Let 2023 be the year of passive income. In this podcast episode with Morgan Nield, we talk about how to create an easy passive income stream with these 10 tips.
I define passive income as “making money while you sleep.”
This is why I’m such a big fan of bloggers selling digital products (ebooks, guides, templates, workshops, courses, etc.) because these products can be a great way to start building consistent passive income online.
Morgan and I talk about how she teaches people to create quick and easy online courses.
Many of you know, I’m not a fan of people spending lots of time creating online courses and classes because there they take a lot of resources upfront, and you don’t know if they will pay off.
Morgan and I, however, see eye to eye on how she teaches course-building. Her strategy is all about:
- Validating your course idea before you create anything
- Preselling your course
- Building off of where you find traction
- Getting feedback from your customers
- Avoiding shiny object syndrome
- Giving your customers a quick win
- And much more!
If you’re looking to tap into new passive income ideas in 2023, I think you’ll find this episode unbelievably valuable.
Table of Contents
- Digital Product WORKSHOP REPLAY – How to Turn on a New Income Stream
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Morgan Nield
- Simplify Your Sales Podcast
- Join Jillian’s Newsletter to Hear about the MiloTreeCart Black Friday Sale
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
Subscribe to the Blogger Genius Podcast
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie. I am a blogger and an entrepreneur. I love building businesses on the internet. I started with Catch My Party; we built our MiloTree pop-up app.
Jillian Leslie 0:25
And now we are rolling out MiloTreeCart, which is the easiest way for female creators to sell digital products to their audiences. So much of our online businesses and blogs are built on shifting sand like the ever changing social media algorithms.
Jillian Leslie 0:44
In fact, yesterday, I was reading about the new CEO of Pinterest, Bill Reedy, and he was saying they are going to move away from investing in creators next year, and shift toward brands for content. It’s because of changes like this that we built MiloTreeCart.
Start Sell Digital Products to Your Audience in 10 Minutes with MiloTreeCart
Jillian Leslie 1:03
We want you to have a way to make money by selling digital products directly to your audience, especially as we move into the new year. Now we are going to be running a Black Friday special.
Jillian Leslie 1:17
You don’t want to miss this. Get on my email list by going to bloggergenius.com. And the first 20 people who buy are going to get a whole VIP experience. So, go to bloggergenius.com.
Jillian Leslie 1:31
For today’s episode, I have Morgan Nield back on the podcast. She first appeared about 18 months ago talking about selling on Etsy. Now she has seen a need for Etsy sellers, which is they can get pretty birds out making handmade goods, she now teaches them how to create courses.
Jillian Leslie 1:52
For those of you who listen to the podcast, you know, I’m not a huge fan of people building courses only because they take so much time so much effort. And you have no idea if people are going to buy. Well, what’s interesting is Morgan and I actually see eye-to-eye on how to build courses because it’s how to build any sort of digital product.
Jillian Leslie 2:13
You put it out there you test it, you see if people want what you are offering. In fact, we have a cool way to set up your course on MiloTreeCart fast and easy without having to pay for one of those expensive course platforms. I’ll be sharing about that in a future episode. But without further delay, here is my interview with Morgan Nield.
Create an Easy Passive Income Stream With These 10 Tips
Jillian Leslie 2:37
Morgan, welcome back to the show. It’s great to have you back.
Morgan Nield 2:42
I’m so excited to be back.
Jillian Leslie 2:45
So, we looked it up. And it was like a year and a half ago, two years ago, where you were on my show talking about Etsy because you started as an Etsy seller. Then you just reached out to me to come onto your podcast, which is called?
Morgan Nield 3:02
Simplify Your Sales.
Jillian Leslie 3:03
Simplify Your Sales. I was on that. And then I was like, “Whoa, you’re doing something different. Come back on my show. We’ll talk about it.”
Morgan Nield 3:11
We’ve been playing like tag, it’s back and forth.
Beginning as an Etsy Seller
Jillian Leslie 3:13
I know. So, tell me, get me up to speed. You were on the show you had started by selling I love this baby headbands on Esty.
Morgan Nield 3:24
Jillian Leslie 3:24
And all this success. And I remember it was like, an interesting fabric. Is that right?
Morgan Nield 3:32
Yes, so I designed my own fabrics.
Jillian Leslie 3:35
That’s what I remember. And then you found all this success. And then you started to help people with their Etsy sales. And then how did you transition? And where are you now?
Morgan Nield 3:46
For sure. Like you mentioned, I started out selling on Etsy. And we grew that really quickly. We hit six figures our first year and then just grew to multiple six figures and grew every year after that.
Teaching Etsy Sellers How to Build Passive Income Streams
Morgan Nield 3:57
And started transitioning into teaching Etsy sellers how to build these businesses just because I was getting so many questions about that. And I love answering them. And it got to the point where I was like, we need one place to put all the answers to this.
Morgan Nield 4:10
So, created my first online course with that. And we ran like crazy with that for like, four years, I’d say it’s about four years. And we broke $2 million in sales from it. It was crazy, sold a ton of it. I feel like this is the kind of curse of every entrepreneur, you see a new opportunity.
Morgan Nield 4:31
And so, I was teaching people about how to sell and successfully market their Etsy shops, and it was working amazing. It was working so fantastic. We had a lot of students who’d be like, I’m on week two, and I can’t get through the course because I have too many sales and I can’t keep up so I’m going to revisit it.
Morgan Nield 4:45
And that is a great problem to have. Yes. And so, we had students that were just going like crazy and things would just start picking up in a matter of weeks with their Etsy shops, which is a fantastic problem to have.
