Welcome to episode 37 of the Launch Yourself podcast.
In This Episode
In today’s episode, Braden Drake, an attorney and tax professional, shares all of the behind-the-scenes details about launching his first signature course. As a service provider who spent about a year working with entrepreneurs on a one-on-one basis, he quickly expanded his offerings into courses, a membership site, and programs. We talk about the program he followed to launch his course, how he validates his course topics, and how he was able to transition from an attorney helping one business at a time, to one that helps so many day in and day out.
Braden does NOT hold back. He shares the steps he took, the metrics behind each action item including webinar show-up rates, email open rates, and more—and several juicy launch tips to help you propel your own course to success (including how to get your webinar attendees to show up live).
In addition to Braden’s awesome results, what makes his launch even more exciting to share, is how he was able to take his business as an attorney and tax expert, and transition it to an online business that matches the way he likes to work… and still, make money.
Learn More About Braden Drake
Your gay bestie here to help you unf*ck your biz, get your legal & tax shit legit, & become the CEO of your creative biz
Braden Drake is an attorney and tax professional who teaches creative business owners the legal and tax stuff. After graduating from law school and passing the bar, he started a law firm, worked 1-on-1 with 100+ creative small biz owners. He has a handsome husband who works as a District Attorney prosecuting hate crimes here in San Diego, and they have three adorable little dogs.
Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is the launch yourself podcast, episode 37 with Braden Drake. For more information and show notes, go to launch yourself.co/ 37. Welcome to the latch yourself podcast. My name is Melissa Anzman. I'm a bestselling author and the CEO of two businesses and employee experience company and launch yourself where I help entrepreneurs diversify and scale their business by launching digital products each week, you'll hear mind blowing interviews, where we peek behind the curtain of other people's launches, as well as actual tips and strategies that you can implement in your daily work life to create launches that actually make you money. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let's get started on today's episode. I interview Brayden Drake, who chairs a little bit, actually a lot about his behind the scenes of his course, how he sells it, how he gets people in there, and some other things that he's testing.
Melissa Anzman (01:01): Now, Braden Drake is an attorney and tax professional who teaches creative business owners, the legal and tax stuff. After graduating law school and passing the bar, he started a law firm, worked one on one with over a hundred creative, small business owners. And now has memberships and courses and programs to help you take care of your business. He also has a handsome husband. He works as a district attorney prosecuting hate crimes in San Diego, California, and they have three adorable little dogs. Or as his Instagram profile says, Braden is your gay bestie here to help you unfuck your business, get your legal and tax shit legit and become the CEO of your creative business. Now, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Braden through a mutual friend who he is, um, business buddies with besties with, and she couldn't stop raving about how awesome he was. And you will find that all of that and more is true in today's episode, let's get started. Welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have you Braden.
Braden Drake (02:13): Thanks so much for having me. I'm very excited to chat about all these things.
Melissa Anzman (02:16): Me too. This is probably going to be one of the biased, upbeat conversations we have, but we're going to talk about launching. We're going to talk about your program or course, um, and we're going to go deep on some things, and I know that you are all about taking action. So I love that knowing that
Braden Drake (02:33): Out of the gate. Yes, I'm here for it.
Melissa Anzman (02:37): So am I, so my, so before we start talking about your launch, I'd love to just have a little bit of an overview of background of what it is that you do, what your business is.
Braden Drake (02:47): Sure. So short story is I live in California, moved out here about seven years ago to go to law school, graduated, took and passed the bar exam, which makes me a full fledged attorney technically on paper. I also got my master's degree and tax law, which I know sounds really boring, but it's a specialty master's degree for people with law degrees to go get like advanced skills and really great topics like taxes. And I decided rather than work at like a big four accounting firm or do something really a snooze Fest like that. I was going to start my own business. And it really wanted an entails is a lot of, I call it CPA, adjacent work and also small business legal work. So I do tax consulting, quarterly taxes, contracts, business formation. And I really only did one on one services for about a year, year and a half before I got into the course world. So I feel like as opposed to a lot of people who get into courses cause they get really burnt out. I think, I think I was only making about $30,000 in services before I went like pretty, pretty deep into the, like the online education space.
Melissa Anzman (03:57): I love that. First of all, I didn't know that you were that deep in taxes. Second of all, my dad's a CPA. I did not play on this.
Braden Drake (04:06): Yeah. Sometimes I feel like when I'm getting disarray, I feel like when my tax, when my tax acumen is getting disrespected, because people will say, you're not a CPA. I say no, but CPA's have actually hired me to do tax reform for them before.
Melissa Anzman (04:19): Okay. That aside, um, I'd love to sort of talk a little bit about a launch that you've experienced and we sort of, you know, whether it's a program or a product or even a new service launches, really that chance that you decided to sort of go deeper, big. And so for you, I'd love to know first what launch you want to talk about and then what made you go down that particular path?
Braden Drake (04:43): Sure. So I figured the most obvious launch for us to talk about would be my most recent one. I had just launched at the time of this recording, like three to four weeks ago, which was like our second week of coronavirus quarantine, which makes it super interesting. And it was my biggest launch yet. So lots of fun factors there.
