Christine Lawler on How to Create and Sell Out an E-Course | FP 28

Christine Lawler on How to Create and Sell Out an E-Course | FP 28

Have you considered creating an e-course? What does the process of creating an e-course look like? How can you go about selling your e-course?

In this podcast episode, Whitney speaks to Chrissy Lawler about how to create and sell out an e-course.

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Meet Christine Lawler

Chrissy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, mom of three (soon to be four!), and lover of sleep! She founded the sleep consulting company, The Peaceful Sleeper, for two main reasons: she recognized how critically important sleep is in all aspects of life, and she believes that many mothers are under-informed or feel unnecessary guilt when it comes to sleep training and sleep coaching their baby.

She’s been practicing therapy for 10 years now and has realized that sleep issues are a common thread among all of her clients. She quickly gained additional training in advanced sleep medicine and learned that many of the mental health challenges mothers (and children) face today stem from inadequate sleep. Chrissy’s ultimate goal is to help mothers reclaim the magic of motherhood by getting babies and their moms the sleep that they need.

Visit her website and connect on Instagram and Facebook. Access the e-courses here.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Expanding beyond private practice
  • Self-publishing her book
  • Troubleshooting Guides
  • What came next
  • The e-course process
  • Successfully selling an e-course
  • Marketing

Expanding beyond private practice

Chrissy had the thought of stepping outside of her private practice floating in the back of her mind. Having babies of her own, she realized that sleep is actually really hard. Getting your babies to have a good sleep is difficult and overwhelming. Even before having kids, Chrissy worked with treating adult insomnia, so sleep had always been a part of her practice.

Chrissy experienced postpartum depression and anxiety which she believes, and current research supports it, that it had more to do with the sleep deprivation than just the hormone shifts. Sleep training became a passion. Chrissy sleep trained her babies, helped her friends sleep train their babies, and then realized that if she could help people on a broader scale to improve their sleep, then she would be helping people to raise their baseline which makes everyone do better. Chrissy would always gloss over sleep issues with her clients and realized that this was underserving them. She now has a voice in that space and wanted to take her message to a broader audience, not just her clients.

Self-publishing her book

Chrissy self-published a book on Amazon and at first, it was just friends and family who bought the book. Then it started doing really well and, thanks to the support of her community who gave her the confidence, Chrissy realized she was onto something and she had something that people really want and need.

How she did this:

  • Baby steps – Chrissy had to stay small and just think about what people want to know. She then took those steps, rounded them out a bit, and turned them into a guide. After adding a bit more meat and making it a bit more comprehensive she had a book.
  • Set time aside – Set aside a certain amount of time, at the same time, every single day, and just go and sit at your computer. Even if you just do a sentence a day, it keeps that momentum going and is less daunting and overwhelming than devoting hours to sitting down and writing a book.

Troubleshooting Guides

Oh, wow, people want and need this. I’m onto something.

This is where Chrissy’s journey really began. In August 2018, she told herself that she can’t help people if they don’t know she exists. She went onto her Instagram, which at the time had 400-500 followers, and started to document the journey of sleep training her baby. She offered to help people train their babies for free that month and all she asked in return was that they shared her information. Her Instagram really started to gain momentum and a beautiful thing happened. Chrissy realized that everyone kind of had the same questions so she saved the responses and soon noticed that she had quick two-paragraph notes for 15 different subjects. She decided to add some more info to each subject, throw it all together and sell it for $3. In her first month, she made $3000.

What came next

It’s just been a progression of one thing at a time. Figuring out how to still find a balance in my practice, and balance with my family, and figure out how to do kind of a totally different kind of business.

After the book and troubleshooting guides, Chrissy just rode the wave for a little while. Some things happened in their lives which left her feeling like a hot mess so she decided to just coast and figure out how to manage her life. Once she recovered from that, she took the next step…video courses. Some people digest content better by listening or watching and, thanks to Instagram, Chrissy was comfortable in front of the camera and talking. Talking to people was actually a much more natural process for Chrissy, writing had started to feel more like pressure to her. It took longer than planned (because of life, babies, etc.) but she has just launched her full sleep training course.

The e-course process

My community has given me grace and freedom to be able to have a messy evolution, which is exactly what entrepreneurship looks like.

  • The videographer came to record the content with Chriss and the video was then edited.
  • Chrissy started on Vimeo but moved over to Teachable as it is a lot more user-friendly.
  • Adding different people to the team, navigating everything as they go.

