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162 – Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

162 – Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

We share the steps to give you some motivation and actionable tips on what to do in the coming months if you want to transition to digital products.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.

Four Key Takeaways for Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

P = Processes

Make your client processes as efficient as possible

You have to be the steward of your time so that you can carve out the time to build your digital product business and not just let your client business expand to every working hour.

R = Runway

Build out a cash runway

Dedicate time to filling your client roster as your number one goal. Think about smaller, “speed offers” (example: VIP or Design Day) and know your minimum monthly numbers.

Questions to consider:

A = Audience

Begin slowly attracting an audience for your ultimate digital product

Align your digital product with your target client. Set up a process to create content consistently. For this, you can start simply with one channel and we recommend email (marketing) or building your email list. Connect your website to an email/newsletter strategy. Additionally, you can create a content calendar to get ahead of your creation schedule for about 4-6 weeks and team this up with your time blocks.

M = Mini Product

Launch with a mini-product

Build and launch a mini product to get you past your first product. Don’t try to make it too big yet. By keeping the bar low, you can be more likely to get it out the door and learn.

Pre-selling is your friend! Pre-selling WORKS! Pre-selling is the BEST way to get validation for your idea. The email list you’ve been building should know you have a pre-sale coming. Plan some surprises and delights for your pre-sale customers. Your first buyers are the people who are rooting the hardest for you, show up for them and communicate with them often. Share behind the scenes and get early feedback from them.

Show Notes for Episode 162: Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

We share our simple “PRAM” framework to help client-based biz owners move to selling online courses, ebooks, templates, or any digital product your little heart desires.

Making the shift to digital products does NOT happen overnight, but having a scalable profit model that gives you more freedom and flexibility IS POSSIBLE! Hopefully, the steps we share in this ep give you some motivation and actionable tips on what to do in the coming months.

And hey, if nothing else, we hope you enjoy the Zelda: Breath of the Wild metaphor around the 58:20 timestamp.

Full Transcript of Episode 162: Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Jason: Well, hello there. Welcome to the beginning of our podcast where we talk to you about our own program because it’s closing in just a few days for this Spring enrollment.

Caroline: Definitely. So you’ve probably heard of it before, but if not, we’ll tell you what it is. Our un-boring business coaching program. It is called Wandering Aimfully Unlimited. WAIM Unlimited for short. And you get access to all kinds of fun things that are going to help you. If you’re a freelancer trying to transition to digital products, really, if you’re someone who wants to create a thriving digital product business that allows you to live a spacious and wonderful life, whatever that means to you, that is what we’re trying to get you.

Jason: Yeah, we have an Un-Boring Roadmap that has this awesome flowchart. It has a business checklist that basically takes you from the very beginning through all the things you could possibly do to optimize your business. We focus on marketing. We focus on copywriting. We focus on sales launch. We focus on email list building. We cover a whole gamut of different coaching session topics. There are 42 previously recorded topics along with a brand new private coaching podcast.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: You can take our coaching on the go.

Caroline: And if you’re someone who’s, like, I’ve joined programs before, I don’t know if this is going to work for me. A couple of things that we have designed to be different. First of all, we have…

Jason: Me. We’ve designed me.

Caroline: You are very different.

Jason: Yeah. You can actually reach out to me at the point, like, I’ll actually respond to you.

Caroline: Jason will respond to you. We have accountability that’s actually fun. So we have this new game called WAIM of Stones, and 91% of people who started this game have been accountable to their monthly goals, which is incredible. And we also have a community that’s actually supportive. It’s not competitive. It’s people from all different places on their business journey, all different types of businesses, which I think makes it a more welcoming place because you’re not like I’m competing or comparing myself to all these people in my industry, which is really cool. And yeah, we’ve designed it to be a business coaching program that is very action oriented, but also walks that line between enoughness. So we want you to focus on what feels good to you, what life you’re trying to create, not just trying to aim for arbitrary seven or six figures just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to want. And yeah, so we think that’s what makes the program different, and we hope that you will consider it.

Jason: The last thing we want to mention is, of course, Teachery is included, which is an online course software you get included. So if you want to make online courses, hubs, sell digital products through a course platform, you can do that. It’s included in the price of WAIM.

Caroline: Free with your membership.

Jason: The price for WAIM is going to go up in 2024. We have mentioned this before. So this year the price stays at $2,000 total. We have a $100 or $400 a month payment plan, both equal out to the same amount. You’re not getting charged more for a payment plan, just FYI, we don’t do that. But the price will go up next year. So these are the last two enrollments, the Spring one that we’re in now and then the Fall one that will be sold at this price. So jump aboard to save some money before the price goes up.

Caroline: And if you have any questions, definitely email us,

Jason: You can get back to them.

Caroline: Jason will get back to you.

Jason: I will get back to you because that’s what I do. And check it out. We would love to see you on the inside.

Caroline: Welcome to What Is It All For? A podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an un-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here too.

Caroline: Did you want to start talking?

Jason: This is how we start a podcast. There’s no real…

Caroline: Normally, you start it in a weird place, but this time your weird place was just letting me say whatever came out of my mouth.

Jason: Which is pretty weird.

Caroline: Because we all know I’m great at improv.

Jason: Thank you to all the Petunia emailers last week. Got a bunch of Petunia emailers, bunch of folks. If you didn’t listen to last week’s episode, you didn’t hear that yet, but go back and listen to it. All right, so we’re sticking this week kind of related to last week’s topic where we want to…

Caroline: There’s a theme.

Jason: We want to talk to our freelancers, our client based business owners who are trying to transition to digital product business. But let’s get into the preamble first.

Caroline: Of course. Way to tease them, though, babe.

Jason: Thank you.

Caroline: Gotta have that cliffhanger.

Jason: It’s called podcast production. Try it.

Caroline: Try it.

Jason: Try it on for size.

Caroline: Do you realize that we’ve almost been podcasting for like, ten years? Do you realize that?

Jason: Oh, wow.

Caroline: Like, various podcasts.

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: For ten years.

Jason: Wow. Interesting.

Caroline: Also, how much further along, can we be if we’d done one show?

Jason: Let’s save this for a future episode and go through our podcast journey.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: Because obviously I have more podcasts than you do.

Caroline: Wow. Shots fired.

Jason: No, there’s zero shots fired. It’s just a true fact.

Caroline: Oh, okay. I just realized it’s actually not an opinion. It’s a fact.

Jason: It’s 100% a fact.

Caroline: Yeah, but it felt like an opinion.

Jason: Okay, well, that’s great. Yeah. Cool. Let’s get into life in Portugal. We’re here. And some things we wanted to share that we did last week.

Caroline: We have a new top slot in terms of the best day ever.

Jason: Yeah. I will disagree slightly though because I’m not sure…

Caroline: What’s your best day ever?

Jason: Any best day ever is going to top the day in August when we came.

Caroline: That doesn’t count.

Jason: Okay, got you.

Caroline: That was pre. This is post.

Jason: I didn’t realize how it fit into the whole scoreboard.

Caroline: Keep up. My goodness. Be in my brain, please.

Jason: If you’re not sure what I’m referencing, you’re like, what are you even talking about? We did our recapping 2022 and, at the end of 2022, we had a podcast episode that was like our top memories from the year. And so one of mine was like, when we first decided to live where we are now.

Caroline: Oh, that’s actually not what I was referencing. So that makes sense of why you were confused.

Jason: Okay, all right, cool.

Caroline: No, I just meant starting. No.

Jason: Okay, moving forward.

Caroline: Starting when we moved here.

Jason: When we actually were living here.

Caroline: I know we were here in November, but I count like officially…

Jason: No, I count here in November. November…

Caroline: You do?

Jason: Yeah, absolutely. We lived here for two months, basically. And we did the exact same thing we’re doing now.

Caroline: That’s fair.

Jason: We just had less baking supplies in the kitchen.

Caroline: You know I love a top of the year though.

Jason: I know you do.

Caroline: I love a clean calendar.

Jason: But that’s not exactly how it works.

Caroline: Anyone who’s listening, we love a clean calendar.

Jason: And a clean butt.

