AMY PORTERFIELD: “She launched this course with only—now get ready—five hundred fifty-seven subscribers on her email list and an Instagram following of one thousand six hundred eighty-nine. So that's not a really big email list, and that's not a huge Instagram following. So she generated eighteen thousand four hundred twenty-five dollars with twenty-nine enrollments. This was without paid advertising.
“So let me pause here. My friend, you do not need thousands of people on your email list to generate significant revenue. You need a loyal subscriber base. And Jan is really proof of that. You want people to look at you as their go-to source. You want them to trust you. You want them to go to you when they need support in your area of expertise. But again, you do not need thousands of people on your email list or thousands and thousands of social-media followers in order for you to successfully sell a digital course.”
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: Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy.
Listen, it's no secret that I believe digital courses are the way to go in terms of growing, building, scaling your business. And I really do believe that everyone has a digital course in them. I do. In my perfect world, everyone would be their own boss and have a successful digital course that they can incorporate into their existing business or start a business with a digital course. Really, I have this core belief that everyone deserves to create wealth and freedom on their own terms. And having a digital course will allow you to create more wealth, allow you to create more freedom. And so that's why I'm passionate about teaching this.
And I got to be honest. Sometimes I stop myself and think, “What is holding others back from diving into this world of digital courses?” And to get real answers, I always turn to my students.
So, what I found is that there are five really common reasons and real reasons why people don't create and launch a digital course in their business; or they push it off for a really long time, and then they regret waiting so long. And so what are these five reasons? Well, one is, “I don't have enough time to create or launch the course,” so time. Or “It's going to cost too much money. It's too expensive. I don't have the money to invest in this right now.” Or “I'm not credible enough. I don't have enough expertise. I need more training. I need more time.” Or “My audience is way too small to make money from a digital course.” This one kills me because people will not enroll in Digital Course Academy because they think their audience is too small; and the next year rolls around, and they're like, “My audience is still small. I didn't do anything about it, and I still really want to create a digital course.” The secret here is once you start creating and launching your course, at the same time your list will grow. There's reasons for that. The two go hand in hand. But we'll get into that later. And then another reason was, “I don't have enough content to put into a digital course. I don't know what I would teach,” or “I don't think I have enough to build out the modules in the lessons,” which couldn't be farther from the truth. But these are the things that come up a lot.
And maybe one or two of those reasons will resonate with you. Or maybe you've even said a few of those. Well, my friend, I want you to know that while I hear you and I understand that some of these reasons feel very valid—you know, I said earlier, these are real reasons. They make sense to you—but also, many of my students, thousands of them, in fact, have proven over and over again that these are myths. These are excuses. And they prove that even if you're strapped for time, you're strapped for money, you have a small audience—the list goes on and on—you can still create a digital course and launch it over and over again for consistent revenue.
All that to say that over the next five weeks, each Tuesday, I've decided to share an amazing story from a Digital Course Academy student who has turned one of these reasons—dare I say, excuses, but I know they feel really real—one of these reasons or excuses into a success story. So this week I'm sharing the inspiring story of my student, Jan Ditchfield, who has proven that you don't have to have a big email list to generate life-changing revenue from a digital course.
So let’s start from the beginning.
Before becoming an entrepreneur with a digital course, Jan was a former award-winning professional fundraiser and a revenue-generation strategist who, during her time in this role, turned the art of nurturing a relationship over a cup of coffee into generating twenty million dollars in fundraising revenue. Now, the only thing was that she was tired of being told what to do and when to do it. She didn't want a boss anymore. She was good at what she did, but she didn't want a boss. And she had a young daughter. And to be honest, she was just really feeling burned out. So she decided to walk away from her career and take a leap into the world of being her own boss.
In March 2020, Jan decided she wanted to launch her own business, so she put her head down and got to work, often with her daughter playing at her feet. So I'd love to share a little bit about Jan's most recent course launch. Her newest course is called Online Authority Builder, a masterclass series teaching how to apply real-world networking tactics—something she's really great at—and lead-generation sales strategies to grow the online side of your business.
Now, she offers three pricing tiers, something I teach in my program Digital Course Academy. So the lowest price point is two ninety-seven and then the VIP experience, it's all the way up to three thousand two hundred fifty. So she's got these different tier pricing, and it really is a big range, which is cool, so people can make an easy decision in terms of what works for them.
And she launched this course with only—now get ready—five hundred fifty-seven subscribers on her email list and an Instagram following of one thousand six hundred eighty-nine. So that's not a really big email list, and that's not a huge Instagram following. So she generated eighteen thousand four hundred twenty-five dollars with twenty-nine enrollments. This was without paid advertising.
