Are you looking to start a successful digital planner business but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry; I’ve been in your shoes, and trust me, I had to do a lot of research, watch video tutorials and many trials and errors to get my online digital planner business to where it is today.
However, I want to make things easier for you and lay down everything you need to know to start a successful digital planner business.
Of course, you can use these tips for other online businesses, such as printable and digital product businesses.
I’m here to help!
Download your free digital planner/product biz workbook to help you in your online biz journey.
(pssst…. you can also use the workbook concurrently with this blog post to ensure you get anything you need to start your business.)
So, sit back, relax and grab a tea because I will outline my 10 tips and tricks to help you start your digital planner/product business and make some extra money.
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning If you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks.*
1. Researching is key!
If you know me, you know I’m a research advocate. I wouldn’t be here today, typing up this blog post, running a digital planner business, and making many passive income streams if it wasn’t for me doing my research (googling).
To start a successful digital planner business, you need to start by just simply researching.
- Look for popular digital planners
- Look for keywords
- Popular colours and designs.
- Scope out your competition
- Find the method for creating digital planners – Canva is an incredible free tool, and just for you, I have a 30-day free Canva Pro trial, here
- Research courses and youtube videos
Your starting point is researching; once you’ve done that, you now will have a clearer vision of what your digital planner or product empire will entail.
2. Choose a niche
With the next tip, you don’t particularly need to pick a niche. However, it is helpful when you want to create your brand. Also, the more niche your digital planners/products are, the more likely you will generate attention for your brand ( this depends on the competition and searches for your digital planner).
In terms of digital/printable planners, there are so many different types, from self-care planners to new mum planners – literally, I can’t keep track of all the digital/printable planners out there.
This is where you can get creative and use those research skills to find your niche digital planner/products.
Also, if you need help finding profitable digital planners, head to my blog post here, where I give you low-competition, profitable digital planners to sell on Etsy.
3. Create a Plan
A plan is one of the most important aspects of starting a successful digital planner/product business.
You must start your business with one!
Within your plan, you should include five key things:
- Objective- what are your objectives and goals for your digital planner/ product business?
- Market analysis- who are your audiences, demographics, competition, and an overview of the digital product market?
- Strategy- What will you do to execute your plan to ensure its success?
- Workflow/organisation – how will your business operate?
- Financials – what is your budget?
A plan with these five starter points will ensure that your digital planner/product business is starting on the right foot.
4. What’s your signature design?
When first starting as a digital planner/product creator finding your signature design can take a bit of work, it is down to researching!
Start by understanding what your audiences like. What are the popular trends and designs currently?
These factors can help you discover your signature design.
Don’t feel discouraged if you’re finding this part hard. I’ve been there! It is about practising creating your designs and finding your footing in the digital planner/product sphere.
Don’t worry; you got this!
If you want to know my secrets to finding your design powers, I have two blog posts that can help:
- How to create pretty digital planner covers using Canva for free
- 5 ways to make your digital planners look cute for free
5. What is the best e-commerce platform to use?
There are many different e-commerce platforms that you can use to sell your digital planners/products.
Here is a list of a few:
My favourite platform is Etsy as it’s straightforward to use, and I only need to do a little promoting to bring traffic to my digital planners.
If you want to know how to sell digital planners on Etsy, click here for more info.
Also, to cut out some of the Etsy fees, I have just for you 40 free listings that you can use to get started with your Etsy shop.
When starting your business, picking one platform in the beginning to sell your digital planners/products is best so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
However, I do believe in diversifying your income. Therefore, once you’ve established yourself and are more confident – get out there, girl and start selling your digital planners/products on other platforms.
A quick note: fees, taxes, and other costs can deter or persuade you to pick your perfect e-commerce platform.
6. Templates are life
The one thing that is a must is templates!
Templates are life.
Having a range of planner/product templates will save you sooooo much time, and you can spend more time in other areas of your business.
You can use templates for basically everything in terms of your digital planner/product business.
