From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2019. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Greg Smith is a former lawyer, now founder of a software company with over 40,000 customers selling hundreds of millions in online courses. Greg, CEO of Thinkific, employs over 100 people helping you create your own course or membership site.
3 Value Bombs
1) Do not stop at the moment of sale, but focus on delivering value after the sale.
2) Linear learning is proven to give better results.
3) No one will promote your product if it is not a solid product to begin with. Live up to your promise.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: The secret strategies of the top online course creators & membership sites with Greg Smith.
[1:17]– Greg shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
- He started producing courses in 2005, and he likes to paint miniatures.
[2:51] – Greg has the behind-the-scenes knowledge of over 200,000 of the top courses and membership sites. What are these creators doing to win at such a high level?
- Being consistent.
- By not stopping at the moment of sale, but focusing on delivering value after the sale.
- Also by driving student success after they have them as a customer.
[4:15] –Greg talks about not stopping at the sales funnel, and instead delivering an amazing experience for retention and repeat customers.
- You can look at it as the next sales funnel, or the continuation of your sales funnel. Even after the sale, your clients are still in your funnel.
- Deliver value after sales. Focus on on-boarding.
- Think of ways to improve the on-boarding experience for your clients.
[7:20] – JLD shares what he has learned and how he has applied Greg’s techniques to improve the on-boarding experience for Podcasters’ Paradise.
[9:24] – Greg shares what other top course creators do
- Giving new members a call within 15 minutes or up to 24 hours after signing up.
- Collecting information from members for improvement of their marketing funnel.
[11:10] – Greg talks about the importance of investing in the look and feel.
- The element of memory: people will see and can identify with your brand.
- Every opportunity you have to reinforce your brand is great.
- Having a consistent look and feel helps your community to remember and connect with your brand.
[16:20] – Referrals can be a huge part of your sales if you do it right. Greg is big believer in over-delivering for referrals.
- It is a lot less expensive and a lot more effective to focus on your potential customers who are already in your funnel or who have already been exposed to your brand.
- Have surprise and delight moments for people – this can also help with referrals.
- Help people understand what their goals are, and make sure to help them achieve those goals.
[19:20]– A timeout to thank our sponsors!
- Podopolo: The best podcast listening app in the world is here! Visit Podopolo.com, download the app for free, mention JLD or EOFire when you sign up, and start listening now!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at HubSpot.com.
[19:22] – What’s the impact of creating community along with a course or membership?
- Most common way to do it is with Facebook groups.
[23:12] – Greg talks about creating steps.
- Make it easy for people so that they always know exactly where they are going and what they are doing next.
- Linear learning is proven to give better results.
- Create wins in between the steps; this is a good way to encourage people along.
- Give your students incentives to finish and get to their goal.
[27:15] – Greg talks about selling more inside of your membership; using your member area to highlight other opportunities
- Have a coaching program for your student after they finish the course.
- Add extra products that go with the program.
- Offer live events.
- Sell other peoples’ products.
[30:41] – What other ways can you surprise and delight your members?
- Invite a guest on a webinar or for a guest training.
- It can also be a great opportunity to build a partnership with other creators.
[33:40] – Parting piece of guidance from Greg
- You do not need to do it all. Come up with your own “one thing” that is really special for you and that you really wanted to deliver.
- Fulfillment and delivery is so important. No one will promote your product if it is not a solid product to begin with. Live up to your promise.
[35:50] – Greg’s call to action.
- Thinkific: THE best platform to create, market, and sell your online courses, and right now you can sign up for 1 month free on the Thinkific Pro plan, PLUS leverage over $1,000 worth of training bonuses FREE!
[40:33] – Thank you to our Sponsors!
- Podopolo: The best podcast listening app in the world is here! Visit Podopolo.com, download the app for free, mention JLD or EOFire when you sign up, and start listening now!
- HubSpot: Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at HubSpot.com.
Boom, shake the room, Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs on Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. With great shows like Success Story Podcast. Today, we're pulling a timeless EOFire episode from the archives so the giveaway may not be active and we'll be breaking down the secret strategies of the top online course creators. To drop these value bombs, I brought Greg Smith into EOFire Studios. Greg is a former lawyer, now founder of a software company with over 40,000 customers selling hundreds of millions in online courses. Greg is the CEO of Thinkific employs over a hundred people helping you create your own course or membership site. And today Fire Nation, we'll talk about not stopping at the moment of sale, deliver value after the sale.
Here's how linear learning is proven to give better results here. How you provide, here's how you provide that and no one will promote your product if it's not a solid product to begin with. Live up to your promise and so much more. And a big thank you for sponsoring today's episode goes to Greg and our sponsors. The best podcast listening app in the world is here and it's called Podopolo. Visit Podopolo.com. Download the app, mention JLD or EOFire when you sign up for a free account and start listening now. That's Podopolo.com. Success story hosted by Scott D. Clarey is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals success story features Q and A, keynote presentations and convos on sales marketing in more A recent episode on how to protect your business and times of crisis is a must.