Morgan Nield 4:57
And then they came to me a few months later and say this is really great. And I’m really happy by the success, but I’m also really getting burned out and tired of filling all these handmade orders. I feel like I’m trading time for dollars. I don’t have enough time.
Morgan Nield 5:12
I’m not seeing my family anymore. What is Christmas? Because to me, it’s just a stressful holiday spent in the post office. And I just kept hearing that over and over again. And they were like, how do I keep earning money without having to sacrifice my entire lifestyle to revolve around this handmade business?
Getting Burned Out as an Etsy Seller
Jillian Leslie 5:34
I interviewed a woman yesterday, who is a wreather which means she makes wreaths she sells them on Etsy. And we have this exact conversation. So, she has found this sweet spot. People want to buy her wreaths. However, an order comes in. And then she’s got to make that wreath.
Jillian Leslie 5:54
And she has like this number one selling wreath. So, she’s making the same wreath over and over again, it doesn’t take her that much time, but she can’t store them. Because she doesn’t have the room. So, literally, the order comes in, boom, she’s off making the wreath and she was saying, “I do love this, however, I need something else.”
Jillian Leslie 6:15
And then she started on TikTok grew her TikTok and then said, wait, I’m teaching people on TikTok how to make wreaths. And they seem to really like it. I can start doing paid workshops with MiloTreeCart, our payment tool, but it was so interesting that literally we had this exact same conversation.
Morgan Nield 6:35
It is such a problem that we just discount, it’s like, if you’re successful, as a handmade business owner, you should be happy, everything looks good on paper. And yes, that’s a great problem to have. And we are so thankful for those orders.
Morgan Nield 6:46
But when it starts to eat into your lifestyle, where you’re like, okay, I make a sale. And now here’s three hours of my life that I now need to dedicate to creating this product, depending on the scale of what you’re selling, it just starts to eat into your lifestyle.
Morgan Nield 6:59
And after a while you’re wondering, there has to be a better way to do this, like I love doing this. But I don’t want to do this 24/7 365 days a year, I’d like to be able to kind of scale back on my handmade business, but not have to scale back on my revenue.
Morgan Nield 7:14
And so, this was a problem that I saw. You’re seeing it too, it’s a very common problem, where people wanted to keep earning at the level they were earning with their sales, but they didn’t want to have to keep working at the level that they were working with the trading time for dollars.
Morgan Nield 7:29
They’re happy to do the work and hustle and stuff. But it was getting a bit much.
Jillian Leslie 7:34
I have to stop you for one second, I can hear my audience in my head saying yeah, but can’t you hire that out?
Morgan Nield 7:41
Yes, that is such a great point. And me, personally, that’s what I did with my baby headbands. And I didn’t enjoy it, to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world to manage employees. And that’s something that we don’t consider as well is there are goals that you have with your business.
Morgan Nield 7:58
And some people just don’t want to hire huge teams, some people don’t want to oversee that some people don’t want to take the time to train them. Some people want to keep their business kind of solopreneurish. And that’s okay, too. We all have these different goals and expectations for our businesses.
Morgan Nield 8:12
Like I said, I’ve hired it out before, I don’t enjoy managing people. I always tell my husband, there’s a sign in our local Taco Bell. That’s like hiring managers $15 an hour, I’m like, I can earn money online, like nobody’s business. But if you put me in that management position, they would fire me within a week, I’d be so terrible at it.
Morgan Nield 8:31
And so, there’s just different strings to play to. And so yes, you can absolutely hire it out. But that’s its own other beast. And then you’re learning that. And so, honestly, it’s about your personal goals, if you want to hire out if you want to be managing employees and finding those types of people. But also, there are other options too.
Morgan Nield 8:49
And I really wanted to help these handmade business owners realize that that was one option, and they could go pursue that, but they didn’t have to. They could pursue this other option of adding passive income to their business with the creative skills they already have.
Morgan Nield 9:01
They’re not having to learn all these creative new skills or talents or anything and be able to add passive income to help offset some of the revenue that they’re earning from their handmade shop.
How to Add a Passive Income Stream to Your Business
Morgan Nield 9:11
And so, now moving from Etsy, I kind of serving at that higher level of okay, your shop is successful, you’re making sales, but you want to add a passive income stream so that 100% of your revenue doesn’t involve you showing up 24/7 to make it happen.
Jillian Leslie 9:26
Talk to me about an Etsy seller that got burnt out where you helped them pivot into creating a course, which is what you’re teaching. So, walk me through this.
Morgan Nield 9:41
We actually have a lot of sellers in really unique niches, we actually had one of our students that sells painted rocks. She was making 20 sales a day of these painted rock kits, which is one of those things that you think there’s not enough demand for that there absolutely is when you market your shop correctly.
Morgan Nield 9:59
And she got to the point where she couldn’t do it. And it was a skill like her specific art style was what people were after. And she couldn’t necessarily hire that out. Because it was a very specific art style, and people still wanted it.
Morgan Nield 10:14
And so, she came up with this idea that, hey, you know what I can actually teach people how to create their own versions of these painted rocks with tutorials and instructions with that. And so, she still sells the painted rocks, you can still pop into her Etsy shop and buy those painted rocks.
Tip 1: Create a Quick Course to Teach People a Skill
Morgan Nield 10:31
You can also choose to enroll in a DIY version of it yourself, where you’re learning from her how she creates these, you’re able to create your own. And so, it really matches up nicely with the shop she currently has. And that way, she’s not just targeting the people that want it finished and completed product shipped to them.
