172. 25 Biggest Lessons In Online Marketing I Learned From Amy Porterfield
06 Sep 2022 | By Salome Schillack
When you’re faced with the raw truth of life, that it’s all going to end one day, you think about things differently. You think about what you ‘really’ want.
Sitting there in the waiting room, I decided I ‘really’ wanted to teach. But until I came across Amy Porterfield and her course, I literally had no idea how to make that happen.
Life is too short to hold onto things that don’t fulfill us. Today, I’m so privileged to be in the position to be teaching inside Amy’s own community and now I share 25 (+1) things that I’ve learned from this amazing woman, friend and long time mentor.
This week on The Shine Show, you too will fall a little bit more in love with not just Amy, but everything she shares, everything she teaches and absolutely everything she stands for.
Listen in, take a stand and don’t be bland.
P.S. In case you haven't seen my other emails, my go-to online business gal, Amy Porterfield, is hosting a FREE Masterclass called How To Recession-Proof Your Business with One Digital Course: 5 Strategies To Create & Launch a Profitable Digital Course From Scratch and there is a ticket with your name on it HERE.
When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.
When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!
So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!
Scroll down for a full transcript of this episode
Salome Schillack: (00:00)
Hello, and welcome to episode number 172 of The Shine Show. Today's show is called 25 Biggest Lessons in Online Marketing I Learned from Amy Porterfield.
Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host, Salome Schillack, and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads, so that they can make more money, and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in, because you are ready to shine, and this is The Shine Show.
It was 2015, and I was sitting in a hospital waiting room next to the ICU unit in Pretoria, in South Africa, where my dad was dying. He'd been diagnosed with cancer only three months before that, and had already survived one stint in the ICU and pulled through, so we were hopeful, but this time, we knew it's different. A year before this, I started my sales coaching business, and at this point, I hated every minute of it. In the months that he'd become ill, I'd had a lot of time to reflect on his life, and it looked eerily like mine at that point. My dad hated his job, or maybe I should say he hated his business. He was a lawyer, and he did a lot of family law, and that just weighed him down. I remember one day, I was about 14, when he looked at me and he said, "Never, ever start your own business, because you're always the last person at work, and the last person to get paid."
A month before I received the call from my brother that I had to fly to South Africa to be with him because he didn't have much time, I was at my breaking point in my coaching business. Coaching didn't come naturally to me. I wanted to teach. I'm more of a natural teacher. I like telling people what to do. I wonder if you've noticed that by now. I want to instruct. I wanted something practical that I can tell my students how to do and that they can implement right away, and it frustrated me, sitting there asking things like, "And how is this a problem for you now?" My love for personal development drew me to coaching, but my practical go-getter, fixer of problem side just wanted to jump in and fix it for them.
I saw an ad for a webinar, and I wasn't even sure what a webinar was at the time, hosted by someone named Amy Porterfield, and I still remember the yellow slides that she used in all of her presentations at the time. She promised that she could show me a way that I can sell an online course using webinars like that one, and start to make some real money online, just like she had done. And I remember her telling the story of how she was working for Tony Robbins, and she decided to quit her job around the same time, her husband, Hobie, decided he wanted to be a firefighter. And so, she became the breadwinner, but it didn't go so well initially for her either.
My problem was that by the time I was introduced to her on this webinar, I was already $30,000 in debt from the coaching certification I had purchased and been taking part in, and I only had one client. And as soon as Amy announced the price of her course, my hope sank, it sank very deep, because I knew there's no way my husband is going to let me spend another thousand dollars on another online course. And when she said there's the 12 payment plan of $97 for 12 months, that made it a no-brainer for me, and I was instantly ready with my credit card. I bought Webinars That Convert, that was Amy's flagship program at the time.
