S1 EP7: How to Launch Your First Online Course in the Simplest Way Possible

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Today’s guest is Launch Strategist Lexi Merritt.

I first found Lexi on TikTok, and I’m just gonna say this upfront: if you’re a creative business owner, or interested in launching an online course, or you just appreciate fun and relatable content from REAL people, then you’re gonna want to go to TikTok and follow Lexi. Her TikTok is @leximmerritt.

Lexi has worked in marketing for over 8 years. She was the Director of Marketing and Online Course Development for Rachel Simmons, best-selling author of books Odd Girl Out and Enough As She Is. 

Lexi founded the Pretty Decent Internet Café, where she teaches creative thinkers how to turn their dreams and ideas into businesses. 

Her two main offerings right now are a VIP Day, where she helps creatives outline a sustainable product or service offering and design a strategy to sell it. And her second offer is The Study, a private membership space for creative business owners, freelancers, and people who like to make things.

I really admire the way that Lexi has structured her business. She gives herself a 4-day workweek, taking Thursdays off to have what she calls an “intuition day.” And she built her offers around things that she loves, which are teaching and working with other creative business owners.

Lexi’s content speaks to my soul, and I’m so excited to have her on the show. I hope you enjoy.

Links and resources:


Key Takeaways

Thanks to Lexi for providing so much value and insight on this episode. Here are some of my favorite key takeaways from our conversation and some action items that you can start implementing today.

Key takeaway #1: Think of a launch as a collection of touchpoints.

Lexi uses the metaphor of selling strawberries at a farmer’s market. You have a sign hanging on your booth that says “strawberries.” Think of this like your social media.

Some people will see your sign and keep walking. Others will come up and ask you questions about your strawberries. What kind of strawberries are they? Are they seedless? Organic? How much do they cost?

These questions help them decide if your strawberries are right for them.

When you’re launching a product or service in your business, the main questions your audience wants to know are:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Who is it for?/Is it for me?/Am I ready for it?
  • How do I pay for it?

Your launch materials, whether you’re doing an evergreen or live launch, need to answer these questions. And you can do this through a collection of touchpoints, be it social media posts, blog or YouTube content, emails, or sales calls.

Key takeaway #2: The least complicated way to launch your first course is to do a “beta for the data.”

A beta launch is like a test run for your course. It allows you to validate your idea by seeing if people are interested enough in the topic to pay for your program, and it also allows you to collect feedback on your course materials.

You might’ve heard of beta launching a course before, but Lexi really simplifies the process. You don’t need a fancy launch strategy or a bunch of materials for your first course launch. All you really need is a bare-bones sales page (and yes, it can be a Google Doc or Notion page) that includes:

  • What your course is
  • How your course will work (live, pre-recorded, etc.)
  • Who it’s for
  • What students will learn/get out of the course (a syllabus)

Lexi recommends teaching your course live for at least the first round. This gives you a chance to interact more with your students, to figure out if you actually like teaching (side note: I’ve taken courses from people who didn’t like teaching/were not good at it before and I can confirm from a student’s perspective that this is very important), and get direct feedback from your students.

Once you have your idea and a bare-bones sales page, the next step is to launch. At its core, Lexi says, a launch is “talking about [your offer] a lot and telling people when the deadline is [to sign up].”

So talk! Share about your new course on social media, tell friends and family, and let everyone know when the doors close.

When you’re teaching your first live round, be sure to focus on the “data” part of your beta launch. Collect all of the feedback from your students: What questions do they have? Where are they getting stuck? What’s really easy for them? What’s helpful and what’s not?

Use this feedback to improve and refine your course for your next launch.

Key takeaway #3: Start creating content.

Chance are, you have friends, family members, or connections on social media who would sign up to beta test your course. But if you don’t, then it’s time to start creating content.

As Lexi mentioned, TikTok is a great place to build an audience right now. Start making content about your course topic so you can build an audience – even a small one. People have to know and trust you before they’ll buy. So this takes a little bit of time and effort, but it’s a crucial step to being able to sell your course (or anything, for that matter).

Key takeaway #4: You don’t need as much as you think you do to get started.

You don’t need to have your entire course mapped out, and you definitely don’t need to have it created or pre-recorded before you can start your beta testing.

All you really need is a:

  • syllabus (AKA course outline)
  • a page that explains your course, and
  • a way for people to pay

It really can be that simple. For your syllabus, be sure to include what your students will learn. Think of the discussions you want to have in each class, exercises you can include, any videos you want people to watch or materials they should read.

Lexi likes to plan her classes in 15-minute increments. For example, she may do 15 minutes of teaching, a 15-minute exercise, 15 minutes of conversation, and then a 15-minute video.

Again, you don’t need to have each lesson mapped out. But you do need to know what lessons you want to teach and what outcome students can expect from your course.

Key takeaway #5: Don’t be afraid to sort of… wing it.

You don’t need to have everything figured out for your course before you sell it. You don’t need a fancy course platform, sales funnels, or polished pre-recorded lessons. In fact, the simpler, the better.

As Lexi says, when someone is about to hand you money, you’ll figure it out. Traction is key, especially in the beginning when you’re testing everything out.

And you also don’t need to know everything about your topic before you teach it. You just need to be a little ahead of your students. Send the elevator one floor down, as Lexi puts it. Bring the people from the first floor up to the second floor with you.

Key takeaway #6: Don’t stress about running ads.

You don’t need to run ads for your first course. But if you choose to, Lexi recommends running ads to a free lead magnet (e.g. workshop, webinar, mini-course, PDF download, etc.) instead of directly to your sales page.

This will build trust with your new leads and give you a chance to warm them up with a few emails before you launch or sell your course.

Key takeaway #7: Treat everything like an experiment.

It’s hard not to take things personally when you’re showing up on camera in a TikTok video or pouring your heart out to your email list and getting no feedback or bites on your offer. The belief that’s helped Lexi not take things so personally is to treat everything like an experiment.

Every variable that goes into creating a TikTok video, for example – the lighting, hook, hashtags, posting time, wording, topic, delivery, everything – has an impact on that video’s performance. You’re not the only variable. Treat it like a science experiment. Play around with one variable at a time and see how that affects the outcome.

But the only way you can collect data and play with the variables is to start your experiment. In other words, post the video. Launch the course. Put the thing you want to do out into the world. Then tweak your experiment until you get the result that you want.

Episode Transcript (click to expand)

Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.

[00:00:00]

Introduction

[00:00:16] Megan: Hey there. Welcome back to the dollar sprout podcast. Thanks so much for being here. Today’s guest is launch strategist, Alexi merit. I first found Lexi on Tik TOK, and I’m just going to say this upfront, if you’re creative business owner, or if you’re interested in launching an online course, or if you just appreciate fun and relatable content from real people, then you’re going to want to go.

[00:00:43] Tik TOK and follow Lexi. Her Tik TOK is at Lexi, L E X I M as in Meghan or merit, which is Lexi’s last name. So it’s Lexi, M merit, M E R R I T T. On tech doc. Okay. So a little bit about Lexi Lexi. Before we jump into the show, Lexie has worked in marketing for over eight years. She was the director of marketing and online course development for Rachel Simmons, who, if you don’t know who Rachel Simmons says, she is the author best selling author of books, odd girl out and enough as she is.