Successfully selling an e-course

The e-course being a messy evolution actually worked to Chrissy’s advantage as it built up a ton of anticipation. It was a very authentic process. When Chrissy was ready to launch the course, she launched a beta version for a very limited time. Chrissy really wanted this to be the best sleep training resource out there and she knew that she would need a lot of feedback for that. It was only available to 100 people, for half the price, and was only going to be up for a week and then taken down so that she could get their feedback. People set their alarms and crashed her website twice, and the course was sold out in 15 minutes, making Chrissy $6000. Since it was only available for a week, Chrissy decided to leave it available but for the full price for any more than the first hundred people. She ended up selling out and overselling her beta launch in a day, all of her hard work had paid off.

Marketing

Think about how you can keep up the momentum and excitement for a course that is ongoing and going to be continuously offered. This is where a lot of people can run into trouble. They’ve put in so much hard work and energy but then they don’t know how to market it.

  • A lot of people have online courses so you have to figure out the price point.
  • Invest in some software and market testing to see what people would actually pay for your course.
  • Make sure that your price is right and tell people why your course is different, help them see the value.
  • It’s more than just getting your content out there, your branding needs to be consistent and your marketing message needs to be clear. The people that are making a killing with their online courses are the ones that have a really good marketing strategy.

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Whitney Ownens | Build a faith-based practiceWhitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Podcast Transcription

[WHITNEY]:
The Faith in Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network. A network of podcasts seeking to help you start, grow, and scale your practice. To hear other episodes like the Imperfect Thriving podcast, Bomb Mom podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. The purpose of this podcast is to help you start, grow, and scale a private practice with a faith-based perspective.

I’m really excited about today’s episode because not only did I interview an amazing woman, but also a dear personal friend of mine, Chrissy Lawler. Chrissy and I met at Slow Down School last summer – that was July 2019. Didn’t know each other all in advance other than a couple of Zoom calls when we were prepping. Chrissy was always running around during the Zoom calls. I remember the first call we had, she was at the park eating a sandwich and watching her children and I thought, who is this girl? Boy, she knows how to multitask. And as I’ve gotten to know her, I really admire her so much. She’s just beautiful inside and out. She has an amazing practice and also an amazing side gig that she’s going to tell you all about in the interview. I really admire how she gets a lot of things done and she does them really well, but at the same time she’s okay with making a mistake and moving forward with it. And sometimes she makes the mistakes look like they weren’t even mistakes at all. She makes them look great. And so, she’s just really raw with people; if you follow her on Instagram, her videos are fantastic because she doesn’t alter anything. She’s just who she is. And she’s been able to get an amazing following, and we’ll talk about that in the interview today.

What is funny about all this, though, is when Chrissy and I were getting ready to record, the platform that we typically use for our podcasts was not working for me and I was so frustrated. But we had scheduled this podcast out for like a month or two, there was no way I wasn’t going to interview her. And so, what we ended up doing was switching over to Zoom. Some of the Zoom call got a little glitchy at times, and there’s noise in the background, and it wasn’t exactly what I had planned, but I love how we just roll with it. And that is what private practice and owning a business is all about. You’re gonna have some stuff that gets messed up; you’re gonna want to fix it but just move forward with it sometimes and just laugh it off and say it’s okay, because I felt like I could have recorded it at a different time. We could have rescheduled but she had some awesome information to get out and I really did enjoy the interview and thought she had a really great thing to say. And so, we just went with it and it worked. And so even in your practice, even if things aren’t perfect, that is totally okay. The other great thing about Chrissy is our friendship, we talk on a regular basis to be able to help each other in our practices. So, I want to encourage you guys, get involved in relationships with other people that are building practices that are business owners, because you need one another. We really have needed one another. She’s been a real asset to me, so I’m excited to have her on the podcast and let’s get started with the interview with Chrissy Lawler.

Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens. Today I have got Chrissy Lawler on the podcast. She’s a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a mom of three – soon to be four, and a lover of sleep. She founded the sleep consulting company the peaceful sleeper, for two main reasons; one, she recognizes how critically important sleep is in all aspects of life, and she believes that many mothers are uninformed or under-informed and feel unnecessary guilt when it comes to sleep training and sleep coaching their baby. She’s been practicing therapy for 10 years now and has realized that sleep issues are a common thread among all her clients. She quickly gained additional training in Advanced Sleep Medicine and learned that many of the mental health challenges mothers and children face stem from inadequate sleep. Chrissy’s ultimate goal is to help moms reclaim the magic of motherhood by getting babies and moms to sleep that they need. Welcome to the show.

