Quit Your Job, Sis

Grow Your Business with Online Courses w/ Co-founder of Owwlish Alyssa Marshall

February 06, 2023 Lindsay Hanson / Alyssa Marshall Episode 157
Grow Your Business with Online Courses w/ Co-founder of Owwlish Alyssa Marshall
Quit Your Job, Sis
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Quit Your Job, Sis
Grow Your Business with Online Courses w/ Co-founder of Owwlish Alyssa Marshall
Feb 06, 2023 Episode 157
Lindsay Hanson / Alyssa Marshall

Have you thought about launching your own online course, but don’t know where to begin?

Maybe you’re thinking, “who am I to create a course?” or “who would want to buy from me?”

The truth is, you probably have enough expertise in something (no matter how niche) to teach someone else. If you’ve ever thought about creating an online course, no matter the topic, this episode is for you.

This week I chat with Alyssa Marshall, founder of Owwlish, a course creation platform that allows you to simply and effectively design an online course and integrate it onto your website. Alyssa is a former dentist turned online educator who made 6 figures within 6 months of launching her business.

She created Owwlish, a platform that helps thousands of course creators teach right from their websites, allowing them to build their communities and their revenue with ease.

Join us as we discuss:

(1) the struggles of entrepreneurship, starting a business, and becoming profitable

(2) how to leverage your existing audience, or how to create one for your niche

(3) Alyssa’s biggest insight on starting a course, affecting marketing strategies, and how to see success

(4) common mistakes entrepreneurs make when launching an online course

(5) what industries have the most success with online courses

Whether you’re launching your business with an online course, or you have an established business and want to add a new revenue stream, tune in to learn how to create passive income with a digital course!


Resources

Website: https://owwlish.com
Two-month free trial: Owwlish.com/quit
Socials: https://www.facebook.com/owwlish

Grow Your Business with Chase
If you're a small business owner, it's important to get a business credit card to help manage your expenses and keep your personal credit score separate from your business. The Chase Ink Business Cash card is a great option, with no annual fee, 0% APR for the first year, and 5% cash back on purchases. You can also earn a $750 bonus if you spend $7,500 in the first three months after opening your account. To compare business credit cards and find the right one for your business, visit lindsayhanson.com/chase today.

Join Like Minded Collective
Joining a platform like Like Minded Collective can help you connect with potential collaborators, referral sources, and others who can help you grow your business.  Go to lindsayhanson.com/likemindedcollective to join now for FREE, or use code QUIT for 50% off your first month of a paid subscription.

Support the Show.

For more biz tips, BTS moments, and pissing off corporate bros, follow me on social media @lindsaymhanson! Instagram | TikTok

Want more tips to help you launch & grow your online business? Click here to join the FREE Quit Your Job, Sis Facebook Community!

Need a coach or social media manager to help you launch & grow your online biz? Work with me!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you thought about launching your own online course, but don’t know where to begin?

Maybe you’re thinking, “who am I to create a course?” or “who would want to buy from me?”

The truth is, you probably have enough expertise in something (no matter how niche) to teach someone else. If you’ve ever thought about creating an online course, no matter the topic, this episode is for you.

This week I chat with Alyssa Marshall, founder of Owwlish, a course creation platform that allows you to simply and effectively design an online course and integrate it onto your website. Alyssa is a former dentist turned online educator who made 6 figures within 6 months of launching her business.

She created Owwlish, a platform that helps thousands of course creators teach right from their websites, allowing them to build their communities and their revenue with ease.

Join us as we discuss:

(1) the struggles of entrepreneurship, starting a business, and becoming profitable

(2) how to leverage your existing audience, or how to create one for your niche

(3) Alyssa’s biggest insight on starting a course, affecting marketing strategies, and how to see success

(4) common mistakes entrepreneurs make when launching an online course

(5) what industries have the most success with online courses

Whether you’re launching your business with an online course, or you have an established business and want to add a new revenue stream, tune in to learn how to create passive income with a digital course!


Resources

Website: https://owwlish.com
Two-month free trial: Owwlish.com/quit
Socials: https://www.facebook.com/owwlish

Grow Your Business with Chase
If you're a small business owner, it's important to get a business credit card to help manage your expenses and keep your personal credit score separate from your business. The Chase Ink Business Cash card is a great option, with no annual fee, 0% APR for the first year, and 5% cash back on purchases. You can also earn a $750 bonus if you spend $7,500 in the first three months after opening your account. To compare business credit cards and find the right one for your business, visit lindsayhanson.com/chase today.

Join Like Minded Collective
Joining a platform like Like Minded Collective can help you connect with potential collaborators, referral sources, and others who can help you grow your business.  Go to lindsayhanson.com/likemindedcollective to join now for FREE, or use code QUIT for 50% off your first month of a paid subscription.

Support the Show.

For more biz tips, BTS moments, and pissing off corporate bros, follow me on social media @lindsaymhanson! Instagram | TikTok

Want more tips to help you launch & grow your online business? Click here to join the FREE Quit Your Job, Sis Facebook Community!

Need a coach or social media manager to help you launch & grow your online biz? Work with me!

