How To Launch Your Course When You Work a Full-Time Job with Brittany Berger
Meet Brittany Berger, who impresses the hell outta me.
Brittany is a Launch Your Signature Course™ student who is one of the toughest, most badass babes we know. She launched her course within 6 weeks - working only on the weekends! She has a full time day job and a VA business and a blog - and launched her course on top of all of that!
Her story is inspiring to me because even after being diagnosed with chronic illness, she rocked her course launch and even used her limited time to her advantage.
I hope you love her story as much as I do!
I'll let Brittany take it from here:
What's a Content Unicorn?
I’m the content unicorn running BrittanyBerger.com and I help other female entrepreneurs work brighter, stand out, and grow their businesses through smarter content.
I accepted my first content marketing job in 2010, without even knowing that’s what it was called.
Since then, I’ve built and run amazing content teams at several software companies while managing two personal blogs and a freelance writing business on the side.
If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is.
If it sounds like fun, it’s because it’s that too!
So in 2016, I started teaching other crazy (and I mean crazy) ambitious women how to be more productive in their online businesses so they’ll have time for all the things they want to do, too.
I joined Launch Your Signature Course™, also in 2016, to create a premium and profitable version of the free knowledge bombs I was dropping.
ALSO also in 2016, I successfully launched my signature course! :)
A Life-Changing Wake Up Call
Before taking Mariah's Launch Your Signature Course™ program, my biggest struggle was scaling my business.
I already had a day job, freelance business, and blogs, so I knew I wanted to create a course or coaching program or something, but I didn’t know what or how it was going to happen or anything.
I just knew I wanted to level up, and I reaaaally didn’t have much time to level up.
I wasn’t ready to cut out any of those other parts of my career completely, I just wanted to make room for more.
Then I fell ill with something that never went away, and 9 months later I was diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses at once.
Queue the wake-up call.
So much for not cutting back, right?
At that point, my business was barely earning money.
Freelancing and eBooks weren't enough.
The only product I had was a $15 book blogging planner on my book blog, and while it was selling consistently...it was $15.
The rest of my business was services.
I’d had to scale way, way back with my freelancing to the point that some months I only wrote one piece.
I wasn’t writing new blog posts on my business blog or reading new books to review on my hobby one.
Basically, I was barely even in business anymore, and I really didn’t like that.
So, once I was able to, I started over with my blog, focusing on productivity tips for other entrepreneurs and bloggers, with an e-course still in the back of my mind.
But when I say ‘back,’ I really mean the back part of the forefront of my mind.
I thought about it A LOT, especially since it seemed like the most passive and flexible way to start making money again while making accommodations for my health.
One productivity method I’d always used a lot is automation - I’d been using IFTTT and Zapier to automate systems in my day job and personal life since before I had my own business or even knew what systems were.
I just saw them as shortcuts. And I’m somehow both incredibly lazy and super ambitious, so total shortcuts like what those apps can create are really necessary for me! 💁🏻
Finding a Profitable, Much-Needed Course Idea - Right Under Your Nose
So I entered this creative entrepreneurship space, and a lot of people were talking about productivity automation, but it wasn’t actually automation.
At least not what I had learned it was.
People were talking about things like batching and scheduling as automation and thinking that’s the most productive they could get. And then getting discouraged about that.
I did some research and realized no one was talking about ways to actually cut things out of your to-do list while still getting those tasks done.
No one was talking complete shortcuts.
Lazy Girl To The Rescue
Then it felt like “lazy girl to the rescue.”
It became my mission to figure out ways to automate everything for other entrepreneurs.
We work hard, we should be able to be lazy sometimes and take shortcuts too! You just need to set up the right shortcuts.
The automation trend has grown a lot in our community and full workflow automation has become part of the productivity conversation more often, but I think my course Build Your Own VA is still the only course that has a 100% focus on workflow automation apps for entrepreneurs.
Obviously I’m TOTALLY fine with that!
The First Launch: Behind the Scenes
As excited as I was at the prospect of creating and launching a course, I was equally overwhelmed.
I put a lot of pressure on myself - I’d been creating content for so long, and this was the first time my content would be the star of the show, the actual product, instead of a supporting player in the marketing campaign.
It was THE most exciting thing I was about to do.
I wanted to do it right.
I had written outline after outline, launch plan after launch plan, and was just too insecure about any of them to follow through.
I knew I could figure it out myself after a few tries, but it got to the point where I was busy and sick and I didn’t WANT to figure it out myself for once.
So once I joined Launch Your Signature Course™, I was able to make sense of the content and ideas I already had and fit them into Mariah’s launch and product frameworks.
Once I got over my confidence issues and got off my ass, things came together quickly.
I used Mariah’s process to validate my course idea and needed to reshape my topic and messaging a little bit.
Copy Stalking = Mind Blown
The copy stalking process was where I had the most #mindblown moments.
