Did you know that 97% of customers never complete an online course? Customers that don't complete courses don't get results. Customers that don't get results don't stick around and continue to purchase more or tell their friends.
The industry, soon to be $350 billion according to Forbes, is saturated with mediocre information products. It doesn't have to be this way. Today's guest, Marisa Murgatroyd, will explain how she disrupted the online education industry and has her sights on the way the world learns by “experiencifying” the process of learning and getting results.
To get Marisa's “Viral Product Checklist” for free, visit http://www.liveyourmessage.com/bacon.
For those of you who know my backstory, in 2008, I launched my very first information product online and that was my real foray into this digital publishing, digital marketing space. I knew very little about it.
I followed some instructions and I was like, “If you create a course, you throw together some videos and some texts stuff, throw it in a membership site, sell it to people, everybody's going to get results and love you for that.”
As I matured as a digital entrepreneur especially in the information space, I realized what a lot of my peers who had gone before me realized. It is that few people, few students take action on the information in there. If you don't take action, you don't get results.
If you don't get results, you don't continue to buy. Quite honestly, that aspect is one of the things that has kept me from creating another digital product, another digital course because I know all the time and effort that goes into it and sometimes it's unrewarded with the lack of attention.
It's rare that I come across somebody who has made innovative advances in this industry as my guest now. That's why I invited her on to talk a little bit deeper about how she cracked the code on getting digital course creators to have their clients engage and get results from their programs.
I want to introduce to you to Marisa Murgatroyd. She's the Founder of Live Your Message. She's a creator of the Experience Product Masterclass. She helps entrepreneurs sell more online programs and get better and faster results for their students.
She started her career as an artist. She was told by her father that she had no marketable skills and then she figured out how to build a mid-seven-figure online business anyway. She's shown over 5,000 students how to do it.
Many of my friends I know who have been through her courses and curriculums have attested to me, “She’s the real deal. She kicks ass. She knows how to make this work.” Without any further ado, I'd like to introduce Marisa to the show. How are you?
I am great. I'm looking to bring in both the sizzle and the steak of the bacon.
That's how it is on this episizzle. Everybody else has episodes. We have episizzles. With info products, there are a million course creators out there.
It can be super frustrating to put your soul into a course and then you realize how many people don't go through it or don't get results and whatnot.
Take me through your evolution in this business and when did you start, whether it's with marketing in general or getting into the teaching and info space and then the course creation.
I want to find out how you stumbled across or created this experience product and gamifying the results and what's led to so much success.
I started out somewhat similarly to you. I created a product because I heard if you create a product, if you record some videos and if you throw it on a membership site, you're going to start making money while you’re asleep.
Internet marketers, we work eighteen hours a day so we can make money while we sleep.
I tell people before you can make money while you're asleep, first you’ve got to be able to make money while you're awake. That this whole idea of automated passive income is a bit of a misnomer and a lot of people who've been there down the road trying to create that realize that.
The truth is that I never even thought that I would be creating products or programs or courses. It was my now-husband, then-boyfriend who was the one who encouraged me because he thought that if I started creating products, I'd have more time for him.Before you can make money while you're asleep, first you’ve got to be able to make money while you're awake. Click To Tweet
At the time, I was running a branding and website building agency. I still run that agency, but he found, “If you create more programs, then you have the scalable business model and we're going to be able to spend more time together.”
It didn't quite come to pass until we're on the other side of the building and the grinding and doing that. What happened is about 2013, maybe in 2012, I had built my very first online program.
It was similar to you in that I put my heart and my soul into it. I tried to give everyone every bit of knowledge that I had around growing an online business into one program.
I know one person for sure who went through the whole thing and she built her business and got tremendous results from it, but the vast majority of my students got stuck somewhere along the way and overwhelmed and gave up.
I realized that it's not me. The statistics show that up to 97% of people who buy online programs and courses don't complete those programs and don't get the results. At the time, I didn't know that.
I went up to one of my colleagues and said, “This is the problem that I'm having and this is what I'm seeing. Is this normal?” She told me something that became that call to action. She told me, “Marisa, maybe some people aren't meant to succeed.”
I didn't believe that for one second because I genuinely believe that everyone is meant to succeed given the right environment, the right circumstances, the right education, anyone can succeed. I also could not deny the fact that the vast majority of people are not succeeding in this format.
That turned out to be the summer of 2016 and something happened that changed my perspective for good that summer. For those of you computer geeks, you may know what that thing is. Pokémon Go came out and had this spectacular $200 million first month.
