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DMass

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Hey All,

How are you all doing?

Following on from Andy Blacks Lurker post I thought I would take the time to introduce myself, I'll keep it short and sweet as I'm not one for waffle.

I'm a 34 year old father of two from just outside of Manchester, UK. I've got just over 15 years Sales and Service Experience selling everything from TV's, Washer Machines, Cars, Broadband, Insurance and Windows in a wide range of environments including B2C, B2B, Face to Face, Field Based. Most recently I had been in and around the Travel Industry for the last decade and had made quite a decent name for myself and was earning, what I considered at the time, fairly good money. Around £50k - £60k a year (double that of the average UK wage) and thought I was in a solid position with great prospects for opening my own Tour Operator/Travel Agency.

Well...

Covid killed that idea, literally in the space of a couple of days I watched as all my commission for the next 12 months evaporated (generally in Travel you only get paid your commission when your customers return from their holiday) and I was faced with the very real issue of not being able to pay my mortgage and bills meaning that I potentially couldn't provide for my family.

In April 2020 I decided to pivot and tried my hand at IT Consulting, specifically Salesforce Consulting. Fast forward 18 months I have just taken a job that is paying £70k and my eyes have been opened, I have pretty big plans for the next year or so which include the below;

1. Achieve the necessary certifications to be classed as a Salesforce Architect (SA's earn a lot of money, have a solid reputation, and this will prepare me for the future).
2. Build a Online Salesforce Course that I use to help increase my reputation and name in the Salesforce Ecosystem (it will also provide some additional income but the main goal of the course is to improve my reputation and draw people to me).
3. Work on my website to provide a information and help others in the Salesforce Ecosystem, I will be writing a variety of Articles focused around How-To Guides for Salesforce, Productivity Discussions, and some random stuff to keep it fresh.

These 3 steps will help me work towards the next 3 key points on my path;

1. By the end of 2024 become a CTA (Certified Technical Architect - Currently there are less Salesforce CTA's than Astronauts and being a CTA opens a huge amount of doors - think speaking gigs, involvement in the community, rep from the Salesforce Account Executives who are responsible for sources Implementation Partners for their Accounts).
2. Set up my own Salesforce Consultancy within the next 3 years (I can contract initially while I build up more of a presence and then I can start brining other people in to help build the company)
3. By 2030 I will be in a position where I can take a step back from the company while it runs itself with little involvement from me, or potentially be in a position where I can sell the company for a life changing sum.

Okay, Okay, so that ran a little longer than I planned.

I hope I can bring some value to this forum and hope to become an active member of the community.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Great to have ya, sounds like a plan! Welcome aboard and please keep us posted on progress.
 

falcon87pl

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@DMass Salesforce is a really nice choice for the career path and also gives opportunities to free some of your time in the futre by creating some courses or successful consultancy.

I have been working as the Salesforce support engineer and currently as an admin/junior dev for 6 years and the need for the experienced professionals is crazy (I live in Poland, work for the US company).

Becoming a CTA in 3 years would be really something. I have already cleared 5 certs and need one more to become an Application Architect but preparation for each cert is quite time consuming :) And CTA is definitely a Mount Everest.

I thought I would become a software engineer and spent quite some time learning solid basics but I don't feel like coding every day for 4-6 hours or so. I can write some code and understand what I am reading but don't think it's for me. I would rather go for some semi-technical roles like Business Analyst and then Product Owner or maybe Product Manager.

As a side note, once you become an experienced architect it is probably easier to earn money just by being an architect as an employee rather than running an agency/consultancy. I know two architects from UK who left a company, started their businesses and got back to a full time employment in 2-3 years as it was probably easier to earn more $$ with less effort that way for them. Of course you can't automate and sell you full time job but architects salaries are really good.

Good luck with your journey!
 

DMass

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Hey @MJ DeMarco, thank you for your reply. Its crazy to think that you can join a forum, post a introduction and have a best selling author reply to your introduction!