Lindsay: [00:00:00] One of the best things you can do to grow your business is to surround yourself with a community of like-minded women who can support you and help you grow. I can't even put into words how valuable it has been to be a part of Like Minded Collective. This is an online community for female entrepreneurs hosted by Inbal Claudio.

You might remember I interviewed her on the podcast a while back, and she just has this superpower for connecting people. Through Like Minded Collective, I've met people who have come on my podcast or they interviewed me on their podcast. I've also met people who I've worked with directly or who have referred me clients.

Just last month, when I was putting together my Fiver masterclass, I reached out to the group to connect with other business owners who had freelancers in their audience, and they were all so excited to help me promote my masterclass. And I had people from each of their audiences sign up for the masterclass.

Every single person who I had connected with. The value that I have gotten from being a part of this group of women [00:01:00] is incredible, and even if I was paying a hundred dollars a month to be in this group, I would be making my money back plus some. But the crazy thing is that it is free to join Like Minded Collective.

So if you want to grow your network and connect with other female entrepreneurs who can offer you support, advice, or even collaboration opportunities, go to lindsayhanson.com/likemindedcollective right now and join the community for free. And if you wanna check out the silver or gold tiers, which will give you access to monthly networking sessions and weekly live workshops, use code 'Quit' to get 50% off your first month when you upgrade to a paid tier. Come join this community of like-minded women. I promise you it will be one of the most valuable things you can do to grow your business. Again, go to lindsayhanson.com/ likemindedcollective, or click that link in the show notes to join for free or use code Quit, Q-u-i-t, to get 50% off your first [00:02:00] month of a paid subscription.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the podcast if you wanna create digital courses or memberships this is the episode for you. I'm here with Alyssa Marshall, founder of Owwlish, a platform that provides a new way of building online courses and communities right from your website. Alyssa quit her dentistry job back in 2012 to start a business teaching advanced dental techniques online.

The course took off and within six months she hit six figures in her first year. Since then, Alyssa and her partner built a lucrative software company that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow their businesses online. I am so excited to dive into all things online business and course creation. So Alyssa, welcome to the podcast.

Alyssa: Hi, Lindsay. Thank you so much for having me. 

Lindsay: Yeah. Thank you for being here. So to start, could you [00:03:00] tell us a little bit more about your own story and what led you to quit your job and go into online business? 

Alyssa: Yeah. Well, I was a senior in dental school and I really thought that my life was set for me, the direction of my life.

I never even thought to question that there was any other way that I could do anything, and then I wasn't even a book reader at that time, but, somebody told me about The 4-Hour Workweek and I was like, oh, that sounds interesting. And okay, I'll listen. So I'm like doing lab work at night trying to, hit my requirements so I can graduate on time doing all that.

And I had, I was like listening to the book through my earphones and I'm just like, oh my God, my life, the view of what life could be is changing right in front of me. Everything that I never thought to question, just all the societal narratives, I just internalized and was living by, I started to question and I was just like, okay, I gotta figure something else [00:04:00] out.

Because in all honesty, being a dentist wasn't quite a thing of passion for me. It's hard on your body okay, all of that. So there's that. , but at the same time, I was getting all these people reach out to me. So if I rewind a little bit while I was in dental school here, I had actually graduated from dental school already in South Korea.

And so I went to a program that is made for internationally trained dentists. And so your actual US dental school period is shorter. It's two years to two and a half years. So you're doing the later part of dental school instead. Four years. But to get into that program as an internationally trained dentist is absurdly competitive.

It is much more competitive than even the traditional dental school programs. And you have to prove not only do we have to pass a bunch of tests, but you also have to show them that as part of admissions, you know how to cut teeth to the US standards if you will. That test is called the bench test, and that [00:05:00] passing that test is a huge hurdle for a lot of people, and it was for me as well.

And so back when I was applying, I had to do this twice. First-year I tried and it didn't take me anywhere. And then the second year, changed my approach. I reexamined everything. And now here I was like, I got nine acceptances and I was really in a position where I could choose where I wanted to go.

Whereas the year before, I literally was saying, okay, this is my last time I'm trying, if it doesn't work, I'm just gonna go back to Korea and it's just not worth my time anymore. When I turned around my situation like that, like some friends that I was studying with, were asking for my advice and like how to do this and that, and then I helped them and then they, just it sounded like the word about me slowly, organically, got out to a very small community, but still a community of people that were working towards this. So when I was a senior, I was helping a lot of people. I wasn't really thinking of it as a business in any way. It was more just okay, well, you need help?

Yeah. I've been there. It's really [00:06:00] hard. Let me help you. But that is what became my business is helping internationally trained dentists pass the bench test. So that was the online course that I ended up creating, and I mean, I say it in a very linear way, right? But teaching dentistry online is not exactly just a thing, or at least it wasn't back then.

This is back in, I graduated in 2012 and the course launched in two- 20. Was it 13 or 12? I can't even remember now. But anyway, it's one or the other. Uh, so the course, but it's you don't really think to teach it online cuz it's always taught in person. It's like a craft if you will Yeah.

Where you're learning from your mentor, your teacher, and like looking over their shoulder and like picking up tips and whatnot, and my husband really pushed me to figure out how this can be taught online. And I was like, no, you don't understand. You're not a dentist. Like this cannot be taught online.

