Lyndsay Phillips is a serial entrepreneur; client-appointed task master
plus project ninja and warrior content marketer for life & business coaches,
accountants and other online entrepreneurs across the globe. CEO & Founder
of Smooth Sailing Business Growth, she leads a rock star team to support
entrepreneurs who are seeking fast-paced business growth but finally have
come to the realization that they can’t do it alone, do it all, and do it well.
She is also the host of Smooth Business Growth Podcast, plus Smooth Business
Growth Flash on Alexa– – and loves sharing practical tips, business building &
content marketing strategies. An expert in all things content marketing, she
and her team focus on leveraging content to attract and convert customers
faster and build stronger relationships along the way
This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting
Jonathon: Welcome back to the WP tonic show. This is episode 383. And we got a really fantastic quest. She seems up for it. She’s pumped up. And that`s Lyndsay Phillips of Smooth Sailing Business Growth. I just love the name.
Jonathon: Yes. So Lyndsay, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Lyndsay: For sure. I joke and say that I’m captain of Smooth Sailing Business Growth.
Jonathon: I was expecting you to have a captain.
Lyndsay: Yeah, I’m not a hat girl at all. And I don’t have a boat. But I love the water and I love the idea of, of course everything going smooth in your business, which is what we all want. And so we help our customers attract and acquire and convert customers faster through content marketing and been in business. Gosh, I run out of time, six years maybe now I can even go. All goes by way too fast. Have a team now of I think there’s 14 of us and we’re just yeah, growing and I love, love, love what I do. I adore my clients. They are like family to me and love sales funnels, especially podcasts and podcast production. And of course have my own show as well, which Cindy has been on. So yeah, it’s been a great journey.
Jonathon: Hey, got your own crew definitely. So I also got my fantastic cohost Cindy. Cindy would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners? The new ones.
Cindy: Yes. Hello everyone. It is Cindy Nicholson here. I am from the coursewhisperer.com. And I help entrepreneurs that are looking to level up their online courses.
Jonathon: And I am the founder and CEO WP Tonic. So in this episode folks, we’re going to be talking about sales funnels, funnels to help you if you got an eLearning course membership site, everything about funnels. And also we’re going to fit a bit of this and a bit of that in. So we keep the conversation flowing. But before we go into the main content, I love to quickly talk about one of my great sponsors and that`s Kinsta Hosting. And what is Kinsta Hosting? Well they provide hosting only for WordPress websites. And if you’ve got a membership site or course or a Woocommerce site, your normal average shared hosting just ain’t going to hack it folks. You are going to have loads of problems so you need some a bit better. And that’s what Kinsta Hosting provide.
They provide performance hosting on Google cloud so you get the best performance possible, but you also get a fantastic interface and fantastic 24/7 support. And we host the WP Tonic website on Kinsta. Been doing that for over a year. They’ve been our sponsor for about two years. And they’re just so fantastic crew and you get all the bells and whistles. You get staging site, latest versions of PHP. Why is that important? Well, it’ll make your site super-fast. Staging one click backup. And if you have a problem, you talk to people that really understand about hosting and about WordPress. So if that sounds attractive to you or your clients go to kinsta.com. That’s the plug and on to Lyndsay Lyndsay. And how are we going to start this Lyndsay? Are we going to start with funnels? Do you fancy starting off with that?
Lyndsay: Yeah I am game for anything. Bring it on. We were kind of chatting before and stuff and emailing back and forth. And Cindy of course is a whiz when it comes to online courses. But I think it feels like people have their courses and it just kind of stands alone and hovers by itself. Which if you’re like Grant Cardone and you’ve got like a bazillion and you’re making like a lot of passive income on them that hey, Kudos to you. But I mean, we want to leverage that content and those products as best as we can. And I guess kind of understand how it fits into your business model and it fits into the big picture.
Jonathon: Yeah I suppose it does. How do we start this journey of funnels? And where do you think somebody should start on this journey?
Lyndsay: For sure. And that’s a great question because you do need to get the big picture. And I mean some people call it a sales funnel and some people think of sales funnels as only emails. I mean there’s tons of terminology out there. I call it a product ladder. Some people call it an ascension ladder. But basically in a nutshell, if you think of a ladder, you need to have people take step one and then take step two, step three to get them where you want them to go. Which you know, in most cases is like a big event or a group coaching program or one on one coaching. Whatever your biggest ticket product is or the one where you had the biggest ROI or whatever that may be. And so if you have, and I’ll just kind of give an example. So a lead magnet would be like a step one.
