Whether you love working directly with clients or find it frustrating….
Trading your time for dollars is limiting.
It limits your income, your free time, and your freedom.
Your clients start to own your time, and your business runs YOU instead of the other way around.
One thing I hear pretty universally is not having enough time, but also finding their revenue potential permanently capped.
They want their freedom – to be able to go on vacation, to earn more, to decide when and how they work… And to not have to cram in as many clients as they can into every single day.
They want to be able to do things that matter to them, and work with the clients they really want to work with. They don’t want to be at the mercy of bad clients and cheap clients. They don’t want to be at the mercy of insurance or commodity pricing. They want to be able to spend time with the clients they do see, and have ones that are committed to doing the work.
That’s what the Freedom Formulas are for:
To break free of the dollars for hours hamster wheel, and scale your revenue, your impact, and your freedom.
By having scalable products and services that take less time, are more predictable, and can even run without you.
They aren’t silver bullets, as they do take work and planning and time to dial in (both the product and the marketing).
But once they’re running in a system that works, they scale up your revenue and can even automate it. All the while, you are able to directly impact hundreds or thousands more people.
I will share a detailed overview of…
- How each of these Freedom Formulas work.
- What they achieve.
- And how they can be used in your business.
So you can get a snapshot of each and be able to decide where you might want to start, while knowing the pro’s and con’s to be aware of ahead of time.
And we begin with the easiest to transition into from working one-on-one with clients…
1. The Coach – Live Group Programs
Live group programs are a perfect way to start scaling your business, impacting more people, and actually working less.
Group programs come in a lot of forms. It can be an ongoing subscription with no start or end date. Or it can be specific program you guide people through where everyone starts on the same day.
It may be have supporting materials like course videos, downloads, or a client portal. Or it may be something that’s fluid and designed to react to what comes up with the people on each call.
The core of it is that you work with people in groups.
And if you’re looking to create self-guided online courses, I always recommend a group program first.
1.) Quicker to start! Instead of putting tons of time and work to create a course you don’t even know for sure will actually sell (or procrastinating on creating it for months)… you can start selling a group program IMMEDIATELY.
2.) Know if it will actually sell! By selling this group program first, you’re able to validate your idea quickly before dumping a bunch of time and expense into creating a full online course you’ve never actually sold yet.
Hint: If it’s hard to sell as a group program, then it’s going to be even harder to sell as a standalone course.
3.) They help you create the perfect program! Once you’ve started the group program, you can create and adjust the curriculum as you go with direct feedback from the group. Is it working? What’s not working? What do people not care about? What do people really really want?
4.) Sell easier with success stories! At the end, you can get feedback, case studies, and testimonials that will all make launching a course so much easier.
But even if you never want to do an online course, all of the above still applies.
You can get started quick. You can scale your business by serving more people with less of your time. And you can evolve your program quickly to best help your clients… so you get more success stories, more referrals, and more sales.
They can also be sold at higher prices.
Group programs give people the access and guidance they want from you. They put a lot more value on even a little of your attention, than they ever will with a self-guided course.
So now, let’s break this Freedom Formula down…
- Higher value to buyers because of the attention and interaction they get with you or the program leaders.
- Provides more direct feedback from participants that you can use to improve your program results, address roadblocks, and improve participant follow-through.
- Great for upsells or the next level up for selling to PREVIOUS buyers! Essential to building lifetime value of your buyers.
- Good way to test out and refine course concepts before putting a lot of work into a building and recording a whole course.
- Still costs time and manpower, but a lot less than working with clients 1-on-1.
- Costs more than a self-guided course, making it harder to sell to cold audiences.
- You may need to have a start and end date for your program, which means it can’t be completely automated revenue.
Live Group Programs come in different forms, but all have some key elements in common:
- They have a specific start date
- They have a group of people taking it all at the same time
- They involve teaching and/or group coaching sessions
- They involve community interaction – forums, Facebook groups, group meetings (online or in person), etc.
- They include limited direct group interaction with the program leader (you or someone else knowledgeable)
- They have continued access to the content, but the live, interactive part of the program ends at a certain date
Some additional components that can be included are:
- Accountability or accountability partners
- Prompts and “Homework”
- Limited one-on-one sessions with the program leader
2. The Teacher – Online Courses
The true “making money while you sleep” option.
