Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

#680: Experiencing Content Creation Burnout? 5 Powerful Strategies I Swear By

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:#680: Experiencing Content Creation Burnout? 5 Powerful Strategies I Swear By

C.LEE CAWLEY: “Spoiler alert, I actually ended up with seventy-one students and made sixteen thousand four hundred fifty-four dollars on my first-ten launch. I found this strategy was a perfect way for me to validate my course before I ever created it and give me the confidence that it would sell.  

“How did that happen? Well, this is what I did. In October 2021, over a long weekend, with the help of my VA, I created a twenty-three-page e-book with two bonus guides, called the Complete Closet Clarity Compendium. This has the exact process that I used professionally to help people clear their clothes and get the fabulous, functioning closets of their dreams.”  

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 PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. 

How are you today, my sweet friend? If you're listening to this in real time, I'm feeling pretty energized because this is the time of year that I get to welcome a brand-new class of Digital Course Academy students. This is also the time of year I get to reconnect to my why, that driving force behind why I get up in the morning and work on being the best teacher, the best leader and visionary that I possibly can be in my own business.  

And I get reminded that it's all for my students. That's why I love this time more than anything. I imagine that person who's feeling unfulfilled working for someone else and dreaming about being their own boss; or that person who's really struggled to make money online, and they're looking for a new business model in order to reach those big goals they've set for themselves. And I love knowing that I can show them there's another way, and they have what it takes to create their dream business and their dream life.  

And whether you're enrolled in Digital Course Academy or not, I want you to know that starting your dream business can happen faster than you think. So buckle up because today we're diving into something that will fundamentally shift the way that you approach launching online.  

Allow me to introduce you to something I teach in module two of Digital Course Academy, the first-ten strategy. And in this episode, you'll hear directly from some of my star students who used this strategy when they created and launched their digital courses.  

I'm dedicating a podcast episode to this concept because I want you to sidestep a mistake I made during my very first launch. You may have heard this story many times before, but on my first course launch, over fourteen years ago, I made a whopping two hundred sixty-seven dollars. That was after putting in countless hours of work, late nights, and money I didn't have to spend at the time.  

One of the biggest mistakes leading to this low-revenue launch was that I didn't check if my course was something my audience would actually purchase. Looking back, this was an essential lesson to build my business into what it is today. However, I don't want you to make the same mistake, which is why I’m sharing my proven framework to help you know if your course idea is something people will happily enroll in, before you even create the first lesson.  

Whether you're a DCA alumni, a new DCA student, or just starting to dream about creating digital courses in your business, I know you'll find tons of inspiration in this episode about what's possible for you.  

I want to add that the first-ten strategy is something that I've made my own, but it was inspired by my dear friend Stu McLaren, something he teaches in one of his courses called The Membership Experience. And so when you start to hear about it, know that the idea first came from him. I've since made it my own and made it work better for courses versus memberships, and now I'm going to teach you exactly how I teach it inside Digital Course Academy.  

And in addition, I'm excited to introduce to you four of my star students. They're going to tell their stories, and they're going to share how they used the first-ten strategy. And as you listen in, know that you, too, can do this. So let's get to it.  

Before I introduce the students, I want to give you a little more background about what the first-ten strategy is. I want you to imagine this scenario. You have this incredible course idea, but you're unsure if it's going to resonate with your ideal-customer avatar. So what do you do? Well, the first-ten strategy is all about taking that course idea and putting it out there to your ideal-customer avatar through an email and a few social-media posts. Nothing too extreme, just really simple.  

Now, there's no need to have any part of your course created just yet. You’re simply testing the waters to see if people are willing to pay for it before you put in all the hard work to create and officially launch it. It's about validating your course idea and involving just ten people, your first ten students, in the creation process. You offer them a discount, and in return they'll be part of your journey by providing feedback as you create your course materials and get ready for the big launch. 

