AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I am absolutely thrilled that you’re tuning in today, because today’s show is a fun twist to the normal format. I have a special guest that will be joining me, but the twist is that I’m going to take you behind the scenes with me as I conduct what I call a “course call.” And a course call is where I’m going to talk to my potential ideal-customer avatar and validate a course idea. So, again, a validation course call is an in-depth, real-time conversation that you have with someone that you feel would be a good fit for the digital course you want to create. So you're validating the ideas and the content that have kind of been spinning around in your head, and you're thinking, “This could really work. I'm really excited about it,” and you want to make sure that the person you think you're creating the course for actually will want it and potentially pay for it.
Now, I teach this entire process of course calls and validating your course idea inside of my signature course, Digital Course Academy®️. And I give you the exact questions to ask and how to find the right people to get on calls with, so you make sure that you're talking to the person that really is someone that would potentially buy your digital course.
At the time that this episode goes live, doors to Digital Course Academy®️ are officially open for enrollment, but only for a few more days. So to find out if you and your business are a good fit to create a digital course, grab a seat in my free masterclass, the Three Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Digital-Course Success. You can get all the details to my free masterclass at amyporterfield.com/masterclass. That's amyporterfield.com/masterclass. Now, if you miss enrollment, we are not opening up again until late 2020, but you can get on the waitlist so that I give you details the minute the doors open again. So regardless, go to amyporterfield.com/masterclass, and you can get all the details you need.
Okay, so, for the sake of this specific episode, I thought it would be helpful for you to actually hear how these calls go down. And I hear from a lot of my students that making these calls can feel intimidating, and I get it, but you'll see that the calls end up being pretty fun, and when you find the right person for the call, it actually gets you really excited to dive in and create your digital course.
Now, let me tell you why these calls are crucial to the success of your business. Validating your course idea, which is the course you want your ideal customer to buy from you, is crucial to fully understanding our ideal-customer avatar and what he or she needs and wants. So the intel that you get from these course calls will be used to shape your course content as well as shape your marketing message. So if you’ve ever thought, “I don't exactly know how to talk about the course I created,” when you do your course calls, your ideal-customer avatar that you're talking to, they'll tell you exactly how to talk about your course because they're going to give you their fears, their insight, their thoughts, their feelings, and you are going to regurgitate all of that in your marketing message because when you know what resonates with your audience, what content your audience will truly benefit from, how you can help them achieve a transformation they desperately want, if you know all this, then you'll know exactly what type of course to create that they will actually buy the minute you open up enrollment. If you're looking for more confidence before you actually create your digital course, you do course calls. That’s why I tell all my Digital Course Academy®️ students that we do at least seven and maybe sometimes even more because not all course calls are successful. Sometimes you realize, “Ooh, this person is not my ideal-customer avatar. They're not the right person I should be talking to.” But you wouldn't know that unless you got on the call with them. And sometimes you say, “Oh, holy cow. I think I missed the mark with this course idea,” which I'll get to in a moment, if that happens. But regardless, it's all good. You need all this feedback.
So these calls are game changers. They are a must, and I can’t wait to invite you into the call. I’ve never done this before. I’m not going to edit it. It’s just exactly the call that I have, with my potential ideal-customer avatar. So we’re going to get to that in just a moment.
Before we get there, a quick listener shout out. You know I love to do this, right? If you’re going to leave me a review, I’m going to read it on the show. Now, if it’s a terrible review, I might not. Luckily, I don’t have many of those. But if you’re going to sing my praises, then I think you deserve a shout out, and I want you to know how thankful I am for you. So today, this shout out is from Logo17. Okay, here’s the problem with these iTunes reviews: you never know someone’s real name. I don’t know why they do that. So, Logo17 is not your real name, but if you listen religiously, you’re hearing this now. So, hey, there, friend. This is what Logo said—I know. So weird, right?
“Incredible show. For that listener that is addicted to creating their future, for the listener who knows they are destined for greatness but didn’t believe they could actually make a living, this podcast is for you. Amy asks very candid and heart-opening questions. It would be a crime not to listen to this podcast and take notes.”
I mean, come on. So good. “Addicted to creating their future” and “destined for greatness”? Yes, yes, and yes. I’m here for it. I love this one, so if you hear me now Logo17, thank you so very much for taking the time to write this review.
Okay, let’s go ahead and dive in.
Let me set the stage for this upcoming interview. There are two goals for course calls. Goal number one, you want the conversations to uncover insights, fears, concerns, challenges, wants, and needs of your ideal-customer avatar, your ICA. So I always recommend that you record these calls because the details and the exact words of your ICA are going to be incredibly valuable as you begin to create your free content and actually develop your marketing message as well. So I would use Skype or Zoom, and just the minute the person gets on, say, “Hey, would you mind if I record this call?” They'll likely always say, “Not at all,” and you go for it. I would probably take notes just to kind of keep on track with the interview, but also record it. So, again, you're listening for those insights and fears and concerns and challenges.
