GAYNETÉ JONES: “Amy, I live by the Nike strategy, which is to just do it, because I get—and they'd understand once they do that first launch that it only gets better from there. It only gets better. You have to do that first thing. And it's going to change over time, and it's going to improve over time. But it can't change and improve and grow until you do it that one time, that first bit.”
“So, oftentimes we tend to push things out or delay things because we're trying to make it perfect or we're trying to see the end result. We know that what step 100 looks like, but we're so terrified to get there because we're only on step one. So I say in order to get there, you have to do a little thing each and every day, but don't change it.”
“The worst-case scenario we mentioned earlier in this podcast, you're already living it. So the worst-case scenario is you have that launch date, and you put it out there, and let’s say—this isn't going to happen—but let's say no one purchases it. That's not changing from what's happening now because no one's purchasing it because you keep changing the date. But what can happen is the upward potential is there for not only people to purchase it, but for people to be impacted by that and for your life and your joy to grow as a result of that. So I'd say just to Nike strategy it and just do it.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: My guest today talks about how we all have a wakeup call in our life, especially as an entrepreneur. And his wakeup call looks different for all of us, but it makes us realize that we were made for something more, something bigger. Maybe you can relate.
My guest today is Gayneté Jones, and she had a pretty significant wakeup call that she's going to tell you about that really put her life into perspective and led her to realize that she wanted more out of life, which lit a fire in her to build her own business. And eventually, she made $70,000 during her seven-day launch, with only one webinar. Incredible, right? Gayneté’s going to share what worked during her launch and her webinar, and what didn’t. She's really honest, really transparent in this interview, and she shares a lot of step-by-step strategies that work best for her to fill up her webinar and to attract her ideal audience and really make sure that her launch was a success.
I think what I love most about this interview are the tangible launch strategies and the tangible launch-mindset hacks that she used to keep focused, to keep calm, and to keep moving on. Gayneté teaches millennial women how to quit their nine-to-five job and turn their passion into profit so that they can create a life of fulfillment and freedom. She's been featured in MSN Money, Medium, Refinery29, the Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, and Success, just to name a few. You're going to gain so much insight and tangible guidance from this one conversation. I know that I took one strategy from here, and I ran with it. It's that good. You can take one gem, and you can see results. So make sure to grab a notebook. You're going to want to take notes. Let’s do this.
Well, hey, there, Gayneté. Thank you so much for being here.
GAYNETÉ: Hey, Amy. Excited to be here.
AMY: I have been looking forward to our chat because you have a fascinating story and really so much to offer my listeners. So I've shared a little bit about you in the intro, but before we get to your amazing launch results and the strategies that you've been using, I would love for you to share your story. And I know you've given me permission to mention this here, but you have a crazy story where you were held at gunpoint and how this experience drives you as an entrepreneur. So will you share that with us?
GAYNETÉ: Oh, for sure. And it's such a meaty story, but it's quite long, so I'm going to try to condense it a bit by keeping the important bits around.
GAYNETÉ: So, back in 2004 to 2005, I was a Rotary exchange student in Maracaibo, Venezuela. And as an exchange student, they tend to put you with pretty wealthy families, not always, but pretty often. And this is important, I promise, so I explain what happened. I was living with my second host family at the time, and my host dad was a petroleum engineer, and he's a business owner, philanthropist, like, he's all the things. And part of his give-back initiative involved creating a band called [unclear 05:10]. In this band, he really just gave a group of young individuals, like, men, the opportunity to travel and perform pretty much all over Venezuela and other parts of South America. So on Father's Day, as a thank you from this band, they threw a surprise barbecue for my host dad at our home.
Now, a lot of the houses in Venezuela are gated, and my neighborhood was no different. But because the band members were leaving and returning and going to grab food and drinks and all the things, that particular night, our gates were open. And as a teenager—so I was eighteen at the time—I was doing what teenagers did. As everyone was setting up, doing all the work and all this was happening, I was upstairs on MSN Messenger talking to friends, and I know I'm really given my age right now because it's MSN Messenger isn't even a thing right now.
AMY: Yeah. And I totally knew what you were talking about.
GAYNETÉ: Yeah. So I was on MSN Messenger talking to my friends, and as I got called downstairs, I started making my way down to the bottom of the stairwell, and my host sister, who lost all color in her face, she kept saying to me, “[unclear 06:14],” which really translates to, like, “Calm down, sister, or relax, sister.” And for the life of me, I couldn't understand why she kept saying that. I'm like, “Why is she telling me to calm down? I literally just came off of MSN. Like, I'm calm.”
But I noticed at that moment there was a man with his arm around her shoulders, and a man I hadn't seen before. It wasn't her boyfriend. And the second it all started clicking and I started putting it all together, he pushed her to the side, and I noticed he had a gun behind her back. So shortly after that, three others ran inside, with weapons, and asked everyone to get down onto the ground. And one was actually standing guard outside, so it was five of them in total.
And funny side note was I learned years later, when I returned back to Venezuela, that one standing outside got robbed himself.
AMY: Oh my gosh.
GAYNETÉ: But anyway. Yeah, it was nuts.
So those that came in, it was four inside altogether, and they came around grabbing jewelry and taking our cell phones, the big clunky ones that were around back then. And we were able to pick up on their accents right away. So they were Colombian, and they came across the border because Maracaibo borders Colombia. And a lot transpired during that time. But fast forward a bit. They cut the phone and Internet lines, and they took our car keys and passports and a few sentimental items and really everything they could get their hands on. And I mean, they even stole my clean underwear from my dresser. Like, when I said they took—
GAYNETÉ: Yeah. They took everything, Amy. So they threatened to kill us, a few times, but said they were the good cops.
Oh, right. So I forgot to mention that there were also police officers that were undercover. Like, they were dressed in regular clothes.