Melissa Anzman (05:01): Definitely. Um, and what was it, what did you want?
Braden Drake (05:04): So I launched my signature course. Um, I did the beta launch for it in the fall. So it was not technically my first launch, but it was my first one since actually developing out all the content. And my course is called unfuck, your biz. It's a five module course to help people get their legal and tax shit legit through educating them on all those topics. We handle back taxes, LLC, formation, S-corp payroll, bookkeeping, all of that good and juicy stuff.
Melissa Anzman (05:33): I love that in a course too. It's not something I would even think would be causable. So
Braden Drake (05:39): It's, it's, it's interesting. It's really hard for me to get this message across on my sales page. Maybe I need to pay you for some consulting work, but I actually do like firmly believe now that people get more out of going through my course and they would from hiring like both an attorney and a CPA. Cause you have to like, if you've got gotta you learn all this shit and then if you want to hire it out, you can. But if like Barb who you met at the BNI event last week says she's an awesome bookkeeper, but then she's missing half your deductions. Like you gotta have to be able to know that in order to know that Barb needs to be fired.
Melissa Anzman (06:12): Amazing. Like I couldn't co-sign that more it's especially the fact that you can learn a ton more in a court, like in a course or a program than working with you one on one and you need to know enough to be dangerous. Like I say that all the time, you can always hand things off, but you can't hand them off until, you know, what the heck you're talking about. So, um, when it comes to your money, I think that should be obvious. And it's totally not, most people would rather not deal with money and taxes and all,
Braden Drake (06:40): All the stuff you deal with. Totally.
Melissa Anzman (06:43): Okay. So why did you decide to go down the course route? Like it's definitely not a traditional route for your business or your background or even the space that you're in?
Braden Drake (06:53): Well, so I got introduced to the whole online world through podcasts, which I feel like might be pretty common. Um, a lot of the circles that I run in, I work with a lot of like millennial female entrepreneurs. Like they're very into Jenna Kutcher and like that whole space, like Jasmine star, those influencers. So I was first introduced to this space when a couple of my friends were like, Hey, have you heard of this Golddigger podcast? You should check it out. And so I listened to that and then this is all coming full circle at a second. I promise. So yeah, about 10 episodes in, I heard her interview with Amy Porterfield and I was like, well, she seems really pleasant and great. I'm going to go check out her podcast so that I started bingeing Amy's podcast. And I kid you not, this is a totally real story about after about a week of listening to her podcast while marathon training.
Braden Drake (07:44): So I was listening to like four episodes a day. Um, she was setting up for her annual event, the entrepreneur experience at my office at we work like an outside area. And so I saw her team out there and I just being the person, I am like walked out and introduced myself. And at that point I decided, well, I think the universe is trying to tell me something. So I decided to sign up like for the next program she launched, which was her first round of digital course Academy. Um, but I got really into it because I was listening to her podcast. I was like, well maybe a course. She basically sold me into it, but I was like, maybe, maybe of course it makes sense for me. Cause it was like, I love teaching. I love talking obviously surprised to know one. Um, but I don't really love like ongoing one-on-one work commitments. I don't really like having deadlines looming over me. And I found I enjoy content creation cause I can kind of do it on my own time package the course together. And then I enjoy the education afterwards, but I don't like having to, having to work on other people's like commitments and timelines
Melissa Anzman (08:48): Love that. Okay. So just to make the connection a little bit, um, w Braden and I were introduced through someone else, so are not close all, however, that being said, we actually circle in the same world and we haven't known it. So I've been part of Amy Porterfield's. I mean, I bought a program. I don't like six, seven years ago. Like I'm gee in her program as they call it, I was first round DCA. Like I did all this stuff. I was at that experience event. I have, I would never go out of my way to introduce myself to her though. I totally fan girls when I got to meet her like hardcore, but it was very much so nice to like, I was that person. So I'm really impressed that you took advantage of the universe and started.
Braden Drake (09:34): Yeah. The interesting thing about this is, so now I refer to people like in Amy's stratosphere as entrepreneurs, celebrities, like that's the term I've, I've dubbed for them. So I think it's intuitive and we know what that means, but at the time, like I had no idea, like I had no idea, Melissa, like someone could have introduced me to your podcast and I could have been listening to both of them. And for all, like for all, I would have known at that point in time, is that like you and Amy had the exact same audience size. So like I just saw Amy out there. I was like, Oh, I've been listening to her podcast. She seems really cool. So I went out and introduced myself and then two hours later when I went to leave for work, there was a line of like 200 people, like waiting to get a picture with her. And I was like, what the fuck is happening?
Melissa Anzman (10:16): Oh my God. Okay. That's amazing. I love it. Okay. So you decided Amy convinced you I'm like, she's really great at, to invest in a course. And um, I think both of us would recommend DCA. Like it's a great program to learn how to build a course. Um, that being said like, so I want to understand other than working with Amy through a course, other than doing yourself trained online study, did you have any help to build it? Like who were, who were your partners? Who were your advisors? Like, how did you go about doing something that you had never created?