@falcon87pl Salesforce is definitely the place to be, I'm really lucky that my background of Sales and Service Processes seems to have given me an unfair advantage in obtaining Certs as it all makes sense to me and is something I've done. I'm currently 8x Certified (Admin, App Builder, Sales, Service, Experience, FSL, CPQ and UX) all of which I achieved between May 2020 - June 2021 (I took Feb, Mar, Apr, May off studying) so I think I have a good shot at getting those Architect Certs if I apply myself. I've then taken the back year of 2021 off as I got slammed with running multiple projects working for a company that just wanted to burn me out, 2022 is the year I get back on track!

It's funny because I really went hard in 2020 which I think was due to a perfect storm of rereading Unscripted , the Pandemic and the frustration of knowing that I could do so much more than what I was doing.

I work at a Consulting Partner in the UK now so get to experience the whole lifecycle, something again I think will give me an advantage. The gaps in my knowledge are around APEX, Architecture and Documentation but I hope to fill these over the next 6 months or so.

Are you on LinkedIn? If so PM me your profile and I'll add you. The Salesforce Community is very small.
 
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Andy Black

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Awesome. I love that you’ve taken a job to upskill, plan on initially providing a service, and plan on scaling that service/skill.

I did the same with IT (employee -> contractor) before switching to Google Ads (employee -> contractor -> freelancer -> small consultancy owner -> selling courses).

Consider creating a YouTube channel with How-To videos. Upload those videos to other platforms too, especially LinkedIn.

Also create videos to answer objections as to why people wouldn’t buy a course from you, hire a consultant, etc.

Try to make each video just on one topic.

Start your YouTube channel super narrow/niche till you get traction.

Embed the videos into pages on your website (ideally split into short snippets as Gifs).

Check the Google Keyword Planner and AnswerThePublic for what people search for and create videos to answer them.

Name the website and YouTube channel after you initially. Keep building your personal brand first off.
 

DMass

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Thanks @Andy Black,

I started working on my own website and brand last year but quickly found that putting myself out there is tougher than I imagined. A mix between imposter syndrome (I mean really, how can someone with 12 months experience proclaim to be some sort of expert), a slap on the wrist from my then employers ("don't give away the secret sauce"), and then being massively overworked put a stop to it.

I've written all the scripts for my course and have filmed around 20% of it, I just need to forge ahead with it.

Regarding YouTube I'm not 100% sure on that route, I plan on sticking my course on Udemy, Skillshare and PluralSight so I might put a few videos on YouTube to try and drive traffic but I don't plan on putting everything on there.

I'm finding LinkedIn a really useful source of connections and working out what people are looking for.

I guess the main blocker is me, I just need to get over myself and worrying about what other people think.
 

Andy Black

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Thanks @Andy Black,

I started working on my own website and brand last year but quickly found that putting myself out there is tougher than I imagined. A mix between imposter syndrome (I mean really, how can someone with 12 months experience proclaim to be some sort of expert), a slap on the wrist from my then employers ("don't give away the secret sauce"), and then being massively overworked put a stop to it.

I've written all the scripts for my course and have filmed around 20% of it, I just need to forge ahead with it.

Regarding YouTube I'm not 100% sure on that route, I plan on sticking my course on Udemy, Skillshare and PluralSight so I might put a few videos on YouTube to try and drive traffic but I don't plan on putting everything on there.

I'm finding LinkedIn a really useful source of connections and working out what people are looking for.

I guess the main blocker is me, I just need to get over myself and worrying about what other people think.
The easiest way to stop thinking about yourself is to focus on who you’re helping. When an old lady drops her groceries do you worry about what people think of you or do you just run over to help her?

I suggest YouTube over Udemy because I think both should be viewed as marketing channels. YouTube videos are indexed by Google, so you get to show up on Google search results as well as on YouTube.

Possible consulting clients aren’t on Udemy looking for a course. They might be searching on YouTube or Google though.

I have no plans to put courses onto Udemy or Skillshare. @Lex DeVille has a great Udemy progress thread somewhere where he gets traction and then decides to leave Udemy.

Don’t create your course then sell it. Build an audience, sell your course, then create it. Check out “Just Start Already” and other links in my signature.

Tip: don’t get hung up on “building an audience”. Have a goal to help people, then go help people and be seen helping people and your audience will grow automatically.