So that you can see what this looks like in practice, I want to introduce the first student that you'll hear from today. Her name is Regina Sih-Meynier. Regina is a great example of how you can succeed using the first-ten strategy, without being well known online and without having a big list. And finding the courage to do her first-ten launch was just the starting point for Regina. From there, she went on to create a retreat, where she now gets to spend part of the year supporting her community in the south of France. Such a dream, right? So let's dive in and explore Regina's first-ten story. 

REGINA SIH-MEYNIER: Hello, Amy. I'm Regina Sih-Meynier, a former corporate pharmaceutical leader turned intuitive business strategist and executive coach for professionals. My course teaches professionals how to tune into their own intuitive intelligence—what I like to refer to as your inner authentic voice—to make successful career and personal decisions. So the professionals who take my six-week course will learn how to trust their very own inner GPs; how to manage fear, which is the number-one barrier to their intuition; and how to make the best decisions for their successful future. 

Now, what gets me really excited is that I get to teach the very framework I used to find my next career after leaving corporate. And it was my intuitive inner authentic voice that acted as my guide back then and still does today as I build out my business. 

So during my first-ten launch strategy back in September 2021, I offered my course at a 48 percent discount, which was two hundred fifty-seven dollars. And with that, I was so excited to sign up eight students, and I made my very first two thousand fifty-six dollars.  

Now, I did this by offering my early-bird special for my first-ten launch for about one week, and I sent emails to my fifty subscribers—I know, it's a very tiny list—and I also posted it on my Facebook business page and on Instagram. I also, then, emailed my friends and family as well, letting them know that I was offering this course.  

Now, the students that signed up came from my network of friends and professional colleagues. And what inspired me to take this action, even though I had a small list, was that I heard some testimonials from Amy's former students who talked about having a very small list or not having a list, and they actually leveraged their existing network to launch their course. And so that really inspired me to take action. And when I did this, I felt absolutely empowered and invigorated after my first-ten launch because I felt it was successful for three main reasons.  

The first is that I used the students’ sign ups to hold me personally accountable to build the course, which was what I needed to do. I built the first three modules before launching the course with the first eight students, and then I wrote and recorded the last two modules while teaching the course at the same time. Secondly, I found this launch successful because I had amazing testimonials that the course provided the promised transformation, which proved to be a successful beta test for me. And then thirdly, it gave me the confidence to teach and coach other students. 

Now, although I didn’t implement the traditional live launch with the masterclass webinar, because I just didn't have the bandwidth yet, I knew that creating the course was the very first major step I needed to accomplish, and it's what I did. This was a huge success for me because my mindset and my energy shifted to, “This is totally possible, I can actually do this, and Amy's guidance actually works.” Not that I ever doubted Amy; I just had to not doubt myself.  

Now, when I did the first-ten launch strategy, I had multiple competing priorities. I was starting a new consulting job, preparing a new keynote presentation to a national audience of a hundred fifty professionals, and I just so happened to decide to sign up for a finance course while managing my social media and blogs. It was a lot to handle. So if you're just starting to do this, just know that you're always going to be busy, and you're always going to have competing priorities. And what worked for me was blocking my weekends to focus only on content creation for the course and recording my modules.  

So, getting started is always the hardest part, but once you come up with a system, you just rinse and repeat until each lesson is done. At the beginning, I met Sidney Eve. She was an accountability partner inside of DCA, and she was there to get me over the mindset hurdle of, “I don't know how to get started.” So meeting with someone who's launched before to walk you through the initial steps was a huge game changer for me, and I highly recommend a launch coach, of sorts.  

So Sidney Eve actually walked me through getting my slide template updated with my brand colors and font; she helped me set up Kajabi so that I could upload my course lessons; and then she walked me through, very briefly, how to record my lessons. And this personal one-on-one time helped me get over the inertia of just getting started.  