Caroline: We love a clean butt and a clean calendar. Okay, well, what I meant was since living here we’ve had these amazing days of adventure and exploration. Not that days where you’re not at the house working aren’t great because that’s our favorite activity.

Jason: We all know.

Caroline: But like, adventures are great. So we had another one of those.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And tell the people what we did.

Jason: Well, we went to nearby Caldas da Rainha, which that is how you pronounce it. We’re not doing a voice or anything, just FYI, the R’s in Portuguese are the sound… which I’m no…

Caroline: It’s doing a lot better with practice. But it’s still tough.

Jason: It’s still pretty terrible, yeah. For us.

Caroline: Arroz. That means rice. Arroz.

Jason: Arroz.

Caroline: Roxo. That means purple.

Jason: Caldas da Rainha. And you can just, if you’re like just talking to your English speaking friends, you’ll just be like, Caldas da Rainha, and everyone’s going to be okay. No one’s going to correct you. But when we’re around Portuguese people, we want to try and say it the way that it’s pronounced here and do our best. So anyway, this town we had been to before and this town is the bigger of the two towns that are right by us. So we live in a tiny little town that’s like 6000 people inhabit it.

Caroline: Lourinhã.

Jason: And then we have the two bigger towns, Caldas da Rainha, and then we have Torres Vedras. And they are the two towns that we kind of like bop back and forth to 20 to 25 minutes away. They have differing things that we like. But we went to Caldas before and we kind of had like not a weird experience or bad in any way. But we just when we went to Torres after that…

Caroline: We went in the very epicenter of the city center. And so we had this impression that it was this very big, bustling city. And you all know that we like a quieter vibe.

Jason: Yeah, yeah.

Caroline: We love a little bit more charm.

Jason: Yeah. It also didn’t feel very charming at all.

Caroline: It felt very bustling. And so we went back because Jason found this coffee shop.

Jason: Yeah. And we had been to the coffee shop before, and I loved the coffee shop, but that is something if you’ve been listening to our episodes, you have heard me talk about. There is not a really good specialty coffee shop around us. There are plenty of European cafes, but I’m not an espresso drinker at a bar and then just leave. That’s not what I want. I want to be able to flip my laptop open, pour my coffee from a little vessel into another vessel, drink it slowly, enjoy my time, have a pastry or two.

Caroline: That’s just an experience that you love.

Jason: Yeah, it’s for me. I’m not saying that’s against the culture here, that they don’t do it. I’m just saying I prefer that. It’s what we seek out. So anyway, there’s a shop called Local.

Caroline: Local Cafe.

Jason: Which basically is like for locale. Not when our Portuguese teacher was like, you mean like loco?

Caroline: We kept pronouncing it in English, obviously you pronounce it local. And you don’t really realize these things about English until you’re talking to someone who Portuguese is their first language. And she was, like “crazy”? Like “loco”? And so it was because we were dropping the al because you just say local and you kind of like drop it. Right? Like local.

Jason: Yeah. So since the majority of you listen to this speak English, we’re going to say local so that you don’t have to hear us say locale. Locale. But anyway, we went to this coffee shop, and I had been before, and it’s a tiny little spot. It is not very big. There’s like four little round tables that one person could sit on one side, one person can sit on the other. But you’re not even going to put two laptops on those tables. It will not fit this.

Caroline: Which is why we sat at the bar.

Jason: We sat at the bar. So we sat at the bar. You hadn’t been to this coffee shop yet.

Caroline: So cute.

Jason: I had been. We ordered some little pastries. You had a little granola bowl, had some little coffee drinks.

Caroline: This is my perfect little specialty coffee place experience. And also my favorite thing was we parked. We actually parked at the cultural center, just because parking is sometimes hard, and we got to walk through the little what do they call it? The Mercado do praça?

Jason: Just a little farmers market, the daily farmers market.

Caroline: Mercado local do praça, maybe? But yeah, it’s their little daily farmers market in the center of town. And that’s always just a fun experience. You see everyone out. And then we walked across town into the coffee shop. The sun is shining. People are sitting outdoors in the sun, laughing, drinking their espresso.

Jason: For our US listeners who like us a couple of years ago dreamed about what would life look like living in a European city? You can go to Disney and you can go to Epcot and you can get like that version of it. But if you’ve ever traveled in Europe, you know there’s just like this really interesting feeling that you have. And I think every time we have walked through one of these back streets or side streets or small little windy streets with cobblestone and old buildings, you’re just like, wait, we live here? We always have that moment.

Caroline: Such a cool feeling.

Jason: And I will say that is not wearing off. And I think every time we kind of end up in one of these small European streets and tiny shops and then it’s really cool when you have a specialty coffee shop that could be in Southern California where we used to live, but it’s in old-world Europe.

Caroline: You get the best worlds, really.

Jason: Yeah, it’s really, really fun.

Caroline: And so we sat there, we worked for a little while, and then it was time to go to lunch. And we were walking back to the car and then Jason actually spotted down this little side street, this gorgeous little shop, and he was like, oh, this is interesting. And we dipped in and it turns out it’s this little shop with, you know, all these artistic…

Jason: They don’t know because they weren’t there.

Caroline: With all these artistic wares from, the shop owner said 99% Portuguese, like artisans, right? And so you have everything from the most beautiful handmade wood furniture made by her husband…

Jason: And picture like a coffee table that you would see that’s like a cross section of a tree stump. So it’s like if you’ve seen… just unbelievably beautiful.

Caroline: Beautiful craftsmanship to jewelry that is right up Made Vibrant alley.

Jason: You bought a little 3D printed necklace.

Caroline: I bought a 3D printed little chain like lilac purple necklace, which I was obsessed with and also beautiful little art. It just was like a dream shop for all of our sensibilities.

Jason: It’s also what I love about shops in Europe and especially small cities is… What we’re used to when you find a shop like that again, let’s say in the US, it’s just like this big open room, right? Like I’m thinking about an oceanside. You remember that one that we liked in Oceanside, California? There was one again right next to a coffee shop that we love.

Caroline: Because it’s all new. And of course, if you’re going to… for merchandising’s sake…

Jason: It’s just a big square.

Caroline: Right. You’re going to be like, make sure people can see everything.

Jason: This, you walk in and you’re like, this is the size of a closet. And you go, oh wait, no, there’s a hallway back there.

Caroline: There’s more, right.

Jason: So you go through this tiny hallway, you turn to the right. Oh no, there’s a whole other room right here. And you’re like, oh, I think there’s another. And then you keep going. You’re like, oh, no, there’s another room back here.

Caroline: This is an experience that we keep having.

Jason: It’s fantastic. I love it because it’s like, finders keepers. I’m just kind of cruising through. I’m like, what am I going to find next?

Caroline: Yeah, everything is an exploration. Everything is a delightful surprise, which is what I love about it. Anyway, that was just a fun piece of the puzzle of this little day that we had. So then we finally make it back to the car and Jason’s like, can we please go to the pizza restaurant at the window again? So if you listened to our previous episodes, you’ll know, we talked about this pizza restaurant. It’s called A Janela, “at the window.” And we went there and…

Jason: It was a little bit busier this time.

Caroline: It was a little busier this time.

Jason: Our favorite part of this, and this is very much like European lifestyle, is the guy who runs the place with his wife comes up and takes our order for pizzas. He’s very friendly.

Caroline: Rui.

Jason: Rui. And he takes our orders and it’s kind of busy. Then there’s like four tables, so it’s like as busy as it’s going to be. And then we see him go into the restaurant that’s next door, which is just like this little, like, Avocado, I think is the name of the restaurant. It’s like this little healthy place. And he has a bowl and he comes back and then he’s just sitting at a table that had just emptied, eating his lunch. And we’re like, did he forget about our order?

Caroline: No, it wasn’t in our order. It was the check.

Jason: Oh, it was the check. That was the check. That’s what happened. Yeah, got it.

Caroline: The check etiquette here is different.

Jason: You got to ask for it multiple times.

