Transcript: How to Create an Online Course with David Siteman Garland

June 6, 2013

AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here and welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Today, we have a special guest. 

Today I'm interviewing my friend David Siteman Garland, and we're talking about how you can turn your online platform–your blog, web show, maybe your podcast–into revenue by creating your own online courses. 

If you've followed me for a few years now, you know that I didn't start with online courses. I started with consulting and actually doing social media for brands. But I soon realized that my passion was in training and creating online courses, and really building a brand around online trainings. 

When I heard that David had started teaching people how to create these online courses I knew I had to have him on the show. David has a show, The Rise to the Top and he invites what he calls “The best fluff-free experts and doers” on his show, where they share their insights and strategies to help you build your platform, grow your audience and subscribers and make money. 

I recently got to spend an entire weekend masterminding with David, and I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous to meet him in person, because I really wanted him to be exactly how he was in his videos. He's completely crazy, high-energy, wickedly smart in all his videos, but sometimes you know when you meet someone in person you're thinking “oh, this isn't the same person!” Well, I'm happy to report he's the EXACT same person. He's even a little bit BETTER in person if you can imagine. 

So I am honored to have David on the show today because I've been following him for years. He's become a true friend of mine and I can't wait to dive in, so let's go ahead and get started. 

David, thanks so much for being with me today! I appreciate it! 

David: Amy, it is awesome! Getting comfy behind the mic over here. I'm excited to be here! 

Amy: It's going to be a good time, for sure. 

Here's the deal–one of my FAVORITE things about you is your story. I mean, it is really good, and I was hoping you would just share with us how this whole “The Rise to the Top” came about. 

David:  Yeah. You know, it's a bit of a crazy story. It started in 2008. That's like a hundred years ago in internet terms, you know? 

Amy: [laughs] Right. 

David: You got to realize, when I started, I didn't come from any kind of internet marketing background or online business background or anything like that. I had NO experience at all what I was doing. NO preexisting fan base, not a lot of business connections–literally I was starting from pretty much scratch, you know? 

I came up with this idea to basically get started interviewing people that I really looked up to in the online business space. And thinking to myself “Okay, how can I connect with these people?” So I wanted to build a platform around these sort of interviews. 

In 2008 I took my Bar Mitzvah money and everything that I had to kind of get this thing started. Really, not much of a game plan. Everything I don't teach, you know what I mean? Doing everything that I would not teach to do. I just threw myself into this world with no viewers, no audience, started a web show, started a blog, started my online platform. No clue what the heck I was doing. Just me hitting refresh 18 times a day, and I think my mom tuning in and maybe my cocker spaniels and stuff you know, at the time, or my mom's dogs. 

That's really how The Rise to the Top started way back in the day. It was just an idea and something to start an online platform. 

Amy: Okay. So that leads to a great question I have. A lot of people listening are just starting out, or they've changed directions and they want to do something new. Let's just get into the Tony Robbins world for a minute here and talk mindset. 

When you started out, and you knew your mom and the cocker spaniels were listening and pretty much not anyone else, what kept you going? 

David: Here's really what kept me going–that's a great question, you know, because it's a tricky question, too. 

Amy: Yep. 

David: You know, really, for me it was I loved the idea of trying to control my own destiny. Basically, create a business around the lifestyle that I wanted, which was a very fun business that wasn't that stressful that I could work on but also could allow me freedom if I want to go play softball in the middle of the day or go play hockey with friends or something like that, that I'm not trapped in the business itself. I wanted to create something that was–it sounds so cliché but it's true, right? It's like freedom-based. 

For me, I just, I was like “Okay, I'm going to figure this out.” I don't know how to do it–I had no–you know what I'm saying? I'm sitting there, I don't know what to do, but I’m going to try, I'm going to experiment, I'm going to keep moving forward–as I started to get, you know, a little bit more success. I would do things like, you know, buy products and programs and coaching and go to events and try to really immerse myself in this, but make sure that I was implementing. 

I didn't care if I screwed up stuff, but anything that I would buy or do or learn, I would try my very best to actually implement it. You know what I mean? 

Amy: Yes! That is something really overlooked by most people that are  buying programs these days. 

David: Yeah. You know, there's people out there that are–you know, bless their happy hearts, but they're kind of what I call serial learners. Learning is great, you know that Amy, I know you're a big fan of that as well. But really what you want to be is a serial implementer, you know? 

Amy: Yep. 

David: And keep trying things. There's two people that I'm keeping in mind right now, and there's one that I know where they buy every single product that comes on the market, or service, or whatever. It's like shiny red ball to shiny red ball, and the business doesn't move forward, right? 