Now, the first-ten launch strategy helped me succeed with future launches because it validated my course promise, and it gave me the confidence to, then, offer my course to a B2B audience when I was invited for a keynote presentation at a pharmaceutical company. I was able to sign up another ten students for five thousand dollars within two months of my first-ten launch. I was able to use the testimonials from these two launches to add to my sales page, and I updated my course training with the feedback I received. I learned that the students really value the live group Q&A and coaching sessions that I provided because they actually really loved being part of a community.  

So from these two launches, I nurtured the most-engaged students in every-other-month calls to check in on their progress and get updates. I was wholeheartedly really just interested in knowing how they were doing because I actually missed my students. So these free meetings maintained and nurtured our relationships, which eventually led me to selling out my first retreat in France the following year, which is an immersive experience, to incorporate the course lessons while staying in the French countryside, because slowing down in French culture and in the countryside is actually what you need to be able to tune in into that intuitive inner authentic voice. Slowing down is what makes the difference.  

So during that first retreat, I made nineteen thousand six hundred twenty-one dollars in profit, and the first-ten launch strategy was the start I needed to launch my brand-new business after being laid off from the corporate pharmaceutical industry during the pandemic. So Digital Course Academy and the first-ten launch strategy catapulted me and my business into seeing what's possible, and I'm now actually living my dream reality.  

I now work from anywhere in the world, whether it's San Francisco, my home base; or Orange County, where my dad lives; or even France, where we run my retreats from my husband's childhood estate. I have the freedom I wished for. And I thank you so much, Amy and Team Porterfield for helping me get here with your step-by-step guidance and Digital Course Academy and Momentum. I can't thank you enough. I'm just so full of gratitude and so much love for you all. Thank you. 

AMY: Now it's time to introduce my next student, C.Lee Cawley. C.Lee didn't just dip her toe into the world of digital courses using the first-ten strategy, she drove in headfirst. And guess what? Her very first course launch brought in over sixteen thousand dollars, all while she was traveling after retiring from the corporate world.  

And what I love most about C.Lee’s story is how she really listens to her community. She meets her students where they are by tuning into their fears and desires. And from there, her course helps transform their lives. I think listening is an underutilized business practice, and C.Lee illustrates its importance perfectly.  

So let's hear from C.Lee about how the first-ten strategy was a game changer in her business.  

C.LEE CAWLEY: Hi, there. I'm C.Lee Cawley. I'm a certified professional organizer. In fact, there are fewer than four hundred of us worldwide. I teach a course called The Paper Cleanse, which takes you from clutter and chaos to clarity and calm, using my fool-proof formula to declutter your piles and curate your files, for a lifetime of paper organization with no bothersome scanning needed.  

I've had scores of students, from four different continents now, learn my unique new way to approach and manage the paper Post-its and piles that plague them. Now they understand exactly how to process their paper, how to easily maintain this positive change with minimal time, and, also, how to prevent the paper from piling up again in the future.  

My students are well educated, mostly aged fifty-plus, who consider themselves paper people. They don't want to scan or digitize their papers. They love writing and reading and highlighting on actual paper, reading actual books. They've decided they're ready to solve their excess paper problem and streamline their lives. I've had successful students retire early, travel, volunteer, and do something as simple as join a local book club just because they've gained so much more time and control of their lives, having tamed that paper tiger. 

I'd love to share with you the results of my first-ten launch. I followed Amy's instructions to a T, and spoiler alert, I actually ended up with seventy-one students and made sixteen thousand four hundred fifty-four dollars on my first-ten launch. I found this strategy was a perfect way for me to validate my course before I ever created it and give me the confidence that it would sell.  

How did that happen? Well, this is what I did. In October 2021, over a long weekend, with the help of my VA, I created a twenty-three-page e-book with two bonus guides, called the Complete Closet Clarity Compendium. This has the exact process that I used professionally to help people clear their clothes and get the fabulous, functioning closets of their dreams.  

