AMY PORTERFIELD: “If you created a digital course and you had consistent revenue coming in, I often ask my students, ‘Once you have money coming in from your course, what would you stop doing?’ Maybe let's just take a pause real fast. Answer that question. If you had a digital course that generated $16,000 and then $42,000 and then $100,000 all in a year's time, what would you stop doing in your business or in your life? Because like I said, Natalie's family really loved that she was so much more relaxed. And on top of that, she has a newfound freedom and is no longer chained to her computer. I know, wow. I think we all can relate to that one. I love her story because it affirms that even something that is physical in nature can successfully translate online.”
“I also think it's important to highlight that people are spending money, and significant amounts of money, on courses that are purely for pleasure. I've got story after story from my students who sell digital courses based on pleasure and joy and happiness. And during a pandemic, they are spending their money on these courses as well, meaning that some people think that during a pandemic, people only spend money on needs. I think we can all look in the mirror and say that is not true.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY: Grab yourself a cup of coffee, kombucha, or your favorite cocktail of choice because you're going to enjoy every minute of today's episode. I'm sharing four fascinating digital-course success stories from my students. Now, what makes them so unique? you ask. Well, they are all courses that at first glance you maybe would think they wouldn’t be bestsellers; their topics would be really tough to actually sell as a digital course. But they all sold very, very well. And it just goes to show that when done right, pretty much anything and everything can translate online through a digital course.
You'll hear about Andrea de la Mora, who took her weekend life-coaching in-person workshop experiences that were very personalized and meant to be done in person in real time, and she took them online to turn them into a digital course and generated $42,000 with her most recent launch.
Next, I'll introduce you to Carolyn Brown and share how she generated over $20,000 with her digital course, which is basically a sex education 2.0 class for women.
After that, you'll hear Natalie MacLean's story and how she took winetasting online to generate over $30,000 to date with her digital courses.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with Rhea Baliwala’s story and how she generated close to $13,500 with her first launch of teaching Spanish-speaking commercial lawyers English, despite her audience’s objections to online learning.
I think you're going to eat up every morsel of this episode. As you're listening to these stories, I challenge you to think about how they relate to your business or the business you daydream of creating all the time. And I also invite you to really get honest with yourself. If you ever find yourself saying, “But I don't think my idea will really translate into a digital course. What I teach is better suited for in-person or one on one,” I want you to allow yourself to start thinking, “But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe what I teach is a perfect fit for digital courses. Just maybe.”
So whether you're a nine-to-fiver dreaming of building your side hustle into a full-time gig of freedom and calling the shots or you're already digging into the entrepreneurial experience, maybe with one-on-one coaching or consulting, you’re going to walk away with a new fire in your heart to create a digital course that will generate you more income than you can make in the time-for-money trap. All right, let's get to it.
First, let's welcome my Digital Course Academy®️ student Andrea de la Mora. If you're a life coach or, really, any one-on-one coach or consultant, I want you to listen up because I'm going to tell you a story of how this life coach made $16,000 on her first launch and $42,000 on her most recent launch. But we have to go back to before she was even a coach, back to when she was a preschool teacher in Mexico. Now, she did that for nine years. And similarly to the states, the pay was rough, and it was starting to really wear on her. Because of this, Andrea began looking for another way to make income. That's when she began her in-person life-coaching business.
This girl is a hustler, because every weekend for four years, every weekend, she would offer these in-person super-personalized workshops. And while she loved doing them and she loved the connections she made in real time with her customers, she was exhausted. She was stretched too thin and had no time for herself. Sure, she was making money. But if you've been with me for any amount of time, you know that trading time for dollars is a very tiring business for most people, myself included. And although Andrea tried to shift these workshops to weekdays instead of weekends, her audience wasn't biting. They wanted those weekend classes and workshops, but she knew this just wasn't sustainable for her.
