Creating a Digital Product Starts with an Outline

creating a digital product

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.​