People were so obsessed with this game that there was footage of grown adults in New York City double parking their cars in the street running into Central Park to catch some rare Pokémon. It's a virtual creature on their cell phones that had happened to spawn in the park.
There were so many people that they were literally stampeding through the park, all looking at their phones. I was like, “What in the world is going on?”
I had this insight. What if I could get people that excited about achieving their biggest goals in life and overcoming their greatest challenges that they're literally running through the streets to take action? Is that even possible? That was a question that drove me to start and beginning my search.
That led me to look at where in the world are people's attention being captured. I looked a lot at games. I looked a lot of apps, but not just games and apps. I looked at the adult learning theory. I looked at the psychology of motivation. I looked at gamification.
I looked at all of these factors and started to experiment with making products in different ways. What I found is that the results skyrocketed by experimenting with a few different things.
I was seeing way more people, up to 80% sometimes, sticking through the program all the way through and getting the results.
I'm curious, what were some of the early things you tried in the very beginning on that? It was like, “That worked.” I'm sure it took a little while for your stuff to evolve to where it is, but what were some of those early wins?
One of the first things that I did is, you change one of my programs to a five-day live virtual format where I did it five days straight, three hours a day. It was almost a call and response program where I had people constantly making feedback loops.
I was like, “Are you getting this? Unmute yourself if you're getting this and tell me, ‘I'm getting this,’” and everyone wanted to mute themselves and say, “I'm getting this.”
I would have timed exercises right there on the line. I would have them be sharing right there in the line. It was the education, the curriculum and the coaching all happening combined in one format.
How many were approximately showing up to those?
That first experiment I had, it was between 60 and 80 people. I remember how excited they were and how many people stayed all the way through the end.
After having done a lot more experiments, we consistently see anywhere from 10 times to 30 times the results of the average industry statistics for information-based products.
Obviously, the results depend on how complex the thing is that you're trying to get people to do and how naturally fun and enjoyable it is or how much resistance will come up around it.
The bigger the challenge, you can still increase at least ten-fold, at least to 30% to 50%. Sometimes you can get up to 80% to 90% engagement and results too.
That's killer. When it comes to gamification, especially online and trying to create more engagement, the stuff that I know I've seen, I've not been inside your course or anybody else's or at least that I know of that has built a product based on your IP.
The obvious stuff that a lot of us see that are prebuilt into membership programs, for instance, are sometimes the little badges and sometimes a little, “Here's how far you are,” and some aspects like that.
Those are absolute training wheels. I'm dying to see or hear some of the other aspects of how you experience that. Did you create that word experiencify?
As it evolved, what are some of the things that have been super powerful in getting people to engage and take that action?
There are ten core experiences that I recommend you stack together to create what I call experience escalation, which is the feeling of someone being hooked into your product that they're almost compelled to keep going through it.
It's very different than getting someone addicted to Facebook or Instagram because you're getting them addicted to achieving a goal that they already said that they wanted to achieve and overcoming challenges that have held them back up until now.
These ten experiences are the opposite of the ten standard experiences that most product creators have learned to do by default and by watching other products that are not very well designed.
Those create what I call the downward death spiral where a series of unintended, unconscious, slightly negative experiences stuck together to overwhelm and create frustration.
People are giving up, walking away and often refunding or at least not choosing to buy from you again or not choosing to refer from you.
I'll share a few of the experiences. You can get a sense of it. I want to start with experience number one because I do think that frames every other experience because if you don't get experience number one right, it's hard for you to experiencify your product.
If you're thinking about a game, and not to say that your product is a game, even if you're using gamification, gamification is a word that's very misunderstood. It's not about making your product fun. It's about using game theory and game principles in non-game activities.
I've had people apply this to financial services, tax returns, even overcoming trauma. Before you think, “It's not relevant for my corporate audience,” it's completely relevant. The first principle is what I call mission.
Your mission is, “What is someone going to be, do, feel, have overcome or achieve through your product?” It needs to be hyper-specific, specific that you could film someone crossing the finish line to mission accomplished.
I like to say it's so clear, it's almost binary. It's either I've done it or I haven't done it. There's no room for uncertainty.
Can you give me an example?
First of all, I teach a template to help you craft your mission statements. I call it the Mission Possible template and I stole it from the Mission Impossible movies. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is blank.”
That sentence structure instantly forces you out of your own head of what you want to teach, deliver and offer into shoes of your audience of what they're going to be saying yes to and what you're asking them to do.
