RACHEL GAINSBRUGH: “The security blanket of the W-2, right?”
AMY PORTERFIELD: “Yes.”
RACHEL: “That's what I was holding onto for years and years and years. But at one point, around the pandemic, they had to cut back, and I got laid off.”
AMY PORTERFIELD: “Whoa.”
RACHEL: “Like, legitimately. With a whole doctorate, Amy, I got laid off my job. So, so much for that security blanket. And you know what? The light bulb went off. It’s like, ‘Oh, you're replaceable at these big corporations.’ And so that's what I would say to them. Your security blanket is not really that secure, so kind of think about that as well.
“And then when I transitioned into really doubling down on my course and teaching others and really making that impact, I had surpassed my annual salary, three x my annual salary. But, you know, that's what was happening. And I actually thought that I needed one more pay bomb. I thought that I needed one more thing, and it was all excuses. I was gaslighting myself, essentially. It was time to go.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the 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 a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Real quick, I want to tell you about a podcast called No Straight Path. It's hosted by Ashley Menzies Babatunde, and she sheds light on the stories behind shiny resumes, social-media highlights, job titles, and she aims to humanize success. Featuring guests from all walks of life, No Straight Path inspires conversations around the nuanced perspective of success. Start by checking out her episode titled “Success is Maximizing Happiness,” where she talks about defining yourself by the positive impact that you can make versus your profession.
Listen to No Straight Path wherever you get your podcasts.
Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. Today’s episode is a juicy one.
Now, you probably already know that because you clicked on it. But I am so freaking excited to share with you this specific conversation I had with one of my students, because she's sharing her incredibly inspiring story, which I think many of you will be able to relate to, including feeling trapped by golden handcuffs.
So her name is Rachel Gainsbrugh, and she's one of my students, as I mentioned. She left her cushy job as a pharmacist. Now, cushy, I say that kind of tongue in cheek. But she's getting paid well, had a lot of security, so she thought, as a pharmacist. And for reasons that she'll share with you, she embarked on a journey as an entrepreneur.
Now, in our conversation, she dishes out some advice for full-time nine-to-fivers looking to make the leap into entrepreneurship, along with real, raw answers to what kept her on the fence from joining my signature program, Digital Course Academy. You're going to crack up when she talks about wanting a refund. And she also shares a breakdown of her very first launch, which ended up generating—I'm not even going to tell you. Your mind’s going to be blown. Very first thing she's ever marketed online.
So she’s going to talk about what worked for her, the hard lessons she learned, some unique approaches to launching, and where she's headed now that she has a successful digital course. So this is a jam-packed episode with my sweet, brilliant student, Rachel, and I'm so excited for her to share her story with you. So let's get to it.
Well, hey, there, Rachel. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
RACHEL: Oh, my goodness, Amy. Thank you so much for having me. I am such a huge fan. I am in your community. I've been following you. You have changed my life. DCA has changed my life. So thank you, thank you, thank you.
AMY: Oh, my gosh. That’s a course-creator's dream to hear that. So thank you so much for that.
Listen, you've got a really fun story, a really important story to tell. And for those of you who are nine-to-fivers right now, I especially want you paying attention. But for those of you who have ventured out into the entrepreneurial world, I think there's something in here for you as well.
So let's first start at the top. Like, tell people who you are, what you're all about, what you do in your business. Let's start there.
RACHEL: Yeah. So I am a pharmacist by training, but I ventured into real estate, and now I teach busy professionals, medical professionals, pharmacists like myself how to ditch the burnout by creating their very own luxury short-term rentals. So just one Airbnb is what they need to really ditch the burnout and create a life of their dreams.
AMY: Luxury—wait. Say it again. Luxury Airbnbs?
RACHEL: Airbnb. Yeah, Mm-hmm.
AMY: Okay. So very different than what your trade is, and we're going to talk about that transition. And do you see, when you teach people how to do this, do you see them staying in their job and having this as a side hustle, or do you see them moving into that full time?
RACHEL: You know, most of them, like me, you know, in medicine, when you go into medicine, you don't go in to leave for a side hustle, per se, right?
RACHEL: But they do stay in their jobs. Oftentimes, they cut back significantly so that they can work the hours that they want and work on their own terms and not necessarily trade their hours for dollars. Like many of us start off with all those student loans, you don't have too many options. You have to just go in and go all in, work those long shifts, pick up extra shifts. And so they do cut back significantly. And oftentimes, they stay in, but they don't work nearly as many hours as they were before.
AMY: That's incredible. That could change somebody's life when they have this other business bringing in revenue so they can be a little bit choosier as they navigate through their nine-to-five job. So I love when digital courses allow people to explore something different like that.
So here's the deal. You were a pharmacist.
AMY: And you actually have left that behind. So what made you want to leave such a solid, great job? I'm sure you got paid well.
AMY: What made you leave that and join the wild journey of entrepreneurship?
