How To Create High Converting Landing Pages With Elementor
We going to be discussing in this episode how WordPress can now be a direct competitor to SaaS platforms like Clickfunnels, with the right combination of free tools. We also are going to discuss funnels generally (including how the tech is only one part of the equation when it comes to successful funnels), and how I’ve used funnels and landing pages to sell $300k+ online courses in my first 2 years of business.
Dave Foy teaches non-coders how to build their businesses faster and more profitably using WordPress and the Elementor page builder.
Dave is actually a fully qualified teacher. For 10 years he taught 5-11-year-olds in the UK.
Dave built his first website 20 years ago, and in 2003 turned pro and spent 14 years in the industry, building and optimizing websites.
He started “Design-Build Web” (https://www.designbuildweb.co) in early 2017, combining his passion for teaching, his non-sleazy approach to marketing and 20+ years of web design experience. He applied everything he knew about sales funnels to his own website, resulting in rapid list growth, a string of profitable online course launches aimed at non-coders and a six-figure income in his first year.
Dave has 2 courses:
No Stress WordPress (https://www.nostresswp.co), teaching non-coders the framework for delivering fully functional WordPress websites faster with Elementor.
No Fear Funnels (https://www.nofearfunnels.co), teaching non-coder ‘non-marketers’ how to plan, design, build and manage highly effective sales funnels using WordPress and Elementor.
This weeks show is Sponsored By Kinsta Hosting
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the WP Tonic show. This is episode 409. The episodes are just going so quickly folks. We have got a great guest. He’s a fellow Englishman as well. We’ve got Dave Foy of Design and Build web.co. Dave, would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Dave: I will do. Hi everybody. It’s fantastic to be here. Thank you for asking me to come on the show Jonathan. I am very, very, very excited. My name’s Dave Foy. I run a website called Design Build Web, which basically teaches non coders how to build better performing websites more quickly or more profitably. I’ve been in the business since kind of like early 2017. I make online courses and support my students and absolutely love my dream job. It’s a job that I invented myself basically.
Jonathon: So we’re going to be covering about two to three major areas with Dave. We’re going to be discussing all the ways he started his business. He’s been very successful on his training course business. We’re discussing about some of the things he’s learned on that. And also with his training calls really. He also covers funnels, how to utilize WordPress to build effective funnels for various business. But also with a focus on how to use those WordPress funnels. If you’re building a course and you’re looking for to automate marketing automization and also funnels. So I thought you are going to be a fascinating guest because he could cover some really important areas. And I’ve got my Cindy, Cindy my cohost. Cindy, would you like to introduce ourselves to the listeners and viewers?
Cindy: Sure. Thanks Jonathan. Welcome Dave to the podcast. Hi everyone. I’m Cindy Nicholson from the coursewhisperer.com. So if you are looking to create a course, you need little help about how to put it together to make it really great for your students. You can certainly reach out to [email protected]
Jonathon: It is going to be Cindy`s last day with me folks. She’s escaping. She’s had enough of the mental state I have caused hers. She has given up on the podcast.. So I think we got great relationship. Unfortunately Cindy has decided to become a little bit of a wonderer for about a year here in a family. You’re going to be traveling around the world though. I am so envious Cindy.
Cindy: Yeah coming September. We’re renting our house out and going around the world to see other aspects of the world. That once in a lifetime you, you get a chance to see. So we’re really looking forward to it.
Jonathon: I just want to say Cindy. It’s been a pleasure working with you. How long have you been on the show? Time goes so quick, doesn’t it Cindy?
Cindy: It’s about a year now I think.
Jonathon: It’s been a real pleasure working with you Cindy. You have being a great cohost. You put up with my terrible jokes. And when you come back you are welcome to come back on the show. But I just want to say, I really appreciate you being such a great cohost. It’s been a real pleasure working with you.
Cindy: Thank you, Jonathan. It’s been a pleasure too.
