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Transcript Episode 74

Episode 74: Creating Online Courses and Thriving Communities

Transcript Episode 74

Stephanie Skryzowski: Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. The show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand into your purpose and grow your business in a big way.

You’ll hear from entrepreneurs and leaders that have shifted their mindsets, learned life changing lessons, and built profitable businesses that fuel their lives and their hearts. And you’ll hear from me, Stephanie Skryzowski. My mission as a chief financial officer is to empower you to better understand your numbers, to grow your impact, and your income. Let’s dive in.

Hello, hello. Welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski. And I am here today with a friend and a client, Molly Kaiser. So Molly and I talk today about all things online courses. She is beyond brilliant at really sort of hacking the online course system and figuring out exactly what to do to make a 2 million dollar business, selling online courses or maybe making her TikToks go viral.

We talked about all of this. It’s a really interesting conversation. I was literally taking notes on a specific pointer that she gave me in order to sell my online course. You probably didn’t even know they had an online course, but she gave me a very specific tactic in order to grow community and have a basically an audience of ready buyers, ready to buy this online course.

So she’s awesome, she’s really smart. She’s grown multiple businesses into this seven figure range and she shares all of the details in this episode today. So, her official bio, Molly’s a college dropout with 81 cents and she grew a photo studio to multiple six figures and others were asking her how she did it.

I feel like I would be too. She turned her steps into a profitable online course, grew her online education company to 2 million dollars a year and was able to help thousands of photographers around the world in the process. Others kept asking her how she did it.

And so now she helps service based business owners, at a profitable online course to their business so they can scale without trading more of their time for dollars. Like I said, Molly’s done this multiple times before. I can’t even imagine closing a multimillion dollar business to start another one.

And then growing that one to multimillions of dollars, like she’s got the formula and she teaches it and she taught me today and we also got to dig into some more fun stuff on the way that she handles her social media and the way that she used her creativity in her business and all the things. So this was a great interview. I think you’ll love it. And let’s go talk to Molly.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to a hundred degrees of entrepreneurship. I am super excited to be here today with Molly Kaiser. Welcome Molly.

Molly Keyser: Yay. Super excited to chat. Thanks for having me.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, so I actually, first, before we get started, I’m definitely gonna ask you all about your journey, but I would love to hear if you could just tell everybody about your business. What do you?

Molly Keyser: Sure. So I’ve actually been a business owner since I was 19 years old. So currently, I help people turn their passion into their own profitable online course. But before that, I kind of had a lot of business journeys since then. I actually started out as a photographer and I grew a very successful photography studio.

So people started asking me how I did it, and I did some coaching. But I quickly realized I was just trading more of my time for money. I was more and more busy, more stressed. And so I actually found out about online courses. Took all my coaching knowledge, put it into a course for photographers.

We grew that to 2 million dollars per year, and I did that for a very long time. And I noticed that the number one thing I loved about doing all of that was actually courses. So I decided to switch my focus and go all in on helping people turn their passion into their own profitable online course.

Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s awesome. So there’ve been like several pivots along the way.

Molly Keyser: It’s my own ladder.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, exactly, yeah. You’re like climbing your own ladder and also building it at the same time.

Molly Keyser: Totally.

Stephanie Skryzowski: So during those pivots, I know sometimes along the way, when we make these different changes in our path, sometimes it feels like very natural and like, yeah, I’m a hundred percent confident. This is exactly what the next right move is for me.

But other times it’s like, Ooh, I feel like this is a bit of a risk. I’m kind of scared, but I’m gonna do anyway. So did you feel like any of those pivots in your own journey or that like the scary one.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say yeah, I’ve had a lot of different pivots. So the first one would be well starting my business, I suppose, but the first one would be going from wedding photographer to like portrait photographer.

And then the next one would be photography educator, but I more added that on and was still doing both at the same time. I would say that I feel like my journey actually was sort of natural in, like, I had a lot of different passions that I discovered along the way, and it wasn’t like each of those pivots was like an overnight snap decision.

It was more like I started thinking about, oh, how can I stop trading so much of my time for money for me, like the business aspect was always so much more interesting than the actual photography aspect. So I started, you know, oh, I’ll hire people and I’ll do all these things, but ultimately it just kept my love for business just kept growing.

So as I learned more and more, I feel like those pivots just kept happening to the point now where that’s like my 100% sole focus is just learning and teaching about online business.

Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that. I feel like sometimes, when I say we, I’m also kind of talking about myself, but like we just get up into our own head so much. And it’s like, it has to be so scary and hard, but if you just follow your own interests, you’re interested in the online business space and, okay, well, let’s explore this next thing.

That path just sort of opens itself up for you. And that sounds like it’s what happened for you. So when you pivoted and turning the photography business into what the business today, profitable courses, what was that transition like? Cause you had built a very successful business.

