How to Grow a Multi-Six Figure Course Business in 18 Months

Today, I’m pulling back the curtain on what it’s REALLY like to be an Accelerator member, with one of the most inspirational people I know, Paige Brunton of Square Secrets.

Paige was actually the very first Accelerator client! She joined us all the way back in January of 2018.

Paige came to us as a web designer who was looking to scale up her business and serve more clients without giving up more of her time and energy.

Here’s what Paige wanted to do when she joined the Accelerator:

➡️Stop trading 💵for ⏱️with her web design business

➡️Be able to take a BREAK from her biz when she wanted to

➡️Set up an evergreen funnel to even out her income between launches

➡️Grow her business to six figures… and beyond

I don’t want to TOTALLY spoil the episode but safe to say… Paige crushed it! (as in...she went from making $50k in her freelancing biz to $500k this year with courses!).

Tune in to the Mariah Coz show today to hear from Paige herself about how she has grown her business during her time working with me and my team in the Accelerator.

This convo is one of my favorite episodes EVER! I can’t wait for you to hear it.

Listen in today!

Resources mentioned:

✅The Accelerator: https://mariahcoz.com/accelerator 

Follow Mariah on other platforms:

🌟Instagram: https://instagram.com/mariahpcoz 

🌟Facebook: https://facebook.com/mariahcozofficial 

🌟Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/mariahcoz 

More from Mariah:

➡️ Apply for my done-together group coaching program, the Accelerator: https://mariahcoz.com/accelerator 

➡️ Watch my FREE masterclass, The Simple Course Launch Framework: https://mariahcoz.com/launch 

➡️ Create a Digital Product The Quick + Easy Way: Free Workshop: https://mariahcoz.com/digital 

➡️ Download The Ultimate Webinar Checklist: https://www.webinarrockstar.co/

➡️NEW Free Training: How to Sell More Courses Every Day / Week / Month With An Evergreen Funnel: https://mariahcoz.com/evergreen 


Episode Transcript

Mariah Coz:
Hey, Paige. I am so excited to have you here today, so I just gave you a little intro, but I want to have you introduce yourself. Tell everyone who's listening who you are, what you do, what your business is. I am just so happy to have you on the podcast today. All right, let's get into it.

Paige Brunton:
Okay, I am so stoked to be here. I watched/listened to this podcast lots and lots before we ever worked together, so I'm stoked to be on it.

Mariah Coz:
Really?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah.

Mariah Coz:
I didn't know that. That's awesome.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so my name is Paige. I do a few things, but I guess the best term for myself would be an online educator, so I teach people how to build really fabulous Squarespace websites through my online course, Square Secrets. Thanks, Mariah, for the name on that one.

Mariah Coz:
That was my best naming time. Everyone else now is like, "Mariah, can you come up with a name for my course?" I'm like, "No, that was just like a really magical moment."

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, that was a really good name. I also teach people how to build Squarespace web design business through my course, Square Secrets Business. And then most recently, I also launched a podcast called the Online Business Besties, and that's where I teach more general online business, not really just Squarespace or anything. I'm really stoked to help girls who really want location, lifestyle and financial freedom, and that's what the podcast is all about. So those are the three main things which I do with my day.

Mariah Coz:
Those are so many good things. That's amazing. So I don't think that anyone knows this, because I don't think I've mentioned this on a podcast before. And Paige, I think you might know this hopefully, but you were the first person to ever join the accelerator, like literally the first person to sign up back in, it was like December. We started in January of 2018, and it was a couple weeks before that and you were the first person to sign up. Literally, I can't ... It's so funny now to look back because the accelerator is this huge program and we've had, I don't know, well over 120 people go through it and all this stuff. But it started with just you being like, "Yes, I'm interested." It's so funny to look back and be like, you gave me the ... You were the person that kind of turned it from like, this is just an idea. I hope people like it, to like, oh shit, we're really doing this now.

Paige Brunton:
I'm stoked to be that person. It was perfect timing for me, too. I was thinking about building an online course and just thought, "I have literally no idea where to start." When I found out about the accelerator I was like, "Oh my God, that's more money than I've spent on anything in my life, but fuck it, I'll do it."

Mariah Coz:
How did you feel about that at the time? Were you nervous?

Paige Brunton:
I was terrified. I was straight up like, "I have never spent this much money." I even bought a car. It was like $2,000 and so I was like, "I haven't put any amount of money like this out into the world before." But I calculated and I figured out like, "Okay, what's the rough price of my course going to be? If I went in this program, how many more people do I think Mariah could help me get in it?" When I did the numbers I was like, "Yeah, it's worth it," so yeah.

Mariah Coz:
I remember you telling me that when we were in Palm Springs and I was like, "That's a great way to think about it." I was like, "I need to write that down," because it's like, "Oh, well, do I think that Mariah can help me get like 20 enrollments?" Like, yeah.

Paige Brunton:
Exactly. That was it. It was 20 enrollments and then I was like, "I'm assuming over time," but yeah, it was definitely that, and it has, so that's good.

Mariah Coz:
Yes. Oh my gosh, I love that, yeah. And I just wanted to say thank you and call you out for that, because it's just so special for you to be the first person ever in a program like this, and that first cohort was a tiny little group of people, and it was so awesome. It was a very special experience, and it's just so cool to look back. Now, you guys who are listening, when you hear where Paige's business is now 18 months later you'll be like, "Holy shit." It's just so funny to hear it, to just think about it starting there with me being like, "I hope someone signs up." It just gave me so much confidence to keep going forward. In case any of you are wondering like, "Oh, these successful course creators probably don't worry about that, or filling up their programs," the first time you launch something new it's always really scary.

Paige Brunton:
Always scary. Always scary, yes.

Mariah Coz:
It doesn't get less scary. And so we're going to talk to Paige today about all the new things that she's launched in the last 18 months, her courses and her re-launches. I really want to get into, my goal for today is to walk you guys through a timeline of, I really think of, I tell this, my team knows this and all my clients know this. I'm like, "Paige is the perfect example of following the steps and doing things in the order, and just this kind of growth trajectory that takes someone from not having any course at all, to building a six-figure and now multi-six-figure course business over the course of a year, and now it's been 18 months. So it's really interesting to see your sort of like milestones along the way, and how it doesn't happen overnight but just seeing over 12 months what's possible and beyond there.

