- Who: Ashley Monk
- Website: training.ashleymonk.com/join and ashleymonk.com
- Course Topic: Online Marketing
- Interesting Stats: $500/month from launch for founding members
Who are you and what course have you created?
Hey, I’m Ashley Monk! I’m all about teaching local business owners online marketing strategies to get clients WITHOUT feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. In my membership the #LaunchLocal Lab, I teach solopreneurs & small business owners how to market with the proven 4 step framework I’ve used on all my agency clients.
What market does your online course serve?
My course is designed for local business owners that need help following a proven online marketing strategy to grow their business. Basically, instead of searching for all the answers, I’ve created an easy to follow, step by step plan of EVERYTHING you need to do to create the foundation to market your business online. From video explanations, screen shares on what to do next, and step by step action plans to share progress on in our Facebook group, our course really makes it simple to learn how to get leads online.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
The biggest benefit of our course is getting the ‘done for you' systems & templates. That way business owners can seamlessly learn & integrate new marketing processes into their business. From templates that are completed for you, showing you how to translate marketing for your industry, to examples of different software solutions, we take the guesswork out of marketing.
How did you get into the market?
Because I own a digital marketing agency, I had to turn away countless clients that couldn’t afford our services. But so many of them had the same initial issues that needed to be addressed before we took them on as a client. I created the membership as an option to help small businesses get marketing at a price they could afford, but at the agency level quality. Considering this framework has worked for the agencies I worked with that ran presidential campaigns, influencers, myself, and now a number of students – I know it’ll work for anyone if they go through the process!
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I saw a huge need for small business owners, especially given the pandemic, to market their business online. Because I continue to get asked many questions over and over again, it just made sense to make what I was already teaching more accessible. Now, the same level training & consulting I give to my agency clients is available for small business owners too – without the price tag. The biggest thing is just taking the time to implement it!
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/ launched it?
Absolutely. I think anytime you step into uncharted territory imposter syndrome can set in. Because I run paid ads for a lot of other course & membership creators, it was nervewracking to put myself out there as the face of my business for the first time.
Because of the nature of what I do, I didn’t struggle to put it together, but I did have a huge case of imposter syndrome. I had a few moments where I debated even continuing to create the course at all considering there were so many people doing similar courses. But after realizing when talking to local business owners they still felt stuck and wanted my help, I knew I needed to get over it. After all, if I could help just one person, I knew I’d be successful.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
The immense need & demand for something like this to exist. After turning away clients & not being to serve them all while knowing I knew what they needed, I knew I had to provide a solution.
What's your online course like?
Our membership & course combines video teaching, screen share demonstrations, downloadable action guides, knowledge assessments, & a supportive Facebook community with peer feedback and Q&A calls to best support people going through it. We’ve also got amazing templates that you can copy and paste to just have your marketing done for you!
How long did it take you to create your course?
We actually launched our course backward. We did a ‘founding members' launch where we pressed the content & created it around the original members, in order to provide the most value. Each week we dripped out content, and based on the questions of the original members, we curated everything inside around them. It took about 8 weeks to finish it after we launched it!
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
We mostly marketed our membership to immediate prospects we knew it would be a fit for during the pre-launch. Then, when we finished the product, we began running ads. The initial campaign was ALL guerrilla marketing until we determined who our target market was. As we launched most recently, we ran paid advertising to a webinar campaign and nurtured the leads with email marketing.
Do you have a lead magnet?
We do! We used the webinar as a free marketing masterclass and we educated the people who showed up on the value of how we could improve their marketing. It was so valuable because it allowed them to begin to trust me, my teaching style, and gave me an opportunity to sell people right then & there!
What's the traffic strategy that works best for you?
Building our email list through Facebook ads for our masterclass has been the quickest and most effective way to fill our course. We’ve also done some word of mouth & email marketing for prospects we’ve had in the past we’ve felt this has been an amazing fit for!!
What online course platform are you using?
We use Kajabi & love it just because it’s so easy to have everything in one place!
It saves us a lot of time from being able to toggle back and forth between multiple platforms, so it’s pretty efficient for our whole team to use.
Are there any features you wish it had?
The one feature that would be really helpful would be a click to purchase integration with Stripe. Leadpages allows you to purchase with one click one time. I have yet to encounter a platform that allows you to purchase a subscription with one click. It’s one less barrier.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
Ultimately, it was the best course platform for us because it came down to having everything in one place. Though it’s not the most user-friendly solution, it saved us a ton of time from moving things around!
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
For our membership, we primarily rely on Kajabi. For the agency, we utilize a number of resources from ClickUp, Dubsado, Zapier, MailerLite PandaDoc, and more to name a few. Since everything we do is online, we’re pretty tech-heavy in the house!
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
I highly recommend going through Tribe by Stu McClaren. Most of my colleagues who have created thriving membership programs rave about the program. Stu has an amazing launch blueprint that’s kind of written the handbook for launches.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Sometimes you just have to start! I’ve made plenty of mistakes from unrealistic expectations to going all in too soon. The biggest one has been practicing creative avoidance.My biggest piece of advice is to stay out of your own head, and move with the momentum. -Ashley Monk Click To Tweet
Please share some idea of revenue.
Our first month with only the founding members we brought in $500/month, and we used that to develop the content & overall framework. This year our next launch we plan to scale to $5k and then 10k by year-end.
Please tell us a little about what the money you've earned from your course has done for you.
It’s been amazing to have a revenue stream that funds other areas of our business. That way we don’t have to stress about lead generation.Sustainable income is a comfort to have because we can really focus on better serving people with that commitment. - Ashley Monk Click To Tweet
It’s been amazing & such a blessing for my family. We’re going to Florida next week. I don’t have to worry about constantly grinding because of the residual income the membership brings in.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
There are plenty! My#1 recommendation is paid traffic, paid traffic, paid traffic. I’m an ads strategist & run ads for other clients, so I just followed my own advice. Despite having no audience for my personal brand, I grew my list to 500 in 7 days. I accomplished that by investing $1000 in webinar registration ads to fill my course. There are organic ways to go, but this is the fastest.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
It’s given me a passion that I monetized for my business.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Start before you’re ready. Sometimes, you just have to go with it, and figure it out on the way! I wish I would have started sooner and just went after it.