What I Learned From Creating My First Digital Product – In 24 Hours

Last weekend, I finished a typing marathon at my desk. I wrote and published a sellable e-book in 24 hours.

(UPDATE: I have since decided to release Superpowers for Freelancers for free! Get the full book here.)

For the last 13 years, I’ve been selling working with clients as a freelancer and consultant, selling exclusively my services – i.e I’ll have to put work into every assignment I do.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but for a long time I’ve wanted to make use of all the knowledge I have in another way. I wanted to reach more people and I wanted to start experimenting with digital products that could bring an income, even if I didn’t put constant work into it.

I have a lot of ideas. Constantly. All the time. But that sometimes (all the time) makes it hard to actually get to work on them. As soon as I am about to start, another idea pops up in my head.

Together with being a master procrastinator, most ideas never become more than ideas.

But last week I decided that enough was gonna be enough. I was gonna create that first digital product, no matter what!

To battle my procrastination and to prevent myself from being bored and quitting, I decided to do it all in 24 hours.

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The main thing stopping me from creating more of anything is the need to make it perfect. I’ve got tons of half-finished videos, blog posts, and e-books on my harddrive from the last decade – that was put on hold because I didn’t think they were good enough.

This time, I was gonna publish it no matter what. When the 24 hours were up, the product should be up for sale. And I managed (half an hour late)!

My e-book Superpowers for Freelancers was out! It was not final, but it was good enough. And I’ll be able to keep updating it and making it better.

But it exists and is already working for me!

These are a few of the things I learned from creating my first digital product in 24 hours.

With super-specific goals, you’ll work twice as fast!

Imagine inviting a bunch of friends to your apartment for sunday dinner. Yeey! Only problem is, you haven’t cleaned the joint in weeks. Where do you even start?

As long as you are trying to clean the whole apartment at once, it’ll become this unsolvable task. But as soon as you decide on ONE part of the apartment, something sweet will happen.

When you limit the war zone to your desk, toilet or kitchen sink it becomes much more accomplishable!

In the first outline of the book, the chapters were pretty large. But I realized rather quickly that it made it hard to stay focused and to know what to do.

When the topic of the chapter was broad, I had to do a lot of thinking about what to write. Lots of decisions on whether or not to include this or that. Those decisions take time!

I found out that if I could write out the core message of the chapter in one sentence, it was short enough. The core message acted as a beacon – that is where I was going with that exact chapter, and when I had reached it, the chapter was finished.

Writing 3 shorter chapters was much easier (and quicker) than writing one long.

It is easier to create for a few than for many

The main thing I will do different in my preparation for my next digital product, is to narrow down the breadth of the recipient – the people I am creating it for.

Superpowers for Freelancers is an e-book for creative freelancers. That’s is a lot of different people.

Web-designers, photographers, writers, actors, translators could all fit under the term “creative freelancer” and having a target audience that broad, can sometimes make it hard to create for them.

I especially noticed this when trying to write out examples to visualize what I am talking about. I had to alter between all different kinds of freelance businesses to include as many as possible and to show that the techniques in the book work for all kinds of creatives.

Limiting the target audience could be done by choosing a smaller professional group – instead of “creative freelancer” that could be “photographers”, “web designers” or “copywriters”.

But it could also be done by pinpointing a precise problem or need, such as “How to create your first digital product in 24 hours (for creative freelancers)”.

Next time, I’ll make sure to really concretize and minimize the target audience.

You´re the only one that knows what’s missing

This quote, commonly attributed to Voltaire, says a lot.

“Perfect is the enemy of good.”

Even though you know that things are missing and other parts could be done much better, no one else does.

You are the only one that knows what isn’t there. And it is always easier to improve something that already exists, than to create something from scratch.

When I published the e-book, it wasn’t “done”. I knew that I had a few chapters left, that I didn’t have the time to write before the deadline.

But I launched it anyway. And lots of people loved it.

A product can always be better. But often you need to put it out there and have people try it out, before you know what to improve. You can make educated guesses. But you’ll be surprised when you see how much they differ from what people actually think!

Launch before you feel 100% done – feedback from real people is far more valuable than any guesses you make on your own.

Having an actual product makes marketing so much easier

Writing blog post, recording Youtube-videos or podcast episodes or creating other kinds of content is a great way of getting in touch with potential clients, raising interest and building trust.

But just any kind of content won’t do, you need to create things that resonate with your target groups’ problems and pain-points. And not only that, you need to keep in mind that the reason you are creating content in the first place is to sell something in the end.

Being a freelancer in most fields means you are solving quite a few different problems for your clients. It can be hard to know where to start with your content marketing.

Having an actual product – even if it just solves one out of several possible problems that your target audience has – is extremely helpful. Not only by telling you what kind of problem your audience has, but also what you are marketing.

Marketing “yourself” or your “services” is pretty abstract. It becomes much easier when you have something to market!

Having lots of ideas, means you need lots of focus to make something out of them.

If you are like me – a super-creative scatter-brain – creating a digital product gives you a purpose that you can come back to whenever you feel like you are not sure what you are supposed to do.

And it doesn’t have to take longer than a day!

Do you want to download the entire book?

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