I mean a $2 million business is like nothing to scoff at when you’re talking about selling online courses, like that’s a lot of people that went through those courses. Did you feel like you really already knew so much about that space? That it felt like a natural pivot into just focusing on helping other business owners build courses or were there any bumps in the road there?

Molly Keyser: Yeah, I would say that pivot was probably the least natural and the hardest pivot, just because, you know, with the photography, I added on a course and then I went more into that. Whereas this, I wasn’t really adding anything on.

It was more like we actually closed that business and started a new one. And we learned a lot in closing that business. And I know a lot of people think I’m crazy for closing a business that’s making a lot of money. But it wasn’t a decision we made overnight. And we really looked into like selling the company.

Cause a lot of people say to me like, why didn’t you just sell the company? It’s a lot easier said than done to sell a company where you’re the face of the company. So yeah, I would just say that, you know, I would say that if that’s a goal of yours to sell your company someday, and you’re the face of the company, you really need to think about that strategy.

For me, that really actually was never my strategy. My strategy was never to sell the company and that’s ultimately why I didn’t have a strategy in place to sell the company. For me, the money was great obviously and I did like what I was doing, but I had been in the photography industry for over 16 years and I just found myself; I think a lot of us experienced a lot during 2020.

I feel like a lot of us sort of slowed down and really thought a lot about like where do we wanna spend our time? What do we wanna do with our lives? And it ultimately, when I thought about my future, like for the last, I don’t know, five years, I couldn’t get this thought of like teaching courses outta my head.

I feel like 2020, I was just like, man, I mean, this is such a chaotic crazy year. And I started my very first business in the 2008 recession. I remember what it was like to start then. And I actually, I think there’s so many positives to starting a business in like a recession or chaos or something like that.

Because if you look at 2020, 2021 and 2022, there were so many changes that happened in business. Changes with paid ads and organic, there’s new platforms like TikTok, all these things. And I knew March 2020, I was like, I knew there was gonna be tons of changes, lots of cast. And I just thought, you know what?

I can put my time into basically rebuilding what we had already built, because there was so many changes that were gonna be happening, or I could put my time into this thing I’ve been thinking about for so long. So yeah, I had a lot of people telling me I was absolutely insane for making the pivot, but I can’t tell you like, it is important to obviously build a profitable business to support your life.

But I do think that once you, well, no matter where you’re at, I guess financially, it is very important to really follow your passion with your business. You’ll be happier and also your business ultimately will be even more successful in my opinion, because you’re really passionate about it. So-

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, you’ve got like that your heart is in the game, so yeah. So you’re just gonna be even more like interested and driven to make it work. I love that. I think that’s a really good point though, where it’s like, yes, it’s you need to have a profitable business, but like also something that really fuels your passion.

Because then you’re just gonna, yeah, like I said, you’ll just be so much more driven.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. And I was so passionate about photography for so long, but you know, 16 years in an industry is a long time and yeah, I’m very, very happy with my decision.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah. That’s so interesting. And that’s a great point that you made about selling your business. We’ve worked with a handful of clients who have explored selling their business actually just recorded a podcast episode a couple weeks ago.

And that was one of the things I said, like, you need to put a lot of work in the back end so that you are not the face of your business because somebody who buys your business is not buying your face. They’re not buying you, they’re buying the business.

And so if all of your marketing and everything, the way that you’re bringing in business is tied in some way, shape or form to people seeing and getting you, that’s not actually a sellable business. So if you decided you wanted to go that way, it may have taken you a while to get yourself into the background.

Molly Keyser: Oh yeah, it would’ve taken us years.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah.

Molly Keyser: And another thing that I just wanna share because it might be something for those of you to kind of look out for. So we had built our business around like marketing and webinars and also a sales team and things like that. And when 2020 hit, as I’m sure you guys remember, mostly women were actually affected by that change.

And our entire team was women. We had a hundred percent female team and almost all of them lost their daycare, their nanny, like all this stuff. And they actually were like, I don’t even have time to work anymore. So it’s something to consider if you want to sell your company, again, that was never my goal.

But if you want to, make sure that you have a lot of like systems and things in place, or know that when you do sell the company, they’re gonna want those employees along with the company because otherwise your company is sort of worthless. So yeah.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah, that’s really interesting. I didn’t really think about that. I mean, gosh, 2020.

Molly Keyser: We don’t have to go back to 2020 ever.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Crazy times, I know.

Molly Keyser: But you know, it’s part of the pivot journey. So-

Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly, exactly. Oh my gosh. Okay, so now you are like the profitable course expert. Since you’ve done this, you’ve taught probably thousands of people.

Molly Keyser: We’ve had over 10,000 students. Yeah, it’s crazy.

Stephanie Skryzowski: 10,000. Oh my gosh. Wow. That’s amazing.

Molly Keyser: Thanks. I absolutely agree. It’s pretty cool.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. Oh my gosh. That’s yeah, something to be proud of for sure. Wow. Over 10,000. That’s awesome. And growing. Okay. So you know what you’re talking about when it comes to online courses. Okay. So who needs an online course?