RACHEL: Well, on the outside looking in, you know, family, friends, they all are like, you're this fancy doctor. You're such a fancy-schmancy doctor. But behind the scenes, Amy, they did not see the fourteen-hour shifts, the swelling ankles from being on your feet all day, the stress coming from corporate, and more being shoved at you without the support that you need.
And then, unfortunately, we got hit with a really bad opioid pandemic also.
RACHEL: And so we had to face that on a day-to-day basis, drug seekers. And our store got held at gunpoint at one point, which was just, it's tragic. You know, everyone's okay. But I realized that the only way for me to really, really get ahead and create something and a life that I desired was to break away from the status quo, right?
RACHEL: That W-2, that paycheck was not the answer. Sorry, Mom and Dad. But you know, that is the truth. And so that's why I stepped away.
AMY: It makes perfect sense. I can't imagine the physical toll, the emotional toll of a job like that, so I get it. And there are a lot of people listening that also are feeling an emotional toll or a physical toll on themselves with their nine-to-five jobs, but they're getting paid. They have a steady paycheck. They've got the benefits. There’s security around there. And they want to become entrepreneurs, but they have not taken the leap. What would you say to someone like that, and how did you actually make this transition work for you?
RACHEL: Yeah. So the security blanket of the W-2, right?
RACHEL: That's what I was holding onto for years and years and years. But at one point, around the pandemic, they had to cut back, and I got laid off.
RACHEL: Like, legitimately. With a whole doctorate, Amy, I got laid off my job.
AMY: Would you have ever guessed that was going to happen?
RACHEL: Absolutely not, because there’s such a shortage for pharmacists. As a matter of fact, there's a company right now offering seventy-five thousand sign-on bonus.
RACHEL: And the pharmacists I'm speaking to, they're like, “Oh, no. That company? No thanks. It’s just not even worth it.”
AMY: They’re so desperate.
RACHEL: Like, that’s a lot of money. Yeah.
RACHEL: That’s a lot of money, you know? But I got laid off. So, so much for that security blanket.
And you know what? The light bulb went off. It’s like, “Oh, you're replaceable at these big corporations.” And so that's what I would say to them. Your security blanket is not really that secure, so kind of think about that as well.
And then when I transitioned into really doubling down on my course and teaching others and really making that impact, I had surpassed my annual salary, three x my annual salary.
AMY: Whoa. Okay. So I was going to say I know that you had a plan to leave your nine-to-five job in 2023. But here we are in 2022. You have officially left. So how did that happen? Like, when did you do the official transition?
RACHEL: Yeah. So my mantra for 2022 was “Free in ’23. Free in ’23.”
RACHEL: And every month I had my roadmap to being Free in ‘23. I didn't make it past February ‘22.
AMY: Oh, my goodness.
RACHEL: And you know what? And as sad as it is—because it's a profession that I love, and I'll consult with them every now and then. I know that, you know, we had things that popped up that were urgent. You know, I'll go in for an hour and just give my thoughts and ideas on how to build things up—but it goes to show that I was ready. I was ready to go, but I kept making excuses, Amy. I said, “You know what? After I get that one more bump, after I get that one more raise. If only I were making x, y…” I should have left in ‘21. I should have left in ’21, or just cut back significantly because I was ready.
And my husband, up until this point, he had retired from his psychotherapy practice. And he deals with children in the public-school system, and it started to have a toll on him. And he was looking over at me sideways. He's like, “Hello.” And that’s why I love your story with Hobie, “Hello. When are you going to hang out and cut back,” you know?
RACHEL: And so I looked forward to building a business like yours, Amy, with four-day work weeks.
But, you know, that's what was happening. And I actually thought that I needed one more pay bomb. I thought that I needed one more thing, and it was all excuses. I was gaslighting myself, essentially. It was time to go.
AMY: Ooh. I love this. There’s somebody listening right now that they're like, “Oh gosh. That was the little bit of the nudge I needed,” where you could be gaslighting yourself. Like, there's so many excuses. “Just six more months. I just need to save this much more money. Or this is not a good time because this just happened.” It is never a perfect time. I don't know anybody who left their job and said everything worked out perfectly. But I have heard, and I just heard from you, “I should've done it sooner.” I think just for a lot of our mental-health individuals with mental-health issues around the jobs they have right now, I think a lot of people should be leaving sooner than they are. But it's very scary. I don't take that lightly, either.
So the fact that you were able to leave earlier than you had planned and going all in with your business, your digital course, and how you built that is incredible. And I want to break down the numbers of your digital course. I want to share with people what it looks like, how you did it, all that.
But before we get there, as you mentioned earlier, you are a Digital Course Academy member, and we are so thrilled that you're part of our community. We absolutely love you. So tell me this. You were on the fence before you joined Digital Course Academy, so what kept you on the fence, and why did you finally take the leap?