0 (1m 42s):
Listen, listen to success story wherever you get your podcast. Greg, say What's up to Fire Nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don't know.
1 (1m 56s):
What's up Fire Nation? So excited to be here. Two quick things about me that most people don't know. One is, well this one maybe a few people know and it's in my genre. I actually started producing courses in 2005 back when it was harder to produce courses. But the more interesting one that really most people actually don't know is late at night after my wife and kids go to bed, I like to paint miniatures.
0 (2m 18s):
Whoa, I didn't know that either. And we've had a couple nice scotch sessions on the balconies and that's never come up.
1 (2m 25s):
Yeah, it's, it's relatively new just over the last year. So it, it helps me get to sleep after everyone else has gone to sleep. I used to sort of watch YouTube or do other things like that, but
0 (2m 35s):
No, that's, no, no, no, no. You gotta have blue light blockers on if you're doing any of that stuff. So miniature is definitely the way to go. I'm gonna have to require a couple pictures for maybe the show notes page. You'll see what you got going on there. But Fire Nation, I got great pictures. Oh, set 'em over. But Fire Nation, you know Greg, cuz he's been on the show before dropping value bombs and he has literally a blown think if got now with over 40,000 customers, over and over 100 employees that are working for him to help people like yourself create your own course and or membership sites. And so today's audio masterclass, as I mentioned back in the intro, is the secret strategies of the top online course creators and membership sites.
0 (3m 17s):
And there's really nobody better to talk to about this because Greg, you have the behind the scenes knowledge of over 200,000 of the top courses in membership sites. So what are these creators doing to win at such a high level?
1 (3m 31s):
It's amazing the consistency amongst them. So it's, it's all of these courses, but every time I sit down and ta actually talk to someone who's done amazingly well be it in, they've just had a massive launch or they're consistently successful with recurring membership or they're amazing with their course completion rates or student engagement or reviews. There's a lot of consistent themes that run through all of these course creators. And I would say, you know, there's some interesting, really interesting stuff going on this year and I think more than any other, it's sort of the year of the partner launch. So we can jump into that later. But, but the on the sort of wanted to start on the non-sale side of, cuz everybody, we always talk about marketing and how to, how to make more sales. But one thing I'm finding that drives that in the long run and really drives the success and even powers things like a big partner launch is not stopping at the moment of sale, but really focusing on delivering value after that fact.
1 (4m 23s):
So after you close that deal, really diving in and focusing on really delivering value after the sales are happening. And when I see people really diving in and focusing there, that's that one of those consistent themes I see run running across all of these really successful course creators and membership site owners is they're driving to that student success after they have them as a customer.
0 (4m 43s):
So one thing that I know you're a big fan of is I am too are funnels. I mean funnels are a great thing to get people into your world through what I call the mtg, the main traffic generator for me, of course as entrepreneurs on fire, but then working people through a funnel to get to an eventual sale of a course, of a membership site, of a product, of a service. But you're also a big believer of not just stopping at the sales funnel, which so many people do, and instead deliver an amazing experience for, let's just have some keywords here at Fire Nation retention and repeat customers. That's where you're winning. So tell us more about that. We touched upon that just a couple seconds ago with the last blur, but I really wanna dive even more into beyond the sales funnel and maybe some specific things that you've seen from course creators that Entrepreneur on Fire listeners could really employ.
1 (5m 35s):
Definitely. And I, the one way to look at it is just could look at it is either the next funnel or a continuation of the funnel. And, and it really, so it doesn't stop. If you just look at it as the moment you take their money, they're still in the funnel, they're still engaging with you, you're still delivering value. And so some of the things specifically after the, the collection of dollars say or that sale happens is think about onboarding. How are you onboarding in into your program? So whatever that is, if that's a course, if it's a membership or if it's something else, focusing on onboarding and onboarding is something we focus on a lot in software. I have a, I have a whole team focused here on how we onboard you and to Thinkific if you're getting started with us. And I would encourage you to look at it in a similar way with your course or your program.
1 (6m 19s):
Really think about what you're gonna do to onboard people so they've just, they've just signed up, make that initial experience easy. So focus on removing any friction. Learning is hard and they're, they've just signed up to sort of change their life or, or have a learn a new skill or passion. Remove all of the roadblocks and, and go through, and I, I do this myself constantly with any of my things is I'll go through and experience it myself for the first time so I kind of erase what I know or try and erase what I know about the program and, and start from scratch like a brand new sign up with a new email and I'll go through and see how it looks and really try and remove all the friction. And then once they get in there, start thinking about what you can do to, to improve that onboarding experience.