I did this for two reasons: to get people used to buying from me, and I also offered the e-book for free to about four hundred people who I had on a different email list. They had not heard from me in over a year. To reengage them, I offered them the Complete Closet Clarity Compendium for free to entice them to transition over to my main email list, and about three hundred moved over. And I did sell my e-book for nineteen dollars to my main list at the same time. All in all, I had about six hundred dollars in sales in October 2021 from that nineteen-dollar e-book, and I also used that as an upsell when I sold my course. 

When I started my November 2021, Black Friday first-ten promotion, I had a total email list of about fifteen hundred people. Remember, three hundred of them were brand new. I had been growing my email list slowly by sending a weekly Tip Tuesday, a blog with organizing ideas and inspiration, for over four years. So I was already doing the weekly nurturing, as Amy recommends, and I continued to do exactly what Amy teaches. I did my course-validation calls, and I planned the best I could, but I was still not quite sure what would happen.  

I sent a teaser email early in the week saying I had a big announcement. And then, on 6:00 a.m., I offered my course, with an email for a hundred dollars off. When I woke up on Black Friday morning and saw that three students had already paid me the introductory rate of a hundred ninety-seven dollars each, from reading one email, then I knew it was real.  

I was astounded that people would pay me for a course that didn't even exist—well, except for an outline—but they did, even though they knew that that course would not be starting until the following February, nine weeks later. In fact, by the end of that four-day pre-sale period—I had a few more emails—I had twenty-eight students pay me a hundred ninety-seven dollars each, which made me five thousand five hundred sixteen dollars. I was thrilled, as that revenue paid for my virtual assistant and my DCA and Kajabi investment, with extra to spare.  

Then, I took the month of December off. I wanted to enjoy the holidays and my daughter visiting from her home in London. I just maintained my weekly emails and thought more about how I would structure and flesh out my course, sending a few quick surveys out to the first ten—well, in my case, twenty-eight—students.  

In January. I dived back in. I asked those students for a lot of feedback and input, which really helped shape The Paper Cleanse. I had a framework, but I was able to find out what was important to them. For example, they realized that once they got their papers and office in order, they'd want to know what to do with the other office items. So I added a lesson on that for them.  

That January, I also did a traditional DCA-style launch, with a free masterclass called The Proven Path to Conquer Your Paper Clutter for Good. Please trust me. Amy absolutely knows what she is talking about. I followed DCA instructions to the letter, and I had three powerhouse webinars.  

Here are some of the details. I promoted webinar registration to my list and to my Facebook group, which were pretty much the same people. I had a five-page e-book called Setting Up Your Desk for Success. That was a show-up bonus. I had a fast-action bonus called Print Photo Organizing Made Easy, which was a forty-five-minute lesson from a nationwide photo expert.  

I didn't do any paid ads at all for this launch. My sales were 100 percent organic. It was just too much for me to take on ads that first time. 

My cart was open for nine days, and two people used the two-payment method, but there were no refund requests. In fact, now that I've done my fifth launch, I have had scores of students and still have never had a refund request. So that thrills me because I know that I am over delivering and giving them what I promised. 

At the end of that January launch, thirty-six more people purchased The Paper Cleanse course at the regular price of two hundred ninety-seven dollars. When you add it all up, with the closet e-book upsell and the first-ten introductory sales, I made an astounding sixteen thousand four hundred fifty-four dollars, a five-figure first-ten launch. I was so excited with those results, which resulted in me attracting over seventy students. Adhering to my business model of giving back, that included granting scholarships to seven students as well. 

I think what worked was that I had been nurturing my list, which really helped them know, like, and trust me. I had a small-ticket item available first, which got them used to the idea of buying from me. And people wanted to be part of it from the start. In fact, the majority of those first twenty-eight students are in my Clarity Connection membership now.  

I find that I can manage running an online business well. I'm semi-retired, so I fit in my launches and my membership community around my social life and extensive traveling. And I do have a virtual assistant to help as well.  