RACHEL: Well, when I first wanted to create a digital course, it came from other pharmacists saying, “Hey, Rachel, I see what you're doing here. Can you show us?” And I would show one person, and then I would show the next person, and then I would show the next. And so I was repeating myself over and over again. I said, “Hey, this could be a course.” So I looked around to find out who's the best in the digital-course space, and “Amy Porterfield” kept coming up over and over and over again. I said, “Okay, great. I'm going to follow her. And in five years or so, I’ll join DCA.” This was in 2021, beginning of ’21. “I’ll join DCA when I’m fancy-schmancy marketer/course-creator girl.”
And so when I heard you on Clubhouse, I was like, “Oh, she has a free masterclass. Okay, so let me go ahead and jump in on that.” Not to buy anything. That's ridiculous, right? Like, I'm a pharmacist. That's ridiculous. And I'm a real-estate investor. You know, not to buy anything, but I just want to see her vibe and how she is.
Every single objection that I had, you knocked it out of the park, you know? I have to have an email list of six hundred thousand. You’re like, “No, you don’t.” And all of those things. And the golden handcuffs, I mean you really spoke about that and spoke about all the higher-income earners and what we can do. And some of your case studies, I saw physicians. I saw pharmacists. And all of that was relatable. I was like, “Oh, they're just like me.”
And so what was keeping me on the fence? It was a limiting belief of the financials. I was like, “Oh, she's going to be, like, eighty million dollars.” And then when you dropped the price, I was like, “Hm. That’s feasible.” It was, like, a few hundred a month. Because I wasn’t going to do the whole thing. I was going to do a payment plan—
RACHEL: —because you get that thirty-day guarantee, so I can get out of it in thirty days. I’m just going to take a peek and get out.
AMY: Oh, my gosh. This is so good.
RACHEL: No offense. But that’s the truth. And so I went into the payment plan, and the rest is history.
You know, I was wondering, “Okay, well, how do I justify to Jesse that I'm going to get the ROI on this?” You know?
AMY: Okay. Talk to me about that. So that’s your husband, right?
AMY: And I’m sure, he sees you be a pharmacist, and now you're thinking about creating a digital course. That has to be very foreign to him. Like, “What are you doing, and why are you spending this money?” Like, how did you navigate that?
RACHEL: Absolutely. Like, pharmacist, then real estate, now this. Like, Rachel.
AMY: Oh, yeah.
RACHEL: As a matter of fact, when I was telling him, he was like, “I'll show you how to create a digital course,” that’s what he said.
AMY: Okay, Jesse, step back. Oh, that’s so good.
RACHEL: Oh, my goodness. He goes, “You’re always falling for gimmicks. I’ll show you how to create a digital course.” I’m like…
But there was something there, and I think it was the community. You know, the community is really what the game changer was for me as well. And so I just went in. I just went in, and I said, “I'll tell him afterwards.” I said, “I'll tell him at the thirty-day mark, once I get my refund anyway. So it shouldn’t matter.”
AMY: Oh, my gosh. This story is better than I thought.
RACHEL: Ay, ay, ay.
AMY: But you stayed.
RACHEL: I did. And the imposter syndrome, because, again, who am I to teach about real-estate investing? Who am I to teach about luxury Airbnb? I only have two, you know? And when you showed us that we have that edge, you know, the person who is just two steps away from us is looking to us. You know, they may see the guru out there with seven hundred properties, and they're like, “Okay, I can't even go there,” but you can actually hold their hand and bring them along for the ride. That is what empowered me, because the imposter syndrome was real, Amy.
AMY: I'm glad you brought that up, and I love what you just said. Sure, there's other people who have invested on tons and tons of properties, making millions and millions of dollars. But if I saw a pharmacist turned luxury Airbnb expert that has just a few properties, and she's willing to show me how she got there, I feel like you would see me, like you would get me, way more than these huge names that are rolling in cash. So there's something very relatable to where you were at the moment when you started this that is brilliant. And I hope people hear that, that sometimes when you don't have the huge, huge success, you are more relatable to the people that want to learn from you. I think that’s so important.
We often talk about customers as audiences. But within customer audiences are thousands of people who just want to be understood. And we all have our quirks: people who love workout clothes but hate working out; who are vegan but only on the weekends; and who love technology but don't want to spend all their time with it. Truly understanding your audience starts with connecting with them.
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Okay, so you, luckily, stayed in Digital Course Academy. No refund there. And I know you had an aha moment after you signed up and you started to dive into creating a digital course. So can you talk about that?
RACHEL: So again, the imposter syndrome, you know, your friends and family are asking for advice. You're thinking, like, “Okay, that's friends and family.” The aha moment for me was, in the very beginning of the course, you taught us how to launch that founding member—
RACHEL: —where we can reach out to our community, you know, small but mighty. I had an email list of one.