And this was September 2015, and by October 2015, I was sitting in that hospital waiting room. I don't know where my brain was, but I couldn't be fully present for what was happening, but I also couldn't not be there. And so, what did I do? I sat there working my way through Webinars That Convert. And I tell you this somber story, because for me, that was a turning point for me, sitting there comparing how I felt about my business, with what I knew my dad told me he felt about his business, and being confronted with how much time I have left, made me really realize that this life is too short to hold on to things that don't fulfill us. And so, I started learning how to create a webinar.
Now, if you know the rest of my story, you know that there are many chapters in my Amy Porterfield book, and this was only chapter one, but it led me with many ups and downs, and curves along the way to launching my first course, the Facebook Live Superstar, a year later, and that was chapter two. And then there's chapter three, when I was back in my day job in 2017, and I used my salary for my job to buy B-School from Amy in 2017. Now I'm three years in, and I already had a successful course under my belt, but I didn't know it was successful. In 2017, I immersed myself in everything Amy taught, absolutely everything. I listened to every podcast, I listened to every live Q&A, I inhaled it. I also learned ads, not from one person, but from about three different persons. I learned funnel building, and that you can't just run an ad and expect sales, you need a funnel. I learned copywriting, one of the key skills to selling anything online.
And at the end of 2017, I used my last thousand dollars in my business card to buy a ticket to fly to San Diego, to meet Amy at her live Entrepreneur Experience Event. Before I arrived there, the night before, I met someone in the bar at the hotel, her name is Dora, and she became a really good friend of mine, and that night I say to her, "Dora, I am not going to cry tomorrow when I meet Amy." And you know what? I have photos of me and Dora standing next to Amy, and my eyeballs are red. I bawled. She was just as nice in real life as she came across on her podcast, and in her courses, and in her groups where she did the live Q&A's. I got my photo taken with her, where you can see just how much I was crying.
She was kind, and she was generous, and she looked at me and she said, "Tell me what you need," and I said, "Amy, I need clients. I need clients for my Facebook ad freelancing, because that's all I can do right now," and boy, did she come through for me. She introduced me to anyone who told her that they were looking for a Facebook ads manager, right there at the event. If someone said, "Amy, I need ads," she goes, "Here's Salome. Meet Salome, she's going to run your ads," and I signed up four clients that day at that event, and I could not believe the generosity and the kindness of this person, who in my eyes, was this absolute celebrity.
After I came home and I quit my job, I posted about it on social media, and Amy picked up on it and she congratulated me, and then she said, "Well, how would you like to support my students?" And she invited me back in 2017 to start supporting her students with Facebook ads, and post in the group and to answer their questions. And here I am five years later, five years later, and I'm still supporting Amy's students, but this time, I'm not the one answering the questions, I'm the one creating the content, I'm the one creating the courses, and Amy is stepping up and selling my courses to her students.
There's no other mentor that I have learned from, and who continues to inspire me for this long. Seven years. Can you think of anyone in your life that has mentored you for seven years? I can't. Maybe my parents, they must be the only ones. I think anyone who has a mentor for that long is very lucky. So, today, I want to share with you some of what I've learned from her, and I hope that you'll see that there is no better person to learn online course marketing from than my trusted, trusted mentor, Amy Porterfield. I have 25 things written down in front of me, actually, 26, that I want to share with you that Amy has taught me, and I'm going to go through them and then just expand on them a little bit, but we'll go through them quite quickly.
Number one, compassion for people. Oh my goodness, this woman has a heart for people. I know that Amy's number one value is compassion. She doesn't hire anyone to work on her team, unless their number one value is compassion too. Not perfection, not performance, compassion. Now, for someone who performed as well as Amy to have compassion as her number one value, you must know that that's a pretty special team to work for. I have seen behind the scenes when the going got tough, I have seen people be incredibly mean and selfish, and do things very questionable, and she has met that with compassion every time. So, that compassion that you see when you see her show up for her students, please know that that is the real deal.
