What small business owner or the person doing freelancing doesn’t want to get paid more for doing their craft? In this episode, Brennan Dunn talks about his course, Double Your Freelancing Rate and Double Your Freelancing Clients.
Podcast Listener question:
I was listening to your latest episode “Why You Should Create an Online Course & How to Plan One.” First, I have to say that I found it very informative and full of great content, so thank you for recording it.
I own a small business currently, and would like to start another business creating some online courses. I have a great idea for one in a niche that I currently am working in. I have an idea and the curriculum for a great online course that I know would sell. However, I have no social media presence, email list, or following in any capacity. I know a lot of the information I have found on starting an online course is geared towards people who already have an email list or something.
My question for you is it possible for me to have a successful launch of an online course without already having some sort of following? If so, what would be the way to do it? Where would I launch or promote it?
A summary of my answers:
- Ask as many people in your target audience what they think, how much they would pay and would they find valuable.
- Then, create a test group of VIPs and require them to pay in order to get early access into the course. Many people get excited about being able to craft the course with you.
- It’s not a big roadblock that you don’t have an audience or large platform…do you know someone in the industry that does? You could have them be a part of the training, especially if you do videos. You can have them promote it as an affiliate and/or give recommendations.
- You can start a podcast on the topic and interview industry leaders. You can get on other podcasts as a guest to speak to the pain points of your target audience. Go to onlinecoursecoach.com/podcastcourse to learn the exact forumla for success.
- Where you build the course depends on your audience and your long term vision. Should it be on your website or hosted on another platform?
- Do you want to use something pre-existing and pay a monthly fee (or a percentage of your sales), or do you want to have your own website where you control all aspects of the course? This will determine where to host it.
The Online Course Coach Podcast Questions:
- What was your background before your first online course?
- Why did you create the Double Your Freelance rate course?
- What did you learn while creating it, is the current course the same one as you originally launched?
- What systems, tools or websites do you use to house and deliver the courses?
- Now that you’ve create multiple courses, what have you learned along the way?
- How have your courses gotten better as you’ve created more courses over the years, or what have you done to make them better?
- Tell me about Double Your Freelancing Clients and why you decided to create it.
- How has building your courses helped impact more lives and increased your success (success could be financially, time freedom, etc)?
- What marketing strategies have you used to promote your courses?
- Who all do you utilize throughout the course creation process? Is it just you, or do you have a team that supports you along the way?
- Where can people learn more you about you and your courses?
Online Course Coach Podcast Show Notes:
- He started an agency as he moved into a new town and grew it into a agency
- Brennan then left the agency and started a software as a service business, called Planscope.io
- This first course, Double Your Freelance Rate was originally an ebook, before he made it into a full fledged course
- There is an auto responder within the course to help with accountability
- The name of his course was originally the title of the course but then it became the name of the course
- He used pricing tiers to help improve his sales, and better help his students learn better
- Don’t assume a self study course is enough. Make it high touch for maximum impact
- Within his course, he has upsell opportunities that helps the student, and increases Brennan’s revenue
- Double Your Freelancing Rate using Gumroad to deliver the course workbook content in pdf and mobi files. He then delivers the videos within a local environment so they can watch it on their computer.
- He gives a free email course that takes 2 weeks but afterward, he offers the course at a discount to buy DYFR
- Double Your Freelancing Clients is 57 videos lasting 5 hours of content. It’s different in that he’s available for office hours to ask any questions
- He only markets to his own audience with the DYFC and mainly for those that have taken his DYFR course.
- Brennan uses paid ads as well free traffic that comes to his site, takes the free email course and then buy his paid course
- For the most part, Brennan does most of the work himself
- Go to FreePricingCourse.com to see Brennan’s system and flow
- Go to DoubleYourFreelancing.com for more blog posts, articles, and podcasts on the topic of increasing your rates
The Online Course Coach Podcast Transcript
The Double Your Freelancing Course with Brennan Dunn
Jeff: In this episode we talk about the Double Your Freelancing Rate Course with Brennan Dunn.
Female Narrator: Welcome to the Online Course Coach podcast brought to you by truefocusmedia.com. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, this is the podcast for the latest in online course creation tips, news, interviews and ideas. And here’s your coach Jeff Long.
Jeff: Thanks for coming back to the Online Course Coach podcast. Again my name is Jeff Long and we have a great episode here today and I get a chance to talk with Brennan Dunn who I’ve known about for awhile and I wanted to get him on the show. He was definitely on the top of my list and I’m glad we were able to get him on. But before we get into the interview, I have a couple announcements and a listener question. So just this week it’s been great to have several of you email me, ask questions and just show your support.
