AMY PORTERFIELD: “Amy has always said that you can take one course all the way to one million, and she was right.” Yes, I'm laughing because there's nothing more awkward than saying a quote about yourself, but that's beside the point. I want to talk about how one single course can generate significant revenue in your business. Not ten different courses, not a small army of offerings, just one single course.
And I'm standing over here shouting, “Yes, it can work!” I've seen it happen time and time again with my students, and it's a beautiful thing. Here's why. Because when you put your focus in one place, on one offer, over and over and over again, you minimize overwhelm, you eliminate having a million plates spinning in the air, and hone in on the next best step for that specific course or offer of any kind. Essentially, it gives you energy, focus, time, creativity, because you're not wasting it, chasing a bunch of shiny objects. Want proof? Well, my sweet friend, I've got some.
My guest on today's podcast episode generates 95 percent of her revenue from one course, and she's going to share how that can be a reality for you as well. So let's paint this picture of what's possible together.
INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
There are two things I firmly stand by. Number one, I truly believe that launching one digital course multiple times is the most effective and efficient way to generate significant revenue in your business. And number two, that a digital-course business is the best way to create more freedom in your life, whether that's time freedom, financial freedom, location freedom or all of the above, whatever freedom might mean for you. I've seen it come to fruition for so many of my students, and it may come as no surprise that I also wish that for you.
A wonderful example of that is from one of my students, Joy Foster, who's made over a million dollars by making the decision to take the leap and create a digital course through Digital Course Academy and then committed to launching that one course over and over and over again. We talk about why she decided to create a digital course, how it's been a staple in her success, tips for reaching her kind of results quicker than she actually did—meaning, what she would do instead to actually have successful launches right from the get-go. We're talking conversion rates, Facebook groups, and so much more.
I think one of my favorite parts of this episode is towards the end when Joy talks about what a digital course has done for not only her business, but also her life. She shares the freedom that it's given her, and it's so inspiring to hear her talk about the possibilities it offers, possibilities that are 100 percent achievable for you as well.
We have a lot to cover, so please help me welcome Joy.
Welcome to the show, Joy. I'm so glad you're here.
JOY FOSTER: I am super excited to be here. Thanks, Amy.
AMY: We're going to have a great conversation. And let's break this down for my audience. Share a little bit about what you do, who you serve, and why you decided to start a digital-course business.
JOY: Brilliant. Okay. So, I'm Joy Foster. I'm the founder of TechPixies, and TechPixies is all about helping women return to work, change careers, or start a business by leveraging the power of social media.
So, I used to help teenagers with long-term unemployment get back into employment through building WordPress websites. And one day the moms started saying to me, “I need what you're giving to my child.” And I said, “I don't have a product for that.” So I went to the drawing board. I created a program. It was all face to face. And we could only work with ten to twelve women at a time. I was working in two cities, trying to do it in London and also in Oxford—I live in England—and it was really hard. And I just said, “I've got to do something else. It's got to go online.” And very, very thankfully, I found out about you and signed up for Digital Course Academy.
AMY: Okay. So, let's talk about your digital course because you have one digital course that has generated over a million dollars. So congratulations, first off.
JOY: Thank you. Well, you're going to love this, Amy. So we hit a million dollars in April, and then just last week, so, mid July, we hit the million-pound mark, which is one point five million dollars. So we've really accelerated quite a lot.
AMY: Oh, my goodness. I want to talk to you about this acceleration. Okay. So, let's back up for just a bit. Congratulations. That is absolutely huge. So, I want to talk all about it. But my first question to you is this. You have one digital course. How do you think this added to your success versus if you were to have changed tracks a few times?
JOY: Yeah, that's a great question. Well, the first thing to say is it was your advice. And this is the first time we've actually spoken to each other. But I listened to every single live call that you did. And one of the live calls, someone was talking about doing multiple courses or doing a single course, and you said, and I’ve heard you say it so many times, “You can take one course to a million.” And you say all the time people get distracted, and they build multiple courses, and they don't focus on the one that's doing the best. And really, I took it to heart. You said it.
And one of the things I love about you is you always say, “I'm only going to teach you what I've done myself.” So you go out there, you learn how to do it, then you give us the marching orders, and you say, “This is how you do it.” And I just thought, “I've got to trust that what she's saying is true, and so I'm going to double down on one.”
So I had actually six online courses at the time. They were all horrible. They were forty-five-minute-long lessons, and I did everything wrong, Amy.
JOY: And when I found you, I was so thankful.
And I'll tell you another little funny thing. When I signed up, you said, “Don't skip over the course part.” You said a lot of people buy the course to learn how to market and sell their course, but you need to learn how to build a course that works. And I really was that kind of person that showed up going, “Well, I've already built my course. I've got the forty-five-minute lessons, etc.” And what I learned very quickly was I was doing it all wrong. And so I rebuilt the entire business from the ground up, using your program.
AMY: Okay. So, when you say you have forty-five-minute courses, you mean your training videos were forty-five minutes long?
JOY: Yeah. Like, one whole lesson was forty-five minutes long.
JOY: And what I know now is that’s a big no-no.
AMY: We talk about that in DCA, yes. I wanted just those who aren’t in the program understand what tends to work best, especially now, is that because people's attention span is so, so small, is that short videos, people feel a sense of completion if they can get to the end, and they'll go on to the next lesson. But back in the day, I did the same thing, Joy. I had really long videos. Some of them were even an hour long. But I had, like, ten videos in one module, so people never felt like they could get to the end, and they stopped going through my course. So I love that you brought that up.