Caroline: It’s not in America where they’re expecting to come bring you the check. You sort of have to be the one… Otherwise they’re expecting that you’re going to do the thing where you sit at the table and you just enjoy life, right? Which we have gotten much better at. We’re not like those people who immediately need to leave. We definitely enjoy a little bit, but we can’t break all of those American habits. And so there definitely comes this point where we’re both like, okay, we’re ready to move on.

Jason: It’s just been like a long…

Caroline: All you have to do is ask and it’s fine. And so Jason asks him for the check and he goes off and he’s like, of course, of course, does his thing, whatever. And then we see him sit down and eat and we were like, did he forget? And it’s like, no, he didn’t forget. He just was like, yeah, but I’m just going to eat real fast.

Jason: I’m just going to have my lunch real quick.

Caroline: Yeah, it’s just like such a good… And we were like, okay, we’re just going to sit here and chat.

Jason: And it just challenges your sensibilities of like, you got to move on to the next thing, I do think. And listen, there are sometimes when certainly you’re in a hurry, or I can see if you have kids and you’re like, we got to get these kids…

Caroline: But I also love it because I find that it’s also this thing to me of mutual respect, where it’s like, this person does not exist just to serve you on your timeline. And I’m not going to cast judgment on that because I think that’s kind of the social contract in when you sit down at a restaurant, you’re like, well, I am paying to be on my timeline, so that’s fine. But I do like the notion that it’s like, oh, we’re just two human beings, and we would like to leave, but you would like to eat your lunch, and so let’s negotiate like, you’re going to eat your lunch. That’s great. You’re a human being who has that need.

Jason: Yeah, I will… Two things. Number one, the entire time that we were in Europe last year, and since we lived in Portugal, not a single time in those, like, 13 months, 14 months now has anyone ever brought us a check without us asking.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: This just does not happen in Europe. So the next time you go eat at a restaurant for our US listeners, pay attention. Like, someone will just bring you the bill. You didn’t ask for it. You finish your meal, they bring you the bill. That will not happen in Europe. You have to get the person’s attention to be able to pay to leave.

Caroline: You also have to know how you’re doing that. So sometimes it is you ask and then they bring it to you.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Other times, there’s like, a counter. Other times, there’s like, a little point of a kiosk. So anyway, it’s very fascinating.

Jason: The second thing I wanted to say was this is probably my number one pet peeve. Just in life in general. It’s not just here in Portugal, it’s not in Europe, it’s not in the US. I would love just the option to be able to pay and leave a restaurant when I’m ready to go. I just would love it. I would love it. Like, I’ve had my experience, and I just want to have a button at the table that’s like, charge my card. I scanned my card when I got here. I’m ready to go and then leave. I would just love to be able to do it.

Caroline: Yeah, but we just got done saying.

Jason: No, but I’m not saying I want someone to serve me quicker. I want to do it. I would love on as my time as a human.

Caroline: You just want an easier way to indicate that you’re… Like, I’m ready.

Jason: It’s not even to get someone’s attention. I just want the technology.

Caroline: To be able to just pay.

Jason: I’m like, boom, have my money. I’m just ready to go.

Caroline: I see.

Jason: Yeah, that’s all I want. We do this all the time. We sit at a restaurant, I’m like…

Caroline: Which is kind of interesting because now we have this technology of the QR code for the menu.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So why don’t we have the QR code for the bill?

Jason: And we did run into this before.

Caroline: Where?

Jason: Remember there was one restaurant we ran into this. I don’t remember what country we were in, but we had this and we actually paid. And we just were like…

Caroline: And were like, that’s how that should work.

Jason: And we’re like, that’s amazing. And it felt so weird because you never see it. Anyway, that’s just my little side tangent on paying and just wanting to be able to leave a restaurant and not felt like I’m held hostage.

Caroline: Cool side tangent. Love that.

Jason: Oh, wow. Okay, finishing off the day. So we packed in a nice little day of all the things. And we were driving home and we’ve been talking about getting plant babies and so some little greenery around the house.

Caroline: We were in desperate need of some living…

Jason: Yeah. For those of you who have not heard or aren’t on our email list, you don’t see the photos that we post of our house every once in a while that we’re renting. It came fully furnished, but it’s very muted tones. It’s wonderful stuff. Cannot complain whatsoever. Amazing stuff to be able to just walk into. We don’t have to buy.

Caroline: But it’s extremely neutral.

Jason: But it’s extremely neutral. And so we were like, we want to get plants. We want to get plants. And we’ve been passing this nursery that’s on this main road going back and forth to Caldas da Rainha.

Caroline: So Flor.

Jason: So Flor.

Caroline: Flor.

Jason: And we decided to stop. We had stopped before. They were at lunch for their, like, three hour lunch. And we… Like, but this is bad timing for us, so we have to come back another time. So we came back at this time. Actually, they were just finishing lunch. If you remember, she had just opened…

Caroline: Oh, yeah. And she was not going to open a minute earlier.

Jason: No. So we walked in and it’s just this, like, cute little side of the road nursery. Everything you would imagine. Not very big, but we walked into the tent with all of the plants. And I don’t know about you, but I was just like, I will take all of them, please. And we almost did.

Caroline: We almost did. We bought four, I think is what we ended up with. And we had a great time sort of like choosing our favorites and where would they go?

Jason: We were pulling them off the little stands and looking at them, taking photos with them.

Caroline: And then we got to pick out planters for all of them, which was also exciting.

Jason: Got some planters. And then the best part, my favorite part of the whole thing.

Caroline: Of course.

Jason: Is we were like, wrapping everything up. And the woman who works there. She has owned the space, you said, for twelve years, she told you?

Caroline: Yes, she’s worked there for twelve years.

Jason: And just fantastic, just service. She’s so fun. We’re carrying all the plants to the car and we have this tiny little rental car, and so I’m going back to get more planters, and I’m like, okay, Caroline’s going to do it. And I’ll just see the lady walking back. I look back, she is cramming the plants into our rental car.

Caroline: Not like in an aggressive way, but in very much like, oh, no, let me do this.

Jason: I’ve been doing this for twelve years.

Caroline: Right. She just had a plan, and all I had to do was stand back and let her work her magic, which was actually new for us because typically you’re that person. You have the plan and you know how it’s going to work, and no, she was like, I got this plan.

Jason: I also love that she moved my seat forward, the driver’s seat, and she was like, sorry about your seat, and I was like, well, I am going to have to move it back because I physically can’t fit into this tiny car already. So that was fun.

Caroline: She did a great job, and she got all the plants, which were quite big, into our tiny car, and we got home and boy, does it just bring life to our space.

Jason: It really does. So behind me and you’re facing is Claude, who’s like a banana leaf plant. He’s about 5ft tall. And then across the way is Beatrice. And I forget she’s like a little palm, but like little, like…

Caroline: She’s very tropical vibes, honestly.

Jason: Yeah. But she adds like a real nice bit of texture to an open area of the room.

Caroline: Absolutely. And so we’re just very happy. And then there’s the two downstairs.

Jason: We haven’t named them yet because they’re still acclimating. Yeah, we might end up getting a couple more just because they add so much life.

Caroline: So much life. So that was our perfect day. It was coffee, work, lunch, shopping, and plant babies.

Jason: Just such a great day. And we just wanted to share with you, for those of you who are like, can you have a day where you can get all of your things done and it feels like it would back if you were living in the US? And yes, you absolutely can. And things might be a little bit challenging. If you’re in a hurry and you don’t want to watch someone else eat lunch before you pay to leave, that’s okay. You just like, don’t worry about it.

Caroline: Just enjoy life.

Jason: Yeah. So we hope you enjoy we continue to share our lives here in Portugal, and not the most exciting of things that we’re doing, but hey, that’s just kind of it. We can live our boring lives here and still have all the fun things that we had in Southern California.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: Great. All right, let’s get into the episode topic.

Caroline: Let’s dive right in. So if you are listening to this and you’re a freelancer and you want to transition your business to kind of shift your income from client income to digital product income, when we say digital product to be the more broad umbrella, what we really mean is online courses. Anything sort of scalable online product, right. Templates, things like things of this nature, that’s our sweet spot. And what we love to talk about and the reason you might want to make that transition is just so that you have more freedom, more flexibility. You can scale your revenue beyond just your time limitations. You may not want to be answering emails all the time with clients or dealing with client personalities, or you might want the leverage. Like you may not want to stop client work altogether, but maybe you want the leverage to only choose to work with clients you really, really enjoy.