And I had some really good conversations with Michael and Adam and a few other people, and so I want to read a question that Michael submitted because I thinik we can go into more depth than an email can have and to be honest it just takes too long to write an answer that would satisfy. So Michael, this is an expanded answer to your question. So the question that Michael put in, he said, “Hey, I’ve been listening to your podcast and your latest episode on why you should create an online course and how to plan one.” So if you haven’t listen to that, go to onlinecoursecoach.com and that should be one of the more recent ones. And then Michael continued and he said, “First I have to say I found it very informative and full of great content. So thank you for recording it.” And Michael, my pleasure.
He continues and says, “I own a small business currently and would like to start another business creating some online courses.” And then he said what his industry or niche that he’s looking at going into. He says, “I have a great idea for one in a niche that I’m currently working in and I have an idea and the curriculum for a great online course that I know I would sell. However, I have no social media presence, email list, or following. And I know a lot of information I found on starting an online course is geared towards people who already have an email list, a following or a platform.” So Michael says, “My question for you, is it possible for me to have a successful launch of an online course without already having some sort of following? If so what would be the way to do it? And where would I launch or promote it?”
So we’ve covered some of these topics in past episodes. I know Grant Baldwin and I go into some details, so again if you go to onlinecoursecoach.com I believe if you search Grant or Grant Baldwin, or you might even go onlinecoursecoach.com/grant or /grantbaldwin you will be able to be taken there immediately.
But these are my recommendations. So the first thing to do, and I kind of ran into this trap early on when I was creating my first courses years and years ago was I didn’t ask anybody. I didn’t get anybody’s feedback. I didn’t talk to my target audience, my target student. And so I went into this cave as it were. I created the course and when I emerged I had what I thought was going to be a good course, but I didn’t really know.
So the first thing I would do and the first thing I highly recommend is ask as many people in your target audience what they think, how much they would pay, and what would they find valuable? Because if you can ask them what they want to learn, what they’re struggling with, what would help them, you’re going to learn a lot, you can also start asking what they would be willing to pay. Now that’s kind of a dangerous question because we’re all cheap skates so of course they want it for free, but if you can find and if you can determine the value that this course would create. So let’s say it’s a course for nurses and they pay gobs of money to go through nursing school, well, what if they could have a course that would help them walk through some of the complex test, and certifications they need to get by an industry leading trainer? I mean, how valuable would that be? Well, it’d be amazingly valuable, it would put your mind at ease, you wouldn’t have to stress about reading this huge text book, etcetera, etcetera. So whatever your niche is and Michael and I had talked a little bit about his niche, ask those questions, go to your target audience.
And then this is the next step is create a test group of VIPs and require them to pay to get early access into the course. Now this goes against a lot of people’s logic. They think, “Well, why would somebody pay for something that hasn’t been built yet?” Well, believe it or not there are a lot of people that would love to get in on I guess that ground level that could help you answer questions, and you can give them personal access to yourself, you can give them a discounted rate for the course. So let’s say you’re going to sell it for $300 or 297, maybe you would sell it for 149. So they get it for half the price. They get full access to you for the duration of that course building process. So a month, 2 months, 3 months. You can get that feedback. I’ve done this myself. I’ve been in other people’s test groups and it really helps because it gets more eyeballs. So the more eyeballs you can have the better.
And since they’re paying they have a vested interest in this course. If you just ask your brother or your mom, your friend, your cousin, “Hey, would you buy this course?” They’re all going to say yes. Even if you ask your target audience, chances are most of them will be like, “Oh, that sounds great. Go for it.” But if none of them pay money they’re not invested in the course.
I know it’s hard. And for those of you that you feel like, “Hey, I’m not a sales person.” Well, I don’t think you’re really having to sell this. It’s more that you’re creating value that you’re giving them access to you, that they can help build the course that they want, you’re not going to create a course that solves I don’t know not your target audience’s questions, you’re going to solve those specific VIPs questions.
So those are how to really get out of the gate and determine if your course is viable or not.
Now one of the second questions you asked, Michael is, “I don’t have an audience. I don’t have a platform. What can I do.” So and that’s common, a lot of people that either are industry experts or they have an idea for a course, they don’t have that audience. So here are a few things that you can do that I’ve seen worked very well.
So one thing is you can … you can start a podcast where you interview industry leaders in your area. So you could start a podcast, you could send out an email and ask those people that are in your industry. And to be honest I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve been shocked, even with this podcast, I’ve been amazed of the caliber of individuals we’ve gotten on the show just like Brennan Dunn here today that are they’re willing to come on the show and we’re not doing this hard sell, they kind of gently sell maybe at the end, but really it’s about providing value and so you can build relationships there by interviewing people on your podcast as well as it sets you as an industry leader yourself, because throughout those interviews you pepper in your own advice, your own recommendations, your own thoughts, and you are seen as that industry leader.
Now if you don’t want to start your own podcast, maybe it’s too time consuming, or just technically you’re not able to right now, you could ask to be a guest on other people’s podcast. So find podcast in your area, in your niche, and ask to be on their podcast. Now make sure that you are providing a lot of value, make sure you’re not just selling stuff, but go there to serve.
