The Essential Pieces to Build & Launch a Successful Online Course - Thinkific's Greg Smith
What's the transformation or the change in someone's life? I WANNA give them as part of this course. That's what people are signing up. Believe that the opposite of depression it's not happiness. Its purpose believe that every single person has something unique to contribute to the world. And that's why I wanted to create a show called. Don't keep your day job. Don't keep your day job this about figuring out what it is you were your to do in this world that only you can do to make the world whole more beautiful to stop selling yourself short. Stop sitting it out to figure out how to take this thing love whether it's art or music for screen writing or dance baking. How you need this the Rav into a life that you get to contribute you get to do what you love full-time because it's not just about business it's about contribution it's about meaning that is what we seek. That is what we truly want. And you absolutely are here to serve a world and I want to help out. Just how much value have inside of you every single week. We're going be talking to people who have something to add to help you get out of your own way to help you be more successful to help the truth expression of you. My name is Cathy. Heller I'm so glad that you're here. Let's dive in thanks to purple for supporting. Don't keep your day job. Purple is an evolutionary mattress with its own patented technology go TO PURPLE DOT COM SLASH DREAM. Job Can use. Promo Code Dream Job for a limited time. Get One hundred fifty dollars off and April mattress or a fifteen hundred dollars or more. Hey Guys Kathy. Welcome back to episode of. Don't keep your day job. I was feeling a little sick this weekend and I gave myself permission to watch a movie and I chose an old movie. I hadn't seen in a while and I love it Jerry Maguire. Oh my God. Cameron grow incredible the writing the acting the music. That's the way it's GonNa be little darling will go ride in the horses. You're probably like what is that. Yeah that's a song by Rickie Lee Jones. That's in that movie. That was great and then I watched rocket man. I hadn't seen it. That was sad. Oh my God Elton John. I didn't know what he had been while but I love that scene or they recreate the video. I still stand in John then evident. The lack of news is really good. Wow what an incredible message so much hope to you. Know he's been sober now. Twenty eight years anyway. So did that and I also had a really conversation with my friend Laura Bell Gray because I was feeling really anxious and all worked up. I was like no. We gotta move thinking about moving. And she's like. Why do you have to move? Why do you have to leave? La Now telling her the reasons why and she's like Kath so much of this is not even real like all these things you're saying. Why would you leave for that reason or that reason and you guys I realize that sometimes our deepest oldest fears can be so sneaky and signposted. Yesterday on Instagram. She realized none of it was real and set yourself free and so I just invite you not to make decisions from a place of lack or fear but to always make decisions from a place of what lights you up. What makes you feel the most expansive your enthusiasm because it doesn't lead you astray. You know I was talking to Jason Mraz last week. I can't wait to air that episode. He's he's such a gem and he was saying the least practical thing you can do is do the things that you don't like right. The most practical thing you can do is do the things that make you feel like you're in a state of joy and it's so simple but it's so true. I'm excited about today's episode. Because a few years ago I gave myself permission even though I was really scared and I started my first online course and it was for songwriters. I was teaching songwriters how to break into the business of licensing their music to film and TV and that was the first endeavor that took me on to make seven figures and as a songwriter had been making a decent living three to four hundred thousand dollars a year but once I started teaching songwriters how to do what I was doing. Everything changed and then it was only after that that. I started a podcast and now I've gone on to teach so many other programs from podcasting courses now. I HAVE MY AMAZING COACHING PROGRAMS. As well which are sort of like high touch programs not so much courses but this version of course for sure and so today we have on someone who is really one of the most genius people in the world at helping people create their own courses. He's awesome his name is Greg Smith. And he's the CO founder of thinking. It's an amazing platform that entrepreneurs create market sell and deliver their own online courses. It's actually the platform that I use and I've used so many others and I'm telling you this is heads and shoulders above everything else. They have over. Forty thousand course creators. Over thirty million courses have been taken over. Three hundred million dollars have been earned through just this platform. It's pretty crazy but it really goes to show you how powerful Online Teaching Online Courses Online coaching programs. How much that can really generate in your business. And like I said we use them for everything and they did not pay me to say any of this. They're not sponsoring this. I just think that they're the best thing ever. I WanNa give them some love because their services incredible they go above and beyond the teaching tools that they have just our second to none and the customer service is amazing. And if any of your considering it right now is not a bad time to start utilizing your knowledge and and possibly that passion for helping people and turning that into an online program. Think about it. You don't have to rely on physical location to help other people to get results and it can become really solid revenue and allows you to be your own boss and create something. That's right in your own hands. He could do it over zoom and maybe it's the thing I mean for me it opened the gateway to so many other things I don't I'd ever have started a podcast. Had I not started the course I you just follow the Whisper. See where it leads. Greg has a ton of tactical tips to share in this conversation. You're definitely GONNA WANNA take some without further ado. Please welcome the Amazing Greg Smith Greg. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you copy. It's a pleasure to be here. I'm so happy to have you and we've been using fake and it's so great and for those of you who don't know what if again and you don't know who Greg Is. We're going to get into that right now. So why don't you tell us a little bit about where this all began for? Sure so I was going to law school and I started teaching and tutoring on the side to help cover tuition and pay off some of my student loans and so initially it was just you know five or ten people in a classroom for the weekend teaching them how to take the sat exam and then I was also doing some one on one tutoring and I just kept finding that every like I think so many of us where People WanNa pick our brain or We help them with things. Or we have a skill or a passion or knowledge or expertise. We want to share Everyone would come to me. And their first few hours of conversations or questions were always the same. Because they're all starting from very similar place so I put together a blog just to help them and put it out in the world ears all the stuff I always get asked and eventually that went turned into an online course and I was really lucky. My my roommate and brother. is a software developer or at the time remain Still brother use the software developer. So we we built it together so I built the course content and then he built the software to handle it but even having developer in house it was pretty painful to build it all and so that was sort of the first clue that there was something here where we could do a better job and make this easier for people. I mean we looked everywhere. I wanted something off the shelf software. That could just make it really easy to build my course put it on what I wanted. I wanted on my site with my brand. My course basically build my own business and then go and deliver these courses to people and couldn't find anything so we built our own and then pretty quickly that became quite successful to huge impact in a lot of students lives but the really cool thing is we started seeing other people reaching out to us saying. Hey can you build our course help us? Create solid course. That's how we started That was kind of the impetus behind building. Think if it was to help solve that problem for other people as well. And what year was that The course was up in two thousand five two thousand six. When I was in law school there was a lot of inbound infants from people looking to build their own stuff but we didn't actually get around to starting it until two thousand twelve so I went on to finish law school practiced as a lawyer And then eventually two thousand twelve. We started thinking. Gosh so explain to people who don't know how would you explain. What if it does right so It that problem that I had. Which is it makes it really easy for you to create your own course or courses or membership site where you can take your skill or knowledge or passion whether it's in you know a hobby or fitness or business or or any area where you have some some skill or expertise you WANNA share with people and then build a business around it or add it to your existing business we more and more. We see people even adding courses to their existing businesses but to get it up and running Easily where you don't have to be a software developer. You don't have to know when you can just self-serve jumping set it all up really quickly. We've got a whole team to help you here to get stuck on anything and then get it up and going and get it out there and build a business around teaching people what you love. Yeah it's so cool and it's just amazing. How like you're you don't even know at the time what you're really creating. What you were really creating eventually was this unbelievable rocket ship that helps other people. Teach the things that they have knowledge around. Let's talk about what that magic is because often we think oh. I need to know the fifteen stairs before I could even begin to take the first step and look what happened there. Yeah you're right. It's interesting as I certainly didn't look that far ahead early days. I mean creating the chorus it was. Let's just grab a little camera and start shooting some video in my living room. You know at the time. I didn't have a camera on my cellphone like we all do now but I still I see people now just picking up their cell phone and starting to shoot the course on that. I mean. Obviously you can. You can do more than that but I just got a camera. My living room started shooting videos teaching people what I wanted in fact even before that I was really just doing voice over powerpoint slides and then using mat to actually build out the course so starting with the tools I had on hand and going with it and building something out now we make a lot of that stuff a lot easier for people but but those days it was go buy a camera tripod shoot against my living room wall and what some voice over powerpoint slides and then the website around it and I actually think that that is. We're all the juices because to me any kind of sale any kind of learning any kind of connection. It's intimacy right so it's it's about creating real value and the real value is really. What's coming from you you know? And how you're creating that kind of back and forth you know communication and and your students really. It's not really about how fancy the video is And so I think that that's amazing. Though that you went ahead and created something and what I've also learned in my own journey. Is that for everything you do? There will be a line of people around the block. Who WanNa to know how you do what you do. And that's what's really fascinating and that's what I think makes it so that I think there's so many of us who have courses inside of us because if you're a potter if you're a candle maker if you are good at organizing homes for everything you do. There are people who WanNa know how you do it. So how do you explain what that was like for you that journey? Yeah it was I mean the the lawyer thing was I loved it. It was a ton of fun but then I saw this course starting eventually. The course was that it was always a side project. It was a hobby at work on it sort of a little bit