For example, for our flagship program, the Experience Product Masterclass, it's your mission, should you choose to accept it, to design, market and make $2,000 or a whole lot more from an experience product in twelve weeks or less.
Instantaneously know exactly what you do, what you are not going to do, and how long it's going to take and when you've achieved it. This does a couple of things. One, it makes the outcome tangible and real. Someone's not going to keep playing the game if they don't know what winning looks like.
This is stating a very clear win state, which ties into principle number ten mission accomplished, but it's a very clear after state, a win state of what things will look like once you've achieved it.
Second, it allows you to simplify your product creation because so many products take the opposite principle, which is what I called too many masters where their program is about say transferring knowledge or transferring a skill.
That's not what most people say yes to you because you can find any of that on Google or on YouTube for free. You don't need to pay money to learn a skill or to learn something. You pay money to figure out how to solve a specific problem or achieve a specific outcome.Given the right environment, the right circumstances, and the right education, anyone can succeed. Click To Tweet
You do it quicker with less risk. That's what people are paying. You can get from one island to another by swimming, but you'd rather take a boat.
If you look at Adult Learning Theory, adults learn based on relevance. They've got to see, “How is this relevant in my life? How am I going to apply this?” It's not learning for the sake of learning abstract knowledge or reading a textbook. They want to know how they can apply this.
Many programs, including my very first one, is all about conveying expertise or doing this knowledge transfer, giving someone everything about a topic. That creates what I call the thud factor. It creates overwhelm.
I realize that the thud factor is not the sound of a lot of information landing on your doorstep, but it's the sound of your hopes and dreams collapsing on the floor in desperation, essentially. People don't want everything.
They want the shortest, simplest, fastest path to a particular result or outcome. Structuring your product around a very clear mission allows you to do so much.
It allows you to simplify product creation. Anything that does not relate to getting someone to that mission, get rid of it. People used to spend whole modules talking about what you're going to learn.
I assume that's the first thing I see. Typically, that's almost the welcome. When I log into my dashboard, that's probably the first thing is the mission.
Is there anything that you do in order to get a response? Are you having them click something, acknowledge it, do anything? Is it just stating it?
I start before you even get into the membership site. A lot of people talk about the most important moment in your relationship with your customer is the moment that they buy. I don't believe that that's the case.
I believe the most important moment is the moment right after they buy and what you do to tie their move towards the expectations that have been set and help deliver on the promise or not.
There is another experience that I call constant wins, which is creating something that every single time someone engages with you, they feel like they're winning. They feel like they're moving forward towards that overall mission.
What I do is after they go through our buying sequence, I go right to a welcome page. On the welcome page, I reinforce the mission and many of the other core principles of the experience formula and I give them their very first assignments.
Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to choose your minimum target and stretch goals for your product over the next twelve weeks. They're instantly in a quick easy training to define how much money they're going to make in the program. I give them exact templates.
If you've never made any money before, here's what to do for the minimum target and stretch. The minimum is always $2,000 because that's the promise of the program. If you've made some money before, here's how much to do and if you're more successful, here's how much to do.
It's a training that you cannot fail. No matter where you are, you can't fail. It's also creating what I call a future self-vision. It's having them visualize success at the end of the program with that very first training.
It's not necessarily like a linear structure for the course where I'm not saying, “Let's talk about your product idea first.” The very first thing that I have them do is figure out how much money they want to make in that time period.
We then reverse-engineer everything else from that point. They have not gone to the membership site because as soon as they go on an email, what happens? It’s a rabbit hole.
They get something else. There is something from aunt Norma or whatever. What you said is the most important is right after they purchased.
One of the things I did for multiple clients in some of the consulting that I do, especially for whether they are info products or especially like a SaaS, here is a live example of what I did as SaaS with a client.
That moment after they buy, it's so important because their emotional state is at such a peak. Everybody's got all that dopamine rush, especially on an expensive product like a $2,000 product. They go buy it and they're like, “Cool. Now what?” It's super high-attention.
One of the things we did before they even got the login or thank you message, it said, “Thank you. All of your credentials are being created. Please answer two short questions,” because I wanted them in this peak state. In the first question, it was more of a softening question.
I don't care, but it was nice, which is where did you first discover us? Where did you hear about us? Oftentimes they'll say, “Google,” or such and such affiliate or whatever.
The second question was great for very selfish feedback, which was, “What was the number one reason you decided to make this investment?”
What you get them to do is an open-ended question and they reinforce why they bought. Not only is it like a little micro-commitment, but they're also writing down why they were excited.