Group programs require you time, but scales it. Courses can largely remove you from delivering the service altogether.
And can run for years without having to add new content or additional investment once it’s built, tested, and successfully launched (depending on the course topic).
Online courses are like Group Programs without the live interaction. You can still have a set start time, and have community interaction through forums and Facebook Groups. But there are no group meetings, one-on-one sessions, regular checkins or active accountability.
Okay, maybe you want to include some Facebook Live’s or some Q&A sessions with Zoom. But that’s entirely optional.
The difference is, an online course largely runs on autopilot, and you only need to support if there are any tech issues or questions.
You can also run marketing campaigns continuously (what we call “evergreen”), bringing new buyers in all the time, 365 days a year. Which is a great way to build your customer base for upselling to more premium products like Live Group Programs, Masterminds, Premium 1:1 services, and even ongoing membership programs (discussed below).
That’s the beauty of online courses:
They may not be as high priced as Live Group Programs, but they only need to be built once. Then you can run as many people as want to sign up through the course at any time. There is almost no cost to adding another person, so you can have high priced signature courses (to make more profits) as well as low priced lead courses (to get more buyers to sell more to at high profit).
But here’s the catch:
An untested course idea can be a lot of work and a big gamble without knowing people will actually want it.
Courses are a big investment of time, resources, and planning to develop. It’s best done when you know the course will sell, and you’ve tested it with a live audience that can give you LOTS of feedback as your personal guinea pigs.
Which is why it can be better to test out the idea in a Live Group Program first. Making sure people will pay, and they won’t have any problems getting through the course and getting the results on their own.
One las thing:
Courses aren’t completely passive. There will be support that needs to be provided here and there. A participant may have a problem, or they have questions, or tech problems. Or you may want to provide a community (like a Facebook group, which is a highly popular option) which may involve some interaction and moderation in the community.
And just like real life – there will be problem people who pop up.
Those customers who are overly demanding or just plain jerks.
It’s a fact of life, so no reason to let it get to you. Do what you can… or just refund them and remove their access. The benefit of a course is there is almost no cost per person, so no expense to recoup if you kick them out or lose them as a customer.
You’ll also want to do some followup with participants, but mostly for checking in with participants for your own purposes:
- You want to know they are happy.
- You want to know where they get stuck or don’t understand.
- You want to know how you can improve the course.
- You want to know what else they would like you to create (that they can to buy).
- You want to get success stories (these are gold for your marketing efforts)
- You want them to feel good that you’re checking in on them
- You want them to spread the word because they love it!
And much of this can be automated too! Although, at the beginning, you’ll want to be more involved so you can really refine it, get those success stories, and get word of mouth going.
Your first release of your course won’t always be perfect. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
It’s impossible to know exactly what the perfect form of your course looks like without the experience of people going through it. Their needs and feedback is what gets you on the right track.
An online course will be different than how you work with someone one-on-one. You won’t be there to fill in the gaps for them, or personally nudge them in the right direction. So your course needs to account for their self-learning needs and obstacles.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, so get simpler versions out early. Get people to go through it. Get their feedback and THEN work on perfecting it with more advanced technology, better video production quality, and getting fancier with the supporting materials and downloads.
The biggest thing for your success – just get something out there and being used.
You need feedback. And you need success stories. So launch it early and improve after.
You can use a group program to build it as you go. During the group program, keep asking them what they want to know next, what struggles they face, and how the previous section went.
Online Courses can include video, audio, or even just text and images. Video or audio can be webinar recordings. It could be largely text/image based. It can include PDF downloads. It can even be an email course.
And the content can be surprisingly simple to produce, even video, without making it a big, professional production.
- Can run on autopilot for the most part, including selling it 365 days a year.
- Once built, requires little of your time and no personal time teaching or coaching people unless you choose to include some.
- Completely scalable… can have 5 or 5,000 people in the course at the same time.
- High margins because there’s almost no cost per customer, so can also work really well as a low cost lead product that brings new customers into your business to buy more valuable products.
- Takes a lot of work to plan, record, and build… often more than people realize.
- You don’t get to see a lot of feedback from students, so it’s hard to know if (and where) students are having problems getting through the course.
