LIVE COACHING: Creating a School of Mini-Courses & Differentiating When There’s Already Someone “Doing That” with Julie Corbette
Creating a school of mini-courses and how to differentiate your products and services when there's "already someone doing that".
This coaching session with Julie Corbette is for YOU if you want to create passive income using mini-courses! We uncover what her courses should offer so that what she is offering is unique to her micro-niche. Together we map them out and tactically go through each step so that Julie can move forward on leaving her J.O.B. to make her side-hustle her full-time gig.
Come be a fly on the wall.
Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey, Lola WhatsApp girl, do you guys are like, who is Lola? If you're new around here, Lola is you. Lola is my ideal human, my ideal listener. She is the woman who is jamming out to some Christian rap music and breaking it down and drinking too much iced coffee while trying to do some serious kingdom work here on earth. And she's also probably a frazzled mess cause she has kids. Hey, what's up girl? So if you are a Lola, be sure you're subscribed to this podcast. I have new episodes twice a week and I do tons of value added stuff for the Christian entrepreneur ranging from live coaching, brand creation, podcast stuff, course, passive income and everything in between. Okay. Now, speaking of really juicy episodes today, I am doing live coaching, which is always super fun with Julie Corvette. And what we are going to do is map out a digital course for her so that she can start to generate passive income in her business.
So you get to be a fly on the wall and take a listen in with us. As we navigate from idea all the way through putting the actual course components together, brainstorming back and forth about what the value is to her buyer, how she can really package up a system that she already does and already has to teach other people how to do what she does and charge for it and make a profit. And passive profit is always one of my favorite ways to fuel the bank. So sit back, grab your popcorn and let's enjoy this super cool episode. On Welcome back to the mompreneur mastermind show, where we choose to run insanely successful passive income businesses that light us up while consuming iced coffee, braless and flawless, and maybe breaking it down to some gangster rap while our kids
All right. Looking
Become best friends. Yes. Yes we did. Hey, I'm Stephanie gas, six figure corporate exec turned top 1% network marketer turn podcasters. I believe when we let God light our path, we experienced true miracles. Welcome sister. Let's get
Pumped up for today's show.
Just a quick reminder. Have you ever considered meeting with me for a coaching session? I just want to let you know, I have a couple of openings left for February where we can grab an hour and just jam on a course for you potentially what that might look like, outline it together. We can talk about how you can create a podcast. I can go through the four tiers of creation with you before you jump into podcast pro you, I'm here to serve you and to help you SIS, if you're sitting in your own way, if you feel like you're on the cusp of a breakthrough, but you're just not sure what that thing is that you need to be doing next. Hey, hi, I'm Steph, let me help you. I want to mentor you through whatever it is that's holding you back so that you can do big things in 2020, email email@example.com for the 2020 coaching menu. And let's get you on the books.
My background is in English, all things grammar. I was an English teacher for 13 years, right. And I've still been in the English world here for the next 13 years. So I've been out of college for 26 years. So 13 plus 13, but I've been in an executive assistant role right now for a nonprofit organization, about three and a half years ago. I decided my family and my husband and I talked about the fact that it would be great if I could pick up a little bit more income because I am working for a nonprofit it's essentially full time. So I'm working four and a half days every week, you know, working for a nonprofit, I was looking for a way to supplement my income. So I searched for a way that I could do that without having to go back to school and do additional training in a totally different field. I wanted to try to stay in the English realm. So I found a course to train how to proofread for a specific niche of people that is court reporters. Right. I didn't even know court reporters needed proofreaders.
Yeah, I didn't either. That's like, yeah.
Yeah, super cool. So I found this course, I actually found it on Pinterest and I took the course. It was really expensive for me. It was $1,200 and that was a huge investment for me to do that. But everybody that took the course that was giving you no feedback said that they were able to make that back pretty quickly once they found clients to work with. So, you know, we prayed about it, my husband and I talked about it and I went ahead and bit the bullet and took the course and I trained how to proofread for that particular niche of court reporters. Okay. I already had the grammatical skills and everything down because I obviously had a degree in English education and had taught English for almost 15 years. So I felt very confident with that anyway. So I picked up that little side hustle and I began just with one client and I started growing it and three and a half years later, I now have between 10 and 12 clients every month that I proofread for.
And that's my, what I call a side hustle. So I'm working on that about three and a half to four hours every day. So really early in the morning. And then at night I have one son and he's the teenager. So I don't have little children to worry too much about he's pretty sufficient. So that helps. And so I'm doing that as a side hustle, but what's happened is that I'm now starting to make more money with my side hustle than I am with my full time job. So it's not really a side hustle anymore. Right. But it's not quite the income level that I really need it to be for my family right now, but I am totally maxed out on time. I really can't take any more clients. I've had to turn clients down because I don't have any more hours in the day to do the extra work, but the work that I, I love, I love both jobs.