[CHRISSY]:
Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So, I would love to just jump in here with some important information that you’re going to share with us. A little bit about your practice and how you got going. And then we’ll talk about the e-courses that you’ve created and how you’ve been able to sell those. So why don’t you start with, you had a private practice going; how did you expand beyond your practice into doing it something extra?

[CHRISSY]:
Yeah. So kinda like you said in that introduction, you know, I’ve been in private practice for seven years now and I loved it. But I think there’s a lot of private… I don’t know, I think as a lot of us start to feel like, it just kind of felt like every day was the same. And I still loved what I was doing but I wanted to add something else in. But it really… so I had that thought floating in the back of my mind while simultaneously, like I said, seeing, having babies of my own, realizing that sleep is actually really hard. Like, it’s difficult and overwhelming to get your babies to have good sleep. Especially in the mom world, there’s so much shame. There’s so much mom shaming and so much overwhelm. And so, I just realized, I mean, even before I had kids, I started treating adult insomnia. And so, sleep had always been kind of a part of my practice. And then I had my own kids and I was like oh, this is a whole new ballgame. And I’m experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety. And it’s not just because of a hormone shift. That’s one of the things that I learned from my adult sleep course is that their current research thinks that postpartum depression and anxiety might have more to do with the instantaneous and drastic sleep deprivation, than just the hormone shifts.

And so anyway, fast forward, sleep had been a passion. I’ve been, you know, sleep training my own babies, helping my friends sleep train their babies, and I kind of just realized, if I can help people on a broader scale, improve their sleep, then I’m just helping people increase the baseline in their lives and when they’re in therapy or when they’re just in their lives, if we can just bring the bottom up a little bit and raise the baseline, moms do better, babies do better, marriages do better, depression and anxiety reduce or you have better tools to deal with that. I mean, I think any therapist knows that sleep is one of the first things that we encourage our clients to get a handle on. But I know at least for me and practice, I would just tell people like, oh, yeah, sleeps important. Let’s talk about something else.

[WHITNEY] Right, right. And it is so important. That’s one of the first things I ask in an intake interview. They’ll say, oh, you know, things aren’t all that bad, and I’m like, how’s your sleep? Four hours a night. I’m like, yeah, that’s bad.

[CHRISSY]:
Aha, yeah. But I think a lot of times, at least for me, I would just gloss over it. And I’m like, yeah, yeah, work on getting better sleep. But let’s talk about the actual issues at hand. And I just realized that that was under-serving my clients and I wanted… I just figured I had a voice in that space, and I wanted to take my message to a broader audience, not just my clients.

[WHITNEY] Yes. So, let’s talk about that journey. What was the first thing you did… well obviously, I guess you created the peaceful sleeper. You created it, but what was the first thing you did under that business?

[CHRISSY]:
Okay, so part of this I think is important. We lived in Dallas while my husband was going to dental school, and I had a pretty full, thriving private practice that I didn’t really have to market, it kind of just like, all the calls came in, I was as busy as I wanted to be. And then boom, we uprooted and moved to Las Vegas. And nobody knew who I was. And the calls weren’t just coming in. And I didn’t have those word of mouth referrals. So really, it was kind of the perfect storm that led to this, that I had this passion, I had this energy and all of a sudden, I had all of this time. And so, I just kind of realized like, now’s as good a time as any to actually launch this.

So, the first thing that I did, I thought that I was just creating a website or a blog. So, I just wrote out like, if you want to sleep train your baby, like, I’m going to help moms get all the content that they need to sleep train well. And what I ended up with was way too much information for a website or a blog. And I was like, maybe I should actually make this into a guide. And so, it went from a guide to a book. I think if I would have set out to write a book I never would have because that just sounds intimidating. But the progression ended up that I wrote a book, and then I launched a website, and then my Instagram. From Instagram, then I launched these smaller troubleshooting guides, which we can talk about in a second. And then after that came the e-courses.

[WHITNEY]:
That’s amazing. How long a period of time was that?