Jason: Yeah, and I think maybe that’s something that’s a little bit different from the way that we talk about this process that other coaches might, which is keep your clients.

Caroline: If you want. Exactly.

Jason: You do not have to abandon your client business to have freedom and flexibility. But wouldn’t it be nice to only have to have one client?

Caroline: You want options.

Jason: Exactly.

Caroline: And that is in our experience, in our entrepreneurial journey, what digital products have gotten us is flexibility and options.

Jason: And even if you’re not a freelancer or a client based business owner, but if you are someone who wants to build digital products, we hope this episode will also be helpful because we’re going to go through just this little phased process that we outlined that we see all the time and hopefully it’ll help you.

Caroline: Yeah. And so a lot of the things we’re going to cover in this episode are the things that we talk about inside WAIM Unlimited. But we also know that right now, as Spring enrollment is open, you might be thinking to yourself, okay, I know this is what they talk about, but I just feel still overwhelmed with what is my plan going to be in order to make this transition? So we thought that we would do an episode that’s just like, okay, if we could go back in time, what would we recommend would be the steps in order to make this sort of transition from clients to products? So that’s what we’re going to take you through in this episode. And we broke it down into kind of four phases, I would say.

Jason: Let’s start with the acronym.

Caroline: We love an acronym.

Jason: We love an acronym around here.

Caroline: So the acronym we want you to remember is PRAM.

Jason: PRAM.

Caroline: Not pramble.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Now, do I wish that I had extended the acronym to try to be pramble? Probably.

Jason: We probably could.

Caroline: Also isn’t a pram a baby carriage?

Jason: You’re asking the wrong person.

Caroline: Or is it a crib? I don’t know. In England, they call either… I don’t know if it’s… All of our British listeners are going to be like, what are you doing? But I’m pretty sure pram is a thing.

Jason: We don’t know what we’re doing most of the time, but that’s okay.

Caroline: Oh, yeah, I know, but we’re very…

Jason: All right. What does PRAM stand for?

Caroline: Okay, so PRAM. The kind of four phases are Processes. So we’re going to make your client processes as efficient as possible. Then Runway. We’re going to get you time runway and client runway and cash runway is really the big thing here. A stands for audience. So then you’re going to start to build up your audience because you’re going to need someone to buy your digital products. And so that audience piece is really the crucial bridge. And then finally, M stands for Mini Product Launch. And so we’ll take you through each of these steps. And the biggest mistake that we kind of see is that people just think that they want to go from clients to products, but they think it’s going to happen overnight.

Jason: Yeah. And I would imagine there are many of you listening to this who are freelancers, who have tried to create digital products, and you have gotten burnt out. You have felt like you don’t have the financial cushion to do this. And maybe you’ve even felt like digital products will never work for you. And we’re here to tell you that it absolutely can work. You’ve probably just been fed a roadmap, quote unquote, or a foolproof plan or a proven strategy. And what that is, is it’s just too condensed of a timeline.

Caroline: Yeah, because I think the thing that people don’t account for is, like, with your all… Probably the reason that you want to transition to digital products is because your client service business right now is just feeling like it’s overwhelming your time, it’s overwhelming your mental attention. Right. And so the thing that people fail to account for is like, if you’re trying to get someone out of that situation, they already have such little time, such little attention. And so that’s what we’re really trying to account for because we made this transition ourselves. And so what were the things that were helpful in making that transition? If you listen to last week’s episode where we gave you advice from how many things was it?

Jason: It ended up being 28.

Caroline: 28 tips from people who have made this transition from clients to products. But we talk about this phrase short term squeeze for long term ease. And this is the mantra that I want you to think about, which is you are going to feel strapped for the interim while you’re making this transition. You’re going to feel short on time. It’s going to feel like a little bit of pressure because you have one foot in both worlds. You’re, like, trying to build your audience, but also you’re trying to still service your clients. And that’s going to be hard, but what’s at the other end of that hard season is more long term ease for your business. It’s setting you up to have more options. It’s setting you up to have more freedom, to have more flexibility. And so you just kind of have to put yourself in this mindset of, like, I’m not doing it wrong if I’m struggling to find the time. That means you are just a normal person trying to make a transition in life, right?

Jason: Yeah. And as a person who does a lot of the back and forth over email or Slack with both people who are on our Wandering Aimfully email list, or who are Wandering Aimfully Unlimited members, I can tell you that the thing that I hear most often from those folks is like, for the last year, I wish I would have done X. I wish I would have started an email list. I wish I would have started to create my digital product. I wish I would have done these things. But instead, I joined a program that promised me 30 day results, and then I did that, and then it derailed me for three months, and then I was burnt out for three more months, and then I basically got nowhere. And so I really hope this short term squeeze for long term ease just helps you think in the next just say year. Give yourself one year of, I’m going to continue to work with clients, but I’m also going to make sure that I’m being more disciplined in my time. I’m getting better processes in place. Some of the things we’re going to talk about here in a minute. I’m actually doing these things, but with the intention of it will take a year to get to a place where I can feel like I can be a little bit more choosy with my clients. I might not have digital product revenue that replaces all of my clients or even half of them, but I at least have all of these ducks in a row. So I don’t feel like, okay, well, I got my email list going, but I don’t have anything else going, so I can’t really do anything with this business.

Caroline: For sure. So I think that’s a good way to set expectations. So let’s go through each step of this process. And this transition is going to require you to number one, your P, Processes. Make your client processes as efficient as possible so you can get as much time and energy as possible out of what you’re doing now that you’re going to be able to carry over to this goal that you’re trying to hit of kind of launching your first digital product. Right. Step two, you’re going to need to build out a cash runway. That’s the R, Runway. So you’re not scrambling for clients, which is going to pull focus from building the digital product side of your business. Number three, you’re going to begin slowly attracting an audience for your ultimate digital product through high quality content. And then finally you’re going to launch with a mini product in order to get the first one under your belt and learn what it takes to make and market a digital product. So let’s dig into each step of that four step process individually.

Jason: Cool. Let’s start with P, Processes.

Caroline: Let’s start with P, Processes.

Jason: The absolute first thing that you need to do is make your client business more efficient. And the number one way that we can help you think about doing this is just through time blocking. And if you are a person right now who kind of wakes up and your inbox dictates your day, your client requests in Slack or whatever messaging app you use with them dictates your day, this needs to change. And really, it needs to change because you have to be the steward of your time so that you can carve out the time to build the digital product business and not just let your client business expand to every working hour.

Caroline: Exactly. And this is the biggest. It’s almost funny because when I go back and talk about time blocking, I sometimes forget to mention it because we’ve used it for so many years now that I forget that not everyone does this.

Jason: Yeah, exactly.

Caroline: I really do. I’m like, oh, and it’s not that you should feel bad if you don’t. That’s not my intention.

Jason: Are you sure?

Caroline: Whatsoever. It’s that the tremendous impact that it has had on my ability to actually make progress towards my goals is so meaningful that I truly forget that there was a time before I did it. And when I had my business, Made Vibrant, my design business, I remember so distinctly the conversation where I was so at my max capacity. I was so struggling because I wanted more freedom. I was starting to realize that actually working with clients was not great for my personal mental health. Where I was at on my people pleasing journey, it was not good.

Jason: You have peak people pleaser.

Caroline: Peak people pleaser. And that is a bad recipe for a client business because you will just bend over backwards and work yourself to the bone in order to over deliver, right? And finally, so I would wake up every day and I would be like, okay, what’s my client project I’m working on? And then I would just let the time expand to fill that day, to move it forward. And what was happening is all my projects were taking quite a bit longer because I was never defining the container of how long, what task am I working on and how long should it take me, right? I was just going like, okay, here’s my deadline three weeks in the future. Let me just fill up the time. And so you introduced me actually to this idea of what’s called, I think Parkinson’s Law?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Which is you’ve probably seen on productivity bro YouTube channels, but it’s true. Which is…

Jason: What’s the female version of productivity bro?