Amy: Right. 

David:  The other person is what I would call an event horde. That almost sounded really, really bad–but you know what I'm saying. You could say whore or horde, either way you want to go here. 

But where they attend every single event in the history of events. They're throwing business cards like a business card ninja. They're out there doing that kind of stuff, but they don't really move the business forward. That's where I think one of my strengths is. Always kind of moving forward, changing, pivoting, but always trying something. 

Amy: Oh, yeah. I think that's such a great lesson. I always say you've got to always be taking action. I'm just like you, I've purchased so many programs and I love them and I've been guilty of purchases those programs and not diving in enough, but over the span of it, I've really taken most of what I've learned and put it into action, and I think that's similar with both of us where we're just keep moving forward. 

I think just to touch on that, another great thing when you're just starting out, like when your mom's just the only one that's really paying attention, is that sometimes we don't know how bad it is. Like, when I look back on my first years— 

David: Oh my god, yeah. 

Amy: –I didn't know that it was pretty bad. I didn't know that even though I was just earning maybe $1000 a month or something, I was super happy because I was on my own. So you just kind of make do with what you have until you finally kind of–I always say I finally got my groove with my business, really just a few years back. So it's kind of nice to know what you don't know in the beginning as well. You know what I mean? 

David: Yeah. And one thing off of that, I think that's important, is something that, you know, people that are listening to this, Amy, that are kind of in our world–I like to call the word “mediapreneurship.” Mediapreneur–that's kind of what we are. 

Amy: what does that mean? 

David: It's a phrase I came up with in the shower and thank god I trademark now, because a lot of people are using it! 

Amy: Ooh, smart! 

David: But I came up with this in the shower a few years ago, because I was trying to come up with, like, a word to describe US. You know what I mean? The thing is, I didn't quite love the word “expert,” even though everyone understands that word. I didn't really love the word, like, belonger or content creator or something like that. I want to create a new phrase that was basically for people that have or are building an online platform and are using that to basically generate revenue from their expertise or something that they know. 

Amy: So blog…webshow…podcast, that kind of platform. 

David: Yeah. Some kind of platform, some kind of online platform–I don't care if it's funny drawings, you know? Whatever it is, some kind of online free platform that you create great content. And then also a business that is build off of that, usually based around information of some kind. And that's kind of where that phrase came from, and, you know, for me it's just interesting, because that space has evolved so much mediapreneurship. I think it's a very exciting place to be in right now, for sure. 

Amy: Oh, it really is! I was thinking, okay, so you started The Rise to the Top, and you started to get some momentum, but then kind of–where did you go from there? Because you're in a whole different space than even just a year ago, it seems. 

David: Oh yeah, okay, this is great. Hold on to your hats, kids, for this one! 

When I started, I had what I called the Media Mentality. It was the wrong mentality, right? What do I mean by Media Mentality? It's not necessarily wrong, but it's not where we're at now, right? 

Amy: Yeah. 

David: My Media Mentality was this: it was kind of looking at okay, some of these sites online and saying “You know what, I want to be big, I want to be broad, I want to have 

advertisers, I want to have sponsors, all of this kind of stuff. I'm going to ride off into the sunset.” Or something like that. I didn't know, exactly— 

Amy: Beautiful! 

David: I didn't exactly know where the end of the equation was, but it was this big, broad, tons and tons of content, like I would publish five times a week, stuff like that, you know what I mean? Just tons and tons of stuff, volume, volume, volume. Big, big, big, big. 

Amy: Okay. 

David: Okay. So then, at some point, and–you know, I think this had to do with struggling a bit, and also burning out a little bit as well. 

Amy: That's a big factor. 

David: You know, when you're creating that kind of stuff–yeah. Burning out, a little of a struggle, a little bit of figuring this stuff out, I realized that I wanted to be a media–I wanted to move to the mediapreneur mindset. 

The mediapreneur mindset is very different, and the idea is that you're  really dominating a very specific type of audience and niche. It's not about being big and broad and about hundreds and zillions whatever of hits. It's about having a passionate community of people that really resonate with you. For me, that was the mediapreneurs. You know what I mean? That type of people that had a platform. 

Entrepreneurship is very broad, and that's kind of where I started. It's everything from the Mom and Pop shop on the corner, to an attorney that's out on their own, to a tech start-up in Silicon Valley. I really narrowed down the focus over time and really kind of laser-cut the audience. That was number one. 

#2, and this is I think even more important, and this is where my business really took off, was that I said “Okay, yeah, sponsors, advertisers, okay. I guess I'll have a couple of those or whatever.” But long term success of the mediapreneur business is going to be based on creating your own products and programs, okay? This sounds so basic to some people, and for other people you're going to be like “Oh, okay, that makes sense.” 