[CHRISSY]:
Um, okay, so I wrote my book back in October 2017. And then I just sat on it quietly for about nine or 10 months, and then that’s when I really said like, screw it. I wrote this book, but I can’t help anybody if they don’t know that I exist. So, I got a little bit of fire under me. And then… So really, I would say I started things in August of 2018.

[WHITNEY]:
All right, and so what was the first thing that you sold?

[CHRISSY]:
My book.

[WHITNEY]:
And do you remember who bought it?

[CHRISSY]:
Oh, gosh. I mean, honestly, probably like my dad. I know that in the beginning, it was just friends that bought my book. But I self-published on Amazon, and then I started doing really well. And I was like, oh, wow, maybe I’m onto something. And so that was just, I think, as I went, I knew that I had a great idea. But I was skittish, and so as it caught on, really I give a lot of credit to my community, and some of my earliest cheerleaders, for giving me that confidence to know, oh wait, I really do have something that people want and need and I can get over myself, and my own fears and insecurities and just give the people what they want.

[WHITNEY] I love it: give the people what they want. So, I’m gonna be like totally honest with you here. I started a book, and it just sits there. And I’ve done nothing on it. And it was like three years ago; it was actually about the same time that your book came out that I started writing a book. So how did you go from writing it to actually making it happen? Like, to me that feels so overwhelming, and I’m so tired, right? As a mom. How did you make time to actually self-publish your book?

[CHRISSY]:
Okay, so honestly, like I said, it had to be in baby steps and it had to just like, come about, like, I really kind of think that it was the God thing. That it wasn’t me. So, a couple things: one, I had to stay small in my mind, like, you know, how do you eat… what’s that thing? Like, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, right? And so like, have you ever heard that?

[WHITNEY]:
I haven’t but there you go.

[CHRISSY]:
So, like I said, I originally was just like, if I’m gonna write a blog or a website, what do I want people to know? And then, okay, let’s round this out a little bit more, how can I make it into a guide? Okay, well, let’s add a little bit more meat in. Let’s make it a little bit more comprehensive. And what do you know, here, we’ve got a book. Um, the other thing that I would say, if you’re starting, if you’re setting out to write a book, when I was doing my master’s thesis, the best advice that I ever got is just set aside a certain amount of time, at the same time, every single day and just go sit at your computer. And so, he said, like, and now I still do that in my business with like, some of the other projects that I’m working on. I wake up at six o’clock every morning and I go out to my island at my kitchen counter and I just sit in my chair with my computer and my coffee and I just do; I have that word document in front of me and sometimes I’m like, twirling in circles, as I watch the cursor flash on my screen, and that’s fine, because if I just sit there every day and do something, even if it’s just a sentence, it keeps the momentum going instead of like, oh, I need to sit down and write a book. Let me devote four hours and then it’s daunting and overwhelming, and you don’t do it.

[WHITNEY] Yeah, you’re making a good point about behavior, right? I mean, we just have to have consistent behavior; we create a habit. So, you have this habit and now you probably wake up even without an alarm, I’m guessing.

[CHRISSY]:
No, but…

[WHITNEY]:
No, okay. But like, for me, I’m a morning person. So, I pretty much wake up between 530 and six every single morning but it’s because it’s a habit that I’ve created that I do that. So, you’re creating that habit of, I sit at the island and I do this thing and now it happens. So that’s cool. Okay, so you said you got your book, and then you said you had micro… I’m gonna say it wrong – what did you say came after the book, the packets?

[CHRISSY]:
Oh, the… yeah, the troubleshooting guides.

[WHITNEY]:
Troubleshooting guides. Thank you. Okay, tell me about those.

[CHRISSY]:
Okay, so really, this is kind of where my journey began. So, like I said, in August of 2018, I just kind of had this moment that I told myself, screw it, I can’t help anybody if they don’t know that I exist. And so, I had like, I think four or five hundred followers on Instagram and I just said, I’m sleep training my own baby right now. I’m going to document the journey. And I’m going to help all of you sleep train your babies for free for the whole entire month. So, ask me whatever questions that you have; send me emails, send me DMS on Instagram, we can text; I will help you sleep train your babies. All that I ask is that you share about me. And so that’s when my Instagram really started to gain momentum. But the beautiful thing that I was not intending is I realized that everybody kind of had the same questions. And so I had a folder on my phone with like, my quick two-paragraph response for ‘How do you help a baby’s nap get longer?’, ‘What do you do about dropping the pacifier?’, ‘How do you transition from the swaddle?’, all of these different topics. And so, after that month, I was looking at this notes folder on my phone, and I had like, 15 different subjects. And I was like, oh, I should just make really quick guides and sell them for like three bucks. And just give people, instead of a two-paragraph answer, let’s give them like a three- or four-page answer. And so, I just kind of threw those together. One by one, I would just write out the longer, more comprehensive answer to that question. I started selling them for three bucks, and I made $3,000 my first month, just like, here’s this $3 thing. And then I was like, oh, wow, people want and need this. I’m onto something.