But I feel a real sense of community with my nonprofit work. And I feel like that's a ministry that I do even though it's, you know, a secretarial role, but I still feel like it's a ministry we have about 75 Christian schools that we work with in North Carolina. Wow. About 15,000 students. So that it's, you know, it's a big reach. And I feel like what I do somehow helps with that, you know, even just in that executive assistant role. So I love that part of it. I love the people I work with, but I feel this drive inside of me to do more sure. And I've really been pondering and seeking counsel recently about whether or not I should go ahead and go full time into the job. That's currently my side hustle. And I feel like, I mean, just working three to four hours every day, I'm already making more than my full time job.
So I feel like if I had all that time all day, then I could definitely make back what I'm making at my full time job. But I'm just torn whether to do that and how to do that. And so I'm open to your thoughts and ideas. Okay. And if you hear me clicking, I'm just taking notes. Okay. So, okay. So just to clarify, we went from teaching the teaching. You're not doing it all, but that's what gave you the basis to do the proofreading business, right? You have a full time job in a nonprofit working with this, the Christian school system where you live. Correct. Would you enjoy now top two questions right now? The first one is, do you leave the job to pursue the side hustle and to go full time there? Right? That's question one. But then your second question for me earlier today, when you sent me all of the, kind of your, your whole story was, is there a way to create a passive income around this gift that you have, which is this proofreading gift and what would that look like? Right. Are those the two questions you're kind of sitting on? Yes, exactly. Okay. So let's talk about it this way. We're six months from today, Julie, and you've left the full time job. You have supplemented your income already today. You've more than
Supplemented. By six months down the road, we have a passive income product and supplementing for you. How do you feel? Do you feel like you're missing something, the more space and time was worth it for you? Like how do you feel about your day and your life without the job?
Yeah, I feel great about that idea. I feel energized by that. I feel like it would be a game changer for me just to have the flexibility, to, you know, set my own schedule and grow my business even more. I would feel very excited about that prospect.
Okay. So hearing that, I want to challenge you to put yourself first then. Cause it's easy to say, but I feel loyal to this job and I feel of service. Well, sure you do because you are, and what you're doing is important. And anything we choose to do is important, but is it what's serving you the best in your life. Right. And I know like leaving anything is difficult, but if you feel really great with that visualization, I think that answer is pretty clear that it is time. And it doesn't mean that what you have done until this point is amazing. And maybe that was the time and the service that you were meant to serve. It's giving yourself permission to say, I'm going to move forward and do the next thing.
And you're not the only one that has advised me that way. I've sought counsel here recently. And pretty much everybody is saying the same thing. I'm just, I don't know if you follow Gretchen, Rubin's four tendencies, but I'm an obliger on that framework. And so I am very concerned about what people think and I don't want to let people down. And so a lot of it is, you know, those emotions that I'm just hate to let people down in that role, because I know I am valuable there where I am at the nonprofit organization, but I agree with what you said.
Yeah. And that's just, and you have to also think of it this way too. That's someone else's dream. That's their company and that's their mission work. And you're a piece of it getting paid to show up. And that there's no stability there, Julie, they could close the doors tomorrow and you could be laid off and we can be loyal for 27 years and get laid off the next day. Like that's happened to multiple people in my family, my company shut down when I was in corporate and I was left without a job. And so as much as we love serving other people's missions, I think that that's a stepping stool often for maybe a bigger call that you have, and that'll become clear over time. But I think you've answered your own question there and you just needed to hear and also give yourself permission to do something for you.
And it doesn't mean when you go in there, tell them like, I feel so bad and I love you guys. And like, you know, give them all the love, but they'll understand, believe me. And if they don't well, whatever they will, I have a feeling they'll understand. Right? Yes. There'll be sad. I'm sure you're an asset, but okay. So I think that answer is yes. Let's go with that. Okay. So then the next question is proofreading for court reporters. I don't see that going anywhere. That's your time for money right now, your great income that you're bringing in. Okay. So that's got to stay right now. Question though, since you're maxed out on clients and you're turning business away, is it time to raise your prices?
I've been asked that my husband asked that very question, however, from the research that I've done the nice thing is that I'm not the only one that does this job. There are hundreds of other folks that have taken the same course that we have a private Facebook group that we constantly ask each other questions and get advice. And there are hundreds of folks in there and they all know kind of what the going rate is for the services. And so I try to stay in that same general area. However, I have not raised my prices since I started. So I've been pondering going up soon. When did you start? 2016
And the other thing too, is that I feel very experienced. I mean, I feel like, I mean, I've been proofreading my whole, ever since I graduated from college, I've been doing that for 25 years. So I'm an experienced scrum, Marian. I mean, I, you know, I don't feel bad to say that this is my thing. I mean, I'm, I'm good at it. I don't mean to, you know, not trying to brag or anything, but I'm just, I feel very competent in my skills. So
Everyone else, everyone raises their prices once a year on you. Right. Treat everybody like it's just the cost of, of life it's inflation. And so it would be not unrealistic for you to say every year I'm raising my prices three to 5% and that's something that's very like easy to swallow as a consumer. And the thing too, is that people get to know you just because there's a hundred other people out there that could do proofreading. It doesn't mean that they want to work with anyone else. They already know your style. They know your quality of work. You're getting referrals. And like once I get used to someone I'm not gonna, like, I'm, I'm loyal as well. And I think most people are the people you're going to attract are going to want to keep working with you, Julie. And so I think it'd be smart for you to, in the contract when you begin working with people, I assume you have something like that to let them know every year you know, prices are subject to change with inflation and you kinda like giving them the heads up, like once a year we raise prices.
