in Your Life with Suzy Rosenstein
Imagine a World Where You Could Sell Digital Products and Tap into a New Income Stream with Ease…
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!