AMY PORTERFIELD: “Now, I think you're going to be so pleasantly surprised to see how enrolling even just a small number of students can absolutely change your life. Now, look, if you're going for a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, half a million, I am here for that, and I've helped many students do that. But I also know if you're brand new to this and I throw out huge numbers, like, ‘Here's how to make two hundred thousand dollars,’ you're going to roll your eyes at me and say, ‘Amy, let's be a little bit more realistic.’ So just know I definitely can help you make a lot of money, but I also like to be very realistic.
“So let me give you an example. My Digital Course Academy student Adia Gooden, she enrolled just sixteen students in her first signature course, and she had a price of one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven dollars, so essentially two thousand bucks for her signature course. And she made over twenty-six thousand dollars in her very first launch. She had never launched anything online before, this was brand new to her, she still had a nine-to-five job, and she was able to do that.”
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: Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy.
If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you probably have some curiosity around creating your own digital course. And on top of that, you may have even tried to picture what your business or what your life could look like if you created a digital course, how it could possibly help you free up your time and allow you to work from wherever in the world that you want and scale both your impact and your income. And whether you already have your own business or you're still working your nine to five and dreaming about becoming your own boss eventually, or you're just looking for a really solid side hustle, you're probably curious to know if you did move forward with creating a digital course, how much could you actually make from it? I'm talking profit here. And I'm so glad that you're tuning in, because I'm about to walk you through a really simple process that you can use to calculate your potential course profit, an equation and a process that could even help you pinpoint exactly how many customers you'd have to enroll in order to meet your revenue goals. I personally have used this equation when trying to figure the profit-potential revenue for my own business and my own courses, and you can bet that I've taught many of my students how to do this as well.
Now, if you're not a math person, like me, don't run away. When I say an equation, a formula, a process, it's the simplest one out there. So don't worry. If I can use this and do it quickly, you can as well. So you don't need to be a mathematician to figure this out.
And before we dive in, I do have a quick question for you. Have you shared this podcast with a friend? If not, if you can think of a few entrepreneurial friends that are starting to grow their businesses and looking at scaling and looking at new ways to bring in profit, please grab the link to this episode or this podcast in general, text it to a friend or two, and share with them so they can also get support on their entrepreneurial journey. My mission is to use my podcast to help as many entrepreneurs as possible. I'd be so grateful if you help me do that.
Okay, so let's go ahead and get started.
The first step in determining your potential course profit is to think about your monthly revenue needs and goals. And we are actually going to create three goals: one is a good monthly income goal; one is a great monthly income goal; and one is a big, scary, yet exciting, income goal. So we're going to have some fun with this.
So imagine what a good monthly revenue goal would be for you. Essentially, this is the sum of money that you'd be happy generating every single month. So in this case, we're going to talk about revenue, not profit, and you can back out expenses later as you get more sophisticated in figuring out what it takes to get whatever it is you're creating off the ground. And if you stick with me, I know that most of my students have a very tight budget to create a digital course, so we're going to keep it really simple, spend as little as possible to get your course up and running. So just keep that in mind.
But when you think about how much money you want to generate, what would be a really good goal for you? And when you think about that, how much do you need to cover your basics? Maybe things like rent or a mortgage and, of course, groceries and child care and expenses like that. I think it's really important to sit down and say, “Okay, how much money do I actually need every single month to pay the bills and get by?” We're not talking about vacations and installing those wood floors in your kitchen or anything like that. That comes later, when we start to generate revenue consistently, which I can teach you how to do so. But right now we're just looking at the basics, the necessities. How much money do you need to generate?
Then, on top of that, if you want, you can add a little fun money each month so you can go on maybe a date night with your partner or save for that fun vacation. So that's, like, the second thing, another layer you can add to that. So start with the basics, and if you want, add a little fun money in there. And then, go ahead, once you've done this, jot that number down.
Of course, you're going to need to pause this. I’d really love this to be a mini workshop for you, to really dial this in. But if you don't already know how much money you need to generate every month, whether you're going to create a digital course or not, as somebody who wants to build a business—that's you—this is a number that's important to look at. I know sometimes it's not fun. If you took me back fourteen years, while I was in that tiny little condo in Carlsbad, California, and you set me up at that second-hand table that I used to work at, and eat dinner and breakfast and lunch at as well, in this little kitchen I had, if you sat me down and said, “Okay, how much money do you need to make? And maybe a little fun money,” the exercise wouldn’t be especially fun for me, because I did have some debt, I wasn't making a lot, and it was hard to dream big, and it was hard to look at the numbers as well.
But let me tell you, my friend, if you take one thing away from this episode, get honest with yourself, because we can only go up from there if we know where we're starting at. Like, going forward is so much easier than closing your eyes and not wanting to look or see or think about it. So let's just get honest with ourselves, okay?
