I’ve been reflecting a lot lately and I don’t actually believe I’ve shared my big why behind why I left my agency. Today, I want to share that story and talk a little bit about what is wrong in the online coaching and course industry today and also share the importance of focusing and following one course until successful.
My two initiatives
I started my agency when I was 20 years old. We did ‘done–for-you’ website design, social media marketing, Facebook ads, etc… In 2019, I decided to move my agency forward, as well as to move my coaching and consulting business forward. From the outside things looked amazing.
2019 was one of our most successful years in terms of the sales number, but it was probably one of our least profitable years that I ever had. We had a lot of overhead with the team and wanting to move two initiatives forward didn’t help either.
I was moving two different and very big things forward, but I wasn’t doing either one of them very well. My focus was splintered! I was in constant pull of these two different initiatives. I had to take a good hard look at why I even wanted to do my business, the Business Ecosystem Builders Group program. It was twofold.
Coaching & Teaching
I loved the coaching and teaching aspect. I loved watching people move their businesses forward. We were also getting great feedback from our clients. Our coaching became more popular than the social media, the website or whatever else we were offering. So that gave me this really strong pull towards it. However, after being in an agency for 16 years at the time, I could see that there was a big change coming to social media (and I still believe that there are going to be some massive changes on the horizon for social media!) I just knew that from a done-for-you perspective, things would change very rapidly.
The average entrepreneur isn’t going to need somebody. They’ll need an assistant, but they aren’t necessarily going to need somebody in the way in which my agency was doing things.
As a result of being behind the scenes for so long, I witnessed things that allowed me to see just how broken the online coaching industry was and still is. This cycle of “Sell them into whatever that next thing is. Let me pivot to whatever this next trend is. Let me just trail these people along. Let me spend nearly as much on ads as I am making in a launch. Let me…”
So in the end it was more of a three-fold experience:
- I really loved doing it and our clients gave us amazing feedback
- The social media landscape is/ was rapidly changing
- I saw so much about how the coaching industry was broken and I could very clearly see what was missing
The fact of the matter is many of the people that you see in the online world doing these really big launches were not necessarily as successful as they appeared. When you pulled back the curtain and looked at the numbers, you’d be astonished! They would be in a program with an influencer that was bigger than them or another “guru” and they would literally just repurpose the content from that program.
I will never forget, I signed up for the Alex Charfen program and later in one of the masterminds that I was a part of, I was surprised to see, that they had literally taken all of the financial documents from his program, changed the colors and slapped their logo on it!
There was/ is this overall lack of understanding and integrity around
- repurposing other people’s content without permission
- a lack of understanding of how their strategy, their marketing, and their technology integrated together
It was this constant hamster wheel, of just selling clients into whatever this next thing was and not really delivering them everything that they needed in a single program so that they could move forward. I got really sick and tired of that. Unfortunately, it still is a really broken model and it doesn’t serve clients. That’s why I created the Business Ecosystem Builders program, which takes a done-with-you approach.
I understand that everything in the online space is integrated, so your tech has to work with your marketing and your strategy and your mindset, and then your ability to take action on that will literally determine your success.
FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Successful!
Let’s look at this concept of focus You’ve heard me say this before, I’ll say it again and again, and again… FOCUS, Follow One Course Until Successful. This is my pushback to the BS that goes on in the online coaching and course industry.
I will give you a simple breakdown of a formula that you can use if you want to grow an online course business. It is super important that you stick with it!
Too often, people implement it and go through the whole process and it’s not necessarily as successful as they want. Now, instead of massaging and tweaking it, they go and hit the reset button.
My seven-step Business Ecosystem Building formula
I’m going to share with you my seven-step formula that you can use to create a course and scale it. In my Business Ecosystem Builders program, my goal is to help people build a multi-six and seven-figure course business with one signature program.
The most important thing you need to figure out is what is your signature program? I truly believe you can build a million-dollar business with just one signature program. I’m not saying that if you are a coach that you should keep doing your one-on-one coaching. No, it should be a program that is $1,000 and up. It could be a $5,000 or a $10,000 program. It has to be a signature program. It’s basically your life’s work.