[WHITNEY] So, you just like made those on a computer document?

[CHRISSY]:
Yeah. And then I have a cousin that has an eye for art. That’s the other thing that I would say for people that are listening, that are already in their private practice, that feel passionate about something, you really have to look at the hours for dollars trade off. In my private practice, I charge $175 per session. That’s not what I was charging back then when I had more time. And like I said, we moved to Las Vegas, and I had a pretty empty practice. But you know, I could, at the time, my rate was $125. It’s like, if I am spending three hours overwhelmed, formatting this stupid thing, trying to figure out the fonts and the layout and how it’s supposed to look, frustrated, overwhelmed, feeling inadequate, (A) that’s gonna slow me down and make me not keep doing the thing and (B) it’s like a total waste of my time and money. I could be seeing three clients during that time, feel confident and be making a ton of money. And so, I just found people to outsource to. So, I started with a cousin that was a stay-at-home mom that might want a little bit more money. And then her sister’s friend was in college for graphic design. And so, I moved some stuff over to her and it just has kind of evolved to having a real business with several employees and having really great systems in place, but it didn’t start out that complicated.

[WHITNEY] Yeah, I love how you’ve made it just one step at a time for what works for you and creating the Dream Team is so key.

[CHRISSY]:
Yes, uh huh.

[WHITNEY]:
All right. So, take me beyond the packets. What happened after that?

[CHRISSY]:
Okay, so after the book and the troubleshooting guides, really, I just kind of rode that wave for a while. We had some stuff in our lives come up like our house flooded last year and we had to move and then while we were moved out, the house flooded again. So, then we had to move again. So, we moved twice in two months. We had two major floods in two months, and I kind of just slowly lost my mind. Because my practice was booming, I didn’t have any time for anything. So, I just needed to… it was not my season to really be investing in the peaceful sleeper. I just needed to coast and figure out how to manage my life. So then once I recovered from that, which honestly was like a good six or eight months before I felt like okay, I’m back. Because even after we moved, like we’d gotten all new furniture and then it was on backorder. And so, we were in our new house for two months, on camping chairs, with no kitchen table, no TV stand and it was just like, I felt like such a hot mess.

So anyway, once I kind of bounced back and recovered from that, then that’s when I really started feeling like okay, the next step is video courses, because some people digest content better reading. Some people digest content better by listening or watching and at that point, having been on Instagram for about a year, I was way more comfortable just getting in front of a camera and talking, plus being a therapist, it was way more natural for me to just talk somebody through a process than to sit down and write it out and get… Honestly, I probably need to do some EMDR on this, but I think my master’s thesis was traumatizing for me with how much of a perfectionist I was about it. And like, you know, when you’re writing a thesis it’s like, every sentence has to be cited, you know, five different sources to back it up and you rewrite the sentence seven different times. And it just like, writing started to feel more like pressure to me, but getting in front of a camera and just talking was super easy. And the world is going towards more video content. And so I just realized, I could write more guides, maybe I will in a little bit, but right now I’m just going to teach somebody how to get great sleep with their newborn and I’ll do a video course. And then I just barely… it took longer than I wanted, because life and babies and whatever, but I just got my full sleep training course launched. So yeah, it’s just like we’ve talked about, it’s just been a progression of one thing at a time, figuring out how to still find a balance in my practice and balance with my family and figure out how to do a totally different kind of a business.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah. So how did you create the e-course? Did you have a platform that you used that walked you through the process?

