How and why to create digital products? In this article, we cover multiple ways to build a passive or semi-passive income by creating digital products for interior designers.
We will discuss:
- what are digital products?
- why should you consider launching digital products?
- what kind of products you can create as a designer?
- digital products vs physical products
- what tools do you need to create digital products?
As an interior designer, you dedicate a lot of time to client projects, which can leave little time to work on attracting new clients or gaining additional income.
Adding digital products that can boost your revenue and profits, while both freeing up time and pre-qualifying your high-end buyers is a great way to scale your firm.
- Definition of Digital Products: Digital products are goods or services that are delivered through a digital medium, such as online courses, ebooks, mood boards, coaching, and more.
- Benefits of Digital Products: Creating digital products can lead to passive or semi-passive income for interior designers. They require lower costs, are easily scalable, and are more convenient for customers to use compared to physical products.
- Combining Digital and Physical Products: Designers can create a unique offer by combining digital and physical products. For example, a physical product with a digital guidebook or a digital product with an add-on physical item.
- Types of Digital Products for Interior Designers: Interior designers can create various digital products, including courses, ebooks, mood boards, tutorials, shopping lists, templates, coaching packages, membership sites, and more.
- Benefits for Interior Designers: Developing digital products can offer several benefits to interior designers, such as reduced administrative efforts, no inventory requirements, low delivery costs, and the ability to sell products repeatedly.
Let’s dive in!
What are digital products?
Digital products are a type of product that is delivered through a digital medium. Digital products have an online version, an offline version, or both.
If a passive income stream is something you find yourself contemplating, consider producing digital products – whether it’s for the purpose of freeing up time for your client roster, to kickstart the customer journey, or because you want to increase your monthly income – digital products are an excellent way to do so.
Digital products can be anything from a mobile app to an online course, guides, mood boards, and coaching. They can also be digital versions of physical goods, like ebooks or online consultations. Digital products are usually delivered through the Internet and are typically intangible goods.
The Market Size and Opportunities
Revenue in the digital education space is expected to show an annual growth rate of 9.48%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$239.30bn by 2027 (source).
What does this mean to you? Well, it means that we’re barely scratching the surface of online education. And, it means that there are many opportunities for designers and other creatives to capitalize on digital products!
Of course, there are multiple ways to sell digital products, let’s find out what would work for you.
Why are digital products preferable to grow your revenue & business?
The digital era has changed the way we consume products. While there will always be a need for physical products, you might want to consider adding digital products and experiences to your offer mix. Digital products have some key benefits that make them preferable to physical products.
Some of the benefits are:
- Lower costs: Digital products require less investment in manufacturing and distribution than physical ones, which means they can be sold for a lower price.
- Scalability: Digital products can be easily reproduced at a low cost and distributed globally, which means they can grow with demand without running out of stock like physical goods.
- Ease of use: Digital goods are more convenient to use than their physical counterparts due to their intangible nature. They take up no space in your house or office, so you don’t need to worry about storage or maintenance
But, you can also combine digital and physical products to create a unique offer
Digital and physical products are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you can use them in tandem to create a unique offer. Here are some ways that you can combine digital and physical products to create a unique offer:
- A digital product with a physical product as an add-on
- A physical product with an accompanying digital guidebook or information pack
- A physical product that is sold digitally, but delivered physically
Benefits of digital products for interior designers
There are several benefits of creating digital products. Let’s discover the main benefits of digital products for designers!
Less admin than physical products
Online and digital products offer many benefits over traditional, physical products. For example, you can instantly access unlimited information, as well as be notified of new products, special offers, and discounts. You can even purchase from the comfort of your own home.
One of the best things about digital products is that they can be updated in almost real-time.
When a digital product is updated, it can be sent to the user’s email inbox instantly. If there were any changes to a physical product, you would need to print it out, update it, and then re-print it. This is why digital products are so much easier to manage.
They don’t need any inventory & don’t go out of stock
Digital products are not tangible, so they don’t go out of stock the same way as physical goods. There is no need for inventory and logistics management and you can sell them without worrying about running out of stock.
Since a digital product doesn’t have any shelf space requirements, it means that you can sell as many as you want without any worries about how much space they’re taking up in your store.
Can be sent at less cost & globally
Digitally products are cheaper to send than physical products.
The cost of sending a digital product is very low. It’s not completely free, since you do need to have digital storage solutions or a platform where the customer can download the product, but the costs are far less than when shipping physical goods.
It also takes less time to deliver, which means that the product will be delivered faster.
Even if you sell a physical product, you can send a digital guidebook in advance, and get the customer excited about the coming delivery. It’s all about the client experience!