Caroline: I think it’s productivity bro.

Jason: Oh, really? Okay, gotcha.

Caroline: I don’t think it’s gendered. I think it’s just what it is.

Jason: Got it.

Caroline: And so the idea of Parkinson’s Law is that your time will expand to fit the container that it’s given. And so finally you sat me down and kind of did the math, and you said, like, okay, how much did you charge for this project? How many hours do you think it should take you to complete it? I was just realizing that I was taking like, two to three times more because each of those containers was expanding. And so we finally sat down and I said and you said, how many hours do you want to be working each day? Here are the blocks. How many days a week do you want to be working on client stuff? Here are the blocks. How many blocks does that give you over the course of a month? Okay, let’s think of that like inventory at a hotel. Let’s think of that like available rooms. And now let’s book those rooms, those 1 hour time blocks, with client tasks so that you don’t get over capacity. Right. And so this way of thinking of my time and my energy as a limited quantity and a capacity that I could actually see on a spreadsheet so that I could book that time, it did two things. Number one, it made my processes so much more efficient that I actually did find time because I was like, oh, I actually have more time than I think I do, which is what exactly you’re going to need in order to make this transition. And then two, it also allowed me to more accurately book myself further in the future because I knew what availability I had.

Jason: Yeah, I think just as I learned for myself, which is why time blocking became so important to me, is when you have a full day of work ahead of you that is unscheduled, one task can take the entire day. And I think everyone listening to this who has clients and doesn’t use time blocking can know, you have this feeling of, like, why did it take me a full day to do X? And you don’t realize that it’s just a psychological thing that our brains do. It’s nothing wrong with you. It’s nothing wrong with how you work or what you’re doing. It’s the fact that you’re not putting constraints on your time.

Caroline: Exactly.

Jason: And that’s the most powerful thing you can do as you’re starting in the PRAM process here with Processes, is to go, okay, I’m going to just be more disciplined with my time. So I’m going to say client A gets my 9:00 am to noon time block, and I’m going to get whatever work done we have planned. Client B gets my 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm time block. And now that leaves you your 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm is your digital product business time every day.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: Or if you’re the type of person where you go, actually, I need the most focus I possibly can on this new digital product business, then flip it. So start that the beginning of your day is the 1 hour for your business every single day. Then the rest of the time, you figure out where your clients fit in. And if you’re someone who doesn’t work in a good time blocking throughout the day situation, then do individual days. So client A gets Mondays. Client B gets Tuesdays. Digital products get Wednesdays. Thursdays are client outreach. Fridays are admin days.

Caroline: Yeah. And so these are all good ideas, and only you are going to be able to decide what’s going to work for you in the way that you like to work. Definitely recommend after this episode, if you have not yet, listen to last week’s episode because we have an entire kind of segment on time. And this is real tactics that people who are in your position who actually made the transition used. And so we talk about some of those ideas. They are time blocking. Some people like to do an entire client week and an entire digital product week. Again, whatever works for you. So just to keep things moving along here, that is Processes. It’s extremely important because the only way you’re going to be able to move on to stage two, three, and four is if you have time. And so that’s why we start with making things more efficient, so that you can squeeze more out of what you’re already doing. So moving on to Runway. So now not just time. So that’s like, time is the biggest thing, the second biggest kind of thing that is preventing you from moving forward is probably that scarcity mentality of like, where is my money coming from, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So this is the thing that’s keeping you in the client loop, is that you want to work on digital products and you want to make this transition, but every time you start to work on it, it’s obviously going to take quite a bit of time before that side of the business really starts to bring in revenue. And you go, okay, well, I got to make bills next month, so where’s my next client coming from? And then your attention just gets pulled back into your client world. And so until we figure out a way for you to build up this leverage, this cash leverage, this runway, where you can finally breathe a sigh of relief and go, okay, I’m set for the next three months. Now I need to go hard on the product side of the business or a medium. You don’t have to go hard.

Jason: Yeah, medium hard, if you like it, sure. Whatever you like, whatever level of hardness you enjoy. Let’s talk about some client runway sprint things that you can do. So we like to think of this as just dedicated time where you’re filling your client roster as the number one goal. So that could be an hour in a day. As I just mentioned, in the time blocking, it can be one full day every week. But you want to email your prior clients. You want to put a post on social media saying you’re booking out for X amount of days in the future or months in the future. You want to create a spreadsheet of leads of people you actually want to work with and have a plan to do cold outreach. So your goal here, this goes back to the short term squeeze for long term ease, is you are trying to actively build out your client runway for three to six months. And that’s probably something many of you have never really done before, unless your client business has just been really in demand. Because I remember when I was running a client based business, we were not in high demand. We were kind of new and we didn’t have a lot going on. And so I had to take on the brunt of that work. And when I started to do that work, yes, it is not fun to send cold outreach emails. I will fully admit that. But you know what’s not fun is staying in the scarcity. I’m running a client business. I feel like I’m only ever going to do this forever. I hate looking in my inbox every day and not building something better, where if you can just carve out the time now, you can create that runway so that you can build this future digital product business that gives you scalability and more time.

Caroline: And this is like I said, what I think keeps people trapped in this loop is that they’re never devoting 100% focus to the thing that they’re trying to move the ball forward on. So if it was me, I would actually take each one of these steps and I would make it an entire theme of a month. That’s actually what I would do. So I would be like, okay, I’m going to get off this podcast and maybe April is going to be my Processes month. And my entire goal for that month is to make my clients more efficient, to come up with a new way to book clients, to really hone in on my client process so that I know exactly how much time each phase of my process should take. Get it as sort of like efficiently running as possible. That’s my April, okay, my next month, I’m going to focus on the Runway. And so my entire focus for that month is going to be basically selling my services. It’s going to be filling up that calendar, like you said, three to six months in advance. Not this thing that we often do, which is, okay, I’m going to spend like, now I got to work on getting a new client so then I’m going to work on social media content.

Jason: This client ends next week. I should probably start emailing some other people. You have to get out of that cycle.

Caroline: Right. And then you but shouldn’t I like, oh, I haven’t posted on Instagram in three days, and now I got to make sure that process… It’s like all of the focus that’s pulling your attention, it takes a little bit of discipline to go, this month is this, next month is this. And each one of these steps, the intention behind it is if you can get maximum momentum for that thing, it’s going to carry over to the next phase of the process that’ll get you that momentum. Right. So that runway step is really important because imagine how much more focus, attention, energy and time you’re going to be able to devote to building up an audience, which, again, does not have an immediate ROI.

Jason: And it takes time. But before we jump to Audience, let’s just finish out with one other kind of tip here, which is if you wanted to make smaller offers that are easier to fulfill and take less of your time, think about taking… let’s say you’re a designer and you have, like, a full website package for $3,500, and that might take you, like, a month to do with a client. Well, what could you do like $1,000? Is it just like a sales page design or a homepage design or like a quick funnel where it’s like a home page, a lead magnet and whatever is involved with that.

Caroline: And the thing I want people to think about here when coming up with these, what we call speed offers, again, the variable that you’re trying to solve for is, how can I get the most value for this client in the shortest amount of time? Right, because a month project for $3,500. But now all you need are four one day projects at $1,000, and the rest of the month is what you can spend on working on your audience, right? But the thing you’re trying to solve for is, how can I get less time for me, more value for my client? And so I think often people think of value as the amount of time that someone gets with you. But really value is what are they going to get out of it? And so in a lot of ways, a shorter amount of time is more valuable for your client because they go, well, before I was going to get a website a month from now, but now I’m going to get a sales page next week.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: That’s highly valuable.

