Ready to create passive income in your business and want to sell digital products? Ideas may be hard to come by or you may have TOO many. But how do you land on a profitable one? Read this article to learn where to turn to get an idea that will bring RESULTS!
In order to explain where the number 1 source for a profitable digital product idea comes from, I want to share with you a money making lesson that is pivotal to understand before you do the work to uncover your profitable digital product idea.
It’s called Selling Your Sawdust.
What Sawdust has to do with making money online
If you have no idea what sawdust is, it is a byproduct or waste created by an operating sawmill. A sawmill is a factory where logs are sawed into lumber by a machine. For many many years, lumber was the only product that sawmills could create and sell.
There was once a time when sawmill operators could barely give away their sawdust. They would go to great lengths to dispose of the waste by dumping it in the woods or burning it just to get rid of it.
But then someone smart realized that instead of just throwing it away or burning it, they could turn their trash into someone else’s treasure.
Now, I’m not gonna encourage you to create garbage products. Not at all! If you’re a long-time customer of mine, you know I am a huge supporter of creating high-value products.
But there’s such a valuable lesson here.
Turn your byproducts into profitable products
Lumberyards faced with increasing competition and rising energy costs are able to stay profitable by monetizing their biggest byproduct — sawdust. Essentially, sawdust can be sold for any number of uses from farm bedding to particle board to mulch.
Those pretty white shelves in my living room? Sawdust.
A sawmill sells their sawdust byproduct of the work they are ALREADY doing (producing lumber) by turning it into particle board – or selling it to a manufacturer to do so. Then the particle board it is sold to Ikea who then turns it into pretty pieces of furniture you will most likely pull your eyes out putting together due to terrible instructions, but I digress.
The point is, sawmills have cracked the code on wealth building in the product world by not just stopping at what they currently sell or do, but by also figuring out how they can profit on the by-products of what they currently do.
They literally turned their trash into a mega empire that can be seen in my living room.
Selling Your Sawdust
As you approach uncovering your digital product idea, I want you to think about this concept of selling your sawdust.
Take some time to think about what part of your daily process or your skillset could you turn into something you could sell as a digital product?
If you are already running a business, I guarantee that you are currently doing work that can be packaged and productized as a separate asset from your main offering.
If you are brand new in business, I guarantee you that you have some sort of talent or experience that can be packaged and productized to serve someone else.
Explore your byproducts to uncover your profitable digital product idea
Consider these questions:
- Where have you spent your time (or are currently spending your time) learning, doing, or focusing on?
- Where do you spend your energy? What are you doing in your day to day life? In your work? What Are your hobbies?
- Where have you spent your money? How can you make the most of your money spent by turning it into an asset (or a part of an asset) you can sell?
Sawdust: Turn your Service-Based Work into a Digital Download product
Let’s look at a few examples of how this works in the digital product world.
Say you are a travel agent and your main offer is a 1:1 service where you help families plan the best trips to Disney. You are known for delivering a high-quality service including taking care of all the logistical details of where to stay, renting transportation, planning out where to eat, and handing over a detailed itinerary that literally makes vacationing to the most magical place on earth an absolute breeze.
That Disney world itinerary you delivered to your custom client? It could be repackaged and productized as a digital download offer you could sell right on your website.
Sawdust: Turn what you know into multiple kinds of digital products
I host a podcast with my biz bestie, Kat Schmoyer. Kat is the QUEEN of goal setting, planning, and implementing through strategic time-management. She spends a considerable amount of her time and energy each quarter goal planning in her own business to move the needle and accomplish her big dreams.
She has now turned all those hours of goal planning for her own business into a digital product she sells in the form of a downloadable and printable quarterly digital calendar based on her unique system.
She turned it into ANOTHER digital product by creating an on-demand pre-recorded workshop you can buy to learn her quarterly plan system.
Sawdust: Teach someone else how to get the results you’ve gotten in an online course
In 2020 I helped my husband create and launch a course using the exact system I teach in my course, Revenue Ripple.
He launched a new brand with no followers, grew his email list to just 250 subscribers, and sold out his beta round of a brand new digital course to that tiny list in 24 hours.
Jeremy went to college and got his degree in construction management and had a dream to build long-term wealth by acquiring residential real estate properties. Throughout the first 8 years of our marriage, he leveraged his years experience in construction, working in mortgage underwriting, and selling commercial real estate to begin purchasing homes one by one even when we were completely cash poor.
He knew the system from start to finish so well that we were able to turn $80k worth of down payment investments into a portfolio of assets worth over 1.3m dollars. Our net worth is over $750k 10 years later and we were set for retirement by the time he turned 34.
Our renters pay our mortgage every month and when they’re paid off, we’ll bring in over 100K every year in residual income for the rest of our lives.
That is the MAIN work he did.
In 2020, he took the by-product of all that time, money, and energy and turned it into a digital course to teach other people his creative system on how to invest in real estate EVEN if they don’t have a ton of cash laying around.
Sawdust: Build an entire Digital Product Business that runs on autopilot 24/7
My own digital product business is completely made up from byproducts of my time, energy, and money spent in the last 10 years of entrepreneurship.
I began my business as a wedding planner in 2011. In 2014, I began blogging about how I was running my business BTS. I wrote a blog post that showed the custom Welcome Packet I made for my bride and grooms to be. That post went viral on Pinterest and I had planners from all over knocking on my door asking if I’d create one for them or just sell it as a template.
I did the work for my clients and then flipped that work on its head and made it a packaged digital product OTHER planners could benefit from.
My website templates? Sawdust. Most of my website templates were a version of my VERY own website, sales pages, and other various important pages I’ve needed to run my digital business. I just swapped out the images and copy and turned it into a digital product I could sell. I’ve also worked with custom website clients 1:1 for a reduced rate with an agreement that I could flip their website design into a template I could resell.
And my membership with over 1,000 members is a direct reflection of selling your sawdust. The entire premise of the membership content is sharing how I’ve from my digital business over the last 5 years and what I’m doing currently that works.
The Number 1 Source for a Profitable Digital Product Idea
I don’t say all that to toot my own horn, but rather to show you that there is serious wealth potential when you create from what you know, love, do, and already have within you.
You can try to emulate what someone else is already selling just to make a buck, or you could turn inward to what you know, love, do, and already have within you to innovate. The world already has that other kind of product on the market.
Real success lies on the other side of filling the YOU-SIZED gap in the market.
As you noodle on your digital product idea, continue to consider this: What sawdust are you overlooking? How can you take what you already have within you to package and productize it into a digital offer you can sell?
I guarantee you there is sawdust there and it is valuable to someone else!
What’s your perfect digital product type?
Wondering what type of digital product would be the best for you to create? A download, template, course, or membership? If you aren’t sure what type is right for you to create, take this quick 7 question quiz to help you land on your perfect product!
In 7 questions, I’ll help figure out the perfect type of digital product for you to create based on how much time you have to devote in the short and long term, your business personality, and a few other fun questions.
Go through it and I’ll work my magic to help you feel more confident to get started in creating your first (or next!) digital product!