Transcript: Four Incredible “First Launch” Success Stories

September 3, 2020

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AMY PORTERFIELD: “Okay, if you're multitasking, come back to me, because I've got to tell you something really cool about first launches. This is true to Chantl; it's true to everybody that first launches with webinars: they are huge list builders. So if you don't have a lot of people on your email list and then you get a couple hundred, if not more, people to sign up for your webinar during a launch, you just grew your list by a couple hundred.”

“So that's another one of my secrets to success. People say, ‘How did you grow your list to be so big?’ Because I launch using webinars. You can't get on one of my super value-packed webinars without giving me your name and email. That contributes to my list growth.”

“In this case, Chantl did something really cool, where on her thank-you page, after you signed up for her webinar, she invited you to get into a free Facebook group. So she went from zero people in this free Facebook group to 800 people. Free Facebook groups are great list builders as well, So there's more benefits to your first launch than just making money to get you in the game. You start playing a bigger game.”

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: Okay, before we get going, a quick word from our sponsor.

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Okay, on to the episode.

AMY: There's often a misconception that you have to launch your digital course many times before you really start to generate significant revenue. And I can see how that can be really discouraging if you're a new course creator. Back in the day, that might have been true, but today it's a totally different story. I've seen my students debunk this myth of having to launch multiple times, over and over again, using the Digital Course Academy®️ framework. Now, I'm not going to say that it doesn't take hard work to make your first launch a success. Oh, no. It most definitely does. But when you put in the hard work and you set the foundation with your first launch, you never, ever have to reinvent the wheel again. So it makes all those long nights and early mornings worth it.

Today, I'm going to share four inspiring first-launch stories from my students, and each one is unique in its own way. Some of these students had a following or a business before they launched, some had really small email list, but you'll notice a few common threads throughout. One, that they got to work laying the foundation for their first course and launch quickly. Two, that they experienced success according to their own terms and how they define success. That's important. And three, they were all able to launch within a year or less of taking Digital Course Academy®️. And they all brought in a new stream of revenue.

I'm going to walk you through their stories, their successes with their first launch, and what I think worked well within that launch. My hope is that you walk away from this episode knowing that if you have a desire to create a digital course and you're willing to do the work, which I know you are, you can generate significant revenue in your first launch and beyond.

All right. Let’s dive in.

All right. The first first launch that I'd like to share with you is from my student, Eva Beronious. Let's kick it off with what her course is all about and some numbers from her first launch, because you know I love the receipts. After that, I'll walk you through her story.

So Eva’s digital course is called Go Beyond the Mind, and it combines the benefits of meditation with inner work, and it balances scientific research with activating your inner knowing. She did her first launch in January of 2020, and she made $22,000.

Now, let's take a look at some of the details about her course and her launch. For her first launch, Eva actually offered three different package options within her course. So her base price for her course was $179 during her first launch, and this was the self-study option with only recordings of her live Q&A sessions. And then she offered a second-tier pricing for $297, where her students would get to do the live group sessions with her and could submit their questions., and she limited this to just thirty available spots. And then her top-tier price came with personal coaching, and she priced that at $597. She limited this to only eight available spots. This idea of tiered pricing is something I teach in Digital Course Academy®️, so if you join me, I'll teach you how to do that.

Okay, so that was something really cool that she did. Not everybody does tiered pricing on their first launch, but she went for it, and it worked really well for her. Eva joined DCA in September 2019 with a small list of 135 people. And then she got to work quickly, putting together a website and a lead magnet and sharing consistently every single week. And she grew her list from 135 people to twelve hundred by the time she launched. So 1,200. And 1,200 subscribers, with a $22,000 launch, is awesome. So freaking good. I mean, I couldn't be more excited for her.

Now, as she worked through Digital Course Academy®️, she organized the outline for her course, and she did interviews with her ideal-customer avatar, her ICA, which revealed that they wanted a meditation course that picked up where her boyfriend's course ended, as sort of a next example. So Eva did have some of his audience to lean on, but she really had to do the work to build that know, like, and trust factor. So they went through her boyfriend's course, and then, they wanted something after. And she's like, “You know what? I think I can deliver that.”

So don't you dare think, “Oh, she was able to lean on the boyfriend’s course. Easy.” It's never easy to get into somebody else's audience. She still had to do all the work.

