EP 28: Digital Courses and Evergreen Sales Funnels for Introverts with Dr. Destini Copp

Offering mainly one-on-one services as an introverted entrepreneur can send you straight to burnout mode. It’s important to protect your energy as an introvert, especially while serving your clients. If you are passionate about what you offer and you want to scale your business, then adding digital courses or products to your business can be the game-changer you are looking for. Using both digital products and evergreen sales funnels in your business as an introvert can bring additional income to your business without being dependent on service work.

Our guest on the podcast today is Business & Marketing Coach, Dr. Destini Copp. She helps business owners scale their digital product revenue with automated sales funnels and reduce their reliance on services or freelance work. She is a college marketing professor turned online entrepreneur and a wanna-be, Serena Williams-like, tennis player. She is also the host of The Course Creator’s MBA Podcast and creator of The OneClick MBA membership.

In this episode, Dr. Destini Copp and I dive into:

  • How her journey of seeking more freedom led to her becoming an online entrepreneur
  • How to balance your skills and market for your business as a service provide
  • What to do before creating your digital course or product
  • The best business tools for better systems and productivity
  • …and much more

The Search For More Flexibility and to Become an Online Entrepreneur

An itch that Destini has always wanted to scratch was to someday start her own business. She went to work in corporate marketing and became the director of a Fortune 50 company. She was over an $800 million product portfolio and was responsible for hitting that target revenue. Many hours were spent in this nine-to-five role Destini, and it was very fast-paced. As an introvert, she became super burnt out and with two young kids at home, she wanted a more flexible work schedule. The job she had at that time was restructuring, so she took a package with them and began looking for something else. 

At this time, online courses were just getting started at the university level for students. She found a job as an adjunct faculty member teaching marketing. This was the perfect opportunity for her because it allowed her to work from home, take her kids to school, grab lunch, and pick them up from school. She stayed with the university for many years holding positions like Program Director, Assistant Dean, and the last position she held was Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. With online courses really doing great at this point in time, she made a transition plan to move out of her academic nine to five career and start her very own business. She started creating online courses and helping other business owners do the same by using all of the marketing knowledge she had accumulated over the years. She quickly realized that being a solopreneur was very different, especially with being online, but that didn’t stop her from rolling up her sleeves and digging deep into things like sales funnels, Facebook ads, and even social media marketing

The Balance Between Skills and Marketing as a Service Provider

From the outside looking in, it seems like running your own business is easy or simple. You show up and people will come flocking to you. Right? There are actually so many facets to running a business successfully, and that’s where many entrepreneurs fail after starting their own business. It was a learning curve for Destini and she tells people now that owning an online course or membership business is 10% product creation and 90% marketing. It’s really important that your online course, membership, or digital product business have traffic strategies in place so people know that you actually exist, especially in the beginning. 

There are a few things that made the biggest difference for Destini’s business to help her find the balance. Focusing on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for her website by choosing the right keywords helped bring traffic straight to her website. This didn’t happen overnight for her, but as she incorporated those keywords into her blog posts, the right people were starting to find her. This has been the case for her in the last six months. When they get to her website and sign up for her email list, she asks them how they found her website, and it’s usually through Google because of her use of SEO.  The other big driver for Destini has been podcasting, being a guest on others’ podcasts, which she now loves as an introvert to market her business. She is able to grow and expand her audience, which allows her to get to know them on a deeper level.

What You Need to Do Before Creating a Digital Course or Product

If you’re just getting started, Destini recommends that you start with service work rather than jumping into creating a digital product, like an online course or a membership. The reason why she always suggests that is it allows you to get to know your ideal customer intimately. You know exactly what their pain points are, where they get stuck, and where they need help. This doesn’t mean that you have to do service work for three years before you add other revenue streams to your product portfolio, but it means that you do need to roll up your sleeves and do one-on-one or service work. 

Another thing for beginners is to have a very basic website with your about page and the kind of services you offer. You could also do something like a milkshake app landing page on your social media bio to put yourself out there and find social media platforms you like to hang out on. Then once you’ve been doing it for a while, you can set up a more sophisticated website. You can start blogging or writing articles to demonstrate your expertise, and that will help you later down the road with your SEO. The other thing she recommends is once you get your website set up is to make sure you have a lead magnet on it, which will allow you to build your email list. When you want to launch a digital product or some other service later down the road, you will have some people in your world that you can actually market it to.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on my website are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The Best Business Tools For Productivity and Systems in Your Business

Having certain systems, automations, and workflows in place really saved Destini in her business and allowed her to stay sane. She really recommends having a project management tool in place to start setting up workflows for your business. She uses and loves Asana, I have also loved Asana, but am now obsessed with ClickUp.  As long as you find one that best fits your needs, then use that one. When it comes to her podcast, The Course Creators MBA, she has certain workflows in place depending on the task that needs to be taken care of. Whether it’s finding guests to be on the podcast or the podcast production part of it, she has all the steps listed out for each one. When she brings on people to her business, like her podcast editor, she just gives them her system to follow with all of the steps. This makes it so much easier to train new people. Every single thing that you do in your business that is repeated can be taught to your new team members. These systems you have in place for how to do tasks are called SOPs (standard operating procedures). These processes allow you and your team to follow, update as needed, and distribute them to anyone on the team to get familiar with for any task to be done. 

