I get this question all the time: “Eric, I wanted to start an online business. However I don’t know where to start from. Should I start from digital products, or should I start from digital services?” And my answer for all these while has been this: “always go for digital products.”
You may be shocked to see my answer to be digital products. Countless of people have been telling me that they have certain expertise and it is wiser that they use their expertise in the form of providing service to others so that they can earn money from their expertise. I would like you to think even further, can’t you package your expertise in the form of digital products and sell it online?
Here’s one dirty little secret of these two options, or I should say, the dirty little secret of online business: Digital products can be automated entirely while digital service cannot do so. Simply put, when you have your digital products, you are making your system to be on automatic pilot. You no longer need to be in the equation in order to make money. You make money when you work, make money when you fish, make money when you hike, make money when you hike, make money when you eat, and the coolest part is that, you make money when you sleep.
But if you choose to go for the digital service, unless you are satisfied to work like an office hour in order to make money, then this option may not be suitable for you. When you can create your own digital products, you only do the work once. Once it is up there in the system, or commonly known as the sales funnel, it can be run automatically. You don’t have to monitor the website 24/7 just to make sure money will come in. You don’t have to assist the customers to check out from the sales funnel because everything is arranged and built systematically.
In the digital service world, here is the rule that is inevitable: you have to be in the system or equation in order to make money. Try to think of it. You are providing service to other people. If you stop working, who is going to provide the service to your customers? No one except you! That’s why in digital service, your earning stop when you stop working. You may be arguing with me that to provide digital service will enable a stable income. This to a certain degree is true. But try to think outside the box. If you can sell your service in the form of digital products, can you increase your profit margin? And when you build trust with your customers (which I assume you are adding real values/solutions to their life), you can always promote them with backend products. Can you see how powerful digital product is now?
Here is one final bite between these two. If you ever dream of having the time freedom so that you can do more meaningful things in your life apart from work alone, then you need to take a look at digital products seriously.