Jonathon: That’s such a typical English man response. It really is. I see that this is going to be interesting. So Dave I am going to start off with why you started your business. What kind of drove you to get into this world of online training? And what kind of made you do the first step?
Dave: Yeah, well, I was actually a primary school teacher here in the UK. So I started teaching children from about age five to about 11. And I did that for 10 years and that sort of nineties to 2003. I’d always wanted to be a teacher, always wanted to. I’ve always just got, oh God, I can have great pleasure from just helping people. And helping people kind of progress and just get better at something. And I always, always wanted to teach from being fairly small myself really. And that was great, but there was just an awful lot. The British education system probably like a lot of other education systems around the world is just deteriorated into a horrible bureaucracy. And targets and this kind of prescriptive curriculum that I just decided I wanted no part of really.
Jonathon: It’s just fantastic when people that know nothing about your profession and start telling you how to do your job. Isn’t it Dave?
Dave: Exactly. It’s weird because I don’t actually enter the profession and was training at the time when, even as trainees we were being told exactly what to do. So in a sense it was quite normal to me, but I spent a long, long time in, in staff rooms. And because I was teaching Primary School children. They would. Kind of have mostly female teachers in the staff room and they would just complaining all day long constantly. And I think I saw those on the thought. I do not want to be you.
Jonathon: I’m not going to do it. Cindy’s kind of modified me a little bit. I’m just not going to go there actually Dave. Over to you Cindy.
Cindy: Well, it is interesting Dave, because I used to be a teacher in the 90s as well. A high school teacher and you know, for some of the exact same reasons I left the profession. And what I love is we now have this medium now that we can use our teaching experience but in a different format. Where we don’t have to be the prescriptive teacher in the classroom. So I’ll let you finish your story in terms of how you ended up getting into what you’re doing specifically. But tell me what you bring as a teacher into the online training world and how you maybe do things differently than other people.
Dave: Yeah. Well it actually took me a long, long time to make that leap. That being a classroom teacher could be something that I could translate onto something online. It took me a long, long, long time. I mean the in between was me becoming a web designer and just thoroughly enjoying the job. And there were the aspects of web design that were preferable to teaching. In the fact that you could actually finish a job and usually to somebody satisfaction. There was an end point of a project with teaching. There was never an end, it’s just endless. But it took me a long, long, long time. I actually started noticing after a while because I had 16 years as a web designer as well doing client work. So it has been quite a long time.
Every 18 months. I used to get this urge to teach. It was like uncontrollable. It overtook every aspect of me to the point where I would actually go back into schools. And ask, can I come in and teach a bit? And within a day I’d be running for the hills. Like, oh no, I’ve just remembered it is even worse than it ever was. So it took me a long, long time to actually for my slow brain to Twig, you could just do this online. I understand the struggles that people who don’t have a formal teaching qualification. Or a formal teaching background. I’ve got huge imposter syndrome themselves. It’s like, who am I to be teaching online? Who am I to be leading? And helping other people. But I had it as well and I’ve got a qualification. So it was a real revelation to me.
It is just one day. It was literally like I just suddenly thought, Oh wow, I could actually do this. But using the experience I’ve had as a web designer. And all the time I’ve had to help non coders has tried to develop for the web. I’ve spent 16 years doing that without realizing that I can do it. So there’s partly confidence. I mean, people often tell me it is obvious you’re a teacher. I can tell you’re a teacher before you’ve even say anything. But I think, I just kind of bring that approach of. I think the key thing is actually being able to break things down. I think that’s the thing, it’s kind of having the mindset. I always think that I’m teaching seven year olds basically.
And I don’t mean that’s very patronizing. I just mean just because I understand that people just need things breaking down. They just need to understand that from where they are now to where they want to be. We need to break it down into small manageable steps. And achieve something and get praise for it and a result from it, you know, understand. So I think that’s the thing that I really bring. Or maybe a bit of patience as well. A bit of kind of empathy. And I understand that well the people might be struggling. And to kind of preempt that maybe. So quite often find myself doing that when I’m putting lessons together and doing webinars and things. Quite often thinking I know what the question, I can hear the question now. You know, so I’ll preempt that and answer it right now rather than. I think there are those skills, but I will say I do, I don’t think for a second that you need a teaching qualification to teach online.