of time on the weekend or after work or if I was on vacation and the chorus actually started to generate more revenue than my practice as a lawyer and I was working for one of the largest law firms. Doing you know. Ipo's and securities and capital markets law raising millions or billions of dollars for companies. But the course was doing more so that was sort of that first sign of wow there really is something here and then when everyone else started calling and saying or a bunch of other people calling and saying we want to do the same thing you're doing how did you do it. We actually started trying to do this for them. In a very Service oriented way. Like I'd go to someone's office and we'd film them and then I would edit the we'd put it into a call. That's a lie. I wouldn't even get on the phone for them and sell the course to company e places that I thought might WanNa buy their course so we were really just bootstrapping and and really Kinda scrappy and do whatever it takes to kind of make this happen and tested out and it was. We were a few years really before we got to the point of we should really go back to the original idea and kind of build a really simple to use thing that anyone can just jump in and do it themselves. Easily amazing well. Let's talk about that a little bit when you're talking to people about courses and you've gotten to see so many the staff that I've seen thank you. Fiqh are that you've had over forty thousand course creators on the platform with thirty million courses taken. I mean even one percent of that is is a lot right. That's a lot of success. So what do you think from where you sit? What do you see that makes course successful? It's interesting that often people think what topics are successful. And I know you know. That's not because you mentioned all these different areas of from everything from pottery through. I mean there's someone who's doing amazingly well teaching Hula hooping hearing that. Oh my God yeah like like a team and traveling the world and teaching Hula hooping. It's it's wild. Yeah so it really can be that any area of passion or interest that you have and like you said if there's something that you do well other people WanNa know how you do it so the topic can be all over the place. I think where people do really well is actually when they care a lot about the students and the learners and the results because you can throw thousands or millions into advertising and marketing but if you're not delivering a really amazing product and results for people. It tends to falter than example. I love to use his Netflix. I mean they spent two point nine billion on marketing last year. And you can do amazing things with that. But they spent fifteen billion on content. Because they know it's the delivery of degrade experience after you get that new customer that actually builds the whole business and makes it sustainable and and creates and way the Internet works now with testimonials and referrals. And is if you don't deliver that amazing value you don't really have a scalable business but do it's amazing how it can really take off. I love that you're saying that. And it's such a great example and Net flicks. So let's talk about. How do we do that? What have you seen that makes for a great user experience? What are the things that the excellent course creators are doing to make sure that their students walk? There is one of the first things I see. I'd say Sir there's four or five things I see people doing. The first one is really doing an amazing job of welcoming people in so once. That customer makes a choice to work with you. Whether it's you know signing up for something year giving away for free especially the transition point when they've put any money to work with you jumping on that opportunity because you really have this really small window of time where you can make an amazing first impression before someone pays. It's kind of considered marketing. And there's a bit of a question mark on trust there and but in those few moments after someone a few hours few days after someone puts their credit card down. There's this real opportunity to create an amazing first impression. So PC people even people teaching thousands of students where they're calling up most if not all of their students in that first day or that first week after they've murdered purchase and it might just be two or three minute phone call Or a quick video they send them But they're really making it an amazing. Welcome experience to say you appreciate. You took a chance on me. And you're GonNa work with me And it can also be a great way of learning because you can ask them. Hey why did you choose me all the people out there? Or what resonated with you and that'll help you refine and improve your program and your marketing. That's excellent and such a good point. It's like right. After people put their credit card down a lot of times like you said I mean you can just see this. So intuitively people spend all this energy on the launch the marketing now people are in and it's like crickets right and that's when people start to have buyer's remorse it's like oh where is everyone now. Oh now there's all these modules had to get through it. What is that second module even mean? Where's the homework now? I feel like I'm Outta here so a lot of times when people don't really welcome their class winds up happening is people want refunds right. But if you're if you're right there you know sorta like welcoming someone into your home reading them at the door making them feel like you care. You know you're happy they've arrived and you're GonNa make sure that they feel comfortable. Take off your glasses of wine. So what else? He said there were four or five things. What are a few of those other things? Yeah and I love. You said buyer's remorse because I think it's about turning it into buyers joy but the next thing I see is that that on boarding or giving them clarity so a lot of people across any demographic when they WANNA learn something. They're going to Google Youtube search engine. They're going to look. But when you do that you're in what's called sort of exploratory unguided learning and that's not as effective as having spirit animal or coach to guide you along and show the journey so. I like to say you know. Be What they