[CHRISSY]:
I just recorded a video and then outsourced a bunch after that. So, I had a videographer come and record this stuff and then she edited it. In the beginning, I just had it… the platform that I used was Vimeo. Now we’re going to move to Teachable because it’s just a lot more user friendly. But I’ve just had the different people on my team kind of be navigating that as we go, and luckily, I’ve created an audience. And I think how I show up on Instagram is like, I’m doing my best. You’re doing your best. We’re figuring this out. I’m giving you guys super helpful information, but is it perfect yet? Absolutely not. But I’ve got to put it out there anyway. And so be patient with me through the hiccups. And so, luckily, my community has given me grace and freedom to be able to have a messy evolution, which is exactly what entrepreneurship looks like.

[WHITNEY]:
Oh, yeah. I love that you just said ‘messy evolution’. That’s beautiful. And honestly, girl, this is what people want, right? They want us to be authentic. And they want us to be messy because that’s what they are. And so, we’re kind of all in this together. So, I think that that quality about you is what draws people to your Instagram, is that you don’t fake it. You know, you’re a mom that like gets into the dirty stuff and shows them what it’s really like. I mean, I’ve seen your videos. Here’s my [unclear], and here are the toys everywhere. You know, and that’s how my house is. That’s how everybody’s house is. Yeah. Okay, so this is the course that you released – obviously, this episode’s gonna come out in a few months – but this is the most recent course you’ve released, right, that we’ve been talking about?

[CHRISSY]:
Yeah.

[WHITNEY]:
Okay. So, can you walk people through the process of how were you able to successfully sell it?

[CHRISSY]:
Yeah. So, I think, honestly, the fact that it was a messy evolution really worked to my advantage because it built up a ton of anticipation. Because I recorded the course… So, I went to a CEU therapy training thing, so I was already… I knew I’d have to be in a hotel. I just decided to get an Airbnb anyway, because then it would be cute, and it would be quiet, and it would be decorated, and it would feel like a homey environment. And so, I just recorded all of the content back in November. And I really thought that it would have come together a lot sooner. And so, people were seeing on stories, like oh yeah, I just recorded and hoping it’ll be up in the next month. And then like, but technology sucks, this is overwhelming. We’re running into issues, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks. And so, I kept having, like, hopefully soon, hopefully soon, this is where we’re at. And it was very natural; it wasn’t like… I think sometimes people can get a little bit too salesy and the… I don’t know, it’s just the beginning, the big drop, and, you know, limited time only and whatever. But I think I just got lucky that it was very authentic and the hot mess of my life. We’re figuring this out, but everything’s crazy. And I’ve gotten pregnant and I have really hard pregnancies and so everybody kind of saw me flatline, like, I will get to your course but right now I have to figure out how to not be throwing up all day. And so what happens though, is that when I did finally launch the course, I think the thing that worked the very best for me was to launch a beta version that was a very limited time offer, because I really do want this to be the best sleep training resource out there. And the only way that I’ll get that is if I have a lot of feedback. And so, I offered it half price to the first 100 people. And it was only going to be available for a week and then I’m taking it down and I’m gonna get your feedback. I’m gonna make it better. I’m gonna keep working on tweaks. And they crashed my website twice; people had their alarm set, and I sold out in 15 minutes.

[WHITNEY]:
That is so awesome.

[CHRISSY]:
It was so cool. So, then I decided that since it was only available for a week, I would still make it available for the week but at full price for anybody after those first hundred people. So I ended up selling out and over-selling my beta launch in a day and it was so cool to wake up and like, I was still pregnant, I was still sick, I was still throwing up and I woke up in my pajamas, kind of feeling like death, and I made $6,000 in 15 minutes, and I was like, oh my gosh, this is so cool.

[WHITNEY]:
All your hard work paid off.

[CHRISSY]:
It was such an exciting moment. So now if I’m being totally honest, where the insecurity comes in is, okay, cool, the beta launch was successful, but how do I actually keep momentum and excitement about a course that is ongoing, that is going to be continuously offered? And I think that’s where a lot of people can run into trouble, that they put all of this hard work and energy into a course but then they don’t know how to market it.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, yeah. And I think really relying on your community too, like you’ve already got people who saw it and loved it. And so, having them share it and having them talking about it and getting their video testimonies I think would be really helpful for you.