- If a course is built without testing the idea first (by getting buyers who aren’t already your superfans), it can totally flop when you try to launch and scale it.
3. The Leader – Membership or Mastermind
Having a paid membership seems to almost be the Holy Grail everyone is keen on getting even beyond online courses that run on autopilot.
The problem is:
While a subscription service is recurring income, it also requires constant work, interaction, and new content.
To keep people happy, there has to be fresh, valuable content people want added continuously, along with some community interaction. You may also include monthly group calls or small group sessions to add more value and make it a more premium offer… such as with a “Mastermind”.
And your biggest challenge will be keeping people from dropping out. What they call “churn.”
It’s hard to get people to sign up for something that keeps billing them forever. And to keep them in and continually seeing the value once they do.
However, when done right, subscription services or membership programs are a great way to scale and generate income to large audiences.
It takes being vigilant with the customer experience. They have to see the value right away, and keep seeing the value.
It can be a low cost membership that is meant to reach lots of people but not provide much personal interaction with you and your team. Or it can be a high priced Mastermind group where it’s a small group of people where they get regular group Zoom calls with you or your team (and a price to match).
The key is to get clear on the outcome they are trying to achieve by joining. What you are helping them to achieve in their lives.
Just because it’s a membership, does not let you off the hook. You still have to sell the value and outcomes just like if they were joining a course or group program. People don’t just want information. They join to help them achieve the outcomes they desire, to help them overcome their challenges, and also to get accountability and insider advice to get more results, faster and easier.
And there may be more than one type of person or reason they are joining. That’s okay.
Know what they are, and serve them the best you can consistently. That is how you make your membership program successful.
- Regular recurring revenue month to month.
- Ongoing subscriber base to communicate with and sell more products to.
- Often infinitely scalable, so (depending on the price) it can have massive impact.
- You have to produce more valuable content, consistently, month after month after month.
- There is always a “churn rate” of unsubscribers leaving the membership, which you need to keep refilling with getting new members.
- Harder to get people to commit to paying for something every month/year forever than to pay once for a course or program. And so it’s often better for selling to previous buyers than new people who don’t know you yet.
4. The Publisher – eBooks and Physical Books
One of the most common dreams or aspirations people have is to write a book.
There’s something visceral about knowing you have your own book out there in the world. It also leads to sales, leads, and growth, when done right.
Writing and publishing a full book is more than we can tackle here, but ebooks are one of the simplest and most powerful ways to get started with Freedom Formulas so you can scale your revenue and impact.
eBooks can be quick or in depth, 5 pages or 50 pages, basic text or filled with visuals. And they are very versatile. In fact, there are three distinct variations of the Publisher Freedom Formula
The Money Method
Most people think of ebooks as something to sell, generating a passive income stream.
You’ll want more depth when you plan to sell an ebook. Either have more content in your ebook, or provide more proprietary value. Preferably, you want both!
How do you do that? You dive right into the step-by-step “How” to do something. They need to be able to take it and apply it with ease. When they do, it needs to make a real impact.
Or… you turn it into an invaluable, detailed resource to refer to.
Either way, it can be tough to get a lot of cash from selling books, unless that’s all you do and you produce a lot of them extremely well. Most authors make their money beyond the book… in the speaking, new clients, and courses/memberships/other programs that they sell.
Which leads us to the next two methods are far more powerful to grow your business and income…
The Attractor Method
The real secret super power of ebooks comes into play when you use them as what we call a Tribe Attractor (otherwise known as a lead magnet, freebie, ethical bribe, and more in order to get people on your email list). A Tribe Attractor is simply something small and valuable that you give away to attract new subscribers and new customers.
These kinds of ebooks can be simpler and smaller, but they still need to be specific and valuable.
It can be as simple as a resource guide, worksheet, or one simple but high value technique they can put immediately into action.
Here’s the key: Actionable, Quick, Tantalizing.
You then use it to grab attention and get people to subscribe, follow, and become leads for your business or for others of the Freedom Formula’s. You are getting them in the door and paying attention so you can sell them something bigger, and keep the relationship going.
The Insider Method
If the Attractor Method is the secret super power, this is the super secret ace in the hole!