In fact, far, far from it. I think if you’ve got a passion for something, you’ve got to have a passion for wanting to help people. There’s no two ways about it. If you’re in it for the money, you’re not going to last. But I don’t think you need any kind of formal teaching qualification. And you need the passion and you need the empathy with your audience to understand that they are where you once were. Maybe a year ago or 10 years ago or 20 years ago. And then take it from there.
Cindy: Yeah, I think that’s a really important point. Because it’s helpful to be a teacher because you might get through things quicker. But if you’re an expert in your field, the key and the trick is to try and put yourself in their shoes. And break it down into manageable pieces so that they can go along that journey to eventually get to where you are, hopefully.
Dave: Yeah, exactly. And I think the thing as well is, I teach my students this all the time. It is that you only really know yourself. Because one of the things I teach a lot of is like marketing funnels. And so what my students are doing is actually teaching their own ideal audience via their funnels. With the content that attracts them and nurtures them and the lead magnets all teaching all of it. And they will often say who am I, you know, to be teaching these things and who am I to be in part in this knowledge? And I feel like a bit of a fraud and I always say, you need to be one step ahead of your audience. That’s it. You don’t need to be a fully qualified expert with all of the, I don’t know.
Well, I mean there’s just, people just expect that they need all kinds of things before they’ve got permission to teach online. And you only need to be an expert if you’re. In fact, sometimes it’s better if you’re only a few steps ahead. You are the expert that’s been doing this for 30 years. It’s sometimes hard to put yourself in the beginner’s mind. I think.
Cindy: I agree with you a hundred percent. Jonathan.
Jonathon: So, you’d be running the course. The information you’ve given me, you’ve been very successful at it. Have you been surprised at the success? What have being one of the key things you’ve learned on this journey on building these courses which you would like to share with the audience?
Dave: How long have I got?
Jonathon: I’m noted for my long winded questions actually.
Dave: No, no, no, and no. I’ve got a potentially very long winded answer. I’ll try and choose like just the key ones. Because what I’ve learned has just been incredible. I think one of the things is I’ll kind of hit a few because I think there are quite a few important things. One is the vast importance of your email list, like actually providing value that helps your audience where they are. In return for like a lead magnet or some sort of opt into actually grow your email list and build a relationship with them as well. And actually kind of builds that sense of you are actually friends. You are actually kind of part of a crowd. They are part of your tribe.
I built an email list from day one. Version one of my website was a quick homepage that said sign up for updates and it was the most terrible opt in incentive in the world. But it just kind of mind my intention from day one was to create email addresses and to build that list. So that’s number one. Number two is that it is hard. And you’ve got to just keep going and you will feel the fears basically just a bit like this. It’s kind of like, oh you go up for a while and you kind of get better at a certain skill. It might be making videos, it might be teaching, it could be anything. All these different kinds of like obstacles along the way that you kind of, you overcome an obstacle. You hit a little plateau awhile and everything comes along and then there’s another obstacle.
There’s another wall, there’s the next step, there’s the next thing. And you’ve got to, I always tell people, you’ve got to understand that you will frequently hit these walls, which strike fear into you. I’ve had several moments where I starting to learn how to make videos and having my face online for people to reject and ridicule and laugh at. That was number one. We all have it. That was number one where literally I made my first video. I’d never made videos before ever. And I actually cried with frustration because the guy at the other end of the camera looking back at me, I didn’t recognize him. It’s this stupid voice, stupid face, just like awful. I got over that. I’m actually selling something to people was a massive barrier. I actually, when I launched my first course back in November, 2017, it was. I’ve been procrastinating for about five months before that.
