Transcript: How to Create a 7-Day Pop-Up Group to Boost Course Sales

October 24, 2019


Click here to download the PDF version of the transcript. 


Well, hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today we have a treat. 

So, I already recorded this interview in Toronto when I was at Stu McLaren's TRIBE event. Notice I said Toronto, right, because the Canadians have told me that Toronto is not how you say it. So I feel very cool when I say Toronto because I just feel like I'm part of the people. So with that, I was there, and I was at the event, and Jill and Josh Stanton of Screw The Nine To Five, they live fairly close to where we did this event, and I got to spend some time with them. 

First of all, they are hilarious. They make me laugh all the time. By the time this episode goes live, the Digital Course Academy®️ promotion will be over, but they are actively promoting it as an affiliate partner with me, so we recorded some videos. I don't know if you happened to see the blooper video between Jill and I, but we laughed so much that I couldn't get out half the words that she had scripted for me to say on a teleprompter. So I love how bossy she is. I show up for a video shoot and she's like, “Okay, here's what I need you to say.” So we laughed our whole way through the entire day, and they're just a lot of fun to be around. 

But as I was with them, they started telling me about the success they've had with creating Facebook pop-up groups. And when I think about Facebook pop-up groups, I think about groups that you do during a promotion, and they might be open for thirty or sixty days. And I've done it for B-School. I have a Facebook pop-up group I do every year, and it's thirty days. And it's a place for me to find my audience that is interested in B-School and connect with them, and I show up live a lot, and it's just a really great community for thirty days.

Well, Jill and Josh do it differently. Theirs is usually, like, five days or maybe ten days max, and they typically turn it into a challenge. And every day there's a new challenge, and they do videos, and they do prizes, and they game-ify the whole thing. It's very different than anything I've ever done before. And I was curious, so I said, “Jill”—because typically Jill’s the one who jumps on podcasts and talks about all the things. Josh is more behind the scenes and equally hilarious—but I said, “Jill, can you come on the show and share with my listeners the strategy you're using for pop-up groups?” because you could use it for your own promotion, you could use it if you're an affiliate marketer for somebody else's product that you're promoting, you can just use it for a challenge, but it’s really cool how she does it. 

Now, Jill’s a fast talker—if she hears this, she’ll laugh—she’s a fast talker, and she’s incredibly smart, so she rattles off things so fast and so high level that typically I’m like, “Uh, wait, wait, wait. Repeat that one more time.” So if you hear me doing that, that’s why. I want you to really understand it, but, selfishly, I wanted to really understand it. So I had her break it down. And we didn’t use an outline—and you know me. I like a good outline—so if we feel like we’re jumping here or there, it’s literally like we’re having a conversation about this idea of creating a pop-up group that looks like a challenge. 

And the whole goal is to, then, end the pop-up group and the challenge and people then move into the open cart, which is buying a product or service or whatever you’re selling. So the end goal is to actually sell, usually, a digital course. So that’s what it’s all about.

But I’ll have Jill explain the whole thing to you as I break it down through my questions to her. I hope you find this episode amusing but, more importantly, incredibly informative.

All right. Let’s jump to it.

Jill Stanton, thanks so much, and welcome to the show.

JILL STANTON: I am so pumped to be back for the fourth time.

AMY: I was going to say, welcome back.

JILL: Yeah. Who’s above me? I need to clock in some more episodes if someone’s beating me.

AMY: Mrs. Forleo.

JILL: Ugh. I’ll bow down. She can take that one.

AMY: But you’re a close second, and we’re so excited to have you here. 

JILL: Yeah, I’m pumped.

AMY: And this topic is really fun. It's actually something I'm totally implementing. So you need to break it down from start to finish because I like a good step by step.

JILL: Yeah. I know that you’re an actionable kind of girl, so we’ll get into that. 

AMY: Okay, perfect. So, here’s the deal. You guys can't see this, but we're actually recording this together in Toronto—not Toronto; it's Toronto. 

JILL: I appreciate your local tendencies.

AMY: Yeah, thank you. And we’re in a hotel room literally almost touching each other, talking into these mics really awkwardly. 

JILL: It’s sexy.

AMY: Yeah, it’s very awkward. So, I’m going to not look at you, okay?

JILL: Weird that you said awkward, and I said sexy

AMY: I know, which shows how different we are. Okay, so here’s the deal. We’re talking about pop-up groups but in a really cool, different kind of way. So before I get into all the questions I have for you, just give me the lay of the land. What is this strategy about?

JILL: Okay, so, pop-up groups are short, limited-time groups that you host with an intentional purpose. Typically, that leads towards an offer, at least that’s how we’ve used them in our business. Now, you could use them—maybe you’re hosting an event and you just want to have a meeting place for people to get all the details and meet other attendees or something like that, but for us, we use them in conjunction with promotions. So it allows you to bring together a group of people, build a community feel, prime them for—help them eliminate a lot of beliefs and things that are holding them back, and then make an offer that is congruent with the topic of the group.

AMY: Okay. So as we break this process or strategy down, we're going to use a lot of examples, and a lot of the examples we're going to use is when you've used a pop-up group, or I've used a pop-up group for an affiliate promotion, meaning we were promoting somebody else's program. But you and I were talking about this beforehand, and you said it probably, actually works better if it's your own offer. Tell me why.

JILL: Yeah. Well, one, you get to keep all the revenue. It’s your offer, and you know it better than anyone else, right? It's your audience. They are already familiar with you. We've hosted it in conjunction with our own offer as well. And I'll share a story around why that was such a clutch decision at that time. 

