In this digital age, it is usual to find a digital version of physical products around us. That could be the reason why there is a section of digital products selling on Etsy.
Much like physical products, digital ones have a vast range. After selling physical handmade products, I transitioned to running a digital art business.
My current portfolio includes digital checklists, calculators, planners, and cheat sheets. These products earn me a few hundred dollars each month in passive income.
So, if you are curious to know how to create a digital planner to sell? Then, you must read further.
- 1. Use a Free Digital Planner to Test Your Market Segment
- 2. Consider Creating Ladder Products
- 3. Transition To Print on Demand Planners
How to Start a Planner Business
Before you think about selling planners, you need to be clear about your niche. By niche, it means what category your planner business will focus on.
For instance, my planners focus on starting and organizing a handmade business. Most of the planners by Rosemarie are on home organizing and budgeting. Though, Sarah Titus sells a lot of planners inclined towards home and faith.
Hence, it is crucial to know whom you will serve before you start a planner business. So, once you nail your niche, then comes the challenging part ———->
How to Make a Planner to Sell
This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase any of the products mentioned in this article through routing via the links in this post. Then, I may end up receiving a certain monetary percentage from the sale. Though the one who purchases through the link does not end up paying anything extra apart from the mentioned MRP on the product. Full disclosures on the Affiliate Page.
As of writing this post, I have five planners in my online shop. But I would love to confess that up till mid-2020, I did not know what a planner was.
I have profound memories of struggling to make a planner as a product. But I had no idea how to go about doing it. Though, the fact is that in the year 2019, I did make a planner without knowing that it was a planner.
It was two pages of worksheets that can help any creative to visualize their handmade business. It was the first printable planner that I created without having any idea of what I was doing.
Back then, I was using it as a freebie opt-in to increase my subscriber list. But someone ended up tipping me 2$ for it. That is when I gave a thought of charging for it.
Today, that same planner sells for 9$ in my shop!
With time, my planner creation skills have become better. Looking at my sales, it is clear that I am doing a decent job of creating planners.
My favorite method of creating planners is Google slides. Though, others use Canva, Illustrator, and even PowerPoint.
More than the design skills, you need to know how to chalk out a process flow for achieving a target. The course by Suzi Whitford on Printables accelerated my planner-making skills. You can also use it to learn how to make printables and sell them for a thriving business.
Then, the next task is to know the ———->
Ways to Go About Selling Planners
1. Selling on Digital Marketplaces
It is the obvious choice for anyone starting their handmade business. The marketplaces like Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon are the prominent options.
They are good places to start testing your digital planners. There are no significant upfront costs except for the listing and transaction fees.
These places are good to begin selling planners, but they are not ideal in the long run. That is because of the stiff competition and a dent in profits when you sell high-cost planners.
That is why after testing the third-party market places you can switch to your own website/store.
2. Selling on Your Platform
It is my favorite way to sell planners online. After seeing poor sales and poorer profits with Etsy, I transitioned to selling on my website.
It seems daunting to sell planners by yourself. But it is easy if you have the right tools.
Since I have a blog, I added a link to my Gumroad shop. I also integrated Thrivecart with my website to create funnel-based upsells. This one activity skyrocketed my conversion rates, and so did the profits.
If you have made the decision to start a self-published planners business. Then, instead of creating a blog, you can begin with an e-commerce store. Shopify and Gumroad are good options for the same.
3. Create Planners for Others
If you know how to make a planner from scratch. Then, you can also publish planners for others.
When I started my planner business, I looked for other creatives to whom I could have outsourced the job. But since I could not find anyone, I had to learn the skills of making planners.
If you have graphic design skills, you can start a planner creating business. That way, you will not have to think about what planners to design. Rather, you could approach websites that sell digital planners for collaborations.
You can create a PLR planner service and sell them to others so that they can then use it as their product.
Tips To Selling Planners With Success
1. Use a Free Digital Planner to Test Your Market Segment
All the planners that sell in my shop were once available for free in a scaled-down version. It seems counter-intuitive to give away free stuff when you are in business for profit. But the fact is that giving away a snippet of your paid product builds trust in your planner business.
You can offer a checklist or a small value planner for free to gain an audience for your business.
2. Consider Creating Ladder Products
Most of the customers look for varied products in their quest to achieve their targets. That means there is scope for products depending upon the stage they are in their journies.
For instance, I offer a free checklist to start a handmade soap business from home for beginners. Then, I have a planner for organizing a handmade soap business for the experienced ones.
Furthermore, there is a product that lists 35 different soap business niche ideas.
So, there are different options around the central idea of the handmade soap business.
Likewise, you can create several products catering from beginners to advanced customers.
3. Transition To Print on Demand Planners
Offering a print version of your digital product is a great way to upsell. Most of the customers who have an obsession with journals like to use a physical planner as well.
Stationery such as markers, stickers, and envelopes complement the physical planners. Thus, you can provide tangible upgrades to a digital planner to increase your profits.
If you are looking for ways to start a digital planner business. Then, this article will serve as a stepping stone.
It may seem that graphic design skills are mandatory to enter the digital planner market. But after selling to 300 customers, I know that more than design skills, you need empathy to sell.
So, if you can pinpoint the pains of your customers. Then, it is an easy task to design your planners around solving those problems.
You can improve your design skills with relevant resources and tools. There are also options to use PLR planners or to get them made from scratch by freelance designers.
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