LY Podcast: Ep. 38: Low-tech Launch Success with Stephanie Taylor – Launch Yourself

Welcome to episode 38 of the Launch Yourself podcast.

In This Episode

In today’s episode, Stephanie Taylor of Rent 2 Rent Success, shares all of the ins and outs of her first online launch. She took a very offline business, property management, and was able to create an in-depth online course without hardly any tech (she even skipped a sales page!). Her first launch was a success and she has now taken this course and launched it as an evergreen funnel.

Stephanie shares exactly how she took her idea, plopped it down in a Word document, and then created a course—without any complicated tech, making some blunders along the way, but creating a very successful first launch that she has been able to replicate into ongoing passive income for her business. And we’re talking something that is an in-person business… property management!

She shares some great tips on how you can get started, even without a sales page, and how to keep moving forward until you get the launch and the end product you dreamed of.

Learn More About Stephanie Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is Co-Founder of HMO Heaven and Rent 2 Rent Success.
She started HMO Heaven along with her sister Nicky at the age of 45 and has grown the property management business and attracted contracts worth £2m in 3 years.

Things weren’t always abundant for Stephanie, as a teenage single Mum she struggled financially and dealt with feelings of shame and low-self worth for many years.

Stephanie launched Rent 2 Rent Success to inspire others to Believe Bigger, Be Bolder and Be Gamechangers for Good through ethical property investment.

She debunks the myth that you need large sums of money to get started in property though her inspirational Rent 2 Rent Success YouTube channel, podcast, and website.

Without technical skills, she and Nicky grew their online training business to over 6 figures in the first year.

Their book Rent to Rent Success – The Ultimate Guide to Creating Consistent Cashflow, Escaping the 9-5, and Living Life on Your Terms will be published in late 2020.

Melissa Anzman (00:00):
This is the launch yourself podcast, episode 38 with Stephanie Taylor for more information and show notes, go to launchyourself.co/38.

New Speaker (00:10):
Welcome to the launch yourself podcast. My name is Melissa Anzman. I'm a bestselling author and the CEO of two businesses, an 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. I am so excited,

Melissa Anzman (00:46):
Excited to have Stephanie Taylor on today's podcast. Now, Stephanie is such an awesome business woman. She works with her sister and they together are the co founders of HMO heaven and rent his rent success. Stephanie started HMO Heaven along with her sister, Nikki at the age of 45 and has grown their property management business and attracted contracts worth over 2 million pounds in just three years. Things weren't always so abundant for Stephanie as a teenage single mom, she struggled financially and dealt with feelings of shame and low self worth. For many years, she launched rent to rent success to inspire others, to believe bigger, be bolder and be game changers for good through ethical property investments. Now, today, Stephanie is going to share a really unique business launch that she did. That's part of her overall business, and she's sharing how she actually launched this course an in depth detailed course with hardly any tech zero experience in the online space.

Melissa Anzman (02:01):
And it was really as part of a pivot from her offline business to seek out an on line world. And luckily she did it well before the pandemic. So she has everything ticked and tied. Now that more and more things are going online. This conversation is also unique because not only is this a very lackadaisical from a tech perspective or an experience perspective launch, but it's also such an offline business. And even with something that is so offline, like property management and all of that stuff, she was able to find an online space. So I can't wait for you to dive into this episode. Thank you so much for being on the show. Stephanie, it's so great to have you on, I'd love for you to share with us a little bit about who you are and your business for those of us who don't know a lot about you.

Stephanie Taylor (03:03):
Thanks so much, Melissa. It's so exciting to be here and talk about launches us. I'm Stephanie Taylor, I'm from the United Kingdom. I live in Wales and it's near the Capitol card. If, so it is a, a more city place rather than a country place. Although we do have some views, you feel beautiful couch size here in Wales as well. So I am co-founder with my sister, Nikki of HMO, have an and rent to rent success. Now, HMO, I understand that it's a very different meaning in America here and talking about how shares, and it sounds for house of multiple occupation, and we are a property management and development company, and we specialize in transforming those hashtags from hellish to heavily allow that

Melissa Anzman (03:51):
Specific and unique. And I was laughing with Stephanie earlier, before we put strict chord, that HMO is so different. And so in her meaning it actually makes sense versus the U S meeting. So I love that. And how's working with your sister by the way.

