digital product creation

Digital Product Creation: Solid Planning Brings Great Results with Less Work

I decided to consolidate lessons 7,8 and 9 because all the topics fit together and can be covered in one medium-sized post instead of three short posts.

​Lesson 7 consisted of a review of the outline I created for my eBook. The purpose of the review was to set an objective for each section of the outline and make sure every subtopic will help the reader accomplish that objective.

digital product creation

Welcome to Lesson 7, 8 and 9 of the Product Creation Masterclass Experiment!

As you can see below, my review led to a lot of markups. It also led to a few new (and possibly better?) ideas. It was time well spent.

Key Takeaways

  1. According to the ConvertKit, most eBooks average 15-20,000 words. Doing some quick math tells me I should aim for about 2 – 3 pages of material for each section of my outline, which will bring the entire eBook to about 40 pages.
  2. Adding more meat to each item helped me get a much better idea of what I want to discuss in each section.

Scheduling Time to Create My Digital Product

The idea of creating a digital book can be a bit overwhelming.

I just said I need to create about 40 pages of material to put in the book. That means I need to write a lot of valuable stuff. The good thing about it, though, is I can create it for the eBook and then reuse it on the blog and in email courses, etc.

But it still takes a lot of writing – and time. Especially while the Product Creation Masterclass is going on because I need to do the writing for my project on top of these posts and the other steps of the masterclass. But all I have is time (see below), so I won’t complain too loudly!

Lesson 8’s goal was to help get all that time scheduled in my calendar so I would actually make progress. While most people in the masterclass have other jobs they have to work their content production around, I am lucky enough to be able to focus on it full time.

But I still need the self-discipline to dig in and get it done. And writing down some goals helps with that. Here’s what I came up with.

​It’s Monday as I write this, so I started my schedule tomorrow:

  • Tuesday – Friday this week: write one section per day. I also want to outline each section before I quit working the previous day so I can just sit down and start writing rather than having to outline first thing.
  • Monday – Thursday next week: edit and finalize one section and write one of the checklists I plan to provide

By the end of next week, the goal is to have the eBook completed. My hope is that by spending 3 – 5 hours per day writing and editing, I can take advantage of batching my work like the lesson recommended to be more effective and efficient.

It Takes a Village to Succeed

When you work alone, it can be hard to have the self-discipline to keep going. Lesson 8 recommended getting an accountability partner or participating in a mastermind group to help with this.

And I agree it can help a lot. If you remember my introductory post of this masterclass, accountability is the very reason I decided to do this experiment.

It seems to be working. The comments I get on these posts and feedback I get through email have really encouraged and motivated me.

The Digital Products Behind the eBook

When I got to lesson 9, my schedule from lesson 8 abruptly went out the window.

​Why? ​Because the masterclass kind of put the cart before the horse in some ways.

​Here’s what I mean.

​In the very next lesson after they asked me to develop a schedule to write the content for my eBook, they tell me I need to have a lead magnet to attract people to sign up for my list. Only problem is – I don’t have the content for that lead magnet either.

Bummer…back to the drawing board.

At their recommendation, though, I’m going to use content from the eBook to be the lead magnet. Here’s how I envision it working; we’ll see if it actually works out this way or not.

  1. Develop a 4 or 5-day email course tentatively entitled, “How to Build an Unstoppable Referral Program without Asking for Referrals.” The course will be made up of 4 blog posts. After the person signs up for the course, they’ll get one e-mail every day for 4 or 5 days that leads them to one of these posts.
  2. Use these 4 or 5 posts as part of the eBook.

Area of concern:  One thing I’m a little concerned about is the topic, though. I may change it. Since my eBook is about increasing a chiropractor’s online visibility, I’m not sure a lead magnet about a referral program is very congruent. Maybe I’ll still do the e-mail course, but change the topic?