Building an audience is a symptom of helping people, at scale.

If people in work complain you’re giving away secrets tell them they’re f*cking idiots and don’t understand marketing and sales. (Phrase it nicer. I just used that phrasing so you can see how much I think of that scarcity mindset.)

Eradicate the word “traffic” from your vocabulary. It’s people, visiting your website or offer.

These might help:
  1. Who have you helped?
  2. Just start already
  3. How to quickly get started in business
  4. Personal Branding
  5. Stop Building Stuff
 
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Andy Black

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Thread moved from Introductions to Execution.

Also renamed from “Lurker from the UK” to “Growing A Business With A Specialist Skill” as I think it will get more eyeballs and in turn help more people and help you more @DMass.

Thanks for creating this thread, and adding in your detailed steps and plan. And I’m such a way it’s easy to read.
 

DMass

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Thanks @Andy Black I'll take a look at your suggested reads!

The easiest way to stop thinking about yourself is to focus on who you’re helping.

What a great way o think about it, its not about me, its about them. It's not about how I feel, its about what I can do to make them feel better. :thumbsup:

If people in work complain you’re giving away secrets tell them they’re f*cking idiots and don’t understand marketing and sales. (Phrase it nicer. I just used that phrasing so you can see how much I think of that scarcity mindset.)

That made me laugh, I had this conversation with my previous company before I left and argued that there is that much free content out there what difference am I going to make.

Also renamed from “Lurker from the UK” to “Growing A Business With A Specialist Skill” as I think it will get more eyeballs and in turn help more people and help you more @DMass.

Ooooo, now I feel the pressure to crack on and build something quickly and efficiently. I like the feeling of a bit of pressure :smile2:

The idea behind my course isn't necessarily to attract consulting clients, but more to get that information out there into the right hands to help other people transition in to the Salesforce world like I did. It's going to be aimed and people brand new to Salesforce, there are a few people doing it at the moment but I think I can produce something with much more value that helps people more. If I make a bit of money out of it to help fund my other ventures then so be it but the main focus is just to open the door for other people to give it a shot.
 

Andy Black

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Thanks @Andy Black I'll take a look at your suggested reads!



What a great way o think about it, its not about me, its about them. It's not about how I feel, its about what I can do to make them feel better. :thumbsup:



That made me laugh, I had this conversation with my previous company before I left and argued that there is that much free content out there what difference am I going to make.



Ooooo, now I feel the pressure to crack on and build something quickly and efficiently. I like the feeling of a bit of pressure :smile2:

The idea behind my course isn't necessarily to attract consulting clients, but more to get that information out there into the right hands to help other people transition in to the Salesforce world like I did. It's going to be aimed and people brand new to Salesforce, there are a few people doing it at the moment but I think I can produce something with much more value that helps people more. If I make a bit of money out of it to help fund my other ventures then so be it but the main focus is just to open the door for other people to give it a shot.
In my mind the DIY and DFY markets are separate. If you create a YouTube channel teaching the DIY folks then some will want to pay for (shorter!) lessons, and the DFY folks will reach out to hire you.

Yeah… renaming the thread was my sneaky way of getting you to keep this thread going. Well spotted.

I just remembered this chat I had with a forum member that might also help you:
 
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Andy Black

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For full transparency I guess its only fair to share my Website and Linked In Profile, the Website hasn't been touched properly for over 6 months except for a blog post or two. The idea behind it is to build a personal brand.

www.davejmassey.com

Change “Salesforce Enthusiast” to “Salesforce Consultant” or similar.

Put a picture of yourself above the fold. Use the same photo on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Make dave@davejmassey.com your main email address. People will check out the website to learn more.

Check your CTAs. One button says “This Website”.

I’ve to build out my site, but it’s nice and simple at AndyBlack.net
 

falcon87pl

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@falcon87pl Salesforce is definitely the place to be, I'm really lucky that my background of Sales and Service Processes seems to have given me an unfair advantage in obtaining Certs as it all makes sense to me and is something I've done. I'm currently 8x Certified (Admin, App Builder, Sales, Service, Experience, FSL, CPQ and UX) all of which I achieved between May 2020 - June 2021 (I took Feb, Mar, Apr, May off studying) so I think I have a good shot at getting those Architect Certs if I apply myself. I've then taken the back year of 2021 off as I got slammed with running multiple projects working for a company that just wanted to burn me out, 2022 is the year I get back on track!