But what we love pop-up groups for, especially when it comes to affiliate offers, is introducing your audience to the person that you are actually shining a light on. I mean, yes, you're promoting them, but it's more like you're shining a light on them. You're spotlighting them to your audience. And so it's never like, “Oh, it's for selling, and that's bad.” You know what I mean? It's you are standing behind someone who has a really great offer and is a specialist in something and that you believe they can bring your audience value, and so you want to introduce them to your audience and get them to know them a bit better before you move into the offer.

AMY: Yes. And I love how you’ve done this. Definitely, we're going to talk about how you've done it with a pop-up group for Digital Course Academy®️, and that was really cool. But here's the deal. First of all, I'm just going to take it from the top. I've got tons of questions to break this down, but the first question is, you're thinking about creating a pop-up group. How soon does this pop-up group start before you actually make an offer?

JILL: So we’ve done a few timelines. One we did four weeks, and that was earlier this year, early 2019. And I know you have done four weeks in the past. For us, that felt a bit long, and so we started looking at—so we had a four-week group called the Audience Accelerator, and it was really our way of just bringing people in around a core purpose of building an audience. And then that led into an offer around media.

But we noticed around the two-week mark that people just started falling off. Engagement was dropping a bit. Facebook Live attendance rates weren't as high. People weren't taking action as much as they were in the first two weeks. So Josh and I looked at it. We're like, “Okay, what can we do here?” And we decided, what if we just test a two-week group? It feels short, but what happens if that's really punchy and intentional and purposeful and, therefore, moves the needle even quicker? 

And so we tested that for the most-recent one we did. We did a two-week group, and it knocked our socks off. It was a great experience for everyone in that group. The vibes were so high. I've never been a part of something like that. Even when we brought a friend of ours into that group, and he was like, “This group is on fire right now.” Like, people were lit up and taking action and posting selfies and doing the homework and really staying engaged and just getting results. And so we were like, maybe two weeks is a magic number for us. I know that you love a longer runway, but for us it worked really well for two weeks. And I'm open to testing four, but for this round, it was great.

AMY: I was going to say I’ve never tested shorter. I might do that for sure on my next pop-up group. And I will say shorter definitely feels better. It’s just easier to get that energy up and keep it up.

JILL: Well, that, absolutely. Number one. And also, think about it. Facebook is a—it’s a busy place, and people are getting distracted, and there's always new things happening in our space. So I love the idea of keeping people's attention for a shorter amount of time, getting them a quick win, making an offer, serving the heck out of the people that you're supposed to serve, and then—

AMY: Out.

JILL: Yeah. And then bounce in.

AMY: All right. So here's the deal. You have a pop-up group. You got to start from the top. How do you choose a topic, because here's what I love about your strategy. It's not just a pop-up group where we're going to engage and have community and have a lot of fun. That's what I actually did last year. I did a pop-up group for B-School for that promotion so I was an affiliate. I did a thirty-day pop-up group. I was live in the group every single day. We'll talk about that a little bit later. And I loved it. I was so proud of myself. But it was a great group, but I didn't have a specific topic, which I will moving forward. So how do you choose the topic of a pop-up group?

JILL: Yeah. So the easiest way we do this is to take a look at your offer and then pick a topic that is congruent to that. So what do you want to sell? So for Digital Course Academy®️, we have a pop-up group for that, and we realize that, especially with our previous pop-up group, we used to always teach the how, and we realized that it overwhelmed the heck out of people.

AMY: Okay, this is big, guys. I just learned this from Jill and Josh. Really big. So walk us through what you’re thinking here.

JILL: People’s walls go up when you start hammering them with how-tos. “Just do this, and you'll get this result. And then the next day, we're going to do this. And then the next day, we're going to do this.” And people are like, “What? I’m still trying to do the thing from day one.” 

So we said, what if we don’t teach any how-to? And at first that was really uncomfortable for us because we used to pride ourselves on—and same with the Audience Accelerator—it was all how-to. And it was an effective group, for sure, but it wasn’t as effective as it could have been because we’re like, “Now do this, and take an audit of how you spend your time. And let’s map out our calendars. And let’s do this. And let’s do this audience building. Let’s pitch this guest post.” It was crazy, the amount of stuff we gave people, and they were like—

AMY: Not talking about inside a course, teaching the how-to. She’s talking about in her pop-up group.

JILL: In a prelaunch.

AMY: In a prelaunch.

JILL: So we were overwhelming people before we even got to the offer. And what we realized is when you start teaching all the how, people’s walls go up because they’re just like, “I’ve got so many things to do.” And what we realized is your offer is the how. Your offer delivers the actual result that people are after. And it is your job in a pop-up group to help them see the what and the why. So identify the things that help them get primed and ready and empowered, really, is the big word here, empowered to take action so that they feel really confident, they feel like they can do something, and then your offer is the no-brainer next step.

AMY: Okay, so, one thing I love about this is that if you focus on the why and the what in a pop-up group, and the program becomes the how, when somebody, let's say, spends a thousand dollars on a course, then they are all in. Their mindset almost shifts a bit like, “Okay, give me all the work. I paid for it. I'm ready.” But when it's a pop-up group and they're just getting in there, they're not totally sold yet. So to give them all the how-to, they're not necessarily in the right frame of mind for that.

JILL: And we noticed it ourselves. People will just be like—this was actually probably our biggest realization from our first pop-up group earlier this year was when we were focusing on the how was people said, “This sounds so great, but I’m still trying to work through the free stuff you gave us.” And that was our biggest realization. Like, oh, we really overwhelmed people. 

And that’s why we dialed all of it back for the latest one we just did and why we are not doing any how-to for our Think Like an Expert group, because we’re like, no, no, no. It is not our job to give the how-to. It is the person who has the offer, the program, the whatever it is, it’s their focus to do the how-to. That’s what the offer is. 