And do you have to already have a business? Could you just like, I don’t know, be really good at something and want an online course, like who are online courses right for?

Molly Keyser: Yeah. So ultimately anyone can create an online course. You just have to think about what’s something that you can help other people with. A lot of times, people get really excited about creating the actual course, like the slides and buying a microphone and buying a camera.

Which is fun, don’t get me wrong, but really what it comes down to in order to actually have a successful course, is to ask yourself, what is an ROI return on investment that you can get someone? What’s a result that you can get someone and you don’t wanna get them, you know, 10 results, a hundred results, a thousand results.

You really just want your course to get them like one result that they’re willing to pay for. So, who are courses for? My ideal client typically is a business owner, professional coach, because they typically already have something that they’re teaching on or like a service or something that they can turn into a course.

But that said, anyone, you can turn your hobby into a course. I know a girl who does 2 million dollars a year teaching hula hooping courses. So-

Stephanie Skryzowski: Stop it. Oh my gosh. You’re kidding.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. Our students have done courses on becoming a personal chef. A lot of like holistic courses, nutrition courses for like copywriters, creatives. So just really anything where you can ask yourself where’s my ideal client app before they’re gonna take my course.

And where do they want to be at the end of the program? So yeah, just what’s the result you can get someone.

Stephanie Skryzowski: And is that typically like an intangible? I feel like I see that a lot. Like, I don’t know. I can’t even think of a good example quickly, but is that like the transformation is that like intangible thing like now they’re not stressed about blah, blah, blah anymore.

Or is it, are you seeing more like more tangible, quantifiable results?

Molly Keyser: Yeah, I would say that it can be any of the following. It can be helping someone make more money, helping someone stress less, helping someone have more fun or learn a new skill. You really just have to think about, you know, are people willing to pay for this?

And just one really quick tip, if you are wondering that about your course idea, I do have a lot of free trainings on this on my YouTube channel, but you can ultimately just search your course idea online. The number one thing you can do to make sure your course idea will be profitable, is find other courses out there on your topic that are already selling.

And I know that might seem like, oh, well don’t I need to have a unique course idea? You don’t need to have a unique course idea. I can tell you pretty much every course idea has probably already been done. But what you are gonna do is, you know, you are unique, how you teach is unique, your story is unique.

So even though you’re gonna have a course idea that most likely has already been done, let’s say weight loss or business or social media or whatever that is. Ultimately people are gonna wanna learn from you because of who you are and what your experience is.

Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that, I love that it really is for everyone. So what I have always run into, I have created two online courses. Neither of which have done a whole lot of terms of revenue because-

Molly Keyser: That’s workshop.

Stephanie Skryzowski: I know. Okay. Tell me all the things. Okay. So we serve, half of our clients are nonprofits. That’s where I started my career.

Molly Keyser: Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that.

Stephanie Skryzowski: The other half of our clients are small businesses. So I have a course called master your nonprofit numbers and it’s basically like, there’s eight modules or something. It’s all you need to know as a nonprofit leader about managing finances.

Because what we found is like, and what I’ve seen, just in experience, a lot of people come into leadership roles at nonprofits from working in their programs or working somewhere else in the organization so finances are not their strong suit. And there’s like compliance things, there’s nuances.

There’s a lot of like, you don’t know what you don’t know kind of thing. So I have this online course and where I get like, tripped up. What I don’t know what to do is around the marketing. Like how do you grow a following of buyers? How do you find buyers for your online course?

Cause that’s where I get stuck. I’m like, I got a great course. Like you said, getting everything recorded and like doing all the fun stuff, that’s easy. Now it’s like how do I find people to actually buy this thing?

Molly Keyser: Yes. Well, first of all, I just wanna tell you that when I was summers in college, I interned at the peninsula art school. It’s an art school in Wisconsin and it’s a nonprofit. So I actually do know a bit about the inner workings of like nonprofits, so it’s interesting.

So as far as building a following of buyers for your course, you really want to create somewhere where your ideal clients can congregate. Now I know like TikTok and Instagram and like YouTube or whatever are like a lot more sexy, especially right now than a Facebook group.

But actually a Facebook group is the best place to start. And then you wanna pick one of those like sexier platforms to be more of your long term strategy. The great thing about the Facebook group is you can create an environment where your ideal clients are going to want to congregate.

So for you, you’re gonna wanna create a fun space. It could be a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group, I should say, because for you, if you’re working with professionals, you might wanna test both of those and see if a LinkedIn group would work better for you.

But what you wanna do is think about what’s like a group or an environment that I could create that would attract these. What would their role be in the nonprofit? Like the CEO, I don’t know.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah, yeah. CEO, executive director. It’s the same thing.

Molly Keyser: Executive director. Yeah. That’s what the lady I worked with, that was her title. So yeah. I mean, you could call your group. This is just footballing, but you could call it like nonprofits executive directors unite or whatever.