To summarize, just follow along and do exactly what Amy teaches. If you can get ten people to pay you even a low, introductory rate, I believe that totally validates your course idea. Then, use them to shape and create the course that will get them to the transformation you promised. And I hope you will be just like me and have sixty-four paying students and a five-figure launch, as well as the framework in place to continue launching successfully over and over again. 

AMY: Next up, meet my student, Lydia Martin. Lydia’s story showcases how she successfully deployed the first-ten strategy to develop a new course in her business. She did this all while seamlessly maintaining her existing commitments.  

Now, I love how Lydia is living proof that the first ten is a strategy not just for beginners, but for those looking to grow and scale their business, too.  

Now, as we dive into Lydia’s story, I want you to zone in on how she stumbled upon her new course idea. Pay particular attention to how she describes those moments in her life when people would ask her, “How are you doing that?” My friend, that question isn't just casual curiosity. It's a gateway into understanding what makes your knowledge unique and valuable. It's a sign what they're asking about is a digital course begging to be created.  

So let's dive in and hear from Lydia herself. 

LYDIA MARTIN: I’m Lydia Martin with Banish Business Clutter. And the first time I implemented the first-ten strategy was with my course Challenge Launch Roadmap. This is a program that teaches entrepreneurs how to launch their offers, with a three- to five-day challenge. The goal is to help them turn cold leads into raving fans who can't wait to buy their course. Like Amy, I love helping people live life with more freedom and impact.  

And ironically, this course came about because of the first course that I launched. My very first program that I launched in 2020 was called the Digital Clutter Cure, and I successfully launched that course multiple times over two years, with a free four- to five-day challenge. And because of that experience, I fell in love with challenge launches.  

Now, thanks to Amy and Digital Course Academy, I have been able to add so many of her tips to my challenge launches, and I feel like that's why they have been so successful. But a lot of people began asking me every time I would do one of the launches for my Digital Clutter Cure program, “How are you generating so much interest in your free challenge? And how are you, then, converting so many students into that course?” I definitely had a desire to create a program that would walk people step by step how to implement challenges into their business strategy, but I already had my launch calendar planned for my other program. And so I didn't want to stop earning revenue to all of a sudden now create a new signature program.  

So instead of putting my regular launch schedule on hold, I decided that the first-ten strategy would actually help me build this new signature program, Challenge Launch Roadmap, alongside everything I was already doing for my Digital Clutter Cure program. And I'm so glad I decided to do it this way because by offering the first-ten strategy, meaning I offered the opportunity for those on my list to join Challenge Launch Roadmap while I built that course. And I not only got my first ten, but once we started, I continued to offer that program to my personal clients, those who were reaching out to me about launching with a challenge, and I ended up with twenty people who said, “Yes, I want to be in your Challenge Launch Roadmap program before it's even completed.”  

So I knew, at some point I was going to live launch this program through a challenge, of course, since it was a course that teaches about how to launch with a challenge, but I really didn’t have time to do that launch right away. And so I used the first-ten strategy to build this course while I was doing everything else in my business. I knew when I launched it that I was going to sell it for nineteen ninety-seven. But I really wanted to make it a no-brainer opportunity, so I offered it for six ninety-seven, and when I extended the invitation, ten people signed up right away. And then, over the next few weeks, I welcomed ten more. And so those twenty students were with me as I delivered this program live.  

So, I invited them into a Facebook group, and every week for about ten weeks, I would go live in the group to teach a new module and any lessons that were included in that module. But the beautiful thing about this experience is that I was able to deliver this content live.  

Now, that might not be for everyone, but I actually prefer teaching live versus pre-recording videos for my courses. The reason why it works for me is I feel I have so much more energy and excitement when I know there are live members watching. I also love the experience of having live members because they can give feedback and ask questions in the moment.  