Number two, it doesn't need to be perfect to get started. Have you seen Amy's slides from five years ago? So, at the moment, she has Chloe, who I think Chloe is her marketing manager. Way back, way back in the day when I started following her, she didn't have Chloe. Chloe brought an eye for design to Amy's team, and I will tell you think your Canva skills are bad? My girl Amy does not have Canva skills. See if you can find some of her really old slides, they're not perfect. You do not need to be perfect to get started.
Number three, you don't need a big team to get started. You look at her now and you see that she has a big team, and maybe you look at me and you think, well, I have a big team, and you wouldn't be wrong. I have a big team. I love my team, I could not do it alone ever again, but back in the day, Amy was doing it alone. I remember when she brought on her first VA, and I remember that VA working for her for a year or two, and then quitting to go start her own business. And then she hired Chloe, and then it was just the two of them for many, many, many years, and then it started expanding and she started hiring people. You do not need a big team to get started. You need to do a few things well, and don't start from scratch all the time.
Number four, let your audience celebrate the big milestones with you. I think Amy is probably sitting around 300 or 400 episodes of her online course. What's her podcast called? Online Marketing Made Easy. [inaudible 00:16:25]. I remember when she celebrated hitting episode number 100, oh my goodness, and I thought, wow, what a body of work, and here we are today with episode number 172 of The Shine Show. I remember she hosted a competition, and we could win a strategy session with her, and there were so many of us in there. I just remember how we cheered each other on, and competed with each other, and made fun of each other, and did all the things we could because we wanted to win that strategy session. And I was really rooting for one of my friends who ended up on the shortlist, and then didn't get it, but I remember how involved we were. So, number four, let your audience celebrate the big milestones with you. Here I am, seven years later, and I remember all of her big milestones, because she let me celebrate with her.
Number five, build your list. Build your list, build your list, build your list. I heard Amy say this from day one and every time she said it, I had some excuse for why I couldn't double down on list building right now. And then it got to the end of 2017, 2018, I think 2018, I'm not sure, 2018, when I wanted to be an affiliate for Digital Course Academy for the first time, and at this point in time, I don't think I had the podcast. So, and I was just running the agency, so I didn't really see the point in building my list. And then I tried doing an affiliate launch, and it did not go very well, and I realized, oh snap, I need an email list. Build your list.
Number six, vulnerability is a superpower. Vulnerability is a superpower. This girl has no airs about her, and she has shared really vulnerably and really honestly all the ups and downs of her entrepreneurial journey, but also her personal life, and her struggles with anxiety and depression, and [inaudible 00:19:00]. And I want to encourage you to go and listen to any of the podcast episodes where she shares a little bit of her personal journey, because seeing her be completely human, just like me, seeing her say, "I also get up some mornings, and all I want to do is pull the blanket over my head."
Hearing her say, I remember there was one episode of her podcast where she was sharing behind the scenes of what she was doing, or a week in the life off. That's what it was. And by Friday morning, she said, "Today, I plonked down on the couch, and I watched back to back episodes of The Real Housewives."And I was like, what? You mean you didn't put a power suit on and try to dominate the day? No, she had a bad day. She came back from it, but she let herself have a bad day. Vulnerability is a superpower.
Number seven, a webinar is the easiest way to sell a big ticket course. This is true. A webinar is a really bad way to sell low dollar offers, but if you're selling something more than $1,000, save yourself the five day challenge, because that is five days of your life you'll never get back. Save yourself the PLF style video series launches, because that's three months of your life you'll never get back. Create a webinar, it works. A webinar is the easiest way to sell big ticket courses.
Number eight, helping your audience means saying the same thing over and over again. Oh my goodness, I got to a point where I was like, if I have to say something about Facebook ads again, I am going to stick a fork in my eye, and then I watched Amy in one of her launches and I thought, how on this earth does she talk so much? Because let's face it, I'm a little bit straightforward. I'm a little bit to the point, and once I've said something, I don't think I'm going to say it again soon. But when you're launching, you need to repeat things over and over, and I just went, holy cow, how does this woman say the same thing over, and over, and over? And she has been for years, for years. For years, she's been saying, build your list, and that consistency is what serves us so well. Helping your audience means saying the same thing over and over.