You can come up with something more fun. I’m sure you do want to though make it fun, but also you wanna make it searchable because people are actually searching for groups on Facebook, groups on LinkedIn and ultimately what we all want is we all wanna be part of a community who understands us.

We all want to make friends along our journey. So these executive directors of nonprofits, I’m sure that it’s probably very lonely and they would probably love to meet other directors and chat about stuff like that. If you could create that community, it would be so easy for you to market your course once you’ve built that.

So that’s why I would recommend starting.

Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s very interesting. And I could see, even if the people in the community, maybe weren’t the right fit for the course. I mean, that would easily be like a pipeline of people to be our one-on-one clients as well. So yeah.

Molly Keyser: Oh, absolutely. I’m sure they would be a good fit probably for both. So yeah, or one or the other.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So community, and how do you build a community? Like yeah.

Molly Keyser: I love this. This is like perfect. Because you’re like, I wanna know this stuff too. You’re not just asking for your subscribers. It’s super cool. So what I start doing, I’ll talk about Facebook groups, but just know that you can apply this to any like group platform.

Like I said, like LinkedIn groups or something like that. So what I always do is let me ask you this, Stephanie, do you know how many friends you have on your Facebook friends list? Like just ballpark.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. I mean, it’s under a thousand. I feel like I use Facebook sparingly, I have a lot more connections, like, well, over a thousand on LinkedIn.

Molly Keyser: Okay. Oh, okay great. Well then you should definitely do the LinkedIn, you know, if you already understand LinkedIn and all of that. I definitely understand Facebook more, but I like and use both. So anyways, what I would recommend is, do you think you have any of your ideal client on your friend’s list at all?

Stephanie Skryzowski: I think so, yeah, yeah.

Molly Keyser: Okay. So if you do, then what I would do is create that group again, whether it’s on LinkedIn or Facebook and invite those people to join it. If you don’t have any of your ideal clients on your friends list, then I would go out and go into, for example, Facebook groups that have your clients in them and you can friend those people.

And what you can do then is you friend them, and then you can invite them into your group. And I know a lot of people are like, oh, that’s spamming or whatever. Honestly, worst case scenario, they see the invite for the group and they don’t wanna join and they don’t join.

That’s literally the worst case scenario. Like they’re not gonna reach out to you and be like, I can’t believe you invited me to your group. Best case scenario, they’re gonna be like, oh wow, this is exactly like, this would be great. Like I wanna join your group.

So, depending on where you’re at, so what you wanna do is just get those first 50 members just by simply friending people and inviting them to your group or inviting existing friends that you have. Then we do something called a group grow giveaway.

I’ll try to share it as best as I can, but obviously there’s scripts and things that go along with it. But ultimately what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna select a prize or a couple prizes, and you’re going to tell people like, Hey, we’re doing a giveaway.

All you have to do is invite your friends, who would be interested in this group. So that way they only invite like ideal clients. And whoever invites the most members is gonna get X, Y, Z prize. And it will tell you so and so invited so and so, so that way you can keep track of it.

You can count it, you can have a VA do it in a spreadsheet. I actually just have people comment how many they added. And I just go on the honor system. I’ve never had anyone like, lie about it. So that’s what I do. And I was able to get my group for this, like my newest program.

I had no following interested in this, like nothing and I got to 200 people in my group in just a couple of days. And from those 200 people, I used interest posts and DMS. And within 30 days we did just under $17,000 in enrollments.

So it’s a very simple strategy, and this is just how you would start, but then there’s more strategies that you would use to grow the business, such as webinars and things like that.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. In your Facebook group, now you have over 6,000 members in yours.

Molly Keyser: Yes. Yeah. I will say I’m pretty good at growing Facebook groups. I like Facebook groups a lot, I feel like they’re just so easy to grow. Like, I don’t know.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Well, you’ve clearly figured out the formula. And do you teach all of this in your program?

Molly Keyser: Absolutely. We tell everyone, you know, we teach where you are now to a six or seven figure course business. And we really mean it. Like, I’ve done this with so many courses, multiple businesses, tons of students we’ve helped.

And we not only tell you through eight minute or less videos and the transcripts and the downloads, but we give you all the SOPs from our business. So all the checklists, like how we run our YouTube channel, how we grow our Facebook group, how we hire people.

It’s not just about courses, it’s the whole business around the course. Clearly, I get a little bit excited about it.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Well, that makes sense. I mean, right. Because they’re like, you love business, so it makes sense that your course is about how to run an online course business. Not just to how to create an online course.

Yeah, I think that’s so important because without some of that other stuff, like sure, you could sell all the online courses in the world, but like you’re not gonna have a successful business if you don’t like tap into all of those other pieces when it comes to managing all the things. So that’s so cool.

