#90: Tips for Selling Scalable Online Courses with Sigrun Gudjonsdottir

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

In today's episode, our guest, Sigrun Gudjonsdottir, shares invaluable insights on creating and selling online courses.

From the psychology of launches to engaging with potential clients, we delve into the strategies that drive success. Discover the power of targeted marketing, the impact of longer promotional periods, and the potential of tough love coaching.

Sigrun is an acclaimed business coach, bestselling author, and host of the Sigrun Show podcast. Known as a leading business mentor in Europe, she's dedicated to advancing gender equality through female entrepreneurship and guiding women to launch and grow their online businesses to 7 figures.

Based between Iceland and Switzerland, she's passionate about helping others kickstart their online businesses.

Learn more about Sigrun: https://www.sigrun.com/

Get Signun's book for free here: https://www.sigrun.com/podcast-bryan-mcanulty [Kickstart Your Online Business: Create the online course that kicks off your online business]

Watch this episode when it premieres live for a chance to interact with Sigrun. Leave your questions for her in the comments!


Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:00:00]:

So I did a test email. I think I I rarely get so many replies as through this test email that actually people say, I like you even more. I, this this, shows me I'm in the right spot because

Bryan McAnulty [00:00:13]:

Welcome to the Creators Adventure, where we interview creators from around the world hearing their stories about growing a business. I've heard people say that Cohorts and launches, all of that is dead. Well, today's guest is going to prove that wrong. Hey, everyone. I'm Brian McAnulty, the founder of Heads Platform. Let's get into it. Hey, everyone. We're here today with Sigrun, she is an acclaimed business coach, a best selling author, and host of The Sigrun Show podcast.

Bryan McAnulty [00:00:47]:

Known as a leading business mentor in Europe, she's dedicated to advancing gender equality through female entrepreneurship And guiding women to launch and grow their online businesses to 7 figures. Based between Iceland and Switzerland, she's passionate about helping others kick start their online businesses. And her latest book, Kickstart Your Online Business, Be It an Online Course and Start to Make Sales, is now available on Amazon. Sigrin, welcome to the show.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:01:14]:

Thank you for hearing me. It's a pleasure, Brian.

Bryan McAnulty [00:01:16]:

Yeah. Sure. You're welcome. So my first question for you is, What would you say is the biggest thing either that you did or you are doing that has helped you to achieve the freedom to do what you enjoy?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:01:29]:

It was creating a scalable course. I was doing okay, but working a lot of hours. I started doing 1 on 1 like most business coaches or business mentors or even just people who take their knowledge and want to sell it. And I was doing 1 on 1, then I did group programs, and I was in my 4th year of online business, and, I joined a mastermind like many of us do and if you want to learn how you can grow faster, and I come into the 1st mastermind Cole, very proud that I've sold out all my group programs for the year. And instead of getting praise from my business coach, which, of course, I was hoping for. He just asked me back, and you've got nothing else to sell for the rest of the year? And that hit me. You know? I knew I should be creating a course, but always I felt I had to. Another group program, more 1 on 1 clients, you know, I gotta get better at this or whatever, and I was just holding myself back.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:02:35]:

There was nothing else. And out of that, I quickly decided to bring out the program. I had not created anything. Just wrote down a sales page. It wasn't even 1 page long. It was so short. It's probably the sort of sales page I've ever created in my life. And I hosted the webinar within a week of that comment and sold 50 spot for my 1st online course, which was $1,000.

Bryan McAnulty [00:03:01]:

Wow, awesome.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:03:03]:

Yeah. And from there on, I was able to triple my revenue that year because I had an online course, which I could sell again and again and again without it costing more me more time. So creating an online course and be able to actually sell it through launches was my biggest breakthrough and still is today.

Bryan McAnulty [00:03:24]:

Awesome. That's great to hear. Yeah. I think, myself, I started as a service based business as well Doing, originally, like, graphic and print design and web design. And I think that's a really good way to start business, And it it gives you something you can begin to offer right away. There's nothing you have to build. You don't even really need a website. But I think that when you do that, everyone comes to a point of realization that, like, oh, wait a second.

Bryan McAnulty [00:03:52]:

I'm using up all my time. How am I going to grow this? Because there's either I can raise my prices or I have to maybe I can hire people. And but it it gets to a point where you realize like, oh, this is, like based on what I've currently built, there is a limit of what I can earn and what I can impact. And so creating courses and digital products is a way that you can now leverage that, and it's no longer tied to your time. And for me, it was an incredible moment. The the 1st dollar I made from something that was a digital product Where being able to wake up in the morning and say, wow. Some somebody bought this from me versus, like, even even though, like, maybe, like, I remember the time that happened. Like, a week before, I'd landed, like, a 5 figure web design contract, and the the dollar or so that I made, like, in profit From the, digital product felt better than that did.