But you've got to realize, I came from a very different world of just trying to figure this stuff out. I didn't know that the tipping point for my business was going to be like, get away from being a sort-of quote-unquote “reporter” or whatever you want to call it, and get into, you know, the person that actually teaches and shares and creates products and programs. 

Once I did that, that's when the business just took off like into the stratosphere. Once I was very clear on the audience, and then once I started creating my own products and programs. 

Amy: Okay, so this is big, because this is what–why you and I love each other so much. We have this–because I know you love me! we have this… 

David: Oh, psshh. 

Amy: [laughs] 

David: More than words can express! 

Amy: I knew it. We have this in common, because this has changed my life. Creating online programs, I know that sounds dramatic but it's true. It truly changed my life, so I want to jump in here. For anyone that's listening and thinking “Okay, but I wasn't really in the media space, I don't really–I didn't do what David does, or I don't do what David does”–if you consult, if you coach, if you're getting to a point where it's feeling like “I can only have so many clients in a day” that you finally see that ceiling of how much money you can make because of that? 

Those are also, those experiences where people start to think “Wait a second–I know I can reach more people, and there's a different way to do this.” 

And that was it for me! I was doing a lot of one-on-one consulting, I had really big clients, it was awesome. I was SO burned out that I didn't know if I could continue, and this was only over a period of a year and a half, I got burned out. So, I think it's different for everybody, but this topic is so exciting because it can just change your business drastically. 

David: Yeah. Amy thanks for pointing that out, because–what a great point there, too! Because it's almost like all the paths leading to the same spot. You know what I 

mean? That spot is creating your own product, right? I've seen so many different paths lead there. It's the burnt out person who doesn't want to do dollars for hours anymore. 

Amy: That's it. 

David: It's the–it's the blogger or the web show host or the podcaster who can't, like, needs to get consistent revenue going. There's all these different types of places, and that's not the only two. 

It's the author that has busted their butt their whole life selling books, but isn't making that much money from earning 7 cents a book or whatever it might be. There's all these different reasons, but they all end up leading to that sweet spot of creating your own product and selling it to people. 

Amy: Okay. So this is my–this is why I wanted to bring you on the show, because a lot of people that want to create a product, where they get stuck is “Wait a second, I can't create a product. I don't know what I could create a product about!” And it's such an easy answer, I know, but–talk a little bit about that, where people get stuck in just knowing what to create. 

David: Yeah, that's the first thing. People get hung up, there are lots of  different reasons. What do I create, how do I sell it? All these different questions come up. 

So maybe, Amy, it would be helpful if I could share how I came up with my first big product. 

Amy: Yes! 

David: And I think that's going to help people. Just to give the scope of this, my first product, my big first hit, right? Was called “create awesome interviews” which taught people, shockingly, how to do their own interview show–like this one, Amy! 

And so, a lot of people ask me “Well, David, how did you come up with that?” And I got to be honest, it wasn't my idea! It was not my idea. 

Amy: Really?? 

David: Here's how I came up with it. These are exact, replicable steps that anyone can do. If you have any kind of following online, or anyone that trusts you, at all, in this world. 

Amy: Okay, this is juicy; I love the step by step stuff. Give it to us! 

David: Very juicy okay. The principal, #1 here is called the “pay attention” principal, okay? Here's what you've got to think about–if you, you know, have been receiving emails from people that maybe have found you online or something like that–what topics do they ask you about? What topics are they asking you about? It might be something so simple, under your nose. 

A lot of people say “Okay, go out there and create information project, go out there and create an online course. Go find something to create it on.” And I'm under the STRONG belief that everyone already knows something that they can package up and sell, right now, and you're just not thinking of it. 

Amy: I agree. 

David: It's not a case of going out there and being like “Oh, what can I figure out what to do, that I can learn?” There's something right now that you've done that you can teach other people that they will pay for, okay? 

Amy: Got it. 

David: So, you've got to be paying attention on your site, on social media, on email– what questions are you getting all the time? What are the common questions that are coming in? 

And you know, for example, for me, I realized that all these questions that were coming in via email were stuff like “How do I record an interview show?” 

“How do I record on Skype?” 

“How do I get someone to say yes to an interview?” “How do I post an interview on my site?” 

Whatever. The endless questions, with the common thread being all about, you know, creating these interviews, right? And so, once–it's sort of like when you buy a red car. Once you buy a red car, you start noticing every other red car on the road. 

Once you start to put these kind of clues together in a puzzle, like you're playing the game Clue, you’re going to start to pick up trends. You're going to start to pay attention. You're going to start to see what stuff have you done that has resonated with your audience. 

