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Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Curious about how to actually create and sell an online course? Today we have the world’s top expert on online courses, Amy Porterfield, sharing her best tips on how to build and launch a digital course, why the time is NOW, and why the teacher should be YOU!
Curious about how to create an online course that actually sells? Today we’re re-sharing a conversation with the world’s top expert on online courses, Amy Porterfield. She offers her best tips on how to build and launch a digital course, why the time is NOW, and why the teacher should be YOU (yes, you)!
So you’ve heard all about the benefits of creating and selling digital courses: they boost your business revenue and give you more freedom, all while allowing you to reach more people and transform more lives. Yes, please! But where do you learn how to create an online course that resonates with your soul, your vision, and your audience?
Where should you start?
And — here’s a big one: How do you deal with the almost-inevitable Imposter Syndrome that comes up when you’re getting ready to put yourself out there?
So today, we’re taking on these intertwined issues when it comes to how to create an online course:
Learning how to create an online course doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It always helps to have a great guide. And today’s guest is one of the very best you could ask for.
My incredible guest today is Amy Porterfield, an online marketing expert and the host of the top-ranked podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy. Before building a multi-million dollar digital course business, Amy worked with mega brands like Harley-Davidson and Peak Performance Coach, Tony Robbins, where she oversaw the content team and collaborated on ground-breaking online marketing campaigns.
Through her bestselling courses and popular podcast, Amy’s action-by-action approach proves that even the newest online entrepreneurs can bypass the overwhelm, and instead generate exciting momentum as they build a business they love.
In the run-up to her to the launch of her acclaimed Digital Course Academy, we’re revisiting some past conversations that I know have helped so many in our Success With Soul community!
In this interview from last year, we’re covering topics any entrepreneur needs to learn how to create and online course:
Amy is enthusiastic and so generous with her teaching. This convo is a mini-masterclass in digital course creation!
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
Amy’s Digital Course Academy is launching soon! Watch the blog for more announcements.
Short answer: NOPE! Just because someone out there is offering a course on the same or similar topic does NOT mean there’s no place for yours. Quite the opposite! In this conversation, Amy isn’t just talking about the practical aspects of how to create an online course. She also goes into detail today about how to have confidence that YOU are the right teacher for your course at this time.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. This is Kate Kordsmeier, your host and we are doing something a little bit different for the next few weeks. In honor of digital course Academy opening up, we are going to do an amazing series all about online courses. To kick things off, we're actually republishing some of our favorite episodes on the subject of digital courses, as we're leading up to open enrollment for digital course Academy which starts on September 21 2021. So throughout the next few weeks, you're going to hear all about digital courses and how to create a profitable, scalable business using your course from all different kinds of experts, including Amy Porterfield herself, myself, yours truly, and some other experts that have come on the show before. We're also going to give you the opportunity to get a bunch of freebies over the next month and a half while we are in this series of online courses. So stay tuned and if you have any questions or you want to learn more about how to create a profitable online course head to Katekordsmeier.com/DCA to learn more. And now for an oldie but a goodie. Is this the twilight zone or Episode 21 of the Success with Soul podcast because Amy Porterfield is in the house today. I know I can barely believe it myself. little old me Kate Kordsmeier your host is chatting with big time big league. Big deal. Amy Porterfield. If you are unfamiliar with Amy and have just been living under a rock She is an entrepreneur and host of the online marketing Made Easy podcast easily one of my very favorite business podcasts ever. But that's not all. Amy has a multi million dollar digital course business. Yes, as in she makes many millions of dollars through an online business that she started herself. She has been my mentor for many years now. I love her action by action approach. And I was a student of her digital course Academy one of her digital courses on you guessed it digital courses a little meta I know. But Amy is the real deal. She teaches business owners, educators and entrepreneurs the profitable action steps for building a highly engaged email list. She also has an incredible course called list builder society. And I just love the way that Amy's authentic online marketing strategies help you sell with ease. I am so ecstatic that she is here with us today. And we are talking all about digital courses. How to start one why now is the right time with step by step advice of how to get started and how blogs and digital courses are a match made in heaven. And it's actually perfect timing because next week on September 21 Amy's digital course Academy opens for enrollment the first time and only time it will be open for the rest of the year. We've created a special bonus suite for our listeners. So if you are interested in buying Amy's digital course Academy and you want to get some extra bonuses from yours truly, head on over to KateKordsmeier.com/DCA when the cart opens to check it out. Without further ado, let's get into it. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalists turned CEO of a multi six figure blog in online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kay create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. Here's your host writer, educator, mom recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier Amy friggin Porterfield, welcome to Success with Soul.
Amy Porterfield 4:20
Well, thanks so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this. This is gonna be a fun conversation.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:25
Oh my gosh, it is such an honor to have you here. You've been such a mentor of mine for so long unknowingly, probably as I was just one of your students and we had the opportunity to meet what was that February like right before all this Corona? craziness. Yeah, no, exactly. I'm glad we snuck that in. And yeah, you I mean, I know you hear this all the time, but without trying to go like Jimmy Fallon on you and just like gush over you the entire interview. I just have to say, you know, you just totally changed my life. It was after I took DCA that I had my first Six Figure at lunch. And just my whole business is different now. And it's all because of you, girl.
Amy Porterfield 5:04
That means the world to me, I never take that lightly. And it was really fun. Because when you and I got to spend some time together, we were out out to dinner, and we got to sit next to each other. And just hearing about your business and how you've grown it and what that looks like, I live for that stuff. So when you invited me to come here to talk about digital courses, I love to talk to somebody else who's been in the trenches and done it. So yeah, that it's so cool to see what you've done. I love it.