Braden Drake (10:54): No, I just went through the, I just went through the course. I just went through the course work. So the first, the first course I created was called legally launched, which is something she calls it a spotlight course. Um, I think we both understand the lingo, but it was on a pretty specific topic. It was just on the aspect of forming your LLC and getting all your business licenses. So I launched that last spring. Um, and I think it was like a 10 week course, but it only really needed to be like for like honestly to get the results. And I priced it at around, I think it was 400, three 97 and I had 14 students on that list. Yeah. My emails was like 400 people, so I was pretty excited. Yeah. And then I was actually planning out a relaunching that in the fall with keeping in mind that I wanted to create a signature course to kind of fold in all the tax and I need to now teach on cashflow. Um, but my mastermind told me that was stupid. They're like, if you're going to phase that out, you might as well just launch your new idea as a beta program, which was a great idea. So I relaunched that or I launched the beta program and got 18 students and priced it at a thousand. So that was where I was at the end of last year. But
Melissa Anzman (12:05): Incredible by the way, for a beta launch, like that's real good.
Braden Drake (12:09): Thank you. Uh, but last year, I mean, I joined my mastermind in like August, so I started to have help like with the conceptualization around the ideas, all that kind of stuff. Um, but all the creation was on my own with like help from like the DCA Facebook group and that sort of thing. And then for this last launch, I hired a copywriter just to edit my sales page. And I think that was it.
Melissa Anzman (12:35): Oh my gosh. Okay. So tell me the tools behind your course. Like, were you using a platform? What email? Like tell me all the systems and tools that make up.
Braden Drake (12:44): Okay. Girl, you just wait for this. So if you, are you on Kajabi?
Melissa Anzman (12:49): I'm not, I have, I have a thing with Kajabi, but go ahead.
Braden Drake (12:53): Okay. So I'm on Javi. I'm on Kajabi because Amy's an affiliate for good job. So I had to sign up cause she's my girl, you know? So she got my, she got my affiliate commission. She's probably, she's probably like counting the dollars when she drives.
Melissa Anzman (13:07): Heck yeah, she is. Yeah, go ahead. Continue why I have a thing with Kajabi, but okay. Go. Okay.
Braden Drake (13:13): Well they've changed their affiliate program.
Melissa Anzman (13:16): No, I know. And it is a good platform, but yeah, continue.
Braden Drake (13:19): So I joined that like in the middle of DCA last year and I set up my online website in Kajabi, got that all set up. Um, flash forward to October around the same time I was launching my beta program, Kajabi actually asked if they could come to my house to do like a promo shoot for a big marketing campaign. They were doing, I live in Southern California. I know I live in Southern California. So a lot of this just has to do with geography, I think. Cause they were like, you're an attorney. That's cool. And you're doing courses cause it's different. Um, and we're going to be in San Diego filming like four other people. So let's add you to the schedule, but now if any of your listeners have Kajabi, like I am that strange man that they see when they log in the door, Kajabi dashboard, like my photos, like on the Kajabi dashboard. But anyway, the tech tools I use Kajabi and zoom, that's pretty much it. So I use Kajabi for email marketing, my course, my website, my membership, um, sales pages, all of that. Yeah.
Melissa Anzman (14:20): Okay. So let's talk deep about your launch. So what worked really well? Like what was your plan, your timeline to sort of launch your program? Um, the full, the full program.
Braden Drake (14:34): Okay. So I'm looking at my dates. I did a longer than normal launch, which I would not recommend because it really fizzled out towards the end. I think Amy teaches like 14 days. I don't know how to what's the normal average like launch date that you see?
Melissa Anzman (14:48): Oh, friend. It depends like Amy a is a long launch. I think it's 14 to 16 days just depending on what you count. Um, and then I have people who do a three day lodge, so it varies.
Braden Drake (15:01): Yeah. So I'm doing like a mini launch where my membership next week and it's going to be like a two or three day launch, but it's so much smaller offer. Um, for this, I think it ended up being like 17 or 18 days, which was kind of crazy. But the reason why I extended it was because like three days before what I had scheduled to be cart close, I had two back to backstage speaking events. Um, and those getting canceled due to coronavirus, but they were both going to be about 100 attendees of my like ideal client because I work about 50% of my students are wedding professionals and one event was for wedding photographers and the other event was for wedding professionals more generally in LA. So I was like, this is gonna be perfect. I'll push the cart, close back a few days.
Braden Drake (15:47): Um, so I would say the cart was a little too long. I had the first time I launched my program, 50% of my students came on the last day. So I was really hopeful. I would have a really killer launch this time, this time like 70% of my students came in the first week. So I was like kind of, I was kind of upset like at the end of the launch, but I kept hitting like my minimum goal, but I still don't know. Um, if we're going to like troubleshoot it, I think it was a combination of the launch as long. And as we got further into quarantine, people were getting like more and more hesitant to spend money.
Melissa Anzman (16:23): Yeah. Super interesting. So a few things I want to point out to the listeners and then also of course, ask and poke some holes in your conversation or your launch first is, um, from a timing perspective, from a filling your course perspective, notice braided and say he sat back and did online stuff only. And hoped people came in, bought his course, like he had speaking engagements around it. So he was doing offline things to drive customers. He had his email list, like he was doing things online to build people to come to his course and his audience. Like it wasn't a put your sales sign up and then it sold. Correct?