AMY: Oh my gosh.
GAYNETÉ: So there were police officers. And then they left. So right before they left, they told us to stay down on the ground for at least twenty minutes. And after they left, they kept coming in. They kept saying, “If you call, we all know because we're in our police car. We'll hear the radio calling for someone in the area,” and all that kind of stuff. So they threatened us. They're like, if anybody gets up within twenty minutes or if you leave the house and try to call someone, go find a phone somewhere, then we're going to come back and kill everyone in here.
And honestly, I think the only reason they did not kill us is that there were so many of us in the house. It was a big barbecue. The group was there. They invited friends and family over. So it was a big event. So that would have been like a mass murder, so they didn't do that.
But they came back a couple times just to make sure we stayed on the ground. They checked in five minutes later. Then they came back again just to make sure everything was fine. And it was a really scary situation, and I'm missing so many details for the sake of time. But there were some really important lessons I got out of this situation that I carry to this day.
So as I was face down—I mean, lips touching the floor, like my lip-gloss stain was there the next day—I remember being so terrified for my life, and my life literally flashed before my eyes. And I've heard people say that in the past, but this time it was different. It was the first and only time I truly experienced it like this. And I mean, I've gotten in bike accidents, I had a motorbike in Bermuda, so I’ve had scary moments, but nothing like this. My life literally flashed, almost like a movie reel, where I was remembering, or seeing, I should say, memories that I don't even remember or I didn't think I remembered. Like, random camping trips and stuff like that. And it was a really, really super fast forward experience, showing the memories. And after that memory flash happened, I remember being so sad, thinking about my family I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to. They may not even have a clue that it even happened because the Rotary exchange head was invited to the barbecue. So he was there, too. So I'm like, who can even communicate this message?
And I didn't pray a whole lot at the time, or really at all, to be honest. But I did that day, and then I started looking for the positive. And I remember saying to myself, “If I survive this, I know two things for sure to be true. One, I have a much bigger purpose for my life. And two, it'll be a cool story to tell my grandkids one day.” I knew those two things.
So when they did eventually leave and we didn't see them coming back and the twenty minutes had passed and everyone had left the house and they went wherever they were going—they actually stole our car keys, so we couldn't leave the house. But they did, everyone left the house, and after we guesstimated, like I said, the twenty minutes was over, I remember just being so grateful to be able to see and speak to my family and friends again, and promising myself not to take those relationships for granted when I was home, or when I returned home.
But once that time passed and everyone who was invited ended up going and the band members left and it was just us, my host parents were in a huddle, and my host sister, my host brother, and I were in another huddle. And as kids—we were kids. Well, my sister was in her early twenties. But my brother and I were the same age—and we just started complaining. My brother was complaining about his Nintendo GameCube they stole. My sister was upset about some jewelry her grandmother no longer had—well, the jewelry her grandmother gave her, I should say, that she no longer had because they had stolen that. And I was sad about a watch and a two megapixel camera, Amy, that my mom bought me as a graduation gift. I mean, back then, a two megapixel camera was the highest quality.
AMY: It's a big deal.
GAYNETÉ: Yeah, it was. And she got it for me as a gift, a graduation gift, from high school.
So, I say all that to say we were just there complaining about that and so many other things. And our parents came over to us at that moment, my host parents came over. And my host dad said four words to us that I'll never forget—well, five in English. And they were: But you have your life. And I immediately, that day, I feel like I immediately was given the gift of perspective.
So while initially it was quite traumatic, I really feel like it was a gift. And I feel like we all have our own hostage-type situations that push us to be who we are today. They may not be as dramatic as mine, but maybe it's a divorce or a sick loved one or something that triggers us to know that there's more to life. And I don't think they happen as redirects. I think they happen, rather, to ensure that we stay on track to what we're meant to be doing.
So I had a few other moments since then that's pushed me to this path of entrepreneurship, too. I've had both my parents been sick with cancer and a lot of other really big things that happened. But this was one of the really major things that moved me to this path.
So after that long break down, I guess the short answer to your question is I gained perspective, and I knew life was too short to just be living in a way that didn't spark joy, as Marie Kondo says, doing things that don't bring you joy often.
AMY: I mean, talk about perspective. That story is wild. Thank goodness everybody is okay. But I mean, here's the thing. Many of us are fortunate that we don't have a situation like that, but we can still gain that perspective. You had to go through that. But I think we can learn from you. Like, what's most important, what brings us joy, what do we want to do? Do it now, because you never know what could happen, and so we only have this moment.
AMY: So thank you for sharing that. I think that story is incredible.
GAYNETÉ: You are welcome. And like you said, you never know. That day, I mean, I was shopping. I was with my host sister. And I even—it's terrible because it was a bootleg copy—but I had gotten that movie with—oh my goodness. What is his name?—Denzel Washington, and I forget the singer name, but the movie’s called Man on Fire, and the movie was about kidnappings in Mexico. And I mean, we watched that that afternoon.
AMY: Oh my gosh.
GAYNETÉ: And we were like, man, that's crazy.
So all of this is playing in my mind as it was happening, but we had no idea this, obviously, was going to happen to us.
AMY: Right. So just incredible. But the perspective you got out of it and what you've done since that incident has been incredible. So, of course—
GAYNETÉ: Thank you.
AMY: I really want to congratulate you on your huge successes in your business. And I want to talk about your launches, so two specifically. But you made $70,000 in just seven days, with one webinar. First of all, is that correct?
GAYNETÉ: That is correct.
AMY: Okay. So tell us about your launch and all of the details.
GAYNETÉ: Amy, honestly, you're a big part of that, first of all. So thank you very much.
AMY: It means the world to me.