Kate Kordsmeier 5:29
Thank you. Yeah, it's been so fun following along. And I still go back and reference DCA all the time. And, you know, we used it to launch this past January and then also put our course on evergreen now. And so I used your bonus module for that. And it's been working like gangbusters, but it is not easy to set up. I'll tell you that.
Amy Porterfield 5:51
It's some work. It definitely takes some work, it pays off. But you got to get in there and do it.
Kate Kordsmeier 5:56
Yeah, but your training and your tech guy, Dave is awesome. We actually hired him ourselves to do some tech trainings for our course. Yeah, without it, I would have been totally lost. So thank you. Oh, cool. Yeah. Okay, so let's just give everybody if you've never heard of Amy, and you've just been living under a rock, tell us like your very brief story of how you got to be the queen of digital courses. And yeah, your background, all that. Okay,
Amy Porterfield 6:27
I'll give you a short version. So I have always been a corporate girl, never in my life did I think I'd be an entrepreneur, I always thought I would climb that corporate ladder and be a big shot with the corner office with all the windows, but corporate was my destination. And it's funny, because I didn't grow up thinking I was going to be my own boss, or I would create this or invent that. However, what happened was, my last corporate job was with Tony Robbins. And for seven years, I got to work on the content that Tony would do on stages, like unleash the power within date with destiny, if you know that world at all. And then in his digital products, and that's where I got this idea that creating digital products is really a business changer. I saw what it did inside Tony's business. Now, there was this one moment when I was working with Tony that he invited a bunch of internet marketers to the office, because he wanted to talk to them about the businesses they built and what that looks like he was getting more into digital courses. And it was humbling. I was asked to come to the meeting to take notes at a separate table. So I wasn't invited to the table. I was at a separate table, literally just taking notes. And when I got into this world, it was all men. So like basically the whole table was a bunch of guys talking about how creative they got to be and the courses they created and the lifestyle that they had because of the work they were doing. They have more time with their family and to take vacations and they they were being able to make an impact. They were making good money. And my ears perked up and I thought what are these guys doing? I don't even know what they're talking about. But I want it. So that's how clueless I was in that moment. And so over the next year, as I worked for Tony, I started to explore digital courses and how to create them and what that might look like. And about a year from that fateful meeting, I took the leap and I went out on my own. So I left my corporate job, I started my online business, I still had no idea how to create a course for myself. So I started to consult for social media. And for two years, I built a business I hated. So I had a bunch of clients. I was doing their social media, and I hated it. It just wasn't for me. You know, some people love working one on one with clients. I do not. And so I realized, holy cow, I left my big, fat corporate job that paid well, I got to work with Tony Robbins. I left that job to start my own thing and I started a business I did not love. So after about two years, I decided I'm going to finally create my first digital course. And so I buckled down and I got it done. I launched it out into the world. And it flopped. It was not a success. I made $267 this is after watching other people make millions. So I'm like What is going on? Thank God I stuck with it though. I got back in the trenches. I created another course I learned more about my audience. I grew my email list. And over the years I've been able to create eight successful digital courses, build a multi million dollar business. I don't consult I don't coach, I don't have a mastermind. I have digital courses and that is 88% of my revenue are just to digital courses that I create and sell ongoing. And so that's where I am today and I live in Carlsbad, California. My husband's a San Diego firefighter. I have an 18 year old Step seven that I love dearly has been in my life since he's been four years old. And we have a dog scout so that's my life.
Kate Kordsmeier 9:58
I love it. I also i Have a cat scout so yeah, really I've never known another scout. That's a cat. I love that. Well, we're really lame and nerds and we have two cats scout and Boo Radley. And
Amy Porterfield 10:11
I was gonna say that's where my scout came from. So, yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:16
Yeah. And then my daughter is now she just came along in May and her name is Gemma. But we call her gem a lot. And then my aunt was like, is that like gem from? Like, you guys are really taking this to the next level? Oh my god, I didn't even think about that. I'm so embarrassed. But so good, though.
Amy Porterfield 10:34
I mean, the book is worth all the names. It's so good. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:37
So okay, what a good story. And we actually have so many parallels in our stories, too, especially in terms of like going out on your own leaving this big corporate job having a few moments of like, what have I done, and then launching and just flopping and it's so good to hear. I think, you know, we can all look at somebody like you today and say, Oh my gosh, she's just always had her shit together. She's always been where you are. You've always been a multimillion dollar entrepreneur. And it's nice to know, like, everyone starts somewhere.
Amy Porterfield 11:13
Oh, yeah, started zero people on my email list, not making any money, totally freaked out, how the heck am I going to pay the bills? I didn't leave corporate with a big savings. So it was scary times.
Kate Kordsmeier 11:24
Yeah, that was gonna be one of my questions was, what was your plan, when you did leave? Did you have like a cushion or something set up or, you know, a guarantee that you were going to make something when you got?
Amy Porterfield 11:36
I wish I did. So what I did have is at nights, and in the morning, when I was still at corporate, I started to put some stuff together, put some offers together to do social media for small businesses. So when I left Tony Robbins, I had two clients that were paying me on retainer, and thank God because I genuinely did not have a savings. My husband and I just got married. And so that was new to us. He wasn't making a ton of money. He wasn't even a firefighter at the time. And I definitely wasn't making a lot. So those were those first two years 2010 2011 the scariest years of not knowing if I'd have enough money, and there was this voice in my head that kept saying, if you don't make this work, you're going back to your job. How embarrassing would that be? You quit, you started your own thing. You're an entrepreneur. And now you have to go back to a job. So here's the thing, if that ever happened, it's not going to kill me. It wasn't the worst thing that could happen. But at the same time, I just lived in fear all the time. And if I were to do it all over again, I would just tell myself, we're just gonna figure this out no matter what we're gonna figure something out. And but I will say those first two years will were full of a lot of fear.