Our intention, or our purpose, with this pop-up group is just to empower people, to help them get out of their own way, and help them make a decision, whether it is to join or it’s not to join. You can’t get your feathers ruffled if someone chooses not to join. They’re making the best decision for them at that place in their life, whether that is from a limiting belief they have at the time or from a place of, “You know what? That’s just not what I need in my business right now.” Cool. We wish you nothing but the best. But what we’re going to do is talk to the people who are ready to make that decision.

AMY: Okay, so, at the time of this recording, Jill and Josh are putting together their pop-up group for Digital Course Academy®️. But the time that this airs, it will already be gone. So let's talk a little bit about—

JILL: So, spoiler alert. We killed it.

AMY: We killed it. I love it. We put the intention out there, done. So, let’s talk about the content, and if you're cool with it, I'd love for you to use one of the examples of what you're doing for Digital Course Academy®️ because this Think Like an Expert is so genius. I love that. I didn't do any of this, guys. They put together all the content for their pop-up group. I just got to be part of it, which was really cool.

JILL: Which was a huge win for us as well because now we get you in front of our audience, not that they don’t know you already because you’re Amy freakin’ Porterfield.

AMY: Well, thanks. But don’t forget that topic. I want to come back to, if you’re doing an affiliate launch and you create a pop-up group for somebody else’s program, you’re not always going to get the course creator in your pop-up group. And I want to come back to that, so don’t let me forget, okay?

But let’s talk about content. So once you choose a topic, you’re saying it’s the what and the why. What does the content look like, and how did you come up with Think Like an Expert for Digital Course Academy®️?

JILL: Yeah, okay, so that one was really easy because our audience has a lot of up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and so we listen to them all the time: What words are they saying? What limiting beliefs do they have? And I invite you guys, whoever's listening right now, what are the words or the beliefs that your audience are communicating to you right now? I guarantee they have beliefs that are holding them back from being where they want to be. So you need to start identifying those. 

We realized that with our audience, gearing up for something like, “I need to create a digital course,” it always centered around imposter syndrome, and I don't know enough, or I'm not there yet, or I'm not experienced enough, or I'm not expert enough. And once we started hearing that, it was such a no-brainer. Okay, cool. So “Think Like an Expert, from imposter syndrome to expert status” was our promise.

AMY: Say it one more time. So that was the name of their pop up.

JILL: Yeah. “Think Like an Expert, from imposter syndrome to expert status.” So we knew that we could identify five core beliefs that were holding our audience back from stepping into and owning their expert status. Because as I've been saying to you, I don't believe you need to know all the things to claim expert status. You need to have a 10 percent edge. And what I mean by that is you just need to know a little bit more than the people you are here to serve. As long as you believe that you can get someone results, as long as you have gotten results yourself and you are willing and open to share that process with them and go all in on them and really have the intention of helping them achieve something that they want, then you are an expert in those people's eyes. And so it's on you to serve your audience in a way that gets them result, and that comes from you getting out of your own way, because you may not think you're an expert enough or know enough, but to your audience, you're the bee's knees. And so as long as you can step into that and kind of shed those limiting beliefs that are holding you back, you can make a huge impact in people's lives.

AMY: So notice that she really put some thought into what my offer was, and then she thought, “Okay, how are we going to get them to a point that they think ‘yes, I can do this’?” So I would think one of the goals of a pop-up group is to help people decide or not if they are right for the offer, and because you believe in it, you know there's limiting beliefs, and you're going to tackle those in advance. Brilliant.

JILL: Yeah. Because everyone has limiting beliefs. No matter what stage of the game you're at, you still have limiting beliefs. I still have limiting beliefs, right? And so it's also really easy to see someone else's. And so if you can help someone shine a light on where they're holding themselves back—like when we did this for out “Think Like a Millionaire” challenge, it lit me up. Both Josh and I couldn’t even get out of the group because we’re like, “Do you see what these people are doing?” People were getting new clients, and they were just feeling better and more confident, happier, and they were having conversations with people who mattered in their lives around money, and they were really taking action. And once we saw that, we’re like, “We’re never stopping this.”

AMY: Never stopping. You guys, Jill and Josh are on fire with this right now. It’s really exciting to see what they’re doing with it.

And so a few questions around content. You have done challenges. For Digital Course Academy®️, you’ve put together a five-day challenge, which means your group starts pre-challenge, the day before, and then it's five days of challenge. And then my cart opens, the group stays open while my cart’s open, and then the group closes. 

JILL: Yeah.

AMY: Okay. So all in all, how many days is that?

JILL: I think all up, your cart open is six days, so fourteen days. Two weeks.

AMY: Fourteen days. Two weeks. And it’s out. So that's typically what they've been doing. Now my question to you is, is it always a challenge? The content in the pop-up group, do you always do a challenge? Is that what you do?

JILL: No. So, our last pop-up group, we tested our first-ever challenge, and so we didn’t know what to expect. We’d never run a challenge before. And would it be useful if I shared some stats?

AMY: I was going to say—yeah. 

JILL: Okay, so we didn’t know what to expect. We got twelve hundred people in there. Now, we spent money. We threw down ads—I'm speaking to the queen right now, so we embraced our inner Porterfield, and we spent some cash. So we actually spent $42,000. Now, that wasn't just for the challenge, but we spent over $10,000 just to get people into the challenge. And then overall, we generated $293,000. So I would spend forty-two any day to make two ninety-three.

AMY: Right. And the reason they spent $42,000 on an affiliate promo is they knew what they could do. I mean, nothing's guaranteed, but if you've never done an affiliate challenge, you're not spending $42,000 on ads. Jill and Josh—

JILL: No. And it was the first time we had ever done that, truthfully.