signed up for. They didn't pay you to give an exploratory. Learning thing of you know. Here's a bunch of things learn at your leisure wherever you want and you know hunting pack and figure out what you want. Give them some guidance. So tell them where to go. I let them know what the end result is going to be. And how you're going to get them there and then start them on the path one step at a time and a lot of really good ways you can do it but the easiest is just saying. Here's where we're going to be going and here's where you need to start and so I find that's a really important thing and it can be as simple as sending them an email saying. Here's where I'm going to take you. This is what we've promised in our marketing and this is the transformation we're GONNA create. Step one start here step to then you're going to go here and just show them the first couple of steps in that journey and that makes feel a lot safer to pass. They made this purchase or they joined your your program and you're going to guide them there. Yeah I love that makes so much sense like it's simple but it's important but it also means that of course creator. You know what those things are. Take some time. Put some thought into it and say like if you're going from. A to B to see this. This is what we're doing and and that. I think and I WANNA ask you this as I'm GonNa put a pin in it but I wanna I wanNA come back to this because I think a lot of people then get overwhelmed like well. How can I be of course crater? Then I'm not a perfect course maker and I don't know what those steps aren't I think. Sometimes we over complicate the something super simple. Do you agree. Yes definitely yeah in fact when I do this what I start with is I just I take one piece of paper and I limit myself to one and I right at the top. What's the transformation or change in? Someone's life I wanNA give them as part of this course because that's what people are signing up for. They're not sending up to watch a bunch of videos or take your program. They're signing up for the change in their life promotion or weight loss or a new skill or ability or hobby. And then I just right. What steps did they need to go through on the piece of paper and I might break it down to a couple sub steps and that's it becomes sort of the basis of my teaching curriculum. That's really it I think so often. We don't realize that what people are buying is not a process. They're buying a result and so people will be like well. You know the launch didn't work. I said what did you do. Why told people you know. Sign up for this program. I'm gonNA teach you Algebra. I'm GonNa teach you addition of an it's hugh subtraction calculus but. What's the result? Oh well the result was. I walked up to be able to budget. I want them to have more freedom. They can take more trips because they can have a way of making their money work for them. It's like well then. Don't tell me in the process. Remain like just tell me what the result is. I think that people don't get that and what you just said is people are buying transformation and it can be very simple right like I'm GonNa you're gonNA. You'll be able to knit sweater for your daughter or something like that out of even better simpler the better. Yeah so going back to your last and then we have a lot more fun things to discuss but so we talked about. How important is to welcome people? We talked about how important it is. Just give them a sense. That here's where they're add. Here's where they're headed. What else is important? Another big one. I'm finding more and more is community is having some kind of community around your course or membership or brand and so can be symbols a facebook group we have communities now and so people can do it there but some way of welcoming people into your tribe of people who are participating and learning together and it can be a huge group of twenty thousand people or it could be a tiny group of two or three in fact I see people do both if they have a say a twenty thousand facebook group than they'll create many groups within that say. Here's your accountability buddies that you're going to work together but bringing people into some kind of community yet lead you that. I think that that's so much of what this is all about in. You just had accountability. But as we do we do a lot of stuff like that and we sort of take it to the next level we have different coaches that are assigned in our program to different people as well. I think the accountability and that peer pressure could be a positive pressure where people are just there to hold space and support you and keep you accountable and the studies show that if you're kept accountable you're so much more likely or ninety five percent more likely actually to get a result. You have accountability. Yeah it's very powerful. Yeah is there anything else you wanted to say about that before we move on you already given us a lot of what what you think makes a course work while the other two really cool things. I see just really quickly as is. I mean making sure that you're delivering the results that you promise are trying to get people. They're doing everything can To get those results. Because that's like I said really well at drives the whole virtuous circle here and then the last one is that is. I'm seeing a little more now. Not Enough of but I think it's super cool and it goes to that community pieces creating opportunity or space for your successful students or alumni or even people who are partway through to teach others and kind of become your ambassadors within your community to go and help and Sharon coach and train and teach others in that it them because they get to develop mastery what they've just learned from you but of course it benefits you and the whole community because now you've got this team of ambassadors who were out there Helping so it just creates value for everyone. I love what you're saying it it. It's so good and it's so true. I mean everything comes down to word of mouth everything so I love how there was such a through line in what you just said about. Please please invest in getting people the result because that ultimately is what's GonNa sell it for you the next time and you want people to just keep building and sharing upon what you're doing and then you really don't