Kate Kordsmeier 12:48
Yeah, yes, I can totally relate. And 2010 is also when I quit my corporate job. Oh, gosh, we're here. I had no. Yeah, I love it. Okay, so you started digital courses and tell us for anybody that's like, what is what even is a digital course? What is this whole industry? I think a lot of people now that I'm in this business, too. And I tell people this what I do that a lot of people look at me with these blank stares like, Huh?
Amy Porterfield 13:14
Oh, for sure. My mom and dad still are very confused about what I do. And we're 11 years in. So when I talk about digital courses, what I'm talking about is let's say there's a listener, someone listening right now. And let's say that they are an accountant, a tax accountant. And they work one on one with clients. They've got this expertise, they've been doing this for years, but they just want something different, they want more freedom, they don't want to go into an office every day, they want to make more money, they want to make a bigger impact one on one, you can only work with so many people. But when you scale a business, you can work with so many more. And so what that tax accountant would do is take the expertise and turn that into a training, which is a digital course. So you are going to think about all the different things that you could teach someone to do their own taxes, what are the different areas you can teach? What are the questions you get asked Where do people get stuck, and you turn those into individual training videos that put it all together that becomes your digital course. You might add some video, some audio, some PDFs, maybe you start a Facebook group only for your students and you show up live and you you can teach them and that way as well. But you are teaching your expertise, skill set and knowledge. And I gotta jump in here because one of the things when I teach people or explain to people what digital courses, they instantly say yeah, but I'm not the expert of all experts. I don't have a master's degree. I don't have certification, like Who am I to be teaching something like that? And what I always say is all you need is a 10% edge. And by 10% edge. I mean you have gotten results for yourself. You've gotten results for somebody else. And you can teach how you got those results. You just need to be 10 steps ahead of somebody who's saying, How did you do that? And you teach them how you did it. So a digital course does not need to be overwhelming. It doesn't need to be 100 videos, it doesn't need to take you six months to create. This is something you could do in a short amount of time.
Kate Kordsmeier 15:22
Yeah, I love that because imposter syndrome. I mean, I teach people how to create profitable blogs. And same question gets asked all the time, this imposter syndrome, who am I? Why would anybody care. And I think that's such a good point. And something I also tell everybody, and we just, I think what we forget, too, is that sometimes people don't want to learn from the absolute for most expert, like they want somebody who's a little more relatable to where they are and their thing. So if you're teaching weight loss, if you've never struggled with weight, then you know, maybe you're not the person to talk to or if you lost 100 pounds, but it was 20 years ago, and you've kept it off the whole time. It's like, I don't know, can you relate to being in this exact spot right where I am. And so I think, you know, we try to just tell people, like, everybody has that unique story, and the world needs to hear it. And if you know a little bit more than somebody else, you can help them.
Amy Porterfield 16:21
It's so true. You just reminded me of one of my favorite stories. So I have a student Her name is Katrina u bell. And Katrina was a busy female physician. So she's a doctor working nights, she's working crazy shifts, grabbing every snack, she can, if she runs out the door, she's not sleeping well, not exercising, and she gained 50 pounds, and she was miserable. She didn't have energy to do her job. She felt depressed, it was just like a really dark place for her. And so she decided enough is enough, I'm losing this weight. So over the next few months, Katrina lost the 50 pounds, and she's feeling good. She's looking good. And she's showing up at work and other female physicians that she worked with are saying, How did you do that? Will you show me what you did. And she had her unique plan of how she ate and where she found the time to exercise. And for busy female physicians, it's a different world versus somebody else having a totally different job. So she started to coach one on one with a few of her co workers and realized there's only one of me, and I can't do this for a long time. So because these women wanted to know how she did it, she created a digital course. Now she did create a digital course for every woman in the world who wanted to learn how to lose weight. It was for busy female physicians because she could relate to them. And she got Katrina got results for herself. So she created this digital course, never has launched anything online. She's like me, I'm a doctor. I don't know online marketing. I don't even know how to do this. But she just followed the steps and figured it out as she went. And the first time she launched her digital course, she made over $250,000, with her first digital course, for busy female physicians on how to lose weight. Super nice, super specific. And she did not know anything about online marketing before. And I tell this story, because all of us have a course in us all of us have an expertise that people want to know how did you do that? And if you never marketed anything online, you never launched anything online, you can learn all that that is all doable. I think it's just having confidence in yourself. Like, yeah, I know my stuff. I could teach other people how to do that. She wasn't a dietician, she wasn't certified in nutrition or anything like that. She had a roadmap, and other people wanted to know how she did it.
Kate Kordsmeier 18:36
Exactly. Oh, so much good stuff there to unpack. I mean, the first thing I'm hearing is, like you said, it was super niche, and that I feel like people are always afraid to get narrow, but like the riches are in the niches as the saying goes, and a good example of that. And then also, yeah, that you just need to find like a proven system that works. And that's what I loved about your course is that I didn't need to know everything, I could come in knowing nothing. And then just say, I'm just gonna follow this step by step. And that's exactly what I did and got amazing results too. And I feel like yeah, that's the beauty of these digital courses, whether you're the student or the course creator, just give that proven roadmap or find it yourself. Yep, exactly. So okay, let's kind of transition a little bit to talking about this type of business during current events. So first, we're in the middle of this global pandemic right now. And I think both people are concerned about selling during this time, but also are on the flip side, trying to say, I need to find a new job, I need to find a new way to make money. So I know that's kind of two opposing ideas. But let's break down each one Why is now a great time to launch a digital course business.