AMY: Okay, good to know. Who was it? Was that your mom, or was that Jesse?
RACHEL: It was, actually, our cat, Pumpkin Spice.
AMY: Stop it. Your cat signed up. Okay. This is amazing. I'm dead right now.
RACHEL: So Pumpkin was on my email list. I loaded that into Kajabi, so he was the first.
AMY: Wonderful. The fact that your cat was the first person to sign up for your email list, I’m pretty sure you’re going to need to remember that forever and tell that story.
RACHEL: I know. Oh, my goodness.
But when I launched it, all I did was I asked the small Facebook group that I was a part of, “Hey, a lot of you have been asking about luxury short-term rental investing. I'm looking for just five people to sign up for this seven-hundred-dollar program, or seven-hundred-ninety-seven-dollar program.”
AMY: Nice price.
RACHEL: Yeah. Oh, I turned over, like, in bed at night. I was like, “That's a lot of money.” Like, we're so frugal. Like, I'm a little girl from Haiti. I'm so frugal. You know what your payment plan is. You heard how I was like, “Oooh, am I going…?”
AMY: So the fact that you—how did you justify that in your heart, that this is the right price? It’s higher than I’m comfortable with, but I’m going out with it.
RACHEL: did a lot of the exercises that you actually taught inside of the course. I went back and forth and back and forth, and I landed there. And what helped me, too, was my pod, you know? I just circulated around with my pod, “What do you think? What do you think?” You know? “So that might be a little bit too much. This might be…” That was just right, based on all of the feedback that I was getting and based on the potential for the ROI. “If you really, really dive in and if you stick with me, you follow through, you'll get back that seven hundred ninety-seven bucks in real estate, cash. And so I felt good about that.
And then I put it out there, and I was like, “Well, maybe if I get one or two people, I can go ahead and start.” Ten people signed up, Amy!
AMY: Okay. That had to have felt so good. Oh, my gosh.
RACHEL: Oh, my goodness. Unreal. First time in my life ever that I sold anything digital. Like, any intellectual property. First time ever. And there was no turning back from there. I was like, “Oh, my goodness. There is something to this. This is not fake. This is not just woo-woo. It’s not just out there. There is something to this.” And it felt great. They were appreciative, as a lot of them have homes, and they are seeing guests, and they're hosting, and they're generating cash. One of my students generated eight thousand dollars in the first two weeks. And I’m like—
AMY: Okay. That’s incredible.
RACHEL: Yeah. That’s, like, ten x, your seven hundred ninety-seven.
AMY: Yeah. It’s like, “You’re welcome. You just made back a lot more than what you paid.”
RACHEL: I know.
AMY: Okay. Take me back real quick. You said you were in a Facebook group, and you floated the idea there. Did you own that Facebook group?
RACHEL: There's one that I own; there's one that I didn’t. So within the little pharmacy community, you know, it was a small one. And the owner there, he's so nice. I say, “Hey, I know a lot of people are asking you about this. Do you mind if I ask that question?” So you got to be really careful.
AMY: So nice.
RACHEL: So sweet, yeah.
AMY: Okay. I want everyone to hear that, that she was in a group. It was a small group of pharmacists. She asked the owner of the group, “Can I float this idea?” He said yes, because she had a connection with him, and he was totally generous. That can happen for all of you as well. Asking, most of you won’t find the nerve to ask. Look what happened when she did, because let’s get into it. You launched for the first time in October 2021. Is that right?
RACHEL: Yep. Mm-hmm, I sure did.
AMY: Okay. So give us a rundown of your numbers.
RACHEL: And so right before I do that, there's something that's really special about your community, Amy, is the debriefs that the members, they put in there. I kid you not. I would just read and pore over them. And so we can—
AMY: Okay, let's talk about that.
AMY: So earlier you mentioned you were in a pod, which—
AMY: —I'm like, ding, ding, ding. She's such a star student because we offer to Digital Course Academy members to put them in accountability pods so they don't feel so alone. So we facilitate that. And then, also, in Momentum, which is my membership after DCA, a lot of our students will give a full debrief—
RACHEL: Oh, yeah.
AMY: —about their success, what worked, what didn't. They spend a good hour putting it together for the greater good of the community, but I think it helps them debrief as well. And those are inspiring as well. So you got to read a lot of those stories.
RACHEL: Yeah. I would read them like bedtime stories. I know that sounds weird. But I did because what it was showing me is what was possible. I was like, “She teaches what? And she did what?”
RACHEL: “And she made what?” It's like anything's possible, you know? And part of what you teach us is to float the idea around in our community, see if it's viable enough to create a course.
So I would just read through those and see some of the bumps along the road, and I would see what were the big winners. _____(23:48—And so at one point, I even put out a poll. “Okay? I have) I think at one point I put out a poll where I stated, “I have two thousand dollars, okay, in my budget. I am fifteen days from launching. I have three options. I can hire this launch team. I can throw it at Facebook ads,” and there was a third thing, and then the poll, and they all voted. So where else are you going to find a community who understands? Like, imagine I'm asking Jesse, like, two thousand dollars.