[CHRISSY]:
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, I think video courses or online courses, are all the rage now. So, if anybody is thinking about doing this, it is a great source of passive income. It’s a great way to get your message out to a broader audience. But I think we also have to keep in mind that there… a lot of people have online courses, so you really have to figure out the price points, which I think is important to actually invest in some software and some market testing and some audience testing to see what would you actually pay for this thing, so that you can make sure the price is right. And you really have to tell people why your course is different and really help them see the value, because if you just put up on your website, ‘I’m a therapist, I’ll teach you this and this and this’, if I think about myself as a consumer, sometimes I see that stuff and I’m like, yeah, cool, but I also know that I have four other courses that I’ve bought in the last year that I haven’t actually watched. So even though your offer sounds cool, realistically, I’m probably not gonna make the time for it. And so, I might not buy it. So that’s why I think just getting very consistent branding and a clear marketing message is more important than just getting your content out there. Because a lot of people have their content out there. But the people that are making a killing with their online courses are the ones that have a really good marketing strategy.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, so really putting that up at the front end. And that’s such a balance, right? It’s like thinking through how do I actually want to launch this? What is my marketing strategy? But then at the same time not getting caught up in details and just doing something; not letting it paralyze you. And so, you have to find that balance.

[CHRISSY]:
Yes, exactly.

[WHITNEY]:
So, if you could go back and change one thing about the way that you created your courses or the way that you started selling peaceful sleeper stuff, what would you go back and change?

[CHRISSY]:
Oh, gosh, that’s such a good question. Because I made a lot of mistakes, and I fumbled through in the dark a lot, but I am kind of grateful for the messy evolution that it was. I think if I could go back and change, I would have gotten more consulting and reached out to more experts sooner. Because there was a long time that I knew that I had a good idea, I knew that I was growing on my platform, but I didn’t have a good strategy behind me. I was throwing a lot of darts at the wall and some of them were sticking really well. But I didn’t have a clear path for the why and the how. And then over the last years, I’ve really invested in my business and invested in some business conferences and read a lot of books about entrepreneurship and invested in consulting. Now I feel like I have a very clear vision for how to actually pull this off.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, you’ve given us so much good advice today, kind of like a step by step in launching a course. So, I really appreciate that. Chrissy, obviously is really good at the courses but as we’re talking about The Peaceful Sleeper, which we didn’t go into a lot of details on, but I really encourage you guys, if you’re having a hard time even your sleeping for yourself or sleeping with your kids, please go check her out online. You’ll learn a whole bunch of stuff and learn a lot from her trainings and her e-courses. So definitely check those out. I love that Chrissy’s actually going to be speaking at Killin’ It Camp, so it’s going to be in October, and she’s going to be bringing her baby and, like, real life, here you go; sleep training in Estes Park. So, she’s gonna be there speaking. So, if you haven’t signed up for Killin’ It Camp, you totally can come meet Chrissy and me at the same time and it’s gonna be spectacular. So, anyway…

[CHRISSY]:
It’s gonna be so fun.

[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, so at the end of every podcast I always ask, what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know?

[CHRISSY]:
I think, okay. I think that every Christian counselor needs to know that… Gosh, let me back up a little bit. One of the biggest hesitations that I had in the very beginning of my practice, especially as I was marketing to my faith community is that felt kind of icky, going to faith leaders, promoting myself and saying, here’s my service, give me money. I’d like you to send money my way. It felt icky, and so I didn’t do it, because I didn’t want church and business, I didn’t want that to be intermingled. And so really the biggest piece for me is that I feel like the work that we do to bring healing, and comfort, and peace, and consolation to people’s lives, I really believe that that is God’s work. And I believe that that is what Jesus did in his ministry on the earth, and what he continues to do for us. And so, if I can stay present to ‘This is the Lord’s work, and this is His ministry, and I get to play a role in bringing His love and healing into people’s hearts,’ then it doesn’t feel icky, and it doesn’t feel like I’m saying, ‘Hey, give me money.’ It feels like I am showing up in my faith community and in my practice, and with the faith leaders that I’m affiliated with, saying, ‘I can help bring the healing that you deserve. And if I can stay grounded in that and remember that it’s not about business, that it’s about healing, then (A) the work feels way better and (B) the business part of it is just the cherry on top.

[WHITNEY]:
Yes, thank you for that advice. It really does come back to that basic of God’s love and being able to communicate that. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

[CHRISSY]:
Thank you for having me.

[WHITNEY] Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there you can learn more about me, options for working together such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an e-mail whitney@practiceofthepractice.com. We’d love to hear from you.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the Practice of the Practice, or the guests, are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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