It's funny because I really went hard in 2020 which I think was due to a perfect storm of rereading Unscripted , the Pandemic and the frustration of knowing that I could do so much more than what I was doing.

I work at a Consulting Partner in the UK now so get to experience the whole lifecycle, something again I think will give me an advantage. The gaps in my knowledge are around APEX, Architecture and Documentation but I hope to fill these over the next 6 months or so.

Are you on LinkedIn? If so PM me your profile and I'll add you. The Salesforce Community is very small.
Wow, ok, you have already made a nice progress regarding certs and experience so 3 years seem like a reasonable timeframe for CTA.

I have just sent an invite on LI :) (Mateusz)
 
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Andy Black

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Change “Salesforce Enthusiast” to “Salesforce Consultant” or similar.

Put a picture of yourself above the fold. Use the same photo on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Make dave@davejmassey.com your main email address. People will check out the website to learn more.

Check your CTAs. One button says “This Website”.

I’ve to build out my site, but it’s nice and simple at AndyBlack.net
I forgot to say… notice how I don’t have blog articles on my website (yet?).

I help people directly in forums and Facebook groups. On my simple website I link to my list of Google Ads articles - that are published in this forum.

I’ve deliberately gone where people need help and helped them there, rather than publishing to a blog and hoping someone will find that content one day.

I chat about that here:
 

DMass

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Thanks @falcon87pl, Connection accepted!

Thanks @Andy Black, I've reviewed your comments and will make the changes.

Change “Salesforce Enthusiast” to “Salesforce Consultant” or similar.

Done

Put a picture of yourself above the fold. Use the same photo on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Need to get a decent photo first, then will do.

Make dave@davejmassey.com your main email address. People will check out the website to learn more.

On it.

Check your CTAs. One button says “This Website”.

Will review all the CTA's to ensure that they are clear.

I’ve deliberately gone where people need help and helped them there, rather than publishing to a blog and hoping someone will find that content one day.

How come you haven't gone down the route of blogs? I'm involved in some Salesforce Facebook Groups and mentor quite a few people who are new to the ecosystem so give back that way. The main reason behind the blogs was to build credibility for those who are not part of the groups, the more people I speak to the more people are turning away from Social Media. I thought by creating a repository of blogs I would be able to provide a lot of value in one place.
 

Andy Black

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Thanks @falcon87pl, Connection accepted!

Thanks @Andy Black, I've reviewed your comments and will make the changes.



Done



Need to get a decent photo first, then will do.



On it.



Will review all the CTA's to ensure that they are clear.



How come you haven't gone down the route of blogs? I'm involved in some Salesforce Facebook Groups and mentor quite a few people who are new to the ecosystem so give back that way. The main reason behind the blogs was to build credibility for those who are not part of the groups, the more people I speak to the more people are turning away from Social Media. I thought by creating a repository of blogs I would be able to provide a lot of value in one place.
Ah, cool. You’re already helping people in online communities, and you create content you can keep pointing people to? I think that’s perfect.
 
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DMass

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Quick Update:

I achieved another Certification yesterday that helps build my reputation, its Copado Fundamentals and shows that I know what I'm doing when it comes to DevOps (supposedly)
 

DMass

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With the Festive Season ending I will be jumping back into creating my course over the next few weeks. I've been answering questions in Facebook Groups and have gained a few more connections on LinkedIn because of this.

As a temporary measure I am holding the videos that I created on YouTube as a playlist, once they are all done I will edit them, polish them and then start the process of getting them on Udemy, Skillshare, and Pluralsight. If anyone is interested feel free to have a look through the below, they were created in November before I ran out of steam! I find it far easier to write content that I do to film it!

 
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Roz

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Thank you for writing this thread @DMass

Just yesterday I came across Salesforce and Trailhead and was pondering whether to start a career in Salesforce Ecosystem.