Amy Porterfield 19:57
So I love this question. Because when the pandemic started and everybody was sent home instantly, I knew that elearning was going to be on the rise. And it 1,000,000% has been on the rise from the minute that everybody was sent home. And the reason for that is really, during the global pandemic, whenever now things are slowly starting to open here in California, they're starting to close again. But they were starting to open. But when everyone was sent home, the only option you really had was to get online. And if you wanted to learn something new, if you had questions, if you needed to figure something out, you started watching training videos, YouTube, or digital courses are wherever you might find them. And so that became the norm. Here's the greatest thing that happened with that, more and more people became open to learning online, they realized, holy cow, this really does work, I could learn this way. So for the people that were actually consuming the content, they were more open to doing so. And so we sell digital courses sell even more so so my peers who have launched their courses, throughout this year, they've had their biggest year, because more and more people are looking online for solutions. And whether it be I want to learn how to play the guitar because I'm stuck at home and I need a hobby, or it's I'm stuck at home and my toddler won't sleep and I need to learn how to sleep train my toddler, whether it's an essential thing or a hobby or anything in between, you can now find that in a digital course and people are going to those ways of learning easily. It's not even a question anymore. So that's one thing. But on the flip side, a lot of people I think your other question, wait, ask me your other question, because I don't want to mess up the second one.
Kate Kordsmeier 21:41
Okay, so my other question is, how do you sell during a time where a lot of people have lost their incomes? And maybe, you know, you have to be sensitive to where people are at. So online learning is huge. But people maybe have less money or are in you know, everyone's in kind of chaos right now? Yes. Okay.
Amy Porterfield 21:59
So that's right. Before I even get to that question, what I was going to say is a lot of people realize they were sent home, and they liked it. They liked the freedom of being in the comfort of their home and using zoom to connect with people and being closer to their family and having more time because they weren't commuting. So what I've noticed is a lot of people are thinking maybe I want to do a career change, maybe I want my life to feel different and look different. So as things are slowly starting to open up, what I'm seeing is I'm getting more and more people coming to me saying, Amy, how do I create an online business, I've got some expertise, I think I could create a course, I don't want to go back to my job, or in six months, I'd like to leave my job and have this online business, we're seeing a huge, huge interest there. Because people are valuing their time in different ways, because they got a taste of what you and I experience every single day, which is we work from home, we're close to our families, we don't have a commute, we do have lifestyle and financial freedom, and digital courses can do that for you. So now transitioning into your other question of people are holding on to their money tighter than ever people are scared about I don't know what's going to happen. I recently read a survey that most people feel that life will never be the same again, we will never go back to what we knew. And it's going to be a different world. And what I say to that is 1,000,000%, we should be selling our courses right now, this is not the time to pull back and in your business, not sell not promote. And there's two reasons for that. Number one, the economy needs us to show up. We need to be out there selling putting ourselves out there. And and putting out something that is a value that people want to pay for. That is how we get the economy back to where we want it. So I feel like it's my responsibility as an entrepreneur, if I have something to value, I can't be scared to put it out there in the world. The other thing is I know that people need what I have. And and we all like I said, have a course in us. People want to know what you know, they need what you know. And so you're doing a disservice by saying I'm going to hold back and not sell because things are too crazy right now. One thing though we have done is we've changed the way we price things. We're not deeply discounting, however, we're adding payment plans. And so this is something that everybody can think about. If you have a digital course or something else you're selling payment plans help ease people into getting it paid for, but still getting what they need. And so I tell all my students, let's say if you sell a course for $1,000, let's think about a six pay as well, where you break up those payments, anything to make it a little bit easier for those. I think that's always a good idea.
Kate Kordsmeier 24:41
Yeah, I love that. We do payment plans for our course as well. And I think overall it helps a ton although we did get a few requests during this time from people saying like, oh, could you defer my payment or, you know, for some special exceptions and I think that is more the exception, not the rule. We've also heard from tons of people saying, Oh, my gosh, thank you for offering this because it makes it so much more, you know, so much easier for me to get started. That's so true. What about in the current climate of this social justice movement that we're seeing? Do you feel like that impacts your selling at all, or what you're offering right now?
Amy Porterfield 25:21
It does. And so in my business, we have put a huge focus on making a better effort doing better to be more diverse and inclusive, and really making sure that if a woman of color or a man of color were to come to my world, that they see themselves in my products in my community and everything that I do. And with that, what I think is important is that you look at everything you put out there. And and let me back up a little bit. I think, everybody who is in like a situation like me, I am a white woman with a very big white audience. And so what I did is I said, I need some training here. So I turned inward, I did some training on myself, I'm still doing that. I've read the books, the documentaries, but also put together a plan in my business and said, this is how we're going to do better. And what I mean by that specifically, is, I looked at all my testimonials, I looked at my community of people were highlighting and, and shining a light on to point out all the good things that they're doing. I looked at the language I was using, I looked at the ads that I was running all of that and said, am I being diverse? Am I being inclusive, and in many cases, I wasn't, it was just a biased, I didn't know it. So in this time of selling, I think definitely we should be selling right now in this moment of the world we live in. But when we're talking about civil unrest, I think that we need to look at how we're marketing, how we're talking to people how we're including, or not including people and go back to the drawing board. And let me give you a very specific example. When we decided to re record my course digital course Academy DCA, we actually re recorded the entire thing a few months ago, so that it's new and fresh and added some new strategies that I know are working right now in the world we're living in. And when I did that, the course was beautiful. I was so proud of it. It's great. And then I looked at the testimonials and the stories I told, and they were predominantly white women. And I said this is not okay, I've done wrong here. So I went back into the studio, and I re recorded and added some more voices in diverse voices and new stories that made the program better and just richer in general. But it was a bias I had and so I had to do extra work to get in there to fix this. And that's the kind of thing we do, we need to show up in different ways to make sure that everybody feels included.