RACHEL: It ain't happening. And so things like that, you know, having that community to bounce ideas off of has been absolutely incredible.
But yes, you asked about the launch.
RACHEL: And so in October, overall we grossed forty-one thousand dollars.
AMY: Oh, my goodness. And the course was about eight hundred bucks.
RACHEL: Well, we actually increased. I went ahead and increased it at that point because the founding members was eight hundred bucks; there was no course. So I don't know if the community or the listeners are understanding that. I asked five people to raise their hand to buy into something that didn't exist.
AMY: Yes. That was incredible.
RACHEL: Which is incredible. So at that point, it was getting really good. It was getting juicy. So I was charging thirty-two hundred dollars for it.
RACHEL: Got escalated.
AMY: Okay, that is incredible. And I totally see the correlation: you were helping them make money through real estate.
AMY: So those listening, I know what you're thinking, “But she helps people make money.” Yes, she does. But that doesn't mean that you can't charge a premium price for your course. You might not want to go as high as she went, but you absolutely do have the ability to charge a premium price, because I promise, people pay for what they really, genuinely want. I talk a lot about that in Digital Course Academy.
But that is incredible. You made forty-one thousand dollars. So, first of all, congrats. That must have felt amazing.
AMY: That’s a big deal.
RACHEL: It was life changing. Like, how do you make forty-one thousand dollars in the course of nine or ten days? It was absolutely life changing. And I had to take a pause and step back and really evaluate, what is this, and how do I do it again?
RACHEL: And so it's just absolutely incredible.
AMY: It is life changing, and I love that you said that. I felt the same way when I had my first big launch.
So can you share where or what you felt was, like, some of your best strategies, and what gave you the best ROI?
RACHEL: Yeah, absolutely. So when you're starting off and you don't necessarily have a big budget for, you know, Facebook ads, for me it was really Clubhouse. I would go on there every—
RACHEL: —single day. I'd have it in the background. Remember, I was laid off for a minute.
RACHEL: Have it in the background. I'd be multitasking, and I would have it on. And I would go into rooms that would relate to the subject, the core subject, and I would get invited up to stages, and I would just provide free value upon free value upon free value.
And then I started to learn about a lead magnet. I was like, “What's that?”
Oh, first of all, I had to learn about an email list. What's that?
AMY: Oh, my goodness.
RACHEL: Like, what do you need an email for? I have my email address. Pumpkin has an email address, right? Of course. Right. And I love when you say things like, Amy, you're like, “If you don't have an email list of one hundred, you probably shouldn’t think of…” I was like, “Well, watch me. I’m going to try anyway.”
AMY: Good. That’s the first milestone. One hundred.
RACHEL: Yeah, one hundred.
And so I said, “Okay, Amy says I need a hundred. How else am I going to get that?” And so I went on Clubhouse every day to my audience, and I just spoke and spoke and spoke.
And the next thing was that lead magnet. So I created three lead magnets that were just absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I zhuzhed the life out of it on Canvas. So much glitter. Everyone hated it. No one downloaded it.
AMY: Oh, no!
RACHEL: No one downloaded it. And then, so, you had a Q&A where you were talking about lead magnets: why is my lead magnet not converting? And I think your answer was, it's because nobody asked you to make that particular lead magnet.
RACHEL: And what are people asking for? And I took a step back, and I said, “Well, what are people asking for?” And they were asking, “Where should I invest? What are the cities?” I was like, “Well, but, that's a lot of work. And then that's going to cost a lot.” But then you said it needs to be so good, the lead magnet is so good that you feel like, “I really should be charging for it,”—
RACHEL: —and you give it for free. So I went on Fiverr. I hired a data scraper to help me create—
RACHEL: Yeah. I knew my top cities. I found all of it, but it was, like, a data dump, and they helped me to create, you know, a spreadsheet. It was the ugliest spreadsheet. That thing converts like—not one zhuzh of glitter, not one single color, nothing. Ugly—and that thing converts like crazy. So it was my 2021 Top 75 U.S. Cities for the Highest Profitability for Short-Term Rentals. And guess what—2022, I just made it. It’s converting. That lead magnet’s going to be for the rest of my life—
RACHEL: —2023, I’m not changing it. I’m not changing it.
AMY: Okay. I want everyone to hear two things. Number one, it's not pretty. She did that side of things. She made it look amazing. People didn't care. But then she got really clear, what do they want? And at the end of the day, it's the content that matters most. And the fact that you've got this ugly spreadsheet that you put together and people are loving it, that's my most favorite story that you've told so far. That is so good. So I just want everyone to hear that.