Now there is a system when you’re going on other people’s podcasts and you can actually learn that system. My good friend Tom Schwab created a course. So if you go to onlinecoursecoach.com/podcastcourse you can learn more about that and sign up for his course. He really walks you through the steps of finding your ideal target audience, how to find the right podcast to be on, getting booked, getting listeners back to your website, and his proven 6 step method. And I’ve gone through this course, it is fantastic.
I know Tom personally, he’s in my mastermind, he is one of the most helpful guys, one of the most outstanding guys. In fact I’ve actually been to his house where he lives. He had some donkeys, my girls love petting them and actually riding one of his donkeys. So anyway, he’s a great guy. I could go on and on. But go to onlinecoursecoach.com/podcastcourse to learn more bout that system that he created.
Now another strategy if you don’t have an audience is partner with an industry leader. I’ve done this before where it’s more of like a joint venture type of thing where maybe you can do the technical and they can do the content or vice versa and partner with them, make sure to have everything in writing and make sure it’s all legal and on the up and up. But that’s a way to do it as well. If you don’t want to do that you could pay an industry leader to be a part of your training, maybe they are in front of the camera giving the training, you could do that, or you could have that industry leader promote your course to their audience and have them sign up for an affiliate, so maybe they get 40%, 50%, whatever percentage you agree on for selling it.
So find those industry experts, find those websites, find even the podcasts or other resources, Youtube channels. Reach out to them and say, “Hey, I have this course would you like to do a joint venture?” Talk to them about the affiliate plan, so anytime they sell one they get 50%, that is a huge up sell, a huge bonus, because they don’t have to do much work, they don’t have to create the course, they can just promote it to their audience. And that’s actually where I made a good chunk of my money on one of my courses early on. At the beginning I didn’t talked to my ideal audience, but it was a fantastic course. So I made out for it with affiliate sales. I think the first affiliate push, I think we sold a little over $6,000 of that course so that was, maybe it was 12,000, I think it was 12,000. My cut was 6,000. So that was a great deal for me and I was happy and that really got me off and running with selling that course.
Now one of his last questions was, “Where do we put this course? How do I sell it?” So there’s 2 options. One is you put it on your own website, and this is what I recommend because you control the platform, you control the fees, you get a hundred percent, you’re not having to pay a commission, you’re not having to pay a monthly fee, it’s all there for you. In a future podcast maybe we’ll talk about different learning management systems or website integrations that work with your website, whether it’s WordPress based or not.
Now there are other 3rd party solutions. There’s Udemy, there’s Ruzuku, I mean, there’s hundreds and thousands of 3rd party platforms or ways you can host your online course. And these are good especially if you’re not technically savvy. However, they all come with a monthly fee, a percentage, or both. So some of them might be a hundred dollars a month or 200, or 300. So are you willing to give that much up of your sales? So if you’re going to make a lot of sales then maybe that’s worth it. But again I’d rather have it be on your own website where you can get all of the sales.
So Michael, I hope that helped with your questions. I know we’ve gone back and forth with email, but I wanted to go more in depth with this podcast because I know a lot of you listeners, the other listeners here have similar questions. Now the last thing before we get into our interview is we have announced the Fin Con giveaway, a few months we did that sign up where you could sign up to get a free ticket to the Fin Con Expo in I believe it’s in September of 2016. I think the ticket, I think you can get them for 300, 400, something like that dollars. So it’s a high value ticket and I wanted to give that away to somebody that had never been.
So I did the raffle, I did the drawing, and Adam Leech came up as the winner so I’ve already contacted him, he’s really excited because he is kind of in that space, he’s already interviewing and doing some different things with people in the financial markets and again this conference is fantastic. So I’m not going to go into more depth because I’m already promote it, rambled it, rambled about it, and told you how awesome it is. But anyway, congratulations to Adam Leech who won the free Fin Con ticket giveaway.
Now today’s interview is with Brennan Dunn and his course is Double Your Freelancing Rate. And I’ve been aware of this course for awhile now, I’ve been listening, I’ve heard Brennan talk on different podcasts, so I knew I had to get him on the show. Because what he talks about, for those of you that are in either a service industry maybe you’re a web designer, maybe you have some different knowledge, but you struggle with how to price your products or services. This course is fantastic. And I’m actually … I’m going through this course right now. I purchased it. Brennan didn’t give it to me for free, I don’t really ask for those freebies because I want to go through and take it just on my own and it is amazing. I started reading it on the plane the other day when I was flying to do some work at a conference and I found myself almost highlighting every page. So I’m definitely going to go back, do it more detail and more depth. I’ve watched a lot of the videos, gone through a lot of the content, so it is awesome.
So some of the things that Brennan talks about are the mindset that you need to take. Even his background and how he got into this Double Your Freelance Rate course is really interesting. And then he goes into a new course that he only offers once a year and he just touches on it towards the end that is really intriguing, it’s called Double Your Freelancing Clients. So for those of you that do client work, this is something I highly recommend.
