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- Who: Tyler Garns
- Website: boxoutmarketing.com
- Course Topic: Keap/Infusionsoft Expertise
- Interesting Stats: Membership has been selling well for 5 years
Who are you and what course have you created?
I am the Founder & CEO of Box Out Marketing. I’ve been in the small business Sales & Marketing Automation space for about 15 years and online marketing for over 20 years. At Box Out Marketing we help small businesses automate their sales, marketing, and workflows with a software called Keap (formerly Infusionsoft). About 5 years ago we launched a membership site called “Success Lab” which contains multiple training courses on how to use Keap.
What market does your online course serve?
Our Success Lab courses teach small business owners how to utilize Keap to automate their businesses. Each course contains an “Executive Overview”, a “Training” section, “Step-By-Step Launch Guides”, “Business Scenarios”, and a certification exam.
The Executive Overview allows the business owner to get a good understanding of what’s possible without having to get into the weeds. The Training section is the deep dive training on how the software features work, explanations of all the settings, and more. The Launch Guides allow members to follow along step-by-step to build specific campaigns. And the Business Scenarios help them understand when and where they would use certain features or campaign strategies.
What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?
The biggest benefit of taking the course is that small business owners get a deep understanding of how to leverage the power of Keap to grow their businesses. By learning what the software can do, they also learn a ton about marketing and sales strategy. Once they put all these pieces together, they can run and scale their business much more efficiently because so many critical things are happening for them.
How did you get into the market?
In 2007 I was hired on at Infusionsoft and eventually became the VP of Marketing before I left in 2012. While I was there I developed a strong passion for small business and for Infusionsoft (now Keap) and decided I wanted to stay involved even after I left. So, I started an agency serving Keap customers.
Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?
As an agency serving small businesses, I knew that our clients would be most successful from our services if they actually learned how to utilize the software instead of remaining dependent on us or anyone else. I also knew that there were so many people out there that could get so much more value out of the software if they only knew what was possible and how to achieve it.
Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?
For sure. I think it’s normal for us to second-guess ourselves. I had many times where I wondered if people would even buy my course or appreciate the content.Those doubts caused me to delay creating it over and over it. I’ve found that public deadlines really help. -Tyler Garns Click To Tweet
I had an opportunity to speak at a large event. We announced to the audience beforehand that we’d be launching something big at that event. The fact that we declared it publicly forced me to buckle down and get the work done.
What’s your online course like?
Our course is mostly videos of recorded PowerPoint presentations and videos of screen shares where I’m walking the students through aspects of the software. We have a quiz at the end of each course that allows people to get certified on that aspect of the software. We don’t have a whole lot of text in our course.
How long did it take you to create your course?
It took about a month to create the first course and then it took about one more month to create 3 additional courses. The last two courses in our membership didn’t get completed for a couple of years. I planned the content of the courses out in a spreadsheet at first.
I know the high-level structure I wanted with the Executive Overview, Training, and other modules. Then I broke down the Training module into the individual lessons that made sense. And I bullet-pointed out in the spreadsheet the key learnings for each lesson.
Once it was all organized in a spreadsheet I created a PowerPoint template that I could use for all the lessons and started filling in the blanks. I actually use Keynote (on a Mac) instead of PowerPoint. Keynote has a built-in recording feature. So, I just recorded the lessons right on my Mac and then uploaded them into our membership platform.
Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).
As I mentioned before, we first offered our course at a live event where many people from our industry were gathered. That was nice because we were able to get a large number of people in all at once. We also have an extensive email list that we promoted to at the same time. We offered a small discount and some bonus content to all the people who signed up in that first group.
Do you have a lead magnet?
We have a handful of different lead magnets we use to capture leads and then nurture them before promoting the course. Those lead magnets are all related to the software we provide training for. We have an ebook called “The 18 Keys To Getting Results With Infusionsoft”, an audit/checklist called “The 37 Point Infusionsoft Audit”, another checklist called “33 Ways To Automation Your Business With Infusionsoft”, webinars, videos, and a few other things.
The lead magnets are really helpful for capturing leads who we know are interested in learning more about Keap/Infusionsoft. We use the lead magnets in our advertising, at live events, and in other places to attract the right audience.
What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?
We have three main traffic sources that are effective for us: Facebook Ads, Affiliates, and Live Events. We initially started with partners (Affiliates) in the Keap space who also have customers that are Keap users. Those partners promote our lead magnets (and sometimes our offers) to their audiences and we pay them a commission.
We’ve had a long-standing presence at industry events, particularly Keap’s annual user conference. Those live events have provided good leads for us as people come to our booth and hear us speak on stage. Lastly, Facebook Ads are helpful as well. The key is the start with a small budget and stay hyper-targeted to your best audience.
What online course platform are you using?
We use LearnDash to manage our courses and we love it.
Are there any features you wish it had?
I wish there was better back-end management of assignments. Other than that, we’re very happy with LearnDash.
What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?
What other tools do you use to run your online course business?
Keap, Memberium, Facebook Group, and EasyWebinar.
Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?
We all make mistakes. The biggest is to not beat yourself up about them.You’re way harder on yourself than the rest of the world is. What’s a big deal to you is probably unnoticed by most others. -Tyler Garns Click To Tweet
Luckily with Success Lab, we haven’t made too many big mistakes. One thing we did at one point was created more membership levels. That ended up being a hassle and we later reduced them all back to one level. For some businesses that works, for us, it didn’t.
Please share some idea of revenue.
Over time the revenue from our membership has fluctuated depending on whether or not we’re promoting it or not. Our core business is an agency, so the membership is really just an add-on. The membership has consistently generated between $5k and $20k a month for over 5 years.
Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.
The nicest thing about having the recurring revenue of the membership site is the stability it provides. That stability has provided a bit of revenue cushion at times when the agency side of the business was suffering and has provided extra income personally when things are going well. So, it’s been really nice to have.
In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?
One thing we’ve done as a Black Friday promotion is to offer lifetime access to the membership (which is normally $97/month). Those promotions have consistently generated around $50k in a 5-day span.One thing you learn over time is that as long as you’re continually promoting your courses, there are always people out there who are wanting them. For whatever reason, they just haven’t purchased yet. -Tyler Garns Click To Tweet
So, when you put the right offer out there, you tend to get a lot of traction. Don’t hesitate to mix up the offer, the pricing structure, or included bonuses to try and bring those people in.
What has creating your course done for you personally?
It has solidified me as an expert in our space. As I said, there’s always some hesitation to put yourself out there, to claim you’re an expert, to be vulnerable. I wasn’t sure if people would appreciate my training. Now I’m a well-known expert in the Keap space. It’s largely due to the fact that I have one of the premier courses on the subject.
Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?
Shoot, tons of them. Many of which are posts in the Marketplace in our reviews.
What advice do you have for people just starting out?
Publicly declare when your course will launch. You’ll need that extra pressure and incentive to actually do it. Also, realize that you don’t have to have everything built out perfectly before you launch. Get version 1 out there and then improve upon it. Like I always say “Version one is better than version none”.