AMY: Okay, awesome. And I love that you went for it. And Jill and Josh had been in the game for a while. But you're saying you spent $10,000 to get twelve—

JILL: Twelve hundred.

AMY: Twelve hundred people in the group. So that’s a lot of money. However, the twelve hundred people are super, super targeted. They're all in, they’re fully focused, and you do not need to spend $10,000 to get people in your group, and you don't need to have twelve hundred people in your group. Everyone starts somewhere, guys.

JILL: And the other pop-up group that we did earlier this year, we spent forty-five hundred all up, for the whole challenge.

AMY: There you go.

JILL: Oh, sorry—for the whole promotion. So only, like, twenty-five hundred to get people into the group and really relied on our organic audience as well. So for that, we spent forty-five hundred, and we made forty-three thousand. So much lower scale, but we had our own limiting beliefs around spending money, and so we played it a bit small. And thankfully, we busted out of that.

AMY: Thank goodness. Okay, so, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. What else can you do?

JILL: Okay, yeah. So we love challenges, at the moment. We might switch it up again. Who knows? We're always open to innovating.

AMY: Totally. I forgot to ask you something really fast, just because I like to be very specific. When you did a challenge, give one example of a challenge day. And then we’ll move on from challenges.

JILL: Okay. Like what one of the exercises was?

AMY: Yeah.

JILL: Okay, great. So for “Think Like a Millionaire,” day one was identifying your current beliefs around money. So what do you currently believe about money? It takes hard work to make a lot of money. Money doesn't grow on trees. How much did you hear that growing up? I always heard that. There's, “I'm not made of money.” You know what I mean? Or any of that. Rich people are greedy. All of these things. There's not always more where that came from. All of these beliefs. So we had people identify their top five disempowering beliefs, their current beliefs, around money; take a good look at them; and then create five new empowering beliefs that they wanted to move forward with. So, how do I want to feel about money? What do I want to believe? Money's easy. There's always more where that came from. I'm a money magnet. Whatever that is for people. So that was day one for us. So all of our videos were under five minutes. Everything was short and snappy.

AMY: That’s interesting as well. They create short, really short, videos to say, “Okay, guys. Today is day one of the challenge, and here’s what it’s about, and here’s your exercise. Go do it.” So it’s five minutes—

JILL: Yeah. “And in the comments below—“

AMY: Yeah. And then they get their marching orders. “In the comments below, do this.”

JILL: Yeah. And I want to just say, just so that everyone has all the deets that they would need, we also incentivized with a prize. So if you came into our pop-up group, and you took part in this challenge, and you showed up for all five days, you did all five pieces of homework, and you showed up for all five Facebook Lives, you were entered to win a thousand-dollar cash prize.

AMY: Okay, so fun. So every day at one o’clock, they would do a Facebook Live about the challenge topic of the day.

JILL: And we would go even deeper into it, and we would answer people’s questions.

AMY: So you start the morning off with, “Here’s a quick five-minute video. This is what the challenge is for the day. Post your comments below to get engaged. There’s a thousand-dollar prize if you do all five days. Meet us in a Facebook Live.” So now they’re engaging. Jill and Josh get on video. They’re engaging with everybody in the group. Even more comments, more excitement.

JILL: And we were seeding the offer the whole time. We were mentioning it.

AMY: So the offer was BBD? 

JILL: Yeah. The offer was—

AMY: Okay, James Wedmore’s—

JILL: Business by Design.

AMY: Business by Design.

JILL: But I’ll do this with Digital Course Academy®️ as well. I will always seed it throughout, every single time.

AMY: Meaning, she doesn't say, “Buy Digital Course Academy®️.” She talks about the importance of digital courses and creating them and why you have to shift your mindset to know that you can be an expert. So throughout five-day challenge, it's not, “Buy the course. Buy the course.” It's not even available when she’s doing that.

JILL: There’s no CTA. 

AMY: No call to action in that sense, but there is seeding the topic around a course.

JILL: Yeah. We believe Amy Porterfield is the right one to learn from. We believe the easiest way to claim your expert status is digital courses. All of that is leading towards the culmination, which is the offer.

And this time, I got a little ballsy and I asked, “Would you be involved in our challenge,” which—you and I have been friends for five years, but I was like, I don’t know what she’s going to say.

AMY: I want to talk about that. So, this is the first time I’ve had a lot of affiliates for Digital Course Academy®️. And, again, at the time of this recording, we haven’t even launched it yet. We’re in prelaunch right now. And so Jill and I were in Toronto at the same time, and she's like, “Hey, will you spend the day with me doing some videos for this challenge I've got going on?” And I said yes. And I want to make this very clear, and it's a little bit kind of uncomfortable conversation. If another affiliate who had never marketed for me asked me, I would have had to say no. The reason you say yes as a course creator to your affiliates is if they've shown up for you already, you know that they're in it to win it. You know that they're going to put tons of effort in. They've already promoted for you. They've taken your course. They've proven themselves. That's where as a course creator you put your time and effort because the honest conversation is I only have so many hours a day. I wish I could do things for affiliates for every affiliate, but I genuinely can't. So you don't typically ask the course creator for help as an affiliate until you've already shown up for them at least once. Do you agree?

JILL: Yeah, 100 percent. And I kind of went—the minute you said, “Yeah, let’s do it,” I was like I’m going to write down every single video I can possibly think of and shoot for the stars, and if we don’t hit it, at least we’ll land on the moon.

AMY: Yeah. And this was cool. I showed up at this Airbnb, and they had all the equipment set up. She wrote me scripts for a teleprompter, which the bloopers could literally blackmail me.

JILL: They will.

AMY: They will. 

JILL: We’re opening it up to the highest bidder.