And I don't think that that's strange. I don't think that anyone will even blink when you're like, we're going at five bucks an hour. Cool. No problem. Yeah. I agree. And you'll filter out to like my thought process behind raising prices. Julia is whenever I max out, I set that in my mind. What is maxed out mean for me? And when I hit it for one month in a row, it's time to raise prices because, and it maybe only takes three months for you to max out. Well, okay. Time to raise prices because you'll just filter out the people that don't really want to work with you and they're going to go find someone cheaper. Well, that's fine. So that's my methodology and it's never steered me wrong because people like no interest your work. Right.
Yeah. And it's tricky too. I totally agree with all that. You've kind of given me that extra push that I've been hearing from my husband, particularly
So mad. He's like this girl just said everything that I told you,
But the problem is that this is, I mean, it's area where prices aren't frozen, but there's kind of an industry standard of what is acceptable to pay somebody. So it's not like, you know, for example that you do the coaching. I mean, you can kind of charge whatever you need to charge and people will pay it obviously. I mean, I'm, you know, I'm, you're being, you know, you're coaching me. Yeah. But with in this industry, I felt a little bit more pressure to kind of stay close to that. So sure. You're X myself out
Has something to say, so there's gotta be a range, Julie, of like, let's just say 25 to $45 an hour. Right. I mean, I may be way off, but as an example, get to the very top tier of that scale yourself up over the next couple of years so that you are the top because you have the referrals to back it up, you have the testimonies to prove your work. Like, and then if it doesn't work or you feel that you're losing business, we'll scale back, like nothing is set in stone and you can always play with it, but you should be getting a premium for your time. If you're having to turn business away, that's my bottom line there. Right. You're turning business away. You're not charging enough. Right. I agree. Okay. So that was first and I don't see that going anywhere cause that's going to pay the bills right now. Correct. Okay. So then here's the third tier, which is my favorite thing in the world to do, which is what can we do as a passive income product for you to supplement this new business that you're really going to go full force with, which is super exciting. Do you have a business name by the way?
Yes, I do. It's on the dot proofreading.
Okay. Now talk to me about, you had a couple of ideas for a course, give me those ideas high level, and then I want to tell you what I think, and I've kind of drawn from those ideas that you had and let's brainstorm on this. Okay.
Well the two main course ideas, I had more passionate about one of them than the other, but yeah, the first one, I was just trying to think about something that I'm already qualified to do. And with my teaching background, I love anything writing content, making video modules, the whole idea of like a membership course, or even just a, you know, like a flagship course that can be sold online. That is very attractive to me. And I love that idea, but I was trying to think of something that I'm already good at and that would be, you know, proofreading or grammar or something in the English realm. But I have these fears that the type of proofreading that I specifically do, small niche I'm in, there's already a very nice flagship course out there for that. So I couldn't go that realm. So then hold on, hold on. Yeah, you could do anything
Want to do, let me just stop you right there. Yeah, you could. Okay. Just want to change your language. Okay.
Yes. But I've been wondering if maybe, you know, there's something that in the proofreading realm, if I created some kind of a, you know, to help proofreaders improve their skill, but the other thing is sharing with them tools that I use, not just teaching them how to proofread, because if they are a proofreader, they should already know how to proofread. I mean, I'm not going to teach them grammatical concepts because they should already know those, but more like productivity tools that I use in my business to help me that kind of thing, you know? And they could even be smaller courses like a sauna for proofreaders or fresh books for proofreaders. Like they could be little small courses that are more for, but I feel like proofreaders and editors are kind of a very small niche. Yup. And so I don't know whether to go that route.
I would be very comfortable there because I would feel qualified. And I think my years of experience would help me there. People would maybe be more prone to take a course from somebody that's been doing it a long time. Sure. So that's one idea. And the other idea is more, it's still a course, but more customer service client-based course, which I'm more passionate about. I've always been passionate about customer service and working with clients and building some kind of a course that helps people with clients learn how to get more referrals and how to communicate better with your clients and what tools you can use to make your client flow work better and learning your client's love language and just, you know, how to appreciate your client. And that kind of thing is already something that I'm really passionate about. And I started to write a course like that and I put some modules together, just no, not out in the public, but I've got already some content together. Cause I was really passionate about that. The good thing about that is that there's a lot of people that have clients, not just proofreaders. So a lot of people have clients and might need, you know, help to get more clients or to satisfy their clients with good customer service. But that's more broad. And I don't really know that I'm fully qualified in the, you know, in the customer service area, but I'm just very passionate about that idea. Okay. So those are kind of the two thoughts. So
Beautiful. So here's the question I have for you. You're a proofreader. You just now have this amazing education to go proofread you. You're a former teacher or you've done this course or you've done something. What is your number one? Struggle. That's a new proofreader. You're sitting here with this
Skill set. What do you need to do? Probably find clients. Yes.