[00:01:24] So Lexia developed the online course curriculum. And digital strategies for Rachel Simmons courses.

[00:01:30] Lexi also, The pretty decent internet cafe, where she teaches creative thinkers, how to turn their dreams and ideas into businesses. Her two main offerings right now are a VIP day where she helps creatives outline a sustainable product or service offering and design a strategy to sell it.

[00:01:53] And her second offer is the study, which is a private membership space for creative business owners, freelancers, and people who like to make things. And you’ll hear Lexi talk a little bit about more, a little bit more about the study. Wow. It really can’t talk today. Um, later on in today’s podcast, I really admire the way that Lexi has structured her business.

[00:02:13] She gives herself a four day work week taking Thursdays off to have what she calls an intuition. And she built her offers around things that she loves, like teaching and working with other creative business owners, Lexi, and Lexi’s content really just speaks to my soul. I feel like we are one in the same person and so many ways, and I’m so excited to have her on the show.

[00:02:41] I hope you enjoy, please. Welcome Lexie Merritt, everybody.

Interview with Lexi Merritt

[00:02:47] Megan: Hi, Lexi. Thanks so much for being on the show today.

[00:02:51] Lexi: hi, thank you so much for having

[00:02:54] Megan: Yeah. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you about how to launch your first online course in a very simple and streamlined sort of way, because I think launching is a word that can sound really big and scary and intimidating, especially for anyone who is newer in their business and has maybe never launched a course before.

[00:03:19] So before we get into how to can, can you just give us a breakdown of like, what does launch actually mean?

[00:03:29] Lexi: Yeah. I get why it feels confusing, right? Cause you think about launching and like you think of like rocket ships and like NASA and things like that. But in the online business, Context. I think I’m launching is just like a collection of touchpoints. So it’s, it’s the same way where I always use the metaphor of like, if you were at a farmer’s market and people were walking by your farmer’s market booth, some people would just kind of walk by and just see it.

[00:03:58] And, you know, they would see like the little sign that you have posted up and they’d be like, oh, that’s cool. Like they’re selling strawberries. And they would know that just from your marketing materials on the outside of your booth. Whereas if they came up closer, you know, they might start talking with you, they might ask questions and all of those conversational touch points like them coming up and asking questions or reading a little piece of paper that you have, or taking a look at your selection in the online business world, all of those things can be.

[00:04:29] Either automated or like handled live. And so to me in launch is just that collection of touch points, whether it’s happening evergreen, quote unquote, so like completely automated everything from as soon as they fill out a form, the whole launch process starts or live where it’s like we’re doing this on March 8th, this on March night, et cetera.

[00:04:50] It’s just finding a way to have a collection of communications, assets, emails, social media posts, whatever that answer, all of the questions that somebody might have about your product or your service

[00:05:04] Megan: Hm. Yeah. I like that. That makes it sound so much simpler. When you say it’s just like touch points.

[00:05:13] What, what are those touch points?

[00:05:17] Lexi: So for me, I talk a lot about offer design with the people that I work with and the people that take my classes. So for, you know, offer design, being. What is it? Who is it for? Why does it matter?

[00:05:29] How does it work? How do I pay for it? Like, those are the questions that everybody’s wondering, or that they are asking before they make a sale, or before you buy something, right. Like when you’re buying a Fendi purse, you’re like, what is this? How does it work? Like, how does it open? Is this for me? Like, does it feel like the type of thing that I would wear?

[00:05:48] Do I think it’s cute? How much does it cost? You know, what’s going to happen after I pay for it. Is it going to ship to me? Can I leave with it today? And how, how do I pay for it? You know, like where do I give you my card? Is it cash only? Like, those are the same questions. So with a course, you’re wondering the same thing.

[00:06:03] It’s like, okay. So you’re going to teach me Facebook ads. How are you going to do that? Isn’t going to be. You know, in like a self paced thing, are we going to do it live? How do I know if I’m ready for Facebook ads? It’s usually with educational products like courses or membership sites. The big question that people are wondering is, am I ready?

[00:06:21] Is this right for me? Is it going to help solve my problem? And so I, I really believe that there are like ethical conscious ways to answer all of those questions, using these internet tools that we all have available to us, like emails and social posts and content and YouTube videos and whatever else.

[00:06:39] And so, yeah, there’s those questions, you know, what is it, how does it work? Why does it matter? Is it for me? The, the launch materials, you know, a sales page is just a bunch of sections and each section is dedicated to one of those questions, basically.

[00:06:52] Megan: So let’s talk about a scenario. Like let’s say I am brand new to online business. I’ve never created a course.

[00:07:04] I’ve never launched a course. I don’t have an audience, but I think that I want to sell a course. What is the simplest way to get started with that?

[00:07:18] Lexi: The least complicated way to launch your first online course is to do what I call a beta for the data. So you want to do a test run and you want evidence that people are gonna buy the course before you. And, you know, for the same reason you would want validation before you like went into a warehouse, let’s say you wanted to invent a pair of headphones the same way you would want validation that people were going to buy those headphones.

[00:07:44] Maybe you start a Kickstarter to raise the money. You can do the same thing with an online course because you want that validation. So for me, I believe in like radical honesty, radical transparency, I launched my business pretty decent, which is a membership site at its core. And the first five people that bought it were my friends and family who genuinely were active participants.

[00:08:07] Cause they wanted to learn the things that I was teaching. So I think, you know, people that feel like they don’t have an audience may have more of an audience one, then they might realize there are usually people around you. Especially if you’re in an industry, anyone who’s in an industry. And has been in an industry.

[00:08:23] You’re probably, you probably have peers who, who might be interested in the specialized knowledge that you hold. So I always say, start with like you know, a beta for the data, which just means pre-sell it gather, you know, work with a small group of people. Most likely tell them it’s the first time you’re doing it.

[00:08:41] Be really transparent and honest. Try to, you know probably end up doing it live. I recommend because, you know, I really, I mean, I’m kind of a stickler about online courses are like, you have to like teaching, like if you want to make an online course, you have to want to be a teacher. You know? And I think that’s the one thing that when I was studying courses before I started making them for people and for myself, I, nobody, I just felt like nobody ever talked about that.

[00:09:09] It was like the marketing, the sales, how to scale, how to get 110 K months or whatever it might be, but it was never.

[00:09:14] Okay. Like, what do you do once the people actually buy it? Like, how are you going to grow a community? How are you going to teach people? So I think starting mine is a really great way to do that.

[00:09:26] If your subject can work for it, which most of them can. And there’s a lot of benefit to prerecorded cause that, but, you know, even if you look at college professors who had to switch to teaching on zoom during the pandemic, or had to switch to online, there’s a huge difference between teaching live and teaching in that asynchronous format.

