Your First Digital Product

Incorporating print on demand into your suite of products with Tim Krywulak

March 05, 2024 Rene Morozowich / Tim Krywulak Season 3 Episode 6
Incorporating print on demand into your suite of products with Tim Krywulak
Your First Digital Product
More Info
Your First Digital Product
Incorporating print on demand into your suite of products with Tim Krywulak
Mar 05, 2024 Season 3 Episode 6
Rene Morozowich / Tim Krywulak

Have you ever thought about print on demand products as part of your offerings? Tim shares why and how he added these to his product list which also includes a few templates available on Gumroad.

Tim is a podcaster and YouTuber who covers content creation and social media strategy. He has spent much of his career in education, applied research, and project management, all of which involve elements of content creation and storytelling. Now, he's on a mission to use that experience to help other content creators and entrepreneurs develop their skills, build sustainable businesses, and achieve their goals.

Links 🔗
- Vanessa Lau
- Work Breakdown Structure
- Visit Tim's website
- Check out Tim's YouTube channel
- View Tim's products on Gumroad
- Check out Tim's print on demand products

Share a link to this episode 👉

Continue the conversation in your inbox

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever thought about print on demand products as part of your offerings? Tim shares why and how he added these to his product list which also includes a few templates available on Gumroad.

Tim is a podcaster and YouTuber who covers content creation and social media strategy. He has spent much of his career in education, applied research, and project management, all of which involve elements of content creation and storytelling. Now, he's on a mission to use that experience to help other content creators and entrepreneurs develop their skills, build sustainable businesses, and achieve their goals.

Links 🔗
- Vanessa Lau
- Work Breakdown Structure
- Visit Tim's website
- Check out Tim's YouTube channel
- View Tim's products on Gumroad
- Check out Tim's print on demand products

Share a link to this episode 👉

Continue the conversation in your inbox

[00:00:00] Tim: Think about that chain of products that you can make, right? That you know, something leads into another product. 

[00:00:06] That's a good way to build your portfolio. It's kind of like around, same way as around your content.

[00:00:12] You want your content to be about similar stuff, and you make your products about the same kind of range of similar stuff, and then you start thinking about. Okay, this, this is the video that could promote that and then that product can lead into this. And you know, you start to get yeah, those pathways developed. 

[00:00:33] Rene: Hey everyone. Welcome to Your First Digital Product, a show that helps maxed out service providers create their first digital product so they can gain an additional income stream, grow their impact without increasing one on one work, and experience more time freedom. On the show, I talk to business owners who have launched digital products and dig deep into how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. I'm your host Rene Morozowich. Let's go!

[00:01:01] Hey everybody. Today I'm here with Tim Krywulak and Tim is a podcaster and YouTuber who covers content creation and social media strategy. He's on a mission to help to use that experience to help other content creators and entrepreneurs develop their skills, build sustainable businesses, and achieve their goals. Hey Tim, how are you?

[00:01:21] Tim: Hey Rene. Great. How are you?

[00:01:23] Rene: I'm not too bad. So tell us a little bit about you in your own words.

[00:01:27] Tim: Sure. Well, first of all, thanks for having me on the show. It's my first time being on this side of the microphone, so I'm excited to have that opportunity. And yeah, I think the, the bio there kind of spells it out. I've started a podcast a little over a year ago and as well as the YouTube channel.

[00:01:42] And the content really is aimed at trying to help content creators grow their audience and, and build sustainable businesses.

[00:01:51] Rene: Yeah, because the audience is a big thing. Like we can create all the stuff that we want and we can love it and it can be great, but if nobody's watching or [00:02:00] nobody's listening it doesn't really probably do us any good. Right. It's just like a hobby at that point. 

[00:02:04] Tim: Right. 

[00:02:04] Rene: And not, yeah, we're not making any money at it. And yeah, not getting that feedback. And I think that's important. Like I'm doing some market research calls and really trying to identify the problems that people are actually having and not just the ones I think they're having.

[00:02:18] Tim: Yeah. 

[00:02:18] Rene: It's been enlightening so far.

[00:02:20] Tim: That, that's great. I think research is so important as the foundation for content creation and also certainly for any kind of products that we develop because I've definitely experienced that myself where there's things that, okay, I think this is really cool, but then you put it in the market and you find out maybe there's just not, maybe it is cool, but there's just not a need for it. Right.

[00:02:41] Rene: Yes. Yeah, I definitely want it to be something that there is a need for, because I think people's like, attention is limited and people just don't have, you know, we can only go so many, go down so many rabbit holes.

[00:02:53] Tim: Yeah. 

[00:02:54] Rene: I think yeah, definitely that you want, you want it to solve an important problem for people, so. Yeah. Awesome. So do you wanna tell us about your first product? And you had mentioned to me before we started recording that your first product is not available now, but you had it up for a while, so tell us about that. 

[00:03:09] Tim: True. I had it up for a while. It was a Canva template for what was called the Dynamic Twitter banner. And you know, back when it was called Twitter, they had this dynamic banner you could download from Product Hunt. And it was a product created by Tweet Hunter. And then what it did is it pulled in the profiles of the last three people who subscribed to your Twitter account.

[00:03:31] And so you could see their profile pictures on your banner. It was kind of cool. It was new at the time and not a lot of people were using that kind of banner to kind of attract attention, and the idea was that it would promote more people to subscribing to your channel. That was, that was the theory in any case.