And every time it came to me asking for money for something. It was like the physical failing was exactly the same as if I was about to be pushed off a cliff, like physically. So you’re kind of learning that the fear will be there and you’ve just got to push through because the reward at the other side is amazing. So there’s definitely that as well. And I suppose that’s kind of a big thing really. I mean some people aren’t afraid of selling at all. It is not really not a problem for them. But I think for a lot of people it is a real barrier. And the thing that I learned, the thing that really kind of pushed me over the edge was if people don’t buy my solution to their problem, I can’t help them.
And if I can’t help them, I’m doing nobody any good. So that I actually have no problem asking people for money. Partly because I’m confident of the value that I’m gonna bring. I’m confident of their transformation they’re going to have as a result of that training. But ultimately, if they don’t buy the thing, I can’t help them. And I’ve come to understand that only a small number of my audience will actually end up buying. There’s only a small number of them that small percentage generally that will want to buy and be able to buy and we’ll be able to afford to buy. And that’s fine. I’ve come to accept that. I think they’re the major things.
Jonathon: Well, that’s great. We’re going to go for our break, folks. We’re coming back and it’ll be discussing funnels, how to build them in WordPress, how to make ones that convert. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. We’ve had a great discussion with Dave. So Dave, you’ve been on my radar for a while. But you came on slightly a bit more my focus with the Webinar that you did with Troy Dean. About building webinars and funnels. I got the impression and I might be totally wrong here. I’m sure you will correct me quick. Is that a lot, your courses are aimed at kind of design is utilizing Elementor the page builder. Is that basically correct?
Dave: Yeah, yeah. It’s Elementor the page builder plugin for WordPress. The very briefly, the reason for that is because when I first started the business that identified, I actually wanted to help. But the focus has changed since. But I identified I wanted to help graphic designers be able to build the websites that they had in their heads. So be able to translate the kind of creativity into the technical stuff that they needed to do online. Because I’d spent 16 years doing that informally with graphic designers I worked with on projects. And I trialed all kinds of technical solutions. I mean, not just WordPress. I open mindedly look to everything. Squarespace, Wix, all kinds of different things. And Elementor just won hands down. As a designer, especially just like having Photoshop and illustrator, but in WordPress.
So it was just an amazing tool really, that I could use as a basis for my teaching. But the beauty of it is, is that it allows you to build all the stuff that you would normally, people think that you need tools like click funnels and the specialists and lead pages. And inbounds and the beauty is that you can just build it all in WordPress. I actually just to kind of my own personal journey towards page builders in general within WordPress. Because out of necessity when I started building websites in the late nineties, like 1998, I built my first website. It was all hand coding. I had to learn how to code in order to get things onto the screen. And I had an aversion to drag and drop page builders and prebuilt themes in WordPress.
I believed in the purity of the code, which is nonsense.
Jonathon: The poetry of the code.
Dave: The poetry of the code. Yeah. Yeah. But what I realized was, is that guys like me, we were the bottleneck. So the marketers, the designers, the creative, I’ve got an idea and they want to test it straight away. When I build a landing page really quickly to test an idea for our audience. Or test an advert or test something out. And it’s like right quick, quickly sketch out the idea. Let’s go Dave, are we ready? Let me just check my diary. Hang on a moment. I can fit this in in three weeks’ time. It’s just like, oh. So all those people were basically bypassing me. And starting to use page builders. And it was only when I actually, there was a moment that tweaked my suddenly thought. This is democratization of the web right here. It’s suddenly don’t need experts like me to bypass. You could just bypass people like me and actually get results online really, really quickly within an hour. And that to me just blew my mind. So Elementor is amazing for that, especially when it comes to things like landing pages and funnels and sales pages. It’s amazing.
Jonathon: Over to you Cindy.