Morgan Nield 10:51
There are also people that hop onto Pinterest, they see and say, “Oh, I could do that.” Now she is targeting those people too. And saying, “Yeah, you can and let me show you exactly how to do it.” And so, she is tapping into a bigger market in that way.
Morgan Nield 11:02
And so, now she has both re has created this little mini course that she has created to teach people how to do it for themselves. And she sells it, she sells her course. And she doesn’t have that order fulfillment that she does with the actual painted rocks.
Morgan Nield 11:23
And so, it’s just a really fantastic way to scale her revenue without scaling her workload.
Jillian Leslie 11:28
Interesting. So, let’s go through then. What’s her name, by the way, just so we can call her name?
Morgan Nield 11:33
Her name is Laura.
Jillian Leslie 11:36
So, Laura comes to you and says, “I want to teach people now how to paint rocks in my style.” And you say, “Do this.” Tell me what this is?
Morgan Nield 11:48
Like to sell an online course?
Jillian Leslie 11:50
Yes. Like, how would she build this course? How would she market this course? How would she figure out that people really want to buy this course? My thesis, which I’ve shared on my podcast, a bunch of times, is, when I hear courses, what I hear is, bells go off, warning bells go off.
Jillian Leslie 12:12
When somebody says to me, “Oh, my God, well, I’m going to build a course.” And also, the word build, it feels like a lot.
Morgan Nield 12:20
It feels funky.
Why I Don’t Recommend You Build a Full Course
Jillian Leslie 12:21
And then I feel like, okay, what that means is, I need to step away from what I’m doing. And go spend, say, six months, like, part time, but creating videos and scripts, and PDFs, and I need to make it look really professional. So, I’m going to be in my editing, video software. And I’m going to be adding text in all of my videos.
Jillian Leslie 12:48
And I’m going to be making all these PDFs, and I need to buy an expensive course platform, so that I can then host it. And then I cut and by the way, I’ve done the research, I’ve asked like five people in my audience, hey, if I made a course on this, would you buy it? And they all said yes.
Jillian Leslie 13:08
So, I come back. I’ve got this course which I have slaved over because it has to look good. And I go out to sell it now, let’s say six months later, and maybe I get those five sales, but it’s much more complicated and harder than I thought. So, please speak to this. Talk to me about Laura, and what she should do.
Morgan Nield 13:31
For sure. I was talking here with you, Jillian, before we started, that we’re both about simplicity and like, getting rid of the complicatedness. That, to me, everything you described in that scenario makes me want to break out in hives, because I’m like, “Yeah, that sounds terrifying.”
Jillian Leslie 13:48
Couple things though, I think that as entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, it’s very easy for us to get busy in our businesses, where we’re not necessarily making money, but the money is out there in the future. And I am dreaming about it. I know it’s right there. It’s just a couple steps ahead. And if I just keep working, keep working. It’s going to show up for me.
Jillian Leslie 14:14
And I think that’s a lot of fear as well. Like, am I really going to put myself out there? Yeas, once the course is done, then I’ll put myself out there. And I’m always trying to push the people I coach or the people I talked to on the podcast to say no, no, go risk it go be embarrassed.
Jillian Leslie 14:31
Go put yourself out there go fall on your face because truth be told nobody is looking. You think they are and they’re really not judging you. They don’t care. But you feel it and I’m saying go lean into those icky feelings.
Morgan Nield 14:47
There’s no growth that comes from comfort zones. And that’s one thing I tell my students and literally everything you said I’m like, yes, that’s exactly the approach we want to take with this because when you talk about out the concept of building a course behind the scenes six months later, you’re not making any money from it.
Morgan Nield 15:06
You’re hustling like crazy; you’re learning these complicated tech stacks and software and you’re wondering, is this even worth it like over and over again. And I feel like that self-doubt. And that impostor syndrome. Also, when you’re doing it in your own head with this tunnel vision, it just goes on repeat.
Morgan Nield 15:21
It’s like the worst loop ever, where you’re constantly guessing, did I make the right decision? Should I create a course on this instead? Are they going to like this format? It’s just all these things and they’re causing you to slow down, it’s just that negative energy, it weighs on you, you’re not able to get as much done.
Tip 2: Validate Your Idea Before You Create Anything
Morgan Nield 15:35
And so, we take the approach to creating and selling digital courses completely different, like 180, this is a completely different experience. I do not want you creating the course and then selling it, you should be validating your idea with sales before you ever create the content.
Jillian Leslie 15:53
Exactly. And by the way, that is exactly how we work with MiloTreeCart. So, we’re like, go put up a sales page, go write about the benefits of what this is, and go sell it, go pre-sell it. And you could start pre-selling in 10 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 16:08
Before we got on, I was just showing you the back end of like, “Hey, here’s your sales page. Go test it. Go put it in front of people, and they might not buy.” And that’s good. Of course, it’d be better if they bought. But you know that upfront.
Morgan Nield 16:25
Seriously, that’s exactly it. And so, there are so many this is the fear that I hear all the time is I’m worried I’m going to waste all my time and energy creating this thing, and nobody is going to buy. If there was a number one concern, I hear about aspiring digital course creators, it’s that.
Morgan Nield 16:39
I’m going to waste all my time and energy; I don’t have a lot to begin with. I’m busy with everything else. How can I know for sure this is going to work. And so, the method that I teach inside my program Simplify To Scale literally, breaks that down completely.