So if you’re somebody that is struggling to find clients, maybe you’re over worked and don’t have enough time to hang out with your spouse or kids, maybe you’re afraid to charge what your worth and barely getting by. Brennan Dunn addresses that in his course and a lot in this podcast. So Brennan, thanks so much for being on the Online Course Coach podcast today.
Brennan: Thank you, Jeff. Yeah, thanks for having me.
Jeff: So Brennan, what was your background before you started diving into building online courses?
Brennan: So the first company I really started that was successful was an agency. And that was more accidental, I had started out as a freelancer out of really necessity, we had moved up north to Virginia from Florida and didn’t really know any local companies so I just did freelance from out of work, and eventually that’s gone to an 11 person agency that did … I mean, that was kind of my business training experience, I learned a lot about working with clients, getting clients, pricing and everything through that. And I kind of got bit by the bug of wanting a lot of customers, paying a little bit instead of a few customers paying a lot. So I exited the agency to start a software service company called Planscope which being an engineer that was what I thought was the only really acceptable alternative besides consulting.
And the interesting thing that happened was I got a lot of people through the support channels. So this is a project management software product and people would write in the support which I thought was going to be used for, “Hey, this is broken or how do I do this or whatever.” But instead they would write in and ask things like, “Do you have any advice on getting clients or do you have any advice on … Hey, I noticed in your tool I can plug in my hourly rate, do you have any advice on how I could that hourly rate?”
So I started getting these questions which at the time I thought was a little out of the scope from what the goal of the software product was, but one thing lead to another and I did a lot of these one on one kind of over Skype or over email helping people and then I realized just from having friends who were creating more evergreen, more turnkey methods of really achieving the same thing which is helping somebody be better than they were before, packaging it into … Well, before it was a course, I just marketed it as an ebook, this is 3 years ago or so. And this was my first product which is called Double Your Freelancing Rate which is all about pricing and proposals and things like that, but it was just an ebook. And then I release the second version a year and a half ago which was … or is a course. So it’s got videos, templates, scripts, a lot of additional things. So that’s kind of how I got here. I just got here out of people writing me and asking me questions and responding to them at first manually and trying to come up with themes and creating products around those themes.
Jeff: Well, I love that you recognize that you’re getting the same questions over and over. A lot of times you feel and think, “Man, I want to teach somebody or I have this expertise, but I don’t know where to start or even what to teach sometimes.” But a lot of times if we are an industry leader or if people are asking us questions, that’s where to start. So whenever I kind of coach people on that process I say, “Well, tell me what questions do people ask you?”
Brennan: Right, and that’s how … I mean, that’s the best way to validate, right? I mean, if people are asking, actually looking for something that’s affecting their business ideally, then you respond to that, make the product.
Jeff: Yeah, now why did you go from that original ebook for the Double Your Freelancing ebook into a full pledge course? Were people asking for it? Was there a specific reason?
Brennan: Well the big thing for me was just in serving a lot of people and I’m guilty of this myself where you could go to this store, you see a book that seems really good, you buy it, and then it just kind of collects dust on your bookshelf. So I wanted something that was a little more Double Your Freelance Rate not high touched, but more … had some built in accountability elements which just didn’t … I mean, when you think of a book you don’t really, it’s more of like a self serve sort of thing, right? So with the redo I not only redid all the content and like I mentioned expanded it by adding bunch of stuff. But I added a 2 month accountability, really just an autoresponder. But what it ended up doing was it would walk each person through the book, the book part of it at least, the book part of the course, section by section, theme by theme, a few days in between each with follow up, like of like additional context and insight into each theme along with the worksheet that the purpose of it was to apply what you just read to your business.
So I started doing this which from like a do it once and forget about it sort of thing. It wasn’t really a lot of work to get it up, but in terms of the feedback I’ve received, especially from people who have done both V1 and V2, I mean, it’s huge in terms of … I mean, I’ve got somebody now who her full time job is just writing case studies that we publish multiple times a week on students. So I mean, it’s night and day in terms of success from … cause I think people treat it a little differently too, if it’s just an ebook, it’s like, oh, it’s kind of how is it any different than any of like the pop fiction books on my bookshelf versus if you’re going to invest in a course you’re actually typically hopefully invest in that course with your time and attention.
Jeff: I think the title of your course itself, I mean, Double Your Freelance Rate, like that’s appealing obviously. But it also, there’s a reason somebody is taking that course because they want to double their freelancing rate. So there’s’ this motivation, a self-motivation. They’re not just learning for kicks. They’re wanting to increase.
Brennan: Right, and it’s very focused on the outcome in the title, right? So doubling rate, but if you actually dig inside it’s how to write proposals and how to stir the sales discussions. So that’s how you end up getting to that benefit, that outcome. But if I wrote it, if it called like the consultant’s course for sales, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting I think.