And he was like, no, listen, there has to be a way really think about it. I was like, just push back, push back, push back, right? No, it can't be. [00:07:00] But you planted that seed and then as it marinades in you, you just revisit the thought. Yeah, with that kind of 'what if' kind of attitude instead of no way attitude.

It just kind of showed me a way that it can actually be done and we had to go through a lot of trial and error to figure out the effective delivery so that all of the things related to dexterity, can actually be delivered in an online course, but we figured it out and we did the whole course.

And that was the start for me as an entrepreneur. And when the course was going, that's when I actually stopped working as a dentist too. So I worked for six months, I graduated, I worked for six months, and that was it, that was it. 

Lindsay: You might be the first person, who was at their job for less time than I was before I quit.

Alyssa: Yeah, it was really, really short. I mean, obviously, when I'm with patients, I give them, all I've got. But still, I wasn't always thinking of this as okay, I'm here temporarily. Like I'm [00:08:00] not gonna be here for very much longer. And I mean, I didn't go straight to just doing online courses. I will have to say that I actually did start with an in-person thing first.

Because I've never taught. And yeah, so we started so it's a very classic story, right? Teach what you know to a few people first, and then as that starts to go well, you think about how you can scale that up and deliver it to a lot of people in a more time-effective way, energy-effective way, a more lucrative way that it can be.

So like we started with doing live courses. We actually did it in our apartment, we opened up our living room and set up these little IKEA tables. We were on the first floor, so we put up an air compressor outside and just brought the line in because we're not working on people. Like the quality of the air doesn't matter, right?

There doesn't need to be any filters. 

Lindsay: That's such an entrepreneurial story. I love it. 

Alyssa: and just a [00:09:00] lot of hustle and just really, yeah, really janky. It's not quite luxurious or high-end in any kind of way. It's just the cheap stuff I could find off of eBay and we just brought in people, but the course is always sold out, but I couldn't because it was so hands-on, I think at any given time, I never went over 10 people, 10 max. When we rented a space that the next time we actually rented a little like commercial space and it was a, there was actually room now, so like we could bring in more tables, but still, it was just me that's what really stopped us from being able to take in more people, but we were always sold out and that was just like, oh, interesting.

Like people really need this. I knew that they needed it, but it was really serious. But I was in Texas doing this and Austin, Texas. Austin, Texas does not have a dental school there is one program that has an internationally trained dentist program in San Antonio, that's two hours away.

And then other than that, like that, the next closest one was Oklahoma, which [00:10:00] was like an eight or 10-hour drive north. So like we were in the middle of nowhere doing this and people would fly in from all over to come and learn. And I was, and that's when Kevin was like, okay, there's gotta be a better way to do this online.

And I'm like, no, there isn't. And he's yes, there is. Figure it out. And I'm like, no, there isn't. You don't understand, but he was right. There was, and so when we decided to put on an online course, we first put up a sales page first, like after I thought like I figured out okay, I think I can make a course in this way and deliver the material in this way.

What it's like to make a course in that depth is so much commitment that I couldn't just do it, what if nobody buys it? That would be months of my time wasted. And so we put up a sales page first and said, "Hey, we're gonna start this program on this date." I didn't say that I made it. I just said we'll be, and we said that one module be released every day, Monday through Friday, through this day, through this day.

If you want in, if you get it through [00:11:00] presale, it's half off, gets it or leave it. And we sent out that thing and I was just like so nervous. Like I've never sent out an email like that before. Never tried to really sell. We sent out emails about our live course spots before, but that has such limited capacity that's just okay, whatever.

It always gets full. Not a big deal. But this was just like a huge experiment into a realm of something that nobody has ever done before, but while we were eating dinner. We reached the number of people that I said, if we sell this much, we're gonna do it. If not, we're gonna not do it. It was decided at that dinner time that this course is gonna be built.

And it was just like, oh my God. And yeah, never looked back. 

Lindsay: Incredible. I also love that you made the sales page first, cuz I think that's something that a lot of people think, oh, well I have to have the whole course or even if it's not a course, like whatever program you're creating, we feel like we have to have it created before we can sell it.[00:12:00] 

But actually, I usually recommend selling it first because then you know if it's something that people even want. So is that something that you typically recommend if you are gonna create a course to make the sales page before you even have the course? 

Alyssa: oh my gosh, absolutely. When you make a course, whether it is a small course or a big course, I see a lot of value in like little mini courses too, especially if you don't yet are in complete sync and in complete harmony with your audience, right?

If you're early stage in your business, like I was back then, and I think I know my audience, right? Because I was one literally just a few years ago, and so I had a hunch this would work, but it was just like such a new thing or whatever, whatever the situation may be. Maybe you're trying to grow your following and you're just like, I could talk about how to do this or how to do that, and I think people would like this better, but do you really know?

So if you don't know, please do not put in all your sweat and tears into creating that [00:13:00] thing that you think your audience wants. Let them tell you, and I still do this, I will just shoot out an email and be like, "Hey, I think I'm thinking. Or this, or what do you wanna hear from me next?" or something like that. And they tell me what they want. Like your audience, if you're cultivating them, right? They're vocal, not everybody of course, but you have more than enough people in there that will tell you because they really value you. That giving them the space to express that will save you so much headache and heartache of making something.

