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On this episode of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast, we’re featuring two guests who are going to share their personal digital product journey, how they collaborated with their team to leverage their strengths and their product, and how changing their product over time has helped their business flourish.
You may remember these two rebel boss ladies from previous episodes of the podcast – Liz Wilcox and Camille Attell. Liz and Camille, along with their other two collaborators, are about to launch their virtual summit Full-Time Freedom Week for the THIRD TIME in just a few weeks.
Today's conversation is going to focus on how their digital product has changed over the past three years and how those strategic changes have actually made their business grow astronomically. And that word is not an exaggeration.
Camille, Liz and their two other partners, a power team of four amazing women, started Full-Time Freedom Week three years ago not really knowing what it would become and how it would change their lives, let alone how it would change other people's lives. And here they are three years later, still doing it.
The summit looks way different today than it did three years ago. But all of those changes were extremely strategic to help their business not only become more profitable, but also more enjoyable too.
Full-Time Freedom Week is a virtual summit, or in the words of Camille, “a four-day mega event [that] brings together lots of amazing speakers and real people living the RV lifestyle.”
They’ve got a ton of content for anyone interested in the RV lifestyle or RVing, featuring industry professionals and lots of experienced partners.
“We've got so many things that are going to keep people educated, entertained and really inspire them to live the lifestyle at whichever way they want. That could be going out in an RV for a weekend, going to the park with their family, taking a family trip, going full time like we do, part time. All of the variations of having fun in an RV.”
Full-Time Freedom Week is heading into its third year, but where did the idea for the wildly successful virtual summit even come from?
Liz, Camille and their two other partners were in a Mastermind together. They were still pretty new to running online businesses, and after Liz successfully launched her book Tales from the Black Tank, she decided to propose a digital product collaboration amongst the group.
Her inspiration came from watching another successful online summit and loving it. She had never seen anything like it and wanted to try it out.
The group agreed and decided to use the summit as a platform to sell their products. “And so we got a couple of different RVers together and bundled our products and sold it. And it just evolved from there because we really liked doing it. And it was fun.”
This format was a bit unusual. While most summits sell the content and videos shown during the summit, the Full-Time Freedom Week team decided to use their summit to sell a product. Since they didn’t have enough digital products individually to create bundles, they decided to bundle their products together and use the virtual summit as a marketing strategy to sell them.
Liz says she and her collaborators wanted to build as much buzz as possible. “So that's how we created the summit. It was, every video we're just going to talk about that person's product in the video, et cetera, and then sell it as a bundle for 100 bucks.”
The first Full-Time Freedom week was launched in 2017, and both Liz and Camille agree that it was a success for a lot of different reasons.
For Camille, it was a success just for the fact that they did it. She went from never having done a summit, and never even having seen one, to successfully launching one as a digital product.
She admits that she wasn’t thrilled when Liz initially suggested the idea, but that first summit completely changed her mindset. For Camille, the summit was a success on a lot of levels – it was her first real online income of significance, the women worked together really well as a team and they were able to share valuable content with their audience.
For Liz, the success of that first summit was being able to prove to her friends they could make money online. She wanted to show her collaborators that it was possible for them to be profitable in their businesses.
The summit also helped all of them establish themselves in that online space, even though most of them hadn’t been blogging for very long. “I wanted a way to set myself and my friends apart… For me, success was being able to attract so much attention and do something so big, so to speak, especially in this small RV niche, that it just it really set us apart. And it made us seem like disruptors in the game.”
Camille says that their digital product has changed radically in such a short period.
She’s proud of what the summit has become. “Collectively we've just created this really multi-layered, involved, high-activity, very engaging summit.”
Camille and Liz reflected about the biggest changes they’ve made, and how their mindset has completely shifted since that initial summit three years ago.
The first big difference this time around from the first time they launched their summit? Camille admits that the team really had no idea what they were doing during the first Full-Time Freedom Week.
“We were just all talking and we'd said, let's reach out to our friends. And we you know, we did it.”
In the beginning, the women saw an example of another summit, and decided to try and run one themselves because they loved the product and thought they could make it successful.
They learned a lot after that first summit. All of those behind-the-scenes steps and tasks they needed to do, how much preparation was needed to make the summit a success, and more, which were things that they were only able to learn about by doing it.
In the following years, they used what they learned from their previous summits to keep improving and making their product even better.
Objectively, the summit has grown enormously since their first launch a few years ago.
Since year one, which only had about 8 main speakers, the summit has grown by leaps and bounds.