Jeff: Now was there this long process or a process of finding that title of Double Your Freelancing Rate? Did it just kind of happen or did you?
Brennan: It actually used to be called … it actually used to be the headline of a sales page, cause I wrote the sales page first before I even have the book. And the title or the H1 tag at the top was Double Your Freelancing Rate in 14 Days. So that’s where I guess the title came from. It’s kind of like if you think about like a lot of, I mean, I studied classics in school and one of the interesting things is all the old like music for instance the title of it would always be the first few words of the piece. So when we think of Ave Maria or whatever. It’s really, that’s the first 2 words of that piece.
So it’s the same thing I guess in my end where I wrote the sales page first and I was like, “The headline is actually a pretty good title.” And I think that’s a good way to do it too, because the point of a headline is draw somebody in. I’m a big fan of figuring out … I mean, the benefit of writing the sales copy first is really get a feel for like what are … how am I positioning this? Who is it for? And then if you have this and you do this before, you actually have a product. When you actually create the product you can make sure it’s right, each part of it or filling each part of it or whatever, you can think, “Am I actually adhering to what I was selling?” Right, so yeah, so I guess the easy answer is the title came from the original headline of the sales page.
Jeff: Yeah, now you mentioned you’ve had different versions. Is it 2 versions or more?
Brennan: I’ve had total versions. The first was just the book, second is … and the second actually has tiers. So the second is the low end, it’s just the course book along with an accountability program and a membership site access and as you go up … the high end includes a coaching call with me. But it’s really meant to just price anchor the middle option which is what 85% of people buy which is the low end plus videos templates, scripts, things like that.
Jeff: That’s interesting, you mentioned that 85%, you said 85 buy middle tier, is that correct?
Brennan: That’s right.
Jeff: Yeah, I had Keith Perhac on the show recently and that one of the things he talked about was the benefits of tier pricing. And so we had in depth discussion, he was awesome.
Brennan: And depending on how you price it can kind of channel more people toward a certain tier. Actually one of the … I’m sure he’d mentioned this in his interview, I didn’t hear it. But the benefit tiering is, it’s do I pick option A, or B, or C, or A or B versus do I buy or not buy, which is a good position to be and if you look at some people like Shaun Desouza when he sells his courses, his pricing is almost negligible. So like the low end option is like $110 and then the high end is a $115. And the high end includes so much more. I asked him, I’m like, so this is a little odd, right, who in the right mind wouldn’t spend $5 more at that price point to get a bunch of stuff. He’s like, “Well, everyone buys that.” But it forces people to read the line items about what’s different, what’s included, and on top of them it has them choose A or B instead of buy or not buy.
Jeff: That’s interesting. Now we’ll talk about your newest course here in a little bit, but tell me what are some things you learned while creating Double Your Freelancing Rate? Where there mistakes made? Or did you stumble across things or get consulting or how did you … what are some things you learned as you have that course?
Brennan: So the biggest thing that I learned which is a result of V1 which was don’t assume handing over bunch of information is enough. So I had to really figure out how could I make this short of being really high touch which the new course, which we’ll talk about in a bit. It is a lot more high touched. But this Double Your Freelancing Rate is evergreen, meaning you can buy it anytime. There’s really not a lot of high touch elements outside of community access and the membership site. But the way it’s designed in terms of autoresponders and natural follow-ups even for things like touch points for soliciting referrals or testimonials or touch points for upgrades. So if they buy a low end option and you talk about one of the emails, for instance I send out is all about, “Here’s additional insight into the section on writing proposals that close.” And if I realize that they’re on the baseline which doesn’t have a template for a proposal template, I can then up sell them on the spot, “If you pay the difference you can get the exact template that I use in my own consulting.”
So both from like a helping me be both financially more successful and reputationally more success, that’s been helpful. But more importantly by really learning like, actually talking with people and asking them where did you, first of did you … end of the day did you get anything? Has your business, have you received a return on investment? And working backwards from that like if they say no, in terms of trying to figure out why they didn’t. And a lot of people what they say is, “Well, you know I bought it, I was really…” They don’t say this bluntly, “But I was very convinced by the sales page and what you’re saying and I decided to buy it, but then it sat on my dad’s Ford, I never did anything with it.” So that was a lot of the feedback I was receiving early on. But by kind of forcing them into remembering their purchase by emailing them literally every other day it really increased the results that people were getting which is obviously what matters most.
Jeff: No, that’s good. And that’s so important because, yeah, so many courses are … both the … we’ll call them the instructor, the course creator and then the student, we think this hands off approach is best. And really it’s generally not. It might be easier for everybody or cheaper for the student, but it’s not really the best because I even I mean, I have a course sitting on my desk that was hundreds of dollars and I’ve barely gone through it. And for me some of it was more just seeing how they built it and it was a pretty high end course and pretty cool. But because there’s not as much interaction or accountability I haven’t put that on the front burner as much as some of the other courses that I’ve taken.
