tell me more

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

Hey There!

How I Use the Profit First Method in My Business

How to Choose the Right Online Course Software

Kartra vs Kajabi

5 Things I Did to Finally Go Full-time in My Business


Online Business Bundles with Dolly DeLong

Dolly DeLong

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

Today, we’re talking all about business bundles with my online business friend, Dolly DeLong. Dolly is a Nashville-based branding and family milestone photographer and an incredible systems and workflow educator. I participated in her recent Systems and Workflow Magic Bundle earlier this year. I’ve contributed to multiple business bundles in the past, and the level of care Dolly put into this bundle blew me away. 

In this episode we talked about:

  • What is an online business bundle and why you might want to run or participate in one
  • How to use bundles to grow your income and make long term friendships
  • The difference between free and paid bundles (plus the pros and cons of each!) 
  • A behind-the-scenes look at Dolly’s five figure launch (without running ANY paid ads) 
  • How to contribute to other people’s bundles and be a quality contributor
  • Creating buzz and excitement about your bundle before it goes live so people purchase as soon as it’s live!
  • Exactly how long it takes to plan and prepare a bundle (including details on how Dolly planned hers) 
  • The difference between bundles and summits

What is a business bundle?

A bundle essentially is a lead magnet – it’s a creative way to strategically grow your email list with other contributors who align with your services and products. But with a bundle, you don’t just have one person sharing something; it’s a collaboration with other business owners that’s been set up to truly impact the consumer and the business owners involved. It’s like-minded business owners who serve very similar audiences working together to grow their email lists and help their ideal clients get from point A to point B with templates, mini-courses, and resources that will help them in the long run.

Bundles are either run as “free” where people can opt-in and receive all of the resources for free or bundles are run as “paid” where people purchase the entire bundle for a one-time price and receive access to multiple products. 

What are some of the pros and cons of free bundles?

If a business owner wants to do a bundle, I would highly recommend starting with a free bundle and trying a paid one later on down the line. Obviously, one of the pros of a free bundle is that it’s free (which people love), and it will generally get more email subscribers because there’s no paid gate that people have to go through. Also, you have a limited time to access the different templates or the resources within the free bundle before it goes away. That causes the business owner to actually take action and either consume the products or make a plan to consume them later on down the line. The con comes in if you don’t have a plan for what to do with your new email subscribers once you get them. If you have 500 new subscribers, that’s great, but what is your plan of action afterward? How are you strategically integrating them into your world?

What are some of the pros and cons of paid bundles?

With a paid bundle…well, you’re getting paid! It’s a more elevated experience for people who are seriously wanting to learn about whatever the topic of the bundle is. It’s also a great way to make connections with other business owners. Something I like even better than getting paid is the connections I’ve built out in the last two years through bundles! Another pro in my mind is that there’s usually a limited amount of time to purchase a paid bundle, so that gives people an incentive to buy and purchase right away. 

Why is it important to pick a theme for your bundle, and how do you pick one?

No matter which tool you have at your disposal – in this case, it’s business bundles – you should be keenly aware of how you can use it to help serve your ideal client. If a bundle is on your to-do list, don’t just think about your own needs. Consider the business owners who will be subscribing to your email list and your contributors, and think about how you can best serve them with the bundle.

How long did it take to put together your last bundle?

I have a very intense personality, so I gave myself a long runway for planning out the last bundle. I gave myself a six-month runway! It involved over 30 different contributors, so I was also working the contributors’ runways as well. Also, I was pregnant at the time, and my son was born in December, so I didn’t want to deal with any last-minute stragglers! 

What are some of the hard things about hosting a bundle?

The biggest thing was time management. When I get excited about something, I want to work on only that. But I am also a service provider! I do a lot of family and branding photography, and I also have my systems and workflow education, so I have to map out my time strategically. Plus, I have two little ones, so I have to be very intentional with my time. I knew going into the six-month pre-launch that I had to dedicate one day a week specifically to bundle planning. Even if there was a temptation to cheat a little and work on the bundle another day, I had to tell myself no! The only times I allowed myself to cheat were when I genuinely didn’t have any clients’ things to work on or editing to do. I get antsy during the week because I’m like, “I just want to work on this because it’s so much fun!” It’s a creative outlet for me, and I just love doing it. But I have to be very intentional with my time because I also need to make money within my business!

 Do you have any advice for people who want to become a contributor to someone else’s business bundles?

Continue to hone in on your specific service or topic that you teach others. Don’t worry about having to be everything to everyone. Really dig into your strengths and continue to hone in on the tools you can within your trade and create one or two tiny products, not just to sell digitally, but in hopes of strategically placing them in future bundles that would align with what you do. That way, when you start pitching yourselves to other bundles, or if people pitch you to be in a bundle, you actually have something to share with them, and you don’t have to spend the next three or four months creating something. You can also actively network in Facebook groups for bundles.

What is the difference between a bundle and a summit?

The difference, in my mind, is that summits are very limited. Ironically, right now, I’m actually planning m

y first summit! I’m doing an iteration of my Systems and Workflow Magic brand, and I’m calling it the “Systems and Workflow Magic Summit,” but the theme is email marketing. Typically, you have 24 hours to watch the video presentations with a summit, whereas a bundle could be a free resource like a pdf, template, or mini-course. Also, you get instant access to bundles; with a summit, you have to watch during certain time slots for free, but if you want ongoing access to all the presentations and bonus material, you’ll usually have to pay.

Thinking about creating your own opt-ins, offers, or bundles?

Grab the freebie that Dolly is offering to Create a Better Course listeners or sign-up for Dolly’s upcoming email marketing summit! It will walk you through everything you need to know to create your opt-ins, offers, and business bundles. I had such a great time chatting with her – be sure to listen to the full episode to hear even more about how you can use bundles to grow your business, the full details of Dolly’s latest launch, and more!

Links mentioned:

*This post may contain affiliate links.