Mariah Coz:
So I really want us to walk through all the sort of milestones you've hit along the way. What were the sort of steps you took in that first year of creating and launching courses, and how it all worked out? So we're going to get into some of the numbers today. We're going to talk about your list-building in between your launches, all that good stuff. So, before you joined the accelerator, I do want to ask you, why did you want to switch to courses? What were you mostly doing before that versus what you're doing now?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so in terms of timeline, I can give you overall timeline then we'll get more specific. So in 2017, I was just offering services. I was full-time in my business, and I worked with clients one-on-one to do custom Squarespace website designs for them. By the end of a year of doing that, I was freaking exhausted and I was just like, it's just a lot of stress at least that I put on myself. Someone would pay like $5,000, $6,000, $7,000, $9,000, $10,000 or me to build them a website and brand it and e-commerce shop. I put so much pressure on myself that I really stressed myself out about that, someone spending that much money with me.

Paige Brunton:
And so I think I put some unnecessary stress on myself but I was just, by the end of 2017, November hit and I was like, "I'm going to sleep and nap for the entire month of December, and just relax," because I just worked so hard and did so many things in the business, but I was just really, really exhausted. I also had fully booked out my web design business, so I had been blogging consistently all through 2017, and that led to me just fully booking all the dates. I started booking way in advance and I was like, "What am I going to do? At some point there's like, am I going to be booking people like a year or two in advance? I don't know about that."

Paige Brunton:
And so I figured, "Okay, I could become a web design agency and I could hire on other designers and then I could manage them." But when I just thought about what I want in my life, that did not sound appealing to me at all, like managing a bunch of people. I like freedom, and I like to turn off of my business and go travel for weeks and have no one need me. So I really set up my business in a way to make that possible, and so having an agency and having a team didn't feel like the direction I wanted to be going in. I also knew that doing one-on-one services, my hours were tied to dollars and I wanted to stop that because I would just work myself like mad and make more money but I was like, "I'd like this to scale without me working on weekends and evenings."

Mariah Coz:
Totally.

Paige Brunton:
So that's when I decided an online course would probably make the most sense, to take my Squarespace knowledge, everything that I knew over years of building that knowledge up, and make a course which was like the most in-depth course on how to build an absolutely killer Squarespace website, so that is when I decided that needs to happen.

Mariah Coz:
That's amazing. I feel like so many of our listeners here are stuck in that client spot where it's like, "I can keep booking clients," but eventually where is the ceiling of how much you can charge? Eventually, like you said, how far out are you going to be booking clients, like two years out where it's like, "Oh, okay. This is my wait list now." Which is amazing in some ways, but ultimately if you are in that spot, just know that there is another path that isn't necessarily just like hiring more designers and becoming an agency. Especially knowing your lifestyle pace, I don't know if you want to talk about that a little bit, where you are always traveling and you really do go off the grid in a way that not a lot of people do in their business. I think that's pretty unique to you. A lot of people just like to stay home.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, they like to stay home. I like to not stay home. Yeah, so something interesting is the reason I even started this Squarespace web design business was I met a very charming German guy at university, and moved to Germany to be with him. When I got to Germany I was like, "I don't speak German," so can't really get a job in Germany. So I had a side hustle in college, which was my Squarespace website design business, so I took it full time once I got to Germany. But even then I still loved to travel, and so my home base is Germany but I'm frequently not there. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see all the places that I go on here and stuff.

Mariah Coz:
You're always somewhere awesome and cool. It's so cool, because it's really neat to see our clients do, like you've met obviously a lot of our clients in the accelerator and they're all over. Some people are like, "I'm doing this because I want to stay home with my kids," and some people are like, "I want to travel the world and do all these cool, fun things," and it really works no matter what, which is really cool. So okay, I want to talk through sort of the timeline of your 12 months in the accelerator, and then what you've been up to since then as well. So let's kind of start at the beginning, so as I said, you were in the very first cohort of the accelerator which looked very different also back then. The first round of it, it looked different. The structure was different. We had like a live retreat and all these things, but we started in January of 2018.

Mariah Coz:
So if you want to kind of walk us through just those first three months of getting to your first launch and how that went. I would also love to hear about where your email list was at when you launched, all those good things that we can all get a sense of what it really takes to get there. And I will also point out that you launched a week earlier than anyone else in the cohort, which I was really impressed by. Everyone else was like, "Can I have an extra week?" You were like, "I'm ready early, so I'm just ..."

Paige Brunton:
So, I was very lucky. I mean, I kind of set it up this way but I am really bad at doing many things at once. I cannot split my attention between a lot of projects, and so when I signed up for the accelerator I was like, "I'm going all in." So any clients that I have, I just moved them or rescheduled them and it was like, "I'm giving myself this three-month period." Which, I'd gone to Bali for a three-month period, so I was like, "This thing is going to start and it's going to end when I'm in Bali." So got to Bali, started the accelerator program, started going on the weekly calls, and I think at the point that I started the program my email list was at a bit over 2,000. And then over that period of time, you helped us grow our email list. I'd already built it thankfully from like the blog before, but even over that three-month period I built it even more.

Paige Brunton:
So building it entailed ... This is what I really liked about the accelerator. It was like, I could turn my brain off and be like, "Just tell me what to do, and I'll just do it." And so I had nothing else I needed to do in that time. I had like, once you go to Bali it's great, because you don't need to cook food. You don't need to do your laundry. You don't need to, I don't know, meet people. You're just focused on work time, and you can get so much done. So I just dedicated to this thing for the entire three months, and then when I did go to launch in early March 2018, my email list was at 3,240 people. I got 36 students in the first enrollment, which was a 1.1 conversion rate, and $18,800, so that is how the first launch of Square Secrets went.

Mariah Coz:
That is amazing, and did you create your course content all before or after the actual launch?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so part of it was done before. Part of it I did after the launch had happened.

Mariah Coz:
Cool.