And then, it just being crickets and it is really demoralizing to do that. 

Lindsay: Yeah. So aside from validating your idea, what are those first steps that someone should take if they're thinking about creating an online course? 

Alyssa: So, yes, absolutely validating your idea. I would say also make sure that you do also have an audience first.

 If you're very new and you have no following. We are doing a remodel on a downstairs right now, [00:14:00] and we brought in somebody to do some tile work and I guess he was really hit bad or his partner was hit bad by the pandemic, and she lost her job so their income was slashed so bad that now he's doing this right.

And even this like handyman type of guy that's like coming in to help me on our house project. He's telling me that he wants to create an online course and I'm like, oh wow. Okay. Let's talk like we can go there, he doesn't have an audience and he's an artist of sorts. So he, I guess works with wood, and he sold like a $6,000 coffee table at an art show kind of place, like Live Edge, beautiful coffee table, that's like his thing, right?

But I think he's multi-passionate where he does that and he does this and he tells me like he wants to make a course on essential oil. Oh, okay. Would that be the best place for you to start? First of all, who? Who said they wanted to learn about essential oils from you? Let's start there.

Yeah. Because if it's nobody and maybe essential oils is [00:15:00] something that you really know well about, but that does not necessarily mean your first course. Cuz usually the reason people make courses is that they want to help people. Yes. But also see some financial reward from it. 

The reason my course did so well from the very beginning was that nobody else was doing this, and the only way to learn the skill was to fly into an in-person course, which even was a few and far in between. Now it has changed some, and there, there are more people offering this, but at that time, literally, there were two more places that you could have gone.

So I was number two or number three of where you could fly in to learn. And then my course online was the very first. And so there was demand. It was really hot, but oftentimes people don't have topics that are quite as unique. My situation was pretty unique. I do really get that, but if you're thinking like, okay, I could really love essential oils, let me make a course on it.

Well, okay. Like really, let's think about how we are gonna figure out whether this is gonna sell first. And if you [00:16:00] have no audience that's already getting some kind of essential oil advice from you, then maybe we try to make that first. And it's the not sexy way, right? We want to make the product and put out a big launch and do all that.

And it is cool, it can be quite incredible. But oftentimes when you go into those, that kind of launch mentality, we have to put in a lot of money to get the money back we have if we don't have our own audience, we have to run the ads to see the ROI and we have to tweak the that. It looks, I think it looks fancier and more exciting than sometimes it really is, especially if you're not versed in ads and you don't know how to do that yet. Right? So for the early-stage entrepreneur, I'm assuming that. Maybe you know how to do some boosting or some audience, or maybe you have a custom audience, but like scaling up ads aren't, that's not your forte just yet. Then, in that case, build the audience.

Make sure that people are, if people are taking essential Oil advice from you, then yeah, then ask [00:17:00] them, "Hey, I'm thinking of making, putting all of this information and taking all the questions that I get all of the time and putting it into this well-packaged course where you can refer back to whenever you have a question about essential oils. Do you want it?"

And if people say, DM you or email you back and say Yes, then you, then that's when you actually put up that sales page and be like, a course about whatever. Cuz even that sales page takes a lot of time to make. It's not simple. So anyway, that's when you would actually write it.

After you get some feelers, then you actually write it, design it, and have the pre-sale button. 50% off, something like that, and put it out there and be like, okay, it will be launched. Give yourself a month something, I don't know, two weeks, whatever you need, it'll be launched on this day if you pay. And just let 'em know to look, and if not enough people buy the course, then you will be refunded.

And that's that. Like I just want to know whether this will be worth my while and worth it. Yeah, and then you go from there. It mitigates your risks because that work has to be done.[00:18:00] Even if you make your course first, because that's the exciting part, to sell it, you will have to make a sales page.

So just make the sales page first. Yeah. And then just stop. And then just watch. I feel like oftentimes we're a little, we wanna rush things, we wanna skip steps and sometimes it can work, but most of the times I feel like there's a lot of things that can go wrong. There's a reason the steps are there, yeah. Like these checkpoints to keep you safe. Yeah. So you don't have to, go through this whole, do all that work and nothing come of it. And potentially you be so demoralized you don't wanna do it again, 

Lindsay: yeah. Well, that's the thing, it's so discouraging when you've already put the work in and all the time and energy and maybe money into creating something just to find out that nobody wants it.

Right? So it's better to find that out before, and then it's at least a little bit less demoralizing because you can figure out what it is that your audience is looking for and go from there without wasting your time. So are there [00:19:00] any specific types of businesses that you've found online courses work really well for? Or is it like anyone could create an online course?

Alyssa: I'm going to say, anyone. I think even just a few years ago, maybe it was a little bit more limited in terms of the types of industries we saw, but now, even me, I had taught dentistry online, who teaches that? Inside Owwlish, which is, a software that you can use to put up a course on yours.

Because I can look at the backside of things, we have all sorts of things. When you go to YouTube and you search for any video, you'll pretty much find something. 

Lindsay: Yeah. 