Stephanie Taylor (04:07):
Oh, that's an interesting question because when we first went into business, which is about five years ago my mum was worried that we wouldn't last long because of all the bickering, but it really works out really well. She's the pernickety one very, w always sees the downsize, wants to ask all the questions takes nothing for granted. It makes you feel a fool, but she's got the very irritating habit of being usually. Right.

Melissa Anzman (04:35):
I love it. And that's said with love from sister, right? Like,

Stephanie Taylor (04:39):
Yeah. Yeah. I love it a bit.

Melissa Anzman (04:41):
That's amazing. So with your business, I didn't mean to interrupt that, but I just, I it's so interesting what you do, how explain a little bit more about your process of how you take it from sort of not great to super great with what you do.

Stephanie Taylor (04:56):
Yeah. So it's, it's something that you might not have there, or either here in the UK, it's called rent to rent. So you rent a big house. You rent it out to people by the room. So it's a bit like friends, the sitcom where everybody has their own bedroom, but they share the kitchen and the bathroom. And sometimes there's multiple bathrooms or sometimes there might be unsweet. And so how we do that. So we work with the owners. We pay, the owners are guaranteed trends. They're really happy cause they don't have to manage it anymore. And then we work really hard and make it look lovely again. And, you know, put in that more time to manage it correctly. And we're able to make the money in between, which is typically more than a standard letting agent would make, but we do more, more work for you. [inaudible] So that's the basic process I love. And if

Melissa Anzman (05:58):
Any of you who are listening are big into like before and afters, like a makeover show type of thing, Stephanie's website has some amazing before and afters in her houses that they rent to rent. So it's, it's really great. You can visually see what they come in and do and how it works. And it's also a pretty dang good idea just of how to generate income and how to make all sides happy, make the renters happy, make the buyer, the owners happy, and you guys still get a cut of it. I love it, but that's not what we're here to talk about. So to speak, I want to talk more about launches cause I'm a launch yourself podcast. So you like to go deep with a specific launch so that we can learn what worked, what didn't, what would, what advice you would have and what you would never do again or help people never to do. So with that, Stephanie, which launched do you want to talk about today?

Stephanie Taylor (06:49):
Oh my gosh. I've got a lot of them, never do again, but don't we all, don't we all, I'm going to talk about my very first online launch. And as he got the picture, there were very much in person local business. And when we decided to take this online, it was a bit of a, it was, it was everything. It was a rude awakening to get very terrified, but also hugely exciting and satisfying.

Melissa Anzman (07:16):
Yes. It's definitely jumping into the online space. Sometimes can feel like it should be easy. And then you jump in and you're like, Ooh, there's a lot more that goes into that. Then just sort of slapping up a course online or you know, saying you're doing digital sales. So your first launch, what products were you launching?

Stephanie Taylor (07:36):
So it's called the rent's rank Kickstarter program. And basically it's explaining to people how they can get started in property with little money to start. And for most people they can escape the nine to five within a year with just a few properties.

Melissa Anzman (07:50):
Oh, I love that. So your course it was online. How long of a course was it like, what are those details

Stephanie Taylor (07:58):
Since pretty big course because we're taking people from the idea. So maybe they just had about this and through every stage is six modules light up to say we cover what the model is, how it all works, the mindset for success, the, the setting up your own business, the marketing and speaking to landlords and agents then negotiating and getting the properties ready and then the tenanting and everything and the systems and so on to keep things going on going and then kind of rinse repeat. So it's quite, it's quite a big, a big transformation. Yeah,

Melissa Anzman (08:38):
It is. It sounds like you started out of the gate with like a flagship type thing,

Stephanie Taylor (08:45):
Which is hard

Melissa Anzman (08:46):
By the way. So you're, you're selling this amazing flagship course for the first time. What was it priced at that point? We decided to have

Stephanie Taylor (08:56):
A beta and we decided to put it at 625 British pants, which is hello. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Melissa Anzman (09:08):
Quite low. So it's probably a little what like 550 us dollars ish or something.

