Trading physical goods and services for money is how commerce worked for entrepreneurs for centuries. In the last couple of decades the internet rapidly transformed commerce and opened up new audiences to small businesses.
What further transformed e-commerce was the addition of intangible goods that exist only in digital form: online courses, ebooks, PDFs, audio, and other printables and downloadables. Digital products have given rise to knowledge commerce, where creators now sell their knowledge and build full-time businesses. Knowledge commerce uses real world experiences to provide education and training outside of traditional education institutions.
Information on how to do everything from finance to watercolor painting can be found everywhere, but a creator’s job is to curate it and tailor it for the people who need it. Teachable was built on the foundation of online courses being the center of your knowledge business, but we know that creating a fully launched online course has a lot of moving parts. That’s why selling digital downloads can be a great new way of consuming or selling knowledge.
3 reasons to sell digital downloads now
If you’ve built your knowledge business around courses, or are new to selling what you know here’s a few reasons you’ll want to add digital download products to your offering.
1. Digital downloads are easier to sell, manage, and deliver
Selling a digital download is radically simple. You create your digital download content, upload it into Teachable, set a price, create the sales page, and launch. There is less to do in terms of daily management, no need to check course quiz scores or respond to lesson comments.
Instead, digital downloads presents a more transactional revenue stream where instead of building a customer relationship within your product, you build that outside of it in your marketing—as you always have. This allows you to sell immediate self-paced content that you create once and sell repeatedly. There are no barriers to shipping, creation time, inventory, managing and launching cohorts, or checking in on one-on-one coaching milestones.
Digital download products also stay relevant for longer. If they do become less relevant over time they can easily be updated and improved. When you’ve made an update, you can also easily push that out to your previous customers so they are reminded to download the latest improved version.
2. Increase your potential customer base with new digital products
Converting your social media followers, newsletter subscribers and website visitors into buyers of your products is a complex endeavor. Not every follower or subscriber will make it to purchase for a variety of reasons.
Despite the fact that your knowledge is incredibly valuable, for some potential customers the cost of a course or a course bundle may be out of their budget. A digital download allows you to sell your knowledge at a more approachable price. This gives you a larger potential market, and your existing subscribers and followers who haven’t converted into customers yet may finally take the leap.
Once those customers have purchased from you and seen the value you’ve brought in your paid products they’re more likely to purchase again. As long as your knowledge commerce business allows you to teach something others want to learn in a digital download format, you’ll likely reach even more people than you had before.
No matter what your niche is, you can create and sell a digital download relevant to your audience. With digital downloads as a product type next to your courses and coaching products, there isn’t a limit to what knowledge products you can create—checklists, guides, ebooks, how-to’s, templates‚you can sell it all.
3. Grow higher profit-margins with digital download products
Building a knowledge business can require a lot of time to plan online course content, record video for it and everything else related to sales and marketing. Online courses should be priced in a way that reflects the amount of investment, time, and overhead that went into creating them.
With digital downloads like ebooks or guides there is less investment, overhead, and time to create. With fewer barriers creators can have low to zero initial cost. All you need is knowledge, your digital download, and a platform to sell it on.
As long as you create a download that lights you up and provides your audience with some type of transformation, you’ll benefit from higher profit margins by creating a resource you can sell over and over again with fewer barriers.
Ready to create your own digital download?
Check out Julia McCoy from Content Hacker and see how she’s using Teachable to sell digital downloads.
When you’re ready, create a free account on Teachable and start building your own digital download. Already a Teachable creator and ready to begin? Learn how to manage and creator your own download on our Knowledge Base.