by Sue Painter
Otherwise, you can create digital products all day long, and while the quality of what you create might be excellent, they will still be a hard sell.
The rule of thumb for digital product developers is threefold:
- Research what there is a need is for.
- Develop good products to meet that need.
- Do your marketing.
Your prospects are looking for a solution to a specific problem, so the more you know what they are looking for help with, the better off your bottom line will be after your product is completed and on the market.
Here are 5 ways to get into the heads of your target market and get inspired to create exactly what they are looking for. Do these before you begin developing content for your next digital product and you’ll improve your chances for a well-received product that flies off your digital shelf.
1. Ask your followers. If you are established as a digital content developer you probably have a list of previous customers and other people who know you. These folks are little pots of gold for you! Develop a simple, quick-to-take survey and ask your followers what they need help with the most right now. What keeps them up at night? What worries them the most about their life or their business?
Develop a checklist and be sure to leave blank write-in space at the bottom. Offer a little free gift to your followers who respond and take your survey. (This could be a good discount on your next product or something else valuable to them.)
2. Watch what is trending in your industry. Follow at least 3 of the best and most well-known blogs about the topic you are considering, and enter into the discussion on forums related to your potential topic, too.
My personal rule of thumb is that if I spot something in at least 3 different places (a blog, on Twitter, on a forum) I know that topic is on the minds of more than just a few people. I keep a short list of what I feel are trending topics that might be the bones of a new digital product.
3. Pay attention to the questions people ask you. I answer questions that people e-mail to me in my weekly e-zine. One reason I like people sending me questions is because it allows me to hear what is on their mind. If you are a speaker, pay attention to the follow-up questions you are asked. If you do teleseminars or webinars, capture a list of the questions people ask you and see if an idea for a new digital product comes from that.
4. Go browsing on Amazon or in your local bookstore. Pay attention to the top titles in the general topic area you are considering. Browse the new titles in the “Dummy” series and see if something catches your eye.
Even a chapter of a book can be enough to spin off an idea for a new digital product. Pay attention to the top 100 selling books in nonfiction.
5. Go to a few carefully selected conferences each year and get face time chatting to people and listening to what they are doing. You’ll begin to hear certain topics come up over and over again. Listen to the questions people ask each other, and to the “angst” topics that come up over lunch or in the bar.
Keep a list of ideas that inspire you. Once you are back home you can research a little more and see if the topic is viable.
Over the years I’ve gotten sudden inspiration for products from a casual conversation on an airplane, an article in O Magazine, a conversation that took place on a beach around a fire pit, and from questions people asked in a call-in radio show.
Match the inspired ideas you get against the tried-and-true list of the reasons people buy and you will improve your odds of having a winner.
You can take your list, shorten it, and research using keyword tools, browser search results, YouTube search results, and more. As you make your decision about what topic to develop content for next, vow to keep the topic narrowly focused and specific in the solutions you offer.
People will respond to solid, useful content that does not overwhelm. You’ll become known for hitting the nail on the head every time with consistent solutions. Over time, that reputation will make your next products easier to market and sell.
Being an inspired content developer can mean better visibility and being sought after by buyers because your content gives them what they want. There’s no better testimonial for your work!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and your favorite ways to get inspiration in the comments below…
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.