Do you have a how-to post in the past that worked out really well, even if it was on something really simple? If you have videos, did you ever do how-to videos on something that got a great response? 

And so, really, you're going to start to quantify this pretty quickly as you start to think about what are you already being asked about? There's a product right there for a lot of different people. 

Amy: Okay, that's good. That kind of leads me to…I've already heard you talk about this, so I’m kind of cheating. But you had this great piece of content about what sells and what doesn't sell. And you got to talk about that. 

David: Yeah. Just because there's something that people ask you about, right, doesn't automatically equate to dollars. If it did, that'd be amazing, right? Like, people would ask “How are you doing today?” And you'd be like “That's going to make me a lot of money!” 

Amy: Cha-ching! 

David: That would be a bling-bling, mofos! So that was–[laughs] That's my first mofo of the day. I'm keeping it PG-13 here for you. 

Amy: Good, good. 

David: That's how I roll. I don't want to get the iTunes ban. 

Amy: Yeah. 

David: Okay, so let's talk about, here–and this is stuff, and you've got to realize Amy, being the weird person that I am, some people might be thinking “Well, David, how do you know all this stuff?” 

#1 is from personal experience. Just straight-up experimenting and figuring it out myself, you know, and having sources that have generated multiple six figures and stuff like that. But also my obsession with talking to people about this. I interviewed and sat down with, you know, the top course creators and product creators to find out what worked, what didn't, you know what I mean? 

So with everything here, this all comes from a combination of doing it, and research. So what sells? Here's what sells. 

#1 is step-by-step systems. Anything where you're literally taking someone's little paw, their hand, right? And pulling them along and saying step 1, you do this. Step 2, you do that. Step 3, you do that. Step by step systems sell. It's a paint-by-the-numbers type of situation. 

Going along with that, how to information. That goes along with step-by-step. But how-to information is, you know Amy, as someone that creates products for small businesses, entrepreneurs and Facebook, you know this, that how-to information at the end of the day is what sells online. 

Amy: Completely. 

David: When it comes to these products. 

A big one, here, #3–so you've got step-by-step and how-to information. And this is one where people start to get a little bit hung up here, and this is where you don't want to skip over this part. Where there's an actual outcome. There's an actual outcome. 

You're saying if someone is awesome enough to purchase your course from you, they are the man, the woman, they hand you the hard-earned dollars here. They've put your course, and they do everything you say, with no complaining, okay? What will actually happen? Will they lose 20 pounds, will they build a 5-figure a month business, will they have the prettiest home on the block? I don't know what it is, right? 

But bottom line is, having a very specific outcome. You know, for example, my course, Create Awesome Interviews, right? My big first flagship course, it was a step-by-step system on how to create your interview show, it was a  how-to,  and  the  actual outcome was, at the end of the day, you're going to have your interview show up, online, you're going to be marketing it and promoting it and generating leads from it, right? 

So there was stuff that was already there. 

The next thing, and this is a couple more to keep in mind here, is that again, it's stuff that you already know and you have your own results from it. Stuff you already know, and you have your own results from it. 

There's nothing more powerful than your own social proof. How you lost 20 pounds, something like that, right? Or your hundred pounds, whatever it might be. People love personal testimonials when it comes to this kind of stuff. 

Whether it's your own results or someone else's results, like Amy you could be saying “Hey, you know, here's how I grew a Facebook–you know, someone on Facebook, their company or whatever, you know what I'm saying? It's something that had your impact. That’s the best way of saying–it doesn't necessarily have to happen to YOU. It's just that you got the results either for yourself or someone else, right? 

Amy: Cool. 

David: And so having that and tying in there–there's a woman that came to me once and said “You know, I want to do a course and I want to do it on creating a six-figure blog.” 

I said “Great! That sounds super interesting. Do you have a six-figure blog? Or how much is yours generating?” 

She's like “No, it's not generating any money.” 

Amy: Oh no…. 

David: And I'm like “Well, I think we've chosen the wrong path, my dear.” Just because, again, this isn't about BSing people, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, it's 

going to be based on what you already know. Let's just not discount, there's lots of things that you know right now that you can turn into this. 

And the final thing here, the final thing to keep in mind, is that if you have a pre- existing audience out there, so let's just say you've got a, you know, a blog on…you know, decorating or something like that, right? Whatever it might be. If you have an existing audience already, realize that your product or your course doesn't necessarily have to appeal to the entire audience. 

Amy: That's a good point. 