Stephanie Taylor (09:13):
Yes. Around yeah.

Melissa Anzman (09:15):
Yeah. wow. So huge model modules, huge sort of transformation learning. Basically. You're teaching them how to quit their job and own their own business and every step they need to do to do that for about 600 pounds and dollars. Okay. Amazing. So how, how did you go about it? How did you launch it and how did you try to make sales with it?

Stephanie Taylor (09:40):
Well it was all a bit up in the air. So I had read a little bit about it. I, I, first of all, to tell you how basic I was, Melissa, I had written it all that whole process into a word document and we call it points and explain this a little bit more and do this and do that just for myself. And I had no idea how you take that document and make it into a course. How do you make it into a course?

Melissa Anzman (10:08):
Yes, that is so common.

Stephanie Taylor (10:11):
It was a miracle that we even had to write it, but actually, while we were watching it, we were still creating it. I was still going through that process of creating. And at the same time we were launching it. So this was December, 2018. And so the launch was due to happen in, in January, 2019. And so in that run up period, we didn't have a very big audience or anything like that. So I started up a Facebook group and because Facebook helps you. But at the beginning we had a couple hundred people in there by the time we were planning this launch. And so what I decided to do was I didn't really know what a webinar was. You can already hear, I didn't know how to make an online course. I didn't know what a webinar was in terms of how I could make a webinar.

Stephanie Taylor (10:57):
I had a conceptual idea of what, however, I, I understood that I could just do a Facebook live. However I had all these slides. And at the time, I didn't know, this is how basic I was, how to show my slides during a Facebook live. I also didn't know about Sue and I decided to record the slides, record myself over the slides on the video. So I would go Facebook live in my group and then the training is happening. Everybody get ready now, watch, and then go to this other video where the recording is. I love it, which I think I had done on this preview thing where you could show people at the same time or something like that, but it didn't quite work out. Anyway. I then played this video. I came back on after the video with another live and Q and a, and the whole thing was a nightmare.

Stephanie Taylor (11:59):
I went away just to give people an idea of how hideous this was. I went away. I was away for new year's. And just after new year's at one of these juice retreats where you just drink juice, a big English, old country has absolutely freezing cold with, or the central heating. And I decided to record this thing while I was there. And luckily they had enough internet, which I checked before. But what I hadn't realized was that to record my screen, I had to have my screen, my thing take up the whole screen. So on another screen, I then had my script and I was controlling both and recording, but because I didn't have a mic and I was turning my head, like quality was hideous. So hours later when I finished this recording, I realized the sound quality was hideous. And do you know what? I went ahead and gave the same, a recording into the group because I thought, you know what? I cannot do this again.

Melissa Anzman (12:58):
Oh, my word. Oh my word. Okay. So that, so you launched via sorta webinars live Facebook in Facebook, in a Facebook group that you created, you built from scratch and was still actively growing. I love that you did it that way. I mean, obviously now we know better. So we wouldn't recommend, I love that you did because you know, a lot of people get stuck around the tech of how do I get my course from a word document into a platform? How do I actually, you know, tell people about it or teach people about it via a webinar or Facebook live. And the tech can always be figured out, even if you can't get together. So I love that you did that. What, I mean, you probably have nightmares about it still, right? For every Facebook live, you have a little moment. I know I do. When I like my, I did one with my mic off before, and it's like, and I didn't know the whole time and just like shouting it's anyway. So now we all know, we learned from those tech errors of like what to double check and how to be better. But from that launch, from that process, how many people were you able to enroll in your beta?

Stephanie Taylor (14:08):
That was the amazing thing of asset because we were hoping that we could get 12 people to join this program. And the, the call to action was book a call. So speaking to the other people and 24 people, actually 30 people requested to come in and actually we selected 24 and cause we told people that would be 12 months. So we had two groups of 12 and yeah, that was our self to the races.