So I want to stop here, and I want you to be very mindful that when you hear the rest of these stories that I'm going to share with you, how often do you say, “Oh, well, it worked for her because dah, dah, dah.” Dah, dah, dah means fill in the blank. “It worked for her because she was able to rely on her boyfriend's audience” or “It worked for her because she was able to grow her list of twelve hundred. I only have 100 on my list, so it won't work for me.” How often do you look for ways that it won't work for you? Did you hear me on that one? How often do you look for ways to say, “Oh, well, this wouldn’t work for me because…”

And I want to stop here and just say that if you're doing that, or if you're courageous enough to call yourself out when that does happen, that's just fear. You want it bad, and you're fearful that it won't work for you, so you're going to make excuses why it won't work for you. We all do this. I'm raising my hand right now. In other areas of my life, of course I do this. What I've done lately, over the last few years, actually, is to call myself out. Lovingly, say, “Oh, Amy, you're doing that because you're scared. You're making excuses why this wouldn’t work for you because you want it bad, and what if it doesn't? Then, you fail, and you look like a fool. So just don't even get started.” I call myself out quickly because I never want to not do something because I'm afraid.

So as I tell you more of these stories, be very mindful if you catch yourself saying, “Ah, that wouldn’t work for me because…” or “Oh, she had an advantage because…” No. Everybody's story is different. And I could point out a hundred different examples of somebody who didn't have any advantage and crushed it, or someone who had tons of advantage and didn't do anything with it. So let's just say we are all coming from our own experiences, and if you want it bad enough, it's yours, my friend.

Okay, I am stepping off of the soapbox now, and I will continue to tell you about Eva. So she continued to work through Digital Course Academy®️, grow her email list, and build a relationship through her prelaunch content. And by the end of December, Eva was ready to begin her launch and fill up her webinars.

And I love that she set some goals for herself. She was aiming to get 500 webinar attendance, with a 10 percent webinar conversion rate, which is really solid. So her goal was to get fifty people to actually sign up for her course. Okay, keep that in mind. Eva opened her cart for a total of two weeks and did four days of the same webinar, giving people different dates and time options. She ended up with 630 webinar registrants; 38 percent show-up rate, which is excellent; ninety course sign ups. Remember I mentioned her goal was fifty, she got ninety, she made $22,000, and she had 1,200 people on her email list. How cool is that?

Okay, so, there are a few things that I think worked really well for Eva in her first launch. I think that the timing of her launch was brilliant, which was the start of the New Year, because people are looking to make New Year's resolutions, and for many, mental health, meditation, and stress management are part of that. I love a good January launch. Any opportunity I can get to launch something in January, I'm going to take it. I love clean slate; new year, new you kind of thing. It always is a great, powerful message. So I think it was smart for her to launch around that time, with the topic that she was working with. And I love, love, love that she got into action really quickly. So within the first month of joining Digital Course Academy®️, she was creating her website, she was creating her lead magnet, she was building her email list, while she was creating her course and start to plan for her launch down the road. So she got to work right away.

I often see entrepreneurs push this off until they have more information. And the thing is, you just have to get into action, even if it's imperfect action, even if it feels slow at first, action will allow you to move forward. And that's all you need to do. I really do genuinely believe the secret to my success in my business, I’m always taken action. I am making decisions quickly. The decisions that aren't serving me, I make a new one, but I'm always taking action. I never sit on things for too long, and Eva didn't either.

And one last thing, and this is a big part of Digital Course Academy®️. Setting those launch goals is really important. I genuinely believe that when you get clear on the kind of results that you want, you'll be more likely to achieve them and maybe even surpass them. So in DCA, I teach people how to set launch goals, what's realistic, and kind of how to go after those numbers. So I'm really glad that Eva did so. So congrats to Eva on her first launch. I can't wait to see what happens as you continue to launch your program over and over again.

Okay, moving on to Braden Drake, yet another fantastic first-launch story. Braden has a spotlight course called Legally Launched, which is a step-by-step guide to legally form your creative business. It covers setting up your LLC, various business licenses, and formation documents like operating agreements, and the like. So Braden joined DCA in January 2019, launched his first course for the first time in May 2019, and generated $4,000, with a list of 470 people, which is a relatively small list, but a small-but-mighty list is all you need.