Bryan McAnulty [00:04:50]:

So Yeah. Really a powerful thing.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:04:53]:

Yeah. And then the next step after completing a course is really also how to be able to scale up the launches, like, because, you know, my first very first launch after this 1st test round, this webinar where I sold 50 spots. The next one was, how can I sell, you know, 100 spots? How can I sell 150 spots, 200 spots? And also increasing the price. So instead of my program being $1,000, now it's $3,000. So when I go into a launch, I'm aiming for 500 or 750 sales. So we're talking about 1,000,000 of dollars, with one campaign, and that's that's literally life changing. You know, suddenly you can go ahead and buy a new apartment after a launch. And, in the beginning, you know, as you said, it was just time, selling my time, selling my time, and I didn't see how I could scale.

Bryan McAnulty [00:05:55]:

Yeah. Yeah. So when you started out, you mentioned, like, you were doing a group coaching. What was originally when you started your business? Like, what was the thought? What was the the kind of person you wanted to serve? And, like, how has that changed? Or has it changed at all today, or did it just shift in, like, leveraging that through the online courses?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:06:15]:

The person is similar. In the beginning, I was, very focused on helping whoever wanted to sell something online and helping them. I had been a CEO for 10 years before I started this business, so I had a substantial business experience. I was new in the online business space, so I had to learn a thing or two myself, but I was helping people who wanted to create a program and sell it, not necessarily courses. That was not the beginning. So they could be selling anything, a book or a 1 on 1, and I took on anyone as we do in the beginning. And then I realized at some point that I wanted to work with people who are actually more ambitious. They actually want to scale up.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:06:57]:

And so today, my messaging is different. I don't wanna help people that wanna sell 1 on 1 programs. Like, I don't wanna help you sell more of your time. I wanna help you if you actually wanna scale up. And the 1st step is to create a course. And so for me, that's always the 1st step, to create a scalable course, and then, and then you need to learn how to sell it. And there is really just not so many ways to sell that course. Yeah, you can launch it, which I find is most effective and almost fun.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:07:27]:

It's my favorite thing to do. You can have a funnel. You're not going to sell as much, conversion rates are lower and it takes longer time. And then of course you can constantly post on social media and hope that people d m you and you can sell it that way kind of organically manually. Launches are most effective, but, yeah, a lot of people are scared of them, but there's nothing to be scared about. Once you've learned the principles of launching and how the psychology of of how people get excited about something and and how you deliver value to them before they need to make up their mind whether they wanna work with you or not. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:08:05]:

Yeah. Like that. So we saw on your website, actually, you mentioned that only 2% of female led businesses achieve a 7 figure annual revenue. What do you think are the most common challenges that women in business face and how would you guide them to kinda overcome those obstacles?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:08:25]:

That the reason I decided to work with women, and actually I do work with men too, but I my messaging is more targeted towards women. You know, that's my mission to accelerate gender equality, is because they they, first of all, often start a business out of a need for freedom, and a man will start a business more kind of like, hey, I wanna make money. So the problem with the freedom angle is that often they keep themselves down. They charge low prices. They don't think even of staying to 6 figures or even 7 figures. It's like far away. It's really just I want to make a little extra money. So it's more like a side hustle thing.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:09:08]:

And I really would like to shake women up and say, hey, that's not how you achieve financial independence. That's not how you can stand alone on your feet or even take care of your family. And and that the that a bigger business is not more work. That's a common belief that that let's say a 6 figure business or multiple 6 figure businesses somehow won't work. And I'm like, no, it's less. It's less work because in the beginning you have to do everything on your own, but once you have the funds to hire people, you actually start to kind of focus on doing the things you enjoy doing, being in your zone of genius and everything feels lighter. So even though you're working the same amount of hours, these are fun hours. These are the things that you actually enjoy doing versus doing the things that you're not good at and and don't enjoy doing And their self confidence is a big thing.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:10:01]:

You know, I have this program, kickstart where I take women through creating a course and and selling it. And then I'm very glad, you know, I'm I'm very happy when they get a lot of sign ups for the course and I'm super excited that they get, you know, start to make money, but the one thing that I am actually looking for and that's not what I put in my marketing message, but me personally, I want them to start to believe that they can do it and that anyone who starts to believe in themselves, I think then nothing can stop them. You know, when you believe that you can do something, even if it seems like a huge task, I don't know to stand on stage or you know, do a big launch or invest into facebook ads or something that felt so scary. When you start to believe in yourself, anything's possible and that's what I'm looking for. And, unfortunately, something happens. I don't know. I'm not a psychologist, but a lot of women do not believe in themselves. And, so if there's anything I can contribute, I want more women to believe in themselves, and then, of course, I want them to make a lot of money.