After reading through this thread, I've decided to go ahead and start learning the necessary skills.

Welcome to the forum. We're glad to have you here!
 

DMass

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Thank you for writing this thread @DMass

Just yesterday I came across Salesforce and Trailhead and was pondering whether to start a career in Salesforce Ecosystem.

After reading through this thread, I've decided to go ahead and start learning the necessary skills.

Welcome to the forum. We're glad to have you here!
Hey Roz,

I’m always happy to jump on a call and walk you through more details if you want?

Hopefully those videos will prove helpful.
 

DMass

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Quick Update:

I'm fully back into the swings of things at work and rather than deterring me its actually pushing me to carry on, to push harder.

I've added a couple of videos and will continue to forge ahead during my lunch breaks and in the evenings. It's slow going and I find that it takes me 60 minutes to record a good 10 minutes. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist and the biggest hurdle is just getting over it.

That will be my focus, get these videos done as quickly as possible, get them out there into the world and then refine.

The way I am approaching it is like that scene in 40 Year Old Virgin... Trying to get through as many hood rats (bad videos) as possible so I can refine my skills!

If anyone is wanting to learn anything about Salesforce I'll happily direct you to my videos, they are designed for people who have no prior knowledge of the Salesforce CRM.
 
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DMass

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Thats one more section of the video course done, two of the three bulkiest ones are done now so I should start building up some more momentum. On a plus side I posted a blog on LinkedIn and it started getting traction, I never know how much of that to believe.

As I have all the written scripts for my videos I'm going to start producing a bi weekly newsletter to build a mailing list that I can target once my course is live... Now to search the forum to build my knowledge on creating a valuable mailing list :thumbsup:
 

DMass

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Another Quick Update:

So I've been able to spend a bit of time over the last couple of days thinking and planing about how I can get this Project moving quicker and after a bit of back and forth I came to a realisation. Without a audience it doesn't matter how good my course is, no one will buy it if they can't find it or don't know about it!

So I thought about how I could help build audience effectively and came up with a couple of ideas;

1. Writing Blog Posts more regularly that I share on LinkedIn. These would need to provide great value to the target market that I am going after and direct people to my website.
2. Creating at YouTube Channel (@Andy Black I think you suggested this) so that I could post short videos that provide value to prospective customers and then direct them to my website.
3. A Lead Gen/Capture Tool so I can build that audience and email list.

I focused on Target Number 3 and over the last couple of days I have redesigned my website to direct people to getting a free pdf, this pdf had decent valuable information and isn't just a worthless hook. I'll be adding more content to it over the next few days but figured its better to start with little rather than not start at all!

I linked my website to my CRM so that when someone requests the free pdf their details are automatically captured and stored in my CRM so I can market to them. Such a simple thing that will provide me with so much information.

I now need to focus on creating some decent YouTube videos (I'm going to aim for 6 - 9 minutes each and should be able to get a couple quite quickly and easily). The blogs will look after themselves as I feel quite comfortable writing them and have more than enough information to give out.

I feel like I'm starting to gain a bit of traction... I'll relaunch the updated website tomorrow and see what happens from there!
 

DMass

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@Johnny boy that’s the plan. I’m aiming to lay down some pretty solid foundations.

This step is all about getting a audience and building some trust and presence in the industry.
 

DMass

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Well today is the day. Over the last week I’ve gotten through a fair bit;

  • I redesigned my website with more focus on Lead Gen for when it comes time to sell my course.
  • I produced 5 valuable PDFs that will help others start their journey
  • Configured my CRM to capture those leads automatically
  • Set up a YouTube Channel
  • Hit Social Media to get my name out a little more

The only thing left to do is to shoot a quick 3 - 5 minute video as a intro to myself and the YouTube Channel. And hit the Publish button on my website so the changes take effect!

The plan is for people to sign up for a free guide on how to pass a certain exam that is the prerequisite for most jobs in my industry and then over a 4 week period they will get one email per week drip feeding them with hints and tips. At the end of the 4 weeks hopefully my course will be ready and I will have a list ready to go!