Also, if you are considering creating a program, I highly recommend that you do one-on-one work first. Often, people get into this space of wanting to create a program, but they haven’t done the work of actually working one-on-one with clients. The problem with that is you ultimately don’t really know who your ideal client is yet.
Step 1: Define your signature program
Typically, it’s over $1,000 or $2,000 and it’s the thing that you basically spent your life working towards. For me, that’s the Business Ecosystem Builders. That is my stance against, “Here’s the one program that you need to successfully build a seven-figure business or a multi-six-figure business.”
Step 2: Pick an ancillary product that supports that
How can someone get a taste of what it’s like to work with you? I have my signature program, which is a $7,500 or $10,000 investment. Then I have a couple of ancillary products. (remember, I’ve been at this for quite some time!) I have my Social Made Simple program, which is a $37 self-study course and we also offer it in a live version, and I have my foundation.
As you start to scale up your business, you can add multiple ancillary products. But if you are just starting with courses, programs and memberships pick one ancillary products.
What is the product that you could potentially either pull out of your signature program, or create something that addresses the problem that the ideal client believes they have? What product meets them exactly where they are and helps them move forward? Sounds really complicated, but it’s easier than you think, especially if you have your signature program mapped out.
Step 3: Understand your avatar/ human/ ICA/ ideal client
Whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand who your ideal client is! I have really been pushing my clients to understand who that human is. One of the biggest mistakes I see is that they don’t dig deep enough to understand the fears, the motivations, the why, and all the things that come up for their ideal client.
If you don’t know who your human is, then your marketing will reflect that. You won’t talk about the transformation or the pain points, and you won’t really get your ideal client to say, “Hey, how did so and so get inside my head!” Ultimately that is what you want to do with your marketing, and that’s how well you need to know your avatar.
One signature program, one ancillary product, and one avatar.
Step 4: Pick two social media platforms
Don’t do more than two social media platforms, because you won’t be able to do them well if you are truly showing up on those platforms.
Step 5: Pick one type of macro content
Macro content is blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, Facebook Lives. Pick one type of macro content and stick with it. Macro content is an asset in your business when it comes to marketing and it will truly pay you dividends for years to come if it’s SEO properly. If you don’t do the SEO well, you won’t see the benefits from all your work.
So, choose a piece of macro content and implement it really well.
Step 6: Weekly emails
Weekly emails to your list are very important and something you need to do.
Step 7: Be consistent
You need to be consistent on social media, with your macro content and your emails. However, if you do these things and you follow this course and you stick with it for the better part of the year, you will be able to build a really amazing business!
Why I believe you need to follow one course until you’re successful
I believe you need to follow one course until you’re successful because the traditional model in the online business world tells you that you create this course, you launch it and then you go, and you create another one. You just keep creating courses, essentially hitting the reset button. I genuinely believe that’s part of the reason why the vast majority of entrepreneurs struggle to be successful. They’re constantly hitting that big red reset button on themselves.
If you are constantly hitting the reset button, you won’t be able to learn from the data and the marketing, and the information that you have. You will forgo your ability to take the acquired data and improve upon what you have and increase client retention, the client experience, the deliverability, and the systems.
That’s part of the reason why I think the industry is really broken. I believe you have to learn from your launch and do it all over again. Continuing to do that is where you learn and where you become more profitable.
- It’s also where you create a better client experience.
- It’s where you create a better program.
- It’s where you create better deliverables. It’s where you create better onboarding systems.
Look at somebody like Marie Forleo, she does really well with her B-School. She has built her business around this one product and turned it into a multi-million-dollar business.
It is also possible for you and I truly believe that if you say, “For the next year or two years, I’m going to focus on this one signature program and this one ancillary product, and this one avatar,” then you can establish yourself as THAT person in that particular niche, as the go-to person.
Does this create more freedom in my life?
I honestly believe that’s how you can simply and easily create a multi-six or a multi-seven figure business and have more freedom in your life. That is one of my goals. I have a little note on my desk that says, “Does this create more freedom in my life?” If it doesn’t, I’m saying no to it.
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