1 (7m 2s):
And one way to do this is to think about what would you do if they came in and sat down with you in person? Hmm. You'd probably ask them some questions, you'd think about what their goals were, you'd ease them into it and you'd probably provide them with a bit of the why and the context first. And I think sometimes we make the mistake, especially in learning products of just diving into like, all right, step one, do this thing but rather think of it as, hey, they're sitting down with me over a cup of coffee and we're about to start learning tomorrow, but today I've got a chance to warm them up to it and give them the context and the why and and give them a few quick wins to get started
0 (7m 33s):
Onboarding, make it easy, fire Nation, ask questions, ease them into it, provide them with the why and the overall context. I mean these are the steps that make onboarding a success. And I'm gonna give you a little insight into the podcast's Paradise Onboarding, not like to toot my own horn, but just to show you how I've learned from and applied Greg's techniques to improve my overall onboarding process. So when you join Podcasters Paradise, literally within 48 hours, you are going to get a Bonjour message from me. That's a live video for me saying, Hey Greg, this is Jon. Just wanted to say thank you for joining Podcasters Paradise for putting your faith and trust in Kate and myself.
0 (8m 14s):
It means the world. Make sure to jump in the Facebook group and introduce yourself cuz Kate and myself are there every day providing support, guidance and answering all the questions you have. Get in there, we'd love to see you. You're gonna get that live video from me personalized, I'm saying your name so that you know that I'm talking directly to you. Also, we have a few other things like an email that goes out that has the, the first eight steps you should take in Podcasters Paradise. Start here with step one and we make it very simple step one for them to ease into it, to start to get some momentum and again to allow them the context in their why as to why they're doing this. And then two days later they're getting another email that says, Hey, JD wants to chat with you. And it's literally me wanting to, to chat with them and it says, if you want, if you want to click this link, fill in this Google form and Jon will call you Saturdays between one and 2:00 PM Eastern time cuz that's when he makes phone calls to welcome new Paradise members.
0 (9m 6s):
And guess what? Every Saturday, Friday Nation, I'm sitting on my butt with my list of phone numbers and I'm calling people and I'm saying, Hey Greg, this is Jon. Just wanted to say in person thank you. You know, this is us having a live phone conversation right now and I just wanna say I appreciate you joining by the way, let me ask you a couple questions and I ask them questions like, Hey, how'd you first hear about podcast was Paradise. I get to learn amazing things about that. Hey, what do you like about the course so far? What don't you like about the course so far? Or some of the marketing the leading up to it? Did anything kind of turn you off? Like learn these things that I always ask them, what is your biggest struggle around podcasting? So I get to know what my new members are mostly struggling around. All of that is just parts.
0 (9m 47s):
I'm not go into the whole thing cause I, cuz this isn't about that for this episode, but that's just part of my onboarding process. So Greg, what are maybe some other additional things that you're seeing other top course graders do along the lines of like, what I've created for Paradise that's really having success?
1 (10m 4s):
First of all, absolutely love what you were sharing there. Thank you. That's really cool. And I didn't know you were doing some of that stuff, the calling people that is, that's awesome. Every Saturday and a few other. That's, that's great. It's such an awesome commitment to the community too and and making sure they know you're there to support them. I've, I've seen a few other people doing it too, like Todd Herman I think for example, is doing it where they try and call people, they collect the phone number on sale and then they call people within 15 minutes of signing up unless they're in a big launch and then I think it's 24 or 48 hours. But they, and, and very similar questions, I think a couple they ask that have worked really well is what's one piece of content that, or what was the number one piece of content that sort of, that resonated with you through this process? And through that they were able to take a piece of content that was kind of hidden way down in their funnel and move it up to the top and have a huge impact on conversion rates.
1 (10m 51s):
Or another one they did was, there's a lot of options for you out there. Why, why me? Right? Like why, why choose me? And so then people shared really interesting things of like, well you know, you shared this story about your family or you shared this other thing and they were then able to apply that in producing future content to say Wow, these are the things that we didn't know it but it's what's connecting with people. It's what's resonating. So we can work that into our marketing funnel. So I love the idea of collecting that information, learning from it, and then make sure you actually apply it to improve your marketing funnel.
0 (11m 19s):
So I think some really bad advice out there right now is people just going out and saying, you know what? It doesn't matter, like the look in the feel, just go bare bones. Doesn't matter if it looks like it's from the seventies or eighties or nineties, like nobody really cares. They're just there for the content. They just want the information like make it simple for them. But the reality is man, the look and the feel, it's important. I mean, podcasters Paradise, the beauty of Paradise, and this is a huge part thanks to Thinkific who allows us to do this podcast, paradise looks beautiful, you feel like you're in paradise with the palm trees and the colors and the beauty we have invested in the look and feel and it really matters for the experience Fire Nation. And I know Greg, that you're a big believer in this, so kind of keep talking additionally about why you believe the look and the feel is a really important place for people to invest in and maybe some other examples.
0 (12m 10s):
You've seen people doing this well.
1 (12m 11s):
Yeah, and I've got, I'm glad you brought that up and I I cuz I, I love the, the look and feel of Podcasters Paradise and the beautiful thing is it's unique. It's your own. And so in addition to it being beautiful, you have this element of memory right, where people see that they, they identify with the brand and now if they see it elsewhere, they see it in an ad for a new thing you're doing, they see it in a, in some other piece of content or something you're engaging with or even on social or Instagram, they're gonna remember that they're part of your community and part of your brand because you're, you're putting that brand in front of them there. So every opportunity you have to reinforce your brand is great and of course in your membership area or or Chorus is the perfect place to be reinforcing that brand.