[00:03:49] And I, I, found that the, the problem I was trying to solve was that when I set mine up, it took several attempts to get everything lined up just perfectly. So the arrows were pointing to the people. [00:04:00] 

[00:04:00] People's pictures and the words were all in the right place and your logo showed up in the right place.

[00:04:05] So I just created a template guide that showed people exactly where to put everything so they could easily create their own dynamic Twitter banner.

[00:04:13] I'm not sure if that banner would still work or not. I had pulled it down and the reason was I, I had success with it at first 'cause I think it was new and trendy and I got a number profile conversions with it. But then over time I realized, it was going down, you know, and it, it got to the point where I, I felt like it wasn't working anymore, so I didn't want to have a, a freebie or, or a product up that wasn't working for me.

[00:04:38] So I, I took it down, but it, it kind of like a good reminder for me about product lifecycle. The product that we create today, it's not gonna last forever probably. It's gonna last a certain amount of time and be useful for a certain amount of time, and then we're gonna have to create something else.

[00:04:53] And it, I think it's, it's good to keep that in mind 'cause it will help us get past some of the perfectionism that often prevents people from you know, creating products or, or, or finishing their product.

[00:05:05] Rene: Yeah. And, and not to like scare people that like, oh, your product's not gonna last very long. But yes, you're right. I think that even, even if you don't pull the product down completely, like giving it a refresh or doing something, this, I, I just, I hate the term passive income. Like I just, I just don't even like to say it on this podcast. 

[00:05:22] But I think that, yeah, having a reasonable expectation for a reasonable lifespan of your product. And with something like that, you know, you are relying on algorithms and another platform and what people are doing and, and who is coming there. So if, yeah, if people are leaving Twitter or, or that product is not working anymore, like, I think that it's not great for you because all of these other things are happening that you can't control.

[00:05:48] Tim: Yeah, for sure. Like some products will definitely have a longer lifecycle than others. And that's something to think about when you're designing your product. Like, like some things are just very trendy and know, limited [00:06:00] time span and probably invest less time in perfecting them.

[00:06:04] And then you have those evergreen products that'll be good for a long time. And you could securely invest more time in them and create something that, know, hopefully will get the traction.

[00:06:16] Rene: Yeah, it's more, maybe more like strategy and things that than like a specific how to or, you know, even something like I've, I've had conversations with people who have you know, wanted to create like a how do you Squarespace or whatever it is. And like Squarespace changed halfway through their creating of that product.

[00:06:33] Tim: It can happen. 

[00:06:34] Rene: So yeah, like so creating something that is, yeah, maybe going to last a little bit longer, but yeah, also expecting that it's not going to last forever because things change, you know? It's just the way it is.

[00:06:46] Tim: And having like a, piece of it or like a good portion of it maybe not reliant on somebody else's platform, which can change dramatically. And you know, then, you know, invalidate part of your product. 

[00:06:58] But if you if you keep it more about principles. There's still, for example, courses about, you know, how to grow on Twitter, which I'm sure are still very relevant for X you know, users or, you know, things like that. Even with the changes on YouTube recently, some of the older stuff about how to create videos effectively still relevant for video creators. So just something to think about, I think. 

[00:07:23] Rene: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. you're thinking about it ahead of time, then yeah, you don't have to kind of go down a path and be like, oh, that didn't work, or, oh, it only sold for a little bit, or think something like that. So yeah.

[00:07:33] Tim: But I, I was okay with the way the the Twitter banner product you know, didn't, didn't last for a tremendous amount of time. Because the other thing that I learned, I think through going through process was that you know, part of what you want to do is just to get your first product done.

[00:07:47] And it's better in a way to just pick something very simple and that like, let, lets you go through the whole process and I, it prompted me to create a YouTube video about that, about your first lead [00:08:00] magnet and how you can, the, the real purpose of the first lead magnet is not to get tons of leads. It's actually to get through the process of creating.

[00:08:08] Rene: How to do a lead magnet. Yes. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I totally agree. And yeah, I just, just had a conversation before this call about with someone who wanted to do a course. Perfectly fine. Courses are great. 

[00:08:19] People have courses, but also, yeah, those drawbacks of like, it's gonna take you a really long time create this. Are you sure you validated it properly? What if you did some, you know, and I gave her my marathon metaphor of like, if you wanna start running, what if you did a 5K instead of a marathon? 

[00:08:33] Like, make it smaller. And I think she was worried that it wouldn't be very valuable. I think you can set those expectations ahead of time.

[00:08:40] Like, this is what the product is, this is what it, the problem is going to solve for you, and this is the cost. So people don't go into it expecting something else. They very clearly see what it is. So, think, yeah, there's a lot of parts to it, right? There's a lot of pieces.

[00:08:54] Tim: For sure. And I've, I've seen some creators have good luck with building pieces of a larger offer at a, at one time, you know? Just, create a workbook and then you sell that for fairly cheap 'cause it's just the workbook and then you add maybe a mini course tutorial to the workbook. You can up the price of, of the package or sell them separately things like that.

[00:09:16] And that's where I think you see creators that have those huge bundles that it's like 10 products in one. Usually they didn't create them all at once. They created them over and refined.

[00:09:27] Rene: Right. Yeah. I've had a lot of people talk about that where yeah, they created the first part and yeah, sold the first part and said like, more is coming, you know, if you want in on that, like that's what's going to be happening. But there's no promise date or anything like that. 

[00:09:40] Like this is just how I'm rolling this out and I'm accepting feedback or people who even do a product within like a group container first. So like I'm, I get a group of six people together. I'm gonna teach them X over the course of five weeks. And then I kind of see where they're having trouble and, and what they need help with and what their [00:10:00] questions are. And then I create the product. 