Bryan McAnulty [00:11:10]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Yeah. I think around the the idea of money and how some people have this mindset of thinking like, oh, well, I don't I don't really need more than than whatever. They just settle with something and say, like, oh, it's a side hustle, something like this. I think that's something a lot of people struggle with and myself as well. Like, I feel there's been points where, like, maybe I I didn't like or care about money enough that that I should have.

Bryan McAnulty [00:11:36]:

And I think a way to look at it, like, there's nothing wrong with having money or making money. And if anything, even if you think you don't Don't need it necessarily. It's not about, like, need it or or something like that. But when you have more money, when you're earning more money in your business, Now all of this opportunity is opened up to you that you can do these things that you're going to make a positive impact with. So if if you believe that your business, that you're teaching something, that you're providing something that is going to make a positive impact on people's lives, Then if you would wanna grow that to be able to impact more people. And when you have more money, now you have all these options that, like, oh, well, what if we could do This kind of thing that would make a make a big live event or or do something like this. And now all of a sudden, these opportunities are available to you because you have the money to Spend on that to hire people, like you said, and and all of this. So, yeah, I think it's it's a good way to look at it like that.

Bryan McAnulty [00:12:33]:

You don't have to need it for yourself to go and buy fancy cars or whatever, but You can have it for your business to be able to invest and continue to further impact people.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:12:44]:

I do this exercise with my clients depending on where they are in business, I'll pick what would you do with 1,000,000? What would you do with 10,000,000? What would you do with 100,000,000? And so I make the number extra big but not like crazy high. And then then they just make some decisions like, oh, they would invest in this and that, but also what kind of impact legacy, like, what they leave behind and then it starts to kind of shift. Oh, actually, I need this 1,000,000 now because I have all these projects that I would like to invest in. What if I can invest in female led companies? You know, we need more investors that invest in female startups. What if I like you said a life event that was one of my dreams too because you know life event that's cost $100,000 or multiple 6 figures to do a proper life event and then you don't have to worry about if the event has a return on investment or not. You're just like, hey, I can host a live event. I can invite all my clients and that's what I'm doing and a couple of weeks from now, I'm inviting all my clients from the last 3 years. We're finally coming together after a big break and they get a free ticket if they've been working with me.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:13:56]:

And, you know, being able to do that, that also separates you from the rest, from the competition or the perceived competition is that you can do things like that. So I think money needs purpose and if you don't know what it is, do an exercise. You know, what if you actually had this cash right now? How would you spend it?

Bryan McAnulty [00:14:17]:

Yeah. Yeah. It's a it's a great way to do it. A great exercise. No. We saw in your bio, you also mentioned the, tough love, no nonsense approach to business coaching. So Do you have any examples, or can you explain more of what you mean by that of where you've kinda applied that approach?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:14:35]:

Yeah. I really believe in tough love and it sounds a little bit scary because people do not really like it. Like no one is gonna ask, oh can you give me some tough love? But once people are in my world and understand how I operate and that it actually comes from love like because I want them to be successful, I'm not gonna sugarcoat my advice. And I will say it very directly. I had a client, last year who had been me for several years, and I knew her very well. And she is a veterinarian, and she wanted to have a dog training membership and she had been doing it for a while, but I knew her after so many years, I knew her quite well and I said, I don't think you actually like doing what you're doing because if you did, you would be more successful. And I I can understand that could hurt, and I know it it did hurt to that comment But 2 weeks later he came back to me and said, Sigourney, you're right, I do not like this business at all. But the thing is I studied it and therefore I thought I had to do it.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:15:46]:

And I didn't give myself permission to do something else. She took this chance, which I kind of said, hey. You you I'll give you permission to do something new, something different. And you don't need to be educated in it. Just go ahead and do it. So last January, she went through my program one more time, just like a total beginner in online business, and she created a course for women who wanna write a book, And she got hundreds of people signing up with no websites, no profile, no prior contents. She got, I think, 120, 130 women to sign up for a free course. It was a free course.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:16:28]:

After that, she sold, I don't know, 10 spots to another course, and she's been repeating this process. Now there's nothing for free anymore. And just last week she had a launch with making $10,000 and that sounds good. Imagine if I wouldn't dare to be so direct and I would just continue helping her. Oh, yeah. You want your doc training membership? And, you know, that's to me, BS. Like, then you are not helping your client.