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Okay. You mentioned social media, like a couple times in you’re like a Facebook group guru. Tell me about social media. What do you do for social media for your business? And then I wanna hear about going viral on TikTok.

Molly Keyser: Oh my gosh. This is exciting. Just because, you know, I haven’t actually talked to anyone about this yet because it’s a lot of new stuff that I’m learning. So you guys are gonna hear it here first, literally. Which is just really fun and exciting. So, I’m doing a lot actually.

And right now it’s just, so myself and my husband, we co-own the business together. And then we have just a few freelancers. So I just wanna let you guys know like what we have in place to run this. Because I think it’s a lot simpler than people think it is.

We have a virtual assistant who essentially is running everything, which I’ll explain in a second. I have a video editor, a copywriter who actually just started, she hasn’t written any of the social stuff yet. And a graphic designer and they’re just freelancers.

So we just assign them things and pay them based on the work that they’ve done. With that said the group, the Facebook group, I used that to initially get the first enrollments and we are always growing it, sending traffic to our auto webinar that way. But that’s actually all automated.

I used a software called smarter queue and it actually evergreens all of your social media content for your Facebook group. So I don’t do anything like it’s zero amount of my time. My VA just lets people into the group and welcomes them. And that’s all we do now, because once you set it up, you don’t actually have to do anything past that.

With that in mind, I’ve been heavily focusing on like my long term strategies. So TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, I would recommend starting out with one at a time. So I really started with YouTube, focused on that, got the strategy automated. Then I went to Instagram.

I did kind of Instagram and TikTok at the same time because you can repurpose the reels and TikToks on each platform. So for YouTube, what I do is twice a year, well, I should say this once every six months, I carve out one week and I record six months of YouTube videos.

So I take, yeah, I take one day where I research all the keywords, the titles, all that stuff. I put it in a spreadsheet and then I have one week where five, I record five videos each day for a week. And then I hand it over to my video editor. After I record, I don’t do anything.

My video editor does that. And then my VA schedules all the posts and then we just promote them through like email and social media. So that’s done for me. Like I just record that once or two times a year. For TikTok, I actually focus on more.

So TikTok sort of like my first and then I repurpose it to Instagram. For me, I’ve just had such amazing growth on TikTok so quickly. One night before my husband and I were going on a date night, I looked at him and I was like, I’m gonna go viral on TikTok tonight. And he was like, what? And I’m like, I think I figured it out.

Like I’ve been watching TikTok videos since 2020, just like all the time, every night before bed, just like studying it and trying to figure out. Cause for me, I’m not gonna waste my time creating content until like I know it’s going to work super well.

So what I did was I looked at all of my different competitors or people that had like my ideal customers in their space, in their TikTok. And I looked at their top performing videos. So if you wanna know if a video has gone viral for someone, typically what that means is they’ve gotten three times more views then like their typical post.

So I noticed with this one competitor, all of her posts that were going viral were these Canva tutorial. And I was like, oh, well, like I can do a camp tutorial, you know, like that’s easy. Then I also knew of this other TikToker, who he goes viral all the time.

And his intro for every single post is, I can’t believe, I didn’t know this until I was 30. Maybe you’ve seen him on TikTok. And so what I did was I was like, I can’t believe, I didn’t know this Canva hack until today. So I basically took like a viral thing and then I modeled it.

And then I decided to create a Canva hack and I created a different Canva hack. So it wasn’t one that this person had done, but it was like taking these two viral things and putting them together. And literally my very first video I did that night, it just hit today over 175,000 views.

Which is, I know I’ve never in my entire career, had a post, have this many views on it, like literally ever. So I just kept doing the same formula and I’ve had now another 20,000, another 50,000 view. So those three posts in a row that I modeled the same formula.

They’ve all gone crazy. So that’s pretty much what I’m doing now. And every Friday I record, batch record TikToks and reels, and then I put them in my drafts and then my VA post them across TikTok and Instagram.

Stephanie Skryzowski: That is so cool, so wild. I have so many questions, but one thing that I think is very interesting and I’ve heard, like I can think of it least two or three other situations where people have gone viral. And it is not just by chance.

Like you are very strategic and these other people that have talked about going viral as well, they were very strategic. Like my goal is to go viral and this is how I’m going to do it. Whereas I feel like you just think you’re gonna create something and it’s just magically gonna go viral.

That seems like that’s maybe it’s the case, you know, if you have like a cute, cute dog video or something, but-

Molly Keyser: Yeah. I can tell you, you know, been a business owner since I was 19 years old. It does not happen that way. Like you, I think a lot of people are like, oh, just create more content. But I actually think like being strategic and creating better content is actually consistently, but better than just.