Braden Drake (17:02): Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's a good point because actually, like I just started running Facebook ads last week. So I'm still trying to figure that out up until this point when I launched the course, I think my email list is up to 1800 people, about 1200 subscribers. And that was all pretty much through Facebook groups and through speaking events, um, and podcasts like this. So that's how I got most of my email list. The nice thing though is since it was all organic, even if they weren't really warm leads, they were all, um,
Melissa Anzman (17:38): They on topic, they were your buyer,
Braden Drake (17:40): We're all on topic and like potentially could be great buyers. They weren't like random people that managed to find my ads that had like really bizarre businesses, unrelated to my audience.
Melissa Anzman (17:50): So did you follow Amy's launch? Like did you do webinars to get people and like, so just, if you could talk a little bit about what you did during those 17 days?
Braden Drake (18:01): I sure did. So you're gonna, you're gonna love this. So I actually am right now, so I currently am marathon training. So whenever I'm running, I get like the craziest business ideas and I have the voice memo themselves then before I forget. Um, so one of the ideas that I voiced my mode yesterday was I want to have one of my weekly emails that goes to my current students about my court, my personal course philosophy because it serves a dual purpose. And my philosophy is anytime I decide to buy a course, my goal is to be a case study success story for the course grader. Like that's my sole goal. Yeah. Because it's like, if I'm not going to work hard enough that they would want to feature me, then why am I going to do it? And if I'm not going to follow their plan closely enough that they would also want to feature me, like, why am I going to pay for their program? So I'm going to send that to my students for obvious reasons, because I want them to like do the work and to be one of my case studies. And also I just joined tribe this week. So that's why I was really thinking.
Braden Drake (19:05): Yes. Um, but yeah, I've so circling back to your actual question, I do this a lot. It's a lot of circles. You guys were fine. I, yeah, I followed Amy's Amy's launch pretty much to, to a T and I did, I did four webinars and like the whole shebang.
Melissa Anzman (19:23): I love it. I love it. So what worked really well for you during the launch? Like what, what did you plan and execute? And you're like, yes, that is exactly what I hoped for.
Braden Drake (19:33): I was really excited because this was the first time I ever had live, uh, webinar signups. So, you know, that's one of the big things is like the fast set, fast action bonus, like getting people to sign up, live on the webinar. That was my first goal. I was like, I'm going to get at least one person to sign up for the program while I'm live on the call. Um, and my program's $2,000 and I'm not like a huge name in the industry yet. So does a pretty big ask, especially if someone's not already really, really warm to me. But I did. I think I had three people sign up, live on the first webinar and two people sign up, live on the second webinar, which was really exciting. Um, the fourth webinar was like really not great. Um, I had, cause I had, I actually have it in front of me, like the webinar signups I had, I think 50 people sign up for a webinar, one 40 for webinars, two 25 for three, and like 15 for four, it ended up totaling 150 total. But the signups for the last one were lower and the show up rate was lower. So I think in the next launch, I'm only going to do three webinars.
Melissa Anzman (20:40): Yeah. That was one of the things I found for me. I'm in Amy's process for webinars did not work like they were wasting my time, honestly. So I, um, I do too, uh, when I do, when I follow her launch, which isn't always like I do other types of launches mostly cause I like to test things for people and report back. Um, but the four webinars did not work for me either so
Braden Drake (21:03): Interesting. So I would say like, I'm definitely planning on doing it again because the webinars worked really well. It's just that I've had it from four to three because like I'm what I'm looking at. My total statistics right now. And over the four webinars, I had 150 people sign up. My show up rate was 51%. That's crazy high. Yeah. And then my, so I have some tips for you on that one or some things that I did, whether they'll work for other people. I don't know. And then my conversion rate was 13% based on live attendees.
Melissa Anzman (21:38): That's really good. That's really good. Yeah. I mean, I definitely want to hear your tips and I agree webinars can absolutely work. Um, just making sure that you test it for your audience and like the numbers that you have and when you do and topics and stuff is so different than a, like one size fits all. Okay. So tell me, how did you get your people to show up live?
Braden Drake (21:57): Okay. So the first thing I did was, um, I went back through all the DCA content to see what I missed in the first two launches. Cause I knew there was stuff I didn't implement. And one of the big things was the pre webinar email sequence. So after people signed up, like all the reminder, like all the obnoxious reminder emails you get, I scheduled and said all of those. So they got five, I think, um, it was like eight days out, five days out, three days out and then like four hours before and 15 minutes before. But um, I included a workbook for the webinars. So in each of the reminder emails, I would give additional tips on the workbook and reminders and fun stuff. And then also what I do not super scalable, but on my webinar sign up form, I asked for a name, email and Instagram handle.
Braden Drake (22:46): Yeah. And then, um, I post Instagram stories. It says so excited to see you in class. And then I tag all the people who signed up. So you can only do 10 people per story. Um, but I had a long launch so I could, you know, space it out. But I would find a lot of people would say like, yay, can't wait and response. And I think that helps a lot. And then also about 10% of the people I tag would then share that to their stories, which would then hopefully lead to more webinars signups as well.
