Ep. 60 Building a Course While Booked Out With Clients

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Today I want to talk to you about how to launch a course when you’re too busy with your actual business, and work. I hear this a lot and I think I want to finally address it because so many of you have said to me, “I would love to launch a course, I would love to create some passive income, but I’m so busy with client work I can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Alright, so if that’s you, I hope you are listening. And maybe you don’t have a service based business but you still feel the same way. You think I would really love to launch a course but I don’t have time. I think, I have good news and I have bad news, and hopefully it will be more good than bad.

The bad news is that when people tell me this, I think they think they’re unique. I think they think that their life is busier than everybody else’s life, or their agency or their coaching business or whatever is busier than everyone else’s and there’s just really no time left. So the bad news is you’re not special, but that’s actually good because that means there are many, many people who have been in your shoes, who have figured it out, which means you can too.

So the bad news is you’re not special, you’re not unique, you don’t have some weird situation on your hands that no one else has ever faced before. The good news is that means that many people have done it, and have successfully sort of dragged themselves out of this sort of hamster wheel situation, which means you can too.

So I want to talk to you about one of my digital insiders, her name is Esther and she joined insiders like many people do, looking for some passive income. But here’s the thing, a lot of people when they join my mastermind are interested in growing their revenue, and that’s great. She wanted to grow her revenue and change her business model at the same time. Which is, I think a lot of people in the service based business world want to do, they like either coaching or consulting, or they like agency work, and then they don’t all of the sudden because they’re trading time for money and they want to launch a course.

So let me give you a little bit of advice on how she did it. The reason I’m focused on Esther right now is she’s been in the mastermind for two years, and when she came into digital insiders, she started, she was making between 5 and 10,000 dollars a month in her agency. Her agency of course was building agencies. So she would actually be the person who was building courses for influencers, and helping them launch. She did do the marketing as well, and she wanted to get away from that. She felt she wasn’t charging enough, or even if she did charge enough it was just incredibly time consuming.

So the idea was she was going to move to passive income. So at the time Esther did have a course for how to become a virtual assistant, it was called 90 Day VA. And it was making a little bit of money, but she could not fathom how transitioning would work with all the clients. So here’s my first piece of advice, when you decide that you are ready to create a new revenue stream in your business that is not trading time for money, it is going to feel extraordinarily uncomfortable and nerve wracking.

And for Esther this was the case. There was a ton of mindset work that she had to do, I mean, a ton. I knew this was coming because I feel like anybody who is used to trading time for money, especially when they’re in a service based model, they’re used to charging people for delivering tangible assets like funnels, websites, course materials and things like that in exchange for money. So when you transition out of that, for you it probably feels like, gosh, people are going to pay me just for my information? It feels very uncomfortable.

And as I was transitioning out of my agency with my course business, it was very hard for me to make that jump. So I sort of went from one service model to the next service model before I was finally able to make that leap. And I went from done for you services, into coaching done with you services, and then eventually scaled out into courses, because it was a hard leap for me to make because of the mindset. I think a lot of people don’t realize how much mindset work you’re going to have to go through to sort of transition.

Allie Bjork is another one who has been in my mastermind for a couple of years, she was in the same exact boat. She was a done for you service agency, wanted to scale through passive income, she did the same thing I did, where she kind of did that hybrid model where she went from done for you to done with you and then creating courses. But prepare for some mindset thunderstorms when you make this transition.

So one of the excuses that resistance tells us when we’re trying to do this is, “Oh, well I just don’t have time. I’m too busy in client work, and this is a unique situation I’m facing, which is why I haven’t had success yet.” No, the reason why you haven’t actually taken action is because in your mind you don’t yet believe that it’s possible that people would pay you for your information in your head. So you’re making an excuse that you’re unique, and you’re not.

So that’s kind of some tough love, but hopefully helps sorts of jolt you awake. The second thing is you need to be able to create a course that is going ot be something people will buy. So if you are new to the service based model, or you’re new to the online space and you’re just getting your feet wet, the hard part about what I’m about to say is that you can’t rush launching a course if you have no expertise yet. Now the good news is that you don’t have to launch a big course, like Esther did, she launched a $500 program. You could launch something inexpensive like Allie did.

And Allie, the truth of the matter is that Allie was an expert, but she was wanting to start with a low ticket product first, so she decided to launch a content calendar, which by the way, now so many people have imitated her because she did so well with her funnel. Her funnel started with a $27 offer, and she ended up making over, I think she crossed $400,000 in sales just with that funnel, there were a couple other offers in there, obviously her average cart value was a little higher. But she went after something she knew people would buy that wouldn’t require her to have some crazy testimonial.

If you’re going to launch a funnel product, or you’re going to launch a FAcebook ad product, or you’re going to launch something like that, and you haven’t actually gotten results, it’s going to be very, very difficult to sell. So you want to find something that you have results in that people will pay for. And if you’re not ready like Esther was, to build a big course, then go with the smaller one, and you’ll have to pick the right funnel and the right launch strategy and the right campaign strategy and all that kind of stuff. But you can do it either way.