So she began throwing around the idea of shifting her coaching to an online approach. However, that's when the limiting beliefs showed up. She felt like she wasn't good enough, skilled enough to make it work. Can you relate? I think we've all been there. Plus, she was worried that these workshops wouldn't translate and do well online because most of her audience was in Mexico City, where she was located, and they told her how much they valued the in-person experience.
And I want to stop right there. This will happen to you, too, if you are a one-on-one coach or consultant. Of course your audience loves the one-on-one attention. Of course they do. I think when I think about getting coaching and working with a coach, I love the one on one as well. But that doesn't mean that if my coach were to turn this into a digital course and offer a new exceptional experience that I wouldn't love that, too. Your audience can love your one on one but still love your digital experience. They both can coexist. And if you take one away, the one-on-one in person, the other one can still thrive. I want you to hear that because I've seen it done many, many times.
So even though Andrea had these limiting beliefs, she stuck with her desire to create a digital course that helped her customers get the same amazing results that they were getting from her weekend workshops. And holy heck. She had no idea of the possibilities that awaited her with a digital course. After committing to going online, despite her limiting beliefs, she did it anyway, Andrea generated $16,000 on her very first launch of her digital course; she then went on to make $20,000 with her second launch—and are you ready for this?—$42,000 on her third launch.
The way I teach courses is that you create one course and you launch it over and over again so that you can have recurring revenue all year long, but even more so, so you don't have to always reinvent the wheel and always be creating something from scratch. My mentors have always taught me if I'm always creating something from scratch, I am slowing myself down. I am not really allowing one idea to really take shape and have the time, energy, and focus to become better and better. Keep that in mind.
What worked so well about going online with her coaching is that it allowed her to grow and expand her business. When she started, she was solely based in Mexico City. Now she has students from all over the world. I also love this. She said that she went from constantly thinking, “I'm not enough” to “I’m a big freaking deal.” And yes, Andrea, you are a big freaking deal.
So this transition, even though she had those limiting beliefs at first, has not only allowed her to generate enough money by doing a single launch to support her family for a year, but she was also able to take five months off to be with her newborn son, and just step away for a bit to recharge and to connect. I mean, come on. It doesn't get much better than that.
If you're a one-on-one coach, you might be feeling like losing that in-person, face-to-face contact would negatively impact your business and hold your customers back from transformation. But that's just not the case. The truth is that you could reach and help so many more people by taking what you're already doing and teaching it online. On top of that, and this isn't for the first time that I've talked about this, but you can select a small amount of people that you want to work with in person and continue to do that as well if that's your thing. All right. So that's Andrea’s story. I just love it so much. So inspiring. Let's keep moving on.
Now, I'd like to introduce you to my student, Carolyn Brown. And holy heck, buckle up for this one because she's kicking butt in an area that you probably wouldn't expect to do so well in a digital course: sex education for adults. Yep, that's right. Essentially, Sex 2.0 as Carolyn and her sister, and partner in her business, Sarah, like to call it. Again, let's start from the beginning.
Carolyn was a registered dietitian in New York for many years. And while she loved it, just like Andrea, she was getting burnt out from trading time for dollars. So one day, Carolyn and her sister, who’s an acupuncturist and herbalist, took an online class, and they thought, “Wait. We should do something like this.” So they brainstormed about exactly what they would create in terms of a digital course, and that's when they settled on wanting to do something in the pre prenatal space.
Given both of their backgrounds in health and wellness and their passion for helping women, they noticed that there were a lot of women who had been on birth control for all their lives and didn't really know much about their bodies when they were ready to start trying for a family. They also recognized a huge need for education around hormone balancing.
So with this idea, Carolyn's friend, another student of mine, told her to take Digital Course Academy®️ and “take it like it's school.” Okay, when I heard that, I was like, Can I turn that into a slogan for my program? “Take it like it's school.” I think that is so smart because when you take it like it’s school, you take it seriously. I thought that was brilliant.
So after completing Digital Course Academy®️, Carolyn and her sister knew that they wanted to share their knowledge and educate others through a digital-course business. So they set out to create their digital course, The Fruitful Program, and it's a six-week course designed to help women take their health, including sexual health, hormones, and fertility into their own hands.