[00:10:01] So I've done most of the work, you know, because I've prepared for those sessions, but then I come back and, you know, put it all together and I know that it's what people are going to need specifically. So.

[00:10:12] Tim: Yeah. That would be a great process. Yeah. You're, you're getting the research done as you're working with people and, and getting paid the same time, so. 

[00:10:20] Rene: Yes, exactly. And making money, right? Yes. Win, win, win. check, check. Yeah. Yeah. If you don't mind doing group programs or if you don't mind that live commitment, know, I think some people don't want that at all, but yeah, I think it can be really valuable to be able to get that feedback and stuff.

[00:10:35] Tim: Yeah. And one of my favorite YouTube creators, Vanessa Lau, that's how she developed a lot of her products was through coaching. So she would do one-on-one coaching or group coaching with people and didn't necessarily have to record that, but actually learn through that process about what to create and also would create products for the clients and then not have them proprietary right, so that she would able to market the product to other people after that. So.

[00:11:02] Rene: Yeah, I like it. I like it. So anything else you wanna say about the Twitter banner? Any problems you had creating it how you marketed it, anything that you learned specifically that we didn't already talk about?

[00:11:12] Tim: I mean, I just found it very valuable to go through the process of like, okay, I created something. Then you have to figure out, okay, where am I gonna market it? And I went through that process of going through like, okay, what are all the different alternative vehicles you could use to make the product available to people so that they download it.

[00:11:30] You, they get, you get their email address and you know, start building your email list and, and I eventually settled on Gumroad, which I think was a good option for that. And then, then you create the sales landing page. And I'd never, I've done a lot of writing before, but it's been, you know, reports, academic papers, even press releases, stuff like that. But I never written sales copy before . 

[00:11:54] So it was good totally different, right? And it was good to practice that and then figure out, okay, what are [00:12:00] all the pieces of sales copy that you need for your for your Gumroad story. You need the landing page, then you need the content and you need, you promotional materials on top of that.

[00:12:11] So it kind of got, I went through the whole process and I had my head around that. And then that was hugely valuable as I developed the, the second and third product.

[00:12:20] Rene: Yeah. Awesome. So do you wanna talk about those and you have these two products up already or up.

[00:12:24] Tim: Yeah, that's right. They're up now. there was one is like a work breakdown structure for creating a digital product. So kind of drawing on my experience with project management I, I, I really think work breakdown structure is like my favorite project management tool. 

[00:12:40] Rene: Yeah. tell us about that because people probably don't know what that is.

[00:12:43] Tim: Yeah, it's really just a fancy word for like a, a project plan that breaks things down at the, at a fairly granular granular level in terms of what you're going to do to finish a project. So if we're talking about creating a digital product, you go through all the steps of like, you know, picking the template for the product, figuring out the title, getting, collecting images for the product.

[00:13:08] You know, create chapter, create intro, chapter one, chapter two, so on, if it's a book, for example, and then just breaks it down in that way so that you can do a piece at a time. 

[00:13:20] And it's like when you're writing a book or you're doing a big project, if you just say, I'm gonna write a book tomorrow, or I'm gonna write a book this year, you will never write your book because you're just kind of, it's kind of this nebulous thing that you're just kind of working on, right?

[00:13:36] Rene: Yeah, you can never check it off the list. I hate things that you can't check off the list. Yeah. And write book. Like you only get to check that off once. So yeah. I need more items to off. 

[00:13:45] Tim: So this gets down to like, even, you can make it as the, the work packages, as they call them, as big or small as you want. So you can, and I break mine down. I tend to do like 30 minute or even 15 minute increments of work and what [00:14:00] do you need to do? And then yeah, you, you get that satisfaction of checking it off and you see that it's actually coming together. 

[00:14:06] Also makes it easier to fit into your schedule because. 

[00:14:09] Rene: Right. 

[00:14:10] Tim: Instead of thinking, oh, I'm gonna work on my book for a while, today, you say, okay, I've got 30 minutes. That's enough time to do X and I'm gonna do it, and then I'm gonna check it off. And it's like, it really does create the momentum to to complete things. I don't, I don't know how I would do it without it, to be honest.

[00:14:27] Rene: Yeah. Yeah, because it's just so big. There's so many things to do. And so in, in that product, do you share, like some people might not know what to include in that list.

[00:14:37] Tim: Really, the first thing I I created is just the downloadable template, and it kind of assumes a fair amount of knowledge, I guess, on the part of the on the, on the part of the person downloading it, that they're just gonna you know, download it and start using the template.

[00:14:52] So I think that's something I will maybe in the future supplement it with. And I think that's kind of my lesson coming out of this product. And my next one was that part of what you wanna do is not just launch new stuff all the time, but also like refine what you've, refine what you've got and actually your, the suggestion you made about the Notion template that I created to create a video to accompany that, that was really valuable.

[00:15:19] That's like, oh yeah, that's what I could do to improve that. And so, I, I did create like a live video about like a walkthrough. 

[00:15:26] About how to use the Notion template. But for this one, what I might do is, like you say, create like a little primer about what is a work down breakdown structure, how do you use and what's the most effective way to use it, and then you're building the value of the stuff that you've already created as opposed like, there's, there's, I think, sometimes a temptation to just keep launching new stuff and see if anything sticks. 