Here’s my revised schedule:

  • Today: write and edit one post for the lead magnet
  • Tuesday: write and edit two posts for the lead magnet
  • Wednesday: write and edit two posts for the lead magnet
  • Thursday: consolidate posts into an Ultimate Guide and write a press release announcing it
  • Friday this week through Friday next week: write and edit one section per day on average

So there you have it...what do you think? Please leave a comment.

creating a digital product

Creating a Digital Product Starts with an Outline

Welcome to Lesson 6 of the Product Creation Masterclass Experiment!

As you may remember, I ended last week feeling extremely overwhelmed. So, when today’s Product Creation Masterclass e-mail came, I opened it with some trepidation.

I wondered if I was going to finish the day in even greater overwhelm or would today’s activity somehow pull me out of the pits and back on the path toward creating my first profitable digital product?

The purpose of lesson six was to create an outline for my eBook. Not a highly-detailed outline I could begin writing from, but a conceptual – high level – outline to help me collect my thoughts and give me something I could send to my two-person chiropractor focus group for feedback.

Creating a digital product begins with an outline and today’s lesson got me there.

How ConvertKit Recommended Outlining My Product Idea

Step 1: Brainstorm every topic idea I could think of that might go into the book. You probably remember that during the brainstorming process, you’re not supposed to analyze the idea’s value or try to rationalize why it should or shouldn’t be included…you just write down everything that comes to mind.

Step 2: Look over all the topic ideas and divide them by how granular they are. For example, big ideas or concepts might become chapter topics and smaller, more actionable ideas might become sections within the chapter. No hard and fast rules here, but if the ideas can be broken down into a number of step-by-step directions, it’s probably a small idea.

Step 3: Group the small ideas underneath the big idea that make most sense.

How I Actually Outlined My Idea

While I see the value in their method, that’s just not how my brain works. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing…

In a group setting, their way is very helpful and productive, but I find it more helpful and faster when I’m by myself to do something different.

Step 1: Make a list of the major topics I want to cover. This list became the chapter list for me.

Step 2: Go through each chapter one at a time and list out the topics I think should be covered in each chapter. Going chapter by chapter helps me think linearly rather than haphazardly. It helps me develop a sequence of topics to write about that flow and make sense.

Step 3: Review the entire outline and see if there are any holes. I try to imagine beginning to write each section and ask myself, “What am I actually going to talk about in this section?”

Step 4: Go over all the chapter and section headings and rewrite them in my target market’s language.

Step 5: Send the outline out for feedback.

What did I ask my research group?

  1. Is the language too salesy or hyped up?
  2. Does the ebook scratch an itch they have or does it try to solve a problem that isn’t really that important to them?

I wanted to keep what I asked them pretty simple so it didn’t take up a bunch of time.

My Initial Outline

​Here is what I came up with. Please feel free to ask questions or give me feedback in the comments.

1. Patients Need You, But Marketing is Broken

a. The critical mind shift savvy chiropractors must make to attract new patients in today’s information-saturated, instant-access local environment.

b. Just like in real estate, marketing online is all about location and giving prospective patients what they want.

c. Gaining visibility, notoriety and trust online is a team sport most doctors play alone.

d. How to grow a practice with consistent, profitable patients through focused marketing, gaining instant visibility and taking full advantage of the Serendipity Effect.

2. Massive success through better focus online and off

a. Use the Pareto principle to target marketing toward your most profitable or most desirable patients.

​b. Drive prospective patients to a specific set of pages on your website, thereby allowing you to track, test and improve your new patient offers and site conversions.

​c. Become known locally and online as the expert in your most profitable treatment areas while letting less savvy chiropractors waste their time, money and energy on broad spectrum marketing.

​d. Discover how to know for sure exactly how well your plan is working without spending inordinate time or learning a bunch of new systems.

3. Gaining nearly instant visibility and notoriety for your business…in less than 1 hour per month

a. How to unlock newsworthy items in your business to drive your perfect patients to you.

b. Educate your prospective patients by giving them what they’re really looking for.

c. Partner with hundreds of media outlets to gain visibility, get your news to the top of Google and give you massive credibility in your patient’s eyes.

