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Hey there, Rebels! Get ready for an absolutely amazing story in today’s episode.
In episode 023 of the Rebel Boss Ladies podcast, I’m bringing back an old guest and one of my favorite people in the world, Liz Wilcox.
She’s going to share her incredible story about how she made $13K from her first ever course launch. She’ll also pass on some of her tips, tricks and the lessons that she learned so you can use them in your own course launch.
If you missed our previous episode with Liz (our very first episode!) make sure to check that out! In episode 001 of the podcast, we talk all about Liz’s first e-book launch, which was called “Tales from the Black Tank” and is all about people’s crappy stories about RVing.
Today’s conversation is all about what she has learned since that launch two and a half years ago.
Her enthusiasm is infectious, so reading her story is definitely going to motivate you to take whatever you learn here today and start applying it in your business.
Liz is in the RV niche and she runs a website that creates digital products to help her viewers make traveling easier.
Through her business, she helps her audience make their travel easy through digital products, humorous tales and her weekly live streaming show where she interviews guests that know way more about RVing than she does.
Her business has changed a lot in the past few months and years, but the biggest thing she’s done was definitely the creation and launch of her first online course.
“After the digital summit that I did with my partners we made quite a bit of money and I said, ‘you know what? I would like to make all that money for myself next time.' So I decided I'm not going to do anything else. I'm I'm going to create this course, I'm going to convince my husband we need to do this.”
She teamed up with her husband, Ed, to balance her blogging and digital product knowledge with his RV tech skills.
Even though he didn’t know anything about the online business world, Liz says, “I finally convinced him to help me create a course that's on an RV maintenance and it's called ‘Fix It Yourself.’ And I think the title says it all.”
“Fix It Yourself” wasn’t Liz’s first digital product. She’s done a lot of launches in the past, between summits, collaborations and her ebook.
She admits that launching an online course is a whole different beast than her past launches. The biggest difference was that this product was purely her own, and she didn’t have other partners to help her with the creation or launch.
Her course was a lot bigger than the projects that she normally does on her own. She created her ebook, “Tales from the Black Tank” on Canva, and it wasn’t too hard to do.
Creating her course was a lot more involved. She hired a project manager to help her stay on track, and they met once a week to share feedback and make sure that Liz was staying on track.
Liz also said a big difference was that she had a lot less support in the actual marketing and launch of the project.
“There was also a lot more at stake because it was my audience, I wasn't sharing with anybody else, I had to get the word out for myself… I had to do all the marketing, I was doing it for my audience only.”
I’m going to spoil the ending: Liz’s course did really well.
She ended up selling 141 courses, and it was a $97 product. It generated over $13,000 in revenue.
Check out this amazing picture of her celebrating her 100th sale with her project manager!
Where did her sales come from?
Liz says that about 95% of her sales just came from emails to her audience and email list. She also had one affiliate who made about 10 sales.
Even though 141 is an amazing number of sales, Liz admits that her initial goal was a lot higher. Her plan originally was to sell 300 courses and to have five affiliates. She wanted to sell 125 courses, and have 175 affiliate sales.
After some thought, she decided that wasn’t realistic with where she was at that moment.
“You'll sense a pattern here as you listen to this, that I tend to kind of push myself and make outrageous goals and do outrageous things and while I was editing and trying to get ready for this launch I was also traveling with my 4-year-old in a tent across the country alone. So I said you know what, I'm going to scale back.”
She decided her new goal would be 100 sales, and one affiliate. Changing her mindset about her goals and sales was a little tough, but Liz admits that she was really glad she did it after the launch.
“I just thought to myself, this is dumb. Nobody has that number 300 in their head except myself… I went back and forth with myself. Yeah it's a huge goal, but this isn't my first rodeo. I've done everything that I need to do.”
She also realized that since she was still traveling, she may not be able to keep up with a huge amount of customers and their questions after the product launch. She was worried about the stress that her huge goals would bring, so she decided to scale back.
Liz definitely doesn’t regret this decision.
“When I hit the 125 which was my original goal for myself I felt great. I didn't hit that three hundred. But I also didn't reach out to those affiliates because I love myself and I knew I just couldn't support them the way that I wanted to or support that the that number of customers at the time. So I feel I feel amazing about what I did.”
“I think it's also important to check in with yourself every day, every week, see where you're at and readjust if you need to and that's not a failure. I think that's a success to be able to listen to yourself and truly go with your gut.”