A webinar would also be like a step one to kind of attract them and pull them into your circle. You could have a trip wire is like a really maybe even like a paid webinar or really small course. And then again it kind of depends on the cost of your online course. If it’s a series, if it’s just a quick one off, they’re buying something, right? They’re buying your course. So what do you want them to do next that relates? Again, maybe it’s a course series or like a three month coaching program or a two day event, whatever that may be. You need to have steps of where they’re entering, how they get to the course and then we’re, they’re going to go after that.
Jonathon: That`s great. Cindy?
Cindy: Yeah, I think that’s really important because you know, any of the clients that I work with really the course that they want to create is kind of always the starting point. They know they want to create a course and I often ask them like on recording, where does this fit in your overall business plan? And they really haven’t thought that through. They’re just mainly focused on getting the course done. But you really want it to be part of an overall plan. I know all of my clients want to have something beyond it, whether it’s courses or membership sites or masterminds. Those are kind of all of the other things. So where can this online course or a membership site fit in an overall business plan? What are the options in terms of what’s available to them beyond just creating an online course?
Lyndsay: Exactly. And I mean you know best Cindy. It’s like there’s so many different types of courses. Some are like a full one day immersion. Some are, I mean there are so many mini workshops, a seminar. It can be an hour. It can be like an eight week program. And again, some might be 20 bucks, some might be free and some might be $1,000. So I think the level of commitment that someone has to take, whether it’s time or money, I think that is like, that’s weighted. That needs to come into consideration of how it fits into the puzzle. Cause you don’t want them to go from a free lead magnet to $20 to $2,000. It needs to be, it’s like you have to I know it’s Cliché, but you have to date them. You have to nurture them. You have to get them to trust you and slowly handout those dollars so to speak. And yeah, and another great point honestly, is the topics that are covered. I mean, you don’t want to have someone coming in through a lead magnet that’s covering their problem about hiring. And then you’re going to offer them a course on how to generate leads because it doesn’t correlate. It’s not like a natural progression. It’s not salt. It’s not getting them to dive deeper into you, helping them solve their problem.
Cindy: Yeah, no, that’s a really good, and making sure that the lead magnet will be kind of part and parcel of what the solution is that your online course will solve. And it’s funny, I often, when I’m working with clients, I often come, they don’t have their lead magnet yet, but as we start working together, we ended up discovering, oh, this’ll be perfect lead magnet to get them into the course. Because it’s not something you want to include that in the course, but it’s a good way to them into it. So that’s something to always be keeping in mind. What is the lead magnet that will kind of direct them to the problem that they want to solve?
Lyndsay: For sure. And you want to attract them. Like with social media, Facebook ads, whatever that may be your email list to get them to kind of get that lead magnet. And you’re giving them a taste of like to solve. The biggest thing is you’re solving their problem through the course, through the lead magnet, through whatever it may be. So you want to give them like a taste of you and then the course or like they’re hungry for more and they think you’re the bomb diggity on that topic. And then naturally they would want you to coach them or whatever it may be.
Cindy: Right, exactly. Jonathan.
Jonathan: Yeah. I think it is fantastic. One thing that being coming on my mind. Could you ask her another question Cindy?
Cindy: I do actually have a question that I was going to ask. So you’ve got your lead magnet that helps direct them to the course. They ended up taking the course. Let’s say you have subsequent wrongs after this that you want to attract your customers or your, your students into. What do you think about selling in the course in terms of talking about other offers? Do you recommend it? Would you go about enticing people to continue on working with you?
Lyndsay: Yeah, totally. I love, love that. My business coach, Jim Palmer and my friend that I’ve had for years. He is the king of planting seeds. It’s like even in the videos or however you present the course material, I’m assuming a lot of them are video. You can like casually, oh, when I coached my client about this topic, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’re seeding that you even have a coaching program. So it’s subtle. You’re not selling, but you’re just kind of planting those little pieces of information. Or even like oh, I talked about this on one of my podcast shows. Smooth business growth podcast. You’re just kind of planting that little bit of information. And same with using your results or case studies. That is huge. It speaks for itself. So even if it’s in like the course material, whether it’s written or otherwise. If you show a sample or an example in your teaching process, not only does it help them kind of picture it in their head. But you’re planting a seed that you’ve helped this person do this exact thing, therefore you can help them.
And so it kind of, you know, psychologically they’re like, oh yeah, I have the same issue. They help that person. They’re going to help me. And honestly, I’m a firm believer in like if they log into a membership site to like kind of get their course and stuff like that. Absolutely have a tab in there or a page in there that is like, how can I help you more? How can you work with me on a deeper level? Or how can I take this to the next step? You can’t rely on them to ask the questions, hey, how can I get more? Because they’re not gonna. You need to like, hey, here’s how else I can help. Or a video of like what the next steps are, whatever that may be. Absolutely. Firm believer.