Now, the second goal of these calls is to determine whether you are on the right track with your course idea, if you really are developing an idea that your ideal-customer avatar would want to pay for. Now, two things to pay close attention to here. Number one, we're sometimes guessing if the person is our ideal-customer avatar. Before we invited Jamie—I'll tell you about Jamie in a minute—before we invited her on this call, we definitely asked a few questions like, okay, what do you do in your business, and what are you doing now, and do you have an interest in creating digital courses? And then we invited her to interview.
Now, why that’s important is you don't want to get on a call with someone that turns out not to be your ideal-customer avatar. But if you do, then you'll figure that out and be polite and end the interview at an appropriate time and move on and find somebody else that's a better fit the next time. It sometimes happens. But if you ask a few questions before you get somebody on the call, just to make sure they are somebody that would be ideal for you to talk to, that's a good thing.
Now, when you do get them on the call, though, you want to pay close attention to everything they tell you because you're going to pace with them. For my students at Digital Course Academy®️, I'll give you the questions to ask, but you're going to also want to create your own as you get going. Now, if you're on the call with your ideal-customer avatar, they are the right person, and you start to discover that your course topic is not really something they're interested in, that's okay. It's okay if you discover on a call that you missed the mark. It's better to learn that now versus going down the road of creating your entire course and then having to start all over because no one wants to buy it. Everybody has been on a course call where they realized—I shouldn’t say “everybody.” It happens often—where in the very early stages of course creation you have an idea for a course. You get on a call and you think, “Ooh, I kind of missed the mark.” And you recalibrate, whether you go back to the drawing board, come up with a different topic or a different framework for your topic, and then go back to the call; or just on the call, you ask some more questions that reshape your course topic, and by the end of the call, you have even more clarity about what you want to create.
Again, these course calls are golden. They are so valuable. Whether you get good information or you're discouraged at the end of the call, both of those outcomes are good because you’re going to do something with that, and you’re going to create a course that people actually want. Ultimately, you want to make sure that your call leads to you being able to answer this question: Are your course idea and your course promise—so the idea you have for your course and the kind of transformation you want to get for people—is that what your ideal-customer avatar really wants and needs? The person that would potentially buy from you, do they see a need for what you're creating?
Now, let’s pretend when I do my interview with Jamie that I do not yet have a program, a training program, teaching people how to create a digital course. Okay? So we're going to go into this. That's the one thing we kind of have to make up here because I already have my digital courses. Let's pretend I don't yet have Digital Course Academy®️. And so I'm going into this call thinking, does my ideal-customer avatar, the person I think I want to work with, do they really want to create a digital course? Is there a need for this? Is there an interest? And if there is, why haven't they done it yet? Why haven't they created a course yet? These are things I'm thinking of before I get on the call. So I want you to keep that in mind that I'm going into this thinking, does my ideal-customer avatar, which I think Jamie is, does she want to create a course, and why hasn't she, and where she's struggling currently in her business, what does she ultimately want? These are things I want to find out.
Okay, so, this is what I know about Jamie Trull, and important for you to know, I've never talked to her—genuinely, have never talked to her. So this is all going to be new to me, and this could literally fall flat. And then I have to decide am I going to air this, because this would be weird for all of you, or it could be absolutely amazing. So we're going to see, but this is what I know. I know that Jamie has an online business where she serves female CEOs and entrepreneurs in the accounting and bookkeeping and understanding your financials, that kind of world. She is a certified CPA. And I know that she's thinking about creating a digital course. She hasn't done it yet. She's thinking about it. I don't know why she hasn't done it yet. I don't know how far along she is in her business just yet. I don't know a lot of things about her, so I'm going to ask. But we did some research to find an ideal-customer avatar, someone I think would be a good fit for my digital course about creating digital courses—so weird to say that—and so we feel that she's definitely somebody who would be a good candidate. So I won't make you wait any longer. Let's go ahead and jump in to my interview with Jamie.
Hey, there, Jamie. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
JAMIE TRULL: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
AMY: Me, too. And this is extra special. I've never done anything like this before. And so I want my audience to hear that I have never met you, never talked to you, right?
JAMIE: That’s correct, never.
AMY: This is the first time that we've come in contact. And the only thing I know about you is that you first heard about me or learned more about me through Rachael Hollis’ coaching program, which I think is really cool that that's how we found each other. And the second thing I know is a little bit about your business.
So, when you do an ICA call—I want my podcast listeners to hear this—it's good to know a little bit of background about the person you're going to interview, and likely, you do know a little bit about their background because in the beginning you're interviewing your friends or some people that you know online and you do a little research and you get to know them a little bit before you jump on the call, which will help you with the context of your questions. So I know a little bit about what Jamie does in her business, but I’m going to start at the top so I can hear her tell me in her own words.
So, Jamie, this is a real ICA interview, and we're going to pretend I don't yet have a course on Digital Course Academy®️, so I'm thinking about creating a course on courses, and I want to learn more from people who don't yet have a course but are thinking about creating a course. Are you good with all that?
JAMIE: That sounds great.
AMY: Okay, so let's start at the top. All right, Jamie, tell me a little bit about your business in terms of what it looks like now, but also why did you start the business you have today?