1 (12m 52s):
So it is so huge for being able to then leverage that in everything else you you're doing. So I think having that consistent look and feel helps build that community or or getting them to engage with and remember and connect with your brand. And then the other thing to me is, is you mentioned bad advice out there about not caring about the look and feel. I think you look at any large successful company out there and brand is fundamental now and, and brand and beauty and look and feel. I mean looking at say Shopify as this 50 billion company that's absolutely exploded in the last few years is one of their core values is design is at the heart of everything we do. So they care so deeply about this and you can see it in everything they do and it really, it helps them produce a better experience.
1 (13m 37s):
And I think we all know when we go to get something, be it a physical product or a digital one that look and feel has such a strong impact even on conversion rates. I mean even if you go way outside our universe here and you go to a company like say Peloton, they've invested massively in making that bike look beautiful because they know then people are more likely to actually go and buy it and spend a lot of money. Like you could probably get a, a bike for your house to go and and pull up an iPad, but the thing looks and you could spend a lot less money on it, but the thing looks so beautiful that people want to connect with that thing. So I think that beauty piece is is absolutely amazing.
0 (14m 16s):
Do you follow me on Instagram because I just two days ago got my Peloton and it looks beautiful. It's
1 (14m 24s):
True, I do, but I hadn't seen, did you do a Peloton post on
0 (14m 27s):
It? Yeah, I did. I it is an Instagram story, like I did the pre like with the box and then, and then afterwards with it actually there. And then of course the post workout as well with me just dripping in Puerto Rico sweat.
1 (14m 38s):
Oh awesome. I'm, I'm so tempted to go get one this Christmas.
0 (14m 43s):
So we are kind of talking about the look and the feel. So I kind of want you to close this part down with, you know, finishing up with whatever you wanna say about this as well as maybe one or two examples of, it doesn't have to be by name, but just how people are doing this, right?
1 (14m 57s):
One thing to look at is that first experience. So even, you know, we think about branding and we spend a lot of effort on our sales pages, but think about that sort of dashboard, the place that students are gonna hit right after they buy. And I see, you know, to look at some people, I do think you can look obviously at Podcasters Paradise for this, there's mum Body Bliss is another good example. Elizabeth Ryder Live Richer Academy. Some of these are are core sites out there that you can search out and find and, and take a look at what they're doing around their brand. And even if you jump into a, you know, even a free program or I mean I'll, I'll buy programs just to see how people are engineering it and designing it and looking at it. But diving in you can really, you can see that they care deeply about that initial design experience.
1 (15m 41s):
They, and it carries throughout from there. But even just seeing that initial design experience and recognizing that's gonna carry throughout their whole program is pretty cool. And I do think one of those key moments is that sort of initial dashboard or place that people land right after the purchase. So that is, it's cuz that's when people are gonna potentially feel regret, oh man I just put down a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars and if the next thing they see is beautiful, it makes them feel good about that purchase. Just like you unboxing your Peloton. And that's why in part why unboxing videos are so popular.
0 (16m 10s):
So True Fire Nation, it's so key because that first experience buyer's remorse, it is absolutely real. Like you see something you're just like, oh my God, I want that you buy and you're like, oh my God, did I just make a mistake? And if you can come in like swoop in as a course creator as a person whose product they just bought and make them realize they did not make a mistake, in fact they did the right thing, your retention is gonna be through the roof. And I mean Greg, these are just some topics we could talk about all day, but we have so much to cover. Yeah, I wanna keep driving forward because referrals can be a huge part of your sales if you do it right and you're a big believer and really over delivering for those referrals. So talk more about that and how some of your top clients are doing this, right?
1 (16m 49s):
I don't know that people look at this enough that your, we're always looking at how do I get more leads in the funnel, more people exposed to my brand, but it's actually a lot less expensive and a lot more effective to focus on the ones that are already in your funnel or already exposed to your brand. And so that translates both to repeat purchases, which is kind of a form of referral. They're sort of like a self-referral but also just referring their friends. And that's where it comes down to that sort of over-delivering. And part of that can be that first design experience, but it can be other things like that phone call saying, hey you've, you've joined Podcasters Paradise, let me pick up the phone and call you. Or like Todd Herman was doing is right after the purchase moment calling and he said, you know, one of the times he made one of these calls cause he makes some of them himself, some of them his teammates, but he made one of these calls, the person who picked up and said, you know, I've been buying online programs for 10 plus years and this is the first time anyone's ever called me.
1 (17m 42s):
You have a customer for life and I'm gonna tell all my friends about it. So really focusing on, on having those surprise and delight moments for people that will help with the referral. The other thing is understanding what are their goals. So you've just sold them something and they didn't buy because they wanted to watch your videos they bought because they had a goal in mind and making sure that they deliver or that you can help them achieve that goal. If they achieve that goal, they almost don't even have to refer their friends. Their friends are gonna be asking, Hey, what, what happened to you? Did you lose weight? Or what happened to you? You're, you're like so much more successful or you seem more confident or you're like, they're gonna be asking and then it's really easy to tell that story. So a big thing is trying to make sure that they actually achieve those goals and checking in on that.