Jason: Exactly. Yeah. And I think the other part of this, when you’re doing kind of like the speed offers or trying to figure out your runway, is you just have to know your numbers. And again, we go back to the short term squeeze part of the long term ease phrase. What is your minimum number of money that you need to make every single month to get by for the next six to twelve months while you’re making this transition? You may have been running a business that was making you $6,000 a month, but maybe you can get by with $3,000 a month and you’re not saving any money, and you’re not feeling like you have a big buffer set aside, but you don’t need to have as many clients so that you can free up the time. And so I think this is one thing that a lot of people get really nervous about, which is, oh, well, I’ve been making X amount of money for so many years as a freelancer. I don’t want to go down in that money because that’ll make me feel like I’m failing. It’s like it’s not that you’re failing or your business is doing thing. You’re trying to make a transition. And in a transition phase, something has to change. And a lot of times what that means is the revenue that you make as a freelancer will have to go down so that you have more time, which will go up, that you can put into a digital product business that will eventually replace all that revenue and then free up even more time.

Caroline: It’s the classic, like, one step backward, three steps forward, right? It’s…

Jason: Classic.

Caroline: It’s that classic.

Jason: They all say it. Everyone says it. You hear it left and right. You hear… what’s that? One step forward, three steps backwards. Wait, what’s going on? No, I’m going backwards and then I’m going forward? That is classic.

Caroline: My whole life, it’s going to be you and me for my whole life.

Jason: I mean, it has been for most of it now.

Caroline: I know. It’s been pretty good.

Jason: Yeah. All right, let’s move on to A in the Pram acronym that we created. This is Audience.

Caroline: So you’ve got your Processes under control, you’ve got your Runway built out. What do you do with that time and attention now that you have it? It has to start with an Audience. I don’t know what else to tell you, except you need people who care about what you have to share and what you have to say and what you have to teach, so that when you do launch a product, there are people to buy it. So Audience is going to be the next real thing that you want to focus on. And I think it starts with as simple as it sounds, knowing who that audience is, I think the easiest place to start is trying to kind of in your transition, trying to position your product audience in the same kind of vertical as you had your client audience. So just what I mean by that is, in my example, I was doing these brand identity packages for solopreneurs. That was what my client offering was, and it could have been in all different verticals, but really the solopreneur piece an online business, they’re just one person. I’m doing branding packages, transitioning my audience to solopreneurs is the same, right? So I’m targeting solopreneurs with my client package. I’m targeting solopreneurs with my Better Branding Course, which was the ultimate digital product that I made. But the difference was just where I was kind of focusing on their journey. So the type of business who’s going to be able to pay for my client service is probably someone who’s a little bit more established. And so I just tried to carve out like, okay, well, what’s the step before that in that same group of people, but maybe they’re earlier on this journey? And that was who I was targeting with my more DIY option, which was my online course of how to do your branding. And the reason why I think this is an approach that makes the most sense is because you’re not going to have to try very hard to come up with things to talk about that are valuable to that audience because it’s already the stuff that you’re doing with your clients. It’s like you already know that audience like the back of your hand. What do they struggle with? What do they find confusing about your particular skill and process and outcome that you’re trying to get them? This is just like a rich mine of gold nuggets that you can kind of apply then to helpful information that you’re going to share with building up your product audience.

Jason: Totally. I think from there, one thing we want to mention is obviously the elephant in the room that is content and creating content and how much we all feel like this can be overwhelming, it can feel very defeating. But I think one of the things to think about in creating content to build a digital product business is just trying to do enough content consistently that’s helpful, that’s to your ideal audience. And then don’t get lost in the weeds of all the things. So you don’t need a podcast and a YouTube and a Pinterest channel and an Instagram and TikTok. You don’t need all those things, if anything…

Caroline: Yet.

Jason: Yeah, those things can be very helpful. But when you’re in this stage, in the beginning, when you’re making this transition, what you want is the idea that someone can find your digital product business website and they can go, oh, I trust that this person knows how to solve my problem. So they have articles that are helpful for me to basically understand whatever it is I’m trying to do. They have an email newsletter that I can sign up for that gives me ongoing, consistent, helpful advice in this. And then maybe there’s one other thing that you do that’s like your consistent content strategy, whether that’s a podcast or a YouTube channel or a social media channel, but just pick one of those things. Don’t try and do them all and pick the one that you most enjoy spending time on. I think that’s the thing that we find with a lot of people who are making this transition is they go, okay, well, I know that Instagram is the one where I should be, so I’m going to go do that. But I hate making instagram content. Well, then don’t do it. There are lots of other places you can go to make content. So try and focus on the place where you actually want to show up and that, you know, your audience might be hanging out.

Caroline: Yeah. And I think this kind of step before that step is you have to prioritize having an email audience.

Jason: This is just like the number one thing we can’t harp on enough.

Caroline: Exactly. Listen, and I say can’t, I’m obviously not here being like, you can’t have a business without an email newsletter. I’m sure there are examples of how that works. But in our experience, if you want to sell your mini product at the end, which is the fourth step, which we’re about to get to, you need sort of a… I don’t hate the word captive audience. I really don’t like that. But…

Jason: An engaged audience.

Caroline: An engaged audience.

Jason: They’re not captive.

Caroline: They’re not captive. They’re free. They can leave whenever they want. Let’s just be fair. They’re just engaged.

Jason: They’re free range audience.

Caroline: Free range.

Jason: They’re out there, they’re grazing, they’re picking up the patches of grass that they like, but…

Caroline: Very pro free range audience.

Jason: When you go to the fence, they’re like, hey, what’s up? And they’re like, we’ll check you out.

Caroline: Yeah. And so email is a powerful way to do this. And so if there’s one area that I would tell you to focus on first in order to build up that audience, it’s figuring out whatever that email newsletter is, that consistent content that you can send to them. And if you’re like email newsletters, like, I’ve heard about it for years, it’s dying. Everyone’s on social media. I’m telling you…

Jason: We’re here to tell you it’s not dead. It’s not dying. Yeah. And I think what is dying is crappy, useless, vapid content. Email newsletters, especially like I’m just going to be honest here. If you’re a person who’s trying to build a digital product business, do not do like a link roundup email newsletter. It is the most useless thing I think you can do as someone who’s trying to build an audience that cares about what you think because all you’re doing is sharing things that other people think.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: So your goal with an email newsletter is just to have a helpful piece of content show up in someone’s inbox every week, every other week. It does not have to be as long as our emails because, dear heavens, we write the longest emails ever. It just needs to be helpful. So whatever it is that you can get out consistently. And then one of the other pieces of advice we would say for an email newsletter, especially if you’re someone who’s new to it. Or maybe you have one and you haven’t been consistent with it. Write it in advance. Get four to six weeks ahead of yourself in your content planning. Get those emails written, get them queued up. Don’t be the night before hitting publish or send on your email newsletters because that does create that worry, that concern of like, oh, is anybody going to care? When it’s scheduled, you don’t even think about it, it just goes out.

Caroline: This is again what I would do with this month strategy, where it’s like, okay, it’s month three. My theme for the month is Audience. So when I have those couple of time blocks that are devoted to building up my audience when I’m not working on my client projects because my client projects are so efficient now, what am I going to spend that time doing? I’m going to spend that time batching these email newsletters.

Jason: I think this is also really important, especially for our folks who don’t feel like you can every single week devote time. Like maybe you have mental health issues that limit your ability to work and sometimes you only have more time than others. Maybe you have kids, maybe you have family stuff, maybe you have just very limited time. If you can spend a time when you have some bandwidth to get ahead of this schedule, do that. But you can only know that for yourself. But the key is what we’re trying to tell you is figure that out for you. So if it looks like it’s three months from now, you can carve out two weeks and then hopefully you can stick to that time frame and in that two weeks, you can write 26 email newsletters. I mean, whatever’s realistic for you, again, your email newsletters don’t have to be 1000 words long. They can be just two short paragraphs as long as they’re really helpful for your ideal audience.

Caroline: And by the way, with AI tools now, if what has been holding you back is coming up with ideas…

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Use those tools in order to just get the ball rolling and then go, okay, what’s my unique spin on this?

Jason: You could literally ask…

Caroline: What is my unique angle?

Jason: Any of these chat AI tools, just give me 52 newsletter ideas on branding.

Caroline: To help so and so with brand… You know what I mean? Like you got to be specific on what you ask to ask it, but just get the ball rolling.