When we looked at the spreadsheet of responses, the amount of sales copy ideas, headlines, bullet points that we got from that was amazing that was possible after obtaining a k-1 visa. One of them was in the real estate investment space and he's like, “I'm tired of killing myself trying to find motivated sellers.” In such situations, you can consult attorneys help with estate planning cases, who can provide guidance and help you make intelligent decisions.
I saw that, I'm like, “That's going to be an email subject headline.” It's something else like, “Are you tired of killing yourself trying to find motivated sellers?” That outperformed everything else by two to one.
That was a little thing. It accentuates what you're saying how important that point is. At the same time, something that we did on our side, it was to utilize that point for some great feedback. After the mission possible, what are some of those other ten core experiential escalations?
The ten core experiences that create experience escalation for sure when you stack them together. Any one of these is very powerful. When you stack all ten together, you get this compound effect. I had many people tell me they were addicted to the program. It let you said that.
“I found myself cruising through modules, lessons and exercises. I did more in the twelve weeks of this program than I had in the last couple of years.” I've heard all of those kinds of things, so it's about stacking this stuff together. Another piece which is experience number nine is unstoppable momentum.
Unstoppable momentum is an emergent factor that happens when you structure your program in a way that you start with small, simple wins and actions and escalate slowly and surely to bigger actions and bigger wins.
It's well known that there's something called the skill challenge ratio. The skill challenge ratio is that people are comfortable when they're 4% more challenged than their level of skill.
If you constantly have people stretched and challenged but not so challenged that it's so far beyond their skill level that they want to give up, that's the ideal scenario. That's why I start people with simpler actions and then that might get them 4% out of the comfort zone.
The next day, another 4%, another 4% then another 4% where I'm slowly inching them up in their level of skill and more importantly, their level of self-belief.
Often people teach in a linear fashion. They start at the beginning. The beginning could be boring or it could be complex and difficult. I want to start with the simple.
For example, in our Experience Product Masterclass, the very first module is called Your Light Bulb Moment. It's about creating your idea to market plan, which is very basic details. What's your price point? When are you going to launch? How much money do you want to make?
What product are you doing? Is it one to one, one to few or one to many products? It's basic details. I do that before going into the nailing your offer, which is what the product is about. That's a lot harder than these basic details.
I want to ramp people up with easier things before we get to the heart of things. If we go instantly into their offer, it's like, “That’s too much.”
I wouldn't have built enough momentum to get them through that. I want to build enough momentum to get them through the point where they're at the harder stages.
This is an emergent factor that's related to how you structure your program to ramp someone up from mission to mission accomplished in this steady, consistent way. It will get challenging, but you don't want to start there.
What are some of the other core points?
Unstoppable momentum goes with constant wins and I referenced that. This is where people feel like they're winning almost every step of the way with you.
One of the things that I've completely obliterated from all my programs is training that is just information transfer where there's no action and no activity. It's framing, mindset and context. I build the framing in the mindset and the context into training and there's always an action to take.
There's always a win associated with the training. At the end of every training I say, “Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do this.” That is the action they're taking.
On occasion, there genuinely is a mindset training, but I might say, “Your next win is to say out loud, ‘I got this, I can do this, I'm launching this.’” It could be as simple as that.
Usually, it's a much bigger win like nailing your product name, choosing your price point, writing a guarantee for your product that's more specific than that. Even if I do something that is much more of a training that's like framing and mindset, there's an action associated with it.
No one ever interacts or engages with us when they're not winning. It's not just about consumption, it's about what they do. It's not about learning, it's what they're doing with the information.People don't want everything. They want the shortest, simplest, fastest path to a particular result or outcome. Click To Tweet
It sounds obvious you never want somebody to finish a module and go, “That was nice. What's next?” They look to the next one because each one of these things has an action. I was having a conversation with somebody else.
When I look back at the very first product I created, it was a success and most people's first product out of the gate is not.
When I looked back at why it was a success, I didn't do this on purpose. Subconsciously instead of focusing on the money I was going to make and the outcome and all of this other stuff, I had no technical knowledge. I had never done sales copy before. I had never done anything.
I personally focused that every single time I achieved something, that was a win. I was like, “I wrote my first piece of copy. I set up my first opt-in form. I figured out WordPress.”
Because I was focused on skill development, I was able to have a lot of little micro wins, which compound. As long as I was having those little compounding wins, I didn't care that it literally took me a few months even I was profitable from day one.
