ZAFIRA RAJAN: “Remember when I said that we try to pack too much into the headline? Well, I feel that there is actually so much space and empty real estate sitting around your headline. There's copy above and there's copy below. And so if you think about your headline as a gift to your audience about what you're going to offer up to them, think about your personality as the wrapping paper. And most importantly, remember this: do not leave your headline naked. Skipping the copy in this space before it and after is absolutely a missed opportunity to do so much heavy lifting before someone even gets into your sales page copy. It is empty space you can use to highlight. It’s your personal style of teaching, your ideal members, who you're most excited for them to learn, and maybe even a dash of humor.”
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 PORTERFIELD: Today's episode is very near and dear to my heart because I'm taking you behind the scenes and giving you a sneak peek at something that was very exclusive. Last month I held our Entrepreneur Virtual Experience, the Course Creators Edition, which was a new experience, having it online instead of in person. Now, I say this was exclusive because this event was only for my Digital Course Academy students, my alumni and my current class of students as well. So it's exclusive, but I wanted to give you a little sneak peek.
It was an amazing experience, and my speakers were phenomenal. Participants heard from Zafira Rajan, a copywriting expert who focuses on sales pages; Michael Hyatt, my mentor and the expert of a productivity; Jasmine Star, my go–to girl for all things Instagram and growing an authentically branded business; and Mr. Stu McLaren, who can build a community like no other.
So my team and I got to thinking. Because the insights shared were so next level, we wanted to give you a little taste of all the phenomenal guidance, tips, and tools that the audience received. And honestly, this just scrapes the surface because those who were there walked away with so much new knowledge and inspiration. The chat was on fire every time one of these presenters hit the virtual stage.
So I just couldn't resist. I wanted to give you a little taste from the Experience. So in today's episode, I'm sharing a few clips from our virtual event. Now, these tips are tidbits that every entrepreneur should know, especially if you're just starting out or you're determined to build the business of your dreams, which I know you are.
First, you'll hear from Michael, who's going to give you organization strategies and, more specifically, how to prioritize and tackle tasks to increase your productivity and decrease that word I dislike so much: overwhelm. Uh, yes, please. After that, you'll hear from Zafira, who dives into how to make your sales page headlines and bios stand out and, more importantly, do the selling for you. My girl Jasmine Starr is up next, and she's bringing you the heat with her simple strategies for creating photo topics and a photo bank, even if you're still building your business as a side hustle. Plus, you're going to walk away with powerful action items. And then I have little Stewie for you. He hates when I call him that. He's sharing some of his favorite tactics for creating a strong community with even stronger engagement. And you guessed it, you're also going to get easy action items to implement right away.
I'm not going to make you wait any longer. Let's kick it off with Mr. Michael Hyatt.
MICHAEL HYATT: You got to redesign your day. Look, here's the thing. Effectiveness is not about getting more things done; it's about getting the right things done. Or as David Allen likes to say, “You can do anything you want; you just can't do everything you want.” And here's the problem. You know, the research shows—I did this research when I wrote my book Free to Focus—is that the average person who uses a task list has fifteen items on that task list. Okay, so here's what typically happens. Even if you get, say, eight of those fifteen done, you're still not winning. You don't feel like you're winning. You get up in the morning, and you see fifteen items on your task list, and what do you feel? You feel overwhelmed because you know there is not a chance, or very little chance, that you're going to get all fifteen of those done. So you sigh, you sit down at your desk, and you start pounding out the work, hoping that today you could do a little better than yesterday. At the end of the day, even if you get eight of the fifteen done, how do you feel? You feel defeated. Let me tell you something. When you bookend your day with overwhelm and defeat, how does that make you feel? Like you want to quit, right? Where do I go to resign?
We've got to reinvent the game, and one of the best ways to do that is to follow the Pareto Principle. Now, I don't know if you remember, but Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist, and basically he observed that 20 percent of the effort drives 80 percent of the results. Now, this works in all kinds of fields. You know, it would mean, like, 20 percent of your customers drive 80 percent of your profit, or 20 percent of your customers account for 80 percent of your customer–service problems. But the 20/80 rule works in a lot of different fields.