Number nine, sales is not a dirty word. Sales is not a dirty word. You can get as many sales as you want, as long as you are super clear on who your course is for, trying to sell your course to someone that it's not right for is going to be icky and yucky, but if you know who your ideal customer is, and you know that your ideal customer is stuck with a problem and she really wants the solution, then sales is not a dirty word.
Number 10, this one's one of my favorites. Women can make millions, and millions, and millions of dollars, and still be very nice people, and I want you to insert after, and still be whatever the thing is that you think, "Sure, but you have to be this way, or that way, or the other way when you have lots of money." Sometimes I have to remind myself that women can make millions and millions of dollars, and still don't give a rat's ass about a Chanel handbag. You don't have to start caring about designer anything when you make millions of dollars. You also don't have to not care about anything stuff-wise. You get to just be you, and you don't to be different, just because your bank account is full of millions and millions of dollars. That's what Amy shows me.
Number 11, build your list. Yes, I did that. Build your list.
Number 12, get uncomfortable. Get uncomfortable. I remember watching Amy the year she committed to making $10 million. Now, I think she'd already done five or seven the previous year, but she thought it's impossible to do 10, and she got so uncomfortable that year, and she implemented every single thing imaginable into that year. Now, I'm not sure personally how that went for her, but man, I could see her push her boundaries. I could see her overcome her own limiting beliefs. I could see her challenging the limitations she thought her students put on themselves. You know when you do that, when you go, "Well, I don't want to sell something to someone, because what if they don't want it?" I think us Aussies are often guilty of that. Get uncomfortable, do the uncomfortable thing. That's number 12.
Number 13, don't be everything to everyone. Be a purple cow, stand out. Put your foot down for what you believe in, put your foot down for who you serve, put your foot down for who your ideal customer is, or what your position is on whatever it is that you sell. Put your foot down. Take a stand, don't be bland. Ooh, I'm going to try to trademark that. Take a stand, don't be bland. I think I should do a Reels audio like that, maybe it'll trend. You can see what I've been watching lately. Don't be everything to everyone.
Number 14, show up for your mentors, the way you want your students to show up for you. I love that one so much. Show up for your mentors, the way you want your students to show up for you. I know some of you might be thinking, "Wow, Salome. Yeah, your story's great, but Amy Porterfield sent you clients," and yes, she did. "Your story's so great, Salome, but Amy Porterfield promotes you." Yes, she does, but you know what else? I have bought every single thing she sells. Every single thing. I have shown up for her students consistently for years. There have been so many other mentors in her community that have come and gone with me, that have come and hung out with me for a while for a year or two, and showed up for her students, and then they're gone, and I'm still here.
And you know what I'm experiencing? My students showing up for me the same way. I have students who do so much behind the scenes, who shows up for my A-lister students, who teaches ads, who coaches, students, who show up for every webinar I do, to sing our praises. It blows my mind how these students show up for me for free, and they just keep doing it, and they do it year after year, and I just hope that I can give them only the tiniest bit of what Amy has given me. But I am so committed, so committed to showing up for the students in my community who understand what it means to show up for your mentors, because that's been something that has been absolutely instrumental in my success, is choosing a good mentor, and showing up for her consistently.
Number 15, you can quit your job and you'll be okay. You can quit your job, and you will be okay. The first time I quit my job, I went on maternity leave, and I was very arrogant, and very filled with some false confidence, based on the fact that I'm a Type A personality with, I don't know, I probably have a little bit of intelligence and a bright personality, and I can open my mouth and speak. I knew I had something going for me, and in most places in life where I've gone, I've usually ended up somewhere in the top. Never quite the best at anything, but somewhere in the top. And so, I had this real ego-driven bullshit confidence when I quit my job, and when I started the coaching business, and man, oh, man, did that business knock my ego to the ground, to the ground, and it was so hard for me to go back to my job. Oh, I felt like such a failure.