And as a side note, when I said 470 subscribers, if you feel like that is a lot of subscribers because you hardly have any or maybe you have zero on your email list, don't forget that I have a ton of free resources to help you get there fast, even if you have zero people on your email list right now. As long as you're willing to show up for your audience consistently, attracting 400-plus subscribers is extremely doable.

Okay, so back to Braden’s story. His course is made up of five modules, and when he first launched it, it cost $397. When it came to launch time, Braden had his cart open for two weeks and did six webinars during his two-week launch span. He also utilized Instagram to help promote his program.

Now, let's talk about a few things that I loved about Braden's launch. In order to kickstart his email list, Braden knew he needed to create a freebie. So he did this in a prelaunch runway, using a really hot topic for a lead magnet. At the time, new California independent-contractor laws were coming out, so he made a freebie around that, which is an excellent course-focused freebie example. He looked at what was hot, what was trending, what were people talking about in his niche, and he made a freebie around that to grab people's attention right there in the moment. That is brilliant.

Now, he had an existing list of 250 people when he first started his launch, and then, this lead magnet helped him to build to 470, as I mentioned earlier. And a few things that I admire so much about Braden’s story is that when he was getting ready to launch, his mom was actually diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. So he dropped everything to fly home and stay with her for five weeks. And while he was there, he had an uncle pass away and another uncle diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But through all of this, he decided not to give up on his goals of adding a course income to his business, whether he was in front of a client or not. So I'm really in awe of Braden’s resilience and commitment to creating the life of his dreams despite any hardships that he might experience.

I think that being a digital-course creator is such a blessing because it gives you the time and financial freedom to be there for people who mean the most to you in your life, especially in times when they need you. And I think Braden had a brilliant first launch, and I love that he relaunched this just a few short months later and generated $18,000. He has since gone on to create a signature course and generated $59,000. So I think he had an amazing first launch.

You might say, “But Amy, $4,000 isn't that much money,” but you have to remember, first of all, Braden had never launched anything online in the form of a digital course. That was totally new to him. And so where I see the success beyond—I think $4,000 is a lot of money, but let's say you don't—what I see here is that he knows now how to make money online. No one can ever take that away from him. He knows, after making $4,000 with a pretty small email list, that he can do it again, make the course better, make the launch better, make the webinars better, whatever—you become a better marketer every time you launch—and then, boom, $18,000. And then he gets an idea for a signature course, boom, almost $60,000.

So let's not just measure success based on revenue, although that's so important. I get it. But let's also base it on momentum, the fact that you've set the foundation, I'm a huge, huge fan of let's just get the foundation set. We can always go bigger from there.

Okay, so, I love Braden. He is so funny, so fun to work with. He's a Momentum member. He's in my membership, and he brings so much value to that group as well. So Braden, I'm a big fan. Congratulations. I love your story, and I cannot wait to see what you continue to create.

Next up, let’s take a look at Chantl Martin’s first DCA launch. Her course is called Sold Out Vision Board Parties, and it's her signature program which teaches empowerment leaders, educators, and coaches how to plan, promote, and host professional and profitable vision-board events. This course is a ten-day course and costs $297 during her first launch. Now, for her second launch, she bumped up the price to $497. That's a baller move.

Keep in mind that what you go out with in your first launch in terms of pricing doesn't need to be the end all, be all. I teach pricing inside of DCA, and we get into all the details so you can feel good about the first time you launch and then maybe bumping it up the second time and beyond.

Okay, so Chantl joined DCA in October 2019, and she launched in mid-January, bringing in a total of around $5,000 in revenue, which is awesome. Now, not to mention she also, at that time, got married, moved into a new home, took a trip to Jamaica, all during this time period of creating and launching her course. But what's cool about that is you can create and launch a course from wherever. So you have total freedom to work from wherever, whenever. And obviously, Chantl’s a perfect example of this.

Okay, now, something I'd like to point out is that Chantl did have an audience and an email list of about 10,000 people before she took Digital Course Academy®️ and launched. However, in her own words, they weren't buying anything from her. So what was the use of an email list of 10,000 people if they were not buying? She says, I barely was making enough money to cover my overhead every month.

