Transcript: Is a Digital Course Right for You?

August 1, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “No matter if you're a service provider or if you're doing something else in your business but you just know, ‘This is not necessarily the business model that I love,’ or ‘This business model is not working for me,’ you can absolutely change your business model. And so to do that, you have to have the courage to start building something different, which means you've got to let go, eventually, of what's no longer working, and step into a little bit of the unknown. But do it with a guide, whether you do it with me or somebody else, someone who's gone before you, knows how to get results, is willing to teach you everything they know so that you can get it up and running really quickly.  

“Transitioning your business from where it is now to one where you're creating digital courses, I'm telling you right now, it will free up your time. It can free up your mind. It could help you make more money and ultimately a bigger impact.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: I wanted to give you a podcast recommendation. It's called The Product Boss. It's hosted by Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep. And it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. So with this podcast, you can take your physical-product sales and strategy to the next level. And the hosts of this podcast, they deliver a workshop-style strategy of social-media and marketing strategies so you can up level as the boss of your business. They recently released a podcast walking you through doing a mid-year reflection, and I'm here for it. They give you a quick-and-easy reflection process that can help you make a bigger impact for the second half of the year. You're going to love it. So listen to The Product Boss wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.  

Today I'm diving into a question that I get asked all the time, and that is, how do I know if creating a digital course is right for me and my business? And after years of helping thousands of students build their own digital courses, I found that there are three different types of people and three very different situations who can benefit from creating this type of business. In this episode, you're going to hear about who those three different types of people are, and you're also going to hear real-life examples of how some of my own students have found success after launching their own digital courses. So if you've been curious to know whether or not creating a digital course is the right move, then stay with me because you're about to find out.  

But before we dive in, I've got a quick question for you. Have you ever shared this podcast with a friend? If not, could you do me a favor and send a link to a friend or two, who could use a little support on their entrepreneurial journey? My mission is to use my podcast to help as many entrepreneurs as possible, so I'd be grateful if you could help me with that. 

So let's get to it. The first type of person who should consider creating a digital course is a nine-to-five employee who has the heart of an entrepreneur. So this is a person who works really hard at their job, is ambitious, and has so much to give. But they know deep down inside that they were meant to do or be so much more. So they're sick of sitting in a cubicle, doing the same thing day after day, and they dream of a life where they get up each morning excited to do work that they love from a location of their choice, and they feel kind of like they're a cog in a wheel. Like, they're hustling for someone else's bottom line. They might feel like they're even wasting their time or maybe their potential. Maybe this person has a hobby that they really like and wonder if they could ever turn that hobby into a side hustle, which then, maybe, becomes a full-time business. And they know there's much more to life and much more to the career that they've been building than going through the motions and just collecting a paycheck every two weeks. So creating a digital course is their way of saying, “I'm going to make one big step toward my future. I'm not leaving my nine-to-five job yet. I'm not ready for that. But I can absolutely have something on the side that's all my own, and this might become something even bigger and allow me to leave my nine-to-five job if I want.” Many, many, many of my students who have successful digital courses also have nine-to-five jobs.  

And of course, back in 2009 this was me. I was working full time for Tony Robbins and all. Though I was learning so much, I was tired of working my butt off for someone else's benefit. And I was also surrounded by Tony's peer network of online entrepreneurs, and it made me really want that financial freedom and lifestyle freedom and creative freedom. And I've talked about this over and over again, right? If you've read Two Weeks Notice, you know the exact steps that I took to transition from working my nine-to-five job to having my own business.  

And if you've taken Digital Course Academy, then you know exactly how I create digital courses that gave me the freedom that today I have. That's what I teach in Digital Course Academy, exactly how to create the course and how to launch the course so that you can have more freedom and have more options in your life. So taking that leap can absolutely be intimidating, for sure. But when you have a roadmap of how to get started and when you can stay exactly where you're at right now but also create a course and build an audience and launch that course, that can give you a little bit of safety while you're doing something really new and exciting.  

In fact, one of my Digital Course Academy students, Scarlett Cochran, she left her job as a consumer finance lawyer, and she created a digital course teaching people the resources they need to take care of their financial future. Now, we all know that attorneys make great money, but they also work a ton of hours in a very demanding and stressful environment. So by creating a digital course, Scarlett was able to cut back her hours, make a direct impact on people's lives, and make a significant income.  

And I'm so proud of Scarlett because it can be really hard to give up a corporate career, especially when you're in a prestigious position like she was. So her ego could have really kept her in that job, but she knew she wanted more. And I want to tell you if you can relate to any of these feelings—like what I felt when I worked for the Robbins’ organization or Scarlett, how she was feeling—and if you're in a nine-to-five job but you also want your own thing, a digital course is an excellent way to create life on your terms and bring in some extra money that will start to open some doors and opportunities for you so you can make some better decisions for yourself down the road. 