Kate Kordsmeier 27:52
Yeah, I love that. It's really beautiful. And just to kind of ask a little more advanced question on that. How did you like seek out people of color from your communities like that? Like, did you go into your Facebook groups and find them and then contact them that way? Or what's kind of the process for bringing that more to the forefront?
Amy Porterfield 28:12
Great question. So the first thing I did, I spent a lot of time on Instagram, and I looked at all the people I follow and I don't follow that many people. And I didn't have a lot of women of color that I followed. I mean, I'm telling you things that I'm ashamed of and embarrassed to admit, but they're the truth. So I'm going to put them out there. So my network was primarily white, and like, of course, a mere bias because look at this, you don't even have diversity, even in the people you follow. So I started to follow more women of color, specifically, digital course Academy is for men and women, a lot of women join as well. So also I want to include the men in here as well. But I started to follow more people of color, and also more different abled body people. When we look at sexual orientation, gender religion, like I started to expand my sphere of influence. And that right away helped me see like, holy cow, look what she's doing or look what he's doing. Or I had no idea that this type of launch strategy is happening here or there. So when I started to seek out people and invite them on my podcast, then more people of color started to come to me and say, hey, I've got a great story for you. And they realized my podcast was a safe place. This has happened very slowly over time. But I first had to invite go find people and invite them on my show that I felt would add great value. And then from there, it started to happen more organically and just recently, but I want to point something out. I have a podcast called online marketing Made Easy, and it's all about online marketing. So what I didn't want to do is just invite a few black women to my show to talk about race. Like we needed to have that conversation and we've had it but beyond that what I've started to do is invite more people of color to talk about their lives. In their digital courses and their successes, because that's what my podcast is about. So I've had to make a really conscious effort. I think the the advice I can give here is get really clear on what matters to you and why it's important. And then look at your sphere of influence the people, you follow the people, you engage with the masterminds you're in and look to see if there's diversity. And if there's not, that's something that we got to change. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 30:26
yeah. Such a good point. And I feel like I saw a meme on Instagram about this recently that maybe it was Rachel cargo, or one of those women who has been really active in the BLM movement, and, you know, bringing social justice about, and it was something like, don't just follow people of colors, accounts that only are like that are just activists, like you're doing other stuff outside. I saw that too. Yeah. Yeah, it was like, Oh, yeah, I do need cuz that's how I started to I mean, same. I'm ashamed to admit it. But when I looked at my network, because I went well, I haven't had a lot of people of color in the podcast, because I don't know a lot of people of color in this industry. And then I was like, wait, that's a problem. Why is that I need to fix that. It's certainly not true. Or malicious. But it's not right, either. And, yeah, so I started following all these accounts and seeking them out. But I realized I was I was seeking out these activists, which is great. But like you said, Yeah, there's a whole group of women, or people in general, that are different than us that are talking about things other than activism. And exactly, yeah, so. Okay, so someone wants to start a side hustle, or maybe fully transition out of a nine to five job and they're starting to see courses as this path? Where do they even start? Like, what are some of the top maybe top three action steps someone can take just to get going?
Amy Porterfield 31:57
Yeah, I love this question. Because one of the first things that you want to think about if you are considering a digital courses, you want to think about the topic, what might you want to teach, and I'm going to give you three different ways to look at it. Because this is really helpful in terms of your expertise, knowledge and know how. So there's three different approaches to create a digital course. Number one, you've gotten results for yourself. And so you could teach how you got those results. That's like Katrina yubel, she lost the 50 pounds, she could teach other female physicians how she did that. So that's approach number one. approach. Number two is, let's say you do take clients consulting, you work one on one, you're a coach, consultant, and educator of some kind. So you work one on one with somebody, and you take that process, that blueprint, that roadmap, and you turn that into a digital course, you've done the heavy lifting, figuring out how to work one on one with somebody. So then you take that knowledge and experience you have, and you put it into a digital course. Now, I'm going to give you a quick one more story, because a lot of people will say, well, Amy, I can't take my one on one work and turn that into a digital course. It's very personal. When I work one on one with somebody, I ask them questions, they give me feedback, I then give them insight based on that feedback. I need to sit with them and know them and hear from them. And we go back and forth. That is a limiting belief. Let me tell you about my my student, Lauren Messiah. Morin Messiah was an LA based stylist. So she would style celebrities, as well as entrepreneurial women, she'd go into their homes, do a total closet makeover, take everything out, that doesn't work. Look at the stuff that does. She tried the clothes on her client just to see how they fit. So she's like touching them and moving the clothes around, then she would go shopping for them. And she would lug those big clothing racks back to their houses. She hated that part in LA, that's like a nightmare. And then she would try the clothes on with the client. And she was tired and burned out. And so she looked at her business partner and said, I want to create a digital course I want to teach what I teach my one on one clients, I want to teach it to the masses. And he says, that's not going to translate that's not going to work. You're so personal in the work that you do. You go to their houses, you're in their closets, how would that ever translate into a digital course. And she said, watch me. And so she went on to create two digital courses. In fact, one was how entrepreneurial women could literally do their own closet purge, figure out their own style, do their own shopping, and find things that make them look and feel amazing. And then she did another digital course to teach other stylists how to build up their businesses because that's what she had done for so long. She has a multi million dollar business now what and if she ever thought that one on one work wouldn't translate into digital course, she'd still be schlepping around those clothing racks into people's houses and doing work she didn't love anymore. So don't ever think that the one on one work won't translate. Now one more quick example. Or one more approach. So you get results for yourself, you teach how you got those results, you get results for somebody else, you teach how to get those results. Or let's say there's an app, or a technique or software, or some kind of methodology that you do really well, you can teach that. Let me give you an example. One of my students, Claire, she is an interior designer, and she uses this software called SketchUp. I never heard of her work with SketchUp,
Kate Kordsmeier 35:30
