How to create digital download as a UGC creator

How To Create Your First Digital Product As a UGC Creator

Confession time: to date, I’ve bought sixteen digital products from other UGC creators. Some of them great, some of them not so great, but all of them put dollars straight into the back pocket of those creators, often while they slept.

In 2024, we’re taking passive income seriously. Today, we’re running through everything you need to know about creating digital products as a UGC creator.

What are digital products?

A digital product is basically anything you can sell and deliver online. Think along the lines of online templates, digital guides or courses. As a UGC creator, you’ve know doubt come across your fair share of them. And there’s a reason why.

48% of scrollers already have or would be willing to pay for downloadable content from a creator that they follow. Audiences want to learn from people who have done it before. 

Because of this, digital products are a huge part of how many of the big UGC creators make their money, and they can be a real money driver if you have the right audience.

Why sell digital products as a UGC creator?

Selling a digital product is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise. No matter what your niche is, you can easily find a topic or two that people will be willing to pay to learn about. And there are a whole host of benefits for you. 

🤑 Additional income stream UGC as we know it is changing, and there’s no guarantee it will always remain as lucrative as it is now. If you’re looking to make $$$$ as a UGC creator, selling your own guides gives  you an additional income stream that you have control over.

💰Passive income The startup cost for a guide or course is minimal — you simply need to spend the time to write the content and potentially hire an editor. After that, the income is passive. Unlike UGC, you make a sale and you don’t have to do any more work.

🗽 Growing your personal brand If you’re selling guides, you’re going to have to build your personal brand online. This will neve be a bad thing. As you grow your personal brand, establish yourself as a trusted voice.

With that being said, let me be loud and clear here. If you have been doing UGC for 5 minutes, you should not be making any sort of guide or digital download. Digital downloads and courses in the UGC space get a bad name, and it’s warranted. There are a lot of creators out there who are creating guides who shouldn’t be. Most people who start guides never actually sell one.

Here’s why:

It’s hard Writing and creating a guide is easy. Especially thanks to the onset of AI, whipping up a 40 page guide with ChatGPT isn’t hard. Selling it, that’s a different ball park altogether. If you don’t have an engaged audience that trusts what you’re selling, you’re going to have a hard time.

Marketplace is too crowded Because of just how easy it is to make your guide, it’s near enough impossible to stand out unless you’re bringing something new to the table. If you’re creating a ‘How To Start UGC’ guide, what sets it apart from the 9999 other guides on the market? If you’re not selling something unique OR have a killer personal brand, then you’ve got nothing.

If you’re the exception to the rule, then here’s how to go about creating your first digital product.

How to create your first digital product

One of the biggest advantages of digital products is they’re a lot easier to produce than physical products. In just fix steps, you can have your own digital products to sell. These are:

  1. Research the kind of product you want to sell
  2. Build out the product
  3. Decide where (and how) to sell it
  4. Promote your product
  5. Build an email list

Hit the books

The first step to selling UGC digital products is to channel our inner Rory Gilmore and figure out what you’re going to sell, of course. Just because digital products are easier to create than physical goods, doesn’t mean you jump in with your eyes closed. We’re hitting the books, or rather, TikTok.

Identify what your audience needs

Before you start building your product, you need to know who you’re creating it for. You could create the best UGC contract template out there, but it won’t really get you anywhere if no one in your audience needs one. Try using polling features on your platform of choice to get a sense of what your audience wants, or round up your comments. 

Scope out the competition

You won’t be the first UGC creator to sell whatever you’ve settled on, and that’s a good thing. Have a look at what others are selling, how they’re marketing them and how much they’re charging.

Plan your product from idea to launch

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to figure out the process. Try to get an idea of what resources you’ll need to create this product, do you need help, or can you go it alone? Give yourself a generous deadline, and plan out how you’ll promote your product when it’s done.

Create your product

In theory, this is the hard part, but it can be a lot of fun too! With a launch date in mind, now it’s time to actually create something your audience will get excited about. 

👶🏽 Start small If you are a beginner in selling digital products, start with a bite-sized idea rather than an elaborate one. No courses or masterclass. Settle on one small-ish guide that solves one key problem for a specific person.

ie The beginner blueprint: how to land your first UGC client in 30 days

📓 Write first, then design The sexy part of creating digital products is the design work, but it’s also the time drain. Once you have your one key problem (ie how to land your first client) and your person (beginner UGC creator), write a guide that acts as the perfect solution for them. You can use ChatGPT to help form an outline, but pad this out with your own knowledge. 49% of people would consume content created with AI, but you still need it to stand out.

🎨 Use Canva to bring to life If this is your first foray into digital products, just use Canva. It’s easy, it’s pain-free and if you’ve got an eye for design it’s the quickest way to get started. You’ll ultimately still lose HOURS fiddling with fonts and colors, but it beats trying to get your head around Adobe Illustrator. Export as a PDF and voila, you’re ready to sell your first digital product.

Decide where to sell it

Two weeks of hard graft later, and you should have a digital product. Now, it’s time to sell it.

Before you send your product out to the world, you need a way to get it to your audience and have them pay for it. How? Multiple options. If you’re fancy you can sell on your own website or email platform, but for the sake of simplicity, most creators opt to use Stan Store or Snipfeed. Both of these will sit as your link in bio if you will and make it really easy for people to buy your digital product.

Promote your guide on social media

So, you’ve successfully created a guide and you’re ready to sell it. Now it’s time to market it. Here are just a few ways you can promote your new product.

Mention your product in your content

This goes without saying, you should be shouting about it on social media. For UGC, the best approach is to share free tips and expertise and point them towards your guide for a more detailed or extended version.

Create a lead magnet

Adding to the point above, if you want to boost your sales, try creating a free version of the product. Maybe you offer the first chapter or a template in exchange for their email, and then you can upsell the full product.

Offer an affiliate scheme to other creators

This is often overlooked, but is a great way to get other creators to market your product for you. For example, Brands Meet Creators offer a 50% referral fee to anyone who makes a sale for them.

Build an email list 

As a UGC creator, you might not be as up-to-speed on email lists as traditional content creators, but it’s time to get to know. Email marketing might seem a bit old-school, but it still works.

One of the easiest ways to grow your email list is by offering your audience that lead magnet (or freebies) in exchange for their email addresses.

Not sure where to start?

Here’s my golden nugget of advice. 

If you’re not sure what to sell or what to create, just don’t. Don’t do it. At least, not yet. 

Creating a digital product that will actually sell requires both a unique selling point and an engaged audience, if you’re missing either one of these, hold off until you do. Build the engaged audience through social media, then learn from them what they need. Ask to jump on a call with a handful of your audience. Listen to them, take notes, spot patterns. This alone will tell you what you need to create a digital product that can actually solve their problems.

Further reading

Picture of Kirk Axley
Kirk Axley
Max Axley is the founder of The UGC Club. With nearly 10 years of digital marketing experience he set out to create a community that helped UGC creators learn the ropes (without having to spend a penny).

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