Camille says, “This thing has just taken on a life of its own. We have 30 amazing speakers. We have industry professionals. We have partners from the RV industry.”
Now the summit is a jam-packed 4 days long. The event is a lot bigger, but so is the work that the creators have to put in. This year, they spent a lot more time planning, creating, and invested a lot more time into making the summit into what it is for 2019.
The summit initially started as a virtual summit for people interested in becoming full-time RVers. But after listening to their audience and getting some feedback, the creators decided to broaden the scope of their content.
Liz wants to emphasize that this event is for everyone. “This year, our theme is like RVing your way. You don't have to be a full time RVer traveling every couple weeks… Freedom is so different for everyone. And our audience told us we don't want to go full time. Is this for us? And so we've really geared the content towards anyone that wants to RV.”
They decided to broaden the theme of their summit after getting some really helpful feedback from their customers.
“It's been awesome to be able to get that feedback because if we didn’t, we probably would have just done the same thing every single year. We've been able to differentiate, which is awesome because the best customer is a repeat customer.”
Liz and Camille are hoping that this means since the content is different, the people who may have bought the first or second year will be willing to buy again because of the new material and speakers.
Liz says that their product has “really evolved into something much more professional, much better put together.”
The first year of the summit, the content was hosted on Facebook and was mostly made up of Facebook lives.
For this third year, Liz and Camille say that their team is spending a lot of time on creating content that they know is valuable. All four women on the team come from an educational background, and use that experience to develop the best information possible for the summit.
“That's infused in our content, where we're thinking about how do we make the content not just entertaining and informational, but truly educational, where someone can walk away with action items, they can go apply it right away,” says Camille.
All of the above factors hinge on one thing, and that’s the time and effort that Liz, Camille and their collaborators are able to invest in preparing for the summit.
The first year of the summit, they planned and launched it in three weeks. They planned and launched their second summit in two months.
For their third summit, which is launching in November 2019, they’ve been planning since April. That’s almost 8 months of planning and collaborating for the product.
This means they’re able to be a lot more intentional and improve all of the factors listed above. They’re able to increase the scope of the summit, improve the content and make sure that the quality is better than anything they’ve ever produced before.
They’ve come a long way from doing mostly Facebook lives, and now their summit is mostly high-quality, pre-recorded videos. Since they’ve had such a great track record of success, they feel like they can ask a lot more from their speakers to create great content well in advance.
Liz has been previewing and preparing content already, and she can’t wait for what they’re offering this year. “Our speakers have really outdone themselves… the content has evolved and watching them today I was like, ‘oh yes, we're gonna be able to charge for this. This is going to be well worth the money. This is excellent quality and great strategies and education.’”
Probably the biggest thing that’s changed from year one to year three of the summit for Liz and Camile is their ideas about what is “valuable” and what they decide to sell.
The first year of their summit, the creators decided to sell a bundle of products, while leaving the summit itself free to all attendees.
The second year, they decided to sell tickets to the summit and a coupon book. Liz said that she was adamant about selling the coupon book, because they needed “something to add value.”
Her push for this part of the product was based on how they saw their target customers, who don’t normally spend money online for content like virtual summits and online courses. She knew that the customers would see value in a product like that, and it sold very well.
For this upcoming launch, they decided to focus on selling the summit itself. This means they’re selling different tiers of tickets to make sure that there are different levels to fit all of their different customers and their needs.
The summit is still free for anyone that wants to watch the videos on the day they’re released. But attendees can also purchase different pass levels so they can access the videos for 30 days, 1 year, or have lifetime access. They’re also having an in-person event during the launch which also includes a lifetime pass to the videos.
Liz says that they’re able to do this now because they’ve built up a lot of authority, have a lot of testimonies, and have a lot more confidence in the value of the summit as a product in and of itself.
This shift in what they’re selling represents a huge change in their thought processes.
Camille says that for the initial summit, “I didn't understand that the summit itself was a valuable product.” This has been one of the biggest revelations for her, realizing that the content they’re creating for the summit itself is extremely valuable and a product in and of itself.
For Liz, it took three years for her to feel comfortable with this transition. “It's just that evolution of just having enough confidence in yourself… with knowing that the content can be valuable enough to charge.”
This mindset shift can be really difficult for content creators, because you can sometimes be in the give-give-give mindset that makes it hard to shift into asking to get paid for what you’re producing.
“I think we've all made that shift. And I think it is a hard shift for people to make when they've been giving things away for free for so long. But it's a really important shift if you want to be running a business instead of being a hobbyist at content creation,” says Camille.
