Lessons from Launching a Digital Product

Published October 30th, 2020
4 minute read
This was written over two years ago, so some information might be outdated. Frameworks and best practices change. The web moves fast! You may need to adjust a few things if you follow this article word for word.

This week I launched my first digital product — a landing page UI kit for Figma. Launching a product is something I've wanted to do for years, but I never actually committed and did the damn thing until now. I've been working on a few things, but The 14 Day Product Challenge from Gumroad inspired me to stop wishing and start finishing. I'm certainly no expert at any of it, but I've learned a ton already, and I'm just getting started! I thought it'd be helpful to share some mistakes, lessons, and thoughts on the experience. Here we go!

Selling stuff is kinda weird

For me, it's fun to create digital stuff, borderline addicting even. I get a lot of warm-n-fuzzies when it comes to releasing creations to the world and sharing what I'm working on. However, it's tough not to feel like an imposter when you start selling it. I think most people probably feel this way at first. It's worth mentioning for a couple reasons. Most notably, it's one of the things that stops people from making the leap (from consumer to creator). Secondly, it's a problem that has a simple solution — create something you're truly proud of.

Ignore doubts, do it anyway

We all have doubts. I certainly had thoughts like "nobody will pay for this," or "why am I making this, it sucks". Here's the thing about fear, though — action cures fear. I was worried, but instead of letting that control my actions I decided to launch it anyway. Perhaps too soon, but we'll get to that in a bit. Accept that doubts are part of the process and continue to create, continue taking action. Follow through with what you're working on and have some darn faith in yourself. When you make something you're proud of, you've already won. Even if nobody buys it, I'm sure you'll learn a lot. I almost let doubt stop me from launching this product, don't let that happen to you.

Share early, share often

Sharing is another weird thing, it always felt so difficult for me to do... until it felt fun. Now I almost feel some level of guilt for not sharing what I'm working on. The other thing about sharing is that you never really know who's listening. Sure, you may not get many retweets or likes when you make an average tweet, but just because people aren't engaging all the time doesn't mean they aren't listening and watching. Even if you think you have no audience, you might be surprised who responds when you release something (free or paid) and share it. Once again, it comes down to being proud of what you're creating. If you're proud of what you make, you'll have less hesitation when sharing it.

Room for Improvement

There are a few areas that are lacking and wish I would've done better in. Some are seemingly obvious mistakes, such as not having a signup form to collect emails, or not having enough imagery (or a demo video) ready. Some mistakes are more... comical. For example, you'd expect a product based on landing page design to actually have a landing page! 😅

Perhaps I was impatient, but the product is still only in the pre-sales phase, so I can't be too hard on myself about it. Plus, now you know some of the things I'll be working on in the next few days!

Final Thoughts

Overall, the launch has been very positive. I've made some sales, gotten many words of encouragement, and made some new friends. It hasn't been wildly successful by any means, but launching in general seems like a huge win, so I'm stoked about it!

Thank you to each and every one of you for the support!

TL;DR — Takeaways for Launching

  • You can launch earlier than you think
  • An imperfect launch is better than never launching
  • Be proud of what you're creating, this is key!
  • Even if your audience is small, you don't know who might be watching or listening
  • Set up an email collection form beforehand
  • Prepare extra content ahead of time

A Small Plug

Interested in the design kit? You can get it here:

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