Paige Brunton:
And so one of the reasons I wanted to launch then was because I was flying back or whatever, and I didn't want to be launching while I was flying back to Germany.

Mariah Coz:
Oh, yeah.

Paige Brunton:
So everyone was like, "Can I have a week?" And I was like, "Can I not?" Because I just [inaudible 00:29:57] and I can't change my flight. So yeah, I created ... We started with sales pages, which I did not expect. I'm like, that's what the core course is for and all these other things, and how it's different from the other things in the market, and preparing to launch content, launch emails, webinar content, all of those things. And so actually creating course content, I would say we had maybe half of it done, and then I launched it. And then over the last couple weeks of March, because I launched early March, by the end of March the course content was all finished. But there was definitely a bit of pressure, because once you sell it you're like, "Oh, man. I have to finish now."

Mariah Coz:
I feel like that's ... I don't know for you, and I know some people are like, they don't love that pressure, but I need that. I like that particular kind of pressure. That's like, "People purchased. I know I just got paid to create this, and now I feel really good about ..." I also feel like I can see the humans that I'm delivering it to, and it's not as nebulous. I'm like, "Okay, I've sold it to them. I see these 30 people. They're really cool. I know their names. Now I kind of see who they are and what they need, and now I'm making sure to deliver exactly what they need." Obviously, you have the first couple modules ready to go when people are buying, but I think that I personally like kind of making it, that first launch, making it along the way.

Mariah Coz:
Now we have this whole, some people choose to do, the majority of people now we have this whole rapid validation system, like we use first and then they respond and then they go from there. But I think it's just so important to pull that motivation from being like, "Oh, shit. People bought [crosstalk 00:31:30]."

Paige Brunton:
I agree with kind of the human thing. You see their photos on Facebook and you're like, "Oh, Freda bought this thing," and like now I talk to Freda. And so you're like, "Oh, that's why I'm working on this. I'll send this last module or whatever," so yeah.

Mariah Coz:
Totally, yeah, and getting that feedback in real time is so valuable, so powerful, and it doesn't ... It's not like it makes you look like you don't know what you're talking about when you're co-creating with your clients and stuff like that, and asking them, what resources do they want, or what do you want to make sure-

Paige Brunton:
Just helping them more, yeah.

Mariah Coz:
Exactly. It's so great. Okay, great, so that was around a $19,000 launch when all was said and done, with this list of a little over 3,200 people, which is awesome. I think that context is really great, because I think some people think they see you, Paige, or they see some of our other clients. They're like ... And I always want people to have expectations that are around where their email list is at. If you have 200 people on your email list, you're probably not going to have a $19,000 launch. So it's really important that you think about list building and all that stuff before you get to the launch phase. Otherwise, I think that you're going to run into problems.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, I had a huge advantage I feel like in the fact that I already did have an email list before I even went into the accelerator. So I did build it a little bit in those three months, but most of those people I'd been building up over the year before that time.

Mariah Coz:
Totally, and you're so ... I don't know if you think of this as one of your superpowers, but you're the most consistent blogger. You're so good at it. I'm like, okay, you're like the shining example of blog post every week, newsletter. You're so good at that, but it really paid off when you go to actually launch something.

Paige Brunton:
Totally. I totally agree with that, yeah.

Mariah Coz:
You're very consistent with it even in between promotions or before you even knew you were going to be launching something, you're still giving value every single week, and not just showing up for a launch.

Paige Brunton:
The reason I ended up blogging actually is kind of interesting, because I again had moved to Germany and needed web design clients. I was like, "I don't speak German, so I'm not going to walk up to the store down the street or something. I can't really do inverse networking," so my option was online marketing. And so I had no idea about online marketing or blogging or anything, but I just figured I had to, and so that's how I sold web design services which then really worked out well for selling courses later.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome. That is really, really cool. It's like all, even if you have a business that's doing something else, it can all be pivoted and translated into selling courses.

Paige Brunton:
Totally.

Mariah Coz:
That is really cool. Okay, so that was the first launch of Square Secrets. Now after that, we're going to take a little detail before we get into the next few launches into evergreen. So as I recall, Paige, you were not convinced about going evergreen after your first launch. I was like, "Hey, it's time to set up that evergreen funnel. This is going to be really good." You were like, "I don't know if I need that." Do you want to talk a little bit about maybe why you were just were like, "Yeah, I don't know if I need that. Maybe, maybe"?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, I don't know. I felt really ... I was like, "How does it work?" I mean, if I have a launch, I finish the launch every six months, and then that's good, but then there's some people who find me at a different period in time. They just missed that launch, and then they have to wait five months until they can get it again. And so I was like, "Well, but it's open and closed cart, so then can I also do evergreen?" I just didn't know in my gut, is that okay? I wasn't really sure. I think that was my big hesitation, and then I was also worried like, "Oh, well, Facebook group and live calls, and how do we manage all those things?" It was all things that I could find a solution to, but those were my main like, "I'm not so sure about those things."

Mariah Coz:
Totally, which is such a great point. Where it's like, you have all these little kind of like things in your head like, "Well, how am I going to deal with this situation? Well, what about this? Well, I don't want to have this. I still want to be able to travel," blah, blah, blah. What are the answers to those? There are answers and solutions to all of them, you just have to talk them out and figure it out, and how are you going to do it in a way that feels good and is right for your business? Ultimately, I do think you did something really interesting where your Facebook group is open and close, right?

Paige Brunton:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mariah Coz:
You don't just have an infinite Facebook group like most courses.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, because I would hate my life if I had an infinite Facebook group.

Mariah Coz:
So how does that work? You just close it down after your launch?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so for the first few launches what I was doing is I would open the Facebook group when the launch started, and then I would have four weeks of Facebook group and four live Q&A calls for those four weeks, and then I would close it down. Which this idea partially came from you I think, because-

Mariah Coz:
Yeah.