Bryan McAnulty [00:17:02]:

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I think it's it's important to do that sometime. I think it's it can be Frightening for a coach, especially a new coach, to to say those things even if you're thinking them. But I I do think it's important because, yeah, how would How would your customer or your client actually get to that spot or or have that realization if you didn't share that hard thing with them?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:17:26]:

Yeah. And you might have the odd person. Like, I have had thousands of clients in the last 10 years. And I remember 1 incident where a person said, I do not appreciate this, Ziglar. And I said, okay, I'll back off, but then you're not getting my truth. Yeah. So don't be worried about it. Go ahead.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:17:51]:

You know, there is the right client for every coach as well. And if this is upfront, that's why I use it in my marketing message. You know? So they are a little bit scared of me, but not too much.

Bryan McAnulty [00:18:05]:

Yeah. And and they they have some Expectation that they know what to expect. Yeah. So in your book, Kickstart Your Online Business, you talk about creating online courses as a way to make sales. Can you share some insights into what you see as what makes an online course successful?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:18:25]:

Yeah, I think what I saw in my 1st years of business, there were so many people that sit down and create a course And then they came to me afterwards and said, Sigrid, how do I sell this course? And I was like, that's not the right way to approach it. And out of this frustration of people actually starting on the wrong end, I decided to develop a new process. So a successful course needs to go through beta testing. It's just like you create a minimal viable product. If you are creating a new software or anything else, car. You wanna create the minimum viable product, you wanna get it tested, you wanna get feedback and so because all the things that we think we know as experts, many of them are not true when it goes out in the real world. So I let my students first do a survey, and it's a good indication of how many survey responses you get on how much excitement there is around the topic of your potential course. Then interviews, I say minimum 3 interviews because there's only so much information you can get in a survey.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:19:40]:

And I know this is not rocket science, but most people don't do this. So survey and interviews is kind of the basic start when you're creating a new thing, whatever that thing is. Then instead of going ahead and actually creating a course, let's say you get great survey responses, great interviews and you're like, I know this is going to be a hit. I still recommend that you have the 1st round for free and you create a free 4 week course. Maybe your ideas to have a 10 week course later on. That's fine. Just create a smaller version. And it's 4 weeks is the minimum course for me, anything shorter is not a course that's like a challenge or a video series.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:20:20]:

And because the issue is after knowing what you want to create is how do you get enough people into your world? Like a lot of people have an issue building their email list. And I said, this is a fantastic way. This is passing away. This is not a regular freebie. This is once in a well, maybe not a lifetime, but it's a special chance. Like you should not have to do a beta course every year. Maybe you do 1 beta course and then, you know, that could be your signature course for the rest of your business. So it's like a once one chance of your followers to do this experience and do it for free and then you get feedback every week and then you can adapt the course to their needs.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:21:02]:

At the end, they give you a testimonial and we teach people how to do that, and then you have an opportunity to sell to the people. We do a celebration call after the 4 weeks and that's where I teach people how to actually how do you sell to a warm audience that's gotten a great value from it because people will be asking. And that's what typically happens in these programs. People are asking already, what can I buy from you before even the course ends? And this creates a sellable course. You have testimonials. You have like real people who have gone through your program. And I ask people at the end, do an assessment. Is there anything you need to change about your course, or is it ready to go? Do you wanna make it longer, or is 4 weeks just fine? And I have clients that are now making 1,000,000 a year in revenue that created their 1st course maybe 3, 4, 5 years ago, and they still have the same 4 week course.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:22:06]:

Some of them have made it into 8 week course, but to me, this was like the best way to do it because I saw the other way didn't work. Don't create a course without testing it with real people. And I decided to name this Kickstart because I thought this is how it kicks it off, your online business.

Bryan McAnulty [00:22:25]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's great. And, yeah, I just wanna echo, like, that that same advice. It's so important to get That that early feedback and validation because let's say that you you don't do any of that. Let's say that you just build it. You put in all this effort to building this course. You put in all this effort to marketing it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:22:44]:

And let's say, like, actually, it just happens to go great. Let's say you get customers. You get sales. But then they go through it. There's points that they're confused about, and you don't really get any good testimonial testimonials or reviews from that. And now Where are you at? You're at this situation where to go and do that again, you have to go through that same struggle of of trying to To go through things because you now you don't have any social proof or anything to really help you along, where instead you could make it so much easier for yourself. Find out what people want. Find out what questions you haven't been answering in what you've created so far.