[00:15:50] But nothing ever will if you, if you're just at that first stage of refinement right? Like you, do basically the product prototyping and [00:16:00] launch it for feedback. What should be feedback. But a lot of people just launch it think, okay, it's launched and it will do well or not, and now going on to the next product.

[00:16:07] But I think it's really powerful to if you get something that you think has potential to keep working on it. Hard part is knowing to call it a day and when to say, okay, I've refined it as well as I and it's not going anywhere. 

[00:16:19] Or, or there's now I actually do have a better idea 'cause there's always the, the shiny object syndrome, right? Like we always think that our next idea is the better than the one we're working on.

[00:16:30] Rene: Oh, that one. Yeah, exactly.

[00:16:32] Tim: We're, we're, we're familiar with all the problems of the thing that we're working on. 

[00:16:36] Mm-hmm. 

[00:16:37] We don't know the problems are about to be around the corner once we start working on that new thing.

[00:16:43] So.

[00:16:44] Rene: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, and with the product, like you can keep it up or pull it down or you can keep it up and then pull it down and put it back up again.

[00:16:52] Like there's a lot of options there that, you know, you can go through. But yes. New products. Yeah. Probably not great to be like, oh, another new product.

[00:16:59] Oh, another new product. Like, yeah. I think refining the ones that you have, especially if they have sold, like, I like to think about it like you know, if you have blog posts on your website. If you look at your analytics, the pages that are getting views, like how can you refine those to either get people to stay on longer or maybe buy something or contact you? Like that's where people are going, so yeah, what can you do? 

[00:17:22] And I also had a guest on previously who mentioned that she will revamp her products try to get to the same end result quicker.

[00:17:31] So she pulls out things and, and, you know, pulls out the fluff and, tries to get people to that end result because she knows better now. So like what she tries to make the product more effective, I guess.

[00:17:45] Tim: Yeah. That's, that's a great approach 'cause a lot of times, especially with courses, you know, the statistics suggest people don't tend to finish courses that they buy.

[00:17:57] Rene: So long, so many modules. goodness. [00:18:00] Like you don't have to have 8 billion hundred modules. Like I can't. I was, again, I was just talking with somebody recently that. You know, it's like with your kids. I dunno if you have kids, some audience has kids, but like you can't tell your kids every single thing at one time.

[00:18:12] They're never going to remember it. You tell them like the important things and then you know, something happens and then when they're ready you can tell them other things. You just can't. 

[00:18:22] Like I know that like in our zeal to share with our audiences, like here's everything I know about whatever. You can overwhelm people because you've been studying it and you've been living in it for a really long time, but they're not there yet.

[00:18:36] Tim: Yeah. 

[00:18:37] Rene: So, you know, bring them along slowly. Don't overwhelm them.

[00:18:40] Tim: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Solve that one problem, you know?

[00:18:44] Rene: Exactly. One problem. And then I think that if people see that you can solve that one problem really well, then they'll be like, okay, now I have the next problem, or another problem. And they'll come back to you looking for a solution.

[00:18:56] Yeah. 

[00:18:58] So, Yeah, So do you wanna tell us then, about that other product, about the the video content management system?

[00:19:04] Tim: Yeah, it in a way it kind of builds on the work breakdown structure, but it, it takes it another level to look at video content creation. It's really, it's a, I guess I'd call it more like a portfolio management project because it looks all of the videos that you have in production and what stage are they at and how.

[00:19:23] It's like a, the Notion template. It's like a spreadsheet. So you can track ideas, you can track like the titles and hooks that you've come up with. And then you can also track like what stage of the production is the is the video at. 

[00:19:37] So I talk about, you know, planning, editing, filming you know, promotion. It also tracks the repurposing efforts across different platforms cause I was getting to the point where it's like, did I share that on X or did I share that on I don't know. You kind of start losing track. 

[00:19:56] And the other part that I, I found useful and I, I [00:20:00] really just. This was a product I created really for myself. And I, I needed this to try and keep track of, of different videos that I was working on 'cause I'd be often working on more than one at a time. 

[00:20:13] It's actually a good thing because what happens if you're trying to do them end to end is you know, it can leave kind of large gaps between when you're publishing and it's hard to stay consistent. So you want different videos of different lengths at different stages of the production process so that you can continually, you know, maintain consistency, which is important on a, on a platform like YouTube.

[00:20:38] That's how you build your channel momentum. But in order to do that, you've got a bunch of videos in process and you have to keep track of, of where they are, and you kind of get that satisfaction of like checking something off because like the planning, you can say, you know, it's at 25%, okay, I moved it to 50%.

[00:20:57] And, you know, just keep the, keeps the momentum going for yourself as, as the creator, I hope.

[00:21:04] Rene: Yeah, for sure. And I would think that like trying to do, like you said, like end to end, like it wouldn't be very efficient to do that anyway. 

[00:21:11] Tim: Not at all. 

[00:21:11] Rene: I. For the first time, just like two weeks ago. For the very first time since I started this podcast, I recorded two episodes, back to back and I was like, oh my God, amazing. Like, I was so happy. It took a really long time to get to that point. However,

[00:21:28] Yeah.

[00:21:29] Yes, I will hopefully do that again in the future because it's so hard to just, just set everything up and get everything in and recorded and hair or whatever, whatever like it I think it's just, you know, that batching. 

[00:21:42] People say batching, but batching doesn't have to be, I don't need to record the year's worth of videos. Even two is batching.

[00:21:48] So I just, people I think get intimidated with that word batching.

