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Today, many professionals and companies are now selling their own e-books and courses. (Even we are!) And, of course, why wouldn't you? If you're good at what you do, why wouldn't you share your tips, tricks, and expertise?
So, we invited Peter Erik Nyvoll and Maria Rygge onto the show to give some advice. They are incredibly skilled at helping people craft and build an online business! In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares how to create and sell an awesome online course from the expertise of Peter Erik Nyvoll and Maria Rygge, who are the co-founders of AweSM Sales and Marketing.
Petter Erik Nyvoll and Maria Rygge are the co-founders of AweSM Sales and Marketing, a company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses to sell online knowledge. Through their workshops and one-on-one coaching, they have helped their clients sell a variety of courses, from health and fitness to knitting and even dog training. Their successful track record has shown that an awesome mindset and business strategy can lead entrepreneurs to securing better clients, more sales, higher conversions, and profitable campaigns. Through their business, Petter Erik and Maria also do live events where they share their insights and knowledge with the world.
Question: To start off, what I'd love to do is have our listeners get a better understanding of who you are [and] how you got here today. What you guys don't know is this couple is from Norway, but they actually live in Vietnam. They also have quite a lifestyle that they've embraced as traveling gurus who have taken their mission on the road. Petter Erik and Maria, please share, how did you get here today?
Answer: (Maria) Short story is we were doing physical events all around the Nordics with international speakers for several years before we started our online business. And we were traveling with the speakers and we had one of the superstar gurus from [the] US, saying to us that "you are selling other people's knowledge, you are putting us on stage, why aren't you putting your self on stage?" And at that time when he told us that we were like, "Really? But we don't have anything that people would pay for learning about." And then long story short...we were doing far too many things and we didn't have enough control. We were just out there to inspire people and we went a bit too fast with that. And when we then had no business anymore, we needed to rethink what we wanted to do.
And both of us had this urge or this need to go somewhere else and try another lifestyle. So we really wanted to take our business online or start something online so that we can go somewhere warmer. And we were looking all around the crater and then we decided on Vietnam and at the same time, we started our online business. So we did one year in Norway where we just built and sold a lot of courses and did a lot of mistakes, but successful enough for us to actually be able to move our business and our life to Vietnam just one year later.
Question: So, right now, I was just reading an interesting article this morning that happened to pop up. So online learning academies are blowing up like never before. COVID has been probably one of the biggest blessings for your business or for your entrepreneurs who follow you because people are more likely to want to do an online course and everyone's hungry to learn and change and get out of crappy jobs. And so how has this role like changed for you in the last six months to a year?
Answer: (Maria) Before that, I just want to say that we started out wanting to be just the two of us because we built the old company to 11 people and then we lost control and we kind of had to just put it down again. So we had this thought that freedom would be just to be the two of us, but we came to a stage quite quickly where we saw that if we want to help more people. And we [really wanted] to help more people to get their knowledge out in the world. So we needed to build a team. So we started to build a team one year after we started the company and the last one and a half years, we doubled and it's grown a lot because as you say, the demand is really, really big.
(Peter Erik) Yeah and I think we've gone from... I know this is a marketing podcast, but now my issues in the company now is to get the right people in the right seat who can bring us to the next level. So it's not like in the start, it was more, "we were the doers and we did all the thing, now we are trying to find the doers for doing things for us." So find the right one who can help us [not do] so many mistakes or I think... And I also want to say, I looked at the last quarter because we had a quarterly meeting this week and I saw the numbers and we had the best quarter ever. And that was in the summer holidays and all this, so it was...July, August, and September.
I feel like this last quarter has been just terribly. We [had] done so many mistakes. [But] I'm like, "oh, but in end, it's the best quarter." And I think like, "wow, when we can make it with so many mistakes, then we have a super big potential" But I also think, [like] the name of the podcast you have, I think you need to be willing to do mistakes. Like failure and test it out and try out things to find out what really works.
Question: And so, when you're working with your courses, you're working with a new entrepreneur and they have a vision, whether that is the dog [training] or the sewing or whatever it is, that's their specialty and there's a niche for everything. What's the first step that you do. How do you start off that partnership and that education? How do you tell them what to do first? Because it is overwhelming for an entrepreneur to be like, "I'm going to start a class and become a social media guru."
Answer: (Maria) So one of the first thing we always start with is to focus on the niche because most of our clients, they have some kind of knowledge and they [teach] it to everyone. And we talked to a lot of coaches and we talked to a lot of consultants and life coaches and leadership coaches, they're just too broad, they want to help everyone. And of course, with their knowledge, they can. But we are always saying that choosing a niche is not about who you can help, but it's who you choose. It's a choice. You just have to make choice. Because it's really, really a big competition because what is happening in the market is everyone is looking online. Everyone is going online. And of course that means that the competition is bigger.
(Peter Erik) Yeah. And I also think... I took a coaching [class] years ago and [there was] one [phrase that kept] coming up again and again and again, that was, trust the process. So, so many they just want to do everything in one week or when they start up. And like you said, they get overwhelmed. So we're also trying to help... Or we are helping them to just do one thing now. Don't think about ...the next step.
Question: So how do you get people to stay on track when they're developing a course idea?
Answer: (Maria) Actually, when we started selling online courses about how to develop a business online and create online courses, it was just a normal online course. And what we saw was that it was really hard for people to get to the end because it was so many things, so many bits and pieces that had to go together. And so we just decided that we need to do this differently. So we leveled up the price, we level up the help that people get. So right now we have actually a team of coaches that works very closely with our clients and help them stay on track. And it is like you say, it is very much about like, "Hey, go back, look at this video. Do this task and then we talk again." So just keeping them on track.
And, of course, also making sure that they feel safe and taken care of when they freak out, because at some stage, most of our clients were like, "Ah, this is too much, I don't know if I can do this, I'm so scared of this," and "Oh, now I put my money on Facebook ads and it's so scary." So, it's a mix of just keeping people accountable saying like, "this is the next step, just go ahead, do it" and also just coaching people, helping them to dare to do it.
(Peter Erik) Yeah. Helping them to keep them on the big why, when they start to struggle. Like why are doing this? Well, what do you want to do? What's your dream? And so not everyone has the dream to live on a beach like us, but we are kind of helping people to get more freedom in their life. So there is a freedom dream in the future of having the opportunity to work more independent or a location free business. So, we need to keep them back to that.
Question: What are other areas that people can mess up when it comes to try trying to build and approach courses?
Answer: (Peter Erik) We have this thing that we talk about, which is you don't create the course before you have sold it. We have some people come to us and [they have] created 10 courses because they think..."Oh, if had just create the perfect course, the perfect product it will sell by [itself]." It's like, "I don't need to do anything." So they are just creating courses after courses, after courses, and waiting for this magic.
But that's just, yeah [bad], in my opinion. You need to start with finding out what they want and then you can create it....And we see the most successful people are creating the course on the fly and they are starting with a message.
Peter Erik and Maria have so much great information from their experience helping their clients create an online business. Check out the podcast below to learn more about how to sell an awesome e-course !
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Topics: Podcast Interviews, HB Podcast