At the end of March, right before COVID-19 hit the U.S. I had proposals out with 4 new clients, I was wrapping up two projects, and I felt pretty good about the next 90 days.
I wasn’t feeling stressed or panicked.
All the clients that I had proposals out to at that time were people that were either in a new stage in their business or making a big pivot into going from like an online or from a one on one capacity to more of an online coaching or training, that kind of stuff.
Then things were becoming a little uncertain for my clients thanks to, you know, the dumpster fire of 2020.
And so all of a sudden, they all said, “Hey, I’m gonna wait.”
Which I completely understood fine. I wasn’t going to go into panic-mode, but I knew I had to get creative.
I knew we couldn’t afford for April to be a zero dollar month for my business so I decided I was going to create a paid workshop. (You know, necessity is the mother of invention and all that.)
I work well under stress and panic and I decided I was going to do the “done is better than perfect” version and get it off the ground in only two weeks.
I thought, “I’m going to launch it only with email and only to my current (oh, so small) list. And we’re going to see what happens.”
I ended up creating everything–emails, workshop content, sales page, bonuses–in those two weeks… and I made $1500!
This isn’t a million bucks, but it’s better than nothing. I will take $1500 any day over big fat zero.
Before last September, I had never thought of doing a paid, in-depth workshop.
But I took Amy Porterfield’s DCA (Digital Course Academy) last year because a goal of my business has always been to create a course, and I also write copy for course creators and online educators so it made sense to be entrenched in the same systems and education they were learning
Amy is the queen of creating and launching courses in the online space.
She has helped millions of people make millions of dollars. So, of course I wanted to learn from the best.
I jumped in that course and one of our bonuses was how to teach and launch our own paid workshop. (I’m not going to give away any of her secrets here, just FYI. I did pay to be in there!)
She taught some phenomenal stuff, but I am going to show you exactly what worked for me and exactly how I did it.
I broke the seal on online education and now I’m ALL ABOUT DIGITAL EDUCATION.
Now, we’re working on a digital shop and an online course. All because just teaching a paid workshop gave me the confidence that I could actually do the damn thing.
So here ya go, step-by-step how I created, launched, sold, and taught a paid workshop in 2 weeks:
CHOOSE YOUR WORKSHOP TOPIC
One thing that I thought was interesting is in Amy’s Digital Course Academy, she talks about list building. That’s kind of the foundation is if you’re going to launch a digital course – you’ve got to have an audience. So we’ve got to start with list building, right?
She teaches a little bit on list building, and she does an amazing job teaching that. But I noticed in the private Facebook group that everyone was panicking about lead magnets, constantly posting, “I have this lead magnet that isn’t converting, what should I do? Do you guys like this lead magnet I made? What do you think of this?”
(Pro tip: never ask a Facebook group questions like this if it’s a Facebook group full of your ideal clients.)
I quickly realized that this is an area where people need a little more support and education. And I felt like I could provide that.
So that was how I got my topic for my workshop. I looked for a clear gap in the market that I knew I could serve.
DO (A BIT OF) MARKET RESEARCH
Honestly, I did not spend a lot of time doing market research.
I knew that if I did not get this out there, I would never do it. I would just live in that perfection cycle. I had to tell people I was doing it, then I had to do it.
I took about an hour and just started thinking:
What are the questions people have about lead magnets? What do they want to use it for? What is their desire for lead magnets? What objections would they have with taking a course and learning how to do it?
(Hot tip: this is where I start for all of my client’s launches, too.)
Then I came up with content to knock down those fears and objections, to make sure they understood the value of the outcome, and to help them see how I could help them get what they want by growing their list.
I figured out their objections, their questions, their desires, maybe some hesitancies and fears. And then I just came up with about five social media/email topics that were going to address those objections, those fears, communicate those desires, and then communicate how my solution could help them reach their goals.
NAIL DOWN THE DETAILS
I then went through my title thing that I do to nail down the title of the course. (If you need some help on headlines, I did a training on headlines not too long ago.) I picked a headline that I thought really highlighted what people needed and the problem the workshop would solve.
Then I nailed down the offer. What was I going to be teaching? How was I structuring this? What bonuses were involved? What different sections or modules were included? What was this going to look like?
I used a Trello board as my workshop planner, and it kept everything organized and in one place.
PRICING AND SALES GOALS
I set the price really low. (Full disclosure: this was probably a mistake, but it still worked out.)
I honestly thought this was a $200-$300 product based on the amount of information I was sharing. There were the templates, the bonuses, the stuff that was going to make it so easy to implement and take action on.