I didn't take any money out of business for a few months and that was a whopping $1,500 that I put in my pocket. I didn't feel like a failure on that because now I had all these new skills and because I was focused on that, it built my confidence. Nobody gamified that for me.
Nobody purposely did that. I did it naturally, but as I start to look back on that, that is why I was successful. Even more interestingly, on future projects, I didn't do that. I got focused on the end results because I saw how much money I could make.
I'm like, “This needs to make $100,000,” for instance, or $500,000. If it didn't happen quickly enough, I got discouraged and I lost interest because it wasn't the little micro wins that are psychologically important.
Everything that we're talking about is a great way to motivate yourself, motivate teams and anytime you need to get people into action, it's great.
I use this stuff in marketing all the time as well, which is interesting too because if you can get people into action before they've even bought and got the results in advance, they're a lot more likely to buy.
It’s like they say, “An object in motion stays in motion.”
That's exactly it. Psychologically, people are more likely to take actions consistent with past actions. If they've been taking action, it's easy to keep taking action than to stop taking action. One thing that we do as part of this constant wins and unstoppable momentum duo is in our program, we have two tracks.
We have what I call the core track and we have the overachiever track. We have a custom robust membership site. You don't necessarily need that.
You can do that platform-independent, but when people check off the training, they get one experience point, one XP, and when they take action, they get two XPs. In the overachiever track, instead of XPs, they get triple XPs. I call it porn for overachievers.
It's fun, but what I did is I realized that even for things that are slightly more advanced, like anything that's not 100% essential. For example, writing your product origin story, it's great for marketing, but it's not 100% essential to get to the outcome of making $2,000 doing your visual product branding.
A lot of people want to do that, but it's not 100% essential, especially if someone is starting with the smaller, one-on-one program instead of a full scalable offer. I put all of those into the overachiever track, writing up a bonus or doing guarantees in stuff that's good to have, but it's not 100% essential.
I hesitate to use this word because it probably doesn't encompass it, but it’s like a minimum viable product track. It’s like, “This is going to get you there. It's going to be good enough for most people definitely, but you want to make it awesome.”
Part of that is related to the time commitment because it's a seven to ten hours a week commitment. I say if you only have seven to ten hours, do the core track, focus on the minimum viable product.
If you want to build a product the size of EPM, you can't expect to be able to do that in seven to ten hours a week. We've had people spend as much time as they had available, full-time commitments to this. Many of those people made six figures in this time frame. Some of them made multiple six figures.
If you don't have a lot of time or this is your first product or you feel at the edge of your comfort zone, stick to the core track. What was happening at the beginning when they were all one track is that some people were like, “This is way more than what I have time for,” so I simplified it further.
Some people who are more advanced want the more advanced stuff and this is a way to even segment within audiences for the various same product and to make it easier and more complex.
It gives people a little bit of a choose your own adventure way through the program than to normalize the challenges people face and give them an out while still hitting the win.
You touched on this about how you've built your own platform in order to host these sites and these membership communities. That's not where I want to go, but you do have your own tech platform if somebody wants to use that. Is that correct or am I wrong?
Yeah, we have our own tech platform we're primarily working with. We built the platform for Josh Turner for his The Appointment Generator product. We've built some bigger platforms for people. We have not made it available directly to the consumer yet.
We probably will at some point in the future, but I teach in a way that it's technology-independent. Even if you run a program on a Facebook group, I recommend that as a viable option when you're first getting started, you can still integrate these principles and I give ways to do it.
That’s one of the things I like is that it's not like, “You have to have all these wingding techs.” I mentioned some of these membership sites have all the badges and all this stuff. It's not about that.
It sounds like it's about the way you structure the training in a way that plays psychologically into the way that people learn, take action and feel like they're winning as opposed to feeling like they're drinking from the fire hose.
At its core, that's what it is. Some technology can enhance the experience, but it's not essential. I don't believe in investing in a lot of technology and a lot of infrastructures until you've proven your model.
I know that I don't buy a lot of info products these days anymore, but I have definitely bought and consumed a lot of them in my day. I know that feeling. I've got a penchant for execution.
I wouldn't have had the success I've had if I sat around and did nothing, but I've also experienced that as well. I sometimes purchase a course and I was excited about and I get in there and there are 200 modules.
I'm the type to where I want to go through it all and understand the lay of the land before I start on it, and that's not the best thing to do because you start to consume it all and you're like, “Can I get it?”
Drinking from the fire hose, you end up quenching your thirst and then you get frustrated on it like, “Screw it. I'll come back to this. I'm not going to do it.”