Cindy: It is amazing how, especially like if you were doing the work back in the late nineties, I can’t imagine how much things have changed for you just to see the evolution of that. So thanks for your perspective as being a course creator. And now one of your areas of expertise is around funnels. So maybe you can share, we’ve got the listeners, course creators want to create a course. So maybe if we could tap into your expertise about things they should be thinking about when they go to create their funnel. When it comes to actual courses themselves. Is there anything different than what they would do for other things that they might sell?
Dave: In terms of, so we’re talking about in terms of actually kind of attracting an audience, who are going to go on to buy their course. I would say that really do kind of what I ended up doing. I’ve ended up making lots of lots of little mistakes over the last two and a half years. But there are various things in hindsight I would’ve done better. The very, very first thing is to actually attract your ideal audience in the first place. No funnel is going to achieve anything if there isn’t traffic actually going into it. I mean just to say as well just and kind of demystify this word funnel. It’s not a word I particularly like. I mean really we’re just putting in place a system that will attract the right people and qualify the right people to move them further along so that they will ultimately buy your thing. And eventually become raving fans, you know, and all that kind of thing as well.
So first thing is to attract them. Now for somebody who’s creating a course, you should really be building up a database or list a spreadsheet, whatever, of all the questions people asks about your topic? And use free content to answer those questions. I mean for me it is YouTube because it’s just inherently visual. Showing people what to do on screen. But it doesn’t have to be whatever works for you. I got myself involved in Facebook groups. Elementor Facebook groups, WordPress Facebook groups, Facebook groups for various themes. Basically it was helpful, made a nuisance of myself at times. But what I did all the time, every single piece of content, I had opt in everything. So if I had a particular video showing you how to build a particular, I don’t know, particularly landing page for instance, it would be in the video.
If you want the template for this so you can just import it and bypass all of this. Then go to my website to this particular page. Give us your email address and I’ll send it to you. So it’s kind of already building an email list of people who are interested in what you are selling. The next thing I would say is the other thing to kind of attract people is to have some sort of more permanent lead magnet on your page, on your website as well. So I’m actually replacing it soon, but on my website currently design build web.co. Right at the top, there’s a big advert for like a four part video series. Because I had identified that people who might want to buy my no fear funnels course probably right now they’re stuck. The No Fear course funnels teaches all about sales psychology and email nurturing.
And it’s not massively technical actually, but I know my audience right now is stuck. I need to build a landing page. So that’s what the video series is about. But they’ve got to give their email address to get a lot of kind of key bonuses. Now the model of costs launches that I’ve had until now is kind of like the open and closed model. So it’s basically the cost is shot with a waiting list, but then you know, every kind of like four months maybe or maybe six months, I’ll open the doors for a week. And there’s a flurry of activity and lots and lots of sales and people have been waiting for ages and there’s a real buzz. And there’s a lot of urgency because of the deadline, which is fantastic. But it’s, Oh my word, it’s exhausting.
Absolutely, utterly exhausting. So I’m moving my courses gradually over to more of like an evergreen launched model. So the idea will be, and this is like the funnel basically, I’ve got like an evergreen funnel in place. So the idea will be just generically speaking that there will be a lead magnet that people have got to opt in for something. Maybe just a pdf checklist. It just might be something really make it simple, make it easy, and make it a quick win for your audience. No complicated long eBooks or anything like that. Just something that gives people a really quick, easy win. Then like for one of my courses is actually the next step is the thank you page. But the thank you page actually says, what I’m doing is I’m basically kind of like hitting them with some extra value straight away. And kind of qualifying their interest in the course. I’ve sent you the pdf, but you can optionally watch like a video like master class where I’ll actually show you how to put these things in place and also like some extra stuff as well.
And I actually, with this basically bypass the whole caught ship ritual of an email every day where I gradually introduced the fact that I’ve got a course. I kind of just go for it. So there was a master class. I’m not pretending its life, there’s none of that nonsense of all that kind of fake life, like live business. And actually kind of pitched the costs at the end of that. It’s basically say, so here’s what we’ve learned. It’s kind of a fairly classic kind of Webinar structure really. And if you want to shortcut basically a course should be the fast track shortcuts of the results that you want. That’s what you’re paying for. So if you want fast track shortcuts, they actually can be being the web designer you want to be or having the business that you want.