Jason: And don’t copy and paste on the ideas that you’re not having these AI tools write the emails because you want to bring your own expertise and your own experience and your own stories. But you get now 52 prompts and so all you have to do is sit down and go, okay, great, let me just answer this question in a compelling and thoughtful way.

Caroline: Or like, oh, I don’t like that idea, but it did just give me an idea for this other thing. For sure.

Jason: So I think with that, what we’re trying to harp on there when it comes to Audience is consistency is putting out the best quality product you can in a piece of content, but not letting perfectionism hold you back because wouldn’t it be better if you’ve sent out 52 newsletters a year from now? And they all went out and they all were helping you grow an audience as opposed to sending like four, because you were crafting them to be, quote unquote, perfect. And then you never built your audience.

Caroline: And so imagine you’ve spent this month now focusing. You have the email newsletters queued up. That sort of ball now is rolling. And notice I know I’ve said it again, but I just think it’s worth reiterating. Each one of these steps gets you leverage and momentum into the next one, right? So it’s like the first one, we got our time back. Okay, great. We rolled that into Runway. Okay. Then we got some money, kind of peace of mind, which gave us attention and focus back. Okay, great. Now we got that ball rolling. Then Audience is like, okay, now we’re building up attention. We’re building up an audience, we’re building up potential customers. And you get that ball rolling until finally, the fourth step is this Mini product. And so part of this, the reason we say “mini” is because this was advice that came directly from the people in our survey and people who have made this transition. And so much of the feedback, which just it’s been years now since we did this transition, but I was reminded of the same exact thing that I did, which was my first online course, which was my first digital product, was a $20 course. Okay? And it was because I needed the barrier to be so low that I didn’t overthink it. I didn’t make this whole signature program right out of the gate.

Jason: What’s funny is we went opposite directions. So I did a bigger $500 course. But however, I just want to say, it was so dirt simple.

Caroline: It was.

Jason: That’s the thing.

Caroline: The difference, the reason, the size, you’re saying bigger, it was just the price.

Jason: It was just the price.

Caroline: And the price was because your value of your course, of the skill that you were teaching was higher value than mine.

Jason: Which is How to Get Sponsorships course. But I just wanted to share this because that course that I created… so your course, I don’t remember how many lessons the Hand Lettering for Beginners course was in the beginning.

Caroline: Six to eight.

Jason: I think mine was twelve lessons, but it was one video. I recorded some Keynote slides for 30 minutes. Those videos should have been like six minutes long. But this is 2013 era of online courses where you just recorded forever and you wanted to pack it full of hours of content. But I just want to say that my version of the $500 course that I had was basically a mini product. I mean, it could have been created in two days. It was not anything substantial. It’s just the value for what you got from…

Caroline: And what a lot of people said was, you’re going to learn so much in that first product that is going to be just… It’s like the first Pancake, right?

Jason: Also, I’m embarrassed by that course when I go back and look at it now.

Caroline: Which is great. You did it right.

Jason: Yeah. Exactly.

Caroline: Which is your goal needs to not be have this first product that you make to be the one. Your only goal is to get it done and to get it out there because you will learn so much from the doing of the process. You’ll learn… Okay. You’ll have thought through all of those first decisions of like, what type of delivery am I best suited for? Like, oh, recording video was actually a really high barrier for me. Maybe I only do audio courses from now on. And what is it like to market it and how do I think through what the problem is that I’m solving? All of those things. And again, we have resources inside WAIM Unlimited.

Jason: Nice. Good shout out.

Caroline: Thank you. Well, just making a course is actually quite a bit of work. And so having someone tell you exactly how to do that is, I think, very valuable. And I just wanted to put anyone’s at ease that if you are thinking about WAIM Unlimited, we have several resources that take you through that process.

Jason: Especially, just real quick, Make 500 is one that we always forget about that we created a couple of years ago.

Caroline: Yes, because you can start with… Make 500 is seven text lessons. The entire purpose of that course is this. It’s to get a mini product. It’s to get, in seven days, to get something made that has the potential to make you at least $500. That’s kind of the promise of that little mini product.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: A mini product for a mini product.

Jason: One of the things that we heard this in the survey that we received over 200 responses for from people who were freelancers or thinking about moving into digital products is it feels so different, and we can attest to this, to get paid for your digital product than it does to get paid for your client service. And the hilarious part is your digital product may only make you $20 or even in my case, $500, but that’s less than like a $3,000 client because I think when you… I don’t think, I remember… when you get that $3,000 client, yes, it feels good, but the mountain of work that now sits ahead of you is overwhelming.

Caroline: It’s different. Right. That’s a good point.

Jason: Because when you make the digital product sale, you’ve already made the thing. Someone’s just paying for your mountain behind you.

Caroline: The other side of the mountain. So you’re like… And you’re like, I could theoretically, infinitely get paid for the work that I already did.

Jason: That mountain is going to keep making me money. I don’t have to keep building new mountains over and over again.

Caroline: Yeah, I think you’re right. The difference is, with clients, you’re typically at the beginning of the mountain, and with digital products, you’re at the other side of the mountain, and it just feels better.

Jason: Yeah. So, yeah, this is really one of those things where we can’t tell you how good it feels enough times over and over again. But once you get that first sale, it does feel amazing. And then, of course, if you don’t know what product idea you want to go with on your digital product journey, we know many people have this issue. Again, you just want to pick the one that feels like it’s the most natural fit to your existing audience.

Caroline: And I think the easiest way to go is pick one piece of your client process and try to hone in on a very particular outcome within that one piece of your process.

Jason: Especially something that’s very results-oriented.

Caroline: Completely, because that’s going to actually, if I had to give you one piece of advice on picking your first digital product offer, it’s make it extremely tied to a result because you’re going to just have to market it much… You’re going to put much less effort towards marketing it.

Jason: Totally.

Caroline: In order for it to sell.

Jason: My example here is my sponsorships course was very results-oriented because all you had to do was write out your value proposition, use my email prompts, build a cold outreach email list, send the emails, follow up. And when you get a sponsorship, a paid sponsorship, you will understand that was worth every penny of the profit for the course. The difference. I created a writing course with a WAIMer, Chantal. And it was called Imperfect Writer. There’s no tangible results.

Caroline: It’s just to get better at writing.

Jason: Granted.

Caroline: It’s helpful.

Jason: I think that course is more helpful.

Caroline: And it is, but it’s like…

Jason: But it’s not results-oriented.

Caroline: Exactly. And that’s why you save it for your fifth product.

Jason: Exactly.

Caroline: Because you know that there’s a need for it. But if you’re really trying to optimize for, I need to get something going, I need to get this momentum going, be discerning on what product idea you do choose. And then our second tip is presell it.

Jason: Pre selling. We have presold pretty much every single thing we have made over the years, especially all the digital products. And this is just the best way to get validation for your idea. And I think for those of you who are afraid that if you presale and no one buys, that’s the end of your digital product journey. That’s not at all true. It’s just showing you that, okay, the audience that I have for the thing that I just tried to presell was not the right fit.

Caroline: And just for any of you who don’t know what preselling is, this is you, let’s say you’ve been building up your audience. Let’s say you only have like 150 email subscribers. No worries. That’s still an audience. That’s still a group of 150 people who said that they want to hear from you. You come up with this mini product idea. You say, okay, here’s the outcome that it delivers, here’s who it’s for. And you go and talk to those 150 people. You kind of take them a little bit on the journey of you coming up with this idea, this mini product that you’re going to launch. Let’s call it templates. Let’s just say it’s a template. And then what you do is you say, hey, would anyone be interested in this? Here’s the problem that it solves. Here’s what I’m thinking of turning it into. I’m launching a presale for it next week. You do kind of like a mini sales page.

Jason: That’s the simplest thing you can possibly do.

Caroline: The only things that you want to make sure that you hit home are what is the value that someone’s going to get out of it? And maybe even you make it more enticing by taking whatever the final price is you’re going to charge for it, putting a small discount and saying, hey, and then you say, here’s the date that I’m planning to deliver this. Right. So you make it clear that they’re not going to get it immediately. But the incentive there is, okay, if you hop on early, then you get a little discount and you can validate the idea of someone’s actually putting their money where your product is and validating that idea. So it’s not just them saying, oh yeah, if you made this, I would totally buy it. It’s them saying, I’m buying it without it being there.

