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LMScast with Chris Badgett

LMScast is a podcast for innovators like you in the WordPress LMS e-learning community. LMScast is produced by Chris Badgett, part of the team behind the #1 WordPress LMS plugin called lifterLMS. Each episode brings you valuable insights with one goal: to help you generate more income and impact through a learning management system built on WordPress. LMScast is for you the entrepreneur, the teacher, the expert, or the online marketer.

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How to Launch Your Online Course the Easy Way with brandiD’s Course Maker Pro, WP Engine, and LifterLMS

Learn how to launch your online course the easy way with Course Maker Pro, WP Engine, and LifterLMS in this episode of LMScast featuring David Vogelpohl from WP Engine and Rachel Gogos from brandiD and the Course Maker Pro theme. In this episode Chris Badgett, David, and Rachel discuss how you can launch your online course the easy way and get the tech aspect of your site working easily. We talk a lot about the five hats problem at LifterLMS. The five hats of course building are that you need to be a technologist, an entrepreneur, a teacher, an expert, and a community builder when building a successful online course. Often course creators get stuck working on the technology and are not able to devote enough time to making sure the other aspects of the program are there. While hosting can be one of the complicated aspects of course building, WP Engine makes the process of getting your website set up super easy by having a simple user interface along with live technical support. David, Rachel, and Chris have done extensive work with WP Engine as a hosting provider, and it is definitely a host recommended to course creators working with LifterLMS. Course Maker Pro is a child theme of the Genesis theme. The Genesis framework is a way of building WordPress themes that are fast in performance, and there are many companies that build and sell themes based on this framework. WP Engine acquired the Genesis theme and has been striving to integrate very well with the robust framework. In Rachel’s work in her digital agency, she had been working a lot with online course websites, and eventually decided that course creators needed a Genesis theme that was tailored to work for them out of the box. That’s why they developed the Course Maker Pro theme. To learn more about David Vogelpohl and WP Engine be sure to head to WPEngine.com. David also has a podcast where he has someone on from the WordPress community every week to discuss issues and solutions in the space. You can find that at WebmasterRadio.fm. You can find Rachel Gogos over at the Course Maker Pro theme. Also, you can find Rachel’s special offer of the Course Maker Pro Copywriting Guide Bundle, and you can get the 50% off the coupon code for that and some personal branding goodies here. You can also get in touch with them via email if you have any questions.  At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m Chris Badgett, and today I’m joined by two special guests, David Vogelpohl from WP Engine and Rachel Gogos from the brandiD and also behind the Course Maker Pro theme. Welcome to the show, you guys. Rachel Gogos: Hey, Chris, thanks so much for having us today. David V.: Absolutely, thanks, Chris. Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s great to have you guys, I’m super excited. We’re going to be talking about how to launch your online course the easy way, and one of the things we see in our space is that there’s a lot of tech pieces that course creators need to get right and stuff they need to set up that isn’t necessarily super easy. I talk about a lot on this, on this podcast about what we call the five hats problem, which is to be a successful education entrepreneur, you need to be five people at once. So you have to be a technologist, an entrepreneur, a teacher, an expert, and a community builder. And oftentimes people get stuck in the weeds on the technology and then they’re unable to execute on the other hats. Chris Badgett: So I’m really excited about this because WP Engine, managed WordPress hosting, I’ve been using for a long time. We used to do a productized service where we would build Lifter sites on it and do transferable installs. I used WP Engine myself for some projects, and then even in the very beginning of LifterLMS for our original demo, we actually demoed on the Genesis framework. So we have a long history with you guys and I’m really excited to get into how people can make the technology part a lot easier by choosing a good stack to get started with. So, David, I want to start with you, what makes WP Engine awesome? David V.: So from my perspective, I think most people come to WP Engine first for performance. We spend a lot of time investing in our infrastructure, making sure our caching and traffic routing roles are optimized and supporting our customers with helping make sure their sites are configured to take full advantage of things like our caching. So I’d say that’s one thing that makes us special, but I think once they come on board, I think the other thing a lot of people will gravitate around are our development tools and how they support our customers get work done quickly. And it’s not always, of course, the super nerds that are able to take advantage of that because a lot of the features in WP Engine also make it easier for people to manage sites. For example, we have an auto-updater for plugins that will do automated visual regression testing. David V.: So you’re able to kind of punch above your weight on the technology side, as well. And I guess the last thing would be support. We have an award-winning support group consistently scoring in the high 80s for what’s called the net promoter score. It’s the way you measure how successful a support group is and because our support is only focused on WordPress, that allows them to specialize and go above and beyond what you might normally experience if you’re with a platform that’s also doing email and Drupal and other kinds of CMS. So that’s what I think about when I think about what makes WP Engine special. Chris Badgett: Well, I’m going to brag a little bit too, because what I love about WP Engine and especially for course creators is the website is the business, it’s not just a brochure. I mean that’s fine, but it’s really mission-critical and it needs more horsepower because it’s not like a simple static site. And the backup features, the restore features, the staging site features, the clone the website features. It’s incredible and I’ve done research into customer support into other companies, I talk to people, customers, but also just other users in the WordPress space, like, “Who do you love from a support perspective?” And WP Engine will often come up and a lot of times they reference, I just mentioned the technical stack stuff, but they will mention the chat support and that ability to really get to somebody quick and have high-quality support. Chris Badgett: It’s amazing, I mean, I’ve had some WP Engine things where it’s usually stuff I messed up and I go to chat and I’m resolved in like five minutes. Which, you guys set the bar really high in terms of doing that in a chat, more like live situation, not just the traditional ticket situation, so my hats off to- David V.: [crosstalk] we use our chat support quite often, [crosstalk] features there like staging, and I think for people with a low technology ability or knowledge, things like having a staging instance of your website can seem a bit like The Matrix, “I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to push data back and forth between staging and production.” So platforms like WP Engine will make that easy for you by giving you buttons to color on your site and staging and a button to push those changes live to your website. So instead of cowboy coding on your live website, you can leverage kind of advanced workflows without necessarily having to be advanced. Chris Badgett: Yeah, I think that’s a great way to say it, and you protect the customer from themselves. So like if you’re running a bunch of updates or whatever and you mess something up, even if somebody doesn’t know. Well, first of all, there’s an alert like, “Do you want to run a restore point?” Or whatever you guys call it- David V.: Yeah, backup. When you install a plugin or make major changes in WP, admin will pop something up to remind you, and then we also do daily backups. As a matter of fact, I messed up one of my sites earlier this week, I installed a plugin, it caused basically the whole site to go down. This was one of my personal sites, It wasn’t that important. But I just popped into the backups, restored it, and then I was back up and going in minutes. Chris Badgett: Yeah, you protect us from ourselves, which is really amazing and part of the LifterLMS audience, we do have a crew of people who build membership sites, online course sites for clients. And just the ability to do the staging and the transferable install, I see people talking about it and using WP Engine as really a workhorse in their services stack. So it’s just awesome. Could you tell us just a little bit about just the benefits … Or I guess I would say the question is what is managed WordPress hosting? What does that mean to WP Engine? David V.: Sure. Yeah, just for those listening, I have run an agency, I ran one for five years, a WordPress agency. We built a ton of course sites and for those doing that, I’ve done that many, many, many times. So, I was also a partner and customer of WP Engine during those days, and the way that I used it was as we built a site for the customer, depending on how your agency or freelance business works, you might want to show the customer the site on a staging instance that you control. A lot of people won’t want to transfer the code to the customer until the final bill is paid. And if you’ve ever gone through collections on an agency customer, that can be very hard, especially if you’ve already delivered the asset to them. So what our customers do is they’ll leverage a feature called transferable installs. Agencies and freelancers actually get a free account on WP Engine and they can use as many of these transferable installs as they want to stage their client work. David V.: So you can build the site, stage it up on your own account, show the client, have them check off, say, “Yup, that’s what I wanted.” And then if you want to tie it in billing, that’s fine. But once you feel comfortable, they’ve paid that final bill or will, then you can transfer the site to them. For the novice customer who’s not super technical, this is actually very helpful because what they do is they get an email. If they are a WP Engine customer, it will essentially transfer that site to their account. And if they’re not a customer, they can sign up and then the first install on their account is the one that you transfer to them. So this is super helpful, I think from two ways, the staging side and then also being able to transfer the asset to the customer without having to necessarily go in and immediately get their SFTP settings or other types of things that a non-technical customer might be challenged to get you. David V.: I remember we’d go weeks at a time trying to get the customer to get us the right access level to their account, either here or anywhere else, any other host. So this is one way that makes that a little bit easier. So those are some of the ways I think agencies, in particular, use our platform for that. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, and just a couple more questions before we switch over to start talking about the Course Maker Pro theme. One of the things I learned from WP Engine and correct me if this has changed, but you guys don’t offer email hosting and that’s what I remember at the time. So when we recommend WP Engine we’re like, “You should use Google Apps for email.” And that’s really what I’ve found over time, about 10 years in this industry is, it’s kind of smart to decouple email from your web hosting and Gmail, Google knows how to do email pretty well and it’s only $5 a month per user. Is that still the case with you guys? [crosstalk 00:10:40]. David V.: Yeah, we don’t host email, G Suite is an excellent choice. What I’ve done also in the past is some people will register their domain and the domain registrar will also offer email services. WP Engine, our CEO, Heather Brunner, has the saying, “Where there’s focus, there’s progress.” So as we think about our engineering group, our support group, any element of our business, by staying focused on WordPress, it allows us to excel in that area. I remember when I joined the company as an employee back in 2015, my agency also serviced WP Engine as a vendor during that time. But when I officially joined in 2015 we have something called NEO, New Employee Orientation, and we had a bunch of people in there that had experienced doing support at hosting. But at hosts where they also did email and things like that, and when they learned in that new employee orientation that they didn’t have to do email, it was like, “Oh, thank goodness.” David V.: But that’s just a whole set of mind share, not just from the supplier perspective, but the technology perspective. Those that support our customers with their accounts, all of those things and can be highly tuned. So I know if you’re used to having email and you come to a platform like WP Engine that doesn’t offer it and there’s a bunch that don’t offer email. That can be maybe a little shocking like you’re used to seeing it with your host, but the benefit to you is that you’re choosing a vendor that’s exclusively focused on WordPress and then you can leverage G Suite or perhaps your domain registrar’s email service to satisfy the email requirement. I think the other big benefit is that if your website were to go down on WP Engine or wherever you choose to host your website, if your email is separate from that, chances are your email may still be up. Or if your email goes down, your website will still be up. So by diversifying your services, you’re able to kind of hedge your bets should something bad happen to either your website or your email. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, and one more question just in watching WP Engine over the years, I love that quote you said, “Where there’s focus, there’s progress.” You all have a great way of innovating and maintaining focus and picking the next move. Could you talk a little bit, and also just to inspire the course creators out there, they often have a lot of options and sometimes it’s hard to focus on the roadmap of like, “Where do we go, what do we do next?” How does WP Engine do that, and maybe couch that in with the decision to get into acquiring StudioPress and helping them on the theme side a little bit? How do you guys innovate and roadmap and what’s up with the focus on themes, as well? David V.: Sure. I think there’s two parts to that, the first is to be comfortable with ambiguity. Technology changes very quickly, opportunities present themselves very quickly and you have to be able to be flexible to be able to pursue those things. At the same time, having focus and having a direction at least in the short term, the next quarter or the next year, maybe even the next two years can help make sure that you’re not taking on too much for what you’re trying to tackle in your business or your technology. The opportunity with acquiring StudioPress and with that, the Genesis framework was a fantastic opportunity for us. I mentioned previously I ran a business, a marketing and development agency and we were actually a Genesis focused agency. David V.: For those unfamiliar, Genesis is a way of building WordPress themes, fast performance WordPress themes and then people will use Genesis to make what are called premium themes. I’m sure you’ve all aware of that and of course, that’s what we’re talking about here today with Course Maker. But first again, be comfortable with ambiguity but also have your eye on the end goal and have the discipline to stay focused on that. The other thing, as you’re trying to think about, “Well, what should I do?” I think the common is to, “Go ask my customers.” And that’s exactly what we did after the acquisition of Genesis. David V.: And one of the first pieces of feedback we got that came over and over again in these interviews was that “Setting up a WordPress site is hard. Setting up a premium theme is hard, There’s a list of instructions, it could take me hours, days, maybe even weeks to get that demo content loaded so I could start editing it.” So almost immediately after the acquisition, we added what’s called one-click theme setup into Genesis’ core and in the StudioPress side, we started adding those capabilities to our themes. And then partners like brandiD, of course, making Course Maker Pro have leveraged that in their themes. So the benefit to the end-user there is basically the demo content, complimentary necessary plugins like LifterLMS are loaded with that setup and you’re able to start editing beautiful block-based demo content in about 30 seconds. It’s insane how quickly you go from, “I installed this theme and it looks nothing like the demo.” To, “It looks exactly like the demo and it’s easy to edit.” And to have all of that happen in 30 seconds. David V.: So we know this was a fundamental issue for people with WordPress and themes in general, I call this the most annoying problem on the internet, “I installed my theme, it looks nothing like the demo.” So it made sense that that was a direction to go. But hearing that feedback be repeated over and over again from customers made it very clear for us that that was a value we wanted to deliver. And since delivering that, watching folks like brandiD and others take advantage of that to make their customers and just people, in general, using WordPress have a more delightful experience. It’s really fun and special to watch. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, I really appreciate that, and I want to go over to you, Rachel with the theme that we’re talking about here is called Course Maker Pro, it’s a Genesis child theme. You can take a look at that at buildmybrandid.com, where did this theme start? Like why did you guys decide to build this theme? Rachel Gogos: So in our work as a digital agency, we often help people really grow and expand their personal brands. And one of the common things we do is help them build courses around the substance, the content that they already have. So we just found that there was a need and kind of a hole in the marketplace for a Genesis theme that actually was designed to work ideally with a course creator. So that’s why we actually developed this a couple of years ago and we did a significant rebrand and then connected with Lifter and integrated the plugin right into the theme in the last couple of months. Chris Badgett: And David kind of touched on it, but can you touch on it a little more just for people who aren’t familiar with Genesis like Course Maker Pro is a Genesis child theme, what does that kind of mean in the stack of the website? Rachel Gogos: Yeah, so the way I always describe it to our clients who are often not technical is if you want to power your WordPress website with a Mercedes engine, then you want to use Genesis and the child themes are basically customizations of your Mercedes car. This is kind of like the most layman’s way to describe it and I find that that works pretty well with our customers. But it’s a theme, the child themes all support the Genesis framework, and they’re built on the StudioPress platform. Which is another brand, but also just part of the big umbrella that WP Engine owns. Chris Badgett: That is awesome, and can you tell us more about just the market you serve? You were talking about people building their personal brand, making courses as an extension, what else are these people doing? Tell us more about if somebody is really stepping into that, “I want to build a personal brand.” What are all these people doing in addition to courses? Rachel Gogos: Sure. So a lot of our clients tend to be innovators, thought leaders, experts in a particular area. Maybe they worked at a university as a professor, but they no longer wanted to work in academia or they may have been a professional athlete or just a variety of industries and backgrounds are people that we work with. But they want to leave what they’ve done in a more traditional setting. So maybe more of a brick and mortar where they get up and travel to a nine to five and really be able to scale their reach and amplify their brand. So aside from building courses, oftentimes people provide consulting services or speaking, they position themselves as a speaker or authors. And the nice thing with courses is … Excuse me, I have a cold. You can leverage your course content in a book, right? And declare yourself as an author, you can also take that same course content and repurpose it into a keynote speech or a workshop and all of a sudden start collecting fees and another revenue model is workshops or speaking. So it’s a great way to expand your intellectual property, grow your audience and serve lots more people. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I know we were wearing our technology hat here, but Rachel went into instructional design a little bit where if you focus not just on being an expert, there’s this issue called expertitis where we can’t read the label from inside the bottle. But if you focus on a process and a transformation that has a clear starting line and a finish line and a clear promise and a clear opportunity. That content or that method can be courseified, or put in a book or it becomes a structure that you present in a keynote and all those things can support each other. Which is more manageable than feeling like you’ve got to invent something new every time you go to a new media format. So that’s super cool. Tell us a little bit more about your relationship with WP Engine and how you guys work together? Rachel Gogos: Okay, so we’ve been WP Engine clients for I think the last four years. We host our own websites, but we also host a lot of our client websites and also support them through additional maintenance. That’s one relationship we have with WP Engine. The other relationship is this partnership in providing premium themes built on the Genesis platform. And that’s been a whole lot of fun, especially since WP Engine acquired Genesis because they are really putting so much effort into the themes and really promoting them. Which for your audience, Chris is great because of this one-click install technology, it’s just making WordPress way more accessible to someone who is not typically as technical in nature, has a significant technical background. Chris Badgett: I love that. I call that moving the starting line because if people can just start further along and everything’s already ready to go, it’s very different from a white screen and the default WordPress install or whatever. So that’s really amazing, for the people who listen to this show who do LMS sites for clients, you mentioned you provide hosting on WP Engine. How do you do that as an agency? How do you do that with your client? Do you just provide hosting so they can have a hands-off experience and you deal with all that part or do you just interface with WP Engine on their behalf or how does that work? Rachel Gogos: So we basically have a large hosting account within WP Engine’s platform, and if we build a site for a client, we offer them the opportunity to host on WP Engine by basically purchasing a little piece of our real estate. So aside from the amazing services WP Engine provides, we also go into our client websites with one of our developers, a live human and they actually test all the forms, any opt-ins, any links, whenever software updates are done. And we also email our client through their contact form just to make sure that that’s working and just send them a message and kind of check-in on them and see if they need any other help. So we believe the combination of WP Engine’s amazing technology with our live human behind it is just a winning way to work. And it’s just one less headache for again, a more non-techy client to have to worry about their software updates and worry if things are working. Rachel Gogos: And I’d say the biggest benefit of what we provide is if those software updates cause a website to look out of whack on the front end, so the more custom a site is, the more potential there is for that to happen, then we fix it to look exactly as it did pre-update at no additional cost. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. One of the ways we solve the five hats problem is we don’t do it alone and by getting help from an agency like yourself, it can free people up to focus on the other hats. Rachel Gogos: Exactly. Chris Badgett: I want to talk about just with both of you, the ecosystem for a little bit. It seems as WordPress continues to mature, it feels like we’re entering into more of a collaborative era. Like here we are three companies on a podcast serving the same customer, trying to figure out how do we remove friction? So I just wanted to open up a discussion about that. Like, how do you all see collaboration in the technology space? Where are we coming from and where are we heading? Rachel Gogos: Mm-hmm (affirmative). David V.: I guess I’ll take a stab at that. I mean, WordPress certainly is kind of an open operating system if you would for the web. And what that means is that it’s open-source, of course, you can see the code, you can contribute or build your own code on top of that and others can as well. So I think anyone building a WordPress site experiences this. You might choose Yoast for SEO, you might choose Genesis for your theme, you might choose Beaver Builder even for your page builder or you might be leveraging the core block editor like Course Maker Pro does. But the point is that you get to choose what is best for your website and best for your business. Now as you stitch all of these things together, it’s often helpful that those technology providers work together to make sure that their products help you as the user achieve your objective. David V.: So if they don’t play nice together and break, that’s not helping you achieve your objective. And one of the things I enjoyed about working with you all on this particular project is that our objective was to reduce friction. And in reducing friction, accelerate time to market, and hopefully for those using these products together, leads to a faster financial outcome and hopefully to help fuel the business. So that’s roughly how I think about the ecosystem and how technology providers play together within it. Rachel, how do you think about that? Rachel Gogos: Yeah, no, that’s a great response. Back to the quote you mentioned from Heather about the importance of focusing on what we’re all really good at. I would say that’s another big piece of the collaboration is working on our theme is one of our amazing designers named Veronica who created first, a design in Photoshop that is very strategic, and really positioning a person as an authority. Not only visually, but also the way that design sort of unfold from the top of the homepage down to the bottom of the homepage. So there’s a highly trained designer behind that, then we have a copywriter, right? Which I often play the role. For this theme, again, there’s a lot of strategic thinking behind how do we unfold the words from the top of the homepage to the bottom of the homepage to get that conversion to happen right at the right points on the site? Rachel Gogos: And then again from our team, Alex Mustin is the developer of this theme. The combination of our talents with WP Engine’s talents and Chris and his team’s and Lifter’s talents I think is what makes this a really unique collaboration. Because it would be difficult for each of us to have experts in all those areas on our team to produce something like this. And the other is, I think it’s way more fun to collaborate, right? Like whether you’re a big company like WP Engine or smaller companies like Chris’ and mine. I know that we all enjoy collaborating and creating that sense of community and figuring out how we can make our individual products even stronger by combining them. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean community is definitely the theme of WordPress and in Lifter, we wanted to solve some all-in-one issues of people used to get a membership plugin for that, a gamification or engagement plugin for this, a course thing for this, and e-commerce thing for this. So we wanted to build an all-in-one solution, but you never really can be all-in-one. I mean it’s pushing the boulder up the hill that keeps rolling back. You can solve problems and move the starting line, and reduce friction, but really it takes a team of teams these days. Chris Badgett: It’s all about the network and stuff like that, and like you mentioned, Rachel, about Alex. I remember he came through our a developer Slack channel and was working with Thomas, my business partner to help do stuff that they want to do with the Course Maker Pro theme. And I just love seeing that collaboration and seeing what you guys do, David, with your solution center and you just clearly have a commitment to the customer and it’s not a winner take all mindset. It’s like a, “How do we win together?” David V.: Yeah, it’s interesting, as we engage with various companies and agencies that have yet to adopt WordPress, it’s really interesting to see their transition into how an open platform works. And what I personally see when I’m involved there is they’ll have a list of things, “I want the CMS to do this, that or the other. Do you integrate with this technology partner or that technology partner?” And of course, in the WordPress world, especially when complementing with plugins, the answer’s yes to all of the things. And if it is no to any particular thing, then, of course, you can, if you have the resources, create a custom plugin to achieve X, Y, or Z. So when people come to us and they say, “Does WordPress do this or does WP Engine do that?” Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes there’s a plugin, sometimes the answer’s no. But the point is that they get to choose what’s important for their business. David V.: So unlike closed platforms where you’re kind of bolted down to this way or the other of doing things, assuming what you want to do is even provided, it’s a shift in mindset to an open platform. And I think if you’re going to participate in an open community and an open technology stack, you have to be real with yourself and have pride in the things you make and do your best to deliver that value. But to recognize that sometimes people are going to choose a path that’s better for them that might use a different plugin, a different theme, even a different host. And I find this really exciting and inspiring to participate in a community like that where you’re not just trying to shove all of these square pegs into round holes. But rather to participate in a way that allows people to customize their content management system in a way that serves their business, not to customize your business in a way that serves your content management system. Chris Badgett: Yeah, very well said, and when it comes to just a thing about WP Engine and like you were saying, people can start at different places. For some people, they want to start with the economical hosts, I say before you do that, think about some of the things you might need to add like a backup solution or a staging solution and all of a sudden they can end up close at the same price point. And the same with your theme, Rachel, Course Maker Pro. If it doesn’t have some features that can make the most out of the plugins you want to use, sometimes it can actually take you longer to get where you want to go. And I love how you guys are, you’re incorporating copywriting and helping remove friction there as well. Chris Badgett: Because we’re helping people who aren’t necessarily strong technologists move forward with tech and maybe marketing isn’t the strong suit, helping them move forward with the tech and getting things converting and getting their business moving. Because really the education entrepreneur out there is going to have different levels of skill across the five hats. So on the technology side here, we’re all in the friction removal business. David, you a podcast, could you tell us about it real quick? Sure. David V.: It’s called Press This, actually Joost de Valk was the original host of that podcast and then after he stepped back, it’s actually on webmaster radio, if you go to webmasterradio.fm, you’ll see it listed there on the left side. Just click on that link and you can see some of the episodes and basically every week I have someone on the show from WordPress community and I try to learn a little bit myself and then to do that in a context where others can learn, as well. If you’ve ever thought about podcasting to support, especially if you’re in the kind of learning management or course business, it can be a really neat way, of course, to create new content. But what I find most valuable about doing a podcast is all the people I meet and all the people I learn, I actually rarely obsess about subscriber accounts or listeners or anything like that. I find the most value in learning new things and getting to know new people. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, and Rachel is over at the Course Maker Pro theme. You can find that buildmybrandid.com. Anything else you want to tell us Rachel about brandiD and how they can best get in touch and connect? Rachel Gogos: Sure. Well, one thing, I do want to share those copywriting guides. There’s actually a template that maps directly to the Course Maker Pro homepage, about page and work with me or services kind of page. We sell a copywriting bundle, but we want to provide a coupon code, Chris, to your audience. So I’ll get that together on the backend and share that with you. Maybe we can share it on the Facebook page so they can download those at a deep discount. And in terms of getting in touch with brandiD, the best email to use is info@thebrandid.com and buildmybrandiD is our personal brand hub. So for anyone who really wants to invest time in identifying and building their personal brand, there’s some other really cool resources on there that they can just kind of DIY, right? Rachel Gogos: There’s a course, there’s a book and a couple other tools like that. So if they want to do kind of that deeper introspective work before launching their business or even after they have, it can only enhance their ability to get more revenue and reach more people. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. And also go check out WP Engine and they got a phone number, they got chat, they’re easy to get ahold of. I’m Chris Badgett from LifterLMS. I want to thank David Vogelpohl from WP Engine for coming today. Check out his podcast, Press This and Rachel Gogos from brandiD, the Course Maker Pro theme. You’re also going to see us do a webinar where we actually get into the theme and do some more looking at what it does and what it looks like. So keep an eye on your inbox for more information like that. I want to thank you all for coming on the show. Thank you, everybody, who came to attend live, and I hope everybody has a great rest of your day. Rachel Gogos: Thanks, Chris, you too. David V.: Thanks, Chris. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet. The post How to Launch Your Online Course the Easy Way with brandiD’s Course Maker Pro, WP Engine, and LifterLMS appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


10 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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How to Animate Your Lesson Videos with eLearning Video Creator Kim Merritt

Learn how to animate your lesson videos with eLearning video Creator Kim Merritt of the TheUrlDr.com. Kim is an expert in online marketing who works in the eLearning development space. Chris Badgett from LifterLMS has a great conversation with Kim in this episode about effective marketing for online course sites. With course creation and marketing, there are a lot of technical aspects that can appear daunting when looking in from the outside. In this episode Kim breaks down her process of animation for educational content, and what areas are crucial to this process. Kim first got started with animation about 5 years ago when she was working on creating courses for her clients to teach them how to handle their online marketing. Her clients loved her presentation style with how she animates videos, and they hired her to create the same things for them. The talking head is a common video style many online course creators use. But if you don’t have a process to show on screen or a product to display, then students won’t want to watch the video. Kim talks about a strategy where you can use animation and the talking head strategy in tandem to create visually engaging content. Even running through a PowerPoint can be disengaging to learners if you stay on the same slide for three to five minutes. When people are interested in what is happening on the screen, it is a lot easier for them to retain that information. Kim shares insights on the merits that splicing video and animation together can have for branding. Mixing in live footage with animation and other visuals improves the entertainment aspect of your courses as well. This is a huge factor for internal training content, because the learners are not intrinsically motivated to learn about that. If you’re interested in working with Kim, there are plenty of ways to stay connected with her and get in touch. Be sure to head to TheUrlDr.com to check out Kim’s work. You can find her on the LMS experts page at LifterLMS.com/Experts, and you can email her. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. You can subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us. EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom, LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Kim Merritt. She’s built websites, she’s an expert in online marketing, she has worked with E-learning development, and also makes incredible videos with animation. You can find her at theurldr, that’s T-H-E-U-R-L-D-R.com. Welcome to the show, Kim. Kim Merritt: Thank you. Chris Badgett: It’s awesome to have you. You have a broad array of experience that is really relevant of course creators. I wanna start by getting into creating effective animated videos. Like, how do you do that? Like, what’s the process to make a lesson concept, and turn it into an animated video? And, why should people even think about doing that? Kim Merritt: Well, so I got started with the animation about four to five years ago, and I was creating my own series of online courses for my own clients to teach them how to do their own online marketing, and how to do certain things with WordPress, and with the particular a WordPress theme that I use, so I created a, I think my catalog is like 450 videos, but, unless you’re doing a recorded screen of actually walking somebody through it, or unless you have a product that you can pick up, and hold, and touch, you’ve gotta come up with visuals. Well, what do you do for that? Live face to face stuff is fine, but who wants to stare at somebody’s face for 15, 20 minutes? I mean, that gets really boring. So, I started using, at that point it was GoAnimate, which is an online animation program that is very easy to use, and it’s kinda really made for anybody. You don’t have to have any special training in animation, started using that to come up with visuals for my own set of E-learning classes for my clients, and, of course, my client’s started seeing what I was doing, and said, “Hey, can you do that for us?” And, it kind of went, just kind of snowballed from there. I mean, I started doing commercials, and all different types of things for social media, and then, of course, the bulk of it is for E-learning, because the animation really lends itself that particular system which is now the Vyond, V-Y-O-N-D.com. That system has thousands of props, and hundreds of characters, and you can create your own characters, and there’s hundreds of scenes that you can really visualize just about anything, and lends itself very well to whatever the client is. I mean, I’ve done stuff for the banking and finance industry, I’ve done it for healthcare, I’ve done it for retail, all different types of things, and it just really kind of gives a visual that your learner, whether it’s a client that you’re trying to pick up, whether it’s an employee that you’re trying to train in something, or even a customer, it holds their attention, and really has great ability to let somebody interact with what you’re trying to teach them very easily and inexpensively. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Yeah. I think it’s important to think beyond the talking head, or the screen share. Like, there’s this whole other world of animation. Kim Merritt: Yeah. I mean, when I look at somebody who’s done just a recorded PowerPoint, I mean, yeah I love PowerPoint, but oh my God. The thing that people forget is, you cannot have the same static image be on the screen for three, and four, and five minutes. Not if you wanna hold the viewer’s attention, and you can’t use one screen that’s got, basically, you’re just reading it. Forget it, that doesn’t work, or all this text, and content that just is not gonna keep somebody’s attention, where animation, it moves, and you can change it frequently, and you can have … I mean, yes there’s certain animated points to PowerPoint, but animation itself is a completely different ball game, and it’s just so much more engaging, and entertaining to watch, and the people who are watching will retain it better when they’re interested in what’s going on, on the screen. Chris Badgett: That’s an excellent point. At LifterLMS we have all different types of course creators. There’s people who are creating courses from their expertise to sell for money, there are like schools who are doing blended learning, university professors are using it, and corporations are using it to train their people, and when I see a lot of the internal training as it’s called LMS’s, I think they’re really prime candidate for animation. Like, I’ve seen some of yours where, like if you’re doing basic employee onboarding, or say kinda HR videos, or continuing education requirements, or beginning in this role, this is how you do this job, whatever it is. Animation’s great, so like set the scene, and like show all these good examples, and bad examples. Can you elaborate on that? Kim Merritt: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I’ve got a client right now that I am … He is an expert in sexual harassment training for companies, and there’re certain states now that are requiring by law that their employees go through some kind of training for sexual harassment and bullying, so I’m doing a course for him, and what we’re doing in his course, and I’m starting to do more, and more of this is that, he’s giving me a whole series of video that’s been shot of him actually giving the course so I can see his face, and he’s talking to the learner, but we’re splicing in and out animation, so you’re not seeing just his face for 15, for eight minutes, or for 15 minutes, or however long, we’re cutting in and out, so he’s talking about something, and then, we cut to an animation scene, and it actually shows what he’s talking about, and then, we cut back to him, and then we cut back to the animation. And, I’m finding that, that really works well particularly for a course creator who’s trying to brand themselves, they want their face in the videos, and their face should be in the video, because they want that connection to the audience, but we don’t … Whatever, whoever they are, whatever they look like, how great looking they are, we do not wanna look at their face for half an hour, or an hour, and they don’t move, and they just sit, and they speak to us. Forget it. You’re gonna lose people after about three minutes. But, when you’re doing something like using animation with it, that opens up just a whole other opportunity to really make it engaging for somebody, and they wanna pay attention. I mean, he’s teaching kind of stuff that employees are like, “Oh man, do I have to really watch this, and come on. I don’t wanna …” We’ve tried to make it is entertaining as we can with, where some of these subjects are like, how do you make bank finance entertaining? Well, we do our best, but that’s just another way to kind of keep the attention of who’s watching it. Chris Badgett: Yeah, edutainment. I love it, because some trainings are just- Kim Merritt: They’re boring. Chris Badgett: There’s a difference between intrinsic motivation. Like, I really wanna learn this new skill, and I’m excited versus extrinsic, I have to take this. Kim Merritt: Exactly. Chris Badgett: So, why not make it exciting? Kim Merritt: Well, and the LMS systems, the bigger ones that are out there now, I did a research project for a Fortune 500 client actually at the end of the year that they wanted to say … They wanted to know what are the big things, and what are the, all these LMS systems are offering, and the bigger ones now have gamification that, there’s different things that they’re pulling into it that make it more entertaining and engaging. They’ve got all kinds of social aspects and forums where you can have a group of people be in a class virtually, and they can actually communicate back and forth with each other, and share their screens, and talk just like you were in a classroom, so there’s all kinds possibilities that the LMS systems themselves are offering. And then, you add to that all the different things that are becoming possible with the video themselves, and there’s, oh my God, there’s virtual reality that you can get into, and there’s all those kinds of crazy stuff, but that just takes this whole industry to just a whole another place, and really makes it very exciting. Chris Badgett: Yeah, and if you wanna see an example of Kim’s work go to theurldr.com, and there was a, I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, there’s like a bathroom video for the work place? Kim Merritt: We did a … I did a series of videos for an LGBTQ program that ADP has, and it’s all learning the proper way to interact, things to say, things not to say, and that particular video is for bathrooms, and it’s, again, they can be touchy subjects, and you’re trying to teach somebody who may be uncomfortable with this subject kind of what it’s all about, and why it’s important, and I love that video. It turned out so cute, and they liked it very much as well, but we did a whole series of those, and that is, you can see it on our website, but it just kind of proves the point of how far you can go with animation as far as picturing just about anything. Chris Badgett: So, go to theurldr, and check that out. I’ve got another question for you about a different kind of course creator. Some course creators start without much of a teaching background, or even a technology background, but they’re experts in a given field. I imagine in order to create an effective animation video, you kinda have to storyboard it out, and like think about characters to put in there. How do you do that? Like, how do you take knowledge, and turn it into a story, or interaction? Kim Merritt: How I do it, and it really does start with storyboarding, so I usually have clients that will throw a script, or a book, or a PDF at me, and just say, “Figure it out.” Chris Badgett: Make it happen. Kim Merritt: “Make it happen.” Yeah, “Just make it awesome, make it wonderful.” And, what I do is, I actually use a program called Notability, and I go through, and, actually, I mean, and you can print it out, and do this with highlighter, but Notability just has this great highlighting feature, and I will go through, and I will read the script, and I will break it up into scenes, and I’ve been doing it long enough now that I can pretty much gauge by the words on the page, and number of paragraphs about the timeframe that each of sections are, because I charge my animation by finished minutes, and then, the number of scene changes per minute, so obviously if there’s two scene changes per minute it’s much cheaper than if there are seven, or 10 scene changes per minute. And, we usually don’t get into, to like eight, or nine, or 10 scene changes unless there’s a conversation back and forth between characters, but I’ve arranged with the client ahead of time, what’s your budget? And, are we, two or three scenes, or are we seven, or eight scenes? And, I keep that in mind as I’m going through the script. I break it up into what scenes, how many scenes I’ve got, break it up into the videos, and we try to keep them short. The thing now is we’re not looking to make half hour videos, hour videos, we’re looking to make five minute videos, or six minute videos, seven, eight minutes tops. You want it in short bite little chunks that somebody can easily watch, and consume as it fits in their lifestyle, and that they can watch on the go. After I’ve divided it all up then I go into the system, and I start actually building the scenes. Then I’ll do the voiceover recording, because I have a studio in house to do that, and I pull the … After I’ve edited the audio, pull that into the system, and then, stretch the scenes to fit the video, and that Vyond system has the ability to have the character’s mouths match what it is that you’re saying which allows you to have conversations, or to have a character that actually is like an instructor, and talks to the screen, and talks to the learner as they go through it, and then, at that point they’re ready to download, and use in whatever system somebody wants them to. Chris Badgett: Wow, that is quite a process, that’s awesome. What about that person who doesn’t come with a script? Like, how do you create an effective script, or does that not your… Kim Merritt: No, no. I don’t have- Chris Badgett: You have to have the script? Kim Merritt: Yeah, I don’t have anybody that shows up without a script. Now, if they wanna pay me to write a script I’ll do that, but I would say 95% of the clients I get, they’ve got the script, or at least the beginning of the script. I might add, take away, or say, “Hey, I can’t show this, but I can show this instead.” But, everybody’s coming with some kind of a script. Chris Badgett: Cool. We’ve got some technology geeks here. When you say sound … Like, what do you do to make a nice voice over? Like, what kind of gears involved, or like how do you record the voiceover? Kim Merritt: How I do mine, I have a makeshift recording studio in the back, and I’ve got a Rode NT1-A mic, and I record with Camtasia, pull it into Camtasia, and then, I actually do the editing for it in Audible? Audacity. Chris Badgett: Audacity. Kim Merritt: Audacity, pull it out of Audacity as an MP3, and then, use it from there. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Very cool. I just gotta make sure I ask, because people in the course creation community, they’re always getting sidetracked by the gear, so I’m gonna make sure what you [crosstalk]. Kim Merritt: That’s my my gear. That’s all of it. Chris Badgett: And, the animation suite is called Vyond? Kim Merritt: Yes. Chris Badgett: What do you like about it? How long have you been working with it? Kim Merritt: Almost five years. Chris Badgett: Wow. Kim Merritt: And, again, it used to be GoAnimate, and they changed their name last year. I’m not sure why. I actually like GoAnimate better, but, whatever. It’s affordably priced. It’s about $85 a month I believe for the level that you need. It doesn’t have their watermarks, and their branding all over it. There’s no long term commitment. You can use it a month at a time. The only thing that I find to be, and I understand why they do it, because the whole point of their businesses is to sell subscriptions. But, for example, when I take on a client that I’m doing Vyond work for, I get that client to get their own Vyond account, because if I make the videos in my account they charge a $90 plus fee, licensing transfer fee per video for me to change the licensing from me to the client, and if you’re making five, or 10, or in some cases a hundred, or 200 videos, you don’t wanna have to charge $90 a video to transfer the license, so I have the client get their own account for 85 bucks a month. That completely eliminates any licensing issues. They own it. It’s in their account, and I do the work in their account for them. Chris Badgett: That’s cool, and so, if they’re just getting started, what are some tips? If somebody’s gonna to do it themselves, like as you were learning Vyond, what did you … What are some tips and tricks on getting [inaudible]? Kim Merritt: Well, I mean, they’ve got, as any of the SAS based softwares do they’ve got the training videos, and you can get online, and I personally like, I like the Legacy Model better. There’s two different studios so to speak that you can make the videos in. I liked the old one. I’m just, [inaudible] a comfort thing, because I’m used to that and it’s got some features that I really like to use, but it’s just getting in there, and using it. Every piece of software has a learning curve to some degree, and what I find the trick with that particular piece of software is, is to, and where the benefit for me is in working with my customers is. I’ve been in it for so long, I know the thousands of props that are in it. I know what I can do with how to make, like I could take your likeness, and make an, customed cartoon character that would look just like you, and dress you however you normally dress, or whatever you would wanna be, and I can make you a superhero. I can make you a zombie, whatever you want, and then, the backdrops. The backdrops are really the scenes themselves that you’re building are really the key, because you gotta know what the scenes are to know what you can do. You’ve gotta- Chris Badgett: What are some of the scenes like just as some examples out there? I’m sure there’s a lot of them, like- Kim Merritt: There’s crazy stuff. I mean, I can make pirate ships, I can make superheroes flying on the moon, I can make, I mean, I grew up in the funeral business, so it just kills me that there’s like, there’s funeral scenes, and there’s caskets, and, I mean, just like all this crazy stuff. I try to think of what [crosstalk]. Chris Badgett: I’m sure there’s like normal office? Kim Merritt: Yeah. There’s way normal- Chris Badgett: Houses? Kim Merritt: There’s tons of, yeah, so your home, your office, hospitals … Chris Badgett: Restaurants. Kim Merritt: Industrial workplace. Yeah, restaurants, schools. I mean, all that stuff, but there’re some that are just really kind of out there, and kind of fun and crazy too, so there’s lots of different things that you can do with it. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Could you describe the ideal person that works with you? Like, what kind of client do you serve? Kim Merritt: Wow, well, for animation, and for E-learning it’s somebody that has a developed script, or book. I mean, I’ve animated whole books. Chris Badgett: What kinda, when you animated, like what kinda book? Like, a non-fiction? Like a manual, or something, or …? Kim Merritt: I was hired to animate Noam Wasserman’s book of, Founder’s Dilemma. Noam is one of the leading MBA professors. I believe he teaches at Harvard, and I had been hired by a company to animate that book, and, I mean, the book is about teaching an entrepreneur who’s starting a business, do you wanna found your company solo, or do you wanna found it with partners? And, if you go down each of those paths, what are the pros and the cons? What do you have to look out for so that your business will withstand that startup phase as opposed to burnout like so many of them do? When I grew up, a big thing was the pick your own ending books. You’d read the chapter, and at the end, okay, go this way or go this way, so I designed that course, that group of videos like a pick your own ending book, and if you found, if you were gonna found your company by yourself solo, you watch this set of videos, and if you were gonna found your company with that partners you watch this set, and then, they ended back up that you were watching the same videos at the end. That was a really fun project. That was actually one of the first animation, big animation things that I did, that was a couple of years ago. But, here again, there’s so many different things that you can do with it, but the perfect client is somebody that has a good script, or at least has an idea kind of, of what they want, and just allows me to be creative, and doesn’t put too many barriers on me as far as just … And, usually, we’ll do a test video, we’ll do like one or two to start with, to make sure that I understand what they want, and that they agree with kind of the route that I’m going, and then, once they’re happy with that, I just kind of go at it, but I do need a fairly complete script from somebody. If they don’t have a complete script, and they’re really, I mean, I can give them ideas on what we could do, but it could- Chris Badgett: So, you’re not the expert in there [crosstalk]. Kim Merritt: No, no. I’m not the expert. I mean, I’ve got a group of things that I am an expert in, but I’m not an expert in teaching somebody about sexual harassment, I’m not an expert about teaching somebody about nutrition, or the bank finance one was like no. No way was I an expert in that, but if given the good materials I can produce awesome E-learning on just any, on any subject, but it’s the client’s information that I’m using to make those awesome videos, so it’s gotta start with them. Chris Badgett: Absolutely. Well, Kim, thank you so much for coming on the show. That’s Kim Merritt at theurldr.com, that’s T-H-E-U-R-L-D-R.com. Kim Merritt: Absolutely. Chris Badgett: Is there any way else people can get a hold of you? Kim Merritt: You can contact me, and my email address is kimbutler, B-U-T-L-E-R @theurldr.com, and you can contact me through the site. There’s plenty of places in the website that you can fill out a form, and contact me. I’m more than happy to talk to anybody that’s got some questions, or want’s some work done, so that’s the best place to find me. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks so much Kim for coming on the show, and opening up our eyes to whole this world of animation, and, yeah, thanks so much. Kim Merritt: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. Chris Badgett: And, that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guy Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet. The post How to Animate Your Lesson Videos with eLearning Video Creator Kim Merritt appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


28 May 2019

Rank #2

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From Corporate Employee to Branding Web Design Small Business Owner with Pricing and Marketing Expert Clare Fielder