JAMIE: Sure. So my business is called Balance CFO, and I actually came out of—I was doing a corporate career before this. So I was working long hours in finance and climbing the corporate ladder for one of the biggest brands in the world at the time and kind of worked my way up, and things were going well, but I just needed a little bit more balance. I just needed more flexibility. When I had my second child, things started to kind of come to the point where I needed to make a change. So that's why I started the business.
And I started Balance CFO kind of doing different things where I would just kind of help my friends who had small businesses, with anything finance— accounting, taxes, anything in that realm—because I'm a CPA. I like to do all of those things. And then over time it kind of took a different form, and I decided to kind of figure out exactly what I wanted to do. So now I'm focusing mainly on virtual CFO work for women-owned businesses. And I also now I'm doing financial-literacy coaching, and that's the piece that I've really enjoyed picking up now, really just helping women understand the underpinnings of all the things when they're starting a business or even if they've been in business for a little while, all the accounting, finance, tax topics that maybe are foreign to them or may be scary or overwhelming. Those are the things I like to help them through. So I kind of do everything within that space for my clients.
So right now, I'm mostly working one on one with clients, and it's gone really well. And lately, social media has taken off a little bit, and I've been able to get a lot of one-on-one clients, which is amazing, but now I'm back in this spot where I basically am trading dollars for hours a little bit and don't have as much time as I wanted to. I went into this business for flexibility, and now I'm back to that point where I'm running out of time because there's only so much time we all have, right? So that's sort of where I am. That's kind of the precipice of where I'm at right now with my business is figuring out, okay, it's time for me to take a step and scale in some way, so how is that going to be?
AMY: Gotcha. Okay, so when you work one on one with your clients, in order to make the kind of money that you feel really good about making, how many clients do you think that you would need to take?
JAMIE: And that’s the hard part because when I do the math—and I’m a math person, so I know how to do the math—it’s probably about twenty right now with where I'm at for my pricing structure, and that is a lot of clients to have, and that is me working round the clock to really give them the kind of service that I would want to do. So I typically, actually have scaled it back, and I haven't fully gone to that twenty, which means I'm not making what I want to be making in this business, but I worry that to do that, I'd have to sacrifice the quality I'm giving the clients that I have. So that's kind of been the issue that I'm running into now in my business is, how do I handle that? Do I have to raise my prices one on one? Do I need to find another way to scale? That kind of thing.
AMY: Gotcha. And when you said you work one on one with clients, it's around the education around the finances? Or when you say you work one on one, is it actually doing some of the work for them?
JAMIE: Mostly what I do is going to be advisory and consulting work with them, so it’ll be going through their specific financial situation and going through steps—I just rolled out, basically, a ninety-day program where we go through five different steps to kind of get them financially fit at the end of it. And then, a lot of those clients, I end up keeping year round as well to help them just kind of keep things on track, do budgeting forecasting, all of those fun things that I like to do that nobody else really likes to do.
AMY: Right, right. And when you talk about some of your frustrations, it sounds like the biggest frustration is there’s only one of you, and you don't want to take on twenty one-on-one clients in order to hit the kind of revenue that you want, and also, there's not enough time in the day. Am I hearing you right?
JAMIE: Absolutely. I think time is the biggest thing that I run into all of the time is just that push and pull. I'm a mom; I have two young kids. So it just makes it very difficult when I feel like I always need to be working and serving my clients and getting new clients and all the things that we have to do in the business. I'm a solopreneur, so I'm doing sales, all the front office, all the back office, with accounting and administrative work and serving my clients. So at the end of the day, it doesn't leave a lot of time left. So I'm really looking for a way to get some of that time back, which was the reason I went into my own business to begin with, so that I could have more flexibility to be with my family, right?
AMY: Makes sense. Tell me this: If you could wave a magic wand and you had a business set up in the way you wanted it to set up in terms of where the revenue was coming—although, you likely don't have it all figured out just yet, because you're in that exploratory phase of what's next—what might it look like? Like, what have you been thinking about what might really work in terms of how to bring revenue into your business?
JAMIE: Yeah, I mean, I think I would love something that could bring revenue in that wasn’t tied to how many hours I had to put into the business. It's something that I could create and add value and put out there that would bring people in, something that I could go on vacation and not worry that my income was going to take a significant drop or not worry that I was going to be dropping things for the clients that I had. I just would like a little bit of a freer life, I guess, if I could ask for something.
AMY: Yes. What would that look like? So, tell me this: If you had some extra time, if you had a little bit more freedom in your day, name one or two things that you would love to do that you just can’t do right now.
JAMIE: I think I would love to just spend more quality, intentional time with my kids. Right now what happens is I have them home a decent amount, and I work from home, but what happens is I always end up being stuck on my phone or being tied to my computer. And then you get—my daughter, when my 2-year-old comes over to me and asks, “Mommy, please put your phone down,” it's kind of a dagger to the heart where, again, the reason that I'm doing this is because I want to be around, but then I'm not mentally there. So I need to be confident enough in my business that I'm not letting anything drop, that I can be mentally really there with my kids and enjoying it and not feeling like things are piling up at work.
AMY: Yes. I totally get it. This is so, so great just hearing it come directly from you because, of course, I can see how a digital course could work in your business, but before we get there, I want to talk a little bit about the framework. So when you work one on one with clients, do you have a certain framework or a road map that you could kind of see how it could play out to a bigger scale versus just one on one? Do you have certain processes, systems, frameworks that you already use in your one on one?