Tip 3: Presell Your Course Offer
Morgan Nield 16:52
What we’re going to do is we’re going to outline your offer, make it an easy as offer, then we’re going to pre-sell it. And if it doesn’t sell, I have yet to have that happen with my students. With this method, they always make at least one sale, we’ve had somebody that made over one hundred, with just the pre-selling phase, which was mind blowing.
Morgan Nield 17:11
So crazy, 1000s and 1000s of dollars in pre- sales. But then we go and pre-sell it. And if nobody buys, we have this failure proof flowchart built in where it’s like, okay, nobody buys, this isn’t a failure. This is literally a learning experience; we’re going to take the feedback we got from them on why they didn’t purchase.
Morgan Nield 17:30
And then we’re going to work that back into this course hypothesis, this outline that we’ve created for our easy yes, course offer. And then we’re going to present it again. And it’s just kind of this flowchart where you literally cannot fail. Because if nobody is buying, we’ve got their feedback to work with, and we can tweak and adjust and make it what they want. And then we can go back and ask for the sale again.
Morgan Nield 17:52
And again, like you mentioned, this huge course complicated process, I don’t teach you to create this 12 module six month plus long course with all the videos and worksheets, and all the resources and things like that. Those bells and whistles can be nice, they can also be detrimental to your students’ success if they serve as distractions, and they’re not necessary.
Morgan Nield 18:13
And so, the method that we teach with pre-selling a course is you are pre-selling this compact course. So, not necessarily a mini course. But it’s a small thing that you’re going to start making sales from within 30 days, you’re going to be able to complete the course content within 30 days and your students are going to be able to go through it and get the result within 30 days.
Morgan Nield 18:34
So, it’s all just this very compact 30 day process of getting everything up and out there and making you money and getting your students results. This is not this huge, overwhelming process, this is let’s strip down the bells and whistles and get you kind of the minimum viable of get it up and out there and making you money and then you can add to it and then you can improve it and then you can embellish it.
Get the MiloTree Pop-Up to Grow Your Social Media Followers and Email Subscribers
Because Morgan and I are talking about courses, these are digital products, I wanted to break down how selling works on the internet for bloggers. The goal is you create content, you attract people to your blog. Once they arrive, you get them to follow you on social media and ultimately join your list. This way you can nurture them and sell to them.
It’s a pretty simple strategy but getting people into your universe and getting them to stick to you can be difficult. Therefore, get the MiloTree pop-up app on your blog won’t slow your site down. Simple WordPress plugin pops up ask people to follow you on social media. join your list go to milotree.com and get your first 30 days free.
And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 19:49
I was just doing a workshop and it was like Build Your Digital Product Empire. Which is like a big thing to say. In the presentation I said, I know you’re looking at me going ah, I’m going to be selling a $5 eBook. And somehow this is going to build my digital product empire like, are you kidding?
Tip 4: Look for Where You Get Traction and Build Off of That
Jillian Leslie 20:13
And it’s like, no, no, because what you want is traction. And what you want is people voting with their credit card saying like, yes, I want this from you. And then you go, “Whoa, I’ve struck a nerve. Something about this offer is resonating with people.
Jillian Leslie 20:33
How can I turn this one page PDF, let’s say into a course a mini course, a workshop, a bigger digital download? Who knows one-on-one coaching, but that you see what’s working and you dig deeper.
Morgan Nield 20:51
Yes. Oh, my gosh, yes. Because this is something that I heard a lot when I was teaching Etsy sellers how to market their Etsy shops they would say, “Well, this is working. But my Instagram, I just can’t figure out Instagram.” Or whatever the platform was at the time for that person.
Morgan Nield 21:06
“I can’t figure it out. I’m spending all this time and energy and I just can’t gain any traction.” And I’m looking over here saying, well, your Pinterest strategy is working. But you’re not spending any time there because you’re trying to figure out Instagram.
Morgan Nield 21:16
So yes, it’s great to have Instagram a part of your business. And seven, whatever platforms you want to for this scenario. But if your Pinterest is working, let’s tap that out completely before you spend all this time and energy on a platform that’s not doing anything for you.
Morgan Nield 21:31
That’s a huge thing that people just don’t think about. It’s like Instagram is not working, I need to fix Instagram. No, no, but this is working. So, let’s utilize it to its maximum potential before we even touch Instagram.
Jillian Leslie 21:43
Absolutely. And it’s so, interesting, because I was on two calls last week, and I saw this same pattern, which is we discount what’s already working, and we focus on what’s not working you.
Jillian Leslie 21:57
So, somebody that I was talking to has a membership. It’s not growing, because she’s not feeding it. But she’s charging something like $99 a month to be part of this membership. And I think somebody cancelled, I don’t think she knew this, but she was taking it personally.
Jillian Leslie 22:17
And she’s like, “Okay, well, what I’m going to do, I’m going to pivot my business, and I’m going to it was something like I’m going to create, Canva templates for social media something and I’m like, “Oh, no, no, no.” Because that seems like it’s the shiny object.
Tip 5: Watch Out for “Shiny Object Syndrome” and Don’t Get Distracted
Morgan Nield 22:30
Yes, shiny objects.
Jillian Leslie 22:32
So, like digging in and going, “Whoa, this is already working. It’s not as big as I’d like.” Again, I believe your business is either growing or shrinking. It’s not really even just staying steady. So, guess what, she’s not feeding her membership.
Jillian Leslie 22:47
And she’s kind of, I don’t want to say taking it for granted. But it’s like, it’s not as interesting. It’s like, what do I teach like, the people show up, but they don’t seem as engaged. It’s not fun.