So, again, let's apply it to task management. Let’s imagine for a moment that you start today like most people, with fifteen tasks. Okay? Let's say that you use the desire zone to focus on the three tasks that are the highest leverage, that 20 percent—and 20 percent of fifteen is three—you focus on that. We call that the Daily Big 3.
Now, I want you to try an experiment for the next thirty days. Are you game for this, right? If it doesn't work, you can go back to whatever you were doing previously. But here's what it means. Every day you identify the three tasks that contribute to one of your goals or are part of an important project, and that's what you focus on. And—and this is important thing—you can have other items that if you get time you can do. But if you get these three done, you declare victory. You're successful. Okay? So that's the Daily Big 3. And that's what you need to focus on. Again, for the next thirty days, I want to encourage you to do that.
Now, inside of the Full Focus Planner, which is our planner system—Amy uses it. I know many people on her team uses it. We've got hundreds of thousands of people out there using it—but this is baked in to identify your Daily Big 3.
ZAFIRA: Let's start with your headline. When I look at a lot of headlines today, I feel like it's where we have the most to make up on in the sales page. We're trying to squeeze so many things in that one phrase so that they just keep reading all the benefits, all the urgency, all the scarcity, and it's a lot. But are you really leveraging the headline on your sales page or anywhere else well enough to actually show your audience that you get them? The purpose to me of a headline is to really deeply understand how much your customer knows about you, prequalify them accordingly, and add a little dash of personality.
So before I dive into the personality bit, I want to share this secret with you, which is how to get to the heart of your headline message. It is completely dependent on your audience’s state of awareness. How well do they know you? How well do they know your course or even your brand? So if people have landed on your sales page, let's say from cold traffic, and they have no idea who you are, you would focus on the purpose of your course or your big idea behind it. If you're talking to people who are really stuck in the pain and you are talking to them and they're in that frustration mode, you're going to focus on their top three pain points. If maybe someone's heard about you before or maybe they've click through your sales page a couple of times in the past or they know about you, you would focus on your course’s key features in your headline. And if you have people, let's say, who've been on your wait list or you've been drumming up excitement about your course for a long time, then you want to focus on urgency and scarcity in your headline.
So I know a lot of people could be landing on your sales page, from all these different points, but you probably know internally, in your gut, where your key audience is going to lie on this scale. So consider this your compass to understand the core message of your headline. Screenshot this or hang on because I will give you this slide deck at the end of this presentation as well.
So, remember when I said that we try to pack too much into the headline? Well, I feel that there is actually so much space and empty real estate sitting around your headline. There's copy above and there's copy below. And so if you think about your headline as a gift to your audience about what you're going to offer up to them, think about your personality as the wrapping paper. And most importantly, remember this: do not leave your headline naked. Skipping the copy in this space before it and after is absolutely a missed opportunity to do so much heavy lifting before someone even gets into your sales page copy. It is empty space you can use to highlight. It’s your personal style of teaching, your ideal members, who you're most excited for them to learn, and maybe even a dash of humor.
Now, since I love a good example, I want to show you the difference between a naked headline that didn't do this and one that did. This is an example from my client, Suzy. She's a photographer who created a pack of mobile presets. Her audience is usually parents taking photos of kids, and they want to edit their photos on their phone.
Before, her headline was basically a long paragraph. If I try read it out, it sounds like, finally, mobile presets designed to transform your pictures into classic, beautiful images. Like, I am already running out of breath saying it. And when there’s talking about talking to someone on Zoom and reading their sales page and listening to the person, they sounded completely different. And that's how I felt about Suzy, too. She was really bubbly and quirky and super natural. And to me this felt like really forced language. But after we revamped her sales page and put some clothes on, here are where some subtle tweaks made a huge difference.
Remember when I mentioned prequalifying? We just mentioned exactly who she's trying to talk to about the key headline. And we call that exactly because she wanted to help, because when you bury it, you do all the legwork building up to it. Just make your life, and there is way easier. Say it’s for x, who wants y to do whichever part of your quest is super unique.