[00:09:47] So I think teaching live is my recommendation. So yeah, you would, you know, make up, make a bare bones launch, right? You would want a page that explains what your course is, how it’s gonna work, who it’s for what they’re going to learn. Literally just the syllabus, the same way you would. If you got hired to be like an adjunct professor at a college, you would want a syllabus.

[00:10:09] An outline of the sessions, whatever it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can’t be a Google doc. I know everybody says that, but it can, it can be a notion. Doc can be a Google doc. It just needs to build a case why this is going to be valuable for somebody. And then I would just talk about it for a week, two weeks.

[00:10:26] I would just insistently, you know, talk about how great this experience is going to be. And I would probably, I would close the doors. And so that’s, that’s a live launch, you know, at its core point. It’s just talking about something a lot and telling people when, when the deadline is and what you’re going to do is you’re going to have a small group, most likely of people who have signed on maybe it’s two or three, maybe it’s 10, 15, and you’re going to work with them in real time, going through that syllabus or.

[00:10:57] That course that you have, that’s living in your head and you’re going to get their feedback. Right. And so that’s why I really like teaching live. Cause it’s, you do get that feedback in real time and you know what questions people are asking as they go through the material. And that’s really helpful, especially if you plan on eventually making it, you know, that typical online course that people talk about where it’s like, everything’s already recorded.

[00:11:21] People can buy it any time you scale. This thing you have to start. I think with the people that are actually in the room and learning from the people that are saying yes to you, so do a beta, you know, and you and I, the reason it’s beta for the data is because that feedback is the data that you want.

[00:11:37] One, you want evidence that people are interested in this topic enough to pay for it. And two, you want to know as they go through this material that is living in your head, that you understand really why. What questions come up? Where are they getting stuck? What’s really easy for them. What’s not helpful.

[00:11:55] You know, all of those questions that you might have about being a teacher.

[00:11:59] Megan: Yeah, I love that you really do have such, just, you’re so great at making this sound like the simplest thing possible and maybe it is the simplest thing. Yeah, but I don’t hear many people talk about launching a course. Like yeah, all you need is a Google doc and like it’s not that much. It’s okay. I want to talk about the beta process a little bit more.

[00:12:21] So you said that that’s what you did with pretty decent, I guess, first of all, can you talk a little bit more about pretty decent and then how you got those first few friends and family members Bree just like posting on your personal social media, where you calling people. And then what was that beta testing process like for you.

[00:12:39] Lexi: Yeah, so the pretty deep, pretty decent is the name of my business. The full name is the pretty decent internet cafe. And it started as a mood board page on Instagram. Right when I graduated from college I was. I was in a really tight social, you know, college is a really intense social circle. And I wanted to be myself.

[00:13:00] Like I wanted a place to express myself without it being on my Instagram page where everyone could like see it and, you know, I’d feel very perceived. And so I made pretty decent, which was always like the name that I hadn’t used for everything. And I had to pick a company, you know, cause you make it like a business page.

[00:13:18] You have to pick the, what is it? And I picked internet cafe. Cause I thought it was funny and it just like worked like, just like evolved into that. And so it was a mood board page for many years, you know, I would just post pretty pictures and but I made a lot of friends through it too, you know, because when you’re doing that, when you’re posting.

[00:13:38] Things that you like all the time, you attract people who also like those things. And I was also running like bots, you know, that would like crawl like specific pages and go in like their photos. And then those people would come see, like, what is this page that just liked my photo, which is probably not recommended anymore.

[00:13:55] My engagement on Instagram is pretty trash because of it like the engagement rate, but whatever, I don’t care. Cause I made really good friends. Like I have friends still to this day who are like my close friends that I found through bots. So it’s fine. But it evolved into, it was a magazine next.

[00:14:11] It was a mood board and then it was a magazine, a digital like PDF that people could download that talked about working for yourself and creative work and interviewed musicians and artists and things like that. And then. I was already making courses as like a freelancer, I was like a contractor helping people produce courses.

[00:14:31] And so I decided to do it for myself, you know, that classic, like I’m going to work for myself, moment that people have. And it was I took the leap of faith in July, 2020, so men panini and yeah, like right at that like curve where everyone was like, okay, it’s getting bad again. And I was like, okay.

[00:14:50] And so yeah, we did. I, so I launched it right. And I’d launched it pretty messy. Like what we. You know, are talking about here to be fair. I was a launch strategist for a living, so it wasn’t as messy as it could have been. Like it was I can write sales pages in my sleep, you know, so it’s, it was very easy for me.

[00:15:10] But at the same time, it was also really vulnerable. So it’s much harder to do it for yourself than it is to do it for other people. But I essentially, I mean, I made a sales page that said join this club of people who want to work for themselves. And at that point it was just called being a member at pretty decent.

[00:15:29] I eventually named it the study. So the membership is called the study. And now, you know, over time through iterations, like literally two years of working with these people and answering their questions and teaching, you know, courses in this membership and whatever it’s evolved into something that makes a lot of sense to me.

[00:15:47] And then I can explain really well, but at the time I was literally. I don’t know we’re going to do like a six week course. I had, I had one course in my head called dream work life. And I wanted to do a six week course where we would talk about like how to find fulfillment working for yourself.

[00:16:04] And so I was ready to teach that. So I said, join this membership. It’s going to be $53 a month. And we’re going to spend the first six weeks going through this course. And then

[00:16:15] after that, we’ll figure it out, you know, and, and I opened the doors for a week and then close them. And I want to say, I made like three grand or something.

[00:16:26] I had two payment options. I had $53 a month or a whole year. So it was like 6 36. And then those people got like a two hour. One-on-one with me. So between those two, it was like at decent launch, but I, but those people are almost all of them are still in. So it actually, it’s like a very great, you know, amount of revenue that’s come from that.

[00:16:46] Cause it’s been two years almost with these same people. But they were like my early adopters and again, a lot of them were like people that I had gone to high school with or new through. Being on the internet, making those mood board pages from just being on Instagram and talking about creative work for however long.

[00:17:05] And I just made an offer and I think that’s really what it is to you just make it offer all the time. That’s all we ever do. It feels really vulnerable, but what we’re doing is saying, Hey, I want to make something. Does anyone want to buy it and doing that before you spend six months prerecording and scripting and hiring videographers and whatever else you have in your head, when you think about making a course is going to save you a lot of time.

[00:17:28] And a lot of heartache that could happen when let’s say you, you know, try to sell this thing. And then people are like, oh no, we don’t need that. We actually need this. Right. And you don’t know that until you start trying to sell things. And you’re in that conversation because the sales process is just a conversation.

[00:17:46] And so, yeah, that’s how it happened. I actually don’t remember the second part of the question. That’s a pretty decent,

[00:17:51] Megan: Yeah. Yeah, just, I think you’ve touched on the whole question. What would you say to someone? So you said that your first beta testers for pre the pre pretty decent,

[00:18:05] internet cafe, which is now the study came from

[00:18:07] Family.