Melissa Anzman (23:16): Okay. Friends, this is a hot, hot, hot tip. Like that is brilliant. I never even thought about that. Like Holy cow, it's weird. I feel like I've seen it, but I never put two and two together of how to get people to show up live. Like that's brilliant.
Braden Drake (23:33): Yeah. I started doing that because when I did my very first launch last spring for my first program, um, I think I had 10 people sign up for my first webinar and no one showed up and I was like,
Melissa Anzman (23:43): Oh, that's worse. That's yeah. I don't
Braden Drake (23:46): Think I had a single reminder email and I didn't really do anything. So then for the next webinar, I still didn't have any reminder emails, but I send everyone a personal Instagram message. Cause it was only like 10 people. So just said, Hey, saw your sign up. So excited to see you. Um, can't wait. And then I had about a 50% show up for that one. So then combining like that strategy with like the actual pre-webinar emails.
Melissa Anzman (24:10): Yeah. That's brilliant. And those pre-webinar emails. I do them as well and I always feel like I'm being annoying. And then I remember I usually join webinars when I get that we're starting now. Like I usually just click that to join. My whole annoying factor got
Braden Drake (24:28): Removed. And also like if you sync, like if you sync it, basically I'm sending out the same amount of reminder emails as I am webinar promotion emails. So they're, everyone's only getting one of those two things.
Melissa Anzman (24:41): Oh, I love it. Brilliant. Okay. So that worked really well. One other tip that worked really well before we work with dive into what didn't.
Braden Drake (24:49): Okay. So I mean, that was, that was basically it like the whole strategy was the webinars and then the post on our email sequence. So that's what got all the students. And then I tried some other shit that like didn't really work when we get talking about that.
Melissa Anzman (25:03): Okay. Well, why don't we dive into that? So what was some things about things I plural because I know stuff always goes wrong. Multiple things go wrong during lunch, but what didn't work as well as you would hoped it or expected it to do, uh, during this lunch.
Braden Drake (25:18): Yes. So in addition to the webinars, I'm sorry, you guys are probably gonna think I'm obsessed, but like I learned all my shit from Amy and implement her stuff.
Melissa Anzman (25:27): I talk about her all the time. Like,
Braden Drake (25:30): Well, like basically best friends. So
Melissa Anzman (25:33): See, I just am in my head. Like you actually kind of know her, like I just in my head think we're best friends. So continue. Yeah.
Braden Drake (25:41): No, it was my name. I know. Cause she's invested. Like she messaged me once and she follows me. He follows me on Instagram. Now I was like, I'm not going to post about this cause everyone's going to like, think I'm crazy. But I did message like a few of my friends when she followed me
Melissa Anzman (25:55): Back to what didn't work. So what didn't work in your launch?
Braden Drake (25:58): So I tried one strategy. So Amy T taught this in momentum. So momentum is her membership. Okay, cool. You're a member. Great momentum. You should go look in there because I've posted like 10 times in the past week. But um, she teaches the strategy in there. Um, that's I don't remember what it's called the live stream, something or other, so in her last line,
Melissa Anzman (26:19): Like testimonial live stream or something.
Braden Drake (26:22): So I tried that, um, for her it was like really beautiful. Cause she like flew all of her people like out and rented a studio in a like, look like a talk show. And I was like, Oh, I want to try to do that. But I just did a zoom call with five of my students, um, like who have went through the beta program. And it was basically just going to be a Q and a, so I wasn't going to do it. Wasn't going to be like nearly as produced or anything. Um, but only like two or three people showed up. And so that was, it was like really awkward because then I was like, Hey, you two people that I have here. Captively, I'm going to have these other four people who all took my course, like berate you with all the great things about it. So I think that the proportion seem to better be better to make that work. And also, um, I think I'd already exhausted the email list I had promoting my four webinars before I did that. So for the next launch, I'm planning to either do two webinars and like the student things, I think I liked the concept or maybe three replacing the last webinar with that concept. We'll see.
Melissa Anzman (27:23): I love it. Okay. That's super interesting. And just a little bit of background on it. It actually is something Amy started because she did it with Marie Forleo for uh, Murray's B school launch and was super, super successful for Marie. Um, I think Amy shared it was successful for her too, but that you can do it virtually, which I think is great. Cause most of us aren't going to fly our students in to a studio, but um, you're right. Like having the right proportion of attendees, like interested in coming versus doing like a taped version or I have a client that has their students take testimonials and share it like in a group or share it on the sales page, like a normal testimonial, but ha like there's totally ways to incorporate it. If you don't quite have that proportion setup and still your, your previous clients, there's still your best case studies. Really.
Braden Drake (28:17): Yeah. So I tried that strategy. Um, it was kind of a bus I thought like in my mind I was like, Oh, it'd be great if I could get like 30 people to show up, live for this. And I was going to do like another lie, like a, another fast action bonus. So people registered for the program while we're on the call. So now that I'm running ads and like hired someone to do my Pinterest, I might have enough of an audience on my next launch to try that. We'll see. Um, but that was one. Um, do you want to hear about a really wacky quiz? I did.