And in the stats headline, we did double duty. We overcame a hesitation and added personality. So a huge hesitation of people who bypass the filters to edit photos, is that it’s going to make your skin color look really weird. But instead of saying that, we said it'll enhance photos on your phone, without worrying that your family will look like they got dipped in Cheeto dust, which makes me laugh so much more. And the best part is I didn't even have to come up with that copy. I interviewed her members who had used these presets, and that is exactly word for word, that someone told me was the biggest benefit of the program. So sometimes your customers have all the answers.
Now, what does a headline like this reflect to your audience? Why is it so important? Well, I think when you take this approach, it helps them say, hey, I see you. Your ad is perfect for where we're going. If you identify them correctly on that stage of awareness, I deeply understand you, and, hey, I can have some fun. I'm imperfect, too. I don't know everything. And you can zhuzh it up a little bit and just add some spice. So take note of that. I hope all of you are going to start revamping your headlines and breaking it up a little bit now.
Okay. The next part is your bio on your sales page. That part that talks about who you are, I often see written in the third person, which makes me really sad because that's an opportunity to just be more of you. And for me, your story on your sales page should take people from lurking around to wanting to be your bestie, or even someone who maybe they’re newly obsessed with and thinking about constantly. I like to think about your bio as something that takes people on a journey of emotions. It helps you lean into your weird, who was on for Stu when he got up on his chair and just literally, like, shoved his butt in the screen. That is the weird side that we remember, and those are the things that stick with you. And I want to show you how to lean into your weird, too.
And it's also an opportunity for you to be way more vulnerable than you think. So let's dig into this. Why am I making it so important to really tantalize and entice people in this section? I want to share a story from a client of mine. I do this thing called the day spa, where people book me for a day and I work on their copy, and I sit in my copy cave here and write away. And then we check in on Zoom, and they read through it, and they let me know what they think. So the best part about it for me is I get my clients’ reactions in real time. And even though my videos, while they're reading, I'm actually secretly watching them the whole time.
So one of my clients, while she was going through the sales page that I had written, I kept hearing a little giggle, a little laugh, or a snort. And by the time she got to her bio, it was full–out loud, and it made me laugh so much and made me feel so good. That is exactly how you want your audience to be feeling on your sales page and, most importantly, in your bio. And here is why. That range of emotions, it is so much easier to buy from someone when you feel like you're getting along with them, right? I mean, even think about, you’re a school teacher, because who you are is a teacher. You probably remember the ones who felt like friends, not the ones who wowed you with amazing degrees and really impressive accomplishments. You want someone that feels like, you know, you could get a cocktail with them.
So let me offer a reframe for your sales page bio. I want you to think about it like a Tinder profile, because depending on your launch strategy, that is exactly what it is. It could be read for the first time if someone's lied and gone there from, like, a cold Facebook ad. Or you could just be coming up in someone's feed over and over again. Maybe they kind of know you. But you want to remind people why they want to keep going on dates with you. I know it's creepy, but it's true.
Now, the bio on your sales page is obviously an incredibly important part for personality, but I am so surprised how toned down people make it, and I'm pretty sure part of it is the fact that even writing your About page for your website has been a struggle, and maybe you're just copy–pasting it into the sales page. But you should totally be treating this section with as much tender, loving care as the rest of it, because this is valuable real estate on your sales page.
JASMINE STAR: In order for you to deploy your Instagram productivity planner, I'm going to tell you you’re going to need two things. Why? We're going keep it simple. Number one, your camera, a.k.a. your phone if you don't have a camera. I shoot a lot of my stuff as a professional photographer on my phone. And then number two, you're going to need caption templates. So let's dive in.
So your camera, I have used, I curated a lot of my Instagram when I had even my iPhone 7. I now have the 10. I've moved on up in the world. But simplicity is best. Now, what I want you to do next is to focus on photo topics, photo topics, so that when people are looking at your Instagram feed, they're becoming accustomed to similar themes, so that as they go through your feed, they're going to become, oh, familiar with seeing very similar visual contents on behalf of your account. So photo topics are photos that you want to use to visually represent your business.
Now, I know you could probably post a billion things on your Instagram feed. I know. But in order to use your Instagram account with a strategy, you want the visual cues to highlight what somebody can become accustomed to seeing as a visual representation of your business.