Jillian Leslie 22:58
And thinking about creating Canva templates feels new and exciting and fun. And like, yeah, fresh start. And I’m like, whoa, do not abandon this. grow this, this is like a little flame, and the flame has gotten smaller. So, you need to feed that fire.
Jillian Leslie 23:16
Because you’ve already found something that most people don’t find, which is people willing to pay you for something, and they’re willing to pay you a lot of money for this. So, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Even if it feels like, oh, I don’t want to be doing this, go do it.
Jillian Leslie 23:37
I’m going to say sometimes business is not fun, go reinvigorate this, go figure it out, go find a new way to fall in love with this. Go out and get members that’s your challenge, don’t start creating templates in Canva.
Morgan Nield 23:53
I would even add to that as well is that you’re not in this alone. If you have paying students use them as a resource for what they would like to see. You don’t have to sit there and be like, I need to boost engagement and I need to add this and this and this. You don’t have to figure that out on your own and you don’t have to guess it.
Tip 6: Get Feedback from Your Paying Customers
Morgan Nield 24:11
There’s so much guesswork in business anyways, there’s a lot of risks. We try new things we don’t know if it’s going to work out or not, don’t make this something that is guesswork, either. You have paying students, talk to them, get their feedback, find out their ideas that is going to give you the best use of your time.
Morgan Nield 24:29
You’re going to know exactly what to work on exactly what they want. And exactly what’s going to help propel that money making aspect of your business forward.
Jillian Leslie 24:38
Yes, completely. And before we press record, you said that we are talking about platforms because of course, I’m talking a lot about MiloTreeCart and you said I’m kind of platform agnostic.
Morgan Nield 24:53
That’s a really fun way of putting it. I love it.
Jillian Leslie 24:56
And like you said, “Hey, you want to go down and dirty you can start a course in a Facebook group.” So, talk to me because I think what you’re saying is it’s the content. It’s the content, it’s the showing up, it’s the I will help you fix a problem. And it’s less about how beautiful my course platform looks. Or it’s like, here’s the real value.
Morgan Nield 25:22
Absolutely. And it comes back to that shiny object syndrome, and I’ve done this in my own business. So, I’m like preaching to the choir here, where I’ve chosen a core platform I started with Teachable.
Morgan Nield 25:33
I’ll be honest, when I first created my first online course, I started with Teachable, and then I saw some other course creators using Thinkific. And I was like, “Ooh, shiny, pretty pretty.” And so, I migrated over to Thinkific. Guess what? Thinkific is fine.
Morgan Nield 25:46
We actually use Kartra now, but Thinkific was fine. But it didn’t boost my core sales, it didn’t change anything. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where the heck your course is hosted. You can do it in a free Facebook. We have students that are like, I kind of want to stay scrappy, I don’t know, if I want to invest in a course platform yet.
Morgan Nield 26:02
Cool. Do it in a free Facebook group. And you can do that as long as you want to. It’s a little bit more manual, obviously, because you’re admitting students in there. And it’s not automated, like a course platform would be, but you can stay there as long as you want to for free. And so, it really doesn’t matter what platform you pick.
Morgan Nield 26:18
And I think this is something that so many people put so much weight into, it’s like, oh, I need to have the perfect website builder, because if my website is not built on the right platform. I’m never going to get customers. No, no, no, I had a DIY website for four years, when we broke $2 million in sales. And I had done it myself.
Morgan Nield 26:35
It wasn’t terrible, terrible, I’m not a designer by any means. It was functional, it was fine. That’s all you need, functionable. As long as it’s bad, don’t worry about what it looks like. Because that’s not what holding up your sales. And we think, if I just use the right fonts, or the right color palettes people are going to buy naturally more.
Morgan Nield 26:53
No, no, no. That is not where the sales come from, that is not where the customers come from, they come because of the content, because what you’re saying resonates with them, because the problem you’re solving is one they need solved.
Morgan Nield 27:06
And so, when you can communicate and spend more time on what you’re actually saying to them, and how you’re teaching them, that’s when people will come.
Morgan Nield 27:13
I actually was just on a podcast with another girl a couple weeks ago. And she’s very frank about it, she’s like, my website is ugly, it’s terrible. My photos are terrible, they’re a little bit pixelated. She’s like, but I make six figures every year because people love what I’m saying.
Morgan Nield 27:28
They don’t care that my website is ugly, and the fonts aren’t beautiful, and everything she’s like, I don’t even want to touch my website, because I know that’s not going to bring me more sales. It’s continuing talking and understanding people and connecting with people. That’s what’s bringing me the sales.
Morgan Nield 27:42
And so, just like a real life example, there, you don’t have to have all the fanciness to get up there. Let’s get the minimum viable version up there. So, you can see what’s resonating, do more of that, and pull back maybe what’s not, and kind of box out a way to focus on a later date, once you’ve maxed this out and got this figured out.
Jillian Leslie 28:01
How do you coach people on finding that problem that they can solve where people will pay them for the solution? Especially because I get this a lot. But everything is on YouTube. But everything is out there. So, why will people pay me for this?
Morgan Nield 28:20
That is such a great question. And that is such a real, like, it’s a real concern. And I totally get it. Because before I started creating an online course, I was like everybody can find this information online for free. Can’t they just Google it? No.
Morgan Nield 28:34
And yes, there’s a ton of information out there online for free, which is empowering when you think about it, because you can learn how to do anything.
Morgan Nield 28:39
But there’s a difference. The last time I tried to Google a solution, I fell down the Google rabbit hole, and I was there for three hours. And I was no closer to actually solving the problem, because I just kept going down the rabbit hole deeper and deeper and deeper.