Paige Brunton:
Someone else was like, "You have this amount of time to be in this Facebook group and get this work from us. Then once your time is done, it's been fun." And that lights a fire under your ass to do stuff and

Mariah Coz:
There's a reason that things happen, yeah.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, and sort of like it creates urgency, which is what people need to actually get these things done. So I figured when I went to go to evergreen I was like, "Okay, my solution to that problem is I don't want to have a constant Facebook group." If I'm traveling for three weeks, I'm going on vacation next week, I was like, "What am I going to do about these live Q&A calls?" So the way that most people did it, didn't really fit with how my life functions so that's why I decided to do the open and close, and then also do the ... So, anyone who joins in an evergreen period, they get in sort of in between the normal enrollments and then they're invited to the next class' live Q&A calls.

Mariah Coz:
Perfect. That's what I was going to ask. That's so cool. So it's like, "Hey, you don't have Q&A calls and Facebook group right now. You're self-study, but then you get invited to the next cohort that we're running live twice a year. You get to come and participate in that."

Paige Brunton:
And they can go see, we upload all the past class' Q&A calls to the course as well, so if they just like ... I mean, anything they're going to ask has probably been answered and asked before.

Mariah Coz:
Totally.

Paige Brunton:
So they can go immediately if they want to get live Q&A calls. They can go in and watch all the recordings of the past ones as well, and then they do also have the chance in the future to go into the next class' calls and ask their questions.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome. I love ... That's like a perfect, beautiful solution. I think so many people would just not take the next step and just have their brain full of the potential issues or conflicts or, "What, well, how am I going to do this? How am I going to deal with that?" It's like, you just go two seconds further and take one step and think about what the answer is, and that's a beautiful solution where they get to participate in the next live session no matter when they bought on evergreen. So cool, I love that. And so I remember you texting me and telling me, I think I have this right. You texted me in the first month that you had your evergreen funnel running and you were like, "Oh my gosh, I made like $9,600."

Paige Brunton:
On vacation, yeah.

Mariah Coz:
You were like, "Sorry I haven't been on any of the calls. I was on vacation all month, but my funnel is over $9,000." I was like, "Holy shit, that's amazing." That makes the conversion rate on your funnel very much higher than normal, so that was even with just a really simple one. So tell us about sort of like, as we go on this evergreen detour before we get back to your launches, tell us a little bit about the sort of like evolution of evergreen for you, and how it's doing now every month, what's working with it, all that good stuff.

Paige Brunton:
Yes, so I can't remember the exact ... I wasn't tracking the conversion rate so much. When I first turned it on I was like, "I'll just turn it on and see what happens." At that point in 2018, I was doing both courses and like one-on-one web design services. So I was planning on taking my annual three-week vacation, which I do every July. My fiancee is a teacher, so he gets that time off, so that's when we peace out, go travel. So we had turned on the evergreen funnel and I wasn't really tracking the stats, but I had the most basic evergreen funnel. You have a minimum evergreen funnel and a complex one, and so I just did the minimum one to start with and even that brought in, I think it was like $9,000 over that three-week period-

Mariah Coz:
That's crazy.

Paige Brunton:
Or something that I was on vacation, which was really sick. Now the evergreen funnel I have, so in February or March 2019, I made for both courses, we'll get to the second course in a second, but so I have two courses now, and so I turned on the evergreen funnel for both of those in February or March 2019. The Square Secrets one is getting a like 3% conversion rate, which is really sick.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome.

Paige Brunton:
And that's the more in depth. There's a webinar, and the first one was just like an opt-in gift to a discount off page. This one, the one that I have now is a bit more intensive, like an actual free training and everything.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome. Yeah, we have these different levels like Paige is talking about where there's like, first you just start off. It's like the simplest ever one-page funnel. It's so stupid simple, but deceptively simple, but really outrageously effective, obviously. It only takes like a day or like an hour to set up, really. And then we have the more complex ones, which are like you said automated webinar funnel, having the free training, all that kind of stuff that you can always add in later, but at least you have something up and running and making money while you work on the more complex one, which is really, really cool. So now, I know you mentioned it brings in about $10,000 a month which is so awesome for something that's just running just passively.

Paige Brunton:
It's crazy, yeah, totally. And especially now, it's like so much of the business is passive but in 2018 still I was just expecting to make no money on those three weeks I went on vacation, because I wasn't doing clients at that time, and so ... Because I was still doing a mix of clients and courses, so yeah.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome, and I think I forgot to ask this in the beginning but do you want to share the price point of Square Secrets?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so Square Secrets is $800 and my Square Secrets Business is $900.

Mariah Coz:
Amazing. I feel like Square Secrets Business, let's up the price on that.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, well [crosstalk 00:41:16].

Mariah Coz:
Let's do a price increase.

Paige Brunton:
I have some new bonuses which I'm adding, and then yeah, I am planning to do a price increase, and Mariah taught me how to do those well, so yeah.

Mariah Coz:
That is a great opportunity for you, especially with the insane results that people get. It's totally, it ends up being so=

Paige Brunton:
It's an unbelievable deal. If they book one web design client with the Square Secrets Business, I think it's paid for itself like two times over, so ...

Mariah Coz:
Totally, that's awesome. Okay, cool, so we went on our little evergreen detour. You set up your evergreen funnel specifically for Square Secrets after that first launch. That's rocking and rolling. Tell us a little bit about the next launch of Square Secrets, so the first re-launch, so your second launch of the same course. Tell us like, where was your email list? What month was this at? What did you do to grow your list in between these two launches?

Paige Brunton:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), so to grow the list in between two launches I did what I always do, and I just posted [inaudible 00:42:12] blog content on my blog and then have opt-in gifts in the blog post, pop-ups, announcement bar, side bar, footer, all over the places. So it's pretty much just been like the way I build my list in between launches. I remember asking Mariah this. I was like, "What do you do to have a bigger launch than the last one?" She was like, "There's nothing really that you do during the launch. It's more like what you do in between, and that is building your email list." Which just for me means creating content, useful things, and then having opt-in gifts in there.

Paige Brunton:
The stuff I did in between was just consistently blog. I blogged twice a week, mostly on topics about Squarespace and Squarespace web design businesses, and behind the scenes on how I run my own business is something I like to talk about a lot on there, too. So the second launch was in end of August 2018 when I got back from my vacation and went to go do this launch. So that, I had an email list of 4,514 people. I got 57 students, which was a 1.24% conversion rate, which is good because that was definitely, I increased my conversion rate on the last one. We did $30,500 in that launch.