have to sell anything anymore. It's being sold for you. Everyone's like oh I did this and I got this result. Great you should do. It just makes sense. So let's go to the next thing. I feel like a lot of people listening right now. We're going to get into their head and they're gonNA get overwhelmed and say well. This all sounds pretty amazing. It sounds like Kathy. You know has made millions of dollars from courses and Greg's made tens and tens of millions of dollars of courses but I'm not like them and I don't know how to create a course and this feels like way out there and away out of reach and you were really kind before and said it could be really simple like is the result. Just helping. Someone did a sweater. I don't think that we think that whatever we know is enough. I think that we are convinced that in order for me to teach something I have to be the absolute best expert in the world. What are some examples? Maybe you could give of course creators that you've seen that have done really well who they're not the Dalai Lama. They're not the Messiah the very best person in an. How can you help us understand? That imposter syndrome is really holding us back. When there is also argued that we can share your. I love that. That topic to and You know just to clarify to on on talking. Some of those numbers is and how big this opportunity is is. Were I think a platform? We were serving a lot of course creators. But we're tiny piece of the market. I think we'll do. We'll see about three hundred to four hundred million dollars in courses sold through a platform this year but that number is doubling year-over-year so the the opportunity and the size of the market is amazing. And we're just a tiny piece of like I couldn't even say we own a percentage of the you're learning space. It's such a huge industry. So there's so much there for people and there are so many people flooding online that you're right you don't have to be the the preeminent expert in your field to go in and create a course and be successful with it but more importantly you don't have to be that amazing expert to add value right. In fact a lot of people are looking to learn from someone. I look for this and business. I'm not looking for to learn from the CEO who's twenty years ahead of me and hundred billion trillion dollar company. I'm looking to learn from the one who's a year or two ahead exactly is the billion dollar company which is sort of a next step. It's just a little bit ahead of us and so you really can jump in with the kind of things that people want to pick your brain over a coffee about say. Hey you're really good at this. I want to learn from you on this. So icy people in in all sorts of areas and again we talked about sort of those important steps that I see in in. Really great course creators. You don't need to do all those things You definitely not to do any or all of them. When you're getting started I think carrying about your customer and getting results is important. But there's no specific set of steps that you absolutely have to follow in order to be successful like. I said I see a lot of people that hula-hoop that was Deanne love. I think from HOOP LOVERS IN AUSTRALIA. And she literally just had her iphone in a park and was shooting herself hooping but that's how she got started and now she has a team and she's growing it I saw recently a Grad student who came out as a physical therapist just getting started her career launchers course and does one hundred and twenty thousand dollars in her first week of sales. So we're seeing all of these little stories of people who weren't confident that they were going to do as well as they did tried. It definitely didn't do everything perfect. The first time didn't have a super well produced course but got it out there. Got It in front of people and got great results out of it. So not every launch is like that my personal course. We put it up. I built the thing in thirty days because my brother gave me a deadline. He's like I know you're working hard but you've got thirty days before we launch this. We sold it for twenty nine dollars and I think we had ten sales in our first month so it was. You know less than three hundred dollars but it was ten sales. It was ten students saying. Thank you for the help and it was an indication that there was something there now. That course does maybe ten grand a month. But it's full autopilot. I haven't touched it in eight years. Yes so the opportunities are everywhere in the space to to jump on the. There's one I was talking to her. Recently Tiffany Alley Shea and she was working at a daycare. She had a lot of the parents coming in. I think in tough financial situations asking her for money. She said like. I can't give you money but I can give you advice on how to save and Budget and plan. And so she started just teaching the parents at the daycare and then eventually turn that into an online program and she was the one I was referring to earlier. Who has twenty thousand people in her community? Who have bought her programs are part of our community. She has these you know. Peer Mentor Groups Cam. But she's helped over twenty thousand families to better their financial situation and of course she's wildly successful as a business owner now because of that as well and has gone from being daycare. Worker to running your own online empire But she's also helping tens of thousands of these families to better budget plan for their future so pretty amazing story. 