Here are some ways to use templates:
- Planner templates for digital and printable planner creation
- Mock-up images for your products
- Product description templates
- Payment notes to be sent to your customers
- Email templates to send to your customers and subscribers
- Social media posts
- Pinterest templates
As you can see, there are many templates you can create and use multiple times for your business.
If you’re looking for planners, planner covers, and sticker templates, head to my PLR Canva Templates Shop, where I have many affordable templates for you to choose from to help you succeed in your biz.
7. You need to be Consistent
“The key to success is consistency.”- Zak Frazer.
This Zak Frazer quote is 100% right!
For your digital planner/product to succeed, you must remain consistent.
And this is easier said than done.
Trust me! I found it very hard to remain consistent whilst working on my biz ( and even still today, I have my moments).
If you’re like me, a heavy procrastinator, dreamer, or can get easily distracted, here are my tips to remain focused and consistent:
- Create a list of all the things you need to get done
- Manage your to-do list by creating a timetable, or use a Trello board to ensure that your tasks are timebound and get done.
- Create clear and achievable mini goals
- Switch your phone, TV, and other distraction off when working on your business.
- Change your scenery. You can work in a coffee shop, library or maybe just a different room in your house.
- Block out all the outside noise and negativity
- And no matter what, if you’re not generating any sales – do not stop; carry on, persevere, and it will happen.
8. Follow an iterative process
Iterative definition: doing something again and again, usually to improve it – Cambridge Dictionary
I’m going to be very honest, when you start creating digital planners/products, your products will not be the greatest, and that’s okay!
My first digital products were complete rubbish ( I’m being a bit harsh to myself here).
However, using an iterative approach with my products has meant that, over time, my products have continuously improved.
To use an iterative process, you must start with a minimal viable product.
A minimal viable product means creating a product with everything necessary to attract a customer.
So let’s put this in terms of a digital planner product.
Okay, you have a digital planner with basic colours and limited graphics; however, you have all the essentials that a customer would need in a digital planner—for example, a calendar and income tracker.
With this digital planner, over time, you can improve it.
For instance, you can add graphics, add extra planner pages, incorporate digital stickers, and add an index page.
Starting with a minimal viable product allows you to initially get your digital product out there. Then you can think/research ways to improve it, or you can use the feedback from your customer and friends as items for improvement.
9. Understanding your workflow
One thing to consider when starting your biz is understanding how you work or how you want to work.
A clear view of your working methods and workflow can help you keep pace with your business and structure your tasks with positive results.
I recommend having a go at writing down your current workflow and then thinking of ways to improve it.
Or, write down your ideal workflow if you’re just starting and don’t have a current workflow.
Here is an example of creating digital planners using Canva workflow:
- Select the planner template of my choosing (1 min)
- Name my planner template(1 min)
- Add colours and graphics to my planner template(15 mins)
- Add extra pages to my planner template(25 mins)
- Hyperlink my digital planner(10 mins)
- Double-check my spelling and grammar throughout my digital planner (10 mins)
- Double-check that my hyperlinks work and whether everything is intact (10 mins)
- Download my digital planner(1 min)
( I also added the time it would take to complete each task)
10. Promote, promote, promote
Last but certainly not least, if you want to increase traffic to your business, you need to promote your products.
Promoting your product is not as scary as it sounds, and you don’t have to be a marketing expert and pay exceptional amounts of money to get your product out there.
With social media taking over the world, you have a lot of opportunities to get your biz out there!
My top recommended platforms to promote your digital products are:
I’m a HUGE Pinterest fan; I use it to promote my digital planners, and I also use Pinterest to gain blog traffic. Pinterest has around 400 million active users a month worldwide who are looking for inspiration or to buy something.
Pinterest is free to use, and you just need to create an attractive pin to showcase your digital product and include keywords to ensure that you generate traffic to your biz.
I must confess it has taken me a minute to get on the TikTok wagon. However, now that I’ve joined, It’s crazy how effective TikTok is in helping to promote my biz. I only have a few videos and have already garnered 1000s of views, hundreds of likes, and a lot of emails from TikTok users wanting to know more about digital planners.