So as an example, here are a few of my photo topics. So when you go to my Instagram account, you are going to see the same familiar visual patterns occur. You are going to see pictures of my family. You're going to see my dog Polo. You're going to see coffee. You're going to see the work that I'm doing as a photographer working from home. You're going to see an inspirational quote. You're going to see these patterns visually represented so that I'm preparing my audience to become more familiar with who I am, because when people are familiar, they trust you. And when they trust you, they engage. And when they engage, they convert. That is the process. Familiarity, trust, engage, conversion. That right there, friends.
So I understand the struggle, specifically when it comes to creating photos. So I believe that when it comes to creating photos, you should build a photo bank. Yes, this is like a bank. Where you put your money, you're going to put your visual funds. So a photo bank is created by taking photos that you can use today or in the future. Your bank is photos that you can use today or in the future.
So let's walk through as an example. So I told you that one of my visual, like one of my photo topics, one of my visual cues is coffee. So let's just say, specifically because I live in California and they've closed down the state yet again, but if I knew that they were going to close it down and I knew that my photo topic was coffee, I could go to a coffee shop, and I can order a cup of coffee, and I could sit by a table by a window. And as I was sitting at a table by a window, I can bring out my phone. I can bring out my phone. And I could take a picture, a selfie with me and my coffee. Then what I could do is I can take a picture of the coffee, my computer, and a notebook, right where I'm sitting. And then what I could do is I could put my phone on a horizontal way, horizontal way, set it up against a salt and pepper shaker, set it up against a napkin holder, set it up against a book, set it up against a wall, and I would push a three–second timer. So it's a horizontal photo of my camera at a slight distance. And then what I could do is I can turn my phone vertically, and I could put it right here in the window. And I could use a timer. I could pick up my cup and kind of look away. In one situation, in one scenario, in one location, I took four different photos. Now, I could use one of those photos today on my Instagram feed, and then I could put the rest of those photos in my photo bank so that I could use next week or next month. So a photo bank empowers you to have visual content, even if you're not there at that moment. You're planning in advance.
So people often ask, “Jasmine, where should I keep my photo bank?” Well, you can keep your photo bank on a planning app. You can keep it on Google, like a Google Drive. You can keep it on Dropbox. You can keep it on a folder on your phone. It's totally up to you, and it will modify according to your behavior.
So here are a few examples. I was recently featured as one of the top female podcasts in Podcast Magazine, and I took a picture of the feature. But because I already had my content planned for the month, I got those photos, I opened the magazine, I took a picture, I put it in my photo bank, and I shared it at a later point in time.
Very similarly, we haven't been able to see my family as much due to COVID restrictions. And so what I do is I will take a picture. I was very fortunate enough to adopt a baby girl in February 2020. Our lives have changed. It's been the best. So what I'll do with what I am with my family is I'll take a few photos, post one either that day or the next day, and then put the rest in a photo bank to share at some point in the future.
Now, the same thing works for video clips. I have successfully promoted courses in my membership by way of commercials, like a.k.a. IGTV, or a.k.a. Reels, and I have shot all of them on my iPhone. So what I could do is just take video clips and then later assemble them together. Photo bank, video bank works the same way.
So, now what I want you to do, this is your action item. Remember, we're all about taking action up in here. What I want you to do is to put a photo in your photo bank once a day to guarantee you’re consistently posting your photo topics.
Now, let's break this down into a very simple example. I know course creators are oftentimes, not all, but oftentimes, side hustles. Right? So you have your full time. I'm a full–time mom, and my course is a side hustle. I'm a full–time professional, and my course is my side hustle. So when it comes time to actually being on social, you’re like, “I'm totally burnt out.” But there are days—come on, I know this—there are days where you're feeling a little fly and fresh, right? You'll do your hair. You'll do your makeup. On those days, I would heavily encourage you to shoot in a couple outfits. Put them in your photo bank so that you could share them at a later point in time.
STU MCLAREN: You must, must, must engage with your people and your students. And in doing so, you want them to engage with you and with each other. So let's talk about this.
So when it comes to engaging with you, the reason this is important is that it creates trust, and it deepens their commitment to what it is that you're teaching. And the reason you want them engaging with others is it creates momentum, progress, and all of that leads to incredible results. So let's talk about how this kind of plays out.