Guess what Julie has done. What's that maxed out on her clients. Yeah. True. Not only have you learned how to get clients, you've maxed out on the clients, you understand the relationship. You have a high retention, you're ready to raise prices. You're really enjoying your work because you have the right clients. So for me, the course I see for you as something like profit with proofreading, it's building the business behind the skillset. Nice. You have to think about, get out of your, our own head and we all do this and we go, but what do I like to talk about? And what's fun. No, what's the number one struggle of your area of expertise of your avatar. And I think your avatar is obviously the proofreader and we don't want to go like client experience for everyone. It's just so different. And that's where you're saying you feel weird about that because that would be weird.
Like a lawyer can't take your course and then approved. And then a coach has a different experience. So it's too diverse for one course. But if we niche in on proofreaders and inside, I just now wrote down profit with proofreading. I have no idea, but like let's roll with that idea for a second. Okay. Yeah. If it was something like that, then you're teaching productivity. You're teaching client experience. You're teaching client retention. You're teaching. What else? The systems you're not teaching proofreading. You're teaching every other piece of running a profitable business. Yes. I like that. How does that, yeah, one of the things too, that I've mentioned that little private Facebook group of other proofreaders, I would probably say 75 to 90% of the questions that other proofreaders ask our client base say, Oh my word, y'all, you know, I missed a mistake in this file and my client's really mad.
What do I do? Do you guys have any advice about getting rid of a bad client that like I've got to fire this client, you know, help me fire them. So a lot of the questions from proofreaders, at least in my niche are about client work. And so it just happens to be something I'm passionate about. So I'm so glad that you're mentioning that because I feel I was hoping you would lean toward that idea because I really am a lot more excited about that idea. And this is cool because it's still within your zone of genius. So you're going to feel really qualified to talk about this. It's not you reaching out. I also thought of pricing. You can teach pricing in the course. So if we go with that, that's a big course because you have, I mean, it's all of these components. So there's a couple ways that you could map this out. You could have one big signature course, Julie, where, I mean, truly that course, I mean all said and done, it could be four 97. It could be nine 97. Like this could be a big ask for your client. Who's a new proofreader going well now I don't have any money. Cause I just took the proofreading. Learn to be, yeah,
Great. That's one option and it doesn't mean it won't be successful. It just means you have a lot of work to do to build up the trust. You may already have some credibility with within these groups or by the referral basis. The other option could be the mini course. That's like one. So that, so there's really three options. We have, we have a big master. Then we could do a, you could do a mini course that like leads them into the master course. For example, all we're talking about in this mini course, that's like 47 bucks is how to max out your clients or where to get clients, right? Where to find proofreading clients. Of course you need a catchy name. That's horrid, horrendous, but we'll think of something cool. And that's like a no brainer buy. And the beauty of that is you say they get through that module and you say, want the other six modules offer you a hundred bucks off if you buy within 30 days, take the rest of the modules.
So there's, that's a model of how we could get people into the master course because it's a high price. The other option, which you had mentioned would be having a school like on teachable, you can have a school and have a bunch of mini classes. Each concept is a mini course. So you're going to have, you know, a sauna for proofread. Like this is like proofreader Academy or profit proofreading school. And then they've got like systems, you've got productivity, mini course, you have billing mini course, you have contracts, mini course, you have systems pricing. And there are many classes that maybe they're $27 each or something. So you can structure this in many different ways. And I think my question now goes to you, does something stick out to you as like what you would prefer to create?
I'm trying to think from the proofreaders perspective, because I know, especially when they start out, if they've taken the course that I did, they are cash poor in the beginning because they've already made a big investment. And they're nervous about making that back, even though you're kind of encouraged when you're taking the course, like if you'll take this course and learn this particular niche skill, you're going to make it back. I mean, I made back my investment within first two months and they, most of the professors do that. So, but they're a little nervous to maybe jump into another big course, although that's what they really want is to know how do I find these clients and make them happy and just keep getting more referrals and, you know, build my business. But you've got to start somewhere as far as, you know, getting those first clients. So I'm almost thinking that the smaller courses, the more affordable would be more interesting or more appealing to them because they have already put such a big chunk of money into the training. And the only problem is, I mean, what kind of proofreaders am I looking for is just transcript
Proofreaders, because that would think that would be a pretty small niche. I mean, I think this could do proof any proofreader or editor because like I don't edit books, although you're not teaching them any of that all your time, get the client, get the systems. How do you bill, how do we, how could we set pricing the systems? I think within this skillset, those things are going to be pretty standard. Yes. So I think you could talk to any proofreader. I mean, I don't know that industry, so you may tell me that's not the case, but I would think the only thing that intimidates me a little bit is because I've never done proofreading, at least, you know, in my little side hustle, I've never done that for anybody except for court reporters. And so, you know, I don't edit books, I don't edit, you know, master's thesis or doctoral work and that's a different pricing, my pricing structure than I have.