Melissa Anzman (28:46): Yes. You went down the quiz rabbit hole, huh?
Braden Drake (28:49): I mean, I try it's really is a rabbit hole. I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to make a fucking quiz and it never, I never, I always get like halfway through and I'm not normally normally like a project give her upper, like I normally finish everything that I start, but I just, I get, I don't think quizzes work well in my brain, but this time what I decided to do, I feel like you're gonna, you're gonna like this. Whether you'll think it's a good idea. I don't know, but you'll be amused either way. What I did was, um, I picked about eight of my students from my beta round. So I had 18 students in the beta round and we had one on one exit calls and then I also interviewed them on my podcast. Um, so that was part of my prelaunch runway, um, before the webinar promotion and I transcribed all those calls.
Braden Drake (29:36): So I went to Timmy, paid 10 cents a minute. I had them all transcribed and then I could pull testimonial quotes, but I also use them to build out case studies for eight of my students. And then what I did was I put all those case studies in a quiz. And so the quiz was which what, which unfuck your biz alum are you. So you answer five questions and then it matches you to an alumni and it would say, Oh, Hey, um, Hey Mel, your business is most like Melissa's when Milla, before Melissa joined the program, she had already hired an attorney to form her LLC, but she was one year behind on her taxes and was having struggles with cashflow. And this is what she had to say about the program afterwards. So whether I thought it was a really, really good idea, um, whether it worked, I can't, I can't really tell you because it wasn't, this was not a lead generating tool.
Braden Drake (30:29): I embedded it in my sales page. Oh yeah. I embedded it in my sales page. And then I also, like I promoted it before the live stream. So I could feel like, get to know like your potential match before you come to the call, which was interesting. I thought, but, um, for all I know it could have helped people. I think I'll know more when I do, uh, exit like the exit surveys for my current students, but I did not require any email on that because I wanted as many people as possible to take it. So I literally have no data.
Melissa Anzman (31:02): I love that concept. I actually do the same type of thing in the HR work I do. Like, so that's why I'm so interested in that, like for benefit communications, we tend to have like see yourself in this scenario that we call them scenarios or personas and you sort of get their situation and feel like you're part of the story and how you can have your, the same before and after. Um, I love that you do those. I love it as an idea, but I definitely think you have some opportunity there as a lead gen. Right. Of like, even if it's not find your match, but you just position it a little differently. Like that's super interesting.
Braden Drake (31:40): Yeah. I'd have to figure out how to turn it into like into a Legion tool. Like I probably need to rename it, but the reason why I wanted to create it is because at first I was trying to create a quiz, um, that was like how to unfuck your biz or like which path you should take to unfuck your biz. And I decided, I was like, okay, I need to figure out like, basically like the buckets or categories that my ideal students fall into. And I found I had four. So I named them the, I don't know what, I don't know, creative, which are typically like the brand new creative business owners who are like, I know they're spoiled a lot of stuff. I don't know, but I'm not sure what that stuff is. And I found that they are great candidates for my course that can get a lot out of it, but they're not problem aware yet.
Braden Drake (32:25): So they were going to be really hard to sell into it. So that's actually my now my ideal client for my front end membership that I'm working on evolving. And then I have what I, who I call the savvy beginner. So like, that's, I had two students actually, who both had MBAs, but they like didn't want to go through legal zoom or hire an attorney, but they're like, I want to make sure I'm legit. They were only about a year into business. So that was that category. And then I had the, um, can I just be creative, creative, which was someone who's been in business for a few years. And they're like, I just have a pile of paperwork. I'm ignoring it. I am probably more, but I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. And um, that person's kind of like perfectly positioned for my program. I mean, it's called unfuck, your biz. And then the last one was the, um, I think I called them the industry rockstar and it was, they are really hyper organized. This tends to be a lot of my wedding planning students. Cause they have all their, like their organization together, but they want to form escorts to save taxes and like scale their business. So I ended up to make the quiz simpler, just ended up matching those two students. I had two students for each of those two categories.
Melissa Anzman (33:36): I love it. I have so many ideas for you, how you can make that lead gen. Thank you. Have something there. That's so interesting. Yeah.
Braden Drake (33:42): I have a lot of mental blocks around that, but we can always talk about it. Like the problem. I'm sure a lot of people relate to this, but the problem is, is, um, basically my, my front end membership has evergreen and my course launches twice a year. So my customer journey is really to try to get everyone from cold to warm, to joining the membership. And then in this last launch I had about a 30% conversion from membership members and that the course, so I'm like, I want to create a quiz. It's like, you should do this or this, but in reality, I want the outcome for everyone to be like, join the membership. You'll get a lot of benefit. And then when the course opens, you can decide if you want to join that.
Melissa Anzman (34:23): Love that. And yeah, that is, um, that is a very Amy structure, right? Of like core selling only several times a year, once or twice or a handful versus having it always evergreen. Um, there's, there's something there. I know it. I know. Anyway, we can take that offline. Um, was there any other challenges that you had that you wanted to share or talk about?