Bryan McAnulty [00:23:21]:

Get testimonials from them, And now use that to go and sell it. And the the whole process is just so much easier. So even even for things that you think you know, that you really believe, like, I know exactly how to do this. It's still so valuable to get that feedback because there will be things that you didn't think of that somebody else is thinking about or somebody else has questions about, and that will really, really be valuable. Like, I've I've built courses a lot myself, And I've helped so many people build courses, and still, like, we're working on a new course. First thing we did, like, we know how to to title a result for a course, we always tell everybody, you've gotta build the course around the result.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:24:01]:


Bryan McAnulty [00:24:02]:

we came up with a couple quick titles. None of them were actually good. None of them actually followed the the full rules of what would do, but then we we put them in the chat gpt, and we asked chat gpt which one is the best. Then we asked our audience, do you guys agree with chat gpt? What do you guys think? And we could have improved it much more before even going through that process. But then by going through that process, It was still really important for us because we found out not only what resonated best with our audience, but also why and what they're actually looking for. And so now we're informed much better of, like, what we should actually build. So it makes your life so much easier as a course creator to definitely follow Sigram's advice on that.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:24:46]:


Bryan McAnulty [00:24:48]:

So you mentioned before that you really like launches. Different ways you can structure an online course business. You can have these launches. You could have, like, a evergreen course where it's kinda always about available for purchase. Why do you personally prefer the launches?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:25:05]:

I believe in the community part of everybody doing the same thing at the same time and I found out not necessarily by accident, but the 1st online course I created was like a 12 month program, and I gave them modules and master classes and hot seat calls and who knows what, and then I was shocked to find out after one and a half years of doing that, that my guesstimate is that 15% were actually successful and the rest was just like in the program, and I could have continued. I would have made a lot of money, but I was just frustrated. I was like what people join my program. I want to get them results. I want them to be successful. That's when I came up with a kickstart process and I run it like a boot camp, you know? Everybody's doing the same thing at the same time and when they come into the program, first they're just like, oh, what could be your course idea and you need to create a survey on it. And then I have them commit again. So they basically have to apply.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:26:15]:

Even though they've paid, they apply again. Like, I am committing to doing this course and And, and then it's like, have you submitted yet? We have so many submissions. We're missing so many. And we make it almost like an internal thing to motivate the people. The thing is people buy programs and don't do anything with them. And it's a very like, it's a problem that I wanted to solve, and I knew that 10, 15% was very normal an online business when people buy programs about 15% or even less actually finish them. And how do I make people finish is when everybody's doing the same thing at the same time. There is motivation to finish.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:27:02]:

There are deadlines like you need to have your course idea by this date because I am going to promote it, but if you don't submit by this date, I will not promote your course. So there is an incentive built in and we do this like throughout the whole, 10 or 12 weeks of the program. And so that every time I think about evergreening this, I'm like, how should I do that? You know? Because I see it's not it's really not about the content. What I'm teaching it is not rocket science and you can even read about it in my book on Amazon or download it for free through your podcast. But the thing is people need accountability. They're just not gonna do it. And I'm thinking about the 80% in the middle, like there's gonna be 10% that never do anything there. There's no way to chase those.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:27:54]:

We have a 90% completion rate by motivating and following up even personally. I sometimes joke to people, I'll knock on your door, and they're like, really? Will you come to my home? I said, I might, or I'll send someone that I know that lives in your country, because I really care about people finishing what they start. And you can't do that with an evergreen program. You just have to leave them be, and they'll do it or not do it. And and that may valid. There are programs which I call more like library courses, you know, like learn everything about creating a sales page. I don't think you should do that with, boot camp style. Because, you know, maybe you don't need a sales page this week.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:28:40]:

Maybe you need it in 3 weeks, and then you'll sit down and use the program. But if it's

Bryan McAnulty [00:28:44]:

about And maybe you don't need everything about it. Maybe you need 1 specific piece, and it's nice to be able to go and find that.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:28:50]:

Exactly. And these these are what I call library horses and they they should not be drip fed. They should, you know, what I call all access and you can sell them on ever green, but there are programs where you actually want people to do something and get it done. And the only way I see possible to do it for the average student, not for the super ambitious one. They need the accountability, they need follow-up motivation. That's through Launches and Trifect.

Bryan McAnulty [00:29:22]:

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And I think that Besides, like, the accountability, the engagement, and how it helps, it also like, you you kinda alluded to this, but it also helps, like, you supporting the students. Because if it's a evergreen course and people are just all joining at different spots, different times, it's really hard to get a sense of, like, well, where this person just emailed me. Where are they at right now in the course. But if it is a launch and it's happening at the same time for everybody, somebody emails you after the 1st week, You know exactly the content that they've just been through, and you can support them much more easily.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:29:56]:

Yeah. And I think they'll show that my character better. I am I'm from Iceland originally, and we go and fish when there's fish in the sea. And if there's no fish in the sea, we can relax and do something. So I prefer personally to be very busy for 3 months of running the program, and then the rest of the year, I'm preparing for the next campaign or selling something that is evergreen. So it fits my personality much better.