1 (18m 25s):
And that will make it so easy to have them do the referral. And then the other thing I do is when you see them achieve the goal, and you can ask about this in the program, you can do a quick survey, Hey how, how are you doing on achieving your goal? Or you can ask at the end of the program, either in a survey in the program or in an email follow up. But when they say yes or they say good things, immediately hit them with that referral ask. We do the same thing at Thinkific. If someone says, I wanna give you a 10 outta 10 for this software, we immediately say, great, can you, can you refer someone or go write a review somewhere? But it's hit them at that moment when they're seeing that great success and they're most happy and they're most likely to go out there and give you that referral
0 (19m 1s):
Fire Nation we have still just begun on these value bombs and you're not gonna wanna go anywhere for our sponsorship run either, by the way, because we're about to drop into that. And guess what? Thinkific is the featured sponsor of this episode. They're going big with entrepreneurs on fire. They're gonna be coming up over the next month or so with a lot of episodes they're sponsoring. So you gonna want to hear what they're offering for you. Fire Nation within this sponsorship read a lot of value within it. They're gonna be coming back to Greg with more value about community, about selling more actually inside your actual course and or membership, surprise and delight and so much more. So Thinkific, take it away, ready to ditch your subpar podcast listening app and download an app that has every feature you want and need with more great features being added all the time.
0 (19m 49s):
The app is Podopolo and you can download it for free and start listening right now at Podopolo.com. Podopolo gives you access to every podcast at your fingertips with easy, discoverability, audio and video podcast and every genre and language and instant recommendations. So the perfect podcast and live streams find you without you having to lift a finger. Plus Podopolo is interactive so you can create and share short snippets and discuss episode with friends in your favorite hosts. My favorite feature, Podopolo, you create your own personalized up next queue so you can set it and forget it. Join me on Podopolo where you can interact with me, connect with others, ask questions, and share your thoughts on your favorite podcast.
0 (20m 29s):
Visit plo.com, download the app for free from either app store, mention JLD or EOFire when you sign up for an account and start listening now. That's P O D O P O L O.com. Are you looking for a place where you can exchange ideas, shared knowledge, and find invaluable mentors, co-founders and investors? Sounds too good to be true, right? Thanks to HubSpot it exists and right now you can get instant access to a community of 16,000 plus business builders at trends.co/mfm Trends is a HubSpot community for founders and entrepreneurs that tells you what the next big thing is gonna be months before everyone else and delivers access to analysts, vetted business ideas and market signals straight to your inbox every single week.
0 (21m 14s):
Inside trends, you also have access to live virtual business training and Q and A sessions that feel like MBA lectures where you can learn everything from advanced marketing techniques to how to get fundraising from venture capitalists. A seven day trial of trends is yours for only $1 in a yearly subscription plus access to the community is $299 per year. Get a seven day trial of trends for only $1 at trends.co/mfm, that's trends.co/mfm. So Greg, we're back and I tease a little bit before Thinkific gave that great sponsorship right there on what creating community could mean for somebody in a very successful way with that course, with that membership.
0 (21m 59s):
So talk about creating community. How have you seen people do this, right? What do you mean by that go forth.
1 (22m 5s):
One great way to do it is is with Facebook groups and it's probably the most common way is when people join your program they can get into a Facebook group. And I think that's, that's the beginning of creating communities and there's a lot of good things about using Facebook for it and in fact we use it as, as well for Thinkific. But I think there's another level that I'm seeing more and more people go to of creating their own community as part of the course or the course site or the membership site. And that can give you so much more control over who's in, who's out, what they're seeing in there. You can even segment it based on groups or where they are in the program or cohorts. So a few things, a few specific ways I see people using this. One is they will segment based on a co a time-based cohort.
1 (22m 47s):
And so that could be something like everybody who joins in January is gonna get into this specific community. It's like a private group that you can talk about for everybody who joined in January. And you may even add that to something like drip releasing or or scheduling the re release of your content out over time. What that means is everybody's kind of engaging with the similar stage content at the same time they're asking each other the same questions in the group. It creates a tighter community feel cuz they're all sort of at the same stage learning from each other while they go through the learning process. So that's one interesting cohort way. Another is just to create small cohorts within the program that work with each other. And this could be based on time-based, but let's say you had a thousand people join tomorrow, you could break them up into groups of a hundred or even groups of up to, you know, say five or 10 and say you're a little cohort, you're gonna work together.
1 (23m 34s):
And that creates a different level of community in that you don't have everybody in it, but you feel you know everybody by name. And so you can create small enough groups that you're actually knowing them by name and you're engaging with with them in that way. And, and then of course if you're able to jump in and participate in the communities or someone on your team can, if you have a team that can create a really cool engagement with people and this, the, the outcome of this is, is people immediately feel home in the program, they're more likely to come back, they're more likely to tell people about it and they're more likely to finish it and get value because they have this community that's supporting them through it. So I think when you're first getting started, if it's gonna be a few hundred people or a few dozen people in your program, you can do it all in one community and really go all in as an owner and an educator in that community as you start to scale.