GAYNETÉ: I took your Webinars That Convert®️ program back in, I want to say 2018. It may have been late 2017, but I think it was 2018 or so. And I know you've since incorporated that into your Digital Course Academy®️, but that one program was so helpful for me with this launch because, like you mentioned, I literally only did one webinar. No challenges, no lives, one webinar. And my launch cart was only my launch dates, I should say, was only for a week. So the cart was open for seven days. I know some people have longer launch periods, but it was open for seven days.
But before I get into how the Webinars That Convert®️ was so helpful, it probably makes sense for me to just sit back up a little bit just to discuss exactly what I was selling and why.
GAYNETÉ: Yeah. So, I quit my job, my nine to five, back in April of 2019, after being able to three times my salary with my business. And I remember as I was slowly building the business from around 2015—so this did not happen overnight—but from right around 2015, when I used to listen to podcasts like yours and Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income back in the day, I used to sit at the office or in the office, I should say. I was in my cubicle in an office, with my headphones, looking at papers on my desk and seeing meetings I didn't care about on my calendar and thinking to myself, “Yo, this can't be life.”
And as my business began to make a profit, I was just longing to be able to chuck the deuces, as they say, to my nine to five. I wanted to be able to say peace and just live my best “running my own business” type life. And it took more than three, or more than four years, really—we're looking at 2015 starting—to just do all of this and get there. And it was a whole lot of trial and error. And I knew I wanted to help others and get them to build up their side hustle so they can do the same, just in a lot less time.
So on November 26, 2019, I opened the door for my signature program, Cubicle Ditch Academy, and it's a six-week e-course for millennial women who, like me, were sitting at the job or who sit at their desk and they're just looking at the cubicle walls thinking, “This can be life.” And I had done launches in the past, so I didn't know how they worked, but I know for sure I wanted this one to be a chill launch. I didn't want to be stressed out. I wanted to be as chill as possible.
So I decided on just the one webinar, which was the lead magnet for the course. And the webinar was called Five Steps to Build Your Side Hustle So That You Can Ditch Your Cubicle. And of course, prior to creating the course, I also wanted to ensure people actually wanted it. So I spoke with some past one-on-one clients, those in my Freedom Slay Inner Circle membership and did some polls on IG Story, just to make sure I was getting this right. The content, the messaging, the results, I wanted them all to align with what it was that they needed to receive, but also what it is that they needed to hear. I wanted the words to resonate with them.
So also, back in September, on one of my mastermind calls, I did this very lame pitch, like, the worst pitch, to them about my Cubicle Ditch Academy program. So basically it was like, “Oh, by the way, I'm creating a new course, helping you to get those tools you need to match and surpass your income and build your side hustle so that you could get up out of that job. You get access through the end of November. It’s going to be exciting.” I didn't expect anyone to really hop on board with it, but I wanted to get feedback. And I said to them, “If you're down, it'll be a special price being here in this membership.” And I had ten take me up on that offer, which, to me, validated it and proven that people will actually pay for it.
AMY: Yes. I love a good pre-sell validation. That's awesome.
GAYNETÉ: Yeah, especially because it was my first time with this course, so I wanted to make sure it was something they actually want. So I knew at this point I was onto something.
So then, I got to filling up the webinar, which had its own set of challenges that we could talk about later, if you want. But I pulled out all the stops, and I managed to get just about eighteen hundred people, just over eighteen hundred people signed up for this webinar. So with the webinar, though, there were a couple of things that you taught that made it super powerful that we can chat about, if that's okay.
AMY: Oh, yeah. I want to get into those.
GAYNETÉ: So, first and foremost was about the amount of slides, because I remember when I first heard you talking about all these slides, I’m like, “That sounds insane.”
AMY: Yep. I usually tell my students at least eighty slides, and they're like, “What?!”
GAYNETÉ: Yep. And I had just over 100 slides, which felt excessive. But it was so helpful keeping everyone's attention for the duration of the webinar, because especially now in this day and age when everyone's distracted by their moving screens, having that moving screen in front of them just kept their attention. So having those slides were super helpful.
And another thing that was helpful that you taught was the transition to sales. You shared that prior to going into the sales bit of it, it's important to remind viewers, or watchers, I should say, why they're there, exactly why they're there. So I was pulling on those “You're in the right place if…” slides from the beginning that you taught about, just really to set the tone before I touched on the actual pain points that they shared with me.
And so, just so you know, those “You’re in the right place” slides that I created at the beginning and then I pulled on at the end, those are the ones I pulled on those pain points when people were responding to the polls and the Q&A I put on Instagram and just talking with my one-on-one clients. I used their exact words because I wanted them to see themselves in this. So I did do that.
And I also did the reminder that you mentioned, I'm not that one-off special case. I don't have any fancy superpowers or worthy certifications that make me able to do this, and they can. So it always is helpful, I think, just to remind them of that. So I was grateful for you for sharing that.
And I also had the freebie that you mentioned, at the end of the webinar. So you had mentioned having something available for them to keep their attention through to the end of the webinar. So I did have that. I had a freebie because I know you can do something paid or a discount or you can have the freebie. And I did have a freebie for getting them to stay to the end, past the Q&A, so keeping their attention that long.
And of course, having testimonials from other people I've worked with that have been able to successfully quit their jobs, that was helpful as well. But because it was my first time running the program, I didn't have Cubicle Ditch Academy testimonials. I had to use testimonials from one-on-one clients from the past. But it was honestly—
AMY: Okay, can I just say, you are an amazing student. I love when, like, of course, I teach this stuff and hope people will do it. But you are doing it to a T. And so I just got to give you a shout out for that. I, too, like to be a good student. So when I see it, I'm like, “Shout out to you.”