Okay. So moving on to the second type of person who could really benefit from creating a digital course, and that's a service provider who has reached a very real ceiling in terms of their income and the number of people that they can help. So to be clear, when I talk about a service provider, these are people who are providing a service directly to their clients. Sometimes they're employed by a company, like doctors, and sometimes they're running their own businesses, like a real-estate agent or a website designer or a copywriter or a dog groomer. And one of the biggest issues with being a service provider, whether you are employed by a company or if you're on your own, is that you eventually hit a ceiling. There's only one of you, and there's only twenty-four hours in a day, which means that you can only make so much money, and you can only help so many people. So if you're really wanting to grow, and you really want to make a bigger impact, it can be a big challenge. 

This was the case of my student, Adia Gooden, and she's a clinical psychologist. And while she loved one-on-one client work, she dreamed of helping more people and having a bigger impact. So after she invested in my program Digital Course Academy, she realized it really is possible to have a successful online course. So she took a big leap of faith, left her job so that she could go full steam ahead with her dream business.  

Now, in her very first launch, she enrolled sixteen students, and she made over twenty-six thousand dollars. Her course was on the higher end, so twenty-six thousand dollars, only sixteen students. Today, she's earning an excellent income, and most importantly, is living her dream of helping women around the entire world.  

And what's really sweet about Adia is that she actually came to Tennessee a few years ago, and she was part of a panel of my students that I got to interview and talk to. And I think they'd be really fun for you. So if you're listening to me right now and you're thinking, “I might want to create a digital course,” I want you to take it one step further and say, “I want to create a really successful digital course, so good that Amy, like, can't ignore it. And she calls me up and says, ‘Can you come to Nashville? I'll pay all your expenses. And can we sit on a couch together? And can I talk about how you've created this amazing success story? Can we tell everybody what you did so you can inspire others?’” I think that would be so cool.  

So I don't know. Put it in your back pocket. I know. Some of you are like, “I don't want to do that.” Others, they’re like, “Bring it on. Give me a call, Amy.” All right, so let's make it happen. 

Okay. So we talked about the nine to fiver, who's also going to have a digital course, kind of like a side hustle. We talked about the service provider who—you can still be a service provider. But when you have your course, I want you to up your prices as a service provider, and I want you to take less clients to have a little bit more freedom. And then I want your digital course to not just make up the revenue that you might be losing because you're going to take less clients, which probably won't happen if you up your price, but regardless, I want you to make more money, have an additional stream of revenue, and never, ever hit that revenue ceiling again. Because what I will tell you and what I've seen over and over again with my students is that the sky's the limit in terms of the revenue that you can create with a digital course. It really is.  

Okay. And finally, the third type of person who could really benefit from creating a digital course is a budding entrepreneur who knows there's a smarter way to build a business than what they're currently doing.  

Actually, I'm going to give you a bonus fourth way. I just can't help myself. So stay with me because I'm going to give you this third one. But I've got a bonus one for those of you who are a little bit more advanced, a little bit more deep into your business. You already have success, but you're looking for a different stream of revenue to do business in a different way, but you already have a very thriving, successful business. Stay with me.  

But I'm talking this third type is the budding entrepreneur. Again, you know there's a smarter way to build a business than what you're currently doing. So this person is technically working for themselves, but they feel anything but free. So like, if this is you, your calendar is jam packed with appointments, you're working your buns off, you might be trading time for money, but you are really only making money when you're actually showing up and working. And maybe you've kind of hit that limit that you feel stressed and overwhelmed, but you can't figure out how to make more money, but you're not making enough money in your business that it even feels like a full-fledged business. And you're kind of starting to question, like, “Am I even cut out to be an entrepreneur? Can I really figure this out? Is this really worth it?”  

So does any of that resonate with you? Because let me tell you, this is how I started my business, and it was the wrong way. So let me back up a little bit. I left my nine-to-five job. I started working with a handful of clients where I either did their social media or I would consult with their social media or I'd put social-media plans together for them so that they could do it themselves. But the only way I could make money is if I was showing up for my clients. So in a way it was like a service-based business. But I didn't have any digital courses. I didn't really have a lot of ways to make money, and I wasn't making nearly as much as I really wanted to make. And I was a business owner. I was out on my own, but it just felt so hard.  

So what I decided to do is I transitioned my business model. And some of you right now, this is totally going to resonate with you. Come back to me if you're multitasking. I want you to hear this. No matter if you're a service provider or if you're doing something else in your business but you just know, “This is not necessarily the business model that I love,” or “This business model is not working for me,” you can absolutely change your business model. And so to do that, you have to have the courage to start building something different, which means you've got to let go, eventually, of what's no longer working, and step into a little bit of the unknown. But do it with a guide, whether you do it with me or somebody else, someone who's gone before you, knows how to get results, is willing to teach you everything they know so that you can get it up and running really quickly. 