David: It does not have to appeal to 100% of the people in your audience. I would say that Create Awesome Interviews, my course, probably applied to 5% of my audience, or something like that, and that ended up doing multiple 6-figures, right? Because you're looking for the right people in your audience, you don't necessarily have to look at every single person in the audience because at the end of the day–and if you're going to take home something from this kind of lesson here, here's one of the big ones, okay? So listen up on this one. Specific sells, very, very specific sells, but very specific sells more at a higher price point. 

Amy: Oh, so true! Give an example of that, but I’m totally with you there. 

David: Okay. Let me give an example. I'll give you one–this is a very simple example. 

Okay, let's say, Amy, that you were not a Facebook expert, you were an expert on LinkedIn. Let's just make that up. 

Actually, you know what? Let's use Facebook. 

Amy: Okay. 

David: You could create a kind of, what I call “generic” product, and it can be like “How to dominate on Facebook,” right? 

Very broad, I don't really know who that's for, what does dominate mean? You know what I’m saying? The next thing you know, that's maybe something that could sell 47-97, something like that. Very, very broad, it would be very difficult to sell. 

So now, let's say that you decide to say “Okay, I'm going to get a little bit more specific. 

How to generate leads on Facebook.” Okay? How to generate leads on Facebook. Which is some of the stuff that you do Amy, right? 

Amy: Yep. 

David: Well, that's more specific. We're narrowing it down,  and  products  like  that could sell maybe upwards of 197, somewhere in that range, because now we have a more specific outcome that's associated with it, right? 

Amy: Completely. 

David: Now we're in that specific range. But what if we took it one step further, and this is where people stop. They stop at that second place, right? 

Amy: Because it's scary to go beyond that! 

David: Oh, it's scary my friends! You will be SHAKING. [laughing] In your little booties! But this is the magic. This is the magic moment here, if you will, is that what if you created one that was called How to Generate Leads on Facebook for Attorneys? Okay? I'm just making that one up, could be for whoever. 

Amy: No, but there's money in that. 

David: There is SO much money in that, that it's not even funny! You could be selling stuff $400-$2000 in that range, and the reason is, because–and upwards from that!– because when an attorney comes in–they're going to be “Oh my god, this is hand- picked for me! Hand-created for me!” You know? 

What we're seeing online here is that you do not need to sell thousands of these to be successful. 

Amy: That's so true. 

David: That's what's important. Think about this, let's say, Amy, you price something at 

$997. Okay? And it was “How to Generate Leads on Facebook for Attorneys.” And you sell, you know, you sell–let's just say you sell one a day of those. 

Amy: Okay. 

David: That's $365,000 or so a year. 

Amy: That's CRAZY if you look at it that way! 

David: One a day! Yeah, I mean, one a day. That's 365 total customers. You know? You don't NEED that many customers to be successful. So, for me, think  about  how specific this is. If you guys just want a real example. 

My course on “Create Awesome Interviews” was for people who want to create an online web show or podcast specifically on interviewing, right? Specifically on interviewing and they're a mediapreneur. How many people are that? 

Well, it's hundreds, if not thousands of people, and by doing that you now have a very successful online program. It does not have to appeal to every single person. It just has to appeal to the right people, and I think if you get into that mentality you're going to start creating more epic programs that fewer but higher-quality people are going to buy for a higher price point. 

Amy: You've got your product, because I like using your example so people can realy see how this is done. You got really focused on that ideal audience. And, like you said, it was a little scary, right? 

David: Yeah. I mean, it certainly is, because it's not a case of just saying–you know, because people, they just don't want to go to that next level, you know what i mean? They're happy to go a little bit more specific, but they don't want to go to–people are afraid of turning off people. 

Amy: Yeah. 

David: Afraid of people saying “This isn't for me.” Well, when people say that, that's the greatest possible thing they could say. Because you're so clear that it's either for them, or not for them. You know what I mean? 

Amy: Yes! You just reminded me! I was going to say refunds tend to be a lot less when you get really specific on your audience. 

David: Oh, for sure! Exactly! Because you're telling them “Look, this is for you. If it's not for you we can depart friends. It's not a big deal. But this is who it's for and this is who it's not for.” 

You can't–it's exclusionary in a good way. And for me, what I had to do with that is really, when I was testing this out, was once that initial ideal was in our head for doing the interviews, the next thing that I did–and this, anyone can do. I didn't go out there and spend any money to test this. I didn't say “Oh, I'm going to go spend a bunch of money to see if I can test this and see if there's some traction here.” I used my own audience. 

I used my own audience, and I basically did a couple of how-to posts on my site based on these interview questions, right? Basically, seeing how people resonate with this. And I got a huge, big response. 

