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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Marketing & Selling Courses, Products & Services in the New Digital Economy

17 Jun 2021 3:17 PM | Anonymous

Video Transcript:

We are going to talk today about some of the myths and realities of passive income or product sales and what that means for us in the career services business, what it can mean for your business and how you might go about being more successful at doing product or business sales. I will say that we are also going to cover this topic at 11:00 AM Eastern in the Friday Clubhouse room that I had been hosting called bringing the DOE career pro.

I love Clubhouse because the conversations there are really pretty intimate and people ask real questions. They get real answers. One of the job seekers that attended our session on Monday said, you know, I've been to a lot of rooms and they seem kind of salesy, but you're really answering questions and kudos to Charlotte Taylor and Hannah Morgan, who were in that room on Monday and actually sharing real answers. And that's kind of what you get when you come to a CTL and Resume Writing Academy. Anyways, we're not a bunch of fluff. We're going to try to get to the core and tell you how it is and tell you about what we know so that it can help you grow. Product sales and passive income are kind of marketed to the career services , coaching industry, especially as a panacea, right? If you are having trouble in your business, get a product and then you'll never have to work again.

You don't have to have any coaching hours. You don't have to, you know, there's all of these promises that I hear product businesses sharing with coaches, especially. And I got to tell you that there isn't a business where you make money without work. You just get to choose what that work looks like. And this is the foundation of what we do with all of our career coaching clients, right? What do you want to do every day? What does the ideal day look like to you? And then we can figure out what products and services in your business you want to offer? Of course, we've got to pick products or services that match your audience's needs, but audiences have all kinds of needs. If you want to make products and sell products, you can find an audience that wants to buy those products. However, it means that your day will be spent creating marketing products or managing a team who is creating and marketing those products.

And this is what we hear a lot from really successful business people. You know, I only work four hours a day or some people I only work four hours a week. I'm like, you know, maybe that's great what they're doing then as managing a process and people that are executing their business, that is awesome. If that is the skillset you want to use every day, that is the way it works. You're not going to just get there by yourself. Mostly. And I hear people say, oh, you know, I make a hundred thousand dollars from this product. Or I make a hundred thousand dollars from that class. My guess is they're paying a lot of money in marketing and a marketing team to make that happen. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not the real picture. It's not the true picture. They're not talking about their net revenue.

Most likely, although making a hundred thousand dollars from a course and that is possible. But then you have to have a big team that is optimizing that, right? That's helping you market it, helping you sell it, helping you execute it. And so it's really thinking about what do you want to do on a daily basis? If you love to coach, then let's set up some courses and funnels that push people into your coaching program so that you could spend some time marketing and creating those courses. But it's really focused on pushing more people into your coaching practice. If you love to coach and you get carried away with this business and you know, the courses and products you'll find that you don't have much time to coach because you're creating and marketing those products, which requires a brain shift, right? It's a different way of thinking.

I often have a hard time myself working one-on-one with clients because my brain is mostly in the creation and marketing space right now. And, and when you're doing that, it's hard to shift gears. It can be done, but you've got to figure out that mix of what you want in your business. Now, if you want to get out of one-on-one coaching completely, you're like I'm done with this. Well then sure. Let's really hit that course creation and marketing hard, because that is an option group programs, courses, and products. Couldn't get you out of one-on-one coaching. It's important to think of the realities of what that will mean for your business. Most likely that you'll be spending your time creating and marketing and managing a team or contractors who will be marketing those courses that you want to market. So before we talk about how you market a course or a product, I just wanted a little reality check to the whole myth around this passive income.

It is not passive. It is just a different way that you're spending your time. Now you're spending your time marketing and selling, and yes, it may not be as direct of a correlation between, you know, like one hour coaching is one hour coaching and I'm making a certain amount of money for that hour. Although I could make a lot of money for that hour. People are charging two to five hundred dollars an hour for coaching. So there's an opportunity to maximize the amount of money you're making in an individual coaching space. And if you are looking at courses or products, what are they, what are you doing with that course or product. Is it a way to get people in your funnel towards your coaching one-on-one or is it a coarser product in and of itself? And in that space, then what is your engine going to look like to market and sell it?