Morgan Nield 28:55
And so, what I teach my students to do is first off your course, this digital course you’re creating needs to solve a problem and provide a solution. So, it’s kind of basic course one-on-one. But here’s the thing, we’re not just putting all this information and content all together in a package and calling it a course.
Morgan Nield 29:11
There needs to be structured and there needs to be a point A, the before and a point B and your course has to get them from point A to point B. And keep in mind here, I didn’t say point A to point Z. That is not the takeaway here, you do not need to get them to point Z, you just need to get them to point B.
Tip 7: Your Course Need to Get Your Customers from Point A to Point B Fast
Morgan Nield 29:29
And so, your course content falls right between those two points where they’re starting from and what result they want. And then your course content needs to get them to that point. And so, with that in mind, we want to provide a shortcut solution.
Morgan Nield 29:43
So, like I mentioned, we’re not going to from point A to point Z, we don’t want to throw everything in the kitchen sink into your course more content does not mean more value. And I feel like that’s been drilled into our heads if you add more and more and more it’s going to be more value more people are going to want to buy.
Morgan Nield 29:57
What we need to think of is your course is providing a shortcut solution, if you remember nothing else from this episode, write that down somewhere, your course needs to provide a shortcut solution and go from point A to point B in the fastest way possible.
Morgan Nield 30:10
You’re not giving them all the fluff content and filler content and all these unnecessary resources, they’re not going to have to waste time filtering through videos trying to find the information they need, your course literally takes all the excess away and just gives them a very streamlined approach from point A to point B.
Morgan Nield 30:24
People pay for shortcuts solutions. Time is valuable, do not ever discount the value of time. People love to save time; I love to save time. I know Jillian loves to save time, all of us love to save time, your course needs to be that time saving solution.
Morgan Nield 30:38
So, they have that shortcut solution that it provides. And that’s what people are willing to pay for just having an online place step-by-step.
Tip 8: The Six Purchasing Triggers
Jillian Leslie 30:46
And I would argue, because we talk about it similarly that there are really six buckets and I think I shared this on your podcast. Does your product save you time? Does your product make you money? Does your product save you money? Does your product move you away from pain?
Jillian Leslie 31:06
Does your product move you toward more happiness and wellness? Or does your product raise your social status? So those are six things to think about where you move from nice to have to must have.
Morgan Nield 31:23
Yes, I would say nice to have versus need to have. And the need to have is where the money is. And you can still obviously make money from nice to have but everything becomes so much easier, and so much more fulfilling for your students as well, when you go into that need to have.
Jillian Leslie 31:38
Yes, and where again, you can make that concrete transformation. So, instead of it being like, get my kid to eat healthier, maybe it’s get my kid to eat three vegetables a week.
Tip 9: Give People Concrete Wins
Morgan Nield 31:54
Yes, that concrete is so so important. We call it the transformation technique in my program. But it’s essentially getting clear on the specific person you’re helping the specific result or transformation it’s providing, and the specific timeframe.
Morgan Nield 32:10
And when you can get clear on all three of those. Not only does your marketing become so much easier, because you know exactly who you’re talking to, and telling them exactly what they’re getting. But it also makes it so much easier for your students to self-filter and realize is this course for me or is this course not for me.
Morgan Nield 32:24
It makes everything easy. And it seems like what about this person that I want to help? And I know I can help this person too. And I know I can add more and it might take longer, no, no, filter all of that out. There’s enough noise in the world, you want yours to be very specific.
Morgan Nield 32:41
And the power of one, it’s that one person one result, one timeframe. And that is where the power comes in with that shortcut solution.
Jillian Leslie 32:49
How do you recommend people sell this? Because again, we’re talking about Yay, we got the solution. And yay, it will help people, but how do I get my offer in front of the people it can help? This is something that my audience really struggles with.
Morgan Nield 33:07
For sure. And I think that it’s fair to struggle with that. And I think first off, give yourself some credit. Because when you’re starting a business, you are learning how to do so many skills that are outside your natural skill set in your wheelhouse there.
Morgan Nield 33:20
It’s like, why can’t I figure out how to do this? Well, you’re learning a new skill, and it’s okay if it takes time. And it’s okay if you’re having kind of a roadblock there. So, first off, give yourself permission to feel proud of everything you’ve accomplished and know that this is just one more thing that you have to learn. And it’s okay.
Morgan Nield 33:34
But as an entrepreneur, you just have to learn all these different skills. And so, when it comes to selling, because I’m all about simplifying things. And because I’m all about making things happen very quickly in taking imperfect action, just get it up and out there and making you money as quickly as possible. I don’t actually teach a traditional launch method.
Morgan Nield 33:52
And so, you can see the big names in the online course industry, they’ll plan out 120-plus day launches. And they’re like, you need to do webinars and live stream series. And you need to do all these podcasts, interviews and all these blog posts.
Morgan Nield 34:05
And you need to have affiliates and upsells and down sells. And there are so many different things that go into a launch. I’m a mom, I have two small children, I have a little hobby farm, I’m in the back, I have a community that I’m an active part of I have a church that I am an active member in.
Morgan Nield 34:20
There’s a lot of things that take up my time, I don’t want to spend all my time trying to launch this course just to make those first sales.
Morgan Nield 34:27
And so, what we teach inside my program is we want to simplify all of that and say we’re going to pre-sell your course idea to make sure first off that makes sales. Once we pre-sold it, we validate it you do not need to have this big fancy launch, you can, that’s always an option. But that’s more of a bells and whistles option.