JAMIE: I do. Yeah, I do. I have kind of a five-step process that I've been developing that goes through sort of all the major points in small-business owners’ finances that we can go through one by one and start at the front end and get them organized and all the way down through all of their different financial steps to get them to a place that they're financially fit at the end of the day. So I do have a process. I've been building it out. I've been working on it for a little while, but that's usually, with all of my new clients, I go through that same process.
AMY: Perfect. That’s a great fit for a digital course, so you’re a huge step ahead, right there.
So, how long have you been in business? How long since you left corporate and you've started your online business?
JAMIE: So, I've had the business—I had it for a little while. While I was still working, I started it on the side. But it really took off, I would say, probably six months ago or so is when I've really gone kind of full force into the business and also shifted from more of a local viewpoint to looking at it more as a digital-online business, where I can help a lot more people that way, and I can reach so many more women business owners that need what I'm giving.
AMY: Yes, exactly. So when you think about your clients that you're working with now, what do you think they need the most? Like, where do you think you can help them? If you did create a digital course, where would you help them the most?
JAMIE: So, I think a lot of what I do as well, even just not for my—for my one-on-one clients, absolutely. And then for other people that I work with, as kind of, I've been taking on this financial-literacy coaching, and I have a Facebook group for it as well that I've been kind of going live in weekly. It's been on that educating, and I think that that's something that's missing a little bit. I think a lot of women find business finances to be overwhelming and to be scary and to be too hard or they're not a numbers person. I hear a lot of that kind of information from people. And I think one thing that I am uniquely good at is helping people understand complicated concepts, or things they think are complicated concepts, in a way that makes sense to them and explaining it in a way that they say, “Oh, okay, I get it. That's not as scary or overwhelming.” And that's usually a large part of what I do when I work with clients one on one. We look at their individual financials, but a lot of it is just getting them more comfortable with understanding what those numbers really mean. And it's honestly just getting rid of that overwhelm for them.
AMY: Yes. Makes sense, perfect.
So you have thought about creating a digital course. I know you had mentioned to Jill, like, “Yeah, that's something that I might want to include in my business.” Why haven't you done it yet? Has anything stopped you? What do you think about digital courses, and why, when you first had the thought, not just jump in and do it?
JAMIE: Yeah. I listened to a lot of digital courses, so it’s something that’s been on my radar screen. I think as far as just taking that step, it's been a few things. Number one, time. But that's exactly why I need to have a course is probably because I don't have the time. And it's also just been the overwhelm. I’ve gotten into it. I have started looking at, okay, what would the process be like on my own, and tried to kind of find some resources that can help me. And then I just start getting overwhelmed with all the jargon and the technicalities and everything that goes into it, all the steps that go into it, that I just kind of pull back and say, “Okay, I'll put that on the shelf for another day. I don't have time to deal with how long that's going to take and walking through that whole process.” So I think for me, it's just been getting to the point where I feel like I'm ready to jump in.
AMY: Yes. Okay, so, this is so great for me to hear, and I really appreciate your time with this call because when I'm hearing you say, like, “I know that it could be really valuable. I want the freedom, and I want more time. But to create this course, I don't even have the time to create it, because I have all these clients that I'm serving, and a husband, family,” and so that part, I could see it could be really, really frustrating because it sounds like if you did have time to do it, it might be in the early-morning hours or late at night, where you're fully exhausted anyway.
JAMIE: Exactly, yep.
AMY: Okay. So that definitely makes sense. Now, tell me this: if you were to create a course, have you thought about some course ideas?
JAMIE: I have. And I think that I really like to—so a lot of the people that have been attracted to me and that are in my group now that I've created are solopreneurs, and I think it's a really underserved market from an accounting and finance perspective, because a lot of professionals don't think there's money to be made off of these smaller solopreneurs, but they're one of the biggest-growing segments that we have in the marketplace. And it's people who are starting their own business who now have the resources to be able to do that, and it's largely women that are doing it, and it's people who are in direct sales or photographers or real-estate agents or web designers, people who are out there starting their own thing and don't really know much about the business element. That's not really why they're starting their business. In fact, that’s one of the reasons maybe they’re afraid to start a business is that finance and accounting element. And I think that what’s out there and the resources that are out there for them are just not great and maybe not ones that really resonate with them.
And it’s a tough topic, right? Finance and accounting is not the things that people wake up in the morning and say like, “Oh, tell me more. I'm so excited to learn about it.” No. We kind of shove it aside, and we don't really want to deal with it.
So for me, I've been able to kind of find those people that really—the way that I deliver it, I like to think, is a little more interesting, a little bit more energetic, a little bit more relatable, than your typical CPA might deliver some of this information. So I think there is definitely a market for that. And so I'm just not seeing a lot of it.
So I think, as far as courses, I've been thinking about dividing into kind of the smaller segments, like potentially doing a course around accounting and finance basics for direct sellers, for instance, as one segment, because there are so many, and that's just a market that is not served hardly at all in this space. Or like I said, hairstylists or virtual assistants. Like, you could carve out different segments of these solopreneurs and do a course just for them, which does not exist to my knowledge today, and make them really understand these elements and how they relate to them and what's important to them.