GAYNETÉ: Thank you so much, but you have to be a great teacher. You're a great teacher, and because of that, I was able to be a good student. I was able to take in what you were teaching. Honestly, your courses are the best. So I tell everyone that. I sent a few of my clients your way. I'm just like, “She's amazing. You have to follow her.”
AMY: Thank you for that. I truly appreciate it.
But you did an incredible job with this. And here's what's really cool. You just did a second launch of this course, and it also did really well. So was there anything you changed up, anything you tried different or even better? Did you do the same thing to get great results again?
GAYNETÉ: It went well. And I can say that now, even though I didn't always feel this way. So I launched in the middle of the pandemic and just over a week after George Floyd's death. So it was, and it really still is, a really sensitive time, especially in the online space. And I managed to make $65,745 this go round, in the midst of the turbulent time.
AMY: Amazing. So almost identical to your first launch. That’s incredible.
GAYNETÉ: Thank you. Pretty close, yeah.
And I have to be honest. My sales were trickling in at first and not pouring in as I had initially hoped, I was starting to beat myself up a bit because I had set a goal, like we do, I set a goal to make this a six-figure launch. I wanted this one to be a six-figure launch. And I was looking like that to be honest, at the beginning, because I had so many more people signed up this go round, just under thirty-five hundred people signed up.
But when I took a step back, I realized a few things. One, I realized I put this unnecessary pressure on myself, first and foremost. But second, I realized, given the circumstances, this was still a pretty good launch. Zooming out a bit, I was able to see okay, in just six months—because I closed the cart for my first one on December 3—I generated almost $140,000 on this one offering alone. And I have multiple streams, but this one course has done well.
So, you know, looking at that, I felt a bit better, and looking at the bigger picture—so many of the first cohort are doing amazing things with their business. They're making more money. They've created additional income streams. Five had already quit their jobs by the six-month mark. And, you know, getting that and others are matching their income, but getting all this in perspective, it really helped. And honestly, the second cohort already is just—there just a month in, and they're crushing it, too. So to me, that's what really matters at the end of the day, the transformation. You know, those who trusted me with their time and their money and invested in Cubicle Ditch Academy, that they're seeing great results. That’s always the thing for me.
And I think that's something else you taught about in the webinar as well. As you recommended, I made sure I wanted valuable content in this webinar. I wanted those who, whether or not they bought from me, they felt like they were moving forward with something helpful that they can implement right away in their life and business. So I definitely did that as well.
And for the first, so just to be clear, for the first launch, I ended up selling seventy-four spots total for Cubicle Ditch Academy. So that was $70,410. And I also had an elite membership upgrade, where they got Boxer access to me five days a week and things like that. But that was the total for that. And this launch, it was fifty-two people. But the price was up slightly more for this course, so that's how it ended up being the $65,000—well, almost 66, almost.
AMY: Awesome. Right. I am just so impressed by these numbers. And I love what you said, that this one course, you've been able to launch it twice and make over $100,000 with it. But what I loved most about what you said is you care about your success stories, and you're seeing people make some big moves in their lives to find the happiness they're looking for. And you're right. Once you start launching your course, you start living for those success stories, and they start becoming so important, and they become your why and drive you forward.
GAYNETÉ: For sure, for sure. That's why you do it. Even just today, I got a message from someone in Cubicle Ditch Academy, and she told me a celebrity wrote her and wants her bracelets. So she's going to share it on her page and stuff. And I'm just like out of the blue, it's so amazing just to get these success stories and see them grow into their business. It's the best.
AMY: It really is. It's incredible.
Now, with your launches, I know there have been some hiccups, and I really like to talk about the hiccups so people get it.
GAYNETÉ: Oh, for sure.
AMY: Will you talk about that?
GAYNETÉ: Amy, Amy, Amy, Amy. Honestly, honestly, so many, I don't even know where to begin. Okay, for starters, you may have noticed, I mention eighteen hundred people generated seventy-four sales, and this go round, I had almost thirty-five hundred sign ups, and that generated fifty-two sales. And the price point was higher this go round, so that helped. But my point is the conversion’s super low. And one of the reasons for that—now, you need to get ready for this—my emails are often immediately filtered because my domain name is so close to a gay porn-site domain.
AMY: Oh my goodness.
GAYNETÉ: Uh-huh. So my name is Gayneté, so my emails all end at gayneté.com, g-a-y-n-e-t-e.com. And there’s a site without that E at the end. So gaynet, as in the gay Internet, which is a gay porn site.
And I found this out as such an embarrassing way. So once I was talking to a one-on-one client on Zoom and was sharing my screen, and I went to type in my website, just to show her something that I was doing on my site that he can potentially do on hers as well. And I typed in my website really fast and missed the E at the end. And up popped a live webcam and a bunch of other pop-ups.
AMY: Oh, no.
GAYNETÉ: Oh, my goodness, we laughed it off, but, unfortunately, many email-service providers just block my email.
So the next go round, I don't know why I didn't do it this one, but I know for sure the next go round I'm going send them from Cubicle Ditch Academy’s domain. So for sure, I'm going to switch that up.
But another big issue I had the first go round was that Facebook Ads didn't work for me. I had some awesome videos and some posts that just kept getting declined. And I know this is an issue for so many of your audience members, because it drives me and some of my clients insane that they just, you know, they decline it. So the targets were declined. And at first I got frustrated.
But I didn't stay in that frustration very long. I switched to solution mode. I asked myself, “How could I make this work anyway?” And that simple word switch from can’t—like I can't get this to work—to how can I get this to work anyway? made all the difference. It made all the difference in the world, Amy. I reached out to local newspapers, I created interludes on my Freedom Slay podcast about it, I spoke about the webinar at speaking engagements I did, I got creative with getting Instagram pages with complementary audiences and things like that to share it for me. And I got this method from Tiffany Montgomery, like, way back in 2015 before influencer marketing, like we know it today, was even a thing. And if you want, I can share exactly how I did that as well in a way that's authentic and actually works.