1 (24m 21s):
You might wanna separate it up either based on sort of, or just create small groups for the community and do it that way.
0 (24m 28s):
Community's Key Fire Nation. A couple years ago we had a post in podcast with Paradise that basically said why did you join podcast with Paradise? And like we had video tutorials, templates, the webinars, the access to JLD and Kate, the Facebook group, the community, all these different things. And those were the answers that we had created. Somebody wrote in an answer and that answer ended up being by far the 80 plus percentile of what people chose. And that answer that he gave was join for the tutorials, stayed for the community. So listen, people are gonna potentially be joining because they wanna learn a certain thing that you're gonna teach them, but if you want them to stay, and for those people like myself who have a $97 per month community, you want people to stay as long as they will are willing to stay.
0 (25m 15s):
It's gonna be because of the community that is gonna be the major reason they stay after they've consumed the initial content and learn the initial learnings. I mean obviously there's more things that you can do that we're gonna talk about in a couple minutes here, but that community is so key. And one thing that you're a big fan of is creating steps. Greg and I will tell you straight up, the Freedom Journal is such a success as a product because it's accomplished your number one goal in 100 days. That means there are 100 steps, one step every single day that's getting you one step closer to your goal. So you need to make it easy for your members who are joining your course to go step by step so they feel like they're accomplishing things so they know that they're making progress and gaining momentum and getting excitement.
0 (26m 0s):
Excitement as a result. So talk a little bit more about the creation of steps, Greg, and how you've seen people do it right.
1 (26m 7s):
Yeah, and that's kind of a continuation of that onboarding. So you wanna make sure, and you mentioned when people sign up for Podcasters Paradise to get that email saying here are the first eight things we want you to do it. It's that concept continued the whole way through is making it easy and that they always know exactly where they're going next and they know exactly what to do next because going and applying the learning can be hard. That takes motivation, it takes time, it takes effort. They might have failures along the way. Achieving the goal at the end can be hard, but you wanna make the steps along the way just to even consume your content to be as simple as possible. So it's really about guiding them through. And that can start with when they join and they get into that dashboard area saying, Hey, start here, this is, this is where we're gonna go.
1 (26m 47s):
And then it's a very simple, ideally linear process. I know there's, there's a lot of cool stuff you can do with education around jumping around and giving a lot of choices and there are some cool ways to do it. But at a baseline, if you give them a simple linear flow of step one, step two, step three, move through it. Generally linear learning is, is proven to actually be more, give better results than giving people sort of choose your own adventure and that's why YouTube isn't so amazing for learning. You can probably find most of what you want on there, but it's jumping around choose your own adventure so it becomes difficult. Now choose your own adventure in the right circumstances where it's a bit more guided and learning can be cool, but really those sort of baby steps of do this. And then the other cool thing is inserting within those steps some sort of win.
1 (27m 29s):
So if they watch a seven minute video of you, then give them a one question quiz just to say, Hey, did you, were you awake? Did you get the main point in there? And that gives them a little win. It gives them that little sort of endorphins, brain, brain food rush of I'm motivated to go on and keep doing things. And then you can create bigger wins as you go. And I would often start small with the steps and small with the wins and build up to bigger things over time. So once they've been in the program for a few days or a week or a period of time where they've consumed a certain amount of content, you can start to increase those wins. And that's where you can get to things like go do this assignment. You don't necessarily on their very first day wanna say to them, go away and spend four hours doing this, you know, drafting up your vision for your business or something.
1 (28m 14s):
Leave that kind of thing for a little later in the program. But then you can start introduce these assignments that they can go take away, they can work on it and they can bring it back. And then potentially if you've got community, they can share it with the community for some feedback, which also lightens the la the load on you as a, as a coach if you want to give feedback on those kind of things. But creating those wins in between the baby steps along the way is a really good way to sort of pull people along. And, and then another thing we can do is, is that helps with this pulling people along is showing them incentive to, to finish and get to the goal. And there's so many cool things people are doing around this. One is mailing really cool, authentic, signed physical completion certificates or like graduation packages.
1 (28m 60s):
Another one I've seen recently, Emily Fletcher from Zeva Meditation is doing this is you, they have group coaching but you don't get access to it until you finish the program. So there's this incentive, finish the program, then you can join our group coaching calls. It saves them from having to answer all the same questions from people who just joined in the group coaching call. They know you're sort of at a certain level you've learned the basics, but it also gives that incentive to come in and fix to sort of finish it. And then the group coaching calls operated a much higher level for everyone because they're all asking about the more advanced stuff, having already consumed the basic content.
0 (29m 35s):
A major missed opportunity. And I'm guilty of this with podcast's, paradise is selling more to people inside your member areas to like highlight other opportunities for them to learn more and or buy more from you. And again, I'm guilty of this. There's, there's definitely huge opportunities that over the years I miss out on by not doing this. But Fire nation, the key thing to remember is your buyers are buyers. Like remember that they know like, and trust you, they've already invested with you. Give them more opportunities. Greg, how have you seen other course creators do this effectively in your experience?