Alyssa: The weirdest things that you never thought would be there, are there? It's the same thing with courses. I'm just like; sometimes I would look through 'em, I'm like, oh my God.

Yeah. I have to be a little careful of what I actually say, but there's everything in terms of like from like how to give birth naturally at home, to how to seduce a partner to, yeah. It's of course there are things about like [00:20:00] workout and like how to put on makeup. Of course, those classic things are always there too. But yeah, just they're like all the things. They're there because of all these little niches, they have people that are passionate about it, and yeah. When somebody knows a lot about it and somebody else is trying to get into it, they try to find advice and that's where they land.

And so, all these very interesting things that I never thought would be a thing or even a course. Yeah. My mind is blown open. And so if you have the knowledge, in a very interesting, or just a niche subject or whatever it is. I think the more niche, the better. As for the guy that was working downstairs, I was thinking you might be better off making a woodworking course.

Lindsay: Yeah. 

Alyssa: Versus making an essential oils course. But anyway, so yeah, if have a niche area where you're just oddly obsessed, then that could be, a good starting point for you to explore course topics.[00:21:00] 

Lindsay: The one thing that I wish I had done when I first started my business was open a business credit card. Please don't be like me and put all your business expenses on your personal credit card. It is a nightmare for accounting purposes, it brought down my credit score and I was missing out on the low-interest rates and amazing rewards that come with getting a business credit card.

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I'm gonna be honest, I didn't have enough expenses to get that bonus, but if you're planning to work with a business coach, buy a new laptop, hire a web designer, or any other major expenses upfront, this is the perfect time to apply for a business credit card. And you know your [00:22:00] girl is here to hook you up.

So to compare Inc. Business credit cards and find the right card to help you turn that dream business into a reality, go to lindsayhanson.com/chase. Did I mention the best part? My business expenses no longer affect my personal credit score. We are back up, and we are staying up, babes. Find your best-fit business credit card today at lindsayhanson.com/chase.

Yeah, I think a lot of times we think, oh, this is just something that, like, I have this weird interest in, but nobody else does. But I promise you, if you have a weird obsession, there are a million other people who also have it. You would be surprised. But the thing about having such a specific niche, too, is that it makes it easier for you to find those other people who are also interested in this thing.

Alyssa: Exactly. And or at least if you are engaged online, on [00:23:00] wherever they are engaged in those niche forums or subreddits or whatever, wherever it might be and honestly much easier to grow your audience there as well. And that's how I grew my audience so fast because there were only a few places people were talking.

Yeah. And all I had to do was jump in and help when people were having trouble, and that's how it all started. And yes, that was back 10 years ago, but I think the principles still apply. Jump into those niche Facebook groups, help people, and start from there. Then obviously most times, unless it's your own Facebook groups, there are these rules now, right?

Like no promotions. But there are ways you can drop links to things. Let's say somebody asks a question about something and you have a blog post that addresses that, then just send them to your blog post, and that's... they're on your website now. Yeah. And if you have a retargeting pixel set up there or a popup that comes up, offering them a good freebie, now you have their info and you can reach them. And so [00:24:00] there are so many ways that you can do it. I think just being creative about how you're gonna do it versus okay, let me just make my course. You might make a few sales. Without that, and/or you might make a lot like maybe you know your audience so very well that you didn't need all that testing, but you won't regret having gone through that process of testing because even when you're making the course, and especially this is the case, if it's like a more comprehensive course, like a mini course, hopefully, you're making it mini enough, it's not taking all of your energy and tears to make it. But if you're making a comprehensive course that really is a project and it is a big project, likely you'll feel like giving up a few times. 

Honestly, if I hadn't pre-sold it, and made a promise, I don't know if I would have launched it when I launched it, yeah. I might have sat on it for another six months, like slowly trying to perfect it or whatever, and just having all these excuses in terms of why it's not ready or, I don't know, making the course bigger and bigger. Adding more and more [00:25:00] things.

Yeah. Versus if you pre-sell it and there's a date you have to have it out by, you got a fire under your arrest. And you'll be, you'll get it out. 

Lindsay: That is some good motivation. Since we were on the topic of marketing, what strategies have you found to be really successful when it comes to marketing and selling online courses?

Alyssa: So this would be assuming that it is your audience like you have an audience. I have not tried to sell a course when I had not had an audience already. That would scare me. Even though like I could, I have some ideas in terms of how you could it would be your audience. And honestly, when you have an audience that you nurtured well like you've built that relationship well, what I find is that you don't need a whole lot of selling.

If you found your topic well, and if you jive well with your audience, it shouldn't feel like you are trying to make the sale. It should feel a little bit more like you're sharing what you have available for them that would be [00:26:00] helpful to them. And when they see that, they go, "oh, I would like that actually."

And so it's less of a push and more of guiding people through the steps. You do have to let them know that there's something to sell. So I know this whole selling thing can be hang up for a lot of people, right? Oh, I don't wanna feel so salesy. But if you've made something that really would be helpful, you're not being salesy. You're letting them know that they can go through your course and get this result. You're promising a result, right? And assuming that you are decently well equipped to deliver that result to them, you're helping them. You're cutting their learning time so much in whatever topic it is that you created a course on.

