Selling on marketplaces
No following? No problem. If you don’t yet have a website or large audience, marketplaces are a fantastic way to get eyes on your product without the need to have an online shop, social media following or an email list.
As a creator on third party marketplace platforms, you have your own shop profile page where you upload, list and manage your products. Typically these marketplaces take a percentage cut from sales, for example Creative Market currently takes 40% and you keep 60% off the sale price. Etsy currently takes just 5% of the transaction fee, but it does require a $0.20 listing fee per item. However, what’s great about these marketplaces is that you as the seller get to set your product price, so you can price it at whatever feels comfortable to you.
A major benefit of having digital products on third party marketplaces is that you get to take advantage of a large international customer base meaning that your products have the potential to reach a wider audience faster. These marketplaces also have big marketing budgets that can certainly work in your favour if you start to produce innovative or popular products.
One of the greatest benefits of selling on a marketplace is that you get to focus your efforts on the thing you love to do most: creating. From product hosting to sales processing, these marketplaces have this entire infrastructure in place which means that you also don’t need to set up your own website to start selling. Whilst you will have to offer customer support, you don’t need to worry about things like taking payments and website updates so you can concentrate purely on product creation.
If you’re prepared to spend time researching markets and developing original creative assets, you can turn supplementary passive income into full time income. In fact it’s perfectly possible to create an entire career from designing and selling creative assets on marketplaces. Top sellers on Creative Market, who create innovative and high quality products are able to consistently earn over 5 figures per month, which is pretty mind blowing.
Selling on your own website
If you already have an audience, whether that’s a social media following, an email list or (better still) both, then you may wish to sell your digital products on your own website. If you’ve already built an authority in your niche or if you have an engaged following, then this is definitely something to consider as it can offer some major wins for nurturing customer relationships.
The benefit of selling on your own website is that unlike selling on marketplaces, you have a direct communication line with your customers via their email. Whilst it’s more responsibility and may take more time to set up, you have total control over the whole transaction process. This is a huge bonus as it means that you can keep your audience in the loop with updates as well as future product releases that you think they may be interested in.
Selling on your own website will require that you set up an online storefront and go through the typical process of being able to accept payments. However, depending on what platform you use this can easily be added to your existing website.
Packaging your digital product
So, you’ve gone through the development stages, dotted the i’s, crossed the t’s and your product is all wrapped up. You’ve created your awesome PDF/template/worksheet so now you need to consider how you’re going to present and sell your product and offer an amazing experience for your customer, too.
Depending on the format of your final product, you may wish to provide some support materials for your customer. For example, if you’ve created a website template you may wish to create a video to guide customers through the install process or how to change certain features. If you’ve created Canva templates, it would be beneficial to supply a PDF guide with screenshots on how to edit and customise them. The more help you can provide, the more confidence the purchaser has to use the product and this will also help to minimise customer service too.
We also recommend to make sure that beyond email, you have an opportunity to say thank you. This can be included with the purchases as a separate PDF or even a video. If you can, it’s always worth adding a personal touch to create a positive experience for the purchaser and to nurture customer loyalty.
As well as the sales copy, describing what the product is and how it can help your customer, be sure to include all of the technical details about the product too. When writing the copy for your product description, describe exactly what the recipient is going to receive. Be as transparent as possible so that the customer has a clear expectation of what they are to expect when they make their purchase. That may include file format and size, possibly specify what programmes they will need (if any) to access the product. Being upfront and clear about this from the very beginning will help to minimise customer service and avoid possible disappointment from the customer.