Up to this point in your creative business, you may have served customers through physical products or services only. But you’re probably at the point where you need some time back in your life. Creating digital products—that help your audience to solve some sort of problem and that’s also related to your niche—is a great way to eventually get that time back.
(Note: I did say eventually because it can take some time to gain traction with digital products. But more on that later.)
One of the first roadblocks that many people face when they want to start creating digital products is what you should create. You can create an ebook, course, digital worksheets, templates, workshops, and so much more. There are many options when it comes to digital products that it can start to become overwhelming.
In this post, though, I’m sharing with you ten fun ways to brainstorm your next digital product. Because business and brainstorming should be fun, right?
With that said, let’s dive in, shall we?
Create a FUN brainstorming atmosphere
When you’re ready to sit down and plan out your first or next digital product, you can take ten or fifteen minutes beforehand to really create a fun atmosphere. Atmosphere is everything when it comes to getting those creative juices flowing.
You might want to turn on your favorite music playlist (I love Vitamin String Quartet because I can listen to popular songs without the words to distract me), bring out your favorite snacks, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and do whatever else you need to do to make a fun atmosphere.
I usually like to sit down and brainstorm for about an hour to brainstorm, at least, so do whatever you can to make your surrounding comfortable.
Get a big artist pad and some fun crafty supplies and scribble out your ideas
You could also use a big whiteboard if that works better for you. But basically you want something that will give you enough room to scribble out all of your ideas without feeling confined to a small sheet of paper and without feeling like it has to look perfect. The first time I wrote out my ideas on a big artist sketch pad I wondered why I hadn’t done it before. It was very freeing!
I was able to write out lists, connect one idea to another, cross things out, and basically have fun without feeling restricted. I totally recommend doing this whenever you have a big planning sesh of any kind.
Make it a co-work sesh with a business buddy
Everything is better with friends, right? I love getting on a call with my business bestie and chatting through some of my ideas. If you just want accountability, you can work quietly while the other person is live with you and check-in to make sure you’re actually getting work done. This simple trick can help you be more productive (since someone is there holding you to whatever you’ve committed to).
Or you can have a virtual brainstorming/craft party and invite several friends. Call it a brainstorm par-tay! :) Whatever works and whatever helps you to sit down and really brainstorm.
Take your brainstorming session to your favorite place
You might want to bring it to your favorite cafe or coffee shop. Or maybe you’d want to take your brainstorming session to the local library or park. By moving from your typical workspace and moving it to another place that inspires you, your brain will suddenly feel a lot more creative. This is one of the absolute best things that you can do to spark some creative inspiration. This could help you to come up with a ton of ideas, alone.
Make a Pinterest board with all of your ideas
This might seem super obvious but sometimes we forget to try the obvious things like making a board on Pinterest. Adding ideas to a Pinterest board allows you to get a visual of what’s going on in your head. It can also be a great way to collect ideas of what others are doing, so you can use those things as a springboard later.
When you collect ideas, you’re not copying, btw. You’re seeing what exists in the world and then figuring out how you can create your own thing with your own unique twist.
Use creative techniques that make the planning process oh-so-much fun
Like storyboarding, for instance. Have I ever tried to use storyboarding to come up with a digital product? No, not yet. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t spark something for you. Storyboarding would be great to plan out an ebook or a course, though. So it’s worth a shot.
Mindmapping on the other hand, I tend to use mindmaps when brainstorming, on the regular. Using mindmaps can be really helpful, especially when brainstorming digital products that you should make. You can write down typical problems that you know your ideal audience struggles with on a consistent basis, and then draw ideas off of that one central idea.
Another great creative technique is crowdsourcing for ideas. You could go into a Facebook group, for instance, and put up a poll to see what people are looking for. You can use the polls feature on Instagram Stories. Just simply asking people for feedback and seeing what they really need is a great way to come up with ideas. You don’t even have to do all the work!
Set a timer and write out your ideas rapid-fire until the timer goes off
Using the Pomodoro technique has really done wonders for my business. Once I turn on a timer, it’s amazing how much I can get done. Really, it’s just the act of committing to something and saying that you’re going to finish it in a specific timeframe that helps you to actually get that thing done.
If you find it difficult to start things because you’re worried that you don’t know everything yet, or that you’re not going to come up with any good ideas, etc., then I challenge you to try this technique. Set the timer for 25 minutes or an hour and just write down as many ideas as you can without editing yourself.
Get creative with your research
Go to the bookstore and look at magazines. Use YouTube to come up with your ideas. Read a blog post or a book for 20 minutes and then write out whatever ideas come to your head as a result. This is really just an opportunity for you to think outside of the box and do something fun and unique when it comes to the research portion of the brainstorm. I’ve been able to come up with sooo many ideas this way.
Spend 15 minutes each morning brainstorming instead of trying to do it all at once
By breaking up your brainstorming session, you won’t feel the pressure of having to arrive at the perfect idea (and then sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper for more time than you really have in your day). You can, instead, make your goal to brainstorm a few digital product ideas while you drink your morning coffee. It will feel less like work and more like play, which takes the pressure off and helps get the creative juices going. You can give yourself a week or two of these morning sessions to come up with your next digital product idea.
Break out your craft supplies
Sometimes you just need paints, crayons, color pencils, or to bring out your camera. Instead of writing your ideas out, you can instead paint your ideas or maybe draw your ideas out. By treating your brainstorming session this way, you can really have fun and make it seem less like work. Turning what might feel like a daunting task into something fun might just be the thing you need to get this part done.
When you’re stuck working more on client work or filling orders, creating passive income with digital products can feel like the light leading you home. But when you sit down to make a plan, it might feel overwhelming (especially if you’ve never done it before). I challenge you to just sit down and have a good time. Come up with ideas that sound exciting, even if they seem out there. Even if you feel like there’s no way that you can do that. Just throw the ideas out there and then later you can decide how you want to move forward.
AND to help you get this process started, I’ve created a free download to help you with the next step. My Digital Product Brainstorm Worksheets will help you to narrow down those ideas into the logical things that make the most sense moving forward. You can download the worksheets by filling out the form below.