So how did Liz do so well with her course sales?
First, building buzz. Liz says that getting people as excited as she was is one major reason her course was so successful.
She made sharing her journey and the creation of the course with her audience a huge part of her strategy before the launch. One of her biggest marketing strengths is she shares every time she builds a project, and sends out updates on what she is doing.
“You know if you read any kind of blogging stuff they tell you the great thing about a blog is you can share your journey with people. Well I think when people actually try to go to sell things they forget about that they forget to share the journey.”
She kept her audience a part of her journey from the very beginning, and they rallied behind her, got excited, and stayed engaged throughout the entire process.
“The launch date was March 18th. And so in December I just wrote to my email list… and I said, ‘hey Ed and I were thinking about creating this resource for RV maintenance. Would you be interested? Just click here so I know.’ And I actually had 141 people click.”
What’s crazy about that number 141? That’s exactly how many sales Liz ended up making after her launch. It’s a perfect coincidence.
It also helped show Liz how interested people were in her digital product. She decided to go for it, and once she started creating the product she mentioned it to her audience every week. In her next email she told her audience about how many people clicked, and told everyone that she was going to create something.
After that, she started mentioning the course every week in her emails and during her live streaming show. She thought of a lot of creative ways to start building buzz and getting her audience thinking about RV maintenance.
She asked different people in her audience to do “virtual spotlights” once a week. “I knew some people that had really terrible horror stories, where their RV broke down on the side of the road or they were fighting with the warranty guy, whatever it was. And so I asked those people to do a virtual spotlight where they recorded a five minute video sharing their RV story.”
Throughout the first month, she used these funny horror-stories and testimonials to plant a seed and get her audience thinking about RV maintenance and all the different problems that can arise. Ultimately, she was scratching her audience’s pain point, which is that RVing can be really hard.
During the second month, she brought in her husband Ed for five to ten minutes every week on her live streaming show and had him answer RV maintenance questions that her email subscribers had submitted.
She got a ton of questions from viewers, and she used these not only to build buzz but also to help her build out her course.
During this time, she also decided to create a trailer in iMovie to let people know what to expect in the course and help them get an idea of what the product would be like. Her husband had started filming a few things so she decided to put it all together in a trailer she released to her audience.
“It was super corny but it was so simple to make and people were in awe because of course you know I'm showing clips. So it's like 10 seconds of Ed, but there's music playing so you can't even hear him if he's stuttering or anything. And people were like, ‘wow, oh my gosh, this looks amazing.’”
Everyone started sharing it, and the trailer helped to build up a lot of hype. This inspired her to make one minute clips as she was editing the different parts of her course. She decided to release a new clip every day in March on specific topics, which got people thinking about Fix It Yourself every day.
“When the Course finally released I think it was just so ingrained in people, seeing those videos, hearing that word “fix.” Getting that brand so honed in and getting people used to it.”
What would Liz change next time? She’d make those videos longer. One minute videos were easy to put together, but she thinks she could reach a lot more people, and build a lot more buzz, with three minute videos.
Liz was really happy with the way her launch went, but she knows that in the future she wants to make some changes to try to make her launch even more successful.
She was initially thinking about launching Fix It Yourself again on May 1st, but she knows that launch depression is a thing, and the launch took out a lot on her husband.
“You know it's just you're on such a high you're building buzz for yourself, right? And then it happens and then you're lost and you don't know what to do with your life and things like that. So we both kind of were going through that and I travelled a bit more in April than I thought I was going to.”
Liz and Ed decided to spend some time reshooting, revamping the course, and together they plan to relaunch the course later with a different strategy. She’s considering two different new launch strategies, and will probably try both at some point to see which one works better.
First, she wants to focus on growing her email list even more. For this first launch she relied on her own email list instead of having ads or a webinar, and this time she wants to reach a lot of new people by building her list and creating new content.
“It's only between four and five thousand right now. So of course I need a steady flow coming in. I need content that is related to RV maintenance, right now I literally only have one RV maintenance blog post so I need my husband. So waiting on him to create a little more content for the actual blog to get new warm leads that are interested in that content.”
To get these new leads, she her first strategy is to do the traditional webinar launch. She’s planning to run ads for the webinar that specifically target people interested in RV maintenance.
