On September 15, 2013 at 4pm, I sent out an email to Sarah’s waiting list announcing that her first digital product, a 2-week menu, was ready for purchase.
The next few minutes felt like an eternity.
Was it going to work?
Would all the effort be worth something?
It wasn’t too long before I found out.
All of a sudden Paypal email notifications started pouring in once every few seconds.
“Ding (payment received)… ding (payment received)… ding(payment received)…”
Sarah was now in business.
It was the successful culmination of her consistently building up her own following for two years and then two weeks of building up anticipation for the launch of her first digital product.
Just a couple of years earlier, Sarah shared a vegan recipe with one of her fellow church members. That church member shared it with others and soon they were asking Sarah for more recipes.
Sarah very quickly got tired of sending the recipes to each person individually, so finally she created a Facebook™ Page to make sharing her recipes and food experiments easier.
She continued posting recipes and since people liked them, they shared them. And as a result, her follower count grew.
At first, she posted occasionally, whenever she had a new recipe, but she eventually got into a rhythm of posting new recipes every week.
As her page grew even more she enlisted the help of her husband to add new content to the page. He started finding interesting health articles in the evening after work, then he would schedule the posts to go live at 6am the next day.
After two years of posting recipes & health articles, Sarah’s page grew to over 60,000 followers.
However, they weren’t making any money for their work since they didn’t know how to monetize their audience. They had considered creating some kind of menu but never got around to developing the product.
Now, at this time I had just graduated from college with a Business Finance degree but instead of getting a job in that field I was intent on pursuing something in my interest of digital marketing so I had my eyes & ears open for different opportunities.
As luck would have it, my cousin happened to be one of Sarah’s followers.
One day over lunch, she told me about a page she was following that was sharing great tips & recipes that she liked. She mentioned that she wished they had a menu and that she would buy it right up if they did!
Aha, there it was!
The opportunity to work on a project using my digital marketing skills I had developed over the last few years.
I sent Sarah a direct message via her page and told her I had an idea for a product she could offer her audience.
I left my phone number and told them to give me a call if they were interested in discussing it further.
The next day they called and we had a great conversation brainstorming the different products that could be offered.
Based on comments that Sarah’s followers left on her page, we ended up deciding to develop a product that we believed would serve one of their biggest needs – a two week menu with healthy recipes.
Sarah was pleased to find out that her initial instinct to create a menu was a good one. We did shift her original idea from the printed version she’d originally intended to a digital version that was simpler to create and deliver.
The deal I offered Sarah and her husband was for them to create the product content and I would take care of the marketing & sales in exchange for a percentage of the revenue.
Sarah was excited about the opportunity to sell the menu, but her husband wasn’t convinced. He didn’t think they’d sell more than a handful of the menus. I didn’t blame him because I’d have thought the same thing if I hadn’t previously been exposed to other businesses that were successfully creating & selling digital products.
To test the waters I had Sarah make a post telling her followers the details of what we were planning.
I taught her how to create a “call to action” post to find out how many of her followers would be interested in purchasing the menu product when it was ready.
Within a couple hours the post had over 800+ yes comments!
With both Sarah & her husband convinced, they started developing the product and I got to work on the marketing.
The first thing I did was set up a simple form where people could join a waiting list to be notified as soon as the product was ready for purchase.
The next thing I did was work with Sarah to develop interesting content designed to focus people on the problem that the product solved. The ones who were interested then joined the waiting list.
Finally, when the product was ready to purchase, we set up a 14 day email promotion to people on the waiting list. As a result of this promotion, we generated more than 300 sales with revenue a few dollars shy of $10k.
We then went on to launch several more menus for different types of recipes (dairy substitutes, meat substitutes, green juices & smoothies, healthy desserts, etc).
Eventually, with the buzz that was generated from the different products and the content they continued to share with their audience, their follower count grew to over 300,000.
Sarah and her husband were excited that they had now found a simple method to help their audience in a deeper, more meaningful way AND earn some additional revenue in the process.
And it all started with one small decision Sarah made to start sharing what she knew, publicly.
Afterward, I went on to replicate this same process in a variety of markets including: health, sports training, financial services, parenting, relationship advice, and others.
I quickly gained experience with writing copy (or words that inspire action), driving traffic (website visitors), and business strategy.
I’ve used those skills to generate at least 39,000+ customers & over 60,000+ leads for myself & private clients. I’ve written two product campaign promotions that have done 1M in revenue each. And, I’ve coached over a hundred different businesses from large to small in several different markets on how to implement effective digital marketing strategies into their businesses.
While doing all of this I discovered that I like talking about digital marketing and sharing my ideas and perspectives on it. So that’s why I decided to create an audience around the topic of digital marketing. I feel it’s a great way to share my insights with the world and help others that are just starting out.
In fact, you are seeing me do that right now with this blog post.
If you stick around, you’ll get to watch as I build a new audience from scratch.
I’ll share the ups and downs, showing you what works as well as what doesn’t.
What’s In It For You?
If you have a topic that you know well and love to talk about…
If you’ve toyed with the idea of sharing those ideas with the world…
If you’ve thought about building your own audience or creating your own digital products…
You are invited to sign up for my email newsletter. I’ll be sharing weekly tips on building an audience, creating and selling digital products, and designing a lifestyle business that can give you more freedom and control over your time.