Mariah Coz:
That's amazing, and it's so cool that you added a little over 1,000 people to your email list but your conversion rate actually went up instead of staying the same.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, it's been consistently going up by like a percentage or two, the conversion rate, every launch, which I'm really happy with.

Mariah Coz:
That is really good. That's awesome. Usually people just kind of see it stay the same, and especially as your list grows, sometimes your conversion rate actually goes down as your list grows because the previous people have been through a couple launches. They maybe aren't buying at this point, for whatever reason, but it usually would kind of stay around the same. Whatever you're doing is obviously working.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, at some point I'm sure it will stop, but thankfully it's still going up so I'm stoked about it.

Mariah Coz:
That's awesome, and how did you feel about the time in between, like from March to August being the sort of in between those two launches? How did you feel about that time frame?

Paige Brunton:
It was totally fine. I feel like it was good, because I feel like once a year to get the course is like, "Oh." It's not like, if you miss it, it kind of really sucks, where finances just aren't good at that point in time. So I feel like every, I think that was like five and a half months or something between the two, but yeah, so now I'm generally doing like every six months or so and that has been ... I feel like it's good for me to handle as well on the back end, and now especially with two courses, so we're launching one course a quarter. I don't think I could handle more than that. Also, [inaudible 00:44:42] probably wouldn't be down for more than that, so in terms of what myself and my assistant can handle, it's worked well for having like, now I have two courses once a quarter, so yeah.

Mariah Coz:
That's really awesome, and what's interesting about what you're sharing too is you did have your evergreen funnel on, just like the MVP version, running between those two launches. What we've seen-

Paige Brunton:
Still, yeah.

Mariah Coz:
Yeah, and still, and this is what we've seen over and over again, is that our clients who have ... It's the opposite of what people are afraid of. People are afraid that if they have their evergreen funnel running, then their next re-launch is going to be down, or it's going to suck.

Paige Brunton:
I expected the same thing.

Mariah Coz:
Did you?

Paige Brunton:
That's totally, I expected my conversion rate to be lower.

Mariah Coz:
Interesting, and you were expecting just everything to be like, "Oh, people, they've already seen it."

Paige Brunton:
Yeah. That's not the case now.

Mariah Coz:
So what you need is like the opposite, and that of people who have evergreen funnels running in between their launches, their next launches are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The people who don't have evergreen running, their launches are staying the same because you're not creating that warm pool of leads that are like, "Oh my God, I missed it last time. I don't want to miss it again. I'm really ..." They're super warm. They're ready to buy, and if you don't have evergreen running in between launches, then you're missing out on that. It's like you said, it's what you do in between the launches that makes the next one bigger. It's not like doing fancier stuff during the five days of the launch. It's just like, "Do you have evergreen running? Are you building your list? Are people coming in?" And then that's what we've ... It's been interesting, like every client we've seen with the evergreen funnel running is their next launch is bigger and bigger.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, that is really interesting.

Mariah Coz:
Yeah, I think it's because of just all these leads coming in, and seeing the offer and being familiar with it that by the time it comes around again they're like, "I don't want to miss it again."

Paige Brunton:
Yep, totally.

Mariah Coz:
Okay, so around when are you starting to imagine the idea for your second course?

Paige Brunton:
I started it from the Q&A calls of the first launch. People were constantly asking me, like they would ask questions about building your Squarespace site, but just as frequently if not more frequently I was getting questions about like, "When you work with a client, how do you do the deposit? How do you do the contract, and when do you do this and this and this?" And they were asking more about working with clients, and so a lot of them, what they said in their testimonial at the end was like, "I feel so confident doing this, and now I've built the website myself. People go to it and they're like, 'Oh my God, it's amazing. Who built if for you?'" And when they say, "I built it myself," people are always really surprised.

Paige Brunton:
Then they're like, friends and family and everyone who finds out they built their own website looks at it. Then they're like, "Oh, can you build me a website?" They're like, "Hmm, maybe I should turn this into a business." So from the first round, I had an idea like, "Oh, maybe that would be an idea for the future," but I didn't quite feel ready for it. And then the second round, it was the exact same thing again, and everyone in the live Q&A calls were asking for information on building websites for clients, and building a website business. How do you market yourself? How do you get clients? How do you do the legal and taxes thing?

Paige Brunton:
So the second idea did not at all come from myself. It came from the students, and I'm really happy and grateful for it. I literally asked them like, "All right, what are your big questions? I'm making an outline of what I can have in the course." And so they literally gave me all of the ideas of what they wanted, and then I just created it and gave it back to them. So then in September, October, November, that is when I started working on building the second course. So I went to Square Secrets Business, which teaches people how to build a successful web design business, and I launched that Black Friday, November 2018.

Mariah Coz:
Oh, I remember.

Paige Brunton:
Yes, and I was nervous. I was like, "I don't know. People are going to be buying so many other things. I'm not really sure if that's a good time to launch." But literally, that's just when it was going to be done, and I couldn't really do it later into Christmas and so I was like, "Well, I guess I'm just going to do it over Black Friday and see what happens." So at that point, our email list was 5,700. We got 91 students. We did a 1.6% conversion rate, and we did 79,800 in that launch, and I had a heart attack when I saw that number at the end of it. I was freaked out, because I did not expect for it to do that.

Paige Brunton:
This one, we did an option of like the income is quite a bit higher, and the reason is because we gave an option to buy the bundle of both courses. So we had an option of like, you can just buy Square Secrets Business if you're like, "I've got the website design thing down. I'm totally confident with building Squarespace," they could just get the business one. But if they're like, "Oh, I maybe would like some help, or not quite sure about all these Squarespace things, don't fully feel confident enough to actually do this with clients yet," then they could buy the bundle of both courses for a discount, and so that's that.

Mariah Coz:
Totally. Especially with your, like I remember us talking about this because Square Secrets is a really fitting name because they might know like Squarespace or the basics or something. Maybe they've built a Squarespace site before, but there truly are things that you teach that are like special hacks and ways to do things that you wouldn't just naturally figure out. I think it's a very fitting name in terms of like, even if you have some experience with Squarespace you totally want to learn the Square Secrets so that you can really blow away your clients.