AMY: Yeah, do so.
GAYNETÉ: Okay, so this is the thing. You may have seen on Instagram, you're on Instagram, so you see sometimes where people hold the skinny tea and all that kind of stuff, and you’re like, oh my goodness. So obviously an ad, right?
GAYNETÉ: So you see that. But what I try to do is look for Instagram pages with complementary, not necessarily competing, but complementary audiences. So for me, I know a lot of my clients—and this is going into research and knowing who, I like to say PVC—I know you call it you're ICA, so your ideal-client avatar—I call it a PVC, which is perfect vibin’ client.
AMY: Oh, that’s cool. Yours is better than mine.
GAYNETÉ: So I like to just know her inside and out. So I go and check out who she's following on Instagram. I notice that she's following a lot of these pages that have inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs, and female entrepreneurs specifically. So I started reaching out to some of the really big pages. But I didn't just say, “Hey, would you post my stuff and tell them about my webinar?” What I did was say, “Okay, let me go through a bunch of their images. I want to get familiar with their copy. I want to see what their imagery looks like.” And then, I sent this information to them in their language and asked them to put it in their font and put it in their colors and just to make it look like theirs, because it is theirs if it's going to be on their page.
So I wanted it to blend in. And blending in usually isn't a good thing, but when it comes to ads on Instagram, on other people's pages, you don't want it to look foreign. So I make sure that it looks just like it.
So the page I was doing, everybody knows my stuff's all yellow and bright, but this one page that did really well for me—got thousands on the sign ups this go round—they actually had pink and black. Everything was pink and black. So I had to go and ask them, “Hey, could you put this quote” based on how they write “on your page, in your colors, your font? You make it look just like yours. If I have to pay extra for that, fine.” So I got them to do that. So that's how I use Instagram “influencers,” in order to push it in a way that's not slimy or sales-y or just thinned out.
AMY: Now, are these people affiliates? Do they get a cut of the sales?
GAYNETÉ: No. So what happens is you would be surprised, actually, how many people, because if you're doing it truly with foreign audience that aligns with yours, an audience that's complementary, you're providing them value. So a lot of times they actually share it for free.
GAYNETÉ: So I've had a few pages that have shared it for free. And then there are some that you would pay for, And they do check to make sure that it's in alignment. It isn't anything—like I like to work with pages that are authentic and not just buying their audience and have audience members that just aren't aligned with mine. So I really do my research to find really good fits for this.
But I find that if they have their email address written in the bio, directly written there, not just on that email button on Instagram, they tend to do promos, but they just don't advertise it. So that's who I like to look for and just ask, “Can you share this?” because again, it's something that's going to add value. It was a free webinar. It was adding value to their audience. So they had no problem sharing it, especially because it was aligned. So that's what I do for the Instagram thing.
But I had a host of other strategies I did as well that worked that we could discuss if you think that be helpful for your audience as well.
AMY: Please, tell me all of them. And these are strategies to get more people on your webinar, right?
GAYNETÉ: Yeah, for attracting more people on the webinar. So there was something I did the morning of the webinar that happened. So the morning it happened, the morning of the webinar, if the webinar is at eight p.m., you have to do it the same day. And I got a few hundred sign ups just from this one thing, and it could be free and super easy to do.
So, first, I created an Instagram Story post, using Canva, so super simple. They have the templates there where you can just select Instagram Story. And I was simply able to put a picture of myself with the words “Looking to build your business so you can quit your job? @gayneté is having a free webinar today. Link in bio to register.” So “link in her bio to register” is what it said.
So next, I went to Instagram. So I saved that, created that post, saved it. Next, I’m into Instagram, face to camera, and I said, “Okay, guys, as you know, I'm having a free webinar tonight. And to give this one last push, I really need your help. I've decided to do a bit of a giveaway. If you share my next post to your Stories and tag me in it, you'll get entered to win a Satori Notes bracelet.” And, I mean, it was a cute thirty-dollar bangle, like a little bracelet, with a quote that said “Focused Future Millionaire.” And this is one from one of my past Cubicle Ditch Academy members that she created, so I was just excited to be able to include her in this cycle.
AMY: That’s cool.
GAYNETÉ: Yeah. So I had her in that. So I told them the next Story is going to show you how it's done, and the following Story will be the one that you need a screengrab so that you can repost it.
So the next Story, like I mentioned, it was the image mentioned from the first time, but this time where it said “gayneté, @gayneté is having her free webinar,” I simply tag my page, @gayneté, and I put it over my name on the writing. And I had an arrow that points to it and said “Step one, screenshot the next image and tag me right here.” Then right underneath that, it just said “Step two, share to your Story.” That's it. In fact, I think I had a gif that said, “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy,” something like that. So the next Story was just the image, and that was it. And I had so many people resharing it on the Story.
And I say it could be free because I gave away a physical prize at the time. But, I mean, the last go round, I did another bracelet, and I also did an Amazon gift card. But next time, I may do an exclusive freebie I create or something.
And here's the thing, Amy, that I thought was really, really interesting. About 20 percent of buyers for Cubicle Ditch Academy bought because of the shared posts, because it was so—
GAYNETÉ: Yeah. —because it was someone that shared it that they knew, someone that they trusted. So even cold leads, who’ve never heard of me and didn’t know who I was, because they knew that person, they felt more comfortable to buy from me. So I thought that was a really great strategy that I'm going to continue to utilize.
And there's another one that I do that I think works really well—and well, it's a second strategy, I should say, that worked really well—and this is what it is. I sent an email to my main mailing list, so excluding those who already signed up for the webinar, the minute it went live, and the subject line said, “Are you free right now?” And in it, I shared that I'm hopping on a webinar right this second, teaching five steps to build up the side hustle to a place that allows you to ditch your draining cubicle. And all they had to do was click that little link, and so they can drop in and listen with a click, simple click. So I told them that.