Now, when you're doing a live training like this, I always keep in mind how it will be viewable for the replay viewers. So often, I would answer their questions at the end of the video. That way, I could easily edit out anything that didn't apply to the training. But often, the questions that live members would ask prompted me to give more clarity around what I was teaching. So it gave me the ability to improve what I was sharing live and in real time.  

So after our ten weeks together, with me delivering a live training each week, I, then, was able to package up that program, and I was able to add all of the branding and all of the thumbnails, and we created guides, and we created templates. All of the things I knew I wanted to create in the final product, I was able to build out over time.  

So the first-ten strategy gave me the opportunity to work with twenty students. I was able to generate fourteen thousand dollars, which paid me while I was building the course. And then, when I was ready, everything was built, created, and I was able to do that live launch.  

Now, before I implemented this first-ten strategy, I had around four thousand people on my email list. And because it was still an investment of six ninety-seven, I extended the invitation to about five hundred people on my list. So I didn't necessarily send it out to everyone. I sent it out to a segmented group of people, people that I had either worked with, people who had joined my launch strategies Facebook group, people that I knew were working to build digital courses, or people thinking about implementing a challenge. And so I was very strategic in sharing it with a select group of people.  

Obviously, this is a different experience than if I would have been doing this strategy for my very first launch. But for those of you that have already launched a program and now you want to add a new program to what you offer, this was such a great way to get that program built.  

All I did was send a few emails to this group of about five hundred people, and I personally reached out to them. If we were already connected as Facebook friends, I would send an audio or video message. I was sending personal emails. I definitely took the time to do that personal touch. I feel like that is truly what made the biggest difference in getting my first ten and the next ten signing up. And being able to create that course with twenty students gave me confidence, it created an amazing community, and it gave me so many testimonials that when we officially launched, I had what I call groupies. And those groupies, they are your biggest fans. They're your biggest advocates. And when you do your launch, they're there cheering everybody on and encouraging them to jump in.  

Utilizing the first-ten strategy made such a difference in ensuring that I got this course created. And that was the most successful thing for me, because if I had just told myself, “Well, I'm just going to build this as I have time,” it would have taken me much, much longer. But because I had twenty students in there that were counting on me, it forced me to go live every week to get that content created. Once all the live training was done, I was able to work with my team to get all of those additional assets and resources put together, but it made the process so much easier.  

One of the great things about kicking off a program with this small group of people, you have a little bit of flexibility. And as long as you have really good communication, they are there to work with you. They're cheering you on. They're giving you feedback as you go along. I know a lot of times people utilize the first-ten strategy, and then they do a live launch, and then everyone is in the program together. So I did use the first-ten strategy to actually create that course. And then, I officially live launched it, when it was all packaged up and ready to go. 

Because I had the opportunity to work with those twenty people, I was able to create something very special, something I felt very confident about when I officially opened the doors and did a complete live launch. We ended up welcoming almost fifty members into the program, and generating over sixty-eight thousand dollars.  

So whether this is the first course you are launching or a second program that you're wanting to create, I highly recommend implementing the first-ten strategy. I think it's an amazing opportunity for any new offer that you have in your business. 

AMY: And last but certainly not least, let me introduce you to my student, Dr. Rachel Gainsbrugh. I love how Rachel's first-ten story illustrates the importance of meticulously creating free value and building an email list to set a launch up for success. And if you know me, then you know the mantra I always say: always be list building. It's one of my favorites. Be sure to listen to the end of Rachel's story, where she reveals how much money she makes now with her digital-course business, because it's going to knock your socks off. And it all started with finding the courage to put her first-ten launch out into the world. 

RACHEL GAINSBRUGH: Hello. This is Dr. Rachel Gainsbrugh, creator of the digital course Luxury Short-Term Rental Academy. I help busy professionals find, fund, furnish, and self-manage their very own short-term rental, in just eight weeks, without wasting time, money, or overanalyzing each step of the process. 