Jason: Yeah. And I think one of the things that is so important when it comes to pre selling is to stick to all the things you promise to deliver, but then also try and over deliver wherever you can. And that doesn’t mean you have to people please like crazy and go nuts. It just means that for the, let’s say ten people buy your presell of your product or whatever, great, ten people have chosen to pay you. For every single one of those people, have some communication with them. Ask them how they did with the product. Ask them how it could have gotten better. Ask them if the results came in the way that you said that they might come. But those first buyers, you’re really never going to have those people again in that digital product journey. But they’re also going to be the most informative because they bought before this thing ever existed. They bought when it was just an idea and they believed in you. So why did they do that? And how can you make sure they get some results so that they go and then tell other people, hey, you should buy this thing?

Caroline: Yeah. And then that’s kind of the last piece of the four part puzzle. And this isn’t on our notes, but I just wanted to remind everyone, too, once you get past that first mini product, you’ve made it in terms of you’ve made the thing. You can always market it better on the back end. You can always learn better. You could transition it into a bigger product. You have so many options. But once you get past that fourth phase of this product, you are miles ahead of where you were probably right now, where you’re listening and going, I’ve just been overthinking this for a year now of like, I want to make a course, but it’s so saturated. And what’s it going to be?

Jason: Can I do a real quick Zelda Breath of The Wild metaphor?

Caroline: I would love that.

Jason: Okay, here you go. For the Zelda Breath of The Wild fans, there’s like, three of you that are listening to this.

Caroline: BOTWs.

Jason: If you don’t know what Zelda Breath of The Wild is, it’s a Nintendo Switch game. It’s amazing. The new one, Tears of The Kingdom, is coming out in a couple months. I’m so excited. When you start the game, you have no weapons. You have nothing, and you will very quickly run into Bokoblin camps. Bokoblins are just the enemies. So we’ll just say enemy camps. Now, you have no weapons. You can’t fight these enemies.

Caroline: What do you do?

Jason: You have to run away. You can’t do anything. But once you pick up your first sword, guess what you can do? You can go into enemy camps, and you can take over those camps.

Caroline: Wow.

Jason: You have, like, a whole new game you’ve unlocked. Then guess what? You pick up, like, a bow and arrow. Now you can go to a whole different level that you could never go to before. But here’s the thing. If you never pick up the sword, you’ll never get the bow and arrow. You’ll never move on to get the armor. You’ll never get Farosh’s Scale. Like, you’ll never get all the things that you need.

Caroline: You just have to focus on going and finding your first sword.

Jason: This metaphor applies to making your first digital product because as soon as you make it, you now have your first sword.

Caroline: Wow.

Jason: You can now go into…

Caroline: You have options.

Jason: Oh, wow. I could probably turn this into a different digital product. I could probably turn this into a bigger digital product. I could probably package this with someone else’s digital product. We could team up. I could include this in a bundle that people are doing. I have so many things I can now do. But guess what? If you never have a sword, you’re going to avoid all the Bokoblin camps. You’re never going to get any Farosh’s Scales.

Caroline: You’re just going to be stuck running around through the bushes looking for food.

Jason: And you’re only going to be able to pick up apples. That’s all you can do. We love picking up apples, but that’s all you can do. Anyway, it’s a silly metaphor.

Caroline: I love that metaphor, and thank you for that.

Jason: Yeah. And I do think that we are two people who have now created almost 100 resources that we have in Wandering Aimfully Unlimited as we last looked. That’s too many. No one needs to create 100. We are two people, though, so even if it was 50 per person. But I will say, with every new one that we create, we take all the experience that we’ve learned from all the previous ones. We make every new one that much better. We make every new one that much more helpful. We’re learning the new ways that people are consuming digital products and the way that we can better get them results. And for you listening to this, it just starts by having something small and helpful, and it over delivers on the promise of what someone’s paying for it, and it gets them a result. And you can then repeat that process over and over again.

Caroline: Yeah. And don’t be overwhelmed by all the opportunity. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the things you think you have to do. The big digital product brand that you need to create, the six figure online course launch that you have to do. You’re in the short term squeeze right now. You just need to build this bridge, this transition phase, and it might be a step backward before you can take three steps forward. You know that phrase?

Jason: Yes. It’s a very famous phrase. Everyone’s saying it.

Caroline: So if there’s just one mindset tip that I could give you is, like, just focus on these four things that we said in this episode. And then once you get there, that’s when you can look ahead and go, okay, now, I can really use our un-boring business framework to go through each step of that and really hone it and improve it and whatever, but just focus on getting to that first sword.

Jason: You need a PRAM. Processess, Runway, Audience, Mini product launch.

Caroline: Boom.

Jason: You need to PRAM. All right, so here at the end, we just want to give one final shout out. Because as of this episode going live, there are just a few days left for our Spring enrollment of Wandering Aimfully Unlimited, which is our program that helps freelancers just like you, if you’re listening this far, and transition to digital products. We have a slew of resources. If you’re someone who really just needs like, I need the step by step. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. How do I break this down? We have Build Without Burnout. It is a six-month locked lesson process. You can get it unlocked if you want, but it goes through literally everything that we’ve talked about in this episode. Step by step, week by week, with weeks that have breaks so you can get caught up. There’s also a fun little game board, which makes it feel a little bit like a board game, which is kind of silly.

Caroline: Yeah. And the lessons are shorter because we know you’re short on time. And so, yeah, that program inside WAIM Unlimited was really specifically built to take you through this process. And that’s what we want for you because we want more freedom for you. We want you to have more options, we want you to have more flexibility, and we only want you to work with the clients that you want to work with.

Jason: And we also want you to not feel alone in this process. And I think that for a bunch of the folks that are joining this enrollment, we’re hearing this, I mean, we’ve heard this for years, since we’ve had this program, but folks are really like, I’m just tired of hanging out in the groups where money is the only thing people care about.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: It doesn’t feel like I’m relating to anybody else. No one’s at my same stage of the journey. WAIM is a very diverse in levels of business place. And you’ll see people who are doing bigger launches, but you’ll see folks who are just launching their very first digital product as well.

Caroline: Totally. And something that we really try and aim to do inside the community.

Jason: Do we WAIM to do?

Caroline: That we WAIM to do in the community is to foster mutual respect between those levels. So we try to really hit home this point that everyone has something to teach someone else and everyone has something to learn. And just because you’re further along, you might forget some of those benefits that you had at the beginning of your journey where everything was fresh and new. And if you’re fresh and new, you can learn from the more seasoned folks. And that’s the beauty of having a more kind of broad, general, diverse community.

Jason: So if you want to join our WAIM Unlimited program, un-boring coaching every single month, check it out at And just as a quick reminder, you will save 30% on the price that WAIM will be in 2024 because we are raising the price in 2024 for the very first time. So if you join this enrollment or our Fall enrollment, you will save some moolah, which is always good. and that’s it for this episode.

Caroline: And we hope this episode was helpful. We are in a season of business right now where we’re just like loving business. All the ideas.

Jason: So many things.

Caroline: All the passion, all the excitement. We hope you can hear it in the content that we are putting out there. If you made it to this very end of this episode, you are…

Jason: You’re in our pasture. You’re in our audience pasture. You’re just grazing on some grass.

Caroline: I want you to know you’re not captive.

Jason: No.

Caroline: I want you to know that.

Jason: It’s just so big and open. You can go wherever you want.

Caroline: But you’re here and we love that about you.

Jason: There is a fence though.

Caroline: What? It’s like an electric fence.

Jason: Oh my gosh. Okay, this is getting weird here.

Caroline: It got weird.

Jason: There’s no fence.

Caroline: If you made it this far, though, you know we’re weird. You know what I mean?

Jason: But there is a fence.

Caroline: There’s never a fence.

Jason: You’ll never find it. Okay, bye.

162 – Our “PRAM” Framework To Transition To Digital Products

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Making the shift to digital products does NOT happen overnight, but having a scalable profit model that gives you more freedom IS POSSIBLE!


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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