Brennan: Yeah, and you don’t want to be in the business of just selling something that makes people not successful, because well you’re not going to get many word of mouth referrals from that. So that’s not the proper way.
Jeff: So but again we’ll talk about your upcoming course here in just a second, but what systems or tools or websites that you used to create the courses and then deliver those online?
Brennan: So Double Your Freelancing Rate which is my main course I guess, in terms of construction it’s really … I’m using Gumroad to sell it, so it delivers natural zip file and in that are the PDF, the Mobi, and ePub equivalence of the course work book and then I always have really a folder full of both PDF, Word, and Pages file which are for all the different templates and scripts and everything. And on top of that I also have … I’m not bundling the full high def videos of the course inside of the download, instead it’s a static pages, static web pages that can be run locally that embed from Wistia all the different video aspects and you can download them too if you’d like to your drive.
Jeff: Interesting. So it’s not like it’s an online course type of thing, it is local on your computer.
Brennan: Correct, yup. Although with Gumroad I might transition at this, they actually have now … their platform is getting more advanced where they have like Netflix style streaming if you upload video files and actually PDF reading, cause they have a mobile up too, so you can read directly from your purchase or on your desktop. And one of the benefits for course graders is if you have let’s say a work book or something they’ll give you analytics on how many people read what percentage, which you can’t really get with let’s say a PDF. So that’s what I’m using now. I think with V3 I might move it to be more of like Wild Garden membership site, actually my new course is like that. But right now it’s download.
Jeff: And do you happen to remember how large of a download that is?
Brennan: Say probably 20 megs or something.
Jeff: Okay, wow.
Brennan: It’s not huge cause it’s really just a lot of more text based documents and the … maybe it’s actually more cause the PDF is pretty high quality, it’s 160 page, very high quality output. I forgot exactly, I’d probably tell you. But it’s negligible in our age of program.
Jeff: Sure. One of my first courses back in the day was a video based course and I had people download it, it just made more sense and had to do multiple downloads and zip files and all that. It ended up working fine but in a way it was kind of a mess because if somebody had bad internet connection or they weren’t tech savvy enough to know that, “Hey, I can’t close my laptop while I’m downloading something.” So a little bit issues there, but that was because they were such large video files.
Jeff: So now that you’ve created multiple courses, what are some things you’ve learned along the way? Have you made a lot of mistakes, or do you feel like you’ve been able to find success and find a path here?
Brennan: I think it’d definitely been successful. I mean, in terms of the 2 courses I have now, one is evergreen which is Double Your Freelancing Rate, and I can talk a bit about how I kept it so it sells reliably in the tune of a few thousand dollars a week without any or much ongoing involvement on my part. And on the other end I have a once a year course which I’m actually launching right now. It launched yesterday. And that’s Double Your Freelancing Clients which is more of a once a year course and I’ll tell you about why it’s once a year in a bit.
But in terms of Double Your Freelancing Rate which is inarguably my most successful course. It’s had almost close to 7,000 buyers and price point is 300ish, average, I mean, that’s not middle tier. So what I’ve done successfully is … and we all know how efficient or not efficient, but how good kind of like a big launch process is in terms of driving sales. So what I’ve ended up doing is I have an email course which precedes Double Your Freelancing Rate and that’s the call to action across my entire site. So if you opt in to that email course you’d get … it’s a 9 lesson course, it takes about 2 weeks to deliver and what it is, is it’s a very high level overview of the same concepts and themes that are taught in the premium course. And then after that email course what ends up happening is there’s a few more emails that are really prepping somebody for launch.
So I’m hitching it, “By the way, mark your calendar to the next Monday morning at [10:00]AM. This is going on sale for 4 days for 33% off.” And so I’m starting to prep people but I’m still delivering more. At this point I’m sending, the course is over … or the email course rather is over, but I’m sending things about getting over imposter syndrome, like a lot of the recent people don’t end up charging more is not that they don’t know how, it’s just they don’t feel like they are worth it. So helping people overcome that which are really links to case studies of mine. Like 15 different case studies up, like you have full in depth profiles of people.
So I’m really prepping people and telling them that this is coming and then the week after I do it in the launch, just like I would to my entire list. So Monday morning, it’s on sale, there’s countdown timers and everything, the FAQ emails, is this right for me? That last call emails, they’re there too. So there’s an evergreen launch for me happening every Monday through Thursday on autopilot and the cohort are people who joined this email course about 3 or 4 weeks beforehand and that’s a few hundred a week. So I get a few thousand in revenue each week on autopilot just from organic traffic hitting my blog, reading an article, opting into the free email course, and then being up sold and really having people self select to join the premium course.
Jeff: Well, that’s great. And we could spend a whole interview just on that topic alone. But tell me about your Double Your Freelancing Clients course and why did you decided to create it?