Or in my case, I really do believe that going through my course would give you much better results in terms of your possibility or probability of getting accepted into a program versus not. Yeah, like I have no problem being like, yeah, you can do it on your own. Sure. Or if you want somebody [00:27:00] that really has seen a lot of this, then I will be happy to work with you on it.

 And the price, and, it's not really, I don't really see it as selling anymore. I don't know if this came with time, though. That's something that you're making me pause on. 

Lindsay: I'm sure it did, but I think there's also this notion that so many people are creating online courses, and so we are just wanting to sell courses.

We're just wanting to make money. So I think having that passion behind what you do and really being confident that you're delivering those results is important cuz you're not gonna feel good about selling something that you don't believe in. But if you truly believe that you're helping people and that it's going to, like you said, cut down on the time it takes for them to learn something or help them learn a new skill or whatever that result is that you're delivering, think about the value that you're actually bringing by having this course for them so that they don't have to figure it out on their own. And of course, there's this idea, [00:28:00] I think when we think about selling that we're like taking something from them, cuz they're paying us, we're "taking their money," I say in quotes, but when you're on the other side of that transaction, and you are investing in a course that you're really excited about, at least for me, I don't ever feel like that person's taking my money. I'm like, thank you so much for creating this thing that's going to help me.

I am excited to make that payment so that I can get inside and get to work. So I think putting that into perspective as well and just thinking about the value that you're really providing to the people who are buying your course.. But yeah, I do believe that at the core of it, you have to have that confidence in the value that you're providing, or else you're not going to feel good about trying to sell it.

But when you really do believe in it, like you said, it doesn't even really feel like selling. It feels, of course, I wanna share this thing that I know is gonna help people. 

Alyssa: Yeah, totally with you on that. And if [00:29:00] this is your first course, like you're contemplating maybe putting up a new course or your very, very first course, don't make it so big for you.

 I actually regret this from my own journey of making that course because I really rushed to deliver it on time. It was like we weren't sleeping for weeks because we had to get those videos filmed, and edited out on time. I would totally if I had to start all over again, not do it that way, but I would have put out a smaller course just covering a smaller thing and see if they want it. And if they want it, then make one more small course adjacent to that. And I'm not just gonna make it first. I've gotta validate the demand first, but I'm not gonna validate the demand for a gigantic flagship comprehensive course from the get-go. I think that is certainly a mistake that I made and made it difficult for myself.

And later, when I had to completely redo that course, it was kind of a mess because I had to patch, patch, and patch onto it. I [00:30:00] wasn't ready to create a comprehensive course, but I did. So it worked out at the end, but it was one big mess that I had to clean up and just do it all over again.

But I think it is; it makes a lot more sense both mentally for you in terms of like how to approach making the course or whatnot to just start from a mini course. And I look at a mini course as something that you should be able to, if you are sitting down with somebody like at a coffee shop, deliver it within 30 minutes to an hour.

And they should getting a tangible result out of it, right? Yeah. And so the promise is smaller. The promise is not, 'you'll be a Photoshop expert by the end of this.' The promise is more 'you will know how to do this one thing on Photoshop after this,' this kind of thing. It's a real result that you are promising.

And therefore, cuz if you're making your first course and you're trying to distill all of your knowledge on that one topic into the course, it is very overwhelming. How do you approach it? How do you organize it? How do you deliver it? Should this come before that? But this, everything is intertwined.

So when you actually try to [00:31:00] put it out in a curriculum, it's difficult. If you haven't taught it already many, many times before, feel like you hone your delivery and, yeah, learn how to deliver it by teaching over and over again. For me, still, I find new ways to deliver things.

I've been teaching it for a decade, but it's still there. Like you learn by teaching, start by just doing something small. So something that you think you should be able to finish on the weekend. Nothing more. Cuz if you make it bigger. Yeah. It's just, I don't know, I just don't see a point in doing that.

Lindsay: Yeah, that's a really good idea. For anyone who's like feeling overwhelmed by the idea of building out a whole course, like how can you break it down into something that's a smaller result that's gonna be easier for you to build out? That could definitely be a good way to get started. So are there any other kinds of mistakes that you made or things that you would do differently or maybe some common mistakes [00:32:00] that you see other entrepreneurs making when they're building out their online courses?

Alyssa: Mistakes. So thinking that you need to have everything perfectly figured out first. This goes to buying equipment, right? Oh, I'm gonna do this thing; let me Google now and spend my limited time on researching the best mics and the best this, and the best camera. And how do I set it up?

And I'm getting a teleprompter going, but just no, stop. Just stop. And this is another reason why I think a mini course is a much better way of doing it is just; okay, how would I teach this one skill? Maybe it is how to cut wood so that you would use it, or how to choose the perfect wood slab to make your live edge coffee table, something, but not how to make the entire coffee table because that sounds pretty big to me. 

Talking, talking, coming from a point where I don't know how to do any woodworking, but it sounds like a big course to me. I don't know, but just maybe it was like how to choose a good slab that would last you a long time, or how to bring out the wood grain when you [00:33:00] get like a piece of wood.