What are some other things that you feel like, “Oh, I was doing that all wrong. That wasn't working for me”? Like, give our audience a few examples.
JOY: Oh, my gosh. We'd be here for days. There's so much I did wrong. You know, obviously, the long lessons was one of the major things. I think, you know, I didn't realize, and this is something that I know you talk about as well, I didn't realize you could sell something before you created it. And I think a lot of people, they create something and then they sell it. And actually, one of the best ways to build a course, especially the initial version of that course, is to do it live with your students. And I really am glad you gave that advice, because I personally taught all of the first modules and lessons live, but then we backed it up with shorter lessons online that people could kind of recap what they learned in the lives. And that was a really great system.
The other thing, too—I mean, this is kind of funny. The people, if anyone’s listening to this, and they were on the very first cohort that I ever ran, which was a face-to-face program, I had no plan. So talk about selling it before you created it. But online, you can't really do that. It's a little bit different. You sort of have to have a system. But when I taught it in person, people just showed up every week for five months, for four hours. And at the end of it, I was like, “Right. You know everything I know. There’s nothing else I can teach you.” And I think when I moved into the online-learning space, it was a totally different structure, and I think it was really important to take the feedback and put it in the lesson plans.
And one of the biggest gifts you gave me, which it took me a while to get my head around it, but was to create the support documents in advance, and then you build the lessons around the support documents. And I didn't do that the first time, for sure. And I sort of was scrambling the other way around. And I think one of the biggest lessons I learned from you is whatever you say to do, do, and do it in the order that you say to do it in, because whenever I do it the way that you tell me to do it, it always works.
AMY: Okay. I love that you say that, because I have a way that it works, because I've messed up so many times, and I know how it doesn't work. And so I love that you take that seriously, because that was battle tested, for sure.
But I have a question for you. Well, first of all, around the support docs, I love that you bring that up. So for those of you who don't know DCA, I want to give you a little hint that has helped me and obviously Joy now, too, which I love hearing, and that is when we talk about support docs, we're talking about the PDFs, the guides, the cheat sheets, the checklists, that you add into your course to support your students who are going through the material. Well, one of the things that helped me immensely was before I recorded the course, whether I was going to do it live or prerecorded, I determined what support docs, what PDFs, I wanted to include. That way, I knew how much I wanted to teach in the video and how much I could leave for the material in PDFs, so I didn't have to put it all into my training videos. And when you are teaching something and you can say, “Hey, I've got a cheat sheet for this, if you want to dive in deeper or if you need extra support,” that makes your students feel really supported when you're teaching them. So it is something that if you can get ahead of that and know what support documents you're including in your actual training, that helps immensely.
So, yeah, I take the course-creation part very seriously, and I know you do too. But I have a question. You started out with six digital courses. What did you do with all those courses, and how did you decide to come down to just one? How did you choose the one you wanted?
JOY: Well, another thing that you always say—you're going to think I stalk you because I know everything you say—but another thing that you say is, “A bonus is a bonus.” Right? They don't need a bonus to complete the course, but it's something that we give them in addition to. And so what I did was I looked at all the courses and I said, “Okay. Which one is selling the most?” And it was the social-media course. And then I said, “And everything else will become bonuses.” And that's pretty much what I did, and then I just raised the price, because at that point I'd wrapped all six courses into one. But, really, I doubled down on social media, and then I added WordPress bonuses, I added a Mailchimp bonus, a hashtag bonus. There’s a bunch of bonuses I added that were kind of the other courses. So I think that was a gift you gave me as well, just this concept that the bonus is a bonus. If they don’t get it, it’s not going to hinder them from moving forward with the course, but it will help them if they finish the course and they want to double down on what they’ve learned.
AMY: Yes. I love a good bonus that enhances their experience as they're going through the course or something that they could do after they take the course. But you're right—you're such an A-plus student. I absolutely love it—you should never include a bonus in your course that is essential for somebody to actually get the results you're promising. A bonus is icing on the cake. Your course should stand alone. You promise results; those results should come in the core program, whether they go through the bonus or not. So I love that, 100 percent. I'm behind that.
Okay. So, you’ve had a few launches leading up to your million-plus success. So I'm a firm believer that with each launch we learn a lot. So I have kind of a weird question, but I'm so curious what you might say to this. What do you think you could have done to actually reach your success sooner?
JOY: Oh, my gosh. Well, that's a great question. I think, you know, I've launched a lot, and I'm with you. You learn something every time you launch. And, you know, one thing that I didn't do was I didn't understand the concept of list building, and actually, the very first interaction you and I ever had, which I don't even know if you remember, but I sent an email to support after I started DCA, and I was like, “I really don't get this list-building thing.” I kind of knew you had to have a mailing list, but I didn't understand the conversion rates. And I said, “I really don't feel supported here.” And actually, it wasn't saying that I wasn't supported. It was just I really had no clue. And you did a personal voice message back to me, and you basically said, like, all the information you need about list building is here, and you told me where to go and what to do. And you just really reiterated how important it was and how important it was to you that I felt supported. And that meant the world to me.