So I would have to research and find out, you know, how to, how to set pricing for other types of proofreading or do I need to get specific like that? You could just have, like that mini course could just be pricing for proofreading for court reporters. Like you could have specific little mini courses and maybe pricing isn't one that you want to start with. Right. So don't get, you want to focus on, I guess, what are like the five core things that made you super successful as a proofreader, which is client acquisition and retention, obviously like number one, secondly, for me would be the systems, like, what do you use to bill and how do we do contracts? Like I'm lost in the overwhelm of all of that. Maybe the third one could be productivity or like time management has a proofreader. And the third one may is like how to handle mistakes or difficult clients in your work or like something like that.
So those might be like the four first initial things that you would create. And I just thought of, you said something about you have this great membership group and people are in there asking questions. How do I do this? How do I do that? Well, in addition to your mini course school, that I would just set it up on teachable, Julie, and you can have many courses, they can buy it as a onetime offer or they can pay a one time subscription fee and get everything. But the beauty of the subscription fee is you could have a membership community for them to making them any courses, but now they don't want to leave because Julie's always putting up a new course. She has this group of community of proofreaders everybody's working together and collaborating, and maybe you go live once a month and answer questions. So you've added this benefit of doing like a monthly model. That's just something to consider because yeah, I like that. They may go, I want all four of those courses, I'm willing to pay, you know, $47 a month, get all her courses and be part of her monthly subscription group. And then if you do that model, you need to continue to add content though, once every other month there's a new mini course, but you can, there's a million things that you could create a mini course on.
Yeah, I agree. That's exciting. That sounds really good. I've always dreamed of being one of those, like having a membership course and you know, having people, you know, tune in and learn new things, I just I've always wanted to do that. And I feel like if my current day job was now gone, I can't even believe I'm thinking. But if that were gone, when it's gone, I would have time to devote to doing that. And that really lights me up. I mean, that's exciting to me see, and like that excitement, you know,
Like whenever I feel that like, Oh gosh, like I'm super excited and I could see myself doing that. You know, you're on the right track and you never know
You do that for a year. Julie, see where that leads you because
You're being directed to the online space on purpose. You have this great skillset that you can teach others. I just think that's super cool. And especially if you have the desire to create these online courses and it's something fun and new for you, like we should always be pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone out of the status quo and say, let me try something and see how it feels after a year. Right. We should always be growing. Okay. So what questions do you have for me? What would be the best benefit for the rest of this time? Do you want to like map out the first couple of mini courses so that you have like the high level outline of it or is it more important to you to like go into the tech so that you can actually, where do I record and how do I do all of that? What do you need help?
I think as you were kind of listing, you know, three or four different ideas, I liked that we could keep going down that route. I also, you have a lot more experience about pricing, many courses, and I'd love to know what you think is a good price point. I mean, I know it would depend on how much content was in there, but if we could go down, maybe both of those.
Okay, perfect. And actually what's interesting is pricing. It's not really how much content is in there. It's what's the end result. So imagine I'm a new proofreader and I take your first mini course, which I think is the very first thing we need, which is client acquisition, client acquisition, and maybe it's acquisition and retention. I don't know if those will be split out or one. We'll have to see how much we get with that. What is that worth to me? I don't care how many modules it takes. I don't care if there's two modules and you give me 15 minutes and you give me the secret to maxing out clients. Here you go, $200, $500. Like I've just maxed out my client load. Like that to me is like, so you always want to price based on what does that end result worth to that person versus, Oh, let's have a mini course on productivity. That's like a, it's not a tangible idea for me. Like, Oh, being more productive as a proofread is cool, but I can't put, I can't put so much like weight in that as I can saying, you've just maxed out my business. Right. Does that make sense?
Yes. I agree with that. So let's go first with client acquisition. Let's say that's our first, your first mini class. So to speak in this big school, let's say just for example sake that it is profit with proofreading or the proofreading Academy or something. The first mini class in there is client acquisition. Tell me what are the three top things you did to max out your clients? Where did you find them? What did you do? Well, here's the weird thing about that. So as part of this course that I took the $1,200 course, you had to prove your worth to make sure that you were actually a good grammarian before you could get to what they called the marketing modules of the course. And it was highly protected. I mean, you could not find out how to get clients until you paid the 1200. Nice.
So for me to mention to you here, you know what that way is? I feel like I would be giving away, you know, trade secrets because that was so highly protected. So I used the strategy. It was a social media platform. Let's let's just say that it was a social media platform that I had never used. I guess what it was, say it out loud. Yeah. It's mostly one that is for business people. Let's put it that way so we can probably guess what that is. Nobody's watching us so they can't see what I'm saying to you. Yes, that's correct. So that's kind of perfect. So that would be in there. That would be like my number one. Right. And then you need to go into like, what did you actually say? How did you con how did you start conversation? And that would probably be like, I would go as far as what I like to do.
