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for those who prefer a "Big Picture View"...

Stage 1: One-on-One Coaching

You're an expert in your field and have created processes or frameworks to make it easier for others to replicate success. You've likely been coaching one-on-one and understand that your time in a day is limited.

Now, you're ready to expand your reach through an online course or group coaching program, which is what you're in the process of researching. 

Checklist to do at this stage:

Stage 2: List Building

You're expanding into a new target market so need to start an email list from scratch or build on your current email list. 

To start, you'll need a website with the goal of capturing emails (note that the goal is not to sell, that actually happens via email sequences). To keep it simple, your website will have a Home page describing your overall subject niche, an About Page with your origin story and bio that shows off your expertise, a Contact page so your audience can ask questions, and a Sales or Services Page describing your offer(s).

To build your email list, you likely have an idea for a lead magnet to offer potential leads, such as a free video, audio or PDF. Once someone opts into the form on your website with their name/email, they will receive a "here's your freebie" email then a short series of emails that introduces you, your values, and the services you provide. Think of this more like "get to know me, we're still dating" emails rather than "buy my stuff" emails.

A common misconception is that folks visit your website and then click "buy now". Truly, this happens rare to never. The average person spends 1.5 minutes on your website and may never return again, which is why the goal of the website is to get them on your email list. Through a series of emails, you can offer them an opportunity to get to know your better by watching a webinar, visiting a sales page, or checking out your free resources. People buy from those they know, like and trust. They are not likely going to buy a $500+ product from a website they landed on for the very first time from someone they never heard of, even if they have the best sales page in the world.

Checklist to do at this stage:

  • Design an aesthetically pleasing PDF, mini course, or audio download that you could offer in exchange for a website visitor's name and email. It should be something that is related to your niche and has them saying "wow, that was good stuff". Yes, I can help design that PDF, schedule¬†a consult >>
  • Using the assistance of Chat GPT, write an email series to move your audience from "here's your freebie" to allowing them to get to know you and your company, then finally your sales pitch. Learn about Chat GPT >>
  • Gather your logo, email sequences, any images and copy you'd like to see on your website and sales page, then schedule a consult to work with me to build your site. A simple website from scratch usually costs about $400 but a long form sales pages could increase the cost to $600. Schedule a consult >>¬†or if you prefer to DIY it, then grab this PDF on building a quality website >>

Stage 3: Bringing Traffic to Your Website

There are three ways to bring traffic to your website. It's best to diversify and use a combination of each.

  • Paid ads: Google, Facebook, YouTube; could be as little as $5 a day¬†with a link to a page describing your lead magnet
  • Organic: social media posts and videos including Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or TikTok¬†that talk about and link back to your lead magnet
  • Borrowed: being a guest on podcasts, guest blogging, speaking on stage, or YouTube collaborations¬†in which you explain the transformation your lead magnet (not your paid program) provides and entices the audience to feel they "need" to have it

Paid ads and social media strategy are outside my specialty. A social media manager or marketing manager may be your next hire, but only once you've nailed down your copy. My suggestion is not run ads until you've launched at least once and are SURE you understand your target market. If you run ads too early and your copy doesn't resonate with the target market, you will not likely make many conversions and think your product stinks when in fact it's just a copy problem. TIP: Never ever run ads to a sales page. Remember that the goal of your website is to collect email addresses only, not to sell products. Cold traffic straight from an ad is not going to buy even a $100 product from someone they don't know.

Checklist to do at this stage:

  • Improve your opt-in page. It is much more than two lines about your freebie and a form. It is a mini sales page. Learn how to optimize your opt-in page >>
  • Design a strong sales page. If you're not sure how to write copy for a sales page, I've designed a template for you >>
  • Using the help of Chat GPT, design your next 30 days of social media to announce your upcoming program. Learn about Chat GPT >>
  • Think about a "borrowed" audience as above, and brainstorm who you could collaborate with that may have a similar target audience, then design your outreach plan. How else can you reach your target audience?

