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- Who: Sagan Morrow
- Website: saganmorrow.com
- Course Topic: Home-Based Business
- Interesting Stats: Saves her clients 500 hours/year
Who are you and what course have you created?
I teach busy, time-crunched solopreneurs how to build their own successful home-based businesses—without overwhelm or burnout. I specialize in productivity tips and action-oriented strategic planning for multi-passionate creatives. My signature program, Productivity Powerhouse, helps clients save 10+ hours every week in their business (and ensures you have the energy left over to make great use of that time!).
I have over a decade of experience as a freelance writer and have been teaching online courses since 2016. When I’m not teaching solopreneurs or doing freelance work for my own clients, I write romantic comedy novels and host the Indie Author Weekly podcast.
What market does your online course serve?
Clients who join Productivity Powerhouse are typically overworked and overwhelmed. They enjoy being their own boss and they aren’t opposed to working hard, but they struggle to figure out what to focus on. They don’t have a clear strategy in place to help them stay on track with their goals and priorities.
Productivity Powerhouse empowers them to improve confidence, boost motivation, take back control of their time and energy, and get more done in less time—without the burnout.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
The average person who completes Productivity Powerhouse saves 10 hours every single week in their business (with the energy you need to make great use of those hours). Plus, it’s quick and straightforward to implement what you learn, so you can see results immediately! Just listening to a few of the five-minute lessons and incorporating a couple of strategies can save you 5 hours/week in the first couple weeks of joining the program.
How did you get into the market?
I have been freelancing and working from home (both part-time and full-time) since 2008. My business has pivoted a lot over the years because I am very multi-passionate! And the truth is, I didn’t start out very productive. I was constantly putting out fires and feeling exhausted and burned out for a long time. I knew something needed to change, so I began learning about productivity and creating systems and strategies that worked for my unique situation and learning style.
Becoming more productive was really the only way that I could manage to do all the things I want to do. Improving productivity enabled me to write and publish seven novellas within two years, all while doing my regular freelance work, teaching online courses, starting a podcast, and making time for hobbies and socializing.
The more that I continue on with my business, the more questions I’ve received from other people, asking how on earth I manage to do it all! It just made sense to combine all of that knowledge and experience into a practical, hands-on e-course—Productivity Powerhouse—that you can adapt to your own unique situation and customize to your business.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
My very first online course, quite a few years back, came about after I wrote a book about my experiences with freelancing (The Business of Writing & Editing). That book is part memoir, part how-to guide. And new freelancers absolutely loved it, and they wanted more of the same! More anecdotes, more real-life examples, more practical tips, and templates and strategies, and step-by-step guides.
From there, it just made sense to start teaching online courses. My clients loved the programs I created, so I kept creating more and more based on what they wanted to learn about (such as the Goodbye 9 to 5 masterclass, which teaches you how to quit your day job and start working from home full-time within three months).
There is so much that we can learn from one another, and there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. If I can share my experiences with other people in similar situations, so that they can make more progress, faster, without making all the mistakes I did… well, that’s very beautiful. That’s very fulfilling. It’s wonderful to support other people in this way and help them create a life and business they love.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
I think we all experience confidence issues and insecurities from time to time! But frankly, as someone who has been freelancing for so long, I’m used to recognizing when those struggles and fears arise. Once we identify those feelings and concerns for what they are, we can do something about them.
If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?
When moments of doubt come up for my online courses, I get at the root of where my doubt comes from. I also like to go through the entire program, myself, to get the full user experience. And I routinely check in with my clients to see how they’re doing, and what I can do to always make my programs even better. That makes my online courses almost a collaborative experience, which is absolutely wonderful.
I want my clients to succeed—that’s the most important thing. So, if there’s another lesson or resource that will help them out, then I’m happy to create that for them.
What’s your online course like?
Productivity Powerhouse is designed to work for any learning style, to make it as easy as possible for clients to go through it, regardless of how they learn. It’s also designed for accessibility, to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing don’t have to miss out on the information.
Productivity Powerhouse features downloadable audio lessons (so you can listen to it like a podcast if you choose), as well as word-for-word written transcripts. Many clients like printing out the transcripts and putting them in a binder for easy reference.
This program also includes flow charts and diagrams for visual learners, and worksheets and cheatsheets to make it quick and easy to take action on what you learn in the program. There is also an action step associated with each lesson so that you know exactly what to do, every single step along the way.
A few examples of the things you learn and do inside of Productivity Powerhouse:
- Productivity assessment and strengths/weaknesses assessment
- How to deal with burnout
- Recalibration matrix
- Task list organization
- Time management techniques
- Work/life balance
- Business planning & goal setting
There are also motivational pep talks and real-life behind-the-scenes examples of how your fellow productivity powerhouses have implemented the program into their own business, so you can get inspiration from them, too.
How long did it take you to create your course?