Julie is like put my actual swipe files in my courses. Here's my verbiage. Make it your own obviously. And it's a bonus to sell it to them. I'm like, all my swipe files are in there for you. Yes. I love that. So I'll put that in there too. So swipe files for the copy that you sent or the email or the, whatever, the message or whatever, what else did you do? Was there a followup process that you had to follow? Yeah, there was also some cold calling that I did with court reporting agencies. And that was a lot of people get nervous about that. But because I talk on the phone all the time with my day job, I'm not at all intimidated to call strangers on the phone. So it would be nice to have some, a script or something that they could, they could kind of, and that was kind of added in the course as well, like some sample wording. So that was very helpful for me when I learned that. But you know, that's intimidating. You have to get over that, you know, the nerve wracking ness of trying to talk with a stranger. And the problem is you don't feel qualified when you start. So you're calling these agencies asking, we all hire me, but you, you haven't even started working yet. And so you feel very intimidated, you know, they're like, well, how much experience do you have? Well, what I say was, well, I've
Been proofreading for 25 years, but not every proofreader. That's just starting out can say that. And so that was, you know, it could be kind of scary. So would you recommend they put together, like maybe they can put together some type of portfolio to say I'm new, but here's a portfolio. Like, can you help them put some together to prove their worth? Yes, definitely. And they also need a resume too. Some of the perforators were nervous because they were either stay at home moms and had been out of school for a while and did not really have any tangible experience to put on their resume. So maybe even some ideas of the course work that you do is experience in itself because it takes you months to work through it. And there's a ton of practice modules, practice, transcripts that you have to go through.
So that would be neat too, to help them, you know, what do I say if they ask me for references? Cause when you start out, you don't have references. Yes. Okay. So see how like you're just equipping them to how to prepare, to pitch the client. So I think I want to say this is, I think very linearly, like, okay, I just got in here and so I need to go step by step. So the first thing is preparation to pitch clients or agencies. Yup. And that would include the portfolio, the resume, all of those things. Maybe like the cold calling scripts, practicing that preparing the email or the DM or the message, whatever platform they want to use. And then the second one would be implementing or pitching actual pitching. So like the pitching process, right. The pitching process. Then we're going to go into the follow up process then the next step of client acquisition.
So now they've said, okay, okay, fine. I'm ready to hire you. What do we do now? So now is that the next course, which is actually the next one I would say would be client onboarding. I already have some content that I've just been playing around with about that. That's a huge part because you've got to set expectations for your proofreading clients about how quickly they need their work back. Okay. Of course they're going to pay you more the faster they need it. So you have to have that expectations pricing actually goes in there because it's client onboarding. So I think with agile you can glaze over pricing men and be like, okay, here's some, some pricing that we use in the court reporting industry. Now, granted, if you're a, this or this service, here's the stats I found online for you. And of course sort your site, your sources.
But I always just disclaimer, I'm like, look, I'm not an expert in proofreading. For example, I don't know this better than Julie knows this, but I know how to structure the passive products for her, but she needs the knowledge. So similar for you, you're saying I know how to structure client onboarding, but you need to figure out, you know, do some research on your pricing. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. So then in client onboarding, I think we're into the second mini class. Now we have expectations. We have pricing, you need a contract, right? Do you do contract for this?
I actually don't but I probably need to,
I guess it depends on if you are a contractor versus an employee of someone, I would still think you would want a contract, Julie, like even a one pager.
Yes. And I've, I've really need to do that because some of the files I read are very sensitive or even confidential. And so I think it would be good. I have had to sign like a nondisclosure thing for one, one person I worked for. But I think having some better contract stuff in place would be really good.
Yes. Looking at that. And then if you find that, that is the situation that you need mentioned to them again, Hey guys, you know, you'll want to have a contract if this then right. If this then, and that made for you, be a 30 minute conversation with like, it may be a very simple answer. Even some Google searches to figure out when do I need a contract and what language could I use? What else is on the client onboarding experience? You got expectations pricing, potentially a contract.
I think communication. I don't know if that would be a separate course or part of the onboarding, but just knowing like how are we gonna communicate? What tools are we going to be able to, like when they want to send me a file to proofread, how are they going to send it? Are they going to send it in a sauna 60 minutes? But that could be a separate one, maybe. Okay.
Yeah. I really think systems is its own class. So let's put that down, but you can mention here's your upsell, right? Like go through client acquisition class. And the very last step is client onboarding. Don't worry. I've got a class for you. Let's move on to number two, client onboarding. And here we go. Dah, dah, dah. Okay. We're done. Now the final step in client onboarding is systems. Let's move to class number three. And the beauty of this is as you're building these mini classes, you're really building a huge signature course. Once you piece them all together. Right? And so someone can buy the whole thing, like I said, and do a, a master purchase of the whole shebang or like you have chosen to do, they can buy just what they need. So it's a menu. They can take the whole thing or they can buy the classes piecemeal.