Just that. How about just that? And so if it's so specific, if your promise is super specific, then even brainstorming your ideas is much easier and faster. But if you're like, okay, how to make a coffee table comes in okay. Or I have to attach the legs and everything has to be balanced and Okay, clamping everything together. You can tell, I don't know how to do woodworking. 

Lindsay: I don't either, so I'm just going with it. 

Alyssa: But it comes with a lot of; not only do you have to finish the surfaces, but you have to clamp the table and legs together and make sure everything is aligned and not jiggling around and all of this, right?

There's so many other components, just don't go there yet. Maybe that's your second course. 

 Maybe people really liked it, and then maybe you just start that in another month because. This did so well, but there's absolutely no reason you have to make the project bigger than it absolutely needs to be.

So just start super small and just start with what you have. You've got a phone good enough, and even if you have a hard time, even finding time to do that, [00:34:00] record it live. Make it a webinar that you're just inviting people to come for free, and you know they can watch it for free while you're live.

And then you recorded it because now you have a deadline that you have to get something out there. Like, I've joined plenty of courses like that where I joined, and then I noticed, I realized, oh, this was recorded live. And that's okay. I'm not upset about that. I'm still getting all the value that I wanted to get from it.

And it's, I think it's just a lot easier for the teacher to teach when there is somebody on the other side listening versus if you're recording by yourself, you're tempted to be like, okay, messed that up. Let me do that again. Let me do that again. This kind of thing versus if you have a live audience, you have to go through the whole thing. Whether you like it or not, you're on. 

And so just that, and yeah, just edit it here and there a little bit. Or get an editor from Fiverr. Personally, video editing has never come easy to me. It takes me really ridiculously long amount of, a lot of time. So that will be the one place where I really recommend unless you're really [00:35:00] good at it, just get help with it.

 Otherwise, you might be sitting on your video to try to edit that for a really long time. I don't know if it's just me a little bit technically challenged, but yeah, and just figure out what you can do to get it out the door. Motivate yourself to get it out the door. All these promises when it's gonna go live or all these things, that's your fuel, and that doesn't let you procrastinate anymore because we all have imposter syndrome, right? To one degree or another. Yeah. And when we're about to put something out there, it's just, should I really do this? Who am I to do this? Oh no, this was a bad idea. Nobody likes all this stuff, but if you already promised it and you already sold it, you don't have another way of escaping out of it.

So yeah. So yeah, put those things in place, so you have to do it. 

Lindsay: Yeah, I agree. I always love just putting yourself on the hook, right? Like you have to put it out there, or else you're gonna get trapped in your own imposter syndrome, and it's never gonna get created. So done is better than perfect and just, put [00:36:00] whatever you have to do to put yourself on the hook.

Because I love recording live, I always do that if I have to record a video, the idea of sitting in front of my camera and just talking to it, I'm like, that sounds like the worst. I don't wanna do that at all. But if I'm in a live stream and I'm able to be interactive with the people who are watching, that sounds a lot more fun for me, and I'm much more likely to actually sit down and do it because I told these people I'm going live at this time.

So I always love a good live video to put yourself on the hook. So tell us a little bit more about Owwlish and how the platform can help course creators. 

Alyssa: As somebody that has had online courses for about a decade and somebody that is extremely technically challenged, like tech for me is this huge resistance point.

I don't even like changing my phone or my computer. Just because it's just scary for me. I don't, yeah. I am just, anyway, working on courses and big courses. Our [00:37:00] course site doesn't just have that course. We have a lot of other courses. The backend of the course site, our courses were on WordPress, and WordPress was supposed to be this open source platform that is easy to use, or you can do everything with it as a developer; at least, that's what I understood as a promise.

Until I try to do stuff and install on these plug-ins and realize, okay, this plugin is not working with that plug-in, and nothing is working together. Or I installed a course plug-in on there, and then the theme breaks, and it doesn't look good anymore, and I can't figure out what to do.

Lindsay: Apparently, it's not just me, but every time I go into WordPress, I'm like, 'how is this the best?' It seems so not user-friendly to me. I feel like I never have any idea how to do anything in WordPress. All of you people who are WordPress experts: good for you. Because I'm pretty good with technology, but I can never figure out how to do anything in WordPress for I don't have it for myself, but for some of my clients, they use WordPress, and I'm just like, I don't know, how to do anything in here.

Alyssa: Yeah. Where do I [00:38:00] even start? So even like putting up a new course or like even a module or like changing the sequence around Yeah. Every, anytime I have to log in to our back end, I would have to get mentally prepared. I'd be like, 'okay, I can do this. Like I can look at the backend, and I can figure it out.'

And sometimes I couldn't. But it was way more difficult than it needed to be. And over the years, you have to redo your website every few years, right? And just doing that was always this. Huge ginormous project and just so energy-consuming and time-consuming and I was just like, there's gotta be a better way to have a course on your website.

But then, yes, there are all these other platforms where you can have your own course on your own website, right? You have a sub-domain, but you have to make a sub-domain. So you can't have your course on the website that you want it to be on. You have to manage your course on that separate website.

So I didn't even know this until I actually got deep into trying to do it because on [00:39:00] the features list or whatever, it'll be a check mark next to, like, host your course on your site. I thought, oh yeah, I have a website that can host my course on that website. No, no, no. That's not what they mean.