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I did think to myself who the heck am I to do this? There's got that imposter syndrome or you're thinking yeah the one to go and teach everyone that. I'm doing something with it but why me to teach everyone. Yeah and I I owned it for for a while actually because I thought oh other songwriters who are who are ahead of me are going to think. Why is she doing that okay? You know I'm the one who's you know I'm on tour? I'm like yeah but Taylor. Swift is in teaching this class and Okay so all teach it and you know we've had hundreds of students their songs have been on. Tv Grey's anatomy and commercials like McDonald's and eighty thousand dollars for an ad. I mean thank God thank God I pushed forward. Let's just go to one more piece of this when people tell me. I'm going to start an online course. I'm like awesome. That's so cool. I'm so glad that you're getting with the Times. That's so great. And then they tell me so. I'm just GONNA put it out there and I said Whoa wait a minute. You know if you build it. They don't come like you've gotta get like there's a few things that have to happen before you ever say. Hey here's a button to buy something. So can you help us walk through? What are those things that actually start to make a runway? So that when you go to offer your course there's some trust your some established relationship with some of the things that we should do ahead of time. Well I think there are so many different ways to approach this. You know. I've seen people where they go all out on the big law trade and they and that's often the people who've done it before they know how to do it but I have seen people where they put something together. They share it. They get a few people in they start to deliver results. And it's sort of a slow ongoing kind of virtuous cycle of I get results. You know they don't have one hundred thousand dollar launch in their first week or anything but they're getting out there and they're they're getting it in front and they're getting people they're getting results. So one way is to build the audience. I and start sharing content. That woman I referred to the physical therapist. She spent a year leading up to that week on just posting a couple of times a day on instagram. So it wasn't a a full-time thing by any stretch. But she was building an audience on Instagram. And she started from there. Then directing those people too. I believe a really really early. She didn't even have an email list a few weeks before her launch but she started building that list pretty quickly by directing people to some free resource capturing their email and then she started to build this small email list that she could actually launch to the other. Really cool thing. She did that. I see work well with a lot of people is to enlist the help of partners so finding others in your space figuring out who in your industry or space at your potential customers or students are following and trying to partner with them to see if they'd like to share it with their audience. That can be an amazing way to get. These things built quickly. But the other cool way I see people getting started is is sort of the the lean startup approach or pre-selling effectively or getting people to commit to sign up for your program. Well it's really still in its Beta phase. Where you're you're really testing and you're saying you get to be a part of the creation of this program and I think people are more and more accepting of that idea in fact there's some studies that show the value something more if they're part of the creation of it not even having a finished product than just saying. Would you like to sign up and pay? Here's what I'm GONNA teach you. Here's the transformation of the result. Get for you but you'll be part of the journey getting there so I've got the base curriculum here and I've got that first lesson and then we're going to do live webinars or we're going to hop on a group coaching call. But I'll get you there and help you get there but you're going to help me by giving me feedback along the way and making helping me make it better and that way you get to build it well actually generating some revenue and learn from people. Yeah I love that and I really want to pull apart what you're saying in in two sections because there's one place where you're not ready for a multi six-figure launch. Yeah you need to validate the course right. So there's two chunks. There's are you in the place where you've already validated the course. And now you know that if you're GONNA put this out there you don't want to just put it out there. You WanNa make sure that a lot of people by which means. There's things that you're going to do to create that runway but if you haven't yet validated this course if you haven't gotten results for one two three seven people yet then what you're saying is essential you can't you can't decide that you're going to now start doing all of this whatever. Your marketing strategy is when you. You have no clue if it's going to work for eight people right so what I I did. Just to make it Just give my own example. The very first thing I ever did when I was going to launch my six year. Songwriting class which is what it was called. Still call that is I had one songwriter. Come over to my house as a bring me a starbucks in exchange for starbucks. I'm going to teach you everything I know about writing a grown. Tv She's like. Oh thank God yes right. She comes over. I sit with her and then I I. I started sitting with a few more songwriters than they loved it and then I had ten people come over one afternoon on a Sunday and they came to my living room. I taught like a three hour workshop. I Times I then rented a theater nearby with fifty seats. It costs me about one hundred fifty bucks at the theater and that was a Tuesday morning when the theater was not using their theater. And I fifty songwriters come right And it just kind of grew from there until finally I was like I think I'm ready to put this out online. But that validation process was so great for me because at the end of every classes at what else did I not teach that you would have wanted to know. I never even told me that so I was sort of building the class by showing up in front of my people and saying what else what else. What and it's funny. You don't hear those stories. We hear about the launches but there's always work behind the scenes leading up to it to validate test. I mean even with my l. set course. I've been teaching in a classroom for a year before I went and put the course together and I've been tutoring people so I had that one one of what else. What are you struggling with? What else can I help with? And I think that it doesn't need to take a year but it can be very very simple and and really I think the core component which identifying with the starbucks and then the theater is are you willing to invest in this and it can be financial. I think that's the best way to really vowed if they're willing to put money down for you to teach them something. That's the best kind of positive reinforcement feedback you can get out but are