AMY: That’s not even funny. She, basically, had all the videos mapped out, and Jill knows how I like to work. I like to be organized. I like to know what’s coming down the pipeline. And she just went out of her way to make it easy for me. 

So that’s another thing. If the course creator agrees to help you as an affiliate, then by all means, make it as easy as possible for them. 

JILL: Oh, 100 percent. I looped in your team.

AMY: Totally. But typically, you're not going to get the course creator to help you. If you’re a new affiliate, which so many of my listeners are, don't shoot for that. Just do your own thing.

JILL: And if you could get them on a podcast episode or a Facebook Live, typically most course creators are open to doing at least one piece of content with you. Otherwise, how are you going to introduce them to your audience, right? So they know that there’s stake there. 

Also, so we've been talking about challenges, but now that we've brought up FB Lives, if you're not into the mode of creating a challenge for your pop-up group, you're like, “You know what? That feels like I'm kind of going straight into the deep end,” you don't have to do a challenge. Josh and I significantly changed our business model last year, and so we had a whole lot of space this year. And so we had the bandwidth to be able to do that. But if you want to just roll with something like Facebook Lives, like what you did in your B-School pop-up group, you killed it, and you just did Facebook—“just,” I know there’s a lot of bandwidth there, but—

AMY: But still, it’s much easier than a challenge. So every day for twenty minutes I went live in the Facebook group. Thirty days, except not weekends, so it really wasn’t even thirty days. But that was great. It was a great way for me to connect. I gave away prizes. I had a lot of fun with it.

JILL: You brought in guests.

AMY: I brought in guests, yes. So, okay, so you could do Facebook Lives, you could do a challenge, what else?

JILL: You could also do a video series, recorded—

AMY: Pre-recorded.

JILL: Yep. So even just three, three videos, something really simple and easy, just to engage your audience around the topic. That’s the biggest thing. You want to seed this topic. You want to really show that you are the ones that they would want to learn from. So we’re setting the stage, whatever medium of content that is for you: challenge; Facebook Live; video series; maybe it's a podcast series, and it only gets released in that group. Something like that. 

AMY: Oh, cool. It has to be exclusive.

JILL: Yes, that's a biggie. Or you could do a text only. If you consider yourself a really great writer and that's how your audience jibes with you, then lean on the medium that you feel the most proficient at. I think that's a biggie. If you think that, yeah, I can really crush it with just writing—I mean, more power to you. I would die—but if that's your jam, then lean into that. And see how the first one goes. 

Your first one, you do not need to go all out. Test the waters. Everyone thinks that—or so many people think that they have to go all in, and if they don't smash it, what does that mean about me? But what’s stopping you from just baby stepping and testing the waters and figuring out your process, getting your feet wet, and then doing it again? Because they’re mad effective, and it’s not like your audience is going to be like, “Oh. Great. Another pop-up group?” You’re like, no, it’s an event. It's an experience for people.

AMY: I like the event or experience, but I will say is that I think it's important that you do give them some marching orders along the way so they get used to you saying here's what you can do to take some action, so that when it comes time for them to buy, they've already been trusting you with some other action items.

JILL: Yeah. And just think about it. Like we’re saying, it’s an experience. So if you were hosting a party, you wouldn’t just be like, “Hey, guys, come on over.” Oh, oh, am I supposed to do something? You know what I mean?

AMY: Yeah, that’s true. You wouldn’t [unclear 29:21] the party.

JILL: You have to have it mapped out.

AMY: So you want a plan there. So get creative. We don’t have to give you all the answers here. You can kind of get creative and think of what you want to do in your group, but do not start the group without a plan. Okay, so that’s important.

JILL: Yes. And just remember that the content you're going to be creating for this pop-up group, the point of it is to address your audience’s limiting beliefs that are holding them back from achieving that result. So that is, basically, the purpose of that group. And so how do you identify these limiting beliefs? Pay attention to the objections you get when you make offers, or pay attention to the words they’re saying, or, better, ask them.

So if I were to say to our—our audience calls themselves the screwpies—if I were to say to the screwpies, if I say you're an expert, how does that make you feel? And then I will use all of that as my copy swipe, and I will bake that into my scripts. I'll bake that into my ads. I'll bake that into every single thing we cover so that I am speaking directly to what is going on in their head, make them know that I see them. They are seen, heard, and acknowledged and that we have the solution to help them overcome that. 

It's not rocket science. You don't have to figure it out on your own. Ask them. They want you to help them. Otherwise, they wouldn't be paying attention to you online.

AMY: That’s so true. Okay, so, I love this whole idea of addressing the limiting beliefs in your pop-up group. So talk to me about this. If I’m not going to spend money on Facebook ads, how do I get people into the group?

JILL: Yes. I love this. So, you have so many options. Facebook ads is absolutely one. It accelerates things. It gets your message out there faster. But a simple opt-in, if you have any kind of content, any kind of audience, hit your organic audience with it. Create some content around the purpose or the topic of your pop-up group and say, “Come join me over at—“ ours is whatever.

AMY: Okay, time out. So do they need to opt in before they get into the group?

JILL: Yep.

AMY: Okay, this is big if you’re list building.

JILL: Because you are building an interest list. That is the purpose of your challenge. You are creating anticipation and attention around an offer. So I absolutely want them signed up to something because I'm not just here to just max out our energy and everything we've put together just for people who aren't ready to take it serious. I’m like, no, no, no. Put your name and email down, or you can use a bot, which we'll talk about in two seconds. I just want them to express that they are interested by putting their name and details down and putting up their hand and saying, yes, let me in.

AMY: So for DCA, you’re telling people, “Okay, we’ve got a five-day challenge. Go here to sign up for the challenge.” They're going to land on an opt-in page. They opt into the challenge, and then they get a link through e-mail to the group?