Brennan: Right, so it’s Double Your Freelancing Clients, so you probably can see a theme. My site now is doubleyourfreelancing.com. So it’s slash rate, slash clients, there’s the respective product pages, so a lot of people went through Double Your Freelancing Rate and it’s all about how to sell, how to price, how to write proposals, how to handle pushback, everything like that. But the overwhelming request from people was, this is all good and well, but if I don’t have quality leads this is, you know, what am I supposed to do? If I don’t have anyone to pitch, what do I pitch?
So I knew I needed to create something that was really the other half of being successful a consulting as learning how to sell once you have a prospect, the other half is getting reliably these prospects. So I drill on my own agency experience, cause when I was running my agency we had a hundred thousand dollar a month plus payroll, so I couldn’t really just wait for referrals or wait for people to find my site and contact us about projects. So I had to really get good I think at learning how to proactively get work. So that’s how the course was created, format wise it couldn’t be more different. It’s 57 video lessons that span a little over 5 hours of time and that’s kind of what I call the library of the course. That’s the encyclopedia that details every single tactic and strategy I used to get clients.
But what’s really different about it and this is why it’s once a year is I make myself available depending on how many people would join, last year it was 190, I’m hoping for double that this year. And I make myself available every week at least a few times, 2 students for what I call office hours where I’ve created this custom course where you can go to in RSVP for office hours and you can jump in and say, “Hey, Brennan. I watched your module on using webinars and seminars to get clients. I want some advice from you on how I can apply it to my freelancing writing business that is situated in France or something?” Right, and I can talk with them about how they can actually apply with some more generalized which is the content that everyone gets and I help them apply it to their business and it’s 6 months long. So for 6 months you have basically multiple times a week access to me to ask anything related to building systems for getting clients.
But on top of that I have something additional which is every single student is paired with a paid mentor. This is somebody who I trust, this is somebody who I’ve worked with, and their job is to lead small mastermind groups. So if you join your … you get to pick a mastermind, you select the day, time and mentor that you want to work with and you join this mastermind and every 2 weeks you show up and you say, “Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks. I want to show you guys maybe the sales copy I’ve been working on or this ad campaign.” You can kind of go around that “room” and get feedback and advice from your mentor and your peers and then you plan your next steps for the next 2 weeks.
So there’s a lot of hand holding I guess. There’s a lot of high touch, whether it’s from, from the guy who created the course or these kind of trusted delegates who are there helping people individually say, “Here you are now. Here’s where you want to be. And let’s figure out how to get connected to. And then every 2 weeks let’s make incremental movement toward that goal.” So all of this combined is by far, I mean, I did the first version last year and in terms of success, in terms of results, in terms of student, everything, like this is by far … and I know why. I mean, it’s not … you can’t be left, you can’t slip through the cracks cause your mentor will be like, “Hey, Jeff. You haven’t shown up at the last mastermind, where have you been?”
Brennan: And also if you keep showing up to every mastermind let’s say and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m working on redesigning my website.” And then the next time, “Yeah, I’m working on…” You keep saying that again and again, you start to feel a little stupid after awhile, right? So it’s a great way to really just say out in the open, “Here’s what I’m working toward for the next 2 weeks based on my availability, based on what I want to get to.” All of that combined, the evergreen video library of tactics, you can actually ask the guy who’s behind the camera or in front of the camera rather in these videos specific how do I apply what you said to me and then you have this by weekly small groups. So think of it like an actual course. You’ve got the curriculum, the text book which is the videos, you’ve got the professor’s office hours, and then you have your study group. And that’s basically how it’s set up.
Jeff: And I love that because it hits on different learning methods and people learn differently. And so that’s fantastic. I can’t wait to hear some of the success stories. Now I know you had this last year, so what are some success stories of people that have gone through the program, and maybe double their freelancing clients?
Brennan: Yup, so the one that I just actually filmed a case study with is a guy in Germany who has a team, I forgot how many, it’s about 10ish people and now they’re booked through … so right now, or I recorded this in October, his booked through late March for his entire team. So I don’t know how many months that is, but that times 10 is how many futures clients he’s already … So the real pain I’m getting at is a lot of people who just don’t have a system for getting clients, it always seems like, “Oh, it’s great. I’ve got clients right now all paying the bills.” And then one of them completes and you don’t have anything lined up next you start to panic, you start to get stressed out and so what the course really focuses on is how you can really just be a little more proactive and a little more strategic and systematic about getting clients. So that’s the real focus.
And yeah, so France who I just referenced, he’s a huge case study I think in terms of like 18 months of future work already. So he’s by far like the one I’m shouting left and right now. But we’ve got a lot of other people who are creating systems, I mean, the real other goal is just I’m pretty good with automation so how can you use automation in inquiring, qualifying, and conditioning new leads so that you can be billing or hanging out with your friends and family or whatever else you want to do, while a lot of this happens more in the background so you don’t need to be selling as much.
Jeff: Man, that’s so good. That’s so good. I love it. So what are some of the marketing strategies that you’ve used to promote both of your courses throughout the years?