who's obsessed with SketchUp. For my husband, he just learned about it, like during COVID. And now he's doing all these home projects. So I'm gonna have to tell him about Clara
Amy Porterfield 35:39
bar. Yes. So this this SketchUp software, she's a whiz, she knows every hack every way to get around it every way to make it better. And she's built her business using SketchUp. And so she decided to create a digital course, she doesn't own the software. It is not hers, however, she's really good at it and other interior designer says, to have started to ask, how do you do that I didn't even know the software could do that. So she created an entire course on it and has done extremely well, six figures plus. So you could take your knowledge in knowing how to do something like that, and turn that into a digital course. So when you ask me like where do you get started with a digital course? How do you get things moving? The first thing is you figure out your approach, you've gotten results for yourself, somebody else or a methodology tool system software. So once you figure that out, the next thing you want to do is you want to just do a brainstorm and think like, what would I teach? There's no wrong answers in a brainstorm. I like to grab a post it note, a pack of post it notes, and just start putting everything that I might teach on the wall. And just every idea that comes to me. And I do that for about 1015 minutes. And then I start organizing it. How might this look into modules? Like what lesson might I teach first, and second. And third, this gives you your outline your first draft of an outline. So you go from choosing your approach to doing like a I call it a 30 minute post at party, and then taking that post at party, turning it into an outline that you get into a Google doc or whatever, and you start your first outline. Now you have an idea of what you want to create. And that will start getting the wheels turning. But those are the first few things that I would do if you if you so dare to dream about what a digital course might look like for you, either. It's something you add to your business, or it's something that is your business. You've got some options there.
Kate Kordsmeier 37:33
Yeah, great. And that's just reminding me to that. I feel like I hear from a lot of people that they think you can only do B to B style courses to make money like I can only make money with digital courses, if I'm teaching other people how to make money doing something. Yes. But you just gave a few examples where that obviously proves that's not the case. And I know of one example I've heard you share before is like the candy apple, which was so like incredibly niche and specific and obviously consumer driven. But I just want to want to clarify with you that you absolutely have seen dozens of success stories from people doing B to C courses.
Amy Porterfield 38:15
Yes, I'm actually glad you brought this up and you brought up dunera where literally, she's probably like Amy stop telling my story. Because now that I've heard her story so much. The press has come to me and said can you introduce me to dinero we want to interview her now she's literally getting articles written about her, which is like my favorite thing in the world to talk about my students. But with dinero you're right she is was a la based Baker. And she started teaching people how to create caramel candy apples for other bakers or hobbyists that want to do that. And she made $62,000 with her first digital course. And Funny enough, I brought her to San Diego to interview her in person. She literally broke every rule that I taught in DCA. She like followed it but then kind of did it and she still made $62,000 so it's you don't even have to get it 100% right. And you could do well. But you're right. I'm always looking for stories. Like I have another student of mine who teaches how to make sourdough bread. Now, I love we call her Sarah sourdough. And the reason I love her story is because you could go on YouTube and learn how to make sourdough bread during this pandemic, that in banana bread was the most popular thing you can make. Right? And so some people say, well, Amy, what I want to teach, you can find it on youtube for free. You can find videos on how to do what I want to teach for free on YouTube. And I always think of Sarah sourdough, who had a five figure launch right out of the gate teaching something that you can find for free online. And the reason why that doesn't matter. because let me tell you, everything I've taught for the last 11 years can be found free somewhere taught by somebody else. What people are purchasing Is your roadmap, your system, your step by step detailed description of how to get from point A to point B as fast as humanly possible. The last thing people want to do, if they're serious about getting results is hunt and peck all over YouTube and the Google in order to find out how to do it. And then they might be learning from someone who literally has no idea what they're doing, they're just slapping a video up, we've all gone down those rabbit holes of trying to figure out how to do something, you've watched 10 videos that are useless to find the one that is people are paying for convenience, and for the actual fact that you've gotten results and they know they can trust you. They want everything packaged in one place. Tell me how to get the results. And also just they want to learn from you. You know, we talk a lot in DCA about how to build an audience and how to build an email list so that people are gravitating toward you. They could learn from 100 people about sourdough, but they want to learn from Sarah, because they can relate to her the best. So please never think that just because it's out there for free that you can't sell it.
Kate Kordsmeier 41:03
Oh, such a good point. Yes. Yes, yes. Yeah.
All right, friends coming in for a quick break here because I've got a secret to share with you about something that literally nearly tanked my business last year. So here's the story. After I figured out the formula on how to create a profitable blog and business doing what I loved, I knew I wanted to teach others how to do the same. And what was now my course the six figure blog Academy. After all, not only do I love teaching and helping people, but I knew it would be a lucrative way to monetize my blog beyond add sponsors and affiliate marketing. So after my first soft launch was successful, and brought in nearly $20,000, I naively went into my second launch, and spent a ton of money on Facebook ads. Once I accounted for all of that ad spend, I ended up actually losing money and was in the red for the first time in my life. Oh my god, it was so stressful. And pretty much every day I wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and be a stay at home mom. So at first, I didn't know what I did wrong. I was just so upset. But it wasn't until I went to Amy Porterfield entrepreneur experience event that October that I learned how to launch from the queen of digital courses herself. Amy Porterfield, I realized it takes a ton of intentional planning to launch the right way. And I'm so glad I took her advice, particularly for the pre launch runway. So in my second official launch, I increased my revenue by 7.5 times and I actually made over $100,000. From that launch in January 2020. I could not have done this without Amy's course the Digital Course Academy. So if you are thinking about launching a course someday, do yourself a favor and save some major headaches and expensive trial and errors by taking Amy's free quiz to discover your personal path to creating a profitable digital course. You can do that Katekordsmeier.com/coursequiz. You might as well make sure that every action step along the way is your next best move. So you don't waste valuable time and resources. In less than two minutes. You'll figure out action by action, what steps you should take based on your goals audience and business level. Again, head to Katekordsmeier.com/coursequiz and get your results today. It's free.