When it comes to engaging with you, I want you to find points of connection with your audience. Find points of connection with your audience. I'm going to show you how to do that here in just a second. And then the second point, which is really important, I want everybody to lean in right now. Okay? Lean in. If you want your people to engage in your community, you yourself have got to be engaged in your community. Let me say that again. If you want your people to be engaged in your community, you yourself have got to be engaged in your community.
Now, some people don't like hearing that, because some people want it to be automated, and they don't want to have to interact with people. And you can do that, but here's the reality. If you want your people to be interested, if you want your people to be engaging, you’ve got to, because if you're not, then why would they?
So it's really, really important. If you want your people to engage, you've got to engage. And I love and highly recommend you show up and show interest in the progress of your students. Show up for your people. When you show up for your people, you'll be amazed at how much progress they make.
And this happens in the most little ways, because when you show up for your people, your people will want to share their progress with you. Like just the other day, I got this message from Aaron, who made his first sale. And he said to me, he said, “Stu, remember you telling us a time when you made that first sale and the picture of you in the motel?” He said, “Today, I finally made my first sale, and I had to share that moment with you. Why? Because you're the one that put me on this track with TRIBE.” This is it. When you show up for your people, they want to share these moments with you. It's like when Ginger, the other day—this was last month—she set a big goal of getting to $50,000 in recurring revenue without ads, and she did it.
And when you show up for your people, they will want to celebrate because they know that you're not going to look down on them, like they're bragging. No. You're going to lift them up, you're going to amplify them, you're going to celebrate them, and this momentum begins to create momentum in your community like you cannot believe. Every single day we have people posting their wins in our community. And I'm sharing this with you because when you show up, your people will show up. And when your people show up and they start putting into practice what you're teaching, they're going to get results. And when they do, it creates momentum for everybody.
Now, what can you do to create more engagement between your students? Let's go through a couple quick practical things. When people join a community, instead of just sending them to a post in your community to introduce themselves, give them a template. Give them three questions to answer, questions that, number one, are going to let people know who they are, where they're from; why they decided to join your course; and then the third one, I want you to get creative. And if you're the kind of person that says, “Yeah, but I don't know what kind of question I should tee up for people,” I'll give you a resource here in just a minute.
And then the celebration, this is how you create that engagement with each other, when people are celebrating the wins, because when people post their wins and others celebrate them, now what it does is it creates a culture of progress, where people want to celebrate each other and they want to be celebrated. So therefore, they're looking to put what they're learning into practice and get results.
The last one is shared experiences. Be intentional about creating challenges and sprints and study groups and shared goals that you're all working toward. So if you're ever stuck on, like, well, what questions can I ask in my community? This is a resource right here. I got it right here, because we use this at our dinner table at night time, and they're just simple cards that ask different questions. You can just go on Amazon and search for table topics, and you can buy these on Amazon. And it's easy, and you'll never be stuck.
Here's another resource that I use. This one is from a dear friend, Rachel Miller. It's called postdeck.io. If you don't know what kinds of engaging questions to ask or post in your community, go get this resource. But most importantly, when you're doing the introduction post, ask a question that's going to create connection points between your students.
And this is an example of how we bring our students together in breakout sessions. So I'm not on this. I'm not leading this. But this is a way for our community to come together. We do this the first Tuesday of every month at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. And people come together to work together, to brainstorm together.
AMY: Okay. That was mind blowing. Am I right, or am I right? I was literally sitting during each presentation and taking pages of notes because everything they said was gold. I literally get excited just thinking about you getting a taste of their full presentation. I hope you took some notes, and I hope you walk away with some action items.
What I think was most special about this event is that it was just for course creators. And so all of the speakers were speaking toward growing a business with courses and getting your course out into the world and finished and launched and making it happen. So there was an extra energy, an extra intentional spirit around course creation that I absolutely loved. I have each of these speakers linked up in the show notes, so be sure to learn more about each and every one of them. And if you liked Zafira, just you wait, because I have her coming on for a full episode in just a few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
Thanks for joining me today. See you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.