I mean, sometimes you have to throw some spaghetti to see what sticks, but then do more of that. Cause I see a lot of times people throw spaghetti. And something works and then they don’t listen to that data. They’ll just keep throwing spaghetti and I’m like, but you have the thing that works, just do more of that.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. Wow. Okay. So you’ve cracked the code in going viral. So are you doing more of that now? Like is that little combination of the sort of the Canva plus what the other guy was doing? Is that like still working or does it get to a point where things don’t work anymore and you gotta hack something new.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. So, so far it’s still working. However, I wanna also find more things that work because, you know, I don’t know. Maybe I run out of hacks, I don’t know. So what I am doing is I’m still doing the thing that works, but I am also testing other things. And also, I will say Canva hacks do bring in my ideal client because I wanna work with service providers, professionals, business owners, these people are interested in Canva.

So that’s perfect for me. However, I still want to be talking about what I teach on and what my course is about also because I want those people to come in from the viral TikTok, but then, you know, consume some of my more like nurtury educational things to move them to my auto webinar funnel.

So I do a mix of the viral ones. And then I also do some educational ones. I actually did a survey to my email list and I asked them like, what do you wanna learn from me? So now I have like literally thousands of ideas and questions, and I just create those videos.

And I will say those don’t necessarily, I haven’t had any of those go viral, but they’re still getting maybe a thousand views. And then those do tend to educate people more about what I’m doing, why they would want a course, how to, where to go to my webinar to get more information and things like that.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh, my gosh. So smart. I was gonna ask you, my next question was gonna be, how do you get all these ideas for content? I feel like I hit the bottom of the content bucket, like all the time. And I’m like haven’t I talked about this like a million times before and the reality is we probably have.

Like we’re a specialist in one thing. So we probably talked about it a million times, but there’s new angles and whatever. So you talked about asking your email list, which is brilliant. Like what do y’all wanna learn from me, but yeah. What do you do when you’re feel like you’re hitting the bottom of the content bucket?

Molly Keyser: Yeah, I’ve definitely been there, literally so many times. I feel like it’s so normal to, you know, even though I’ve pivoted, I’ve had all these businesses, like I’ve done all these things. I still feel like on a daily basis, like, oh, I have nothing to talk about.

Or like, nobody wants to hear this stuff. Just the other day, like to me I never used to be like this, but now I actually really nerd out on like SOPs and organization and like operations. Like I love that kind of stuff. Cause I get to create the strategy and then create the SOP and then hand it off.

That’s like my favorite thing to do. But just the other day, I was like, man, when I created my first course, nothing was organized. It was an absolute disaster. Like I just uploaded it into whatever the software was at the time. Cause this was back in like 2014.

And I even remember when we ultimately closed down that program and we went to send everyone like the download so they could have it forever, you know. My team couldn’t even find like where any of the files were like, it was so unorganized.

We ended up having to like download everything from the software, reorganize it, it was probably a hundred plus hours of work. Well, today I’m a much more organized person. So I asked my students, I was like, would you guys be interested in seeing like how I organized my course files?

Which I thought for sure everyone would be like, no, that is super boring.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Boring.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. Everyone was like, oh my God. Yes. I can’t wait to see that. So, first of all, I think it’s so normal to think no one wants to hear the things that you think are cool, but they do. And so I’ve learned that recently, I’ve also learned, don’t be afraid to go more high level than where your clients are at because they still find that really interesting.

And then also, yeah, like surveys, number one best way to get content is create a survey. I just use Google forms, it’s free. You send it out to your email list. If you don’t have an email list, you could use a Facebook group, there’s a poll feature.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, yes.

Molly Keyser: I use the poll feature all the time. You could also, if you don’t have that many followers, let’s say you maybe have, I don’t know, 50 to a hundred followers, 50 to a hundred people.

You could DM every single one of those people in a day and be like, what are you stuck on? What do you need help with? Like all creative free video, just for you like name the topic. Those people would be amazed. So yeah.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh my gosh. That’s super smart. I feel like, yeah, maybe I am speaking for myself. I don’t get like creative enough in terms of thinking about where to go for ideas, I just stay inside my own head. I’m like, there’s nothing to talk about.

Molly Keyser: Well, you have an email list, right?

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yup. I do.

Molly Keyser: Love it.

Stephanie Skryzowski: I do, I do. I know. So it’s interesting. Okay. So you’re obviously the queen of batching, you do 25 YouTube videos in one week. That is bananas. I am assuming that then like timeliness or like, you know, YouTube videos that are talking about something that’s like just popping up current event type things.

I mean, not that you’re doing anything, current events, but you know what I mean. Like the timeliness of your videos doesn’t really matter. It’s just all like totally evergreen content.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, I would say especially when it comes to YouTube, like the whole point of why I want to be on YouTube is because it is evergreen content. And since we mostly sell through our auto webinar funnel, which is also an evergreen sales strategy, those two just go together so perfectly.

We have people find old YouTube videos, go through our funnel purchase. So to answer your question though, I think it depends on what you’re talking about. So for me, like I’m talking about courses and I would say 90% of my strategies are like very timeless.