4. Leverage the Serendipity Effect to dominate your competition in months instead of years

a. The enormous effect consistency and a little time (months, not years) can have on your visibility online.

b. How to mitigate bad online reviews and drive your competition off page one with no extra effort.

​c. How focusing on your most profitable new patient segments serendipitously increases your visibility for nearly every online search associated with chiropractors or chiropractic procedures in your area.

Encouraged by Progress

I started today's exercise with a feeling of dread because I felt so far behind. But as I walked down the path ConvertKit laid out, I gained momentum and encouragement.

​In addition to finishing the outline, I gained a much better idea of where I'd like the project to head. As I was thinking through the project, I came up with additional ways to frame my ideas...ways I believe will be more appealing to my target market.

So - in the final assessment - I'm in a much better place than I left off last week; both mentally and from a product perspective.

If you have any questions of comments about my outline, please leave a comment below.​

melyssa griffin

Melyssa Griffin Interview

My Notes from the Interview

The interview lasted about 20 minutes. Alexis from ConvertKit and Melyssa discussed everything from how Melyssa transitioned from doing freelance work for clients into a course-based business to how she builds courses and prepares for launches.

Here a my notes:​

Audiences usually fall into 3 or 4 natural groupings

Melyssa called them buckets, but the idea is that as you build an audience, you find out what each type of customer needs.

For example​, a very common way to divide them is by experience level. i.e. beginner, intermediate, and expert. But if your audience is seeking career advice, you might divide them into those looking for work, those wanting to advance, and those looking to change industries.

Preparing for a launch

Do something really valuable like offering a free course, video series or a challenge one week prior to your launch, This will add value to your potential customers and affiliates as well as get them engaged.

 Reminded me of Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula.

Avoiding burnout

Never stop asking, "How can I bring more of myself - my interests, my desires, my life - to the business and my readers/customers.

Getting past doubt and imposter syndrome

The way to get past your doubts and fears is to dig in and take action. As you see results, the fears will diminish. But they will never completely go away.

You can find out more about Melyssa Griffin on her website.

My Digital Product Development Timeline

My Digital Product Development Timeline

Welcome to Day 5 of the Product Creation Masterclass Experiment!

Every morning this week, I excitedly clicked on the link in my daily my Product Creation Masterclass e-mail. But when I get to the ConvertKit masterclass site, I read through the lesson material and find myself thinking…what now?!

I must be dense or something. I always need to read the lesson two or three times, digest it for a bit and then figure out what task they are actually asking me to complete.

Today was no different. The task was to put time blocks into my calendar over the next 3 weeks to create an event timeline that will get me to a product launch. Great in concept.

Here’s one problem in execution, though…I don’t have a complete picture of the product I’ll be creating, so how can I know how much time to plan?

What's the Major Malfunction?

Here’s a screenshot of part of today’s lesson.

My Digital Product Development Timeline

Another problem with today’s task is oversimplification. In the proposed schedule, I see tasks like promoting your wait list and find beta testers. Both important tasks, but also both tasks that take more than a day – or even a week – to complete.

In the ‘3 weeks to launch’ section, you’re supposed to find affiliates and influencers and connect with them. Then in ‘2 weeks to launch’ you’re supposed to send your affiliate material to your affiliates.

There is no way on God’s green Earth all that can take place in one week.

It’s possible I just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, so I’m a little cranky…I’m quickly coming to the realization that 30 days to a profitable digital product is unlikely to happen.

I don’t really blame ConvertKit for the fact that things take longer than 30 days. And while it can be frustrating, I understand they’re trying to give me a proven framework to build my business from. And by instituting a 30-day timeline, they’ve built in a certain amount of urgency and motivation.

But, when I’m feeling this overwhelmed at the end of the first week, it makes me wonder how I’ll feel at the end of next week…

Stay tuned…I did the parts of today's exercise that I could. I just didn't feel like it was a very useful exercise.

Drop a comment below if you have any questions or thoughts on the masterclass so far.

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