But I charged $97 for it because I didn’t want anybody to have any reason to say no, especially when we all knew the market was about to crash.
My goal is always to have someone say, “I would pay so much more for this!”
(If they’re saying that, then I know that I’ve priced it right.)
Then a set a sales goal of 10 people. I figured, if I can make $1000, that’s amazing!
And then I was thinking about what I could do to make this a little sexier, maybe even sell a little bit more. So I added an upsell, which is a lower priced product that you tack on to an offer for the buyers.
I thought, “well, I just created this quiz that was really successful for me, and it helped me double my list and I thought it would be a lot harder than it was.” So I decided this would be a great upsell.
Since I didn’t have a ton of quiz case studies at the time, I didn’t want to charge a lot for it. So I just upsold that for $50.
WRITE YOUR WORKSHOP SALES PAGE
After that, I wrote a sales page. I did this in 24 hours, and honestly, I just BS’d my way through.
I used a simple copywriting formula.
I wrote a 2000 word sales page in 24 hours (about three-four hours of writing/editing.) For reference, I usually spend four full days on a client sales page, about 20 hours.
Writing my own copy is always the easiest, because I know how I sound and I know what my audience needs to hear.
SETUP FOR SELLING
To set this up, I wrote my sales page and I let it live on my website. (You could totally use LeadPages or do a landing page from an email service provider.)
Heads up: If you want to retarget and get fancy with Facebook ads, then you have to put it in a place where you can add a pixel. But there was nothing fancy about this launch, it was scrappy and minimal.
My sales page had only one call to action. (You never want them to have anywhere to go besides clicking that “buy” button.) I just did a PayPal.me button on the sales page and it could not have been any easier.
I set up a Zoom link, then my thank you page and the confirmation email so that when someone registered they would automatically get that Zoom link.
This was SO easy. The second someone signed up and paid, they would get an email that had the Zoom link in it, they would know that their payment went through, that they were signed up, and they had all the information.
I was able to set all of this up in my amazing email service provider at the time, FloDesk. Highly recommend FloDesk if you’re looking for an ESP to make things easy! (Full disclosure, I’ve since switched to ConvertKit, but FloDesk is perfect if you’re just starting out.)
PROMOTE IT LIKE HELL
After setup, I started promoting the workshop. I basically went back to my list of fears and objections and benefits and then I wrote my emails based on that. I repurposed those emails for social media posts, which was a huge time saver.
I went on Instagram Stories where I talked about the upcoming workshop and directed people to the sales page in the email and social media, all that stuff.
Once all that was out there, people started signing up and I was all, “oh shit, now I gotta do this thing.”
I had four signups in the first email. So when the first email went out, I made $400. I made $400 in one email. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, email marketing is GOAT. 🐐
The only place the upsell was mentioned was on the sales page. I didn’t put it in an email, I didn’t talk about it. It was sexy enough that a bunch of people signed up for it right through the sales page.
I taught 90 minutes of content and spent the last 30 minutes doing a live Q&A.
Once I hopped off, I immediately:
- Uploaded the video and the slides
- Put bonuses into a Google Drive
- Sent a thank you email with links to everything
A few days later I sent out a survey. It had four questions on it. It was really important for me to know if this was helpful, if this was effective, and what I could have done better.
Surveys like these are a great way to get copy swipes for testimonials and to determine whether this is something that would function well as an evergreen product in a business, or whether it was a one time thing.
In the survey I asked:
- What was your biggest takeaway?
- What did you love?
- What didn’t you love?
- What would you change next time?
The information and feedback I got from this was incredibly helpful for planning my next workshop. I then added all of this to my workshop Trello board so that when it was time to run another workshop, I could just copy the board and that feedback would be in there as a reminder.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE MY WORKSHOP
I did this workshop in April.
In marketing, people have always noticed that the biggest return comes 90 days after a big win. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that in your business, but that has always been true for me.
This month…90 days later and we brought in $24,000 in contracts alone. That’s more than I’ve ever made in an annual salary in my life!
For the entirety of last year, I made $7000 after taxes. So this is a huuuuuuuge jump.
To be clear, it’s not all because of one workshop. But it is because I took a risk. I did something that seems scary and hard. I put myself out there. I put myself as top of mind and positioned myself as an expert in my industry.
I created digital education even when I thought, who the hell am I to teach this?
So, if you’re looking for advice, here it is: If this is something you want to do, just frickin’ do it. Honestly. Just do it! Light that fire under your ass, tell people you’re doing a thing, then go do that thing!
Need a little help? Then swipe my entire project plan Trello board and in 2 weeks you’ll have a new product, new students, and some extra cash in your business account.