As I mentioned earlier, Productivity Powerhouse is a collaborative experience, and I am always updating it and making it even better! But in the beginning, I outlined what I wanted to include in the program based on
- a) what I’ve learned over the years, and
- b) the questions I’ve received from my clients (especially the things they’ve struggled with the most).
It took me about a month to create that first iteration of the program, and then I had several beta testers go through it and give me feedback.
Even during that first iteration, clients were already saving five to 10 hours each week in their business as a direct result of Productivity Powerhouse. That was back in 2019, and it has undergone several revamps since then.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
My very first e-course was email-based! I delivered it solely via email, rather than having it on a particular platform. I sold it for $49, and the first few sales were from people who had read my book (The Business of Writing & Editing). That particular e-course was sort of a more comprehensive version of the book, so it was perfect for those readers to take.
Do you have a lead magnet?
Yes! My time-saving tips cheatsheet is one of the resources you get when you join Productivity Powerhouse, but you can also grab it for free here. It features 23 ways you can start saving hours each week in your business—right now!
I love having the free lead magnet because it enables people to learn about and join Productivity Powerhouse at any time. It helps them get a “sneak preview” of what I have to offer, so it makes the decision to enroll in Productivity Powerhouse that much easier.
Also, doing it as an evergreen option works for my own energy levels much better than if I did as an open-and-close, live launch. Energy management is an important piece of what I teach in Productivity Powerhouse, and it has made a huge difference in my own life and business.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?Podcast interviews and collaborative webinars with other business owners are the best traffic strategies for me. - Sagan Morrow Click To Tweet
Like the free lead magnet, it gives potential clients the chance to “get to know me” before they buy.
What online course platform are you using?
Teachable, which I like. It’s fairly intuitive and works well for my purposes.
Teachable is one of the top online course platforms used by successful course creators interviewed on coursemethod.com. It is very easy to set up, build your site pages with, and the course area looks great.
- Price Range: $0 (+ transaction fees) to $299/month
- Most Popular Plan: Pro Plan at $119/month
- Annual Discount: Yes, take 17% off!
- Free Trial: Try out Teachable’s core features for free
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish there were more analytical features, so I can have a better idea from a data standpoint about what’s going on when clients are in my programs.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
Teachable happened to be recommended to me by someone else, so I went with it! I haven’t used any other e-course platforms, so I’m not sure if another one would be a better fit.
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
I love ConvertKit for email marketing, MeetEdgar and Planoly for social media scheduling, LeadPages for capturing leads, Demio for hosting webinars, and Acrobat Pro for creating resources in my programs.
What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?
Launch Your Signature Course, Webinar Rockstar, and Evergreen Engines by Mariah Coz are excellent programs. I also adore the ‘We Should All Be Millionaires’ club by Rachel Rodgers and highly recommend it.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
From an online course perspective, charging too little! Historically I’ve kept my prices for online courses lower, to make them more accessible for more people. However, the problem with low prices is twofold:
- You, as the course creator, are not being paid what you are worth and what the e-course is truly valued at (which is also a problem when you factor in other costs associated with running an online course), and
- The client is significantly less likely to actually go through the lessons and implement what they learn.
That way, clients of all budgets can still afford my programs, and they will also be committed to following through on the program—and the program is actually priced at its value.
Please share some idea of revenue.
Because of the different facets of my business, and the different areas that I focus on from one month to the next, this varies considerably. However, I see about a 2% conversion rate on my lead magnet. At this point I can pretty much guarantee to bring in a minimum of $1,000/month from sales of my online courses; some months it might be a good bit more, depending on whether my online courses are what I’m focused on promoting compared to another part of my business.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
The money I earn from my online courses enables me to set aside large chunks of time to write and publish romantic comedy novels. I love that my e-course business helps provide me with a healthy financial foundation for fulfilling my author goals!
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
The numbers I want to share are from my clients: 500 hours. That’s 10 hours each week that my clients save as a direct result of Productivity Powerhouse, which adds up to 500 hours saved every single year!
That’s the kind of number I care most about: what’s working for my clients and the results they get from taking my online courses. That is what online courses are really all about… changing lives.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
I love teaching and sharing what I have learned with other people, in a way that they can customize and apply to their own situations. It’s a new and fascinating way for me to be creative in my business, which is a lot of fun! Being a course creator has positioned me as an expert in my field.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
One of my clients joined Productivity Powerhouse during the pandemic and has three children, and she was still able to save 10 hours/week because of the program. I love that! It’s proof that the strategies work and can be applied, no matter what’s going on in your life and business. Read her full story.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Creating an online course is incredibly fulfilling and wonderful, and also, it’s not for everyone! If you don’t enjoy teaching, you probably shouldn’t create an online course.
Think about what kind of teacher you are, and what methods of teaching will be most effective for helping your clients. Too often, course creators focus on the marketing side of an online course, without making sure that they are creating a comprehensive curriculum.