Okay, so I teach people how to make money blogging, I want to kind of see if we can talk about the intersection of blogging and digital courses. Yes. And curious if you have any success stories of bloggers in DCA who have added a digital course on to their blogging business and just kind of how blogs and courses can work together.
Amy Porterfield 44:08
Oh, I'm so glad you asked. I have the perfect story for you. So one of my students Her name is Audrey Tom. She's a mom of two with one on the way. And she launched a digital course and made $107,000 after she first got results working with her friends. So let me back up and tell you a little bit about this. So Audrey was a blogger and she started in 2011. And she started to blog like what not to wear, you know that show what not to wear. She kind of created her own version and started blogging pretty consistently online for a lot of years. And she realized that a lot of her friends again were starting to say like can you teach me like how how I could put together these outfits and what I should do so from blogging, she started to work with some of her girlfriends teaching them how to dress themselves, how to shop and all of that. And she realized, wait a second, this could actually be a course. So she wishes she had done it a whole lot sooner. And that's the whole thing with digital courses, don't wait, get your course out there, you're always going to wish you did it sooner. But during COVID, so when things got really crazy, she actually got courageous enough to create and launch her course. And again, she launched a course $107,000 she had 526 students in her very first course. And I think what's so interesting about this is her blog was the catalyst for this. So she started to put the blogs out there people started to respond, she really understood what people wanted and what they needed. She dabbled a little bit with working with their girlfriends and realized, wait a second, this is a digital course. Without that blog. I don't think she ever would have had the idea for the digital course. Right? Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 45:59
I think that's such a good point. And I know you a lot of what I've heard you teach in the past has been that producing weekly content, whether that's YouTube or podcast or blog, is a great way to build your audience and bring people into your sphere and start to grow your email list. And so I obviously Well, I have a podcast too clearly. But you know, I think that blogging can be such a good way to do that. And it's such a good way for people to find you, because of the SEO that Google will know that you become searchable on Google, with your blog posts, then you get them into your into your sphere, get them on your email list through your blog post, then you sell them your course through your email list.
Amy Porterfield 46:42
It's so brilliant. I love the idea. I'm glad you brought up the intersection of blogging and digital courses. They are 1,000,000% aligned. And you're right, that blog drives the traffic from there, get him on your list, selling them your course. It's a perfect combination.
Kate Kordsmeier 46:59
Right, right. And every time you're posting something to your blog, you're establishing more of that know, like and trust factor and that authority with your audience, and they're getting to know you so that when you do sell them something they already know and love you and are like, Great. Let's do it. So I love that aspect of it. Now, as we're wrapping up here, I'm curious. Transparency is a big thing for me. And I know you've been really transparent in the past two, I'm curious if you would be comfortable sharing like, at this point, I know 2019 was your best year ever, if you want to share what kind of results you personally saw from your digital course business? Yes.
Amy Porterfield 47:37
So in 2019, we hit $16.5 million in the business, which is why I record that did blow my mind. It was our biggest year, I think all everything like 2020, everything came together as it should be, we're still on a really good track for 2020. Because we have digital businesses and are what I want you to really to hear is that our business has not been negatively impacted because of specifically the pandemic. Instead, because we have digital courses, more and more people are gravitating toward us wanting to know more about what we do. So that's something to keep in mind if you felt a little bit shaky this year with the work that you're doing. But really, what I want to also point out is 88% of that 16 point 5 million came from just to digital courses. And that part is really important because you don't need a bunch of digital courses. In fact, you just need one, let me tell you a quick story. When I was starting my business, I had a few failed launches, having no idea what I was doing. But when I finally kind of hit my stride, I created something called the profit lab. And it was how to use social media in order to build up your business online. And I was very much into social media at the time. So it was a really good fit. And so with that, we launched it once and I made $30,000. And I felt like I had made the most money in the whole world like I was rich at that point. And it was just life changing in that moment. Because I knew now I know how to make money online with a digital course. No one can ever take that away from me. So I always will have the confidence that I can make money with a digital course. But what I did that most people don't do is I didn't run off to the next course. What can I create next? What What can what next shiny thing can I chase instead? I said, Well, that worked really well. Let's do it again. So about four or five months later, I launched the same course again, made the webinar better, I was more confident I showed up as a better marketer. And we made over $100,000 the second time launched it again made more money launched again even more. The last time I launched it within an 18 month period. We made $950,000 with the same course that I had launched 18 months earlier and made 30,000 so my story here is You do not need a bunch of digital courses in order to be profitable. One course that you stick with you make better and better and better is all you need to be profitable. So that's one thing that I feel is very important because we're also into more of a lifestyle by your own design. I don't want you working every night, every weekend, never taking vacations, hustling your butt off. That's not what we're creating here. We're creating a business and a life that you design on your terms. And digital courses can do that for you.