But also, it was the probably the start, if I'm being really honest, it was the start of my mindset shift, because one of the things that you do big time is a little bit of tough love. I should say, big time, big time, a little bit. But you do tough love, but you do it in a very, very loving way. So that's what I mean. But you sort of said to me, “You've got everything you need to move forward. I know you can do this, and we want to make sure you feel fully supported.” That's when I started understanding the conversion, the reality around conversion rates. And I started to understand that in reality, a lot of online courses are 1 to 3 percent conversion rates. So if I wanted to sell ten to thirty spots on a course, I needed to have around a thousand people on my mailing list. And then my goal was to have one hundred students in a single cohort. So then I worked out how many leads I was going to have to have to do that. And that was really interesting for me to sort of reverse engineer it. Once I understood conversion rates, once I understood how that worked, then I had to work on the leads.
The mistake I made, if I would really, like, scrutinize what I did, the only time I built my list was when I was launching, which is why, Amy, I have had to launch so many times, because my list building came through my launches. I think one of the lessons I've learned from you and one of the things that's important to me now, for sure, moving forward, especially with all the iOS changes and the Facebook ads changes, that I really have to figure out a way to list build. And we're launching a quiz to that effect so that we can start to list build outside of the launches. But that would be the one move I would have made sooner was how do I start list building outside of the launching?
I think because I was so tight on cash and I knew every time I launched I could earn money and I could serve the world and earn money at the same time, which is something that's really important to me, it was one of those things where it was like let’s just keep launching so that we get to a place where financially we're okay, and then we can list build. But in retrospect, I probably would have tried to do more list building and less launching. But that's—you know, you live and learn.
AMY: You live and learn. And if you're not doing, you're not going to learn those lessons. So I 100 percent had the same experience, that in the very early days, the only time I was building my list is when I was launching. I've done webinars since the get-go. So when you do a webinar, obviously, people sign up for your webinar; they get on your list; that helps you with list building. So I was launching way more back in the day because I knew it helped me grow my list, which then helped me with conversions once people were on my list and then bought my product.
But you're right. One of the greatest lessons you and I both have learned is that you've got to be list building at all times. And what I teach my students is it's something that happens in your business. It's part of your business. It's not something that you do once and then you move on to something else. Like, always be list building, is my motto. And people will say, “Amy, what should I be doing between launches?” List building. Finding ways. Like, your quiz. Perfect idea. I love a quiz when I am not launching, because it can be evergreen, and you can run it, you can run ads to it, you could talk about it on social, you can talk about it when you're interviewed on other people's podcasts, you can drive traffic to it in so many different ways, so you can always be list building, and people love quizzes. So, such a great idea.
JOY: Well, and guess where I heard about quizzes.
AMY: I hope right on this podcast.
JOY: Right on this podcast, absolutely. This is where I learned about quizzes. And I’ve listened to every quiz podcast you’ve done.
AMY: Oh, my gosh. That’s so fantastic. Okay. Well, you’ve got to keep me updated on your results with your quiz once you get it out there and up and running, because, seriously, I think, especially for what you do, it’s going to make such a huge difference. So I want results. Don’t forget, okay?
JOY: Of course.
AMY: But I want to go back to that conversation you were talking about conversions because conversions is an important topic. Anybody who's growing an email list and who's launching any product online, you want to pay close attention to your conversion rates, which, as most of us know, but just in case anyone here that's new, that doesn't totally get what I'm talking about, I'm talking about, let's say, somebody gets on your webinar, and let's say a hundred people get on your webinar and ten people buy, then you're going to look at your percentage of conversions. So that's how you're getting those numbers. So for you, you went from 1.48 percent conversion, which was, I think, the lowest ever you had, to 15 percent conversion on your last launch, which is your best ever—15 percent conversion is outstanding. So what strategies and changes do you feel led up to that huge jump in conversion? And please break them down, because this is where my listeners can really walk away with some amazing strategies they can apply to their own launches.
JOY: Yes. Well, the first piece of information you need to know is you must listen to this podcast every single week for the rest of your life if you want to be successful, because one of the interviews you did was with some of your friends, Jill and Josh Stanton, and they talked about Facebook groups and really powerful Facebook groups. And so what I did was I learned how to leverage Facebook groups for my launches. And one of the big changes I made was instead of doing a challenge that was free—you know, a lot of people do free challenges. So instead of doing a free challenge, I did a paid challenge. And I charged thirty-seven pounds to join this Facebook group, and I was going to teach live—well, I did teach live. I taught live Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so I gave value for three full days, and we had homework in between. That was the challenge part. So they had to do a live video on one of the days. They had to create a Canva vision board on another day. We had a certification process where you could take a quiz and get a certificate, and you could take a picture of yourself with your certificate and post that in the group. So that was your homework after the third day. And then what I did was on the fourth day, which was the Monday following—so it was Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Monday—on that final Monday, I then said, “Look, if you loved the last week, we've got more of that if you want to come and join our ninety-day transformational program,” and that's when I invited people into our ninety-day transformational program. I gave even more training on that day about the three things that I see that hold women back from moving forward, and we talk about that and some of the mindset shifts that need to be made to really move forward in your life. And then I open up the program.