JILL: No. This time we’re doing it a bit different, and we’re actually—you go to a page, but it’ll say, “Join on Messenger.” So—

AMY: Okay, got it. Time out. Before you get into this, because this is going to be a little bit more advanced—

JILL: No, because I’m going to keep it really simple because Josh runs this side of things. So you opt in through Messenger. End. No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. But truthfully, Messenger has a lot of capabilities right now with Messenger bot, so we use something like ManyChat. It’s very straightforward, and you could Google it, you could YouTube some videos. There are so many people talking about it. There’s a plethora of information online. 

So the main key is that you want to get people opting in somehow, whether you want to do email, do email; whether we want to do Messenger bots; we do Messenger bots. Again, you can do it through ads, you could do it through your organic traffic, you could do it through social media. The point is you want to get people over to a page, putting in some sort of details so you can continue the communication with them once that offer comes in and once the challenge kicks off, truthfully, because we actually start to fill up the group about ten days before it even opens.

AMY: Gotcha. Okay, so you start to fill up the group. So let’s say you guys weren’t going to use a Messenger bot, then you would have them opt in, and you could just send them an email and say, “The group is going to open on this date, and I’ll send you a link.”

JILL: Yep.

AMY: And I’d stay in touch with them. If you do it, like, ten days in advance, I'd stay in touch with them maybe once or twice before that group opens to keep them engaged.

JILL: For sure. Absolutely. And I say like, “We’re three days away,” that kind of stuff. And then my subject line—this worked really well, but if you guys want to steal it—my subject line on the day of the pre-party, when the group actually opened, I said, “Request approved. You’re in.”

AMY: Oh, that is so good.

JILL: So that they’re like, “What request approved?” And then they’re like, “Oh, yeah. I joined the challenge. Sweet. It’s going.” And so then they come into the group. Plus, they’ll also get a notification on Facebook saying, “Jill approved your request.”

AMY: Oh, gotcha. So they have to go to the page and request to join.

JILL: Yep. And fill out our members’ questions.

AMY: Oh, yeah. So they go to the group, they request to join, you can add questions so that they have to answer some questions first.

JILL: And here's a fun thing. If there’s any other prelaunch assets there that you could use as freebies, we put those in the membership questions as well.

AMY: So, like, have you signed up for the five profitable digital course quiz?

JILL: Yeah. Which is one of my questions.

AMY: I love it. So because she's an affiliate, I've got some freebies that as an affiliate, she could put out to her audience and help build her list as well as build our launch list. And so she will put those in the questions for the Facebook group. This episode is golden. It's really good. I know we're going fast, guys, and if you've never heard of this concept, it's like, what in the world are they talking about? Listen to it again; it starts to really sink in. I've been with Jill and Josh for about twenty-four hours now, so we've been talking about it a lot, and I'm slowly starting to get it and starting to see the power of it. So it kind of sinks in over time.

Okay, so, so many ways that you can—you can email your list. You can post about it on social media. You could write a blog post about why this group is going to be so frickin’ powerful. Do a podcast episode about it, anything you want, but your goal is one URL that sends into an opt in, and from there, Messenger or a Messenger bot or email to get them into the group. 

So now they are in the group. You are doing, let's pretend you're doing a challenge. You're doing a five-day challenge. How do you move them from the challenge to the offer?

JILL: Yeah. Okay, so like I said, I seed it all throughout. With our challenge for “Think Like an Expert,” like I said to you guys, I just went for broke and asked Amy, “Will you shoot all the videos with me?” And I was like, “Oh, BTW, three of those are a challenge.”

AMY: I, like, genuinely didn’t know when I got here, but I just was like a dancing monkey, like, “What else do you want?”

JILL: So, not every course creator’s going to say yes to that, right? I just got a little cheeky and was like, “Maybe she’ll do it.” And you were like, “Sure. I think this’d be a great fit.” Not everyone's going to say yes to that. That's cool. For our first challenge that we just did, the person we were—James, that we were promoting—he was not in our challenge. He did one FB Live with us during the challenge, and that was enough at that time. 

Okay, so once the offer starts to come about—

AMY: So you’re saying I’m nicer than James. Interesting.

JILL: Edit. Edit.

AMY: Good thing I’m the editor.

JILL: Edit. Edit. 

Okay, so, how we sell the offer. Like I said, we've been seeding it all throughout. Also one thing I did last time and I incorporated this time was in my cover photo—and I'm like, “Ooh, how smart am I?” which I really took from you when you do B-School—and in my cover photo, I say, “Think Like an Expert five-day challenge, in celebration of Digital Course Academy®️,” so that they know that this pop-up group is for the intention of moving into an offer.

AMY: It’s not like you’re pretending or hide anything.

JILL: I’m not trying to hide it. Yeah.

AMY: She’ll say, “Guys, Amy Porterfield teaches how to create courses. She has a course coming out, but we're going to talk about why it's important for you to show up like an expert,” that kind of thing.

JILL: Yes, yes. And I'm not sitting there being pushy. I just want to be transparent about it because if you’re not transparent about it, people are going to think that you were trying to pull something over on them and walls are going to go up. So I am just like if you don’t like that, it’s a free group. You could leave it if you want.

Okay, so, selling the offer. Here are four things that I’ve seen work. One, moving into a webinar. So after your challenge is over—and this is what we’re doing with “Think Like an Expert”—on day five is the day of our webinar together. So on day five, my daily expert action, which is their homework for that day, is to sign up for your webinar because it is congruent to the topic of the challenge. So it’s a no-brainer for them because the challenge topic that day is experts invest in themselves. I say, “Experts are always investing in themselves, learning from people who are where they want to be,” which is true. I’m always reinvesting in myself. You’re always reinvesting in yourself. You work with coaches, you go to events; you believe in expanding your skills and knowledge as a leader, right?

