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- Who: Lauren Eckhardt
- Website: burningsoulpress.com
- Course Topic: Book writing
- Interesting Stats: $84,000 from first launch
Who are you and what course have you created?
What market does your online course serve?
The program helps impact-driven individuals identify their soul’s message through their life journey and share it with the world through the one tool that holds timeless power: a book.
This 4 pillar program is unlike any other writing program you’ve encountered. Our Soul Writer U-WIL Framework is about truly reflecting your soul’s voice, unearthing the message within influenced by your experiences and perspectives, and writing a book that leaves a lasting impact you are proud to have surpassed your time on earth. It’s about capturing your story to leave a legacy that creates generational change.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
You’ll write a book that truly reflects your most authentic self and showcases the power of your life journey— something that you won’t ever regret writing. It also allows you to step into the nonfiction author path for the first time with complete confidence, knowing that your book will reach those that it was meant for with total support and education in publishing, marketing, and PR strategies to make the biggest impact possible.
How did you get into the market?
There are so many programs today encouraging people to hurry up and write a book for prestige or clout. I wrote a book and wrote it too fast. I made a lot of mistakes early in my author career. The thing is, once you write a book and put it out in the world, you can’t take it back. You can’t sneak into every person’s house who bought the book and steal it. Once it’s out into the world, it’s there forever. Getting passed from person to person. And it’s one of the easiest ways to have a lot of regrets and fold up your author career forever.
I wanted to take a different approach – I wanted people to dig in deep to their core and write a book that is most reflective of their truest selves. I wanted to have stories in this world that bridge deep connections and capture the lives that we live because most of us go through some truly incredible feats in life. We overcome, we survive, we thrive. And by sharing these stories, we can inspire strength in others who need to realize that they’re not alone and that there is hope on the other side.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
I’m a big fan of education combined with community and an online course allows both to take place. Plus, it’s easier to reach people on a global scale.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
There are always some nagging thoughts related to confidence and imposter syndrome when sharing anything big. What if people don’t like how slow I speak; or if they think I speak too big; what if they hate my accent; or what if what I’m saying doesn’t resonate with people.
But the thing about working with so many clients one-on-one, that I’m learning is it’s easy to do a course when you pretend you’re just speaking to one of your private clients and telling them exactly what you would be anyway. There will always be people who don’t connect with you, but the ones who do are exactly the ones you were meant to help.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
My confidence in my purpose in this life is greater than any fears or lack of confidence I could have. I’m never going to be perfect, and if someone wants perfect, I’m not the right mentor for them. I stutter and I go off on tangents– but I’m also incredibly passionate about the words I’m speaking and knowledgeable in what I’m teaching through experience. I care about people writing their book just about as much as they could care about sharing their own stories. When you are aligned with your purpose, nothing can stop you.
What’s your online course like?
The course material is presented in video format from our team of experts in messaging and connection, publishing, marketing, public relations, and business. Each section of the course includes examples, templates, and free resources developed by Burning Soul Press or available to authors on the internet. It also has a private community on Facebook so they can meet and connect with other writers and live video training that takes place.
How long did it take you to create your course?
It took about a month each time, mostly just in outlining the content, building slides, developing supplemental material like worksheets and workbooks. First I worked out the framework that I wanted to create (U-WIL – Unveiling the Embers, Writing with Purpose, Igniting the Impact, and Lighting the Way) that would take my ideal client from the place of struggling or pain to a place of freedom and confidence in their writing journey.
Then I broke down each section, working in the same way – what place are they in and what are they struggling with before this module begins and where do I want them to be by the end, and how can each module build on top of each other to reach the ultimate goal.
Then I outlined the various videos, and either recorded them myself or had team members who are experts in those areas take the lead to bring it all together in a module.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
We’ve been fortunate so far that the majority of our sales have been organic. We are just now branching out into ads, so time will tell to compare the two. Normally it would be a matter of us posting on Facebook and Instagram, personally and professionally, to gain leads. We’ve also partnered with organizations in the past to bring people into the course.
Do you have a lead magnet?
We always have a lead magnet up and swap it out regularly. Usually, it’s a downloadable guide, but we also do free workshops or mini-courses. The lead magnet brings people to our mailing list which is an important part of the funnel, allowing us to get in front of them when we want to without being dependent on social media algorithms. It helps us convert cold traffic into warm leads.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
Organic by word of mouth and tapping into our network has worked the best for the past 18 months. However, we’re beginning to switch to ads, so we will have a comparison soon. As we’ve nailed down more of what we want to do, we’re more confident in extending the reach of our brand in new avenues.
What online course platform are you using?