Can be sold many times over
Digital products can be sold many times over because they are infinitely reproducible. This means that digital products can be shared and sold without any loss of quality.
However many companies use scarcity as part of their marketing, it just feels unethical given that when it comes to digital products, there really aren’t any limits to how many pieces can be reproduced and sold.
If you want to use scarcity in your digital product marketing, make it rather limited by time than limited by inventory.
Cheap to create
Digital products are cheap to create, even if you’re not a digital designer. With a digital product, you can release it as soon as you have completed it. You don’t need to wait for the manufacturing process or worry about distribution channels.
This is why digital products can be cheaper than physical ones. Also, you can create a version of the product and keep improving it once you have made some customers.
How to make money with digital products
Making money with digital products is an excellent way to generate passive or more correctly: leveraged income. No business is completely passive by its nature, but you can create a leveraged income stream for your business, where you don’t need to serve your customers 1:1 but rather deliver your digital products per automation.
However, marketing your business, your digital products, services, and anything you sell, is not passive. Check out the 4 Steps For Effective Online Marketing For Design Companies.
digital products To Sell for interior designers
Courses are always popular, and a great way to teach your methodology and process to your customers. you could create courses for DIY’ers who can’t afford your service or for your industry peers with whom you want to cooperate.
Ebooks are another popular way to deliver great results in a very low, scalable way. You can create an ebook and sell it, or alternatively use it to generate leads for your business.
Moodboards & Designer Room Collections
Digital mood boards are a great way to offer your services in a packaged way. You can create pre-made packages based on different styles and functions.
The designer room collections could consist of multiple components, such as a style guide, a list of products, floor plan ideas and layout suggestions, a color palette, and color codes or the exact paint colors from a chosen brand, among others.
Tutorials and Guides
Just like ebooks, you can create tutorials and guides that you sell to your customers. These could be, for example, a specific way to design a room, or a starter kit to prepare the house for an interior design project.
Shopping lists are powerful for DIY’ers who prefer to buy interiors online or at a local store. You can add affiliate links to the shopping lists to make an extra income if the customer decides to buy your recommended products.
Templates and Calculators
You could create planning templates and calculation sheets that your customers can use to budget for the coming renovation and remodeling project. This could be a great way to have the customer calculate the budget in advance before they invest in your services.
Resources and templates for other design professionals
Of course, you can create tools and templates for your interior designer peers too! If you really want to become known in your industry, you might want to consider contributing to the community of design professionals and vendors, not only to the customers.
You could sell coaching and consulting packages that you deliver online. This is not a fully automated delivery, but you could make a great extra, or full-time income by offering interior design consulting in a Zoom call. The Expert is a great example!
A membership site
You could create a membership where you teach design. The membership could also give access to products and services at a discounted rate, together with events and other fun activities for your clients.
If you want to develop it further, you could ask your industry peers to advertise their services for your members for mutual benefits.
Affiliate products are a great way to make extra income! You can sign up for various affiliate networks and programs, and sell products in your store, without having any inventory! Amazon has the most popular affiliate program in the world, but other brands and shops offer great programs too.
You could add affiliate products to your ebooks and guides as well to increase the LTV of your customer.
Last, but not least, e-design services are very popular. Even if consumers have access to online stores to complete the purchase, they still need your design expertise to know what to buy and how to pull it together.
You can create ready-made rooms or customize each delivery based on your client’s needs and desires.
This is probably the simplest way to start with digital products for interior designers. You only need to package your offers and sell them, no need to create anything in advance, other than the onboarding process and sales page.
Digital content site
They used to be called blogs (still are), but the type of digital content sites I’m talking about are websites that publish content to your audience. The audience could be your industry peer (like TheDesigneur.com), or consumers and potential clients.
Either way, there are many ways to monetize your digital content site!
One more: a platform business
This type of digital business model is a bit more complex, and it requires bigger investments in technology. But, many industry professionals launch digital platforms that offer certain types of services to a wide audience, for example by connecting suppliers and buyers together.
How to create and sell your digital products
First, you have to make sure to understand and use your audience’s needs and desires. You need to test your messaging and idea before you build it. The best, most reliable feasibility test of your idea is to actually sell your product before you create it. I know it might feel hard to pull through at first, but you don’t want to spend too much time and money on creating a digital, or any, product before you have buyers.
Start small and progress based on the feedback you get from your customers. Starting small might mean different things, depending on your product, but usually, it means any of the following:
- create a mini product and sell it.
- create the first 30% of your product and sell it, then continue developing your offer when your first client progresses.
- create a future timeline for your product: sell it now, and tell the customers when they can expect the delivery. You can call it the pilot version, but don’t call it beta. Beta usually means crap.