Overall, the definition of success for Liz, Camille and the collaborators have changed a lot over their three launches.
Liz says that the first year they launched the product, they really wanted to just get their product out there and break out.
The second year, the women focused mostly on trying to turn a profit and make their summit as profitable as possible. Even though they have made a much bigger profit in the successive launches, this led to a lot of pressure, work, and eventually frustration.
The third year they decided to focus on actually enjoying what they were doing and not necessarily on how much money they could make. This meant making sure that everyone was enjoying the summit, including the speakers, the participants, and themselves.
Bringing together these goals, visibility, profit and fun, is the ultimate “win win win” for everyone. “I think that's why we all started. We want to build a business. We want to have fun with our lives. We all travel the country or even internationally. So it was like trying to get back to that original like big why. And I think that's what has simplified things for us and made it made the content better,” says Liz.
What makes Full-Time Freedom Week unique as a digital product is that it’s created by a team of people, all of whom have their own strengths.
Liz says, “I might be the big idea guy, but Camille's the strategic one. You know, our other partners, they have so much more strengths than I have alone and any of us have alone.”
Over the past few years, they’ve really learned how to leverage those strengths so they’re all working in their zone of genius and creating a better product overall.
Working together wasn’t always easy. For the first and second summits, the women put in a lot of hours and felt pretty burnt out afterwards. Liz admits that after the second summit, the team didn’t actually speak to each other for two or three months.
When they were deciding whether or not to have the summit for the third time, they spent a lot of time thinking through how they could use their team to actually enjoy launching it again.
Camille and Liz say that one big thing they did differently during the planning process for their third summit was sitting down with their team and thinking through what they were good at. They then put people on different teams to amplify their strengths.
Planning their strengths so the team members could work in their zone of genius completely changed how they worked and how much they enjoyed the work they were doing.
Camille gives an example, “I'm terrible at spreadsheets. I don't like details. Can I do it? If I'm forced. But that's not where I'm going to be the most valuable. I'm going to be the most valuable in strategy and messaging, and maybe some I'm doing some Facebook ads.” On the flip side, Liz is great at hype, messaging and content. Their other team members had different strengths, from operations, to graphics, to branding.
Being able to align the work with what they were good at not only helped them to enjoy the creation and launch process more, they were actually able to produce better results.
Liz wouldn’t give the experience up for anything. “I honestly recommend everybody needs a buddy or two or three in my case, because every day with digital products and blogging, every day if somebody asks me, ‘what's your biggest win?’ I'm like, ‘I'm still here, baby!’ And honestly, I don't think that I could say that if I didn't have this team.”
“What started as an accountability group, I can't believe has grown into this like awesome and profitable business with people that I love. It's been so awesome to see the summit grow, but see each person grow as well.”
Needless to say, Liz and Camille have learned a lot from launching their product three times over the past three years.
Some of their big takeaways?
Their first big takeaway was learning how to be okay with not having their product be perfect on their first try. They were willing to adapt, change and accept feedback, which has led to more and more success over the years.
“It's just awesome that you can launch a product. It doesn't have to be permanent and you can keep evolving it every launch, every year. Whatever it is, you can keep changing it up. Getting feedback… Once you get that product out there, you can ask the people that purchased it… That’s another way our event has evolved.”
Another big takeaway is learning how to be confident facing your fears, putting yourself out there and just being willing to do something.
The first time Liz, Camille and their collaborators launched Full-Time Freedom Week they weren’t sure about what they were doing. It wasn’t perfect, but they did it anyway. If you’re feeling like you’re not ready to take the leap with your digital product, you won’t know if you can do it, and whether or not it will be a success, until you try.
Looking back now, Liz admits, “I'm just so glad that I did that, because if I would have been too afraid or like, ‘it's not gonna make money’, I'm not sure. I'm just so glad that we had the confidence and the grit to go through with it, because it really did change all of our lives.”
Whether you’re a passionate RVer, want to learn more about the RV life, or an online entrepreneur that wants to see what running a popular virtual summit looks like, don’t miss out on Full-Time Freedom Week 2019.
The summit will be running from November 5-8 and you can sign up for your free pass now (or buy one of the different pass levels!) on the Full-Time Freedom Week website.
//LINKS IN THE SHOW//
Find Liz online at https://thevirtualcampground.com/
Find Camille online at https://www.morethanawheelin.com/
Listen to previous episodes of the Rebel Boss Ladies Podcast with Liz and Camille: