By John Sonmez May 3, 2018

Selling Online Products – Starting An Online Business

Welcome to another part on this journey of creating an online business. Today we are going to talk about selling online products.

One of the best ways to make money online and increase your revenue numbers is to create an online product. This is how many of successful online entrepreneurs have started. Pat Flynn, Jeff Walker, Tony Robbins, etc.

Creating and selling an online business is definitely a must if you're serious about growing your online business. It gives you authority and, after all, you can sell it for higher prices than you normally would.

You can create lots of different online products: online courses, software, books, spreadsheets, etc.

Wanna know more about creating and selling online products? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript of The Video

John Sonmez: 

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to one of our sponsors, Tech Academy. Tech Academy is a software development boot camp which offers online or in-person training. Their program is self-paced and offers students flexible scheduling. They also offer open enrollment, which means you can start at anytime. So if you're looking for a coding bootcamp, I definitely recommend checking them out.]

Hey what's up, John Sonmez here and today we're going to be talking about how to make money by selling products in your online business. So, if you don't know what this is, this is a series on how to start an online business, which you can check out here. Go ahead and click the first video or the playlist here. It'll be in the description below as well to make sure that you get the basics of starting on online business and all the other videos in this series that will teach you kind of step by step, kind of the basics of how you would start an online business and how to make money from it, right?

So this is the third in the series of making money from your online business, and we talked about the three ways to make money for your online business. We've already talked about advertising, which is probably not the best way. We talked about the affiliate and promotions okay, which is a decent way and anyone can add that to their existing business, especially if they have a large audience. And then the third way, which we're going to talk about in this video, is probably the best way, and the most common way to make money in an online business, which is … And the best way, I already said the best way, didn't I? But I think it's the best, especially for a lot of You Tuber's that they tend to just try to make money from ads, which are just affiliate stuff. But it's to create your own product, to create something to sell.It doesn't mean that you have to go, and you have to create a physical product. Most of the time, it makes sense to create a digital product, okay.

So what does this mean and how does this work? So essentially, the basic idea is this. You're building your online business right, and I talked about how my focus on building an online business is all about building an audience, right? You create an audience first because that's what is gonna really ensure that the business is going to succeed no matter what. It's gonna give you a lot of ways to make money, and a lot of ways to grow the business in a lot of directions that you can go once you build an audience, okay. That's why the big focus of this You Tube channel is to build an audience, right? ‘Cause then audiences really in my mind, the business, right? If you give me an email list, or a You Tube channel that has a bunch of subscribers, that is a business, I can make a business out of that, okay.

Once you have this audience, then you gotta figure out what does the audience need, okay. Now this is the reverse of a lot of ways that a lot of people recommend creating a business, which is they come up with an idea to solve some kind of problem right, and then they try to find people that need that. And while that can work, I find it's a lot easier if you have an audience of people who know you, who trust you, who like you, who like the stuff that you're producing, who like the free value you've already given them and then figure out what do they want. Sometimes it's not asking them although you could ask them. You could do some surveys. There's various tools out there that you can use to survey your audience. But, really what you need to figure out is what are some of the things that your audience would buy, okay. It's not necessarily even what they want, it's not even necessarily what they need, it's what would they buy, what would they find beneficial, right.
I think that's a better question to ask is what would these people buy, and it depends on you know, what your audience is like, right? It might even depend on what their socioeconomic class is, like where are they at, right? If you have an audience, for example, I've got a friend who has an audience of Tesla enthusiasts, okay. They're probably going to buy expensive things or luxury items, right? Even if they're not really into Tesla, right? Even if they're remotely related, it's gonna obviously create a product that's related to it, but it doesn't have to be, right? Because they're probably going to buy that, okay.

So, that's the basic idea, okay, is that you figure out some kind of product that you can create or source that is going to be something that your audience is going to want to buy. Now in my case for a simple programmer, for that business, I've created products for software developers like how to market yourself to the software developer, 10 steps on how to learn anything quickly, right? Real estate investing for software developers, although arguably it's not just for software developers. But a lot of content like that, a lot of products like that, that a software developer is likely to buy in order to advance their career.

So you create this product okay, and a lot of times, what you're gonna do is you're just going to create a digital product, something that you can deliver. It doesn't have to be a video series. That's probably the easiest thing to do is to create a video series teaching people things. It could be a book, it could be a book and a video series, that's always good 'cause you can sell it for more money. It could be an actual physical product if you're able to create that. It could be an audio program. I know someone whose selling like a 10 minute, like start your day audio program and that makes a lot of sense, right. There's a lot of opportunities, a lot of possibilities here, but you want to create some kind of product, hopefully something that's easy to deliver, something that's easy to manufacture, right? If it's digital, that's easy. And it could also be software, right?