If not then this Lead Gen tactic should provide me with a list of leads I can use when the course is ready.

I’m thinking of opening the course up for beta testers too as another way to get some more interest.

Exciting times!
 

DMass

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Quick Update:

So I went live yesterday, I published my updated website, created a post on LinkedIn, and put a post in one of the Facebook Groups.

I was hoping to get around 5 - 10 people sign up, I would've been happy with that. After all, I dont really have any content on YouTube, just an intro video. And I'm just another guy pushing some free pdf so I shouldn't expect too much.

Well...
I was shocked...

I didn't get 5 sign ups.

By the end of the day I had over 100! Can you believe it?! I bloody can't! I went to bed thinking I'd exceeded my expectations and I was happy. Then I woke up this morning to even more sign ups, things are slowing down now but its 11:35 in the UK and I'm still getting sign ups. I've had 74 subscribers to my YouTube Channel, I'm hoping to get to 100 asap so I can change the name in the link rather than the crazy one YouTube gives you.

I've been sat here this morning thinking, damn, I really need to crack on with my course now. Once I start putting teaser content out there I'm hoping I can get even more sign ups.

I'm not getting carried away as I know giving something away is completely different to actually selling something but I'm riding this little wave in the positive feedback loop and using it to spur me on. Here is a picture of the picture so far.

Thanks @Andy Black for encouraging me just to get on with it.

EDIT: If you fancy helping me get to 100 Subs on YouTube then heres the link
 
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Andy Black

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Quick Update:

So I went live yesterday, I published my updated website, created a post on LinkedIn, and put a post in one of the Facebook Groups.

I was hoping to get around 5 - 10 people sign up, I would've been happy with that. After all, I dont really have any content on YouTube, just an intro video. And I'm just another guy pushing some free pdf so I shouldn't expect too much.

Well...
I was shocked...

I didn't get 5 sign ups.

By the end of the day I had over 100! Can you believe it?! I bloody can't! I went to bed thinking I'd exceeded my expectations and I was happy. Then I woke up this morning to even more sign ups, things are slowing down now but its 11:35 in the UK and I'm still getting sign ups. I've had 74 subscribers to my YouTube Channel, I'm hoping to get to 100 asap so I can change the name in the link rather than the crazy one YouTube gives you.

I've been sat here this morning thinking, damn, I really need to crack on with my course now. Once I start putting teaser content out there I'm hoping I can get even more sign ups.

I'm not getting carried away as I know giving something away is completely different to actually selling something but I'm riding this little wave in the positive feedback loop and using it to spur me on. Here is a picture of the picture so far.

Thanks @Andy Black for encouraging me just to get on with it.

EDIT: If you fancy helping me get to 100 Subs on YouTube then heres the link
I love it!

Now then. If someone was considering creating a course what would you advise them?

Subscribed to your channel.
 

DMass

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
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Sep 11, 2021
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I love it!

Now then. If someone was considering creating a course what would you advise them?

Subscribed to your channel.

Thanks Andy, I appreciate the subscription!

I've never created a online course, I've carried out plenty of face to face training both one to one, and in a group environment so I'm leaning on that experience. I'm also using the negative reviews from courses on Udemy, and what I didn't like about the training I did.

For me I find it easier to start with what I didn't like about the course's I've seen;

The were;
  1. In a outdated UI for the system
  2. The tutor wasn't very engaging
  3. The content was drawn out to increase the length of the course (and I assume this is to increase perceived value)
  4. There were no real life examples, just theory

Thats led me to aim for a course that is;
  1. In the newest UI
  2. Is engaging
  3. Is concise
  4. Relates the content to real life
  5. Explains the why behind things, not just "x does y"

I'm hoping I can get the first draft of my course ready for the end of the month. Then I'm left with the potential problem of "is it good enough?", "is it worth peoples money?", "should I just tweak this?". But thats a problem for then. My focus is now it getting to that problem.

I'm not sure what my mailing list conversion will be and I know there are a lot of variables but am I thinking 10% is high? Especially if I'm aiming at going in at 50% - 75% of their cost to try and disrupt them?
 

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