This post is essentially the the road that I’ve traveled from 15k a year to a million dollar business. In it I share the realities of what it takes to run an online business and the one assertion and the one strategy that got me where I am today.
Putting all the pieces together for running a successful business can be daunting.
• Strategize a content marketing element for building a know, like, trust
• Create a sales engine like webinars
• Decide on a list building software solution
• Create your first course
• Outline your coaching services
• Choose the perfect pricing structure
When you think of all things you need to have let alone learn, it can cause you to never take action in the first place.
When I first started creating my online business I knew nothing. Nothing about email marketing, copy writing, blogs, WordPress, software automation, CRM applications, video content creation, social media… nothing! I knew how to check my email and browse the web. Looking back I’m even amazed I made it this far.
I remember working out of the spare bedroom in my house with this idea of building leads online using YouTube where at the time I was making absolutely nothing after the recession hit with only a few thousand in the bank.
We were also on the brink of foreclosure. We went months behind on our mortgage. At the time, I was thinking, I am just going to give up. Give up pursuing this weird business that no one really understood.
I would have the occasional fight with my wife who was supporting us as well as she could asking… ‘Babe, are you going to start seeing some results?’ I thought to myself… ‘I don’t know honey… I am really worried that I won’t be able to have any results.’ … but I never spoke it out loud. I thought about giving up on the house and letting it go into foreclosure and in fact giving up on living in LA in general and moving somewhere safer and easier.
So what did I do? … 1 simple thing… I never gave up! Even though I was on the brink of quitting multiple times.
When I couldn’t make money online or build leads as fast as I wanted to, I went out and hustled to get business as a video marketing consultant. I spend months learning about YouTube marketing and SEO. I applied that knowledge to helping other people with their content. I landed some clients on retainer. Nothing really big at the time, only 2 clients both starting at $2,000 a month.
One of them was a small college and the other was a company that built leads online. These 2 clients were enough to hold me at the time.
When I was about to lose my house, I decided to fight to get the loan modified. I had a hardship and so ashamed by it. Where now looking back, I would shake that Casey and say.. “There is no shame in failure”. I felt like I was truly sucking at life. Things would have been much worse if I had not had the support of my wife and family. In fact I made a promise to my wife that I would try to do everything I could to keep the house. That was the push I needed to keep fighting. I modified the loan on the house and after doubt a year of going back and forth with the bank to finally being able to afford to keep it. They dropped my payments down from $5,500 a month to $3,000 a month.
My life as a consultant:
While I was paving the way for creating an online business that I wanted. I had to start migrating my business from consulting to building online training products. I had a handful of clients (4-5), that I was still supporting while building my first course about YouTube. At the same time I was starting to do more content marketing on my blog. The nice thing about consulting is that it afforded me the time to create content to start building an audience.
I knew that I needed to build leads, so I first created a 7 day video marketing bootcamp which taught 7 simple steps to getting more ranking with your videos. That was going to be the thing I used to build my email list because eventually I was going to start promoting my YouTube course to that list.
All I did was made 5-10 minute screencast videos showing video ranking techniques. The videos didn’t cost me anything except what it cost to buy ScreenFlow for Mac ($99), and my time.
(A few years later, I would spend 25k on a similar 4 video series funnel for a launch that produced $650,000…but honestly…these screencast videos can be a lot less expensive and just as powerful)
The course took me 5 months to create. 3 months longer than it should have. But it was my first one. The biggest reason for not launching the course was my own concerns of perfection. We are our worst critics. I was the one behind the camera and as such I was judging every small um and ah that I was making. I spent months editing the videos. (Since then I have learned that action is more important than perfection…of course I still tend to get anxious about putting the content out there)
When I finally launched the YouTube course I struggled to actually make sales! For the longest time, I couldn’t seem to make any sales directly to the sales page, or even from my 7 Day Video Marketing Bootcamp.
And right around that same time I had started to hear about webinars but I knew little about them…I knew little about creating presentations…but I was ready to try!
So that is when I started looking at webinars. (My inevitable evolution from video to live video) And of course that is when everything changed.
People think webinars are something you occasionally add into your business. I can say without a doubt that webinars are the one secret ingredient to my online success. (And it is the same for many of my customers)
I remember my very first webinar. It was a purely free, no pitch webinar. I just provided as much good information as I could. It was my first one. I remember I was so nervous. It was all about being an online marketing consultant. How I landed clients, how I created video proposals, how I priced my services. I was simply just sharing as much about the results and wins and loses that I had gone through being a consultant.
I had about 65 people on live and I remember that I was just TERRIBLE.
I was stumbling over my words, I used my wifi to run it and just felt like no one was listening. But by the end…I had a TON send out praises and gratitude for the information I shared.
At that moment I knew that I sucked at webinars and that it was ok… because even when I was bad, I could still sell.
Why? … Because I shared my KNOWLEDGE.
People from all parts of the world just want the knowledge you have that they don’t. Even if you just started learning something. As long as you have had success at it or results than you can teach it and…people will pay for it.
I started doing webinars all the time. Free webinars 100% of the time that gave free content away but also that offered access into my course.