Over 1.5 billion active monthly users, with over 1 billion TikTok videos being watched daily! TikTok is a great platform to showcase your work, especially the ‘how’ bit. For instance, you can show users on TikTok how you create your printables or digital products.
A blog can help you promote your business in many ways. People tend to visit blog sites when they have a problem, and that blog can help them with their solution.
And if the solution is practical, reads well, and offers something free (digital product), that person who visited the blog may be interested in wanting to know more and subscribes to the blogger’s email list. And having an email list full of dedicated subscribers interested in your brand is the holy grail.
The reason is that they are more likely to buy your products or have a keen interest in them. That is why I recommend building your email list immediately once your blog is up and running ( or you can build an email list without a blog). The best and easy platform that will help you start a blog is Bluehost, and the best platform that will help you build your email list is ConvertKit.
Special tip – learning
Learning is essential when starting a successful digital planner/product business.
You must learn how to create your products, market your products, and the logistics around your products, and understand the whole process from creation to deploying your digital products.
One of the hardest things about learning is making time for it.
I am guilty of this!
You always have time to learn; you just have to make it happen.
Dedicating 1-2 hours a week to learning is more than reasonable if it makes sense and fits into your lifestyle.
Another thing that I often hear about learning is how expensive it can be.
If you’re investing in yourself or your business, you need to think about the long-term effects of learning and how it can help you and your business succeed.
But let me tell you, there are also many free learning opportunities!
Youtube is one of them that can help you in your biz.
Digital Planner Courses
- Create digital planners like a boss babe – an extensive course that goes through everything that a beginner needs to know about creating and selling digital planners
- Free Strawberry Digital Planner Mini-Course – a free course that provides easy-to-follow tutorials on creating a digital planner
- How to Create Digital Planners Using Canva Tips and Techniques – a skillshare digital planner course that will help you develop core Canva design skills, tips and techniques when creating digital planners. Also, if you click the link here, you can get a one-month free of skillshare.
Final Thoughts: How to start a successful digital planner business
All right, folks! That’s it!
I know there was a lot of information to unpack, but don’t worry; you’ll have a successful digital planner business in no time!
Here are the key takeaways from this post:
- The first step to starting up a business is to do your research
- Find a niche to help elevate your brand, but don’t worry if you’re not there yet
- Make a plan to outline your goals and objectives for your online business
- Develop your signature design to help distinguish yourself from the rest
- Decide on which online platform(s) you want to use to sell your digital products
- Create templates for a more manageable process ( remember to visit my PLR Canva Templates Shop)
- You need to be consistent to see results
- Adapt to an iterative process to help you continuously improve your digital products
- Understanding your desired workflow to keep tasks organised
- You need to promote your products to get attention to your biz
- Special tip: Learning is the driving force to success. Never stop learning!
Once you get these tips down to a ‘T’, your biz will be set up to an incredible start, and with dedication, consistency, and effort, you’ll be able to attract customers and sell your digital products.
I’m so happy you’ve taken the time to read this blog post.
If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comment box below.
You May Also Love:
- How to create a digital planner to sell using Canva like a boss
- Canva Free vs Canva Pro: Which one is worth it?
- How to make a digital planner with hyperlinks using Canva for free
- How to sell digital planners on Etsy and make passive income fast
Tools To Use To Help Build Your Digital Planner Empire:
- Try Canva Pro free for 30 days
- Get 30-days free Skillshare access
- Visit my PLR Canva Template Shop
- Download amazing graphics and fonts with Creative Fabrica and Creative Market
- A helpful guide to opening an Etsy store
- Get your 40 free Etsy listings
- My Etsy shop (for digital planners and printables) use the Promo code: THANKYOU22 for a 5% discount on all purchases.
- Learn how to create incredible digital planners to sell on Etsy with the Create Digital Planners Like A Boss Babe Course