And also, one of the questions I get asked all the time is, when should I change my lead magnet and move to something else? And it's always like, if it's working, do not change it. You can add another, but keep using it. And that's exactly what you did into 2022.
RACHEL: Yeah. And it was from a gal, actually, who I worked with. She goes, “Don't ever change this,” because, of course, I wanted to change it because 2022 is shiny-object syndrome.
AMY: Yes, yes.
RACHEL: Let me do something. She goes, “Don't do anything else.” I was like, “Okay.”
AMY: Smart girl.
RACHEL: That was Amy, you know. She was channeling Amy. You know, I was, like, “Amy has said that, too.”
AMY: I love her. Well, she's so right. That’s so smart. And I love that it's still doing well.
Okay, great. So you got clear on your lead magnets. Clubhouse was your platform. That's another thing. I'm not saying everyone needs to jump on Clubhouse to do their thing. I'm saying you found what felt good to you, where you felt you could shine. You did more of that. And that's what I want people to do, especially when it comes to social. There’s always going to be one platform that you feel, “This fits for me. I can do well here.” Go all in there. Don't worry about being everywhere, on all the platforms, all the time. So I love that you did that. I thought that was really smart.
And then also, I was curious: what are some lessons that you learned from the launch?
RACHEL: Ooh, it was interesting because at one point in the middle of the launch, I started generating a little bit of revenue. I had the revenue from my founding members.
RACHEL: And so I said, “Let me go ahead and add some Facebook ads,” and that helped a lot.
RACHEL: So at that time that helped a lot. And we know the algorithm keeps changing.
Part of my prelaunch was to have a day of Q&A, where I would answer everyone's question, right?
RACHEL: That was the day, Amy—I don't remember the day. Do you remember when Facebook shut down?
AMY: Yes, I do. And Instagram.
RACHEL: That was that day.
RACHEL: That was that day Facebook and Instagram shut down. So that was that day. And so for me, when you emphasized to us in the community, “Always have an email list,” I was like, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.” That right there was, like, that's why she says that!
AMY: Yes. Thank goodness.
RACHEL: That's why she says that. Yeah. So that was a big lesson learned for me is to continue to nurture them, send out emails, and communicate that way as well.
So also, I didn't have all of the bells and whistles in place with my CRM.
RACHEL: I ended up actually emailing through my regular email-service provider, and I got blocked. I was considered a spammer. I was just blind cc’ing everyone.
AMY: Oh, geez.
RACHEL: So lessons learned there. But it was messy, it was broken, but I got it done, you know?
AMY: You got it done. I mean, messy, broken, forty-one thousand dollars?
AMY: All day long, yes, please.
Also, did you get any help, or have you gotten help since? Are you doing this all alone?
RACHEL: Yeah, I have help. I have a lot of help now, more so than before.
RACHEL: But back then, I did. I did have help from one virtual assistant overseas, and she was—I call her my ride or die. You know, she was the gal—
AMY: I love it.
RACHEL: —who helped me with all the graphics. She helped me troubleshoot automation issues because, you know, we just ran into bumps because it's the first time we were doing it. So it was such a blessing to just have that one virtual assistant part time because I was nervous of having anyone to come on full time.
AMY: Heck, yeah.
AMY: That makes sense.
RACHEL: And it was very cost effective, and so, yeah.
AMY: So smart. I love the way you've done this.
Okay. So since then, you've revamped and played around with some other approaches. So can you talk us through what you did, let's say, February, I think it was, and then the summit you just recently wrapped up? So since October, you did something in February, and you did a summit. Can you talk about those things?
RACHEL: Yeah. So the students wanted more of me, and they wanted more content.
AMY: Great sign.
RACHEL: They wanted to—I know, right? Which is great. So I added a coaching component to it. And so it was, it is higher ticket, you know, just so you know.
AMY: Love it.
RACHEL: It's a much higher ticket. But I do add a one-on-one coaching component to that higher ticket.
Here's where I bumped into some challenges, because remember how you said you have to be comfortable selling from the stage? I was not comfortable with selling at that price point from stage, and I didn't know that I wasn't comfortable. You should have seen—I had developed a stutter. It was, like, oh, my goodness. I couldn’t say—
AMY: I have so been there. Yes.
RACHEL: Oh, my gosh. So I learned that the hard way, but ultimately was able to connect with those who were really interested and have those conversations on the side. So I wouldn't say it was a complete, you know, win, but it wasn't a complete flop, either. So overall, we generated another 40K or so in that February launch.
RACHEL: But we’d continued to have students drip in and drip in. And remember, February was when I stepped away. So at this point we're in August. I just passed the 300K mark.
AMY: Oh, my goodness. Congratulations.
RACHEL: Beginning of the month. Yeah.
AMY: Okay. Jesse must be feeling really good about this decision you made.
RACHEL: Oh, all day. All day. He's like, “Honey, do we have any more students?” I’m like, “I see you, Jesse.”