Bryan McAnulty [00:30:27]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's a great point as well because I think While there's so many great reasons to have launches as the way that you're promoting the course versus evergreen, evergreen can also make sense for some creators because, Like, it may fit your personality better in what you want to deliver and how you wanna run your business. But I do think it's it's great that you mentioned this because I've heard a couple creators expressed to me recently, and they say, Brian, like, I feel like cohorts are, like, dead. And I didn't have that sense at all. So I was kinda Shocked to to hear that, but I heard it from a couple different people. And I do think what they What the reality of what they actually meant was is that there was this time period in the last, like, couple years where everybody was saying, like, join my cohort. And, like, that was a marketing term that started to become very popular, and I think that kind of fell off now.

Bryan McAnulty [00:31:19]:

But the idea of Running this launch and and having a cohort, a group of students go through your program at one time, it's definitely not dead and it's definitely very, very powerful.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:31:30]:

Yeah. Yeah. We don't call it a cohort. I think we did it a little bit, but it was like a inward that went out of fashion. So yeah, we are careful as marketeers. So, you know, anyone who's marketing anything is automatically a marketeer and there's always something that goes in a fashion or out of fashion. I would say if there's 1 thing I need to do now, after 10 years doing this and this particular program I've been selling for 5 years at least. You gotta, because with more competition, you know, pandemic and everything, more people are online.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:32:05]:

We need to always go back, even someone who's been in business so long as me, we cannot assume that our ideal client is exactly the same one as 5 years ago. We might need to niche down a little bit more. So I said for a long time, I help women start and scale from 0 to 7 figures in online business, something like that, and that's a very broad thing. I didn't mention that actually I do this through online courses and launches. So that is also something that everybody needs to think about who is in business, even though you're starting out now, niching down. Like be really specific on what you're selling like, are you selling online courses or memberships or are you helping people sell online courses and membership? Then say that. Are you helping them get to 10 k a month through through premium programs? Then say that. Instead of being very broad, then I say, I help you build your business.

Bryan McAnulty [00:33:04]:

Yeah. Definitely agree on that. And and, yeah, don't be don't be worried. Don't think like, oh, I'm gonna be too specific that now there's not any there's no audience left. Chances are there's there's definitely enough audience or you're a customer. You can finish.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:33:18]:

Yeah. I did a test the other day. I did a test email that, I asked people to tell me if they liked it. You know? I help people create online courses. No. I help you get to 100 k a year with your $500 course because I did some, well I didn't do a proper survey, but I was observing launches around in my community. And I realized that all the price points were around $500 and I'm like maybe I should talk about it. So I did a test email and I think I I rarely get so many replies as through this test email, that actually people say, I like you even more.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:34:05]:

This this shows me I'm in the right spot because you know, when you talk about cohorts, it's also very in to sell premium programs right now, everybody and their dog is selling a premium program and you have to charge 5 k or 10 k or 20 ks or 50 ks. But maybe it's good to actually say more specifically what you do and then people actually more attracted to it. So it's not that niching actually gets you less clients. It gets you more because people finally know what you stand for.

Bryan McAnulty [00:34:40]:

Yeah. Yeah. They they convert so much better. Because imagine if you arrive at a web page and it it says it provides some generic business advice, Then you're sitting there thinking like, okay. Maybe maybe this can help me, but then you could just as easily just leave that page, go do something else. Whereas if somebody's really targeting, like, your specific niche of what you wanna do and you arrive at that web page, you're saying like, wow. I I found the answer. This person Actually does exactly what I'm looking for.

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:09]:

And so you have a lot more trust and confidence that you can get what you actually

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:35:14]:

need. Yeah. And I totally understand it's scary. Even I found it scary to send out this test email. I'm like, oh, am I alienating some other people who might be on my email list and they want to sell premium programs and am I not helping them? And and I realized I had to take my own coaching advice that no, you'll get them also, the people around the edges, but you'll get more peep if you're specific.

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:38]:

Yeah. Definitely. So I think for many creators, making that 1st sale is a really big step. What advice would you give to somebody who they are just starting out? They haven't gotten their 1st online course customer yet, and How can they start to to kind of plan that? What's what's kind of the best step, I guess?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:36:00]:

Well, the first step is, to do a survey. So, be very specific. So let's say you wanna create course, I don't know, on dog training. You could make a post on social media And you could say, I'm looking for, you know, 5 people who own a dog, who wanna, you know, get some free coaching. And please I'll fill out the survey by just give them 3 days max. And, Google form is great. It's free. I would ask very few questions because otherwise people will not fill it out.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:36:35]:

I would always ask them what's your biggest challenge right now? What would be your dream solution? Have you tried anything in the past? And can I contact you for further information or like, you know, would you would you like a free coaching call? And get people to fill it out. And if you get more than 5, great. But it's sometimes better to be specific that you're just looking for 5 and not trying to get 100. And really just 5 questions. And it doesn't matter what niche you're in. You're always looking for the biggest pain point, and you're always looking for what do they want, what is their dream outcome. And if they've tried something and it didn't work out, that's helpful too. And then you wanna ask if you can add them to your email list if you get a lot of people filling it out, it would be great if they come onto your email list.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:37:19]:

And that's really the starting point. And how do you analyze the answers? Well, now we have Chatterdippy, which is fantastic. So if you ask for name and email address, you obviously do not put that into chat to be so make sure you exclude that. But you take the rest of the information and you just ask chat to be what's common among these answers, like what's the most common challenge that's coming up? I used to do this manually before we had Chatipi. I would just go through a survey and I would color it yellow in my Google Sheets when I saw it's a tip similar answers. And then it's obvious what is the 1st course idea. It's the biggest challenge we want to solve and we want to make sure we're not trying to solve world's hunger. We're trying to solve a relatively simple problem, you know? The simple problem would be something that's doable in 4 weeks.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:38:18]:

Like because, you know, if I help people scale to 7 figures, that's a 3 year journey. So, we wanna drill

Bryan McAnulty [00:38:25]:

down More like concrete, you can get them from point a to point b.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:38:29]:

Yeah, because the 1st step is the proof that you can help them. When you get that done, you can prove that you can help them with a small problem. They will trust you to help you with bigger problems.

Bryan McAnulty [00:38:43]:

Yeah. That sounds good. And you mentioned earlier too about how, like, the in the survey and the people who Who fill that out really could be your potential customers. And I would just want to also save to that that, Yeah. Even if they don't express anything about wanting to to buy from you, even if they make it sound like they they don't intend on purchasing anything from you. No. The people who contact you are so much more likely to be the people who become your customers. And so, like, in my business, anytime somebody reaches out to us, Like, if they reached out to us and they're talking with us, we make a note that we're gonna follow-up with that person Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:39:17]:

Because they they are really High chance of that person becoming a potential customer. And so, also, after you get those surveys, then whenever you go to the next step, like, don't don't forget about those people. Like, they They are your prime candidates for becoming customers of your course.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:39:33]:

Yeah. They are what we call hot leads. And, now also we can use social media a lot more. So, getting them to message you, is a great way to have a conversation. You know, someone messaged me, and I have them often message me a code word, and I said oh tell me about your business, tell me about so you can figure out if you can help them or not just through a DM, which is often easier than emails because people are more likely to answer you, respond quickly.

Bryan McAnulty [00:40:05]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's a great point. Yeah. Okay. I've got 1 more question, and that is that in the kinda online course landscape, you've been doing this for a while. So anything you see, like, specifically that you've noticed that has changed over the years as far as, like, promoting things and, like, what works, what doesn't, like, what's Was maybe working better now or or differently now than it did a few years ago.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:40:31]:

I think, when you are promoting a of course, you need, first of all, much longer time. You know, I used to be able to go into launches and I was like, oh, I'll do some webinar in 2 weeks. Now we're talking more about a 6 week promotion, where I'm running ads for 6 weeks. There's no way around not running ads. I think that's challenging for beginners in the beginning to just invest upfront and then see turn much later but the reach is down compared to a few years ago. People are also the show up rates have drastically gone down. So if you do any type of a live webinar, one thing is, for instance, not to offer a replay to force people to show up or have a giveaway like a workbook or whatever, like a show up bonus. Yeah, because, you know and even just to get people to sign up for any type of a marketing campaign, you have to, tell them the benefit because people are somehow more pressed for time.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:41:36]:

There's more competition. There's more things we can sign up for or show up for. Yep. So Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:41:41]:

It used to be the the webinar was, like, this novel thing. Like, wow. This person is gonna train people online live. We're free. But now it's like, well, everybody's doing that. Yeah. So you have to have something that's gonna help you stand out and and get people to pay attention to you.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:41:56]:

Yeah, we have my my biggest marketing campaign is around Christmas and it was enough for me to say sign up for 12 days of master classes, you'll learn everything about online business button. That was it. Then I added the list of master classes I would cover, but the page was still very minimal. And we're going into, I know another campaign, and I've told my team we need to tell people why they should sign up. What's the outcome, and why should they spend time on 12 master classes? Like you really have to put more effort into the outcome. It's it's always been important when you sell something that's paid, but now it's super important when you have something for free. Why should someone invest this time? You have to almost think of this as a mini sales page because you are asking them to take time out of the day to come to a free event and you cannot take that lightly. You have to take that very seriously and talk to them as if they were buying something from you.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:43:00]:

So that is a big change. Plus if you do something as crazy as I do, the 12 days of master classes, you have to give people options to maybe only attend 2 and still get a lot of value or have summaries or, you know, like prices for showing up. Like there's a you have to add more things into it. Now this might sound a bit scary to people who have never launched, so I don't wanna come off as like, oh, this is gonna be I would just say it's more time generally. Give yourself more time. I think that's probably the biggest mistake I see is that people start to promote too late, whatever they are promoting. And if you, if you're an absolute beginner, I highly recommend doing a 3 day workshop over a webinar and over anything longer. I do very long launches, but I've been doing it for 10 years, so, that's that's just my style.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:43:55]:

But, 3 day workshops, the benefit over a webinar is that you give people true value. I love workshops rather than sales webinars. You give them value and they do it on the call with you. They they get assignment and they do it together with you and then they can think about it. They sleep on it. They come back. They have some insights, and then you can continue and do some more assignments and then on the 3rd day you make an offer and it doesn't feel like you have to get it all done in in a 60 minute webinar and you're like, oh, I have to teach them something. They have to know who I am and now I have to sell to them.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:44:31]:

It's very stressful for someone who's not done a webinar before, and that's why I highly recommend 3 day workshops.

Bryan McAnulty [00:44:38]:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's great advice as well. And I I would agree with the the point of people kind of not promoting or or not making their launch maybe long enough where Somebody I I constantly see the mistake of somebody saying like, okay. Well, I launched it, and it's like, hey, everybody. It launched. Hey, everybody. It's gonna be over soon, and, like, that's all they say.

Bryan McAnulty [00:44:58]:

But you have to tell people beforehand, like, something's going to happen. And you you lead up to the whole thing and then and keep telling them. They don't just say, like, it launched. Remind them, hey. It launched Yesterday, I launched and remind them, hey. It's gonna close soon. Hey. This is your last chance.

Bryan McAnulty [00:45:12]:

Yeah. And all all of those other emails around that are going to be, Often, especially the last ones, are gonna be the ones that get you more sales, not that first one just to say, hey. It's here. And so, Yeah. Don't don't worry about bothering your audience with that too because, like, they signed up because they they wanna hear from you. They don't wanna miss this thing. And so you wanna help to get them engaged.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:45:33]:

In the best launches, obviously, you've actually sold before you make the offer. That's the best launches. Like they've already like, oh, I like this person. I've gotten some breakthroughs on insights for free, and that's what you wanna get to. And that's why you need to give yourself time with your audience.

Bryan McAnulty [00:45:55]:

Yeah. And I'm sure most creators, like, you've probably gone through that experience buying a a course or something from somebody else Where you're you're following their emails, you're following that sequence or something, and you've got your credit card sitting there. And you're saying, when is Sigrun gonna send me that buy button? Ready to click the buy button. And you don't even know what it is yet. You don't even know how much it's gonna cost, but you're you're ready to purchase because of everything that's led up to it.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:46:18]:

Yeah. That's what you want.

Bryan McAnulty [00:46:21]:

Excellent. Alright. So I've got one more thing, and that is I like to have every guest on the show ask a question to the audience. So if you could ask our audience anything, whether it's something you're curious about, something you wanna get everybody thinking about, what would that be?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:46:35]:

I was thinking of that question that I ask my clients, what would you do with $1,000,000? Let's imagine that you actually create an online business, you're selling courses, your business is scalable, you're not selling your time, you're selling value, and, you have your 1st $1,000,000 year. Obviously, you're not going to have $1,000,000 cash. We have costs and all of that, but okay, put that aside. But let's say you have actually $1,000,000 in cash. What would you do with that? How would you spend that money? And I would be very specific. Do not say like 500,000 on whatever, like I would go in 53,000 and you know, and it really added up and you're gonna realize that you can do a lot of things. Like let's say you go on a dream holiday with your family, maybe that only cost 30,000. It's not like it's going to cost 300,000.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:47:25]:

So I would be very specific, do it like a proper budget and then start to feel into how it's gonna be when you actually have that money? Because that's gonna drive you to actually go for it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:47:39]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's a great question to to work on. Alright. Well, Sigrun Sigrun, thanks so much for coming on the show. Where else can people find you online?

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:47:48]:

I am to be found everywhere on social media. Sigren.com is my handle and sigren.com is my website. And then I have a gift for your listeners, which is my kick start your online business book, which describes my whole process from my signature program. And that's a great place to start to get to know more how to create online courses and scale up.

Bryan McAnulty [00:48:10]:

Awesome. And yeah. And I got that link from you. So we'll put that link everybody in The show notes or the description of wherever you are watching or listening to this. Alright, Sigrun. Thanks so much.

Sigrun Gudjonsdottir [00:48:21]:

Thank you for having me, Brian.

Bryan McAnulty [00:48:23]:

I'd like to take a moment to invite you to join our free community of over 5,000 creators at creatorclimb.com. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna hear more, Check out the Heights Platform YouTube channel every Tuesday at 9 AM US central. To get notified when new episodes release, join our newsletter at thecreatorsadventure.com. Until then, keep learning, and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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