Brennan: So my Double Your Freelancing Clients which is what I just mentioned, that’s primarily and only being marketed to my own audience. So I’ve been building … the big difference with this and I realized this the first I ran it was people were expecting another Double Your Freelancing Rate which is 300 bucks, well instead the price is sometimes double that with this new course cause it’s a lot more immersed. So there’s the budget thing. But then there’s the 6 months and you’re asking me to do a bunch of work on my business every few weeks. I don’t have the time, I’ve been planning for that, I got all this pushback last year. So what I’ve been doing instead is for the last 6 months I’ve been planting seeds whenever I email list saying, “Hey, it’s coming up again don’t forget to really … it’s going to be January through July. Start to make those habit changes now.” I’d even write about ways you can start to do that. Again this course is primarily being marketed to my list.
What I did for Double Your Freelancing Rate though is like I mentioned I’ve done organic traffic into my blog who the convert into this email course, who then convert into sales. I’ve also done paid acquisition for that same thing where I’m targeting people who have either been to my site and bounced through retargeting, or through Facebook ads primarily, people who liked Smashing Magazine or like kind of like a lot of the websites and big blogs that freelancers tend to visit and that’s worked well too. It started deteriorating in terms of results, then I realized it’s not as easy as set it and forget it usually with ads. So just after this course is done launching, I’m going to go back and revisit that.
But I’ve also done a lot of joint venture webinars where I would go to other people’s lists who have similar audiences and we would do it. It wouldn’t just be a big pitch. It would be kind of like my email course which is valuable in it’s own right, but as a webinar and then I would announce a limited discount window for Double Your Freelancing Rate and I did that not this summer but the previous summer with about 8 different partners and profit wise, personally did about a hundred thousand in a month just from that little rodeo tour.
But the benefit though was I also added like 15,000 people on my newsletter doing that. So we would get … and I got it all down to a science almost where I would basically approach somebody and say, “Got a PDF that shows you exactly depending on how big your list is, what you can probably expect in terms of a profit share if we do this together.” And I had all these documentations, white copy, past case studies of all the different 8 people that I’ve worked with doing this. How many emails they sent, how many clicked in to opt in, how many of the opt ins actually showed up, how many people showed up actually that bought. And I have all these data points where I could basically say like for every click you send me I can reliably give you about this much money.
Brennan: So I did a lot of that. And that worked really well too. I just haven’t had the time to reboot that.
Jeff: Well and in speaking of your processes and time and all that, tell me about who’s on your team? Are you primarily creating all the content and doing all the marketing and blogging and podcasting? Or do you have a team or how does that work?
Brennan: So I do all the content creation, so every … just about every blog posts on my site except for the student success stories which is what Gina does who works with me. So I do most of the … I do all the podcast, obviously I record but I have Ganim Kai who does all the booking me and pre-interview stuff. But in terms of like the public face of the company and the creation of it, like with the courses it’s all me. Although actually for the new course I did have somebody. I was going to try to like hook up a DSLR camera and learn Final Cut Pro and try to edit it myself, but then I was like, “You know what? If any of your students tried telling you they were going to do this, you’d be like, ‘You’re an idiot. You’re not a video person. Hire somebody.'” So I did hire somebody and it turned out great. I mean I spent a lot of money but it was so worth it. So now I’m starting to get to the point where at least the production part, in terms of the creation of the content still all me, always will be me. But in terms of like making the PDFs free, or making the videos well edited or whatever I’m delegating a lot of it out now.
Jeff: Yeah, that’s good. Well, Brennan. I have a ton more questions I’d love to ask you. But I want to respect your time. So lastly where can people learn more about you and your courses?
Brennan: So the best place to go is doubleyourfreelancing.com, although if you like to see that funnel I mentioned at the beginning of the email course to Double Your Freelancing Rate up sell, especially if you want to kind of reverse engineer it. You can go to freefreelancingcourse.com which a just redirect to a page on my site. But yeah, that course is called Charge What You’re Worth. So those are probably the 2 best places.
Jeff: Awesome. Well, Brennan. Thanks so much for being on the Online Course Coach podcast today.
Well there you, I had a blast talking with Brennan. He was so kind and accommodating and had a lot of good information. So make sure, even re-listen to this episode because he gives a lot of good information, a lot of good … Yeah, just info on not just why you should charge, how you should charge, but even that we talked about pricing tiers, there’s a lot of good info in there. So I don’t have a long conclusion here. I know this podcast went a little long. I wanted to answer Michael’s question and have the full interview with Brennan on the show.
So if you could one thing for me, share this episode with a friend, email it to somebody, post it to Facebook or Twitter or wherever, LinkedIn and tag somebody and say, “Hey, this would really help your business.” In fact, I’m going to do that as well with this episode because there are several people in my circles that could benefit from Brennan’s content as well as his course. So thank you so much for listening to the Online Course Coach podcast where it is truly my goal to help you, to teach many, to impact millions.