But that's why we're going in order because you can sell through, well, this one leads to this one. So of course you have to take class number three, right? Yes. Love that. So client onboarding, we have three things. Keep thinking. You'll think of more as, as you get into this stuff, but we'll move now to the fourth step, which we just have a systems. So the client has decided to work with you. You guys have talked about expectations, you've set a price, you've done a contract. I don't know what else you would do on the onboarding process other than begin the work. And then the next step is then now. Okay. Systems. And so the systems they would need to use, it's like, how do you upload and deliver files? Right? So that's the first, how do you actually transcribe? Like what systems do you guys use for that? Like, I'm sure you have software that you want to recommend to them write software for proofreading. What else is in the systems? Like maybe a calendar system you might recommend?
Yeah, definitely my clients right now, it's kind of all over the place. My different clients have different preferences of how they keep track, because what happens is they take the job in the courtroom or in a deposition. So they have to keep track of all of their own work as they're typing the stuff. And then they have to turn it over to me. I fix stuff. They have to come back and then send it back to their client, which is usually an attorney. A couple of my clients already have a really nice spreadsheet that they just share with me. But I would love for all of my clients to do the same system, but I can't convince them to come over to my side. It's like, they want to keep using the system that they have. But I guess the thing that in the course could just be whatever your client is comfortable with.
Just use that system and learn it. It's just tricky when you have 12 different clients and each one kind of prefers it a little bit differently to remember, okay, this lady likes to do it this way, but definitely, you know, keeping track of what the files are when they're due, which is huge. I mean, you cannot miss a deadline. Deadlines are key. So that's a big part of the system. And there's so many different tools that you could do that with. You know? So it's just deciding, and I don't know whether I would need to mention a couple of different ones they could try or just say, this is what I use.
You know, I always say what I personally recommend and then see if you can become an affiliate for all of those programs, Julie. Yes. And use your affiliate link for them because you're paying for it. And so you can say, and you just say, if any of the links above are clicked, I receive a small commission and that's your cover, your butt and anything I use, I'm going to affiliate for it. Yeah. And I only recommend that because I truly am using it. And I don't feel right about recommending something I've never used. Unless you see like a specific reason that you would recommend the other option.
Yeah. Very good. So we've got, yeah.
How to deliver it, upload the file software for the proofreading, the spreadsheet system, which I think you could say, like that was really valuable for someone new to here. Look, there's 12 options. This one's my favorite. So if you guys can get them on board with this one, yes. Like let them know how to be more successful at this, which does mean streamlining your clients. And the beauty of that too, is like, once you streamline your clients, they really don't want to go anywhere else because they've already learned one system with you and then another proofreader may want something different.
Yeah. So yeah.
Keeping track and deadlines. So you'll have your recommendation for how they can handle the deadlines and the tracking. Any other system thing you can think of would go in this mini class. So then what's the next step. So they've got, got the clients. We've told them how they go get clients. We've talked about the onboarding process. We talked about the system of delivery. I think the other thing just that comes to mind is something we've already talked about. And that is, you know, dealing with difficult clients, what to do when you've missed a mistake, because that's very embarrassing to court reporters or book writers or whatever. If your proofreader missed something, it makes you look really bad. So dealing with, I mean, it happens, nobody's dealing with clients who found something that you missed. And then also just communicating with them if you're having trouble.
Like if they're not paying on time, there's a lot of proofreaders that struggle with non-playing paying clients because you already do the work and then you invoice them for later. Oh. So you've already turned in the work, like I invoice once a month. So that's really awkward. So I think communicating with difficult clients or even firing a client or something like that. Oh yeah. Let's put that in there. Cause that's the stuff like yeah, for sure. Non-Paying clients, that all is great. Okay. So let's roll with these four mini classes for right now. And let's say now, how would we price these assuming they're four standalone mini, I'm going to call them classes. Cause I don't think maybe the first one is like course, but I think if you're having an entire school, it's fun to say like, these are your classes and you're going to go in order.
Right. So this first one client acquisition, this is like, and your messaging is so key here, Julie, for selling these, like for example, you know, if you're going with the proofreading Academy or profit with proofreading school, client acquisition is like, right. So you have to really think about like maxing out your proofreading clients or my system for constantly being maxed out. Like, and of course you want to like four words or something, but hit them with like, what's the end result? Not just, Oh, acquire clients. Yay. It's like, no, we are going to max out our client load. How to max out your client load. Like, that's a great name. Like, it's just love that. Okay. If they follow your system because you've done it and you know, all of the tools to do it, you're giving them your swipe files and everything. Let's say that takes somebody three days to get through this class because this one's kind of large, depending on how long it takes them or, or how much time they have, what did they going to pay for that knowledge?