Now, if you've been with me for a while, then you know that if you're not nurturing your list, no matter the size, is pretty much like you have zero people on your email list. I speak from experience here. If you have a list of 10,000; 12,000; 20,000 subscribers who never hear from you and don't feel connected to you, then when you launch, you're going to hear crickets. So despite her seemingly large list, it didn't matter. It was probably more realistic to think that she had about 500 engaged subscribers on that list.

However, despite having an email list that wasn't buying, she was determined to have a successful first launch. She used her webinar registration thank-you page as a way to build up her new Facebook group, which grew from zero to 800 by the end of her launch.

Okay, if you're multitasking, come back to me, because I've got to tell you something really cool about first launches. This is true to Chantl; it's true to everybody that first launches with webinars: they are huge list builders. So if you don't have a lot of people on your email list and then you get a couple hundred, if not more, people to sign up for your webinar during a launch, you just grew your list by a couple hundred.

So that's another one of my secrets to success. People say, “How did you grow your list to be so big?” Because I launch using webinars. You can't get on one of my super value-packed webinars without giving me your name and email. That contributes to my list growth.

In this case, Chantl did something really cool, where on her thank-you page, after you signed up for her webinar, she invited you to get into a free Facebook group. So she went from zero people in this free Facebook group to 800 people. Free Facebook groups are great list builders as well, So there's more benefits to your first launch than just making money to get you in the game. You start playing a bigger game.

So, her webinar registrants totaled fourteen hundred, with a show-up rate between 25 and 30 percent, which is solid. She closed her cart with twenty new students, and like I said, $5,000 in the bank. Now, what I love about Chantl is that she learned so much through her first DCA-style launch, and I'll share a couple of those lessons.

She shares that she would highly recommend taking a few days off of work if you're still working another job. And I agree with that. Launching takes all of your energy and then some. So clearing your schedule to focus and recharge when you can is important. I know it's not always possible, but if you've got a nine-to-five job and you're launching, maybe the first few days of your launch, you actually take some vacation days from your nine-to-five job, not from the launch.

And then she also said, “Make sure you turn off your mic and video before you scream about how much money you made.” Okay, how cute is that? So basically, before she turned off her mic and her camera, she's basically like, “I freakin’ just made $5,000!” Still on video.

Yeah, I've had a still-on-video, audio-still-going moment as well. I think we all have. But that's pretty cute. At least that's all you said.

One more thing that I love about Chantl’s launch is that she used her launch to build and grow a Facebook group, like I mentioned. And I think this can be a really good time to attract those warm leads and build a relationship with them, because guess what. Next time you launch, those people in that Facebook group that didn’t buy this time around, they're more likely to buy next time. And like I said, webinars are list builders. So if people get on your webinar, that means they gave their name and email. Let's say they don't buy this time around. If you nurture them, they're more likely to buy in your second launch. There's so much going on in terms of building your business with your first launch. That's why I tell my students, let's get it done. Let's get it out there, because you'll get instant momentum once you launch.

Congrats, Chantl, on your successful launch. I can't wait to see how you continue to grow your business.

Okay, last but certainly not least, let's chat about one of my favorite students, Melissa Groves Azzaro. Now, her course is called the PCOS Root Cause Roadmap. When I first saw that title, I had no idea what that meant, but that’s because I’m not her ideal-customer avatar. Her ideal-customer avatar, somebody who struggles with polycystic ovary syndrome, would know what that meant and would gravitate toward that title. You know I love a good niche topic for a digital course, right? So Melissa helps women better understand their PCOS so that they can feel empowered and confident through a proven scientific-based system that focuses on the root cause.

Now, she did her first launch in January of 2020, and she generated around $26,000 in just ten days. So let's look at her course and her launch.

This is a six-week course. And just like Eva, Melissa had a couple price-point options. Her first option was $497, and then she had a top-tier option for $697. Melissa had a business for about a year prior to joining Digital Course Academy®️, and she served one-on-one clients, both virtually and in-person. And at that time, she had only 200 people on her email list.