[00:18:08] What would you say to someone who says I don’t have any friends and family that I know of who need or would want to buy this? W are there other. Good ways when you’re just getting started and maybe you don’t have an audience and you either feel like you don’t have friends and family who want or need what you want to sell, or you’re just maybe too embarrassed to put yourself out there and be vulnerable to those friends and family members. Yeah. What would, what would you say to somebody in that position?

[00:18:38] Lexi: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s fair too. You know, I, there’s a reason why I didn’t, I still, my personal Instagram is private. Like, you know what I mean? Like people have to want to follow my work if they have to follow my work manually, if you know, so the friends and family I’m talking about are people who went and had followed pretty decent when I made it a page about creative business, because they were like, oh cool.

[00:19:02] Lexi who I know is doing something that I’m interested in. You know, I talk to people, if you’re a welder, you may not have any other welders in your friends and family, you know, or people in your social circle. So if that’s the case, I do think building an audience, even a small audience versus important, mostly because you have to have.

[00:19:22] In order to people, to, for people to buy something for you, they have from you, they have to trust you. And so doing things which on the internet means creating content to build trust with people is going to be a really important first step. And luckily a lot of people who are really passionate about things, especially people who want to end up making courses probably end up talking about the thing that they’re passionate about all the time, regardless bef and a lot of people do that before they even think about monetization strategies like courses and membership sites.

[00:19:52] So if you’re not currently doing that, I think, yeah. Start with making some content. I mean, I have gotten so much engagement on Tik TOK and I say welder, because there’s someone on Tik TOK that I’ve been that I like made a video, like with telling, you know, using him as a breakdown for like, oh, this is how he could make a course.

[00:20:10] And he’s just making videos about welding. I was like, I don’t know anything about welding.

[00:20:14]

[00:20:14] You know, this is how you could monetize this page. You know, if you have a visual, if you have something, I think starting on something that is, or on forums, like starting places where people that care about the thing that you care about enough to teach it, finding them where they are meeting them, where they are, and just talking about it, you know, with passion, people, trust people that care enough to show up and talk about the things that they love.

[00:20:42] And so yeah, and that’s, that’s why it’s so important to you to, I think start businesses that are intrinsically interesting to you and intrinsically motivating. Cause like, if you’re trying to, you know, if you hate math, but you’re what you want to do, you know, you’re trying to start a business amount of counting or, or whatever.

[00:21:01] But you’re just doing that because you know that you can make money or you think you can make money. You’re not going to have the stamina or the energy, like literally the resources to do the work that has to be done, but it’s so easy to do that work, to be, you know, to be in conversation or to make content or whatever, when it’s much easier, I should say, it’s not so easy.

[00:21:21] It’s still hard because it’s so vulnerable and weird and whatever else, but it’s much easier to do that when the topic itself is interesting to you. And that you, you know, intrinsically motivating enough that you’re like, yes, I would love to talk about this all day and, you know, and get paid.

[00:21:37] Megan: Yeah, So you mentioned, okay, so we’ve been talking about doing a beta launch.

[00:21:44] Pre-selling your course, before you’ve actually created your course and then teaching it live to those beta students. What. All do you need to know or decide about your course before you do that? You mentioned that you need a page with the information and then obviously a way for people to pay, right.

[00:22:04] Are there other things that we need here? What are all the assets we have to prepare ahead of time?

[00:22:09] Lexi: Yeah, I think he needed a syllabus. You can put it in the context of teaching anywhere else. So I would say, you know, most people that think about making courses or thinking about adult learning they’re thinking about making courses for adults, a few piece. Some people are making them.

[00:22:24] Kids and teens, and that you can have, you have a very direct reference, right? Cause most of us were in school from K to 12. And so think about what your teachers have always done, right? Like what if you want to teach a class about a specific time in history, how did, how do you think your history teachers are prepared?

[00:22:41] They mapped out lesson plans and they thought about, well, what can you know, what discussions can we have in this class? What exercises can we do in this one? And that’s the same thing you want to do? I think the most important identity or the like archetype that you want to adopt, if you’re thinking about making an online course is you have to want to be a teacher.

[00:23:00] You have to think as if you are a teacher. So it should be fun to make a syllabus, right? Like what do you want people to read? What videos do you want them to watch? And again, the great thing about doing things live. It feels like you have to prepare a lot, but we underestimate how much time, especially when we do things live that like conversations that come up can take up.

[00:23:23] Right. So if I usually play on lessons, live lessons and like 15 minute blocks, I learned that from Rachel Simmons, who I worked with for a couple of years. And so I’ll do like 15 minutes to like 15 minutes and I’ll, I’ll switch usually between independent exercises and then conversation. So I’ll teach for 15 minutes and then we’ll bill have 10 minutes to go write something and then we’ll come back, talk about it for 15 minutes and then we’ll watch a video and then we’ll talk about that.

[00:23:50] And it’s, again, it’s just that basic kind of, and I don’t have all of that planned out before I start. We teach in semester. I teach in semester. So we’ll do like spring semester, summer semester, fall semester in the study. And I don’t have all of that planned out ahead of time, but because I have that structure, it’s not hard to throw a class together on a topic that I know a lot about.

[00:24:12] And so, yeah, I think he did a syllabus. That would be what I would think is really the non-negotiable because I think you need, in order for people to buy something from you and they need to have a clear understanding of what they’re buying. If you don’t put that breakdown of what they’re gonna learn on the sales page, I don’t think people are going to, as many people are gonna buy it as they could.

[00:24:31] And I think you’re going to get that question over and over again. So if you can say, you know, in video one in video two, even if it’s prerecorded, you know, in section one, you’re going to learn about this in section two, you’re gonna learn about this. That needs to be something that you could like either email to people or put onto a sales page in order to tell them what’s.

[00:24:52] And then just like you said, I think they need a way to pay for it and they need a, a place to go a page or whatever to learn about what it is.

[00:25:02] I’ve seen people do courses, zoom and Google drive folders have worked for people. When I were starting out with Rachel, who I worked with and we, you know, she had a, a national image. She had been on good morning America. She had New York times, best sellers stood a really strong audience. I had been waiting for her to do something like this.

[00:25:22] If you don’t know, Rachel Simmons is a, again like best-selling author and she’d written several books about how to raise or, you know, specific questions that people have about girls. So raising girls, parents of girls really trusted her. And we had just come off of a book tour. And when we were on the book tour, people were lining up to ask her questions.

[00:25:43] So when we came back, I was like, course like, obviously course, cause those people have questions even after reading this book. So why would they not want to do, you know, do a course with you? And we decided, you know, she was like, yeah, I agree. Like she had already been thinking about it. And so we made a lunch just like, you know what this is describing.

[00:26:01] And I used podia and I loved it. And Len the founder is a great resource. They have so many great resources and I think it’s like 39 a month for the starter. Don’t quote me on that. I may be wrong. But it’s great. And you can do your sales page on it. You can upload all your recordings. Like there are, you know, all of the tools and assets.

[00:26:21] So that’s usually the one I recommend to beginners. I use Kajabi which I also love like, love so much. I didn’t start using Kajabi until. I needed some more advanced features. And I wanted a little bit better email marketing, but I, you know, Kajabi is a little bit more expensive. I call it my internet rent.