One was how to do Skype, side-by-side interviews or something like that. The other one was like “How to connect with influential people and interview them.” Something like that, right? Those posts did EXTREMELY well. By well, everyone has their own metrics you can go by, but whether it's comments or views or tweets or whatever you want to go by, you know what the average post on your site gets, or so. And you can– you know when you have a hit on your hands. 

And so the second step there is really that you're, you kind of text by throwing out a few how-to things, just to see how people are feeling about that. And that is kind of an important second step there, because really this is all no-cost here. You're just giving stuff a shot. If you don't get a response and no one cares about it, move on to something else. You're not really spending a bunch of money here, we're not creating anything yet, we're still in that “figuring it out” stage and that's the big second test after paying attention is really to get that research going using your own site and audience. 

Amy: Okay, so what do you do…what did you do once people started to really resonating with those how-to posts? 

David: Yeah. So once it resonated, that's when I moved into the third step here. It's, again, all this stuff, take this, do it on your own here. The third step was to do a quick blog post–I'll give you a video or a blog post, doesn't matter what it is–and lead people to a survey. 

This was really, really critical for a few different reasons. #1 is now you're really going to get people's candid response. #2, this is going to be the beginning of the prospects list for this course, eventually. 

Amy: Nice! 

David: It's these people that are responding early on, because they're always the most passionate. I can tell you right now, people that responded to the survey were some of my, continue to be some of my most loyal customers. 

Amy: I bet! 

David: All I did was, and this is so easy! I used–you can use anything you want for the survey. I used But anything that does a survey. Use Google Docs, doesn't matter. 

I basically asked an open-ended question. I said that “I get a lot of questions about doing online interviews and doing an online interview show, and I want to help out. I was just curious, what are your major questions that I can help out with involving this topic?” And that's it. 

Amy: And this was like a blog post or a video you did? And you just asked a question? David: Yeah, I did a blog post. I said “Here's the question, here's a link to the survey.” Amy: Nice, okay. 

David: Very important–you DO want to send the survey, because it gets people to actually do it privately, and you're getting their email address which I think is critical as well, making this. 

Amy: Very good! This is great for people that don't yet have a list and they want to build it in the process. 

David: Exactly. All I required on the survey was name, email and then an open-ended box to ask as many questions as they wanted. 

Amy: Easy. 

David: And that's it! And the next thing you know is, you're going to start getting results in, you're going to start getting people in, and I guarantee you, if you do all this stuff right now–by away if you go back and listen to this again you're going to be like “Oh David, you're so right.” The questions that come in, you're going to be like “Oh my god, how does not everyone know this??” 

Amy: Yes! That's such a great point! I'm so glad you brought that up! 

David: Right? You're going to sit there and be like “OH!” You're mind's going to be exploding! You're going to be like “WHAT?? How do people not know this?!” And you're going to realize now, it's kind of that plight of the expert,  or  plight  of  the mediapreneur, if you will here, where you know so much but you didn't think you knew that much, you know? 

Amy: Yes! It's a great moment. 

David: It's a great moment. And you're like “Oh my god, people want to know all the way down to this very basic stuff.” That survey is really the beginning of your product, your course, because realize that when I sent a survey out–and i think this is very important, Amy, to think about as well. I didn't say anything like this. “Hey, Amy, and everyone, please fill out the survey, I'm thinking about doing a product.” 

Amy: Okay, so you do not say that. 

David: “I'm thinking about doing a course. I'm thinking about doing this. I'm thinking about doing that.” I didn't tell them anything I'm thinking about doing. I just wanted to get their raw–because I think that immediately changes how people think about it? 

Amy: Oh, good point. Okay. 

David: They're thinking like— 

Amy: Promotion! Promotion! You're selling! 

David: Right. But this was just literally “Listen guys, I want to help out. I want to know what are your burning questions?” And honestly, what you'll end up noticing but not only is this going to change your mindset, you're also going ot pick up the language 

used by people. You know? Are they using some specific word or phrase over and over again. 

You're going to pick out things like–honestly, you're going to start to get the outline for this. You're going to start to realize that people are asking things that fall into a few different categories, whether it's–maybe for me it was a tech question, a marketing question, a set up question, or an interview itself question. Next thing you I know, you're now starting to create an organic outline for this. 

And the thing is, I want to encourage you guys when you give this a shot–and I encourage you to give it a shot–don't get hung up on the number too much. Don't worry about–you know what the size of your audience is. So if you only get, you know, 20-30 responses, but your list isn't very big and you're more in the beginning phase, that's HUGE. 

Amy: True. 

David: So don't think that you have to get out there and get 10,000 responses that think this is going to go well for you. It's really not like that at all. 

Amy: It's so true, and I think one of your points is great creative with how you promote the survey, right? 