[00:21:52] Tim: I think that's where people get hung up on it. 'cause they think, okay, I, I'm gonna produce a month's worth of videos.

[00:21:57] Rene: Yes.

[00:21:58] Tim: In the next two days. And it's like you [00:22:00] don't do that. 

[00:22:01] Rene: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Just more than one. Anything that more than one, I think is batching. So.

[00:22:06] Tim: Yeah. exactly. Yeah.

[00:22:07] Rene: Yeah. So you have these up on Gumroad and you have them set up as pay what you want. So do you wanna talk about that, like how that platform offers that and why you chose that and anything?

[00:22:19] Tim: Well, it's a, it's a good platform especially for freebies because they charge they, they charge you a percentage of what you sell it for. It's like 10, it's 10% flat now. So sell your you know, product for $10, they get $1, and then there's transaction fees and everything, in there. But for freebies, if the, if the price is zero, then there's no cost.

[00:22:42] You're just using platform to be able to have that you know product available for download and, and you're able to collect email address. So it's a very cost effective option for beginning content creators that you know, wanna offer something. 

[00:22:57] And then I think, you know, the, the transaction fee is not unreasonable. And so as you, as you scale, I guess you could probably find a place where you're better to pay the flat, you know, $30 a month fee, and then you're not worrying about that 10%. But you have to have, you have to get to the point where you scale to that point first, otherwise not cost effective.

[00:23:20] So that's kind of one of the things I like about the platform. But in terms of pay as you go, really, the, the products that I launched first are really designed to be freebies. 

[00:23:29] And so trying to build an email list and then, you know, there's no charges like education. I also see it as like educational resources that help people that are, you know, watch my channel.

[00:23:41] So it's like I said, you know, the Notion template, I made it for myself, but why not share it with other people in the audience that could benefit from it? 

[00:23:49] Rene: Yeah, definitely. And I think that's great too. You know, you have a video to be able to be like, oh, and I have this thing if you want it. And then if people want to pay something, they certainly can you know, and the platform accepts it, [00:24:00] but they don't to. So.

[00:24:01] Tim: Yeah. And that it is the, it is kind of a good way too to like price the products in such a way. It's, it's basically adjusted to what people are, are able to pay or what they're, you know, what they're willing to pay.

[00:24:12] Rene: Yeah, that too. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

[00:24:14] I think a lot of times we, we might price for what we would pay, or people in our circumstances might pay, but if we are trying to reach an audience, you know, around the world, not everybody is going to be able to pay that same amount.

[00:24:30] Tim: Yeah.

[00:24:31] Rene: You know, unless we price it really low, maybe. So, having those options I think are good.

[00:24:36] Do you have it integrated with like your email marketing platform? Like how does it, do you have anything connecting right now?

[00:24:42] How do people sign up?

[00:24:43] Tim: I do like, I I've started to, it's kind of funny 'cause I've started to build the list, but I haven't, I haven't started sending the emails yet.

[00:24:52] Rene: Yes, you have to send the emails. Send them now, because you're not gonna be good at them yet. have to do it when the list is small.

[00:24:58] Tim: Yeah. That's the thing. I, I, I think that's what I'm, I'm gonna start doing because you know, like you say, it's, it's one of those things you're gonna you're gonna need to go through the process of getting good at writing that kind of copy.

[00:25:10] And again, this, it's like another type of copy to write. But I think the thing about the email is like, I know, I, I, when you sign up for lists, you know how you get spammed sometimes?

[00:25:22] Mm-hmm.

[00:25:22] I don't wanna become someone's spammer . So I'm like trying to figure out. And the other thing to keep in mind is it is a, is another channel to Mm-hmm. create content for. So kind of the way I'm approaching it is I am gonna start sending the emails soon, but I'm gonna do it on kind of more of an ad hoc basis. And there's a lot of like theories that you see in the email marketing world. It's like, well, you better send them. 

[00:25:47] Rene: Send Send them every day. 

[00:25:48] Tim: Exactly. Every day. That gets an immediate unsubscribe from me. If send me an email every day, once a week is keep up with it.

[00:25:56] Exactly. Or, or, you know, I'm even okay with [00:26:00] biweekly emails.

[00:26:00] But I get what they're trying to say about, you know, staying top of mind for the customer but the other part is like you know, to people are gonna take the time to read it.

[00:26:11] How do you build value into the email so that it's worth their time? It's kind of like, cause these are the most these are in a way the warmest leads in your audience. Take care of how you approach them. And I think that, I think that was been the gap. It's like for me, the kind of the stalling point is like, what do I put in the email?

[00:26:29] And I kind of start figuring that out and I'm like, okay, but is it good enough yet?

[00:26:35] Rene: Well, you can repurpose, know, so what I do, and not that like, I'm obviously the, the be all, end all of like how you should approach email marketing, but I send twice a month and only once a month do I send the email that's like, here's a couple podcast episodes that came out. Here's a quick summary of what happened.

[00:26:49] Because I don't expect that everybody's going to be listening to every episode. So I feel like with that, people can be like, oh, I, I'd like that one or that one sounds interesting. So like I'm repurposing content, but also just gently reminding people that it exists. If you know something, piques their interest.

[00:27:08] Don't reinvent the wheel. You already have good content to share. People may just not have seen it. So like in their inbox though, like, know, you could give people a chance.

[00:27:16] Tim: I that's, no, that's, a good point. 

[00:27:18] Rene: And, my unsolicited advice there.