AMY: Love this. Love this so much. I'm all about niching down in specific areas. And you could take your framework and put it into these different, I call them starter courses, getting started with their finances, getting clarity, understanding what the numbers mean and how to use those numbers, and all these different sectors or niches.
I have a really good friend who is just owning the hairstyling space of how to grow a business as a hairstylist, not just the finances, just the overall business. And you hit it on the head. There's hardly anybody in those spaces doing that. And so if you got even more specific with the financial part of it, I feel like it's brilliant—virtual assistants, dentists, MLM of any kind, direct sellers. I mean, so incredibly smart.
So first of all, just based on the knowledge I have, I just want to validate, I really love that direction you're going, so I feel like you're thinking about it in the right place. And I want to go back to what you said earlier. You said you've taken digital courses in the past. I know you've taken List Builders Society®️. We're going to talk about your list building in a second. But in addition to that, other courses that you've taken, what has been some of those elements of the course that you've really liked? What has helped you say like, “This worked really well,” because as I'm creating my own course, I'm curious what's worked for you.
JAMIE: Yeah. I think for me it’s just that step-by-step breakdown to know, okay, what do I do first? What do I do second? because I think when you look at all the things in front of you that you have to do, and with creating a course is no exception, you just start to get overwhelmed in all the things. And for me, if I take one step at a time and I know what that step is, that helps me tremendously. So being able to walk through it, and then feel accomplished. And then you get one thing done, you're like, okay, I did that, and now I can go on to the next thing, to where you're not just thinking about the 400 different things that you have to do. I'm very much a to-do-list person. I write everything down. But sometimes it actually makes things more overwhelming when I look at everything I have to do, so I don't start. So I need a place to start, I think.
AMY: Yes. So, so helpful, definitely. And any of the groups that you've been in, any communities that you've been in, any courses that you've been in, is there any element of accountability, and with that, do you see that being something that you need—a group to help keep you accountable, a coach to help keep you accountable—or do you feel like you work pretty self-sufficiently?
JAMIE: Yeah. So I think for me, I'm actually not a huge person that needs that accountability, but I do like to have community. So I'm pretty internally motivated, and once I make a decision—I don't often commit to doing things, because I won't commit unless I'm going to follow through. So what I do instead is I just don't commit. But once I'm in, I'm in, and I will do it. But I love to have a community to go to, that are going through the same things, that we can bounce things off of each other, that kind of thing, to kind of keep me going, keep me motivated. That has really helped in the past.
AMY: And speaking of courses, so, you haven't yet purchased a course on courses, but you've been thinking about them. And you've been thinking about creating a digital course. And did I hear you right in the beginning? You said something like, “I've kind of ventured out, trying to get started on my own. What would it look like, starting to work on it a little.” And you said, “It's overwhelming, and it takes a lot of time, and I keep having to put it on the shelf because I've got these clients.” But is there any reason you haven't yet jumped in to buy a course to teach you how to do this?
JAMIE: I think it's just been needing to just make that commitment and deciding I'm going to do it, and figuring out, for me, the time frame. And so it's always like, “Well, maybe next month will be a better time for that. “That's usually what's in my mind is “Okay, well, next month, I'll have a little bit more time,” and then next month comes and goes and things get filled up, as typically happens. So for this summer, it's been well. The kids are out of school more this summer. So I'll focus on that more in the fall. Then, I'm already getting more excuses for putting it off. And so I think it's just making that commitment, saying, “No, this is one of the things I'm doing now. I'm starting now, and I'm not going to continue to put this off until a later time because I need to get this rolling so that things can be better six months from now, and I'm not in the exact same place.” Right?
AMY: Yes, for sure, for sure. I love this.
Okay, so, I want to talk about your list building. How many people do you currently have on your list?
JAMIE: I have, as of today, about 400 people on my list.
AMY: Okay. You also have a Facebook community. How many people do you have in your Facebook community?
JAMIE: I’ve got twelve hundred in that, and I got that in about one month. I opened it on July 1.
AMY: Wow! How did you get so many people in a group if you just—Like, at the time of this recording, that's a month, not even a month and a half ago. So how did you do that?
JAMIE: Yep. So I think a lot of it was just deciding. So, again, I've been listening to you, I've been listening to Rachel Hollis and her business coaching, and it's a matter of getting out there and giving value. So when I switched to that and said, “You know what? I'm going to worry less about getting clients and more about giving value,” I opened this Facebook group, and I just committed to going live every single week on a topic usually chosen or recommended by my group members and just talking about something for thirty minutes in the area. And the response was kind of overwhelming, and I had a lot of people inviting their friends to the group, and I talked about it in other groups that I was in, and people were so supportive and interested in it. And it just kept growing, and I had a goal for myself that as of, I think was July 27, I had 615 people in my group, and I told my husband I was going to grow it to 1,000 by the end of the month. And he looked at me and he was like, I was a crazy person.
AMY: I’ve gotten that look from my husband a few times. I know that look.
