“Honestly, I feel like more people should know about you and your content.”
That’s how the email from a guy named Billy started.
It was April 2019, and I was at a crossroads.
I had been teaching my Building a Second Brain course for a couple years at that point. I’d had success, but the workload was totally unsustainable.
I was burnt out trying to do everything myself, from incessantly promoting the course to teaching all the lessons to answering customer service questions late into the night. The course I had created was consuming me, and I didn’t see any way out.
I knew that I either needed to turn my little program into a full-fledged online education business, and build the team and the support systems I needed, or risk burning out completely and losing all the progress I’d made.
I longed to get back to the original reason I’d started working for myself: to have more control over my time, my income, and my destiny. To have the freedom to pursue whatever interested me, and to work when and where and how I chose.
I’d lost sight of my ultimate purpose: to make a positive impact on people’s lives without sacrificing my happiness, quality of life, or integrity.
Billy explained that he was a marketing consultant for online course creators. He wanted to talk to me about potentially working together to grow my business.
I receive a lot of this kind of email, but as my finger hovered over the “delete” button, his name caught my attention: Billy Broas.
Hadn’t I seen this name before?
I searched my email and lo and behold, he’d been featured in Teachable’s newsletter just a couple days before right alongside me:
He was hosting a workshop on “How to Build a Sustainable Online Course Business,” which had piqued my attention. I saw that he was the only marketing consultant recommended by Teachable, the learning platform I use for my courses.
Needless to say, I replied to Billy’s email instead of deleting it:
“I’d love to have a call. I’ve been thinking for some time that it’s time to expand the marketing for BASB and my other courses. It’s becoming a full curriculum for how to work in the digital age and I think a lot more people could benefit from it than my own audience I’ve been focusing on.”
The phone call we got on a few days later would change my work, my business, and my life in more dramatic ways than I could have possibly imagined.
I decided to join Billy’s 10-week Course Accelerator program a couple months later. It was a group coaching program in which he taught course creators a scalable system for not only selling their product, but doing so in a repeatable, sustainable, and classy way.
Alongside Billy and a group of other impressive participants, I learned more about online marketing and persuasive psychology in 10 weeks than in the previous 6 years of solitary trial and error combined.
I realized that what I thought of as “marketing” was really a corrupted version of true marketing, based on the worst excesses I’d been exposed to. True marketing is about deep empathy and connection with others. So much so that when done well, we don’t call it marketing at all. We call it “sharing” or “storytelling” or “coaching.”
With that realization, the mindset of scarcity and anxiety around “selling” that was severely constraining me and my business completely dissolved, and was replaced by a philosophy based on generosity and abundance.
We focused on two main efforts: Building an engine to convert more of my audience into paying customers, and then pouring more fuel into that engine.
Over the next year, using the system that Billy and I architected together, I grew my email list from 6,000 to 38,000 subscribers.
And that drove my course launches from a previous high of $39k to a recent record of $985k.
Those aren’t results that happen by accident. They don’t just show up on your doorstep overnight.
It takes a system. But not the super complicated “sales funnels” or scammy ad campaigns you see influencers bragging about. Those “tactics” make everyone involved feel slimy afterwards. They aren’t consistent with creating a reputation you are proud of.
It takes an extremely high level of integrity combined with the fundamentals of storytelling: an email list you control, a deep understanding of the problems your customers are facing, a compelling story about what you can do for them, authentic testimonials and proof to back up your claims, all delivered in a consistent format with a clear invitation to join you.
It’s no secret that I’ve long wanted to create a program on how to successfully launch courses like mine. I’ve now launched three separate courses by three different instructors into the six-figure range, and have seen what a transformative impact they’ve had on the students and instructors alike. But my own course is growing so fast that it takes all my attention. Not to mention that I became a parent last month 😛
Billy and I have been plotting for months what it would look like to package up the best of what we know into a new-and-improved version of his accelerator program, and today we’re finally ready to unveil it:
We’ve partnered together to teach a new generation of fledgling course creators how to succeed based on what actually works, instead of “guru guesswork.”
Over the next few emails, if you decide to opt in, I’ll tell you the story of how we worked together, what I learned, both my victories and mistakes, and the opportunity coming up next month: to apply to join the Keystone Accelerator as a participant.
I’m proud to offer it as my absolute top recommendation for anyone who is serious about creating, selling, and scaling an online educational program that has a real impact on students.
All you have to do to receive those emails is subscribe below:
I’ll start sending you those emails on Friday, Nov. 27, and they will have [Keystone Accelerator] in the subject line.
I’ll share with you my very best advice on how to successfully grow an online course, including:
- Which online marketing approaches to avoid, and which to embrace
- 5 principles for high integrity marketing in an age of online scams
- Billy’s background and why he is the perfect person to lead this
- A recording of one of our Accelerator calls from last summer
- Why “cohort-based courses” (CBCs) are the future of online education
- Schedule, pricing, and other details for the upcoming cohort
This won’t be a big splashy launch. That’s because we’re not looking for any random person off the street.
We are looking for people who are serious about their online course, who are committed and willing to do the work.
People who have been paying attention to the online education field just waiting for the right time to jump in with both feet, or who are already swimming and just need some flippers.
I deeply believe that online education is one of the most impactful (and profitable) opportunities in the world today.
In the midst of unprecedented change and uncertainty, with traditional education collapsing before our very eyes, we desperately need a new generation of teachers to rise to the challenge of reinventing it. Everyone is stuck at home looking for opportunities to grow and improve themselves.
Of all the skills required to create a successful course, I’ve found that marketing is the most important and also the least understood.
None of those lessons you spent all those hours filming will be worth anything if there’s no one there to watch them. Marketing is the glaring weakness of virtually every instructor I see out there. A blindspot that keeps them small and afraid when their students need them to boldly proclaim the knowledge they have to offer.
You may think you’re just teaching an online course, but you’re actually running a business. It’s time to start thinking and acting like it.
It’s not just a matter of learning a few tips and tricks. It’s a complete mindset shift about what marketing even means, manifested in a simple yet sophisticated system based on timeless principles.
This is why I am so passionate about online course marketing: it is the secret key that unlocks the hidden door to a vast stage the world is waiting for you to walk out on.
I can’t think of anything more important than unlocking that door for the next generation of teachers to share what they know.
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