Their goal with their first launch was to generate $20,000. And you know just how much I love the power of a numbers goal. They ended up generating $20,100. Carolyn has since gone on to launch a nutrition club, which mimics a membership model, and generated $25,000 in just three days. All of this has allowed Carolyn to leave her past hustle pace behind and look forward to a future of generating a living with her online businesses.
She says that she now has complete control over her day-to-day life. Did you hear me on that one? She has complete control over her day-to-day life, and she loves the flexibility to work from anywhere. Carolyn is a fantastic example that there truly needs to be a digital course for pretty much anything and everything you can think of. In fact, Carolyn and her sister said that there are about ten women from their program who are struggling with fertility issues that now have babies on the way. How wonderful is that?
All right, moving on. My next student is Natalie MacLean. We're going from talking about sex to talking about wine. How appropriate. This amazing woman teaches wine tasting online. Now, you may be saying, “But, Amy, how exactly does this work?” Great question. I have a feeling that by now you might understand that with a little creativity, you can make anything work with a digital course. Let's start at the beginning.
Natalie was an established wine writer, speaker, and accredited sommelier. And while she loved what she did, she was spending hours writing, for not a whole lot of revenue in return. Just as Andrea and Carolyn were trading time for dollars, Natalie was trading adjectives for dollars. You get it? However, she did have something special in her back pocket.
Natalie comes from a family of teachers. Her mother and grandmother were both teachers as well. Somewhere along the way, Natalie stumbled across my podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, and she listened purely for insight on online marketing. In fact, she had never thought about offering a digital course before. However, when she learned more about them and sat with the idea, she thought, Maybe that's something that I could create. Here she was with all of this knowledge about wine and an industry that is very physical, very tangible, from a smelling and a tasting standpoint. Natalie jokes that the wine industry is very traditional. She says that it changes about every 1,000 years.
But Natalie had a following, thanks to her many years of writing. And so she started to throw out feelers about teaching wine tasting online. And guess what she found out. Her audience was very skeptical. In fact, she started wondering if people would even pay for what she called a pleasure course, one that focused on joy and pleasure more than getting hard results. Luckily, Natalie charged forward with this idea and created her digital course.
Her first launch was a beta launch just to test out the waters, and she generated over $3,000 dollars. Now, from there, she went on to generate over $16,000. So take that, skeptics. And then Natalie went on to create another course about wine and cheese pairing, and generated $12,000 from that, so bringing her digital-course grand revenue total to over $30,000, and she's not stopping.
Natalie has found that people love online wine-tasting courses because they can do it from the comfort of their home and not have to worry about driving home afterwards. Rural people and people who aren't able to leave their homes, like during a quarantine, are able to enjoy it as well. And like the other stories I've shared, she's able to reach a much wider range of people.
So since giving up trading adjectives for dollars, Natalie says she's much more relaxed, something her family is loving. I bet some of you can relate to that as well. If you created a digital course and you had consistent revenue coming in, I often ask my students, “Once you have money coming in from your course, what would you stop doing?” Maybe let's just take a pause real fast. Answer that question. If you had a digital course that generated $16,000 and then $42,000 and then $100,000 all in a year's time, what would you stop doing in your business or in your life? Because like I said, Natalie's family really loved that she was so much more relaxed. And on top of that, she has a newfound freedom and is no longer chained to her computer. I know, wow. I think we all can relate to that one. I love her story because it affirms that even something that is physical in nature can successfully translate online.
I also think it's important to highlight that people are spending money, and significant amounts of money, on courses that are purely for pleasure. I've got story after story from my students who sell digital courses based on pleasure and joy and happiness. And during a pandemic, they are spending their money on these courses as well, meaning that some people think that during a pandemic, people only spend money on needs. I think we can all look in the mirror and say that is not true.