JAMIE: Exactly. But once I committed and I put it out there in the world, it was crazy, the response that I got. And within—actually, I had four days to do it; I did it in two. And by the end of four days I was up to twelve hundred. So that was my favorite thing. I could wait. When my husband walked in the door that night, he saw the look on my face, and he knew.
AMY: Oh my gosh, you should've made a bet or something, just so you could win something.
JAMIE: I know. I know I should have. We're very competitive, so that works out here.
AMY: Oh my gosh, I can totally relate. That is fantastic.
So you’ve got this email list that you've been growing, 350 is solid. You've got this great, engaged Facebook group. So you definitely are well on your way to building a community of people that will want to purchase from you when you do have your course. So I just want to also validate, that is definitely moving in the right direction.
Now, when we're talking about building your own course, I want to ask you one more question. I'm a little bit all over the place, but I'm picking up what you're putting down, and I'm thinking about, oh, what more would I want to know in order for me to really understand where you are and what you need? And I want to come back to this idea of you learning inside of a digital course how to create your own digital course. It's so meta, so it's so hard for me to talk about like that.
JAMIE: Like Inception.
AMY: Exactly, It just feels so crazy when I even talk about it. But if you were to take something like that, what's something that you just want to make sure doesn't slow you down? And what I mean by that question is, maybe if you've taken a course in the past and it hasn't worked for you, or maybe there's a certain way you learn and a certain way you don't learn. So what are some roadblocks you could see, going through a course, learning how to do this?
JAMIE: Yeah. I mean, I think that technology is one thing that can overwhelm me a little bit. I consider myself reasonably tech savvy, but there are times when you start getting into the more complex technology, it starts to scare me off a little bit, or even just the jargon that I don't understand. And what's funny about that is it's probably similar to how people feel about accounting and finance and the jargon there. It's exactly the same. So I know it's something I can learn. It's not too hard for me. I know I can do it. It's just sometimes it kind of scares me. And when I see other people who have made so much progress, it inspires me, but then I also get intimidated a little bit because they are talking so far above where I am at that point in time. And so I need it to be at my level to where I don't watch it and get discouraged immediately and just kind of run away and not open my computer again.
AMY: Yes. I get that 100 percent.
So if you took a course and it really drilled down on the technology and walked you through the way you needed to learn it in order to say, “Okay, I've got this. I'm not too overwhelmed. Didn't take too much time,” what do you think would be the best way for you to learn the technology?
JAMIE: I think it would just be a very clear roadmap for what I need to have. What do I need to purchase? What can I use that I already have? What are the platforms I need to be on? Just something that was very specific and just told me exactly what I need to do, because I have done courses before, and they give you, sometimes, too many options. And I think that can be overwhelming, too, because then I'm out there trying to research. I'm very analytical, so I will sit there for hours and just research the small differences between platforms, and I won't get anything done. So I'm very good at educrastination, I guess—
AMY: I’ve never heard that, but I totally get it.
JAMIE: —where I will just try to learn every little thing about it, and it's much more helpful for me for somebody who's already vetted that and has said, “Okay, I've looked at this, and this is what I think the best thing for you to do is.”
AMY: Ah, so good. This is just gold. I love hearing it come straight from you and just hearing how your mind works around what you need and what doesn't work and how to move forward.
So, first of all, these have been amazing responses. I mean, obviously, we know we're doing this as a mock interview, but I have just learned so much that I already know how I could implement it in an existing program. So for my students that are listening or my podcast listeners that are listening, even ICA calls that you do after you've created a course, maybe before you revamp a course you have, could be so incredibly valuable, because Jamie just gave me ten ideas of how to make my course even better, or, even just as important, how to make my marketing better, how to speak to my ICA in a more clear, succinct way to get right down to what she needs. Even though I know my course is exactly what would support Jamie, I have no doubt my mind, maybe I'm not talking about it in a way that would really resonate with Jamie.
So now that I hear, being with her kids and her daughter saying, “Mom, can you get off the phone?” and trying to be at home with them, thinking that's great, but realizing not even enough time at home with them, all of that stuff is so great for me to understand and really, really take to heart. So I just wanted to tell my podcast listeners as you're listening to this interview I feel so grateful for this information, and I've been at this for a while. So imagine if you've never done these calls, how golden they could be for your business, your marketing, and your course creation.
But, Jamie, I'm not done with you yet. I have two more questions. Okay, the next question is, Where do you spend your most time online? So if we had to choose between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, any social media, where do you spend the most time?
JAMIE: Oh, hands down, Facebook. I'm all over Facebook.
AMY: Really? Okay, this is good for me to know. And are there any specific Facebook groups that you absolutely love, beyond your own?
JAMIE: Well, I love, like I said, we connected on Rachel Hollis, so I’m in a lot of Rachel Hollis groups, Rise groups, Made for More groups. Those are my favorite because they're very uplifting groups, so I like ones like that. And then I'm in some other groups for specifically for women entrepreneurs that have been really helpful for me just to connect with other like-minded people.
AMY: And do you tend to go, when you’re in entrepreneurial groups and those that are geared toward helping female entrepreneurs, are they a mix of mindset, business mindset, and business know how, or are they all really focused on the strategy and the campaigns and the technology? When we’re talking business groups, what do those look like?