The more robust these things are, the more traditional the info products, the more exhausting they can be. I'm speaking from firsthand experience. It sounds like you've designed it in a way to help overcome those challenges from the get-go.
You also raise a good point about talking about how you are oriented towards implementation. You've got to understand that about 70% of the population is extrinsically motivated, meaning they're motivated by external reward and validation.
30% are motivated by intrinsic reward, which means their own source of motivation. Entrepreneurs like you and I who've had a good amount of success often are intrinsically motivated. These are the people creating programs for people who are not motivated in the same way that they're motivated.
If you don't realize that and you're trying to create the program for yourself, I don't go through all that many programs myself, I just figure things out.
That's one of the biggest problems and the reason why there's such a huge failure rate in online courses because it's very different from being a subject matter expert than it is to understand how do you get a result for another person. That's when you become a facilitator, you become a teacher, you become a trainer.
You become someone who is getting them results where it's not even about you and your expertise, that doesn't even matter. It's about the experience you're creating for them and the outcome you can create for them.
One of my students made me this piece of art that says, “I am not a teacher but an awakener,” and she has a beautiful little piece of artwork that I've got there on my wall. It's a different role.
You've got to get out of your expertise and you've got to get out of some of your core and natural habits to understand who you're helping and how you're going to help them and exactly how you can shortcut. As much as possible, guarantee their results as long as they take the actions.
It's not exactly parallel, but I've got a close friend of mine who I am helping to go from employee to consultant because I see it super clear. You get to that point where you're unconsciously competent. I'm like, “Do this and this.” He's like, “That sounds amazing. What did you just say?”
I went through and I laid out all the steps and I could have laid out ten times more, but I was like, “I'm going to lay out a minimally viable game plan for you to where it's like we've been talking about.
It's designed to get you quick wins just enough so you can go get your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to get one client paying you that's not your employer.” When I showed it to him, he was like, “This is concise and clear and it's not full of all the fluff.”
As you're saying it and I go back to it, it's like each of these has an action associated with it. In some degree I'm doing this naturally, but I love the structure and the framework that you're giving to this aspect.
Are there any of the other ten core experience things? We've covered two or three. Are there any others that are high-leverage?
All of them, but I will say one that is oftentimes overlooked and it's the experience of normalizing challenges. What this is along the way on the path from mission to mission accomplished, people are going to face some pretty hard challenges.Unstoppable momentum goes with constant wins. Click To Tweet
They're going to come up against their own internal resistance. Things aren't going to go as planned. What happens then? Here's what happens a lot of times in marketing and this is the opposite experience.
People have this whole, “Everything is awesome,” approach towards it's push-button easy, it's fast. Your grandma could do it, all of these things.
Getting them to do the work, they're like, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” Sometimes there's this tension between their expectations and what's required of them.
What's required of them is work. It’s being able to normalize the challenges and the natural bumps that they're going to face along the way on their journey. The best way to do this is you're listening all the way through.
I oftentimes recommend an earn while you learn approach, where you deliver it live before you prerecord things. You get to listen to how people are responding or even if you're prerecording, you're watching the Facebook group and things like that.
You're seeing what people are challenged with and then you address it in subsequent training. The number of times people say, “It's like you're reading my mind. This is exactly what I needed to hear.” I spent a lot of time building up their self-belief and their mindset.
I don't always get right to the point in the training because I have to think about training where it's almost like farming where you've got to till the soil before you plant the seed. Once you plant the seed, you've got to water the seed.
I might spend half the training or more tilling the soil, getting ready for them to receive. Even if the lesson is relatively simple, they might have all kinds of things going on that prevent them from receiving the lesson.
It’s understanding that dynamic and that you've got to normalize all the different challenges and help them create the psychology and self-belief along the way.
It’s to realize that these challenges are normal that anyone in the situation would go through. They don't think that something's wrong with them or that they’re not getting it or start kicking themselves for whatever it is.
In the intake form that you filled out prior to getting on here and we were talking about some of the topics that you could chat about, you mentioned a couple of other things that I want to shift over to as well.
This is fascinating, but you also talk about two things here that got my attention. How you gamified your way to 700-plus pages of testimonials for your online course and how you gamified your launch to get up to $1.5 million in sales. I'd love to explore some of those because I find those intriguing.
Let's start about the testimonials. The last version of EPM 2018, we had 700 people go through the program and we got 700 pages of testimonials, not one testimonial from every person. Some people submitted five to ten-page testimonials.
