The Webinar + Course Problem: The Truth About Why It’s Not Working For You
Like many other solopreneurs, I embarked upon my small business journey trying to consume every piece of content I could find to help me figure out how to do my job better and how to run a business successfully.
I have a folder on my desktop titled “Resources + Education” that is bursting at the seams with free downloads, templates, and swipe files. You too? Good, I’m not alone here.
I have spent countless - I mean countless - hours on free webinars that promised the key to [fill in the blank], only to be left with maaaaybe one piece of good information and 30 minutes of upselling yuckiness.
I have invested thousands over the last 2 years in education from experts - only one of which delivered. The last course I paid for was a $1,000 Facebook Ads course (marked down just for me for a limited time to $500). After watching every single video I discovered that the entire course imparted one - ONE - piece of knowledge I didn’t already know and implement.
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve had a similar online entrepreneur experience, you might be as fed up as I am.
I’ve gotten caught up in thinking maybe these “experts” know something I don’t - and if I just pay enough money or invest enough in Facebook ads, the magic secret will be revealed.
While I was creating Pinterest PowerUp as a course, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a better way than the formula everyone uses.
You know the one: Facebook Ads > Free Webinar > Upsell to Course > 9 Email Follow Up Sequence.
I have conducted free webinars and put together hefty courses (just like the “experts”), thinking that if I’m offering more - more information, more tools, just...MORE - I’ll make the kind of money they say they’re making.
»Maybe if I have a shiny white desk with flowers and gold paperclips and wear red lipstick everyday I'll get some of that magic "I have my shit together" pixie dust.
»Maybe if I download one more swipe file and use it whilst sipping a latte out of a cute coffee mug I'll finally "get it".
»Maybe if I work 14 hours a day instead of 12 hours a day I'll finally have that six-figure launch and be able to pin more kids crafts on Pinterest. Sorry my sweet kiddo, I can't come read you another bedtime story - mama's got to work.
That one stings.
After several failed attempts and a very candid discussion with one or two of my business BFFs, I (we) realized that the secret to their success seemed to be more about the joint marketing, affiliate partnerships, and cross-community leveraging than about the quality of their products.
You likely have seen this before…
Some bigger-name online entrepreneur sends you an email about their new launch. You get a series of emails over the course of a couple weeks with how great and amazing their program is with a bunch of testimonials.
Then you start noticing that several other people you follow/get emails from are also talking about this person’s launch - how amazing their program is and how it’s not to be missed.
You start seeing ads everywhere and the highly-produced videos are being released every few days touting the program and how you’ll get super exclusive pricing. You are sucked in.
The launch day comes and you get hit with the super exclusive price. You suck your breath in and think, “Ok, if these big names are all talking about it and so many people are making money, I’d be silly to not invest in this for my business.”
You click BUY NOW!
As you start going through whatever course or program, you realize that while there are some good things in there, they don’t really apply to your business.
Or you’re confused and when you try to reach out for help Mr. or Ms. “Authentic” won’t respond.
Or worse yet, some of the material you’ve paid for is an upsell to a program from one of their partners - you know, if you’re REALLY serious about making money.
Your solopreneur insecurity starts creeping in amidst the disappointment.
You go back to the drawing board with less time and less money.
If you read through that and thought, “Oh damn, yep that’s exactly what I’ve done!” - rest assured you are not alone.
I run a profitable, successful online businesses. Despite being extremely knowledgeable in my field and having a healthy client roster, I couldn’t seem to break through to the next level.
I don’t have the big-name leverage or the thousands of dollars to spend on ads. I know I am not alone in the constant bombardment of the shiny bullshit course/program stuff right now that has left me feeling unempowered and frustrated.
What I do have is a whole bunch of know how that works for my clients and a bullshit meter that is pegged.
I decided I needed to go about my business totally differently - both for my own products and my client-work.
Here’s what I did.
The 3 Difference-Makers:
I niched my business into Pinterest - read more about the how and why I did there here. By niching into Pinterest I’ve been able to really deep-dive into the platform and work on a wide variety of strategies. I have clients with all kind of businesses and we always come up with a way to leverage Pinterest in a way that works for them.
I made visibility a priority by pitching to be on podcasts and doing guest training. Check out some of the podcasts I’ve been on on my Press page. It’s pretty rare that I’ll do a guest training for free anymore, but it occasionally happens for the right reasons. Since I’ve made visibility a priority I’ve spoken at The Coterie Retreat and will be speaking at Alt Summit in March 2019!
I turned Pinterest PowerUp into a membership community. About a month after I initially launched the course, it needed to be updated. I hated the feeling of not giving my students the latest and greatest info, but I couldn’t afford to sink a bunch of time into re-doing training for a one-time payment from students. Now PPU is a place where members can go to know they have the most updated best practices and info on how to use Pinterest effectively - plus VIPs get a whole bunch of hand-holding and we have fun in there.
All of these steps were a process that took about a year to fine-tune and work through - it definitely didn’t happen overnight.
But I can say, without a doubt, these 3 things made more of a difference in getting me to the next level in business than the previous 4 years of chasing shiny objects and creating more offerings combined.
If this sounds like the story of your business, take a step back and re-evaluate everything - I mean everything - about your business.
Want (ok, NEED) a whole bunch of Pinterest marketing know-how, mixed with some great entrepreneur tips? Pinterest PowerUp is a membership community for online entrepreneurs and the only Pinterest marketing resource you will ever need for your business!
Help is on the way!
Hey hey, I'm Cara - Pinterest marketing evangelist and lover of all things Squarespace website design. I team up with online entrepreneurs to get tons of website traffic into sales funnels (marketing speak for getting eyeballs on your website and turning them into customers).
Click the button below to get in touch!