Cindy: Yeah. I love that advice. In terms of, in the actual course, you don’t necessarily have to be hard selling anything. But you can plant the seeds, you can tell stories, you can use case studies. When I was working with this client, those are all ways to plant the seeds. So I think that those are great strategies where people will feel more comfortable doing it like selling. Because a lot of that turns a lot of students off to if they feel like they’re just being sure, I think during it. And then potentially at the end of the course, do you want more? Like if you’re interested in some further help or whatever, here is what I have to offer. That may be a way to entice those people that are actually interested in working with you more because I’ve gotten so much value out of them to begin with.
Lyndsay: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and you got to toot your own horn man,
Cindy: And you can do it in a subtle way. That’s helpful for sure. Jonathan.
Jonathon: Yeah, I think my mind is close to now. Thank you Cindy for jumping in. I think this is going to be one of my long winded ones. And I am going to leave it until after the break. We are going to go for our break folks. And when we come back we are going to continue this great discussion with the captain of the ship. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back folks. Moby rough seas for your course. But big up the captain Lyndsay Phillips she’s going to guide us to calmer waters. So I’ve had a bit of a go at people that say, you know this, you know, running a course, membership sites is passive income, this whole thing. You can just sit out and leave it. And Cindy’s agreed with me that that’s a basically a load of rubbish. But on the other hand, I don’t want to be negative because I would really think this is one of the few areas that you can be in the unemployment and have the opportunity to build a secondary business, a secondary income. And be able to do that. It’s going to be hard work, but it’s possible to be able to do this in as either part time or semi full time job. What are your thoughts about that Lyndsay?
Lyndsay: I personally love leveraging stuff that you have already done. So one of my clients has done her course live, which has been fantastic, gleaned results and so forth. But then using that content again and creating it as an evergreen. Whether it’s free Webinar or whatever that may be, making it evergreen. And then as long as you have a really good customer experience and a really good follow-up sequence afterwards to kind of push them to the next step, it could glean killer results. And if you keep building products based on stuff that you’re already doing or delivering live. And then really when you’re doing it live, you’re almost giving it a test run. Like is there really interest in the marketplace? Are People responding? Did you get a lot of results at the end of your offer? And if it didn’t, you tweak it and do it live again. And then when it’s like, bang on, then make it evergreen and build it into a product. So, I mean, I think it’s a great test model.
Jonathon: I also believe that it’s possible to do it and you don’t have too many people bugging out on the course. And you can build it up to a certain revenue level. You can do to, and it’s manageable when you can leave the boss, can’t you, you can say farewell, I’m going on a different cruise.
Lindsay: Love it. It`s good to have your business and what you do. But even to have a few pieces that are passive income and kind of running itself. It’s not like you have to be either or. I mean and if something takes off and some of those pieces are generating a lot of money for you, and then do more of that. But I mean honestly do what it is that you love mean don’t create products and passive income just for the sake of it. I mean do things that make you happy.
Jonathon: Yeah be happy. What do you recommend Cindy?
Cindy: Yeah. Well I think your point around leveraging the material that you’ve got is huge. I think that’s one of the biggest things might clients kind of realize once they put this of course together is they’ve got content for their blogs. And their podcasts or whatever they’re doing. They have content for a long time and they all have materials that they can share. So maybe if you can talk a little bit about how to leverage that material, like what kinds of things can they do with the content that they’ve got in their course? And leverage it in other ways to help market themselves and things like that.
Lyndsay: So sorry, it was the question about leveraging your content to make a course or leveraging your course to?
Cindy: The other way around. So you’ve created a course. Is there an opportunity to leverage or what are the opportunities to leverage what you’ve already, what you’ve created in there in other aspects of your business?
Lyndsay: That is a great question. I love when, and I’ve had clients do things multiple ways, especially if you have a book. It’s easy to create a course on a book because you got the stuff over there already. But then you can take snippets out of it and create blog posts. Because those blog posts, if traffic is going to those blog posts, that’s like a bite, you know, like a snackable bite of your course. And you’re getting a lot of hits on that page than generate a lead magnet that it has to do with that because that is what is attracting people, that specific topic. And you can use that as a hook. Then you know, Facebook ads, retargeting videos, whatever that may be to attract more interest into your course. Or like again, you’ve got the content in your course.
Don’t take the video that’s in your course out of it in use, but you can, let’s say you’ve got a five step ways to make a cake. And then whatever that one way is, you could do like a two minute video on it and it’s, you’re going to reword it differently anyways. But it’s just you don’t have to reinvent the wheel of what a blog topic is, what a podcast topic is, what a video topic is. Social media posts, whatever that may be. And it’s also a way when you’re sharing that content to see which tips from your course are getting the most action because that will help you market the course better and optimize it a little bit more.