JAMIE: Yeah, they're pretty varied, I would say. I'm in some that are really specific, so I'll join different platform-specific ones as well for things that I'm using, but I would say, on the whole, they're kind of all over the place. But I tend to like the ones that are community based but also there's value there, and then there's women who are really committed to supporting other women. So they're really committed to helping answer questions, if I was to say, “Okay, I am trying to create this course, and I ran into this roadblock,” that somebody might have their experience that they could give me some thoughts on or things like that. So that's what I've found. I like ones where it's really about community.
AMY: Gotcha. So, so very helpful. Okay, Jamie, thank you so much for this. And I want to give you a shout out, I want to give your website a shout out, and, if you want, your Facebook group a shout out, because there are some of my listeners that would find great value in what you're doing. And so, just for the record, Jamie doesn't want a whole bunch of new clients; she wants to create a course and sell a course, so let's support her in that, for sure. But first of all, what is your website?
JAMIE: My website is balancecfo.com. That's balance, like a balance beam, cfo.com.
AMY: And your Facebook group? What’s the name of your Facebook group?
JAMIE: It’s called Financial Literacy for Women Business Owners.
AMY: Perfect. And that’s an open group; anybody can join?
JAMIE: Anybody can join.
AMY: Perfect. All right, so, there you go. Thank you so very much. And Jamie, I truly hope I see you inside Digital Course Academy®️ because I need to tell you, you are perfect for a digital course. And if you weren’t, I’d be sure to say that as well, but you are primed and ready for one. So I am crossing my fingers you’re going to take the leap and create a course.
JAMIE: Absolutely. And then I think we can check in. Let's have a check-in six months from now, and we can see how successful it’s been. I’ll come back on.
AMY: Okay, let’s do a challenge. Okay, here’s the deal: you're going to go through Digital Course Academy®️, we are going to check in in six months, you’re coming back on the podcast, and I’m going to say, “All right, what does it look like?” You’re going to have your course created and launched, and we’re going to break it down. How about that? I know you like a good challenge.
JAMIE: All right. If that is not motivation, I don’t know what is.
AMY: Right? Right? Okay, and then we can promote your course. So let’s do it. I’m committed to it. If you get it done and you get it launched, you’re back on the podcast. We’ll talk about your journey, what worked, what didn’t, where you struggled, so we can inspire other people to do it as well. So, all right, girl. I’ll talk to you in six months.
JAMIE: All right. That sounds amazing.
AMY: All right. Take care.
JAMIE: Thanks, Amy.
AMY: Okay, so, the interview is over. I thought it went really, really well. But I wanted to point out some things that you could also get from your own course calls. So number one, did you notice how Jamie literally gave me my marketing material? Did you notice how she told a few stories, and she talked about her frustrations and what she wanted? Like, that's all the stuff that I should put in my webinar, that I should put on my sales page, that I should talk about in podcast episodes or wherever they might show up, such as the story when Jamie said, “I work from home already. And I did that because I wanted to see my kids more, but I'm always working because I have all these clients. And so when my little girl says, ‘Mom, can you get off the phone?’ it crushes me.” Oh, when I heard her say that, I was like, I know so many of my students feel that way, that they got a little taste of the online world, but it's not exactly what they want. It's not the freedom or lifestyle that they thought they would be creating or what they really ultimately wanted. I think that’s really common with a lot of my students who come into my program.
And then when she talked about wanting more freedom and wanting a different type of lifestyle, I could hear in her voice that she was ready. She didn't know what to do. You could tell she was incredibly strapped for time. That's something that when I'm figuring out how to market my course, I need to think about how to talk to the women and men that feel like they are so busy they don't even have time to create a course. Now, where that really plays into at a bigger level is how I create the course. So no matter what your course is about, if your avatar says, “Well, I haven't done this because I don't have the time,” you have to remember when you're creating your course that you are dealing with someone who does not have a lot of time, and they definitely aren't going to get to the finish line if you overwhelm them.
So that's why inside of my courses I create the project plan, where I show my students step by step by step what they need to do, and they could check it off. That's why I tell my students, “Give yourself sixty days, or more if you want, to create a course. Go at your own pace.” That’s why before I ever market a course, I decide how long my new student should spend each week on the course and how long it will take them to get to the finish line. I figure that stuff out in advance because I know my busy, overwhelmed potential student is going to want to know. So I think about how to create a course for somebody like Jamie. What do I need to do inside my course so that Jamie will get to the finish line?
So I just wanted to point out some of this. I mean, obviously, I already have Digital Course Academy®️, but this mock interview, I didn't know it would give me so much more value, because I thought I knew it all with my ICA. I've done these course calls many times. Jamie really opened my eyes to some other areas around the tech and the overwhelm and the freedom and what has kept her stuck. So that was just awesome. And I love to hear it in her own words. That's a beauty of course calls: you get to hear in their own words.
So can you see how valuable this would be? I didn’t have all the questions figured out. I just kind of followed along with her, and when something came to mind, I asked her. I had a list of questions in front of me. I didn't ask all those questions. I kind of went with where she was going, and I bounced around a little. That's okay as well, but I just wanted to make sure I got all my questions answered.