Now, after you've done that, you've got your good goal. “This is how much money I really need to make. Maybe I added a little cushion for some fun money.” But now we're going to think about a great monthly revenue goal. This is the amount of money in your bank account each month that would make you do a happy dance. Perhaps it would allow you to go down to part time at your nine-to-five job or reduce the number of one-on-one clients you take in your coaching business or service-based business. Oh, heck, maybe this number covers all of your monthly expenses and allows you to quit your current J-O-B and become your own boss. Whatever that number is for you, you're looking for a great goal.
We already did a good goal. Now we're looking for a great goal. We want to be realistic, but we also want to start dreaming a little bit bigger, pushing ourselves to think what might be possible, and also getting excited about that number.
Now, don't worry. We're about to get a much bigger goal to aim for, but I want you to get clear on the income you're required to become your own boss or even just free up a big chunk of your time to work on the things you really want to work on. Often that number isn't as big as we make it out to be, so you're probably going to look at that and think, “Okay, maybe that is doable.”
Then, next—you knew this was coming, right?—we're going to get a little bit unreasonable. This year in my business, we always choose a word for the business, and the team knows it, and this year it is unreasonable. I recently did a team retreat just for my leadership team—we meet every quarter in person—and I got these, like, really simple rings, like, that you would put on your finger. Just super simple. And I engraved inside the ring, where no one could see except the person wearing it, the word unreasonable because I want my leadership team to remember that every year, we are going to go for something unreasonable. We might not hit it, we might not even know how to get there, but we're going to work toward it. And so that's what we're doing this year. And I've seen so many shifts, especially mindset shifts, on my team, when we allow ourselves to be unreasonable.
So for this last one, it's your big, scary, yet exciting, monthly income goal. You can be a little unreasonable here. You might not even know how you're going to get here, but I always love a big, scary goal because even though it might seem like it's impossible right now, you'd be surprised at what you can achieve with the right resources and mindset and strategies. I have a multi-million-dollar business, but at one time, my unreasonable goal was one million dollars in revenue, not even profit, revenue. I have surpassed that fifteen times. However, at that time, that was my big, scary goal and I thought, “There's no way.” But then there's this tiny little voice that said, “Maybe there is.”
So I want to encourage you to really spend some time thinking through these numbers. Your good goal, your great goal, and your big, scary goal.
Now, I'm not saying that digital courses has to wipe out this, meaning, like, be the only way you're going to hit those goals, but it's going to be a big part of that if you stick with me. And so we're going to break that down. So I want you to tuck those three monthly revenue goals to the side for a second because we're going to come back to them.
So moving on, it's time to list out possible price points for your digital course. Now, you may be saying, “Amy, how the heck do I price my online course? Where do I even begin? I haven't even started creating the course yet.” Don’t worry, my friend. I've got an entire episode to help you get more clear on this. So if you go to episode 240, it's called “Three Types of Profitable Digital Courses That You Can Create and How to Choose the Best One for Your Business.” It's one of my most-popular episodes. It gives you a deep dive into this. So after you listen to this Shorty episode, go for it. Just go to amyporterfield.com/240. I think it will give you immense clarity around what kind of digital course you want to create.
But just to give you an overview here—because I want you to stick with me here. Don't go anywhere—for the sake of just this equation that we're doing, I want to give you a few price ranges, and I want you just to choose one here just so we can play around with some numbers.
So if you are going to create a starter course, which gives your students just enough information and support to help them begin to move forward, like a 101-type of digital course, typically you would charge between one to two hundred dollars. So for example, maybe you create a course on how to start an urban garden. Very simple, just the basics, and you're going to charge two hundred dollars for that digital course. That's a starter course.
The next type of course I teach is a spotlight course. A spotlight course offers specific and detailed information and typically uses a step-by-step framework. So those usually fall between, like, two hundred and five hundred dollars. So for example, maybe you create a digital course on how to use Canva to design beautiful social-media graphics. Very specific, we're taking a deep dive, we're using one tool, Canva, and we're creating social-media graphics. That's a spotlight course. And because it’s so specific and detailed, that’s why you can charge more, between two hundred and five hundred dollars.
And then, a signature course—I always say this is the mack daddy of all courses—and it's the entire framework of something from start to finish, and it leads to a total transformation. They're usually anywhere from five hundred to all the way up to three thousand dollars or more. So, for example, maybe you create a course on overhauling your finances, increasing your savings, and doing your taxes, from start to finish, so that at the end, you are working on all cylinders in terms of your finances and investing and saving and taxes. That's the whole shebang. That's why you can charge more because you're helping someone go from a total transformation. So between five hundred all the way up to three thousand dollars, sometimes more.
So another way to get an idea of how to price your course is to do your research. Check out your competition in your specific topic. See what prices they are putting out there for their courses. Maybe you fall a little bit under or in the middle or above, depending on where you want to fall in terms of your brand. But that's another way to look at it.