The first-ten strategy that Amy teaches in DCA is an absolute game changer. I still remember the night that I was about to send that very first email, just agonizing over the Send button. The very next morning, after hitting Send, approximately fifteen people in that email list raised their hand, stating, “I'm interested. I'm interested,” which was so encouraging for me because this is the very first time that I had created anything like this before.  

Ultimately, I had the perfect ten that enrolled in the program, and I made a whopping seven thousand nine hundred seventy dollars. You see, the program offer was seven hundred ninety-seven dollars per person. And this is a price point that I actually agonized over because in health care, a lot of our community have student loans. I was really concerned about that. And although they generate a good amount of revenue, there are some limitations, you know, because of the student loans, and they can be quite frugal. But since I didn’t know that this offer to create a short-term rental that is profitable was going to be a money-generating offer, I did intend on the final price, once we officially launched, to be at two thousand eight hundred dollars.  

Well, things escalated, for sure, because fast forward to today. We have a program that is extended in its timeline. So initially it was an eight-week program, and now it is a six-month full-service coaching program. And I've been able to retire from a pharmacy practice and fully embrace entrepreneurship. And now the program is a whopping fifteen-thousand-dollar investment for this full-service coaching offer.  

So needless to say, for those initial first ten enrollees, they received a substantial discount for their early support and faith in me and in the program that we co-created together. For the first ten, my goal was to keep the cart open for five days, but due to a couple of email snafus, we ended up landing at ten days.  

Speaking of email, oh my goodness, we were able to grow my email list in three months from just one email—long story short, it was my cat—to one hundred seven email subscribers. And I didn't have a really robust social-media presence, so I started a small Facebook group, and I would go live. Once a week I would share real-estate insight and provide value in my Facebook group. At the end of the lives, I would offer my lead magnet. And to be honest, I went through a couple of lead magnets that just were not resonating with the community and really had to go back to the drawing board. And Amy did a training on, “Why is your lead magnet not converting?” And so once I went back to the drawing board and I took her insights to heart, the next lead magnet that I created was on. Oh my goodness, it really resonated with the community. And I got to tell you, I use that lead magnet to this day.  

So instead of collecting four or five emails per week, this new lead magnet was yielding me anywhere from fifteen to twenty emails per week. So I started sharing this lead magnet every opportunity that I could. And there was another Facebook group where the coach there is also a real-estate coach, but she specialized in fix and flip, which is a totally different offer from what I had, and so she allowed me to share in her Facebook group some education. I provided some support, added value, answered questions that she didn't necessarily know the answers to because her expertise was in a different field of real estate than mine. And she appreciated that. And so with that came the opportunity again and again to share my lead magnet. I provided education and would share my lead magnet at the end because I was on a mission to grow that email list before I launched my first ten. 

So, after consistently being present and sharing in her group as well, she invited me to be a speaker at a real-estate summit that she was holding virtually. And so at the end of that summit, once I shared my lead magnet that day, my email list grew by twenty emails, which was huge for me at that time. And that was a big win. And by the end of the next week, my email list continued to grow by three or four extra emails per week, just from that summit alone. And that's how we were able to get our email list to a hundred seven, right before we launched our first-ten strategy, because our goal was to get to one hundred emails on our email list.  

I still remember the day that we launched our first ten, and we closed our cart with our ten members, and I got to tell you, the feeling was exhilarating. Just imagine never creating a digital product before, and still not quite having one that is ready to go, but collecting seven thousand nine hundred seventy dollars. What a shot in the arm. It totally blew my mind. And what really was a win for me was knowing that these members were eager, and they were engaged, and they were hungry to learn about this new opportunity that had transformed my life. And just to know that they entrusted me to help them get to that next path, and they wanted to co-create it with me, to me, that was the ultimate measure of success.  