And do you really want to be spending your time doing that? Do you have the resources to hire someone else? And let's talk through that again. If you're on Clubhouse, you want to join Clubhouse, send me a note and I'll invite you. So we could have a more intimate conversation about this on Friday. And let's talk a little bit then about if you've decided that you want to do a course or a product, how do you market it? How do you sell it today? Transparency alert. Things have changed since COVID. So we have been doing virtual training webinars, online courses for 15 plus years, since before I owned this business and it was pretty steady, pretty predictable around the number of people we would get for a webinar. And the number of people we would get for a course was pretty darn predictable.

And then COVID hit and COVID has shifted the way most people are marketing. And if you read some marketing pieces, you'll see some of these trends that I'll share with you that we've seen in our business too. One is that paid webinar. Registrations have gone down a lot. It's hard to get people in a paid webinar right now, and this is how I thought it was just me. So I started reading and started listening to what's going on, and this is just part of what's going on right now. It's also harder to get people to opt into a free download. And here's why people figured this out, the free download wasn't really a free download. It was, I am giving you my email address, and now you're going to email market to me. And guess what? I might not want that you've really got to sell me on that.

This download has value to me, for me to do it. And the one way that people are seeing that work is actually to make it a low cost download instead of a free download. So now instead of that free checklist, you make it to 99 or something like that. And you might find that your sales of that download increase. What are we talking about with downloads or even webinar registrations. It's really all about building your list. Here's the other thing that happened in COVID is people were starting to say, oh, email marketing is dead. Nobody wants to read an email. Well, guess what? Now email marketing has had this little resurgence in life because there's so much digital noise. There's so many LinkedIn notifications and Facebook notifications, and you've got 50 groups and all of them are going live once a week, right? So that digital noise has brought back the importance of an email newsletter, email marketing, and it's shifted.

So that newsletter needs to sound and look different. And maybe if you notice this with the Career Thought Leaders newsletter, how it's shifted in the past six months or a year one, it's got to be more personal. People have to feel like a person is writing it. You need some kind of story engagement, not overdone, because if it gets too much, then people to turn out, you're going to experiment with what kinds of short stories might get people engaged to reading, and then really making sure you're delivering the value in that marketing email marketing piece so that when someone takes the time to open it, they know they're going to get content that really speaks to them, which means you need a segmented list. So I've got my active job seekers and my employed, but job seeking, whatever segments make sense for you in your list.

You've got those segments so that you can really send targeted messages to people as often as possible. You may have, you know, general messages that go out every once in a while, but the more specific and targeted you can be with that email marketing, the better off it will be. So growing your list is a big deal right now. How do you grow your list? And people are doing it with those low cost, paid downloads. People are doing it with mini courses. And the whole idea of a masterclass kind of went Oop. There was that celebrity masterclass thing that took off. And so anyone else who offers a masterclass, like he just can't compete with that. And it's really hard now to get people in a masterclass, some people are doing it. And if you're really specific and clear again about the value that people are getting, and you build the reputation for actually delivering that value you can pull it off.

Those masterclasses can be free, but more today they're paid similar to what you're seeing with the paid downloads, mini course, masterclass, whatever you want to call it. But you know, the whole idea of a webinar has kind of disappeared and people have turned them into something that feels like it's going to provide more value. I'd say a free webinar is really going to be a hard sell unless you already have a good audience that knows you're going to deliver value. Even though it's a free webinar, again, too many bait and switch going on with that free webinar where people went and it was just 20 minutes of the person pitching themselves. I saw this the other day. I think it was a meme. Like I'm going to share a webinar with you, but it's not going to be me telling my story for 20 minutes and then content for five and then a 20-minute pitch.

That's what people are tired of with a webinar. And you've got to really check about how you market that webinar too, to get people in. Biggest thing is that it is not, it's not rocket science. It's just hard work to build your so you've got to build awareness, right? That's the big circle. We build our awareness. Then we get people to trust us enough to try something and that try could be something free. And this is some of the mistakes that people make with the free is that they think it's going to get that big circle. And it's not, it's still requiring some trust because people are giving you their email address, right? So we've got to build that visibility and then get enough trust with people so that they'll register for, or buy that 399 thing. And we do that through consistent communication that is focused on helping them.