Learn about the journey from corporate employee to branding web design small business owner with pricing and marketing expert Clare Fielder in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. In this episode Clare and Chris dive into how online course creators can optimize their product offering and marketing message to get more students enrolled in their course programs. Clare is the creator of ThePistachioClub.com, where she creates child themes and templates for website builders working with WordPress. She mainly works with Divi, so if you’re working with the suite of products from Divi and the Elegant Marketplace, we definitely recommend checking out what Clare has to offer. Clare has a background as a trolleyologist which is someone who used to analyze trollies. The term comes from a joke in the UK, and it is more of a conversational hook than saying you work as a client director. She would work with analyzing buyer behavior online and in-stores. Now she works as a website designer building templates people can use for their sales funnels. Building an online course and selling your course is a whole different process. It is important to recognize as a course creators that the finish line is not the launch of the course, but rather it is a continuing process that deals with the idea of following through and modifying your program over time. Developing a marketing strategy and building an effective sales funnel is part of that process. One thing that is core to creating a great course offering is understanding what your proposition is. Understanding what value you have to offer people and what type of transformation you can deliver is key to communicating effectively in a sales environment. You can also look to competitors in your industry to determine what people are paying for programs like yours. At ThePistachioClub.com/LifterLMS you can find Clare’s special offering to LifterLMS users. She is also listed on the LifterLMS experts page at LifterLMS.com/Experts if you’d like to check out that page for a freelancer or company to help you out with getting your course up and off the ground. You can also find Clare on social media, such as Facebook.com/ThePistachioClub. She is also on Instagram at @ThePistachioClub. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course-creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course-creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Clare Fielder. She’s the Creator of ThePistachioClub.com. Go check that out, and go to thepistachioclub.com/LifterLMS. She’s got some stuff for you there. Chris Badgett: She is a member of the Divi community. Clare has been working on a Divi child theme for LifterLMS, maybe several of them, so go see what she’s got going on. And she has a really interesting background that we’re going to get into, a lot of experience, corporate experience around sales, customer journeys. But she describes herself as a “trolleyologist.” What is a trolleyologist, Clare? And welcome to the show. Clare Fielder: Hi. I don’t describe myself as that anymore. Chris Badgett: Okay. Clare Fielder: I am a website designer, but no, I used to be a trolleyologist. So trolleyologist is basically somebody who used to analyze trollies. We used to say that in the terms of both online behavior, and also in-store. It comes from a joke. It is a made up word, as you can tell, but there used to be an advert over here in the UK for BT, and the joke was there was this well known woman, and this guy is phoning up his grandmother about having passing some exams, and she went, “You’ve got an -ology. You’ve got an -ology.” And she’s just so excited. He failed all the other exams apart from this one ology. It just was a little bit of a joke over here in the UK. Clare Fielder: So, rather than saying client director, or very dull stuff, which doesn’t create information flow, when I say I’m a trolleyologist, because when we think about creating conversations with people, it’s really important to put those conversational hooks on, for people to find out more about you. Clare Fielder: So, it is just analyzing shopping behavior, doing branding, sales, marketing, pricing in corridors. So basically, very big, big companies based in the UK, different regions around the globe, and just helping them make far much more money in both online behaviors and also in-store. That’s the really short answer. Chris Badgett: Awesome. One of the things that really piqued my interest and why I wanted to get you on the show is you joined the LifterLMS Expert program, which is a group of people that we recommend that have experience with LifterLMS, and have different specialties in terms of the website or marketing and whatnot. Chris Badgett: I saw an example site you had that had sales pages with it. So, course-creators don’t just want a nice, beautiful website, which you can do, but they also need sales, and they would like to automate some of that process or at least have an intelligent flow of their customer journey. Chris Badgett: Can you take us to school on a customer journey, and maybe give a lot of examples. We’re talking to course-creators here. So, if I’m teaching something, what do I need to know about the customer journey and how their sales funnels and pages work in that process? Clare Fielder: That one question I could probably talk about four hours about. Clare Fielder: So what we think, first of all, the first step is to recognize that you’ve created this amazing thing. And to me, creating a course is such a powerful thing to do, especially nowadays. When we look at our society, we don’t have our elders. We don’t have those pieces of information being passed on to other people. So, when we think about online courses, it really is about people helping other people to become better, to learn something in particular or to take them on a full transitional journey. Clare Fielder: So, when we’re looking you’ve created this amazing thing, which is fabulous, but to actually get people to buy it is a whole different step. And I think sometimes, it’s what course-creators don’t always think about, because that journey to get to that point of creating it, so much f-ing work that you kind of feel exhausted you now have created this thing and want people to come and buy it. And they kind of miss that element of having a sales funnels, and sales funnels- Chris Badgett: Can you speak to the part where some course-creators … Yeah, I totally get that. I’m exhausted. I just made the course. And you know what? I’m actually kind of skeptical of sales and marketing, so that’s just not for me. Like, what do you have to say to that person? Clare Fielder: And that’s fine if that’s what you want to believe, but is that making money in your bank account at the end of the day? No matter where we look at history, people are selling us things, they’re selling us ideologies. They’re selling us buying some milk, but telling us to get your fantastic new piece of technology. But people were selling things, whether it’s themselves or something they want to sell, like a physical product. Clare Fielder: So, if you just build something, especially in today’s technology and today’s world, who the hell’s going to know about it? If you build it, and you’ve taken it all that time and all that energy, and then nobody consumes that knowledge you have or that insight, you can’t help the people you want to help. You can’t make the impact you want to make. Clare Fielder: And that is quite sad for me that that kind of knowledge is wasted because you can help so many people with it. So, and I say this so many different things, whatever word is creating a block for you, change that bloody word. If you don’t like sales and marketing, change it to helping people or change it to supporting people. I hate the term trip wire. I hate it. I think it’s a horrible terminology to use as part of a sales funnel. So I call, in my head, I always switch it around and say it’s an offer gate. Chris Badgett: What’s a better word for lead magnet? Clare Fielder: It just is what it is. You know what I mean? Chris Badgett: I don’t have one, I was just curious, because I had the same thing- Clare Fielder: [crosstalk] in the comments, give us some ideas of something else to call it. Yeah. Chris Badgett: Words have power and it becomes part of your brand. Some people don’t even call a course a course, they call it a challenge or a program, whatever. Clare Fielder: Yeah, and that’s fine. It’s about owning what it means to you. So whatever we can get onto many different levels about terminology, and what it could mean and significance for people. But if you don’t like a word, and you’re finding yourself having that resistance to it, just change the word. It doesn’t matter if it makes no sense to anybody else. It doesn’t really matter. Words have power and meaning to us. That’s what’s really super important. Yeah, definitely. Chris Badgett: Well, let’s let’s go back to the sales funnel. I’m looking at your Sage, that’s a child theme. And I’m looking at you have under sales funnel there’s an evergreen sales funnel, a webinar sales funnel, and then a challenge sales funnel. So, using those examples, what are we doing with those? Clare Fielder: So it really is depending on … And one thing I’m really passionate about is people understanding, and this comes from [inaudible 00:08:21], is understanding your proposition. So understanding what do you have in your locker that you can offer people? So, even if you’ve created a course that answers the full transformation of somebody, if you’ve got something that’s 20% or 40%, can you create that into a small evergreen course? So, always look about how I can repurpose and use different elements. Clare Fielder: So, if for example, evergreen is fantastic by definition. They’re just on autopilot. So they really need little input. I’m not saying they need no input, because quite often they need some readjustments along the way. Clare Fielder: But if you’ve got something that’s quite steady, is a common, quite particular problem that you can solve for people, then an evergreen course is really great for you, because you’re not having that cycle of putting loads of time and energy into having a launch if it’s every quarter or every year or once a year, it’s just creating steady sales for you. Clare Fielder: But then you have things like video challenges, or webinar series. And that was great again, because it allows you to dive maybe in the more expensive courses that you’re offering with the programs you’re offering. We know how super important video is in today’s society, especially with the scroll feed. That is because it’s an interrupter, and also say videos allow you to really come across as to who you are. Obviously some people fake being on camera and all that sense and stuff, but it allows people to see the whites of your eyes, hears the tone of your voice. And there’s certain people out there I would love to learn from, I can’t stand their bloody accents, though, and that’s just me and that’s my personal thing. It’s like, you are not the person for me, and you’re not going to be for everybody. But there’s one way of giving somebody a little bit of body. Clare Fielder: So if you can create a video series, where you got like three videos, and each video, which one of those videos, is giving people a little piece of action, then people can see what it really is like to learn from you and implement that. And then when you have things like the challenges, especially on Facebook. We love a five day challenge. Chris Badgett: Yeah. Clare Fielder: I don’t think there’s a week when I’m not invited to about 700 of them. We love them, but they are an amazing way. And again, when you think about going down that particular sales funnel route, is thinking about the support you need. So, if you’ve got the pop up Facebook group, that just doesn’t happen by itself. You need people to help you monitor the group, to feed it, to implement it well, it’s not something that just happens on the back of a cigarette packet. You’ve got to plan that out. Clare Fielder: So it really is about identifying what particular offering you have. What level engagement do you want? Where does it fit into your overall spectrum of products that you are offering? Where does it … There’s so many different elements to think about. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And I want to go over to your corporate background. Clare Fielder: Back in the day. Chris Badgett: I see a lot of value kind of trapped in corporate that doesn’t always get down to small business or what’s called a VSB, a very small business, which could be a solo operator, course-creator. What’s a counterintuitive insight that, if you look at your experience with pricing and customer journeys and trolley-ology and everything, and you look at the very small business course-creator that like, “Oh, I wish I could help this person if they just knew X.” This is like a counterintuitive insight for my corporate experience. Let’s drop a bomb on some people that you’ve got. Clare Fielder: There is so much information that we have from corporate world that actually is so any. I see so many small businesses apply. Well, I think the key problem I find with small businesses is people not opening up enough to say, “I can’t do everything.” Acknowledging you don’t have to be the expert in everything. Clare Fielder: When you go from the corporate world into being a solopreneur, you forget that actually you are the [inaudible 00:12:49]. You are that person. You are finance. You are- Chris Badgett: Sales and marketing. Clare Fielder: … Yeah, you’re everything. You’re always going to be employee of the month, do you know what I mean? So you’ve got to take all of that type of knowledge. And I think quite often people don’t … Probably because of my background, I used to do quite a few roles and then get promoted pretty quickly. So, that scale go up and down, and seeing this thing from a very helicopter view to such a granular level of implementation and getting people, the soldiers on the ground to actually do the work that we need to go to do, comes very, very natural to me. An I think- Chris Badgett: So, you can go big picture, and then you can go into implementation mode. But one without the other just makes no sense. And that’s how a lot of people operate. Clare Fielder: … Yeah, it is, because they’ve not had to challenge themselves to develop that skill set. So for me, when I first started out in corporate, I had such an interesting experience. I had a team where I was part involved in and we had so much freedom, it was beautiful, that we could just go and create products. And because our structure, our reporting structure, was slightly different, all those barriers just weren’t there, and we had such a strong team environment where everybody supported one another. Clare Fielder: And like I said, I got one particular, so [inaudible] I used to work for Procter Gambler as a consultant and I was speaking to some particular team I always spoke to, and I was like, “Who are they over there?” They would just always sit down. Who are they? Go and chat to them, find out about what the issues are. Clare Fielder: And I was kind of shocked that they didn’t know some information. I felt geez, if I was in your position, I would want to know that information, that would make my job easier. And so I created a product for them. I just kind of was like well, they need to sort this out. Clare Fielder: So I created this product, a very big spreadsheet and I went to my boss and went, “These people don’t know this. They need to know this. This is how they’re going to know that, this is going to affect all these other things, can I just sell that to them?” Clare Fielder: And he’s like, “Yeah, sure. How much are you going to sell it for?” [inaudible] So we’ll just put that in, shall we, and see if they go for it.” And they did. So having that kind of freedom very early on, and I’m talking like 20 years ago, maybe 21, obviously, to do that is remarkable. And then you create this product and it does well, and then it gets rolled out to the whole [inaudible 00:15:36], and then you win a European award for innovation. Clare Fielder: You’re like, “Well, all right, then.” It took two seconds. No, it didn’t. It takes far more than that. But it’s just that momentary thought you need to help people. And I think especially when you go from being in corporate to being a solo entrepreneur, maybe you’ve not had that freedom before, and you’ve been in that box of confinement about rules and regulations and actually having the ability to just go and create and do something is overwhelming because you’re not used to the processes and thought processes of getting something created and out there. Chris Badgett: That’s really good stuff. One of the areas where I raise my hand, like I’m not an expert in pricing. I’ve done that for a long time ago, and I’ve gone to really smart people on pricing, who don’t just have ideas, but I’ve seen execute solid pricing strategies and help me think about pricing differently. You threw a term out, just kind of here you go, pricing corridors. That piques my interests. Like, what are you talking about? So, to frame the question- Clare Fielder: Technically [inaudible] pricing corridor. When we were all in our own world we always used that to [inaudible 00:16:48]. Chris Badgett: Maybe I already know what it is. But I don’t know. The thing is, you the course-creator who’s listening to this or watching LMScast on YouTube. The two questions I get the most are, number one, which theme should I use? And number two … And by the way, go check out Clare’s theme, child theme for DIVY. But number two is, how much do I charge for my course, Chris? So I’m going to take that question I get asked literally on a daily basis, and put it right there over to you, Clare. Clare Fielder: Well, thank you very much. [inaudible] a wonderful present. So there are a few things to think about when you think about pricing for a product. So one is the internals of your business, but also the externals of the environment you’re in. If we deal with the external stuff fast, then we can talk about the internals. Clare Fielder: So one is to think about what are the price bounds or price corridors or similar products to you? So what are you offering in your course that somebody’s going to be very similar to? Clare Fielder: So is it going to be between 100 and 200? Is it going to be the 2,000? Is it going to be the 10,000? Understand what is available in the market at the moment, and just really look at the competition. Chris Badgett: Like what are people already paying? Is that what you mean? Like what re people already paying for some similar to what I’m making or have made? Clare Fielder: Yes. So people are always going to do price comparisons. But within that research, within that knowledge that you gain, that insight, then you can understand, is there … We always talk about the blue ocean strategy. Where is the clear water, where’s the clear sky about how are you different? So what is your uniqueness? Is it the way you deliver it? Is it the timeframe and results you’re getting. So understanding the value you offer the end customer, and understanding does that, then, put you in a different price point? Because it may well be, it may not. Clare Fielder: That’s part of being an entrepreneur is the part that where we have to be realistic and self honest about things. Is it really groundbreaking or is it just being slightly different to somebody else? And that’s absolutely fine. But just understanding, where are you sitting within that framework of what’s being offered for that solution? Clare Fielder: And the other point I’d probably go back to comes back to the customer journey, is for creating more interest in your course or understanding more about the buyers of your course, is to think about the journey that some of your customers are going to go on. Clare Fielder: So, for example, if you are sending a course that is aimed at, say, breastfeeding moms, then you are going to have the most simple, plain-speaking language on that sales page you can possibly look at, because they’re probably looking at 3:00 in the morning, bleary eyed. And they just want, you’ve got this problem, they just wants to sort it. And you want them to be able to buy it really simply from you. Clare Fielder: But it’s understanding the context of your marketplace, but also your consumers. So what are their journeys? What’s their triggers, what’s the parts of their psyche that will take them from, “I’m slightly interested in this thing” or “This is kind of a problem now, and I want to fix it.” Clare Fielder: If you got like a had a bad night sleep, you’re not going to necessarily think I’m going to have a mattress. I need a new mattress. You’re not going to think that. But you might think, how do I sleep better? How do I get a better nighttime routine? It’s about putting all of that information into your blog post and all those different types of content we create to help people on that journey. Clare Fielder: So when it comes to pricing internally, you need to start thinking for yourself how much is your time worth? But also, what are the real costs? So, for example, you need to know what your basic cost of for what you’ve created, whether it’s the time you put in, whether it’s different elements with all different technologies, et cetera, et cetera, making sure you’ve factored all of that in. Then understand what value do your customers receive from that transformation. And what evidence do you have to support it? Clare Fielder: So when somebody comes to a website, they kind of have four different stages they tend to go through. One is about the arrival. I have the problem. I come and see your website. Next is I want information. So what do you do? How are you different? Then they want evidence. They want to know that thing that you did for somebody else, that course transformation you created for somebody else, how do you do that for me? And then the main thing is just buy. Clare Fielder: So when it comes to pricing, it is a very personal thing. And sounds a bit peculiar, but when we talk about pricing as well, there is a difference between male pricing and female pricing. Chris Badgett: What is this? Where are we going? Clare Fielder: Well, again, this is all the internal stuff. For example, you often see … And generalization here. [inaudible] in the comments, generalization. So if a guy says, “This is the price” as a price there’s not a lot of other kind of thinking going on behind it. Clare Fielder: But often for a female, especially female entrepreneurs, saying this is the price, there is a whole raft of thought processes going on. Am I good enough? Who am I to say this price? What would they think of me if I say this price? And it goes on and on and on and on, there’s a very long list. Clare Fielder: So there is that part of owning your price. But what I see a lot, I think, within my own little world is people thinking that, “Yes, I’m owning my price. I’m going to say it’s $500. I’s £500. I feel really good about that.” Actually, they’re not backing it up with the delivery that they’re offering. So they’re not backing it up by the support systems, they’re not backing it up by the quality of the videos. They’re not backing it up in all the different ways that makes that course really, actually equate to 500 quids. Chris Badgett: I think that’s a big problem in our industry. There’s message to market match, which is okay, I sold the big expensive program, but there’s also on the back end, the product and the experience has to also match. It’s got to be full flow. Clare Fielder: Yeah, it was interesting, a couple days ago I met up with one of my business girlfriends, and we were just generally talking about business. But we came across a term I haven’t used for years, about somebody being client ready. And for me, I guess coming from corporate, you just have a way of dealing with people. [inaudible] I think I’m never going to get rid of it. A way of dealing with people. A way of supporting them in a way that you just process them through the projects or the course, that just gives that air of authority, of knowledge, of being a safe pair of hands. And that’s all you want from the whole course system. Clare Fielder: And, as somebody who’s done a hell of a lot of courses myself, you can tell the difference to people have just put up a course, and it answers a problem and they don’t want to know anything else about it, to the people that really kind of go the extra mile and want to put in the TLC. And actually, you can tell that you’re being part … And it’s fine to recognize that you’ve being part of the bigger sales funnel, that’s absolutely fine. I love your stuff. Yes, sell me more, I don’t care. Clare Fielder: But I think quite often people don’t think about the experience for the students. And that experience isn’t just how we learn, and when we think about how we learn, I think it’s like 67% of us are visual learners. But it’s also the different ways that we communicate and learn. So you have people who are the big blue ocean thinking, the people who to like to get down to the granular system. There’s also so many layers when you think about the cultures of learning. So, how we learn in the UK is [inaudible] very different to how you learn in the US or in Canada. Clare Fielder: And then you think about how we pass on information between different societies. And I was recently looking at [inaudible 00:25:29]. Don’t ask me how I got into these videos, but looking about coming of age, coming of age ceremonies. And we don’t have that many, there’s many of them in many cultures around the world. But the percentage of the population, i.e., the majority of the world, they don’t have that anymore, so that information of elders isn’t being passed on. Clare Fielder: And so that super fascinating, about how people then interact and learn, especially within our society, that you have an influencer who says, “Hey, this is how you supposed to think. This is what is best to know about this.” But there’s no two-way conversation about understanding your thought processes about that thought and all about that knowledge. And to get more insight to do whatever you want to do. Chris Badgett: I have to fight myself not to interrupt you because you keep dropping all those gold, but I don’t want to break the flow. So you mentioned some of my favorite words or concepts, which is … And I have, actually, a background in cultural anthropology. So coming of age, rites of passage, elders, and things that go on generationally in culture are some my favorite topics. And I think creating an experience product like you’re talking about, and a company culture or brand, it’s a real thing. And when you pair that with the idea that we have an issue in our society where we have a lot of olders but not a lot of elders, and we are missing the rites of passage that indigenous side societies would have, where people coming of age would go through some kind of experience. And it’s not like they just take a test. Chris Badgett: There’s like a test and [crosstalk 00:27:12]. Clare Fielder: Really vicious. Chris Badgett: So, actually thinking about that, I think that’s a really good insight to look at some of those videos, and be like, when we don’t have technology and websites and courses and everything, how do we create? How has the human being? What elements are present without hurting people, which does happen sometime, like where people go and they touch a grizzly bear in, I think it was the Navajo. I can’t remember which. But anyways, it’s more than just content, is what I’m saying. Clare Fielder: Yeah, and then I think that’s what lots of people … And when you think about what you’re doing yourself as a course-creator, you’re like, I’ve got this information I want to share, and the process of learning how to share it, how to structure a course, how to share information, we can all tell jokes down the pub, absolutely any day that we go [inaudible] but actually getting up on stage and being comedian? Completely different, completely different. Clare Fielder: That is part of creating a course and sharing information one to one when you’re coaching people, you’re coaching a team or whatever you’re doing, and then actually coaching remotely, maybe just through video, and wanting people to have the same experience to a massive audience, there’s different challenges in that. And I think one of the key things as well, I’d say, is that, especially from that transition of being corporate into the solo entrepreneur world, is there’s many things that you kind of have to make that decision about whether you want to make that step or not. Clare Fielder: I think one of them, which I don’t think many people talk about very often, is if you are a course-creator, reflect as yourself as a person. How to deal with the concept of being an icon or guru or leader? Do you have kindness in your heart to be able to realize people look up to you, because that’s a particular type of responsibility. And how you then communicate to people and help them on that journey is really, really important, and I don’t think a lot of people talk about that at all. Chris Badgett: That’s a great insight. And before building LifterLMS, I built sites for the expert industry. My agency did that, and we specialize in online course membership site niche, and that’s where the LifterLMS product came out of, but from then until now, back in my agency days, I started noticing where these experts, and some of them already very successful with live events, and all these other things, and they’re adding courses to the mix. There is this inevitable stall out that happens right before a launch, and I used to not believe it when people said that there is fear of success, I understand fear of failure and fear of success, but what you’re talking about, are you ready to be a guru? Are you ready to be? Not that everybody is going to be as big as Tony Robbins or as big- Clare Fielder: Yeah, and it’s not even being egotistical, it’s just people looking up to you. That’s the word you want to use, fine. Chris Badgett: It’s a real thing. I think some of it is subconscious, people are scared, they’re like, I’m going on the record, I’m going on stage, and, yes, I don’t want to fail publicly or whatever, fear of failure, but this fear success thing is real. Clare Fielder: Absolutely, but there’s many layers to the fear of success, I think what I’m talking about is: “Do you have that personality within yourself to do that, to be somebody who has somebody to look up to them, and to behave in a particular way that is congruent to your morals and who you are in helping people to get to where they want to be?” Are you going to be persuaded by the mix? Latest trend, and move your compass point to something that you’re not comfortable with? Clare Fielder: The thing is, whenever you speak publicly, wherever you are putting yourself out there, you are catching far more people than you will ever know, especially in British society. We’re not very good at telling people, “Oh, I love that video!” Or, “That was really inspirational.” We don’t do that over here. It’s not the done thing, and they will never change. Clare Fielder: But, when you are talking, when you are sharing information, you are impacting other people’s lives, and/or their thought processes, and it can be an important thing to do. You are never going to know about that. So, when you are in that space of putting yourself out there, yes, you’re dealing with a lot of internal barriers and going, “I don’t really want to put myself out there. Dear, this was horrible. Why am I doing this?” There’s also about the responsibility, if you are visible, what are you sharing with other people, and how are you helping them properly? I’d say, that’s my viewpoint. Chris Badgett: I love that. I think having your values and your ethics, this is stuff people should think consciously about and have it be a North Star or a compass as to what, because there’s a big problem in our industry, and the online course, and the LMS industry of overselling and not delivering the value or whatever, you have to have your ethics. Chris Badgett: And some people even make the argument, going back to our earlier point about, “I’m not really into sales or marketing”, some people make the argument that, if you believe in your product and you can transform somebody’s life in a positive way, you have a moral and ethical obligation to sell. I mean, some people do make that argument. Clare Fielder: And that’s fine if, you know what, at the end of the day, if it’s not hurting anybody, and it helps them to get out of that barrier, knock yourself out. Do you know what I mean? Clare Fielder: If it helps change your mindset, to be able to put yourself in that position, we hear stories all the time, and pieces of advice all the time, and we can hear it twenty times, and we are just not ready to hear it. We hear it, but not really hear it. Then somebody will say, “This is wonderful sage piece of advice.” And you’re like, “I’ve never heard before.” And then you go and take action, because that is the point where you’re ready to go and do that. Clare Fielder: So, yeah, people do have a lot of blocks because you are being visible, you are sharing your business baby, your creation baby with the world and that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you look at a lot of artists, and musicians or writers, expressing what they express, and putting that out in the world or, if you’re an actor, and people criticizing that, it’s not always a great place to be, so I can understand why people do. Clare Fielder: And sales and marketing too is basically putting yourself out there, and that’s not always easy to do, but it’s good to recognize that, I think. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s fantastic. How do people in the UK versus, say, the United States either buy differently, behave differently or respond differently to marketing or whatever? Clare Fielder: So, yeah. Yes, there’s really quite a few ways. So, from like my corporate knowledge how we buy within supermarkets and all that sort of stuff. Over in the US you can have more extreme versions of couponing, and discounting, your supermarkets assess in a very different way, and you don’t have the breadth and depth of data that we do in the UK. We just, unfortunately, we are like 20 years ahead of you in that respect, because we’re a smaller country, then elements of logistics are slightly different as well, and so does there’s that element to think about as well, but, also as well, I think, I don’t know if I can swear. Chris Badgett: That’s fine, yeah. Clare Fielder: But in the UK I think we have quite a high B.S. factor and radar. If somebody is coming across as a bit of an inauthentic so and so, we notice quite quickly, and I think rather than being jollied along as it appears so in the US, we don’t always get on the bandwagon. We tend to enjoy a bit more banter. Chris Badgett: So, Brits ave a higher B.S. meter, or better B.S. meter, is that what you’re saying? Clare Fielder: I kind of think so. Or yeah, I kind of think we do. Chris Badgett: And more skeptical, too. Clare Fielder: Maybe, yes, and it’s also what is of value to us, is going to be slightly different. So, it’s not necessarily just if you’re British, or if you’re from North America. There are so many cultures over here. We are a complete fruit salad in that way, we treasure the strawberry for being strawberry, and the orange for being the orange, it’s not a melting pot. Clare Fielder: There’s so many different parts of our society, and we just love all those different cultures, but also the way that we’re educated, which historically, but now it’s changing somewhat, because we love a speaker’s corner. We love a debate. We love to hear open discussion about around topics and when we learn, we tend to ask far more questions than our US counterparts, on general, and I’m sure people will tell me otherwise, and if not that’s absolutely fine. Clare Fielder: But, we love to talk around subjects, and we’re not afraid to do so, but also, on the whole, quite respectful of people having different opinions, but I think if you look at a couple them, maybe not. But, so how we learn is very different, and I think when you take a US-based course, it’s very much this way or the highway, it’s very formulaic in the way that you’re learning, and there’s no side routes. So, if you don’t like learning that way, if you don’t like that methodology, there’s nothing else to kind of help you along that journey. Clare Fielder: And I think in the UK, we tend to talk around a subject and tend to give a few more different offerings along the way to help people on that learning journey, I think. But again, I could be wrong. People are probably going to say, “Yeah, that’s not true.” Clare Fielder: But when we come to buying as well, I think there is that sense of, I guess, when you look at the virtual assistant market, it’s so different in the UK, people are like, “I’m not paying for that.” Or, “I’m not too sure.” It’s like somebody is, paying somebody £30 to do something for you for an hour which I just going to take you five. They don’t see the price value in that. Clare Fielder: I think over in the US people are like, “Yeah. Hell, just hire it out, that’s what we need.” So, I think there’s that part of that spending, that kind of, old kind of thinking of not wanting to spend money on things, because they don’t see the value, and that’s partly because the UK is behind the US in that kind of terms of thinking of entrepreneurship, and all that great stuff that you guys do over there, and then we learn from you. We don’t quite do it that way, and that would work better over here. We’re five, ten years behind you in that thinking, but the idea of hiring somebody else to help you out is very different, so when we come to pricing as well, and so there’s difference in how we view visually pricing. Clare Fielder: So, when we view pricing, you need to think about how do your audience read as well. So, are they left to right, or right to left? And so, how you lay out pages and information and different colors that you use, which change all the time, but, different colors you can use to help people visually make an emotional connection, but also a visual connection that they need to take action is quite different as well. I think I’ve gone off topic, sorry. Chris Badgett: No, that was fantastic. You’ve already given a lot of tips around this topic, but let me set it up. Course-creators, whether they’re doing an evergreen course or a more passive course, one of the things I teach as a model, I just call it Course Plus, where people need more than content to be successful. So, what are you going to add your course? Is there going to be group coaching, or maybe a private coaching up sell that’s really high end and expensive, or mastermind, or social learning communities, or whatever. Other products, software. What? Clare Fielder: Or retreats, everybody loves a retreat nowadays, don’t they? Chris Badgett: Yeah, retreats. So, what advice for somebody who’s like, “I want to do premium pricing.” You’ve mentioned be very careful and make sure you deliver the value, but also, if somebody, let’s say, they have that course and it’s valued at, let’s say, 500 bucks, you mentioned that price point earlier, and they want to have a $5000 private coaching up sell. What do they need to do to sell that, and to conceptualize the package? Clare Fielder: So, that comes back to the point I was making earlier about you have your product range, your product offering, and understanding where everything sits within that. Clare Fielder: So overall, for the logical point of view, you’re thinking through what are the problems I’m solving I’m for my client, and listing all the different types of pain points they have, and how to take them on that journey, and then how do you package it up there, and which of those elements have features and what are the benefits. Clare Fielder: So, it’s understanding that all the way through, and obviously you can do the little drops in your view, this is only going to do this path for you, and to get more, but it’s also quite over delivering in a proper, authentic way, not just delivering pricing, getting some decent, some free, cool scripts or whatever, but actually truly over delivering value, and people seeing that, then those course really aren’t difficult, because people already know, they have self-awareness and self analysis that actually I’m ready to go to this level, that’s what I need to. I don’t know how to do that, let me learn from somebody else. Clare Fielder: And it’s really about the way that you invite people into your world. I mean, we’re all going to have different fans, and even in our friendship groups, you’re known as this type of person or that type of person, and people love you for these types of reasons, and just, kind of be opening your eyes and you go, “I’m not for everybody.” And to transition people from point A to point B, it’s not always about you and your ability to sell, it’s maybe they’re just not ready yet, and I have to say, I’m not a fan of the B.S. like, put on the credit card, and that’s really kind of nasty selling techniques. I’m not a fan of those at all. Clare Fielder: Generally, if people can’t afford it, they can’t afford it. So, if that is the case, if you’re getting that answer so many times, then what can you sell it, $2099, £3000 mark, is there a halfway point of what products that you can offer to help me to get a little bit more down to that journey, where they need to get to. Clare Fielder: But I think it’s about people really knowing they could trust you, and being really consistent in what you’re saying, so it goes back to the values of who you are, and what you’re about, but if you’re somebody who’s always changing your mind about something, cool. Offering a course on this this week, and then this that, something else next week, then people aren’t going to be thinking, “Oh, she’s a [inaudible 00:43:37], she really knows what she’s talking about.” Or they’re, No, I can see them as the expert, I can see the journey that they’re going on, because people are always going to be looking at you, and they’re always going to be looking at your journey as well, and what they can learn from it. Clare Fielder: So, I think it’s really important about knowing what you’re offering to your potential new client for your $5000, but it’s also about what is it of value? They just copy everybody else. Well, I’ll just shove this thing onto the sales page, because everybody has this. If people don’t actually find it of value, no. Stop it. Give them something that is really going to be of value. It’s a bit like me going to go get those gift bags from the conferences you go to. I don’t need another bloody hearing, I’ve got enough. It doesn’t mean anything. So, what are you going to offer that is really of value to them, I’d say. Chris Badgett: As a small rabbit hole, my thing when I go to conferences, I need to come back with stuff for my kids. So, if they’re giving away, somebody gave away a unicorn stuffed animal thing, I’m like, “Yes, that’s your swag.” Clare Fielder: You’re [inaudible 00:44:48]. Yeah. Chris Badgett: I love your point about follow through focus and commitment. To me, that seems like it’s becoming an endangered species, and when people see that, and it doesn’t it’s not even necessarily a conscious thought. Chris has been in here talking for about courses for years, and I’ve been working in the industry for almost a decade. That sends a message just by the fact that you’re focused, and you follow through, and you’re committed, and if you’re like you said, if you could change your avatar or who you serve, what you do and how you do it? If you change all that too much, it creates a dissonance with that. Clare Fielder: But also, I think people in the scrolling age, we’ve got so many more friends to try and remember what they do. We know one year they’re a coach, next year, I don’t know, they’re whatever. Then you’re not going to recommend them as well. So, that element of word of mouth, by being consistent, by having a great five day challenge, or a video series. People talk about it, because you’ve shown them in a small amount of time a transition of what differently thinking, and they’re like, “I’m going to share this with my friends.” So, you’re really missing out on a valuable piece of marketing, the old fashioned word of mouth. And it’s possible. Chris Badgett: I have a surprise question for you, it’s just something I’ve observed about corporate people is sometimes they’re really good at frameworks, Venn diagrams, or doing a matrix, and stuff like that, and I think, I don’t know if you’re a framework person or not, but I do see those as being very powerful when you’re teaching in a course, or something like that. I hope I’m not springing on you, but can you talk to me about frameworks, or talk to the course-creators out there about what’s one they should use, or your experience and some tips? Clare Fielder: Yeah. As I said, lot’s of them- Chris Badgett: I just want to say, you’re pricing corridor thing was kind of a framework, and I could draw that out, I could diagram what you described to me. Clare Fielder: … And that’s the point, is most of us are visual learners. We bloody love the diagram. I mean, who doesn’t? I don’t know if you have the book over there, but there’s an amazing book called “Information is Beautiful”. Chris Badgett: I’ll put that on my list. Clare Fielder: For somebody like me, it’s kind of infographic porn, I tell you, it’s beautiful. And it allows you to digest information. So, when we’re thinking about a sales funnel, or a course creation, or anything you’re doing in your business, you should be going from point A to point B, and you can do this exactly alone, whatever. Absolutely. But when you are responsible for other people and their learning and they’re taking on board information, you need to structure it from A to B to C to D, to et cetera. You need to structure into small steps. So they don’t get lost, they don’t get fearful, and then you don’t lose them, and obviously you’ve got the refunds and et cetera. Clare Fielder: I think we’ll say from the corporate perspective, yes, we love structure because when you’re dealing with that mass of people you need structure to do that and you need systems in place so people know what their boundaries are and if you want to break any rule, which is absolutely fine in my book, then you need to know that you’re doing that. You know also what I mean, I think often my previous corporate experience where I could just go and create stuff and then you can’t, it’s like, why can’t I just do that? Clare Fielder: But it’s also when you’re managing teams, then you’re managing those individuals and you learn social and unique skill. I didn’t have kids myself but as soon as I had kids, that you treat everybody the same but differently. You want them to get to the same point. But one person if you praise them in front of the whole group over your team, they’ll just hate you for it. They’ll be like, “Why the hell did you do that? I’m not speaking to you again.” But other people will relish in it. But it is about understanding. Okay. So if it’s important for them to get recognition, what’s the best approach to do that? Clare Fielder: I think within the framework of creating a course, is what other macro action points, what’s the macro takeaways that can get people so they can see their progress as well? I think especially the long courses people can think, “I never learn anything,” I’m like, “I’m still where I was.” But you’ve changed so much, but you just don’t recognize it. Clare Fielder: And I think personally and I’m sure you may disagree on this, but having a really key structure is really important. But also having mindsets at the front of the course as well is super important, especially if you’re changing attitudes, especially if you’re trying to get people to really take a leap of faith in that circumstances. And so I think having really good mindset section at the beginning just allows people to understand these are the boundaries of where we’re going and you might feel uncomfortable, you might resist this change. And that’s absolutely fine. But you allow them to self monitor themselves about what they’re struggling with and where they need help, which helps. They’ll then reach out to you and get better resources and improve the course in a different way as well. Chris Badgett: Wow. That was great. Clare Fielder, you can find her at thepistachioclub.com//LifterLMS. She’s also in the LifterLMS Experts program. Go check her out. Is there any final words for the people and also anywhere else they can connect with you? Clare Fielder: They can connect with me anywhere. I tend to be quite friendly. I’m mainly on Facebook. So my business page is the Clare Fielder The Pistachio Club. I’m on Insta, I’m always in Insta, I have to say that. Yeah, there’s so many things to say. But I think we know when we’re talking about, before we know, the question we get asked so many times is people want to create something and they’re in that corporate role and how do they make that transition? Clare Fielder: So, I think it’s really important to understand your self motivation. Do you start a thing and then stop it? Because if you’re starting a business, if you’re starting a course, that element of keeping that motivation going it’s really important. But also I think it’s really important to do self reflection and know you’re in self reliance on yourself, and if you’ll be able to complete the project with your other hand as well. So, yeah. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, Clare, thank you so much. We’ll have to do this again sometime. Clare Fielder: I’ve got so much more to talk about. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to LifterLMS.com and get the best gear for your course-creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet. The post From Corporate Employee to Branding Web Design Small Business Owner with Pricing and Marketing Expert Clare Fielder appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


20 Dec 2019

Rank #3

Podcast cover

How To Add A Live Event To Your Mostly Online Education Business Mix With Mike Morrison From The Membership Guys

Learn about how to add a live event to your mostly online education business mix with Mike Morrison from The Membership Guys in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Chris and Mike dive into topics relevant to membership site owners, from customer retention to bringing in experts to speak to your audience. Mike runs a weekly podcast called The Membership Guys Podcast that covers practical advice and strategy tips for creating and growing a membership website. His business partner Callie Willows also does a podcast called Behind the Membership, so be sure to check that out as well. In addition to podcasting, Mike is also the creator of the Member Site Academy, which is a place where course creators and membership site owners can go to learn and level up on their skills and get clear on their thinking. It also creates a place where they can come into contact with the tools they need. Recently Mike has been working on creating a live event called Retain that is centered around the membership community. It is an event in Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K. set to take place on September 11th through 12th, 2019. Mike and Chris dive into what makes live events tick and the value they can add to what are mostly online communities. The more friction you have in your technical setup and in the member experience, the more distracting it becomes to your members. Mike talks about the things he does in his membership to deliver small wins and retain members. He also shares some strategies he implements for onboarding and initiating new members. Mike’s membership includes a library of about 35 courses that help membership site owners out with various aspects of their business, including information about retention, onboarding, member engagement, content strategy, audience building, and all the key things you need to know to grow and scale your membership. They also have a tech vault that has step-by-step walkthroughs on how to use specific plugins and other tools. You can check out the other LMScast episode we did with Mike Morrison here. To learn more about Mike, Callie Willows, and The Membership Guys be sure to visit TheMembershipGuys.com. Also head to RetainLive.com to see everything Mike is planning for his live Retain conference this year. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’ve got a repeat guest, Mike Morrison. Go check out the last episode we did with Mike. I had to write it down because Mike has a lot going on, so I’m going to read the highlight reel here. Mike Morrison is from themembershipguys.com, which he runs with Callie Willows. Mike’s podcast is called The Membership Guys Podcast. Callie also does a podcast called Behind The Membership. These are two of the podcasts that are on my personal shortlist. Mike is also the creator of something called the Member Site Academy, which is a place where course creators and membership site creators go to learn and level up on their skills and get clear on their thinking and get tools to help them. Now he’s the creator of an event for membership site owners or people who want to create a membership site called Retain. It’s a live event in Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K. That’s a very British sounding location and it’s on September 11th through 12th, 2019. Welcome back to the show, Mike. Mike Morrison: Thanks for having me back on. Can I just pay you to go around and just like intro me? You do such a better job of it than I do. Chris Badgett: Yeah, sure. That’s great. You’re probably one of the people that I could geek out the most on and we could record like 10 episodes and never run out of material. This whole business of online course creation and membership sites and online business and monetizing certain skillsets and knowledge and all these types of things. I’m super excited to talk to you. I want to talk about the event you’re launching specifically. But before we get into that, when someone comes up to you on the street and says like, “Who are you? What do you do? What is this whole Membership Guys thing,” what do you say? Mike Morrison: Well, I don’t say much because I try and avoid going on the street. We don’t build online businesses to actually have to go out there and meet people, right? I keep it simple because, you know, we very much cater towards people who already know what memberships are, and they’re one step in that journey of pursuing the membership model. We don’t try and convince people that they should start a membership site and so I don’t have that kind of spiel in my back pocket where it’s kind of, “Well, you know, what I do is I make experts and influencers rich beyond their wildest dreams.” Mike Morrison: One because that’s BS, but two because we are very much for people who already have a grasp of what a membership site is and they just want some trusted advice to actually help them pursue that model. Generally, it’s just yeah, we teach people how to build and grow membership businesses. If we’re talking to the right people, I don’t have to explain what a membership business is because that’s tiresome, man, and they’re hard to explain because it kind of applies to so many things. Online courses are technically memberships, but then they’re not what we’re talking about when we say a membership site. Mike Morrison: Netflix is technically a membership, but that’s not what we’re talking about. So yeah, I just keep it simple and I go for people who already know what memberships are. Chris Badgett: I feel the same way about LMS. I need more than an elevator ride to talk about it sometimes. You might need a couple elevators or a really tall building. Mike Morrison: Yeah. I was going to say the whole elevator pitch kind of thing, I’ve been kind of in business for 15 years now. I’ve never once had to tell anybody in an elevator what I did because nobody … I don’t know if it’s the same in the States. No one in elevators in the UK talks to each other. It’s kind of like peeing at the urinal. You don’t make eye contact. You don’t start conversations. You just keep quiet and pretend to be checking messages on your phone. So no, I don’t have an elevator pitch. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. I just want to highlight, pull out something you said in terms of your target audience. You’re not going after beginners. I think that’s a classic mistake in any niche that people make is you don’t always have to go after the beginners or the wannabes I guess even though that maybe a big market. If you go after people that are kind of already established and have like the basics in place, to me that feels a lot easier. Mike Morrison: There’s a distinction there though because we’ve certainly worked with beginners. I mean what we do helps people from that very, very early stage where they just have a nugget of an idea and they just don’t know what to do with it. But the wannabes that you mentioned there, that’s the distinction for us. We don’t just cater to advance people, but we don’t want to be in the business of having to convince somebody to start a membership site. Chris Badgett: It’s not for everybody. Mike Morrison: It’s not for everybody. For us, that’s all kind of little prequalification. If you don’t already know that you want to at least explore the idea of a membership site and you don’t already know what a membership site is, you’re not for us yet. There’s plenty of people out there who are happy to sell the dream and happy to try and convince you to start a membership, but it doesn’t last because you and I know that there are so many people just chasing shiny objects online. For a lot of people, a membership or an online course, it’s just another shiny object. Mike Morrison: I want people who are past that initial stage of “oh, well, this is something I could try, or this is something I could do, or this might make me some money.” We don’t want those guys yet. We want them when they’ve actually spent a little bit of time to even just get a foundational understanding of what a membership site is. That saves us so many headaches. It makes it so much easier to do what we do. Chris Badgett: Very well said. On that term and definition, this is an issue I struggle with a lot when it comes to LMS online course membership, membership website, membership plugin, membership model, membership pricing, whatever. How do you define membership site? What does that mean to you? You mentioned briefly like not Netflix or whatever. Mike Morrison: Well, yeah. That’s the thing. A membership site technically is any website for which you require a registered account that you log into to access otherwise protected content. That’s it. That’s literally just what it is. A membership website is a mechanism. Chris Badgett: I just want to be clear right there. That’s your criteria for … Mike Morrison: Yeah. What a membership website is, that’s what it is. An online course is a membership site. Chris Badgett: Could you give an example of a membership site that doesn’t include training, but does include some kind of content or let’s say it doesn’t include courses, but it includes some kind of content? Mike Morrison: Yeah, sure. Again, Netflix and Amazon, it’s content, you know? You have to subscribe and log in and you’ve got your stuff there. You have Envato, which is … They’re the guys who run ThemeForest and CodeCanyon, all that sort of stuff. They have a membership protocol and follow elements where what you get are assets. You get templates. You get design files. You get icons and fonts. It’s a resource-based membership. I think they do have some training content tucked away in the section, but that’s not what people join for. It’s basically anything where you need an account in order to access content that otherwise isn’t freely available. Mike Morrison: But the type of memberships when someone online is talking about membership site, they are usually talking about e-learning content and some kind of community like a forum or a Facebook group. Those are very much the sort of memberships we tend to specialize in and our audience tend to be building. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Mike Morrison: For us, the distinction between, again, we say memberships and online courses are quite often used interchangeably. I think the main thing that differentiates them is just the commitment level. Online course is usually done. It’s a finished product. You pay it once and you get access to that and there’s no end date. There’s no recurring elements. With a membership, you have the recurring payment whether it’s monthly, annually, quarterly. You need to keep paying in order to continue accessing that content. Chris Badgett: It might include more than courses. Mike Morrison: Yeah. Yeah. Chris Badgett: On that note, I wanted to talk about the Member Site Academy before we get into talking about your new event. The stack, I love course plus community plus resources or whatever. I think you’ve done a great job with the Member Site Academy creating a really nice stack. Can you describe like what’s behind your membership if you will? Mike Morrison: Yes. It is. It’s that combo of content, culture and community. On the content side, we’ve got a library of courses. We have kind of mini courses, which generally are about two to three hours long. I think we got 35-36 of those. Chris Badgett: What constitutes a mini course? Mike Morrison: I just call them mini courses. I should just call them courses. Length predominantly. Length and specificity of the topic. Facebook Ads for memberships is a course as opposed to a module within like a mega 50 hour long course. Marketing Automation with Active Campaign for membership sites, again, mega specific. That one’s maybe an hour and a half, two hours long. For me, mini course, it’s length and specificity. We got about 35-36 of those. Some shorter, some longer. We’ve got a library of kind of quick win tutorials. Those are like 10 to 15 minute hyper specific, usually very technical kind of quick fix. Chris Badgett: In the tutorials, are those kind of on a page or a blog post? Mike Morrison: They’re in the library. We have a library that kind of divides into … It’s very much laid out a bit like Netflix now. It divides into our growth lab, which is for people who have membership already. We have a selection of courses on retention, on onboarding, member engagement, content strategy, audience building, all those key things that you need to know to grow and scale your membership. We’ve also got the tech vault. That’s where we’ve got step-by-step walk through plugins on … I’m sorry. Step-by-step walk through courses on pretty much all the major WordPress based membership plugins, a few membership platforms, LMS systems, themes, and stuff like that. Mike Morrison: That’s just one repository library with all the tech stuff you’re going to need. We’ve also got the … Chris Badgett: Those are tutorials, not mini courses? Mike Morrison: Yeah. Those are, again, 90 minutes to two hour long step-by-step. This is installing inside. This is connecting it to your email provider. This is connecting it to your payment provider. This is how you protect content and all that sort of stuff. Then we’ve kind of got our centerpiece, which is the membership roadmap and that is effectively kind of our signature course I suppose for people who are at the beginning stage. It takes them all the way through to having a membership fully built, launched and up and running. It kind of takes people through to like their first six to 12 months of their membership. Chris Badgett: In our language that we use in this podcast, we would call that a learn and process course. That roadmap is like a complete process if you take people all the way. Mike Morrison: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You know, because I’m a reformed web designer and developer, it’s all quite nicely rigged up. We’ve got a nice kind of almost gamified layout and stuff like that. It’s pretty funky. It’s pretty cool and it’s really in depth into that whole process without being overly bloated. It is. It’s quite a prescriptive start to finish course. Then we’ve got the community. We do live Q and A calls. We’ve got a lot of stuff man. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. The community, is that a private Facebook group? Mike Morrison: It’s a forum. We use IP.Board. Chris Badgett: IP.Board. Mike Morrison: Yeah. Yeah. I’m not a big fan of Facebook groups for paid communities for reasons which would extend the length of this podcast by several hours. I love them as part of your audience building, of your funnel and sales process for your Facebook group is awesome. But when people are paying for it, there’s a lot of drawbacks with using a Facebook group versus using forum software. Yeah, we use IP.Board. When it comes to forums, IP.Board is like legit. It’s the best one I’ve ever used and I’ve been using forums since the late ’90s. Yeah, it’s really cool. It’s quite active. Chris Badgett: Quick question with my tech hat on, I believe I heard from you on one of your episodes you have a … Is there like a single sign on WordPress to IP.Board kind of thing? Mike Morrison: There is, yeah. Yes. Yeah. I will say IP.Board for anyone who’s not come across it, it’s not a WordPress plugin. It’s a completely separate standalone piece of software, so you need a little bridging software, it’s a SSO plugin, that you can purchase from the IP.Board’s marketplace. It’s about 79 bucks. That just means that when people sign in to your WordPress site, because that will be the main place you send people, that’s where the dashboard is, that’s where they pay and sign up and all that sort of stuff, they automatically get logged into IP.Board. It’s as seamless as it can possibly be when you’re running two completely separately standalone pieces of software. Mike Morrison: It just automates the kind of creation and automatically logs people in and out and all that sort of stuff. Chris Badgett: You said coaching calls, right? Was that weekly or monthly? Mike Morrison: We do two weekly member Q and A calls. These are ones where all of our members can turn up and ask us questions. They can send us questions in advance and we just spend an hour or two just going through those questions. Chris Badgett: What software are you using to do the Q and A? Mike Morrison: For about three years, we used Google Hangouts and then embedded them onto the website. We want to make this as frictionless as possible. Chris Badgett: They’re still inside the membership? Mike Morrison: They’re inside. yes. They log into the membership and there’s a page on which we have the livestream video embedded alongside Chatroll. We use Chatroll for the local chatroom. They’re side of side so it kind of looks a little more seamless. It just means they don’t have to download any software because I always hated the idea that if you wanted members to come along to like a member webinar, they’d have to dangle and register for a GoToWebinar session. It’s like, “But dude, you’re already registered. You’ve got my name and email address. Why do I have to give it again every single time I want to come to this Q and A call and I’ve got to download this software and it just sucks.” Mike Morrison: We really wanted to make this as easy and seamless as possible. We used Google Hangouts for a long time. The major problem with that is the quality side. The streaming quality was just rubbish, but it was good enough for a Q and A call. But we recently upgraded to Vimeo live streaming. Vimeo brought out a live streaming option about a year ago. We switched over maybe three or four months ago and the quality is just pristine. Yes. Again, the key thing, you can embed that livestream into a website. That’s very important for us. Chris Badgett: That’s cool. That’s good to hear about the Vimeo Live, which is bigger … For those of you who are familiar with Vimeo Pro, this is another step up. Mike Morrison: It’s not cheap. Especially if you’re from the north of England where I’m from where we’re a little bit tight and we don’t like paying lots of money for stuff, it’s definitely not cheap, but it’s worth it, you know? The main factor for us … We used to do the Q and A calls. It was essentially just be a slide, a couple of slides, on the screen. We kind of do some housekeeping, some updates on what was going on in the academy, some member wins and stuff. We just kind of had a screen share up on screen with kind of … For the member wins bit, we just have a little graphics saying member wins and stuff like that. Mike Morrison: It didn’t really matter that the streaming quality was poor because there wasn’t that much detail in what was being shown on screen. But several months back, we figured you know what? It’ll be so much better if we actually get on camera. Because of that, we had to upgrade. We had to get a much better streaming solution because it was just such poor quality. Such poor quality. Chris Badgett: With Vimeo Live, do you still do the Chatroll or is there a tool- Mike Morrison: We do. Chris Badgett: … inside Vimeo Live for that? Mike Morrison: Vimeo Live does have a chatroom option built into it, but the problem … It’s not so much the problem, but the reason we stick with Chatroll is because Chatroll also has single sign on with WordPress. If you come along to one of the live sessions and you type in the chatroom, it’s already got your name and stuff in there. You don’t have to do anything extra. Whereas with the Vimeo one, you did. Again, it’s just about making people feel and making the whole member experience feel cohesive and not like it’s five or six different tech tools kind of just thrown together. It is that, you know? Mike Morrison: It is Vimeo and Chatroll and WordPress and IP.Board, but it’s so important for us for the member experience to not have members distracted by the tech and to have them just actually engage with what’s going on. I think the more friction you have in your technical setup and in the member experience, the more distracting it becomes to your members and the more it gets them focusing on the little annoyances like the factor, “I can see in WordPress my name’s at the top right hand side and yet it’s asking for my name again to post a comment in the chat? Why?” We want to eliminate stuff like that. Chris Badgett: Well, you’re a techie. I’m a techie. I think it’s a big mistake if you are a techie and you’re building a membership site to assume that your audience has the same level of technical rapport. Mike Morrison: Definitely. Definitely. Definitely. Chris Badgett: I just wanted to add and talk up my membership even more. I see more in your website that’s inside the stack. I see expert in here. Let’s see. We’ve got your theme, the member only theme. We’ve got checklists, cheat sheets and workbooks. Let’s park just for a second. What are some example checklists, cheat sheets and workbooks? Mike Morrison: We got things kind of like the onboarding emails kind of cheat sheet that kind of walks through structuring a member onboarding autoresponder sequence and gives some sample language that you can use and some pointers and stuff in terms of kind of the key things you need to hit on in those. We have things like just things that are literally just checklists like our member retention checklist, which is like 40 or 50 small wins that help you with retention where you can literally just print it off and just, “Yup. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.” Other stuff it’s more kind of exercised-based to kind of get you thinking, get you generating ideas and stuff like that. Mike Morrison: But yeah, covering everything from goal setting and planning to fleshing out and brainstorming your membership idea to repurposing and all that sort of stuff. Other minute where we’re actually putting a lot of time and effort into creating more kind of swipe files for emails that you can literally just copy and paste and then just tweak. That’s going to be the next thing that goes in there because we’ve already got some, but we want to beef that up because we all have something to improve what we got. Chris Badgett: I love that. It’s a really great stack. It’s not just like information and training. It’s all these other tools and courses and teaching people how to think and realizing that not everybody’s the same. You have the Q and A. Wherever people are feeling that friction, they can come to you and, even if it’s in a group format, get personal feedback. Mike Morrison: Yeah. That’s another thing that we offer and we don’t push too much on the sales page. We actually have a section of our forum that’s completely private. That if you put something in there, only you, myself and Callie can see. We actually use that for private coaching. There is the ability to get a little bit of personal two on one feedback and coaching and advice outside of the rest of the community being able to actually see it. That’s something we started trialing about six months ago because obviously we’ve got a couple of thousand members. We didn’t know whether we’re just going to be inundated with everyone certainly like just needing our time and our input, but it’s gone on really well. Mike Morrison: Members have really enjoyed it. It’s really, really manageable for us as well. Yeah, that’s another thing that we do. We do a lot which means that we’ve had to very meticulously craft the member experience so that you don’t join the site and suddenly you’re looking at like hundreds of things and thinking what the hell do I do. Our whole onboarding series is designed to kind of get people to what they need and to steer them away from stuff that is not relevant for them right now. Mike Morrison: Yeah, that’s obviously a key part in making sure that you kind of stay on the right side of delivering lots of value and having people’s backs at every stage of their journey, but also not weighing them down with too much stuff that they don’t need at the point that they’re currently are. Chris Badgett: What’s your strategy or method for deciding what to add to the membership next? Mike Morrison: It’s changing. It really is changing. It started off where we mapped out the entire journey. This is the thing again with memberships, so many people focus on just that beginning part where the journey is getting your membership up and running. We want people with us for decades, you know? We have to think about … Chris Badgett: I like to say the launch is the starting line, not the finish line. Mike Morrison: It is. It is. It’s absolutely true. We kind of had to think about okay, if someone who’s had a membership for 10 years, what do they need? We’ve had to kind of ambition that entire journey and obviously our own experience working with clients has helped us greatly with that. To begin with, it was largely just about covering all aspects of that journey and covering all the bases and filling in any gaps and stuff like that. It’s changing a bit really because as far as content goes, we’ve got pretty much everything covered. We regularly kind of order that content, so there’s a lot about keeping it up to date, but also we ask members what they want. Is there anything they want us to go deeper into? Mike Morrison: Is there anything we actually haven’t covered or we haven’t thought off? We regularly pull our members. We encourage them to suggest courses and content and stuff like that. We use that as kind of our guiding star for what content we’re going to create. Our focus has really within the last 12 months has shifted to be more about the community and the coaching side of things. Like I said, stepping things up on the Q and A’s. Getting on camera, adding that personal presence and that personal touch, which makes the calls a lot more fun. They are so much more fun. The energy in the chatroom, if there is such a thing, is better. People are talking more. They’re asking more questions. Mike Morrison: More people are coming. Again, it’s not content. It’s the community and coaching side, but that’s really stepping up and then things like the private coaching as well is stepping up. We’re very much into that stage of community and coaching, what more can we do on that, but also on the content side. It’s more of a refinement than okay, well, next month’s topic is this, next month’s topic is that. Because we’ve been around for three years, more than three years now, in the academy adding content on a regular basis. There’s only so much you can actually say before you get upon where you’re just creating content for the sake of creating content. Mike Morrison: I mentioned before email swipe files. Again, we’ve got stuff that tells people, “This is the emails in your series.” We got something that tells people, “This is what your onboarding series should look like. This is what your sales series should look like. These are the types of things you should put in there.” The content we’re creating now is actually okay, well, what else do you need that will make that a shorter journey for you to get stuff done. We taught you want you need. Okay. We’ll just write this stuff for you and give you that. Mike Morrison: That means instead of watching our training and then getting the knowledge that you then go in and implement, you do that and also here’s this thing that’s going to cut down the actual implementation time by 80% of whatever. That’s sort of where we are in terms of how we approach creating new content. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Templates are not just for building websites. If you can create templates for your people to be successful where they can fill in the blanks and personalize, that can be super helpful. Mike Morrison: Definitely. Chris Badgett: If I may recommend an episode, I can’t remember if it’s yours or Callie’s podcast with Scott’s Bass Lessons? Is that right? Mike Morrison: Yeah. That’s Callie’s podcast. Everybody loves Callie’s podcasts. Chris Badgett: Okay. That was a good one. I don’t know if that’s who you’re talking about who had been in membership for a long time. I think he’s been in it for awhile. Mike Morrison: Yes. SBL, the membership side of it, is, man, four or five years now I think. We helped him get that up and running. What year is it now? 2018. Man, it might actually be longer. Five or six, possibly verging on seven. I’m getting old. But yeah, I mean we’ve got people on our community. There’s a website called Teaching Packs, which is essentially a membership that sells pre-created packs of teaching materials to teachers. People who are kind of primary school teachers and stuff like that. Chris Badgett: It makes curriculum as like the thing. Mike Morrison: Here’s everything done for you. You don’t need to prep activities and this, that and the other thing. That membership has been around for close to a decade now I think. We’ve got a bunch of other people on our community who are kind of membership veterans. It’s quite cool because a lot of these guys are people who actually joined our site like right at the beginning. We’ve kind of seen what they do when they already got a successful membership, but their focus is on going beyond just making money and attracting members. They’re looking at okay, well, how do I build out my team, and how do I get organized, and how do I work less, but achieve the same or achieve more? Mike Morrison: That kind of keeps us on our toes as well in terms of the challenges that we have to address for our members. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I remember an episode from your podcast a while ago I just want to check in on since I know you follow the industry so well, which was it had to do with Amazon … Mike Morrison: Oh, dude. Don’t. Don’t. Chris Badgett: What? Mike Morrison: You know what? I never, never do episodes about developments in the industry. I try not to because I should know better. Chris Badgett: Because it changes. Mike Morrison: Because it changes. It’s not evergreen content. Every episode in my podcast bar to are totally evergreen. Chris Badgett: Right. Isn’t that one of them? Mike Morrison: That’s one of them. Chris Badgett: Okay. Mike Morrison: I fought the better demons to … Chris Badgett: You did some reporting on the news. Mike Morrison: I did it. I did it. You know what? They turned around like three months later and decided that they just didn’t want to offer that as an option for kind of memberships and stuff like that. They just canned it quietly. Chris Badgett: Which goes back to the value of owning your platform like keeping … Mike Morrison: Yes. Chris Badgett: There are times to outsource to like Vimeo Live. You don’t want to build a live streaming service. Trust me. As much as you can keep under your own hood the better. Mike Morrison: Definitely. Also, it’s a cautionary tale about kind of jumping on bandwagons when stuff’s new. We kind of wind up … Do you guys in the States have that phrase? To be wound up? To get winded up? Chris Badgett: We can understand 95% of what you say. Mike Morrison: Yeah. Okay. Okay. I think we wind up a lot of people in the tech space for memberships when they bring out a new tool or a new platform or a new plugin. Because we do have a fairly sizable audience in the membership space, they obviously want to get some exposure through our platforms. They very excitedly email us to announce, “We just launched this new thing. Would you like to review it? Would you like to be an affiliate? We’ll pay you this money,” and all that sort of stuff. We’re now like, “No. Come back in a year,” because the tech industry, I’m preaching to the choir here, it’s so transient. So many new platforms come and then fall within months. Mike Morrison: I have no interest in being that person who every other month says to our audience, “Hey, check out this brand new software, this brand new membership plugin, this brand new that,” because that’s going to erode the trust they have in me when every new thing I talk about just isn’t here in 12 months time. When someone comes and says, “Hey, what happened with Amazon subscription that you recommended we look into,” we’re like, “Yeah, that was a bust.” That episode, I don’t regret recording it, but it was very much a, “Ah, yes. This is why I don’t report on news.” Mike Morrison: However, it still kind of stands as an important thing because the very fact that Amazon were even considering doing what they did and dedicated time and resources to it is- Chris Badgett: It’s a signal. Mike Morrison: It is a signal, but they’re signals as well. I almost did the same thing about Patreon, which is moving … It’s making moves in a big way into the membership space, but I’m not doing an episode about that. Chris Badgett: I think Facebook also recently allowed booking independents for groups or something. I don’t know that’s something new or not. Mike Morrison: I have done an episode on that, but from a different angle. I used that as an opportunity to kind of quell the rush of people to be like, “Oh, I’m going to sell my membership on Facebook.” I almost used that as a, “Okay. Pump the brakes. This is what we know. This is what we don’t know and actually all those bad things about using a Facebook group for a paid membership, they’re still relevant. Calm down.” There’s a lot of signals that the membership space is being taken very, very seriously by some pretty big players. It’s going to be an interesting time period. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s really awesome. I really want to get to the event. We can talk for hours on this stuff. Mike Morrison: Yeah, dude. I knew this would happen. This happened the last time as well I think. I don’t mind. I love talking about this stuff. Chris Badgett: Before we go to the event, there’s one more question I have. You and I have a shared mission to remove friction and help these people achieve not only launch, but grow and enjoy a membership site and not waste time and avoid as much stress and headache and bad decisions as possible. We’re 100% in alignment on that. Mike Morrison: Definitely. Chris Badgett: One of the things I noticed that you do in the Member Site Academy and also just I’m asking you because you’ve had optics into a lot of other membership sites is of people not doing it alone. Like bringing in other people to create content. Like for example, you have a partnership with Callie. You have guests. People come in and you see this inside other memberships. What advice do you have around not going it alone? Mike Morrison: Especially when it comes to bringing guest experts into your membership in particular, it’s a no brainer. It’s just a win, win, win, win, win right across the board. I’m going to steal a saying from a friend of mine, Chris Ducker, who will often say, “Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.” If you think that you’re the only person who can help or teach your members, then you’re wrong. If you think that you’re the only viewpoint that your members should hear, then you’re wrong. If you try to be all things to your members, you end up being nothing to them. There are people out there with complimentary skillsets, complimentary knowledge that your members would benefit from hearing from. Mike Morrison: Go out and bring them into your membership. Ask them to do a little training webinar. Ask them to do a joint Q and A. It doesn’t even have to be just for your members. Ask them if they’ll contribute an article to your blog or come on and do a podcast interview. You know? Unless you are completely just self-interested and you are threatened by the idea that your members might think that somebody else out there have some smarts, then there’s no reason to not expose them to other things that are relevant to the journey they’re on or the goal they’re trying to achieve. Mike Morrison: If you know that hearing from an expert on search engine optimizing that you’re not an expert on or even if you are an expert, hearing someone else’s opinion or experience on that topic, if you know that’s going to help them out, why would you hinder them? It just totally makes sense from a content perspective of bringing other people in to your membership. In fact, there’s lot of memberships, music instruction in particular, where that is what the membership is. It’s a faculty of guest experts. It’s a multitude of different teachers. You mentioned Scott’s Bass Lessons before. They have a faculty of some of the most respected bass educators in the world. Mike Morrison: These guys don’t have their own membership site. They don’t want their own membership site, but they come in and they do regular seminars and workshops for Scott’s students. Everyone loves it. They’re happy. Scott’s happy. Win, win, win. Definitely. Having people involved in your business, obviously the business relationship with Callie is an actual relationship as well. I kind of couldn’t do this without him. I try not to admit that too often. That’s a different kettle of fish. You don’t just go out there and kind of say, “Hey, do you want to just come and run my business with me?” Mike Morrison: That’s where preexisting relationships will actually save you a bit of time to think about what type of business do you want to run long-term, five years, 10 years down the line, and what people do you need in place to achieve that goal, and is any of those people someone who is a partner or a major player or they’re just staff and team and stuff like that. But from a content point of view in bringing people in, it just makes sense. Chris Badgett: That’s great. As we transition to events, you’re adding an event called Retain to your stack. You mentioned Chris Ducker. He just has done his live event. What’s it called? Youpreneur? Mike Morrison: Youpreneur Summit. It’s the second time he’s done it here in the UK. Chris Badgett: You were a speaker there I believe? Mike Morrison: Last year, yes. I spoke at two of his events last year actually because Chris used to live in The Philippines and he run an event called Tropical Think Tank. I spoke there earlier in the year and then I spoke at Youpreneur Summit last November. Chris Badgett: As an expert, which the topic happens to be membership sites which is a little meta, but as an expert, you’re a speaker. You have a really solid membership site. Now you’re creating an event. Just speak at a high level to what … I’m sure there’s more. I mean you’re also an author and a publisher. You got all these things going on. Mike Morrison: Busy dude. Chris Badgett: First of all, do you have a four hour work week? Mike Morrison: Not a four hour work week and the guy who wrote the The 4-Hour Workweek doesn’t have a four hour work week. It’s nonsense, but I work probably less than people think. We generally only work four days a week. Usually maybe five or six hours a day. Chris Badgett: That’s great. Mike Morrison: I refuse to even get out of bed before 9 AM. That for me is my victory. It’s my personal protest against the former life of commuting and working a 9:00 until 5:00. I don’t even wake up until 9:00 at the very earliest and usually finish 3-4 PM. That said, there’s two of us in the business. That does lighten the load. We do have a team in place as well. We have a community manager. We have admin stack. We’ve got some tech support there as well. It’s not just me living the laptop lifestyle. There’s a lot of stuff where technically it is work like checking in on the forum and replying to stuff in our member forum. I kind of check in on that in the same way I check in on social media. Mike Morrison: I enjoy talking about memberships, so I don’t think of it as work. I’m just kind of doing it casually, you know, in the kind of commercial breaks when I’m watching The Walking Dead. I’ll just pop up. Such and such has asked this thing and I’ll quickly reply. If you were to add up all that time, then I’m sure my working hours would be a bit longer, but I’ve got a fairly stress-free kind of work life and it’s designed to be that way as well. I used to run a web agency. I’ve done the whole burnout crazy hours kind of thing. It wasn’t good, you know? Actually my business had become more successful the less I’ve done that kind of stuff. Chris Badgett: Yeah, the more systems you build. I think it’s really important that you said the topic as an expert is something you love. If you check in on the forum, you enjoy it. Mike Morrison: Yeah. Chris Badgett: That’s sustainable. What kind of playbook or business model or maybe person or several people or books inspired you or helped guide you to create this multifaceted expert business, speaker of membership site, now event creator? Mike Morrison: I don’t know. It was never kind of a … When we started with The Membership Guys, we knew there were certain things we wanted to do longer term. We knew that we wanted to write a book. I’d already written one a while back, and I knew we wanted to write a book. We always talked about from day one we’d love to do a big event and some workshops and mastermind ideas and stuff, which we’ve also done, but it was never a case of okay, here’s this business over there that we want to emulate. For us, the membership was always the centerpiece still to this day. Even though we have multiple revenue streams, I still consider our business to be the membership. Everything else is kind of a satellite to that. Chris Badgett: Even if you get paid to speak, that’s just a … Speaking is a satellite. Mike Morrison: Yeah, it’s bonus money. I really hate saying stuff like that because it suggests some mindset towards making money. That is not for me to say, “It’s just bonus money. It’s gravy.” I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t care if I get paid to speak. I care if you got 10 speakers and you pay all the other guys and not me. I want to get paid if you are paying speakers. But also, if it’s the right event, the right crowd, the right place, if it’s somewhere I want to travel to, I’ll speak for free as long as everyone else is speaking for free, right? Getting paid for me isn’t a, “Oh, this is a great new revenue stream.” Mike Morrison: Because honestly even some of the top speakers in the online business game, they’re still sort of making mid-four figures per gig. Some other stretch on getting five figures, but they have to work on it as a business. That’s not something I want to do. Again, it’s something that I consider an activity that I do to grow my main business, which is the membership site. Of course, every speaking opportunity I get them to give me the recording. If it’s different, if it’s a different talk from other stack and elsewhere, I’ll put that recording inside our membership. It’s content creation. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, you made it to the lightning round. Mike Morrison: All right. Chris Badgett: Since we’re doing a podcast about events and we’ve only got about 12 minutes left, the rules of engagement, I’m going to do a bunch of rapid fire questions about the event. You have 30 seconds or less for each answer. Mike Morrison: Dude. Chris Badgett: All right. Where is Retain and why did you choose that location? Mike Morrison: It’s in Newcastle upon Tyne. I chose that location because it’s my hometown. We considered London because there’s this adage that people won’t travel outside of London. It’s nonsense. Also, it’s just easier for us to organize. Newcastle’s an awesome city. It’s a cheap city for visitors to come to for hotels and stuff like that as well. The drinks are cheap. The meals are cheap. The location’s awesome, and it’s my hometown. Chris Badgett: It’s your event. Mike Morrison: It’s my event, and I’m keen to encourage more UK based events that aren’t just settled around London because there’s a big country outside London. There’s a lot happening in the northeast. Chris Badgett: In terms of validation or just making the decision and feeling comfortable of like putting this out there, what gave you the confidence that like, “Okay. My business or whatever, I can attract … This is going to work.” Mike Morrison: We’ve done some smaller events before, but they’ve predominantly been- Chris Badgett: Like mastermind events? Mike Morrison: We’ve done mastermind events. We’ve done workshops predominantly in the US. We’ve done a mastermind day in the UK. All of them will always subscribe. It was sold off just the first teaser email to just our members. There was a little validation there. We also surveyed our audience and we did a presale. We did a presale just for our members. We basically said to ourselves, “Okay. If we sell over 30 tickets during this presale,” in which we basically said, “If we’re going to do an event, it’s going to be about memberships and it’s going to be in 2019. This is how much it will cost.” We had no information and we sold more than our target. That was our basis to actually do this thing. Mike Morrison: Had we not hit that target, we wouldn’t have done it. We’re just giving those guys their money back and we told them that. Chris Badgett: Is the venue a hotel? Mike Morrison: It is. It’s the … Chris Badgett: How’d you pick a hotel? What are the characteristic and what is the business deal you worked out with the hotel? Mike Morrison: I love on site hotel venue. I love it all being in the same building because … Chris Badgett: It’s about community, right? Mike Morrison: It’s about the community. You can kind of take over that building. It’s so easy for them. The best stuff at conferences happens at the bar and it happens at the local pick up meals that you have with a group of 15-20 strangers and you’re all friends afterwards. The content is great and all that sort of stuff, but it’s the socializing. That is where the real, real magic happens. That’s so much easier to do when it’s all at one location. It was actually the third place we went to. We did think it was maybe a little bit not out of our range financially, but just slightly bigger than we were shooting for initially. We had a venue locked down that was a lot smaller and they sort of screwed us a little bit. Mike Morrison: We then looked at a couple of other places. We always said, “Year two or year three will be great to do with this place,” and then we just said, “Should we just do it at that place,” and then we locked it down. You agree expected numbers. They base the price on that expectation of how many people you’re going to need to pay for. You pay a deposit and then there’s points over the year at which you pay a little bit more. Then there’s a date that you need to have final numbers confirmed by. The remainder of what you got to pay them is based on those final confirmed numbers. Chris Badgett: That was more than 30 seconds, but we’re going … Mike Morrison: Sorry, dude. Chris Badgett: As of this recording, this event is about 10 months out. It’s September 11th through 12th, 2019. Can you talk about the timing? It feels a little far in advance, but- Mike Morrison: It is. Chris Badgett: … I’m the guy who likes to plan myself and be strategic about the future and not stress myself out the last minute. I appreciate it. Can you speak to the timing? Mike Morrison: The timing, it is quite far out. However, about 60% of our audience are based in the US and this is a UK event. We were confident that actually a lot of people would come from overseas, but we knew that we need to start telling these people about the event far enough in advance that they could actually make travel arrangements and they could get flights that didn’t cost the earth and stuff like that. That’s kind of born out because so far most the people who bought tickets aren’t from the UK. We know our UK people will buy tickets later because it’s a lot easier. Chris Badgett: It’s like next door your event. Mike Morrison: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But we’ve got people coming from Russia, from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all over the place and I’m confident we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we didn’t have as much lead in time. Also, it’s just important to lock in the speakers. A lot of our speakers, they are on the speaking circuit and there are certain times a year that are traditionally conference season. We needed to lock those guys down before they got booked up by other people as well. Chris Badgett: How’d you get your speakers? Mike Morrison: Through relationships predominantly. Our actual speaker choices, our main criteria is this needs to be people who either already have memberships or they are in a key role for the membership businesses. Almost everyone on the stage actually runs their own membership. The two people who don’t they are big players in other successful memberships. That obviously narrows the field. A lot of the speakers are people we’ve already had relationships with or who we specifically wanted to get on stage, and so we started laying the foundations for relationships with them before we asked them to get on stage. We try to obviously feature a lot of UK based speakers as well. It’s a UK event. Mike Morrison: I’ve been up and down the roads speaking myself at events, attending events, and a lot of the relationships are developed there. I’ve actually led into knowing the right people to get on our stage. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. If somebody is considering flying across the pond, whether that’s from the US, Canada, South America, Australia, Africa, wherever, what can people do around Newcastle upon Tyne like just for fun tourist stuff? What’s near there? Mike Morrison: Newcastle is a party city. Generally, it’s where the rest of the UK comes for like bachelor weekends and stuff like that. It’s probably the smallest big city in the UK. There’s a lot of great restaurants, a lot of great bars if you just want to do that sort of thing. Newcastle was kind of the site … If you’re like a history buff for example, Newcastle was the site of a lot of the Roman developments when the Romans came into England. There’s a lot of historical stuff you can see on that front. You can see Hadrian’s Wall, which for any Game of Thrones fans, was the inspiration behind the wall in Game of Thrones. Emperor Hadrian built it to keep the Scottish riffraff out of England. Mike Morrison: There’s a lot of that sort of stuff. There’s beaches. There’s sports teams. Not very good sports teams. There are sort of stuff you can do in cities basically, but with a lot of … There’s a lot of countryside. There’s a lot of beautiful beaches. There’s a lot of historical stuff nearby as well. Chris Badgett: Can you describe the perfect like situation or who the event is for? The ideal attendee for Retain. Who is it? Mike Morrison: The event is entirely focused on people who want to grow their membership. This isn’t somewhere we’re going to teach you the basics or we’re going to teach you how to build a membership. This is for people who have a membership and they want to grow it. They want to make more money. They want to keep hold of more of their members, but they also want to scale their systems and just get better at running their membership as a business. If you are thinking about starting a membership, you could still fill up on lots of awesome knowledge on growth strategies and stuff like that, but the ideal person is someone with a membership already, who’s kind of mastered the basics, and now they want to step things up. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. If this sounds like fun, go check out retainlive.com. You can also get to it from themembershipguys.com. I’m going to leave you with the last question. I’m going to give you a really hard one or one- Mike Morrison: Dude, no. Chris Badgett: .. that will be hard to pull off in 30 seconds- Mike Morrison: No. Okay. Chris Badgett: … which is if we look into the future based on what you’ve seen or being in the industry, what are some maybe counterintuitive predictions or something that you see like there’s a little wave, it might be a tsunami later that’s coming to the membership site industry or just some kind of change that’s happening in the industry? What’s something that you could share with the good people? Mike Morrison: You know, I think some of the players that are circling around … I don’t think Amazon are done with subscriptions. I still think at some point we will see subscriptions sold on a more mainstream … Like membership subscriptions sold on more mainstream platforms. Patreon are probably going to be the biggest name that almost leads the initial charge because they are really doubling down on memberships. I think they’ll be that little lead into the more mainstream memberships. Otherwise, I don’t think a great deal is going to change. I think the tech might change. Mike Morrison: The platforms might change, but for as long as there is expertise to be taught and for as long as there are people out there who want to learn and want to achieve things, then there’ll always be space for memberships. Honestly, I don’t think there’s going to be any major revolutions in the membership space. Maybe WordPress will lose its edge because they are tethering on the edge on completely alienating all their developers and all of their customers. But again, it’s not even the software change, there’s a platform change, the core principles for the type of memberships we work with, I don’t think they’re going to change in a big way. Maybe that’s counterintuitive- Chris Badgett: Yeah, that is … Mike Morrison: … because we’re going to see the same. Chris Badgett: Would you say it’s still early days in terms of the industry or we’re kind of entering the majority or hitting … Mike Morrison: Yeah, I think we’re really in the thick of it now. I’ve seen the membership bandwagon in terms of being flavor of the month for the internet marketers who want to make a quick buck. I’ve seen this bandwagon come around three or four times now in the last 15 years. That will continue. In five years time, there’ll be another guy with a $2,000 overpriced, overhead costs to sell who’s getting all of this friends to sell his rubbish for them. Those people will always be there. That’s never going to change, but the core of the industry I think is really in full swing, the people who are running them as businesses. We’re in the thick of it. I don’t think it’s the beginning. I think we’re in the thick of it. Mike Morrison: It might tip up a little bit with platforms like Patreon kind of making it more accessible for kind of the more hobbyist or the creators who aren’t actually teaching stuff, but who will have a fandom. I think they’re going to be able to enter the membership market a lot easier, whereas currently I would say it’s more the realm of educators and authorities and influencers. I think the types of people who’ll be drawn to the model will expand a bit, but I do think that we’re in full swing with the market right now. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Well, always a pleasure. That’s Mike Morrison from themembershipguys.com. Check out the event retainlive.com. Mike, thanks for coming on the show. Mike Morrison: Thanks for having me on. That was fun. Chris Badgett: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results-giving courses on the internet. The post How To Add A Live Event To Your Mostly Online Education Business Mix With Mike Morrison From The Membership Guys appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