AMY: Yep.

JILL: Exactly. And so when people want to be where experts are, they need to behave like experts do, and that is by constantly reinvesting in themselves. So I say that, experts invest in themselves. If you want to invest in mastering your skills and creating a digital course that sells, you will sign up for this webinar that is going down today at 4:30. So it's a no-brainer for them. And then if anyone can't make that day, I'm going to follow up with the solo webbies you're doing and say, “If you couldn't make today, here's all the other ones going on this week.” That's still my affiliate link. It's still tracked to me, but it's just giving them options.

And then the other caveat to that is when I say, “This is the action you take,” I say, “Take a screenshot of your registration confirmation and post it in the comments so I know that you did it.” There’s commitment there, and you need them to, or you want them, to stay committed to what they said that they were here to do, i.e., leave imposter syndrome behind and step into their expert status. But experts stay committed. They're willing to do whatever it takes to get the result they want. And so that is the stage that we've been setting the whole time.

Another one is to move into a free video series. So that’s what we did with Business by Design. We went from—day five’s challenge was to sign up for James’s free series. It worked really freakin’ well. We had a tsunami of people sign up for it.

Another one is a Facebook Live, to just sell directly into the offer. And we have a mutual friend, Zach Spuckler, and I actually asked him this. I said, “Have you ever done a challenge directly into an offer? I’ve just always done it free challenge into freebie into offer.” And he’s like, “No, I’ve done it straight into an offer, and it crushes.” So I was like, “Okay, cool.” If I ever need to do that, that’s an option as well. So you have that ability as well.

And then the final thing I want to say is cart open starts on the day that—sorry. Your offer that you’re moving them from the challenge into starts on day five. So whether that’s your freebie or the actual offer, it starts on day five so you are not losing momentum with those people. Because vibes are high. Coming in off those five days, people are in it. They are so engaged, and you want to utilize that momentum and that excitement and enthusiasm to move them into your intended purpose. Whether that’s a webinar, a free video series, a direct offer, something to that nature, you just want to use that momentum to serve a purpose.

AMY: So good. So, so good. Okay, so, you’ve got this group going, and it’s super active. People are really excited. You're keeping the actual group open until the offer expires. So the offer expires. Let's pretend that the offer expires at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. When does your pop-up group close?

JILL: I would close it that night. 

AMY: Wow. You're out.

JILL: Because people FOMO. I’m like FOMO alert, FOMO alert. This is going away.

AMY: Meaning, if you’re not getting into the program, this experience does not continue.

JILL: Yeah.

AMY: Yeah. That’s where urgency and scarcity, guys, is genuinely important. It’s not fake. You’re not pulling the wool over. It’s really happening. 

JILL: You need to [unclear 41:29] integrity with that.

AMY: Yeah. So at this point, you either get into the program or you don't, but this party does not continue.

JILL: Yes. Because, look, you want people to make a decision one way or the other, right? And so you need to give them a deadline. Otherwise, people will sit around and sit on the fence and just be like, “I don’t know. Maybe next time. I don’t have money,” and all that kind of stuff.

AMY: Or, this group is nice and safe; I’ll stay here.

JILL: Yeah. Or, I’ve got enough out of this. Cool. I’m so happy that our free experience rocked your world like that. And if you’re not ready to make a choice, we wish you nothing but the best. We’re cheering you on all the way. Come join the next one. But this closes tonight. And you’ll just archive it. Sorry, I just wanted to say that.

AMY: I’m so glad you brought that up, actually. 

So you archive the group, meaning people can still see all the action that went on in it. No one can post. No one can join. It’s just there, meaning you don’t have to take everyone out individually.

JILL: Exactly. And I actually wrestled with this, truthfully, because for Audience Accelerator, we removed everyone. And afterwards, I was like, “Was that a crappy thing to do?” because I don't want to come from a place of scarcity where I'm like, “If you don't join, I'm kicking you out.” And so for this one, we're like, “No, I want you guys to have access to this stuff because it made such a dent in your world. So I want you to be able to watch and re-watch to your heart's content. So I'm just going to archive it.” That just felt way more high vibe to me, way more high vibe.

AMY: Okay, good. So archiving is, basically, you still see everything; you just can't engage anymore.

JILL: Yeah. And no one can add new people, add comments, nothing.

AMY: Nothing. Okay, I love that. 

JILL: It’s like a mic drop. It’s like, mic drop, “We out.”

AMY: Yeah, it is. Yes. I do love that. But you were saying something right before that. I was going to ask you—let me think. Oh, I lost it. Maybe it’ll come back. 

So you archive this group, and then you move on to supporting those who join the program. So you have those who did join the program, they get more of you.

JILL: 100 percent. You take care of those people, you rock their world, and you just fulfill on what you promised. Now your bandwidth is—you’re not stretching yourself because you’re not managing a free experience and a paid experience. 

AMY: Yeah, that’s tough.

JILL: You move into—this is one thing I’ve really learned is for a free experience, you’re talking to everyone. You're talking to anyone who will engage in this experience. But when cart opens and the offer’s on the table, I'm only talking to buyers.

AMY: Yes. That’s so true. Meaning, people that are genuinely interested in getting into the program.

JILL: Yeah. During that period, I’m only willing to talk to people who are ready to take responsibility and make stuff happen in their lives. That’s the kind of people I want to work with. I know that’s the kind of people you want to work with. You want people who want results and are willing to do whatever it takes. So if you’re a freebie—

AMY: Seeker.