Paige Brunton:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. That is true. A lot of people who are like web designers are like ... Seriously, I just had this thing where I'd go to other websites from Squarespace and I was like, "How did they do that thing?" And so I'd just sit there and try to figure out how they managed it, and so that's how I learned all these hacks and secrets, which are in Square Secrets. And so yeah, I just had this really intense interest, and if someone else did it I wanted to know how they did it, so that's where all the secrets came from.

Mariah Coz:
That is really cool, and how did you decide, like I remember us talking about this a lot too where we're trying to decide the structure of having these two courses that are different, but they share a name kind of, and one of them, you might need both components. You might only need one component. How did you kind of make those decisions around like, it can be a bundle or it can be on its own? I remember, we had a lot of conversations about that.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah we did, yeah. That was a really tough decision, because I was like, "Do I want to make people take the first one?" If they're going to be building websites people are like, it's absolute, I know their website's going to be set. But then I was like, "Well, what if someone learned Squarespace some other way, or they've been building websites for years or whatever?" And so they have the skills, but then they just don't have the business side. So it's like, "Do I do them separate? Do I do them together, or do I force them to do it together or separate?"

Paige Brunton:
So what I ended up deciding was like, you can buy them singularly. You can buy them as a bundle. It's up to you. And then what I did do was I created a video for the Square Secrets Business page, and actually the Square Secrets page to show all past students' websites. Not all, a handful of past students' websites and then being like, "If you're wondering, 'Am I going to learn more?'" That was one of our huge questions like, "Am I going to learn more in Square Secrets than what I already know?"

Paige Brunton:
I just went through these websites and I was like, "These are the examples of the things that you're going to be able to do once we finish the course, which not a lot of people know how to do. So if you already know how to do all these things, then don't take Square Secrets. You're not going to learn anything new. If you're going through and you're like, 'I have no idea how they managed that thing,' then you know that it's useful for you." So that's kind of, one thing we had to define for sure was like, how good at Squarespace do you have to be to know if you should take it or not?

Mariah Coz:
Right, that is so cool. That is like a really fascinating response to questions that you're getting during a launch, questions that you get on FAQs. What are people asking for? And the way that you handled that, by showing them visually, instead of just saying, "Yeah, you're going to learn some new tips and tricks," you actually showed them in visuals, "Hey, well, do you know how to make this happen in a Squarespace site? If not, you can learn it." That is so brilliant.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, it worked out really well. And the best thing which I love about all my students' websites is that they all come out looking completely different. And so I love showing them on the sales page, because none of them look the same. Some other courses, if they just teach a template like, "Drag this here. Drop this there." I'm like, "I'm not teaching you a template. I'm teaching you how the thing works from start to finish. You fully understand it, so you go make your own custom website. You're not just customizing the template, so it's not going to look like anyone else's."

Mariah Coz:
Totally. I feel like now is a good time for you to mention ... We'll mention it again at the end, but tell everyone about your master class so they can go and find out more and make their own amazing Squarespace websites. And just so you guys know, this is like, I wholeheartedly, fully, fully recommend Paige's course if you want to do your own Squarespace site, if you want to learn that for the clients. Honestly, Paige is the person to go to.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so I have a master class. I'm going to have to get you the link so you can put it in the show notes.

Mariah Coz:
I will.

Paige Brunton:
But if you want to learn how to make a Squarespace site that really sells your services, and all the aspects that are important to actually getting people onto your website, and then booking your thing, whether that's getting onto consultation call or actually booking your services right away, then I do have a master class which helps you figure out all of the important things that need to be on your website that you need to be doing and arranging and organizing, your calls to action to make sure that people actually take the action that you want them to once they get on your website. So yeah, that's what the master class is about.

Mariah Coz:
Amazing. So smart, it's like all the different pieces, guys. We'll definitely have a link to that in the show notes, and you guys can always go to PaigeBrunton.com in order to find all the links to the stuff, too. That is amazing, so basically we're coming towards sort of the end of November, early December where you've wrapped up that launch. So far, you've had this $19,000 first launch. It was somewhere around $30,000 for that re-launch, the second one. And then by the time November comes around, you have a $78,000, $80,000 launch, which is incredible. And then on top of that, you have your evergreen funnel running as well so this is beyond a six-figure just on the course side, a six-figure business within 12 months, starting from zero. That is so cool. It really is just like the perfect trajectory where if someone's looking for a model I'm like, "Just follow what Paige did."

Mariah Coz:
It's the model of starting, each launch gets a little bigger. It's very similar to what we've seen, where it doesn't always happen in the same increments but you see it sort of get bigger and bigger each time, if you do the right things in between the launches and you layer the evergreen on top of it. It's not impossible to build. That's what I just want people to see from you is like, it's so possible to start from zero with courses and build a six-figure course business in 12 months. This is the model to follow.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, totally. And so by 2019, like in 2018 I still did some services, like one-on-one clients, and then I was also doing the courses. But by the time 2019 hit I was like, all courses, no more clients. So it was within just a one-year period that I was able to go from all services to all courses.

Mariah Coz:
That's really cool.

Paige Brunton:
Which has been very life-giving, I have to say. Not just financially, but just like from stress and, I don't know, freedom. It's just been a lot nicer, and so it's really good.

Mariah Coz:
That's amazing. That's what it's all about, totally. Okay, so we come around. You chill out in December, and then the first couple months in 2019, what have you been up to? So you were literally in the ... I mean, you were hanging out in the program a little extra, kind of hanging out for a while, which is totally cool. And then what have you been up to in sort of the first ... You know, we're recording this in July of 2019, so in the first six months of 2019, I know you just had your six-figure launch, which I'm really excited about, to hear about. And so what have you kind of been doing in the last few months, to continue going from that first amazing year?