And no, I can't take credit for this one, because I actually got this from Sandra Cossio, who I met through a mutual friend, and I hired her as my VA for tech support during the webinar. But she’s a funnel genius. She’s worked with Patrice Washingon, Rachel Luna, and many others, and she has lots of brilliant ideas. But at first, I didn't see the point. I was like, “Well, I’ve already emailed my list multiple times and shared about the webinar. I'm thinking those that wanted to sign up, they've likely already signed up for it.” And she told me, “Listen, it works. Trust me.” And I do trust her, so I gave it a go, and it worked. So I used it the second time around as well. But—
AMY: Okay, so, wait. Really fast. I need to understand this one. So you’ve already sent your webinar invites to people, and, like, ten minutes before your webinar, you said, “Hey, are you free right now? I'm doing this webinar. Click here, grab it.”
GAYNETÉ: No. Like, the minute I’m going live is when I send it, so they don't go to a waiting room where they have a chance to say, “Oh, you know what. I don't want to wait around for this. It’s not even something I was looking to attend.” It's literally the minute you go live, it pops in their inbox, so then they pop on, whether at the very beginning or as you're on your intro or whatever, but they get in right away.
So I did send, of course, for those who had already signed up for the webinar, they got their hour-before and fifteen-minute-before reminders. But specifically for my main mailing list, I sent it to them the second I went live. So it was automated to go the minute I went live is when they received that email that said, “Hey, are you free right now?”
AMY: Okay, so, quick question on this. I'm assuming they're not opting in. They're not giving you their name and email.
GAYNETÉ: Well, they're already on my email list, so—
GAYNETÉ: it was my email list. But what I do have, the option, and I think most email-service providers have this, is the option where it's the one-click entry. So if they click on it, they automatically subscribe to that email list.
AMY: Okay, that’s what I was going to say. So you can target who they are.
GAYNETÉ: Yes, for sure. So I was able to do that.
AMY: Okay. So that is brilliant. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be using that strategy for our next launch. I can't wait to tell Chloe, my CMO, all about that. So if it works for us, I will for sure be giving you a big fat shout out. So thank you so much.
GAYNETÉ: You are welcome.
AMY: Really cool.
Okay, so I know you have some unique tips and mindset hacks for planning a successful and flexible launch. I love that you use that word, because you need to be flexible. So talk to me about how you say that this isn't your typical workflow. I want to know more.
GAYNETÉ: I do. And first, with the mindset piece, I know our brains are so powerful. You know this as well, right? The thing with our brains is if it's not on board with our goals, even if we say we're going to do something, there’s going to be a piece of us to say, “Yeah, about that. I don't think it's possible.” Right?
GAYNETÉ: And so I've learned a lot of things about the brain, specifically the subconscious part of it, that I started incorporating into, especially the first launch—and I’ll explain why I didn't do it the second launch and why I'm going to do it the next launch—but there were some things I started incorporating.
So one of the things was I wrote—really simple—I wrote “75 women in Cubicle Ditch Academy” on a piece of paper. And I took a picture of it on my phone, and I saved it as the lock screen. So I had to see it every single time I picked up my phone. So this was for the first launch. I did that every single time. So again, just planting that subliminal seed in my mind, that little piece to let me know that I'm going to have a successful launch and help people really rock their lives with it. So I had that.
AMY: Okay, that is so smart. Stu McLaren of TRIBE, I went to dinner with him a while ago, and I looked down at his phone, and he had his number on his phone, on the cover of his phone. I love this.
GAYNETÉ: Look at that. Oh, look at that. Awesome. I hadn’t even seen anyone else do it. See, look at that, we’re on the same page. And so I did that.
The second one is I just changed my passwords to be reflective of the goal. So this is something I know a lot of people do, but then they put it to their big goal rather than a micro goal, like the next thing you want to achieve. So I changed the passwords, reflective of the goals for the first launch.
And I listened to a playlist that I created specifically for this launch, that I called Webinar Boss. So it was filled with songs from all different genres and all different artists. And I'm talking like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys and Jay-Z to Journey, Bon Jovi, and Frank Sinatra, like all the things—
AMY: Love it.
GAYNETÉ: —all the things. But they all serve the same purpose, and that was just to lift my spirits and make me feel like I could confidently pull this off, a successful launch and webinar. So I did that.
Another thing I did on the mindset piece was I future scripted each morning during the webinar time, so before the webinar started, I should say, so I wrote, “I'm so grateful to have seventy-five high-vibin’, action-taking women who joined Cubicle Ditch Academy.” And I just wrote that about five or six times. I didn't do it a whole lot. But I did five or six times each and every morning.
And one thing I always remind myself and my clients is that we're already living our worst-case scenario. So I found myself reminding myself of that. And what I mean by that is the worst-case scenario is that I launch and no one buys. But here's the reality, Amy. No one's buying anyway if I don't launch. So if I don't create this product, if I don't put myself out there on the webinar, no one's going to know about it, so no one's going to know about this launch, and I wouldn't get anyone to buy. So that zero is the same. You know, if I don't press Publish on that YouTube video, no one's going to see it. But at the same time, my worst-case scenario, what I'm thinking is, “Maybe no one will like it or no one will see it.” No one can like it or see it if I'm not sharing. So we're already living that worst-case scenario, so I always like to tell myself that.
But on a more hands-on side, another thing that I did that I find super helpful was I organized all the things on my Trello board, which just helped me be more flexible with the launch when I needed to pivot a bit. So Trello is similar to Asana. I know you talk about Asana on here. But I use Trello, a free project-management system, and I created a Cubicle Ditch Academy board on Trello. And with it, they have these things called Lists. So I created these Lists. Then, under there, you can put what they call Cards to put more information.