But for the case of this episode, we're just going to plug in some numbers so we can play with this equation. So this is where it gets exciting.
So let's say you have a good monthly goal of making a thousand extra dollars a month. Especially if you're in a nine-to-five job still, a thousand dollars a month outside of your job is a lot of money. So you can launch a starter course with a price tag of a hundred dollars, and you only need to enroll ten people a month, just ten people a month, to make an extra thousand dollars.
Now, the great thing about digital courses is that, of course, you're going to spend some money to get them created. But once you continue to launch them over and over again, you're not putting up those initial expenses, so the profit gets bigger and bigger as you go. What I teach my students in Digital Course Academy, which is the program I release every September, is that we want to launch over and over again so that we have consistent revenue coming in, but also so that our profit continues to get bigger and bigger with each launch.
Okay. So let's imagine you want to create a signature course. Remember, this is that mack daddy of all courses. It’s action packed. It's detailed, incredibly useful to an ideal client. Let's say you price it at five hundred dollars. If two people enroll, you've got your one thousand dollars extra a month.
But from what I've seen from my students, what I've seen for them to actually achieve, I just know you can enroll way more than two people. But I like to keep this as simple as possible in terms of running through the numbers.
Now, if you get ten people, we're talking about earning five thousand extra dollars a month, and maybe that reaches your great monthly goal. I don't know what your good goal, your great goal, or your very extra big, scary goal is, but I'm just throwing some numbers around to show you what's possible. Again, if you've got twenty people and you're at five hundred dollars, that's ten thousand dollars. Just twenty people. Imagine if you focus on growing your email list and growing your social-media following, it is not hard to get twenty people to say yes to a five-hundred-dollar, really valuable offer. That's ten thousand dollars in one month. Enroll just forty students and you're going to make twenty thousand dollars. That’s life-changing money.
And I've seen my students do all of this. At every single example I just shared with you, I have seen multiple students achieve this. Whether they're 100 percent on their own and building their business, or they're still in their nine-to-five job, you'd be amazed what people in nine-to-five jobs can still do with their digital courses to get them to a place that they eventually quit.
Now, I think you're going to be so pleasantly surprised to see how enrolling even just a small number of students can absolutely change your life. Now, look, if you're going for a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, half a million, I am here for that, and I've helped many students do that. But I also know if you're brand new to this and I throw out huge numbers, like, “Here's how to make two hundred thousand dollars,” you're going to roll your eyes at me and say, “Amy, let's be a little bit more realistic.” So just know I definitely can help you make a lot of money, but I also like to be very realistic.
So let me give you an example. My Digital Course Academy student Adia Gooden, she enrolled just sixteen students in her first signature course, and she had a price of one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven dollars, so essentially two thousand bucks for her signature course. And she made over twenty-six thousand dollars in her very first launch. She had never launched anything online before, this was brand new to her, she still had a nine-to-five job, and she was able to do that.
And then I have another DCA student Margherita Berti, and she took her knowledge of teaching Italian and created an amazing digital course that cost just three hundred forty-seven dollars. By enrolling one hundred thirty-six people in her first launch, she was able to make forty-five thousand dollars. Forty-five thousand dollars, for some people, that is their entire yearly salary. That is a lot of money.
It just goes to show you how having a sustainable recurring income source from a product that you create once is an absolute game changer. And the thing is, even when you're not live launching your course, you can still make money. You can always take on a few private clients or sell something simple, like a PDF guide or another digital product. And eventually, you may even go evergreen with your course. Going evergreen, or turning your course from a live launch into an automated launch, something you can actually run every single day, it's something I teach in Digital Course Academy because most of my students would like to move from live launching to eventually becoming an evergreen course, which I'm all about.
Okay. So there you have it. I want you to take some time to plug in the numbers we discussed today. Again, I kept it simple. You're going to have a good; great; and big, scary monthly goal. Then, you're going to just initially price a potential course you might want to create, based on is it going to be a starter course, a spotlight course, or a signature course? Choose a price. You don’t have to stick to it. We can always change it. But then, start plugging it in and saying, “Okay. If I want to make five thousand dollars extra a month, what do I need to price my course and how many people need to buy it?” And then start to remind yourself, “Wait a second. This is more doable than I thought.” And if I learn from someone like Amy or someone else that you love that teaches digital courses so that you don't have to make this stuff up as you go, you can get there a whole lot faster.
The reason I started creating digital courses in the first place for my own business is that I realized the possibilities are endless. And once I started to see success for myself, I thought, “I have to teach this to more people, because this is the way I created more freedom in my life.“
I hope you love this Shorty episode. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. And if you'd be so kind, could you do me a favor and, again, invite an entrepreneurial friend? And if you really want some good karma points, please review this podcast. Leave me a review. I read every single one of them, and I'm truly grateful for them all.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. Bye for now.