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, so in January, I took the entire month to get my life together, because again thankfully I was still making money without specifically doing things. Because the evergreen funnels were running, so I just moved so far, so fast in the business in 2018 that I just had all these loose ends. And so in January I was like, "I need to get my life back together." I also was taking German language school, because I'm not yet fully fluent in German, and living in a country where you're not fully fluent is really freaking tough. So January, February and March I was going to language school, so I was just kind of like partially working. And then in, let me see, in I think it was March I made in-depth evergreen funnels for both courses. So I had my minimum viable one for Square Secrets. I had nothing for Square Secrets Business, so in March I-

Mariah Coz:
Oh, I was going to ask. You didn't even have the minimum viable yet for Square Business?

Paige Brunton:
No, not for Square Secrets Business, no. So then, I think yeah, it was March. February or March, I can't remember which, I created webinars and did all of the check things to get those all up and running. And again, I was only working part, half-time or so, because I was in language school. Then in April, I started my podcast. I wanted to do an all-year, but I only actually got the full amount of time to focus on it in April, so that's when I launched the Online Business Besties podcast. Because I realized at the beginning of January, I love Squarespace. There's no question. I'm not leaving it any time soon, but I just didn't want to only talk about Squarespace. I had built this online business for myself, and I had this life which I was like, "I just want to show other people that this is possible."

Paige Brunton:
So I started posting income reports on the blog. If you go to PaigeBrunton.com/income, I think you'll find it there. So I started posting annual reports, and once you just show people what is possible with an online business, I started bringing in online business educators and experts to show what they had created. I really love showing really random online businesses, so I brought in people who have these strange businesses that you would never think could be a business, out of their passions and talents.

Mariah Coz:
That is cool.

Paige Brunton:
That was April, and then May was when I did my Square Secrets Business second launch. And so that one, we had 5,476 people on the email list, so it is not significantly bigger than the last time. What happened was we had a huge issue with robots coming on our email list. We had thousands of robots on our email list, like 9,000, and then we realized there was something off with the email list.

Mariah Coz:
Oh, no.

Paige Brunton:
We had to do a massive list cleaning, so the email list was actually just 76 people bigger than our launch in November, but in that launch we did 99 students, a 1.8% conversion rate and then a $120,300 for that launch in May, and that was Square Secrets Business.

Mariah Coz:
Amazing. Congrats. I feel like your first six-figure launch is a milestone in and of itself. It's like an amazing achievement, and I always try to couch that by being like, "If you're listening right now and you haven't had a six-figure launch, I don't want you to be like, 'Oh my God, I'm so behind. I feel bad.'" You just heard Paige walk through what it took to get there, almost 18 months doing things very consistently, following the steps, doing things in between the launches, working on all this stuff. It doesn't happen overnight. It's not going to be your first launch, for sure.

Mariah Coz:
But to hear that that is possible and that it's increasing every single time is just so exciting, and so a testament to the ... I always tell people that the only reason that you're able to sell the same course over and over again is because it really fucking works, and it's really, really good. So your course is known, and I've had so many other web designers come up to me and be like, "Oh my God, you know Paige? She's the best in our industry. She's just so good at teaching what she does." That's what leads to these major launches, I feel like.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, I think the content in between that plays a huge role in it, because people trust me because I show up in their inbox every single week, and I show up with content every single week, and I'm providing something useful to them. And so yeah, I think you buy from people you know, like and trust, and so having that consistent content. When I think about, every year I finish off my year and I do like a reflection on the past year. I was like, "What was a good use of my time and money? What was a bad use of my time and money?" I go through, and these are also on the blog, like my reflections of the year and how I changed my business, and the breakdowns of what percentage of, I don't know, my revenue sources brought in what income and everything? And so one thing which always makes time and money well spent is content on the blog in the accelerator program.

Mariah Coz:
Oh, thank you. So I have a question that just came to me while you were talking. Was there anything harder, like was it so much harder to have a six-figure launch than it was to have a five-figure launch?

Paige Brunton:
It was easier. The first launch-

Mariah Coz:
Let's talk about that.

Paige Brunton:
Was the most emotionally draining thing of my life. I felt like I got hit by an emotional truck by the end of it.

Mariah Coz:
That is a rough time.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, watched Netflix for like 24 hours straight. But anyways, so yeah, over these launches they've definitely gotten easier because I have learned what the heck I'm supposed to be doing and have a process, like a very intense process in Asana which tells me what needs to be happening at all times. And then I've been able to, now that I have increased income, bring on an assistant, and then I've been working slowly like every launch to pass one more task off to her, so I'm only doing the things which I can do. So I do the Facebook Lives. I do the webinars, and answering questions for her. So maybe like editing sales pages and tweaking email copy, but for the most part during the actual launch, I'm just doing the things which are live and I've been able to train her to do the rest of the things, so it's actually gotten easier the more launches that I've done.

Mariah Coz:
I love that. I think that's so important, because if someone, if you're listening and you maybe haven't done a launch before, you might have a limiting belief that having a bigger and bigger launch is going to be 10 times harder to make 10 times more money, or it's going to feel so much harder to have a bigger launch, or that having a bigger launch means doing so much more and going crazy and exhausting yourself. It's the opposite, it truly is, and you really have to experience it, I think, to see that and understand it.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Mariah Coz:
That's really cool. So what do you think, what would you sort of attribute, like what do you think are the biggest things that led to your success in this overall sense? Like over the last 18 months with your courses, starting from having no course to launching it for the first time and growing it from there, maybe like two or three things that you think have just really attributed to that success.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, one thing would be focusing on my email list, so that is like, in between launches that is what I'm doing, is just increasing content to go to the email list, and so that was like my major focus. I think you have to focus on specific things, which is just the way which I like to work, because I don't like working on many things at once. It's been really beneficial. I think that when it came to Square Secrets Business, like that was massively successful, maybe more successful than the first course, and so then that success came from, I just listened to the questions which people were having.

Paige Brunton:
They didn't say like, "Create me a business course," but they were always asking questions about working with clients. I was like, "Well, two and two together. You want to work with clients, clearly you own a business." So I think that was very, just listening to what people were saying and paying attention to their questions and sort of the themes of them helped me to launch. I had no intentions of building the second course at all at the beginning of the year, but clearly it became very clear to me that I had to. And then shout out to the accelerator program; I wouldn't have had a clue what I was doing otherwise.