We create a mission accomplished process right in our membership site. When someone has completed the goal of making $2,000 or a whole lot more, we have them smash the button.
You smash the mission accomplished button and I won't tell you everything that happens because some of it is a surprise when you get into the membership site. It does some cool and very custom functionality there. The other thing it does is it takes you to a story page.
If you want to claim your mission accomplished in graduation bonuses, you've got to submit your story, which is how much money you made, how you made it, what your biggest inner transformation was and your biggest outer transformation and all of that.
The bonus is valuable. If you hit mission accomplished, you get a $1,000-bonus, which is a program called Speak: How to Use Talks and Webinars to Grow Your Business. It's me co-facilitating with Don Crowther who launched a similar webinar product with Jeff Walker.
You get this training for free when you smash the button and you share your story. We've built the process of sharing their story right into the program by creating graduation bonuses and mission accomplished bonuses.
Even if someone doesn't hit mission accomplished, they can still graduate by completing at least 80% of the core track training, which also includes half of the group coaching calls and things like that.
When they do, they get a certificate sent to their door that gives them lifetime license to use the term Experience Product to describe their product and a seal they can use on their webpages and things like that.
That's something you've trademarked. I could have the Brad Costanzo’s How to Succeed in Business without Trying Experience Product. “Tell us your story. Tell us how this worked and then you'll unlock the bonus. You don't get it totally for free. We want to hear your story. It can be good.”
They can say, “I didn't like it,” if they want, but I have a feeling most people liked it, especially if they get the outcome. Is that how it works? They hit the outcome and then it allows them to unlock.
They hit the outcome and some surprises happen, which I won't share what they are and then it redirects to the congratulations page to share your story in order to claim your bonus. We have the fields to teach them what's a good testimonial, what's a bad testimonial?
They submit it and there are over 700 pages in one class. Combined, the previous class did 500 pages of testimonials and there were about 500 students in that one. Every class, I've had probably 1,500 pages of testimonials for this program from three years of teaching it.
Do you have them go through and answer predefined survey questions?
It's predefined form questions and I give them examples of how to do it well versus not well.
Are you asking twenty questions, five?
It's more than five. It's less than twenty. It probably about ten-ish. I do have basic details because we teach six marketing campaigns. Which ones did you use to get the outcome? How much money did you make?
It’s very specific questions like that then there are more your biggest lesson questions, your biggest inner shift questions, that sort of stuff. We'll ask from them their address as well so we know where to send the certificate.
What about the gamifying the launch?
I'm going to give you a link to grab a checklist on all ten of these principles at the end of the session and you can apply it to marketing. The truth is I've got a friend who's a very well-paid data scientist and she discovered the fastest way to turn a subscriber into a buyer and to shortcut the buying process.
You may have heard that it takes five to seven impressions in traditional one-on-one sales and then you may have heard 15 to 30 impressions online, but it's getting to 150 to 300 impressions these days with ads, Facebook, retargeting and everything else.
One of the ways to shortcut that is data hack it. If you can get people to do three specific things in a launch and in your marketing materials, they are going to be a lot more likely to want to buy from you because they've already taken action. You've already given them wins.
I do things like I gamify the comment feed functionality in our launch. I tell them in the videos that when you leave the comments, we have a surprise for you waiting and when they leave a comment, we have applause and confetti running down the screen.
You have confetti flying down the screen and there’s applause and they feel good. It's interesting because in the first launch that I did, the very first thing I asked people to do was write their product mission.
We got a good response like hundreds and hundreds of people, but I realized that even that was too big of a hurdle for most people. When I went to leave a comment with your biggest takeaway, all of a sudden, you're going to get a surprise for it.
We've got thousands and thousands of comments on our launch materials because I lowered the bar for that initial engagement, that initial feedback loop, that initial win, that initial point of contact.
It’s not like you have to spend the time to craft your mission statement, which could take someone a good amount of time to leave your biggest takeaway and a surprise is waiting for you.
The surprises, all the confetti stuff.
The confetti and the applause, people love it.
You don't need a whole lot.
No, that's showing the principle of constant winds. It's showcasing the principle. Another principle in the experience formula is peak emotional experiences. It's the opposite of mental paralysis, which is a lot of times what happens in launches with talking heads and a lot of information.
I used to be a documentary filmmaker and we do a lot with very surprising openings to our videos. It's not what you would expect when you log on. I do not start with the talking head. I start with these pastiches that surprise people that have a very specific tone that gets them watching.