So let me pause here. My friend, you do not need thousands of people on your email list to generate significant revenue. You need a loyal subscriber base. And Jan is really proof of that. You want people to look at you as their go-to source. You want them to trust you. You want them to go to you when they need support in your area of expertise. But again, you do not need thousands of people on your email list or thousands and thousands of social-media followers in order for you to successfully sell a digital course.
Now, the other thing that this demonstrates is the power of an engaged list, when you are consistently delivering valuable content. That's how you get such powerful results without paid ads. And that's what Jan did. She actually has other courses which she's turned on evergreen, meaning she sells them with automation so she doesn't need to do live launches. And this is definitely a long-term goal for most course creators, and this is something I teach as well.
So since Jan started Digital Course Academy, she has generated over a hundred forty-five thousand dollars in revenue, and she shared that she has a soon-to-be multiple-six-figure business, and 90 percent of her revenue comes from digital courses. I mean, come on. This is the stuff I live for. This is a six-figure business that she has built without a huge email list.
Now, what does this mean for Jan and her family? Because we know it's not all about money, right? And so I wanted you to hear from Jan directly. So let's take a listen.
JAN DITCHFIELD: I'll be multiple six figures by fall. So I think it's, that's really, like, when I think about DCA and why it was so important to me and really how it’s changed my business is because it gave me the skills to be able to repeat the success. So I can grow as my business grows. I'm able to create courses like this. I understand the market space now. So it's more than just the course; it was the business that it helped me create. It was really bigger than that for me.
I think, like, for me, the thing that I've always felt with going through DCA or just even learning from Amy is that it's given me complete freedom to be able to own my life. Like, that's what's happened. And I think many of us who come from, you know, corporate and we've come out of a really intense career or we've worked for other people, there is always the sense of, “Could I ever do this for myself? Like, right? Can I have this?” I'm no different than Amy’s story, to be really honest. I'm not. It's the same thing. Sitting in the boardrooms, listening to the conversations, and being like, “You know more than these people. I could be doing this for myself. Like, I could do this. I could do this.” And so for me, I feel like Amy greenlighted that for me. Like, she was like, “You can do this. You are capable of doing this.” And it was the first time I heard a woman tell another woman, “Go make money.” Like, that's unheard of. Like, you know, I make money for a living. I've made—I mean, I’ve been responsible for over twenty million dollars in revenue in my career. And I've never been able to be proud of that. I've always been told, “Ssh, no. Don't show the men up in the room.” And I'm like, “I'm the one who brought the money into the room. Like, that’s my money that I brought in.”
So Amy really shifted that for me. And so with that shift, it just gave me freedom. Like, I can be the mom I want to be. She sees me working. She's now, she's like, “I want to be a podcaster when I grow up.” And she's like, you know, she says hi to my students. She's, like, part of my world. And so it's—and you know, it's liberating. I can be able to do things with my husband. We took this beautiful trip to Jamaica, and, like, I was able to tap out and, you know, pay cash for that and be able to just be, like, get back in and be, like, “Oh, I'm just going to do another launch. I'm going to earn some more money.” And it's just, I don't know. It's just really good. Like, it's just a—it's hard. I won't say that it's not, right? It's work. But it's work that's worth it.
AMY: I just love her story, and I hope that this has inspired you. I hope you hear Jan's story and think, “You know what? I have a small email list, and I could absolutely do something like this.” And I want you to start dreaming about how you could leverage your small list and build a deep relationship with those on your list that evolves into something similar to what Jan has experienced in her business and with her audience.
The only thing stopping you right now is the story that you've made up in your head: that you're not ready, that your list is too small, that you don't have enough experience, that you need more time. All of that is your brain protecting you because it's afraid of failure. I think it's very normal to say, “But what if this doesn't work?” But I think those that are winning in entrepreneurship, becoming their own bosses, building amazing businesses, they might hear themselves say, “But what if this doesn't work?” but then there's this really small, faint voice that says, “But what if it does? What if it does? And what could that make possible?” So maybe it's time, my friend, to get quiet and let that really faint voice come in that says, “But what if it does?”
I hope you loved this Shorty episode. I hope you found it inspirational. And as always, thanks for hanging out with me.
If you love it and you'd be so kind to share it with another entrepreneurial friend that might be struggling in their business, or might just be curious about taking their knowledge and turning it into a digital course, I'd love for you to grab the link to this episode, text it to a friend, and share it with them, because my goal is to get out in front of as many entrepreneurs as possible to help them realize that they too can make this their reality to see some amazing success with digital courses in their businesses.
All right, my friend. I'm so glad you tuned in. Remember, every Tuesday for the next few weeks we're going to be talking about these barriers, these mindset blocks that are getting in the way of you creating something amazing. And I'm going to share some real-life stories to show you that if they can do it, so can you.
And I'll see you this Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Can't wait.