Cindy: Yeah, that’s a good point. I kind of hadn’t thought about that, but yeah, I find if you’re creating your course, you can leverage a lot of that material to. And if you find that you’re getting particular interest in certain topics that you talk about it, that could be a way focus on or emphasize when you’re marketing. Now that’s a good point. Jonathan?
Jonathon: One of the things we’ve stressed over the months is pre-identifying. Is there a demand for your course? Your subjects, your experience. And a lot of people, I think they really over their experience in the industry, they got a lot of experience or they’ve got a lot of connections. They just think, yeah, because of they got that there’s going to be a demand for their course. Have you got any kind of tips or insights about how they can pre identify? Is there a need? Is there a want for their course? I personally think two areas might be Facebook groups or YouTube. But I don’t know if you like those platforms and you’ve got your own, some of your own ideas.
Lyndsay: I mean there’s so many different ways of testing. You can do a video on the topic, blogs on the topic and create a lead magnet on the topics. Do webinars, whether you’re doing Facebook ads for the webinars to drive traffic or boost posts either which way. It’s you have to see what is it that your audience wants, what topic is like burning in their brain, what are they suffering from on a daily basis? If you test a bunch of different topics or webinars or videos or whatever and there’s one that’s kind of stands out like people really watched or they signed up for. Then you know they want more of it and even those people that, let’s say you did a Webinar, you could approach them afterwards or do a survey, Hey, would you want more? If I turn this into this, this or this would you want a course? Would you want to deep dive into this topic to fix it? I mean there’s nothing wrong with asking.
Jonathon: I think that`s so true. I think a good idea is look at what’s popular on YouTube in your area. And who’s getting views and also do that on Facebook groups that are in your subject. And then maybe do a landing page or a lead magnet that answers, some of those things you’re observing just to see if you, if you do get people signing up.
Jonathon: Just before you delve into a whole course. What do you reckon Lyndsay?
Lyndsay: For sure. And I’ve known a couple people to have like a waiting list where there’s content on that page, so you’re sharing content you’re serving. But hey, I’m building this course. You know, would you want to be on a waiting list to find out when it comes up and have some preliminary verbiage about what the course would cover? And then if you get enough people sign up for the waiting list, then you know you’re golden, you’ve got them to Beta test it for you or whatever and don’t. To me, I’m like doing not be afraid to say that you’re Beta testing something. I’m launching a new course. I’m going to Beta test it to a small group. You get a charter member fee for it or whatever and then work out the kinks. And then if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I mean not everything’s gonna work out perfectly. And if it works like gangbusters, you tweak and launch.
Jonathon: I think that`s such great advice. Because I have so many clients that approach me and they want the whole the whole thing built out. And they haven’t done any provisional testing. And it is a lot of work to build a really quality course. I think it’s much better to kind of build like some lead magnets or maybe a starter course. Than really delving in a major project.
Lyndsay: Yeah and webinars are a really easy way to test. You got to do the marketing and stuff, but really it’s like an hour of your time live on zoom, whether you have slides or don’t have slides. See how the chat function goes and what feedback that you’re getting and stuff like that. It’s a fairly done committal, easy way to tasks without investing a lot.
Jonathon: So I think we are going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. We are going to go into some bonus content which you’ll see quicker than the podcast. If you go to our YouTube channel. If you want to see our latest interviews before we put them on the podcast and also our bonus content. Go to the WP Tonic YouTube channel and you probably are able to see our interviews about two full days before we actually publish them on iTunes. And see if you just can’t wait. So Lyndsay how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to?
Lyndsay: For sure. I mean I’m more heavily on Facebook than anything else. But if they go to smoothbusinessgrowth.com they can check out of course all of my great content and I’ve got a social media roadmap on the home page that they can dive into. And yeah, I love connecting on Facebook.
Jonathon: And Cindy, how can people find out more about you, what you’re thinking and what you are up to?
Cindy: Well they can come and visit me at the coursewhisperer.com. And I’m also more active on LinkedIn. So come and talk to me there and say you heard us on the podcast.
Jonathon: And if you want to find out more about WP Tonic, go to the WP Tonic website. We’ve always got some great articles, great interviews. Basically we provide a free course if you’re looking to start your first membership site. Just go to the WP Tonic site and just kind of stick in and learn. Just suck it into the mind. We will be back next week folks where we can have another expert like Lyndsay sharing their knowledge and their experience. Or we will be having an internal chat with me and Cindy. But we will be providing something of interest for you. If you’re looking to start that membership site with the power of WordPress. We will be back next week. Bye.
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