Braden Drake (34:47): I'm really want to work on my email, open rates, so they're not great. They're fine. They're okay. But now that I'm especially starting to market to Kohler audiences and bringing them in, I feel like there's a lot of room for improvement there. I actually, we can take this conversation wherever you want to take it and go cause it's your podcast and not mine, but I do have all of my emails written down with the subject line and the open rates and the click rates. If you want to talk about that at all. Well, sure.
Melissa Anzman (35:17): Let's go deep. I mean, I like those numbers. If you're willing to share, I'd love to know, you know, which one had your best results and which one had your worst.
Braden Drake (35:26): Okay. So my best email, 38% open rate. Is that good? That number? Okay.
Melissa Anzman (35:32): Yeah, we liked that number. I mean, we really liked that number. Don't get too, cause I had two emails
Braden Drake (35:38): With the 14% open rates. So, you know,
Melissa Anzman (35:40): An average 10 to 15 is, is
Braden Drake (35:44): Normal. My average, my average open rate, this is among like 20 different emails through both webinar fill and post-webinar was 26%. That's great. So highest, highest email was the second webinar promotion email I sent in the subject line was shit ellipses. Was I supposed to form an LLC question Mark?
Melissa Anzman (36:07): I love it. That's a great title.
Braden Drake (36:10): I think my copywriter, I know, I know my copywriter actually wrote that one. Um, so I had her, I already had all my launch emails from last time and my sales page. So I had her go through and basically provide edits and suggestions and she changed some of the subject lines. Obviously. I think she didn't like more cut aid than anything. She was like, we can just take a lot of this stuff out. It's not necessary.
Melissa Anzman (36:30): It's true. Like it for anyone who's even good at copy when it's your own stuff, we either overexplain underexposed. Like we just have gaps when it's our own thing. So having an expert, I always have,
Braden Drake (36:41): I would highly, highly recommend that. I would think that's probably like the best money I spent in my business was, um, I won't give her her rates away. Like you guys can contact any copywriter if you want. But, um, I think in total I hired her for like three or four total hours and she went through all this stuff. And especially if you're selling a $2,000 course, if you can convert like one more sale, it's kind of a no brainer
Melissa Anzman (37:05): Agree. Okay. So that was your best performing cause it had an amazing subject line that sh that I couldn't send out. Like my people w it would get bounced out of their inbox. So I like that. Yeah. I mean, I, when I talk about sort of my staff, it's usually in the HR side. And so there is no way that word is getting passed in anybody's corporate email address.
Braden Drake (37:30): Well, this is where I really, like, I really liked Jasmine's philosophy of attract and repel, right? So my course is titled unfuck your biz. So if you're going to be,
Melissa Anzman (37:40): You are totally self selecting in route.
Braden Drake (37:43): If you're offended by the subject line, and then like, let's go ahead and get you out of here. Um, my business, right? My business tack like my business tagline, and this is on my homepage. You're already laughing and you don't even know what it is yet. I don't think I've shared it. My, my business tagline is your gay best friend here to help you get your legal and tax shit legit. So I used, like, I use a lot of Elle woods, legally blind gifts, that kind of thing. Um, so hopefully I don't offend anyone by this, but I started running my first Facebook ads last week. And I couldn't feel apparently you can't filter out people by party, but I filtered out anyone who's interested in box news. That was the best I could get.
Melissa Anzman (38:25): Okay. Cause I was like, I hate this, your bike. You're like, that's generally not going to be my people. So that's not even a,
Braden Drake (38:32): Not going to be my people. Um, okay. So anyhow, my worst open rate was subject line. I know you have hashtag all the questions. So that was like my FAQ email. So I will filter that out. The other interesting note though, is the way that Kajabi set up. This is one feature I don't like is I made the webinars events and Kajabi. And then you can schedule, which makes the funnel really, really easy. I schedule all the pre webinar emails and all the post promotion emails in that series. But when you do it in an event, you can't see the open rates and the statistics where people getting the event emails, which does not make any sense. So after the webinars, all of these open rates I'm looking at are just the people who did not register for any of my webinars. So I would expect them to otherwise be hired.
Melissa Anzman (39:24): Got it. Okay. So interesting.
Braden Drake (39:27): Yeah. I never want it, sorry. The second highest open rate I had was sorry, this isn't for you. And that was the first email that went out on car close. And personally, I hate that subject line, but my copywriter wrote that one and I was like, I don't really like this, this tactic. And I've noticed a lot of big course, people use that. Like you're not a right fit. I don't want you in my program. Like that kind of bullshit, but people open it and read it, I guess. So, whatever
Melissa Anzman (39:54): I really not for that. I don't want to miss out on something I may be for that's so interesting. And one sort of note to that other than having that approach is a lot of times what works or converts or resonates with our clients. Isn't what we generally like ourselves. Like my book cover is not the one I ever would have had, and it is the one, all my clients. So I give that's the best I'm going to buy the book. I was like,
Braden Drake (40:19): Oh, I already, I already told Jody that I have my book cover already designed and I'm not sure I'm not gonna let her fight me on it. I don't care if that sell while we're doing it. Anyway, it's got to look for,
Melissa Anzman (40:29): Well, your yours is very specific. Mine is a little broad and didn't have a natural image to attach it to you. So anyway, my design did not win a design. I was semi okay with one and now I roll with it. So whatever your buyer tells you is working, you wrote.