Another great tool that I actually learned about from Destini is Content Snare. This tool allows you to organize your content and document collection without the back and forth emails, messy hacked-together systems, and confusing shared docs. It’s like a checklist for your clients with automatic reminders. I’ve been working on a website project for a client and was able to send everything through the platform itself. Having everything in one place is a game-changer. Destini’s summit has a good amount of speakers. It is able to house all of the information she needs about the summit and speakers. The system automatically sends out notices. If a speaker is past the due dates for items her team needs, then she doesn’t have to do any of that because it does it for her.

Using Sales Funnels in Your Business as an Introvert

Using sales funnels in your business, especially for introverts, is so beneficial because it’s more hands-off, but still gets you results and conversions. The majority of Destini’s business runs on evergreen or automated sales funnels. For her as an introvert, it has definitely been one of the best things that she has implemented. In the past, she did live launches for her business with webinars or challenges, which was difficult for her and drained her. She knew something needed to change and began setting up these evergreen sales funnels in her business. 

For her membership and when people come into her world, they have an option to sign up for her free mini-course. It’s a five-day challenge delivered through a mini-course. Throughout that particular mini-course, she promotes her membership in the actual mini-course itself, and through the attached email nurture sequence. In her words, it’s basically a 10-day sales funnel in terms of conversion. The conversion rate isn’t what you would generally see in a live launch, like if you were doing a live webinar or a challenge, but it’s a typical conversion rate that you would see for an evergreen sales funnel. This runs in the background of your business for you, and as you go on it can be tweaked based on the numbers you see to make it better. It is definitely a way to get revenue coming into your business on a regular basis. Evergreen sales funnels for introverts help save your energy, time, and stress as it is a more sustainable way to grow your business.

Advice For Creating an Online Course for Your Target Audience

If you plan to create an online course for your audience, then Destini recommends you start with teaching what you know. Let’s assume you’re a website designer creating Squarespace websites. You’ve been doing this for a while and your skills have grown. You charge $5,000 to do someone’s Squarespace website, but you have people coming to you that cannot afford to pay you $5,000. One way you could help them or anyone else looking to work with you is by creating a mini-course to help them in some small way. This could also lead them to still work with you in the future and be able to pay your full-service fee, which is great because they know and trust your work even more based on the mini-course you created. Destini generally recommends starting with a mini-course first, rather than a full-blown signature course that takes you six months or more to create.

What’s great about a mini-course is that you can market them in different ways. You can use them as a tripwire, which is on the back end of the thank you page. When somebody signs up for your lead magnet, they are then directed to the next page, which is your mini-course sales page. This page asks before the customer leaves the page to grab the special offer or mini-course. For anyone who isn’t ready to work with you yet, they can grab your mini-course as an option to work with you on a smaller scale. You want to figure out how you can help them on a smaller scale without paying your higher-end pricing. Once you find out what’s keeping them from moving forward, then hone in on that particular topic for your course.

Dr. Destini gave so much incredible insight on utilizing and creating digital courses in your business and evergreen sales funnels as an introvert on this podcast episode today. She shared about her journey of seeking more freedom led to her becoming an online entrepreneur, balancing your skills and marketing for your business as a service provider, what to do before creating your digital course or product, the best business tools for better systems and productivity, using sales funnels in your business as an introvert, and advice for creating an online course for your target audience. 

Are you thinking about adding a digital course or membership to your business, then don’t forget to sign up for Dr. Destini’s free 5-Day Scale Challenge to help you reduce your reliance on service and freelance work. If you have any questions about marketing, digital courses, or sales funnels then feel free to reach out to Dr. Destini on Instagram and on LinkedIn.

What is a digital course idea that you could use to serve those who can’t yet afford your services? Remember this course could bring them back to you in the future because of the authority you’ve established.

A Breakdown of This Episode

[1:31] Destini’s background in marketing, her corporate career, her role as a university professor, and how she became an online entrepreneur

[3:48] The biggest hurdle entrepreneurs face when starting their own business is marketing and putting strategies in place so people know you exist

[8:24] Destini’s favorite marketing method for her business as an introvert 

[11:08] Why starting your business with service work, rather than jumping into creating a digital product is best and what it allows you to understand about your ideal customer

[16:05] Using systems and workflows to keep your business organized for productivity and the business tools that Destini uses to put systems in place

[21:39] Evergreen sales funnels for introverts and how they can get you results and conversions while being more hands-off

[26:20] Recommendations Destini has for you as you create your first digital course

[33:42] Destini’s free 5-day Scale Challenge for service providers and freelancers looking to add a digital course or membership to their business

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