Now, it took her about a year from joining DCA to actually launching. She actually had launch dates on the calendar that were earlier than that, but some life commitments got in the way, and she had to keep pushing them off. So let me just say that you can launch way quicker than a year after you join DCA, and many of my students do. You can get done with your course and your launch materials in about ninety days or maybe a little bit more. But a lot of people are still in nine-to-five jobs, they're juggling a busy family life, they're trying to make money in different ways so that their course is not the only thing they're working on, and sometimes it just takes longer. That's why I love to teach how to create and launch courses. You get to go at your own terms, on your own time. And so with that, some of my students get it up and running right away, and others take a little bit longer, and that's okay as well. There's no judgment whatsoever.

Now, she wanted to make sure that she didn't push the date yet again. So she did a Black Friday offer, and she sold forty-four units of her course, and so that was the kick in the butt she needed. She's like, “Well, I got to create it now.” And so she had presold it, which, again, is something I teach in Digital Course Academy®️ because not only does it validate your course idea, not only can it bring in cash right away, but it gives you a big kick in the butt to get your course done because you've sold it. So really important. So that was a presell. And so then she launched it in January to everybody else outside of the Black Friday sale.

Now, all year she'd been working on growing her email list. So she went from 200 to twenty-five hundred, so 2,500 people on her email list. I make list building a really big priority in DCA because I know that launching will be easier if you grow your email list while you're creating your course.

So Melissa did a ten-day launch with three live webinars with around 1,800 registrants, which is awesome. Now, when all was said and done, she enrolled a total of seventy students and, again, generated over $26,000.

Now, I love that she held herself accountable by preselling her course. She knew she needed a kick in the pants. She knew she didn't want to push off the launch yet again. So that was a great idea.

Another thing I love and I want to point out is that Melissa did a quiz for her lead magnet. And yes, a quiz is a slightly more advanced technique for list building. But trust me when I say if you figure out how to do one—and you can literally look for details online on how to do a quiz. There’s tons of details out there—but once you do a quiz, you will fall in love with this strategy because it's a huge list builder, and it's a lot of fun. So she did a quiz: what type of diet is best for your PCOS? And this brought in about 100 to 200 new subscribers per day during her launch. Crazy, right? I think there's just so much around identifying what your ICA is struggling with and then creating a lead magnet, whether it be a quiz or a guide or a cheat sheet, that specifically addresses that, but also still ties into your course.

So did you hear me when I said that? because that's really valuable there. Not to toot my own horn, but toot, toot, I'm saying something really important that I want you to hear. If you can identify where your ideal-customer avatar is struggling right now, and if you can create a lead magnet that addresses that struggle like she did with what type of diet is best for your PCOS, and whatever your lead magnet is, not only does it address a problem they're having right now, but it ties into your course that you're eventually going to sell, you've got a homerun. So that's exactly what Melissa did.

And I think that she did a great job throughout. I want to give her a big congrats for her first launch. And Melissa, I know you're planning to do another launch in September 2020. Good luck, and I'll be cheering you on every step of the way.

All right, my friend, there you have it. The truth is that your first launch can be massively successful, and I have more than just these students to prove that. Every day I receive more and more testimonials and success stories from my Digital Course Academy®️ students sharing the details of their first launches. And these launches are completely transforming their lives and their businesses. This is why I do what I do. And I know that you can have the same success. So if you're thinking about creating a digital course, I highly recommend that you start to put it into motion because you could literally change your life in under a year. In fact, I believe deep in my heart that creating and launching a digital course is the single most powerful and strategic way to make an impact in the world while growing your income and freedom to life-changing levels.

And that, my friend, is why I want to invite you to my free masterclass, where I'm sharing the behind-the-scenes secrets to generating revenue year round. In this masterclass I'm teaching you how to get started with creating and launching your own digital course from scratch. We'll go over things like the ultimate kick start to your course-creation journey and how to get your course from your head onto paper in just thirty minutes and how to hone in on your expertise and how to choose your recording style and how a small-but-mighty email list makes all the difference and the little-known webinar secrets, plus so much more. This is the master class that gives you total clarity on how to get started with a digital course.

So I don't want you to wait. And again, it's totally free. That's where I want you to go right now, before you get busy and you forget and you lose your spot. Go there right now, save your spot, and I'll see you there. Again, it's live. It's free. It's going to be packed with valuable tips to get you started.

Thanks so much for joining me today. I can’t wait to see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.

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