20 May 2019

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Top 47 Recommended Resources For Course Creators

Ali Mathis joins Chris Badgett in this LMScast to discuss the top 47 Recommended Resources for course creators and the new LifterLMS Recommended Resources page. In their discussion, Ali and Chris dive into their inspiration for creating the Recommended Resources page and how it may be able to contribute to your course creation journey.A lot of people know LifterLMS as an all in one solution for building your WordPress LMS website, as it combines e-commerce, all the membership functionality you would need, engagement functionality, and the core LMS elements such as courses, quizzes, assignments, and reporting.When writing a book, all you need to get started is a computer and a word processing program. Creating an online course often becomes a lot more complex with more pieces involved, such as a domain name, hosting, WordPress, and an LMS. The purpose of the Recommended Resources list is to point course creators in the right direction for things like themes, page builders, equipment, and other tools that can contribute to the course creation process.The list of Recommended Resources for course creators includes links to tools for everything from hosting to meeting scheduling tools to microphones for recording your course. Tools for creating courses can help improve your ability to produce great content, but focusing on delivering value and getting students results is the core of online education. It is important to keep that in mind when building a course, because many course creators dive too deep into the tech early on and forget to focus their content around the core value they offer.One way we have seen course creators be successful with creating content is by building a minimum viable course or offering a premium service and using what they learn from that initial contact with their audience to form their course content. You can always start out by recording a course with your computer audio and video camera and upgrading tools down the line if you find it useful to do so.There is nothing more frustrating when you are building a course site than getting started on the wrong foot. As Chris says, creating a course site is a journey, and it is incredibly frustrating to twist your ankle on the first step.If you have any questions about the LifterLMS Recommended Resources page or any feedback you have, feel free to reach out at LifterLMS.com. You can find the Recommended Resources page by heading to LifterLMS.com/Recommended-Resources, or you can scroll down to the footer at LifterLMS.com and you can find the link to the resources area there.At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special repeat guest, Ali Mathis from the LifterLMS team. How are you doing, Ali? Ali: I’m great. Happy to be here again. How are you, Chris? Chris: Good. Ali is further securing her lead as the most repeat guest on the LMScast podcast. We’ve been working on a project at Lifter called the Recommended Resources page, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How do you want to lead us in? Ali: I’m super excited that this page has launched, so I know there’s a lot we can talk about related to it. Maybe you could start out by just giving everybody an overview of what this page is, and why we decided to put it together. Chris: Absolutely. It’s at lifterlms.com/recommended-resources. Also, if you go down to the bottom of the website of lifterlms.com, you’ll find a resources area and there’s a link to the recommended resources there, but a lot of people know Lifter is an all in one solution for building your WordPress LMS website. It combines e-commerce, all the membership functionality you would need, engagement functionality, and it has all the LMS stuff, the courses and the quizzing and the assignments and the reporting and everything. It’s really an all in one in that ecosystem of WordPress LMS website. You don’t need a separate e-commerce plugin or membership plugin or whatever, but the reality is as a course creator or someone building a training-based membership site, you still need a few other tools and tag hardware or software apps to get the job done. Everybody is really busy. Chris: I think we’re living in a time we’re recording this in the summer of 2019, every time I ask somebody, how are you doing? They always say the same thing. Crazy busy. I think course creators especially, they have an even extra little layer of busyness because they got all this different areas they have to excel out for their project to even work and become a success. Part of that- Ali: Sometimes … Oh sorry. Chris: Go ahead. Ali: Sometimes it’s not their full-time job either. [crosstalk] side project. They have their regular job, their life and then they’re trying to put a course together too. Chris: I think that’s a really good point. If I was going to write book on the side like a nonfiction book or a novel, I just need a computer and a word processing program and I could get started. Creating an online course, if you’re going to do that on the side, it’s not that simple. You can’t just … You need some more things to come together to start putting it together. That’s really the genesis of it. One of the things that make courses so valuable is the multimedia interactive nature of it. There’s never been a better time in history to create scalable training content on the Internet. In order to do that, you’ve got to get a few things right. It’s never been easier and more possible for anybody to do, but you still need to get things like a website, video, camera, microphones. I don’t know, maybe we should go over some of the categories of all these tools we were talking about of all the tech and gear. Ali: Yeah, we can go through with some of the categories on the page and then I’d love to talk a little bit about what your personal experience has been with putting your course sites together and your personal stories related to some of these things like hosting. I know you probably could talk about hosting for hours. We won’t do that, but maybe we can touch on some highlights or some horror stories or some good stories. You want to go through what some of the major categories are on the page [crosstalk 00:04:30]? Chris: Sure. This is a living document or whatever. We’re just trying to make it more valuable over time. We’ve got hosting, domain name registration, emails, CMS, which stands for content management system, themes, page builders, LMS plugins, third party add-ons, SEO plugin, Google analytics plugin, forms, plugins, analytics, payment gateways, email marketing or CRM, meeting, automated meeting scheduling, project management, video editing, video hosting, virtual meetings and webinars, video camera, microphone, computer and design services. Wow, that’s a lot. Ali: I think there are 48 resources on the page actually. Chris: Yeah, but the reality is what happens is people end up in research mode and they’re looking at 480 and their brains explode when they’re trying to pick the tools to get the job done. Ali, you and I really relate on project management, and we’ve done it online, and we’ve used Basecamp, we’ve used Asana, we’ve used Trello. Ali: We used Jira for a while too. Chris: Jira. We’ve done rough project management, just doing it through email, but how valuable is it? Pretend, if you could go back in time to somebody who is just getting into an online project management. If there was somebody with a lot of experience and be like, “You know what? There’s a lot of tools.” There’s literally 50 project management tools out here. If somebody was like, “Here’s a short list of ones that you might want to check out,” that’s really valuable. Ali: Yeah. As a company, I think we piloted many different systems for a month or six weeks or even two months some of them at a time before we decided that they maybe weren’t the right fit for us and then had to start from scratch and move on to something else. I’m laughing because you know that always drove me crazy because I don’t love change. Chris: I don’t either. Ali: Yeah, it would have been helpful if somebody was like, “Here are three really awesome ones that you can try out, and one of these three will be a good fit for you.” Chris: Yeah. I went through that. You mentioned three. I think three is a really good number. I was trying to level up my audio capabilities for creating courses and just working on the Internet. In the beginning, what I recommend every course creator start with, if you’re watching this on YouTube, you can see me holding up, I have an iPhone so these are the Apple earbuds. That’s all you need to get started. Don’t over-complicate it. The world is not going to collapse if you don’t have a- Ali: That’s what I’m using right now. Chris: Yeah, you’re good. Your audio sounds great. Sure you can get- Ali: I’ve had used microphones in the past that you have not approved of. Chris: I remember that. Not all earbuds or headsets are created equal. Ali: Right, exactly. That’s my point. Chris: This is the $79 Audio Technica 2100 USB microphone. When I wanted to do something a little higher quality than my earbuds, I got that and this little boom mic thing that cost 15 bucks on Amazon. Now I have something a little fancier where it’s called the Samson Go Mic Mobile where I can walk around and I’m not attached to the computer. I’m not professional level. I’m not doing like Joe Rogan podcasts like studio quality audio through a mixer or anything like that, but I’m good. For most course creators, one of these three is fine, but I see people spend months shopping for audio equipment and just getting overwhelmed or spending too much time and money. Ali: Right. You get stuck and it delays your content creation and your whole course and your revenue stream really. Chris: Yeah. I just want to spotlight Jonathan Farley and Mark Maze of Tools For Course Creators because they are audio and video professionals, and they took me to school on … They helped me figure out that based on what I like to do and the fact that I have a whiteboard and this office I walk around in, they’re the ones who got me this. It was the stress relief of them saying, “This is the one you need based on your budget.” I was like, “I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a microphone set up right now.” They’re like, “That’s the one you need.” That’s what we’re trying to do for people, not just on the hardware but also the hosting as an example. We see a lot of people. It’s in every Facebook group that involves WordPress. What hosting do you recommend? There are 50 answers. Ali: Yeah. We used to do client services really. That’s how the company started, codeBOX, the parent company of LifterLMS. That is a question when I was over in client services that I had to answer on a regular basis, questions or problems with hosting. Chris: Yeah. It comes up and people … I was talking to somebody literally just yesterday and they were on not a great host and the host was on … They were having problems with the website, and I was helping them out, and then we realized they were on an outdated version of PHP and that host would not upgrade them or show them how our said it wasn’t even possible. There’s nothing more frustrating when you’re building a site to get started on the wrong foot. You got to go on a journey and if the first step you twist your ankle, it sucks. Ali: That’s a big red flag. I don’t want to go down the hosting rabbit hole, but when your host won’t upgrade to the current version of PHP. Chris: We want to just make that easy. There’s a lot of themes out there in WordPress and we wanted to just … There are some that have put a lot of great special attention on LifterLMS so we wanted to spotlight those. Also, people don’t know what they don’t know. Some people don’t realize, I want to have an online course, but they’re like, “What’s a foreign plugin?” I’m like, oh well, most websites have a contact form. By the way, you can do some advanced things with forms inside your courses. Just having them see that, oh, it was important enough for LifterLMS to put that category of plugin on there. That must be important. Maybe I should check that out. Because it’s also, what do we not know? I think the number one question we get asked outside of what Lifter can do is what do you recommend for video hosting? Because we get asked that question almost every day through multiple channels, it’s on the list now, so now we have a short list of video hosting. Ali: Right? It starts with how does video hosting work and then what do you recommend for video hosting? Chris: Yeah, exactly. Ali: I think I mentioned that there was at last count 48 different resources on the page, but just eyeballing it, there’s probably about, I’m going to guess 20 categories that we have here for resource types. Do people need something from every single category? What are the bare bones things, the minimum, the MVP, what do people absolutely need and what are the nice-to-haves versus the need-to-haves when you’re starting with your website? Chris: Yeah, that’s a really good question. We want … Minimalism is key. We could put a thousand resources on here if we wanted to, but we’re trying to help with the overwhelmed not create more overwhelm. I think it’s important to note that there are different types of people out there getting into courses in terms of how much complexity they want to manage and deal with. You could be a beginner, very new to WordPress, not really tech savvy and still pull it off. You’re going to want a few less things than people who are more advanced. I can give an example of that. Chris: First of all, I just want to note that some of these items on this page do have some affiliate links, and we put that on there. It doesn’t cost you more money, but we do get a commission if you buy through our link, but that’s not the driving force of what we put on here. The number one goal is to just help you find the tools you want for your platform and as little as time as possible and without wasting money. Minimalism is what it’s all about. Every website needs web hosting. You need a domain name. In my opinion, email marketing and CRM, you really do need that. It’s fundamental. You could skip the foreign plugin. You could just put your email address on a page. You could skip the SEO plugin and worry about that later. You’re probably going to want video, unless you happen to have an audio or a text-based course. Chris: Project management, you may not need. If you’re not doing coaching or consulting or not doing sales webinars or one-on-one virtual meetings in your sales process, you could probably skip the virtual meeting. Really this is a pretty minimal list. There’s a few that you could call out here if you want to go bare bones, but even the ones that we do have some third party recommendations that are nice to have but maybe not essential, third party add-ons. It’s really pretty fundamental. If it’s important enough for us to put it on there, like analytics, in my opinion, if the website is the business, you really should be integrating Google analytics from day one so that you can make data-informed decisions. That’s why it’s on there. The foreign plug-ins, they’re on there because we don’t want you to get a bunch of spam email because you put your email address directly on your website, not behind a contact form. Chris: Even though some of these things feel a little extra, we’re taking the minimalist approach. I know one you added today is around design services. We’re recommending a tool called Design Pickle. Let’s be honest folks. 10% of you listening to this are wonderful and fantastic at graphic design, and if you want to get an image of your course design, every course has a featured image, we recommend getting some professional graphic design help with that. Design Pickle is something we recommend over there. We’ve been using that ourselves and love it. It’s a comprehensive list, but it’s not meant to let’s make this list as big and as massive as we can. Ali: Right. When you first started out, Chris, when you made your … What was your first course? Was it the one about frying an egg? Chris: They were omelets actually. Ali: Sorry. Chris: I called it the poet omelet method. Poet stands for perfect omelets every time. Ali: I still have to take that course. When you made your first omelet course, what did you start with? Did you have a checklist that you were referring to or did you just make it up as you went along? Did you have a mentor? How did you get from the idea of having a course to actually having a course? Chris: I had nothing. I had no mentor, nobody guiding me. I just challenged myself. I couldn’t explain it. I was compelled to figure this online training thing out. My online course was more just a test of can I do this? That first version of the course, I put up on Udemy. Pretty much all it was, was my laptop. I had an external video camera on a tripod, and my laptop had some video editing software in it. I didn’t really do much with the post-production of it. It was only a six-lesson course where I teach six different omelets. I was actually house-sitting for somebody, and I actually recorded it in their kitchen. To this day, they don’t know that their kitchen is all over the Internet with my omelet course. That’s it. It was really just my computer and a video camera and then whatever I needed to do my thing so some food. Ali: Some eggs. Chris: Yeah. That was it. Now even the computer itself, the built-in video camera on a computer, if you’re going to do talking head and for most … Honestly, almost the majority of online courses, you’re good to go with just your built-in video camera. Some people don’t even put there … There’s not a need for talking head and they just do screen share or they’re videoing something out in the field. Ali: Yeah, I’ve seen people also do video recordings of a PowerPoint presentation, for example. Chris: Yeah. Keynote or PowerPoint is a really popular way to get started. We’ve seen people … Even for the video piece, we’re actually using Zoom to record this, which is that virtual meeting and webinar software I will recommend. You can actually record your lesson videos by having a meeting all by yourself and hitting the record button in Zoom. There are all kinds of little tricks like that. Ali: Zoom is free. You can upgrade to different plan levels, but the basic plan in Zoom is actually free. Chris: Yeah, that’s a really good point. We try to recommend, too, we’re always conscious of price and helping people get their course and their project launched without breaking the bank because you can always improve things. I told you about my microphone journey over time. For example, on email marketing, MailChimp I often recommend as a great entry point. They have a free plan. You can do your broadcast emails and you can do a lot for free. It’s just a great entry point. Your earbuds that you already have are free, a great entry computer. Your computer you already have is free, a great entry point. A lot of [crosstalk 00:19:35]. No, they’re not free. A lot of the foreign plugins, not all of them but have a free version that’s very suitable. Ali: Great. That’s true. Chris: The SEO plugin, Yoast, there’s a free version. A lot of this stuff, it doesn’t mean you got to go buy something in every category either. Ali: Yeah. One thing I want to talk to you about or ask you about, because I get this question a lot, I see this question from our customers a lot and this is one of our categories here, are page builders. Is a page builder required with LifterLMS? If not, if I know the answer, when do you recommend a page builder? Who is a page builder for? Chris: That’s a great question. Well, first of all, WordPress by itself is a page builder. It builds pages, and with the block editor that came out at the end of 2018, it has more page builder-like features which continue to grow and expand. For a lot of people, they don’t need a page builder. They’re good with just regular WordPress and their theme. It’s often the other way around where people just at us and they’re already using page builder. They’re like, “I use Elementor or I use Beaver Builder. I use Divi.” They’re just page builder first and now they want to get into online courses. I’m like, all right, we’re ready for you. Chris: Sometimes if they come the other way and they’re like, “I’m doing this more complex marketing campaign and I need a landing page that has this really specific layout and all these other features in it.” It’s starting to sound like page builder land where you’re doing complex designs and you want to get them done quickly without doing custom design from scratch. Page builders are great for that. Astra has the Astra starter sites, which is a way to get even more beginner page builder layouts that already look great, designed for a specific purpose with either Beaver Builder or Elementor, and they have some stuff for Gutenberg now that you can just drop right in. Chris: The reality is the theme of this show, I’d like to just mention that I’d recommend is just being a minimalist. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and just get too many plates spinning that you almost forgot that the main goal here is to help a learner somewhere else in the world through the Internet achieve some result by taking your course. I always like to come back to that. If your audio is not perfect but gets the job done, is that going to make or break your student learning? If you have a fancy layout on your homepage that you did with a page builder, is that going to make or break the … Is it going to prevent you from getting a sale or helping that learner learn? Sometimes we have to get out of our own way and get launched as minimally as possible, but then you can come back to this list and just improve, iterate, improve over time. Ali: Yeah. Another category which I think is interesting that we have here, and I think it’s because we use it a lot ourselves, is the automated meeting scheduling because that can really save you a lot of … We’ve talked about saving time, money and focus. It can really save you both time and focus, I think, as a course creator or somebody who owns their own business. Chris: Yeah. I can’t tell you how … I used to schedule meetings all around the world manually. I’m not going back to that world. Ali: I remember that. I know. We did too when we did client services. We had clients all over the world in every time zone. It was constantly like we’d use timezone conversion websites to make sure we were all talking about the same thing, but misunderstandings can happen a lot in this global economy. Chris: It’s like, here’s my link, and then you just wait for them to appear. I think that’s important, too, just to mention. For scheduling for a course creator, one of the counterintuitive things I recommend especially if you have a higher priced program is make it possible for people to schedule a call with you because a lot of people don’t necessarily spend $1,000 or more without having to talk to you first to make sure to build the relationship, build the trust and see if you’re a good fit for each other. I highlight that’s why it’s on the list. It’s helpful in doing that. It’s helpful for doing post-purchase coaching scheduling. It’s helpful for if you start working with other freelancers and contractors and people on your team to schedule call times and stuff. You’ll just use the heck out of it once you start working with other people. Ali: It doesn’t have an actual integration with LifterLMS, but that’s just something that you would throw up on your website separately. Correct? Chris: Yeah, or use just to run your online training business by email or whatever where you send somebody a link to schedule a call with you. Ali: I think that’s great. The last thing I wanted to ask you to touch on again since I think this could maybe scare some people that are just getting started is the video editing category. Do you need to be a professional video editor or have those skills to get your course off the ground? Chris: I would just ask you that’s listening or watching this right now. If you have listened or watched this podcast before, this is near episode 300, it’s been going for four years, and all I do is I chop a little bit off the beginning and a little bit off the end, if that, and that’s my video editing process. These podcasts still deliver value even though they’re not totally perfect edited. Also, if I’m doing a PowerPoint slide narration, inevitably I’ll mess something up. Sometimes it’s okay just to be human and fix it on the fly and go for it. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for editing, but don’t let perfection be the enemy of just getting the job done. Tools … You learned, Ali, recently, fairly recently how to use ScreenFlow, which is a video editing tool for Mac. Personally, I only use 5% of what it does, just dragging things around, cutting them up and sending it out, but it does a lot more. What was it like for you getting going with ScreenFlow? How hard was it? Ali: There’s definitely a learning curve with it, but there are a lot of YouTube videos. I wouldn’t underestimate the power of a good YouTube video to get started. As long as you have the right computer and the right equipment for it, it’s not too complicated to just do a little bit of chopping here and a little bit of chopping there. Like you said, I probably use … You say you use 5% of it. I probably know how to use 3.5% to 4% of it. I know that it has a lot more power than I even would know what to do with. There’s a lot of great video tutorials out there to help you get started with a lot of these things. Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Ali: Any last words you want to say about the resources page or anything that you’re super excited about that I forgot to ask you about or that you want to make sure that our audience knows about? Chris: I would just say to keep coming back to it. It’s lifterlms.com/recommended-resources. Also, don’t feel like you have to get it all at once. It’s a resource. It’s a living document. We do have something called the infinity bundle, which is our biggest bundle that has a weekly call that we run in it called LifterLMS Office Hours Mastermind. Some of the topics that come up in there are discussions around these things. We’re putting just this list to these frequently asked questions that we get all the time, like what video hosting you recommend and stuff. If you want to have a more in-depth conversation around it, not just with LifterLMS but with other course creators just like you heard, using these tools, learning what they like, learning what they don’t like. I’d encourage you to check out the Office Hours Mastermind call that happens every week. That’s a benefit of the LifterLMS infinity bundle. Ali: That’s a good point. Chris: Do you have any final thoughts, Ali? Ali: No. I just think that this page was born from the fact that we’re always talking and thinking about what we can do to help our customers be more successful. Their success is our success. We really want this to be useful. We welcome any feedback anybody has. They can always send us a message through the contact form on our website. If there are some resources that they’re looking for or have questions about them, we’re happy to answer them. Chris: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results, getting courses on the Internet. The post Top 47 Recommended Resources For Course Creators appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


28 Jul 2019

Rank #5

Podcast cover

From Martial Arts Business Owner to Health Course Creator to Online Entrepreneur Membership Site Creator With Kevin Geary of Digital Ambition

The journey from martial arts business owner to health course creator to online entrepreneur membership site creator with Kevin Geary of Digital Ambition in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Kevin started his first successful online business in 2013. Before that he was the co-owner of a martial arts studio where he lives in Atlanta. That is where Kevin had his first entrepreneurial experience working in a brick and mortar studio. Around 2012 he started to lose interest in the martial arts industry, and the partnership in that business was not going great. As his business turned into a soul sucking day job, he ended up looking for different avenues. Building websites for himself was his experience in web design, and the idea of location independence was Kevin’s inspiration for jumping ship and working really hard to make his business Digital Ambition work. During the time Kevin spent working in martial arts he had fallen out of practice and found himself gaining weight, peaking at about 40 pounds overweight. He began a real food diet and functional fitness exercise routine, and he got into healthy shape again. During his process of losing weight, people inquired about how he was managing to get back in shape, and he structured a program they could follow along with that eventually translated into an online course. The idea behind functional fitness is to emphasize natural movement by committing to routines that have you move and condition the way your body naturally does. Sports and jogging are a few examples of functional fitness. Assisting students in the process of implementing the strategies you teach in your online course is a great way to make sure you’re delivering effective solutions and get feedback on the success of your program. Kevin shares how he structures his live calls and mastermind sessions through his business to ensure his clients get the most out of the programs. Building the know, like, and trust factor with your audience is a big part of making sales and connecting with your students. Kevin has both a podcast and a YouTube channel he creates content for. Relatability can also be communicated in a big way through YouTube and videos in general. Kevin shares how he connected with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, because Pat was also a father entrepreneur looking for location freedom through online business. To learn more about Kevin Geary be sure you check out DigitalAmbition.co. He has a few free guides over there to check out. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and we’re joined by a special guest, Kevin Geary from DigitalAmbition.co. Welcome to the show, Kevin. Kevin Geary: Thanks for having me. Glad to be here. Chris Badgett: I’m really excited to get in it with you, because I help entrepreneurs, you help entrepreneurs build profitable digital businesses, online businesses. For me, it’s specifically in a course base. You also have a journey as a course creator, someone who’s created a membership. There’s your kind of case study and your journey, what worked for you. You said that started in 2013? Is that right? Kevin Geary: Yeah, my first working online business started in 2013, and that was the online business that allowed me to go full-time online. Chris Badgett: What were you doing before you became an online entrepreneur? Kevin Geary: I was the co-owner in a martial arts studio here in Atlanta that opened in 2018. I was the manager of a martial arts studio before that. That was the very beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, running a brick and mortar studio. In 2012 ish, I really started to just not like that industry much anymore. The partnership that I was in wasn’t going that great. I was already starting to kind of … My first daughter was born in 2012. And so I kind of had what I felt at the time was a soul sucking day job at that point. I just despised getting up every day and having to go back into that studio, and that environment in that situation. I started looking at different avenues. Kevin Geary: I had had experience in the online space before that doing blogging and things like that. I had been designing websites for a long time just for myself, not as a business or anything. I had tools, and I decided at that point, all right well if I’m going to jump ship … I loved the idea of location independence and schedule independence. I was like, let’s go online really hard and see if we can make this thing actually work, this idea, this concept of online business. 2013 is when we launched. That was in January of 2013. August 2013, I left that job, and the rest is history. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Was that your health related online business? Kevin Geary: Yes, yeah. Chris Badgett: Was martial arts the bridge to the health focus? Because I know martial arts has a lot of inter gain and health and fitness. Kevin Geary: It does, yeah. No, but that wasn’t the bridge. The bridge was my own personal health journey. When I switched into teaching in martial arts, I was so busy on the teaching side of things that I actually stopped practicing for a while, and I gained a lot of weight. I didn’t have a good diet and good eating. When I stopped the actual training side of it, I was just doing teaching, and I was doing coaching. We had a national competition team, so I was traveling around doing that. All of that took my time. I stopped training as much I was, gained a lot of weight. All throughout my life, I was up and down with weight. I had to watch my weight very carefully. In, I think it was 2009 ish, I was basically 35, 40 pounds overweight. At that time, I went to get a physical. They said, “You have high blood pressure, you’re a borderline diabetic, you need to get in control of this stuff.” Kevin Geary: And so I started making a move towards that, and thankfully I went online, I found the real food movement where it was like, hey, just eat real food. Stop doing all the dieting and the Weight Watchers stuff that I had been doing in the past. I started doing that, started doing more functional fitness instead of going to the gym and reading a piece of paper, and doing sets, and this and that. I just started doing more natural stuff. I just went out and walked, I played tennis, I did stuff that was fun. I actually lost all of the weight fairly easily just following the real food, functional fitness kind of stuff. At the martial arts studio where I was teaching all of the students, mostly were kids, the parents were like, “Dude, what are you doing? You just lost all this weight. You look fantastic. What are you doing?” Kevin Geary: And so I started telling them, sharing with them. They asked me, “Hey, can you put some structure to this so we can follow it?” Started to do that. They started following it, they started getting amazing results. At the time I was like, all right well, maybe this is the thing. I love doing this, I love seeing what it’s doing for other people. Maybe we should take this, this should be the online thing. We should try to bring this into the online space. And that’s what I did. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Can you just elaborate a little more on functional fitness? What does that mean? Kevin Geary: Yeah. There’s a lot of different ways that people go about the idea of functional fitness. Some are just like, it’s activities out in the world. Sports is a perfect example of functional fitness. But now other people- Chris Badgett: It’s not isolated movements in the gym. Kevin Geary: Exactly, right. But other people do take it into the weight room, and so they would design weight lifting routines that are more functional. It’s like somebody would consider a dead lift to be more functional than a bicep curl or something. There’s different definitions of it. But for me, it was out in the world, out in the environment, and stuff that translates to the real world. Yeah, all those isolated weight lifting exercises you see people doing with dumbbells don’t really translate to your daily movement and any athleticism or anything like that. Chris Badgett: Very cool. What did you create? What was the online business in this niche? What was it? Was it a course? Was it a membership? Was there an e-book? What was it? Kevin Geary: Yeah, no, it was a course. Right off the bat, I went into the online course space and probably made one of the biggest mistakes doing that is that I tried to make this giant six month online course program that covered everything. Everything that people wanted to know and was asking me, that was what went into the course. It had structure and it had like, all right, we’re going to do this step first, then this step, and then this step. I had another coach that I brought in to help with all of that. We launched it incorrectly where the very first time I put it out, I let people buy. It was six stages, and I let people buy individual stages instead of just buying the entire course. That was the original way. Kevin Geary: And then figured out very quickly, all right, that’s not going to work. And then packaged it all into one, and just slowly but surely did it at the wrong price points. It was tremendously cheap. I think the payment plan was like six payments of $9 was the very first offer of it. This is a course, by the way, that ended up selling for $695 at some point. You can see the vast difference in, all right here’s where we started and here’s where we got to. But that stayed the flagship product for a while. We ended up calling it back from a six month to a 90 day course to make it a lot more digestible and approachable for a lot of people. And in doing that, it became simpler and easier to follow, and then we got feedback from people going through it on how to make it better and how to get people better results. It just was in constant development and restructuring, and we relaunched it multiple times. But that was one of the main things that we offered. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I just want to highlight how you went back through it, you kept adjusting things. You didn’t just walk away and be like, this isn’t working. Kevin Geary: No. Chris Badgett: You just kept changing it, testing assumptions. I think that’s really smart. Now, you offer a membership at DigitalAmbition.co where you help online business owners people grow or get started. This is the other niche you’re in, which is the online entrepreneurship niche. How do you help those people? Kevin Geary: Yeah, I bring them into a membership community environment. Basically what I wished I had been in when I was going through this the first time, and really the second time, and then all the times I failed before that would’ve been nice to be in something like this as well. But it’s kind of like, and I found this for myself and almost all of the online entrepreneurs that I talked to. A lot of people want to sell like a recipe. They have their marketing recipe or their Facebook Ads recipe, or this and that. For me as an online entrepreneur, most people that I work with and talk to, they want somebody who has a cookbook where it’s like you come in like, look at my business, here’s what’s going on in my business, here’s what I feel is going wrong, here’s what I feel is going right. What do you think I should do next? What do all of you think I should do next? Kevin Geary: And so it’s not like a, come learn this, come learn that. It’s more like a, come look at what I’m doing. Give me that feedback and advice based on your experience, and then help me execute on that, and make sure that I’m executing correctly. You’ve probably experienced the same thing. It’s not that online courses can’t have this component. They certainly do and probably should. But somebody can learn something in an online course. They can learn the exact right thing that they need to do for their business, and go off and just be terrible at execution, and then it fails. Kevin Geary: And then what do they say? “Hey, that thing you taught me doesn’t work.” Or, “That thing you told me to do doesn’t work.” It’s like no, it’s the execution that went wrong, not the idea, not the strategy or the tactic. Being in that membership community where we’re constantly … I’ve tried to build a membership community in a different way than the other ones that I see available out there where a lot of people want to make membership communities centered around come learn things. Here’s all the trainings that we have. Come do our trainings library, and we bring guest experts in to do all of this training. Our pitch is more like, come in and let us look at your business. Come in and let us hear what you have to say about what’s working and what’s not working, and what we think you should do next. It’s more about that personalization and getting you that guidance, that personalized guidance and support that you really want. That person looking over your shoulder saying, “All right, I see your sales page, here’s what I would recommend that you change. Here’s what you did really well. Here’s what’s missing, here’s this landing page, here’s why it’s probably not working. Here’s why that Facebook ad might not be working.” Kevin Geary: Making those adjustments and pivots just as I did. But of course the figuring it out all on your own method is very costly in both time and money. Chris Badgett: I love this. When I see somebody who’s making an online training program, I’m always asking what’s in the stack. The most successful ones are not just courses. It’s not just the training library. I’m just looking inside what your offering here is. You have the premium training library, but you also have checklists, cheat sheets and more, a helpful community, weekly hot seat calls, and the Hive, which is like your own news portal. Just like what’s going on? Or that’s what you call it. You call it- Kevin Geary: It’s like a community feed, yeah. The community feed. The way that we- Chris Badgett: Okay, so what’s new. It’s like a word of what’s- Kevin Geary: It’s what’s new, it’s all of people’s posts. You can come on to the hot seat calls, for example, and you get to sit in the hot seat, and you get to choose one thing. We don’t go over everything. You get to choose one thing that you want to focus on in your business. You tell us what that is. It’s just like a mastermind, but you get to be in the hot seat every single week, basically. It’s a smaller condensed time slot, but you get to be there every day or every week, and you get to focus on your specific business. It’s not a mastermind in the sense that you have to show up and also give advice to everybody. It’s just me. You show up, everybody gets their time slot, and we go hard in the paint on that one thing. And then you take the advice, and you go execute it. And then if you want to focus on something else, guess what? You come back next week to focus on something else. We don’t go like, “Here’s this, and then that,” and I give you this giant checklist of to-do stuff, dumping it on your plate. Kevin Geary: We pick one thing to fix or to go after, and then you execute on that, and then come back. Now, that’s with me. We also have the community feed. If you want feedback from everybody in the Hive, then you go to the community feed, you post, “Hey guys, I just made this new landing page, I just made this new Facebook ad, I just made this new sales page. Please go take a look at it, let me know what you think. What’s missing? What needs to be changed? What’s not clear?” You can get general feedback and advice from the community that way. Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s awesome. What is the checklist, cheat sheets and more? These are extra resources? Which are awesome because it can take big ideas and actually give you an execution plan or help you take big idea and break it out into something that you can actually use. What are some example checklists and cheat sheets you have? Kevin Geary: Yeah. There’s actually two of them that you can get for free. Two of the major ones that I offer, you can get for free. I give them away for free because I want people to see what the thought process is like, and what the kind of resources that we develop are, knowing full and well that if you download one of these, you can’t really sit there and do it on your own. You have to have guidance or feedback on it, or parts of it explained to you. One is called the one page freedom plan. That’s available for free in the site. That’s a cheat sheet. It’s a one page business plan that basically outlines everything that’s super important to keep focus on for your online business. I have another one that’s called, how to sell anything online. This is a multi-page almost like a workbook. You can just go down item by item, and it’s basically asking questions about things that your prospect is thinking about or needs to know, things that they hate, things that they desire. It just goes down. Kevin Geary: If you’re saying, all right, I have this new online course, how am I going to write emails to sell it, how am I going to write Facebook ads to sell it, how am I going to create a freebie to get people in the door for it? This workbook answers all of those questions, and answers it in a way where when you’re writing, you can take what you’re writing and instantly insert it into a Facebook ad or an email, or whatever you happen to be doing to promote this thing. Again, people can have that for free. A lot of it, they can probably do on their own. But in order to do it effectively, it’s really helpful to have somebody who has done it before and knows what they’re doing to say, “Hey, am I writing the right stuff down? Am I using this stuff in the right way?” Kevin Geary: People can have that for free if they want. If they want the guidance to go along with it, obviously that’s available to them as well in the Hive. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. If you go to DigitalAmbition.co/freedom-plan, you can get that. I’m not quite sure where on your website to get the workbook. Kevin Geary: I’ll send you a link to it. I don’t have that one publicly. I have a video on my YouTube called, how to sell anything online, and then the cheat sheet is attached to that. I did that more as a content upgrade instead of a global freebie opt-in kind of thing. Chris Badgett: What’s your YouTube channel called? Kevin Geary: DigitalAmbition. That one, fairly recently, I actually announced … just a couple months ago I said, “Guys, I’m going hard in the paint on YouTube for the rest of the year.” That’s pretty much a brand new channel, but there’s some really good stuff there for people. Chris Badgett: Awesome. You’ve gone from zero to over one million in online course sales across two different niches, so the health and the digital entrepreneur. What’s something that got you to escape velocity from the martial arts job that you did want to stay at, I believe? Or did you just say, I’m just out of here anyways, and I’m going to cut off my resources, and I just can’t take anymore? Which one? Kevin Geary: No, no. No, I definitely didn’t do that. I definitely didn’t do that because like I said, my first daughter had just been born. My wife’s a stay-at-home mom. I was it. I’m the money coming in. Chris Badgett: You had to reduce risk? Kevin Geary: I did, I did. And so, when I say I started the business in 2013, that was the official launch of the online business. Now, if we’re being honest, all through 2012, while sitting in my … I have some assistant instructors who can teach class. Every time I’d go back to the office, while they take over the warmup or the cool down, I’m in there pounding away on the keyboard, getting blog posts written or stuff outlined that I’m going to have for this online business, and we started developing the website behind the scenes. And so a lot of the prep work … it’s not like I just launched in 2013 and boom, we’re traction and momentum and all that stuff. Kevin Geary: There’s like six solid months of preparing to launch the website for this thing that was going on behind the scenes. I was doing that all through 2012. And then 2013 starts. I have my full-time income from the “day job.” I’m a co-owner, but it really feels like a job. I’ve got that, that’s nice and secure, launch the website. It wasn’t until April where we really got the first version of the online course ready to go. Like I said, the pricing was all wrong there, but people were buying. I had a podcast, I had a lot of blog articles by April. January, we started publishing. By April, a few of them started to rank, and just bring in some organic traffic. It was just random, a sale comes through. At $9, somebody agreed to make six payment of $9. And then the next week, a sale came through. Kevin Geary: I go look at the analytics, I see, hey it’s coming from some articles, there’s podcast downloads happening. And so, I knew, all right, people are buying it at $9. Now obviously I do a little math and I’m like, this is going to take forever at $9. I start to feel like this is worth a lot more than $9. We go from 9 to 19. And then we went from 19 to 29, and then we went from 29 to 39, and 30 to 49. Went up to like $59, six payments of $59. Because every time I raised it, nothing happened. The sales didn’t go, they just kept coming in every time I raised the price. And so, we got the traction and momentum that way, just building. Those were pretty quick. I would change it from 29 to 39 after two weeks. When I went from 19 to 29 and nothing happened, I was like cool, let’s just go to 39. And so that all happened fairly quickly. Kevin Geary: Of course with the recurring payments, they do cut off at the six month mark, which kind of sucked. But it did give pretty consistent revenue each month. Our turn rate was very low. There were not a lot of cancellations. We did get a lot of cancellations when I tested out a trial period. For those out there listening, if they’re wondering should I do a trial for my thing, we did see a huge … we tried a $1 trial for that. It works. In certain niches, I think that’s perfect. For certain products and things like that, it’s a great thing to try. It just wasn’t a good fit for us. We got a lot of people in the door who just wanted to poke around and like, hey, let’s just see what’s going on here. They had no intention of doing the work and getting results or anything like that. It’s kind of just a distraction for us. We took that away. But I got to a point where I was comfortable with the direction everything was headed, and I had more ideas for products and services on the table. Kevin Geary: I was so fed up, and it was a big risk, but I took it. It worked out. I’m not saying that people should take that risk. I feel like the boat was coming into the dock, it wasn’t quite there. I kind of leapt off and swam as hard as I could to it. But it worked out. Chris Badgett: In Japanese culture, there’s the concept of kaizen, which is continuous improvement. I see some people have it, and some people don’t. What is it about your situation that gave you the motivation to keep tweaking, to change the prices, to change the offer, to change this value stack in the program? Why did you keep working it? Kevin Geary: Part of it is just having my back against the wall. There wasn’t any other option. I couldn’t sit there and keep watching a $9 sale roll in. It’s not going to pay the bills. It’s not going to get me to where I want to go. It’s not like I was inexperienced in entrepreneurship. I was running a martial arts studio. I was doing all the marketing for our martial arts studio. I was doing the online marketing for our martial arts studio. I was selling membership. Every single day people … A lot of people struggle with the online space because they’ve never sold anything before, they’ve never promoted anything before. Chris Badgett: But you did that brick and mortar. Kevin Geary: Yeah. Every day, I was on the phone with people, closing deals, I was selling out tournaments, I was getting people into our tournaments. Chris Badgett: What does a martial arts membership cost per month? Kevin Geary: We were selling at that time, 139, 149 a month. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s substantial. One sale, that’s a lot of money. Kevin Geary: Yeah. Chris Badgett: If it’s for a year. Kevin Geary: Yeah, prepay is for that. $1200 for the year, whatnot. If they have family members, some of those deals were $3500. Chris Badgett: Buy one, get one. Yeah. Yeah, that’s huge. Kevin Geary: Yeah. It’s not like selling little e-bucks and stuff like that. I was super comfortable getting on the phone with people. I started back when I was 18, is when I started my first go at a business. It was a mobile bartending service. It completely failed because I made myself the salesperson, and I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t even want to get on the phone with people. I was trying to just sell all the deals through email. They were like, “Can you give me a call?” I’m like, “No. I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t call people. We’re going to do this through email.” So yeah, needless to say, that business didn’t go well. But that’s what happens to so many people, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: Because they don’t have experience, like I don’t want to get on camera, I don’t want to be on YouTube, I don’t want my voice to be out there, I don’t want to be on a podcast. There’s so much of that stuff that prevents people from being successful just because they’re afraid of it. I went through a lot of that. But by the time I did the martial arts thing, and then I was ready for this online business, there wasn’t really anything holding me back at that point. Chris Badgett: That’s great. Now, you mentioned, you admitted a mistake of making what we call on this channel a giant course. Kevin Geary: Yes. Chris Badgett: And then you dialed it back to something we recommend, which is a 12 week program. You said 90 days, so three month program. How did you take this library of information that’s huge and think more about, week one, week two? How did you make that transition? Kevin Geary: Well, first of all, I did an audit of it, and I realized when I was first building this thing, some of the stuff sounded good and felt like it needed to be there. But once you watched people go through it, and you started talking to people, it was as simple as let’s just take one stage, like stage three or something … Each stage had eight or nine different modules in it, which I don’t design any of the trainings I do anymore like that. I pretty much do three parts. It’s three parts, and then that’s a core thing, and then we’re going to move onto the next one. This had like eight or nine different things. One of the pieces of feedback we got a lot of times was, I’m having trouble knowing where I’m at in the course, in the program and what to do next, or the checklists are too long, and on and on and on. But there were conversation, people would tell you, “Hey, module two, I just skipped it. I didn’t even pay attention to it.” Kevin Geary: When so many people tell you that over and over and over again, it’s like, we’ll just take that module out. Obviously it’s not necessary. And so, you just watch a bunch of people go through it. Even though I was selling it at the wrong price, I was kind of thankful because it was getting a lot of people in the door, and a lot of those people turned into good testimonials and really good feedback for what needed to change in the program. We just started with what are people telling us if they’re not liking X, Y, Z? Or they’re not even using it, let’s just take it out. We took a simpler is better approach, and then that became … Kevin Geary: It’s funny because in marketing, the same situation can have really good pros, and really good cons, and it’s just what you decide to focus on. When it was a big six month program, we marketed as, look this stuff’s not easy, it’s going to take time. That’s why you need a giant program like this. And then when it was stripped down, it became, hey we’ve learned over time, here’s the most efficient way to get you from point A to point B. I still think there’s probably a good selling point for, we’re going to make a year long course, and I want you to commit to this thing, and I want you to pay a really sizeable amount for it, and you’re going to stick with it. Because we’re structuring it that way. But then again, there’s also a really good selling point for why something should be 60 or 90 days, to get people quick wins and get their momentum and traction going. You can do it either way, but the 60 to 90 day thing is far easier from a business standpoint to promote, to build, to sell. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. You mentioned you’re doubling down on YouTube. Kevin Geary: Yes. Chris Badgett: Why? Kevin Geary: YouTube for me, when I look at the channel and how it’s used in particular, in the health space, it was just a lot of talking to camera. I feel like that’s not quite as good. You can probably find ways to make it more interesting and stuff. But with what I do now, I do a lot of screen sharing stuff, I do a lot of tutorial based stuff. And so, video just makes a lot of sense. But from a standpoint of marketing, when I look at how people are using channels, the two that I love the most are podcasting and YouTube. The reason is, when somebody discovers your YouTube channel, the same is true with your podcast, high percentage of them dive in deep. They will go watch lots of your videos, they will go download the last 15 podcast episodes you did, and sit there and binge listen to them, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: Not only are in their ear as well as in their eyeballs with YouTube, and then your content is getting into them the same way it would through a blog post, but you have all of these different channels that you’re hitting on. The ear, the eye, the brain, everything is engaged. What I found is that people just build know, like and trust way faster. It’s completely different. I don’t think there’s anybody, at least I haven’t met them, that’ll read a blog post and go, great, I’m going to sit here and read the next 15 blog posts that you have. Especially mine when they’re 2500 words long. You can’t just have that kind of attention from people, but they’ll gladly do that with a podcast. They’ll gladly do that with a YouTube channel. And so, if those things aren’t there, you’re missing out on those people who will be super fans and just binge all of your stuff and then be like, “All right, where do I buy?” Because they just listened to hours of your content. Chris Badgett: That’s great. How do you stand out in a crowded niche? Helping somebody start and grow an online business is a crowded niche, but there’s only one you. Kevin Geary: Yes. Chris Badgett: You probably have your specific type of person or tribe that you work with. Can you give us some insight into how you stand out in a crowded market? Just so people who are faced with the same thing … Crowded markets aren’t necessarily a bad thing either. But how do you approach that challenge? Kevin Geary: Yeah. There’s a few different ways. First of all, I present myself as a normal, every day guy, person. You can go to my Instagram, and you’re going to see my family. I’ve got three kids. I do the daily family grind. And so, one of the things is, is you don’t have to be a 22 year old single, high driven, entrepreneurial guy to succeed at this stuff. If you’ve got three kids, and you feel like you don’t have any time, I’m for you because I’m going to show you how to win in that kind of environment. That’s one, just presenting myself that way, which is just the real me. That’s what I am, is a dad, an entrepreneur that feeds his family through the internet. The second thing is I like to tell people the truth about the heard work that it’s going to take. I like to tell people the truth about the ups and downs, and the pivots and adjustments, instead of presenting this, here’s your blueprint, you’re going to go from point A to point B in a perfectly straight line, and just follow me and pay me, and that’s what’s going to happen. Kevin Geary: There’s that, just not sugar coating everything for people. And then the third thing I think is the size and the scope. I’m not telling people, look, come here and I’m going to have you build a multi million dollar online empire. I’m going to get you location freedom, I’m going to get you schedule freedom, you’re not going to be living paycheck to paycheck. You’re going to be doing pretty well for yourself, and you’re going to love life a lot more because I’m going to give you balance as well as an escape from this day job or whatever it is that you’re struggling with. If you’re already decided, hey, I’m going to be an online entrepreneur and you’re struggling, I’m going to come in and make this business simpler and more profitable for you. I hate the idea of building this giant complex online business. Again, trying to build a high risk, online empire type thing. That’s just not my thing. I just want to be happy. I want to be able to travel when I want to travel, I want to live where I want to live. I don’t want to need anybody’s permission for anything. I just want to be independent, and I want to do that through online business, and that’s what I help other people do. Whether they haven’t started yet or they already have started. Chris Badgett: That’s great. How do you deal with the two market challenge of helping beginners and people start, and helping people grow? Is there an advantage to serving both? Kevin Geary: No. Chris Badgett: How do you help them? What? Kevin Geary: No. No, I struggle. I struggle to serve both. I shouldn’t serve both. If I was giving myself advice I would say, “Stop serving the people who sitting on the sidelines who they want that life and they want to maybe pursue this. Stop paying attention to them. Stop helping people start online business. That’s very difficult.” It’s much easier for me. One area that I focused on was bloggers, for example, because I noticed that bloggers specifically, they’re into this make money online world. That’s why a lot of them got into blogging. They think blogging is my business. They’re trying to turn a channel into an entire business. They’ve got ads all over their site, and little e-book products, and they’re just working their face off. I found it very easy to bring those kinds of people in and just make some tweaks and adjustments to their business, and they go from blogging to having an actual business. And they have a lot more free time, and they love life, and boom, it flourishes. Kevin Geary: That’s much easier for me than taking somebody who’s like, “I’ve got three ideas. Which one’s going to be profitable? How do I build a website?” All that stuff. However, when I look at legacy and I look at impact, the idea of taking somebody from where I was like this soul sucking day job, you’ve got kids to feed, you hate your life, there’s no reason why you’re doing what you’re doing, there’s so much opportunity online. Taking a person like that and actually helping them succeed and helping them make the transition successfully, I don’t think there is any bigger impact that you can make. And so, I have made a bad business decision in helping them in order to make what I think is the right decision in general. Because I have the skills that can help them, and so I shouldn’t just cut them off because it would be easier to do so. Chris Badgett: I really admire you for that. Yeah, that’s an interesting challenge to help beginners and intermediates at the same time. But not giving those beginners a chance when you can help them, when you can throw them a lifeline, there’s a ethical or moral question there maybe. I don’t know if those are the right words for it. But if you can help them, why not? I think the challenge is we have to figure out how to help them in a more scalable way. There’s always tiers and packages, and more passive versus more active. Your hot seats, I want to go back to for a second. If I’m a customer … I just want to make sure I understand. Does everybody who has an active membership have the chance to come to the same hot seat call, which happens once a week? Is that how it works? Kevin Geary: We use an RSVP format. I actually do multiple calls, but we do an RSVP format. The call schedules are posted. Chris Badgett: That’s what I wanted to ask you because it sounded like if I show up, it’s just me being in the hot seat. Kevin Geary: No, no, there’s other people. This is the thing too, there’s a lot of people that they want to show up, they don’t have anything to talk about. They already have what they need to be focused on in their business. They’re already executing. And until they finish that, they don’t really need more, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: But they want to show up to listen because what a lot of people have told me is, they just get tremendous value out of hearing other people get advice. And so, depending on the hot seat call, we might have six seats available for the actual hot seats. Those will be 10 minute seats each. We can do one where the format is more like a blitz format where everybody gets a 5 minute spot, and we can do more people on the same call. I do have a gold membership where people pay a lot more. They get Voxer access to me, they also get a completely separate hot seat call with much longer time slots, much fewer people on the call. That is an option as an upgrade. That’s not available on the front end. You already have to be in to do that. That’s another way we work on the scale. But yeah, the call schedule is posted, and it’s first come, first serve as far as RSVP’s go. The system we use puts everybody in order by when the RSVP. The first six people know, I’m getting in. Kevin Geary: The people that just want to show up and listen don’t RSVP. They just show up and they just listen. They’re not on the list. Everybody can see who’s RSVP’d for this call and that call. They know if they’re going to get a spot or not, and it’s very simple and easy to use. My goal is not for them to get on every single week because if you’re just getting on so we can talk more when you should be executing, that’s not helpful to you or me, or anybody else. There’s a culture that we’ve established where people understand how this works and what’s best for everybody, and what’s best for them and their business. Chris Badgett: How else does your program help with helping people execute and implement, and not just get into information consumption mode? How do you help people overcome that challenge? Kevin Geary: Yeah, for example, two things. Just to explain more of the hot seat calls, we’re not just talking. We do it on Zoom like we are now. And so, I pull up people’s sales pages on the screen, and we go through it. I pull up their freebie, I pull up their Facebook Ads account, all of this stuff. We dive into the actual execution of it on the call. It’s not just like, here’s what I think you should do, and blah, blah, blah and we just talk. Which also is … I’ve been in Masterminds before … much more beneficial I think than just being in a Mastermind where everybody’s talking at you and to you, and things like that. There’s only so much that can be discussed. At some point, we actually have to look at what’s going on. There’s that. And then the training side of things, I make it very clear to people when they sign up. This training’s library is not for you to just go browse around in, or poke around in, or tell yourself stories about how you’re being super awesome and super productive by learning all of these new things. Kevin Geary: I pretty much tell them to stay out of it. I say come to the hot seat calls, let’s look at your business, let’s look at what needs to happen. If there’s something you’re missing, that you need a training for, I’ll tell you where to go get it, or I’ll tell you what module to go look in. But this isn’t for you to just poke around and consume all of your time learning new things. If you ask for feedback and the whole community decides, hey dude, this is the direction you need to go in, you need to get the Facebook Ads fired up on this thing, you need traffic and you need it right now, we got to see if this thing’s working, and you’re like, I don’t know how to do Facebook Ads. Cool, there’s a training for that. Go do it. And so, you’re directed at the trainings you should do. It’s not just come in and learn, and learn, and learn. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thank you for that. I think that’s super valuable, and especially for people that do end up creating a big course or a membership with lots of training. Really good coaches will help direct you to the components you need in what order. That’s a super valuable skill and what makes the difference between a great membership and one that ends up being a little bit of overwhelming. Kevin Geary: Yeah, it’s super important. Because if you leave people to their own devices, they will. They’re like, well, he put this training library here, better do it all. You know? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: And then they haven’t done anything on their business. Super important. Chris Badgett: I was just checking out your podcast, DigitalAmbition. You’re over 100 episodes. As of this recording, you’re at 120 episodes. Why podcasting? And how has it affected your business? Kevin Geary: Podcasting is I think my most natural way to create content. It’s the easiest for me. Writing used to be, but I’ve gotten very tired out on writing. Podcasting was the next easiest channel for me. Plus, what we talked about earlier as far as people binge listening. And then just the data on people telling me when they sign up, “It was your podcast, it was your podcast, it was your podcast, it was your podcast.” Chris Badgett: That’s what you’re hearing? Kevin Geary: Oh, yeah. For sure. Yeah, yeah. The podcast is a really good job at just building the know, like and trust. And then converting people into the membership or I do group programs as well. Sometimes we’ll convert into those really well from a podcast. And then the reason I said I’m going hard in the paint on YouTube is, and I told my podcast audience this as well, and my email list, YouTube was on the docket for a while but I wanted to get the podcast a certain level of traction and momentum before dividing my attention. Because YouTube for me is not nearly as easy. There’s a lot more setup involved. I’m a perfectionist that I’m constantly battling perfectionism and how the video quality is, and how the videos are going to work, and all this nonsense that really doesn’t need to be there. But it’s there for me. YouTube is a harder channel. I kind of put it on the back burner. Now I feel like, all right, I have the resources to focus on it, so might as well do it. Chris Badgett: Some people, they take their podcast and they put it on YouTube? Kind of like what we’re doing with this podcast right here. Kevin Geary: Yeah. Chris Badgett: But sometimes people … and this is, I have a software company that’s different from having a course and coaching company. But how are you approaching YouTube differently from podcasts? Or are you repurposing podcasts? Kevin Geary: I do repurpose them for sure, but not in the way most people are repurpose them. I will do my podcast thing. I do my podcasts based on outlines. I don’t interview guests, I just teach. Chris Badgett: You don’t have a guest. You’re talking direct to camera. Kevin Geary: Yeah. Chris Badgett: Or to microphone or whatever. Kevin Geary: Yeah, direct to microphone. I try to have that just one-on-one connection with my audience. I try to give them tremendous value. I try to check them every now and then. I will get on the intro and say, “Hey, if you listened to the last 50 episodes and done nothing with it, then you need to check yourself.” Because I do give a lot of value, but I don’t want people to just get in the mode of, hey I’m just going to sit and listen to Kevin and nod my head, and not do anything. I want people to take action. There’s a fine line between that. If you give too much value, they’ll either take it and go execute on it and never need you, or they will sit and listen and nod their head and be like, “Man this sounds great but it’s a lot of work and I don’t want to do anything.” So I’m always trying to find that balance. But let’s say I have an idea for a podcast episode, I’ll do the podcast, and then I will make it a video by recording from scratch the teaching again in a different way for the video. Kevin Geary: It’s the same topic, a lot of the same content, but it’s not just recording myself making the podcast and then uploading it to YouTube. I’m making it as a video. If I wasn’t podcasting, this is what the video would look like. Chris Badgett: Oh, that’s awesome. How long are your average podcasts or YouTube videos? Kevin Geary: Most of my podcasts are over 15 minutes. They’re going to be anywhere from 15 to 35 ish minutes. My videos tend to be 10 to 25 minutes. Chris Badgett: Let’s talk about how you prepare to record. If you’re going to go up against the … you’re alone in your office or wherever, and you’re going to do it, topic selection, do you have a little whiteboard that you have ready to stay organized or something on your screen? What’s your process? Kevin Geary: Yeah, I have an iPad that I just started using. I bought an iPad a long time ago. I’ve had iPads the whole time. I’ve never found a use honestly for an iPad for business until the Apple Pencil came out. The Apple Pencil was a game changer for the iPad, in my opinion. I use the Apple Pencil now because I like writing. I type too much, so I hate typing. When I’m doing outlines, when I’m doing notes, when I’m recording ideas down, I like to write that stuff. And now the Apple Pencil lets me do all of that in an iPad. And so, I, like everybody have ideas for podcast episodes or videos throughout the day. And so, I have a giant catalog of ideas. And then when I’m like, all right, we need a podcast for this week, and different from many podcasters, I don’t record a big chunk and then they’re all scheduled. Every week I sit down and I’m like, all right, here’s what I’ve been hearing, here’s what I’ve been seeing in my audience, and this and that. What’s the best podcast for them this week? Kevin Geary: And so I’ll go into my big ideas list, and if one hits the nail on the head, I pull it out, I outline it real quick, and then I go record that podcast. Now, recording that podcast is like a warmup. Everything’s in my head, the way that it’s going, the way that it needs to go. Sometimes I make a mistake in the podcast, that then when I do the YouTube video, I can make sure that that’s included. But the outline’s done, I’ve already presented it once, now I flip on the camera and I do it for the camera in a different way. And if I need to add things that can’t be included in a podcast like, let’s show a screen while we do this, then I add that as well. Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Are you ever creating video with the Apple Pencil? Are you drawing diagrams- Kevin Geary: Yes. For sure. Now, I don’t know how many are … definitely in trainings that I’ve done in the Hive, I’ve done that. There are videos like, if you go to my YouTube now, you’ll see me do white boarding stuff, but I’m doing them with a pencil on my computer, or my mouse on the computer. And so, I’m just drawing with the mouse, and it looks terrible. Those happened before I figured out how to connect the iPad to the screen and record it and all of that stuff. Because there’s a little tech involved there that, it’s not super easy. Chris Badgett: Are you recording in screen flow or on- Kevin Geary: Yeah. Chris Badgett: Okay. Kevin Geary: It’s Cantasia. That’s the same- Chris Badgett: On your iPad? Kevin Geary: No. I hook up the iPad to the computer, and then Cantasia allows you to select the iPad as the screen, and then you just open the Notability app and you start drawing, and Cantasia’s recording it for you. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Kevin Geary: Yeah. Chris Badgett: Cool. Well, you’ve made it to the lightning round, Kevin. I want to congratulate you on that. Thank you for sharing so much great knowledge. I can tell you got a lot of it, so I’m going to try to mine as much as I can for the course creators who are listening out there. You’ve made the transition from day job, main street brick and mortar business, into the online world. And then you continue to refine and adapt, and grow. Even just this thing about the iPad and the Pencil versus the track pad or whatever, and trying to use on the screen. What are some influences that influence you, whether people or books or whatever that helped you? I know you’ve got a lot going on, but I know you’ve got some ideas and some wisdom from others, YouTuber, whoever it was. Who helped you? Whose ideas helped you cross successfully? Kevin Geary: Yeah, when I think about books and I think about YouTube, and I think about podcasts, and if I had to narrow it down to one person, I don’t think it would be a book. It wouldn’t really be somebody who conveyed information to me. Yeah, I’ve drawn lessons and tactics and strategies from dozens of books, and dozens of podcasts, and dozens of YouTube channels. But I think the first person who really made everything feel possible to me was Pat Flynn. I know he gets mentioned all the time, but you can see why I identify with him. Regular guy, dad, entrepreneur, not flashy, he’s not putting cars in giant houses and boats all over his Instagram and all this other stuff. Just a normal guy. And then he was releasing way back when … I don’t think he does it anymore … income reports. I watched his progression back in the early days. And so, you always need somebody, I think. When you are wondering, is it possible to do this thing, you need somebody to show you, that you relate to, that it is possible. Kevin Geary: A lot of people in the online business world aren’t relatable to me, when I look at their Instagrams or I look at their videos on YouTube. They’re not relatable. The one thing I hate the most is people who are 23 with no kids releasing, here’s how to have your most productive day, here’s my morning routine. And I’m like, you have no distractions. How could you not have the best morning routine ever? It’s not relatable. I don’t want fancy cars, I don’t want mansions. I just want freedom from this shitty job that I have. Can I just get that? Can we start there? So Pat Flynn was the first relatable person who for me it was like, this is possible. When Pat says, “If I can do it, anybody can do it,” I believe him. Right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: And so, that was my, I think, biggest inspiration. Chris Badgett: Yeah, he definitely inspired me. He’s inspired a lot. He continues to just do the same thing and keep doubling down on what he does well. I see, I think this is his podcast player on your website, is that right? Kevin Geary: Yes. Yeah. Chris Badgett: What’s that called? Kevin Geary: The Smart Podcast player, I think. Chris Badgett: Where do you host your podcast? Kevin Geary: Fireside.FM. Chris Badgett: Okay. Was there- Kevin Geary: You ever heard of it? Chris Badgett: What? Kevin Geary: Have you heard of it? Chris Badgett: I have not heard of that one, but I’m open. Kevin Geary: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, I switched to them honestly because of the stats. They have really, really robust stats. For me, when I was with Libsyn … First of all, I like using beautiful software. Libsyn felt to me like I was stuck in 1998 all the time. And then I didn’t want to go to Blubrry or whatever it’s called, however you pronounce it. I came across Fireside in an online forum, and people were like, “Oh yeah, this is fantastic.” A podcast host is a podcast host, but when you have really robust stats, which is tough with podcasting is to get accurate, robust stats, Fireside sealed the deal for me there. Chris Badgett: That’s cool. I don’t know if you know this, but I just noticed last week that podcast, playable podcasts are starting to show up in the Google search results directly in the search- Kevin Geary: Oh, that’s good. I heard that was coming. But yeah, it’s good to hear that it’s out in the wild. Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah, I just noticed that. I think that’s cool. What’s the essential tech for YouTube? The people who watch this are course creators, people who are building training based membership sites, or they want to. The video rabbit hole, it takes people. There’s people still stuck there. But if you were to advise a digital entrepreneur who’s going to start with a YouTube channel or whatever, what’s the basic tech stack? Kevin Geary: For me, and because I’m a perfectionist and because I’ve been doing … I also by the way have photography experience for very long time just doing it for myself, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Kevin Geary: 14, 15 years of photography experience, so I’m not new to cameras and things like that, and I’ve answered a lot of questions like, “what’s the best camera for a beginner,” and stuff like that. But I used to take, I had a Canon 5D Mark II from photography, and I tried to use that initially for videos. Huge mistake. You can’t see the screen, you can’t focus on yourself. The setup and just getting something usable out the door, it was an absolute nightmare and it made me want to quit back in the early days of doing video. What I would say is the best tech stack for entrepreneurs who want to be on video, need to do courses or YouTube, or whatever, get whatever camera you’re comfortable with that has a flip around screen and good auto focus, like face detection auto focus so you can just literally turn it on and it focuses on your face, and you don’t have to mess with all of the controls or anything like that. It’s got to have an external microphone input. Kevin Geary: I use a shotgun mic, and I have a little boom stand that sticks right over my head so you can’t see it in the camera frame. That goes back to the audio recorder. I forgot what it’s called, the H5. The Zoom. The Zoom H5. That sits on top of my camera. The big mic goes into that, that goes into the camera itself. The other thing I learned is I do not want to mess with matching up audio and video. The audio has to run directly into the camera feed or I’m not doing it because it’s too much work, and too much room for error as well. So microphone straight into the camera, and then do as light editing as possible. Don’t get sucked into the world of very detailed, high end editing. Just record, and my recording process is very simple. I present to the camera like I’m presenting to people in the room, or I feel like somebody is sitting across from me in the chair. If I screw up, I don’t stop it and restart it. I just pause for a little bit, and I just pick up where I left off, and then I just look for pauses when I’m editing and just slice them out, and just make it super simple. Kevin Geary: Same thing with my podcast. People ask me all the time, “How much is your podcast editing time, your video editing time?” If I have a 30 minute podcast, I spend five minutes editing it, and it’s out the door. With a video, same kind of process. Takes a little bit longer with a video, but I’m not sitting there meticulously editing stuff and adding a bunch of fancy slides, and all this other nonsense. It’s just content, now let’s get it out the door. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Final question real quick. One of the quickest ways digital entrepreneurs can get out there and start marketing and getting leads is to actually leverage other people’s audiences. You approach me, I have an audience of digital entrepreneurs. You were prepared to add value to this podcast. What is your process and psychology around coming on somebody else’s stage? Because sometimes we think we have to build this all from scratch, but you can actually work with other people too. How does that work for you? Kevin Geary: Yeah. For me, it’s make people say no. A lot of pl don’t ask because they just decided that they’re going to be told no before they even ask. The step one is just to ask. Now, a lot of times you’re not going to get a response, and at that point, you need to go to the next level. All right, so if you really want to be on that show or network with that person in some way and you don’t get an initial response, go friend them on social media and go start interacting with their posts. You’ll start showing up. They’ll take notice of you engaging with their stuff, and over time, that thing is going to develop. Don’t be in a rush, don’t be pushy, and definitely don’t sit on the sidelines going, well they’re probably not going to say yes so I just won’t ask. Ask. If you get a response, great. Go from there. If you don’t get a response, just connect with them, and keep engaging, and just be natural, and develop an actual relationship, and then it’ll work itself in over time. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Kevin Geary, thank you so much for coming on the show. You can find him at DigitalAmbition.co. Go check out his one page freedom plan. He’s on version 3.0 at least at this recording because he’s constantly improving things. Kevin Geary: Yes, because I’m constantly making it better. Chris Badgett: Yeah, thanks so much for coming on the show. Is there anywhere else people can connect with you besides DigitalAmbition.co? Kevin Geary: That’s it. Everything’s there. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks so much, and we’ll see you around. Kevin Geary: Excellent, thank you. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses. To help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life, head on over to LifterLMS.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet. The post From Martial Arts Business Owner to Health Course Creator to Online Entrepreneur Membership Site Creator With Kevin Geary of Digital Ambition appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


