Every week, we talk about four things. First, we talk about – how to become a world-class communicator, and how to craft the message that the world needs to hear. The second thing we talk about is – products and services, and how to put them out in front of people powerfully and effectively. The third thing we talk about is – how to get on other people’s stages (OPS) to grow your business. And then the fourth thing that we talk about is – how to build your own stages (OWN).
Today, we are going to hone in on the topic of products and services. Whether you’re just getting started, trying to gain some momentum, or you’re trying to scale up your business, I believe one of the greatest things you can do to go to that next level, is to create a digital course. The amazing thing about digital courses is that you can take your genius, your expertise, and your knowledge on a particular topic and capture it one time. But once it’s created, you can sell that course over and over again.
In 2015, I decided to create my first digital course. I started looking at the numbers and realized that it could be incredibly lucrative because there is very little cost involved. So I went for it. It took me close to a year to get my course created because I put pressure on myself to put everything I knew into this course, and I wanted it to be perfect. Come to find out, I did it all of the wrong way. After a year of preparation, I took it to launch. I didn’t get advice on the best way to do it. I just wanted to get this thing out. So when I finally launched, we ended up getting one sale. And the one sale I did make, ended up getting refunded. That was an opportunity to be very discouraged, but I knew it was a make-it-or-break-it moment. I had to decide if I was going to give up on the whole thing or continue to pursue this. I knew I had made mistakes, but I was determined to make this work because I could only do so much one-on-one coaching. I could only be at so many workshops. So, I went and sought some friends who had done this before and I was able to do it the right way.
Just a few years later, we have tens of thousands of customers and we’ve generated tens of millions of dollars and it all started with digital courses.
As I sought out advice on how to go about releasing a digital course, everywhere I turned, people were talking about Amy Porterfield. Amy is a proven expert in this area of digital courses. She’s truly exceptional and has an amazing story. I had the wonderful privilege of sitting down with Amy this week because I really wanted to learn her secrets and share her expertise with the audience here.
I want to save you from doing what I did. I don’t want you to get inspired and go run out and waste time and energy like I did. We know that a digital course has the potential to greatly impact your business, but I want you to have a roadmap.
If there is anyone to learn from, it’s Amy Porterfield. Amy has sold 50,000 customers and has generated over $85 million from her courses. I think we should pay attention!
Amy calls herself “an ex-corporate girl turned accidental entrepreneur.” While working for Tony Robbins as his Director of Content Development, she was continually learning from phenomenal leaders who were the best of the best. One day, she had her own epiphany moment where she realized she was trading time for dollars, and she was determined to figure out how to break out of that mindset.
A year later, she started her own business.
Digital courses have been the primary part of her remarkable success and I want to share some of Amy’s advice with you today,
Amy’s FIVE easy steps to getting started on your own digital course.
1) Decide What Your Course Will Be About
Amy calls it your 10% edge. A 10% edge means that in some area of your life, you’ve gotten results for yourself or for somebody else – a client, a customer, a family friend – and now you’re willing to teach others how you got those results to others. You don’t need more time, more experience, or more education. You already have it in you. You need to be 10 steps ahead of those you’re going to teach so that you can say, “Hey, come with me. I’ll show you the way.”
You can write about things you’ve learned in your profession.
One of Amy’s students works as an accountant for someone else, but he had the idea to create a course that teaches resellers – like Etsy and eBay, how to do their taxes so they don’t mess them up. He recently hit the million-dollar mark and he started just two years ago!
Every entrepreneur should have a digital course. Grant Cardone has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of education. He started the year off with over $30 million of recurring income just in one of his courses.
Look for the themes and patterns.
There are questions you answer all the time. There is a framework that you teach over and over again. Think about those things you explain like a broken record when you have a bunch of clients. Now take that and make it into a digital course!
You can write about your interests and hobbies.
Don’t limit yourself to professional expertise. Amy has a friend who was a Banker, but she excelled in a certain niche of photography as a hobby. She created a digital course around what she had discovered in her photography pursuits, and she made hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t think that it can’t be you.
Everyone wonders if they are qualified when they step out to create a course. But there are success stories everywhere. Put your mind to it. Get to work. And keep it simple.
2) Decide Who Will Be Your Audience
Who is going to buy your course? Who are you appealing to?
You will need to grow an audience, have social media followers, and an email list. However, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of people. You always start from zero.
Start growing your audience while you create your course.
While you’re working on creating your course, start growing your email list so that when your course is ready, you have people to sell to. But just remember, again, you don’t need a huge email list. Amy suggests that if you can get 500 people on your email list, you’re ready to launch your first course.
3) Get Yourself Committed by Pre-Selling Your Course
One of the big things that gets in the way of starting is that people start to think, “What if I put the time, money, and energy into it and no one buys it?” They go right to the negative, which is very normal when we’re new at something. But Amy is a big fan of pre-selling your course before you make a single video.
Build the outline. Get clear on what this course is all about. Then pre-sell it before you create anything.
If you can get 10 people to buy your course, then that’s 10 people validating the course idea. Now, go back and start creating it.
4) Sell Your Course By Utilizing Webinars
Amy immediately started using webinars when she left her corporate job 14 years ago, and she swears today that they still work better than anything when it comes to selling her digital courses. Here’s why. Webinars give you right to promote. You are offering immense value for free which earns the right to sell. And once people see the value you’ve shown them in your webinar, they WANT to buy your digital course.
5) Find Someone Who’s Had Success
Find someone who has had success in this area and is willing to share their road map. Don’t hunt the entire internet and hope you get it right. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to do this on your own. Imagine if someone were to teach you every step of the way, step by step by step. Stop wandering around and take action! Find your guide, follow success, and get your course done so you can create more freedom in your life.
So, there it is. Tips from one of the best who has ever done digital courses. This conversation with Amy Porterfield was eye-opening to me and I believe it will be transforming for you, if you implement the above.
I encourage you to listen or watch the entire episode of my conversation with Amy and her Backstage advice, linked here on this page.
— Pete Vargas, III