It could be some software that they use. It could be software as a service, right? Even if you're building a software as a service business, I would start out by building an audience and then deciding that I'm gonna make software as a service for that audience. I'll give you a really good example. A friend of mine, Nathan Barry, he owns a company called Convert Kit, okay. Now, he started off, I think he had what was it, he started off marketing to developers and he had this book that has kind of had … In fact, he started off with just an ebook okay. It was just a digital book for software developers, I forget what it was on, okay. And, he marketed that and he sold that and he did well, but then he decided to make it a video course, and then he was able to charge a higher price and he sold that. Then what ended up happening is he built up this huge audience, okay. And a lot of this audience were people that were trying to make money from blogs and trying to create products and try to build online businesses.

So what he did was he said, “Okay, I've got this audience, I'm gonna build this company that does email marketing.” And he built this email marketing company called Convert Kit, which is software as a service so he actually built that product for that audience. Now, he's expanded beyond his audience obviously, he's had to in order to grow the company, but that gave him a seed audience or seed set of customers for even that software as a service business and I don't think it would've have been as successful had he not already had a huge following and a huge audience, as opposed to a lot of people that they try to create a sass service. They try to create a sass application or create some kind of software, okay, some kind of product and they have no audience, and they have to just rely on paid advertising or marketing to try and market that.

So, that's basically what you do, is you create your product, okay and then what you're going to do is just like we talked about in the other video where I talked about the basics of how an online business works. You're going to plug that in at the end. So people would come in, they will get your free content, they will get your You Tube videos, your podcasts, or your blog posts. They'll sign up for your email list and then you're going to pitch them and once you have their email, you're going to send a sequence of emails, it's called an auto responder sequence, by the way. And what you're going to do is you're going to automatically have these emails sent out and they're going to have a pitch, right? And you're going to basically say what your product is, right?

There's some ways to do this, we're not going to get into the specifics of copyrighting, but essentially, you're going to make an offer to them for your product and you're going to send them to a sales page where they can see the product and then they can buy the product and then you're going to deliver it to them whether you ship it, if you have a physical product or you digitally deliver it, which is much easier, and then you make money and that's it. It's that simple.

So if we're going to think about this, right, again let's use that example that I used in some of the other videos. By the way if you haven't watched other videos, make sure that you click in the description and get on that playlist so you can start from the beginning. But I talked about what if you're teaching guitar lessons and you had a business around guitar lessons and so, you know, you created this audience and you're making all this content and you were making some videos, maybe had a blog and you've got all this content about how to learn guitar. So you decide that you're audience, right, would probably benefit and pay for an actual course, like maybe a $200 course, a $199 course on how to learn guitar, the best way to learn guitar. So you put together some videos, okay. And you put together some audio tracks, and you put together a little booklet that has the songs that you're going to be teaching them, so you've got a nice little package to put together that's worth $200 okay.

You put that together and you put together a sales pitch for that. Then what you'll do is that when people come in and they subscribe to your email list, you'll simply send them pics. You'll say, “Hey, you know, it's great that you downloaded the top five things every beginning guitarist needs to know, but did you know that I have a course that will help you to actually learn guitar really, really fast. Here's what my customers are saying, here's why you want to buy this course, right. Here's the benefits of this course, go check it out.” They go to the sales page, maybe offer them a discount code for 20% off and they buy your course and that's it. So that's how you make money from a product. And this applies to anyone right? So, you know a lot of times, I talk to You Tubers and they call themselves You Tubers, like I said instead of business owners and they think that they just make money from ads. Not true, okay. That's not a good way to make money.

Yes, you could be doing that, but instead just about any person on You Tube who has an audience, what they could do is they could come up with some kind of product that they could sell to that audience and it would be so much more effective if instead of trying to get people to just watch videos and get ad revenue from this videos, they said, “Hey, go to my page here or go to my product here that I'm selling and go buy this,” and they're going to make a lot more money from that audience, right. You can have a much smaller audience and make a lot more money if you use a product, especially a product you know, something $99, $200, $300. Some people even sell a thousand and two thousand dollar products in this space. A person I followed for a long time, Ramit Sethi from iwillteachyoutoberich.com, I think his highest end product, I think he's got a $10000 product that he sells and he does launches for some of his products and he'll make millions of dollars in a weekend just doing launches.

But he has a huge audience. He has got a list of I think several million people at this point. But there is potential, there is … When you actually have a product to sell, you can make a lot more money.

So, I hope that has helped you to understand how to make money from an online business, okay and if it has, and you want to get more info on this, make sure you click that subscribe button and click the bell so you don't miss the new videos that are going to come out in this series and I'm going to be answering some questions. I'll be talking about some more stuff here. I'm going to be talking about the importance of having an email list and kind of the basics of that and how to automate your online business and some of the upcoming business series so you're not going to want to miss any of those and that's it for now. I'll talk to you next time, take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."