And that’s a cool thing about learning about courses is once you learn about it and you have those skills, you’re gonna have those skills for a long time. Creating a course, it doesn’t really change that much. However, if you are someone who’s like, oh, I’m the queen of Instagram.

And I teach all the new tips and when new tips come out, I teach them to you. Well, that’s a great niche, but you’re probably not gonna be able to batch your YouTube video six months at a time. But I will say one of the videos I have coming up is like how to get your first a thousand followers on TikTok.

And I just asked myself because that video’s not coming out till October, I just said, will people still wanna learn this in October? Of course, of course, they’re still gonna wanna learn how to get a thousand followers on there. But yeah, definitely something to keep in mind, you could always batch content and then when like new cool things come up, you could just quick maybe, and then you could have double.

Maybe that week you have two videos and people are like super stoked about it.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that. I try to do that with the podcast actually, and batch months in advance as if possible, because I think like you, my content can and should be evergreen. And then, like you said, if there’s extra things you can pop in that are more timely based on what’s happening in the world or whatever, you can add those and then that just feels like a bonus for your audience.

So I love that. Oh my gosh. You have so much knowledge. Do you talk about social media in your course as well? Like how that ties into your selling your course.

Molly Keyser: Yeah, we cover so much in the course. We do though keep everything really simple. Like it’s just a roadmap that people follow. So we do like to have people, if they don’t already have a following, we like them to start out with a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group.

If they already have a following though or after they do that portion, they want to grow like the long term strategy like I talk about. We teach TikTok, we teach Instagram, we teach YouTube everything, all inside of the same program. I like to tell people like you won’t have to buy anything else.

Like this is sort of like your course business in a box and it’s easy for me to create because whenever we learn something and we master it and we create the SOP to hand off, it’s like, I just pop it into the course. So, you really get everything that I have.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. That’s so interesting and what a great model. Do you see yourself in the future ever pivoting away from this and trying something new or like right now is you’re like a hundred percent in it forever.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. I mean, that’s a good question, but like, and maybe I’ll eat my words later, but I really don’t think so. A lot of people don’t know this, but back in 2017, so I had my photography business. I had my course for photographers. I actually started like a low carb course and a productivity course.

And an online course course, actually. Then I joined a mastermind and I asked my mentor, like, why can’t I get past, I don’t remember what it was like 600 or 800,000 or something like that. And he was like, well, it’s because you’re doing too many things.

So that’s actually why I closed all those things to focus on photography education business. And ever since then though, I’ve always had that course course in the back of my head like, but that’s the thing I want. Like, but that’s the thing, you know? And so when I think about my future, I really don’t see myself pivoting anywhere else.

I like to focus on one thing and by the way, because of that mentor’s advice because of me focusing on the one course, we went zero to 2 million with that product in two years. So I’m a very big proponent. I’m like pick the thing. And that’s also why I closed my last business. People are like, why don’t you just run both things.

I don’t believe you can. I don’t believe that you can run multiple businesses successfully unless you have a leadership team in place. And if I had had that in place, then I would’ve sold the company.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Okay. Yeah.

Molly Keyser: My point is, you definitely, I’m a big proponent of focus and my husband and I, he didn’t, co-own the last business with me. And so that’s another reason why this is awesome for our relationship as well. Like we get to co-own it together.

He’s like the tech and funnels and all that stuff. And I’m more of like the face in the marketing. And we just, it’s really fun for us. Like we love doing it together. It utilizes both of our skills perfectly. We see a lot of things in the future for this business.

We see, these are all things that don’t exist yet so just like disclaimer, but we see maybe our own course software preloaded with all the things that you need when you’re a student of ours. So you don’t have to load in the funnels, it all comes done for you.

We see maybe a mastermind, for course graders, six figures and above. We see a lot so yeah. And we’re both 35, so I know there’s a lot of years to pivot, but this is the thing we both love so much. So we’ll see.

Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s awesome. Oh my gosh. I love that focus. I think you’re right. And do you feel like you’re the type of person that has shiny object syndrome? Cause I definitely do.

Molly Keyser: I think I definitely used to because if you look at my journey, I had all those different courses at one point and that just shows you also my love of courses. Like for me, the most fun thing I could do is create and launch a new course.

Like it’s just so much fun, but that’s now why I help other people do it because now I get that fix without destroying my business. I get to help other people do it. So yeah, I definitely used to have shiny object syndrome. I used to be a very disorganized, chaotic, creative, and I have very much worked extremely hard to find mentors and programs and things to learn about operations, learn about how to organize things.

But I will say there’s always that internal struggle of keeping up with my creativity to balance those things. Cause I do feel like there’s a reason why there’s a CEO and a COO. Those are two like very different minds. So that’s why I’ve been loving YouTube and TikTok. It’s just a very fun creative outlet for me that also gets to stay organized.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah. And it’s not creativity for creativity’s sake, like it’s driving business. So like it’s also profitable for you to be using your creativity in that way. And yeah, clearly all the things are working. That’s so cool. Well, thank you so much for sharing all of that. You’re so smart.