JILL: Yeah, freebie seeker or a freebie hoarder, that’s great for your—

AMY: I thought you were going to say “freebie whore,” and I was like, that’s really inappropriate for my show.

JILL: I didn’t know I could say that or else I would have.

AMY: You really can’t. You really can’t. “Hoarder” sounds—

JILL: Aren’t you proud of me for how I haven’t sworn?

AMY: I am. Yes, yes. This sailor over here has really—

JILL: Before we started, I was like I promise I will not swear on your show.

AMY: This is true. But I’m sitting right here in front of her, and her mouth shapes the word hoarder, and I’m like, where is she going with that?

JILL: She’s making me sweat. She’s making me sweat.

AMY: And then I say it. I know that many of you have kids in the car, going to school, so that’s why we try to keep it PC. 

Okay, so, this has been awesome. Here’s the thing. I want to wrap this up. One, I hope if you're thinking about creating a pop-up group, you listen to this episode one more time. Like I said, I've been talking about this with Jill and Josh for so long that it's starting to really sink in, and I'm so excited to do it. So thank you for that gift. 

JILL: I can't wait to see it in action. 

AMY: Yeah, I'm going to blow your mind. But number two—one, I want you to listen. Two, I want, Jill, you to tell us before we wrap up, if somebody’s thinking about doing this, many people in my audience, it would be their first time being an affiliate for somebody’s course. They don't have a big email list just yet, and they likely won't get the affiliate to support them. So with all of that, what’s some words of wisdom as they embark on this new type of strategy?

JILL: Start where you are. Start where you are, and serve the heck out of those people. If you get fifty people who joined, if you get twenty-five people who join, those are twenty-five humans who raised their hand and said, “Yeah, I want to spend the next two weeks with you.” That's huge. And it's such a place like—it's such a great starting place to learn from because now you've got twenty-five. Next time, get 250. Time after that. twenty-five hundred. You know? You just start where you're at. I think so many people get in their heads because they're looking at Amy's step thirty-seven when they're at step one. But you still have challenges in your business, you still have stuff going on that not everyone knows about, and you still have your own demons to overcome when it comes to you being a leader or you at this stage in your business. But you start where you're at. It just looks different to where I’m at, even, or to where someone’s at if they’re two years in or just two months in, two weeks in. 

I just think the biggest thing is to not assign meaning to “Oh my god. What does it mean about me and my business that I only got twenty-five people in?” It means that you are about to serve the heck out of twenty-five people, and make it a really memorable experience. And then, as they start saying, “This was the best thing I’ve ever taken part in,” screen shot. Use that for your next promotion and your next pop-up group. 

And invite those people to invite people. That’s one thing that we started baking in. Share this out. Invite a friend that you want to do this challenge with. Or one of our—on day two we had a commitment declaration, and we said, “Bonus points if you share it on social media.” Just get crafty. Don’t make it mean something about you, that you aren’t there yet or you’re not good enough if you don’t have thousands of people in.

Our first pop-up group had—what did it have, Josh?—like, 600 people in. But that was in 2017, when we were “at the height of what our business was at at that point.” And I remember, I was like, “Oh my god. Only 600?” But it served it so well because, as I was saying, our ads didn’t serve during that promotion, so we were like, “Oh my god. What’s happening?” And it was our pop-up group that saved our entire promotion. And it was because we invested that time in those people and brought our A games for them. And then they were like, “No-brainer, I’m in on this.” 

I just think if you start there, and you allow it to be really enjoyable and allow yourself to just be present with these people and really give them a great experience, you will notice your next one gets even better, and your next one gets even better, and remember that you’re playing a long-ball game.

AMY: Yep. You are. You are. And this will not be your only group. The pop-up groups, they can continue and people get excited about them. What I love about yours is I know people are ready for the next one.

What else you got?

JILL: And we told them when it ended we’re doing another one. And you can just say that to people. “This was such a great experience. I’m going to do another one. What do you guys think? Do you want to be the first to know when it opens? Sign up here.”

And the beauty of groups is they build your audience, and they give you a two-way form of communication.

AMY: So true. I said this in the intro, but this is a list builder, guys. This is a great list builder, so it’s important to keep that in mind as well.

Jill, I cannot thank you enough. This has been so fun. Listen, you have been on the show so many times.

JILL: I’m coming after Marie’s title.

AMY: She is, Marie. She’s coming after you.

So thank you so much. I love this topic, and I cannot wait to personally implement it, so I really appreciate it.

JILL: Big love to you.

AMY: Bye, girl.

So, there you have it. I told you she's hilarious, right? I felt like that interview was a lot of fun. I know we covered a lot of ground so fast. I feel like Jill should get an award for the fastest talker I know, but it's also just really fun to riff with her and just to get into conversation about marketing strategies because she always has great ideas. I love talking to her.

So, I hope you take this idea. I hope you implement it with your next promotion. I know we are seriously thinking about it for our next promotion, so you might see this come alive in my own business. 

So you can check out Jill and Josh at Definitely go check out what they're up to. And I am just so thrilled that she came on the show again. She's been on a few times, so it's really fun to have her back. 

Okay, let's talk about next week before I let you go. I have a really cool guest coming on to talk about how she created a membership site less than a year ago as well as a physical product. And she's going to talk about how the membership site and the physical product are fully aligned and how she's used her members to crowdsource what they want to see in the physical product. Let me tell you, it is a very cool episode, and I think it's going to spark some major creativity for you, especially if you've been thinking about a physical product or a membership site. So do not miss next week. It’s so inspiring. It will be episode 287.

In the meantime, if you want some links to some stuff we talked about in this episode, go to Thanks so much for tuning in. Can’t wait to see you same time, same place, next week. Bye for now.

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