My first dollar online…came by way of selling my course from a webinar. My course was built using a membership platform called Wishlist…and my shopping cart was using Infusionsoft the CRM platform integrated into Authorize.net & PowerPay. (This integration made me want to pull my hair out!!) Luckily now shopping cart integration is so much easier with Stripe, Shopify and other platforms.
My next struggle: What to price my products?
I had to figure out at what to price my product. I went out and started doing market research to determine what the market would pay.
Pricing is based on pretty much two things, what the market will pay and the value of the result.
If you are a trainer and you can help someone get fit or get healthy what is that ultimately worth to the person you are helping? What if you are adding 10 more years to that person’s life? What is that worth?
Results = Value.
For instance some customers of mine make $20,000 a day using my webinar software. What does that tell you about what someone will pay?
When I started I didn’t know any of this, nor did I have any customers. So what I did was I asked a few key people to go through the program and asked them what they valued it at. These were people that needed the information. This was really the only thing I could use to gage if this product was worth its merit.
Plus the only customers I had were essentially clients that I had worked with. No one that went through the program, but companies that saw the result of my work…and that is what I used as testimonials and case studies.
Based on these testimonials and input from a few folks I decided to start my pricing out lower than what they said I could sell it for. (It was my first time selling anything online and I didn’t want to take any chances.)
So I priced my YouTube course at $197 to start. From my first paid webinar, which believe me was also god-awful. I made sales! Albeit 2 sales, but I only had 40 people on live.
That’s when I was hooked.
My next webinar had 400 people on and it was in the back of my wife’s parents farmhouse in Iowa getting promoted by another big marketer. That webinar only sold 10 units. Which made money but not as much as it should have done.
In fact one of the biggest suggestions that I received at that time was, raise your prices. So I did and didn’t change a thing in my webinar. What happened? My sales actually increased. Why? Value Proposition.
Then another person requested to promote my webinar and product but only if the price was $997 or more. So what did I do? I increased my price to $1,000 added in a 15-minute consultation. (Plus I added a few key bonuses to my webinar that were high value). This all happened in 2011.
With a price increase, I sold just as many at $997 as I did at $297.
Remember price is based on 2 things.
- What the market will pay for it
- The results they receive from your product, course or service.
During that time from 2011-2012, I built an email list to 14,000 and made $245,000 selling my online course.
What did I do with the money I started making?
I paid off my debt first.
I started to fix up my house.
I took my wife on a vacation.
I paid my affiliates and jv partners.
I finally took a breath…but when we are in it, we don’t stop to think we finally did it. We actually start to see how we can improve. Optimize our lifestyle and marketing. Continue to make mistakes and test, test, test.
That is the name of the game when creating something of your own. Not being afraid to lose. To fight.
I Built Software:
Never in my life would I have thought I’d have a few different Saas companies that help thousands of people daily.
But that is what I did also in 2012. While I was making money in webinars, I reinvested in software. I created a webinar platform called EasyWebinar and then years later started building other software all in the OnlineMarketing and video/live video space.
I made my first million dollars in 2014.
That was the year that I did my first major launch. And in 14 months I did $1.2 million dollars in online sales.
And since then I have paid my second mortgage completely off on my house, started the adoption process for 2 kids in Haiti, and continue to drive my Prius. Each year I learn, I am tested, I succeed, I fail, I love fully and continue to strive for providing results for others and carving out the life that I want.
I’m sure you and I are not that much different!
As you can see, the one assertion was NOT QUITTING and the one strategy was WEBINARS.
Would you like to leverage webinars in your own business?
With our software and training we are always growing and evolving. Which brings me to our most recent evolution of our webinar platform and training program Elite Webinar Mastery.
And I teach you all about how to implement webinars in your own business. Join Me For This No-Bull, Cut-The-Fat Webinar…and Implement This 1 Funnel That Will SkyRocket Your Business.
This workshop is called:
“The 4 Steps to a 6 Figure Sales Webinar.”
What You’ll Learn:
- Why Webinars/Online Events have taken over as the most high converting sales and engagement tool on the planet.
- How and Why you can do terrible webinars, but still make money.
- The 4 most profitable types of events for promoting your product and business. This 4 step system can quadruple your webinar promotion revenue.
- The one simple strategy for leveraging webinars like our clients do to where they’re making 27k a month all the way to 20k a day. This is perfect for the busy & smart entrepreneur!
- The 2 most important things needed for success with webinars and how you’ve basically been duped into not starting to run webinars in the first place. Truth: It’s not your fault that you haven’t run a webinar yet. It’s due to common misconceptions that we are going to bust.
- How to take advantage of a killer opportunity that will give you clarity and all the tricks needed to dominate sales, list building and authority seeding with webinar.You’ll learn how you can copy our blueprints, strategy maps and funnels for creating a consistent marketing machine.But most importantly…walk away with the secrets to the most powerful sales funnels around.
Want to learn how to dominate with webinars?
Want to learn more about EasyWebinar?
Unlike other platforms, EasyWebinar is an all in one webinar solution allowing for high engaged live events and advanced automation for more scalability in your business. The bottom line is EasyWebinar will let you breath easier as it also becomes the number one tool for profiting in your business. Just like it has helped thousands of our customers.
I love this quote…because it really speaks about that moment things start to change:
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
All my best,