They mean you make another sub-domain, which might as well just be a brand new domain name, and you're basically managing another website just for the course. But then there'd be all these complications with those platforms because I would want to do something else I would want to have my members be able to do, let's say, book a coaching call, not with just me, but or figure out like which consultants they want to work with. For instance, that was not easy cause they have very limited. Okay, this is a course platform, right? So all the features that they would offer would just be pertaining to just an online course. A straightforward kind of situation.

And so that's why we had to stick with WordPress. It was just so difficult. Yeah. And so me and my husband, both of us together, were just like, okay, there has to be a better way. And so we started developing this [00:40:00] platform where you can manage the course content and put up the course on our backend, like on OwwlIsh's app, but then to make your course show up on your website, you just drop a piece of code onto the header of the footer. And you don't have to mess with anything. The course will show up exactly where you tell us to show it, and voila, you're done. But it's an actual LMS so you know, you can drag and drop content around. And course management is really easy because, I don't know, it sounds like you have a like experience with WordPress courses, sites, but in my WordPress course site. Oh, God. 

It would be so hard to even figure out which of these lessons is which, in which course. Once you have a few courses, it's a huge mess. I can't figure out anything. There are orphan pages. I don't know where to go and fix what. Just one big mess that just needed to shift and change, and so that's how Owwlish was born. So it works with pretty much any website platform [00:41:00], and all you have to do is drop that code into your site, and now you have a nice looking course, and it had to look nice because it's 2022. Now you have a nice-looking course on your site. I look at it as a no-code tool.

 It's a thing these days, the no-code. It's one of those you do not have to have a developer to do it. It's easy enough. It really is very easy, and you can make the course the way you envision it, drop the code, and now it's live on your website, and that's Owwlish 

Lindsay: yeah, that is amazing.

So how can the listeners check out Owwlish and get started if they're if they want to start creating their first course? 

Alyssa: Yeah, for sure. So Owwlish is Owwlish with two Ws, so that's O-w-w-l-i-s-h. And to the listeners of the Quit Your Job, Sis podcast, I would love to offer two months free of any plan that you do decide to go with.

So to get that offer, just come over to owwish.com/quit, Q-U-I-T… So that's [00:42:00] owwlish.com/quit, and you'll get two months free. So really try it out, and see how you like it. See, if there's anything you need help with, we are a small company, and we're here to help. Shoot us an email, and yeah, we'll really help you get going with it.

And if this in any way would help you get your first course out the door, I call that a win. That's what I really, really want to see more of.

Lindsay: Yeah. That's awesome. I will leave that link in the show notes for you guys as well. So before we wrap up, my final question for you, Alyssa, is what is your biggest piece of advice for the woman listening who is about to take that leap and start an online business?

Alyssa: It's a very cliched quote, but I think it was Henry Ford that said, whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. I think about that one a lot. Even on a day-to-day basis. I have two little kids, I have two businesses, and doing a remodel to try to make it into a short-term rental on the bottom.

So many moving parts in my life. Once that things [00:43:00] can get overwhelming, but when I think about that, and I think about okay: 'why am I doing what I'm doing? how do I prioritize?' It just centers me. So whenever you ever feel overwhelmed, can I do this, who am I to do this, or why am I doing this?

Just take a step back, and if you want something bad enough, you'll figure out a way because if you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, though, you're right too. It won't go anywhere, and just take one step at a time. I never thought I would be a software founder ever. I was a dentist.

Or you never know where life can take you if you let it take you, but sometimes you have to get out of your head and just follow the one breadcrumb in front of you instead of being like, okay, I wanna know where I'm gonna be ten years from now. And I wanna see that light like that's a little far out.

But like, when you drive at night, you just need to see a little bit ahead of you, right? And then you just follow the next light, and you get there ultimately, but even though you can't, not everything is illuminated at once. So just trust [00:44:00] that and let it take you to wherever it is that you're going, that is better than where you thought it would be.

Lindsay: I love that so much. Okay, Alyssa, where can the listeners find you if they want to get in touch with you? 

Alyssa: So I am socially extremely private. I don't have any personal social media. Like I made a LinkedIn account, and I connected with my friends, but I didn't even put up anything on there. I probably should, but, so, everything I do is just for the business.

So I would say Owwliish.com. If you actually, if you use the contact form, chances are I'm gonna see that. Feel free to just go there and use the contact form. I'm on the other side. And so, yeah, that, that's really the only place I can think of right now to point them to. Lindsay: Alright, and don't forget to go to Owwlish.com/quit to get your two-month free trial of Owwlish.

Alyssa, thank you so much for coming on, for [00:45:00] sharing your story and sharing your tips, and hopefully, we've inspired some of the listeners to start creating their first online course. 

Alyssa: Thank you, Lindsay, so much for having me on the show. It was a really fun conversation.

Meet Alyssa and learn why she quit her corporate job to start an online business
Should you make a sales page first before creating your course?
Your first steps when creating your online course
The best businesses that work well for online courses
Why niching down is key when creating your course
Successful marketing and selling strategies for your course
Common mistakes to avoid when building out your online course
Learn how Owwlish can help you build your course
Final piece of advice for those who want to take a leap and start their own online business