1 (30m 10s):
Well, one way we just sort of meant, touched upon in a different light is that Zeva meditation concept of what they do is they have that coaching program after you finish the course. And I think the way they're doing it now, or at least at one point they were doing this, is you would pay a fixed fee for the program and then when that was done or when you finished it, you could move into the recurring coaching. You had access to that for sort of the same period. So you bought the, the, the program for six months. Now you have access to the recurring coaching until the end of that six months. And after that you can sign up on a recurring basis to continue to have access to it if you want. Now that's, that's really only if you kind of need access to it, but it's a nice add-on of if this is still providing you value.
1 (30m 51s):
If you, if you still need help with this, if you're not quite at your goal, you don't need to go back and try and take the course over again. We're gonna be here to coach you, but you pay this kind of recurring fee. So that, that's one way of sort of extending your program. Another obviously is, is adding on extra products that that go with the program. So I actually do this with my courses. I have three courses, but then you can buy it as a bundle and anyone who just buys one of them will get the opportunity later to sort of pick up the other two or buy it as a bundle to get the rest. So having your course broken into components and it's really, it's all kind of the same course but I've just broken into three pieces because some people only want one part but it's having that bigger piece that they could level up to.
1 (31m 33s):
Another really interesting piece if you wanna go to a much higher level is starting to offer things like live events. Either live online or live in person in real life and selling those to people who are already in your pro in your program. So they're going through your course, they're learning, they're loving it and now you're saying, Hey, we're going down to San Diego or Puerto Rico and we're gonna have a live event, why don't you come out for it? Here is that opportunity. But I think it's a lot of it is just thinking about what are the challenges people are having at different points in the program? What are some of the things that are holding 'em back or the blockers they're having? How can I solve those things in other ways through other products? And then offering those. So like the journal is a great example. If they're working on building their podcast but they're having trouble getting their, you know, their day organized and getting, going through and planning out their their year so they can deliver on their goals and setting those goals and and delivering on all of that, then you can have something like the journal to help pull them along in that front.
1 (32m 30s):
So thinking about how you can solve those problems. And then also peripheral problems if they, you know, if they've come to you for one specific solution, solution or one specific problem, what other ancillary problems or related problems would that person have that you might be able to solve for them? And that's where you can create those other things. You can also use it to potentially sell other people's products. So we don't always have to be building our own products in this. You could be in a program saying, Hey, you've enjoyed my program, now that you're finished you might actually want to check out Jon's program because he can take you to the next level in a different area.
0 (33m 1s):
Fire nation people want to have the latest and greatest, I mean the last thing that they're gonna want is to join a stale course, outdated content. So you need to always be thinking about what ways can I surprise and delight members. We're talking with regular new content updates and this is something that Kate and I have been doubling down on every week. We've been releasing very publicly in the Facebook group a new content update with a whole new brand new video tutorial. I mean we create a 20 over the course of like a week, but we're releasing them once a week over those 20 weeks so that it always is appearing, which is true that we're releasing new content cuz we're releasing them on a week to week basis. We're not just dropping 20 video tutorials in people's heads and overwhelming them and letting some slip through the cracks.
0 (33m 46s):
We're featuring these live, these new live videos that we've created that are fresh up to date once a week so that everybody can really make sure to double down and consume them. And then it's just always like, wow, Jon and Kate are working on creating updated fresh content. So that's what we are doing, Greg, to really surprise and delight members. What are you seeing other course creators do to really surprise and delight in this area?
1 (34m 11s):
One cool thing I've seen lately is people bringing in a guest. So you often know, I mean there's other people in your world or if someone's following you, there's, there's similar people that they're following. So inviting in a guest can be a really cool way to surprise and delight. Yeah. So saying, hey surprise guest coming up next week we're gonna do a a, a live group coaching call. Or they're just, they've, they've shot a little video or we did an interview with them to discuss a problem that you had and you and I thought I'm, maybe I'm not the best person to answer this, but I know who is and I'm gonna bring them in and help them answer that question. That kind of thing can be quite a nice surprise because they paid for access to say you and your content. All of a sudden they're getting introduced to someone else and and they're helping them solve a problem in a, in a different way with a different way of looking at things.
1 (34m 55s):
It's also as a side benefit, a really cool way of sort of building partnerships. And let's say I wanted a better relationship with you, Jon. I could say, Hey, why don't you come be a guest and and teach something to people within my program and right away we're starting to develop a better relationship, plus I'm adding a ton of value to my community and I'm introducing my community to you. So all around it's a, it's a win-win scenario.
0 (35m 17s):
Win-win Fire Nation. And by the way, if you've been sitting here listening, taking notes, you are part of a win-win scenario now because these value bombs have been coming strong, they've been coming fast and we have everything in the recap showing us. So don't worry if you missed a couple things cuz it will be waiting there for you. But Greg, let's maybe kind of take a step back now and just kind of talk about exactly what you wanna make sure Fire Nation really gets from everything that we chatted about. I mean we touch upon a lot of concepts, I hope Fire Nation, you realize that there's a pretty similar couple themes that have been running through all of these concepts that you can really apply to your course, to your membership today.