25 Nov 2019

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Create More Income, Impact, and Influence for Your Online Courses and Personal Brand with Professional Self-Made YouTuber Sean Cannell

Learn how to create more income, impact, and influence for your online courses and personal brand with professional self-made YouTuber Sean Cannell in this episode of LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.  Sean’s YouTube channels have over one million subscribers, his videos have been viewed over 43 million times, and he has been featured as one of the “20 Must Watch YouTube Channels That Will Change Your Business” by Forbes. Sean and his team are on a mission to help 10,000 people quit their day jobs to do what they love. He is passionate about giving tactical, practical advice about using video to spread your message. In this episode Chris and Sean dive into how you can use YouTube to build your tribe and build free content that attracts more leads for your course or training based membership site. The best way to market to people is by helping them solve problems when they come to you in their time of need. Know, like, and trust are the three major pillars of marketing and sales. YouTube is the second largest search engine online, so it is a place where a lot of people go to get answers to problems. If you can position yourself to help them out when they are looking for those solutions, then you have a great position to build that relationship and the know factor of marketing. Sean shares a great analogy you can take with you when building a sales funnel. In his analogy he compares sales to dating. We have all had an experience in sales where someone has come on too strong and it is off-putting when what was needed is a nice, cordial introduction. Starting a conversation on a date by proposing marriage is similar to pitching your $10,000 program to someone who doesn’t know, like, and trust you well enough to commit to something like that yet. There is a process of commitment, and a customer journey you’ll need to take your customers on. And by relating to Sean’s analogy you may be able to answer a few questions about what you should include in that journey to keep leads engaged. Sean is a best selling author, YouTuber, international speaker, and business coach who specializes in video equipment and successful marketing on platforms like YouTube. You can find Sean’s book YouTube Secrets on TubeSecretsBook.com. He also runs three YouTube channels: Video Influencers, Think Media, and his personal channel Sean Cannell.  Sean also lays down some great advice for thumbnails in your YouTube videos, such as images where the eyes direct focus and thumbnails that include people’s faces. Also adding words to the thumbnail in a way where the thumbnail complements the title rather than restating it. He also share a piece of YouTube knowledge that applies heavily in the course creation space, which is that your videos should be as long as they need to be, but as short as possible. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to anther episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Sean Cannell. Did I say that right? Sean Cannell: Sean Cannell. Chris Badgett: Cannell. Sean Cannell: Pumped to be here. Chris Badgett: All right. Shean is somebody I’ve been following for a while. He has a passion and obsession with YouTube. He is a marketing person. He’s a book author. Check out his new book, YouTube Secrets. Chris Badgett: You wrote that with Benji, is that right? Sean Cannell: Correct. Chris Badgett: I actually did a video review of that book on my personal YouTube channel a little while ago. I got a lot out of it. I got to say I only came across Sean about less than a year ago. No surprise to you, I was shopping for a better camera and audio setup. Like right now, I am broadcasting to you. My friend Johnathan Farley recommended the Panasonic Lumix G7 I believe it is. I was just looking at all the different mics and stuff to go with it. Chris Badgett: Of course I ended up smacked down in the middle of your content and then not just on the tech side also, I have a software company I work with, of course creators who are developing their own personal brands and all your video influencer content I became aware of and I just went all the way down the rabbit hole, bought the book, loved it. Chris Badgett: I think you’re a great teacher, but I’m going to shut up for a second and just say thank you and welcome to the show. Sean Cannell: Chris man, I appreciate it. Thanks for the respect across kind of our body of work and just super pumped to be hanging out today. Chris Badgett: Yeah. So the body of work, YouTube Secrets, the book, go check that out. Sean has three YouTube channels that I’m aware of. Video influencers is more on the marketing and using video for influence and impact. Tech media, is that what it is? Sean Cannell: Yeah. Think media. Chris Badgett: Think media is the gear one. So in course creator land everybody gets obsessed with which camera, which microphone, am I an entry level, mid level or advanced Sean is the guy. Just trust me on that. And then you have your personal channel on that goes by your name Sean Cannell, right? Sean Cannell: That’s right. Chris Badgett: Awesome. And Sean is also of course creator, which is one of the things that makes this interview even more interesting and it gives us a lot to talk about. You can find Sean’s courses over Seancannell.com. And for example, video ranking academy 2.0 that’s one of his courses. Chris Badgett: If you want to use YouTube to build your tribe, build free content and attract more leads for your course or your training based membership site, you’re probably going to eventually want to know how to rank high on YouTube. But that’s just touching on the surface of Sean’s body of work. For the course creators out there, the membership site builders out there. I just kind of described how I fell into your funnel or your just content universe and then I ended up buying something from you, your book in this case. But what advice do you have for course creators? I think YouTube is a brilliant place to focus your marketing efforts on. How can a course creator leverage YouTube to attract people and ultimately some of them become customers. Sean Cannell: Yeah, I think youtube is the best place for course creators to be thinking of. And the reason why is because of course creators are solving problems. They’re helping people get a better fade in their hair, save money on taxes, learn online marketing, get six pack abs, get the biceps, whatever. YouTube is the second largest search engine online. And that’s almost become a cliche, but it’s still a fact today that people are going to Google number one and YouTube number two to look for answers to questions and you’re then able to position content that it’s perfect. It’s absolutely perfect for course creators because you’re able to then and meet someone at their point of need, help them with some information, help them with some free value, build that relationship and then ultimately lead them in the journey of wherever they can go deeper with you through a course and a million other things you could do through events or masterminds or coaching or anything like that. Sean Cannell: And I think the reason youtube is the best, there’s a lot of reasons, but one is that the disposition, the psychology of someone coming to you when it’s at their time of need is the absolute best way to start a relationship in the world. And when it comes to marketing and sales, it’s the best way. And here’s what I mean. You came to me looking for a better camera. I didn’t show up in your news feed with an ad, which would be pushing marketing on you. I didn’t get you to follow me somewhere and then all of a sudden be like, “Ha ha.” And then pushed out some new video. But literally you’re in a moment where you’re saying, “Okay, I need help. I’m looking for a camera.” And that’s where a lot of people meet me online. Sean Cannell: And so if you think about it, the guards, there’s not, I mean you’re, it’s not an ad. It’s not pushy. It’s like you came to my door and knocked, like if we were going to do door to door sales, you came to my front door and said, “Hey, can I start a relationship with you instead of me having to go out and generate business or whatever it is.” Sean Cannell: So I think that YouTube is absolutely quintessential, for course creators, especially too, in most cases, of course, creators are creating video. So it’s already up there. And then just from a practical standpoint, over 2 billion monthly active users logged in with Gmail accounts right now on YouTube. It’s in over 76, they have kind of the native languages. YouTube is accessible in different languages around the world and countries that are always adding more countries. Sean Cannell: So a lot of course creators have international audiences. YouTube is free on top of that. So what we’re ultimately talking about is this tool that is free, that can build relationships with people, build your audience, grow a following, build goodwill, which is I can trust the way business happens all for free, but you have to invest the time, the strategy and the tips that I’m sure we’ll be talking about in this interview. Chris Badgett: That it was awesome. We’re over at LifterLMS were community people. We operate in the WordPress ecosystem. There’s this whole connection of other companies and other products. But in the spirit of community, I just want to really recommend an interview you did on Pat Flynn, smart passive income podcast and you talked in there about the not going for the sale right away. And you also talked about for the power of like a series. Can you just kind of give us the cliff notes of your main thoughts there? Sean Cannell: Yeah, 100% I think a big mistake course creators online marketers make and just people in general. I don’t even think it’s from a bad motivation. I think a lot of times we’re trying to pay the bills, we’re just trying to do what we’ve seen other people do. But I think that most people are going too fast at any point in time. There’s actually probably only about five to 10% of of your market that would actually be ready to buy a solution at that exact moment. But there’s always the other 90% that would love, they’re on the fence. They’re thinking about making a purchase. And even from a standpoint like if you look at a car you can go to a great resource for studying deeper is the Google conference data. They do these deep studies and there’s this Google study about all the touch points it took for this woman to buy a van. Sean Cannell: And you learned about how many touch points there were in that conversation. Now mind you buying a van is alone probably 20 to $30,000 or whatever. And so there was a lot more touch points needed. But for those listening and course graders, you want to actually think about you. It’s like slow down the relationship and, or slow down your selling at all and build a relationship. And the analogy I like to is really dating and relationships. It’s kind of like a lot of women could probably relate to a guy that maybe was rude and came on way too fast and it would be, there are public and he’s like, “Whats up girl? Let’s make this thing happen.” And she’s like, “What? No Way.” She actually might’ve eventually liked that guy, but his approach was way too fast and came on way too strong and what was needed was a nice cordial introduction. Sean Cannell: What was then needed was an invitation to a short date, not like can we go on three weeks of vacation? Meaning can we like do business or can you watch a four hour live stream? This is why I encourage people to start with shorter content, a short date early on because you’re just getting to know they’re getting some value. That could lead to maybe a longer date. That could be a webinar that could then lead to eventually engagement or marriage and that could be someone joining your community, maybe at a low level and then eventually maybe doing business with you and people listening. They might be doing courses that costs anywhere from $10 to 10,000 so if someone was going to do that higher ticket relationship with you? Well there’s going to be steps and building know, like and trust in the process. Sean Cannell: And so I really view dating as kind of like your free content on the Internet. That’s people dating you and your audience. Engagement is someone that’s like, okay, I’ll give you an email, or watch a webinar or I will go deeper. And that’s a big deal. Especially as there’s more cynicism or just people have like seen sketchy people online. Is this the level of trust to say, “Okay, not only am I going to give you my email though, I’m going to give you my time.” To get someone to even possibly consider consuming a 30 minute to 60 minutes and 90 minutes sales presentation or a webinar or something is insane. So that is a whole another level of trust. And then eventually marriage, if you will, and quote, is when someone decides to do business with you. And so absolutely slow down the process. Sean Cannell: And that was what I was kind of talking about with Pat Flynn. And part two of that is then when possible, see if you could go on a binge date. Just like you want people like Netflix wants us to binge TV shows. Imagine if you could go on like a date with, now we’re talking about relationships, I came from Seattle, grew up in Seattle with my wife and I. And so if we went to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market and the first ever started, we started in the morning, the bond that would be created from that, like if you will, extend the date with multiple touch points would actually be an acceleration. So we’re into some pretty deep stuff here already. But it’d be accelerating the sales conversation and I’ve seen this happen. Sean Cannell: So someone’s like, “I met you with the camera, but then I had a question about lighting, but then I was wondering about my channel, but then I was like wanting about how to make money. And then I watched… ” It’s like all of a sudden we may be, they’ve spent the whole day with me. They’ve watched five YouTube videos, an hour long Webinar, and then they’re like, “Dude, you’re stuff’s legit. It really works.” And I’ve already gotten so much value. I’m almost like just reciprocity. I’m always just trying to pour back gratitude because I just got five hours of free content from you or whatever it is, and then they dive in. So I kind of unpacked a lot there, but I honestly think I kind of just broke down my whole business. Sean Cannell: And that is what I think modern marketing is. And I mean it’s working really well and it’s a way of, it sounds weird to even call it marketing. It’s like selling without being sleazy. It’s not being weird, it’s just being transparent, adding value and giving people a chance to where your marketing is just education, it’s storytelling, it’s education, it’s getting people value results in advance and all those types of things. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. My YouTube journey started like, I’m actually here because of YouTube, so I run a remote software company. I built a agency. I no longer do client work, I have just product. But it all started when I went to YouTube and I typed in this into like how to build a website. And I started teaching myself through other people’s videos. How to use WordPress and now I’m just almost 10 years, maybe 11 years down that rabbit hole, but all started with going to YouTube with a problem. What was your YouTube origin story? How did you come into the fold? Sean Cannell: Yeah, so for me, I got into YouTube really early. First I got into video in 2003 and that was a huge advantage because obviously video is king now of the internet truly is, right. It’s the preferred content format of choice. Cisco said that by 2020 90% of the internet’s going to be video or whatever. Sean Cannell: So knowing video is a quintessential skill for entrepreneurs, business owners, independent creators, hobbyists like video needs. So all that to say, I’m just considering how blessed I was to be hands on with video in 2003. And the way I got into it was I was volunteering at my local church. The youth pastor handed me a video camera and said, “Hey, start creating video announcements.” And there’s this is a big advantage because one I was getting the skills and I’m self taught. I mean your first videos are your worst videos. Sean Cannell: These videos were terrible, but I had to do them every week. And so every Wednesday night for youth groups, so that was 52 videos the first year. One of the muscles I think people need to develop just in modern marketing and entrepreneurship is the ability to create content on a consistent basis that’s quality, quick, valuable. Sean Cannell: It’s almost like it needs to become like breathing. And it can be intimidating because when you first tried to ride your bike, you fall over and scratch your leg. Like I did once my dad took off the training wheels. But you got to get good at content. So that’s what I was doing. After the year 2004 the senior pastor was like, “Can you make these videos on the weekend too?” And I was like, “Okay. So that’s 104 videos a year as a volunteer in a few extra ones.” Sean Cannell: So again, I’m getting a little faster I’m using Adobe premiere back the day, no idea what I’m doing. And then in 2007, two years after YouTube started, the first YouTube channel I managed was for my church. And so again, super crazy because to be at a small church, a few hundred people hour north of Seattle Washington. You did not expect it to be a progressive place where we’re thinking about social media, Twitter and YouTube. Sean Cannell: But we were and so I was just kind of doing thumbnails and titles. And so by 2009 I started a business all self taught called clear vision media, video production, doing some website building for people. Because I was like, I become as that church communicator, a little media shop myself. I built the church website, did the videos, did all the graphic design, did like I did all the tech. Sean Cannell: I mean I was just learning everything, just bootstrap. And to this day I still do all my graphic design and things because it’s like just Photoshop and whatever. Even though we have a team of 10 people, my hands are in a lot of the creation still. And so I was just learning it all. And that was kind of my genesis into YouTube. Sean Cannell: And so now, and Benji and I eventually met up and we did YouTube secrets. This started 10 years ago. We met in 2010. Right as I was kind of coming on in the church world, I started working with different speakers and helping them with SCO and the back end, he was coming on with his wife and they’re doing YouTube and now we’ve been on this journey together. So our roots go super deep and we made so many mistakes along the way. So many detours, so many things that didn’t work out. And that’s what’s been our passion. Video has changed our life, both Benji and I in my life, obviously if so many different ways and we want to pass that along. And that was kind of a synopsis of the journey. Chris Badgett: As a course creator, but also as a video marketer, we have to get comfortable with video. Most of the time video is going to come into play and I’ve heard, I think I’ve heard you say punch fear in the face and I was just actually interviewing somebody else about the reason people kind of self sabotage mostly subconsciously. And she was saying it has to do around three areas. She said love, security and self esteem. There’s issues around all of that. When you kind of come out and say, “Hello world.” And you start teaching something or start blasting your face and your message all over YouTube, how do you punch fear in the face? Like let’s imagine a new course creator who’s made the decision like I’m going to focus on this topic, this niche. I’m going to serve this type of person. I’m a little uncomfortable. How do I get the ball rolling? Sean Cannell: I mean I think a couple things. Number one, and this might seem overly simplistic, but I mentioned my roots growing up in church and I heard a quote from an international traveling preacher once and he said this. He said, “The best way to teach a preacher is to preach a preacher.” And he said he speaks in stages of just massive thousands to 25,000, 35,000 which is terrifying to me too. It’s funny because you might get online and there’s, but like my gosh, you can just imagine. And he was like, you don’t just go from zero to that. There’s a billion steps in between. So many little things that have to happen to grow your confidence brick by brick. It’s really just like growing a muscle. If you go and you do the repetitions in the gym today of the bicep barbell, you could go all day long, your arms would be super sore and you’ll see no results. Sean Cannell: And then you could do it every day for the next couple of weeks and you’ll still see really no visible results. But if you keep doing it, then eventually that muscle gets stronger. And so I think it’s identifying, one of the most important questions we all should ask as course creators is what skills do I need to survive and thrive in the new economy? What skills do I need to survive and not just survive because that’s bare minimum but thrive actually excel at. And if I do, then I will win in the new economy. Online video is just one of those. There’s just no way around you. Unless you’re going to be the CEO and have someone else on camera at some point you have to get over it. But I’m empathetic. So if you can now fast forward back, it’s 2019 and I was telling you I’m getting on video in 2003. So never compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle. Sean Cannell: There’s some natural gifting. I think people should acknowledge that or match real propensity, I should say if you’re more extroverted or introverted. But I started getting up and doing announcements at youth group, terrible. I wasn’t a clear communicator. I’m on video. The video’s ran long. I’m long winded. I say I’m all the time. I have put out more reps, not bicep reps because there’s no results there, but I’ve put out more reps in video than probably anybody listening may be combined. The master has failed more times than the amateur has even tried. I’m being a little hard, but I’m trying to say like you just got to do it and use your season and obscurity to prepare you for popularity. Because thing number one, let’s get really practical. You need to just start doing video today. Like you’re listening to this show and started video. Sean Cannell: Grab your freaking phone and post a video. Well, what if someone sees it? Your number one problem is no one’s going to probably see it. That’s the blessing. Use Your season and obscurity security to prepare you for popularity. So just post your first video number one or go live. Sean Cannell: Number two do it every single week. And if you can do it multiple times a week. Number three, commit to it for the next 12 to 24 to 36 months. Just like a small business takes about three years to be profitable and keep showing up. Keep pressing record. He hitting that record button and you’re going to grow in confidence over time and your first video will be your worst video. So it’s almost like, “How do I not suck on camera at first.” NO you will, you’re going to suck, accept that fact. Sean Cannell: Well then how can I be great five years from now when my destiny really needs me to show up? It’s going to be because you punch fear in the face today and you suck for a while and you get fired, you don’t make it on your high school basketball team. Like Michael Jordan, one of the great basketball players of all time, literally got rejected off his high school basketball team only later to have been keep practicing, keep showing up, keep shooting the reps, keep shooting the baskets, keep doing the routines, and he didn’t give up when he sucked. Sean Cannell: And so you got to get through that. And so you got me in a sassy mood today for some reason, but ultimately you got to just do it. It’s like Nike and when you do it over and over and over again you’ll be better. Sean Cannell: And even, let me just say one other thing. Right now, there’s Heather Tourists on my team. If anybody follows our movement. She has natural gifting. I’m sure she’s kind of, she’s been an entrepreneur. She’s a homeschool mom, so she’s practiced teaching, but she just spoke on stage last week and just destroyed it. Like we’re here in Vegas. I spoke right after her. I was terrified going up after her. It was her second time ever speaking on stage and, but why? So I just know her life. Why? Well, she’s been going live in our membership site, which I’m sure we’ll get to. She’s been training in our membership site for 16 months and having to show up monthly to do that. She’s been doing short videos in our Facebook group and whatever for four years since we’ve been working together back when we originally created our signature course video ranking academy, she’s been putting up videos up. Sean Cannell: She practiced on Snapchat first and then practice on her YouTube channel. So all that to say is there’s a lot of people listening to really believe in themselves, to not like count yourself out, comparing yourself to somebody and feeling like you’d never get there. No, you’re actually probably more talented than them. You’re probably more capable than them, but you’re just not doing the work. Sean Cannell: And if you sit back and analyze and just wonder why you’re not getting better, who cares? Post the videos and do it bad a hundred times, practice in public a thousand times and then all of a sudden you’re this. So someone might be like, “Wow, that was your second time speaking.” Well yeah, except that you’ve been secretly practicing massively week after week for the last four years. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. And I think as teachers, coaches, mentors, leaders, we have to take a little bit of our own medicine and do the raw part of teaching is repetition and practice. It’s just, we need to just take her on medicine and you should go back and look at Sean’s first video. You should go back and look at my first video. I just have a lot of fun when I find the YouTuber to go back and look at their original videos. You can tell they’ve learned how to speak and communicate more effectively. Chris Badgett: Let’s talk about YouTube and making courses. You said you have a membership site.Sometimes YouTubers monetize and lots of different ways. There’s many different ways patrion or they sell services or coaching on the back end or whatever. But if we look at creating your own training products and memberships as a way to kind of have a business around your content, Can you give us the short version of like how that evolved for you and what worked, what didn’t work, just give us some of the highlight reel. Sean Cannell: Yeah. So I think what would evolve for me is it started actually back, and not to go too deep into the story, but it started back in really 2009 in a story that I shared that was sort of our genesis of entrepreneurship. And that was, we hit the hardest season of our life, my wife and I. We don’t have kids. We have two Chihuahuas and we live in Vegas now. And we coming up on 14 years of marriage in a few months but back just two years after we got married, she got very sick and turned out it was a chronic illness, but she was undiagnosed for years and we went from doctor after doctor and it was just, it was the most incredibly hard season we could have ever gone through, especially as a young couple. We got married at 21, this happened at 23 and it lasted for the next few years. Sean Cannell: On top of that, it was the housing crisis in America and we were losing our homes. We actually had a rental property also the tenants were losing their jobs. So that’s falling apart. And the church I mentioned working at was also falling apart because some of the senior leadership stole some money and some stuff got weird. So I was a part of watching it kind of grow and also kind of fall and being in the midst. And that all happened at once. So it was absolutely crazy. But what the reason I bring that up is what it was. It came to a time where my wife almost died and I found myself in the hospital with her for six days. And it was like those six days, it was like God was just speaking to me, kind of like was being challenged and stretched and scared, but as my wife’s recovering, I read a book called crush it during those six days. Sean Cannell: And that was by Gary Vaynerchuk. And it basically talks about why now’s the time to turn your passion into profit, to cash in on your passion was the subtitle of that book. And for me though, I got so crystal clear on wanting to create passive income. Sean Cannell: And so my original target was, I was like, “Okay, how are, it’s started to trigger questions. How are people working for themselves on their own terms from wherever they want, and creating income and passive income. What are the ways of doing that and who are the, you know, how does that working?” Because I’m seeing people, I don’t know who I can trust on the Internet. Some people seem great, some people seem scammy. What is going on? And this is 2009 but what I knew was I 100% wanted to do that and my motive was fiery strong because of what was happening in our lives. Sean Cannell: Because I was like in the motive is so strong, I didn’t want to just build wealth, which we all do. And of course that’s fine, that’s great. And I didn’t want to even pursue fame or something. I wanted to just figure out how to… it was for my family. I wanted to figure out, “Okay like shoot, we were dual income.” I need to make a lot more money because now I just need to think about paying the bills a. B, I want to be able to work from home because I don’t know what this is going to mean for our kids, our family, our future and all that to say I bring that up just because I really believe reasons come before results and there was just such a deep passion. Sean Cannell: I’m sure people listening could probably resonate with that because maybe you do want to work on your own terms for fame and fortune and followers or maybe though it’s so you have freedom because you’re dealing with a chronic illness or you want to be able to travel and do things on the road or you just want to be able to fire your boss. Sean Cannell: So I got super clear on that and then I dove in basically at that time as deep as I could into learning everything about this. So when you say, what’s my journey? I was still in the church space and I was doing a couple of YouTube projects, but I started getting hit with Facebook ads and this is like the early days of Facebook ads too. And there was a guy named Frank Kern who hit you with an ad. Sean Cannell: And eventually I got on his email list and he mailed out a, uh, an email promotion for Brendon Burchard, who’s launching his book, Millionaire Messenger. And then I entered a video contest because I was broke, but I was good at video and I got an all expense paid trip to experts academy it was a $2,000 ticket event, tickets, meals, hotel. And there they are Brendon Burchard, major mentor. Sean Cannell: I just shared the stage with them a week and a half ago, talked to him 15 minutes behind. One of the most surreal moments in my life years later now. And I was studying his content and he was breaking down this industry. And then on top of that though I’d say just started and I started real ugly. Sean Cannell: I put a little ebook together for to start getting, I didn’t have anything so I put a little ebook together called Get Notice and to get some emails because I’m supposed to build an email list and that was kind of convoluted. But I’m doing my best and I’m using mail chimp and I don’t even want to pay for it because I don’t got the money. So I just use the confirmation email is my deliverability of the PDF. Sean Cannell: And so I’m getting that going and I don’t really know about branding or even my niche, but I just started. I actually wrote an ebook called YouTube For Churches because now I’ve been doing YouTube for churches and I made a free video series that didn’t lead to anything except the ebook. Sean Cannell: Partly because I didn’t know the technology and probably what you help people with it, all this stuff, like I didn’t really even, I was like, “How do you host these things? How does this stuff all work?” And I did a free video series, but that was good because I was like delivering one email today. Now I’m paying for an autoresponder, one video a day and it only led to our $7 ebook. Sean Cannell: But all that to say is there was these different projects. And then eventually I knew I wanted to take what I learned on YouTube, which just to close the loop on this part is, the original passive income that I discovered though was affiliate marketing and YouTube. And as a tech guy video since 2003 I started figuring out you could do tech reviews and Amazon affiliate links basically. Sean Cannell: I built a six figure income and I got really good at ranking, really good at kind of spotting trends and topics good. Because I had real depth of knowledge around cameras and this stuff. So it just worked. And so that generated money. So then since then a lot of what we’ve taught on is how we’ve done that, how to make money with affiliate marketing, how to get started, how to rank videos, but had a master YouTube and analytics and it’s evolved and then now it’s even online business. Sean Cannell: So the way our journey compressing story, once again, once we, we didn’t start a membership site until very recently. We went Beta for actually a year. But it’s all, it’s been, I think at I think patients and timing, at least for me, because I wanted to make sure that each thing I started, I started at the right time and not really half baked, but I wanted it to be really dialed in. Sean Cannell: I wanted to have real results. I didn’t want to be the guy who made money. The way he made his money was selling courses about courses on courses. I’m not even putting that down. It was just important to me that I had YouTube affiliate marketing and I really had roots in that and generate a real income and then I had something and I think that’s also why we’ve had such a big impact because there’s some real nutrients in the soil of our history and we really care about quality along the whole way. So yeah. Then we have about probably 15 different skews right now. Like they’re not skews, I don’t know what the units in our different courses in our that are available a couple of main ones at our membership site now. And that has been evolving. Just that journey has been four years. That started at the beginning of 2016. And it was all affiliate marketing youtube before that. Chris Badgett: Really cool. I got to say, I really resonate with your story. I remember watching the experts academy launch back in 2009 whenever the first one is, I personally at that time was not going to buy a $2,000 course. I probably was in the same contest that you won that I did. But it was through that I think I, I kind of got the confidence or the direction to, well I’m really, you don’t know this about me. I used to live in Alaska rant sled dogs for like 10 years and I managed a company out on a glacier that you only get to by helicopter and we used to take people on sled dog rides. Chris Badgett: I became, I learned like my business skills like leadership and management and when risk tolerance and all these things I actually learned in the outdoor leadership world. So I started a blog about leadership. It’s not around anymore, but that was that first website I built that I went to YouTube. I’m like, “I’m just a low tech, no tech guy, but I have a message, I’m really into leadership and I want to talk about that.” And that’s what pushed me into becoming a technologist. But a lot of similar thing to the tie your timelines and stories. Chris Badgett: Part of the thing with course creation is you’re an expert in something or you have your passions or things you’re good at, things people pay you to do. You mentioned affiliate, you mentioned courses, you mentioned speaking, which I imagine you’re getting paid for, but on another’s reasons to speak, not to do that, not to get paid or whatever, but you got into passive incomes, beautiful thing. What is in your constellation of multiple streams that the help diversify you and perhaps which one’s are like that you focus on the most? Sean Cannell: Yeah. It started for us, me personally just as a solo creator would be YouTube ads, which would not be a focus, was never a focus but was turned on. I remember early in the game, one month I made 60 bucks on YouTube ads and 260 off the Amazon affiliate program. And so originally it was as YouTube ads. Then it was affiliate marketing. We did $20,000 in March profit on Amazon affiliates, which is staggering, but it’s also, that’s a huge blessing, but it also is completely limited meaning to take that from 20 to 40 would take a herculean amount of effort. It would not, because we’re talking four to 10% percentages on those transactions. But, and that’s the beauty of it is it’s really passive. Sean Cannell: There’s no customer service, there’s no shipping, there’s no, there’s nothing. But it’s also, if you’re not in the trenches doing that work, you’re not getting as much as the upside. So when, that’s another reason that drove us to our own products. And that’s what’s great about a digital course or anything you own yourself, especially when it’s digital, is you’re talking about margins that are astronomical, man. Sean Cannell: I mean, it’s just crazy. My grandfather was a dentist after he was a pilot in World War II, and he had a brick and mortar business and I just can’t, I mean they had rent and yet marketing and he had staff and he had electricity and all this stuff. We just have to consider how blessed we are. I heard that right now in the next five years, Forbes are saying that the elearning space is going to just continue to explode and it’s right now it’s about a couple, two quarter million to 350 million a day is being spent on elearning. Sean Cannell: Its is going to be a billionaire in a few years, a day. That is a big opportunity for everybody listening. And so I don’t even know what I’m talking. Oh yeah. So Amazon, as well, and now we’re about a part of about a 20 different affiliate programs, software, Adobe, B and H photo, but stuff like Invitae, like video, like plugins, just different things. Sean Cannell: And then we also, I would say another arm would be if we do JV promotions, which is not even really part of our business, but we have just, we keep a tight circle and the people we work with, we promote some stuff that as like a joint venture. So then our own courses that by far would be the biggest. And if I was to separate courses we don’t have any reoccurring offers. The courses, if besides payments, they’re all just kind of went off. And then we have our inner circle program and that’s our, that would be separate since that’d be like a membership site. So then we got that… Chris Badgett: Is the inner circle like a mastermind, like live coaching? Sean Cannell: It’s just kind of what it is it’s $50 a month and the promise there was like, “Hey, one way to summarize it, if you’ve been watching what we’ve done over the last three years and this is what you want to do, join this.” Like if you’re wondering, okay, but now you went from six to seven figures and you built courses, where did you host them? How did you do them? How did you market them? How do you do Facebook ads? How to even structure a webinar, how do you do sales? Sean Cannell: So it’s online marketing and social media training for smart entrepreneurs and that’s going phenomenal now. And I think it’s also, we’re really big fans of Beta. This is a big tip to any course creator. Shalene Johnson, my mentor really taught me this. We’re very big proponents of test groups, Beta, Beta one, two, three before you get to the actual thing. Sean Cannell: Sometimes selling before the things created, never with a lack of integrity but selling because you know, you can create it, but you could do it one week at a time and deliver the training one week at a time. So you know that people are even interested in it. And then you could get like Q and A during the first version through and be real hands on with people. It’s going to make version two better. Too many people are waiting way too long for perfection, but I’m getting ahead of myself. So JV promotions courses, inner circle. Speaking, yeah, we’ll get paid to speak. And I guess selling on stage is kind of a thing of its own too and how that… Chris Badgett: You’re a book author too, right? Sean Cannell: Yeah, I guess books and audio books and kindle books that one… Chris Badgett: I see you sometimes on your videos. I don’t even know what it is. What’s a super chat? Is that where somebody gives you money for going live? Sean Cannell: Yeah, when they go live, you can get super chat that then it just goes into your YouTube ads. But you’re right. Super Chat. There’s a lot of streams of income, Chris Badgett: And I was going to ask you do a lot of like, you’re there and you, people can ask you stuff and they’ll hook you up sometimes with some super chats. Its pretty cool. Sean Cannell: So I just wrote these down. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. It’s like YouTube ads, affiliate marketing, JV promotions courses, inner circle speaking books. We did an event last year. Maybe it’s not an income stream because we lost money. Chris Badgett: Yeah. So its like 10 years to overnight success. Sean Cannell: That’s right. Yeah. And by the way that’s actually a good thing you kind of brought up too, because multiple streams of income. I do think on a small level, this is what I’d say. My friend Evan Carmichael suggest against multiple streams of income. He says master one. Chris Badgett: Focus, right? Sean Cannell: Because you don’t want to get spread too thin too soon. However, where I disagree is that a YouTube strategy, the multiple streams all are woven together. So for example, this actually I got a video coming out on this. If you look at the model, think media, which I just made this thing up as I go, like what do I don’t even know what I’m doing? You know what I mean? I started going to CES, it’s a local tech show years ago. And because I was working at Church, I moved to Vegas and I was like, let me get my eyes on the latest cameras. Sean Cannell: And then I was like, “I could create content here.” So then I would go down by myself with a monopod and a camera in my own little zoom H1 I shoot videos. I would shoot him all day, edit all night. But what I learned was when I released these new tech videos, I got a free ticket cause I worked through some vendor, just drove down here in Vegas, parked in self parking for $10, walked my little self inside with my gear. But as I was with, I would cover this new tech, I could monetize it in four ways. I could turn on the YouTube ads, I could link to it as an affiliate and if I could then talk to the brand and set up a brand deal for the future, that’s, oh I didn’t even talk about brand deals. So like we’ve personally worked with like skillshare and cannon and just different people. Sean Cannell: Amazon, so brand deals and sponsorships. That’s kind of traditional YouTuber stuff. And you could do a brand deal and then they might send you the stuff for free. So I think about, that’s like multiple streams. If you’re getting like gear for your business for free and companies pay you and I’m making making affiliate money and you’re doing YouTube ads, those are like that for that a YouTuber can really tap into and they’re all off the same video, the same relationship. And then subscribers could come and you could go merge and you could go patrion or your own course and it could just, it could evolve from there. But that’s just the initial kind of income streams. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Well, I appreciate you breaking that down and talking about the importance of doing Betas and testing. I want to do a quick lightning round with you and then I want to get to the final section where I just have some question to ask you for advice in terms of YouTube. I told my audience and that you were coming and I got some questions in advance they wanted me to ask you. And if we could do just like a bunch of short tips here. Sean Cannell: For sure. Chris Badgett: Thumbnails, top tips, video thumbnails. And by the way, I just want to say I heard you say thumbnail, title and topic are really important to get people to click straight out, but thumbnail specifically top tips. Sean Cannell: Yeah. So, less is more, some thumbnails are too cluttered so just don’t put too much to too much clutter. If you confuse, you lose. So you really want it to be clear. Color pops, you know, usually the whites of human eyes, it’s a lot of thumbnails have become the ridiculous YouTuber face and I’m guilty of that myself. That’s not necessarily needed. But you can take images that are maybe not as wild, but where the eyes dreck focus, the whites of people eyes smiles faces has just been proven to perform well and it’s YouTube. Sean Cannell: So lot of times people rather resonate with people. And then big mistake people make is echoing the title on the thumbnail. If your title is 10 ways to boost energy and productivity, then you don’t need to put the texts on the thumbnail that says 10 ways to boost and repeat the whole title. So that’s an exact video I released today. It was 10 ways to boost productivity and energy and the thumbnail says 10x your energy. Got It? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Sean Cannell: So much less. And because they’re complimentary, they don’t need to echo each other. They should compliment each other or it could have no words at all. There’s a few tips. Chris Badgett: What video or what length of video are best for what purpose? And I actually get this question a lot as a course creator and someone is like, “How long should my lesson videos be?” And always like, “It depends.” But what’s your advice about video length, let’s say for what purpose? Sean Cannell: So, well, if we’re talking about YouTube, that would be a little bit different. I would defer to you for course video length. I know that there’s some number in adult learning theory that bite size is better. Meaning early on in our courses, I was doing like 45 minute videos or like you could be like an hour long video and even if it’s that long, you need to break it down because what can happen is, adult learning theory, someone is there at minute 25, you got to be empathetic. Sean Cannell: They’re taking notes but then their kid comes in and throws like a bucket of hot fudge on their lap and they were like, “What are you doing?” And then like they don’t know whether there’s chocolate all over their keyboard, you know what I mean? And then they don’t know where they left off and they may never return because there’s like, “I’m on that video, do I start the video over shoot.” Sean Cannell: Like it’s just a friction. So that was a tip I learned when possible to try to do a smaller hits. And if someone wants to binge the whole thing, great. But it gives people, it can help them in the course. If we take it public on YouTube, here’s the quote. Your videos should be as long as they need to be, but as short as possible. Sean Cannell: And I would say tip two is you really want to think about intent of the viewer. So if the top for ranking for example, if all the top videos, like today’s a good example, I was like how to be more productive? 10 tips, but it’s a 30 minute interview, it’s not going to be a high performing video. And the reason why is because all the top videos that are like 10 ways to boost energy are eight minute videos. Sean Cannell: So it’s not that the video I did was bad. I just have to recognize that it was a longer interview. It’s going to go deeper in our audience and some other things. But if you’re thinking about the perfect video for the platform, it should be as long as it needs to be, but as short as possible. Sean Cannell: And so if the intent of the viewer is to learn how to build something in WordPress and the quickest you can do to the tutorial was 90 minutes, then it should be a 90 minute video. Because the intent of the person going to look for that is like, I want to build and do this one specific thing. This is how long it takes. You’re solving their problem. But if it’s a 20 minute WordPress build and you take 45 minutes to do it, it’s too long cause it’s too much fluff. Sean Cannell: You’ve got to trim the fluff. And I think that’s kind of, and then I’d say avoid dogma. I know everyone wants an answer, but I just want like that definitive answer. It’s test, it’s experiment, it’s knowing your niche, your audience its knowing their entertainment level. You don’t compare yourself to a top teenage vlogger, you’re doing something entirely different and things can always evolve. So I would say if any expert ever stands out in any industry and makes any kind of definitive statement without saying, but test everything I would ever trust in that person because you always got to test and experiment. Chris Badgett: Right on. Well, I’m going to ask you my last question for you to run with and then we’ll wrap it up. So my question for you, which is for me selfishly, but also I know it affects course creators when they’re trying to decide where to focus, how to pick their niche. I’m streaming this right now on the LifterLMS YouTube channel. I also have a personal channel that I play around with. I recently did a 30 day video a day challenge on my personal channel. And so I’m going to frame this question for me, but it applies to any expert out there that has multiple interests that may or may not overlap. And I’m actually gonna share my screen with you if that’s okay, Sean. Sean Cannell: Yeah.There you are. Chris Badgett: I have a lot of different interests. I am digital entrepreneur. I’m really into intentional family design. I’m a homeschooler. We have an organic farm. We just put a lot of intention into how we raise our kids. And then I have a wilderness side. I’ve spent a lot of time in the wilderness, rock climbing, mountain climbing navigation, wild edibles. Chris Badgett: I have, if you were to draw three circles, there would be like this online business guy, this conscious parenting guy and this nature connected guy and I really want to just have one channel for my personal stuff, but should I separate? I have three interests that don’t really overlap unless you happen to be this weird combination like me. So I’d just love to hear your advice of if we’re like a multi passionate person and we’re coming to YouTube and the goal of what we’re doing, I guess that’s part of it. Chris Badgett: But yeah, I’d love to throw some leads to my business, but I’m also just trying to build my personal brand and just share what I’m passionate about and connect with people outside of just business or just nature stuff. How do we deal with this multi passion thing? And I look at you, you’ve done like you have your gear channel and then you have your video influencer channel and they’re separate. But so how do you know when you should have a separate channel or not? I guess that might be the the button and on it. Sean Cannell: This is a a fun question and it could go a lot of ways. I think there’s a few different levels. I think, let me start from the last question. How do you decide if you should have multiple channels? I actually don’t think you should. Chris Badgett: Yeah. Sean Cannell: Coming from the guy with multiple channels. But I would say that even video influencers and think media are ridiculously aligned and they’re both going towards the same north star. And so what I would say for you as some personal advice and I think will serve your audience too, is that if you try and chase two rabbits, you’ll end up catching neither of them. And if you try and chase three now you’re in real trouble. And I think, well the way I would look at some of your YouTube channels is kind of like this. Sean Cannell: I think you want to, I would want to unpack what’s the most effective place, because this is kind of my journey too, I’ve got multiple YouTube channels. Think International. This ones you don’t even know about that still out there, a clear vision media, my video production channel. And then Sean Cannell, which is kind of abandoned and even has a lot of subscribers, but it’s kind of stagnated and algorithmically dead. Sean Cannell: And then you’ve got think media and video influencers, the strong ones. I have gone through the process of having these various things, but man, focus is power. And the reason, I just think this is almost more of a business conversation to be honest. I feel like there’s a verse that nobody knows about it in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes that actually says money solves all things. Chris Badgett: The Bible says? Sean Cannell: It actually solves all things and we know it’s not the, money is not the key to happiness. But I think if you have enough money, you can get a key made. I’m just joking. But it is a tool. That’s what it kind of means. It’s a tool. And when I would think about it, I would think what is most effective because, and I would almost think from a profit standpoint, okay so I’m just taking it to a high level first and because when you have that breakthrough idea, and this will be true for everybody, this is like the 80 20 rule or let’s call it the 90 10 rule. Sean Cannell: It’s identifying the most, it’s the bright spot in your business, your life, your passion, your course. If I got 15 skews, but I got one major signature course, like one of our courses, video ranking academy dominates all of the other ones. And so instead of getting distracted on the lesser streams, I got to refocus on the bigger thing. Sean Cannell: So from a business standpoint, I would say which one is getting the most traction? Is producing the most stuff? This goes to your priorities in life too. So I would be assuming there’s… you want to activate a level of financial freedom. Why? Because it’s real freedom. Because what happens when you have freedom, you get a team, you start hiring more people. If that’s your vision. Sean Cannell: Now running multiple channels or projects is actually much easier and practical, but you have to have a breakthrough project that let’s you do all of the above, if that makes sense. So I eventually, from doing interviews with leaders in the faith space to creating vlogs, I vlogged with my wife for a while and we, our friends, Benji and Judy shouted us out. We started with a couple thousand views for a while, but it was like not enough. And I was like, okay, I had to play this out, this and even passion wise and even editing every single day and all this stuff from being daily vloggers. I was like, this is not it. This is not a business that maps to my future 10 20 years where, what is the shortest path to freedom? And then freedom unlocks every other path. Chris Badgett: That is awesome, man. I really appreciate that. You’ve given me something I’m going to take with me and really work on, so thank you. That was a lot of value really quick. Sean Cannell: Well, let me add just one thing. On a practical level. Now this one I’m seeing right here and you could show me the other ones too. So this, one now if you would say… Chris Badgett: Well right now I don’t have other ones. I’m just wondering if I should focus on have a business one of parenting or family one and then a nature one. Sean Cannell: so then I got just a couple of other practical tips. Secondly, then I would say looking at this one that you have, it’s also just about intent. Because if you want business results then you need to really look at it through a lens, not being romantic about it, what you hope it is. But look it through a real businesses like math. Sean Cannell: The business has done best with low emotions and like high logic because if you’re romantic to your accountant, well he doesn’t care. He’s like, “Look this is what the book say.” So if you look at it from a business lens, but if you look at it from like, it’s a creative outlet, it’s joy. You would do it no matter what. And you don’t care, you hope even a few people, they might not get the multi passion, but some will and it’s for them. Sean Cannell: Well then that’s fine then do it to your heart’s content. But what I’ve learned is that man, energy is scarce. And when you’re trying to do, especially when it comes to putting out video content and content in general. So I’ve tried to narrow it down. And then the last thing I would say is there’s a good YouTube channel out that’s launched recently called Little Monster Co, Matt Geelan, who’s one of the smartest guys in our space. And so there’s the other guys, there’s Roberto and Tim and all those guys, but Matt runs an agency and he’s coming with some fire from… they look deep in analytics. And so it’s some unique content. And he audited Evan Carmichael’s channel and it’s a must watch episode. And Basically Evan broke down that he had an episode that was basically all guests, like all, all the pupil he features. Sean Cannell: He had a middle one that was him and the person. And then he had one that was just him. And what Matt said was, “Look, these are three different channels.” And he said, because on YouTube more than ever before, you need to have one value proposition. So think media right now actually is weekend. And sometimes people wonder, you got all these subscribers, where are the views? Well a lot of what I do, and this is I’ve learned this the hard way, I’ve built up with one hand, I tear down with the other because you can look in your analytics. Sean Cannell: A lot of people, they’re like, “Well I met them for cameras, well then why is he talking about productivity? I met him for cameras. But then why is he talking about even YouTube tips?” And so focus is even more important if you really care about crushing it on YouTube. Sean Cannell: What he mentioned was the death, not that full on death I’m sure, but high frequency channels and variety of channels are struggling. And I used to teach, still kind of mentioned it, that you should treat your YouTube channel like a TV station. It could be AMC. Some people watched the walking dead, but not everyone watches comic book men. That’s actually not true. If anyone’s ever heard me say that, I have to scratch that out now because it’s actually, no, you’re using channels, not like AMC, your YouTube channel now. It’s like the walking dead YouTube channel and it’s only the walking dead. Sean Cannell: And nobody wants comic book men. And they also don’t want black summer because that’s the prequel to z nation. And it’s a whole different world. And some people don’t like that. What it’s got to be just the fricking walking dead, you know what I mean? Sean Cannell: Just cameras. And I would probably be dominating at another level, at least in the micro or just views and YouTube algorithmic. And so I still make a decision to say, well, this is my brand. I’m going to post the videos I want to, but we cannot be ignorant of the fact that someone subscribes for a reason. They want a certain promise. And if you can crack the code of having a broad enough value proposition, but a narrow enough value proposition that your content is no miss and they connect with you and they show up actually, that you become predictable in an predictably unpredictable that you show up and they’re like, that’s my guy. Like if Tony Robbins do, that’s my guy for motivation. Like Benji Travis, that’s my cooking guy, Benji man food. But, but if I’m Benji man food, he throws out WordPress plugins, you’ve just violated the veil bro. Sean Cannell: And even small variations of that focus is more important than ever before and that’ll really unlock YouTube growth when you dial that in right. Chris Badgett: Sure gold. I’m going to have to watch that again after we get off. Sean, I really appreciate it. Thanks for going a little bit long with me. I’m just going to share my screen again. I have this video review I did of YouTube secrets on my personal channel, if you just look for Chris Badgett, you’ll find it. The book was awesome. I mean, there was, I think what I loved about it most was the the sheer lack of fluff. It was just and it’s one thing to throw around ideas, but you’re also giving case studies of this work, this and you’re also giving very specific like go do this. Great book, highly recommend it. Do you have a URL for that specifically or what’s the best way for people to get ahold of YouTube Secret? Sean Cannell: So yeah, tubesecretsbook.com, and I appreciate your kind words and thanks for doing the video review as well. Yeah, we’ve been getting some great feedback and the audio book is literally just out Benji and I recorded that in the studio in Seattle, in the woods. It’s kind of cool. Chris Badgett: Oh, nice. Cool. Very cool. And on your youtube subscription list, I would really recommend you add Sean’s channel video influencers and also think media. As you know your level and then when it’s time to upgrade, you’re going to end up in Sean’s universe. And it’s just a really good example too. You can look at Sean as a case study, as an expert and course creator, online business owner, how he does free YouTube videos that ultimately lead to sales and just kind of follow his channel and stuff like that. Sean, I really want to thank you for coming on the show. I really appreciate it. Any final words for the people? Sean Cannell: Chris, I just want to say, thank you so much for having me on and love what you’re doing as well. I mean, I love Heather on her team that she homeschools as well, like conscious, kind of just your or your whole vibe. I really appreciate you and what you’re doing in business and how you’re helping people create more freedom in their lives, businesses and revenue. So I appreciate being on the podcast. Yeah. If anybody has any questions, I’m really active on Twitter and just reach out. But yeah, I hope people got value today and look forward for some time when we can meet up. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks so much. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting, engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results, getting courses on the internet. The post Create More Income, Impact, and Influence for Your Online Courses and Personal Brand with Professional Self-Made YouTuber Sean Cannell appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


5 Sep 2019

Rank #7

Podcast cover

How Education Entrepreneurs Can Transcend a Crazy Busy Lifestyle with Executive Career and Mindset Coach Elizabeth Pearson