Morgan Nield 34:45
You don’t have to have that and so instead we’re going to go into this this pre-selling where you are presenting this idea to your prospective customers to people in your audience. And if you don’t have an audience, we talked about ways that you can find people that would be interested in your offer.
Jillian Leslie 34:59
What are those ways?
Tip 10: How to Sell Your Course If You Don’t Have an Audience
Morgan Nield 35:00
Oh, sure. So, if you have your audience, obviously, you’re going to want to tap into them because they’re already warmed up to you. So, I always recommend starting there. But if you’re like, “I don’t really have an audience at all.”
Morgan Nield 35:10
There are so many and we discuss this. But there are so many free communities, and places online that already have your audience built up for free. So, we recommend starting with Facebook groups is a fantastic way to just start talking with people.
Morgan Nield 35:23
And it’s not like you’re pitching your product in Facebook groups or anything like that. It’s literally just starting conversations and connecting with people.
Morgan Nield 35:31
One of my other favorite ways to do things, is collaborating with others. If you have other connections that are in the business, that are your friends just kind of chat about business things, or maybe you’re in the same paid program, or maybe you’re in a Facebook group, and you’ve chatted back and forth, have them share about your stuff with their people as well.
Morgan Nield 35:48
And so, it’s really just utilizing networks that are already built up. And understanding that it may be a little bit more hands on, it’s a little bit more, kind of getting your hands dirty in it, as opposed to just being able to already have an audience built up and just going with that, it’s a little bit more hands on, but it’s just the season of business.
Morgan Nield 36:05
And once you’ve got your audience built up, you’re not going to have to do that again. And so, you’re going to connect with these people just talk to them. And what I recommend doing is asking them for feedback on this idea that you have, that’s all you’re doing.
Morgan Nield 36:17
You’re not asking for sale, you’re just asking them, hey, I bought this idea they’ll teach your dog how to be potty trained in like, a week or something. I don’t know. I’m like trying to think of problems we have. I’m like puppies, man. They’re intense.
Morgan Nield 36:35
If that was your course idea, saying, “Hey, I’ve got this idea about potty training your dog.”
Jillian Leslie 36:39
I think it’s housebreaking.
Morgan Nield 36:41
Housebreaking, I don’t even know I have toddlers too whatever it is, housetraining your dog, and you want to learn how to do that quickly? I bought this idea, I kind of outlined it, I’d love it for you to take a look and let me know what you think.
Morgan Nield 36:53
And just getting that initial feedback. And then you’ve already built up the conversation. And it’s a very natural move into asking, are you interested in purchasing this? If so, here’s how, and just making it a really simple, low stress process to pre-sell your idea.
Morgan Nield 37:09
And then once you’ve pre-sold it, then no worries. You’ve pre-sold it; you’ve created the course content after that. Now you’re just going to automate things and you are going to take what works.
Jillian Leslie 37:19
Let’s say I get three sales. Should I make a course?
Morgan Nield 37:22
Jillian Leslie 37:24
I say you get two sales for a paid workshop, go make the paid workshop.
Morgan Nield 37:30
Jillian Leslie 37:31
Because I would say the process you will learn so much by making it. Which is why again, for us, I say go do a live paid workshop where you show up live with people, because you will learn and you will see and it’s not that much work upfront to do this. And you’ll hear what even these two people say.
Jillian Leslie 37:52
And your job is to love on them. Turn them into your VIPs.
Invest in Your Early Customers
Morgan Nield 37:58
Yes. That pilot group is the most important group that you can possibly have in your program. Yes, absolutely.
Jillian Leslie 38:07
You could say, hey, you know what I’m thinking of doing this other offer. After this, I’m going to discount it half price for you, if you’ll sign up. And if I can pick your brain on this, be willing to. I think we live in this world where everything needs to be so automated.
Jillian Leslie 38:27
And I want to push back on that, especially as you’re building and to say go ask people to DM you, and that you have these conversations one-on-one and you talk to them human to human. And you’re right. It’s not about them asking for the sale. It’s maybe asking for advice, or it’s being creative. It’s building connection.
Morgan Nield 38:53
Yes, and I feel like entrepreneurship is such a lonely business if you’re not taking the time to build that connection. It really is because it’s you and a computer and the Internet, and you just don’t have a lot of that social interaction. And if you can connect with people, not only do the possibilities for business growth, completely explode.
Morgan Nield 39:13
That’s the easily the fastest way to grow. Your business is connecting and working with other people. But it just becomes a lot more fulfilling and it becomes a lot more fun and you’re not stuck inside your own head.
Morgan Nield 39:23
And I hear this all the time. It’s like I feel like I’m just stuck in my head. It’s like a hamster wheel and nothing is happening. Great. You need to get out there and talk to people that have another perspective, besides your tunnel vision blinders that you’ve had on for two, three months.
Morgan Nield 39:35
Get some outside perspective and feedback and talk with people and get some new ideas.
Jillian Leslie 39:40
It’s funny. During the pandemic, I said to my husband, David is my partner, he’s like the technologist. I go, I want to start a group. And I go and you’re going to be part of it. He has a lot of weight because he could answer anybody’s technical questions. So, it was for bloggers to teach them how to be successful as entrepreneurs.
Jillian Leslie 40:03
And I loved it, because it got me through the pandemic, it was like safe, I could show up on Zoom with this wonderful group of women who I think a lot of them listen to this show. So hey, guys. And honestly, it was like a way to not talk about the pandemic, like a way to focus on something that didn’t relate to the scary thing.