The Insider Method combines the two and uses your ebook as a “no brainer” introductory sale to get them buying, getting them on the inside of your business. Someone who buys once, even for $1, is 10X more likely to buy from you again.
Don’t miss that point… they are 10X more likely to buy from you again.
They’ve gone from outsider to insider.
So instead of offering it for free or selling it as high as you can go, you price it low enough that the decision to buy is just a “no brainer.” Usually, it is between $1 and $7.95 so that price isn’t even a factor. It’s an obvious decision they can’t pass up if they see the value in what your book promises.
This could be an ebook. But works even better as a physical book where you frame it as a “free book” that they just pay for shipping for. So they’re getting a free book, but also becoming a paying buyer.
And once they do, you not only have a relationship with a subscriber, you have a customer that is 10X more likely to buy something more expensive.
This begins what we call a “Buyer Journey”, which is just a system for attracting people and building a relationship with them so they will buy your higher products and services. It’s that simple.
- Really good for use in marketing funnels
- Really good for developing authority and standing out if done well
- Not a big money maker for almost everyone
- Can be a lot of work to do well, or use a reputable service designed to turn your expertise into a well-made book
5. The Expert – Premium Service Program
Premium service programs are a different animal.
They don’t scale how many people you impact.
While the other Freedom Formulas helps you make more money while helping more people and scale your impact, there will be a growing number of people dying to pay for direct access to you.
Those other Freedom Formulas create the more passive and scalable revenue.
They also help filter the right people to work with one-on-one in your premium service program.
As they ascend through your other more scalable offerings, only the most committed and able will be dying to work with you one-on-one.
They also build your authority as “the” expert, making your more valuable and able to charge a higher premium.
You can be very selective.
You can get rid of individual sessions, and only work with people who’ve committed to a complete program.
And they can add extra profitability to your entire business, by having it as the premium option.
It often entails a 6-month or year long pre-paid commitment. Or be a VIP option for a group program.
When you have the full ladder from low priced intro products to high priced premium products, you will have a system that creates more revenue and reaches more people…
… while still being able to work closely with a select number of people one-on-one.
It starts with packaging the truly premium elements into something that screams high value. But if you already have developed a robust, growing customer base with the other Freedom Formulas, they’ll start coming to you asking “what’s next?” or “how can I work with you directly?”
By having a large pool of people clammoring for time with you, you get to be much more selective and charge higher prices for your limited time.
- Work one-on-one with the right people at a premium price.
- Adds to profitability of your entire business by leveraging all of the other, more scalable Freedom Formulas to filter the perfect client and build greater authority (and premium prices).
- You put people through a complete program, not just one-off sessions.
- You don’t impact very many people with this Freedom Formula.
- It’s not passive revenue.
- It’s completely dependent on your time.
- You have to turn a lot of people away who you’d really like to help (but that’s where the other Freedom Formula’s can help provide other options for them!)
- You need to build a strong audience and a lot of authority, which is where the other Freedom Formulas come in (or a really good webinar funnel backed by paid advertising or other large traffic source).
You now have the 5 Freedom Formulas to scale your revenue and your impact. Now’s it time to decide which one to start with.
Try just one to start with. Then add on when you have something working.
(the biggest mistake I see people make is launching way too many products and getting nowhere with any of them as a result)
It will take either some trial and error, and some guidance and support.
It takes time to get to just the right products, messaging, and audience to make it all click and gain momentum, hitting a critical mass.
Like I said, this is not a quick fix, but the long term results are filled with growth and freedom.
As with anything worthwhile, it takes some work to get there, but when you do it’s totally worth it and you’re riding the wave of momentum!
Then you keep adding on to your mix of products.
Ultimately, a good business model includes multiple of these Freedom Formulas, where one leads into another strategically.
Perhaps a low cost intro-course, challenge, or a bootcamp brings new people in. And then they move into a signature course, a membership, or a live group program. And then they go into a higher priced Mastermind group you run, and some even sign up for your premium one-to-one service.
As people go from one product to another, your profit rises, and the level of impact and transformation for that person grows.
All of which enables you to reach more and more people at the lower end of your product mix, as more and more people rise to the higher levels of your product mix.
We’ll also be going deeper into these topics in our newsletter and blog, and we share tons of resources on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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