Learn how education entrepreneurs can transcend a crazy busy lifestyle with executive career and mindset coach Elizabeth Pearson in this episode of the LMScast podcast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Elizabeth speaks to her passion about helping women get unstuck and uncover the limiting beliefs that hold them back from getting promotions and tapping into their true passions. Elizabeth is an executive career and mindset coach, and she’s also a program developer in the sense that she helps people move through a process. Elizabeth works as a speaker, success coach, and author of the forthcoming book I’m Too Busy, and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves That Keep Us Stuck. She is a money mindset expert specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and executives increase their income by an additional six figures within a year. In 2016 Elizabeth launched her coaching business part-time while leading a skincare company as a C-level executive. She ended up leaving her six-figure income so she could better serve her coaching clients, and she achieved that six-figure income working for herself and her clients in her first year of running her business full-time. The concept of being too busy is something Elizabeth brings attention to and rejects in this episode. She shares how time management is something key to success, especially with a business that revolves around you. So it is not something to be proud of, rather it is something that will run you into the ground. When we look at successful people in our field or an industry similar to ours, we often compare our businesses and income to theirs and become discouraged. Elizabeth talks about the idea that there are billions of people on Earth, and most of them are looking for support in some way. So there are absolutely opportunities out there to create a thriving business as long as your attention is around supporting others. To learn more about mindset coach Elizabeth Pearson and her course, be sure to check out ElizabethPearson.com. She offers a free discovery call, so if you’re interested in getting in touch with her you can find that on her website. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. We’re joined by a special guest, Elizabeth Pearson. How are you doing, Elizabeth? Elizabeth P.: I’m fantastic, Chris. How are you? Chris Badgett: Doing very well. She is a executive career and mindset coach, and she’s also a program developer in the sense that she helps people move through a process. We’re going to talk about what she does, we’re going to talk about her story, and I’m going to mine as much value as I can out of your life, because there’s a lot going on here, and I’m just going to go through your bio here. Elizabeth Pearson in a speaker, success coach, and author of the forthcoming book I’m Too Busy, And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves That Keep Us Stuck. She is a money mindset expert specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and executives increase their income by at least an additional six figures within a year. She’s passionate about helping women get unstuck, uncovering limiting beliefs and energetic blocks, and the routinely helps her clients get promotions, large salary raises and tap into their true passions. During this process she helps them identify their calling so that they can do what they love and make a great living with it. With a BA in journalism, Elizabeth climbed the career ladder in the traditional corporate world, where she managed multimillion dollar accounts like Target, Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Whole Foods, Disney, Ulta, CVS, Walgreens, vitaminwater, smartwater, B&G Foods, Pirate’s Booty, Skinfix and more. Chris Badgett: After launching her coaching business part-time in 2016 while leading a skincare company as a C-level executive, Elizabeth left her corporate career that provided a multi six-figure income so that she could better serve her coaching clients. Having achieved six figures in her first year running the business full-time, Elizabeth continues to grow and support her clients, who typically see significant improvement within just a few weeks of working with her. She’s a contributor to Forbes Magazine, she regularly appears in media both in business and spiritual publications. Elizabeth’s guidance inspired her then four-year-old daughter Delilah to launch her own nonprofit, Delilah’s Donations where they’re raised over $5,000 for St. Jude Children Hospital within a few weeks. They were able to do this because Delilah requested all friends and relatives to make donations in lieu of gifts for her birthday. Over the last two years donating birthday gifts became a tradition both in the family and amongst the friends whose birthday parties Delilah attends. She’s originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Elizabeth now lives with her two young daughters and husband in Laguna Niguel, California. To learn more about her to can find her at ElizabethPearson.com. I’m stoked to get into it. I want to start right where your book title is which is I’m Too Busy. Elizabeth P.: Yeah. Chris Badgett: As an entrepreneur, running around with education entrepreneurs, people building courses and membership sites, I would say they’re even busier than most because they have to do all these things. They have to build a business, they have to teach, they have to get involved with all of this technology to make everything function. They have to grow an audience, build community. I hear the words, “I’m too busy.” Or even more common, “Crazy busy.” It’s just part of the vernacular and it’s accepted. What’s your angle with the book and what mindset change happens to get people out of this I’m too busy, because it seems like an impossible job. Elizabeth P.: Yeah. Well I think the first thing to tell yourself is that I’m too busy and that statement, oh, I’m drinking from a fire hose or whatever the other cliches are that are floating out there, it’s not something to be proud of, right? So I think somehow in our culture it’s been twisted into this badge of honor, right? We’ve really equated our level of business with how important we are, right? Or maybe even our self-worth. So we say that with a lot of pride, “Well, I’m crazy busy. I’m swamped.” All of these things, but at the end of the day, when you are crazy busy, that means shit’s falling through the cracks somewhere. Something is happening in your life that you’re not giving enough focus to, whether it be your family, your personal life, your business or yourself. So what I tend to do with clients and the purpose of the book is to get people to snap out of it, right? This is not something to be proud of. This is something that will run you into the ground and you’ll end up being a master of none if you become so busy and distracted in your life that you can’t focus on what the true priorities are. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Yeah, I think it’s, I have a software company, so in our company culture we intentionally just developed a company culture where we don’t brag about how late we stayed up, or what we did over the weekend, or whatever. That’s not a badge of honor. So I totally get what you’re saying there. Elizabeth P.: I always think of it as George Costanza. We’ve all seen that episode of Seinfeld when he’s not really doing anything but he acts really busy when his boss comes in. Half the time if somebody is coming up to me, especially people that I managed in my previous corporate life, if they came to me and were super busy, I saw that as a huge weakness. It was because they had sloppy time management, they didn’t know how to prioritize, and they probably weren’t actually executing projects to completion. A lot of times that’s how we get distracted, and we start doing a little bit of everything. So exactly, Chris, to your point, it really isn’t something to be proud of. We don’t have to be Zen all day. I know that that’s not realistic either, but there are things that you can do to start to minimize your stress and make sure that you’re focused, right? All the big overachievers. Elizabeth P.: I just watched that wonderful, I’m late to the game, on the Tom Brady Facebook thing, but throughout a lot of these overachievers, whether it’s Tony Robbins, all these guys, they talk about focus. You have to be focused, and it’s okay to be busy, right? But what we don’t want to do is be so frazzled and unfocused that we’re crazy busy, or we’re swamped, or we can’t keep up. I think that actually has the opposite effect of what some people are going for, especially if you’re talking to clients and you say you’re very busy, or even family members. It makes you look kind of like a hot mess. You need to focus your efforts so that you can actually complete something, and then speak about that with pride instead of the business. Chris Badgett: Love it. You’re a mindset coach and mindset is everything. I mean, I’m trying to think of, I’ll come up with a specific example of something where I started about something different and everything changed. Probably just like that example of I read a book called Work the System by a guy named Sam Carpenter, and he talked about how when he would go on vacation or trips with people, other business people or whatever, people would talk about how many emails would be waiting for them when they got back, where he was proud that he had a system and a team in place that he wasn’t really going to, it wasn’t going to be any different. Just changing that mindset is everything but. Elizabeth P.: Absolutely. Chris Badgett: You help people also with money mindset, and I think mindset coaching specifically or just in teaching and education in general, when you’re teaching mindset, some of it seems obvious. If I think about money mindset, you need to value yourself, or you need to charge what you’re worth. Elizabeth P.: It’s easier said than done. Chris Badgett: Yeah. So how do you, what is money mindset? And I’m sure I have all kinds of blocks and stuff too. Elizabeth P.: Oh yeah, everybody’s got them. Chris Badgett: [crosstalk] Yeah. Elizabeth P.: Everybody’s got them. There’s so many that kind of come to the surface, and first and foremost I actually do career coaching, but mindset, it’s career and mindset because I feel like they are completely intertwined, and if you want to be successful in any area of your life you have to have the right mindset, and to your point, you can read a book that says, “Value yourself.” Or you can take a free webinar and it says, “Oh, do these things.” And that’s great, and information is helpful no matter where you get it, but if you don’t actually ingest it and start believing it and walking the walk, your external reality is not going to change. So one of the biggest mindset blocks that I had which affected my money in the beginning was this lack mentality. Elizabeth P.: I thought that there were enough coaches out there. The world didn’t need some Lewis Howes, Gaby Bernstein mash-up, right? Which is two people that I really look to be similar to, and I found myself trying to force myself into this pigeonhole that I created of I need to be this to this person, and at the end of the day, I actually learned from both of them that when we start looking to competition and feeling like we can never catch up, right? The world doesn’t need anther you. That that’s actually at the point where you should keep rooting for whoever these idols are, maybe it’s GaryVee, whoever you have as an idol. Root for their success, don’t feel knocked down by the next announcement that they’re getting another book deal, or they’re getting this and you feel like, “Oh shit, I’m really not going to, I’m never going to catch up. I’m never going to catch up to these people.” Because what’s so important to the purpose of each one of your listeners is that they’re living their truth, because at the end of the day, when you are 100% yourself and you’re authentic, you do bring value to clients and customers. So every perspective is different, and I heard someone day to me once, “It takes 13 different impression before somebody really starts to open up and adopt a theory or a message.” Elizabeth P.: So as long as you’re along that journey for however it is out there, the billions of people out there that are looking for support and help in an area of their business or their life, then you’re making an impact, and I feel like any time you make an impact in a positive way with a positive intention it is a ripple effect and then your tribe will start showing up for you, but that was the hardest thing for me to learn, I thought, “I can’t charge what I’m charging for these people.” Because I didn’t have confidence in myself, but then once I got a few clients under my belt and I saw dramatic results within four months for them, I was like, “Well okay, I’m starting to believe that now.” To your point, I started to really believe my worth and start charging what I was worth, and the more you feel comfortable and confident in that, I mean, I don’t even do any advertising and I get calls all week long. I have to monitor my schedule so that me and my team aren’t overbooked with these calls, but it will come to you, but it is that mindset shift, because nobody else is going to buy your course, hire you, do anything if you don’t truly believe that you can bring something positive to them and get them big results. Chris Badgett: That’s fantastic. I’ve been in this industry for a long time, especially in Internet years, and I used to not believe in the whole fear of success thing. I understand fear of failure, but there’s some interesting stuff going on there, but I wanted to ask you around mindset. When I see a expert coming on and they’re kind of, they’re getting to really go online and try to go big. Inevitably, they start sabotaging something or something is not right, and the launch just stretches out into the future of the website or the coaching program, or the marketing campaign or whatever. I think there is some fear of being judged and really going on stage in a big way. I mean, the Internet is a big place. What kind of mindset stuff is operating that’s keeping people blocked or making them kind of almost subconsciously delay the launch of the program? Elizabeth P.: I think they think people are paying attention way more than they are. So this is something that I always used to tell myself before I had to go speak on a large stage. At Coca-Cola once I gave a presentation in front of like 2,000 people, and I’m just a 26-year-old freaking out, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Elizabeth P.: And then somebody told me, “You know they’re not paying attention to you. They’re on their phones or whatever.” But nobody is rooting for you to fail, they really aren’t and that was something that really stuck with me. When I first started making video content for my website and sending it off to all five people or whoever that were watching it, it was very scary, and when I was on TV last weekend, I was freaking out, like, “Oh my god, I’m on live TV.” But then I’m thinking, the people that are watching TV are doing other stuff, and the people who are watching, they’re not waiting for you to stumble on that one word. So just take a little bit of pressure off yourself. That course, they’re not going to notice if you’re recording a webinar and you slip up a little. A lot of times it actually makes you more relatable, and when you’re authentic, people really gravitate towards that. Elizabeth P.: So the only person you’re hurting by kicking the can down the road, and I have done this. I get it, I’ve done it, I’ve done it with book proposals, I’ve done it with everything, but at the end of the day, the only thing that is going to take that weight of your back and that sinking feeling like you’re putting something off is obviously action, right? Just do a little bit, even if you set your phone for 20 minutes. Today I’m going to work 20 minutes on the course, then I’ll meet with my clients or I’ll do whatever. A lot of time once you start kind of getting in the flow, you can knock out way more of whatever project you have for yourself if you really do just let yourself off the hook after a certain amount of time and realize that if you do mess up, it’s probably only going to season it up a little bit and add a little bit more authenticity to whatever you’re producing, so you just have to do it. Chris Badgett: Awesome. You should go check out Elizabeth Pearson’s YouTube channel because one of the things I notice about your videos is they’re very specific and there’s no fluff, and you walk away with a solution to whatever problem. I watched one about guilt around being a parent, and work, and how to deal with that. I was like, “Wow, that’s really good.” I was taking some notes. Maybe I’m going to [inaudible 00:15:07]. Elizabeth P.: Good. Chris Badgett: Time I go to a conference or whatever, but. Elizabeth P.: Yeah, the videos are kind of like all of these wonderful books in my office, I tear through books. I love them, I’m sure you’re a ferocious reader as well, and courses, I mean, I’ll take whatever, but what I like to do is just boil it down to a really short actionable video because so many times when I was traveling for work, I would just be waiting for my flight to board, and I would just look through what is a good 10 minute video I can watch, whether it be Oprah, or Tony Robbins, or Eckhart Tolle, or you name it, and I would try to get some learning that day. So I like my videos to be these little nuggets, even if you have just one a week. Hopefully you can take something from it and apply it to your daily life that week specifically and learn something, right? I think we have to just really condense, or like the CliffsNotes of all of these spiritual books and all these business books that I’ve read. Chris Badgett: So I’m going to give you another example and another reason to go to Elizabeth’s YouTube channel which is, she had one about negotiating salary, and it’s from a book, a guy Christopher Voss, he wrote a book called Never Split the Difference. I listened to a two hour podcast with Tim Ferriss with the author, I’ve also read the book, and then I watched your six minute video and I was like, “You know what? That’s all I really, I could.” Elizabeth P.: Yes. Chris Badgett: It’s the CliffsNotes to the CliffsNotes. Elizabeth P.: Oh my gosh, that’s the biggest compliment ever. I know, I try to just think, because I’ll read them, and then I think, “What do I remember? What stuck with me throughout it and then that’s what I’ll do the video on.” Chris Badgett: Yeah, what’s actionable. You’re very action. You’re giving people tools, not just ideas, like, “Say this, use this.” Elizabeth P.: Yes. Do this, because that’s what I needed. A lot of times, well the books will have them in there, but a lot of times it’s buried. So sometimes, like the book I’m writing is going to be super small, you can plow through it in two nights on your nightstand. People are, they’re too busy, right? I don’t need plowing through these books to be another thing to do, but it’s my jam. I love reading this stuff, as I’m sure you do as well and a lot of your listeners probably love getting this knowledge, but at the end of the day, tell me what to do. Dan Lok says he reads books and he’ll read maybe the first three chapters, he’ll get one nugget out of it and then he puts it to the side. He doesn’t even, he’s like, “I got my thing, now I’m going to move onto the next one.” Because he knows a lot of times these books, I don’t want to say it’s filler, all of it’s great content, but if you’re in a hurry and you need something actionable, it could take people a month if they’re reading a few lines the night before they fall asleep because they’re exhausted. So yeah, I think I kind of boil it down for people. Chris Badgett: You have another video titled Break Free From the Cage of Mediocrity. What is it about, how do you help people get through mediocrity and what’s the problem there and what’s on the other side of breaking through? Elizabeth P.: I think the first step is to get people to admit that there’s some area in their life where they’ve accepted mediocrity as the new bar, right? So a lot of people that call me, they say, “Well, I’m not unhappy.” And I’m like, “Wow, that’s a pretty low bar.” So we’re just, we’re not miserable yet. We’re on our way there, but somewhere along the line we’ve lowered our standards. So it could be physical health, it could be relationships, it could be your job, which is what encounter most of the time, but usually the other three are kind of hidden back there too. It could be the amount of time that you spend with your kids, right? It could be a lot of things where we’ve said, “Okay, we’re just going to accept how it is.” And that is really dangerous, Chris, because once you start feeling a little bit powerless or apathetic towards a situation in your life, it’s a slippery slope from mediocrity to misery. Elizabeth P.: So the first step is acknowledging that you’re putting up with something that your 22-year-old self who was wanting to go out there and take on the world and be rich, and have all of these stuff, that now you are kind of hiding behind the safety of your corporate job, and I’m not hating on corporate jobs, I learned so much and I have so many mentors from those experiences, but at the end of the day, a lot of people think that that’s safe, right? So we’re looking for safety instead of this wonderful spontaneity of living life, and that a lot of times involves people taking risks, which they don’t like doing. So I just get them to kind of wake up. I will say it back to them. They’ll tell me what their situation is and I say, “Okay, wow. So you’re traveling. You’re missing your kids growing up, you don’t have time to do yoga anymore, you don’t have time to do this and all that stuff.” And once you frame it up for them, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I am.” But then the beauty of acknowledging that is that you get to take back control of what the rest of your story looks like. It doesn’t have to be one of mediocrity and just getting through the day. Chris Badgett: That was awesome. I feel like I’m getting a free coaching session. Thank you. Elizabeth P.: Yeah. You are, everybody is, yay. Chris Badgett: I wanted to get into your story a little bit. It was a process. You didn’t quit your day job. Just to frame in the timeline. How long from when you had the idea that I’m going to do some coaching on the side or whatever? How long did it take from that idea to doing both, to quitting, to how far out are we now? Can you context us with time? Elizabeth P.: Yeah. Well, the catalyst was the birth of my daughter Delilah, so that was almost seven years ago. I just, I sort of started questioning everything, as most first-time parents do, right? What is my purpose? What am I here for? And after that I started really becoming a seeker. So I went to yoga retreats, I went to all of these meditations, sound bath healings, all these wonderful things, started reading all these books, and then once I started tapping into my spirituality, I realized that the priorities that I had for myself, which were making rich people richer and selling stuff, stuff that I loved, great brands, and everybody. I can’t say enough good things about my past employers. Being on the vitaminwater core team, you know what I mean? It was a great ride and they took care of us, but at the end of the day, everybody who’s listening or watching this, I had a burning that I was wanted to be boss. I didn’t want to be a Beyoncé backup dancer. I wanted to be Beyoncé. So what am I going to do here? Am I just going to keep doing what I’m doing? So I got with my husband, we sat down with our financial planner and we had a five year plan to save money for me to start my own thing, I had no idea what that was. Elizabeth P.: So I think that’s important. You have to have some sort of financial support, some sort of stability. This doesn’t mean that my husband makes all the money, it’s not. We were equal breadwinners, so it was a big deal for me to walk away from my job, but we were aligned that the plan was within five years, I was going to bounce. So we started saving, we started doubling up 401(k) contributions, stocking money away, having some liquid assets, and then once we moved to California, which was a total manifestation, I take everything as a sign, right? We got here and then I started realizing that I’m going to the East Coast every week for work. I’m calling on CVS in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and then I’m flying back here in red-eyes, and then my husband is going, and at some point it was like, “This isn’t working. I can’t do this. I can’t be away from my kids like this.” Elizabeth P.: So it was one of those moments of like, what are we waiting for? The time is now. I had a couple of clients that I was doing on the weekend, but by no means was this a significant stream of income. This was me getting certified and kind of getting a few of those first-time clients under my belt, and then we just looked at each other one day and I said, “I think we’re ready, and it was January.” So it was a great time to kind of start, and I lovingly said goodbye to my sales job, and I started the first six months, which felt like soul-crushing work of building a website and I just started doing these videos, and little by little, overcoming resistance every day, because I still get hit with resistance every single day, it started to take shape, but it took at least six months for that to start. Elizabeth P.: I know there are a lot of courses and things out there that will say, “You can be making seven figures in four months.” And all this stuff, and those were the kind of courses I bought into, and they were great, I learned a lot from them, but I started to feel like a failure when I wasn’t at seven figures in four months, which is insane, right? To think of that, but a lot of people this is what they’re trying to sell you. So my word of advice to you is know this is not an overnight thing, this was a long five year plan to get two years of income built up, and assuming I would have to spend six figures within those two years, investing it in myself in order to make this happen, and I’m not saying you have to have that, but you do have to have a plan. It’s really irresponsible to just say, “I’m being mediocre, and I don’t want to do my job anymore.” And then quit and think that you’re going to start an online business and you’re going to be making six figures within the first year by yourself. Elizabeth P.: You will have to invest in coaches, a business mentorship, advertising, all of these stuff, but you can absolutely do it. I mean, soup to nuts as far as like if we don’t look at the five years of saving and planning, two years in, I’m doing really good, and it’s just, it’s growing and I’m not advertising and I have a wait list, but the main thing I focused on was over delivering for clients, a 100%, and I feel like that is an intention, that is a vibration that you’re on, and your tribe will come and they will happily give you money to get them out of this kind of hell that they’re in. Have them living a best life, you know? Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I just want to confirm. A similar thing happened to me when I became an entrepreneur later in life, and I started hearing like, “Oh, it takes you three years to replace your income or whatever on average.” And it took me five, and I was like, it made me feel like oh, it made me feel a little bad. So you just have to be careful about your judging yourself based on some formula you heard on a show somewhere. That stuff can I guess seek into your mindset, sink in. Elizabeth P.: It can, and then you start questioning. Should I even be doing this? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Elizabeth P.: I mean, so many days I was weeping to my husband, literally in the corner of my office one day, rocking on the floor and I said, “I made a huge mistake.” Because it’s not like I had some minimum wage job, I had an amazing career that I worked very hard to get where I was, and I left it to do something totally different, and at that time, I didn’t see how those skills were transferable. So I just thought, “Oh my god.” I had spent 15 years and countless trips and sacrificing, going back from maternity leave early to make buyer meetings at Target, all of these stuff, and now it’s just poof, it’s gone, and now I can’t even pull in a couple 1,000 dollars a month, right? Elizabeth P.: It was hard, and I think that that is something that a lot of times people can gloss over, or it gets glamorized as the hustle, and keep going, and that’s great and all, but you do need to be really realistic because I think when you’re expecting to hit resistance and you’re expecting to kind of have this length of time, you can better adapt to it, right? And then you can keep going, but when you think it only takes a year, or two years, or something like that to completely pull a 180 and then be making that, I mean, you’re really lucky. It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be very hard, and this can be very hard if you don’t invest in yourself, that’s the number one thing. I’m not saying just start doling out money on courses, and coaches and all that stuff. Don’t do that, be really smart, make sure that you’re getting aligned with somebody who has walked your path so they can show you how to get there, but for me, investing $50,000 in myself in courses, and coaches, it’s really hard, especially when no money was coming in. Elizabeth P.: So I think that’s the big nugget too, is the solopreneur thing, I get it, I was it for a long time, sometimes it’s where you have to be in the moment, but you have to be willing to push your chips in on yourself. Chris Badgett: When you’re investing in yourself, I kind of learned that maybe you can relate as a parent, you have to have that support network, right? That helps that’s more than just you and your spouse, you need some help, and friends and whatever, family, whatever, babysitters, community. Elizabeth P.: Yeah. Chris Badgett: Support network makes the difference between no time or whatever and I have a life. You’ve mentioned investing $50,000 in courses and coaching or whatever. What are some specifics or what types of things when you were investing in yourself, were you studying or getting help on? Elizabeth P.: Yeah, the first one was just, it’s funny I don’t even use it right now, I probably shouldn’t say this. I had to build a marketing funnel, stuff like that. Everybody’s heard about a sales funnel. Chris Badgett: Yeah. Elizabeth P.: I took a whole course aimed at coaching, right? How to get your coaching business to the next level, right? Sales and very generic, but it was a 16 course module and a lot of it was around building your sales funnel, and to me, and I know that they work. I know that they work for a lot of people. For me, I did it kind of half-assed and I felt like I connected more with people talking to them in a breakthrough call or via my videos, and so I didn’t love that. I’m not saying I would never use it, but that was where I dropped 10 grand on a program to build a sales funnel, and I think it depends on what kind of service you’re offering. I know those can be incredibly effective, I’m not going to advise anybody to not do it, but in hindsight, the things that I took away from that were just more of the tech things, right? How do I make sure that my website has great SEO? Should I be using Ontraport for my emails, should I? It was more about building an email list and things like that, so and using … I use Acuity for my scheduling, all of my calls, things like that. Elizabeth P.: So I took nuggets from that more so on which service providers to use. I’m sure they’re all great, but the other thing that that did for me is it pushed me, right? Because I had to get these modules done. I only had four months and then my program was expiring. So it made me sit at this desk every day and for 12 hours, I mean, I was writing code on my website and I has never done that, right? My husband comes up and it’s like out of a movie. The black screen and I’m copying and pasting code in there and he’s like, “Oh my god, what are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m learning code.” And then I had to, I invested in Filmora which was a great video software platform so that when I make my videos I can easily go in there and put text, applications over them, but I made myself learn everything before I started outsourcing. So that’s where the payoff came from investing in things like that, where a lot of these other people had done them before, or they had done Facebook Ads. So another big chunk of this $10,000 program that I did was how to make a Facebook ad. Elizabeth P.: Again, right now I’m not doing it because honestly, I got to put the brakes on a little bit, but I think once we’re ready to start going for more we’ll probably pull in some Facebook ads, but there are all sorts of people out there to help you do that kind of stuff, but at the end of the day, if I could back and do it again I probably just would’ve tried to find a one-on-one coaching mentor who knew how to do that stuff because I still felt alone in those courses a lot of times, because there were hundreds of other members, and it was me watching a video and then doing the module. There was not a lot of one-on-one interaction. Nobody could look at my website and kind of proof it for me or give me any feedback. So I had to just do a lot of trial and error. Elizabeth P.: So if people are out there looking to invest, if you can swing it, I would say hire a business coach, a one-on-one business mentor. Somebody whose website looks tight, somebody who is getting press, somebody who’s got a lot of credibility, and then invest in them because they’ve done it. I was just kind of buying into a module, right? Which was great. I know I’ve created online courses and they’re really impactful, but if you are trying to get in the left hand lane and kind of go fast and expedite the process, one-on-one I feel like is the best. Chris Badgett: What was the hardest part of making the transition from your job? I mean, you had skills, I’m sure you were a great communicator and everything, but what surprised you or what was the biggest bump or hurdle you had to get though getting your business launched? Elizabeth P.: The loneliness. Chris Badgett: Yeah. Elizabeth P.: I mean, for me, if I’m being totally honest I was, I already worked remote, but I loved the status that I had of walking through the airport with my Starbucks and my pencil skirt and going to first class. That was something that my ego was feeding on, and I didn’t really understand the depths of that until I was doing, what do they say? The laptop lifestyle or whatever. I was in this room most of the time in yoga pants and I’m working, I’m on the phone all day long with potential clients, and I’m building the website, and I’m making the videos every once in a while, but it was really lonely, and at the end of the day, I felt like, and then my husband traveled. Elizabeth P.: So really the only people I’m hanging out with are a seven-year-old and a four year, four and six actually. My two little girls and they’re looking at me and I’ve been crying half the day. I don’t think I was prepared for that. I thought since I worked remote most of the time anyway for work, it wouldn’t be that big of a transition, but just the touchstone of having somebody that is going through the same things you are, you know? And I tell people to watch out for the well-meaning family and friends. I say well-meaning because during this time when I’m calling my mom crying and stuff it’s like, “We’re really concerned. Are you sure you just can’t go get your job back?” Like literally, and then a good 90% of my girlfriends fell of the face of the Earth. They were there for me, they wanted to take me to wine when I was down-and-out and crying, but then when the business started to take off, it got weird for them. Chris Badgett: Why? Elizabeth P.: I feel like sometimes, Chris, when you totally change your life, it can shine a light on other people that have those same dreams but they gave up on them a long time ago, and it can be uncomfortable. I started downplaying stuff. I would not mention stuff. I wouldn’t mention that I had a TV spot. I wouldn’t mention this or that. I wouldn’t mention that we had a record month. I would really downplay my success because I didn’t want to come off as braggy, or boastful, or whatever, but I was just happy, I was excited. So it was really lonely. I was alone during the day and then a lot of my friends disappeared. So I would say that was something I wish somebody would’ve prepared me for to your point so that you can build up your support network of your ride or dies, beforehand, right? And I’ve got a few of those, but then we moved, so they were all in Chicago. Elizabeth P.: So it was still like, but at the end of the day, I figured out that I depend on myself, right? And I’ve got a great team, and things are different but you will get through it. It’s kind of like the hero’s journey. You just have to be prepared to be in that kind of dark forest for a while or hire somebody to kind of guide you through it, but you should get a coach. Anybody who’s an entrepreneur should have some sort of coach. I don’t care if it’s mindset, business, success, whatever. Find somebody who knows what you’re going through so they can keep you going. Chris Badgett: That’s really good. I have a business partner, but I haven’t always had a business partner in my entrepreneurial journey and there was a time when I went to a 20 person mastermind, it was a little bit of a stretch financially, it was a fly to another country thing, and it was so powerful. I’ve since been, it happens once a year. It’s a retreat kind of format but I’ve since been back five times, but that pivotal move of finding your tribe, and like you perhaps, I can run in lots of different tribes, and sometimes I discover a whole new tribe, like oh wow, these are my people over here too, and entrepreneurs need other entrepreneurs. I think it’s a really important part of mental health and just dealing with that loneliness that comes with creating something out of nothing. Elizabeth P.: 100%. The entrepreneurs, I told my husband, I said, because I was hanging out with a few women that I meet here or there, and they’re talking about Target runs and things like that and I’m like, “I’ve got to.” You know what I mean? “I’ve got to [inaudible] launch this.” I’m thinking to myself, and it’s no judgment, it really isn’t, it’s just completely different scenarios, right? It was like I had nothing in common with people who weren’t entrepreneurs, and I still struggle with that. I still am trying to build that tribe, but to your point, a 100%. If you can get with people who are in a similar boat as you or have been, you can really, and they’re so willing to help, right? Because anybody who’s been through it, all they want to do is try to support somebody else who’s going through it. So that’s so critical, but I don’t think people talk about that enough about the loneliness and about the self-doubt. That pops up a lot. Everybody’s trying to just fake it till they make it and be cool, and not sweat it, and not let other people see you stressed, but I think that it’s kind of like parenthood, right, too. Elizabeth P.: It’s like nobody wants to say that they had a really hard day. They don’t want to admit it, but at the end of the day, that’s the only way you can get help and that’s the only way I feel like the universe is going to answer that call and bring people in your life or the opportunity for you to meet those people, as you did with your retreat. Chris Badgett: Awesome. I wanted to talk to you about your who. You’re serving powerhouse women. Elizabeth P.: Yes. Chris Badgett: So as a expert of experience with life experience and skills and everything, we start thinking about like, “Oh, well this is what I know. This is how I can help people.” How did you choose who you were going to help and how did you kind of pick that segment? Elizabeth P.: It’s kind of embarrassingly simple. It was me. I felt like I could help women who were like me, because again, I feel like, and that’s why I do an application for a call. If we haven’t had similar experiences or you’re not looking to have a similar experience, even if it’s just a spiritual breakthrough, I probably can’t help you, right? So just like you can probably help entrepreneurs the most that kind of had your timeline or your path, right? So for me, it was this overworked spiritual seeker woman who knows that she’s kind of in this trans of mediocrity, but doesn’t know how to bust out and feels trapped. So for a long time I felt really stuck. I felt like I had come so far down this road, right? I built this career. So I can’t turn around now. I can’t leave this, but I always tell these women on these calls I say, “If you’re going down a road and you figure out it’s a one-way and you’re going the wrong way, do you keep going or do you turn around and go a different way?” And so many of them feel like they’ve invested so much that they no longer have options. They can’t make a change, and it’s total bull, but you have to have the courage to do it. Elizabeth P.: So I think that that was what I knew I wanted to help with my audience, and from there it’s kind of blossomed. I mean, a lot of millennials are actually reaching out because they feel stuck, and they’re 25 and they feel stuck, but god bless them, they’re acknowledging it so much earlier, right? I feel like with us it was this duty, this obligation to just whatever your master’s was in or whatever you had a degree in, well, you chose that when you were 19 and you’re stuck with it. Tough shit, you’re in it. This is it, this is your life, and these people are like, “You know what?” I think they’re a little bit more woke, whatever you say, and so they’re like, “I’m 25 and I don’t like this. I need to fully eject. Let’s go a different direction.” I’m like, “Right on. You can do it and I’ll show you how.” Elizabeth P.: So it is powerhouse women, mostly moms, but now it’s this wonderful subset of millennials who are really writing their story. They’re taking control of their life and they’re realizing that they have options much earlier. Chris Badgett: One of my favorite words is integrated, integrate. You mentioned someone being a spiritual seeker. As a entrepreneur, there’s all these business stuff going on, but if you neglect your health and don’t maintain your energy, it has a dramatic impact. Or you can improve your business output with health stuff a lot, and you don’t want to do either of those at the expense of your relationships, otherwise what are we doing this for? How are we supported? But then you’re weaving in a spiritual component, and there’s this idea of energetic blocks and stuff like that. Can you lay some spiritual key on us? Elizabeth P.: Yeah. Chris Badgett: Of what’s going on and what happens there? Elizabeth P.: Well, I can highly recommend, I mean, you mentioned I’ve got some videos, but any videos that you can find with Esther Hicks, who is this wonderful medium for this Angel Abraham Hicks. I know it sounds a little far out there but just Google it, try it out, it’s good stuff. It’s really about everything in our life in a physical manifestation of a vibration that we had in the past, right? So one of the first things I say to people is everything that you have around you, this situation that you’re in right now is because this is what you believe you deserve, right? This is what you believe you’re worth. So if you are in a dead-end job, or you are struggling, it’s because you believe that this is as good as it can get for you. Elizabeth P.: So once you kind of say, “Okay, maybe I believe that a little bit.” Then we can start unpacking why. So a lot of reasons people have blocks, whether it’s money mindset blocks, relationship block, success blocks, all of this is because we’ve told ourselves a story so many times. Maybe we thought it was what we were seeing in reality, but Esther talks about a belief being a thought you keep thinking. So if you keep thinking, “God, this is going to be a really hard. I mean, this is going to be really hard for a year. I’m going to make no money.” The universe says, it’s the genie in Aladdin, right? “Your wish is granted.” You will continue to struggle. You will be in this mindset of lack and therefore really take longer than normal, probably you have to claw your way to make any sort of money, but if you believe, if you start telling yourself, even if you don’t believe it at first, you don’t think it’s reality. You know what? I’m going to be incredibly successful, and I’m at peace with whatever timeline the universe wants me to work on, right? Elizabeth P.: For a long time I was like, “I really want some press. I’m doing all these stuff, I’m making these videos, nobody is watching them.” All that stuff. “I just need to get on TV.” And I just was really adamant about it for a long time, and the second I said, “You know what? Screw them. If somebody doesn’t want to have me on, then that’s fine. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, and my peeps are watching and that’s what’s important.” It was like boom, literally two days later I’m on TV in LA. So I think if you are in a place of surrender and acceptance to the timeline it’s going to take you to grow your business, you will let that abundance flow to you much more freely than telling yourself over and over again, “This is going to be hard.” Or, “My kids aren’t going to like this.” Or, “I don’t know. I’m going to have to reevaluate.” A lot of people do this. I’m going to have to reevaluate in six months to a year. If it isn’t working, then I’ll just go back, right? We already have made an exit plan for ourselves. Well, then you’re really just buying time till the end of the year, till you can get out, and that’s your excuse. Elizabeth P.: So I tell people, “Just start telling yourself things that even feel like lies.” Right? I’m going to make eight figures in my first 10 years, whatever this big goal is. A goal so big that it makes you really kind of uncomfortable and you don’t really want to tell anybody about it, start telling yourself that. I tell people too like, “Change your password.” Something in your phone or something, whether it’s eight figures, or crazy money, or whatever, so you’re just you’re typing it in all day long, right? You have notes up. I have notes up all over the place that say, “It’s on its way.” I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, it’s on its way to me. It’s already mine. Somebody else can’t take it from me. It’s predestined for me. So if you start kind of just telling yourself things, even if they feel like lies, eventually you will believe it, and then once you really believe it, you can kind of sit in this place of surrender and ease, and then it shows up for you. Chris Badgett: I’m right there with you. I’ve had some things happen in life where I was just thinking about the ideal, and just kind of obsessing over it, and just being open to it, and then kind of waking up inside that reality a year later or whatever. It does happen. Elizabeth P.: It totally does. You just have to, once you surrender, which is really hard for especially entrepreneurs, and we want to try to plan and control, and have a timeline, and then hit goals. And goals are great, you should have a plan, a 100%, but I tell clients all the time, a lot of times like, “Well, I was writing down my goals.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s good, but maybe you can even phrase it as wouldn’t it be great if? Or wouldn’t it be nice if I made seven figures this year? Wouldn’t it be nice if I had 200 people buy this course in the first day I launched it. Wouldn’t it be nice if? Because you see that shift. It’s just less pressure. It’s like a lighter, more positive head space than I have to do this and if I don’t do this, because when you do that, you’re focusing on the lack of its presence right now, which really just breeds more of that situation. So try not to take it so seriously. I know there is money on the line for people, but if you really are focused on the product that you’re giving, the money will come. Chris Badgett: I’m kind of smiling because you reminded me, I told, sometimes I tell my daughters things like, a piece of advice like, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” I forget who said that, and I was at a playground and I laughed out loud when I saw my daughter telling some other kid trying to climb something like, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” [inaudible 00:47:06]. Elizabeth P.: Oh my god, that’s amazing. That’s how you know you’re crushing it is a parent, when they start repeating like that. Delilah says all the time, she goes, “Just surrender.” Because she hears me telling my husband that all the time when they’re throwing a tantrum, I’m like, “The more you resist the more it persists. Surrender, just let them work it out and then we’ll deal with it later.” But to your point, trying to force something or force yourself, or force people to sign up for something. That was the other thing, I thought, “I can get people to buy this whatever.” No, I can’t. I have no control over who’s going to buy this course, over what clients are going to come to me. The only thing that I can do is put out really great content and trust that the people who resonate in my reality are there for a reason, good or bad, whatever you want to label it, but you can’t force this timeline. If you’re an entrepreneur, you really can’t. You can work hard and be persistent, but once you realize you have no control, it’s almost like this wonderful sense of calm, because it’s not on your shoulders anymore. It’s not the thing on your to-do list. Getting the people to come will happen. There’s nothing you can do to force them into your program. Chris Badgett: Someone gave me a piece of advice once which stuck with me, that once you’re on the train, you still don’t have to carry the luggage. Elizabeth P.: That’s really good. Chris Badgett: I want to ask you about your group program. If there’s a coach out there listening or a course creator and they’re thinking of doing a group program for their site, you have a 16 week program on a lot of awesome topics. How did you design that, how did you come up with those 16 things or what we’re going to do one week after the next? Elizabeth P.: It is really simple. It’s what I do with my one-on-one clients. So the first few that I had, it’s always been a four month program. I don’t like to go much longer than that because I want people to get results quickly. I’m not a crutch, we are going to move the train quickly and then that’s it, and you’re on your own. But this, it was just I was sending them this customized growth work. I’d have a session with them and then I’d say, “I’m going to send you growth work to work on in between our next session in two weeks.” So a lot of this was from emails. I found myself typing the same email. A lot of the same things, they were a little bit different for each woman, but at the same time it was very similar. So I just started taking note, and I just started copying and pasting it into a little Word doc, and then all of a sudden I realize I’ve got like 40 Word docs with all these different growth work for them, but they were all along the same timeline. They were very sequential. No matter who I was working with, it was really the same gist, right? You have to do this first and then we’ll work our way down. Elizabeth P.: So I thought, once I started getting a little bit overwhelmed, right? To the point where again, I’m not taking care of myself now because I’ve got back-to-back client calls all day long. But as you know, I loved them. It was like I was, it was I was feeding off of it. I loved these sessions. I didn’t want to give up the one-on-ones, and I still have a few of those, but I also hated getting off the phone with people and telling them they had to wait three months to work with me. So it was like, because when you’re unhappy, and then we’re on the phone, and then we really bring it to light that you’re unhappy, you want to take action. So I felt like the next logical step was to do a group program so that they can start making the changes right now, but then they have this wonderful support network. This is the other thing I was doing. I’d have all these one-on-one clients and I’m like, “Hey, there’s eight of you in Minneapolis.” So I would put them together on an email. They’re going to lunches once a month together, all of this great support, right? Which is what we were talking about in the beginning. I had almost felt like I had been neglecting that. They just had me, but then once I introduced them they had me and then they had all of these other fabulous women. Elizabeth P.: So that’s where the online course really was birthed from, was because there were so many similarities between these women that I was coaching, and I didn’t want others to have to wait, and it’s significantly financially more doable for a lot of people than the one-on-one. The one-on-one, it’s not cheap. It just isn’t at the end of the day, and neither is the online, but at the same time it’s less than half of what the one-on-one was. So I wanted to make it more accessible to a broader base of women. Chris Badgett: I love it. Elizabeth P.: But it’s not just women. We actually do have two guys, so I don’t want to scare off the guys. Chris Badgett: You ended up creating one of the things that where you saw a gap when you were kind of learning, where you were in these courses but you felt by yourself and so on, and now you’re getting these eight people in Minneapolis together to go. That’s social learning, that’s awesome. Elizabeth P.: There’s nine in Canada, Canadians are totally woke. They’re like [inaudible] stuff, I love it, but yeah, now there are people across the country, but when you’re in this group platform, but then some groups get too big. We have a cap too because I was in one of those like I said, where it was a couple 100 people and you’re on a Zoom and you’re just a pin, you know what I mean? There’s so many people that it’s overwhelming. So it’s like you don’t really connect with them because it’s going to take work, right? This is a small group, so we can all talk and we can all learn from each other’s questions and situations. Chris Badgett: Yeah, I’ve been to some, like the mastermind thing I was telling you about. 20 to 30 people is a pretty sweet number. Elizabeth P.: Yeah, it is. Chris Badgett: You can really get to know everybody, and you go to bigger stuff, you don’t even meet everybody. Elizabeth P.: No, you don’t, and you don’t feel the need to, because you can play under the radar, and you can slip out, and you can not go to the dinners, or miss a couple of events, and it’s who’s going to notice? So I agree. To your point, you just get people who are super committed and invested in themselves in that group, and then that’s when the magic happens, right? Chris Badgett: Absolutely. Well, Elizabeth Pearson. She’s at ElizabethPearson.com. Go check her out, go subscribe to her YouTube channel. Any final words for the people and where can they best connect with you online? Elizabeth P.: Yeah, so they can just go to my website and you can book a call if you want to chat, I love chatting. The other thing that I would say, and it sounds like it’s been said so many times before, but don’t give up. We only have one life. If there’s even a little mouse voice in your head saying, “Be an entrepreneur, do this.” Even though it’s scary, you really owe it to yourself to listen to that, because even if it’s a faint voice, it used to be loud and it just got drowned out year, after year, after year, when you did what you should do. What you should do, what’s best for your family and everybody around you is for you to follow your dream, whatever that looks like and never, ever, ever give up on it. Chris Badgett: Awesome, Elizabeth. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Elizabeth P.: Thank you, Chris. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to LifterLMS.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the Internet. The post How Education Entrepreneurs Can Transcend a Crazy Busy Lifestyle with Executive Career and Mindset Coach Elizabeth Pearson appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


2 Oct 2019

Rank #8

Podcast cover

How To Do Marketing Automation, CRM, and More Directly From Your WordPress Website with Groundhogg Founder Adrian Tobey

Learn about how to do marketing automation, CRM, and more directly from your WordPress website with Groundhogg founder Adrian Tobey in this episode of LMScast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Groundhogg is a CRM tool for WordPress that allows you to run your email marketing through the back-end of your website. In this episode Adrian lays out a demonstration of Groundhogg and some use cases it can be especially helpful for. It serves as a great way to simplify, consolidate, and automate your sales and marketing. Adrian started working with a marketing agency in Toronto seven years ago, and he would work with clients to design the customer journey that leads someone from an initial contact point to eventually the end result of purchasing their products or services. One of the pitfalls of many CRM options out there such as Infusionsoft, GetResponse, HubSpot, and MailChimp is that they only provide a portion of the solution, rather than the whole thing. As a marketing manager for your business, you have to manage the relationship and integration between many tools that track and interact with customers along the buyer’s journey. Groundhogg brings all of that functionality into the back end of WordPress. Validating your product is a large part of creating a successful online course business, and many course creators do not focus enough on that aspect. Often times course creators and membership site owners will get invested in the nitty gritty details of what individual tools can do for their sites before putting up a minimum viable product to see if anyone indicates interest in what they have to offer. Adrian and Chris discuss the fundamental importance of validation and how Groundhogg can help you with that. Once you have the details ironed out of who you serve and how you serve them, you can create a lead management funnel and start to drive traffic into that funnel via marketing methods such as content marketing, Facebook ads, offering a free ebook, or checklist. To learn more about Adrian Tobey and the exciting new developments at Groundhogg be sure to check out Groundhogg.io. You can also find Adrian on Facebook and Twitter at @groundhoggwp, or you can reach out to Adrian by email. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and we’re joined by a special guest, Adrian Tobey. He’s here from Groundhogg.io. That’s Groundhogg with two Gs. It’s a way to simplify, consolidate, and automate your sales and marketing. When we talk about marketing automation, I think it’s important to go back to the roots, at least the roots where I came from, that I also share with Adrian here, which is the Infusionsoft community. Welcome to the show, Adrian. Adrian Tobey: Hi, Chris. Thanks for having me. Super excited to be on the show. Yes, you and I both have Infusionsoft, the original marketing automation tool, in our past quite prolifically. Chris Badgett: Yeah. I used to do a lot of client work there. Some of our clients were actually the very first use cases and users who are doing courses and training based memberships that we built LifterLMS for. Our very first users were clients we had that hired us not just to build a website, and not just to build a course membership site platform and some custom tooling on top of that, but also to develop marketing automation and really deeply integrate Infusionsoft into their WordPress website. Chris Badgett: Tell us a little bit about your background with Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft’s campaign builder, and just their concepts around marketing automation really opened up a whole market. Coming back into the geekiness of my history in Infusionsoft, I remember, I think I’m saying his name right Jermaine Griggs course. He had a course on marketing automation where he was teaching all these concepts that are now, we see a lot more people teaching this kind of if this then that logic and all this stuff. But Infusionsoft really lead the way in all this. What was your history with Infusionsoft? Adrian Tobey: I started with Infusionsoft six, or I guess seven years ago now. So, seven years ago, I became a certified partner and I worked in a marketing agency here where I’m based in Toronto. My responsibility was to take what our clients came in. They said, we want to get to X amount of customers or X amount of sales per month. What we would do is we would design the customer journey that lead someone from an initial contact point with their customer, whether it was [inaudible] or landing page, their website, contact form, whatever it was to the point where they actually handed over some credit card information to this business. Adrian Tobey: One of the original things that marketing automation really provided was a way for businesses to visually be able to create a customer journey. Now, if you don’t know what marketing automation is, or you’ve never heard that terminology before, it really is just a fancy way of saying an automated customer journey. Generally in the your typical sales process, you have a salesperson and their responsibility is to follow up with the client say, “Hey, listen, are you ready to move forward with buying X amount of product?” That generally how sales used to work. Adrian Tobey: Now, with this automated journey system, what we can do is we can automate all of the follow up or all of the engagements and track with analytics the entire process of someone moving from an initial contact to handing over some credit card information. I did that for about seven years, I created a plugin for WordPress called FormLift, which allowed people who used WordPress that didn’t want to invest tons of money in custom integrations or Imperium for example or you guys at Lifter, and didn’t want to go through that super huge process. They could instead just install FormLift, which was a form builder, which provided your bare minimum amount of integration. Which is you have a web form, or your website and it goes into Infusionsoft. That’s what I did for a while until starting Groundhogg. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. The longer I spend in the technology space, I noticed how things get more approachable or easier. In my opinion, these are the best times ever to start a business, especially an online business or website based business, technology business, because the tools just become more integrated, more simplified, easy to use. Chris Badgett: I know with Infusionsoft, I remember back in the day, you got to get a web form to get a lead in the system. They would be like, all right, press this button, and then you get this code to give to your developer. Over time, we’ve seen the rise of things like Leadpages or OptinMonster. There’s all these tools that try to simplify that process. Eventually, what happens, which is really cool to see what you’re doing here with Groundhogg is there’s the all in one WordPress option. Adrian Tobey: One of the pitfalls of many of the options out there, Infusionsoft get response, HubSpot, MailChimp, you name it, all of them suffer from they don’t provide the entire solution, they provide a portion of the solution. What you as a business owner or as a developer or the CMO, you have to go purchase all of the different tools and then connect them together. That can be both a time consuming, a frustrating and expensive proposition in a lot of cases. If you’re using premium zaps, from Zapier, or you’re paying for WP Fusion or all of these tools, and you’re trying to mash them all together, it can get unwieldy. Adrian Tobey: What we’re trying to do with Groundhogg is instead of connecting all of the tools, we just provide all of them in WordPress. Everything is pre-integrated and you don’t have to spend that time or that financial investment connecting all of the tools together. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. I like to say at LifterLMS, I talk about Lifter as an all in one solution. Its got the Ecommerce, the LMS, the course building, the membership functionality, the engagement, it’s all built in. But there’s this case sometimes for when does it make sense to go out for some piece that’s best in breed, some hyper focused app or whatever? Chris Badgett: But the reality is another thing that’s awesome about Groundhogg as I look at it, as somebody who would use it is, start with all in one. When you’re just validating … Here’s an example from my side. People get really into landing page software or page builders, plugins for WordPress and stuff like that, which I love and enjoy too. But to validate your course idea and to see if people will buy it or indicate interest in it, that’s not really predicated on having some separate thing. Having all in one is a good place to be, especially if you’re trying to get going with this few tools made by as few companies as possible. I just want to acknowledge that other use case there. Adrian Tobey: Yeah, one of the big things that we have with course creators that are our clients is they spend a lot of time focusing on the nitty gritty details, like what software’s do I use, or should I go Sash, or go WordPress, what page builders do I use? They spend a lot of time focused on the technology. But honestly, when you’re starting out, and it’s a new concept, and nobody’s actually given you any money for it yet, what you should be focusing on is the content that you want to provide that will actually help people. Then use as bare minimum amount of tools, invest as bare minimum amount of investment as you possibly can into providing your contents that will help people, and getting them to pay for it. Then you can then fund that money back in and you will either grow with the tools that you’re using, or you’ll switch later, which is totally acceptable. Chris Badgett: You mentioned the customer journey. I don’t want to overlook that. At a case somebody’s new to the idea, in general, if you were just to describe a customer journey that’s generic, what would that look like? Adrian Tobey: Well, the easiest example that I would think of is your basic lead magnet funnel. If you’re not familiar with the funnel terminology. Essentially, a bunch of people go into example of an oil funnel that you’d use to put oil in your car. A bunch of people go in and then a few people come out, and those people are the vetted clients that have actually given you money. Then you have in the top funnel region or the tire kickers mixed in with everybody else. You use your funnel to essentially filter out all the tire kickers and get the people that will become your clients. Adrian Tobey: A lead magnet funnel would be something as you get a whole bunch of people to sign up for a download a PDF file. A webinar is a very, very popular one as we were talking about earlier. Essentially, when they would sign up for that, you send them an email that says confirm your email address so you make sure that it’s not just spam signing up for your thing. You filter out all of those people. Everybody that confirmed your email, you then send the reminder emails to download whatever product that you’re providing. Whether it’s the Evergreen webinar, or the PDF download, or a video or whatever it is that you’re providing. Adrian Tobey: They consume that and then after you give them ample time to consume that, you send them another automated email that says, “How did you find it? Get in touch with either our sales person or here’s your 10% discount code to purchase x product, and here’s the link to that product.” Then a certain number of people will take action on that. Then those people are the people who come out at the bottom of the funnel. Those are the people who will become your clients. Then you can put those clients into another funnel to further filter down the people who will become your champions. Adrian Tobey: That is the most basic example of a sales funnel. Of course, they can get so much more deep and automated … I don’t want to use the word complex because it’s not necessarily a complex thing to do. But you can just do so much more, and it’s so flexible, that you can design really any kind of funnel with any number of responses in order to be able to filter contacts appropriately through it. Chris Badgett: It’s super valuable. What I noticed, especially with beginners is they’ll get super focused at one stage like, I just need more leads, or I just need more conversions right down here at this point where the offer is made and the Buy Now button is. Or I need to better onboard my people once they buy. But when you look at the full funnel, or the whole picture, it’s magical. It’s worth looking at. It’s worth mapping out even if you think it’s obvious or whatever. Because as a course creator, your customer, or your prospective customer and their experience all the way through from not even being aware that they have this problem that you help them identify, to them being I’m just thinking super bottom, outside the funnel of being your biggest affiliate or promoter or whatever. There’s a lot of things that happen along that journey that your website can really help them with. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. One of the things that we’re trying to do is to make it not complicated in order to be able to set those things up. That’s what Groundhogg does. What we pride is a set of marketing and sales tools that essentially allows you to build visually, and in relatively short order this series of steps that will guide someone from requesting a lead magnet to providing it to them, to following up with them and collecting all of the analytics in between so that you can see where the holes are and where you need to focus your energy. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. We’re going to look at, if you’re listening to this on your podcast, on your earbuds or whatever, I’d invite you to just look at LifterLMS YouTube, do a search for that, we’re going to have the episode over there. Look for the episode with Adrian Tobey. You can also type Groundhogg LMScast and you’ll find it. Chris Badgett: But before we get into it, I wanted to ask you, I really appreciate it when someone has the depth of knowledge that you have around the whole business and then bringing in technology intelligently and also with a minimalist touch of feature richness all in one, but it’s like the essentials are there. I can see the DNA of a product that’s well thought out, that solves a very specific set of problems, that is designed to be helpful, not just another tool you got to strap on. What were some of your influences as an entrepreneur, as a technologist? I’m just curious, I’d like to find out from people who’s inspired them. What other bodies of work have inspired you? Adrian Tobey: One of the big the big reasons that I actually took on this project in the first place was I was working in a digital marketing agency as of this time last year. I had been doing so for about five years up until that point. One of the things that I was doing as an Infusionsoft certified partner is I would implement them, I would take their vision, I would translate it, I build the campaigns, I’d write the emails, I’d attach it to the landing pages, and I’d do all the things. Then we’d do a handoff. We’d hand it off and we’d say, okay, this is what you need to do in order to maintain it. This what you need to do in order to keep creating content. This is how Infusionsoft works. Adrian Tobey: We’d train them. Then about a week later, we get a call that says, how do I do this? How do I do this? How do I do this? Why isn’t this working? The fact that they had to keep going in between different tools. They had to go in between WordPress, they had to go in between Infusionsoft, Zapier, AppointmentCore, you name it. They had so many tools that they need to take care of that they couldn’t wrap around wrangling all these software to work for them. It was just too much for them because not only are they now the CMO and the CEO and the CTO, they have to work in their business, they have to make the sales calls and do all that stuff. They are supposed to be automated, why am I doing so much work? Adrian Tobey: This is what this was supposed to replace, I now feel like I have more work because now I have to manage all of these tools and keep them updated. That was the inspiration behind creating Groundhogg is, since you can keep all of your information in WordPress in one place, it becomes significantly simpler in order to do the small things that you do indeed have to do when using marketing automation. You have to update your emails, you have to manage your content, you have to look at the analytics. Not everything can be fully automated, there is a certain amount of effort that you as a business owner or the CMO or the CTO or whatever it is that you do and your company put in in order to get the results that you want back out of it. Adrian Tobey: That was the big inspiration was making that portion of it as simple as possible, as easy as possible, removing as much time and frustration from that process as possible. By putting it all in WordPress, we removed so many of those hiccups. Chris Badgett: What other people or business leaders inspire you, or helped you develop solid thinking around funnels, customer journeys, WordPress? Adrian Tobey: I’m not sure, are you familiar with Russell Brunson and the whole ClickFunnels group? Chris Badgett: I am. Yeah. Adrian Tobey: That would be a big … I use ClickFunnels for about a year. I paid the monthly donations to it. I never really got the value back out of it. But I did learn a lot about the whole sales funnel process. I read the books, and I went to the ClickFunnels conference, Funnel Hacker, which was a great rah rah of a the time. That was awesome. I saw Tony Robbins. Adrian Tobey: I learned so much just about general customer journey. The step one, the step two, the step three, the step four. I translated that into a combination of your typical the Infusionsoft campaign builder map where you have to pull in items and you have to connect them with arrows and eventually you get this giant spider thing and you don’t know where everything is unless you’re a brilliant genius. Adrian Tobey: A lot of other ones use that like HubSpot to get response or ConvertKit, for example, use that same methodology. The way that ClickFunnels works is that it was very linear in fashion. It was step one, step two, step three. They could only go through those series of steps, which I thought was really, really interesting, because by going through this linear fashion- Chris Badgett: It forces you to focus right? Adrian Tobey: It forces you to focus- Chris Badgett: What’s the best option. Adrian Tobey: Exactly. Because what happens is a lot of people can get lost in software with how good it is or how much you can do. They lose focus of what their initial intention was. By giving it a linear format, you’re able to stay focused on how do they get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time possible with as many minimal variations of that journey as possible. Adrian Tobey: That’s what I really took away from ClickFunnels, and I took away the automation aspects away from Infusionsoft or ConvertKit, or any of those platforms. I’ve combined them into the two, by providing a linear process in a marketing automation. So, the backend and the follow up portion of it. That’s what I’d really base … It’s a hybrid of the two. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. We’re going to do some screen sharing. If you’re washing the dishes or alpha run, I hear you It’s fine. We’re going to describe things in a way that you’ll still get a ton of value about what we’re getting ready to go through. But let’s take a look at that. I just also want to acknowledge for the listener out there that I’ve personally rebuilt my “funnel” three times, four times, major rebuilds in both Infusionsoft and then I’m an Active Campaign now. Chris Badgett: But it’s only natural. Don’t feel bad if you’ve made something that was complex and you lost your way a little bit. I think it’s just part of the process to simplify. What you’re saying here about, before you get into all this, if this then that logic and this giant tag structure automation thing, think about one path, not well, what if they want to turn left? What if they want to turn right? What if they want to turn left from here and right from here- Adrian Tobey: Those will come naturally. You’ll see those paths emerge as your customers go through. But when you’re starting out, just think of the one path. Some people will go through, but some people will not. But then if those people don’t, then you can take care of that manually. Then you can build out those alternating paths. But those will appear naturally. There’s no way that as a business owner, you’re going to be able to think of all of the possible things that could ever possibly happen, and the design structures around those. If you do that, the only thing a guarantee is that you’ll never launch. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. I love the idea. I’ve been really digging on this lately that when you do the one path, there are holes, you’re going to lose people at certain parts of the path, and that’s okay. You can optimize … That’s where you’re going to do for the years on forward. But let’s just focus on what is the optimal path for the- Adrian Tobey: For the optimal customer. Chris Badgett: Exactly. Well, let’s look at it. Take us on a tour of- Adrian Tobey: Let’s do that. We’ve been talking a lot about marketing automation. I’m going to be sharing the [French] up front, which is our funnel builder. I’m just going to make sure that I have … There you go, perfect. I have these massive two screens. So, I got to make sure that everything is laid out. We have our funnel builder. One of the big things that we took it upon ourselves was to templatize as much as we could in order to remove as much learning curve as possible and get people as soon as they install Groundhogg, to the point of being able to put an optin form or send an email in less than a day. Adrian Tobey: That was one of the big things that we did. In that vein, we have a bunch of funnel templates in our funnel builder. So, our campaign builder or whatever it is that you want to call it, and that you can choose from and start building and modifying those funnels according to your business’s needs. Adrian Tobey: For example, we have a webinar registration funnel, if you want to do a webinar, or a lead magnet download the funnel that we talked about earlier. You can start from scratch or if you have an LMS, or you’re running a course, you can have a login abandonment funnel, which follows up with people who haven’t logged in in a while. Lots of good stuff in that vein. Adrian Tobey: Essentially, all we have to do in order to start off with one of those is click on it. So, let’s just do our lead magnet download funnel. We’re going to click on start building, and it’s going to bring up our Course Builder. We were talking about how linearization allows people to stay focused. All of our funnel is completely linear in nature. Adrian Tobey: What happens is we have someone who fills out a web form. This is our top benchmark here or goal trigger, goes by many names. You can call it what you want. In the particular software that we’re using today, it’s called benchmarks, but it’s similar to any other platform that’s out there that has triggers that is basically the if then. This is the if. If someone fills out this web form, that we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to send them a couple of emails, which we can edit, we have timers. So, we’re going to wait one day until we send them another email. Adrian Tobey: Once they’ve confirmed their email, which we’re talking about, that’s the way we filter out spam or tire kickers or people who just want to leave an email with us for whatever reason or not, actually take any action. We get their email confirmed, and then we can actually send the product to the people that have done so. We send them the email. Then we use a tracking link to track when they’ve actually gone ahead and downloaded or consumed whatever content that we sent them. Adrian Tobey: Once they’ve actually consumed that content, then we can move on and send them a follow up. What did you think of our eBook, did you like it? If you liked that, then you might also like this trip wire product, this paid product. Then you can take on the funnel from there, it can go into another funnel or you can just extend the funnel that we’re looking at. Adrian Tobey: We have all of these tools to be able to customize this journey as well. It’s not all set in stone here. You can drag things around on top of each other. I want this time to come first, or I want this email to come first. I can drag in new emails, I can drag in text messages. I can drag in tags. Tags are our version of lists. If you’re familiar with MailChimp, or lots of other tools also use tags. Infusionsoft uses tags, get response uses tags, I believe. There’s lots of them that use tags. Since many people use those, we don’t want to go too far from that terminologies and stuff they understand. There’s just lots of ways that you can modify this funnel to suit whatever your business’s needs are. Adrian Tobey: You can again, modify this in any way that you see fit. Extend it, add more emails, add less emails. But always remember what we were talking about earlier is that the simplest customer journey often yields best results. So, don’t get too carried away with it. Because the way that it’s designed is the way that is implemented on our site and so many other companies sites that actually gets us customers. So, just keep that in mind. Adrian Tobey: There’s lots of other cool stuff that you can do actually, while we’re just on this screen that I might as well go over. You can view all of the reporting that’s associated with this funnel, I just created it. So there is none. But you can see how many people have gone through a particular set of steps in any given time range. How many people are currently waiting. You can see the conversion rates of your optin forms, the open rates and click through rates of your emails, and lots of good stuff. Adrian Tobey: In this view, it can really allow you to see where the holes in your funnel are. If you’re seeing that six people filled out the form for your lead magnet request, but zero people confirmed their email, then obviously there’s a problem. Either the confirmation link is broken or it’s not in there or your landing page copy isn’t conducive to what you’re actually trying to offer in the email, and allows you to fix those holes. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, we’re looking at marketing automation and a lead magnet funnel, which some course creators should totally do to build your email list. But ideally, before you’ve even started working on creating the course, you can have some people to sell to, and have that lead magnet be related to the topic of your course. Groundhogg helps with marketing automation like these lead magnet deliveries. What are some of the email marketing features? Adrian Tobey: When we want to send an email, we have a custom email builder built within it. You can send email in a variety of different ways. You can send it from your server, or you can send it using an SMTP service. You can even send it using our API powered service. But all we got to do is when we’re in our funnel, or you can edit emails directly from the database. Chris Badgett: Can you do a broadcast email to just all the people that got your lead magnet? Let’s say they have a tag, you emailed that tag. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. If someone were to request the lead magnet, so actually in the funnel, if we scroll down to after they actually go ahead and click the link and we track that action, we want to apply a tag that says, I’m going to type in lead magnet download or whatever you want to call it. We can add that tag there, and now we know that anybody that actually consumed the content that we wanted to provide, they’ll be able to get that tag, we can go to our broadcasts and can schedule a new one. We just select the tag, lead magnet download, and now we can send an email to anybody who’s currently marketable, and who also has that tag. Chris Badgett: For those of you that are listening, we’re doing all this in WordPress, we’re not in another tool. We’re in the backend of WordPress. We can send the email, you’ve got the SMS broadcast is an option as well. That’s pretty sweet. Adrian Tobey: Yeah. Another feature that was also super important to us, was making sure it’s totally accessible to wherever anybody is in the world. What time zones they’re in, what languages they’re in. It’s supporting a bunch of different languages. But when we’re sending email, we can choose to send it in any contact’s local time zone. If you do business globally, as we do, since we have customers in six different time zones, just here in Canada, three, I guess, but all the different time zones here in Canada, or if they’re over in Europe, or Australia, or New Zealand or the Philippines, we are able to send an email at a specified time in their time zone. Chris Badgett: I just want to say how awesome that is because I have a pretty big email list, which means with my email marketing tool, I’m paying hundreds of dollars a month for the that tool. I still have to pay even more to get this sent to everybody at the same time in their time zone feature. I’m just not doing it based on principle, because I’ve already given them enough money, but I really want that feature, and you’ve got it right here, right inside WordPress, which is awesome. Adrian Tobey: Yeah, well, it’s not exactly complicated. Because whenever someone signs up on your website, we’re able to collect their IP address, and we can geo locate that IP address using free tools that exist out there. We use that IP address to get their time zone. We send it based on their time zone, do a little bit of math. There you go. So, we decided to just ship that with there because one of our core values, or at least our main guiding principle core value is that we believe marketing and sales tool should be provided for equal access to all businesses around the world, regardless of budget size, or any of those factors. We want to make sure that businesses have the tools that they need in order to be succeed. Adrian Tobey: All of that good stuff is shipped, package in there, and it’s not even dependent on the broadcast tool. The same feature, the send to a local time zone is available in the funnel builder as well. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Can you explain what a pipeline is, and how that’s different from a marketing automation? Adrian Tobey: A pipeline, if you’re familiar with a relative SAS tool called Pipedrive, it’s like the sales equivalent. If you actually have a sales team, and you have people responsible for doing the actual manual follow up process. When marketing automation doesn’t cut it, for example, you have big ticket items or you’re selling products that are thousands of dollars, not hundreds or 10s of dollars, then sometimes the personal touch is absolutely necessary in order to be able to go ahead and actually sell those products to your customers. Chris Badgett: I just want to add for course builders and membership site builders out there, when you’re selling over $1,000, often a phone call, at least a phone call is required for someone to make the decision to invest. If you’re talking like throwing in a high end mastermind at some resort somewhere, and now we have $20,000, $30,000 package, they’re going to want to talk to somebody before they open up the wallet on that one. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. That’s one of the things that we actually … There’s an opening video in the guided setup of our tool that explains that Groundhog is actually a tool, not a solution. A lot of products are marketed as the solution to all of your problems. You can replace your whole sales team and all that of that. That’s not necessarily true in all cases. We really market ourselves as a tool that will allow you to do a whole lot of things that you wouldn’t otherwise able to. But sending phone calls or manual responses and actually being part of the business is something that can never be replaced. That’s super important. Adrian Tobey: But to answer your original question, a pipeline is the manual equivalent of a sales funnel. What you do is you set up your stages, and there’s software to do this, or you can just do it on a whiteboard and sticky notes. You define your stages. For example, new lead proposal closing and one would be some stages, and then your last stage. Then you do all of your forecasting based on assigning values to each particular lead. Adrian Tobey: If you have 10 people worth $100 in your new lead course or your new lead stage sorry. You know that you had a 10% closing rate based on that stage, then you’d be able to Gander that you have $100 available in Q3 from now as to what the recording equivalent will be able to do for that. We actually have a tool in Groundhogg, if I can add on, that allows you to add this pipeline feature as a tool where you can drag and drop your cards or your deals or your leads in between stages for your sales team, if you have your sales team as users in WordPress. Actual new user roles that we add. You can add your sales so they don’t actually are able to modify contact records or break things or edit options, stuff like that. You just drag your card through different stages and those can trigger points in your funnel. Adrian Tobey: If you move a person from, let’s say, new lead to proposal, then you could trigger automation. Automatically say, “Hey, listen, new lead, we have found that you want a new proposal. We’re currently working on it. It’ll be available in two to three days. Stay tuned. I, insert salesperson name here, will be in touch shortly.” They don’t actually have to go and send that email, but the phone call is probably still a good idea. Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s really cool. You touched on something that’s important to me, which is we offer a tool at LifterLMS, but we always said, you can’t automate everything. It’s all about scaling the human touch with robotics. That’s something we’ve been saying for years. There’s still a human around, and you’re using the automation and the pipelines and the tech to maybe qualify the leads before they can get to a human so that when you do get engaged manually, there’s a high likelihood of being a good fit for each other. Chris Badgett: But that’s totally different from just automating everything. There’s full funnels or sales cycles that you can automate, but there’s definitely still a place for the human in the business. I love that you made that distinction around tools versus solutions. That’s really cool. Adrian Tobey: Well, we like to say is that we’re not the solution, you are. Chris Badgett: That’s a really good insight, because a lot of these tools, they often shine the light on this tool is the solution to the problems, whereas you’re saying, we’re going to help you solve your problem better. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. That’s how we like to look at it. We are merely a means to an end. You know what the solution is or what it is that you have to implement it. We’re just simply providing the hammer and the nails that are going to allow you to build it. Chris Badgett: For somebody coming into Groundhogg, where do you recommend they start? Let’s say they’re a course builder. They’ve got a course site up, and they’ve got, let’s say a free course and they’ve got a paid course and then they have a course plus private coaching upsell going on. How would that person approach this tool? Let’s say they have a lead magnet- Adrian Tobey: With pen and paper, for sure. That’s also one of the things that once you install Groundhogg, there’s a video with a guy that says, before you do anything, let’s get a pen and paper out and actually map what your goal is. What’s point A when someone meets you, and what’s point B, what do you want them to do? Then draw out what the steps in between are and that’ll make it significantly easier to actually translate into building with our tools. Adrian Tobey: Then once they actually get started is they find the relevant template that’s currently available in our default templates or in our store, or if they are able to find one online because all of our templates or all of our funnels and everything in Groundhogg is exportable and importable so you can share it between a bunch of different websites. You can import your funnel or just use one of our templates or you can start from scratch. They can actually start going about building that. Adrian Tobey: If it were me personally, what I would do is I just build whatever my first stage is, and make sure that that works before I go on and start building my upsell and then my profit maximizer, to use the terminology from the ClickFunnels side of things. But that’s absolutely what I would start doing. Is just define what my core product offering is, probably put a lead magnet in front of that and then build those two out. If those succeed, then I would start investing time into some higher tier products, but not before I am aware or I have verified that there is indeed a market for the tools that I want to produce. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, is there anything else you want to show us while we have the screen up, before we- Adrian Tobey: Yeah, absolutely. Groundhogg isn’t all just about marketing automation and sending emails. There is an entire CRM component to this so that you can view all of your contact information, you can create super long intake forms if you really feel like that’s necessary. There’s tags and lists and lots of things that you can do. So, I’ll just jump into the CRM portion of this relatively quickly. Adrian Tobey: There’s lots of things that you can do in here. For example, we automatically scrape the internet for any profile pictures that are associated with the email address that was given to you so you can get a sense of what they look like. If you’re planning an in-person meeting or you’re getting on the phone and you don’t want to be caught off guard. We can manage anybody’s address information. Again, we do geolocation. Oftentimes, if you have a new subscriber, this information here will be all filled out so you can see where they’re calling. Adrian Tobey: If you’re getting on the phone, you can see what their local time zone is. So, you don’t call them at 3:00 AM in the morning, like I have done on several occasions. Someone really really ticked off. Don’t do that. That’s why we have this in the top right here. It says local time. Again, if you’re listening just on your ear pods or whatever, we have the local time displayed based on their IP address. We have all the custom fields. Adrian Tobey: If you want to collect just random information about a contact, you can do all of that from this screen. We can see what page they signed up on originally, what source they came from. If they came from Facebook, Twitter, all that good stuff, we can see what tags that they have. We can collect notes about a person. If we did a sales call, and this person in no way wants us to call them again, then we can add a note that says, do not call. Adrian Tobey: We have a whole file uploads feature. Each contact has their own personal uploads folder where you can upload a whole bunch of files and you can actually merge links to those files in emails or anything like that. Chris Badgett: What would an example be of that, the file? Adrian Tobey: If you wanted to automate your HR process, for example, then what you do is you’d have a form on your website, submit your resume here. Then link with the resume gets sent to whatever HR person and then they would go ahead and follow up with that person at that point. Chris Badgett: Very cool. Adrian Tobey: We can see all of the activity that a person has ever been through. Any of the emails that they’ve ever received, any of the events or funnels that they’ve ever been through, what they clicked, when they clicked on it, if they opened an email. If they say, “I didn’t open that email.” “Yes, you did. It shows here, the stats don’t lie.” All of this is also extended with our various add-ons that exist out in the world so that you can essentially design the ultimate CRM that you need in order to be able to do all your contact management. Adrian Tobey: The last thing I think that’s of note before we transition out of the screen share is our dashboard, but I’m going to show you the actual company dashboard, because that’s way more impressive than the zero stats local site. Here we have our dashboard, and I can show you the last 30 days. Here’s our dashboard. We can see a whole bunch of generic reports that allow us to identify holes in our sales process, or see something’s may be a little off whack, maybe my website has some downtime because there haven’t been any new contacts in a while. Adrian Tobey: But for example, we have a new contact report. So, you can see when we have surges in new contacts, or when we have relatively slow days, we can see our overall email activity report, so we can see what our average click through rate is, what our average open rate is, how many emails we’ve sent so we can decide, maybe I need to upgrade my email tier of whatever SMTP service that I’m using. Adrian Tobey: We can see our overall optin status report, so we can see how many contacts we can email, how many we can’t, how many I should probably delete. We have a funnel breakdown widget. If you have a particular funnel that you just want to save to your dashboard, then you can use that, which is essentially just mirrors that are reporting that’s in the funnel builder. Adrian Tobey: We have lots of other good stuff. We have the lead scoring add-on. You can see the relative scores of your lists. So, how many people are really, really cold? How many people are warm, how many people will probably give you money if you asked for it on a rainy day, and lots of other reports that you can choose from; social media, source page, form activity, UTM reports, geographic reports. There’s just lots of stuff that enables you in order to better decide where to focus your efforts and your money in your marketing. Chris Badgett: That is amazing. Just speaking from experience, if you’re trying to generate these kind of reports across multiple tools, it gets infinitely harder. We’re right here in the WordPress dashboard with one reporting interface, and all the data is coming from the same place. Adrian Tobey: The nice thing is, this is actually just the regular WP admin dashboard. If you have Ecommerce tools or anything that adds reports to this interface, then all of those can be mixed in together. You can have your executive dashboard and view all of the tools or all the statistics that you need at a glance, which is really, really, really nice. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that is awesome. I can’t stress the importance of these kind of data and reports. When you log into WordPress one morning, and you’re like, oh, look at that spike that happened last week. Then you trace it back to a new funnel you launched, or some broadcast email you sent. Instead of shooting from the hip and taking from the gut, you’re starting to make data informed decisions. Like oh, I better do more of that, or I need to focus more on that. Things start working out a lot better when you can actually see what’s working and what’s not. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. For example, if I’m looking at my email activity report, if last month, my average open rate was 40%, but this month, my average open rate is 20%, then obviously either I’m not sending enough email or my subject lines seriously need some work? That’s a something that … Basic reporting analytics right there. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Well, if you want to stop sharing your screen as we’re about to close out. There’s people who listen to this show that build sites for other people or they do the tech part of somebody’s online course business. What message do you have for those people related to- Adrian Tobey: We’re talking about the freelancers of the world, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah, freelancers, agency owners, people whose partner or parent or friend has convinced them to do the website part and the marketing, what message do you have for them? Adrian Tobey: Well, setting expectations as someone who’s formerly worked in an agency is probably the most important. But before taking on any new work, there’s a strategy that I brought from the agency, working there that we always imparted on to our clients before starting any new project. That was the principle of ready, fire, aim, is what they’d like to call it. Adrian Tobey: Essentially, it’s let’s take what we have and we’ll get something that’s essentially pretty crude and could obviously be optimized more, but get it out there as quickly as possible because if there is interest and this can be sold, then we’ll do it with that super crude unoptimized funnel and then we can make the tweaks that we need to along the way. Adrian Tobey: If you’re a perfectionist and you decide that everything has to be perfect before you share it with the public, I promise you that you will never launch or you will take a significantly longer amount of time to actually get your product or your solution or your service out there to the world. Getting it out as quickly as possible and validating that people can use it is by far way more useful than spending hours countlessly tinkering with margins, or tweaking email contents. Just getting it out there, even if you don’t have any follow up or any marketing automation, just setting up a landing page with a contact form, seven form that sends a one off response. Getting it out there is just so important as quickly as possible. Chris Badgett: Yeah and if you do these types of client sites where you help not just build the website but build the marketing automation and the pipeline development all that, if you focus on the little wins and validation, you have a client for life. Adrian Tobey: Absolutely. Chris Badgett: Then you get known for somebody who not just does the work, but does the work that works. Which is what people really want. Cool groundhogg.io, you can find Adrian over there. How else can a good people connect with you, and do you have any other final words for the course building community? Adrian Tobey: Yeah, absolutely. They can find me on Facebook. We are @Groundhoggwp on Facebook and Twitter. There is a Facebook page someone is generally on there at least not 24/7, but 18/7 [inaudible] tons of day. They can reach out to me personally, they’ll just ask for Adrian, if you’re messaging the Facebook page. We have that same little chat icon at the bottom right hand of the website, which you can also just ask for me personally. My email address is info@groundhogg.io. You can reach out to me through any of those channels. Adrian Tobey: As far as final words, go, launch. Just with however much content that you have at the moment, if you have one video, if you have three videos, just get it out there and start sharing the knowledge that you have to share with the world because the world would be a better place for it. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, that’s Groundhogg with two G’s, folks. Adrian, thanks so much for coming on the show. Adrian Tobey: Thank you, Chris. That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to Lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet. The post How To Do Marketing Automation, CRM, and More Directly From Your WordPress Website with Groundhogg Founder Adrian Tobey appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