[00:26:40] I’m just like, this is what it costs to run my business. It’s just my rent. It’s much cheaper than it would be for a real life place. So it’s fine. But, but yeah, again, I’ve seen people do it with notion documents, like just a big thing that tells you about it. Venmo link Venmo for business is a real thing now.

[00:26:59] And a Google drive folder that the, you know, recorded sessions live in. I make all of my workbooks back in the day, I used to have to painstakingly like create like editable PDFs in Adobe illustrator. I just do it on no shit now. Yeah, it took forever. I just did it on notion. You know, I make a notion document.

[00:27:19] I have like editable. You know, blocks that people can type in and they just duplicate it to their own Nosha it takes like three seconds. So it can be re it can be really simple. And I always try to under complicate it. Cause I think it feels really complicated, but again, just put yourself into that position of like, you’re just filling the room, like, and being a teacher, you know, and you can be a teacher, like all of your teachers started somewhere.

[00:27:45] None of your teachers probably ever felt like they were like, you know, they probably started every morning. If, I mean, I was raised by two teachers. I know they start most mornings. They’re like, yeah, well, we’ll see how today goes. And like, that’s just how it works. You know, that’s how everybody feels when they do the whole job.

[00:28:01] So so yeah, I think it can be

[00:28:04] uncomplicated.

[00:28:04] Megan: Yeah, Is there ever, I guess for someone who’s never created a course before it doesn’t have an audience is there any benefit to using a site. You you Demi or you tummy or Skillshare or something like that, would you ever recommend that instead of, you know, independently launching and selling your own course?

[00:28:27] And I guess if so, who is the best fit for which of those options?

[00:28:32] Lexi: Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, to me, It’s the equivalent of wondering, should I make my own website or should I sell, buy stuff on Etsy? It is a marketplace. And so I’m not sure how the payouts work on those sites. I, when I was searching for chorus platforms, I avoided ones that would take a percentage of sales just because I did like breakdowns of like what those would look like.

[00:28:58] And I was like, okay, I’m going to lose money if we’re using, you know, we can pay a little bit more and not have them take a percentage because the more we make, you know, I would just rather people not take a percentage to, I’m just like a stickler. And so I’m not sure how the payouts work. I mean, I’m sure if you go on the internet, you can find someone who’s making a crap ton of money, you know, just like you can on like medium or any of these sites.

[00:29:22] They get payouts. At the same time, you can probably find people who who’ve painstakingly made these, you know, prerecorded courses and then not made the money that they wanted to make. And so yeah, I mean, I think it’s an experiment, right? Like my philosophy with everything is it’s just an experiment.

[00:29:38] So it depends on the data that you want. I would think of a site like you to me, or a site like LinkedIn learning or whatever it might be. I would think of that as a lead magnet, more than I would a profit source. Right. So or an audience grower. So if you make I always talk about lead magnets, like pre-recs right.

[00:29:58] I’m always using this framework of like teaching in a college because I think with adult learners, that’s the closest reference that we have, which is what most online courses are. So I’m gonna use the welding example again, right? Like if I wanted to. I have like advanced welding classes. And I wanted to teach those to adults and I wanted to teach them to people who were in the welding industry.

[00:30:21] At some point I was going to have to also either me or somebody else is going to have to teach them intro to welding. Right. That’s going to have to be like the prerequisite course before they can take my like advanced welding techniques and like pay the big bucks for that. Cause it’s gonna like help them wake make way more money or whatever the promises of that course get better at the thing they like to do.

[00:30:43] And so in order to do that, I have to have that prerequisite. So if you want to take that prerequisite and put it on a site like you, to me, where people are looking for it, right where somebody intuitively is going to go, just like if I want, you know, Harry Potter, March, I go to Etsy. Like if they want.

[00:30:59] You know, welding courses, they might look on Skillshare or if they want to Photoshop course or whatever I would put the, the intro classes on there, for sure. If, if that’s something you want to explore, but again, I wouldn’t think about it. You know, maybe you get lucky, especially if it’s really good and it hits, it makes it big, but worst case you make a course.

[00:31:20] And at the end of it, or at the end of every video or in the comments or wherever you tell people where to go for the next one, and that one is hosted on your own site, or you tell people how to connect with you for more tips and you get them onto your email list because you want to capture those people.

[00:31:36] And I’m not sure that those sites always give you their addresses. I would actually doubt that they do. And so you really want to be able to email them, you know, you want to be able to stay in communications with them so that when you offer that.

[00:31:48] You know, intro or that next level class, you know, that 2 0 1 class or whatever you have those people who, you know, have taken the 1 0 1.

[00:31:58] So yeah, that would be my recommendation. Use it as an audience builder and not as a, not as the thing that’s gonna like make you super rich, if it happens to make you super rich. That’s amazing. But I would start with the expectation that you’re just getting data on, you know, you’re just attracting people who

[00:32:13] want

[00:32:13] to start.

[00:32:14] Megan: Yeah. That was also a good point that you said a minute ago about, because I don’t think any of those sites let you teach a live course.

[00:32:22] Right. You have to have everything pre-made so you’re right. You could just spend a bunch of time making a great course and then find that nobody buys it. So that’s, that’s a really good point. And I think that, yeah, I think that supports the idea that you said of like use it as an intro, if anything.

[00:32:40] Okay. So I know we have people in our audience who are a little further into their business, so, you know, they maybe have a blog and a small email list or a small social media following. Are there any differences in how you approach launching your first online course if you already have some of this in place?

[00:33:02] Lexi: Yeah. Yeah. So you so the example that I’m going to use is Sophia Amoruso, who wrote girl boss very famous entrepreneur for amnesty, all everything. And so Sophia, when she launched business class, her, her like online course venture maybe like two, a couple of years ago, she Sofia. Couldn’t like, I know who, who worked with her Audrey.

[00:33:25] She’s amazing. Audrey psycho and I think is her last name, but they can. She can’t come out and be like, yeah, I don’t know. You know, we’re just gonna wing it. Like she D she can’t, you know, that’s not the path that works for that level of

[00:33:38] notoriety, like of people that know her, like, and trust her one, people already trust her.

[00:33:43] So she already has some validation. I mean, millions of people bought her book. So we can assume based on that data, that some people, at least they’re going to buy this course. And I know it’s been very successful for her, but also like that level of that status doesn’t allow for her to wing it in the way that I could at my level.

[00:34:04] Right. And so what she did, I was in her like TestFlight group. And so she invited a select group of people to come in and just talk through with her live, every module of the.

[00:34:15] Experience. And so we would sit with her, like I was like, oh my God, I’m the coolest person ever. I’m on zoom with Sophia.

[00:34:20] Amoruso like, this is amazing. And I was like bragging about it for weeks. And we, you know, and she talked through like, you know, this module is about you know, how to set up and, you know, turn your, whatever, LLC, S-corp whatever. And so she had a group of entrepreneurs, they were like eight or nine of us.