Esther did it with a $500 course on how to become a virtual assistant, and that’s a very typical model when someone builds a service based business, they then teach how they did it, and they have themselves as a case study and it’s an easy documentation. Or you can go the way Allie did, which is find a very specific monetizable result that you can get for somebody, and then sell it at a low ticket price.

Okay, so that’s the second thing. Third, you will have to make yourself a client of your own agency. And you know, obviously it depends on what kind of agency or service based model, but whether you’re a coach or consultant or done for you agency, you will need to pretend that you, building your course, you are a client, which means displacing other things to get it done. Again, even if you don’t have an agency or service based business, displacing other work to create space to build something that’s important, doesn’t feel good. It feels uncomfortable.

And I have the example, we just launched the Offer Cure, Cathy and I, October 1st. And when we got together in July, we decided that we were going to try and have this done by October 1st, and I looked at my calendar and I was like, “This is not going to happen.” But if we didn’t make it happen, it just wouldn’t happen. There would never be that right time. So we had to very uncomfortably try to displace work. And for us that meant hiring people. There was no way it was going to happen if we didn’t hire people and sort of unpack our own schedule.

So for you, you may have to hire people, you may have to say no to clients, you may have to be okay with a dip in revenue, you may have to go into a little bit of debt to do all of this. And if you’re unwilling to do that, if you’re unwilling to hire somebody or take less clients or put some money on a credit card, you know put some supplies on a credit card for a while, or whatever it happens to do to get that revenue stream, then you don’t understand the laws of economics. Because any business that is investing in a new product line, let’s just think about you know, big companies that we all know, Nike, Adidas, Disney, all these companies, whenever they create a new product line, they have to assemble people, they have to assemble capital, they have to assemble time in order to get that out the door. And is it a risk? Uh huh, it’s a total risk because they don’t know if that new game or that new shirt or that new shoe is going to sell. They do the best they can with market research and looking at trends.

And I think sometimes we get a little sloppy because we think, “Oh, well it’s just a course you know, there should be no risk, there should be no capital, there should be no…” and maybe you can build the course yourself and you don’t have to pay someone to build it for you, but you’re sure as heck going to have to pay someone to buy back your time if you’ve got an agency or a coaching business. Every new product line, every new asset that comes into your business that is able to produce revenue is going to cost you in time and in money, it just is.

So switching your mindset around how to do this, and I know what a lot of you are thinking, you’re like, “Okay, that makes sense. I get it but I don’t want to invest time or money or hire people or what have you, because I don’t know if it’s going to sell.” That’s a fair point, we all face that. We all face the fear that what we’re going to put out is going to flop, but there are two things that you have to remember. Number one, do some research. So don’t just, you know, actually try and think through your product before you do it. I would recommend you purchase offer cure if you haven’t yet, already. Because that helps creating, especially digital, offers.

And think through it and then take the gamble. I mean, that’s really the choice that lays before you. And if you’re unwilling to take the gamble, it means that you’re not quite ready, or maybe you know you need to put a little more time in, and sort of energy in, in developing a skill that is monetizable, and that’s okay. So for some of you it is going to be a year of slogging through client work or coaching, or whatever it is that you have to do before you can actually turn it into a course. And a lot of us have done that, and that’s okay.
But if you know that you have an expertise and if you know you want a new product line, the first thing you have to do is stop telling yourself that you’re unique, stop telling yourself that nobody has ever figured out this whole balance between agency and service work and launching a course because lots of people have. Number two, destroy the false belief that a new product line won’t require both time and money, and if it’s not money in relation to building the new thing, it’s definitely going to be money in order to keep the old thing afloat while you build the new thing.

And number three, don’t expect that it’s going to feel comfortable, that everybody who’s building out a new product line feels the pull of, it’s like trying to fit yourself, you know, your business has got a certain amount of work, a certain amount of time, a certain amount of resources, and all the sudden you’re trying to stuff something new in it. It’s going to feel tight, it’s going to feel like, “Oh, maybe I need to create a container for this.” And that’s all normal.

So the good news is that Esther, and now that I’ve come back to Esther, she after two years in the mastermind, not only was able to shut down her service based business, not only was able to launch, you know keep her 90 Day VA program as her primary source of income, but she just this month, celebrated her first 6 figure month. So that going from a $10,000 a month agency, done for you agency, to a hundred thousand dollar a month course business, is the transition that she made.

If you look at someone like Allie, she also has been in the mastermind for two years, she transitioned out of a $10,000 a month service based model, she did coaching as a hybrid because she loves to coach, and she probably will always continue to coach in some capacity, launched a digital product that made her over $400,000 in less than 6 months, and is now doing a coaching/course model hybrid. She just finished her launch and did over $160,000 in revenue, in just that launch.

So two examples, of course myself and lots and lots and lots of other people as well. You can do this, pick the type of course that you can monetize, whether it’s a small specific result skill or something bigger, in terms of how you build your own service based business. Expect it to be uncomfortable, tell yourself that you’re not unique, remember that all new revenue streams that create money will require time and capital both either in the creation of it, or in the leveraging of your time back. That’s all normal, you can do it, I’ve got you. Go get the Offer Cure if you haven’t gotten it yet, and I‘ll talk to you soon.