Kate Kordsmeier 50:31
So good, so good. I love that like going deeper, not wider. And that just like, find what works, and then just double down on it and keep doing it over and over again. And this is why I love DCA so much. Because not only you know, the first part is you teaching us how to create courses like what how do you even put it together? How do you decide on a topic, you know, all of the basics. But then the next half is all about how do you actually sell these horses, not just you'd create it and throw it up on your website for sale forever. And then you start, you know, cashing checks, there is a clear strategy to it. And that's what I really found because I didn't take DCA until I had launched twice. And the first launch I made about $20,000. So I same thing, this is the most money anybody's ever made. And but it was like this huge confidence boost, because it was proof this work. If I can make 20,000 I bet I can make 30 and then maybe 100 and you know, go from there. But then I launched again, and I lost money. And it was devastated. And I was so rough. And then right at that same moment you were the doors had opened to DCA. And you know, I thought, well, I already have the course Do I really need dcaa, you know, is a big investment. And I'm in the red already. But thank God, I did it. And then I changed my strategy. And lo and behold, what was it eight weeks later $100,000 for my next launch. And so it's just like, Oh, good.
Amy Porterfield 52:07
I love to hear that.
Kate Kordsmeier 52:09
Well, and I just think it's such a tribute to your system. And I love the way you teach her of girl after my own heart of the real step by step practical strategy. And if you have questions about how to actually make money from this digital course you create, I just cannot recommend digital course Academy enough. It was life changing. And I'm excited to see that the new updates this Yes, they're gonna be so good. One of the biggest focus is in the new course is how to pre sell your course how to make some money before you even create it. So you can validate your course idea and you could get a little quick cash injection. So there's lots of really great new strategies. Yes, so exciting. Okay, well, we're gonna let you go in just a minute here. We always finish every episode with the same five questions that I asked everybody. So it's like a quick lightning round. Don't ever forget just first thing that comes to your head. Okay, so Okay, we are all about anti hustle and doing less over here. So we'd like to ask what's your favorite way to make time for self care while running your own business? Oh,
Amy Porterfield 53:16
I love this one. I schedule it way in advance it is on my calendar like it's a meeting with a teammate or something like that. So any self care It's already in the calendar at least a week in advance.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:29
Okay, great. What is one tool or strategy that you use to help with time management?
Amy Porterfield 53:35
Full focus planner, Michael Hyatt and company created the full focus planner I use it every day.
Kate Kordsmeier 53:41
I read free to focus thanks to you and changed everything about how I run the business and I love that so good. Yeah, I haven't I haven't got the planner yet. I'm a big Kate Northrup
Amy Porterfield 53:54
do less planner. Her planner is equally amazing. So I highly recommend Kate Northrop's planner.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:00
Yeah, they are different though. I guess Really? You could do both. Okay, so what is the most powerful business or mindset book you've ever read? Like the one that you just referenced again and again, and has made the biggest difference?
Amy Porterfield 54:17
There's a book called rework. It's not new. It's fantastic. So rework and it's basically how to make your business simpler and with if you're into the do less less hustle. It's it's one book you definitely want to read.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:31
Okay, rework I was guessing that you were going to say traction maybe. Okay,
Amy Porterfield 54:35
I do love it, but that's kind of a complicated concept. So I think reworks better start out.
Kate Kordsmeier 54:40
Okay, I love it. I'm gonna have to read rework. I have not heard of that before. Good. Um, okay. Do you have a favorite mantra or affirmation that you tell yourself when things get tough in business?
Amy Porterfield 54:52
I always tell myself and my team says this is well, we can do hard things. Just because it's hard doesn't mean that we can't do it. That we shouldn't do it so we can do hard things.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:03
Yeah, so good. That was honestly one of the biggest takeaways I got from your entrepreneur experience event last year, because I came fresh off of my, you know, my launch where I lost money. I was in a dark place, and hearing both you and Rachel talk about Rachel Hollis talk about how things are just hard sometimes. And it doesn't mean you're stupid, or you're doing it wrong. Or you should quit like, hard. It's just hard. But we can hurt as hard. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Okay, last question. Obviously, the podcast is called Success with Soul. What does Success with Soul mean to you? Oh, I
Amy Porterfield 55:41
love this question. What it means is that I am working when I want, how I want where I want. And with purpose. Like everyday the work feels good. The work feels right. That's what it means for me.
Kate Kordsmeier 55:55
That's so good. I love all of that. The freedom, flexibility. And it all comes from Digital courses,
Amy Porterfield 56:01
digital courses, that's where you start.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:05
Alright, thank you so much for being here. Amy. I really appreciate it.
Amy Porterfield 56:09
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it as well.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:12
Yeah, good. Where can everybody find you and your digital course Academy? And, yeah,
Amy Porterfield 56:18
you can find me on my podcast on online marketing made easy. And I show up on Instagram probably the most. I'm just at Amy Porterfield.
Kate Kordsmeier 56:27
Awesome. I love it. Thank you so much. And if any of you are interested, and joining Amy's digital course Academy, we've got a special link for you where if you purchase through our link, you're going to get our own personal bonus suite. We've got a bunch of extra goodies, freebies and courses of our own to help you make the most of your DCA experience and I can't wait to go through the journey with you. To get that offer. You can go to Katekordsmeier.com/DCA.
Amy Porterfield 56:57
And we will see you there. Thanks Amy. Thanks so much, Kate. Appreciate it.
Kate Kordsmeier 57:07
Hey y'all, Kate and
Amy here wanted to jump in and tell you all about digital course Academy which as we mentioned is opening for enrollment soon. In the meantime, you can sign up for her free digital course Kickstarter 30 day boot camp at Katekordsmeier.com/coursebootcamp. If you have other questions or want to know more about digital course Academy You can also head to Katekordsmeier.com/DCA and be alerted when DCA opens up again this year. And you can also learn all about our bonus offers.
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