you willing to invest your time effort and money in learning this from me and if you've got a few people saying yes to that that's usually a strong indication that there's something there and keep in mind. I was only getting often three to ten people to be in a classroom despite a ridiculous amount of marketing for my Elsa thing or a few people to do one on one tutoring but I knew when I went online one or two people in my community could mean thousands around the world so I sent I was just GonNa say that and so I love that you also just said it doesn't have to take a year it really doesn't like once. I met with a few people one on one a few weeks later. I was like you know what I'm going to invite people over. I think it could fit ten people in my old living on my old house so we did that it worked. I did that a second time and then I was like. Oh this work you know. I'm just going to rent this theater so in a matter of months Greg like. I had gone from a few people at my dining room table to a little workshop in my living room to a theater and then I said I think I'm GonNa put this out online and what you just said is exactly right. I then went into a completely cold audience of the world right. The world of humans who had identified themselves as songwriters which has many so with that. I was now ready and I wanted to do a big launch. I had validated it. We had had a couple of hundred people come through the theater and my house and they liked it and I had like kind of worked out what I was teaching or so I thought now it's so much more advanced than where it was but I was ready and so I thought okay. How am I going to do a big launch? And even that you know how long it took eight weeks. This is what I did. I had zero people on an email list zero. My baby was due in September. It was June. I said okay. I've got this summer to launch a class. So what I'm GonNa do is three simple things I said. I'm to create one Freebie one piece of content. That songwriters would would go. That's interesting right. That would be like a really good building block towards the course so I created a thing it was like turn remember. It was like the ten things you need to know to license. Your Music Film and TV was was cool. I like typed it on a word doc. Basically I set up my very first lead page which I was like. It was painstaking at first. Now it's so easy and you can learn it in a second but I didn't know what I was doing but I did. That and basically people could download this ten thing that you do for licensing music in exchange for their email address so I ran a facebook ad knowing nothing about baseball guys. I think I've spent fifty bucks and one thousand and forty people downloaded that thing so that worked and then after six weeks I sent those one thousand forty people an email saying that I was GonNa do a Class A webinar. I didn't know what I was doing. I was terrified. I had never used software before and I was. I was now eight months pregnant so I look cool at all. I love the additional time line of the pregnancy and birth. This whole thing that was like Schmidt saying I was like so hot like the summer. I'm I'm pregnant and I didn't have slides because I didn't know how to make them. It was just me talking to a camera and a few hundred people show up and at the end. I said I didn't have any smooth sales technique no slides instead. I'm going to offer my class and I just went out there on a limo. It's nine ninety. Seven thousand bucks. Can you believe that but I said it was going to be a year. That would co teach them for a year and I had created some classes where I was just. It was just audio like me just talking basically with nothing else no videos just me talking but I said that I would show up in a facebook. Group live for them. That was really. I guess the whole thing I was telling and I had the cart open for three weeks. I never do that now. I do everything so differently. Now but by the end of the three weeks one hundred forty seven people signed up. Wow that's amazing but now if I do a launch like the last launch we did in January for that same class we made one point two million dollars and we do it a little differently now souped up version the Tesla version. But you don't want to start there right. I couldn't. You can only be where you are no breakdown for me. What did I say? How can people understand? Because I'm sure you have a much more fancy way of explaining what I said. I mean we. We teach people as they join thinking of it. We've got all sorts of ways of teaching and coaching and guiding them to do different ways of either launching or doing all. My personal stuff has always actually been evergreen where I've never really done the big. Here's the launch closed the cart. I've actually just put it out there. Evergreen where it's all the time and I think it's it's different things for different industries and markets minds evergreen because people are writing the all set four times a year. So I guess I could do for launches but it's kind of thing when if someone wants to study for the sat tonight and Mike Cart is an opening for two weeks. They're just going to buy a competitor course because they're like. I've got this weekend book to study so I'm buying the course so depends different animal. Yeah definitely and I do think that the difference there is launches work really well where there's sort of a motivational component like fitness health weight. Loss that kind of thing is like a really great one where we all need sort of like a kick in the pants to do it so having that cart closer that deadline or that launch really helps get a whole bunch of people on board to to sign up for something whereas I think maybe making a sourdot. You've got a free Saturday afternoon. You Go Online. You find this hour coast. You WanNa buy it now. Because you're like I WANNA makes our to- tonight so sometimes it lends itself better to that evergreen thing but I think the key things that I'm taking away from what you're sharing is you really started with. Wanting to help people. In values he started with. Okay what can I give away for free here? That's really going to help people and You're running an ad but not just an ad to sell something. You're running an outright out of the gate of what can I give people that I can show them value? Start to