Transitioning your business from where it is now to one where you're creating digital courses, I'm telling you right now, it will free up your time. It can free up your mind. It could help you make more money and ultimately a bigger impact. 

Something similar happened to my dear friend Corinne Crabtree, and she has her own online membership, and it is thriving. She helps women improve their physical and mental health.  

But she did have a problem in this membership. Any time a member said they needed something, she would jump through hoops to create it, which left her running ragged. She also struggled to get more than a hundred fifty members in her program at one point. And then, after listening to my podcast, she realized that the easiest way for her students to reach their health goals would be if they were all doing the same thing in the same order, speaking the same language. And a great way to accomplish that is through a digital course.  

Okay. So did you hear that? So some of the easiest ways to get people results is get them in a group, and they're all going to go through the same thing at the same time, in the same order, speaking the same language so that you can be there for everybody, but they can be there for each other. And one of the greatest ways to do that is through a digital course.  

So she actually ended up joining Digital Course Academy, and it was literally the launch pad to scale her business. She's not only running an eight-figure business, but she's helped more than a hundred women lose over one hundred pounds. I bet it's well over a hundred women now. But she helps women lose weight, and so she's helped thousands and thousands of women. But over one hundred women lose over one hundred pounds. That is amazing.  

Her clients have also improved their mental health. They've started businesses. They've repaired marriages. They've left toxic relationships. They've killed difficult family dynamics. She did that. She helped them do that. And I think that's incredible.  

So we've talked about the fact that you can be in your nine-to-five job and create a course; or if you want to change your business model, you can absolutely do that; or if you're service-based business and you either want to walk away from the service-based business or you want to add an extra stream of revenue, great. But I want to talk to those of you who you actually have a thriving business, and it's making you money. Like, you are an entrepreneur, you’re doing your thing, but you've always thought about, “What would it look like if I added a digital course to what I'm already doing?” And I have hundreds and hundreds of success stories on my website about people who have done just that.  

Adding an additional stream of revenue to the business you already have, opens so many doors. It creates less stress for you, and it's a way to have an additional stream of revenue so that when something in your business maybe isn't hitting its goals—it happens to all of us—that digital course could actually make up for some of that revenue. Or when you would really like to step back for a while and not work so hard, that digital course, when put on evergreen, can be making money for you when you decide, “You know what? I want to take thirty days off. I don't want to work for the next thirty days,” which I've done. I have a whole podcast about taking thirty days off. I still made money that month because of my digital courses.  

So what I want you to hear is whether you're a newbie and you're just getting things going or you've been at this for a while, a digital course is absolutely a good idea for your business. And if you feel as though you might not know enough for a digital course or you're not experienced enough or ready enough, go to my episode that I just did about the 10 percent edge, because I'm going to prove you wrong. But give me an opportunity to do so. It’s a short episode. Look for my 10 percent episode. I did it just, I think, like, last week. Look for that because I think it could absolutely change your mind. 

Okay, my friend. We've reached the end, and it's my hope that after listening, you have a better idea of whether or not a digital course is right for you. And if you do, I want to hear from you. So I'm just @amyporterfield on Instagram. Send me a DM and let me know if you want to create a digital course. And tell me kind of where you're at. Like, are you the person in the nine-to-five job? Are you looking to pivot your business model? Are you looking for an additional stream of revenue? Are you just overworked and you want more freedom? Like, what is it? Like, why do you want to do this? Please share with me, because I love to just understand where you're coming from. So again, Instagram, I'm just @amyporterfield. Send me a DM and say, “I want to create a digital course,” and tell me a little bit. I would love to hear from you. 

All right. I hope you enjoyed this Shorty episode. And I'm going to be talking about digital courses over the next few months, a lot. So stay with me here, my friend, because I think I can absolutely support you on your journey of building a thriving business.  

I can't wait to talk to you again on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. See you then. 

OUTRO: This summer, we've been messing with this wild idea that marketers can spend less time sitting at their desks and more time soaking in the sun, preferably at the lake. So it starts with weaving AI-powered tools like HubSpot customer-relationship-management platform, also called a CRM, into our workflows. The latest research says that employees who use AI are already cutting time spent on manual tasks in half, like pulling reports or summarizing data. That's anywhere from five to 2.5 hours a day. You heard that right. That adds up to almost four weeks a year. Just saying that gives me this instant surge of energy. So HubSpot’s AI-powered tools can help you work smarter, not harder, by streamlining how you do business, from research and strategy to content creation and optimization. We just moved to HubSpot, and we are loving every minute of it. So ChatSpot and content assistant are baked right into your HubSpot CRM so you can whip up reports, copy inspiration, data summaries, and much more just with a simple chat command. So tap into HubSpot to stop staring at your screen and start enjoying your summer vacation. Learn more and get started today at 

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