Now that introductions are out of the way, it’s time to walk you through my simple 3-step approach to productize your service through digital content creation.
I mean, that’s what you came here for, right?
And fair warning, you’re getting an inside view of how my ADHD brain works.
Here we go!
Digital Product Funnel
First you need to understand how a digital product funnel works.
It’s a simple concept and I know I’m not teaching you anything new here. But I created a really cool graphic and wanted an excuse to show it off.
It kind of goes like this:
You publish this content free of charge, and there are no barriers to consuming this content. It’s public and available to everyone online.
Why do you produce all this content for free? It builds your KLT (Know-Like-Trust Factor), it establishes you as an expert, it showcases your knowledge.
More importantly, if your free content contains a strong call to action, it guides your audience to the next step of your funnel.
The purpose of your opt-in is to keep building your KLT and expert status. But it does something more—it collects the email addresses of people who are interested in your thing. AND because people have voluntarily opted in, you have been given express permission to contact them in the future with more content and offers.
As subscribers get to know you and what you do better, some may be willing and ready to take the next step—parting with a bit of their hard-earned money and purchase your low-cost offer—something you’ve produced that will quickly help them achieve a goal or solve a problem.
The low-cost offer has a ‘warm and fuzzy’ factor, as it validates that people see value in what you offer, they need it and are willing to pay for it.
It also does something else—it changes the status of your audience from subscriber to client.
And the term “low-cost” really depends on your audience’s perception. You want the price point to be so low, that it almost seems ridiculous NOT to purchase.
The main gig is sometimes referred to as signature program, flagship product or core offer. They all mean the same thing.
It’s your high-ish priced product, program, service or event.
Of course, this is an over-simplified explanation of a digital product funnel but you get the idea.
And the flow illustrated here is the flow your audience ultimately goes through—not always in this exact order, but again, you get the idea.
Problem With the Funnel
The challenge I see is most online entrepreneurs are spending tons of time, energy and resources producing free content and offering amazingly awesome free opt-ins… then wonder why no one buys their main gig during a launch or promotion.
The conclusion I have come to is this: They are missing a piece of their funnel—the low-cost offer.
Another challenge comes to light when I ask them what they feel they can create as a low-cost offer. They are often unsure, or confused. Lines a blurred between free content and low priced content. They feel as thought they’ve produced as much quality content as they can without giving away the farm (aka their main gig).
Their confusion and frustration manifests itself in the form of questions, like: “How do I know what to charge for?” “How much can I charge for this low-cost thing?” “Won’t my audience feel cheated?” “Who will pay for content I’m already giving away for free?”
That’s when I chime in and say: “Stop creating your digital content the way your audience sees it. Instead, use a backward funnel approach to figure it all out.”
So here’s my process!
My Three-Step Backward Funnel Approach
Step 1: Your main ‘thing’
When a client feels stuck in the digital content creation process, I get them to start at the end of the funnel—their main gig (or one of them, if they have multiple).
What’s your main gig? Is it a service? A program? An event? A digital product? A combination?
This process works for any form.
For most online business owners, figuring out their Main Gig is the easiest part of this whole process, because they already know what that is.
What’s more, they’re usually already serving clients via their main gig.
If you don’t already have your main gig figured out, you need to do that—stat!
Once your main gig is figured out, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Fragmentize
This is where you fragment—or split, section, chunk, splinter—your main gig into individual modules, chapters, lessons, steps, headings, etc. If you’re main gig is already fragmented, this step becomes easy for you.
If you’re unsure how to do this, think of the path your main gigs lead clients through. If you had to name milestones or check-in points, what would those be?
How many fragments did you come up with?
Choose just one, any one. If you’re unsure, choose the one your most excited about.
Could this one fragment be turned into its own, standalone product, program or service?
If yes, then you have the beginnings of your low-cost offer!
If not, choose another fragment that could be.
Get as creative as you like with this step. There’s no one “right” way to fragmentize your main gig.
However, don’t get stuck over-analyzing. If multiple fragments (or all) have low-cost offer potential, do them ALL—eventually!
Choose just ONE to start with. When it’s done, work on the next.
Now that you have the low-cost offer part of your funnel figured out, you’re ready to move on to step three.
Step 3: Snip it into snippets
Now that you’ve decided on a low-cost offer, it’s time to snip it down into bite-size snippets. Your goal? Create an opt-in based on this snippet.
I can hear some of you say, “But Cristina, I already have an opt-in!”
That’s awesome! That’s great! That’s cool!
But it begs the question: Does your current opt-in relate to your main gig? Does it naturally lead subscribers to your low-cost offer?
If your answer is no, continue with this exercise.
If your answer is yes, continue with this exercise.
Why? Two reasons:
- Creating multiple opt-ins adds to your marketing collateral—and you can never have too much content!
- It gets you in the habit of thinking in themes—in this case, your main gig is your theme and you’re building a collection of products around this one theme
It’s not rocket science. You take the same fragmentized approach you used in step 2.
Only this time, grab little snippets from your low-cost offer to create an opt-in.
There are so many different ways you can snip it, so don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Think about how your audience prefers consuming content, and create an opt-in in that format.
Put It Together
If you’ve followed me thus far, you should have a list that looks something like this (using my Get Clients Now! program as an example):
- MAIN GIG: Get Clients Now! — group program ($297)
- LOW-COST OFFER: How to Design a Compelling 30-Second Intro — digital guidebook ($37)
- OPT-IN: 12 Mistakes to Avoid in Your 30-Second Intro — email autoresponder series ($0)
What does yours look like?
Draw it on a whiteboard or print and display it some place visible, which helps keep you focused on income-generating activities.
Of course, planning it out like this is the easy part. Now you need to start creating the pieces of your funnel.
Take it one step at a time and you WILL get it done.
What matters is to start creating the pieces of your funnel (which is why I encouraged you to pick just one in each step).
I promise, nothing compares to the feeling of having a variety of products that tangibilize your service.
Creating and implementing your digital content empire allows you to provide value to multiple people at once. It allows you to experience the “multiple streams of income” thing you keep hearing about.
Offering little chunks of ‘you’ in digital form allows you to showcase the full breadth of your expertise!
There you have it! This is the exact process I’ve been using with clients for years, as well as for my own business.
My hope is that it serves you well and helps you get stuff done (in this case, your digital product funnel!).
I’m Dying to Know
What does your backward funnel look like?
Did this process make productizing your service more accessible?
Did this article help you demystify your personal productizing strategy?