[00:34:37] And she was like, okay, this is, I think what I’m going to say in the video. Right. Cause she’s going, pre-record it. And with amazing videography and set design and all of these things wardrobe of course. And she’s asking us though, just like she’s teaching live.

[00:34:51] What questions do you still have? Or what scenario are you struggling with, and then I can say okay, so I don’t know, like, should I be a sole proprietor or whatever, so then she can go back to the script and say, okay, remember Lexi was wondering my sole proprietorship. Let’s make sure we talk about that.

[00:35:07] Right. Because that’s going to be a question that people have as they watch these videos. And so it’s the same thing. I think you have to have a test. Like you have to have data before you go and record all of these things. You don’t necessarily, you know, you’re still taking a risk by. Prerecording and investing money into creating something.

[00:35:27] And then you know, she still took a risk by like launching it to the world, not necessarily knowing how it was going to go, but I think she had a lot of data, one from us being, you know, sitting with her and saying, this is amazing. Like I got so much out of this and to through like you know, again, those book sales and things like that, the number of people on her email list, I know Audrey, her launch manager did a ton of warmup, like did a really smart strategy leading up to it.

[00:35:53] And when you, again, when you have those resources to hire somebody or you have a team, or you have a large audience, you have a little bit more like leg room to, you know, do those traditional launch techniques, like, you know, throwing a huge webinar and then having hundreds of people show up and promoting it and running ads to it or whatever, and then selling your course and doing the thing.

[00:36:16] And that’s an extreme example. Again, that’s somebody who is, again, a New York times bestselling author. But even if you let’s say you have 5,000 people on your email list and you’ve been working for years and you’re well known in your industry, you might want to have a launch, you know, and work with a contractor, you know, to help you make it look really professional because you may already have that level.

[00:36:40] Professionality for lack of a better word like that people expect from you. And so that’s fair. Like there not everybody can or wants to be like, yeah, I’m just going to figure it out and like come along for the ride. I think that works for some people. It really worked for me. But it’s not necessary.

[00:36:56] Like I worked with Rachel and I managed like the sales pages and the follow up emails, you know, and things like that. I will say as an amendment to what we were talking about before, what everybody needs, I think you also need a follow

[00:37:07] up email.

[00:37:08] So those are very easy to write and in Kajabi and podia and all of these platforms, but after I buy, I need to know what to do

[00:37:16] next.

[00:37:17] So also very important is the post-purchase process. Right? I need to know like where do I go? When is the first call? Like, what do I do now? Because after people make that purchase, they’re going to be like vulnerable and be like, did I make it a good decision? So I think that’s also not. Very important part.

[00:37:36] But other than that yeah, I think, you know, you can make it a little bit more professional. you’ve probably seem, you know, sign up for two or three webinars and watch what happens. And you can see that there is a very formulaic process to a lot of these launches. You know, there’s a couple of weeks of up then there’s a lead magnet, like a webinar or a video series or a quiz or whatever.

[00:38:00] And then you’re going to get like six or seven or eight or 12 emails about this online course. They’re probably going to give you a deadline to decide by maybe not. And then you’re either going to buy it or you aren’t. Right. And that’s the same formula. Like it’s, it’s very much a tried and true thing.

[00:38:18] And you can use that. It’s, it’s a lot of elements. It’s a lot of copyright. That’s the strongest skill that I think is like the teaching and the copywriting is like the two skills that are most used in this online course production process.

[00:38:33] For sure.

[00:38:34] Megan: Yeah. I appreciate and love that you simplified all of this for us. I think it’s encouraging for so many people, myself included to know that, you know, you don’t have to have all of the technology set up. you can teach a course out of your Google drive, which is amazing.

[00:38:53] Are there some things that you think people commonly believe that they need for a course that you really don’t.

[00:39:05] Lexi: yeah, I think people, yeah, first course. I mean, I think people think they need. 10,000 email subscribers. And you know, it used to be, they would need 10,000 Instagram followers because God forbid you don’t have the swipe up on your Instagram story. Now everybody has a swipe up, you know, everybody has

[00:39:21] linked.

[00:39:22] So really now there’s no excuse. Right. But you know, on Tik TOK, you need a thousand followers. So you can put a link in your bio, right? But anytime you don’t have those things that you think you need, those limitations that you might have are just going to make you more creative.

[00:39:36] Right. So there’s always ways to creatively figure this out. You know, if you don’t have Kajabi, how are you going to send that confirmation email? You might just do it manually for your first course. Like, what if there’s like six people, you could send six emails, you know what I mean? You don’t need like MailChimp pro and to like learn how to be an automation expert before you teach your course.

[00:39:59] You just need to get people into a room with you. So you’re probably going to need zoom pro or app, or I, no, I don’t think that can do like meeting clients. Right. But one of these little tools you don’t have to use zoom. You’re going to need a way for people to pay for it. But I think people, yeah, I think people think they need huge audiences.

[00:40:19] I think they think they need to know down to the minute what’s going to happen in every single class. Like they think they need to like actually have the slides made for every class before. I’m like, I make my son’s like 30 minutes before I teach a class. Like I like make the outline like the day before.

[00:40:36] And I’m like, I know I’m also like very tight B. But you know what I mean? Like, I think people think they need like these like huge things. If you’re type a and you need it out done, like fine. But also I think. It’s kind of like when I work with service providers and they think they need like their whole contract, like reviewed by a lawyer and like exactly this whole huge, you know, HoneyBook or dub Sato process built out and they’ll spend like weeks spinning their wheels and waiting and trying to figure this out.

[00:41:06] And then it’s, I noticed the second somebody like wants to pay them. Like the second somebody is like, Hey, can you take photos for me? They’re like done. And they, they figured that out. Right? Cause there’s, someone’s like about to hand you money. You’re going to figure it out. Like you’re going to do the best.

[00:41:22] You can the least complicated process you can, and you’re just gonna do it so that you can do the thing that you want to do. The thing that you love to do and get paid for it. So if you really love to teach and you want to teach the only thing you need is to get people into a room and for a lot of people, zoom is that room.

[00:41:39] And so how do you get people on zoom? How are you going to collect payment from them? Again, you can, they can Venmo you right now because Venmo is for business, right? Like, I don’t know if it’s the best option. I would still rather use Stripe or PayPal, but if you need to, it’s fine. I’ve seen people do it.

[00:41:57] And, and yeah, you probably need to give them the recordings of the videos. I usually, I like to have workbooks, you know, but you need something you need stuff to do. I mean, you need to be able to teach. Right. But you definitely, oh, and you don’t need to know everything about the topic in order to do it.

[00:42:14] You just, I mean, the, again, the metaphor I use is like, you need to send the elevator one floor down. So if you’re at like the second floor and you can send an elevator down to the first floor and bring people up to the second floor with you, that’s enough. If you’re not the world’s best yoga teacher, who’s like completely enlightened and.

[00:42:32] I can do all these crazy poses, but you have figured out this, like how to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. You’re allowed to teach people something that is smaller than again, like the 4 0 1 major like graduate level course. Like you’re allowed to teach to beginners. If that’s a level that you’re really comfortable with and you can answer and you can help people learn, you know?