Braden Drake (40:47): But the interesting note though, is that in general, all of my branding. So my brand voice obviously is, is very distinct and people enjoy that. But my brand aesthetic is like the polar opposite from all my competitors and my clients. Most of my clients are wedding professionals. They have like very bright and airy and beachy aesthetics, or it's like a lot of hot pink and confetti bullshit. Um, and my brand, my brand colors are black gray and Navy blue. And it's like sleek and modern. Um, and I mean,
Melissa Anzman (41:19): Yeah, yeah, as it should be, I mean, your brand should be you and about you, I'm just saying more like we don't always know what's going to work until we test it and see results. Right. So for that septic line, totally. Um, what advice would you have for somebody who is looking launch their course, particularly if they're in and more off the beaten path type of business or industry, uh, to do so
Braden Drake (41:44): Well first I would say you have to spend some time like validating the idea. That's a big thing for me. And like Amy teaches doing validation calls, which I think are, are like great in concept. I don't, for me that that part was not super helpful because I find on a one-on-one call. People will say like, that sounds great. That sounds amazing. I love that idea. But until you ask someone for their money, like you're not going to have an idea validated. So when I went into my forest current course creation process, I've been doing the bulk of my, a one on one business was one on one consultations. And I'd saved all my intake forms that had all the questions that all the people asked over about 51 Oh one consults. So I used those questionnaires to develop my course content. And that's how I feel like I, um, validated the idea.
Braden Drake (42:34): And so I guess my thing is, is if you are, if you're not okay, what, what the fuck am I trying to say? If, if you're like a full time marketing person and you want to launch a business to like teach people how to do like DIY nails, then you're going to need to like validate your different theory, your process, all that kind of stuff. If you're already providing a one on one service and you want to create a course for your process for that service, I think you can get into it a lot more quickly. I hope that was helpful. It probably didn't make any sense.
Melissa Anzman (43:05): No, super helpful. And I'm with you on the validation calls. The thing that I usually get pushback on is like, if I had people to validate my call with I'd already be selling my course, like I get that a lot of like, if I already know my buyers would buy, I wouldn't be having to validate it. And it's find other ways, like if you already are serving people, you already are taking money and have money from clients. Like how, what are they coming to you at for what are their specific questions you use their intake form. I use like the what's the process, like what are the FAQ that come up? So definitely validate.
Braden Drake (43:38): Yeah. Another top tip. You're going to like this one. So on my Facebook group, when you go to join my Facebook group, the first question you have to answer is tell me a legal or tax question you have in your business. And I take all of those questions and copy and paste them onto a Trello board sorted by topic. So yesterday I had a meeting with my, a Pinterest person I just hired and she's like, well, what are your, um, like what are your keywords going to be? And I was like, Oh, you just wait. So I shared her the trouble and it has like over 300 questions on it quoted like from the mouths of my ideal clients. So there are lots of fun ways you can kind of validate your idea. And then obviously, you know, they always say market to what people think they need and then teach them what they actually need. And that can help you figure that shit out.
Melissa Anzman (44:25): Love it. And one more tip on this, which I don't know why we're giving all these amazing tips. I love it. But, um, scary.
Braden Drake (44:32): Perhaps one thing that I did start doing that dramatically changed from a validation perspective is I, uh, when I hold webinars, whether they're funneling into a course or not on the thank you page, I do have that interim thing of, what's the one thing you're struggling with most. Um, and that information for me, and I sometimes have like a cheese for, or an optional, like I get some really good conversations, um, and needs gaps from those conversations. So that's about it. I have one more if we have time, because I have a lot of friends in the wedding industry, they're always wondering, like, do I create a course? Like I have a lot of photographer, clients, friends, all that sort of thing. And what they always are wondering is should I create a course for other photographers and what I kinda, I kinda came to this realization during the program, but I was like, well, if you serve couples and I want to serve photographers, you have to develop a whole new email list.
Braden Drake (45:31): So really that's like a second business. But my tip for them is they're always saying, Oh, I get DMS all the time with new photographers asking me for tips. I was like, every time you get a DM, use Trello, a sauna, whatever you want to use, write down their name, track them. And once you're ready to go, actually create your course GoPro actually pre-sell it to them and ask for a deposit because if, at least like 20% of those people don't want to give you a monetary amount as a deposit for the program, then maybe you want to like rethink what the program is going to cover. The love it. Great tip. Before you go right in, where can people find you online? So you can find firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Instagram at Braden, Adam Drake, that's first name spelled B R a D E N. Middle name, Adam, like the biblical figure. Last name, Drake, like the rapper Braven, Adam Drake. Lovely. And we'll be sure to include all of that in the show notes as well. Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure having you on the show. Great conversations. So many juicy tips in here. Really appreciate it. Thank you.
Melissa Anzman (46:33): To join the launch yourself. Workshop, where you'll learn, why your digital products aren't selling nearly as much as he planned for and how to diversify and scale your income by launching the right way. Text, launchyourself. All one word to: 44222.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.