And now, I think back at it and I just go, man, I should've not held onto it so tightly, I should've not wanted it to be so perfect. I should've just enjoyed the journey, because even when I quit my job the second time, this is after I'd been to America, to San Diego and signed up the four clients at Amy's event, that second time I quit my job, I thought I was going to be filled with joy, and what actually happened was I ended up feeling a little bit depressed. I ended up feeling very anxious, and all I wanted to do was sleep. There was a sense of "finally," which maybe was part of why I just wanted to sleep, because I realized I'm at the end of my very long hustle, but there was also this absolute dread and fear.
And now that I've been in my own business for a few years, now that I've weathered some storms, now that I've built up some confidence, now that I have seen what I'm capable of and what I'm made of, I want to say you can quit your job, and you'll be okay. There is nothing wrong with going back to your job. There's nothing wrong with going to work at Macca's. That's McDonald's in Australia, for those who don't know what Macca's is. You can go work at Macca's. If it means you put food on the table and you buy time to start your business, do whatever you need to. You can quit your job, and you'll be okay. You can go back to your job, and you'll be okay. You can be in a job, and you'll be okay. Relax about it.
Number 16, find what works for you, and then double down on that. I started out using Facebook Live to build an audience, and it worked really well for me, because I was fairly confident on camera. My musical theater background, if you haven't yet noticed that I'm a little bit dramatic, and that moved into podcasting. Find what works for you, and then double down on that. If it's speaking, do that. If it's writing, do that. Whatever it is that is your first love and that works well for you, do that.
Number 17, you can handle it when things are not perfect. I remember the first time Amy sent out an email with a broken link in it. I was so relieved because I was like, finally, she makes a mistake. I'm so glad to see she sends out emails with broken links too. And you know what? Since then, it's happened many times. You can handle it when things aren't perfect. That student that didn't get the refund they wanted, and then complained and kicked up a storm, or someone you promised something to, and then you weren't able to deliver it? Everything's not always going to be perfect in your business. Just know that most people will be forgiving when you are sincere in an apology and you work to fix it, and those that aren't, just let them go.
Number 18, making money online doesn't mean you have to become a bro. Oh, I can't stand those bro marketers. It's very tempting. The bros make it look like it's easy for them, the bros probably build momentum faster, the bros probably make more sales short term, but there are many, many feminine ways of making money and selling online, and Amy leads the way in being the example of using every marketing tactic imaginable in a feminine and integrity, filled with integrity way, marketing doesn't mean you have to become a bro.
Number 19, team is everything. Your team is everything. I have seen the love and dedication with which Amy handles her team, and I think when you see her with her students and you realize she brings that degree of leadership to her team too, you know why most people stay for years, and years, and years in her business. You know why she's now been able to create a four day work week for them, and they love it. Team is everything.
Number 20, you don't have to be the center of everything. People like being team members too. You don't have to be the center of everything. People like being team members too. What I mean by that, is I learned from Amy that she is not the center of her business. She's the product, and she's definitely the face, but her team handles their own business. Her team works together with one another, not with her. She sets the vision, she sets the tone, she sets the values. The work gets done between the team members, not with her. That's something I'm still working towards. I'm still a little bit the centerpiece of all of my team members, but I think 2023 and all the beautiful changes we have planned for 2023 will set us up well, so that I can also step out of being the center of everything and move more towards being the product, being the teacher, being the content creator, being the CEO instead of the project manager, and the logistics manager, and the everything else.
Number 21, teach what you can, until you can teach what you like. Teach what you can, until you can teach what you like. Did you know Amy started out teaching Facebook ads? Yeah. So, this is even before I knew who she was. After she quit her job from Tony Robbins, she started a social media agency, I suppose, but it was just her, she was a freelancer. She was creating social media content for other people, and she hated it. She hated it.