But I had Lists for every single piece of the launch. I had one for a timeline, I had one for ads, uploaded the actual imagery of the ads and the words I wanted to use so I can always easily adjust it and tweak it and see what worked and what didn't. I had the pricing there so I can easily see what part of the pricing we are based on the timeline. I had the marketing and differentiator under there as well. So under differentiators, under there, I had a whole bunch of other things just that made Cubicle Ditch Academy different from other programs, which just made it super easy to pull from for the webinar itself. I also had my testimonials list, where I upload a client images and quotes, again so I can easily pull on them for the webinar slides or for social media from talking about it on there. So I had that. I had my sales copy, or sales page copy, I should say, there as well. And just so many other things that I believe really helped with the organization of it all.
And I even organized the entire course itself on Trello. So I always do love paper and pen. I do. I love paper and pen. But I find that someone like me, who has a million or one notebooks, sometimes I forget where I wrote what.
AMY: Girl after my own heart. I get that.
GAYNETÉ: Listen, they’re so cute. So I go to the store, I'm like, “Oh, that one, I need it.” And my husband's looking at me like, “Come on. You don't. There’s no way you need that. You have a million.” But I grab it, but I love it. So I do brain dump initially on my paper and pen, with my paper and pen, I should say. But then I go to Trello and I organize the entire course out. I mean, each module. And I created a checklist under each of the modules that I wanted to cover just so that I knew what to put in the slides. And the recording was a breeze as well because it was all covered.
So those are two of the real—well, not two. I named a bunch of the mindset stuff, but that was one of the really big things I did for, like, the organizational piece that helped me just to be flexible because it didn't feel like I was scratching something out on a piece of paper. I was able to just simply change something. And on Trello, I was able to simply change something or add something or move it over to a different place or adjust the timeline or whatever. It just made it easier in my Virgo mind.
AMY: I love that you mentioned Trello, whether it's Trello or Asana or Basecamp, whatever it is, getting into a project-management system, even if you're a one-man or a one-woman show, because you're a one-woman show, right?
GAYNETÉ: I am. I’m all alone. I hired someone for tech support during the webinar itself, but other than that, all by myself.
AMY: And that’s really big. I want you all to hear that. You don't need a big team to make this work. You can launch your digital courses on your own. And so Gayneté is a perfect example of this. But using a project-management tool, one of the best tips that we can give you, and even if you're just managing yourself, getting all of the assets that you want to take care of in your launch, all of the action items out of your head, into a system is so incredibly important.
Okay. So I want to ask you. You've now completed two launches of your digital course. What lessons have you learned, and how have you applied them from your first launch to your second launch?
GAYNETÉ: Such a great question, Amy. I honestly have learned so much, so much. In fact, on my Trello board, I even have a Keep and Change List. But something that was really confirmed for me in these last two launches for sure, was that authenticity pays, literally. So I share my stories and I share my wins, but I make sure that I equally share those losses. And I use Beyoncé and Ariana gifs all the time in my email marketing, and I don't try to conform to anyone else's definition of success or what a successful entrepreneur looks like. I mean, I'm a black, small-island girl. My country of Bermuda, it's gorgeous, but it's also super tiny. It's a twenty-one-square-mile island, 60,000 people. And I like to say if I could do 140K in six months all because of just one product, so can anyone.
AMY: I love that.
GAYNETÉ: But in terms of adjustments from first to second launch, I figured out my Facebook Ads. That was a huge thing. So that's what really helped go from the eighteen hundred to the thirty-five hundred sign ups. And what I did differently was I created the ads well ahead of time this go round, and I tested different word combinations, and I got them approved in advance. So I was pretending as if I'm going live with these ads. As soon as Facebook approved them, I paused them right away. So when you're running your team yourself, your own team, you have no one else running these for you. So I started them, and I paused them right away. So I knew that once I was ready to go and run them, I was good on that.
And another thing I did was I added a purchase-while-live bonus the second go round. So I wanted to incentivize listeners or watchers of the webinar, I should say, to pay in full while they were live on the call. So I offered a complimentary thirty-minute pick-my-brain session, which is on sale on my site for $297. But I gave it to those who purchased in full, for the early birds, this was $999 in full during the call. So I did that. That was something different I added that I really enjoyed.
I also added more testimonials because this time around, I mean, I had some actual program testimonials, which was really exciting. I had five people, out of the seventy-four, within six months leave their job, and people create those extra streams of income, and just all the things. So I wanted to share those.
And I adjusted the copy on my first welcome email as well. And I think this was helpful. So for those who joined the webinar, I asked them not just to add it to their calendar and set an alarm, like I normally do, but this time I added something really simple that was super helpful. I asked them to screenshot it and share it with me over on Instagram. So tag me on Instagram just so I know they're serious about this. And it was helpful because it added to the launch excitement, and it made their followers aware of something, or webinar, I should say, that they weren't aware of, to be honest, before, if they hadn't heard of it. So I did that.
And something I'll continue to do is be just super engaged. So on that welcome email, I also ask them about their business or the business idea. And I reply back, Amy, to every single email. I answer any questions. And usually with a voice note. And it really helps just to build that relationship, and it's just a great way to begin crafting the webinar, too, because I want it to be super relevant for them. So I was able to include really great examples that were specific for them, specific examples for their industry. And I saw a lot of this in my inbox. And you can imagine how tough this was, especially with the thirty-five hundred sign ups, and, of course, thirty-five hundred people didn’t send emails, but it was a lot of emails coming through, hundreds of emails. So I responded back to all of them.