0 (35m 57s):
But Greg, what do you wanna kind of step back and tell Fire Nation and then of course all the calls to action that we have for them for what you have going on.
1 (36m 5s):
I mean, one thing to remember is we cover a lot of things and there's obviously a lot more is you don't need to do it all and you shouldn't try and do it all it, it can become overwhelming and honestly if you, if you did every single thing that you saw every other great course creator doing, it wouldn't all work together. So it's coming up with your own one thing that's really special for you that you really want deliver. It doesn't have to be unique, it could be something someone else did in a different industry or something. But having that one thing and then you can always start to add more and more. I mean you didn't start with doing 20 live update videos on a, on a frequent basis as well as the phone calls and all the other cool things that you're doing. You started with you know, one thing and then add another thing and that allows you to do each one really, really well.
1 (36m 46s):
So I would say pick one or two things that resonated with you on this and try and implement those and then go from there and you can come back, listen again slowly add more, but don't try and do it all. The other piece that I, I hope people take away is marketing and sales is super important, but so much of even marketing and sales is the fulfillment and the delivery. And when you look at, I mentioned this earlier, but this really has been in some ways the years of the big partner launches where there's been many, many multi-million dollar course launches driven in large part by partners. So going out and getting affiliates and having them promote the course, but none of that operates at all and no one will promote your product if it's not a solid product to begin with.
1 (37m 28s):
So focusing on that actual fulfillment piece of what am I delivering, how am I gonna give value? How am I gonna live up to the promise that we made in our sales pages? If you're not living up to that, people aren't going to want to go and share and promote and they're not gonna wanna refer their friends and they're not gonna repurchase. So to me that's the big theme that runs through all of this is everything kind of starts with having that great experience. And it doesn't mean you have to get it perfect, you can totally go out with something that you pull together quickly and start to learn from it. But you want to continue to iterate on and improve and make sure people get value from it. But I guess the flip side is it, it's not about perfection cuz that can be dangerous and hold us back as entrepreneurs,
0 (38m 5s):
Perfection is dangerous, fire Nation and Greg give us a call to action. What do you want Fire Nation to do to, to learn more and to join the Thinkific family?
1 (38m 14s):
Well, I would love to continue to help people out and give them advice and probably the best way to get started doing that, we have a space set up for you at thinkific.com/fire just for the Fire nation. So that's Thinkific, T H I N K I F I C.com/fire. And we will hook you up there with, you can try out Thinkific, we'll give you a month for free. Free if you want to try one of the paid plans. And yeah, so you can play around with it for free. And also we will be there to support you and we actually do a lot of the things we talked about on this show today. So, or in this masterclass today. So we'll actually show you and you can actually kind of unpack our funnel, if you will, of value add, so you can actually see some of the things that we do that we talked about today.
1 (38m 58s):
And then feel free to steal them, copy them, and use them in your own programs.
0 (39m 1s):
Love that Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you've been hanging out with GS and JLD today. So keep up the heat and if you head over to EOFire.com and type Greg in the search bar of the show page with all the resources, all the links will pop right up in the show notes. And of course your strong call to action Fire Nation, go check out the Thinkific family. It's free. They're giving you a month free to go check it out, to learn to consume, to see if it's right for you. thinkific.com/fire. That's think like you're thinking, thinkific.com/fire. And Greg, thank you brother for sharing these value bombs with Fire Nation today.
0 (39m 42s):
For that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side. Hey, fire Nation, today's value bomb content was brought to you by Greg, and I know that you understand how podcasts can ignite your business, but the planning, the creating, the collaborating with the guests, the producing, the distributing, the distributing, the, you have to, you know, distribute the podcast. Take it from me. Fire Nation podcasting can be intense. That's why I am fired up. I said fired up for you to check out Auxbus. Auxbus has an end to end a podcast creation platform for entrepreneurs just like me and you, just like the two of us. Visit Auxbuss.com/jld and try it for free.
0 (40m 22s):
That's Auxbus A U X B U S.com/jld. Boom. I'll catch you there and I'll catch you. Also on the flip side, The best podcast listening app in the world is here and it's called Podopolo. Visit Podopolo.com. Download the app, mention JLD or EOFire when you sign up for a free account and start listening now. That's P O D O P O L O.com. Success story hosted by Scott D. Clarey is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals success story features Q and A, keynote presentations and convos on sales marketing and more.
0 (41m 7s):
A recent episode on how to protect your business in times of crisis is a must. Listen, listen to success story wherever you get your podcasts.
1) The Common Path to Uncommon Success: JLD’s 1st traditionally published book! Over 3000 interviews with the world’s most successful Entrepreneurs compiled into a 17-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment!
2) Free Podcast Course: Learn from JLD how to create and launch your podcast!
3) Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 podcasting community in the world!