And I think the key thing here was (a) learning how to use a Facebook group successfully for a challenge, which includes the teaching and then also the homework assignments that they post into the group. I think that was a big deal. And then the second thing that I think we did really well was charged for it. And, you know, this strategy is a little bit tricky because from a Facebook ads perspective, you end up paying a lot more because you're basically paying for a sale, not a lead. So I will say it's not for the faint hearted. I definitely had to be comfortable spending a lot of money on ads. But what it did do for us was it meant that every single person in the launch was a paying customer. And it also meant that we made sure that they felt that they got more than the thirty-seven-pounds’ value.
The other thing we did is we have a support and community manager. She put together a group of volunteers of our alumni. Now, I learned that trick from you as well, because I have volunteered as one of the people that has helped you with DCA. So I had already learned how to do that. And so we just rolled that out to our own alumni and said, “Listen, guys. If you want to get some credits for doing community management, and you want to get some additional experience, this is a great opportunity for you.” And then we were able to give them some nice perks as alumni in our program.
So I think it was a culmination of a lot of different things. But I think the first thing was learning how to use a Facebook group successfully, making sure that there was homework as part of the challenge that people had to post, making sure that there was wraparound support with the volunteers from our program that were alumni and had been in those shoes before, and then, yeah, just showing up. And then, you know, don't forget, you got to make an offer if you want to make people move forward in their life. They've got to make a choice. Am I going to join them or not going to join them? Am I in? Am I out?
AMY: That’s so very true.
Now, let's talk about the VIP boot-camp option, because when you and I were talking, you said, “We also had a VIP option, which 10 percent of boot campers took us up on. It was nerve racking, as I knew we would have far fewer people in the launch than our previous launches, typically around four thousand, and we didn't know how it would convert.” So let's dive into what that looked like and how you took action even while you had those nerves.
JOY: Oh, yeah. Well, I'm now a certified master neurocoach, so I have learned how to hack with the conscious.
JOY: But it's really important. You have these things called automatic negative thoughts that pop up when you want to do something challenging. And it was very scary. You know, our launches were four thousand people. And then to say, “Okay, we're only going to get four hundred people in the launch,” because that was what the ad spend could allow us to do. It’s the same equivalent ad spend with four hundred people versus four thousand, we then thought, “Okay, well, let’s try this VIP option because that also helps us to claw back some of the ad spend.”
So you have the thirty-seven-pound ticket to get into the boot camp, and then we had the VIP option, which I want to say was fifty-seven pounds. So it was ninety-four pounds total. And you sort of have to multiply that by 1.5 to get the dollar equivalent, so about one hundred and forty dollars or so.
And what I did was I did three live coaching sessions of me doing neurocoaching. So one of the things that I've learned with women over the years is social media is—anyone can learn social media. Anyone can have social media as a skill set. That's not what stops people from doing social media. So the thing that stops people from doing social media is perfectionism, compare and despair, imposter syndrome, all of those things that creep up. As soon as you want to go post something on Instagram, you then look at everybody else's stuff, and you go, “Well, mine's not as perfect as that,” or you're afraid to go on Twitter because you're going get trolled. And so there's all these fears that crop up, all these automatic negative thoughts.
So what I did was as part of the VIP package, I said, “Well, come along with me, and I'll hack your brain, basically. I'll work through some of these ants and help you overcome your fear.” And it was very powerful, really, really powerful, and we were able to get some people through some major blocks that were holding them back from being on social media in the first place.
Amy, you have a huge audience of people who know how to use social media. My audience is people, generally, who don’t know how to use it, feel like it’s passed them by. And so there’s a lot of thoughts that you have to overcome in order to take action, and that’s really the very powerful work we do at TechPixies, and I was able to do that with the VIP. Interestingly enough, the VIPs—and this is why it's important to have a VIP offering—40 percent of the VIPs then signed up for our ninety-day transformational program because they saw the value in what we were doing.
AMY: Okay. That is huge. And also, let's back up a little bit. You had mentioned you were a little bit fearful of spending so much money on ads. So my first question is, how did you get past that fear of spending money on ads? And also, talk a little bit about this cost per lead and kind of how you figured all that out, because this is an area I know many of my listeners are kind of feeling stuck in.
JOY: Yeah. So cost per lead is basically this. Let's say you spend a thousand—now you're going to test my math skills—you spend a thousand pounds, and you get a thousand people join. Your cost per lead is one pound per person, right? And when you're selling a paid challenge, you might spend a thousand pounds, and instead of getting a thousand people or a hundred people, you might get ten people, right? You might be paying one hundred pounds per lead. So that's the cost per lead is how much does it cost me to get this person into my launch? And of course, cost per lead is when they haven't given you any money. Cost per sale, which is what I like to refer to it as in the boot camp because they are giving us money, they are customers, they’re paying customers, so your cost per sale is probably going to be higher than your cost per lead, especially if your lead magnet or your challenge is free. So that’s the first part of that.
Interestingly enough, I was increasing my ad spend every launch, and I was very conservative. In fact, what I was doing, Amy, was I was spending the same amount for three launches, and then once I felt comfortable with the results from three launches, I would then increase the amount for the next three launches. And that's sort of what I did. So I would spend five hundred, three times; five hundred pounds three times, and then I would spend a thousand pounds three times. And it was sort of getting to the point where we just weren't moving quickly enough in terms of reaching the amount of people that we wanted to help because we are a social enterprise, so our mission is to improve women's access to employment through tech training, and it was really important to me that we reached as many women as possible.