So although I was shooting for ten, I got to be completely honest. If I had five that had joined, I would have been more than happy. That's really where my mindset was. But to double that, it's, like, such a game changer. It gave me the momentum, it gave me the extra revenue, that really gave me a bit of confidence that I can do this.  

And so what I did was knowing that my schedule was quite busy and knowing the demands that I had in my personal life—I have a whole husband, two kids, three dogs, full-time job—right away I hired a virtual assistant for about eight dollars or so per hour, and she worked with me for three to four hours per week. And believe it or not, that made a significant difference.  

We did encounter a few messy situations during the launch, and this is why I refer to my launches as my hot-mess launches. And so if I can give or offer any advice to those with multiple responsibilities that are struggling to create a digital course, it would be to ask for help as soon as possible. Even just two hours per week with a virtual assistant, it can make a very big difference. 

And ditch the thought of perfection. It's not going to be perfect. Even to this day, my launches are nowhere near perfect. But we are still able to generate more than a meaningful amount of revenue in our business. So ditch perfection and get help as quickly as possible.  

So the first-ten strategy has really paved the way for our business and our future success. It really made a believer out of me. To generate revenue without necessarily punching a clock was such an aha moment. It created a momentum. It lit a fire inside of me, inside of my, you know, my endeavors in creating a course. But completing that process with our members has really transformed our business as a whole.  

As a matter of fact, we used the first-ten strategy for our membership launch. We use it for my spotlight course. Just the feedback that we receive from our first ten members and students has helped me to refine and repeat and continue to provide and improve upon the content, the structure, the deliverables. And the insights that we get from our members allow us to make improvements. And this is really what has helped to transform and morph that eight-week course into a full-service, six-month VIP coaching program, which I absolutely love.  

And so as a result of making those drastic changes from the first ten, we're seeing a lot of student wins, a lot of positive results, a lot of satisfaction from our members. And we're also seeing a stickiness, an opportunity to keep our members in our ecosystem and in a membership capacity as well. 

Thanks to DCA, Amy. Thank you so much. Thank you for this strategy, this momentum that this first ten has given us to see that initial revenue. And thank you for giving us permission to take imperfect action. Because of you, because of DCA, we have crossed the million-dollar mark in revenue in our digital course and coaching program. I am just over the moon, and I am eternally grateful to you, Amy and Team Porterfield, for all of the support, all of the guidance, the wisdom, and the wherewithal to give us the step by step of this first-ten strategy. It gave me the motivation that I needed and has created such a transformational journey for me, my family, for the winning students in our course, for our membership. I'm just so excited that I get to help busy professionals, full time, as well as burnt-out professionals, achieve their goal through this strategy. And so I thank you, thank you, thank you. 

AMY: And there you have it. I hope these four inspiring stories have shown you the power of the first-ten strategy. You can see how this framework offers massive time savings and helps generate revenue quickly in your business. But I think more than anything, it sets your mind at ease, knowing that people will pay for what you're creating.  

And while I shared stories of successful first-ten launches in this episode, I want you to know that not having a successful first-ten launch is not a loss. It's a lesson. It means you've saved yourself from creating something that your audience doesn't want or won't buy. It's a chance to go back and refine your offer and reimagine the transformation and the promise that you're making to your future students.  

Let's face it. There's no magic wand for overnight success in the online-business world, but there are frameworks, like the first-ten strategy, that can fast track your way to building your dream business. More than anything, I hope this episode was able to instill in you the belief that you possess what it takes to make it as a digital-course creator. Because of all the students you heard from today, while they hold a special place in my heart, they're not special. I'm not special. Our abilities and potential are the same as yours. So let's not delay your dreams of being your own boss and impacting the world with your digital course. Let's build something beautiful together.  

If you're listening to this in real time, the doors to Digital Course Academy are now open, and you can learn more about joining this incredible community by visiting amyporterfield.com/dca. That's amyporterfield.com/dca.  

Thanks for joining me for another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.