And that's something I want to continue to do because it's super important, especially with cold leads, that we realize they may not be able to buy or willing to buy or ready to buy their first go round, but that know, love, and trust factor is still growing and matters. I know in the online space we talk about that know, like, and trust factor so often, and that's why I think it's important, because some that didn't buy the first go round bought the second go round. So I love to be super engaged and just give them value that way.
But one thing I did not keep, Amy, from the first time was a lot of the mindset things we just went over. I didn't do it the second round. So with COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement, my mind, honestly, was just consumed on so many other things. And I didn't dedicate the time like I did before to the morning journaling, and I forgot to take the screenshot that I wrote with the amount of audience members or students, I guess, students for the course. I didn't do that this time. And I didn't change the passwords to this new six-figure launch goal. And what that showed me, though, was just how important those mindset pieces are just to get your head in a really great space, especially during heavy times like this. So who knows? Had my mind been in the same zone as before, I could have very well hit that mark. So that's something, for sure, next go round I'm going to focus back on is the mindset piece.
So just to wrap it up, it was definitely just reminding myself I'm already living my worst-case scenario. Give it your all, but stay true at the same time. Remembering, look, you’re a small-island girl from Bermuda. You can do this. You got this. You got a whole island behind you kind of thing.
And it also helps seeing other people—like, I know Alex Beadon. He’s in Trinidad—just it's lovely watching other people that are in small places as well. And I feel like that may be something your audience may be thinking. It may not be your city or your town. Maybe you are from a small town. But sometimes you may think it's our weight or the way we talk, our accent, or what we look like, or all of these things and these restrictions—I shouldn't say restrictions—but these things we tell ourselves are reasons why we can't do what we want to do or we wouldn't get to where we want to go.
And I like to look at other people who fit the description of the thing that I think's holding me back, just as a proof of success for me, because that helps with the RAS system in the brain. That would go deep into a whole rabbit hole we don't need to get into. But it's just really great when you see someone achieving, that's doing something or that's similar to you in some way, it just helps make your success easier because they say you can't be what you don't see. So I make sure I surround myself with people like that, too, and look for people winning in that way as well.
Now, I know that was a whole lot that I said just now, and hopefully it made sense, because I felt like I was a bit all over the place. But yeah, those are the things and the lessons and the things I really took and changed from the last launch.
AMY: Okay, that list was golden. I loved everything about that. Guys, if you need to kind of back up and go listen to that again, that last section there, holy cow, so many gems.
You know, I was going to ask you to wrap up with some words of advice, so you might have already just done that with the golden nuggets you just shared with us. But a lot of my students who get into Digital Course Academy®️, I have them choose their launch date. And as the launch date gets closer, they get nervous, and they move that launch date down the calendar. I know some people are listening right now, like, “Oh, man, she's speaking to me.” So—
GAYNETÉ: She’s calling me out.
AMY: She's calling me out. So in order for my students not to move that launch date down the calendar, what would you say to them to encourage them to just launch your digital course?
GAYNETÉ: Amy, I live by the Nike strategy, which is to just do it, because I get—and they'd understand once they do that first launch that it only gets better from there. It only gets better. You have to do that first thing. And it's going to change over time, and it's going to improve over time. But it can't change and improve and grow until you do it that one time, that first bit.
So, oftentimes we tend to push things out or delay things because we're trying to make it perfect or we're trying to see the end result. We know that what step 100 looks like, but we're so terrified to get there because we're only on step one. So I say in order to get there, you have to do a little thing each and every day, but don't change it.
The worst-case scenario we mentioned earlier in this podcast, you're already living it. So the worst-case scenario is you have that launch date, and you put it out there, and let’s say—this isn't going to happen—but let's say no one purchases it. That's not changing from what's happening now because no one's purchasing it because you keep changing the date. But what can happen is the upward potential is there for not only people to purchase it, but for people to be impacted by that and for your life and your joy to grow as a result of that. So I'd say just to Nike strategy it and just do it.
AMY: I love it. Just do it. Great advice. And coming from you, someone who's been in the trenches, has made this work, it means so much.
So before I let you go, I know people are going to want to know where they can learn more about you, where they can check you out, so tell us all.
GAYNETÉ: For sure. I'm @gayneté everywhere. And I hated my name growing up, I got teased for it all the time, it's not that easy to say, but I really appreciate it now because I can find it everywhere, and no one's using it. So my URL, all the things, I'm @gayneté. You can find me, @gayneté, on Instagram, on Twitter, on Facebook, YouTube, all the places.
And I also have Freedom Slay Podcast, which is my podcast for millennial wantrepreneurs and fempreneurs really looking to just level up in their life and business. And I have some pretty cool podcast guests on there as well. So I have two of Beyoncé’s stylists that have been on there recently, as we're recording this. That's the latest one right now. Beyoncé’s stylist, Raquel Smith, sharing how she grew her lens line. Just some really cool takeaways. And of course, I have some individual ones with me alone on there. So I think that may be helpful for them.
And lastly, because I've mentioned it so many times on here already, if anyone listening is intrigued by or just wants to learn more about Cubicle Ditch Academy or simply just wants to hop on the next value-packed webinar—it's free. I'm launching again. It's likely going to be this fall. I’m thinking October—they can get that at gaynete.com/waitlist.
AMY: Well, thank you so very much for being here. I absolutely love this conversation, and I can't wait to connect with you again soon.
GAYNETÉ: Thank you so much for having me, Amy. I hope everyone got some value out of this.
AMY: Of course, of course. All right. Take care.
GAYNETÉ: Thank you. Bye-bye.
AMY: So there you have it. I think you loved this conversation as much as I did, right? because it was full of gems. So much great insight. So I hope you're walking away with some tangible launch strategies and mindset hacks so that you can crush your first launch or your next launch.
Thanks so much for joining me. I can't wait to see you same time, same place next week. Bye for now.