David:  Yes. I am always a big believer, when you have a platform–and that's why having a platform is everything, you know what I mean? It's that base that you need. And I don't care what the platform is, as long as you have it. 

What I like to do is I like to do is make a minor laundry list of things that you do every time you want to promote something. 

Amy: This is good, yeah. 

David: And it's not necessarily for sale. Like they said, we're promoting a survey here. It's not anything for sale. It's just “How do I reach the most possible people that follow me?” Basically. The way that I do it is I always start with some kind of post or video and then I always send it to all the social media sites that I'm on. Every single thing out there, make sure I’m interacting. I might even buy a promoted post on Facebook or something like that. 

Amy: I like it! 

David: Whatever you want to do. Send it out to all the social media, send out an e- blast to all my subscribers. And then any other content that I'm doing over the next couple weeks, like let's say I'm doing a podcast or something like that, I'm going to reference back to it all the time. 

Amy: Ooh, that's good! 

David: Right? So don't just assume that you've got one shot to get everyone and it disappears. Just remember that people are going to see it at different times. So, if you think you're saying it way too much on a bunch of different things, you're not saying it that much as you think. 

Amy: That's true. I think we're extra-sensitive to that. And that makes such a great point. 

You’ve got to get creative and resourceful with getting this blog post or video out there. It might be the perfect time for you to do a guest blog post on somebody else's site, or like you said, get interviewed or, you know, contribute a tip to somebody else's blog or whatever it might be. This is the perfect time to stat driving some traffic. 

David: Yeah, absolutely. I'm a big believer in not having random traffic. Have them come to you with a purpose here, you know? And so I think that I go through a small checklist every time that I put something up and think to myself “okay, just making sure I'm covering all my bases, am I repeating it a few times? Am I using my real estate well on my site?” Those are the things that are critical and definitely over the next few weeks or whatever it might be linking back to that over and over again on other posts can continue to drive that traffic. 

Amy: Okay, cool. So once you get the word out there, now people are willing out your survey, what did you do? 

David: You know, really, when it came down to that point, you know, after you get to that survey and you're going through there and you're looking at that stuff, it's really kind of about feeling the temperature at that point. 

For me, I was like “you know, I think we have something here. I think we really do have something that we can go ahead now and kind of start to outline a course.” 

And so, you know, really those are the first three major steps that you get into, it's really the paying attention principal, the research and kind of the testing and sort of feeling the temperature of the responses at that point. I think that, at that point, you're going to start to really create that scope of what you want to sell. 

It helps you in terms of understanding the market as well also helps. 

Amy: Yes! 

David: The meaning at this point, one more tip here folks, that you're going to see, you know…who else in my market is creating anything similar to this, right? Go out there on Twitter, go out there on Facebook, go out there and be a sleuth and figure out who else is selling anything similar. 

Like I saw other courses out there, and other products on that. Some people are like “Oh crap, that means I'm done! Someone else already did it.” Well no, I see the opposite. I see this as an incredible opportunity because there's ways that you can stick out from the pack, trust me. That's a whole another interview right there. But the idea here is when you see other products and associations or anything associated with the topic that you're talking about, it shows that people are spending money on it. 

Amy: That's a good point. 

David: And that is incredible good news, because you don't want to have a topic where nobody spends money on it. You don't want to necessarily be the world's first horse in something, because you're going into a little bit of an unproven market. For me, I'd love to see–I looked out there, I saw that there was another one on doing a web show. I saw that there was a very, very short product on just how to interview. I saw a couple other things out there, but I knew that my unique experience and my teaching style and some other things would help me stick out from the pack. 

So if you get to think point where you start to look around and find other stuff in your market, that's a good thing, because again it's kind of proving that you have something here. 

Amy: Oh, it's such a great point! And these tips, I think anybody can walk away from this episode today and start really putting into motion what their program could look 

like, and I'm so excited about it because, like I said earlier, it definitely changed my business dramatically, and I know it did yours as well. And you continue to get better. 

My first program, and looking at my programs now, are drastically different. But they still, that very first program, still sold well. It's amazing how much better you can get, but in the very beginning you can still do a really solid program and see big results from it. 

David: Yeah. And the thing is, you just got to–I know it sounds so cliché of me, right? You've got to do it. You know what I mean? 

Amy: It's true, though. 

David: I am the first one to tell you. I'm not a procrastinator, right? And I procrastinated on this. When I was–I totally wish I did it two years earlier. 

Amy: Oh, that's such a great point, and SO many people will tell me “I'm working on my program” and six months later they'll say “I'm working on my program.” And six months later, they're still working on it. I think you make a great point about you just got to do it. 