7 Aug 2019

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Your WordPress LMS Freelance Business Transformation with Matt Inglot

Learn about how you can build your WordPress LMS freelance business transformation with Matt Inglot in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Matt shares his experience building websites for clients, and what it was like to move from brochure and marketing websites to building out specialized sites for memberships, e-commerce, and courses. Matt is from the podcast Freelance Transformation where he helps freelancers find higher paying clients and projects while removing the stress from the process. If you build websites as a service, Matt’s podcast is one to follow. Building sites for clients is something Matt has been doing for 15 years now. He started out building websites just because he needed money to put himself through school, and he had been working for a startup that went under as soon as he started to try living on his own. Through talking with everyone he knows and his tenacity, he was able to get some clients to build sites for and to expand that as he got better at site building. After years of working in the space Matt became very good at building sites, and he was making a lot of money. The area where he was able to deliver the most value and make the most money was working with online business owners rather than the marketing websites. Building up recurring revenue and delivering value to your clients is a great way to get the recurring revenue you need to make a website service business thrive. Traditional video courses have a huge business model problem, and that is they can’t generate recurring revenue very easily. Once people purchase the program they don’t have a need to purchase again or renew anything. Chris and Matt talk about ways recurring value is key in online course businesses to generate recurring revenue. Progress tracking, coaching, ongoing exercises, along with templates is a great stack you can use to deliver that recurring value. Many freelancers put themselves in the position of being purely an implementer. Matt explains how this can be a huge mistake because it will likely end up where clients don’t see the results envisioned from an implementation. Putting your business in a position where you are a technology partner rather than an implementer allows you to put yourself on a different playing field than people on Upwork and other freelance platforms where it is a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. To learn more about Matt Inglot be sure to check out FreelanceTransformation.com where he has a great podcast for freelancers, along with a free email mini course. At TiltedPixel.com you can find Matt’s agency website building practice that he shares his experience from in this LMScast episode. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the cofounder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Matt Inglot from Freelance Transformation. It’s a podcast if you build LMS or membership sites for clients, you’re going to want to keep an eye on Matt’s podcast. You can find out more about him at freelancetransformation.com. He’s also got a free email mini course to help you level up as a freelancer. Welcome to the show, Matt. Matt Inglot: Hey, thanks so much for having me. Chris Badgett: In our pre-chat, we were having a conversation. It actually sounds like we have a lot in common. We’ve built sites for the expert industry or membership sites. Even some of the nuances of what you were talking about in terms of building custom software on top of the membership for various use cases. This is totally in my wheelhouse and what I used to do as a freelancer and as an agency owner. Can you talk a little bit to the builders out there? The people who build websites for the LMS industry. Just share your experience of going from just building websites or any websites or marketing sites, brochure sites to this specialization and memberships, e-commerce courses and all this. How did that transformation happen for you? Matt Inglot: Yeah, absolutely. To put it in context, I’ve been doing this for 15 years now and I started out with just building websites for people because frankly, I needed money. I was trying to put myself through school. My parents couldn’t pay my tuition and I was working for a startup that went under pretty much as soon as I started trying to live on my own. I desperately needed cash or I wouldn’t be able to get my education. I just started building websites for people because it’s something that I knew how to do and I knew nothing about finding clients about what makes a high value client. You could argue, I didn’t know that much about building websites either, but it’s your sheer tenacity and just talking through every single person that I met and telling them I build websites, I got my first few clients and that started me on a journey of getting increasingly better at building websites, getting increasingly more money for building those websites and eventually hiring a team. Matt Inglot: And eventually, we at an office for a few years before I realized I hate having an office, and that was a decision I backtracked out of. But basically, I started off just on a very generalist path of if you need a website, we’ll build it for you. And then that later it clicked on me that the people that were willing to pay most to get a website build were people that we’re able to get a very specific business result for the website. It’s not so much that people pay for your website because it’s pretty or that you put a lot of time and effort into it. They’re willing to pay for it if it actually creates results for them, like bringing in more leads, bringing in more sales, doing something valuable for them. I started seeking out more of those types of clients and that started to really revolutionize my business. Matt Inglot: And I went from really struggling to actually making pretty darn good money building these things. And then as I progressed and as I realized where we deliver the most value, I realized that as cool as the marketing sites we were building were and as cool as the results we were able to create for clients where we are really, really, really making money and really having clients that stayed with us for years and years, we’re online business owners, or as you said it very nicely, you can even chunk that down further to the expert industry, which is people that have basically built an online business around selling some sort of digital product that basically packages up their information, their knowledge, their tools, whatever. And I realized that some of these people were really being limited in their growth of their business because the tools and the software weren’t all that flexible. Matt Inglot: They had this great idea of what they wanted to create for their members or for their customers. And then they would go and they try to build it. And basically even today if you’re trying to do more than just build an online course where you just share videos with people, it’s pretty hard to do that. These packages aren’t that flexible. We started building a lot of custom functionality. The types of clients that we work for, they’re heavily custom sites. It’s not just like an online course, it’s a, for example like a stock photo membership site or a site with financial tools or a site that the quizzes students and lets teachers see their results and things like that. As soon as you start getting limited by the technology, that’s where we come in and we open up an entire new world of possibilities and most importantly an entire new world of revenue, of customer retention and a lot of other great things that are very hard to achieve with just video courses. Chris Badgett: Wow. I love that. I think we are birds of a feather because I have this concept called Course Plus. The most valuable sites I’ve built for clients, it wasn’t just the course, there was this other stuff. It could be plus community, plus live events, plus coaching, group coaching, private coaching, plus other software, plus other resources, plus other products. If you’re in the business of getting results for somebody, they often need more than just information that comes through video. And of course, while that’s valuable to make it super high value your client, you have to surround them with all these resources to help their customer gets success. And some of the biggest sites and most profitable sites we ever built in our agency was when we would take an expert, it was course plus coaching plus community with leaderboards and stuff. Chris Badgett: And this software, we would add this additional layer of software where members of this particular platform were putting in their metrics and getting really personalized coaching. It was like, this isn’t something you can buy off the shelf and just put together, this is a custom solution for our particular leader in a particular industry that does things a particular way. I’d love to hear more about how your approach and experience with that kind of thing. Matt Inglot: Yeah. I mean, I’m glad you’re bringing that up because it sounds like we’re kindred spirits here. You bring up online courses, obviously there’s people out there making a lot of money through online courses and that’s awesome. But your traditional video course has a huge business model problem and that it’s very hard to turn that into a membership site of any kind or any sort of recurring revenue. Basically, once people buy your course and get your videos, that’s basically it. And most people that I’ve seen that have tried to turn that into monthly revenue have basically failed and in many cases have actually made less money off that bottle than they did when they just sold the courses at one time, big money thing. You could sell a course for 500 or 1,000 bucks up front or you can try charging like $49 a month for it and the ladder is flawed because once people have the videos, why are they going to keep paying you $49 a month for access? Chris Badgett: Yeah. If you want recurring revenue, you need to have recurring value. Matt Inglot: Exactly. Chris Badgett: That’s a- Matt Inglot: That’s 100% in. And especially when you realize that if all you’re doing is giving someone videos, the crappy thing is, I would argue most people that get a video course don’t actually take action. And it might not be necessarily the problem with a content. The content’s fantastic, it’s just learning and education are difficult problems. People get excited, they’ll buy a course and they’ll drop off. How can you turn that into a recurring revenue model when in three months they’ve completely lost interest in the course, they’re going to cancel very quickly. What we found works really well instead, and you’ve alluded to that, is that plus part where it’s more than that. In our case, what’s worked really well for our clients is giving people tools. You might not- Chris Badgett: What kind of tools? Matt Inglot: You might not be willing to pay $49, let’s talk about that, you might not be willing to pay $49 a month for access to videos that you already, but you’ll certainly pay for ongoing access to tools and functionality. For example, that might be any sort of thing that allows you to make continuous progress towards your education. Let’s say like a tool that helps you implement what’s being taught. And that varies a lot, but it could be pretty simple, it could be pretty complicated. For example, the most complicated thing we ever built was this whole financial portfolio analyzer tool that lets you actually input your investment portfolio and track it. That’s almost like a SAS product. But then there’s much simpler things like [crosstalk 00:10:16]- Chris Badgett: Like templates or something. Matt Inglot: Sorry? Chris Badgett: Like templates, you could provide templates that help people execute on some idea that you taught in the course. Matt Inglot: Yeah. Templates, quizzes, ongoing exercises, progress tracking. In one client’s case, it’s actually allowing the teachers of the students to see their progress, which is huge. There’s a lot of things that you can do to provide interactivity and people are way more willing to pay for that. And along with some of the other things that you mentioned, like coaching, ongoing help, access to community, anything that allows them to get ongoing value and not just passive lessons. Chris Badgett: Yeah. And I just want to share just like a, so for example here, this is my favorite word and teaching, so for example, and if your doubt that you can sell a client website a really high ticket thing, let me just explain to you this. I have a software company, LifterLMS. I just paid for a $30,000 program that includes courses, but it includes a lot of other stuff and there so much recurring value that, I mean, if you don’t think you can sell, let’s say a $30,000 website. I’m telling you right here, I’m a customer on the other end of all that where I bought a program and there’s a lot of other people in the program, you can create incredible value for your clients by helping them put together, sometimes they need help figuring out how to create the most value too. Chris Badgett: That thing where as a consultant or a platform builder, you start getting all these questions outside the scope of like, Hey, we’re going to put a website together. I’d love to hear how you as a freelancer, help your clients maximize the revenue they could potentially generate because a lot of the best platforms are, there’s like this magical co-creation that happens between the expert in their field and you as the expert and online and putting tools together and envisioning the project. How do you maximize the value creation between you and the client? Matt Inglot: Yeah. That’s a great point because a huge mistake freelancers and agency owners and so on make is they position themselves and treat themselves as the people that just do the work. Chris Badgett: Tell me what to do, what do you want? Just tell me- Matt Inglot: Yeah, exactly. I’m an employee, you tell me what to do. And so let’s step away from websites and LMS for a second. Last year we bought a house and I wanted to turn our garage into a proper, [inaudible] shop, because that’s one of my hobbies. I had to start looking for contractors and one of the hardest things I found was finding an electrician that could do more than just quote me on what I asked for and actually advise me on what the best way to do my lighting setup was, the best way to do my electrical, how many outlets I needed. To be honest, they all suck at that and it took a while to find someone that could really work with me because they didn’t see themselves as in the business of giving advice. They saw themselves as being in the business of, if you want an outlet here, I will put an outlet here. Chris Badgett: There are literally [crosstalk 00:13:36]- Matt Inglot: If you want these many lights on the ceiling, I’ll put them there. Though it’s the same problem with web development for sure. You tell me what to build and I’ll build it for you, but you pointed out, most clients have no idea. Even if they’re already doing well selling information, they probably have no idea what’s possible. They probably have no idea where you can create leverage. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I’ve worked with a lot of clients. I know what’s worked for people, I know it’s worked for multiple people. I know the common mistakes, how crappy of me would it be to withhold all of that for my client? Instead, we take a very advisory role. It’s really the strategy that we help them with and building the platforms almost just ancillary to that. Matt Inglot: We help them figure out what to build, what’s actually going to drive their business forward. And that’s always the end goals, how can we make you more money? And if you can reframe your thinking from telling me what to do and I’ll do it. And if you’re thinking like that you’re competing with every guy and girl on Upwork and all the other sites too, I can help you figure out what to do. Then suddenly, you’re one of a handful of people in the world that can answer that question. And that’s a very important question that people are willing to pay a lot of money to solve. Matt Inglot: In our case we do a lot to continuously meet with our clients, do strategy calls of them and help them figure out how we can actually help them grow their business forward. And we focus a lot on numbers, what are the key metrics of your site and how are those metrics doing? Sometimes it is building new features and functionality for members, but there’s a lot of other ways to build value for clients. With one client we actually helped them fix their pricing because their pricing was really complicated. They had a huge array of products and they’re basically tripping over their own feet as a result of that. And we basically help them narrow it down to three levels of course that you can purchase. Matt Inglot: We helped them figure out the different segments of people that would actually buy these three levels and what the key leverage points are that would cause someone to, for example, upgrade from like basic to premium to then ultimate. And as a result, the client is basically selling the exact same information as before, but making way more money at it because they’re delivering the right value to each segment. Sometimes it’s not even a programming challenge, sometimes it’s a matter of building in the features and functionality that get people to upgrade their memberships. That’s a whole game in itself. What can we do to convince you you do want to become a member or you do want to go up to the next here. Sometimes it has nothing to do with members at all. And how can you automate your business? It’s fascinating how many manual things business owners do because they’re not programmers and they have no idea that the computer can basically automagically do that for them. Matt Inglot: They end up hiring real staff, paying real wages, basically moving data around between systems. And then it’s very easy to say, for five, 10 grand, we’ll make these two systems talk to each other and you’ll never have to pay someone to work with that system again. And we’re very good at doing that. And they liked the idea of not paying all that staff, it’s a win-win. Chris Badgett: Well, I mean, that’s a gold mine there. Thank you for sharing all that. I’m just representing the audience of the platform builder out there, what are some tips you have around creating that recurring value for your web clients? You mentioned that the, do you make suggestions or do you get them on some kind of retainer that include some kind of thing or do you just keep blowing their mind with ideas and how you can save them money if they keep investing? What are some simple rules or process or tactics that people could try to get outside of we’re going to build a project and walk away to we’re going to build a project and create a longterm relationship as a technology partner? Matt Inglot: Absolutely. I mean that completely changed my business was finding clients that I could keep working with because I think most people listening to the show don’t really like finding new clients, don’t really like selling. I find freelancers aren’t exactly, you’re out there trying to practice your craft and the more time you have to spend selling, the last time you get to do that. That completely changed my life is getting to a point where once we started working with the client, year one would be the least amount of money they ever paid us instead of the most because after we proved ourselves and did amazing things for them, they would want to keep working with us and keep having amazing things done. Matt Inglot: In our case, there is a couple of things we do. Yeah, absolutely, there is a year at least support and maintenance retainer where they pay us a certain amount of money and we basically make sure everything runs perfectly for them. But that that retainer is not really a ton of money. It’s a few thousand dollars a year per client, but it’s the wedge in the door to be able to maintain that relationship to make sure that we’re constantly communicating because if you don’t have any sort of maintenance agreement or anything, I find clients are afraid to talk to you because they’re afraid of getting a bill. It’s one of those things where like, you talk to a lawyer and next thing you know a bill shows up in a couple of weeks and you’re like, I just asked you how your day was, what’s happening here? Matt Inglot: That allows them to communicate freely with us. But then I make a very active effort to set up regular calls of my clients. I even have an article on my website talking about what I call, Strategy Calls. The point of it is to get on the phone with them- Chris Badgett: Do you charge for those? Matt Inglot: Let’s say, once a quarter. Sorry? Chris Badgett: Do charge for those strategy calls? Matt Inglot: No. I make a point not to do that. And remember they are paying us yearly, they’re our client, they’re not tire kickers. I will happily meet with a client all day long, anytime, anywhere because we get to have really important conversations about their business and that’s a way where I can provide value to them because again, they don’t understand what the KPIs are in their business. They don’t understand what’s holding them back. We have a virtual coffee for an hour and suddenly they walk away with a lot of value, a lot of ideas. But more often than not, those calls also turn into opportunities. For example, I once sat down with a client because they have questions about their analytics and a week later I was doing a $40,000 website rebuild for them. That would have never happened if we hadn’t sat down to look at those analytics. Chris Badgett: That coffee and that hour of your time, I mean it always comes back around. I heard of something, one of my clients who is actually teaching sales stuff taught me this. He said, “Your clients are not in the witness protection program. You should talk to them.” Like a lot- Matt Inglot: Yeah. And it’s weird because it’s probably the most important part of our relationship. But it’s so easy to get into a mind frame or somehow they’re wasting your time or you want to focus, hunkered down over your keyboard and focus on your work, but have those conversations and make sure to have those conversations strategically. Again, they’re not useful conversations if you have that employee mindset or you sit down with them and expect them to give you directions and tell you what they want done the data, they don’t know. These conversations are opportunity to explore that and figure out how they can make improvements in their business. What challenges are they having? There is a mindset shift, but once you have a mindset shift, those calls are absolutely gold. Chris Badgett: I see some people, I know when you’re advising a client, it takes a degree of confidence. It takes some just time in your industry so you can see trends and be able to offer. You can see value that you could offer because of your experience and the patterns you’ve seen before. But any other tips to helping someone make the transition from contractor to confident advisor? Matt Inglot: Yeah, absolutely. First and foremost decide to make that transition, that’s step number one because as soon as you decide to make that transition, you’re hopefully analyzing everything that you’re doing just in the back of your head as you’re doing it and asking yourself, am I being strategic about this or am I being an employee? Just having that voice in the back of your head, that second set of eyes in the back of your head looking at your actions is going to change a lot about what you do. Second thing is practice, now go out and do it. You’re not going to get it right the first time, that’s life. You might get it right the 10th time, the 50th time, but every time you get to sit down with someone, whether they’re a new client or an existing client, that is an opportunity to practice building that mindset. Matt Inglot: Third thing, educate yourself. That’s the hardest thing when you’re starting out as you alluded to is you don’t have that experience. But there’s ways of getting that experience other than just working on a lot of client projects that will come, but spend the time educating yourself. Figure out what it is that first of all businesses want and I’ll give you the shortcut answer, they want money. But take a bit of time to actually learn how businesses think, how they function, what basic accounting terms mean, like what is revenue, what is profits? That’s all stuff that business owners care a lot about and most of it’s very simple, but that’s their language. You want to learn how to speak their language. Then you want to learn how your industry helps impact the things that these business owners care about. Stop thinking in terms of how can we make things more usable, or how can we make things more pretty, or how can we make things more efficient? Matt Inglot: Programmers in particular are terrible at this. They’ll spend weeks and weeks learning how to optimize my SQL databases. Clients don’t know what my SQL is and they don’t care. They care how can we generate more revenue if somehow maybe optimizing the database will do that? Great. It probably won’t. Probably the right answer there is to just buy a bigger server. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Spend the time figuring out how your industry can actually create movement in those numbers. Start reading the resources, the case studies, the industry journals where people have accomplished these things and figure out how they’ve done it. The nice thing about the internet is there’s a wealth, wealth, wealth of information about how to do this stuff. We didn’t really have that starting out, there was some information online, but nothing like today. Matt Inglot: Educate yourself and then take the education and start applying it to clients. You’ll notice that you’ll start speaking differently to them, but the solutions that you recommend to them will be different. Again, make the conscious effort to make that transition. Start practicing every opportunity to speak with someone is a chance to practice and then do everything to educate yourself about how businesses work and how you can actually create value for them. Chris Badgett: Yeah, I love that. And that is a mistake I see a lot of builders make is they get into the technobabble. The client is there an expert there thinking about ROI, return on their investment. They’re thinking, they want automation. If you can take a job that they were getting ready to hire somebody for and you just automate it, I mean that adds incredible value to their business and it’s always like, I always try to think when I’m working with a client, how can what we do, how can they get a 10X return? I’ve seen a project that we built and over time invoiced around six figure, 100K for just over a year or two. But that client made several million dollars in the year. There was a big ROI. Yeah, it was expensive but they got a ton of value out of it. The business owner often thinks in terms of return on investment and if you communicate in those ways it’s helpful. Chris Badgett: I wanted to ask you about getting these types of clients. Everything changed for me when I started focusing on the LMS and the membership site and e-commerce industry in terms of like, okay people are like, “Oh, that’s what you do.” But I had a lot of clients doing recurring value as well, adding new things, advising, I actually didn’t need that many. And for us our engine of growth was, it was really just word of mouth. And in some ways it didn’t even work that well because the clients kind of, if you’re really good, they want to keep you all to themselves and they’re not going to tell their friends because they’re worried that you may get fractured focus. But I mean, that’s just something in my story. But what do you recommend for people to get leads? More clients like this for the LMS and the membership industry. Should they get to conferences? Should they do content marketing? Should they do paid advertising? What do you do? What do you recommend? Matt Inglot: Yeah. Again, I teach a whole course on this. I love that you’re bringing all this stuff up because the same realizations that you had, are the same realization set not only I have had, but from running my podcast, I realized that a lot of these realizations are the common difference between freelancers that consistently struggle and the ones that are able to close $10,000 deals, $50,000 deals, 100,000 plus deals and do so without breaking a sweat, it’s all the same transformation. You basically asked, well, how can I find these amazing clients that are willing to spend $100,000, let’s say on an LMS system. Matt Inglot: First thing you got to do is figure out who they are, which most people miss this step, skip this step, don’t think it’s important, whatever. If you can’t define your client, I cannot tell you anything that will help you find those clients. I don’t have that answer because if you don’t know who you’re looking for, you will never ever find them. That’s just fact. For example, if you’re thinking about LMS systems, there’s a ton of different ways where you can define clients, but probably one of them is actually revenue. If you’re trying to sell your services to someone that’s just starting a membership site and they have no money coming in, they’re not going to be have $100,000 to give you to build this thing unless they somehow secured a lot of funding. Chris Badgett: I think that’s a really important point. I just want to park on it a second. If I was going to do it, I would in my qualifying the lead or the type of marketing idea, I would say something like, already making at least 100K from your expertise, which means maybe they’re a professional speaker, a book author, a professor at a university or something. But if they have 100K, they will invest 10K if you can help them scale and grow and maybe not live on planes and hotels. I mean there’s all kinds of things that happen to experts that are already making money with their knowledge. But if somebody said at the very beginning and they’re like, that’s not bad, but if somebody hasn’t made money with their expertise before, that’s a totally different type of client. Matt Inglot: Yeah, absolutely. That’s so important. And it goes beyond qualifying them, but also figuring out where we can find them. That’s one thing and is revenue. Next thing is hopefully you can bring it down to beyond just people that have a lot of revenue and want a membership site. You actually qualified at further. You said for example, speakers and authors. Chris Badgett: And there’s another, I just want to share this old story, but I used to do a lot in the Infusionsoft community, which means they’re already paying $2,000 a year for a very expensive marketing automation and software course. If they’re already doing that and we did a lot of integration with Infusionsoft back at that time, they’re already getting more qualified. Matt Inglot: Wonderful. Let’s add that in. We’ve got revenue, we’ve qualified more what they do for example, speakers and authors and now we have a signal on top of that, they’re Infusionsoft users and Infusionsoft costs and ungodly amount of money to use. First of, we can have a clear picture in our mind of who these people are. Two, we have a good idea that they’re serious. And three we probably have a good idea that we can actually help them solve real problems. Like you said, there’s limitations speakers run into if you know so many hotels, so many planes, so many speeches that they can give. Now what we have an is a high value client, high value because we can create a lot of high value for them and they’re able to pay for that value. Matt Inglot: And two, they’re identifiable, which means that we can actually figure out where they heck they are, where can we find congregations of these people? And if you don’t have this information, you can spend the rest of your life looking for these supposedly high value clients and never find them or be looking in the wrong places. I’ll tell you right now that people that spend their lives sharing their expertise and they’re in hotels and planes and whatever, they’re super busy, they don’t hang around on free Facebook groups. The people that hang around on free Facebook groups are people getting started. If you go on free Facebook groups and try to help those and promote your services and stuff, your chances of finding these clients aren’t so great. Matt Inglot: If instead you figure out where these people do hang out, your chances go up astronomically. That might be paid groups, that might be even an Infusionsoft group. Quite frankly, that’s probably conferences. That’s networking, I like conferences because what they do is for a few thousand dollars I can go into a room with full of people that are likely to need my services. And think about this, if I get one client from that, that’s maybe a $40,000 deal to start and that’s going to increase every single year. Why wouldn’t I go there? Why wouldn’t I pound the pavement? Someone’s done all the hard work of basically roping all these people together for me, marketing that conference to them spending, who knows how many dollars, putting it all together and all I have to do is buy a plane ticket, conference ticket and show up. Chris Badgett: I’ll add one more to that. Matt Inglot: That’s ridiculous. Chris Badgett: I’ll add one more, which is if you sponsor it, and oftentimes, it’s not cheap, but there’s like, you don’t have to be the title sponsor on the lanyard or whatever. But if you can sponsor, there’s often a speaker sponsor dinner. You can actually be at a table and then you’re going to get the question at some point, “Oh, who are you? What do you do?” And if this is like, Oh, I help people just like you, get scale and 10X of revenue and automate and reduce whatever, you’re in the right room with the right people at the right time that are qualified. Conferences are good, but you got to put in the work to get the most out of them. Matt Inglot: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s maybe another really good point is, I mean, unfortunately a lot of people just don’t want to put into work. And I think it’s not really that they don’t want to put into work, they don’t have the confidence in themselves that they’re able to go do that. There’s that little voice in your head that says, “Oh, Chris can do it, Matt can do it, but I can’t do it.” And I got to say, I am an introvert and I grew up basically being a super introvert, focused on my computer, focused on programming video games. At 20 years old when I was first trying to find clients, I was awkward as hell. It was so hard to just walk up to a person and strike up a conversation. I would rather jump off a bridge than do that but I forced myself to do it and now it’s not so bad. Matt Inglot: I’ll never be like the life of a party, but I can do these critical things that will get me the business that I need and I’ll take that trade all day long versus hunting around Facebook groups, trying to find somebody, anybody that is willing to pay me something for my services or hunting around job sites. The high value clients aren’t doing that. And even if they are, if you’re on a job site, you’re competing with so many other people that are basically all pitching the same thing. Versus if you can position yourself as the only expert in the room on a painful problem, then they all want to talk to you. And as far as they’re concerned, you’re the only person in the world that can solve this for them. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And I totally resonate with what you’re saying. I’m actually an extreme introvert as well. Sometimes people think I’m extroverted because I’m on all these videos and podcasts and everything, but if I’m in a conference, I’m likely not going to be speaking on a stage, if I’m at the some kind of social event, that conference, I’m not going to be in the center of the room, but I’ll be networking in the crowd. And sometimes when you’re working with the expert industry, you’re going to make a connection, not even with the expert themselves, but with their assistant or their marketing person or somebody else on their team. It’s just a conversation. It’s all about just having conversations. You don’t have to be super extroverted to do that. Matt Inglot: Yeah. And they lead to amazing things. We’re talking before the show started about how you and I connected and it was a mutual friend and I met this person at a conference a few years ago and he’s made a number of amazing introductions for me, but I literally wouldn’t be on this show if I hadn’t met him. Chris Badgett: And I’ll tell you how I met this person, I met somebody else at a very small intimate six person mastermind that later introduced me to this person. And that was for me getting outside of the building and going and investing in my business with a little mastermind thing. But it’s all about getting outside of the building and people make recommendations and I recommend you do that as well. If you see how you can add value and make an introduction, that’s helpful. I mean you can be annoying with introductions and be doing all over the place. But when you see a really key one that’s like, “Oh, so-and-so needs to meet so-and-so.” Make it happen. You never know what can come from that. Matt Inglot: Yeah. Built those relationships. And actually when you say go out there, go into the outside world, you could literally do that. I mean, we just talked about a lot of ways that you can get really good results from that. But if you just decide to end this podcast, learn nothing from it and just simply go out and talk to people, just talk to people, you will get business. If you do nothing else, you will still get business. That is how I started. You will not get the highest paying clients. You will not magically make a fortune overnight, but just simply as soon as you start talking to people, things happen, they always do. And now, instead of ignoring everything we talked about, now you start layering it on. Instead of just talking to anyone, I’m actually going to identify who my high value clients are. I’m going to put myself in positions where I can be speaking to them. How can you not get business? How can you not build an amazing business doing that? I mean you will get clients. It is a fact. Chris Badgett: Yeah. It’s a rare scale, just like you mentioned in the beginning with the modifying your garage. If you embody the advisory role, not just the implementer of whatever they say and you do a little work to identify who you serve and when you meet and you go to where those people are and people are like, “Who are you? What are you doing?” You have a short non cheesy elevator pitch ready. That’s like, Oh I help financial experts. Let’s say you’re at FinCon, which is a financial expert conference. Oh, I help financial experts grow and scale through training platforms or something like that. And then you just stop right there. You don’t have to give your whole story. And they’re like, “Oh tell me more.” If they’re interested, they’ll ask you to elaborate and it’ll just keep going. And if somebody is a good fit, it’s going to turn into business. Matt Inglot: Yeah, absolutely. Chris Badgett: Matt, I want to thank you for coming on the show. If you want to check out Matt’s agency website, that’s Tilted Pixel, what’s the URL? Matt Inglot: tiltedpixel.com. Chris Badgett: And then you are @freelancetransformation.com, if you build websites for clients or do any kind of freelancing, go check out Matt’s podcast, Freelance Transformation and also head on over to freelancetransformation.com and sign up for his free email course. What can people expect inside of that? Matt Inglot: It’s a highly condensed version of how to start finding clients more intelligently. Basically, stripped it down to what are the most essential steps that you can be taking to get started today. And if you just follow along, I mean, quite frankly you’re going to get clients. I’ve had people get some really cool results and also really cool insights just by following along with the free stuff. You don’t have to pay a dime for it. You just have to do the work and it’s basically going to take a lot of what we talked about today and put it into a step-by-step context for you that you can follow daily. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, Matt, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it. We’ll have to do it again some time. Matt Inglot: Thanks so much Chris. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet. The post Your WordPress LMS Freelance Business Transformation with Matt Inglot appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


10 Jan 2020

Rank #10

Podcast cover

Sales Funnels, Product Launches, and Paid Ads for Course Creators with Jennifer Tamborski

Learn about sales funnels, product launches, and paid ads for course creators with Jennifer Tamborski in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.  Jennifer is the CEO of Virtual Marketing Experts, a company dedicated to making sure digital marketing campaigns are a success for companies they work with. She and Chris discuss the essential aspects of an online course business, and what it takes to become viable in the marketplace. Jennifer shares her story of entering the digital marketing specialty, and how she got into being a marketing expert. Having always worked in tech specializing in marketing technology, Jennifer realized she had a natural affinity for digital marketing when she was reevaluating her niche and found she knew everything necessary to be a digital marketing consultant. Marketing is often viewed in a way that makes it feel out of reach or elusive. Jennifer approaches marketing with the comparison of dating. Often times signing up for an in-depth coaching program or intensive course is analogous to marriage. Before committing to a full program, you need to be introduced to your audience and get your audience to communicate with you usually through a lead magnet. The process of introducing yourself and your program to your audience is your sales funnel and depending on the price point of your course and your industry, you may need different levels of communication and relationship building before asking for the sale. There are many tools you can implement as part of your sales funnel for your online course offering. You can offer a smaller mini-course that may have three days of material on your product, and the fourth day is spent wrapping up and upselling to your full course. Or you can instead go with a one-on-one call approach where you meet with clients live and figure out if your product is a good fit for them. Depending on your students’ comfort level, you may end up deciding to do a webinar where you deliver that introductory content about yourself and your product offering. And even webinars can vary in length based on your industry and who you’re trying to sell to. It is a very different sales process selling to someone who doesn’t know you versus selling to a warm list of clients who have followed you or purchased products from you in the past. You can find Jennifer Tamborski at VirtualMarketingExpert.com. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to connect with her there at Facebook.com/VirtualMarketingExperts. She is also on LinkedIn and Instagram. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Jennifer Tamborski. How are you doing, Jennifer? Jennifer T.: I’m doing great. Chris Badgett: I’m really excited to have you on the show. Jennifer is from VirtualMarketingExpert.com, and we’re going to be talking about some of the stuff that course creators and people building training-based membership websites need to be able to pull off to actually turn it into a viable business. Before we get into sales funnels, and product launches, and paid ads, and implementing the tech, and kind of wrangling the beast that is technology, how did you get into this specialty? You mentioned it in our pre-chat, you kind of woke up into being a marketing expert. Chris Badgett: I think it’s funny that you say that because that happened to me at one point where I realized, “Wait a second, I have all these skills.” It happened to me. I was just writing an article about affiliate marketing for course creators. I was actually working off the laptop in Costa Rica with my family, and next thing I know I was contacted by someone in New York City. They flew me on a plane to go help them develop affiliate program for their course. I’m like, “I guess there’s something here. Maybe I’ve been studying marketing and stuff for a while,” but how did it happen to you? How did you wake up into it and have that “aha”? Jennifer T.: It’s a kind of a similar story, in that I’ve been doing it for years with marketing experts. So I got a lot of on the job training- Chris Badgett: As a virtual assistant? Jennifer T.: As a virtual assistant, yeah. Chris Badgett: Okay, so you were behind the scenes implementing the marketing stuff? Jennifer T.: Yes, so I’ve always worked in tech, always. I love tech. And so I was specializing in a lot of technologies that marketers were using and wanting to use, and so I connected with a lot of them. And if they were selling their marketing plan, a lot of times they brought me in for consultations, when it came to technologies or, you know, those kind of things, and we’d talk it through. And at some point when I realized that I wanted to grow my business, I actually went to my business coach. We were talking about, “Okay, so what should I specialize in?” And I tell people this all the time in the VA world that are coming up, “You can change your niche.” Jennifer T.: I changed my niche five times in one year until my business coach finally looked at me a she goes, “Why aren’t you doing marketing?” And I was like, you know, you hear all those thoughts, “Well, because blah, blah, blah,” whatever that itty bitty committee in your head says at the time. And so my default is to research. So I started researching all of the things I needed to know and realized, “Oh, I actually know all of this. Really, I know it.” And so I had a couple of people hire me to start building their sales funnel and then I started doing consulting work with their marketing, like making actual marketing plans, and you know, so how their business should flow in their customer journey and all that kind of stuff, and realized, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this.” Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. One of the things when you develop a lot of marketing knowledge, and I see this happen to people with marketing, and sales, and technology where it all kind of comes together and I think there’s a category of software called MarTech, marketing technology. I think it has like 80,000 companies in there, like if you really get into it. Jennifer T.: Probably. Chris Badgett: But there’s this huge rabbit hole opportunity where you know, people get super focused and miss the big picture, or get overly complicated when it’s not necessary. How do you wrangle that beast of simplicity and effectiveness? Jennifer T.: I tend to look at it is, you know, marketing isn’t necessarily a hard process and you don’t have to make it complicated. So when I look at marketing, I look at it kind of like dating, right? So when you’re dating someone, you get introduced to them, you start chatting with them, you maybe go for coffee, you know, all of those steps that lead to commitment at the end. It’s kind of what a sales funnel and marketing is: You need to be introduced to your audience. You need to get them to communicate with you, usually through a lead magnet, and then your email sequence, and you know, so we try and keep it simple in that same terminology of if you think about dating versus marketing, you just keep it simple and you know, work through the same process. Chris Badgett: That’s cool. Yeah. I love simplicity. When I help people, like experts, come up with courses, and outlines, and stuff, I often ask them to think back to a time in the life before technology if they’re old enough, and what kind of elements were present for some of the best learning experiences they had. And it’s usually not that complicated, you know, what’s required to make a good learning experience happen. But it’s easy to get sidetracked. Jennifer T.: Absolutely. Chris Badgett: Sales funnels or marketing funnels are having a moment right now in the consciousness, you know, whether that’s like click funnels or in WordPress there’s a cool tool called CartFlows. A lot of the page building softwares have all these landing page templates you can use for opt-ins, and sales pages, and all this stuff. For a course creator, let’s assume we only have like one transformational course, like a high-end course, it’s you know, a couple grand, it’s a course plus coaching package. If you could design a sales funnel, a simple sales funnel to put in front of that, what would it look like? What would the pieces be? Jennifer T.: So I find, depending on the price point of the actual funnel, or of the course itself … So if it’s $1,000, $2,000 that’s a little bit of a higher price point than that at 199, where people are more likely to pay without as much introduction. And it also depends on if you’re going after your cold audience or your warmed-up audience that’s on your email list. There’s a little bit of difference, but realistically, launches are a great avenue to go by when it comes to your courses. Especially like, if you follow Jeff Walker’s product launch formula, doing those small free mini courses at the front end of your big course at the end is a really good way to warm up that audience, teach them something, give them value, but also teach them that you are the expert in whatever it is your course is going to teach them. Chris Badgett: So like a free mini course leading up to the paid course. And you mentioned something interesting, the price point’s important, which I 100% agree with you. If it’s a $200 course, you can probably automate it, but anything over $1,000, maybe instead of a buy now button, it’s a schedule, a call thing and there’s just a more in depth, trust-building and value adding process. Jennifer T.: There is that option. That’s kind of where the product launch formula, which you know, that formula where it’s a short mini course, so you have three days of courses, of material and then your fourth day is kind of wrapping up that three days in a bow and selling them your course. So it kind of eliminates that one-on-one call. But that is also an option. It really depends on the comfort level of the client on being on video. You know, is their course more audio and PDFs, or are they on video all the time, or … You know, it’s all depending on what that client’s comfort level is. Chris Badgett: Could you speak to webinars a little bit? Jennifer T.: Sure. Chris Badgett: I know that those are pretty popular, and some people are intimidated, some people aren’t, but they’re not getting them working well. Like what’s a webinar do and how do we use it effectively? Jennifer T.: So a webinar is also, it’s an introduction, introducing your target audience to you, to how you are the expert in your field. And it’s similar, you know, with a webinar, you want to sell from the stage, right? Like if you’re giving a live event, at some point you’re going to sell them a product or you’re not making any money. That’s just kind of the point. So the webinars, really depends again on the length of time that you need the webinar to be. It depends on A, what you’re teaching them. Do you need an hour long webinar in order to teach them something effectively and sell them your program, or is 30 minutes enough to teach them and sell them? Jennifer T.: And it also, again, depends on the price point. The higher the price point, the more material you’re going to want to give them, the more oomph you’re going to want to put behind that push to buy your product, or sign up for a one-on-one call or … Because you don’t … I mean courses are fantastic at the end of webinars, but sometimes you do need that gap, right? So sometimes you do need to divert them into a call because maybe your course comes along with coaching, and so they’re going to want to talk to you a little more about coaching kind of things. Chris Badgett: What are some other lead magnets? I mean, we can do like a free email mini course, or even do a video series mini course, or even do a free course on our website. But what are some other, like let’s say super cold traffic, low commitment lead magnets that we can do at the top of the funnel? Jennifer T.: So easy things: PDF that just gives them maybe top 10 things that will help move them on or top five ways to build your confidence or something, you know, whatever your course is about. You also have things like infographics that can kind of lead them on a path, eBooks. There’s you know, challenges like five-day challenges, those are good. Chris Badgett: What are some example challenges that maybe you’ve seen, or just hypothetical ones? Because I think these are cool and often under … I mean, we see them sometimes in, I don’t know, like the health and fitness niche. Maybe there’s like a certain type of diet or exercise, like, “Walk every day,” or something. But like, besides health and fitness, what other challenges are out, could you do? Jennifer T.: So if there’s a ton of options when it comes to challenge: I have a client who’s a confidence coach, and so her five-day challenges usually pick a topic within the competence area. So how to build your self-confidence. And then she goes into … Each day is a different area of that. And here’s the secret about five day challenges, right: You can turn them later into courses. If they go off well and are received well, you can pull that and then turn it into a course that you sell, and maybe it’s not a high ticket course. Maybe it’s like a $50 introductory course, but it’s still something that you can sell later. Chris Badgett: I love that idea about validating your course idea by starting it as a challenge. Like I’m thinking of one now that I … I’ve thought about doing challenges, like one of them would be how to outline your course in five days, because that gets a lot of people hung up. There’s all kinds of like little small challenges that moves people along that they need before the product or whatever. Jennifer T.: Yeah, they’re great. I think challenges are a great way to validate your course or your idea, because it’s free. It’s the same as beta testing your course, right? But you’re getting that real, live interaction with people, and getting the feedback in the moment, usually. Because a lot of challenges are done on Facebook Lives, or in a group on a Facebook Live, however you want to do that. But it does usually give you real data really fast about, “Okay, so this part of the course worked, people were responsive to that, and this day not so much.” And so it’s easier to tweak, but if you have one that goes really well, next week you can sell it for 47.97 or something. Chris Badgett: I love that. Yeah, and the social component of it is pretty cool too. Like if you do it in social media and you see people start encouraging each other and really getting into it, that’s awesome. I’ve also noticed that the mistake I see people make is that they’ll go too big. They’ll do like a 180-day challenge or something like … I mean, you can start like five days. I really liked that idea because you can do … You’re basically saying, “Let’s pretend it’s a Monday. Before the weekend, we’re going to get some incredible results. Perhaps mindset changes, and just give me a little bit of your side time, five days a week.” I think if we approach it like that, it’s one, not overwhelming to create, but it’s also not overwhelming to participate. Jennifer T.: It’s often the biggest challenge that I found course creators have, often when they’re doing webinars, or challenges, or … It’s people committing their time in order to receive that free item. So if you’re doing 180-day challenge, nobody has time to give you 180 days. They just don’t. People are so busy that it’s not an effective way to do it. So you want to keep that time commitment three to five days. Just keep it short. So people, they can do anything for three to five days. You know, that’s a short window. You want to keep your trainings kind of short in those as well. I would go no more than an hour, because again, time commitment on those. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. In our pre-chat, you were talking about being somewhat minimalist in the tech. Like if we’re going to build a sales funnel and we have a WordPress website, we don’t necessarily need a bunch of extra tools, right? Jennifer T.: I think tools are fantastic, don’t get me wrong. I really do think there are some really great tools out there, but if you already have a WordPress website, you don’t necessarily need extra plugins. You need a good theme, I’m not going to lie about that. You do need a good quality theme, so expect to pay for one if you haven’t already, but you don’t necessarily need the extra plugins to create a sales funnel. Of course, yes, because you have to lock down that material, but a sales funnel you do not, and there’s no … Jennifer T.: Really, the landing page of a sales funnel, you simply want to make sure that it’s not connected to your menu, and it will look the same as if you clicked on a click funnel page, or a lead pages page, or Kartra, or any of those other tools. You can make your website look identical to those and have just as good a result, especially if you have an expert that knows what they’re doing. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Let’s talk about product launches: First of all, how’s a product launch different from a sales funnel? Jennifer T.: I love this question. So realistically, the only difference between a product launch and a sales funnel is timing. A product launch is usually on a specific timeframe, where you are launching your product on May 1st and so you’re doing the steps so that the doors open and close on May 1st through the 5th. Whereas a sales funnel is often more evergreen: You set it up, you set it, you don’t forget it, because realistically you should never forget your marketing. There’s always going to be tweaks that need to go along, but you set it up, and other than small tweaks that go along with it, you don’t necessarily need to bother with it in a time …. Jennifer T.: You know, it just keeps going on and on. So that’s really the only difference between the two. The actual steps depend on your marketing vision, whether you’re doing like a Jeff Walker-style product launch, or whether you’re doing a webinar launch, or a five-day challenge launch. All of those are different options that you know, it’s just about opening and closing carts. Chris Badgett: For the non-advanced marketer out there, if they’re getting ready to release their first course, and they’re prepared, they’ve got like a month ahead of them or two weeks ahead of them, and they want to do some kind of product launch, what’s the minimum effective product launch sequence? Jennifer T.: It depends on if they’re launching to a cold audience or a warm audience, because- Chris Badgett: Can you speak to why that’s so different? Jennifer T.: Sure, because a cold audience are people who don’t know you- Chris Badgett: Like a Facebook ad? Jennifer T.: Right. Chris Badgett: If your launch [crosstalk 00:18:04] is Facebook advertising? Jennifer T.: Yes, so if you’re using Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads as part of your launch strategy, you’re targeting people who have never heard of you. They may not even know they have a problem that you can solve. So you’re locked to a completely cold audience. A warm audience, and you can still use Facebook ads for a warm audience, just in a different way. Your warm audience are people who may already be on your email list, or they liked your Facebook page, or their part of your free group, or anything. Jennifer T.: They know who you are. And so when you’re launching to them, the amount of time you need to warm them up is going to be a whole lot shorter. Whereas, if you’re launching to a cold audience, there’s more time because you need to teach them who you , that they have a problem, and that you can solve it. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Do you have any advice, like we hear this sometimes about product launches of opening and closing the cart? Do you have any advice around whether it’s better or not, or what situations would determine which way we go to have an evergreen course or a course the opens and closes in terms of new people being able to buy and get in? Jennifer T.: So in my experience, and I primarily work with coaches and consultants, and so it depends on if that course has like a coaching component to it. Because if you are opening a course and there’s a six-week coaching component to it, you do not necessarily want someone to come into that course on week three. Right, so that definitely determines whether or not you want it to be time bound, where there’s, you know, six to eight weeks, whatever the length of your course and then you can open cart again. Jennifer T.: Also, if it is a brand-spanking new course and you have a good idea that you’re going to need tweaks, opening and closing the cart can give you the opportunity to test it with a beta group and then launch it again. Once you know that your course is running well, you don’t necessarily need a mastermind group or one-on-one coaching or anything part of it. You can just allow it to go and grow, you know, and drive traffic to it. Chris Badgett: That’s great. What about ads? You mentioned Facebook, and I think LinkedIn ads. Jennifer T.: Yeah. Chris Badgett: When does it make sense to use ads? Because I see people use an ads over the place, from just trying to validate to trying to scale. Let’s talk about ads for course creators: When to use them, when not to use them, which ones to use, and why? Jennifer T.: So okay, let’s start with which ones to use: We primarily use Facebook and LinkedIn. There are a dozen other kinds, but those are the ones that we focus on. So if your business is business to consumer, and most of your people hang out on Facebook, and you know that your contacts are on Facebook, then you want to use Facebook ads. And it’s the same for LinkedIn ads, often if it’s a business to business. So if your ideal client is a business owner, LinkedIn ads can be a good place to go. LinkedIn ads are still relatively new, and people are still getting used to them, and getting used to the way they run. But they do tend, because the demographics monetarily are different between Facebook and LinkedIn, they tend to have a really good ROI. Jennifer T.: Facebook has been around longer, and so the cost of Facebook ads tends to be higher than LinkedIn ads currently. Give it six months to a year, that’s all going to change. But right this second, that’s the way they lay out. When you want to use ads: So that is all dependent on whether the client has been able to build an audience without reaching out beyond their demographic, beyond their social area. If they have been able to build an audience, they may not need ads right away, but at some point that audience gets tapped out and you want to bring in new audiences. If you don’t have an audience at all, Facebook or LinkedIn ads can be a great way to start designing, and developing, and building your audience. Jennifer T.: So it’s really just dependent on where they are in their marketing process. I would also say you want to validate … If you have a warm audience already, validate your business with the warm audience. There’s no point in paying for ads if your model or your course has not been validated by people that you know have given you that feedback, otherwise you can waste a lot of money. Chris Badgett: So you’re saying if you do have a some kind of audience, even if it’s small and you’re just getting started, like slow down, because if your warm audience doesn’t buy the course, or get much success with it, or whatever, you don’t want to scale that problem with cold [crosstalk 00:23:36]? Jennifer T.: Exactly. That’s exactly the point. Now, you can use Facebook ads to target your warm audience. So it’s a really great process, if you have a warm audience and you’ve sent out a newsletter, and they haven’t responded to that newsletter, or email, or whatever it is to introduce your course, you can start showing them the course in their Facebook feed. I have a client that it’s worked fantastic for her warm audience. Takes a little longer to warm up, so though they’re getting her emails, they’re not responding to her emails. They’re responding to the ads on Facebook that they see. Chris Badgett: Very cool. What are some best practices if we’re doing a Facebook ad, like should we do image, should we do video, headline, body text? Can you give people some best practices? Because I know there’s some people listening who are, you know, they’re like, “I’m just going to do it myself. I am ready for Facebook ads.” What are some best practices when you approach the interface to build the ad? Jennifer T.: So I would test video to … So the whole point of Facebook and LinkedIn ads, the first thing you’re doing is testing. And sometimes that can feel like wasting money, but it’s not. It’s validating what you’re doing. So the first thing you do is test to see what your audience likes. Do they prefer an image to a video? Use the same copy in both. Just use that image or a video. Then also the headlines are … Is it going to grab their attention? You want to make sure that any of your copy grabs their attention. I will tell you something, for the copy in the body that a lot of people don’t … That I’ve seen a lot of rejections of ads for. Use the word “you”, Y-O-U, as little as possible. Chris Badgett: I’ve heard that before. Why is that? Jennifer T.: Facebook does not like you speaking to people, they want you to speak to a general population. Actually, they’d prefer if you talked all about yourself. So if you’re speaking, if entrepreneurs are your target market, instead of saying something like, you know, “You’re struggling with …” say something like, “Entrepreneurs often struggle with …” And so you’re still calling out your target audience without the word “you”. “You” can get that bumped a lot. And the more often you get your ads rejected by Facebook, the harder it is to run your Facebook ads. Chris Badgett: Interesting. So if we’re bringing in cold traffic through a Facebook ad, and let’s say we need to warm it up, like what do we actually send the ad to? Can you take us from ad to sale? Jennifer T.: Sure. Chris Badgett: Like what the path would look like. Jennifer T.: Sure, the sales process. We’ll just do a general funnel, just a lead magnet funnel: So in general, your ad will lead to a landing page that has some great copy on it, that basically offers them a free item. Whether that free item is a mini course, or a PDF, or an ebook, or … That’s completely up to you, or even a five-day challenge. That’s completely up to you, but it offers them a free item. They give you their email address, and their name, and such and go into your email automation funnel, and then they’re taken to a thank you page. Jennifer T.: If you set your email funnel up or your sales funnel up really well, the thank you page will either be a trip wire where you’re selling them something small, maybe something for $50 or under $100 that just gets them to start buying from you. Once someone buys from you, they’re more likely to buy from you, so you’d send them to that. Often those pages are like video sales pages where someone’s on video talking about who they are, what they do. Or if you don’t necessarily have a direct thing that you want to sell, maybe you send them to a, “Hey, let’s hop on a call and let me walk you through …” You know, whatever that piece is. Jennifer T.: If it’s a three-day challenge, or a five-day challenge, or something where you’re going to give them information on an ongoing basis, that thank you page can just be a, “Hey, thanks for connecting. Follow me on Facebook. Your information will be in your inbox in the next five minutes,” or whatever. So that’s pretty much the most simple form of a funnel. You’re just looking at like two pages and then your email sequence, which depends on what you’re doing, whether it’s three to five emails that follow. Chris Badgett: I think that’s a big mistake I see people doing with paid ads, is they go right for the sale. They’re like … I mean you got- Jennifer T.: Yeah. Chris Badgett: With cold traffic, it takes time, and it’s not the same as your- Jennifer T.: If we go back to that whole dating idea, it’s like going on a first date and asking someone to marry you, right? Not only is that kind of creepy, but in the marketing world, it’s going to give you really, really low rate of returns. So the ROI is just pitiful when you do something like that. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So we were talking before we hit record about, you’re a fan of WordPress, and owning the platform, and stuff like that. Can you elaborate on that point? Jennifer T.: Yeah, so this is my thought process when it comes to owning your own email list or owning your own website, and the course, and that kind of thing: Facebook is a fantastic tool. You know, click funnels, and lead pages, and Kartra and Kajabi, they’re all amazing tools. But all of those platforms are owned by somebody else. So if we’re just looking at Facebook, for example, if Zuckerberg decided tomorrow that he wanted to shut down Facebook and you don’t have your own email list, what’s going to happen to all of those contacts that you had on Facebook? How are you going to communicate with them? Jennifer T.: I look at courses and sales funnels in the same kind of venue, what happens if one of those tools shut down? You have to start all over again. Also, generally speaking, once you’ve built it on a WordPress site, every sale after that, yes, there’s going to be some upfront costs, but every sale after that is your money. You don’t have those ongoing fees. Chris Badgett: Excellent point. Yeah, and the other thing with Facebook is I’ve see some people sell the Facebook group, and I’m a big advocate of that. I love Facebook groups, but I’m just waiting for the day, Facebook to mess that up and like- Jennifer T.: Oh, they’re starting already Chris Badgett: Display ads, my competitor ads in there, whatever. Their groups are nice, but I’m not counting on it forever. Jennifer T.: Exactly. Facebook is a fantastic tool, but like a month ago I was down in Florida on family vacation, and I was doing some Facebook Lives, and I went to get on on a Wednesday and you couldn’t do any Lives, add any video, or … People were just freaking out. And I’m like, “And that’s why you have an email list.” Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s an excellent point. Well, I know you help people and you work with people who need help on the marketing, and the launching, and the advertising. What’s an ideal type of person that you work with? What stage of business are they in or what’s going on in their life that you make a great fit with? Jennifer T.: Yeah, so I generally work with coaches, and consultants, and course creators. That’s my target market. Those people that really, they’ve got a desire to change the world, and they know their product, their service, or their course can make the difference in somebody’s life. Usually, when they come to me, they’ve been in business anywhere between two to five years, and they’ve kind of hit that tipping point in, “I’m making decent money.” It may be six figures-ish, a little above, a little below, but they don’t really understand how to get to that next level, whether it’s multiple six figures or seven figures. Jennifer T.: And so they’re just in that struggling point of, “I know I need to invest in my marketing and I know I need to bring in more cold leads, and cold traffic, and you know, I’ve tapped out my current market, and I need to find people that are not currently on my email list.” That’s usually when they come to me, or they may be making six figures and beyond, and they have a great course in mind, and have absolutely no idea how to use the tech. They’re like, “I’ve got all of this information and all of this great course material, and I have no clue how to set it up or how to get it out there into the world.” Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Yeah, we talk about the five hats problem a lot on this show that course creators face, which is you have to be an expert, you have to be a teacher, you have to be a community builder, you have to be a technologist, and you have to be an entrepreneur. And it’s hard to wear all those hats at one time. It’s very rare. It’s a unicorn person that has all those skillsets or has already built the team that has all those skill sets. But the big thing we noticed is that people that really make it, and not just kind of make it and they’re scraping by, but make it big, they don’t do it alone. And if you need help in the marketing and the growth, or getting the tech implemented, it sounds like you can really step in and help people level up, which is awesome. Jennifer T.: Yeah. I will say, you know, I can’t do it alone. I’ve built a team, so it’s not just me in my company. I’ve built a team of other experts that specialize in specific areas so that we can all work together to build a great company. And I truly believe the only way to scale a business, especially if you’re a solopreneur, is to build teams of other experts, people that specialize in marketing, or that specialize in operations, or you know, those other things that are required. If you look at a CEO, the CEO of Walmart, he does not know every aspect of Walmart. Like, he just doesn’t. He knows how to lead and he knows how to, you know, grow the business. But he is not an expert in finance, he’s not an expert in marketing. And thinking as an entrepreneur that you can be an expert in all of those areas is where I’ve seen the most entrepreneurs fail. Chris Badgett: Well said. Jennifer Tamborski, you can find her at virtualmarketingexpert.com. Is there anywhere else or any other thing you want people to look at, or ability to connect with you through? Jennifer T.: You are welcome to connect with me on Facebook. It’s facebook.com/virtualmarketingexperts, and as well as on LinkedIn, I have the same business page on both platforms, and Instagram. So yeah, you can connect to me on all of the platforms, just “Virtual Marketing Expert”, and it’ll take you right to our page. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well Jennifer, I want to thank you for coming on the show today, and thanks for sharing all your wisdom, and just taking us to school on all of these areas around the marketing, and the advertising, and the tech. We really appreciate it. Jennifer T.: Not a problem. It was my pleasure. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet. The post Sales Funnels, Product Launches, and Paid Ads for Course Creators with Jennifer Tamborski appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


