Most of the digital products selling on Etsy are offshoots of a digital planner business.
That means apart from planners/organizers, there are stickers, inserts, and labels too.
A planner business is one of the best ways to start an online handmade business.
I started giving away free handmade business planners a few years ago. With time they have become my primary source of income that is growing with leaps and bounds.
As I see my handmade business growing, I regret not starting earlier. If you also fee the same. Then, read further to know how to begin your handmade business of digital planners.
How To Start A Digital Planner Business
Understand Your Niche
Irrespective of the kind of business you are in, you got to define your niche.
Niche defines your ideal audience, and so the marketing strategy takes shape. Thus, not knowing your niche will take a lot of trials and errors to nail your message to your audience.
For instance, since my business is in the niche of starting a handmade business. So, all my planners cater to simplifying the lives of creative entrepreneurs.
If I start promoting planners for homeschooling parents, I will fail. That is because such a product will repel my audience even if they were homeschooling their kids. My audience expects me to solve their problems regarding solopreneurship. Introducing them to products for home/family/faith would mean an intrusion.
Hence, think of a broad topic that you know well. That way you will have a higher success rate of selling planners. Moreover, you will save yourself from getting frustrated and disillusioned.
Learn How to Create a Digital Planner to Sell
Once you are sure of the category you have selected to start a planner business. Then, the next task is to create the planners.
Please do not think that zero design skills mean a big NO for venturing into the digital planner market. If that rumor were true, I would not earn hundreds of dollars per month.
But do not assume into thinking that there is no point in learning advanced design skills. Some of the successful names in the business are from people with Illustrator skills. But that is the fun of having an online business. There is room for everyone.
You can start with beginner software like Canva. From there, you can advance to sophisticated ones like Illustrator and InDesign.
Pick up a Business Model
- Niche Blog
It is how I started my digital planner business. So, I know with my experience that a successful blogging business leads to a planner business as well.
Planners are organizational tools that work for almost all industries. Therefore, irrespective of the topic of your blog, you can create and sell planners.
Since I operate a blog for creative entrepreneurs, I make planners for :
- starting a handmade business
- organizing a handmade soap business
- organizing a crochet business
- successful soap making ideas
- starting and managing a hair care business
- E-Commerce Store
To sell a digital product, you need a facilitator or the middle guy that showcases and delivers.
E-commerce stores serve that purpose well. There is a range of options for the same.
Many businesses swear by Shopify, Easy Digital Downloads, Woocommerce, and Sendowl.
I started my planner business with Gumroad. Now I use Gumroad along with ThriveCart.
There are more ways to sell digital planners than the ones mentioned above.
If being a beginner, you are not comfortable with an e-commerce store. Then, you can test the waters with marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon.
- PLR Planner Business
Like other industries, the planner business can be for customers and other business owners. Meaning you can sell planners as B2C (business to customers) and B2B (business to business).
When you sell your planners to other planner businesses, it becomes the PLR planner one.
A PLR planner business involves selling planner templates for commercial use. So, if you excel in making planners for homeschooling. Then, you can make a stand-alone template that other mom blog owners can sell as their products.
It is an excellent way to monetize your design skills. You get to design planners. Then, you sell them at a premium to various other planner shops. The high price takes care of the royalty fees that work out for other businesses to use your work as their own.
A Shopify store is one of the best ways to operate a PLR digital planner business.
Work on Bringing Traffic to Your Digital Planner Business
Irrespective of what kind of a planner business model you choose. You will need the traffic/eyeballs to make them a success.
As you would know, a blog is one of the best ways to bring a targeted audience to your website. Thus, no matter what mode of operations you decide on, you must blog to get leads.
Moreover, the one strategy that worked for my planner business is giving away a free digital planner. It might surprise you to know that all the planners that I sell were once available for free.
Yes! I test the preferences of my customers by giving them a free digital planner download. Once I get enough downloads, I create a premium version of the freebie. That makes me create new products that do not end up as failures.
Whatever goes for free does end up bringing me the moolah.
Increase Conversion Rates
Sales are dependent on how well your audience responds to your offering. It means the more the audience ends up buying your offers, the better it is for your bottom line.
I like to put it as below –
Sales = Traffic x Landing Page x Conversion
So, the higher the conversion of the traffic to your landing page. The higher is your earnings.
If you work on the above equation, you will have a successful stint with your planner business. As of now, I have a conversion rate of 3.5% on my sales landing pages. I keep testing with free small business planner printables to improve my sales. You can also introduce new product variations to get better profit margins.
If you are wondering how to start a digital planner business but do not know how to. Then, do not despair into thinking that a lack of graphic design skills will lead you nowhere.
That is because you can start a planner business with free tools too. The outcome may not be as chiseled the way it comes from sophisticated design software. But if it solves the problems of your audience. Then, it has the potential to make sales.
The point is to start your planner business instead of procrastinating. If the entire selling process scares you. Then, the best option is, to begin with, a free planner pdf to test the waters till you develop confidence.
The important step is to start.
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