[00:27:21] Tim: It's a, it's actually a good point because not everyone will see your content and also like if you're not doing it like all the time, if you're doing it like once a month or what you. Most people, even if they've seen it, they'll just be like, oh yeah, I saw that.

[00:27:34] No. 

[00:27:35] You know, it's not like they're the daily email . It's like, have you seen the latest stuff I put out today?

[00:27:42] Rene: Yes, exactly. It's like, okay, slow down there. Yeah. But no, I think the email's important because I think that like, it's one that it, it's not so susceptible to the algorithms, you know? Like you, it's just, it's yours. You get to control, you know, what you say and when you say it and your land right in people's inboxes.[00:28:00] 

[00:28:00] And yeah.

[00:28:01] It takes time just like with the product. Like it takes time to figure it out. Like, and so sending it when the list is not so big. Yeah. I think is better. Definitely. Yeah.

[00:28:11] Okay. So anything you wanna say about, anything else you wanna say about those products or anything before we talk about the next thing?

[00:28:19] Tim: I guess just that yeah, the, the Notion template. It was probably, I think it's my best effort so far in terms of like creating a product. And that was and that was partly thanks to the suggestion you made about like, you keep refining it. You know, I went, when I went back and I, I did that live. I came up with a couple of other adjustments I could make to it.

[00:28:38] And so yeah, keep working on the same product or think about . The other thing I guess it reminds me of is, is think about that chain of products that you can make, right? That you know, something leads into another product. 

[00:28:51] Mm-hmm. 

[00:28:52] You, that that's a good way to build your portfolio. It's kind of like around, same way as around your content.

[00:28:57] You want your content to be about similar stuff, and you make your products about the same kind of range of similar stuff, and then you start thinking about. Okay, this, this is the video that could promote that and then that product can lead into this. And you know, you start to get yeah, those pathways developed. 

[00:29:19] Rene: And you don't have to, I think people think like, I have to start here and then I have to go this.

[00:29:22] Like, know, you could, you could start here and then backfill. Some people create their product and they're like, oh wait, I don't have a lead magnet, or a welcome sequence, or even a blog post. And then they go back and create those things that lead into the product.

[00:29:38] So I don't think, you know, obviously I think it'd be great to start at the beginning but wherever you start yeah, think about what what would people do to get to this point? How can you get people to this point? And then what can they do? Yeah. Going forward. So, yeah. I think that that's definitely good to think about. 

[00:29:55] Tim: You don't have to map it all out perfectly. Right. Think just, just, but just give it [00:30:00] some thought. Like I think for example, with my first product, I didn't, and it was fine 'cause it was just a small thing, but I didn't think about like what, you know, how does it fit into everything else?

[00:30:11] Would, what would build on it? What would lead to it? All of that stuff. So it prompted me to think more about that afterwards though. 

[00:30:18] Rene: So you have some print on demand products, which we have not talked about at all on the podcast yet, so I'm really excited to talk about print on demand. Do you wanna tell us what it?

[00:30:27] Tim: Well, if I go back to my very, very first like, I guess digital product that I created, it was like a print on demand apparel I guess you would call it. 

[00:30:35] And was like way back, I guess in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I just stumbled upon this site about how you could create print on demand products.

[00:30:44] And I thought, oh, that's cool. Maybe I'll try and make some. And so I did. And yeah, I kind of started out with that. I, I did it for a while and then I, I stopped doing it. just kind of let it go. And then I, I came back to it more recently partly because of like well number of things. So one, the YouTube channel, someday you can ultimately connect merchandise to your YouTube channel if you get it to a certain level, right?

[00:31:08] And then that be like a, a, a paid product opportunity. And it's like it, it, I kind of think of it in terms of almost like other creators that I see as, it's almost like a ladder of of products, right? So there's like merchandise, then there's the affiliate marketing stuff, and there are digital products, and then they might have consulting services.

[00:31:32] Like there's a whole suite of different, I guess, income streams that you can build and, and merch is kind of like, in a way, it's the easiest to start with because you, you know, these, the interfaces that they have right now make it pretty straightforward about how you can create a design and then you can create a design in Canva, for example, and move it over into the print on demand.

[00:31:54] And you know, supplier and they'll do out all the rest. They'll print the shirt, they'll ship it, and then you just get your cut [00:32:00] for creating the design.

[00:32:01] So it was kind of sweet that way. And I also liked the idea that it was a physical product, so going back again, years ago, I was kind of the, I was at the point where I was thinking of it like, okay, if you sell someone a physical product, it's like you're selling something real.

[00:32:16] Right? Something tangible. And digital products you know, and before I had gotten into using a lot of them, like from other creators, I think, oh, that's kind of like intangible. I don't know. But then you, you do realize that there is a lot of value in there. The value's in the information, but the, the difference is kind of like in what what sells it.

[00:32:37] Someone buying a physical product. They know they're getting a shirt and they're gonna, they like the design, they're gonna wear it. 

[00:32:43] It's maybe skill of the designer and the quality of the apparel and that kind of thing that makes, helps make the sale.

[00:32:50] But with a digital product, it's more trust-based, right? You have to trust.

[00:32:54] Yeah.

[00:32:54] The creator that you're actually getting something and you know, you can do some things to mitigate that with money back guarantees and whatnot. But I think still you have, you have to have a certain level of trust. And so I thought okay, maybe print on demand products there in a way, easier to create and easier to convince people to buy.

[00:33:14] Rene: Yeah. You get what you see. Like you just see it and you're like, oh, that, that's what I'm getting. 

[00:33:20] Tim: You are going get a shirt.