Whatever it is for your particular funnel. And then people can sign up. And there’s an incentive, you get it for like a hundred bucks less than it will be normally if you buy it now. Or I’m using them service called deadline funnel, which basically allows you to have an individual deadline for everybody that comes through. So they’ve got their own deadline basically for whenever they first entered the funnel. So the urgency is really important. Really important. If you say to people they can buy now or later, well people will. They’ll just I think it’s your duty to get people off the fence. I felt weird about that for a while, but I don’t anymore. It’s like, it’s my duty to get you off the fence and get on with this training. So, and then if people buy gray that’s amazing.
And if they don’t, I’m not pushy at all. I would never do that. But they’re going to another sequence where I gradually kind of explained value of the course. And the results that other people have had from the course. And then people have got an opportunity further to buy from that as well. But that’s the basic funnel that I’ve got in place and you know, rather than kind of waiting along actually kind of alternate that sequence. It’s far better for your sanity. It’s far better for your cash flow and budgets and having a steady stream of predictable money coming in. And also as well, having those kinds of funnels in place allows you to test things. So if I decided I want a different headline on the sales page. I can tweak it and immediately see the impact. Whereas if you’ve got these kinds of like open and closed and you don’t open again for another six months, you have no opportunity to test that hypothesis.
Cindy: That’s fantastic. Thank you for sharing that because I think that provides really good insight and I love the idea of that that master class offer. We’re kind of right away because you know, if people are in the position that they want to buy, you give them that opportunity. So that’s great.
Dave: Yeah, and I think the thing as well to understand is a lot of people I think that have courses or wants to make courses feel that by giving away lead magnets, giving away free content given away, even like another half an hour master class, that somehow you’re going to give away everything. Why would people want to buy the full course? But you’ve got to try and just catch people, try and understand where your audience is at the point they discover you in the funnel, they’re probably really struggling. They probably aren’t even sure quite where they need to go. So I think if you can just help solve that initial problem for them and really kind of deliver that value. You can do it on video so much the better because the face to face trusting is enormous. So I would say to people if you find a video push through it, because I did. It was horrible for a long, long time, but I don’t care what anybody thinks about me anymore. I really don’t give monkeys.
Jonathon: Well we are going to wrap up the podcast part of the show folks. Dave as agreed to stay on and we’re going to be delving in to some of the mechanics of utilizing WordPress. And what you think are the strengths of WordPress compared to some of the SAS courses like Kajabi like that. How can people find out more about you and what you have to?
Dave: Well there’s, my main website is design build web.co, which is my kind of just main website. I have got blogs and regular stuff coming out. I’ve got two separate sites as well for my courses. There’s no fear of funnels.co. And there’s a waiting list on there when that course opens. And then there’s another one which is no stress work. The course is called no stress web. Nostresswp.co. And that’s kind of like where my other courses are as well. And then if it’s not open, people can sign up for a waiting list on that as well. So I’d say those three places.
Jonathon: That’s great. And Cindy how can people find out more about you, what you’re up to?
Cindy: Well, they can always visit [email protected] or reach out to me on LinkedIn. But I just want to take this moment, Jonathan, to thank you again for everything and for putting up with me for the last year. And giving me the opportunity. And also to the listeners too, for putting up with me as well. Every week as we’ve gone through it. So again, thanks Dave for joining us and thank you to Jonathan.
Jonathon: That’s great, and if you really want to support the show, go to iTunes and give us a review. It really does help the show. And I personally really appreciate if you can do that folks. We’ll see you next week with another guest, another great interview, which hopefully we give you some more knowledge about how to build your online course. And get the success for yourself and your family that you’re looking for. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.
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