Paige Brunton:
So it was really good, because again I was like, "I just want to turn off my brain and just be told what to do, and I'm just going to implement the steps." And so I often told Mariah like, "Just tell me what to do, and I'll just do it." And so that also definitely helped, because there was a lot of things, there would be no way the courses would be on an evergreen funnel unless I was showed how to do it, because it is kind of confusing to do by yourself the first time.

Mariah Coz:
Yeah, it's not like a natural ... No one is born knowing how to set that up. It's not common knowledge.

Paige Brunton:
No. It's really complicated.

Mariah Coz:
Yeah, and so you just have to have the steps, but I love that, and I think honestly you and our other superstar clients, that's a very common thing is like, "Just listen to what Mariah says. Follow the steps. Do what she says." You can always tweak and change things later. I always tell people, "Learn sort of the," I hate to say it, but it's a formula. "Use the templates and learn the formula. Do it that way, that's proven, and then if you want to go and make tweaks and change it and do all different things and make it your own, go for it. Of course, go break the rules later. But first, let's make sure that you master what is proven to work over and over again."

Paige Brunton:
Totally.

Mariah Coz:
And like, "Hello, just do what I say."

Paige Brunton:
Just do it.

Mariah Coz:
"Do what I say.'

Paige Brunton:
It'll all work out. Trust Mariah.

Mariah Coz:
Oh, what were you going to say?

Paige Brunton:
No, I mean you've obviously done ridiculous launches, and I've seen some of your numbers. I'm like, "All right, well, she clearly knows what she's doing, so I'm just going to shut up and listen."

Mariah Coz:
I'll just show you.

Paige Brunton:
[crosstalk 01:05:47]

Mariah Coz:
And that's the thing. I'm like, "I'll just show you." So what would you tell someone who's thinking about joining the accelerator, on the fence? What would you say to that person?

Paige Brunton:
I just feel like you're very numbers-focused. I'd tell you to calculate how many students at your price point, how many students ... This is what I needed to do, because I needed to know, what is the dollar value that I'm going to get back from this thing? And so calculate like, okay, this is the price of the accelerator. This is how much I think my course is going to be. How many students do I need to help me get over this one-year period in order to pay that back? Because you obviously want the ROI. And then keep in mind, if you keep launches these courses for years in the future, that I mean it should hopefully, definitely pay itself off. So yeah, if you're sitting down and you're like, "I don't know the first step of building an online course," and you just want someone to tell you what to do, so you can just focus on doing the work and not Googling all the things, then I think it would be a good fit for you.

Mariah Coz:
I love that. Thank you. That is so good. Yeah, I really ... It's like, do the math, you know? How many core sales do you need to make at what price point just to make it back? And then after that, it's return on investment and it's just profit after that. Especially in the evergreen funnels, your re-launches going forward, it really is. It's hard to describe if you aren't there yet, but to have an asset, like we've had our courses that are still selling in evergreen four years later. It's like, that's amazing. Now it's five years into the future. What is that asset going to be worth? That stuff is really cool. Do you ever think about that and just be like-

Paige Brunton:
Yes, and I think if I had to ... Well, I don't want to sell my business. But if I did sell my business, it's worth a lot of money now actually, which is kind of crazy. If I'd just been doing one of my clients, all of this knowledge is just in my brain, but then the value is not there because if I stop working, then the value's not there. But once you create this product with it, then you've taken the knowledge out of your brain into something which other people can consume, and the value just increases like crazy.

Mariah Coz:
It's amazing. It's so, so cool. Well, Paige, this has been such an amazing episode. I cannot describe how grateful I am to you for coming on here, sharing so transparently, telling us this whole milestones of the first 12 months of creating your courses and launching them and going evergreen, and then the last six months of just building up from there, and everything you've been able to do. Congrats on all your success. This is so incredible, and seriously, like I said guys, if you're listening, watch what Paige does. Go subscribe to her newsletter. She is the model, so go check it out, and she's the first ever accelerator client.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, and thank you to you. I mean, I can't tell you how much of a difference it has been to my life to go from all the time services, and constantly stressed out and not making nearly as much money. It was like 50K, and then this year it'll be like half a million, and I have so much more freedom to go do things like travel or learn a language which I kind of need to learn if I'm living in Germany, and doing all these things. So, my life has changed in a very positive, fabulous way, and you are a huge part, so thank you.

Mariah Coz:
Okay, well, thank you. That's just so amazing to me. It's so exciting to hear you say like, "Yeah, we'll do half a million this year." I'm just like, "Fuck, yeah. Yes, you will," and then you'll just go from there and it'll be so incredible, so that's amazing. Okay, so Paige, tell everyone where they can find you. Anything you want to plug or pitch or promote right now, where can people find out about this master class, find out more about you? Where should we follow you on social media?

Paige Brunton:
Yep, so if you go to PaigeBrunton.com, that is the mothership. It's the main website. You can go see the blog and the income reports on there. You can also click over to see the podcast, called the Online Business Besties. And then if you're interested in either of the courses, if you head to SquareSecrets.com, that's where you can get all the details and information, and get in some of those master classes which puts you in an evergreen funnel. So if you want to get them in between enrollments, that's the way it happens.

Mariah Coz:
Yes, and I highly recommend, like I said, if you are looking for ... I mean, obviously go listen to Paige's podcast. It's so cute, Online Business Besties. Go listen to that, if you want all the general online business stuff and if you're looking to build the Squarespace site or to be a Squarespace designer for clients, I absolutely recommend learning from Paige. She's the go-to person. I tell everyone, "Just go learn from her. Don't ask me. Go ask Paige."

Paige Brunton:
Thank you.

Mariah Coz:
Anything. Well, thank you so much for being on our show today. I can't thank you enough, and I'm so excited for everything that you've accomplished so far and everything I know you're going to do. I just wish you the best, and is there anything else you want to leave our audience with before we hop off?

Paige Brunton:
Good luck, friends. You can do it, too. Just listen to Mariah and get to work.

Mariah Coz:
I love it. All right. Thanks, Paige.

Paige Brunton:
Yeah, thank you.


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