[00:42:57] So yeah, you don’t need to know everything about the topic. I mean, there’s no way every history teacher, you ever hadn’t knew everything about history. They probably had

[00:43:06] specialized knowledge about like one

[00:43:08] area.

[00:43:08] Megan: Yeah.

[00:43:09] I appreciate that call out because I am someone who does tend to stay stuck in the, like, I need to be an expert. Like I need to be the best in the world before I can even teach beginners. And you’re right.

[00:43:23] That’s absolutely not true. But I’ve struggled with that in the past for sure. Last question I have for you before we move on to the slow round, is in either of these scenarios that we’ve talked about, is there a place for social media ads when you’re first launching your, your very first online course?

[00:43:44] Lexi: Yes. So there are certainly places for ads. I’m not an ads expert, just like we’re talking about. I actually went to a conference once and like the man made us stand up and put our hands at our hips and say, I’m the world’s leading expert in whatever subject.

[00:44:01] And I was like, I hate this. I don’t want to be the world’s like, when I do teach, I’m like, I don’t really want to be an expert. Like I want to be like in a circle, you know, I just want to be like one person in a circle and like, The things that other people, I mean, that’s also a very like decentralized leadership way of going about it.

[00:44:21] Like, I have knowledge, you have knowledge, we all have knowledge and together we can build a knowledge network. I learned just as much, you know, I might like have slides about a subject, but I learn just as much from people as they learn from me. And so, yeah, so, and in terms of ads, again, not an expert ads I would use to build an audience.

[00:44:40] So I would not run ads to your sales page. If this is your first time launching an online course, I would run ads to. A lead magnet. So if you’re gonna have a webinar which is a common lead magnet, right? A workshop, a free, you know, free party or whatever you want to call it. If you’re gonna have a live event and it’s going to be fun and it’s four, it has that offer design, right?

[00:45:01] It’s just like the, the course has a who, what, where, when and why? The free thing has a, who, what, where, when and why? So what is this free workshop? Who is it for? What are we going to do? Why does that matter? If you have a page where all of that information lives in the form, you know, where people sign up for it.

[00:45:18] And same as the course, a confirmation email that tells them, reminds them like, great, you signed up. Here’s what to do next, because they’re still making that investment, even though it’s not, they’re trusting you with their email.

[00:45:30] You,

[00:45:30] you can do that. So you could run ads to that, right? But you don’t just want to run ads.

[00:45:35] Of course, to anybody you want to run ads to a very specific audience. So I would, you know, worst case, like least complicated thing I would try to play around in Facebook, audience manager, maybe watch a few YouTube videos or, or buy a course, you know, or whatever you want to do. Make a small audience of people who are in who you can confidently say, based on, what pages they’re following, what magazines they’re reading, where they are, whatever it might be.

[00:46:04] You can confidently say this group of people probably care about this thing. And you can invest a small, I wouldn’t invest 10 grand, but you can invest a small amount of money into. Inviting them to that free thing. So sending them ads about that free thing, because that’s going to get you email addresses and then those are going to be your leads.

[00:46:24] So those are in PPD, the people that you email about this course and the email is the most important thing. I don’t think you’d like, I think you can launch a course without social media. I’m not sure if you can launch a course without email. I haven’t figured out another way to do it. I’m sure people do actually.

[00:46:40] So let me not make that a hard and fast rule. There’s always somebody that you can find. I feel like the, well, I know a lady that doesn’t do social media and is a kajillion areas like the, everybody knows someone is true cause people exist. But I don’t know a lot of people who are Uber successful in the online course.

[00:46:56] Or I, haven’t heard a lot of examples. I’d love to hear examples so if anybody has one, please tell me. But I think you need leads, you know, and you need to be able to communicate with them. And it’s a lot easier to directly communicate with people through email than it is to rely on an algorithm, to show them the content that you’re making.

[00:47:14] So I think a lead magnet is really important. Not necessarily for a first launch, but it’s not going to hurt.

[00:47:20] It’s always going to help, I think. Cause it’s, cause again, you want to be able to email people. And so yeah, that’s what I would do. If you’re gonna run ads, I would run them to a free thing.

[00:47:31] cause you’re probably going to get more people that way.

[00:47:33] Megan: So not necessary for your first course launch, but it can be helpful to build an audience so that you can later sell your course launch your course to that audience.

[00:47:45] Lexi: Yeah. I mean, I, think of it as its own experiment. So what might happen if I spend $5 a day inviting people who like,

[00:47:55] I’m just going to keep using welders now, because I’m on that one. Like people who like, a welder’s monthly magazine and a couple of other welding pages, welders Facebook groups or whatever, what might happen if I invest $5 a day into inviting them to my free welding one-on-one workshop, I’m hosting on the state or my or even, you know, it doesn’t have to be live like my PDF ebook that I made about the best welding techniques, what might happen if I invite them to that through ads ads are a little bit complicated.

[00:48:25] I don’t speak them fluently. And so it’s hard for me to like, say like, oh, this is going to be easy. Like, I don’t necessarily think ads are going to be easy, but I also think that they can be a really They can be really beneficial, you know? So yeah, I would, I would say I just wouldn’t run ads to a sales page and I would never boost a post. Never boost your posts on Instagram. That’s the only nut things I know for sure about ads.

[00:48:49] Megan: That’s good to know. I’ve never done that, but I am curious why never boost your post?

[00:48:56] Lexi: I think it’s just like, it doesn’t actually work as well. Like I think I it’s just like, as Manuel is going to business.facebook.com and getting an ad manager and I think it’s almost like just a cash grab, like P they just know that people will try it, you know, and throw their card onto it. But if you actually want people to like see, and you want to be able to make a conversion on, you know, and tell it that you want people to do this thing.

[00:49:22] So I’ve just, that’s the one ad rule that I know I’ve heard so many times don’t boost your posts, go and do a real ad.

Slow Round

[00:49:29] Megan: So there just a few questions that we ask our guests for the slow round. The first one is what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments that you’ve ever made in your business?

[00:49:42] It could be an investment of money, time, energy, anything

[00:49:50] Lexi: Julia.

[00:49:51] It’s I spent 12 weeks doing it. And right when the pandemic started, so like March, 2020, it was actually the first event I held. So pretty decent, like the pretty decent internet cafe. And then there’s the study and the cafe’s open to anybody, right? So it’s just a slack community for people that work for themselves, people in creative business, you can go pretty decent.org.

[00:50:14] And so we have people in there. And so we that’s like where, you know, the first cafe event we ever had free and open to the public and we spent 12 weeks going through the artist’s way. And it has you write three pages by hand every morning, Julia Cameron does. That’s her Mo her method. And then you have one artist state a week and then each week you it’s, I think it’s fun to do with a group.

[00:50:37] They’re actually doing one again right now in the cafe. Each week, you, you know, you read a chapter, it’s actually a 12 week course in book form, and you, each week you read a chapter and it talks about like nurturing your inner artist and reconnecting with your creativity. And that process of writing morning pages has done more for my business than any course platform, anything.