So when COVID hit—this was the real game changer for me—when COVID hit last year, I thought, “What can we do to make a difference to help people? because a lot of people are losing their jobs right now, a lot of people are unsure about the future. What can we do?” And what I did was I decided that I was going to double down on my ad spend. At that point, I had only ever spent five thousand pounds on ads. I had a major freak out. My brain was going completely nuts. All the ants had come out. They were all over me.
And, really, there were two things that got me through it, both of whom came through your podcast. So Jennifer Allwood’s book, Fear Is Not the Boss of You, I read that. I read it, like, three times in that weekend. I just kept listening to it over and over and over again on Audible and just got the courage— You know, one thing you say is, “If you don't have the confidence, grab the courage.” That's one of the quotes that I wrote down from you years and years ago. And I didn't have the confidence, so I definitely had to grab the courage. But the second person who really helped me through that was Dr. Shannon Urban, and I was doing her master neurocoaching program at the time, and I got a hot seat with her. And she just said to me, “Look, Joy. Do you know your numbers?” And I said, yes. And she goes, “You've got to trust the numbers, not your feelings.” And that was major for me—
JOY: —because I did know my numbers.
JOY: I had launched so many times. I knew we had conversion rates. I knew we knew what we were doing. And so I doubled down. And the most amazing, miraculous thing happened because we ended up having a hundred and seventeen students came in on that launch. And I remember popping the cork and pouring the champagne. And we've had some incredible success stories out of that group of students. And I look back on it, and I just think of all of those fears I had to overcome. And I'm so grateful that I did overcome them, that I trusted the numbers, not my feelings, and that I pushed forwards. But I did need help, you know, and I think that's where coaching makes a huge difference and support from people you know and love. And I remember even direct messaging Jennifer, going, “I'm literally binge listening to your book all weekend long,” and she’d just message me back and was like, “You're going to be fine. Go for it.”
AMY: I love that. I love that you went for it, and you got the support that you needed, especially when it came to mindset, because I think so many of us, you know, my podcast primarily is about the strategy and the steps and the how-to and all of that is so important. But the reason I sprinkle in the mindset in the inspiration is that I feel as though it is more important, and that's exactly what kind of got you through that hump.
I want to report on something that happened to you with this VIP boot camp and actually charging for the boot camp, which is something different than I do. I have considered it. I definitely might do that in the future. And I love the model of the boot camp. So just to make sure everyone's clear, they sign up for a boot camp. They pay for the boot camp. They get this great experience. I think it was a seven-day boot camp. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, they got core trainings, right?
JOY: Yep. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, core training. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, homework. And then we did the open cart and the final training, if you will, that led to the open cart on the Monday, the final Monday.
AMY: So they pay for a boot camp, and then they get sold into the bigger program. And because you had people pay for your boot camp, I have a note here that you recouped 60 percent of your ad sales before you even launched your course. Is that right?
JOY: Yeah, 60 percent of the ad spend. Yeah, we clawed it back before we even launched the course. That was amazing.
AMY: That is huge. And so finding these unique ways to actually pay for ad spend, especially before you even launched the dang course, is really incredible. So I am so glad that I am having you on the podcast, talking about what you did, because everyone does things differently. You've tried things that I haven't even tried, and they've worked great for you. And so one of the things I love about teaching DCA and just teaching about digital-course creation and launching in general is I can give you the framework, but if you're bold enough, if you're courageous enough, you'll go out and try new things based on what you learned through me, and you'll go beyond. And that's exactly what you did with this boot camp. I absolutely love the idea, so just want to give you kudos for that.
JOY: Well, I just want to say thank you, because the idea for all of that came from listening to your podcasts and listening to all the different experts you have on it. The other thing, too, that I think is really important for your listeners to hear and also for you to hear, the sales-page structure is your sales-page structure still, from DCA.
AMY: Ah, love that.
JOY: The final webinar, the final teaching, that's still your structure. And trust me. I have tried and I have invested in all of the other ways of doing it, and I always come back to yours. So you're right. I have gone out. I have gotten additional coaching. Your good friend, Rick Mulready, he helped me with Facebook ads. I did his coaching program. You know, I've gotten a lot of coaching and support over the years, but I am, number one, an action taker, so I think it’s important for people to listen to this and go “Joy not only worked with her coaches, but she took action.” I think that’s very important, because some people will sign up to courses and not take action. I’m definitely the action-taking type.
But I think the second thing to know is just that your sales-page structure and your webinar structure and your course structure, that is all still intact. It's not been messed with, it's not been changed, and it's just been improved. Every time you release DCA, I go through it again, and I just improve it as you improve DCA. So I feel really lucky in that way.
AMY: Ah, so fantastic to hear. I love what you've done with your success. And I'm not done with you, because I've got some more questions. I actually want to go back to that question I asked you about increasing your conversion, going from 1.48 percent conversion to 15 percent on your last launch, and different ways you did that. And you had a free course, like a training series, and it ran for about a year. So can you tell me about that? because I do believe that had something to do with your success as well.
JOY: Yeah. So that was the COVID series. We started that when COVID hit, and it was called Social Media Supercharge. And the interesting thing, though, Amy, is when I did the boot camp, we tried to sell—this is a good lesson, actually—we tried to take the free program, Social Media Supercharge, and we tried to just put a price tag on it and just say, “Okay. We're now charging for Social Media Supercharge.” That did not go down well. No one bought it, because they've seen all the ads that it was free. So why would they go and buy it now? because they could have got it free. And so that was interesting. So I chickened out, actually, and I ended up reverting it back to being free.