Melissa Anzman (14:39):
That's amazing. And that is so not typical. So to speak of like a first launch, a first flagship launch, what have you. But I think it's because you got the right in your Facebook group and like you're very intentional about that. And your process, even the clucky webinar, you are able to share the value of what it was you were selling in there. And I love that you did an interview so that you can further qualify. Is this person right for the beta test or not because you're teaching flagship for the first time. Part of that is to get feedback. Part of that is to get testimonials. I'm also seeing what works and doesn't what needs tweaking and all those things as part of a beta and having that extra step of the interview, I think was brilliant. And I mean, kudos to you for enrolling double your original goal, which in my opinion, was still pretty high for such a course. So that's great with that. So you enroll 24 people I'd really like to understand how did you end up putting your course online? What was the tech or resources that you ended up going with? Well,

Stephanie Taylor (15:52):
What I was going to say that totally went mind blank was that we had no sales page. So that was why it had to be able to call. They love it. We have sales page. So what, what I was doing, I wasn't, I was not even planning to ask them for any money because this was in November and the course was happening in January. So I say, would you like to come on, would you to come on? Then I was very excitedly saying to my coach the following day three people have signed up and she says, Oh, have they paid? I says, well, no, no, we're not starting till next. And she says, Nitto, they've not booked until they're paid. I need to ask them, how could I ask them? Because now we're in, you know, this was towards the end of November. No, I was, I started these calls from November and then I had this long webinar at the beginning of January, but right at the beginning, she said to me, and so I then had to write back to all these people and say, Oh, you said you were interested. Here's the bank details because we didn't have a, a thing. And it was there any UK people say bank transfer was fine and save it. Yeah. People, cells then paying on the bank transfer. But yeah,

Melissa Anzman (17:04):
I love that. That is so low tack and brilliant, like brilliant, because that doesn't happen. Right. You re, but you were in another way. I always like to tell people that you don't want to over-engineer your launch or your product until, you know, it's going to sell. And so you kind of did that by accident in a little bit. But also you didn't it's time. I know for engineering a sales page checkout page, because you were able to do that without, without that that's that's great. Now, how did you get your course online platforms to

Stephanie Taylor (17:42):
Melissa again, because it was so worthwhile everything we've done, we've been so grateful that we have this. And, but the process was we, we, I went through the materials. I decided what was gonna be a video, what was going to be a down note, et cetera. And my sister and business partner did all of the downloads. She made them all into things and we had a designer help with that, but she was doing all the content for that and working with the designer and my job was to record all the videos. And there's a few tips I would give with that because I had such a struggle. And I can remember that because you're still, while I was still coming into the space of being a teacher leader, being seen for people to think that I thought I knew something or all of that I had such, I was so emotional the whole way through it and recording all these videos.

Stephanie Taylor (18:39):
I literally, at some point I actually started crying and say, I don't lie my face. We know we've all had that insecurity of like, Oh, is this really what I'm doing right now? So what is your bias? I love that you want to share some video advice. Yeah. I, as people find different things, really work for them. But the thing that really worked for me was I had scripted this course and everything was in that. I wanted it. I'd scripted it in a way that I could say it. I would script it in the way that I could talk. I didn't want to miss anything. And I'd really thought of encouraging people and everything was in there. So I really wanted to say these words and what I tried, don't laugh too hard. First was I would say my words read the next bit. Same.

Stephanie Taylor (19:31):
I was the comment read the next bit. And then I would edit all of those. So you can imagine the editing and because it was all a quite tight timescale, I didn't really feel that I had time to outsource it. And also you kind of had to have a process and know what you're doing to be able to explain to somebody else, if you are sourcing, say I did it myself and my sister helped me with the editing. She didn't know how to edit, but I had to teach her because there was so much, so the next time I didn't want to do that again because you could see that while I was crying. Yeah. That's a lot of extra work for sure. Let's say the next time, what I did was I asked a professional photographer or videographer to come and video me. And that was a bit of a, a fath the quality of the visuals were amazing. But when I realized I needed to add another layer, which is the teleprompter. Yes. So with the teleprompter, for me, some people don't like it. I love the telephone to, because I feel confident that I'm delivering everything that I've really crafted for people and that it really works. So I deliver all my information to the teleprompter. I can look straight at the camera and it's all, it's all good.