18 Nov 2019

Rank #11

Podcast cover

How to Sell a Lot More of Your Course or Membership with Copywriting Expert and Sales Strategist Marc Allen

Learn how to sell a lot more of your course or membership with copywriting expert and sales strategist Marc Allen in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Chris and Marc discuss how course creators can increase conversions and make their offer more valuable. Marc is the founder of Bigger Pie Promotions, a site dedicated to helping businesses turn their past buyers into higher ticket program clients. Marc is a strategic thinker and a copywriting pro, and he really knows how to get inside of the mind of customers. In this episode, Marc shares a great analogy for marketing and sales. He compares the process of selling to a customer to a game of basketball. Marketing is analogous to dribbling and passing down the court, whereas sales is taking the shot to close the sale. Many course creators and online business offerings try to shoot the ball from half court or even farther back by jumping straight into selling their students. This is a useful analogy, as it allows us to think about ways we can get customers farther down the court and closer to the basket in order to make the process of selling a slam dunk. In Marc’s experience, talking to the right people encompasses 60 percent of sales success. If you’re not talking to the right people, it’s like trying to sell hamburgers to a vegetarian. You could have the best copy in the world, but if you are not talking to the right market, then you’re not going to close that sale. Understanding the end goal of your sales funnel allows you to have a jumping off point when strategizing how you are going to get customers to that point. If the end goal for leads is to have them purchase a 12-month coaching program, then you want to make sure you’re initially marketing to people who can afford and are interested in a 12-month program. At BiggerPiePromotions.com/Friends you can find the free resource Marc has put together for the LMScast audience. It is a simple email template you can use right away to convert your audience into paying customers. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Marc Allen from Bigger Pie Promotions. Marc’s got something for you over at biggerpiepromotions.com/friends. Welcome to the show, Marc. Marc Allen: Hi, Chris, thank you for having me on your show. Chris Badgett: I’m starting to get into it, Marc. I’ve learned a lot from him and the guy is a strategic thinker, a copywriting pro, and he really can get inside the mind of an audience like I’ve never really seen before. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you today and help the course creators and the membership site builders out there increase conversions, make their offer more valuable. But first, if we put on the entrepreneur hat and we get under the sales and marketing aspect of that, what is the difference between sales and marketing and where do you like to focus your efforts? What’s your sweet spot in helping business owners increase profits? Marc Allen: Well, that’s a very good question. I often think more of having a framework and an analogy. So for me, marketing and sales is like in a basketball, marketing is more on the dribbling and passing and sales is more on the shooting the three points or having a layup or a dunk. Basically, most people take a three point shot far away from their own court. That’s why people are not converting something like that and that’s the problem. For me, the closer you are on the court, the easier the sale. But the question is how do you bring people closer to the basket? So how do you bring them closer to the basket so that you can get an easy layup or a dunk. Chris Badgett: I love that analogy. I’m just picturing somebody, who’s a business owner, on the far end of the court bringing the basketball between their legs and just throwing it up in the air. That’s what a lot of people are doing. Marc Allen: Exactly. Chris Badgett: The goal is to reduce friction. One of your really specialties is around offer creation and increasing the value of the offer. I think in business, especially in teaching or offering some kind of training program, if you get the offer wrong, it doesn’t matter what you do, and where are you trying to do a hail Mary with the basketball and try to make it work? What makes a good offer? Marc Allen: Well, before I answer that, I think I just want to help course creators, have some clarity on what’s really important when it comes to their messaging because most people thought that it’s all about the copy. It’s all about the words, what’s in their website, what’s in their email, something like that. But in my experience, 60 percent of sales success comes from just by talking to the right people. If you’re not talking to the right people, it’s like selling hamburgers to a vegetarian, whatever great offer or whatever… no matter how great is your copy, they will not buy because they just don’t eat hamburger, things like that. So 60 percent- Chris Badgett: How do people end up in that situation where they’re just talking to the wrong people or they haven’t… how does that happen? Marc Allen: Well- Chris Badgett: Let’s say I have a fitness course, because it’s like a certain type of training or health transformation. Let’s use that as an example, what might the creator of that be doing incorrectly to talk to the wrong people? Marc Allen: Well, one of the biggest problem is people tend to focus on what’s there in front of them rather than what’s that end goal. Because basically, as you mentioned earlier, I focus on helping clients do offer make-overs so that to position their offers as much value as possible to help their business grow their profit and transform more lives. The problem is I think people just forget about their end goal. Where do the funnel goals? What’s the end goal? What would it be that the end goal for them? Just focus on the lead magnet, because if you focus on the lead magnet and you don’t know where to go, I think that’s where the problem is. Marc Allen: That’s why they create a converting lead magnet, but they don’t convert those people into clients or into a customer because they focus on the wrong Marcet. What do you mean by focusing on the end goal is? What’s your back end offer? I think for example, for the fitness course creators, is it the coaching program? Is it the 12-month mentoring program? Is that your end goal? If that’s the end goal, then the people you want to attract on the front end must be capable on buying your 12-month programs, things like that, if that makes sense. Chris Badgett: That helps. Let’s say we want to do a high end offer and you’re helping with the offer make-over and if we use our keep going with our example of a fitness transformation and we want to make it high ticket or not cheaply priced, we prefer to work with a smaller number of people, but give them really good service and have a massive number of people without a lot of personal touch but we want smaller paying more, how do we do sales in such a way that we’re getting qualified buyers that have budget to afford this type of transformation work? Marc Allen: I think the importance on that, like I mentioned earlier, 60 percent of sales successes we’re talking to, so I think businesses who wins are businesses who understand their audience better than anyone else. So if you know your audience, what do they really want or what do they buy? If you have that, what they call a customer avatar, things like that, and you dial in not just the demographics or psychographics, but more on the psychology of how do those people think? What are they really buying? It’s not about the coaching program and it’s not about you teaching them, it’s more about the transformation that they’re going to get from your program. Is the solution help them lose weight or gain more muscles or things like that? Chris Badgett: That’s cool. I want to ask you, in terms of messaging and communication, one of the brilliant things that I learned from you is this idea that what do they need to believe before they can become a customer or make the buying decision just a no-brainer, easy, not a lot of friction. There’s these core beliefs that if we’re in alignment on those, then the selling is actually fairly easy. If we go from lead magnet, we heard somewhere they’re like, “You have to build a big email list, focus on the email list.” I know what you mean. People get really on the lead magnet and they start building an email list, which is good, but how do we go from belief to purchase and go through these beliefs either installing them or resurrecting them or just talking about them? How do we do that? Marc Allen: So that’s really a good question because like what I’ve said earlier, the marketing is like the passing and the dribbling so that’s the time where we have to establish belief, and the first belief is I think that people need to talk about, like for example, when they get into the lead magnet and then you started emailing them and messaging them is more about what’s their present pain because sometimes when you can explain the problem much better than the competition, your authority skyrocket, right? [inaudible] Chris Badgett: So you’re not even selling yourself, you’re just talking about the problem? Marc Allen: Exactly. The key point here is you’re just putting the flashlight on a different angle when it comes to explaining the problem. It’s not you’re losing weight because you’re not working out or you’re not eating the right food. We can talk on a different angle. It’s more about habits. The reason why you’re not losing weight is because it’s not yet your habit to do working out and eating the right food, things like that. If you can shed light, the light on their present pain and then you do it with a different angle, then you become one of a kind, in their eyes. Chris Badgett: I was talking to somebody who went through a health transformation program with a coach and got some seriously awesome results. They were explaining to me how at the very beginning this person was talking to them and a bunch of other people about basically like, “Who here doesn’t like what you see when you look in the mirror?” Or, just looks at yourself and feels disgusted, and basically he was positioning just the truth of what people fell and then at the end of it, he was saying things like, “Who here wants to look good naked?” Which it’s a bold statement but that my friend was describing how this room of people just really became alive, came all in, committed to the program, did the work. Chris Badgett: It wasn’t about the coach, it wasn’t about the program, it was about these psychology of where these people were at, and surfacing some of even the pain, which is hard, but then be like, “I’m here to help” and just being honest, it was not about building muscle, it was about something like liking what you see in the mirror or how somebody else perceives you. He was just being completely honest about the pain and the transformation. Marc Allen: Correct. So that’s the first belief that we have to establish versus being the person who can explain the problem better than anyone else. Then after that, I think the next belief that most… because we’re doing the journey, we’re having a journey here. The next belief is… the next question we must ask is, why it’s not working now? What are the things that they’re currently doing and why is it not working right now? Marc Allen: So if you can answer that and then again the key here is to having at least an insight on why they’re having the problem, I think that’s very valuable because information right now is all over the place. We can easily google, how to lose weight online and then find some content and information. So people don’t need information right now, what they need is the wisdom to do what they need to do and what they’re not supposed to do. Yeah, I think that’s lacking. Chris Badgett: People aren’t… you’ve got to give people credit, they’re not stupid or whatever- Marc Allen: That’s correct. Chris Badgett: … like you’re saying, [inaudible] Oh, now you found me. Now, here’s the solution. They’re probably trying some things that just isn’t working that maybe is even a popular belief in society, but it just doesn’t work. They’re trying to I don’t know, do something like intermittent fasting or Yo-yo dieting or something, but they’re not fixing the problem and it bounce back or whatever. So you have to like… it’s not that they’re not trying or they’re lazy or whatever, people are trying, they just might be trying the wrong things, right? Marc Allen: Exactly. So that’s the reason why we’re focusing on just shedding the light on a different angle just so to help them having that aha moment when it comes to your messaging. I think after we talk about their present pain and then we talked about why things aren’t working right now for them, I think the next thing that is really powerful that will make them ready for your offer, especially for high ticket offer, is that we must help them realize that what you’re offering is different. Chris Badgett: So differentiation like how [inaudible 00:14:45]. Marc Allen: Differentiation like what’s different now from the things that they’ve tried in the past. It’s not about being the best or being the number one, although it’s good to have a quality program. I am not saying that you sell a crappy program and just be different but people love to try new things and if you can position yourself as the new solution for them and have them realize that this is the thing that they’ve never tried before, you’ll make them so excited to want to know more about your program. Chris Badgett: Could you give an example of good differentiation that people may be aware of? But then maybe they’re not consciously aware of, like for example, I’m just going to throw some ideas out there, like Apple products or Tony Robbins or I’m trying to think of a famous author person, like David Allen has a book called Getting Things Done that’s really popular in productivity circles. Use those or something else, how is somebody famous we know really positioned as being different. Marc Allen: For example, let’s use the Apple as an example. What’s good about Apple is that they really make their products different that some of the features that are available out there are only available on Apple, things like that. They make it in a way like a mini-monopoly style where they have these iTunes and other apps and softwares that are only available through Apple. If you don’t have an Apple, you cannot use that, so that’s one of the differentiation. Another thing is most people are not seeing that the value of personal support your identity as the course creator, your uniqueness as the course creator. Marc Allen: Most of the time that’s what makes you different amongst the rest. Your personality, your uniqueness, your core gifts that you can offer and how you be with people, things like that. Those are the things that makes you different and people buy from people not from businesses. So it’s really important that if you can show your own personality and your own uniqueness on your marketing then the ideal clients for you, you will naturally attract if you do that, and yeah. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I think that’s often overlooked where if you have a similar program, like if you look at weight loss, transformation, fitness, you can do different things in different styles, but at the end of the day if as a coach or trainer or whatever, the way you make somebody feel, while they’re going through the process, especially when they’re being vulnerable and uncomfortable and like committing to this big transformation, which is difficult, the way you make them feel in your communication and through your program just emotionally is a point of differentiation. Chris Badgett: Some people may want to be in some kind of military, Navy seal, style environment and on the opposite end of the spectrum, some people want to be in a really calm self-care, go easy on yourself, like [inaudible] environment, but that those are very different, right? Marc Allen: Exactly, what’s good about just being through and being authentic is that like attracts like, right? So you naturally attract the right people on your business if you just show your authenticity and true self on your marketing. I think that overlook is that the right word that I’m looking earlier and pardon me because my English is not my first language, so thank you for that. But what I’m trying to say is that on your marketing that’s the time where you answer those objections or what do you do and how do you do it? Things like that and what’s different for on your program than other programs out there? You do that on marketing, on the passing and dribbling so that you put people closer to the hole. Marc Allen: When it comes to the actual sales, the goal is not to do any more convincing when they go to the sales part. Because like I said, when you bring people closer to the basket, all you need to do is just lay it in or if you’re tall enough you just dunk it in and it’s a sale. So yeah, that’s the goal. I think coming back to the beliefs, the last part will be more of answering objections. So the first one is knowing their present pain, then after that you will tell them why it’s not working right now, the things that they do, and then what’s different from you, your offer and your solution. Then the next part of your marketing should be more about answering objections the price objection, time objection, things like that, yeah. Chris Badgett: What’s the difference between differentiation and positioning? Marc Allen: Well, that’s really a good question because when it comes to positioning, I think that’s more of what you want to be perceived in the industry. Do you want to be this… Do you want to be known for a high ticket, an expensive but valuable content or you want to be perceived as more affordable, mass-Marcet, coach or consultant, things like that. Differentiation is just more about what’s different on your offer, like what’s the one thing that your offer has that the other programs out there doesn’t have? Most of the time the other differentiation that you can do is your unique mechanism or your unique method on how you do things. So yeah, I think positioning is more about what do you want to be perceived as an expert in your industry and differentiation is more about your offer. Chris Badgett: Very cool. I’m just channeling the course building community audience and stuff like that. One of their fears is well, if I needed to talk to people about the beliefs and surface the method and handle objections and do differentiation and everything, there’s a series of emails they’re on, they have a fear of like, “I don’t want to send too much email.” What’s going on there and how can we get them through that idea or that fear of I don’t… sometimes people have a fear of marketing. Maybe because they had a bad… they think it’s like the used car sales lot or the I don’t know, just they had this image in their mind of a salesperson and they don’t want to be that. Marc Allen: Correct. I totally understand that. I have an… I started doing sales back in 2010. So I know the type of the… I have basically a deep understanding on why people have that fear on sending too much emails, things like that. It’s always done with, again, talking to the right people because whatever messaging you do for the right people, no matter how many you send. I know some Marceters who are sending emails every single day and his people love it because he’s talking to the right who, because people there are into his information, his content. So they don’t care if that guy send them an email every day. Chris Badgett: They look forward to it. Marc Allen: Yeah, exactly. They are looking forward to it. It’s like part of their daily habit their email. But for the wrong people, you try to send them at least two times a week, they will be annoyed. So it always done with finding the right who and just targeting that ideal person that you want to target. Chris Badgett: I want to get into some copywriting tips. If we’re in the content of an email, what are some guiding principles or simple rules for writing effective emails they have? What’s some general advice? Marc Allen: Exactly. So that’s a good question, just going back to the… I’ve said that 60 percent of serious success comes from talking to the right who, and just want to finish that formula. For me, 30 percent comes from having the right offer and then 10 percent coming from the copy because the copy will breach the… you’re offered to the person. So even though copy is just 10 percent it’s you don’t value copy of that match, it’s like saying that your heart is just 10 percent of the body and this is not important. Marc Allen: When it comes to copywriting, especially in emails or like the Facebook post or Facebook posts in the groups because that’s what’s in right now. I think you have to have… you have to think about having three sales during that conversation. The first sale that you must do is to get their attention. So that’s the first sale that you must you need to have. The second sale is about making the copy enticing enough for them to read the rest of the copy. The last sale will be the call to action. Marc Allen: So what are you planning to do with your email? So basically the first day, at least I’ll have about the subject line. So how do you get their attention? So most of the time people write boring subject line because it’s what they’re planning to say inside their email, which is fair enough. You just want to give them a preview of what’s coming on your email. But if it’s not enticing enough, if it don’t get their attention, you will not be able to send them the message that you have. Chris Badgett: Let me just give a really bad example; like if you were doing an email mini-course as a lead magnet where you have a series of emails to help people in some way, if your subject line is email lesson number one, it’s boring, and it’s- Marc Allen: Exactly. Chris Badgett: … You’re not even hinting about the content or the result they’re going to get by reading the email, you’ve just lost a big opportunity there. Marc Allen: Yeah, correct. It’s like when you’re talking to a stranger, the first thing that you want to do is to have something that will make them stop. It will make them stop and whether… but I’m not saying that you write a spammy subject line like, “Hey” or “Marc” or [inaudible] I think even email service providers know the what most direct response Marceters do. I don’t know that term, but I think the target a spam, whereas if you do what most of the direct response Marceters do. Chris Badgett: Yeah, there’s some certain phrases if you use the word free, if you use the word money, if you, gift, I think or something, there’s some certain ones that flat that make you more likely end up in spam folder. Marc Allen: Exactly. It will affect your deliverability. Chris Badgett: Well, how come with some curiosity in the subject line. How do we… what are some do’s or even more importantly, some don’ts when it comes to the body of the email? Marc Allen: Well, I think what most people do when it comes to writing the body of the email is that they think like a writer. Chris Badgett: Like a novel writer. Marc Allen: Like a novel writer. You have to have this many sentences before you have a paragraph, things like that. But if you do that on email and you look at your phone and you see an email full of text, a wall of text, a block of text then you’ll not read that. So I guess a simple tip that I always do is just make it readable as possible, one short sentences and then one medium and one long sentence and then play around like that. Chris Badgett: One of the things I noticed about your copywriting, which is awesome, there’s short sentences, there’s a lot of space, there’s questions, there’s, (beep). There’s conversational copy. It’s not a thesis about something. If we’re trying to surface a belief, it’s more of a conversation and like checking in and questions and then it bubbles up and it’s there. This is just one call to action. There’s not links all over the place. We may repeat the call to action, but you’re not trying to sell everything in one email. Marc Allen: Yeah, exactly because on your email, you don’t have enough attention for one email. So the goal is… the beauty of email and posts and your ongoing marketing is that you can always do a new email. You can always send you email. So you don’t have to put everything on one email. I think it’s very important to understand that you want to write your email just like you’re writing to a friend because when we look at our phone and it’s coming from a friend, we always take time to read it. We always see at least give us enough seconds to hook enough to see what’s what’s happening in their lives, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah. Like a blog post or email, I like to, especially if I know it’s a really important one, I’m going to read it out loud because I want to hear what it sounds like as somebody reads it in their head, not just me, being quiet, reading it on the screen. Because I wrote it, I all ready know what it’s going to say, but we read out loud you hear it for the first time. Marc Allen: Yeah, that’s right. Chris Badgett: While we’re on copywriting, one of the areas I see course creators struggle with is, or let’s say it’s a program that includes coaching and all kinds of stuff for monthly, some membership, recurring revenue situation where we’re doing some training it’s the description, it’s the sales page of the course or the program or the membership. What are some tips you have on even at the very beginning, like naming the thing and then also how to describe it in the description or the sales copy. What are the components that we should put in there? Marc Allen: Like naming the products. Chris Badgett: Of course. Yeah, I see a lot of people get hung up. It’s one of the original copy. It’s where course creators first run into the business of copywriting is what should I name my course? I’m an expert in fitness transformation or weight loss transformation. What should I call it? Marc Allen: Well, I think it helps to have your own… most copywriters, they have their own swipe files like titles, headlines or email, sales pages that caught their attention. Then just compile that because just by having that swipe file, you can see what are the titles and headlines that are selling. So you can use that to model how you will name or your course, things like that. When it comes to description what I like telling my clients is that when it comes to your description you sell the what and not the how. Marc Allen: Most people try to tell everything under their description page, or their sales page. Because like most of the experts, we are passionate about what we’re talking. So we want to help as many people as possible. The challenge with that is we tend to over-explain and do so many writing that aren’t necessarily on our sales page. The goal of your sales page is to sell, what they say is to sell the sizzle and not the steak. To have that enough interest for them to take action. So I think that’s the tip that I could give for the description. Chris Badgett: What’s the role of the whole concept of social proof or proof? What does that do? When we have a testimonial, or we have some reviews, should we do that? How does it work? What does that do in the psychology? Marc Allen: Well, it means a lot especially today, in today’s world where people can easily look at the Internet for reviews, on what other people are saying about your program, things like that. So I think having some testimonials and having that social proof that people like your programs and that they actually get the transformation that you promise, I think that’s really helpful. The challenge is not all course creators have the resources to ask for testimonials right away, especially the new ones. In my experience, the second best proof that you can show is that just having a unique way of telling their present pain, what’s not working in them, what’s different with your products. Marc Allen: Because if you can give people that aha moment, they will follow you and they will respect you. They will give you a high respect because you helped them have, you have them give that aha moment or breakthrough in their minds. As my mentor says, he said that, in my own words, that people tend to follow an authority for their lives until someone comes in their lives and actually solve their problem, because not everyone is their own their cup of tea. I don’t know how I can tell that but- Chris Badgett: So there’s a celebrity that you might follow and then you meet a real authority that impacts you, right? Marc Allen: Exactly, there’s an authority that you follow for years and years, but there’s someone who is unknown but actually helps you, give you insights and transform the direction of your business, I think that’s powerful. Chris Badgett: That’s really cool. That’s like a chicken or egg thing. If you want more authority, you have to you come in as unknown, you help people and then that gives you authority. Marc Allen: Exactly, yeah. Chris Badgett: I wanted to ask about webinars. It’s never been easier and I see it in the course building community becoming more and more popular, especially for people who are offering premium price programs. It’s difficult to sell more than a $1000 without a webinar or a sales call. But let’s just focus on a webinar where there’s a sales conversion event and there’s an opportunity for somebody to ask questions in chat or even speak live on the webinar and offer their questions or objections or whatever. Chris Badgett: Let’s say we have a lead magnet. We go through this email series and we work on the beliefs, the pain and the beliefs and the positioning and the differentiation. Then we go to a webinar because we’re selling 1000, 5000, 10,000, $20,000 program that we really need to present and have an opportunity for Q&A. We’re running it live. The tools have never been easier whether it’s Zoom or go to webinar or there’s other tools out there. I see what a lot of people be like, “yup, I need a webinar.” Then they get the tool and then they’re like, they publish a registration page or whatever, and then they get on the webinar. But they haven’t really thought about what are we going to do in this one to two hours, how do they do? Marc Allen: It would be a problem for most course creators because most course creators I believe are experts in their field, but not in the actual presenting on webinars, things like that. So I think- Chris Badgett: Maybe start with how is a webinar different from email? We’re doing something different here. What are we doing? Marc Allen: When it comes to webinar, and as you said that in a way it’s hard to sell high ticket stuff just doing emails although- Chris Badgett: And sales pages. Marc Allen: … yeah, and sales pages although that’s what we do on bigger [inaudible 00:39:58]. But when it comes to webinar, I think the value of webinar is having the opportunity for them to actually see you in action. Chris Badgett: So it’s like you’re being tested? Marc Allen: Exactly. It’s the closest thing to a live seminar, a live event. We actually have that a personal experience with the other person. So I think webinar is really powerful. The challenge today is more and more people are seeing webinars. That’s why in a way people are… depending on the Marcet of course but in a way people are becoming more sophisticated that when it comes to webinar, they already know that at the end of that. Chris Badgett: There’s a pitch. Marc Allen: There’s going to be a sales pitch. That’s why for the webinar, I think it’s very important to focus on that webinars solving their present pain, their current problem. You don’t have to help them actually transform their lives during the webinar, but just help them solve their current problems like the mindset and the insights on what they need to do differently, things like that, so that you actually help them during the webinar. Chris Badgett: So the webinars not just a giant sales pitch or you’re getting them some results, even if it’s early stuff like mindset shifts and things? Marc Allen: Correct. I think the tip here is just look for the easiest problem to solve. Chris Badgett: [inaudible] Marc Allen: [inaudible] Go for easy wins because it’s like having a relationship, you go on a first date and then before you ask them to go stay with you. You don’t just go to a stranger and ask them to marry you or become their long-term partner. Chris Badgett: If we’re doing some live training and we’re being tested and we’re trying to deliver some kind of result even to the people that don’t end up buying and we’re… How do we transition from the main content to the sales pitch gracefully? How do we turn that corner? How do we turn the corner into the offer? Marc Allen: That’s really a good question because like I’ve said… like you mentioned earlier about the imagining business people, trying to make a long three point shot on the back court. So that the smooth transition for a webinar is during the first, I think maybe three-fourths, of the webinar is where you establish and answer the questions or establish the core belief that they need to have before you offer a webinar. Basically, the content is more about prepping them to buy your program. Marc Allen: When it comes to technical part, it’s more of so you all ready know this, you have this problem, and you know why this is not working right now, and this is what you need to do differently and this is the solution. If you want to learn more, if you want to go deeper with this and let me help you and then offer them something. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. As we get to towards the end here, I just wanted to ask, since you really specialize in offer make-overs and increasing conversions and sales, especially at that offer point there at the end, what are the main objections in any Marcet that people have at the point of buying? What are the main objections there? Marc Allen: That’s really a good question because this is one of the, I think one of the game changer in the way I do business right now is that typically there are five main objections that people have. That is time and then identity and then money and then energy and then reputation. So my mentor call it timer, so the timer principle. So basically what we need to answer when it comes during the end of our serious campaign is that we have to answer the time objection, identity objection, money objection, energy objection, and then reputation. Marc Allen: Then most of the question that I was asked about what’s the difference between even though identity and reputation? Because, yeah, that’s my question too before. For me, identity is more about what they see about themselves. So is your program will make their family respect them or things like that? Or would their friends adore them if they get your program? When it comes to reputation, it’s more about… that’s the reputation when it comes to identity is more on how you feel when you buy that program. Chris Badgett: How you see yourself? Marc Allen: Yeah, how you see yourself. Chris Badgett: Reputation is how others see you, I guess. Marc Allen: Yes, correct. So when it comes to identity it’s like when… For me personally as a buyer, as a customer of online courses, there’s a sense of fulfillment when I buy the program that I really like, especially if it’s related to what I currently do right now. So if you can help them, make them feel that way that having your program or being yours, making them feel that being your student is an awesome thing, so that’s one of the objections that you. That’s very valuable. Marc Allen: Then for the time thing, it’s more about the time that we need to invest in your program. If you can answer that beforehand, that school and Money staff it’s really common. The budget and when it comes to money, I think the best thing that you can do to answer that objection is that to me your course like a no brainer. If you can take all the risk in a way or make the risk as slow as possible for them and that’s a- Chris Badgett: I just want to share some of Marc’s brilliance here. He helped me with this after LMS and we have a infinity bundle, which as of this recording costs $1,000 and he broke it down to if you’re paying daily for that, that’s like $2 a day and it’s an investment. What can you get for $2? You can get a cup of coffee, you can get all this stuff. You are showing how, and it’s like your business, you basically had a really elegant way of explaining like, yes, it is an investment, but this is how it actually breaks down. So it was just brilliant. There’s a lot because into it, it’s not just like, “Don’t worry about the money or it’s expensive to deal with it.” It’s there’s a whole psychology people have around money, right? Marc Allen: Exactly, yeah. That’s the perfect example of shedding the flashlight on the problem on the objection on the different angles. You’re just helping them see their problem on a different perspective, so yeah. Then for the energy objection, it’s more about just answering the question of having the pain of change that doing what you want them to do that’s on your program. That pain of change is less than the pain of having the same problem that they have. If you can make them realize that if they could change right now, if they can do something different right now, their life will change forever. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. In our final question here, let’s just run a case study through this. Let’s look at the weight loss health transformation course. How do you justify or make the case for time, money, identity, reputation, and energy? Just using that example. Marc Allen: For example, what’s… It’s a weight loss program, right? Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s a health transformation weight loss. Marc Allen: For example, it’s a weight loss program. So the time objection could be how long will it take to see results in my body, things like that or how long it will take to see the results. So for that, you can answer the question through it depends, of course it depends. It depends on how much time investment they will put during the program and how long they will stick to their routine or in the diet. But if they can stick to your program and then you can promise, it depends maybe if they can invest 30 minutes a day by doing what you do, they will have results then you could say that. Marc Allen: When it comes to identity of course, it will all depend on what you do before answering this objection. They don’t know you yet. But if they know you and if they respect you and if they follow every word that you say, then just by being your students, being one of your few students will be an identity booster. Then for the monitoring one of the things that you can do is that, it depends on your offer, but if, let’s say we’re offering a high ticket, 12 months program, coaching program to lose, let’s say, 50 pounds in 12 months so what you can do to answer their money objection is to answer this thing. I call it investment value qualifier. You can lose weight, you can lose 50 pounds in 12 months as long as… Most of my students lose 50 pounds in 12 months as long as they do this workout and then have this diet. Marc Allen: So just positioning your offer that you focus on the value that they’re getting rather than the money that they’re investing. Focus on the transformation that you will have rather than the price. Then for the energy thing just if your program can do miracles by doing the workout 30 minutes a day and you can tell that. Then, of course, for the reputation, if they lose weight and if they actually hit their goal what will people, what will their family say about him or her? How would their coworkers treat them or things like that or the respect that they will get out of by just by doing your program. So those are the things that you can tell during your webinar or sales campaign, email campaign and yeah. Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s awesome. Marc Allen, you can find them at biggerpiepromotions.com/friends, what can they find over there? Marc Allen: Well, I prepared for you guys. This is for, because Chris Badgett is very special to me and I want to help his audience to improve conversion and to convert their audience into sales and customers. So I prepared you a three simple template, email template that you can use straight away to convert your audience into customer. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, that’s super generous of you, Marc. I really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing so much today. You added so much value that I’d encourage the listener to go back, listen to this again, take notes and then take action on what you’re learning because Marc, I was trying to mind Marc for as much value as I could and we covered a lot from just sales, the buyer journey, beliefs, emails, webinars, handling objections. We’ve gone all the way through. So thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your words with us. Marc Allen: I hope you learnt something and have some, be the insight on what you can do differently because that’s really the goal of this interview and I hope my being here actually help you and grow your business. Chris Badgett: Awesome. So Marc Allen, he’s at biggerpiepromotions.com/friends. Thank you so much, Marc. We’ll have to do it again sometime. Marc Allen: Thank you so much, Chris. See you later. Chris Badgett: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the Internet. The post How to Sell a Lot More of Your Course or Membership with Copywriting Expert and Sales Strategist Marc Allen appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


20 Jan 2020

Rank #12

Podcast cover

How Course Creators Get Leads Through Content and Scale Revenue Through Smart Promotions with Marketing Professional Daniel Daines-Hutt

Learn about how course creators get leads through content and scale revenue through smart promotions with marketing professional Daniel Daines-Hutt in this episode of the LMScast podcast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Daniel has a lot of experience around content marketing. One strength course creators tend to have that most businesses don’t is the ability to create a lot of rich content. But marketing that content is something many course creators struggle with. Chris and Daniel dive into various content marketing strategies in this episode, and what to look out for when building content made for marketing. To provide some context and social proof, Daniel shares how he wrote eight blog posts in two years, and his second article got 50,000 visits, which led to 3 million dollars in client requests. In doing this, he proved that the amount of content you have is not directly proportional to the amount of traffic you can recieve and the amount of value you can add. One big challenge with business in the digital ecosystem is the emotional disconnect where your audience can just click away from your content and do something else online. This is why Daniel focuses his content around actionable steps that will produce value for the students. Daniel shares how he believes all content should be actionable so it is valuable for consumers. When content is valuable to consumers, they feel reciprocity to take action by buying and sharing. Giving your audience the results they actually need is an aspect of content marketing that is often overlooked. Daniel references the LMScast with Nick Usborne where Chris and Nick discuss conversational copywriting, and how that is very similar in nature to the actionable content approach Daniel and Chris discuss in this episode. Once piece of content Daniel created was his guide about paid ads where he goes over everything you need to know about creating paid ads for platforms like Facebook. You can find that over at AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content. In this episode Daniel shares his strategies for creating his long form content, and some best practices you may want to try out to improve your production strategies. To learn more about Daniel Daines-Hutt head to AmpMyContent.com. You can also find him on Twitter at @inboundascend. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I am the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest who I have known for quite a long time, Daniel Daines-Hutt from down under. How you doing, Daniel? Daniel: I’m very well, thank you for having me, buddy. Chris Badgett: This is going to be a fun episode, especially on the marketing bent for course creators. Daniel has a lot of experience around content marketing, he’s helped us, and his partner Freyja have helped us with content marketing. He has just been going crazy with some crazy numbers that I want to tell you about here. You can find him at AmpMyContent.com, and he’s got a specific article at AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content that we’re going to be talking about today. But, first, Daniel welcome to the show. Daniel: Thank you so much for having me. It’s good to chat, man. It’s been too long. Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s been a while. Course creators out there, a lot of them they have this problem, I call it the five hats problem, they have to be an expert, a teacher, a technologist, a community builder, and an entrepreneur all in one. A lot of them are experts, or teachers, but they don’t really have that marketing muscle built up. They might build a great course, and … A little side note I want to say is that course creators have a strength that a lot of other online business owners don’t have, which is they’re used to creating content. They will get it done, they just need to know what to create. So, I just want to put that little caveat about what makes course creators different. They can make videos and write all day long, they’re just not sure how to do it. So, how we can we help course creators today create some content that’s not behind the membership, or inside the course, that’s going to work for them? How do they drive traffic to that? I have all kinds of questions around this, because I see far too many courses launched without the marketing really thought through. How can you help these people? Daniel: All right. Well, I’ll give you some social proof upfront, so that people pay attention. So, I wrote eight posts in two years. From those posts, the second article got 50,000 visits, which led to 3 million dollars in client requests. We didn’t take them all on, in fact we pivoted from that in the end. We have had the top 10 content of all time on inbound.org, top 10 content of all … Sorry, 2017 and 2018 growth factors. So, all these results with very little content. I used to work in retail for years and so, I think one of my major skillsets is I’m empathetic, and because of that it makes me a good direct response marketer, because I’m a bit of a nerd. I did engineering, I understand numbers, but I also understand people. So, copywriting and things like that, and content writing is just connecting the dots between the two. A big thing that we talk about is you don’t actually need that many content assets, you just need the right ones. So- Chris Badgett: So, you don’t have to blog every day? Daniel: No. I didn’t want to curse, or anything like that, but no, you really don’t. A big problem with that is we emulate what we see, and what we’re doing is reading news sites and media hubs, and things like that. And those guys are paid to get the same person to come back, and the same eyeballs on an advert. So, if you come back five times per day, they’ll get paid five times, like five bucks or whatever. You, as a small business owner, or course creator, or service owner, that’s not how you earn money. And so, you don’t need to be churning out this content all the time for the same person. In reality, you want to make something good, and get it in front of someone who is just like the person who is already buying. And then someone else, and then someone else. Like, was it Kevin Kelly? A 1,000 true fans. You just got to keep putting out in front of those people. There’s actually certain types of content that people need, and I normally find that people either get traffic and no sales, or they get sales and no traffic, and it depends on the background that they have. Especially if you’re an inbound marketer, you want people to come to you. And if you’re an outbound marketer, you will go out and be aggressive, but you’re not creating assets, and stuff. In fact, you want a blend of the two. So, digital sales and things like that, we need specific things. All sales, in reality, we need trust, and we need authority, and the person needs to understand the problem, and see that it’s a solution, they need to trust that a solution will be provided, and all these things. The problem with digital is there is an emotional disconnect. There is this social dissonance where they can just click the button and turn off. If you’re listening right now, you can turn off if you really wanted to, but you’d miss out. So, we have to do all these different things to keep people entertained, to build trust, to build reciprocity. But it’s actually not that difficult. You’ll find that how to guides super actionable and valuable, the customer will buy from you. If you’re trying to sell surfboards, if you’re teaching people how to surf, yes it might take a little time at first, but that person might buy 10 boards at $2000 a piece over like the next couple of years. So, it’s worth teaching. Even though everyone’s got a post on it, it doesn’t matter. If that person wants to buy from you, it makes sense for you to have that asset on your site. Case studies of people are like a transformation, because if we think about it, the reason we buy anything is for a change in state from pain to pleasure, for status, or tribe, or whatever. So, case studies, and testimonials and things do really well. But, then again, customers don’t have websites, and they can’t build links to use, so then you need to create assets that people do have websites [inaudible], it’s like whitepapers, ultimate guides, and things like this. So, when you break it down, you really need only about eight or nine articles to run a successful business. And I’m going to prove that, because that’s what we’re going to do with our new website, and that’s what we’re doing right now. That’s a big thing to understand you don’t need a huge amount of content. And then also if you are going to do that, obviously that content has to be good. I have got an article, that I’ll link to, where we show you how to take an old post, and actually turning into what we call killer content. Like I said, there’re certain things that make the most effective post online. We read data by BuzzSumo, and Jonah Berger, who wrote Contagious, like, why posts go viral, and things like this. And we took all this information, and we created this checklist. It’s basically yes, content has authority, content build trusts, content builds reciprocity. But, in reality it’s longer content, content with images because it provides context, and it breaks up, and it’s easier to read, content that’s actionable, so, if you’re actually telling them how to do a thing, not just what the thing is. So, the guide that we’re talking about today is like 30,000 words. We don’t have to do that, but it’s a great asset to get influencers to link to. But, only reason it’s 30,000 words is because it’s super actionable. We talk about ad design, and then I walk you through, and show you how to do design ads, so by the end of that chapter you have actually got your ads designed. So- Chris Badgett: And that’s AmpMyContent.com/promoted-content. Daniel: Yeah, it’s all in there, but those are the two big things that I need to get people to understand is you don’t need that much content. To actually get killer content, you can go into old content, and actually edit it, and tweak it. It’s only certain things, and we show you side by side comparison of two posts, so you can see it. Chris Badgett: [crosstalk] What’s the difference between an ultimate guide, and a blog post? What makes it a guide? Is it the actionable nature, like it’s not just information or story time? Daniel: I think all content should be actionable anyway, because there is different elements we want to hit. And if the content is actionable then it becomes valuable, which means they will either feel reciprocity to take an action, to obtain, to buy, or they will tell friends about you. A blog, if we think about it from the original context was someone sharing … It’s like what Twitter is now, it’s sharing how they feel, and what they think, and ideas, and inner thoughts, and stuff like that. Direct response is all about understanding it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. So, you need to give them what they actually need, which isn’t that difficult, it’s just talking to these people. I was listening to your episode with Nick Osborne, where he’s talking about conversational copywriting. It’s the exact same thing. It’s talking to them, and actually understanding who they are, and what they need, and helping them connect the dots from where they are to the offer that you have, that’s all we really need to do. That’s all our content has to be. They have a specific problem here, let’s help them solve that, so then they can figure out the next thing, so now they’re ready to be a customer. And move on from there. I apologize, like I said before, I have had two coffees, so I can ramble on and things like that. But, just let me know if- Chris Badgett: No, you’re doing good. You’re doing good. I want to know, if somebody is listening out, and they’re a course creator, and they’re going to create some of this killer long form content, and instead of giving … They’re going to dispel the myth that they have to blog every day, or even every week. How can they be strategic about the content? And I’m going to give you a specific example that we could use. Let’s say I’m a course creator and I have a course, I’m a runner, about how to go from being out of shape couch potato to your first marathon in like 90 days, or something like that. So, couch potato to marathon finish line in 90 days, that’s my course. What kind of content, or ultimate guides should I be creating? Daniel: All right. The article that we talk about, this big guide, it’s all about paid ads. In it, we talk about how to write an ad, we actually interview our audience. So what I will do is I will have a one-on-one Skype call or a coffee with someone who has done the thing, someone who is close to solving and taking the action, so who is about to become a customer, and someone who isn’t. So, someone who is- Chris Badgett: So, different parts of the journey. Daniel: Yes. Because then I can connect the dots between the three things, because people would never tell you what they mean, and the reasons … underlying reasons behind things are totally different. If I talk to someone who has already completed it, they’ll be very honest and raw about the stuff that was actually motivating them, so I can connect that with this guy, and with this guy he understands what his problem is now, but he knows two weeks ago when he didn’t know how to describe the problem, he knows what that is, so, now I can talk to this person. A big secret is I will do that before I even write the article, or create the product, because, it’s really easy to create an advert, if the content, if the product, all ties together. If we talk about sales psychology, there is two types of sales peoples, you have the people who make … Sorry, three. You have people who make an offer, and that’s it. And then you have people who are pretty good who do reframing, they come back, and they find out what the objection is, and they try and change it. Then, they find out what the new objective is, and they try and change it. It’s reframing the objections. The people who are really, really good are what we call pre-framing. They find all the objections in advance, and they bring them up, and they create solutions to them before they even make the offer. So, what happens is, and I’m a big nerd, so I apologize on this. If we were to have a conversation and I make an offer, and you have an idea about, like running, you’re like, “I don’t want to, it’s too much effort, I never been in the habit, I can’t do it,” blah, blah, blah. If I make the offer at that point, there is no chance. But, if I know all those objections you have, and I cover them in advance, and I walk through how to get there, it’s a really easy way to get someone ready to buy. I wouldn’t even go from couch potato straightaway, I would go from casual runner to … Like, my course would probably be casual runner to marathon runner, because that person is a hot league, but I would still talk to couch potatoes, and I would do a piece of content, like, “How to lose your first five pounds running,” or something. And the first stuff I would talk about is the major objections that they have, and it’s habit creation, “Make sure your running shoes are by the bed, do it at the same time every day. It’s about the trajectory you’re on, not where you are, you’re not going to see results for X amount of time, but they are there.” Stuff like that, because at that point those are the major things stopping that person from getting off the couch. Then, the next one is, “Okay well, to stay committed you need to get a running partner, so here is how to find friends, here is how to do this, here is …” And so, we walk them through it. So, I’m going to … So, it’s makes sense, you’re actually moving them from one thing to the next. Can I share my sales funnel, and how it works? Like, the pre-frames. Chris Badgett: Yeah. Let’s hear it. Let’s hear it. Daniel: So, we [inaudible] my content, and we created a course called the Amplified Content Academy. We teach people how to write, but we also teach people mainly how to leverage content, how to promote it so we can write less, how to run paid ads, how to do SEO, how to get on podcasts, things like that. It’s pointless me trying to sell that to absolutely every small business owner, so what we have is we have a sequence of content that actually gets people through it. The first thing is the manifesto, where we cover the major objections. People think they to write all the time, they don’t. People think it’s very difficult to write, no it’s just a couple of different things, so we go through that. Then, the next article is we show them how to take an old article, and improve it. Because, now you’re onboard with the idea, and you want to get started, but I don’t want you to take this massive leap, and write something brand new and come up with an idea. I want you to take a post that’s got a little bit of traffic, and let’s get more simply by improving it. And these are the tick boxes, and this is what we have to do. Now, you’ve got an article that’s getting more traffic, brilliant. Let’s make it more efficient. So, I go through how to capture more leads. All our articles deal with 17 to 83% opt-in rate. Most websites will collect 2%, so like 2 out of every 100 readers. We’re getting 83 out of a 100 to specific pieces of content. We show you how to do that. By that point, you realize that you don’t have to write as much, you know how to improve content, your content is already capturing more leads and getting more traffic. Guess what? You probably want to get it out in the world, and get more people to read it, when we have a product, and a training program that does that. So, we’re creating the ideal person who is ready for our offer, if that makes sense. And it’s the same with the running, it’s what I would do. Even though people have written 10 million times, if not more, about habits to get started running in the morning, it doesn’t matter because that is a conversation you still have to have. As the business owner, even if you were selling running shoes, it’s the same conversation you got to have. But, because you got to have all those times, why not create an asset to do it for you? So, you have a piece of content you can build links to it so Google will push … they get more traffic. You can run paid traffic through it, so you can get brand new people who’ve never heard of you, and things like that. So, in reality it’s not that difficult, it’s … I’m sorry if you can hear the little dogs in the background, we got a lot of puppies, and there is construction work going on. So, it’s not too difficult, what we’re trying to do instead is … Threw me off my- Chris Badgett: It’s working smarter not harder, right? Daniel: Yeah, and it’s also learning what those assets are that you can leverage, because a lot of people will think, “Oh no, I need to create a piece of content that has no competition, so I can rank in Google, and things like that.” And yes, you’re going to get traffic, but it’s for this random, random long-tail keyword, which is fine, that works, but in reality … People laugh at me when I say this, traffic is just a bonus. If you had a physical store, if you were selling one-to-one, you would have all these same conversations. All these same conversations with these people to get them ready to buy. By actually having those assets you can speak to more people, and you don’t have to repeat yourself all the time so straightaway you’re automating the process. It’s a benefit that when you promote it, Google will send traffic. When Google dies, and the next thing comes along, that can send the traffic and whatever. But, it’s an asset that sells for you, it gets that person to that point. People think I’m crazy when I say that, but it makes it so much easier to actually do those things, and it’s a better experience for your reader and your customer, because sometimes you will have these conversations, and you’ll forget what you’re saying or you’re having an off day, or you can’t close, so you can create a piece of content instead that doesn’t have a bad day, it doesn’t change, it’s always good, it always converts. So I just pulled my shoulder, just done too much surfing in my last few weeks, I put my arm up, and I couldn’t move my arm. Hopefully that makes sense. Chris Badgett: It does. It does. If we’re going to make this, what’s the time commitment to do an epic post that’s long, maybe not 30,000 words, but let’s say a nice 10,000 word solid guide or action plan, or something. What’s the time- Daniel: In reality, most content you only really need to do about 3,000 words. The reason we did this is because, one, it’s a massive topic that I wanted to talk about, and I didn’t want to leave anything out. Two, I’ve been writing content for years, so it’s not that difficult for me to do one of these. And three, it’s a really competitive niche and I wanted to blow the doors off and say here we are, we are the people in this niche. If you are selling surfboards, or running shoes, or whatever, you don’t need to be creating that kind of content. In fact, I teach people ultimate guides should be like the 8th post they create, because it will kill you if you try and do it too early. So, 3,000 word is fine. Now, I can write a 3,000 word article in about 2 hours, sometimes 45 minutes, and I will give you the sneaky tricks on that. A lot of the reason why people can’t write is they don’t have systems and processes, either they have these mental blocks, and things like that, or they realize … They think they’ve got to write all the time, and they find five minutes, and the kids are asleep, and then they sit down and they just come up with a topic like 10 things batman taught me about WordPress plugins, or whatever. It’s like something that was just connecting the between the things you just did. So, if you plan out your content in advance, and you know the conversations, you have got to automate, and stuff like that, makes it easier. Almost all content online, like we said, those seven or eight posts, they follow specific archetypes. So like the Hero’s Journey, and all these different things. They’re the same stories that have been out for years. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time, you can use templates. And by a template, I mean the way people perceive information, we have to ring certain bells when we do it, and it makes content more effective. We lead with an intriguing headline, and then we talk about the before, where they are now, and the pain of it, and after where they want to be, and then the bridge of how they can get there. Then, we get into the content, and things like this. So, if you understand the content you got to do, and you have got templates, and things, and structures, and you know what it is, what I will do is sit down with a piece of paper, like I’ve got now, and I will make notes. So these are my notes to talk about this particular episode today, the different chapters, and things to cover. I will do that on a piece of paper, and I will put the template down and I’m going to say, “Well, the before, well the after, what’s the bridge?” And I will write these things on it and I want to cover what makes sense in a specific order. And then I will turn on Camtasia or Snagit and I’ll record myself talking, and I will just … As if we’re siting down right now and I face away from the camera so I don’t put myself off, and I just talk as if I’m sat at the coffee table with a friend, I walk them through the things, and I talk about this. And I try to think of like, “Okay well, what might be an objection now, what might be a problem? And it’s just an ad-lip at first, I have covered all the stuff, I have done my research, and things, I’ll stop it and then what I will do is I will transcribe that personally, so then I’ll play, I’ll listen to like 30 seconds, and I’ll start to write and start to write. Within the first 40 minutes, you’ve got maybe 1,500 words, super, super easy, because a lot of stuff is covered when you’re talking in things. Then- Chris Badgett: I just want to say that I was looking at your post on AmpMyContent.com, and the copy is conversational, and there is lots of question … You’re pulling the reader in, it’s very good, and it’s very readable. Daniel: Thank you. That’s it. It’s not the initial draft where the money is made, it’s the edits. So we’ll do like 15, 16 different edits for different things. We do sweeps of them, so I’m editing for flow, so I’m, “Okay well this doesn’t make sense, how can I say it for less? How can I put more whitespace in so that it’s easier to read, how can I keep pulling them down the page and stuff?” But, once you have got that ad-lib and that transcription, that’s the skeleton of the post, and then you’re just going in and adding to it, and you say, “Okay well I talked about …” Okay so for example in this chapter I talk about business numbers, people need to know that business numbers to run paid ads and blah, blah blah. I talk about that, but then I show them, it’s like, “Okay well step one you need to figure out how much a customer is worth, here is how you do it, so you log into your stripe, and then you do this, and then you figure out the average order value and you click this, and this.” Suddenly you’re at 3,000 words, because you’re breaking down all those parts. So now you have a template, it’s 3000 words or more, it’s already actionable. You’ve already got a heap of screenshots, because every time you said, “Hey click on this.” You took a screenshot, and you put it in the post, and things. It’s why I love Snagit, because it’s so easy to like … You literally screenshot edit, insert and post, do the next paragraph, blah, blah, blah. So you can get something like that done in two to three hours, it looks like a finished post, probably better than most content you’ve put out there, that’s when the editing comes in and when we talked about that killer content, and certain stuff to tick, it’s like, “Okay, well what’s the word count? What’s the context? How does it flow? Is it easy to read? Am I being conversational, but not talking down to the person? And things like this. And keep reading it through, again, and again, again. It’s just knowing these processes and systems, and you can write content so much easier. So, I have one customer on our training program, and he is in Norway, he runs a hub spot agency, and things like this. And that client is worth $100,000 and their conversion from leads is about 50%. So its worth a lot of money, and he wanted to improve his content. On his very post, they would normally get 5 leads over the first few weeks, he got 21 in the first 15 minutes, just because of how much the content had improved, and it was the same readers, they were CTOs and things like that. But it was far more effective at doing its job. And it’s just understanding and knowing all these things. How we learned is we made all the mistakes, like I wrote a 40,000 word post over two weeks and it only got two shares. I figured out what works by doing it all wrong and that’s why we create Amp because were trying to help people sidestep that. And also I think content promotion, it’s very niche, but it’s like a lot of big blogs will only have one article on it and they’ll put a list of all the methods and then that’s it. There’s subtleties to all these things to make them more effective. Like our outreach right now, we get an 80% success rate, with our outreach and stuff like that of like getting on podcasts, building links to things and like that. But if you were to read an article on it, it’s like fine, the guy who’s linked to something before, send him an email and that’s it. So like … Chris Badgett: There’s more to it. Daniel: Yeah. There’s always like some finesse, but it’s not that complex. It’s just, if you tick these boxes and do these things, it’s not that hard. So like for course creators with that content, getting to understand your audience, speak to these people, why are you creating this? Is there someone you know who has this problem? How can you talk to them? Is there someone you know who’s got past it? Is there someone who would be good for but doesn’t even know it’s an issue right now, because they’re so far removed, things like that. If you just do that alone, you’ll get better face to face sales. You’ll learn how to write better copy, you’ll learn from the content you need to create, just empathize and like be there with your audience. But again, I’m two coffees deep. So I’m like, [inaudible]. Chris Badgett: Oh, it’s good stuff. The coffee is good. It means we’re getting double the value in the same amount of time. One of the things that scares Facebook course creators is wasting money on Facebook ads. Like your article, how we drive a $22 to $1 ROI from cold traffic using Facebook and promoted content, what are some … You’ve been doing it a long time so you’ve developed like a serious skill at it, but if somebody is wanting to get in the game of Facebook ads, and they create some nice content, pillar content to send people to. What are some things they can do to increase the odds that they’ll get a positive ROI on their investment? Daniel: Well straight away, as we’ve been saying, don’t just promote anything because if it’s weak content and it’s not converting even warm leads on your site, chances are really slim it’s going to convert someone cold. Chris Badgett: I just want to echo that point. Like before you go after affiliates or paid traffic or anything, something needs to convert organically. Like it needs to pass that litmus test first. Is it really important point that some people overlook. Daniel: Even if you’ve only got like 100 readers, it’s still better to focus on trying to convert those guys and just talking to them and emailing them back and forth to figure out what works. So there’s a few problems that people have with paid ads and stuff. They’re scared of them so they don’t run any, and then they think, “Shit, it’s new year, I’ve got to change, my business has got to grow,” and then he put money into it and they just burn every bit of budget they’ve gotten the first hour, so it’s all or nothing or they are promoting content that’s not very good and it isn’t tested. If you’ve got a bit of budget and you wrote a new post and you want to see how it works, if you’ve got the money to do that then it’s fine. A lot of people who’ll talk to you about paid ads have a huge budget and they’re dropping 10 grand a day if not more on things like this. Great, not relevant to the person who’s still got a job on the side and doesn’t have a huge budget and does know how to do this. So you don’t have to spend a fortune. A couple of major things that you need to know, you have to know your business numbers because if you don’t know that, as unsexy as it is, then you don’t know what your margins are. If you don’t know what a customer is worth then you don’t know what you’re willing to pay. If you don’t know on average how many leads you need to get a sale, then usually what will happen is they’ll stop an advert to soon. I was helping out a local gym here and we were running an ad and for something like $17 they would make $300 back. So people would come in for like a first month trial. That was on the first month. 10% of those people then signing up for a year long, $2,000 thing. So they were actually making about $300 per person per dollar spent but they turned off the advert because they didn’t know what their numbers were. And we sat down and I looked at them and I was like, “Yeah, we only made $300 this week.” I’m like, “Yeah, but you only spent $50 and also those other people just signed up and on average, you know that every 10 people are going to sign up. So statistically they’re going to buy this and they’re going to buy this and they’re going to buy this.” So if you don’t know those numbers, it’s very difficult to get them to run an ad long enough or be confident enough to do those things. It’ll keep you up at night as well because you’re like, “Am I just wasting money?” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Another thing to understand is almost every ad starts at a loss. No one tells you this. You’ll spend $4 and if you’ve got a good offer, you might make $1 back. It can be a number of things. The ad isn’t converting as well. It hasn’t had enough traffic yet to boost relevance and things. Usually it’s a message to market match kind of thing. You’ve got to just tweak it a little bit. And so what you actually have to do it, it comes from product design, it’s called bottom up testing. You’ll create these variations, you’ll find what works and what doesn’t and you’re cut out what doesn’t and you’ll keep the winning thing. I mean, you’ll test variations again, variations again. People might have heard of it as AB testing or multivariate testing. In the guide we talk about a Facebook newsfeed ad, we do that because it’s the easiest one to write, it’s the biggest image, you can write the most content and stuff. So you are more likely to write an ad that’s more effective. If we look at how someone consumes a Facebook ad, it’s the same as a sales page, but a little bit different. So if we look at a sales page, someone reads the headline, they read the intro, it pulls them in, et cetera, et cetera. When they are looking at a Facebook ad, they are scrolling through their feed and the first thing that gets their attention as the image, so it just stops them in their track, say, “Oh that’s interesting,” or whatever. Then what they’ll do is they’ll read the headline underneath and they see if it’s relevant to them. How our brains process information is what we do. We’re trying to save energy all the time and we’re just looking for specific things that are relevant to us. So if it’s actually relevant to them, they’ll read the subhead. Okay, well now you’ve got their attention. And what they actually do is they scroll back up and they read the copy above. But if people don’t know that, they start to write their argument in that copy at the top above the image and no one’s reading it, they’re scrolling past. You have to understand the elements of how it works. So when we are testing, we know that the image is the most important thing at first, because if the image isn’t stuff in them in their tracks, they’re not going to read anything, they’re going to scroll straight past. So we will test just the image and I’ll normally do about four variations so it doesn’t cost me a lot of money to do, but I will find one image that works better than the others. If we’re going to test all these things, image, headline, subhead, copy and stuff, doing them one by one, just image at first, find a winner, then headline and find a winner, it means we can do a low budget per day and the ad gradually improves as we’re doing this and we’re learning more about the audience and things. Multivariate testing is if we tested every possible computational variation of all those different things, let’s do all four images with four different headlines, so that’s already like 32 different ads and then this and then this. So it works out, it’s like 164 different ads. If you don’t have a budget, you’ve just burnt through it all just to find a winning ad and guess what? Now you’ve got no money to keep running the ad. Like if you’ve only got a little bit of money each day to put into these things, it’s fine, and it’s the fastest way to do it if you’ve got cash, multivariate, find the winners, scale it up, boom money in the bank. That’s how people do these like six figure businesses in six months kind of things. But I know not everyone is in that situation. So you are better off testing an image first, is getting more clicks. Then you test the headline and now it’s getting more clicks. And so what’s happening it goes from four to one, now three to one, now two to one, one to one and now you’re making 50 cents back for every dollar you spend, and now you make it $2 and things like that. And you can keep improving it until it gets to that point. I think our lead cost on this advert is about $3 in New Zealand, which is about a dollar 80 US, which in the marketing space is highly competitive. I know from my business numbers, we can afford to spend $23 per lead. So spending like $3 means you’ve got a $20 extra margin where we can put into ads and stuff. If I didn’t know my numbers, I wouldn’t know these things, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s because we tweak the ad and we kept working. I’m really stubborn, when I first brought this case study, I did it when Zuckerberg was on trial. Oh man, it was costing me like $25 just for a click. Not even for likes, for someone to subscribe, because you’re going to get eyeballs and you get clicks and you get conversions and then they’re going to be like sales or whatever down the line. So it was way, way out of my mouth chins and stuff. The week that ended, boom sales, the competition and things, the costs just dropped down. After that as well, we started tweaking these things and then it went from $12 per conversion to $5 and then it went to $3 and then it went to $2. So it’s like those gradual improvements means that we can then scale up from there. So it’s understanding that you can’t just promote crap. Ideally you have tested it to a warm audience and they’re opting in and things, and we have articles to show you how to do all that. Then it is understanding that run a little loss at first. You’ve got to know your goalposts to aim for. So me knowing that I can spend $23 means, “Okay, I can work towards that and I know when I need to get 50 leads to make a sale. So I don’t want to turn off the ad before it’s got 50 leads because otherwise I’ve wasted my money because statistically there’s not going to be a customer.” Things like this. It sounds more complex than it is, but it’s not that difficult. And the way we structured this article, the stuff that we’re talking about, it’s all done in a step by step process. So we teach you how to find your numbers at first and then we teach you how to research, how to design an ad, how to actually write the ad and things like that. So it’s like you don’t move on to the next step until you’ve got those things done. Am I making sense? Is it- Chris Badgett: You’re totally making sense and I’m grateful, you’re just dropping all kinds of knowledge bombs to anybody who’s considering running a Facebook ad for your course or your membership site. And I’d encourage you to go check out ampmycontent.com/promoted-content. That’ a gold mine. I really appreciate that. Daniel. Before we go, I want to ask one more question. We got the traffic, we got the converting piece of content, we scaled it with Facebook ads. We kept iterating until we got it working. What about the piece … How do we convert to a course or a membership sale from the content? Should we be getting them to opt-in and then do a nurture sequence or go straight for a sale? Daniel: It depends on how expensive the product is and how far removes they are- Chris Badgett: Let’s say it’s cold traffic that hasn’t heard of us before coming from Facebook, I guess. I don’t know if that’s what you mean by how far removed, but … Daniel: so we have the content academy and it’s not cheap. And normally people won’t buy from me for about 40, 45 days after finding us. And that makes total sense because it’s not cheap and they have to learn and they have to be on the same wavelength and things like that- Chris Badgett: And I just want to add, I had somebody a yesterday by our infinity bundle. It’s our most expensive software package. It’s just under $1,000. I went and I checked my CRM. They’ve been following us in our email system for 10 months. Daniel: Yeah, right. So it takes time. I will say irregardless if you’re going to pitch them today in an hour or if you’re going to pitch them in 30 days, get the lead because it’s … If we look at sales psychology, there’s the commitment inconsistency principle. People like to keep doing things that they feel aligned with themselves. So if you can get them to say yes to something, they are 40% more likely to say yes to a bigger thing. So the sheer act of getting them to become a subscriber, and here’s the irony, even if they put in a fake email, they are still more likely to buy from you at some point because they have taken some action. They’ve paid their attention, they’ve put their hand up, they want the thing. Now they’re not going to get like your bonus or whatever unless they put in a real email. But it just goes to show like how more effective it actually makes them. So by getting the subscriber also you’re building an asset list, because something like 60% of your sales will come from previous customers. So it makes sense to have this list. Also, it makes it really easy to promote posts in the future to your email list and say, “Hey, we just wrote this new article.” You get a hit per social shares and stuff because you’ve got 5,000 people that you’ve built by subscribers. Also, email is a very effective sales channel, so when you can automate, you can nurture and you can build offers, you can promote new content to them, and things like that. There’s one of the reason why I suggest this as well. So I know that when someone first finds me, it’s about 40 days before they will become a customer. And I know that I’ve got about 50 leads before I will get a sale. If I set up an ad, and I’m running it for X amount of cash and I won’t get a feedback, so we can set up tracking and things so Facebook will know who clicked on the ad if they opted-in and which articles they read, did they buy, how much it cost them to buy. I have all that set up, but I also have other feedback loops at a much shorter time periods because if I was to wait 40 days, man, I am not going to sleep at night and knowing if my ad is working or not. I’m just going to sit there and spend money for 40 days? You’d go insane. You’ll pull your hair out and all kinds of stuff. I know people buy it, but it’s like, am I happy to just sit there? So what I can do instead is I say, “Okay, well I need 100 leads. I know what each lead is worth, and a lead while almost happen two days later. So if I’m tracking that, and I have my margins, I know what I can pay for a lead, then straight away I’m saying, “Oh well this is less than what I know I statistically can pay, I can keep running it, I can keep tweaking and improving and things like that.” So again, by collecting the subscriber, I’m getting a quicker feedback loop to myself. It’s going into my ads, and I can say, “Okay well, yes, I know this is profitable because I can spend X on leads. I make X amount of sales per 100 leads. I know what they’re worth, and I’ve got a quick loop.” I’m very sorry. I’ve been on Skype calls and things for days, so just- Chris Badgett: No, it’s all good. Daniel: So yeah, there’s so many benefits to getting that email subscriber, you’re building assets, quick feedback loops, helps in promotion. I’m all about smart, lazy. How can I make the most effective thing? So a lot of people will talk about what we’ve talked about today and they’ll call it native advertising where they are … It’s a sales page, but it looks like a piece of content. Now your content should sell in some way. It should sell an idea. It should sell an opt-in, it should sell something. But because you’ve written it as a piece of content, again, you can build links to it. People will share it. People will boost relevance. I’ve got people who click on an advert, read our article, opt-in, and then share the original advert, boosting its relevance and lowering its cost and also sharing it to their friends. I’ve got other competitors sharing our articles because they are conversational and they prove a point, I ended up realizing that they’re sending people into our sales funnel and things. So you’ll have this one asset that does 10 things [crosstalk]- Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Daniel: … SEO it does … So it’s figuring out how to do those things so you can do less stuff or have a smaller team or be more effective in what you have. Chris Badgett: That is killer. That is killer. Well, Daniel Daines-Hutt, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on the show. Go check out ampmycontent.com. Check out the article at ampmycontent.com/promoted-content. Is there anywhere else the good people of the internet, the course builders out there can do to connect with you? Daniel: [inaudible] I had a bar if you’re interested in the Amplify Academy when it opens next, there’s like a premium training thing on there, You can opt-in. In all fairness, you’re probably going to get an offer for it at some point anyway if you opt-in. The only other thing, and I always laugh because people keep asking me is my Twitter handle is @inboundascend A-S-C-E-N-D. People always want to know. But the thing is, I only have a post, photos of my cat or music that I’ve been listening to and occasionally I will share a blog post or something on there, like once every four months. But if you want to see what … I think I had Gerry Rafferty playing when you first … I didn’t realize the call had already set up and it was just saxophone solo. So if you want to see like the crazy inside of my head, you can go follow me on Twitter. But all of this stuff that we do it’s through the blog. Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well thanks so much for coming on the show. Daniel: Thank you so much for having me and I hope it’s been helpful. When this goes live as well, I will jump in and try and answer any questions and things or comments, because I think you guys transcribe it, right? Chris Badgett: We do. Yeah. Daniel: So like if there’s any questions and stuff like that … I don’t take on clients, as much as people want to do that. It just, I couldn’t figure out how to scale it and me writing like this aligns more with what I want to do, so I can help more people. So I do get a lot of client requests daily. But yeah, all we have is the content and the academy. But thank you again so much for having me, and it’s been too long, we should chat again soon. Chris Badgett: Absolutely. And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast, I’m your guide Chris Badgett, I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling and protecting, engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to LifterLMS.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting on the internet. The post How Course Creators Get Leads Through Content and Scale Revenue Through Smart Promotions with Marketing Professional Daniel Daines-Hutt appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