[00:51:01] I mean, I’ve learned a lot from other people to be clear. But that process of like connecting with myself and like spending that time with myself every morning. Cause I mean, nine times out of 10, I either have an idea solve a problem, write an email, you know, whatever it may be. I just start writing.

[00:51:19] Cause I just clear my head of it, you know? Or sometimes I just get all the frustration or the inner stuff I have going on out. And then I’m able to think clearly and go to the whiteboard or have the client meeting or whatever.

[00:51:31] So

[00:51:32] highly, highly rated.

[00:51:33] Megan: Yeah. Second question is in the last five years, what new belief behavior or habit has most improved your life and or business? That might be the same thing that you just said.

[00:51:48] Lexi: morning pages. Yeah.

[00:51:49] But believe well, the habit morning pages. Yes. I think the belief is the experiment belief. So the, I think that’s just really transformed, like my personal and my professional life. And it, like, it can just be an experiment, you know? And I think a lot of the stuff we do is so vulnerable like making a Tik TOK video is vulnerable, , and sometimes we , don’t give that enough credit because it’s scary.

[00:52:11] It’s a put your face on a platform and make a video or whatever it may be. And like, what if it gets three views? Does that mean something about who I really am? Or can it be that the variables. Of that experiment, maybe the first three seconds of the video or the hashtags that I used, or the time that I posted.

[00:52:31] Right. All of those or the lighting, whatever it is, like all of those variables that go into that experiment have an impact on it. And so it’s, it’s never about me. Like, it might be about me. Like, maybe I’m just like, I, I didn’t speak clearly or whatever, but also like I’m not the only variable. And rarely it’s that people just hate me, you know, it’s actually that it wasn’t clear or the message didn’t come through or I wasn’t talking to the right people or whatever.

[00:52:58] It’s like rarely that people are like, oh, this person is just sucks. And like, I hate, you know, and that’s what it feels like when you look at something and see three views or when you will launch an online course and only one person buys it, it’s easy to make that mean like, oh, there’s no point of me doing it.

[00:53:13] Nobody cares, whatever. Maybe it meant that you didn’t have enough people on your email list before you launched it. Like maybe next time you need to get some more people maybe do need to run some ads or whatever, or make content, or, you know, have a, have a webinar first or whatever it might be.

[00:53:29] But you don’t know, you can’t have any of that data until you experiment, you know, like you, you have a hypothesis, but you don’t have any data to make those observations. So that one really helped me. I went back to like science fair in my head and I was like, what would I do if this was a science fair experiment?

[00:53:45] And that has really helped. Yeah.

[00:53:47] Megan: Last question for you for our slow round. How has a failure or an apparent failure set you up for success later in your business? Do you

[00:53:59] Lexi: Mm mm. Yes. Let’s see. I feel like my burnout stories, like my burnouts felt like failures. I left to work experiences before I ended up starting my own company. I was working my first full-time job out of college and my dad passed away and I just was like, I can’t come in here anymore.

[00:54:23] I like, I’m going to lose it. You know, I can’t go to the same place every day, which I already know about myself. And that boss told me to work from home. So that’s why I started working from home. And then I was working with Rachel and I just started burning out and I was making a lot of really careless mistakes.

[00:54:38] And thankfully Rachel’s like you know, self-empowerment like emotional intelligence genius, you know, and she’s done this work for a long time. So she was able to work through that with me. But you know, That burnout that I was experiencing, which those are classic signs of burnout, right? Like making a lot of careless mistakes.

[00:54:56] You feel like you’re going too fast. You’re apathetic. You have no intrinsic motivation to work. And then I went straight from Rachel to like being a full-time like contractor service provider. And so I was like signing these really big clients, but I had no boundaries. I wasn’t actually doing the thing I really wanted to do, which was teach.

[00:55:14] But each of those, again I wouldn’t know until I did it. And I learned so much from each of those jobs and pretty decent, we have a thing called the growth spiral. And so it’s like, no matter where you go there, you are almost.

[00:55:27] I’m never like, oh, linearly, we’re going to take you from a to B.

[00:55:30] I’m like, while you’re probably here and you might end up down here, but you’re actually, when you’re here, you’re still here. You might get to the next level, but you find yourself back at square one, but you still know more than you did before. So everyone, every time you like really fail or it just doesn’t work.

[00:55:46] And you’re like, oh, I learned nothing. You actually learned a lot because you have a lot of data from that failure. Like why, again, variables, why did it fail? You know, where are you not talking to the right people is something about the tasks that you’re doing, not fulfilling. And if so, what are they?

[00:56:04] And how can we design a life that doesn’t have so much of that, you know? Like so yeah, and those two, I would say my burnouts taught me a lot. My burnout experiences

[00:56:15] and they also gave me the language to describe burnout too, which has been really helpful and to see it coming, which is going to serve me. I’m sure. Forever.

[00:56:23] Megan: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Where can our audience find out more about you and pretty decent cafe?

[00:56:32] Lexi: Yay. Yeah, so you can follow me. So I’m pretty decent on Instagram. My work persona, right? My work, my work voice is pretty decent on Instagram, but I’m myself Lexie Amerit on Tik TOK. So it’s like a fine line. My Lexia Marin on Instagram is private. So it’s like a very interesting little conundrum, social, social whatever environment I’ve set up for myself.

[00:56:56] But yeah, you can follow me on Instagram at pretty decent. Tech-Talk Lexi M merit to ours to T. And on. And then also you can just come hang out@theprettydecentinternetcafeatwwwdotprettydecent.org. And you can learn more about the study there as well. I teach live classes almost every week in the study.

[00:57:17] This

[00:57:17] week we’re learning about systems and automation. So that’ll be fun actually. Yeah. This week we’re doing that. And then we have community support circles every Friday. And so a lot of our stuff happens live, but it’s recorded. So for people that are like living in London and can’t make those live sessions, they get a private podcast to listen to.

[00:57:35] And yeah, it’s really fun. It’s a really great community of creative business owners or people who want to be creative business owners, but who. Reject a lot of the like paradigms that society has put onto those identities. Like, it doesn’t mean that you have to be this, this type of way. You know, you can be neurodivergent, you can be queer, you can meet different than what you know, you see.

[00:58:02] And you can be critical of these structures and still run a really healthy and successful business because people have been running creative businesses long before, before, you know, all of this stuff was built around it. So it’s very fun. I like it a lot. I’m very proud of it. So

[00:58:18] Megan: Very cool. Well,

[00:58:19] Lexi: thanks for having me, by the way.

[00:58:21] This was so fun.

[00:58:22] Megan: Good. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. This was great. And

[00:58:28]

Outro

[00:58:31] Megan: Thanks so much for tuning into the dollar sprout podcast and listening to my conversation with Lexi. If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe or follow us on whatever podcast app you’re listening on now. And if you really enjoyed this episode, we would greatly appreciate it.

[00:58:49] Megan: If you would go ahead and leave a rating or review and let us know. Thanks so much for being here and I will see you next.