[00:33:22] Rene: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:33:23] Tim: Whatever the design says. 

[00:33:24] The companies that make them like Printify or TeePublic or whatever, they have you know, pretty standardized processes, so it's gonna you know, a decent, decent product when you, as long as the designer hasn't, hasn't messed up in some way about how they're supposed to

[00:33:40] Yes. Upload file.

[00:33:41] But even then, they usually have, have some kind of quality controls that can help.

[00:33:45] Mm-hmm.

[00:33:46] With that. But the thing that I, I thought was interesting about print on demand the reason I thought we could talk about it was it reminded me something about barriers to entry in a product line and with print on demand, there's very few [00:34:00] barriers to entry. 

[00:34:01] It's like anyone Canva account can create one of these products and market them, so it becomes an extremely saturated market and, and some degree, a very undifferentiated market because.

[00:34:13] Mm-hmm.

[00:34:14] You have even with digital products, you might have some, some copycats or, or what have you.

[00:34:19] But print on demand, it's really rife with what, with what they call improved cats. So somebody creates a design that is doing well. People will not copy it exactly, but differentiate it enough or improve on it a little bit, and then they'll kind of like eat into the profits of that, that creator.

[00:34:37] So it's, it's kind of like, reminded me of my first year economics class that I remember from, from like 30 years ago that the professor talking about this question of barriers to entry, and he says, you want to get into a business where there are significant barriers to entry or you can create barriers to entry so people can't replicate exactly what you're doing.

[00:34:57] And I think that, in a way that's part of what digital products offer because you know, you're offering your knowledge, your experience. Usually the people that buy them, they have some kind of relationship with you if only through, you know, watching your content. But they you know, they will buy it because of that reason.

[00:35:16] And nobody can exactly replicate that in the same way that they could replicate a design on a t-shirt or, you know, or you know, like I said, slightly improve it and change it just enough so that it's, you know, then, then they're the ones kind of making the profit off of that, design. 

[00:35:34] Rene: Right. That was a big emotional rollercoaster there for me because I was like, oh, wow, that sounds so great. Oh no, that sounds terrible.

[00:35:43] Tim: Sorry. And I don't mean. 

[00:35:44] Rene: So easy. Great. Oh no. The people are gonna steal my stuff.

[00:35:47] Tim: Mean to to disuade from doing print on demand. I that's just that's kind of been my experience, like kind of watching that market for the past couple years. I still think there's still, you know some [00:36:00] opportunity. Right. A fear.

[00:36:01] Rene: Well, I think like if you So, so if you have the audience, right? So if let's say you have a digital product and you have the audience and you have merchandise that's just related to that, even if somebody else was using those same slogans or whatever, I think you might still be okay because people know you, like you, they're buying your other things. 

[00:36:21] So it's easy enough for them to buy. They would, they would buy from you still but yeah, you're probably not gonna like retire on those t-shirts with that slogan, you know.

[00:36:33] Tim: Probably not. Yeah. And then that's the. 

[00:36:35] Rene: But as a supplement. 

[00:36:36] Tim: A supplement that, and that's where I think the connection to the YouTube channel could be could be very beneficial that way. Because, you know, you've, you, like you say, you've got the audience. They like you already, they like the kind type of content that you create.

[00:36:50] Maybe they like your sense of humor, so they're probably gonna buy from you. Even if they're like, oh, that, that other person has a slightly better, you know, design or they've, know, they'll, they'll just buy one that you created. So. So there's that. 

[00:37:04] Rene: Or even if it has the same like slogan, but like with your branding on it, you know, underneath or something like Yeah. There could be ways. Yeah. And they wanna support you. I think people do want to support.

[00:37:15] Yeah.

[00:37:16] Creators that, who are providing a lot of this free information. You know, we're, we're out there, we're doing the research, we're having the conversations, and then we're just sharing that back. And I think that's valuable for people.

[00:37:26] Tim: And then the other thing that's kind of neat, I, I, I think about print on demand is just the idea of like creating, creating a design. And then I, you know, I have sold some of the shirts and so I don't know where in the world people bought it, but somewhere in the world, there's somebody walking around with I've designed.

[00:37:44] So yes. Yeah, that's cool. 

[00:37:47] Rene: So a long, long time ago. I've not told this story yet. A long, long time ago I made these coupon holders, I sewed these coupon holders. It was a whole weird, I had Velcro and stuff like that. But anyway, so I sold them. I would go to like craft fairs.

[00:37:59] [00:38:00] It was not successful, but apparently somebody bought one because I was at the mall one time and there was a woman in front of me in line, and she had one in her purse and I was like my God.

[00:38:08] Tim: That's cool. 

[00:38:09] Rene: It was the most amazing thing ever. I, I didn't say anything to her. I just so like, oh my God, That was a weird story. But anyway, so yeah. 

[00:38:18] Tim: That's cool. I totally get it. 

[00:38:19] And it's kind of like, I was thinking about this earlier today as we were, I was kind of thinking about the, the podcast episode and it's almost like, you know how people would have a hobby, like woodworking or what have you, and they're just gonna, not gonna retire, like you say, off the proceeds, but create something and then they know other people use it, and that in itself is kind of cool. 

[00:38:40] Rene: And if you make some money too, and then, yeah, that pays for what your health insurance. Or maybe you don't have to be a Walmart greeter because you are doing, you know, you're making enough money like just some, you're making some money.