What would you pay for that knowledge? If that would have been you? I don't know because if you get one client out of it, I mean, I have a client that paid me $5,000 last year just for her, with her work. So I mean, it has, if you can get that client and then that client can turn into a referral for more and more. I started with one client and all of my business has almost all of it has been a referral from that single person. So if that person put that in here asking for referrals, is that a thing? Oh yes. That's gotta be something in there somewhere. And how about testimonies asking for testimonies and getting feedback to improve your skills? Yep. I'm saying that this client acquisition one is really like a core course. It's kind becoming like an actual like course, course. These other ones are like little mini courses you could use to potentially feed that one. But this, this one is going to be, I can tell it's going to be your bread and butter because that's really, that is the trigger. That's the hot point. Right? Exactly. So what would you have paid for that? Like going back to when you started, do you have to get the knowledge first? So they've done that, but now how to max out the client load, like what do you think you would have paid for something like that?
I'm so bad with this stuff. I honestly, I don't even know. I mean, you tell me, like, would you say $149? Would you say $97? Would you say I I'd still have any idea
For me. Like the no brainer buy, like they're not even blinking. It's like one 47.
I always get confused about if it's too cheap, they think, Oh, it's right worth it. And if it's too expensive, they're like, Mmm, I wish I could take it back. I just can't. So how do you know what's that
You have to, you have to test your market and so you always want to start lower. Okay. Like if you're between, okay. Should this be like a one 47 or a two 47? You can start lower, test it for 90 days. And if it's blowing up, go great. That was early bird pricing. It's two 47 today, baby. Like you can always scale up, but you could never scale back down because all those people that paid that are going to be mad. Right? Yeah. So I think it's beautiful thing to test for 90 days and use it as like an introductory offer pricing. See how it goes. So I always play it safe when I kick something off. Right. I'm going to go, okay, what's a no brainer buy that's where I'm going to start. I even feel like one 47 is like maybe too low, but I was taking into consideration. They don't have income yet. Cause this is a beginner process. The acquisition process maxing out the client load. They're still struggling for income, but that end result is almost priceless to them at this point. So they are willing to stretch. I like that price point, but I don't know how you feel.
Yeah. I mean, that's the thing. If they could, if they could just realize the power of that single client or that, you know, your initial couple of clients can just be, like you said, invaluable. It's just, there's no way to put a price on that. So, but they, they have to be able to afford it to do it. So I've never been good at the pricing thing. I've just always been so torn about that.
So I mean, why don't you start it with a one 47? If you have all the things I've just written down, I'll send you all these notes. Cause you have your outline. Now that I'll send you, you know, you could have like a 30 day like a launch. The only problem with that is like, you're really starting from scratch as far as a following is concerned of who's going to buy this today. Right? So it's kind of nice to not go, Oh, I have a launch and one person bought it, but it's like to have an evergreen system set up where it's one 47 for a while. And then once you gain testimonies and you get someone to max out their clients, Julie, and make them do a video testimony for you and a written testimony for you and all of a sudden it's credible because someone else has proved your proof of concept of what you did.
Cause you can do something, but now can you get someone else to do it? That's the question. Exactly. So you need to get like five people in at one 47 and tell them this is an introductory offer. Because like when I launched the podcast course, I got five people in, at a special price and said, I'm giving this to you at half price because I need your proof of concept. I need your videos, your testimonies. I need you to give me feedback. And then because of those five people, I could double the price. So I would start there. See if you can find some people that'll do this with you. Maybe from that group, like DM them privately and be like, I'm coming in. I have a client acquisition max out your client load course. And that needs to be the first one you get up and running.
Don't look at the other ones yet, get this one done and have three to five people. Take it for you at one 47 and see what happens. I love that. That's great. So that's your homework there. You need to start there. The second one would be that one. Like you never want to go crazy on next steps until first step is really working. Right? So get that all done. Get some people to do that. Before you go start working on the other, the client onboarding class, the systems class, dealing with difficult clients. Those are I think next steps, but maybe within six months you have these four classes fully done. Great love that.
I hope you loved that session with me and Julie. I'm really excited for her. I know that this is a absolute need in her marketplace, in her sphere. I hope you were able to kind of put yourself in her shoes and think about what are the systemized things that I know how to do that I can teach someone else how to do because that my friend is the basis for either a coaching or a passive product. And truly there's nothing more to it than that. This doesn't have to be complicated. Again, if you need to brainstorm with me with a mentor, get your stuff created and put out and prepared for the world, email us so we can chat about coaching. And I just want to leave you with a thank you for hanging on with us until the very end of this episode. I know the coaching episodes are long, but they are so value packed.
Really like to leave the majority of it in there for you. And if you're still here like high five girl, I'm so grateful for you and thankful that you're part of my community. I just want to pray over you. Now that God has gifted you, the people that you need to support you, that he will bring you the mentors to inspire and lift you up and motivate you, that he will give you the resources and podcasts and books and things you need to hear to grow your knowledge base and just really, truly propel you forward this year so that you can go and do big things because he put whatever's on your heart there for you to take action on it. And I know that if God believes in you, you should believe in, you see you soon as always love and light, Stef.
Lots of fancy unused education. Podcast Coach, Clarity Coach, & Top #25 Ranked Podcast Host for Christian Entrepreneurs.