Doesn't have to be on social media. It can be on email, can be on some of those other platforms, but they need to see a consistent, you showing up, giving them value and you can't hold back. You can't say, well, I'm going to tell you this, but to get that you have to pay. You have to do that a little bit more fluidly and a little bit more creatively because if people feel like you're holding back, they feel like you're not giving them all the information. They're going to go find somebody who will give them all the information for free because it's out there and you've got to demonstrate how, what you add is different and the value that you add through that free content. And then you have those offers that say, if you want to learn more, if this is helpful and you want to go deeper, those types of offers are one way that I've heard it described as that your free content is telling them what to do.

And then your paid content is telling them how to do it. So what to do in your free content, then how to do it in that paid content. If they want to go a little bit deeper, but you've gotta be free with the what and, and really give people value so that they will feel comfortable trusting you to opt in or trusting you to come to that free class. The other thing that's really huge right now is challenges. So instead of having a, you know, a webinar or a masterclass or whatever people are doing, maybe a multi-day challenge where there's concrete steps that you're going to put in place to make this, whatever it is different, make it better, have an outcome, have momentum. And then you want to go further with me. So simple thing today in our tech jam session, the lady talking about website optimization gave us clear action steps to take, to update your website.

I could turn that into a five-day challenge or a four-day challenge, right? In everyday, I've got clear tips and clear action, and then some kind of accountability to where you're saying, yes, I did this today. And when you get those interactions and people actually see a growth, they see a change, then they're like, they want more, right? And that's when they're going to buy from you. So you have to figure out if you're going to do a challenge, what's a little piece of the process that you could have people do that. Then they will see a difference and want to move forward. Or even if they don't move forward with whatever else you're doing, they feel good about you. They leave. They're a raving fan because they, wow. I went through this three or four day masterclass and I did X, right?

There's some tangible, practical thing that they accomplished in those 3 or 4 days. Some people are doing those sessions for free. And some people are doing those sessions paid. That's going to depend on the size of your list and those types of things. But if you're trying to sell a course, doing a challenge that kind of takes a little piece out of your course and focuses on it. It can be a great way to sell that course. You've got to build the funnel. So you might start with, you know, hey, this is my course on resume writing. And so for a month, I'm going to talk, resume writing. I'm going to have videos on resume writing. I'm going to hit every single day on every single one of my social media channels. It's resume all day, every day. Right? And then I've got, okay, now we're doing this challenge. So people that have been following me and starting to follow me on my resume content, see that, yes. Now Marie's doing this challenge. Yes. And I do this. I'm going to dive deep into this area. And then at the end of the challenge, there's the offer for the course.

And that is how a lot of people are doing it right now. And there's a lot of different ways to launch those I mean, 4 or 5 experts that I've found on, you know, the launch sequence, the launch process, they're all fairly similar. It's just going to depend on your personality. I would say for most of us in the helping profession, a lot of the super salesy stuff is a huge turn off. I just don't think I could do it. It's not congruent to who I am. And so I like this approach that I'm talking about right now, which is more about offering the value, sharing your insights, sharing the Intel, and then take it deeper with a challenge or a masterclass or whatever, and then have the offer at the end of that for your course. But I, what I see a lot of times people do is they don't spend enough time on that big funnel.

So it's like a week of posting resume content. And then you want to do this masterclass and nobody showed up, well, we didn't have a big enough pool for that conversion. I've heard it said that you need, you know, it's going to be about 0.5 to 1 percent conversion from your big group to your master class. It's going to depend on how much of a relationship you have with those people. But if you have a hundred people on your newsletter, it's going to be 1 percent right. Opting into your masterclass or challenge. If you do that right now. So how could you grow your audience a little bit before you try to launch something like that? I don't want to make it a procrastination tool, so let's not wait forever, but let's set out a strategy for the next month. I'm going to do X. So I did a little bit of research for our digital branding class on the topics that kind of wax and wane in the careers industry.

And one of them that always is on that rise at the end of August and into September is resume writing. So if you are a resume writer and you're trying to roll out a class to help someone write their own resume, this would be a great time. Now, June, July, and August, to start building your funnel, start cranking out that resume tip content from now through the middle of July, maybe end of July. Then you do your challenge at the beginning of August when people are really starting to think about resumes, right? Maybe even the middle of August, right after the kids go back to school. And then you launch your course in September when you go through that process. And that strategy is going to look a lot different when you launch, because you've been building up the momentum and the followers and the conversation towards that piece.

