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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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How Elizabeth McCravy Built a Six-Figure Course and Sold Out Her Beta Launch in one HOUR!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher 

Elizabeth McCravy is an incredibly talented Showit website designer, podcast host, and online course creator. I’ve personally used her website templates twice in my own business – my current site is built from the Gabby template! Recently, I invited Elizabeth to the Create a Better Course podcast to talk about her incredible course, Booked Out Designer. I joined Booked Out Designer back in July of 2021 (you can read my full review here), and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business. In this episode, we chat about Booked Out Designer, how she decided to beta launch her course (and sold out in 90 minutes!), turning her original idea into an evergreen six-figure course…and so much more. I loved sitting down for this interview with Elizabeth, and I know you’ll love it, too.

In this episode we talked about: 

  • How long the course creation process takes and EXACTLY how to finally take action on getting your course done! 
  • Running a successful beta launch and SELLING OUT in 1 hour! 
  • Live launching vs evergreen launch strategies
  • How to provide an incredible experience for the students inside of your course
  • And so much more. Seriously, I LOVED recording this episode! Whether you have an established course or you’re just getting started Elizabeth has some great tips to help you start taking action on your goals!

Can you tell us more about your course?

My course is called Booked Out Designer. It’s a course and coaching program for designers on how to build an in-demand business as a brand and website designer. We also have some people who do other things like stationery or calligraphy, and even some copywriters and photographers. Booked Out Designer was my first “real” course, and I went pretty robust! It’s about 90 lessons divided into nine modules, plus coaching call replays and a Facebook community.

When did you first start thinking about your course and have an inkling that’s what you would want to do?

Gosh, I wanted to do this course going back to probably 2019. When I started my podcast, I had the idea for it, but I knew I didn’t have the skill set for it yet. I’m an educator at heart, and I wanted to make the course that I felt like I needed when I started my business. Over time, I started to think of it again and even announced that I was going to make a course for designers…then it took me over a year to actually do anything! I built a wait list and then just stopped. I was frozen at the idea of how big of a course it felt like and feeling imposter syndrome. I was also stuck on this idea that I didn’t want to beta launch. 

How did you finally move from the idea/processing phase to actually making a course?

I sat on it for about a year. The thing that caused me to actually make it happen was getting friendly with the idea of beta launching. Originally, I hated the idea of selling something I haven’t made yet. Then I had a few conversations that helped me realize I was looking at it the wrong way, and realized the beta launch would help motivate me to set aside time and talk to people who could tell me what they wanted and what was working. When I decided I’m going to beta launch this, I moved pretty quick! I went from waiting a year to having a sales page ready in a few weeks.

Your beta launch had 30 spots and it sold out in an hour and a half. Do you have anything you felt worked really well that made people click and buy right away?

I was marketing it along the way for so long that it felt like people just knew. I worked with a copywriter to help me write a sales page, and no one even read it! I did a private YouTube video talking for like 10 minutes about the course. No one watched it. So many people were ready to go without even reading the sales page – 10 people purchased within three minutes. So, how do you get to that point? I would say it’s the marketing leading up to it. Another thing that worked well was focusing on building my email list through pre-marketing. The waitlist page had an optional form to fill out with information about what you’re looking for in a course, and it was so helpful to gather data on what mattered, what questions people had, and what language they were using.

After the launch, what did you do to continue promoting your course?

The beta launch was in February of 2021 and delivered the complete course to everyone by the end of May, so it took me about four months. I opened it again in August at a higher price point, with some testimonials on the sales page and a new module order. I had a baby a few months after that session, so I kept it closed and didn’t open it again until February 2022. After that, I kept it closed for a few more months before changing it to evergreen. So basically I did three launches (including the beta launch), then moved to evergreen.

Was there anything specific that made you switch to evergreen? That’s always a big question for course creators – live launching vs. evergreen.

I think most people are in favor of live launching because the idea is you’ll make more money with a hard promotion. I was partial to evergreen because that’s what I’m used to. I have a digital product shop – I’m evergreen all the time! The thing that ultimately made me go evergreen was maternity leave. I had the course closed, but if someone emailed me I would email them a private link to join. I didn’t want to tell someone they can’t have my course when they’ll go find someone else’s! But it was happening a lot, and it made me wonder how many more people wanted to do the course but were not emailing me. The truth is, if someone wants to learn something right then they’re going to go to someone else; we’re not we’re not unicorns and our course topics are covered by other people, too. I wanted people to be able to learn from me whenever they wanted to. Also, keep in mind that going evergreen doesn’t mean you don’t actively sell. What I’ve done is merged evergreen and live launching – I have a “Booked Out Week” where I add some cool bonuses, do a slight discount, and market it like a launch for people who are sitting on the fence.

Are there any ways you try to keep Booked out Designer top of mind if people know you for other things? How do you weave it in with your website templates and make sure you’re marketing everything?

One of the hardest things about my business is that I have two different audiences and it can be hard to talk to both people. I do podcast episodes and Instagram content every now and then that are more designer-focused where I weave the course in. Booked Out Designer is a big word of mouth course; all of the sales have come through organic marketing and a lot of word of mouth.

Can you talk a little bit about how you’ve cultivated a community where people are regularly talking about your course and telling other people to join it?

I treat Booked Out Designer like a membership, even though it’s not technically a membership, because there’s not an ongoing cost to it. It’s a one-time fee and then you’re in. We have an active Facebook community where people are asking questions and trying to help each other, and I’m constantly posting prompts, encouragements, and things I’m learning. We also have ongoing group coaching calls. I like under-promising over delivering. I think of it as selling more than a course – I’m selling access, support, and community.

Do you have any advice for someone who is sitting on their course idea, but they’re not sure if they should do it?

I would say consider beta launching! Also, invite people to do a one-on-one call with you and pick their brain about what they want in a course. I put out a call on Instagram asking designers interested in learning from me to do an interview. Those calls gave me some great motivation, insights, and information. If you’ve started but need motivation, create a rhythm and ritual for making the course. I set aside one day to work on the course, and I’d go to a particular coffee shop to plan out modules, then go straight home and record them. Try out pausing on other things when you’re focusing on the course. I didn’t make a single new template when I was working on mine, and my podcasts were mostly interviews.

Want to hear more from Elizabeth?

Be sure to visit her website to read her blog, shop her templates, and sign up for Booked Out Designer. You can also follow her on Instagram and listen to the Breakthrough Brand Podcast.

Want more insights on creating your best course yet?

Listen to the full episode with Elizabeth embedded in this episode and subscribe to the Create a Better Course podcast so you won’t miss a single episode!

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