And I feel like I was definitely taking notes in like LinkedIn group. I feel like everybody listening has probably gotten so much out of everything that we’ve talked about today. So where do we find you? And for any of our listeners that are like, okay, sold, I need to work with Molly and learn all about building a profitable course. Where do we go?

Molly Keyser: Yeah, sure. So the best place to get started would be our free on-demand training. So you just go to profitablecourses.com/class and it’s totally free. And you’re gonna learn a lot. I teach you how to find your course idea or how to know that the one you have is gonna be profitable.

How to create the actual curriculum for your course in 60 minutes or less, and how to build the following of buyers, which is actually a bit different than what we already talked about. So that’s kind of perfect. So yeah, that’d be the best place to go ahead and get started.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Awesome. I just went to that page profitablecourses.com/class and that seems like a great use of people’s time to go check that out.

Molly Keyser: And since you just plugged me, I’m gonna plug you because we didn’t talk about that I use your company for my CFO services.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, yes, you do. I know I’m like it’s okay. No, go ahead.

Molly Keyser: Well, no, I just wanted to share that it actually ties into how you were saying being organized and like structured and things like that. Because that was one of the ways that I kind of did used to have shiny object syndrome was I would either think we were doing really good or think we were doing really bad, but I would only base that feeling on like how I felt emotionally.

And so then I would be like, oh, well we need a new product or we need a new thing. But now that I meet with somebody from Stephanie’s team every single month, and we look at the actual numbers and the actual data, now I can base the business decisions off of that. And we don’t have any like, oh, let’s quick create a product.

We don’t have like chaos in our business at all because we just, you know. Amber’s the person that we work with in literally almost every meeting with her, Erin and I are like, I think we’re doing horrible and then like, she looks at the numbers and she’s like, you’re doing really well.

We’re like, oh, cool. So you know, that just goes to show you like everyone has those emotional ups and downs, and that’s why the data and the numbers are like, So important, so, yeah.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. It’s so true, it’s so true. I know. And obviously I spend a lot of time with my financial numbers in my business. What I don’t spend a lot of time with is like my like marketing KPIs, those kind of numbers. And so I’m putting efforts towards certain things and I forget to check the data.

So I have no idea if like, is it worth like, am I doing the right thing? Until I remember, oh yeah, wait, there are some numbers that I could look at that would tell me exactly whether I’m doing the right thing or not.

Molly Keyser: That’s awesome.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. I think it’s so important for anybody listening, like your numbers, whether it’s your marketing numbers or your financial numbers, whatever those numbers are like super, super important to be checking in on those on a regular basis, because otherwise-

Molly Keyser: Absolutely.

Stephanie Skryzowski: You’re right. You just can’t, you’re just making decisions based on a guess, or like you said, a feeling so-

Molly Keyser: And usually our feelings are, I mean, there’s difference between like gut feelings and then like emotional, like, you know, so-

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes.

Molly Keyser: Yeah. Data is typically usually right.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, thank you so much. Everybody has your link. We’ll definitely put that in the show notes as well. And I do like to ask, what do you do, and this is sometimes for my own benefit, cause I feel like I work a lot because I like it. I’m always thinking about it, but what do you do to disconnect from work?

Molly Keyser: Well, that’s a great question. Now that I live in New Mexico, so many things cause it’s sunny here 306 days a year, so-

Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh my gosh.

Molly Keyser: Cause I’m from Wisconsin originally, so yeah. I do not take that for granted, but I do hiking, I do horseback riding, like chill riding, dressage, I do a lot of walking, I go to the gym every morning. So really just a lot of like activities because I’m at my computer during work. So anytime I unplug, I’m just like, I don’t wanna be at my computer.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, like get me outta here. Oh, I love that. That’s awesome. We just went to Phoenix area and Utah and Arizona a couple months ago. And I know that’s not the same as New Mexico, but it’s in the general region of country.

Molly Keyser: You’re getting closer though.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly. Yeah, yeah. So the Wisconsin weather that you used to have is like where I have in Buffalo. And I was like, oh my gosh.

Molly Keyser: Oh, Buffalo. Yeah. Is very similar. Very brutal. Yeah.

Stephanie Skryzowski: I’m like give me like desert warmth heat. I don’t care how hot it gets. Like give the hundred degrees, 120 degrees. I don’t care.

Molly Keyser: A hundred degrees, isn’t that the name of your company?

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Molly Keyser: She’s manifesting in everyone.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, exactly. Oh my goodness. Yes. Alright. Well, Molly, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for sharing all of your wisdom. I mean, you’ve inspired me to re-energize my online course. So you’ve probably inspired lots of other listeners as well, and I’m sure they’ll go check you out.

So thank you.

Molly Keyser: Thank you. It’s been super fun.

Stephanie Skryzowski: Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on Instagram, @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here, friends, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcript for Episode 74

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