Also, you heard me validate her a few times, right? When you're doing a course call, you know your content well. So if somebody is a really good fit, you tell them. You're not selling them on anything, obviously, but you can use your expertise and your knowledge and say, “Hey, I know that this prob—I actually—let me back up. I wouldn't say, “I know my product would be great for you.” You heard me say, “Of course, you're ready for a course. This is the next step for you.” I didn't say, “Buy my course,” or “You should sign up for Digital Course Academy®️.” I just said, “Yeah, you're primed for it. You're ready.” So you can validate them, but you are not selling to them, ever, in a course call. And typically, when you do these course calls, you have nothing to sell to them anyway, so it's really not a problem.
The last thing I want to say, as I wrap up, is I mentioned earlier that Digital Course Academy®️, my signature program, is open for enrollment right now, for just a few days at the time of this recording. If you listen to this a little bit later, it will not be open for enrollment. But I want you to get on my free masterclass if it's still live, amyporterfield.com/masterclass, because you'll learn about what it takes to create a digital course. And I'll talk about how to know if you're ready for a digital course, and you'll get so much insight of behind the scenes of my own business, where I've created digital courses and the success I've had and what that has looked like, and I'll share with you some missteps along the way. So this is a very special masterclass, totally free, amyporterfield.com/masterclass.
But the reason I want you to jump on this is that Jamie is not my only ideal-customer avatar. So, yes, she's been in business for a while. She’s started to grow her list; she has 350 people on her email list. She's got that awesome Facebook group, and she's been working one on one with clients. So she's 100 percent ready to create a digital course. And I wasn't 100 percent sure of that when I got on the call with her, but it became very, very clear. And so everything she told me, I was hanging on every word.
But, also, I have some people in my audience that are also a good fit that don't look exactly like Jamie. So I say that because you might not have a Facebook group with over a thousand people in it, and you might have less than 350 people on your email list, but you have an idea for a course, and you have been working with your clients, whether it be through a service-based business or coaching or consulting, or you have had a personal transformation yourself. So that's who I wanted to talk to right now. You might look similar to Jamie, or you might look totally different, where you've had a transformation in your life, and you want to teach people how you got there.
So with that, here’s what I want to tell you: I have a student. Her name is Katrina Ubell, and I've talked about Katrina a bunch already on the show, so if you've heard this, bear with me, but she's a perfect example of what I want to share here about transformation. So Katrina was a very, very busy physician, and she had gained about fifty pounds because she worked late nights, got little sleep, was eating on the go, and she was on call as a physician. So she gained weight. And so one day she realized, “I am miserable. I have to get this weight off.” And so over time, she lost the weight. And other busy female physicians that she worked with started asking her, “How did you lose the weight? What did you do to lose that weight?” And so she realized, “Oh my gosh, so many are asking me about this.”
So she started to coach one on one with her colleagues, other female, busy physicians. She didn't start to coach anybody and everybody about weight loss, but the women that were very similar to her, because she knew how she made the transformation, and she could intelligently speak to them because she knew them well because they were her, and she was them. Get it?
And so she started coaching, and then she created a digital course. She took my training program and learned how to create a digital course. Had never done a webinar in her life. She was not in the marketing world. She didn't know anything about marketing when she started all of this. She was a physician. She's incredibly resourceful, like you are, I'm sure, and she figured it out. And so she created her course and launched it, and she used webinars, which I taught her how to do so, and these webinars promoted her digital course. And in her very first launch of her digital course, she made $255,000, for a woman that didn't know anything about marketing. How cool is that? She just learned along the way. And then, she launched again a few months later, made over $200,000. Actually, both launches combined were more than $500,000.
Now, I tell you that not to say that if you launch a course, you'll make half a million dollars. That's not my point here. My point here is that your journey might look similar to Jamie's, but it also might look similar to Katrina's, where you've had a transformation in your life. Other people ask you how you've done it, whether it be health and wellness or finances or parenting or something related to your marriage or beauty or fashion, whatever it might be, you have done something awesome, and other people want to know how you've done it. And that could be your digital course, and you could figure out the marketing along the way. And I can help you do so.
So if you're interested, again, amyporterfield.com/masterclass. And if you go there and my live webinar is no longer available and if Digital Course Academy®️ has been closed for enrollment, you can get on the waitlist. And in the meantime, until I open it up again in 2020, I will send you some tips and tricks to start your course-creation journey. So I won't leave you high and dry, I promise you that.
Okay, guys, thank you so very much for tuning in. I hope you liked this little twist in today's episode. It was really fun getting to know Jamie, so, Jamie, thank you so much for your time. And I cannot wait to see you here same time, same place next week.
Next week, I'm going to tell you how to do a photo shoot at your house, even if you're on a very tight budget and even if you hate, hate, hate photo shoots, like I have for so, so, so long. So you need some photos on social, you need to get new photos, and so I'm going to give you the easiest and fastest way to do so, and you're actually going to love the photos once you have a quick strategy to make it all come together. So next week, we're talking photo shoots, and I'll see you here.
All right, have a great week. Bye for now.