And then I made the VIP price thirty-seven pounds. This was when I was sort of switching from the free model to the boot-camp model, and I did literally chicken out. We had three days of ads, and no one bought. And then I realized people are seeing this, and they're used to seeing it for free, and now I'm trying to sell it to them, and they don't want to buy it. So we went back to free on the baseline, and then we did a pay for the VIP. And that's when we had a good uptake of VIPs because we were able to distinguish between the two.
But what was really interesting was when we decided to go all in on charging for the boot camp and not have it be free at the baseline, meaning, it wasn't free to come into the boot camp with a VIP that was paid, but the whole thing was paid, that's when I had to rebrand it. And this is really interesting because I was really at a loss with what to call it and what to do with it, because I didn't want to change the lessons. I knew the lessons worked, and I knew what we were teaching was good. We had feedback that it was a little bit overwhelming on the third day. So I pulled back and restructured the third day. But I didn't really want to change the boot camp. It was working. It was a good boot camp.
So what I did was I went to my group, so we have a Facebook group for our ninety-day transformational program, and I said, and all the current students are in there, all the alumni are in there, and I said, “Hey, guys. I need some help. I want to change, I want to rebrand Supercharge to something else. And I'm just at a loss for ideas.” And it was our community who came up with all sorts of ideas. And then someone was inspired by one of our coaches who'd posted a picture about a superhero. And she said, “Why not Social Media Superhero?” And I was like, “Yes, that's it.”
And what was really interesting at that point was I knew we needed to rebrand the whole training because it needed to be totally different. And that's when I came up with the six social-media superhero super powers. And that's when I could, on day one, I could teach super power one, super power two. On day two, I could teach super power three and four. And on day three, I could teach super power five and six. And then on the fourth training, the final training, I could wrap it all up, bring it all together, bring it all home, and summarize it all. And that was very exciting.
But it was one of those things where I literally, we were, my brand manager and I, we were tag teaming. So I would work until three o'clock in the morning because we were rolling. We had to rebrand and roll this out almost overnight. I was working until three o'clock in the morning to rewrite the script. She was then taking it at four o’clock in the morning, and she was sleeping, getting up early, and rebranding. And literally, that’s how we rolled out the new boot camp. But it was brilliant, and it was a lot of fun, and it also gave me a wonderful talking point. So now I have the six social-media superhero powers, super powers, and I can talk about that on podcasts or I can do it as a talk for an event, etc. So it really was really cool. It kind of worked out.
But I will say one thing, Amy. I got on a Q&A with you, and I said, in Momentum because I’m one of your Momentum members, but I got on a Q&A with you and I said, “Our conversion rate keeps dropping, and we're not getting the sign ups we need. Like, what do you think's going wrong?” And you said to me, “Joy, I think it's tired. I think what you're doing, people have heard it for a year. They need something new and fresh.” And that was the catalyst for me to go and post in my group, “I need help changing this because we need to change it.”
JOY: So I literally listen to every word you say and apply it and it works. So just don't ever stop teaching me. I love it.
AMY: You are definitely a dream student, that is for sure. Dream student.
Okay. So, this is fascinating. I didn't know all this back story, and I really love to hear it because one of the things for my listeners to kind of pay attention to is this stuff doesn't just happen overnight, and it doesn't just happen in a flash, meaning, there were different iterations of this. It started as one thing; it moved into another. She got feedback from her group. She got this great idea. That moved into the six super powers. And so you have to give yourself the space and time for this kind of magic to happen. So if you try to rush through everything and you get frustrated that it's not coming together, you're actually stripping yourself of this process that just happens over time if you stay present, and like Joy said, if you are an action taker.
I one thing I learned from Marie Forleo back in the day was that if you're looking for clarity, you've got to get into action. Action creates clarity. And Joy is, like, literally a perfect example of that phrase. Action creates clarity. She started doing it. She got in there. She was making decisions. She was asking questions. And then the clarity happened over time.
JOY: Well, there's another piece to this. And I'm glad you brought up Marie Forleo, because I also listened to your podcasts and got her book, Everything is Figureoutable. And that became a mantra for me that I could figure anything out. And I loved that. And one of the things that I think is really important—taking action’s really, really important. If you don't take action, you're not going to move forward. But I think the other thing to remember is when you're trying to make a decision, if you are thinking from lack and you are thinking from the problem, you're not going to find the solution. So one of the big mindset shifts I had to make is to stop saying, “This is the problem. This is the problem. This is the problem.” And to start saying, “What's the solution? What's the solution? What's the solution?” So I really switched from problem to solution as an overall general mindset in everything I do. So I now don’t look at things and say, “Oh, that's a problem,” or “We've got a problem.” I look at it and say, “What's the solution? What are we going to do?” And if you're looking for the solution, you will find the solution. If you're looking at the problem, you're going to stare at the problem, and it's going to be a very painful, lonely game, staring at that problem.
