Episode 096: Show Notes
Lately, we have gotten some questions from our students, audience members and community about how we have evolved in our course creation journey, and so we decided to take you back. Not all the way back, not necessarily to our client days, but at least from the beginning stages of creating our first course all the way through to today. We’ll tell you what has changed and how we have been able to grow and better serve our community.
The purpose behind doing this is to really showcase to you all that you can start small (we did). Nothing has to be perfect, just run with something and run the heck out of it until you add on something else. Dive into this episode if courses are something you’re interested in trying and learn from our mistakes. Keep listening so you can take some of our advice and see some bomb-ass results a year into it applying it.
Our Very First Program
Emylee created the very first program herself. She knew she wanted to get into selling a course while she was trying to step away from photography. It was March of 2015 and she had received a lot of questions from her community regarding her success in her photography business. She nailed down some selling tactics and unique ways of pricing which she felt were relevant and applicable to other photographers and creatives. She wanted to create a course called Pricing for Profit. She had a webinar where she talked about step zero of whatever phase the course was in and got people to sign up for it. She pitched the course at the end and people bought it. Emylee dripped out the content as she created it and found that the people who bought it were not just photographers, they were creatives as a whole. That creative realm was where she met Abbie and they fully tweaked and rebranded the course together. But before then, Emylee had made the course and hosted it on a password protected page on Squarespace. Although they weren’t even together in business at this point, they started co-selling the course and decided to pitch the program to creatives as a whole. They both had their own audiences and they collaborated to market and sell it.
The Sustainability of a Membership Site
When we started The Biz Chic program, we had the intention of creating a membership site. We had a model of creating worksheets and a monthly webinar about a certain topic and people would attend and get all this information and we would just add to it month after month. But we had a problem. With a constant content creation membership site, you have to ask yourself, “Can you turn it off? Can you turn yourself off?”.
Our problem was that we would pick a topic and we would create a webinar. After that, it would be all about a certain topic and we would pick a strategy to teach and it would be inside an hour and a half master class. From there, we continued creating platforms, worksheets, ebooks etc., and we just couldn't stop creating. What ended up happening was that there was too much material, and there was no way we could sustain it. We capped it out at 9 themes/modules and set it as one course. It was a great way to learn things, but also a great way to give us an out. Really think long and hard about whether you can sustain a membership program or not. Whatever you’re thinking about doing, if the systems, software, tools and plugins do not exist to make it work really well, just wait!
Moving Over to Teachable
We were using Squarespace and it just wasn’t working for us anymore. We wanted to create more courses and needed the right platform for it. We reached a certain point where we weren’t doing client work anymore, we were just doing courses full-time and paying $99+ per month to use Teachable made complete sense to us. Not only is the platform a lot more user-friendly, it’s a safer program to use when it comes to credit card payments. The next program we came out with, Becoming An Online Artist, still didn’t go on Teachable. We only started transitioning to Teachable after creating Snap, Style and Sell. We wanted to really help people through Instagram and we had a lot to say about using specific tools and photo techniques, as well as how to use your Instagram account to make money. We transitioned our two original programs, Pricing for Profit and The Biz Chic, over to Teachable and they continue to sell.
Trello for Business
Trello for Business is the best thing we’ve ever done because it was the easiest, fastest and least expensive program we ever created. Up until the last couple of months it has been our most profitable program. It has also required the least amount of marketing. No webinar was held about this program, we literally just told people about it and wrote a few blog posts, and it exploded organically on its own.
Unlike every other program we’ve had, we really decided that instead of making it a premium, big-ticket product, we wanted to make it a no brainer purchase. For us, that meant offering something of crazy insane value for a super reasonable buy-in. Since the day we opened the doors, it’s been $29 and it will always be only $29. We were some of the first people to use a paid product as our first initial touch point. Go buy it and you will learn exactly what kind of value we put out there, how we teach, what we provide and how we can impact your business, all for just $29. People literally call it the gateway drug to TCC. We did it in a way so people would want to talk about it. If your opt-in right now is super juicy, put a price on it and create a different opt-in to give away for free. Don’t be afraid to charge a low amount for your first touch point.
Creating A Free Program
Trello for Business was going super well, but we wanted to do even better. We decided to make a freebie that let people sign up on our course platform so they could see the crazy things we were doing. We went ahead and made a whole course called Your Biz on Autopilot. It’s definitely not as valuable as Trello for Business, but it’s still valuable and it’s $0. We got people to sign up and if they did go buy a course later, they’d already have a profile and would already have gone through all the headaches that might’ve prevented them from purchasing. Besides Trello, Your Biz on Autopilot is our most downloaded program. It gets customers that one step closer to buying one of our other courses. We encourage you to look at your opt-in and look at how you can make it live on the space where you are wanting people to go to buy courses and products.
Selling a Bundle of Courses
Instead of creating another program, we bundled four of our top programs and called it Rock Your Biz. It consisted of Trello for Business, Your Business Horoscope, The Moneymaking Creative and The Follow Through Method. All these go really well hand in hand together and when done in a specific order. It was the first time we tested a bundle where we took students through the program, and we loved it! We loved the small group setting, the accountability and helping people see the progression of the programs. One of our goals for 2017 is not simply to get more students, but to get students to finish our programs so that we can fully understand how they impact their businesses. You don’t want to sell stuff for the sake of selling stuff, you actually want to make an impact with your programs. This led us to create our signature program, The Strategy Academy. We wanted to create a course that was all-encompassing. We touched on a lot of topics that were somewhat covered in our other courses, but the course takes someone really starting out in business all the way through our first two years. That’s a ton of new content that wasn’t covered elsewhere. We wanted to help people with every aspect of their business.
- We’re taking it back and talking about the very first program we ever created. [0:02:50.2]
- Hear us talk about the start of The Biz Chic program as a membership site and the sustainability of it. [0:08:22.0]
- Moving our courses over to Teachable and why it made sense for us. [0:16:56.1]
- Creating our best, most profitable program ever, Trello for Business. [0:23:12.4]
- Why we created a free program, Your Biz on Autopilot, and what it’s done for the rest of our programs. [0:34:08.8]
- Instead of creating another program, we sold a bundle of our four top programs. [0:42:47.1]