When I was creating FBinfluence, I had this–I'm totally old school and have to write everything down. and I had this little calendar where I made sure every module had a due date. 

And I HAD to stick with it. 

David: Right. 

Amy: And I remember I was talking to you not too long ago. I know you've been creating another program, and you were saying “Oh my God, I'm in the trenches, all I’m doing is creating content right now.” But you were super focused. 

David: Yeah. And that happens–it's like, the hard one's the first one, you know what I mean? 

Amy: Oh, yeah. 

David: And so it's a case of like, people procrastinated on this kind of stuff and there's–here's one of the problems that I just want people to get over if they're sitting 

here having a little problem, you know, is that, you know, I was asked this question, I actually did a video on it recently on my site, was people asking all the time like “When's the perfect time to come out with my course” right? When's the time–“Do I need to have a certain amount of people in my audience? 

Do I need to have been creating online content for a certain amount of time? Do I have to have a certain amount of this? Do I have to have a certain amount of that?” And the answer is really “No.” There's no perfect time to create your course and get it out there to the world, right? It might not be–there's just–don't let that be where all of the sudden the course fairy's going to come walking in and be like “Now, today's the day!” You know what I mean? You’ve been waiting for it and today's the day you've been ordained.” 

If you want to be ordained, like I'll ordain you right now like a knighthood. Then you can go out and do this because only positive things can happen from it. That's why I think it's so critical, it's going to help solidify you in the space as an expert, it's going to help generate revenue, get big results for people and at the end of the day that's what it's all about. 

Amy: So true. And it's really fun. Would you agree? Like creating these programs, it's a lot of fun. 

David: Oh yeah, totally. And it's funny because I live in St. Louis, as you know Amy, and there's like, very few online product creators and mediapreneurs around here, you know, so I feel like I'm in the nerdiest little happy haven, if you will, where no one knows what I’m doing when I'm at Starbucks with a little evil grin on my face, like– yeah. It really, really is fun, as you go through these processes, and it's just great because, again, once you have it, right Amy? Once you have it, and once you've shipped the darn thing out here, for God's sake, you have something that could potentially sell, you know, with the right systems 24/7. 

And you wake up, you know, and I know this feeling is incredible is that feeling where you wake up and you go and you roll over and you grab your iPhone, even though you're not supposed to be doing that first in the morning but we all look at it first. And you know, the first thing that you do is you look and BOOM you have a sale overnight. Right? 

There's no better feeling, I think. 

Amy: I agree. 

David: Than having that. And so you know, the only way you're going to do that is if you get it out into the world. 

Amy: It's so true. And one way to help everybody listening, the reason why I invited David on the show now, because I wanted him on forever. And we could talk about probably 20 different topics that you, in my opinion, are a pro with. But this one really resonates with most people, and so when you told me you had a free training that kind of gets way deeper into all of this, I was like “Oh, we've got to have you on the show right now and we've got to talk about that stuff.”: 

So I want to tell everybody that you do have a free training, and I created a special link to it., like The Rise to the Top. I'm going to link to everything in the show notes. But tell them a little bit about this free training. 

David: Cool. Yeah. Definitely. I'm super excited with this. I love creating these high quality free trainings as well. And so basically what I've done is, I've put together a free video series for you guys to really take your online platform, whether it's a blog, web show, podcast, right? And turn it into revenue with your online course. 

We’re going to go over in the first video even more in-depth a lot of the stuff that we went over today. Like, even into crazy depth. I know, Amy, you've seen that first video so you can attest to that. 

Amy: I have. And this is what I got to say. It's not like a free course that skims over a bunch of stuff and then wants you to buy a bunch of stuff. He gets into detail about his personal experience and goes over a lot of the steps he did here, but with even more detail. It's REALLY good. 

David: Yeah, I appreciate it, Amy. Thank you! And yeah, that's what I try to pride myself–I want to give you guys super high quality stuff, so definitely check it out. And you know, it can get you in this right track, you can see a lot of the comments below already from people that are just rocking out from it, and I really hope you enjoy the series, and I hope to have [you?] an opportunity in one of my programs as well. 

Amy: Awesome. Well, David, thank you so much. This is valuable stuff. I knew we'd have a good time and I really appreciate you going on the show. 

David: AP, you are a master of disaster! It's always great to chat with you. 

Amy: All right, talk to you soon! 

So there you have it! I hope you've enjoyed this interview just as much as I have. All the links we've talked about in the show can be found at The number 11. 

Also, if you like this podcast, I would really love for you to tell your friends. Just go to and you can tweet about it and help me spread the word. So until next time, make it a great week. Take care. 

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