For the Soul Writer Journey, we are using Searchie with Kajabi. We also developed a tool for authors interested in self-publishing, and for that, we use Process Street.
Kajabi is one of the top online course platforms used by successful course creators interviewed on coursemethod.com. Kajabi includes email marketing and other tools that make it easy to run your entire business from their platform.
- Price Range: $149 to $399/month
- Most Popular Plan: Growth Plan at $199/month
- Annual Discount: Yes, take 20% off!
- Free Trial: Get a 14-day free trial (credit card required)
Do you like it?
I am a serial program-tester, so I have done various trials or months in about every platform that exists from LearnDash, Membervault, SamCart, Thinkific, AccessAlly, Kartra, Teachable, etc. They all have their pros and cons depending on what you need and what your goals are.
I do like Searchie’s functions in searching for content and transcribing the videos and feel they may eventually develop more over time to be more of an all-in-one, but for now, Kajabi is enough with all the features it has.
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish the sales pages could be designed a bit more as though you’re building a WordPress site and more flexibility in different builder elements.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
With Searchie, it was the transcription portion and the fact that it was user-friendly with a quick setup. With Kajabi, it’s the all-in-one feature including setting up easy email marketing automation within each sales page.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
Honeybook is our client management system, which I love since it allows us to use a scheduler as well as track invoices, proposals, notes, and emails.
Rippling is the backend tool that allows us to manage the team that runs our online business, including payroll.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
My favorite of all time is James Wedmore’s Business by Design. He continually gives in to his training programs, adding more content all the time. It is the single most comprehensive training I’ve found, and I’ve taken a lot because I love personal development opportunities, especially when they help in entrepreneurship.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
Early on, I partnered with a coaching organization that fed people into our programs. Although it was a lucrative approach and helped us get the business off the ground, I gave them too much control in the sense of them being the ones to talk to prospective members, which led to the exchange of information that wasn’t true.
Additionally, their values were very opposite of ours, which led us to receive some people that were in the program not for the right reasons.I learned to be way more protective of our content and choose who we may partner with in the future if we ever take that route again. - Lauren Eckhardt Click To Tweet
You have to be as protective over your brand as you would be of your children.
Please share some idea of revenue.
When we did the first launch of the program, we had a total of $84,000 from the course sales. We are currently in process of overhauling it and will be launching it out again here shortly as part of a bigger funnel.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
When we launched the course, it was our first higher ticket offering. Now our business has shifted so much that it’s actually one of our lower-ticket items. However, at the time, it gave me confidence that we had something powerful that we could offer.I don’t remember if I did anything fun with the financial gains, but I do remember how much more confident I felt that we had something that could help people, and that was the best feeling. - Lauren Eckhardt Click To Tweet
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
We’ve been able to hit over $500,000 in revenue within the first 18 months of business, and that is something that blows me away. I couldn’t have fathomed hitting those numbers in a book coaching company when I first started. At the time, I was selling lifetime memberships to a mastermind for $97 and celebrating like crazy when someone paid for that.
I didn’t expect that someday people would pay $1000-$2000 for a course that I created.It’s realizing your worth in what you offer, letting go of not having certain credentials or being exactly like someone else, and trusting that what you bring to the table is unique, proven, and powerful. - Lauren Eckhardt Click To Tweet
It takes time to build it step-by-step.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
It made me see that I operate on a framework, and knowing that I have my very own framework that I can apply to help others is insightful. It was proven in 1:1 work, but bringing it out into a course is fascinating knowing that many people can apply it themselves and be successful. When you have intellectual property like that, it just makes the years of experiences, failures, successes, and knowledge gathering worth every bit. It’s as though fully realizing the scope of our journeys and how they play unique roles in discovering our purpose.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
Most of my memoir clients are very hesitant when first starting out in sharing their story and committing to a program that may help them. On average, I spend the first 2-3 months helping them overcome their fears before they even get started in the process. I had one client who had to battle through the mindset challenges but also had to convince her family that she should do this. She faced a lot of naysayers but committed herself to the program. Now she’s a published author, quit her teaching job, and is traveling to different areas speaking with groups that coincide with her message and mission. She’s on fire for what she does and is already planning her second book. Success stories like that are the ones I live for.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Identify your true message (what I call your soul’s message, the one that’s your purpose to bring into the world) that can then feed into your mission. If you aren’t doing something that truly lights your soul on fire, you will reach burnout. It can get murky and choppy in these waters quickly, especially when it feels like there are sharks swimming all around you.If you trust your own light in guiding you to where you are headed, you’ll be set up for success so much more than most people who don’t have a clear vision of what that is before they begin. - Lauren Eckhardt Click To Tweet