TD:DR In one Saturday day I created a Top 10 Photoshop Hacks PDF, put it up on PhotoshopHacks.com, advertised on YouTube, sat back and relaxed while passive income flowed in. Spoiler: I’m not quitting my day job.
First of all…Proof of sales:
I’m going to outline my process so YOU can go off and do the same thing with your master subject. Shoot, you don’t even necessarily have to know a lot about a subject, you just need to create an authoritative voice on the matter that people will trust enough to buy a product. My goal is that you do a product of your own, fly off to Hawaii, sit on the beach, and have a *cha ching* go off every time you make a sale. Send me a Mai Thai.
I graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but I had to attend community college for my sophomore year (financial reasons, great decision). While at CC, I had A LOT of free time. I would surf YouTube all day, mostly photoshop tutorials (I loved editing dumb/funny photos of friends). Confession - That year I started to make photoshop tutorials of my own (Look me up, CollegeTut). I was relatively unknown until one of my videos hit. The Erase Clothes Tool. My account exploded overnight and with an arsenal of 60+ videos I was getting 5k views a day of people trying to learn photoshop. Fast forward 5 years and when it came to make this PDF I chose to use this free advertising to my advantage. Throw in a buzz word (“hacks”) and you have it, The Top Ten Photoshop Hacks on PhotoshopHacks.com.
High Level Overview - How I did it (The Process)
- Make a hypothesis
- Test/Validate your idea
- Commit to a product
- Facilitate user through Awareness> Consideration > Intent > Purchase
- Set up POS
- Automate everything
- Set up advertising
Here was my actual brainstorm document I used for the project
Make a hypothesis
I had youtube views from people trying to learn photoshop. I hypothesized that some of these viewers would pay $10 to learn more.
Test/Validate your idea
The LAST thing you want to go do is put a ton of effort into a project and find out that no one will buy it. I’ve done it, it sucks. A lot of people think “oh I think this is cool and I would buy this, I’m going do a ton of work and sell it online!” I always tell these people, it doesn’t matter what you think or what you like…what action is the customer going to take?
The easiest method is to set up a landing page with a quick “buy now for $10” button that leads to a form. Once the potential buyer fills out the form…you know they were willing to spend that $10 on your product and you’re good to go. I set up a quick site and ended up getting about 10 people to buy in 6 weeks with doing ZERO work. It wasn’t a ton of potential $$$, but I wanted to go through this exercise anyway, so I took the bait and moved on to the next step.
Commit to a product
I didn’t want to deal with any physical products or online consulting (unless it was really worth it)….basically I wanted this project to be scalable without me. I chose to make a PDF that the buyer could download on their own and I wouldn’t need to be in the process. Then I moved on to actually making the product. This involved, ideas, copy, design.
Ideas - I knew a bunch of photoshop hacks but I googled, “photoshop tips” and took the top ones I saw. Whats stopping you from doing the same thing about about a subject you know nothing about? I’m not advocating misleading business practices, but my point is…if you’re just selling a pdf…the expert and the repackager look the same on the surface. The key is to find demand.
Copy (the written word of sales) - I recommend you check out NevBlog. He is a great example of someone creating a brand around their skill. He teaches awesome lessons and also points you in the right direction to learn more (taught me about Gary Halbert).
Graphic design - If you aren’t a graphic designer but want to do it yourself, go find inspiration and add your personal touch.Check out Dribbble for ideas. I found a beautiful template that I loved, cool font, and I put them all together. Here is my cover page.
Facilitate user through Awareness> Consideration > Intent > Purchase
Basically, how are you going to advertise and how are you going to guide people to buy? I bought my domain from yahoo, and built my website on Wix. Wix is pretty easy for someone who wants to make a quick site, they’ll try to up sell you on other features but mostly its a great offering.
Set up POS
I wanted to find a service that would handled the user download for me. A big plus in my book also was a service that would give me a fat csv download so I could check out my data. I went with PixyCart.
I threw up my annotations and links on youtube, which drove people to the site and lead them to pixycart. Tested it out myself and the process worked beautifully.
For the love of the holy, set up google analytics.
Set up advertising
I started off experimenting with some Adwords but my ROI wasn’t nearly what it needed to be for me to keep spending money. I’ve since paused so I can perfect the conversion rate on the site first.
I made additional youtube videos on my channel to try and drive more sales.
Changed the site status to public and watched the views come in.
For doing this this all in one day, I’m happy with the result. But if I had more time, I would want to sit down and really work on the conversion rate on my site. Right now I’m getting a sale per 100 views. I know I can do better. I would have to start by offering more free content and build a relationship with customers. Right now its a very shallow offering. BUT I’m covering monthly costs and I’m already thinking about my next site.
Here is a timeline of all the steps I took in order
BTW I have a couple promos for free downloads, let me know if you want to check it out
The process was pretty easy. Cup of coffee to get in the groove and now I’m writing about the sales.
What subject could you write a Top Ten Tips for?