But then she was approached to be a contributor, and she knew Facebook ads back to front back then, which Facebook ads wasn't rocket science then, or maybe we all thought it was rocket science, and today we know rocket science is something a whole other level. She was approached to be one of the contributors to, I think it was the Facebook Ads for Dummies book. So yeah, she wrote the book. She wrote the book on Facebook ads, but she hated it, and she never quite fully owned the role of expert in Facebook ads. Very quickly, she started moving away from that. But you know what? Her first course was a Facebook ads course, so teach what you can, until you teach what you like.
Number 22, don't be afraid of students who don't like change. Oh my goodness. How much change have I seen in her community over the past seven years? So much change. Facebook groups that have been closed down that have been nearly the cause of World War III, weekly Q&A calls that became monthly calls, again, the cause of World War III. Oh my goodness, it's ridiculous what people can complain about when you change. Don't be afraid of students who don't like change. Make the change to serve your energy. Make sure you have people on your team who can support your students, and then make decisions for your students that serve the majority of them, and don't be afraid to make big changes. It'll be okay. Yes, people will be unhappy. Do it anyway.
Number 23 is build your list. Have we talked about this? Build your list.
Number 24, pass on the good fortune. Pass on the good fortune. Maybe in your community, there's already a student showing up for you the way I've shown up for Amy, and the way my students show up for me. Make sure you pass on the good fortune. Make sure you create space for them to grow with you. Make sure you understand really well that there is absolutely, absolutely no scarcity in this world, that nothing can ever be taken away. So, pass on the good fortune.
Number 25, be loyal to your mentors. Maybe you started out learning from someone, and you've wandered off to someone else. That's great, you need that. That's called growth, but stay loyal, stay kind, stay polite, and don't be afraid to come back. Don't be afraid to move back and forth, and back and forth. There's a reason you were attracted to someone in the first place, and I've often found that when I circle back to someone I was attracted to to learn from initially, I discover how much I really enjoy it.
Number 26 is my bonus one, because I've had build your list three times. So, number 26 is don't be afraid to dream big. Don't be afraid to dream big. Amy Porterfield dreams bigger than most people I've ever met. I do not know how she does it. I will ask her one day, because for me, as soon as I start thinking as big as her, I'm consumed by anxiety, which is probably my ADHD, but that's okay. Don't be afraid to dream big.
If you have a dream of building an online course, if you have a dream building an online courses business, of creating a life that you can live on your terms of building wealth for you and your family, the way you want to do it, to the amount that makes you happy, and with the lifestyle that gives you joy and peace, if you are dreaming about an online courses business, then I want to invite you to join me inside Digital Course Academy. Digital Course Academy is Amy's flagship program, where she gives you the step by step of creating your first online course, and mapping out the launch so that you can get it out into the world sooner, and start making a bigger impact in other people's lives.
The cart for DCA will open in a couple of days, and in the meantime, you can go to shineandsucceed.com/amy to check out our bonus page. We call it the Accelerated Launch Digital Course Academy Experience. It's a mouthful, but you can check it out at www.shineandsucceed.com/amy, and once you're there, what I want you to see is my team and I have really asked ourselves, "What's the one thing our DCA students need this year, in order to get their launches up faster?" And I believe that one thing is implementation sessions. I believe that one thing is for me to sit down over two and a half hour sessions with you, and have you look over my shoulder, as I map out course content with one of my team members for a course that she's launching, and then we're going to spend two and a half hours mapping out her launch. You're going to see all the questions I ask myself when we decide what to put in the course, and every ingredient that goes into building a launch that works.
I'm drawing on my years of experience of being behind the scenes as the Facebook ads manager, in launches as big as $2.5 million, and on my own launch experience, where I have successfully added an online course and a membership to my existing business, my agency business. If I can do it on the side, you can do it on the side. Come and join me in inside Digital Course Academy. Be part of this experience with me, and let me hold your hand, as you start to change the way you create wealth in the world. Go to www.shineandsucceed.com/amy to check out our bonuses.
Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week, and remember to hit that subscribe button, so you never miss a thing.