Stage 4: Let the Sales Begin!

Your lead magnet and introductory email sequence are automated. You're now ready to bring a steady stream of visitors interested in your niche to your website opt-in page and make some sales! You're ready to design a calendar of launch tasks to include social media posting, collaborations, and special content releases. You'll also plan out any live or pre-recorded webinar, video series, or challenge as a method of selling. 

Checklist to do at this stage:

Stage 5: Time to be a Coach

You've built a consistent method of gaining regular website traffic and have sold a handful (or more) of your offer. Your program outline and filming are complete along with accompanying visual handouts. There is a clear path the student or client will take to move from point A to point B and each lesson moves them one small step closer. You have a clear promise of the transformation you plan to give those who complete your program or course.

It's time to allow course access and/or begin your live group coaching. You're ready to move into service mode and make this first experience the best possible while learning what could be improved for the next launch.

Checklist to do at this stage:

Stage 6: Design Consistent Traffic

Continuous organic traffic is obtained using social media, website SEO, and adhering to a regular content posting schedule (weekly blog, YouTube show, or podcast). Website success can be tracked using Kajabi analytics. From here, paid Google, Facebook or YouTube ads can fast track your success when hiring an expert to help (FYI, paid ads is a service I do not offer.)

Checklist to do at this stage:

  • Using Chat GPT and your knowledge of what's worked in the past, design a consistent system of planning and implementing a social media strategy.¬†Learn to use Chat GPT >>
  • To increase search engine optimization, you're going to add as many VALUABLE words to your website as possible. This is where blogs come into play. Inside the Kajabi blog area, you can post blogs of course, or you could insert the video and transcripts of your YouTube video or transcripts from audio of your regular podcast. If you have not yet started one of these three, you'll need to outline a plan for beginning. This is going to be crucial to bringing in organic traffic in a steady stream over time. Chat GPT can help you write your blogs, video bullet points, and podcast outline if needed.¬†Learn to use Chat GPT >>
  • The goal is this stage is a steady stream of traffic. You're building your email list, but what happens when they go through the introductory sequence and didn't buy? That's where your weekly email comes in. At this stage, you'll begin sending a weekly emails to your list (only those that are not currently in the welcome sequence and who have not yet purchased your product).¬†These emails contain valuable insights about your niche and likely have a link to your latest blog, video or podcast. They should be more valuable than salesy. Consider offering a sales pitch in only every third email or so.¬†Learn to use Chat GPT to assist in writing emails >>

Stage 7: Design Your Business Model

Your launch and any live aspects of your  program are complete. Your first set of students have seen a transformation. This is a great time to be keeping a daily journal of every small task performed during the pre-launch and open cart periods, blooming ideas on what to do next time. As time goes on over several launches, you'll see more and more success while learning what worked and what didn't work. You now realize it's more than designing a great course that creates success.

This is the time to hone your website messaging and email sequencing that lead up to the sales pitch. Many coaches and course creators think it's their web design that needs the most help, but truly it's finely tuned targeted messaging that brings sales. You'll continue creating regular weekly content to attract an organic audience along with paid ads. You'll also continue sending weekly emails alerting your list of the latest content and encouraging sharing with others.

Checklist to do at this stage: 

  • Always be collecting testimonials and case studies to be used as social proof on the sales page and social media.
  • Record key metrics on every launch, listing what went well and what could be improved for next time. Launch debrief >>
  • Plan a subsequent launch with these improvements.
  • Consistently review your sales page and email sequence to improve copy as you get to know your target audience better through interaction.¬†Write better copy for your sales page >>

Final Stage: Thought Leader

Your message is dialed in. You have a clear roadmap to success and are ready to scale by attracting even more customers and improving conversions.

You've hired a team to help scale so you can work solely on content and product creation.

Virginia Stockwell, Kajabi tutor