Liz loves webinars, live videos and talking to people. She knows that running a webinar is one of her strengths, because she has so much experience with them. “I've written webinars for other people that have made you know $25,000 in ten minutes so I feel pretty confident about that strategy.”
For her second launch strategy Liz wants to try something different, which is using Facebook ads to get leads.
She’s seen the types of ads that run for other successful products that are similar to hers, and wants to use those to create ads of her own. She also plans to offer her product at a lower price, with more engaging content, to try to capture that part of the market.
“Right before the launch I was seeing this other much older course that's been on the market for a long time. And so I'd like to basically just copycat his ads and sell mine for a slightly lower price.”
Even though the other course is offered by a very respected company, it’s set in a classroom and is a lot less exciting than Fix It Yourself. Liz hopes to engage a new audience by adding her own personality and style to the topic.
“RVers are fun people, why is all the content boring?”
Liz ultimately wants to make her course Evergreen using whatever strategy she decides works best.
She’s also set big sales targets for 2019. She wants to make $100,000 from the course this year.
Liz is 13% of the way there now, after this first launch. She sold 141 courses this time around, which means she only needs to sell 441 courses to hit her target.
The price of the course is also going to change – Liz is going to up the price to $197. That will make hitting her target easier, because she won’t have to make as many sales. She knows this will work, because she got a lot of feedback from professionals and her customers who were surprised the cost of the course was so low with the value it provided.
“I did have a few professionals even tell me that the price was too low and nobody was going to buy it for $100. That made me really nervous because I was promising this would save people thousands of dollars.”
Ultimately this worked out really well for her, because she knew that the low price would work in her favor. There were some parts of the course that needed work, so she got good feedback from her customers that she can use to revamp the course for the second launch.
She also says she knew her audience, which also factored into the price. “Our viewers don't even pay for electricity half the time, so I figure $100.”
Liz’s business has come a long way since she released her first ebook, and so has her mindset.
She admits that she now feels like a much more confident version of herself. She’s also learned about her skills and the things that she’s good at.
“I'm much better at marketing. I found out after I launched that first book that I really really loved marketing. To me, marketing is not about trying to sell someone something. It's about showing them that you have the right thing for them it's about really getting into the mind of your customer.”
Liz also reflected a lot on her blog and how much it played a role in the development of her business. “I always knew I wanted to start a blog as a business. I didn't start out as a hobby and realized people made money. I saw someone making money online and I said I can do that.”
She’s learned that she loves getting to know her audience, both online and face-to-face. Her products allow her to help others in her community, which is a great way to get to know her subscribers and to give back.
“I feel like I know my customer more and it makes me excited about marketing. It made me excited to make this course not just because I was going to make money, because I knew I was going to help so many people help themselves and essentially make money by not spending it on RV maintenance costs.”
Liz’s track record over the past two and a half years years is super impressive: she’s made and launched six different digital products.
How does she do this? She makes sure to keep her momentum going. She doesn’t let herself stop moving forward, even after she’s had a big business success.
“That end of launch depression is real. You've got to keep going, you've got to assess the situation so to speak while you're still in it. And while it's winding down… you just can't say oh well that was it.”
Liz also says that action is really important to make sure you keep the momentum going.
“If you just keep acting you start to believe in yourself so much more. And I think lately I've just been telling anyone that will listen. I just believe in myself. That's why I'm doing it.”
She didn’t let herself be afraid or worried about the negatives of her product launches. Failures can be learning experiences, and even if it doesn’t work you can work to improve it the next time.
“Don't be afraid to do what no one else is doing.”
To make your product launch a success, Liz says that you can’t be afraid to do what needs to be done, or to put the work in to making your vision happen.
Even if it seems like too much, or it’s really terrifying, Liz says that you should go for it.You also shouldn’t be afraid to take the small steps that may make or break your success in the long run.
Once, Liz drove with her four-year-old to a meetup so she could get to know a potential affiliate.
“I drove with my four-year-old three hours and traffic to their meetup because we had met previously but I didn't know if they remembered me or what. And I knew I needed to establish that relationship again. Turned out they knew exactly who I was… and so I know when I go to ask them to help me promote this it's going to be a much easier yes.”
Her final words of advice? “I think if you want to launch and you have this idea for it, just do what it takes.”
//Links in the Show//
Check out Liz’s website, the Virtual Campground – https://thevirtualcampground.com/
Get a copy of Liz’s complete 13K launch breakdown here