AMY: Oh, my goodness. That is so funny. So you got his full buy-in now, which is a beautiful thing. I love that.
RACHEL: Mm-hmm. He reviews my copywriting sometimes, like a literary person.
RACHEL: So I was like, “Could you look at this again?” “Yeah.” So he pitches in.
AMY: Okay, we’re going to put him to work. I put Hobie to work. I think it's a great idea.
And then, what's this summit you did?
RACHEL: Yeah. So out of everything, Amy, you know, launches can be a little bit high intensity—
RACHEL: —but it is the biggest list builder. When I look at my graph, the spikes are the launches, right?
RACHEL: So I always feel as though I'm going to have that launch component. And so one of the bits of feedback that I was getting was that there was not enough visibility. I wasn't on all the places. Not a lot of people knew me quite yet, you know, outside of my smaller circle. And so I know a lot of people. I said, “Okay, what is my super power? My super power is the fact I know everyone in real estate.”
So I launched a summit, where I had sixty guests, similar to what Stu did—
RACHEL: —but they only had sixty seconds to give their juiciest short-term rental, Airbnb, bit of advice. And I built it all in Searchie. I did pretty much what Stu did.
AMY: Stu will love to hear this. Stuey, shout out to you. So because I was going to say Stu did something similar with, like, sixty-second marketing tips—
AMY: —which this is brilliant. Sixty seconds, luxury Airbnb tips—
AMY: —from sixty people?
RACHEL: Yep, mm-hmm.
AMY: Okay. I’m impressed.
RACHEL: So some of them were lenders that I've worked with; realtors, like the top-tier realtors, Wall Street renown. Some were cleaning-company owners, you know?
AMY: Smart. Yeah.
RACHEL: Like just all of the verticals. Tax accountants, tax strategists.
AMY: And it was totally free, and people had to opt in for it?
RACHEL: No, it was not totally free. And by the way, I squeezed in, like, four students, right?
AMY: Oh, that's cool.
RACHEL: Uh-huh, yeah. Squeezed in four students, so four students I could kind of showcase what they had done.
AMY: A little extra.
RACHEL: So it wasn't totally free, but it was low ticket, like, twenty-seven bucks to a hundred seven bucks.
RACHEL: So there was a VIP component to it.
AMY: I like that. I like that you charged for it, actually. That was brilliant. So smart.
I think some people are, like, “I am freaking doing that.” And anyone thinking that, I think you should. It's a really cool, high-high-value opportunity, and it allows you to make connections with other people. Now you've got sixty people that you have connections with, and they actually showed up for this. That is really cool.
RACHEL: They did.
RACHEL: They did. And my email list is now eight thousand, Amy, by the way—
RACHEL: —from one to eight thousand.
AMY: From one. So no more Pumpkin Spice.
RACHEL: Pumpkin Spice. Right.
AMY: But now we’ve got eight thousand people that keeps Pumpkin Spice company in that email list. So I am very impressed. You’re such a go-getter.
RACHEL: Oh, my goodness.
AMY: Okay. So because you're a go-getter, I have one final question before we get to rapid fire. And that is, if you were to give any of my listeners some advice, some insight around launching in general, what would you say?
RACHEL: Work on building your list. You know, whether it's from creating a community on Facebook or Clubhouse, build your list, find out what your community wants to learn from you, and share that content out there. Grab their emails and continue to communicate with them is what I would say.
And be a squeaky wheel, because what I love about the DCA and the Momentum community, there hasn't been anyone who raises their hand that doesn't get help, right? Do not suffer in silence. Sometimes it feels lonely. Sometimes like, this is really hard, and you don't know how many times we have people in our community who slide into my DMs and say, “Hey, you said you did this. How did you really do this?”
RACHEL: You know? And so we audio message back and forth, “Okay, do this, and then do this.”
RACHEL: And it's always easier than they thought it was. It was, like, one more button on the next page.
RACHEL: That was it to unblock them. You know?
AMY: Oh, my gosh. I love this. I want everyone to know that inside Digital Course Academy, I have an actual module about starting your list from scratch. You could grow your email list while you're learning how to create your digital course. The two can go hand in hand. And I love that advice, absolutely.
Okay. Are you ready for some rapid fire?
AMY: All right. Who’s somebody in your life that's inspiring you right now?
RACHEL: My mom.
AMY: Aw, why would you choose your mom?
RACHEL: She is such a hard worker, and she's finally retired herself. And I just see the way she takes care of Dad. Dad, he's able, but he's blind. And so she's got a lot—
AMY: Oh, my goodness.
RACHEL: Yeah. —She's got a lot she's dealing with, but she's just, she’s such an inspiration, ever since I was a little girl. She is one hard-working momma.
AMY: Oh, I love her already.
What is some advice that you've gotten along the way that has really helped you move into where you are today?