Resources to help you create your digital product
- Online course creation/membership site: Teachable, Kajabi, Thinkific, with ThriveCart to collect payments
- Ebook: Canva + ThriveCart to collect payments
- Design packages: MyDoma Studio is a great tool!
Create a systematic journey – what’s the next step for your customer?
What does the customer value journey look like? What do you want the customer to do after they have completed or consumed your digital offer? Always think about offering the next logical step to your customers, both the help them progress towards their goals, and also to increase your profits.
Should you launch a digital product?
Yes, it’s a great way to add an additional revenue stream to your design business. Even if you don’t want to sell digital products, you should create a digital asset that you use to generate prospects and clients.
FAQ – Digital Products For Interior Designers
What Types Of Digital Products To Sell?
As an interior designer, you can sell various digital products, including:
- E-books on interior design tips and tricks, color schemes, and design styles.
- 3D models of furniture and home decor items that customers can use to visualize how the products will look in their homes.
- Digital mood boards that showcase different design styles, color schemes, and product combinations.
- Online courses on interior design can range from beginner to advanced levels.
- Virtual design consultations, where you can offer personalized advice and guidance to clients remotely.
- Customized floor plans and room layouts that customers can use to plan their space.
- Printable wall art and decor that customers can purchase and print themselves.
- Design software or apps that customers can use to create their own designs with your guidance.
- Online design templates for various rooms in the house, such as the living room, bedroom, and kitchen.
- Design calculators that help customers estimate the cost of their interior design project.
What skills do I need to create digital products as an interior designer?
To create digital products, you’ll need basic computer skills and familiarity with software related to your chosen product type. For instance, if you want to create ebooks, knowledge of design software like Canva or Adobe InDesign will be helpful. For online courses, you might need video editing skills and knowledge of e-learning platforms like Teachable or Thinkific.
Are digital products passive income?
No, not really. You still need to manage the products and in many cases, handle the support. However, when you don’t have to engage in the delivery of your products, you can spend your valuable time on product creation, building a strong brand, and streamlining your processes!
How much time does it take to create a digital product?
The time required to create a digital product varies depending on the complexity and type of product. Simple products like mood boards or shopping lists might take a few hours to put together, while comprehensive online courses could take weeks or months. Starting small and gradually improving your products based on customer feedback can help you manage your time investment.
How do I market and sell my digital products?
Marketing and selling your digital products require a well-defined strategy. Utilize your existing network, social media platforms, and email lists to reach potential customers. Create engaging content and offer free resources to attract and nurture leads. Implement effective sales funnels and use platforms like ThriveCart or Kajabi to collect payments and deliver your digital products.
Can I sell digital products alongside my interior design services?
Yes, you can definitely sell digital products alongside your interior design services. In fact, offering digital products can complement your services and attract a wider range of clients. Digital products can serve as an entry point for clients who may not be ready for full-service design but still want to benefit from your expertise.
How much should I charge for my digital products?
Pricing your digital products requires consideration of factors like the value they provide, market demand, and your target audience’s affordability. Research competitors’ pricing, conduct surveys, and test different price points to find the sweet spot. Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between attracting customers and ensuring your products are profitable.
Can I offer both physical and digital products in my online store?
Yes, many interior designers successfully combine both physical and digital products in their online stores. Offering a mix allows you to cater to different customer preferences and budgets. For example, you can sell physical home decor items alongside digital mood boards or online courses.
Are there any legal considerations when selling digital products?
Yes, there are legal considerations when selling digital products. Ensure you have clear terms and conditions, privacy policies, and a refund policy for your products. If your digital products contain copyrighted material, obtain the necessary licenses or permissions. Consult with a legal professional to ensure your business complies with all relevant laws and regulations.
How do I handle customer support for my digital products?
Customer support is essential for maintaining a positive reputation and ensuring customer satisfaction. Set up channels, such as email or chat, where customers can reach out with questions or issues. Provide clear instructions and troubleshooting guides to help customers use your digital products effectively. Promptly respond to inquiries and address any concerns professionally and promptly.
Should I offer discounts or promotions for my digital products?
Discounts and promotions can be an effective strategy to attract new customers and incentivize purchases. Consider offering limited-time discounts, bundle deals, or special offers to create a sense of urgency and drive sales. However, be mindful not to devalue your products, and ensure that your pricing strategy remains sustainable.
Can I update my digital products after launching them?
Yes, one advantage of digital products is the ease of updating and improving them based on customer feedback or changing trends. Regularly reviewing and updating your digital products can help maintain their relevance and value, leading to better customer satisfaction and increased sales.