build trust so you started with building trust. He started with building trust in giving them that checklist that they can get for free. Then your next invitation to continue to build trust is that Webinar and and it's funny because you say oh it wasn't super flashy and there were no slides but I actually think in a of ways that builds more trust and we even see more now with like instagram. Live like people with their instagram stories. And stuff is when. It's shot from a shaky phone. You know without super professional edited stuff. It's far more authentic and people trust that more so now they see you talking to cameron saying. Hey I I've done this I'm real. This isn't super polished. But I know what I'm talking about you've built a ton of trust and so then when you throw it out there. How about nine ninety seven for a year? Everybody wants to work with you so I think starting that way is you can always Polish it up and clean and test an iterative later but just starting of what can I give someone that will help them. And they'll see value right out of the gate. Usually some sort of free thing. It could be a free mini course. A free download make sure they get value. And that's something that's actually going to deliver value. Which usually means to? It shouldn't be something that's going to take them months to action. You want something. They can action really quickly and then from there continue to talk to them and build trust and work towards whether it's the evergreen sale or that big launch that's And I I love the era continuing to say it's not about how slick it is. It's about the realness of it and people can feel that and you could feel that those of you listening you know you know the difference so trust that trust that people they really want something that's honest and that matters more than all the bells and whistles and what I do now is like a five day challenge and it's basically like five webinars and really it's ten because there's like five days of the challenge and then the cart opens and then I come back for another five days and it's again no slides no scripts not for me for this girl. So happening is people go just spent ten days with this person and I really have a sense of who she is and remember. That sales is intimacy meant so if you can create intimacy and people go you know. I I know her now and I like her and I trust her and I'm feeling like whatever I've gotten out of this last few days is more than I expected and imagine where I would be if I stuck it out for a little bit longer. So it's really I mean. We scratched the surface today. But it really is a huge opportunity and when I think about the thing that does the best is my courses hands down so you got to look at courses you guys everyone of the House of course inside of you. It's what got me to quit my job as a lawyer and which I loved but got me into giving me the freedom to do whatever I wanted and so I'm sold okay. I'm sold to okay. Great so is there anything that you WANNA leave us with today. Yeah you know I just thinking about this and maybe going deeper on some of these topics. I'll put a few a few resources together to help people out who are thinking of getting started on courses and we can just look at how about a think if dot com slash day job? Does Day job work. Sure Yup so think of DOT com. That's T H I n KFI DOT COM Slash Day job. Great and we can put the link in the show notes as well. Thank you for taking all of this time so one day. I wanted to say it. If you're listening right now. Maybe do what Greg said he did before. Could everybody when you're done listening. Go take a sheet of paper or open a Google doc and like brain dump. What the heck would I teach? And then could you come up with something really simple and then figure out what would be the three steps to teach that maybe there. But it's a great place to start. Thank you for being here and thanks for creating such an awesome tool that my whole team loves thank you thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I Love Greg. I could talk to him about courses all day long. Okay here are the takeaways number. One start with the tools you have on hand. It doesn't need to be flashy does need to be perfect number two when you can deliver value than you have scalable business number three. Welcome your students in. Make an amazing first impression number four. Give clarity guidance. Tell them where to go. First what's the end result and how you're going to get them there. Start THEM ON THE PATH. One step at a time number five take out a piece of paper write down. What is the transformation? I WANNA give number six create community around your course number seven. You don't have to be an amazing expert. People would rather learn from a person who's just a couple steps ahead of them number eight. Just start with. What can I give someone that delivers value and will help them? Get the results when you can give value. That's when it takes off. Thank you guys so much for listening. It means the world to me. I know you have a million things you could be doing. We have so many awesome episodes lineup including the one. I just told you about as a sneak. Peek with Jason Mraz. So make sure you subscribe on Apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen and we are. Still giving away scholarships through the Star Program. If you haven't already done it go ahead. All you have to do is subscribe to the podcast. Go ahead and leave us a review and take a screen shot of the review and send it to us with the subject line star to hello it. Don't keep your day job dot com and then post about the podcast in your instagram or your facebook and tag a friend and say hey. I think you might really enjoy this. Every single month will be choosing to view. And we'll email you and let you know if you win and you'll be getting swag like don't keep your day job. We have these adorable hoodies and mugs. That say made to do this at heart of hero plus get a scholarship to my program. If you feel like this episode or any episode is inspiring you or bringing value to your life. Share it with the Fred. It really means the World S. It doesn't cost anything and you can then enter the star giveaway which might be super valuable for you. I love you guys. 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