And I heard a quote the other day that I thought was so cool, and it was like, we should stop taking our problems to God and start bringing God to our problems. And I feel like that is what that is. It's let's look for the solution, because it's like the light bulb. The light bulb, the ability to make the light bulb, existed long before Edison figured it out, right? The ability to make a car existed long before Ford figured it out. They were just unwilling to stop until they figured it out. And so if you have this everything-is-figureoutable mindset, and you have this mindset that you will find the solution, you just haven't found it yet, you'll keep turning over the stones until you find them. And I think that's been—taking action step number one and then the mindset of what's the solution? is really step number two.
AMY: Okay. That is fantastic. I'm so glad we went down that road to talk about that, because it does make a huge difference. If you think in those terms, holy cow, imagine what's possible. Imagine what you can do.
And speaking of solutions, I actually want to ask you a question, because I'm curious, and I've never really asked one of my guests this type of question when it comes to launching. Do you have a debrief or some kind of implementation process that you use to help you troubleshoot and find solutions from launch to launch? Do you have a process behind that?
JOY: Oh, yeah. So we started tracking everything, just because I didn't know what to track, right? I was like, “Let's just track everything and see what sticks.” So we tracked, because we do this four-part series where we do the three parts of training and then the final opening day, we started tracking who's showing up for each of the sessions. We tracked the number of people who did their homework. We tracked all of the email-open rates and click rates, which, by the way, very interesting, when our launch was free, when our challenge was free, our boot camp was free, we had open rates that were, like, I'd say 30 to 40 percent. As soon as it was a paid offering, our open rates were 70 to 90 percent. So people, when they pay, they play, right? So that was one of the lessons we learned was our open rates shot through the roof and our click-through rates shot through the roof as soon as we started tracking the emails. Let's see. We also tracked our ad spend. We also tracked—I mean, we tracked all sorts of things, the people who pay in full versus the people who are paying in twelve pay. We tracked the people who joined the Facebook group versus not joining the Facebook group.
And what all these numbers did, and the first time you do it, you just have a bunch of numbers. They don't say anything to you. But this is where my data analytic geek side comes out. This is where I get really excited. Once you have two data points, two data sets, you can start to see what's working, what’s not working. And that's when we knew that our conversion rates were dropping. That's when we knew that certain emails were working better than others. That's when we knew what homework people were doing and what homework they weren't doing. And so it really informed us for everything that we needed to do. And we were really able to put together a spreadsheet so that we could cross compare. And it is a debrief, and we cross compare. We look at all the numbers.
And what we do now is we highlight in green the best across all of the launches. So we just debrief the last three launches, and we always have a win. And I think this is important, and, Amy, you talk about this a lot. Like, you know the person who does their first launch and nobody buys, crickets. No one's buying, and they're distraught. And you think, “Well, actually, put your numbers together, launch again, and then see what happens the second time, but you've got numbers now to compare.”
And, you know, the funny thing is, like there were major things I forgot in my first launch. Like, I remember in my very first launch, and I did it DCA style. It was webinar. It was online. And I had no idea how good my conversion rates were either, so people don't also realize that. When I first started, and I did just the single webinar, I had some of my best students bought off of that single webinar. I only had six students in my first lunch, and I only had twenty people show up to my webinar. So I was really distraught and upset that I only had twenty people show up, and I only had six people buy. But actually, that conversion rate is pretty darn good.
JOY: But what I realized is what a gift those first six students were for me, and I was able to improve everything based on their feedback. And in fact, one of the gals that was one of those first six online students, she's now my COO.
AMY: Oh, my gosh.
JOY: She's now in charge of the entire company. She started messaging me, going, “Hey, you've got a typo here, and you've got a typo there.” So I started paying her to fix the typos, and then she ended up running the company with me.
JOY: So I think it's important to celebrate your wins. And one of the beautiful things that our launch debrief does is over time it allows us to see the wins. And every single launch, even that launch that was a 1.48 percent conversion rate, even though that was our worst conversion rate, you could look at that launch, and we could still tell you five things that we did better in that launch than we did in any other launch, because we're looking for the wins.
And that's also important in life. You got to look for the wins. You've got to look at what's working and be really proud about that. And I learned that from you. I did not know that I needed to celebrate the wins. And that's been a huge part of my development as an entrepreneur is celebrating the wins. And we celebrate the wins in our group. Every single Friday, we have a wins thread, and it's just filled with all the things people are doing in our group, and it's just magical. And I just want to thank you for that gift because I never looked at life that way. I was always disappointed. I was never the type person—you know, I was disappointed with six students, I was disappointed with twenty people in the webinar, and I didn't realize how toxic that was. And once I started looking for the wins and started changing my mindset, which is a big piece of what you do, that really was important to me for having success. So I can look at any launch now, and I can find the success in it.
AMY: Wow. This is so incredible because, oh, my gosh, Joy, I'm going to have to repeat your story over and over again to so many of my students, because you went from six students in your very first launch to having one course that's generated over a million dollars for you. I mean, that is incredible. And the fact that it's not like you were disappointed then and then you started to get more excited when you got more students. But you actually set your mindset early on, saying, “Wait a second. I've got to celebrate these wins all along the way.” I don't want my students celebrating only when they hit a million dollars. I want them celebrating those six students, because you're right, those six students were a gift to you. And look, one of them is running your company with you. Like, how incredible is that?