RACHEL: Who, not how, honestly, because as a pharmacist, I think we're doers. We love to DIY things.
RACHEL: And you get to a point where you're just not going to be able to do everything, right?
RACHEL: So start to understand what the tasks are that you need to be done, understand what the goals are for whatever role that you need to fill, and start looking around for who the best people will be to come into your corner and help you through it. because don't try to figure it all out. Just stop.
AMY: Amen. Who, not how. I love that.
How about a piece of advice that you can give someone wanting to create a course for the very first time, but they're scared? They're scared to take the leap. They're on the fence about DCA. What would you tell someone?
RACHEL: Oh, my goodness. Just do it. Just come into the community, come into the fold. Everything you need is in this community. No lie. Everything you need is in this community. I was just texting that to someone who reached out to me, who saw that I was sharing about DCA. I said, “Everything you need is in this community,”—
AMY: Oh, my gosh.
RACHEL: —because there's that support. There's the content. There's the tech help. And then, again, there's raising your hand, because where you get stuck is not where, you know, others would expect to get stuck. You just raise your hand and say, “Oh, yeah.” Just flip the page, and then you're going to get that support.
AMY: Absolutely. I love that you said that.
Okay. And then, finally, what are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
RACHEL: Ooh, just the impact, Amy. I was able to help forty, forty medical professionals launch a short-term rental, cut back on their hours at work, start to create that margin of time, that margin of revenue, start to create some breathing room. And my goal is to do that for a total of a hundred this year. So I'm looking to—
RACHEL: —make more impact. I'm looking forward to that.
AMY: Oh, I love your numbers. They're so inspiring to me. So, and I love that space to breathe. You're giving people some space to breathe. I think that's beautiful.
I cannot thank you enough, Rachel. You are such a delight. I'm so glad we finally got to meet. I've been such a fan of yours from the get-go.
Love your story. I talk about your story a lot. So people are going to absolutely want to check you out and see what you're all about. So where can they go to learn more?
RACHEL: Yeah, just go to my website www.shorttermgems–that's G-E-M-S—.com, and you'll find me there.
AMY: Perfect. Shorttermgems.com. We'll put it in the show notes as well.
Thank you so much for spending your time with me. And I can't wait to see what you create even beyond this, so good luck in all of your endeavors, and I can’t wait to have you back.
RACHEL: Oh, thank you so much, Amy.
AMY: So there you have it. And I got to say, listening to Rachel, I can relate to so much of that, like the golden handcuffs. I really, really gravitated towards staying in my job for the security. So I understand that.
And because I know my audience well, many of you, I know that many of you listening right now have felt the same things that Rachel has felt as she transitioned out of her job into entrepreneurship. I hope her story inspired you to take a cold, hard look at what's really keeping you from taking the leap and building a business that lights you up.
One of the things that I really loved about Rachel's story is that she got into an accountability pod. She knew that she didn't want to do this alone. She knew she wanted feedback and insight from others that were in the trenches with her. And although it might not have felt really easy to get into an accountability group, she did it, and she got so much value from it.
So for those of you who are listening, if you do join me in Digital Course Academy before the doors close, please take advantage of the accountability pods. You just might find some friends for life. And let's face it, entrepreneurship can be very, very lonely. I want you to have those friends that get it. They understand what you're doing.
So if you're multitasking, come back to me because I'm about to share something that is possibly the most important life-changing thing you'll hear today. Are you ready? If you're listening to this right now, as this episode drops, the doors to my signature program, Digital Course Academy, have just opened up, like, today.
If you're on the fence, maybe you had similar feelings like Rachel has had; feeling like you have to have a giant email list; are worried about your ROI on the program, like, getting back what you put into it; or wondering if your idea for a course is actually sticky enough, like, will it work? let's talk about it. So I want you to go to Instagram. I'm @amyporterfield. DM me. If you have any questions about Digital Course Academy, send me a DM right now. Or if you want, you can email info@amyporterfield. My team is standing by. Or even better, I have live chat on the page all about Digital Course Academy, and everyone standing by is ready to help you. So amyporterfield.com/enroll. That's where you will learn all about Digital Course Academy, and you can talk to my team if you have any questions. Amyporterfield.com/enroll.
I want you to know that every time I've done something that has scared me, I've come out the other side closer to my goals and happier as well. I want that for you.
My friend, the doors to Digital Course Academy will not be open for long, and I do not want you to miss out. If you're on the fence, or if your heart is calling you to start creating something new, if you want to grow your email list, become your own boss, Digital Course Academy is the roadmap for all of these things. So go to amyporterfield.com/enroll to learn more about Digital Course Academy, but more importantly, to give yourself the gift, the roadmap, to lifestyle and entrepreneurial freedom. That's amyporterfield.com/enroll.
Thanks for joining me here today. I can't wait to see you again for more entrepreneurial goodness next week. Bye for now.