3 Jun 2019

Rank #13

Podcast cover

Course Creator Success Frameworks With Digital Course Academy Creator Amy Porterfield

Learn about course creator success frameworks with Digital Course Academy creator Amy Porterfield in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Amy shares her story of finding success by building online courses, and the process of creating the Digital Course Academy. Amy is the creator of Digital Course Academy, where she and her team help course creators get their bearings and the tools they need to launch successful programs for their students. At AmyPorterfield.com you can find her Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit. Most of Amy’s students are beginners just starting out, so her guide goes through everything readers need to know to launch a successful starter course for their audience and the course business structures she has seen work well over time. Cultivating consistent revenue for your business is important for long term scaling. Incorporating multiple courses in your business or blended learning with group coaching, a mastermind, or a physical product can be what you need to give students the results they are looking for, so those may be something to consider. Opening up a feedback loop with students is also key to creating valuable content, and using blended learning can help inform the passive courses you create. Amy breaks down courses into three major categories:  The starter courseThe spotlight courseThe signature course The starter course is an introduction and jumping off point for students to get started in your field of expertise. The spotlight course is where you take a deep dive into one topic. And your signature course is the full transformation from start to finish. The differences between the three are the price point and the results you deliver at each level. One example of a starter course would be a Facebook Influencer course that teaches you how to get started with Facebook for $97. Then you might have a spotlight course that takes you in-depth into one topic that is all about Facebook ads, and that course may be priced at around $500. Then you could have the signature course that is $2,000, and it teaches you everything you need to know to create a course and launch it. One common issue course creators have is they dive into the technology too early. Less is more with the technology aspect of course building. By focusing on the results you deliver to students and putting the technology second to that, you can focus more on the core value rather than the extra functionality. To learn more about Amy Porterfield and the Digital Course Academy be sure to check out AmyPorterfield.com. You can also find Amy’s podcast Online Marketing Made Easy at her site. Amy is active on Instagram as well. And be sure to also grab a copy of The Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. Today I’ve got a very special guest, Amy Porterfield. You can find here over at AmyPorterfield.com. She’s the creator of the Digital Course Academy. Did I say that right, Amy? Amy Porterfield: Yeah, you did. Chris Badgett: And you also have a podcast called Online Marketing Made Easy, which is an awesome show, and you’re all about course creation and online marketing, online business, becoming a better person in the process, designing the life you want. I’m really excited to get into it with you today, and thank you very much for coming. Amy Porterfield: Thanks so much for being, or having me. I really appreciate it. I’m excited to jump into this topic. I don’t know if you can hear, but the minute we started this interview, my dog is barking, so it’s been one of those days, but again, thanks for having me. Chris Badgett: Yeah, you bet. No problem at all. I have dogs and- Amy Porterfield: Oh, good. Chris Badgett: Before I became an online entrepreneur, I actually ran sled dogs in Alaska for a very long time. Amy Porterfield: Oh, wow. Chris Badgett: But dogs are everywhere and they always interrupt, so it’s- Amy Porterfield: Always, no matter what. Chris Badgett: It’s all good. I actually wanted to start with a story, I was watching your Digital Course Academy launch, and I noticed, I was getting psyched, I cleared my schedule to go to your webinar and Zoom failed on you. Amy Porterfield: Oh, my gosh. Chris Badgett: This is funny, I just wanted to ask you that, to tell that story and what you did, because I’m actually a power Zoom user, the Zoom company has contacted me before. I’m in the top 1% of users because I do all these podcasts, I run a remote software team, I’m always doing marketing webinars, stuff like that, so I use Zoom a lot. It has very rarely ever caused me any problems, and I saw that happen to you and like, “Wow, what kind of timing is that?” What happened? Amy Porterfield: Okay, it was the craziest thing. When I launched any kind of digital course, I do multiple live webinars. So, this was our very first live webinar of the launch, it was a 10:00 a.m. primetime, thousands of people were signed up for this webinar, and I was ready to go. So, what happened was about 10 minutes before I sit in this very seat, I’m ready to go, I’ve got a team member, Chloe, helping me where you can’t see her outside of the camera, and she was all ready, and she said, “Something’s wrong.” Amy Porterfield: We thought we were doing something wrong, like I have a pretty fancy studio here and so we’re thinking we’re clicking something wrong, or we have an internet problem. But fast forward to what happened, Zoom had a full power outage. Like, the entire Zoom site for everybody was down. To make matters worse, it was so dramatic, you went to their website and there was huge red writing across the top, whatever it said, something like, “Holy cow, we’re down” is what I pretty much interpreted it to be. Amy Porterfield: So, we had no Zoom and that’s never happened. Zoom has been always reliable to us, but I think I blacked out for a minute. Like, this is my biggest launch ever, the biggest course I’ve ever created, and I almost couldn’t breathe for a minute. Luckily, I always tell my students, “Don’t do your webinars alone.” I always have a sidekick, and Chloe my integrator, kicked it into gear, literally changed the technology around and we went live on a webpage. It still went up, we still converted well, but I literally don’t remember some of that moment. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s wild. I felt for you when I saw that happen, and I did get to watch the replay when it came through, so I got to see it, it was fantastic. You mentioned something I wanted to ask about, which was the integrator. I’m assuming that’s from the entrepreneur system? What’s it called? Traction or? Amy Porterfield: Yeah, EOS, the book. Chris Badgett: EOS, yeah. Amy Porterfield: Rocket Fuel and the book Traction. In our business, we subscribe to the EOS operating system. Chris Badgett: Does it work for you? Do you love it? Amy Porterfield: So good. We’ve been at it for about six months consistently now. I act as the visionary and then Chloe is my integrator, and then from there, we have directors and managers, and we have a small team. It’s about six full time and a bunch of contractors. It’s growing rapidly because we’ve had an amazing year so far, but I love it because I can stay high level, I can stay strategic, and my goal is content creation and relationship building. So, strategy, content creation, relationship building. Amy Porterfield: Once I stepped into that role and stopped getting my hands in everything, it really has made a huge difference in how I love my business more, how I really enjoy the content creation at a whole other level, and Chloe loves it ’cause I get out of her way. Chloe, I mean pretty much runs the backend of my business as an integrator. She is the one who it’s my vision, she makes it happen. Amy Porterfield: Her role is also to say no to me because I’ve got all of these ideas, no to me if it’s not on plan for that quarter’s goal. I hate that part, but that’s how a visionary and an integrator work. She’s always needing to say no so she can get the work done. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. How’d you find a good integrator? Amy Porterfield: Such a great question. Chloe started out as a project manager. I didn’t even know what an integrator was about four years ago when she started, but I was looking for somebody that had project management skills and had some of that experience. So, we just put a job description together, but my secret is I’m always asking all my peers. Amy Porterfield: so, although we use Indeed and put things out online and tell my community about positions we’re hiring for, some of the best positions came as referrals to me, so I put it out to my community, I said, “Here’s the job description.” That’s the key. You can’t just tell your friends you’re looking for somebody. Show them the job description, let them know who you’re looking for, and I have a friend that worked at Deepak Chopra, which is in Carlsbad, where I live, and she said, “I’ve got someone that’s fantastic.” Amy Porterfield: I didn’t know Chloe was going to turn out to be my integrator, I didn’t know she was going to fill such a huge role, but I trusted her more and more and saw how amazing she was, and so I eased her into that role, and now she owns it like a boss. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. That’s so good to hear, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs and visionary types can benefit by exploring that. It’s also a good match for the integrator. Amy Porterfield: So true. Chris Badgett: I was checking out your website, I love your website, AmyPorterfield.com. The design’s great, the navigation’s clean, as a marketing person I can see the flows of the top of the funnel and what you offer and how you … There’s a lot I really like about your website. Before I developed software, I ran a website agency, and you’ve done a fantastic job here. Amy Porterfield: Well, thank you. That’s a huge compliment, and I feel like you’ve had nine lives. Chris Badgett: I have. Amy Porterfield: You’ve done a lot. Chris Badgett: I was selfishly asking ’cause I need an integrator, ’cause I’m all over the place a little bit. Amy Porterfield: It’s such a perfect role. Oh, for the record, I did a podcast about having an integrator, and I’m almost positive there’s a job description that we included with that podcast episode, so use that just to get started. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I was on your website and one of the things that got me from on your webinar registration, was I’m a lifelong learner, course creation, training based membership sites, online communities, coaching programs. This is my bread and butter, and it is a subject matter that I’m infinitely fascinated by. Chris Badgett: I’ve downloaded your Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit which is on your website. Can we touch on some of the things in there? Amy Porterfield: Yeah, let’s do it. Chris Badgett: So, in terms of the types of courses, you had some really clear thinking around different course types. I have something similar that I talk about, there’s a behavior change course, there’s a learner process course, there’s something really dangerous that a lot of people make called a resource course, which is like a giant library thing, and then there’s this case study course where we’re learning by deconstructing others. Chris Badgett: It’s a framework that I sometimes use to help people figure out get into some of the instructional design thinking, but then I saw your framework which is totally different than what I just described. Could you describe it for us and get into it? And also, I think you mentioned some price points that go with the different types of possible ranges. Amy Porterfield: Right, right. Isn’t it funny, though, how you’ve got your framework and it works for you, and you create success with that, and I’ve got mine and it works for me? I love that there’s enough room for all of us, especially those of us who take this really seriously and we study it and we make sure it works for our students. I love that. Amy Porterfield: A lot of my students are beginners to the core, they’re just starting out, just starting to build their email list and they really want to have a digital course business. What I mean by that is the bulk of your revenue is coming from your digital courses, whether it be live launches, evergreen, or a mixture of both, which is what I have. Amy Porterfield: You might have other things in your business like a mastermind, a group coaching, a physical product even, but the bulk of your revenue comes from your digital course, so that you always have that consistent revenue. You’re not worrying about where the next dollar’s going to come from. What I do is I teach my students how to create a digital course business and you can do that with one course, or two, or three, but I always say, “Let’s just stay with one to get started and make sure it’s a success.” Amy Porterfield: With that, I tell my students that there’s three ways you could go. You could have a starter course, which is like that one on one type course, dipping your toe in the water kind of thing. Then, next up is the spotlight course where you’re taking a deep dive into one topic. I’ll give you examples of each in a moment. Amy Porterfield: Then, you’ve got your signature course where I say it’s the whole shebang. It’s full transformation from start to finish, and everything in between. With each of those, there is definitely a price difference. When you’re starting with a starter course, my very first starter course was called FB Influence, way back when. I’ve been at this a long time. It was a $97 course, just to get you started with Facebook marketing. Amy Porterfield: Now, saying it’s a startup course, a spotlight course, or a signature course, it doesn’t have anything to do with how many modules, how many lessons, how many PDFs or cheat sheets. It’s more about the results that you’re promising, and the transformation. At FB Influence I was saying, “You’re going to get started with Facebook, how to get your Facebook page up, dabbling a little with Facebook ads, but not a lot. Just to get started.” That was 97 bucks. Amy Porterfield: Then, the spotlight course is where you usually take one topic that you might talk about in let’s say a starter course, but you dive deeper. What I did is I had a starter course and my students said, “We love this, but the next thing we want is tell us all about Facebook ads. That’s where we think we need to go next.” I listened to my community and I created something called FB Ads Insider, where I took a deep dive into just Facebook ads. Amy Porterfield: That, with the spotlight course, you can charge more because the results were going to be bigger. I was going to help them grow their email list faster, sell more, so that was around $500. You could go definitely up with the spotlight. Now, a signature course is where you are going for full transformation and you’re saying, “Okay, we’re going to start at point A, I’m going to take you step-by-step through everything you need to get to your desired outcome which is typically a big transformation.” Amy Porterfield: So, for example, Digital Course Academy is a signature course. It’s $2000, it tells you everything you need to create a course and to launch it. So my promise is you can launch a digital course with success. Maybe not your first time out, everyone has some challenges along the way and we talk about that and troubleshoot that, but if you stick with it, you can get success with launching your digital course. Those are the three courses, and with each one, you can charge more definitely. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s a beautiful framework. You’ve mentioned that especially first timers have some challenges, and I see a lot of rabbit hole … This is a problem I’m also obsessed with. There’s just all these rabbit holes that people can go down and get stuck or not do as well as they could have, or failure to even launch at all, or finish the course. What are some of the common ones that you see and some ideas on how to course correct? Amy Porterfield: I love that you said rabbit holes, because you and I are very much alike in the sense that I’m always talking about stay away from those entrepreneurial rabbit holes, the things that we think are important, but in the end, they’re not. One is the name of your course. I personally don’t think that’s something that you should spend weeks or months deciding on. I say give yourself maybe one week max, play around with it, get some feedback and be done with it. Amy Porterfield: That’s one area that I think is really important to not go down that entrepreneurial rabbit hole. Another one is just the technology in general. My students really get hung up on the technology, and I don’t blame them. I know that I’m not a techie kind of girl at all, I know that that feels overwhelming, and I always tell my students, “You sure as heck didn’t get taught this in school or college or anything like that” and sometimes it feels like a foreign language when you’re not used to working within these different softwares and applications. Amy Porterfield: But I always say less is more with the technology, and let’s just find a solution that can do most of the things you want. I remind them, nothing is perfect, and at least get started with something. So, a lot of the times my students want to rip their hair out and go crazy because they can’t figure out one piece of technology. I think they just get in their head too much and then allow way too much time to figure it out. Do you have that challenge with technology with your students? Chris Badgett: 100%. I mean, there’s the hardware, the software, the marketing technology. There’s just a lot of tech. But you don’t necessarily need a lot of tech to validate your idea or whatever. I mean, that’s one idea that I think’s important in our community. Amy Porterfield: Yes. So true. Chris Badgett: Technology rabbit hole, which course should I make? Like you said, the title. Or, even do you have any tips on if you’re working with an expert, they have the subject matter expertise, but let’s say they’re light on teaching or coaching skills, and therefore they’re light on curriculum design, how do you help that type of person create the content? Or, reverse engineer the result. Amy Porterfield: Yes. One of the things is when my students have the skillset and the knowledge, which most of them do, and they’re coming to the table with an idea, if they’re never taught it or they don’t have those coaching skills yet, I first of all say, “Let’s just start with the starter course.” You can’t go wrong with the starter course, and you learn so much about yourself as a teacher, as a content creator, and you learn so much about your students. Amy Porterfield: You can quickly move onto the next step if you pay attention once that starter course gets out there, and there’s money to be made. Yeah, you have to sell a lot more, but you can definitely, if you stick with it, and turn it onto evergreen, you can make some good money with the starter course. Here’s the thing, if they are challenged with the curriculum, I do have inside Digital Course Academy, a full week of creating an outline. Amy Porterfield: Now, that is one area where I let them go down a rabbit hole for just a week and I say, “Let’s just focus on the outline.” Because once the outline’s done, you’re off to the races. But until you know the flow, until you know what you’re going to include in each model, what the lessons look like, what the PDFs are going to look like, you’re always going to be confused and not sure if you’ve got the right layout for your course. So, I take ’em through a brainstorm, and a pruning, and a research section, so we go through an entire phase process through a week, in order to get the perfect outline, and perfect, I don’t even mean perfect. Amy Porterfield: Just as good as you can get it, and then we’re done. So, I do take ’em through a process, ’cause a lot of my students, they know their stuff but they’ve never taught it, and to me, the flow of how you teach something is everything. It’s so important. So, that’s how we do it inside the course. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. I have a question for you in your course creation journey and looking at your website, you mentioned I think your course journey started with FB Influence. Is that right? Amy Porterfield: Uh-huh (affirmative). Chris Badgett: And now we’re on a signature program, Digital Course Academy. And your podcast is … Am I correct in assuming that you started with online marketing and now you’ve just really lasered in on courses? Can you talk about that niche process of moving around online marketing, and really [inaudible 00:18:01] a laser on courses, how that happened? Amy Porterfield: Yeah, I love this question because my … FB Influence was my first successful digital course, but I did have some social media courses in the very beginning that just were not successful. I didn’t know how to create a course at the time and I sure as heck didn’t know how to launch it with webinars. I had a few failed attempts at the beginning, but when I started to teach Facebook more, I really do listen to my audience and they gravitated toward me around that topic. Amy Porterfield: I started with Facebook and that’s when I had the first success with my course. What happened was I listened to my audience and they wanted the Facebook ads course, and then I paid attention even more and they really wanted a full Facebook marketing plan. So, I created that, as a signature course, it was called the Facebook Marketing Profit Lab, and I did that for a while. Amy Porterfield: Then as I, this is something so great for all of you course creators, I became better in my area of expertise. My students said, “Okay, we want Facebook, but what about the other areas of online marketing?” The Facebook Marketing Profit Lab morphed into just The Profit Lab. I started to add some more elements of online marketing in my signature course. Amy Porterfield: Once that was done, I marketed it a few different times, and then I decided where I really excel is how to create courses and how to do webinars. I knew that I was ready to step into that. I had to pay attention to what I did really well, and what people were asking me about. I started to get tons of questions about, “How did you create this course? How do you do these webinars?” I’ve used webinars from day one, even in my corporate job I used webinars. Amy Porterfield: So I perfected that and as I got better, my classes got better, and more specific. That’s when I decided, “Okay, I’m going to zero in on list building, course creation, and webinars to launch them.” I do believe that when you’re known for something, people know when to go to you. So, I am not multi passionate. I believe that the way you make good money online is you become known for something, in terms of your expertise. So, I would guess that most people when you hear Amy Porterfield, you know think of course creation. Amy Porterfield: Where quite honestly, 10 years ago you would say either I don’t know who she is, or you’d say Facebook marketing. So, just know you can pivot, that’s the beauty of having an online business, you can pivot as long as you’re strategic about it and you don’t chase the squirrels or the shiny objects, just because it feels good. It’s not about instant gratification, it’s about being strategic. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. Just to confirm, when I first heard of you, I remember thinking of you as a Facebook person, and then it evolved into the courses. Amy Porterfield: Good. Chris Badgett: You’ve mentioned webinars. One of the other rabbit holes I see people get hung up on is the marketing or the launching of the course. If you were to describe a really simple funnel, or just strategy on how do we, just a basic marketing funnel for a course creator, what would the key elements be? Amy Porterfield: I love this question. I am all about simplicity. I’ve created over eight digital courses at this point, over $12 million just in digital course revenue. So, I tell you that not to brag, but to say I’ve had one way of launching those digital courses in a very simple funnel. What I do is one, I pay close attention to the prelaunch runway. Leading up to any launch, before I ever advertise my webinars, so for the record, I market with webinars. Amy Porterfield: But before I ever get there, I’m creating content around the topic that I’m going to sell as a digital course. About six weeks before I launched, I’m talking more about course creation, more about the fears of launching, more about what it takes to get started. So, I’m really leading up to that, and I think the time you spend when you’re not launching is the most important success factor in what will happen during your launch. So, always be list building, always be showing up, and getting consistent with your email marketing, before you launch, incredibly important. Amy Porterfield: About six weeks in, I have a lot of content around what I’m going to be selling and then I don’t mention the course. Well, I might hint at it, but I don’t sell at all, and then we open the webinar registration, about a week before the webinars. Now, my secret is I do multiple live webinars. Back in the day I did one or two. The next time I did four or five, and I saw way difference, a huge difference in revenue. Amy Porterfield: I usually open the cart from 10-14 days and I’ll do four to six live webinars throughout that time. I open registration about a week before my first live webinar, and then I do live webinars. Once the live webinar is over, each webinar is followed up with a post-webinar promo sequence, email marketing. I have specific emails that go out all the way to cart close. On cart close, I send three emails out. Amy Porterfield: That was a huge game changer for me, as well. I used to send two, the day I sent three we almost doubled our revenue on the final day of the launch. It’s simple, just real fast, it’s a lot of growing our email list six weeks before we launch with the right audience, inviting everybody through Facebook ads and my entire email list to the webinars, doing the live webinars, following up with email marketing. That is essentially my funnel, and we have done that for many, many years. I always say, just keep it simple. There’s no need for a lot of bells and whistles. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I have a question about getting it done. One of the things, I’d noticed a similarity, I spend a lot of time in … Basically I built a cabin in my backyard, this is my home office, and my house is like 100 feet over there. I have some young kids and my dogs go crazy, but I’ve created this- Amy Porterfield: So cool. Chris Badgett: … work environment where I just step in and I’m ready to roll. You’re in a great looking studio for creating content. Can you tell us, and actually I discovered by accident, I just started on Twitter, as I was building this cabin and sharing it, and then as I would go to some conferences and things, people asked me more about my home office in the backyard than my business. It became part of the brand, and I realized that, I mean it was important to me, but it’s important to a lot of people, the workspace, especially if you work from home. How did your studio come into being? Amy Porterfield: Such a great question. So, I had the studio, it’s in my house, it’s a small room in my house. I’ve had it for about two years now, and before that, I would do a lot of video, but I would have to make sure I found some good lighting with a window on me, so I had some good lighting, or we all know what it looks like to have a stack of books, to put some kind of light at the top and hope that it works, and all of that. Amy Porterfield: I did get to a point that I’m like, “I am so sick of trying to make this work at the last minute.” So I thought, “I really want a studio where I can sit down, press a button and go live.” ‘Cause I knew I would do it more consistently if that was the case. I have two people in my community, David Foster, and Luria, and I say her last name wrong every time, so I’m not even going to- Chris Badgett: The Live Streaming people. Amy Porterfield: What’s that? Chris Badgett: They’re the Live Streaming people, that’s who you’re talking about? Amy Porterfield: Yes LiveStreamingPros.com. I’m so glad you said that, so I didn’t have to say her last name. LiveStreamingPros.com, they’re dear friends of mine, and I hired them to come to my house and build out the studio. Now, I will say it was very expensive, and I would never suggest this to my students that are just starting out, but it is something to aspire to. Amy Porterfield: It’s funny, ’cause you and I know, I had a full on tech glitch before getting on here, because I was trying to do something I had never done before, but typically, and I promise you this, I come in here, I have this, let me just show you, I’ve got this little clicker here, I click a button and I go live. Amy Porterfield: It has changed everything for me. Now, I’ll tell you, I’ve got some ring lights on me, I’ve got a mic up there, and this backdrop is from Home Depot. It’s reclaimed wood that my husband, Hobie, put together. So, that part’s not fancy at all, but good lighting and just clicking a button changed everything for me and I was more consistent when that happened. Amy Porterfield: But you can always set up something way more simpler, but if you can find a place in your home to do so, I do highly recommend it. ‘Cause I’m guessing you’d agree, it just makes life easier. Chris Badgett: Yeah, definitely. Can you share any other just productivity tips? I mean, you have eight courses you said, you’ve written books, you’re on 300 podcast episodes I think, or maybe more, I don’t know. Amy Porterfield: Getting close. Chris Badgett: I find there’s not much middle ground. People are usually really productive or they’re having issues with productivity. Like, what’s your secret sauce? Amy Porterfield: So, one of the things is that truly everything helps when you have a little bit of help. I don’t think there’s a badge of honor in doing it all on your own, so if someone says, “I’m a one-man” or, “I’m a one-woman show,” I think, “Well, imagine what you could do if you got a little help.” It always starts with I say five hours a week with a VA, so that’s how you ease into it, but I think building up your team, even if it’s small, helps immensely. Amy Porterfield: But also finding your system, so I talked about Traction, and Rocket Fuel. I think the EOS system is amazing, but there might be another system that you love, but you’ve got to adopt that, and have everybody on your team subscribe to it. So, one of the ways we eased into this, ’cause we haven’t always had the EOS system, is that we use Asana. So, A-s-a-n-a, Asana, it’s a project management tool, and we use Slack. Amy Porterfield: We have very specific rules on the team that no action items go into Slack, our communication tool, and anything that’s getting done is inside of Asana, assigned to somebody, with a due date. If someone puts an action item in Asana, my integrator Chloe will say, in Slack, “Can you move that over to Asana?” You have to be a stickler in terms of this is our process and this is what we’re doing. Amy Porterfield: I made a huge mistake a few years ago where my team was using Asana and me and my big ego, I don’t know what I was thinking, I wasn’t. I wasn’t showing up in Asana regularly, I never checked it, I just thought my team will do that. It will never happen. If you are the owner of your business, you have to lead by example, and that’s something that I’ve learned the hard way. But a project management tool is a must and some standing operating principles. Amy Porterfield: This is how we run this business, even if it’s a one page, it’s so incredibly important. If it’s not scheduled, it will never, ever happen. So, these are some rules we live by on the team. Chris Badgett: That’s great. Thanks for sharing that. How long did it take to create your recent Digital Course Academy signature program? Is that a high price point, $2000 program? Amy Porterfield: Yep. Chris Badgett: What’s the timeline from the idea that, “Okay, I’m going to do this” to the launch day? Amy Porterfield: So, I think we had the idea in September and we launched it in January. So, it was way intense. I tell my students at least 60 days to create a course. Another 30 days to put together your launch material. I like for them to give themselves at least 90 days. Amy Porterfield: For me, though, I was combining two programs. I had Courses That Convert, how to create a course, and a totally different program, Webinars That Convert, how to create a webinar and sell your course. What was happening was my students who bought Courses That Convert would say when they bought it, “So, are you going to tell us how to sell this?” Because quite honestly having a course and not knowing how to sell it is worthless. Amy Porterfield: So I realized I’m doing a disservice by separating the programs, so I took two programs, retired both, and both were making at least $50,000 each a month in evergreen, so they were successful, but I retired both of them and then months later came out with one course. I got to use a little bit of the content from each of the courses, but I created everything from scratch. Amy Porterfield: I’ll tell you one more thing, in Digital Course Academy, I deliver the content like this. So, direct to camera, in a studio that was similar to this, and I had a professional film crew come in and I used a teleprompter, I had scripts, it was intense. And then I did some audio and slides, teaching the core content. That was the first time out of eight courses, that I was direct to camera for every single lesson. Amy Porterfield: Before that, where I had made millions with my digital courses, it was my audio and slides. So, I tell my students that because you do not have to have something fancy, you do not need to be on camera the whole time to have a successful digital course. I think it’s nice to show up on camera throughout the course, but you do not need to do it for every single lesson. It took me eight courses to get there, and I think you can ease into it. Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s great. The video rabbit hole, that’s another one. It takes a while. Amy Porterfield: So true. Chris Badgett: For you that is listening or watching this, check out Amy’s The Ultimate Course Creation Starter Kit. When I saw that, I’m like, “I’ve got to get here on the podcast.” Thank you for coming on the show. Your podcast is also a great listen, and you can find Amy at AmyPorterfield.com. Is there anything else you want to tell the listener of where to explore your world and find out more? Amy Porterfield: I do a lot on Instagram, so if you want to just come into my world, I’m just Amy Porterfield on Instagram. But I also want to say thanks for having me. I don’t get to talk to a lot of people who are also course creation experts like you are, so it’s a real fun conversation because we get each other. So, thanks so much for having me. Chris Badgett: Yeah, well thanks for coming. We’ll have to do it again sometime. Amy Porterfield: Definitely. Talk soon. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses. To help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life, head on over to LifterLMS.com, and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet. The post Course Creator Success Frameworks With Digital Course Academy Creator Amy Porterfield appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.


13 Aug 2019

Rank #14

Podcast cover

How to Grow Your Email List with an Email Challenge and SEO Course Case Study with Brendan Hufford

Learn how to grow your email list with an email challenge and SEO course case study with Brendan Hufford from 100 Days of SEO in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Brendan has a lot of experience as a course creator, an SEO professional, and a marketer. Chris and Brendan break down key strategies to build your SEO, and what it takes to build a strong marketing arm for your course building business. Brendan went to college to become a teacher and ended up developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and gaining 25 pounds while working as an assistant principal. He decided to switch schools and work as a teacher. Later on down the line a friend asked if Brendan could help with SEO on his photography website. Brendan took up the opportunity, and his friend earned an extra $42,000 after 6 months from the work Brendan had done on the site. Brendan decided to take on some more SEO clients and eventually ended up joining an SEO agency out of Chicago called Clique Studios. After finding that he loved answering people’s SEO questions in Slack, Brendan ended up creating an online course where he put together everything he could to help people get off the ground with their SEO and start ranking well on search engines. Searching Facebook groups is a terrific way to find what problems your customers face and how to best solve them. Doing this also gives you insights into how to phrase your marketing message with the same emotion your audience uses to describe their problems. One great way to build up an audience and figure out if what you’re teaching is valuable is to do a free webinar or live video for someone’s community without pitching an upsell or collecting emails. Brendan used this strategy to find the best way to engage students and has built out his program based on what gets results and engages customers the most. Be sure to check out 100DaysofSEO.com and BrendanHufford.com. At 100DaysofSEO.com you can find the One Ranking Away Challenge where you can upgrade your SEO in 30 days. Brendan also has an SEO membership here. And you can find Brendan on Instagram and Twitter. If you have any questions about SEO, Brendan invites you to tweet to him at @BrendanHufford. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LiftLMS. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name’s Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Brendan Hufford. He’s from 100 Days of SEO. That’s 100, the number 1-0-0, Days of SEO.com. Brendan has a lot of experience as a course creator, as an SEO professional, as a content creator, as a marketer and lead generator. I’m really excited to get into it with you, Brendan. Thanks for coming on the show. Brendan Hufford: Thanks so much for having me, Chris. This is going to be awesome. Chris Badgett: Why did you create your course, SEO for the Rest of Us? What does that mean, for the rest of us? What compelled you to? The course creation origin story is always interesting, so I wanted to ask you. Brendan Hufford: Yeah. That’s a great question. Transparently, SEO for the Rest of Us name came from my friend and yours, Ken Wallace from MastermindJam. I had a bunch of ideas of what I wanted to name this course, in order for it to stand out in a sea of everybody who positions themselves as an SEO expert, because you don’t have to be able to prove you’ve really done anything to be an SEO expert, kind of like being a Facebook Ads expert. You can just say, I do all of this stuff on Facebook, and then just run ads to your Facebook Ads thing. It’s a crowded space, and I wanted to stand out. Brendan Hufford: I also, I guess if we go back to the beginning, why a course? I’ll circle back to why now and why this. I’m a teacher by trade. I went to college, went away to college at 18, and I sat down with the big course catalog. I’m sure it’s all digital now, but I’m 35, and when I went to school, they gave you the big, old half a phone book full. They sat me down. They’re like, “What’s your major going to be?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I’m 18. Why are you trusting me with taking on all this debt and making a life decision? You don’t trust me to even drink. Why can I do this?” I decided in that moment to be a teacher. I went to college to be a teacher, and enjoyed it. It was fine. I’m a pretty contrarian person, so it was hard to fit into a system. Graduated school, did all the right things, got a teaching job, got married, had a kid, became an assistant principal. Brendan Hufford: I had started a business in the meantime, a jujitsu apparel company, doing importing and exporting and all this cool stuff. I looked at my life, and I just felt like I was drowning everywhere. I had, to show for all my hard work of going to grad school and this advanced career, and having my own business, I had gained an extra 25 pounds. I had a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and my life was just a mess. I didn’t know how to get out of it. I took a step back. I left my assistant principal position and went back to being a teacher at another school, a healthier school, stopped drinking completely. That’s the kind of person I am. I don’t do anything in moderation. I either do it or I don’t. Then I sold my jujitsu company. Brendan Hufford: One of my buddies was like, “Hey, man. I need help with marketing.” He was a photographer. I was like, “Cool, I can help you with that.” We did a little bit of SEO stuff on his website. He, within six months, made an extra $42,000. I was like, “There’s something here. I could help people with this.” I kept doing that as a teacher, and then started taking on more clients. Had intentions of starting my own agency, and then one of my buddies was like, “Instead of doing your own agency, why don’t you have a stair step in between and just join an agency? Just stop living this double life of work and side hustle that don’t really support each other.” I was like, “Interesting.” I was asked to join the team at Clique Studios here in Chicago, and I’m the SEO Director there now, getting to work with clients that are huge, $90 million dollar venture-backed startups and global cycling brands and all this cool stuff. Brendan Hufford: I’ve been doing all this client work for the past two years at Clique and then a couple years before that on my own, and tired of what I saw coming out of courses from fake gurus who, let’s just be honest. If your only claim to fame in SEO is that you have a blog about SEO and you’ve never done anything else, I don’t know if I can trust you, because your advice is always kind of suspect. What works in the SEO niche, for example, if I email you for a link, in the SEO niche, that’s cool. That’s fine. We can link to each other. If you’re a plumber and I email you and I’m like, “Can you link to my website?” They’re going to be like, “What’s a link? Why would I do that?” What works in this niche doesn’t work everywhere else. I was a teacher for ten years. I was like, “I can teach this stuff.” Brendan Hufford: I was answering so many questions in everybody’s Slack group. All these people who have, I’m an online community geek, guilty as charged. I’m in 1,000 of them. I would answer. I was every group’s [inaudible] SEO. I was like, why don’t I just make a course? I put together everything I could that I thought would make sense based on my teaching expertise, in a way that people could learn it and implement it successfully. Taught it over the course of live workshops because I think that works really, really well for course creators, especially if you’re a new course creator. Your first time doing it, it can be really helpful to do a bunch of workshops first. Then just do it live and give people access to the recordings. The whole idea for the rest of us is I just noticed that everybody has an excuse. “I’m a creative person. I don’t understand SEO. I’m a clinical person. I don’t understand SEO. I’m not a good writer, so SEO.” Brendan Hufford: Everybody has a thing in their head that holds them back from SEO. I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t understand it. A lot of people think SEO is just Yoast, the Yoast plugin. The Yoast plugin doesn’t actually do anything to help you rank in Google, nothing. It’s helpful, very helpful for your website. People like to criticize me because I’ll say it doesn’t help you. They’re like, “You use it.” I use it for a lot of other things. It’s a really good plugin for a WordPress website. It doesn’t actually help you with SEO any more than anything else does. I was just like, “I want to put that expertise out in the world.” You can tell, obviously, as I monologue here, that I have a lot to say. I just wanted to make media around that. That’s why I made the course, and that’s what eventually led me to 100 Days of SEO as well. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You mentioned something that’s common online, or a concern online, which is fake gurus. I’ve heard on some, as advice, through digital media podcasts and things, that a lot of people recommend for your first online business, you should start an SEO consultancy. I always thought that was a little odd, because what you’re saying is there’s low barrier to entry and you can get clients fairly easily, but there’s a lot of nightmare stories out there of people who paid for SEO services that didn’t do anything except for drain the bank account. On one hand, you have this whole fake guru thing. Then what I find is that the people that do really well are really the opposite of that. They’re really authentic. They’re honest. They admit their weaknesses or whatever. Everybody makes mistakes along the way, but what’s going on with fake gurus specifically in the SEO world from your perspective? Brendan Hufford: How much time do you have? Chris Badgett: I just want to add one more thing to give you some ammunition, I guess. I’ve noticed that the sell of SEO to a business owner is really an easy sell, because the offer is, all you have to do is say yes, I will help you, when people are looking for companies like yours, for you to be listed first. Every business owner is like, “Sure. Where do I send the check?” It’s an easy sell, more or less, especially if they haven’t been burned before, but it’s an industry that’s full of a lot of stuff that doesn’t work. Brendan Hufford: Absolutely. I think the thing that makes it easy to use as a scapegoat is, we’re doing all the best practices. It’s just Google. I’ve worked with so many people who have been burned. I have a really good onboarding process that I learned from a copywriter friend of mine named Joel Klettke from Business Casual Copywriting. He’s got a really cool course. It’s just, I don’t know the word I’m looking for, a workshop, video on onboarding. I learned about a bunch of really good questions to ask. One of them is, have you ever worked with anybody before, and how did that end up? The horror stories that I hear from people around who they worked with in the past and what the people said they were going to do and what happened and then I can look behind the scenes. Brendan Hufford: I’ve even had people in Slack groups that are like, “We’re having some SEO problems. Can you look at this?” I’ll look at their stuff and be like, “I don’t know who’s doing this work behind the scenes, but I’m about to tell you what they’re doing, and you should probably stop working with them now,” but it’s the owner’s brother’s kid. It’s his nephew, so he can’t fire him. I don’t know, man. It’s an easier barrier to entry because there’s 200 ranking factors, so if you can turn any of those dials, you can say you’re doing SEO, but are you able to turn the dials that work? The ones that work the most are primarily, are you able to create incredible content that, and this is really important. A lot of people leave this out, that matches the intent of a search, and then also, are you able to build links to that content? Those are the three core parts. Incredible content that matches the intent of a search that has links pointing to it. Brendan Hufford: Those dials are hard to turn. It’s hard to, and a lot of people, frankly, this is something I picked up from Glenn Allsopp from ViperChill. I consider him a mentor. I learned so much from him, but he has this phrase called being equipped to serve. Are you actually equipped to serve the client you’re getting? That’s cool. We just landed our first $1,000 a month client. We landed our first $5,000 a month client. Are you even equipped to serve somebody at that level at this point, or are you planning on just stepping into it? I’ve just got to lead with, I’ll just step in. I’ll just build into it and figure it out. Don’t. That’s their business. They have employees. If you screw this up, people get fired. Don’t mess with people’s livelihood. Brendan Hufford: I take a lot of moral responsibility about the work that I do. When I screw up, I think people, I always wake up feeling, and this is probably not good for my mental health, but I feel like people are going to get fired if I screw up. It’s not ever the owners of the business that would get fired. They’re not going to have to shut down the whole business, but it’s the marginalized people. It’s people working in a warehouse. It’s people out doing deliveries. Those are the people who get cut first, and those are the ones that lose their jobs if I’m not performing. I think that a lot of people don’t take that kind of responsibility on when you do marketing services. I think they should. Chris Badgett: I appreciate that. You also mentioned that you were very active in online communities and just helping people. How has that benefited you as a business owner and in terms of your, I don’t know if your influencer or thought leadership status? How has online community engagement affected your life and your business? Brendan Hufford: Yeah, I think for course creators, being engaged in the communities where your audience is, a) it’s the best way, especially if you’re just starting out, it’s the best way to know what people are struggling with. You can’t go, I see this a lot. People hop into a Facebook group. They’re like, “What are you struggling?” Me posting, “What are your biggest struggles in SEO?” The problem is, there’s a lot of confirmation bias there. The people that are actually going to answer the question, people don’t want to admit what their struggles are. A lot of people don’t know what their struggling with. If you’re quiet enough, I love this. I do this all the time. I love joining new Facebook groups and immediately going into the search function. I type in SEO. Then I sort by most frequent. I just read all the questions people have asked for the last couple of years about SEO. Brendan Hufford: I see if I can get some gems, because I want to hear the emotion with their questions. I want to hear. I want the questions. I want the language that they use. That’s copywriting gold. Also, I want to know, is there a blind spot in my own curriculum of, wow, people are really struggling with this. I started talking about plugins, because I was like, “Plugins don’t matter. I’m not talking about them.” Then 1,000 questions come in about them. They matter. I need to talk about them. Things like that. It’s also just been really helpful for, to be honest, whether it’s link building or we can call it link building or networking or whatever, I like to be liked. Actually, I would consider it to be a fault. I like it when people like me. I get upset when people don’t like me. I’m working on it. Brendan Hufford: The thing is, you build this incredible network of people. When you’re all coming up together, you end up building a cohort of people. I was starting to make media around SEO, and I was starting to put my, I don’t know what the word I’m looking for here is, but put my name out there in terms of, I don’t just do client work. I actually know about this, and I’m teaching it. All of a sudden, everybody that I came up with was like, “We’d love to support you.” We were equals then. We’re equals now. You end up creating this class of people that you’ve come up with, and it’s just wonderful. Being a part of online communities has been a really big part of that. It also gives you an excuse. I think this is crucial for course creators. Before you go out and start offering your course, if you’re a part of membership communities and stuff already, it’s so, so helpful to just ask people, can I do a free webinar for our community on this? Brendan Hufford: I’m an expert in SEO. I’m a expert in Google Analytics, so I asked a bunch of places. I got asked by a couple. Then I just started reaching out to people. Can we do just a Crowdcast or a Zoom for the whole community for free? You don’t have to opt in. I’m not selling anything. There’s no call to action. I just want to do this and teach it. That’s such a good way to get over those early hurdles of, can I actually teach this stuff? What are the questions people are then going to ask, based on what I taught? Chris Badgett: Can you elaborate a little more? You said that you, before creating your course videos or whatever, you did a workshop to work the muscles out and maybe get the first versions of the content? Can you just describe a little more detail around how you did that? Brendan Hufford: Yeah. I did it for free. I used Crowdcast. Not the best video platform. It can be kind of unreliable at times. It has a really good experience for people on the call that are hanging out, because there’s a little chat on the right. It’s really nice. I did them on Crowdcast. I did them for a few different communities. What I ended up doing is, I did it for Kim Doyal’s Content Creators and Jason and Caroline Zook’s Wandering Aimfully and Paul Jarvis and Kaleigh Moore have the Creative Class. I did those. I was just like, “Okay.” You know how comedians are always trying to put together a good? You need a good five minutes, and then you need a good ten minutes. That’s your material. You can try new stuff out on stage, but you know if you ever screw up, you can always go back to your material. Really, as a comedian, what you’re trying to do is put together a really good hour. Brendan Hufford: I wanted to put together my good hour. I’m not funny. I’m not a comedian, but an hour of here’s things that people are going to be able to take action on, and it’s going to position me in a way that they want to learn more from me, because I have more than I can possibly share in an hour. Then I know I’m good to go. What I did was, I packaged all that together in that hour. I did it a couple of times. I said, “Let’s build that out.” When I launched the course, I had nothing. My wife looked at me, “Wait, people are just buying a thing you’re going to do in the future?” I was like, “Yeah.” She’s like, “What do they get now?” I go, “Nothing. They don’t get anything, nothing now. Nothing today.” I did all these bonuses. I got really good at offer creation, which I think is different than how I sell the course. I don’t sell the course. I have a whole offer that makes it extremely compelling. Brendan Hufford: After starting offer creation, I knew that once I got people in, I was like, “I need to teach this live.” I broke it up into different sections of, first workshop is, let’s simplify SEO. Let’s talk about the basics. Let’s get over the mental hurdles and make sure everybody’s motivated, and understands they can do this. Then let’s get into the researching part of it, topical research, ignore keywords, ignore plugins. Cool, workshop three is all going to be about writing for SEO and then workshop four is all going to be about outreach and link building and different ways to do that. I just broke it up into those four workshops and then delivered one per week for four weeks, and then just looked at all the questions that I got afterwards and all the holes. Brendan Hufford: We had our own Slack group. We still have our own Slack group and just answering those things. That was extremely helpful in seeing. I could also do Q&A afterwards, which was so much better retention and so much better with people taking action with things, versus just, hey, here’s your login, go, which is fine, but I do think you should have that experience of doing it live and figuring that out. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You then created 100 Days of SEO. That’s at 100DaysofSEO.com. People opt in for a 100-day email series, is that right, or challenge? What is it? Brendan Hufford: It’s a 30-day email series. It’s called the One Ranking Away Challenge. 100 Days of SEO is the name of the project. I realized in the midst of creating that, that that is a confusing concept, but you get 30 days of daily emails. One Ranking Away Challenge is 30 days of free emails that all build on each other. It’s not a random tip each day. It’s not like, here’s how you do canonical tags, and then here’s how to do your. That’s not helpful to people if I just throw random advice at you every day. It has to build, and it has to be built in a way that a teacher would make it, where every day, you show up and it builds on what we learned before. At the end, you have a product. This is a Steven Covey, whatever it is, building with the end in mind kind of thing, and reverse planning. There’s all the different buzzwords for it in education. I wanted people to have this thing at the end, an article or a homepage that could rank for something [inaudible 00:19:20]. Brendan Hufford: What do they need to know to get there? Then in what order do I have to teach it? What days are they going to need a break on? What days do they need to catch up? What days do they just need education and motivation. There’s no homework today. It’s just me making sure, reply to this email if you’re not here with me. If you don’t believe that you can create this or if you need an extra day to work on this, that kind of stuff, building it into the 30 days. Yeah, I built that out, and I think it’s really helpful, too. Again, I just want to troubleshoot and see where the gaps are. Where are my blind spots? Again, give people an education they can actually act on. Brendan Hufford: I could have put all that 30 days of emails into an epic 6,000-word blog post. Who’s going to sit down and read a 6,000-word? I should, for SEO purposes, but who’s going to read the post, and then who’s going to take action on it? This is better for people. That’s what I care about the most. I want to share success stories and case studies and [inaudible 00:20:18], not just, look at all the traffic my blog post gets. You know what I mean? Chris Badgett: At the end of the 30 days, people have a home page or a piece of content that’s really well architected from an SEO perspective and you get the knowledge of how SEO works, which is just going to help you more going down the road, right? Brendan Hufford: Yeah, absolutely. Another thing that is really important is they also have a piece of content that not just is architected for SEO, because that makes people header tags and whatever else. It’s not, we talk about that briefly, but that’s not really what helps you rank. What’s going to help you rank is matching the intent of the search. Helping people understand, you have to go topical research, not just keyword research. The best content ranks for thousands of long tail keywords. It’s not really about keywords, it’s about owning a topic, and then realizing what level of awareness that topic is at. This is another thing I learned from Joel Klettke, but it comes from a book called Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. It’s a copywriting thing about levels of awareness, but it actually is way better, just frankly, for SEO. Brendan Hufford: What he talks about there is there’s these four levels. There’s problem aware, solution aware, product aware and what’s called most aware. Somebody who’s problem aware would be, I’m googling back pain. I know I have a problem, but I don’t know what kind of solutions are out there. You’re going to try to rank for back pain and then in the article, they need to know that a solution like yours exists. Whatever we’re offering to solve that, we need to introduce that in the article. The only thing you need to do in that article is empathize with them. Show them you get that they’re in pain. Show them you understand the nuances of it all, and then introduce your solution. Once they’re solution aware, so phase two, if we think of this like an inverted triangle, phase two is, they know a solution like yours exists. Brendan Hufford: Let’s say we have a website about yoga for back pain or something like that. They know a solution like yours exists. Now they need to know exactly how. They’re solution aware, exactly how this yoga course or this whatever is going to solve their back pain. We have to show them in this article exactly how that works. Now, third level deep, now they’re product aware. They know about yoga for back pain. They know how our solution is going to solve their pain. Now they’re just trying to decide, is this the best one for me? I believe that yoga can make my back feel better, but I don’t know if your online course is the best one for me. We have to put together a case study and prove to them that we’re the best option. Then once they’re most aware, we’re talking about a sales page or a landing page. They know the solution is best for them. They just need to know, how much does it cost? How do I get this thing? Brendan Hufford: Once you realize that your content needs to fit at this four levels and some keywords are problem aware. Some even keywords and topics are problem aware. Some topics and keywords are solut