Discovering the Need for MiloTreeCart by Talking to People
Jillian Leslie 40:26
It was a way for us all to grow our businesses. And by building these one-on-one connections with them, we discovered the need for MiloTreeCart, because we saw this need where these women are saying, I want to be selling, and everything is complicated and expensive.
Jillian Leslie 40:44
How do I sell digital products? And we too sell digital products, we sell Printables. And I built a course and, and I too, was having difficulty. And then I was setting it up for people going, there’s got to be a better way with their Facebook groups and SendOwl and sending this to here to there to whatever.
Jillian Leslie 41:08
And I saw this and I said, “David, I see something where we can help these entrepreneurs.” And it would not have happened. I said to him this morning, again, he’s the person who does not want to show up with other people. He just wants to be dealing with technology. Whereas I need to show up.
Jillian Leslie 41:30
He would show up under duress like not really. But he’d be like, “Are we doing the group this week?” And I’d be like, “Yes, we’re doing the group this week.” And again, I do think that he loved the people ultimately in the group, but he’s just happy behind his computer.
Jillian Leslie 41:47
And so, I said to him today I go, “Aren’t you happy that I forced you to do the group and to talk to people and to hear what their problems were?” Because it opened up a whole new avenue for us.
Morgan Nield 42:02
Yes. And I think sometimes as entrepreneurs, we think we have all the ideas. And yes, we have plenty of ideas, but talking with other people, especially in our audience, that’s where the best ideas come from. I feel like we have all the ideas, and that’s great.
Morgan Nield 42:17
And it’s hard to filter through what is important and what is a valid idea and what’s going to be validated. But if you can talk with other people, I feel like they have the best ideas, and they help you see angles that you don’t see. So yes.
Jillian Leslie 42:29
Absolutely. Morgan, if people want to look, because I think that you and I are very like-minded in terms of how we see creating, and I think that we both see where bloggers and entrepreneurs stumble, because they don’t know how to get out of their own way.
Morgan Nield 42:49
Yep, we’ve talked about this before. And I’m like, we’re basically preaching this to the same client. We’re like, yes, yes. Everything you say. Yes.
Jillian Leslie 43:00
Exactly. So, if people want to reach out to you, learn from you, that kind of thing. Where should they go?
Morgan Nield 43:09
My website is just morgannield.com. N-I-E-L-D, my maiden name was Gates. And nobody ever misspelled that. But everybody gets Nield wrong. That’s okay. That’s where you can find me online.
Morgan Nield 43:20
I also have a free class, that might be a really great resource for anybody thinking about getting started with digital courses. But they’re like, I don’t want the overwhelm of this huge, massive six month long project that’s going to suck up all my time and energy that I don’t even know is going to sell.
Morgan Nield 43:33
And so, you can go to passive profit path. That’s the method I teach. Passiveprofitpath.com/freeclass, sign up for the free class. And it’ll walk you through this big picture that I teach of this 30 day, zero to passive income sales method, the Passive Profit Path, will teach you just how simple it really can be if you let it.
Morgan Nield 43:53
And like, I’m all about letting business be simple. Please don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. If you’re interested in creating a digital course. And you want to do it as quickly as possible, in a very simplified way that is not going to stress you out.
Morgan Nield 44:04
Because I work with time crunched entrepreneurs, I work with a lot of moms, a lot of people that have Etsy shops or eCommerce sites that are taking a lot of time and energy.
Morgan Nield 44:11
So, my method is all about tapping into what’s going to work in your schedule with your already filled plate and making this fit into it and getting this up and out there. So, you can scale back on that workload eventually. It’s just passiveprofitpath.com/freeclass.
Jillian Leslie 44:27
I love that. And again, this speaks to my whole concept. Go do B- work, go be embarrassed. Go put it out there.
Morgan Nield 44:35
Yes. And you will learn so much more by getting it out there than you ever will trying to refine and perfect your idea in a Google Drive. That is such a true statement.
Creating an Easy Passive Income Stream in 10 Steps
Jillian Leslie 44:44
Yes. Well, Morgan, thank you so much for coming back on the show. I am going to link to your first episode as well in the show notes. So, if you want to learn more about how you got started, that will be there. But really, thank you.
Morgan Nield 44:55
Thank you for having me on here. I love talking about this. And I love that we see things so similarly but I’m like, yep, we get each other. I love it.
I hope you guys liked this episode; I would say Morgan is my girl. I think her philosophy of business building is so aligned with my own. It’s like, you get in there and you try stuff. And you test and you talk with your customers, and you solve their problems. And you watch your business evolve.
Jillian Leslie 45:21
It is the ultimate example of B- work. And I think that we are sold these courses or programs where everything looks so buttoned down and perfect. And you’re just going to follow their roadmap, and it’s going to be perfect for you. And I’m the first to say, no, it won’t. It is going to be a big mess.
Jillian Leslie 45:42
And you’re going to learn and you’re going to dig in and it’s not going to look like you thought it was at the beginning. But that’s how you find success. That’s the real truth.
Jillian Leslie 45:51
Before I go if one of the things you want to be trying in 2023 is selling digital products, get on my email list so you will be one of the first to know about our MiloTreeCart, Black Friday special.
Jillian Leslie 46:06
And I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes You’ll Like:
- How to Sell and Win Big on Etsy with Morgan Nield
- The Truth About Courses Vs. Memberships with Alisa Meredith
- Why the Blogging Riches are in the Niches with HollyAnne Knight (Part 1)
- How to Launch a Successful Course Through Trial and Error with HollyAnne Knight (Part 2)
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