Melissa Anzman (20:49):
That's such good advice. It's and you know, it's interesting because video works differently for everybody. And I love tested a few different ways before you found out what works best for you. Because, you know, I approach video a little differently and different for each project. Sometimes I use a teleprompter, although I find it a little hard to follow, I need to practice that. But other times they just need bullet points and I can feel the words. And sometimes I like a script. So it's really about knowing what you're doing, how you're doing it and for whom, and then what works best for you to put it all together. So test it out, test these different varieties, to make sure that you find the best video, because especially when you're recording video for your course, that's you in the spotlight, it's all about you shining and teaching, and you want that genuine authenticity to come through versus like fumbling around. So I love that advice. Thank you now. Okay. So those are the things that worked. You sold it, you didn't do a sales page. You, you know, you grew a little bit of a Facebook group with the right people in there. What did it work like? What was an absolute failure first time out of the gate or just was like, Hmm, that didn't work the way I hoped it did, but we tried it anyway.

Stephanie Taylor (22:08):
Well, you got to think, Melissa, there weren't too many pieces to this circle. That was, that was true. I love him Brown, the Rapido, which itself was a disaster in many respects. There was a lot of reasons for tears about that one, especially that with moving my head between reading and I was only using at that time, the, the, the computer audio. And so the audio was extremely difficult to listen to that. I was Dougal that on the same day because it took me so long. I started it about three days before, but it took me so long by the time I created or I didn't realize it would take me down to crazy store the size and then put all the words and the slides and then got the scripts already and then started recording it. So I didn't have time to rerecord it. So I think what I would do my lessons from that is a mosque for heaven sake, because this can't be how everybody else is doing it.

Melissa Anzman (23:07):
So you love those moments where you're like, there's no way that those big name gurus are doing what I'm doing right now. There is no way that it's taking them this much time. I love that. Ask for, ask for help or ask for guidance if you're not sure. You know where to start. I love that. So, okay. This launch is great. Have you launched it since? Is this the course that's for sale now? Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And you've gave up deer game as we know, with, with pretty much every piece. Right? So you have videos via teleprompter. Now, do you do a webinar launch still?

Stephanie Taylor (23:46):
We have actually got an automated funnel. Oh, I love it. You've upped your game significantly. So we're in an evergreen or automated funnel where it's basically, for those of you who don't know what that is, there is a, a way to get into the funnel, which is usually S ads or organic growth, or maybe even from your Facebook group. And then they are plopped into the funnel where typically it's a recorded webinar where you open the sales conversation and then you either have a series of emails to buy or you can buy from there. So that's just backend of what a automated evergreen webinar looks like. I love that you've done that. I love that we've can talk about your beta being so nontechnical and clunky to something that's bringing you patch every day through an automated text, heavy launch. So I love that. What is your big advice for anybody out there who's maybe in a, in person using some air quotes and in-person business looking to go online?

Melissa Anzman (24:48):
What would your recommendation be for that? Absolutely do it, but find out because how to do it. I actually, although it doesn't say like, it did work with a couple of coaches who got me so far forward. I mean, goodness me, I wouldn't be where I am now. If it hadn't been for them helping me move along. So really I really recommend, especially if you're scared and you've got no idea, like I was it's really working with someone who knows what they're doing and can help you to, it helps you to start to feel good about it, to feel that this is the correct process, that if I walk along this process, I'm going to see these results. So yeah, definitely work, work itself more. I love that. Stephanie, where can people find you online? Yes. I have rents to event success.com.

Stephanie Taylor (25:41):
That is where you can learn all about how to get sales with your property without paying much money to start off with. And it's also where my evergreen funnel is. If you want to check that out. And also I'm on Instagram, Stephanie T property, if anybody wants to message me to find out more, I love it. Thank you so much, Stephanie, make sure to include those links in the show notes and it has been so amazing having you on the show. I love your perspective. I love your launch story. It's so different than so many launch stories out there, and it was so successful and that's what I love the most about it. So thank you so much for coming on today

Melissa Anzman (26:23):
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.