My original curriculum was organized around topics, like what you could automate, and in validation I realized that idea sucked.
Since people thought they were automating their businesses more than they were, a course about “how to automate your email” and “how to automate your client workflow” wouldn’t be super sexy since it was stuff my target audience thought they knew.
Giving People What They Need
But instead, I realized that people were asking a lot of app-specific questions about automation.
Seeking help specifically about what IFTTT or Zapier could do, or how to do X in app Y, when the answer was IFTTT or Zapier.
And by then, I was using a few other apps that most other creative entrepreneurs hadn’t heard about, but again, it solved the exact things they were always complaining about.
After remixing the messaging, I quickly created the first few modules and some marketing content by repackaging old content, and presold for...maybe a week?
Pre-Selling The Course
Honestly, I really blew this part of Mariah’s process, as I realized on the last day of the presale!
But I did presell a few slots and knew any shortcomings were more than accounted for by my planning screw-ups and extenuating circumstances, so onward it was!
Honestly, this course made me so confident I probably would’ve ended up going through with the launch even if no one bought during the presale.
That’s actually against Mariah’s advice so it may be a bad thing. But it turned the “I can’t do this until it’s perfect” running through my mind into “let’s do this!”
Minimalist Launching - The First Tiny Launch
I launched and then finished up and dripped out the rest of my content. My launch was TINY, incredibly minimal, and barely a launch at all.
I was still having all the health issues, even worse than before, so I just wanted to get this great content I had created out into the world at that point.
But I still felt confident doing a tiny launch and meeting my launch goals since I was following this proven framework and felt I’d learned enough about each launch aspect Mariah taught to make strategic cuts where necessary and other upgrades where possible.
Focusing on Written Course Content
I’m cool with written content and can crank it out easily, so that’s what I focused on for my launch.
My health was still unpredictable and could complicate anything live or on video, and girl didn’t need that extra stress.
I wanted to go as minimal and passive as possible during the launch and then keep it as an evergreen course.
I literally didn’t do anything but blog posts and emails, with one small bonus and a price increase at the end.
Simple Launch With No Webinars
The email sequence followed the sequence Mariah teaches, just without talking about bonuses and webinars.
I would replace any of that with educational content repurposed from blog posts.
For the blog posts, I wrote 2 new posts, but also updated, optimized, and republished 5 of my best past posts about automation during the launch period, and then promoted it as if it were a completely new post.
New headlines, new images, a few new paragraphs added in, etc.
That meant I published and promoted 6 “new” blog posts within the 21 day launch, which was awesome.
I got a lot of sales straight from the blog, with the rest coming from emails.
And those emails were largely repurposed blog content, since I didn’t have webinars and bonuses expiring and stuff throughout the launch to talk about.
A "Passive" Launch with Consistent Sales
Sales were pretty consistent throughout the launch except for before the price increases.
The launch was as passive as I hoped, and I just met my launch goal while actually taking the launch period as a bit of a break.
That’s kind of insane, right? That my launch was a break for me? But. that. happened! Yay Launch Your Signature Course!
So I launched, I created one module per week to finish up dripping out the course content, and then over time played with adding in extras like a few different evergreen sales funnels, webinars, and a few mini-promo periods with bonuses and scarcity.
That’s started to build the consistent income I’m hoping for from the evergreen course, but it’s still kind of on the strugglebus, to be honest.
Brittany's Advice: Do It!
Do it. Launch it. One of my fave Tina Fey quotes is “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterward.” I spend a lot of time not listening to it, but I should.
Because first of all, if confidence issues are what’s keeping you from a course, confidence is what building and launching a course gets you.
I don’t know if it’s because this is the biggest product I’ve created, the first time I did a big-ish launch, or what, but running a course skyrocketed by self-esteem.
That might be my favorite thing about this whole thing, that I’m like a different person in my career.
Growing With Paid Workshops & Funnels
For example, I never talked about content marketing and strategy with entrepreneurs because I didn’t think I was worth listening to.
Even though I have a successful career doing it in another niche.
That self-doubt doesn’t make sense at all to me, and is the driver behind a lot of big changes coming to my business.
As for future plans, I really want to create some paid workshops around more niche areas of automation, like automating inbox management or social media, basically as a more profitable type of sales funnel.
I also really, really want to start helping other entrepreneurs with optimizing and improving their content.
That’s going to turn into some one-on-one services at some point this year, since I’m craving that collaboration with other brilliant bosses.
But I know long term the best way to help tons of people with content is, of course, a course.
So that’s starting to brew in the back of my mind too, and I’ll probably be going through Launch Your Signature Course™ again!
You need to join Mariah's program if you don’t have the time, energy, or confidence of months of figuring it out.
I tried figuring courses out myself for awhile and it just exhausted me, leading to nothing ever launching.