So don’t give up on your idea of sharing your area of expertise, even if your digital course is something that doesn't make someone else money or give them really hard, big, transformational results. You can still create a course based on pleasure. Pandemic or no pandemic, people look for hobbies that they can do from the comfort of their home or wherever they are in the world, and they are looking for an expert to teach them. Maybe that expert is you.
All right. Moving on to the last powerhouse student that I want to introduce to you. Her name is Rhea Baliwala. Now she teaches Spanish-speaking commercial lawyers how to fluently speak English, with an emphasis on legal terms, so that they can ditch Google Translate. First of all, we do see what's happening right here. Like, talk about super-niched, super-focused. And you know, if you've ever listened to my podcast or if you have learned digital courses from me, I'm all about getting hyper-focused like that.
So Rhea actually has a background in law, accounting, and finance, and she spent four years doing sixteen-hour days at J.P. Morgan and, as I think anyone would, she finally hit a wall, and she was burnt out. It was around this time that she took a trip to Europe, decided to move there, and left her exhausting career behind, to teach English and have the freedom to travel.
Now, while living in Spain, she found the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast through an online community—okay, get ready for this—she was in an online community called Like-Minded Bitches Who Drink Wine. Sign me up. Can you get me in that group as well? So these ladies told her about the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. So, shout out to you ladies. I already love you.
So she started listening, and she began brainstorming how to escape the time-for-money trap and make the same or more revenue without having to do one-on-one work. So she combined her background of law and her current job of teaching English, and she came up with her course, Legal English Academy.
Now, here's where Rhea had to get creative with her messaging and educating her ideal customer on the benefits of online learning. She shares that much of her audience preferred in-person, one-on-one learning for this specific topic, especially because digital courses and online learning is still a new thing in Spain. But even if you're not in Spain, many of you—again, I said this at the beginning of this podcast—would say, “Yeah, but my students or my customers, my clients tell me they just want to learn one on one with me.” Of course they do, because you haven't yet introduced them to a new way of learning.
And she found that through her validation calls, which are something that I teach in Digital Course Academy®️, that if she was going to offer a digital course, there was a segment of her audience that would also love an upsell. They would be willing to pay more to also get some one-on-one coaching from her. Because remember, she enjoyed the one-on-one coaching, but she was burnt out from doing too much of it.
So with that, she focused much of her prelaunch content on the benefits of learning English online. If there's ever something that your audience has a roadblock around, a mental roadblock, before you launch your course, you address that over and over again. And that's what she did. And let's just say it worked. Her first launch brought in 11,500 euros, which converts to about $13,500 in the U.S. And then on top of that, she had six students purchase her upsell, so they paid more to also do one-on-one coaching with her, which brings in significant monthly revenue. But she's not helping twenty one-on-one clients, only six, because the other revenue’s coming from her digital course. Now, Rhea's on to her second launch, which she will do in October 2020, and her goal is 50,000 euros. Let’s all cheer her on every step of the way.
The biggest benefit of growing her online business and offering a digital course is that it allows her to have location freedom, which is important to her. And on top of that, she loves being her own boss. Amen. And I love that Rhea took the time to listen to her audience. She knew that they had objections around online learning, so she used her prelaunch time to eliminate that objection. She also offered those one-on-one sessions as an upsell for those who still hung on to that objection. They really wanted it. She gave it to them. But a lot of people didn't need it, because she had talked about the value of online learning so much that they started to believe her.
So there you have it, four fantastic stories of online entrepreneurs creating digital courses that at first glance you might have doubts about them being successful. I've said it once and I'll say it again. There’s truly an opportunity for a digital course on anything and everything. Why not be the one to create it? I truly believe that there is a digital course in all of us. So my challenge for you is to get clear on what your digital course will be about. My next challenge for you is to have the courage to get going with it. Have an open mind and just be curious. It's amazing what a little curiosity and creativity can do.
Now, to learn more about the ladies that I shared with you today, head to the show notes at amyporterfield.com/335. You can go click on their websites and check them out.
Thanks so much for joining me here today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.