JOY: If you wait until you hit the million to be excited about what you're doing, you're going to have a long, long, lonely slog, you know? The really important thing, and, Amy, it might sound easy, but I have to say shifting my mindset wasn't necessarily that easy. I spent probably the first three or four—sorry. Yeah, the first six launches—probably feeling more disappointed than I was excited. And it wasn't until you kept saying, “Celebrate the small wins. Celebrate the small wins,” and obviously, I was getting some other coaching as well, it was when I started saying, “Okay. Let's look for the win. Let's find the solution.” And then once you start doing that, then it starts to click, and you get a new way of thinking.
In master neurocoaching we say it takes sixty-seven days to rewrite a neural network. And I was probably a neural network of negativity in terms of the way that I looked at a lot of things. And, you know, that could stem from the fact that my name’s Joy and I have to live my whole life as a happy person because I'm named Joy. You can't have a grumpy Joy around. But I will say I did have to make a fundamental tectonic shift in the way that I thought about things. And it did take sixty-seven days at least to make that shift. But once you repeat the new thought process over and over again and you keep it positive and focused on a wanted, desired future rather than an unwanted undesired future, you're moving in the right direction.
And I have had a lot of coaching and a lot of support, but I've also taken action, and that's been really important. And it started with the seed that was DCA, and I will be forever grateful. I mean, there's so much in my life that wouldn't have happened if I had not found DCA. And I'm not going to lie about this. The money I spent on DCA was the last money I had available to me in my account.
AMY: Oh, I didn't know that.
JOY: There was nothing left after that, Amy.
AMY: Oh, no.
JOY: That was it. If it didn't work, we were out of business.
AMY: That makes me feel very emotional. Like, I want to cry because although I wouldn't have encouraged you to spend your last dollars on DCA, the fact that you've been able to be such a go-getter and all the things you've done with and without DCA, just everything you've been able to create is incredible.
And I'm curious. What has a digital course done for your life? Like, in terms of giving you time or location freedom or breaking the glass ceiling or whatever it might be, what has a digital course done for your life?
JOY: Well, I am officially unemployable.
AMY: Yeah. Amen, sister. I love it.
JOY: I'm never, ever going to work for someone again, which is a gift. I was always like a square peg in a round hole. I never quite fit in the corporate world. I also wanted to be around for my kids. I have a ten-year-old and an eleven-year-old now, and I wanted to be able to do the school run. That's what they call it in the UK, where you drop your kids off and pick them up. I wanted to do the ballet recitals. I wanted to do the school plays. Also, you know—and it's not to say that I haven't worked a ton. I've worked a lot. But what I will say is I can go to those things.
I went away—actually, this is a funny story—I went to the Entrepreneur Experience in San Diego, that you ran. And I came back, and my husband had signed me up to be the secretary of the local football club, which is soccer in the UK, and the girls’ coach. So I said, “I'm never going away again.”
AMY: Geez. That’s a lot.
JOY: But that's the blessing. I get to be the girls’ coach. I get to be the football secretary, I get to help out at my church. I get to do so much that I want to do. And it's not to say that I don't work hard. I do work hard.
But one of the big blessings it’s given me, because your system is so good, we have been able to really accelerate the revenue in the business. And that has meant that I can hire amazing people, most of whom are my students, to help me build the business. And that's been a blessing. Like, we now have a leadership team with four people. I have a head of curriculum. I have a head of support and community management. I have a COO, and I have a CMO.
And they just, you know, in fact, it's really funny. I'm taking my first three weeks off from the 6th of August to the 28th of August. And today I said to my leadership team, right, “Here's what I would love when I'm gone,” and they're up to the challenge, and they're going to do it. And I'm so excited. And they don't want me to do any work. They're going to just run the company completely without me for three weeks. And it's going to be great. They're going to be amazing.
AMY: Wow. That is incredible. I love hearing this. Joy, you have been such a huge success story in all that you've done. I know it hasn’t been easy, I know it’s been a long run, but everything that you’ve created and the way you’ve created it is so inspiring, so thank you so very much for coming on the show and sharing your story.
JOY: Well, thank you for having me. And I hope if one person hears this and it helps them move forward, then we've done our job.
AMY: We've done our job. You’re so right.
Where can people learn more about you?
JOY: So, we are TechPixies—t-e-c-h-p-i-x-i-e-s—all over the Internet.
Thanks again, and congratulations on all your big successes.
JOY: Thanks, Amy.
AMY: All right. Here's the deal and the moment of truth. I want to have a heart to heart with you. I realize that talking about making a million dollars with one digital course when you might not have a topic idea or a huge email list may seem like a stretch, but don't be fooled, and don't let your ego get in the way. Joy is the same as you and I. She once had no idea what her topic was going to be, but she knew she could come up with something. She grew her list over time and not overnight. This can be you, too. So what if you swapped out the phrase a million dollars with three thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, maybe twenty thousand? How would that kind of money make a difference in your life? Because guess what. Once you make three thousand, you can make ten thousand. Once you make ten thousand, you can make one hundred thousand. The sky's the limit, my dear friend.
All right. So here's what I want you to do. I know you're sitting there and your wheels are turning. You're probably thinking, “If this is possible, what would be my one digital course?” Well, I have something to help you identify it. It’s a quiz that will take you no more than two minutes, and it's going to help you pinpoint what to do next on your digital-course journey, meaning where to start. And you can grab it at amyporterfield.com/quiz. This quiz will actually give you a personalized path to creating that one profitable digital course, that one that will help you achieve your wildest dreams. That’s amyporterfield.com/quiz.
Thanks for joining me today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.