[00:38:52] My dad always used to say like, everybody needs a couple extra dollars, like a extra, like, like pocket money or something like that. Like, so, you know, this can be that for people where you don't have to go out or be on somebody's schedule, you know, and you can like, I think it's really interesting to kind of go down these little paths and like, oh, what if I did this? Or what if I did that? Or how does that work?

[00:39:12] Like I think it's fun.

[00:39:13] Yeah Awesome. So there are people out there who have not created anything yet.

[00:39:17] They're thinking about something. Maybe they have something half started, but they have not launched anything. And do you have some advice, and it could be things that you've already said before or new things. It could be either do or don't do, but what advice do you have for people to who want to create a digital product?

[00:39:32] Tim: Definitely just start and create something, right? It took me a long time to create even that first simple product, the the, the dynamic Twitter banner, because I got really stuck in the whole range of options. It is overwhelming how many different types of products you could create.

[00:39:49] And then you kind of, you can go down these rabbit holes of trying to analyze, well, what is the ultimate product, and what is like the best yeah, what is like [00:40:00] the best thing that I could do. 

[00:40:02] And I at some point you just have to pick something and start and do it, and then you learn from it and then you kind of realize, okay, I, I can take the lessons from that and I'm gonna apply it to this next thing. And

[00:40:14] Mm-hmm.

[00:40:15] Just kind of.

[00:40:15] Rene: But if you don't do that first one, then yeah. It's just, it's all still just a mystery and not that like once you do it, you'll know everything, but you'll know more. You'll be like, okay. 

[00:40:26] Tim: And you kind of. 

[00:40:27] Rene: I know a couple things now. 

[00:40:28] Tim: Kind of prove that it can be done to yourself. 

[00:40:31] And then you. Yes. to the next product and, yeah keep refining, keep improving.

[00:40:37] Rene: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. Any other advice? 

[00:40:40] Tim: I think the other thing is like trying to, like we were saying before, like thinking about the connections between products so that you're not creating things in kind of isolated cells.

[00:40:50] You're, you're starting to think about like, how would this fit into a suite of products. One thing I did kinda learn recently, which I, I thought was useful for me was about, you know different levels of products. So, so you've got kind of like your freebies and you've got your low price products and your mid price and your high higher end products.

[00:41:10] But then there's another kind of template you can layer on top of that, which is like was it, do it yourself, do it with you and done for you. 

[00:41:20] Rene: Yeah. Done for you. Done with you. Yep. Mm-hmm. Yeah. 

[00:41:23] Tim: As you kind of go up that you, you charge more for the stuff that is like done for you. That that obviously takes the most investment on, on your part as the creator and do it yourself and is you know, more like you know, an entry level product.

[00:41:38] And so thinking about like where does your product kind of fall in that range and is there an upper range or an upper limit you wanna do? Maybe you wanna focus mostly on do it yourself products, but have more of them.

[00:41:50] Yeah.

[00:41:51] Or maybe you wanna do, I've seen other creators kind of go the opposite direction.

[00:41:56] Everything is like the high end done for you service and maybe [00:42:00] they have one or two like little lead magnets that, that kind of pull people into the conversations. 

[00:42:05] Rene: Yeah. Or like a paid lead magnet. Yeah, I think that's a, an often overlooked one. You know, you are offering those high end one-on-one services, there's still a place for a digital product.

[00:42:15] Somebody, you're warming them up a little bit more, open their wallet a little bit, then they're gonna open the whole thing up.

[00:42:21] So yeah, I think there's still a place for it, even if you love one-on-one services. So, yeah. 

[00:42:25] Tim: For sure. Yeah, because like those products are the ones that will you know, if you can if you can create something awesome that you charge like seven or 10 bucks for and you solve somebody's problem, and they're like, wow. Like imagine if I get the whole package, like they're obviously legit ,right?

[00:42:43] So those are. Right. Yeah, no, those are very powerful I think. 

[00:42:47] Rene: It's the next level. Like, know, like, and trust you, right?

[00:42:50] We're writing blog posts. We're writing emails, we're creating videos. We're, we're doing this so that we can get people to know us and like us and trust us who aren't near us, right? Like, we're at the grocery store, we're with friends, like we can turn our charm on, but you know, we have to do these things online.

[00:43:04] And so yeah's just another way for people to get to know us, and like us, and trusts us just a little bit more.

[00:43:10] Yeah.

[00:43:11] So, yeah, I agree. Awesome. Yay. Thanks. So tell people where they can find you online.

[00:43:16] Tim: Okay, so my website is and that's my podcast website. And you can also find me on YouTube by searching for mytogblog. And this, it's actually stands for my photography blog, which is what I originally envisioned way back when I was kind of getting into creating an online presence.

[00:43:35] And then from there it kind of transitioned into you know, doing videos on Instagram and then videos on Instagram kind of led into YouTube. And now I think you know, YouTube's kind of like my, my favorite platform right now. 

[00:43:46] Rene: Yeah. Thank you so much for being on today. 

[00:43:49] Tim: Thank you very much for having me. 

[00:43:51] Rene: Hey, thanks for listening. I'd love to continue the conversation in your inbox. Email SUBSCRIBE to hey at [00:44:00] or sign up in the show notes to get bi monthly emails about how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. Can't wait to see you there.

Think about your chain of products
Your audience is so important
Tim's first product
How long is your product going to last?
Get your first product done
What Tim learned creating his first product
Tim's work breakdown structure product
Refining your products
Tim's video content management system
Using Gumroad as a new product creator
Email marketing
Developing pathways
Print on demand products
Tim's advice