Now you just have to decide who is your audience for this course? And where are they? Where do they spend their time? It may be LinkedIn, but be careful with that because LinkedIn is still heavily active job seekers. So if you're looking at active job seekers as your market, LinkedIn might be a good spot. If you're looking for more passive job seekers, you might be looking at places more like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Tik Tok, clubhouse, because there are more passive job seekers on those platforms. LinkedIn still has some, so I'm not saying ignore it, but spend some time looking at where else are your clients so that you could build a plan that has at least a 2 or 3 touch point plan. If LinkedIn is your only place, it's going to be hard to build, because if I'm a passive job seeker, I go to LinkedIn maybe once a month.

So if you're doing six-week of resume content, I'm only going to see 1 or 2 of those pieces. So if you aren't having an email list or doing some other social media where that more passive job seeker is more frequently, you're going to struggle. So the monthly users of LinkedIn is really low compared to them daily and monthly users on Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter. People who are there are there more frequently than they are on LinkedIn. And you need more touch points to be able to build that trust so that they'll opt into your challenge or your, whatever it is that you're doing. Now, the other really fun thing that people are doing right now is quizzes. So we just created a quiz for our certified digital branding strategists to use that they can use with their clients. And then there's a marketing piece.

I've seen some other people in our industry doing some creative things with quizzes, you know, diagnose what's wrong with your resume, diagnose, what's wrong with your job search. You can set up a quiz for fairly cheap. There's some systems where you can do it on a limited basis for free. My favorite is try right now for kind of the more simple quizzes that And that is something that people are doing. They've got some stock quizzes there that you could play around with and get started until you figure out what it else, what else you might want to do for your lead magnet. But that's another way that people get value before they give you your email address, because they're taking the quiz, they're seeing the questions, they're getting some insights. If it's a good quiz, it gives them some insights as they're going through the questions so that by the time they get to the end and they have to give you their email address, it's a no brainer.

Of course I'd want more from Linda because this quiz was so insightful. And so I hope that was helpful for those of you that had questions about launching a course or a product first figure out if this is really what you want to be doing with your time, how do you want to be spending your time? And the reality is that to really market a course or a product you got to take the time to do it. Overall hire someone to do it and if that's what you want to do then then do it. It's going to take a strategy it's going to take some time. Then too think about that plan and your funnel. So how you are going to get people attention and how you are going to build the awareness how you can build that trust that you offer value.

And then what are some of those options that you want to create that offer value? And maybe you try some free ones. You try some low cost ones, like a 299 or 399. I got to tell you the 499 ATS guidelines that we have on our website. It's like, it's good, it's cheap. But it shares that, Hey, there's some value here. And that's a good product for us to have when we do even just a once off marketing of it, we get quite a few sales of it. So there's some value in those low cost takeaways. And then of course, you're having your strategy to move people from the awareness to your challenge, offer some value or, or offer some value, some takeaways in that challenge or masterclass or whatever you want to call it. And then you're launching that course as the next step.

And always think about that offer as the next step. It's not about pitching. It's not about selling. It's about what is the next step for this person. Who's getting value from what you're doing, because if you don't tell them what the next step is, then you're doing everyone a disservice. There're some people that won't want to take that next step. They got all the value they needed. Great. If they want that next step. If they need more in depth information, it's up to you to tell them what that next step is. Just like it's up to our job seekers to tell the hiring manager that they want the job and all the things we coach our job seekers around, we're going to do the same thing when we do our marketing.

I'm also super excited about some programmes that we're having rolled out in the next couple of weeks for business owners and for people who are just trying to keep up with the trends on everything careers so watch these group of few and lives around these new things you got coming out and you know bringing the door career pro. And we are going to have a revenue accelerator program as part of 1 of these that we're launching, so that if you're really looking to grow your revenue, you have a place and some structure to do it. So, I look forward to sharing some of that with you.I know a lot of you have already signed up for it but if you haven't, you can still sign up for it today. And we got sessions throughout the week talking about technology in your business and with your clients and and and meeting Bob who is the career coach AI out of France. And then also meeting CiCi who is the career chatbot out of the UK. And if none of those things are happening for you, then we would see you right back here again next week on our Tuesday trends. Thank you everyone. It was good to see you.

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Hi, I’m Marie Zimenoff,

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I’m a passionate advocate for career industry professionals and a decades-long practicing career coach myself.

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