If you look at the histographs of our audience views, usually you see an instant dip. People come on and there's a video and they didn't realize there was a video or account at the time.
Through this initial opening, which is usually a couple, two, three minutes long or at one to three minutes long, that's a surprising opening. People stay, you can see it's almost either as a drop but not nearly a fraction of a drop. It’s 20% versus 80%, which is what most people see.
Explain to me an example of this opening. What did you say as opposed to you just coming on there like “Hi, I'm Marisa. I'm here to teach you stuff.”People are more likely to take actions consistent with past actions. Click To Tweet
In our first video, it's like the experience product revolution. It's dramatic music and I'm talking about how you're in a dying industry and giving all these examples, the footage and stock footage. It's almost like a music video.
The way I'm saying it and what I'm showing is getting people viscerally involved and understanding that the whole industry and market is shifting. It's so compelling that people watch. I don't shift until three minutes until they’re seeing me and I go, “Hi, I'm Marisa Murgatroyd.”
That basic stuff doesn't happen until three minutes in so I've already grabbed them. Overall if you watch the view rates, we keep a good percentage of people to the very end of the video. It's partly by that first few minutes.
A lot of people don't understand how to grab people within the first few minutes to create that peak emotional experience to go beyond the mental paralysis of, “Another talking head, another person talking about stuff that I don't have time for,” using this stuff in the video to be super compelling.
That's awesome because these days, attention has been on a dramatic drop-off. You used to have 30 seconds and now it's probably three seconds to grab my attention and show me something different.
The minute I see somebody jump on like, “I'm Brad. I'm here to teach you stuff,” I'm out. It's a sales pitch. There’s nothing here for me.
You get what's called mental opt-out. If they've seen it before, if they've heard it before, they're done. You have to grab them with something new and different from moment one as soon as they start to watch it. We've shifted into an attention economy.
It's why Facebook and Instagram are the powerhouses they are because they figured out how to monetize people's attention. Whoever can hold attention the longest will make the most money.
I'm not saying that Instagram and Facebook always have a positive impact, but you have the potential to have a positive impact when you can grab people's attention.
They’re grabbing attention and it's having an impact on their bottom lines. This is supply and demand. Anytime there’s something that is super rare, it becomes super valuable.
Attention is super rare. It all starts with attention. You grab that and what you can do with it is up to you if you're good at this. You've taught this for a few years.
This is going to be the fourth cycle.
You can mention names if you want to shine a light on somebody. If you don't, if you want to talk in general terms, it’s totally up to you, but have there been any star students, clients, customers who have taken this, run with it and hit the ball out of the park?
There are so many. One of my favorite stories is a is Kat Coroy Walters. It's my favorite story for two reasons. One is she met her husband in Experience Product Masterclass. It was one of my first Live Your Message couples, so I'm stoked about that. Her story is phenomenal.
She was a single mom of two and she was trying to make a physical product business work, purses. She had a creative background as an art director and all this stuff, but she was not able to sell that inventory.
She was down to her last few dollars and she was like, “Should I invest $2,000? Should I do it? Should I not?” She felt compelled. She felt like this was something that she hadn't seen before and she had no idea what product she was going to create.
She went through our bonus module, Niche Down, Profits Up to help her choose her niche and settled on an Instagram product, helping people pimp their Instagram feed and all of that. She did the experiencification so beautifully.
She had elaborate sets, all kinds of stuff that was super fun and super interesting. It was a $197 product. She did something like $12,000, I believe. Don't quote me on that, but about $12,000 in the program.
By the end of that cycle or that year, she did $50,000. A few years later, with that one program, all she's doing is marketing and on Instagram $500,000. That's all for the one product, a $197 Instagram course.
It’s not even a full-funnel suite with all this other stuff. It’s literally one primary product.
It’s just one primary product that's so good. It's almost all by referrals. All she does is put it on Instagram and that's it. She's blown this up. She has no team, she's a single mom. She not a single mom anymore. She's got a husband through EPM.
It's a remarkable product and she does it so beautifully that everyone's like, “You've got to take this course,” and they're sharing it with their friends.
Do you want to share her URL in case anybody on here wants to go?
I believe it's KatWalters.com.
You are about to be launching a new masterclass, is that correct?
We'd been doing it once a year and we launched it in October. People begin the program at the end of October 2019.
It starts end of October. Hopefully the registration for Marisa’s stuff will be open. The class starts at the end of October. How long of a program is this?
It's for twelve weeks. It goes through November, December, January, with break weeks for the holidays, of course.
There’s a big homework on December 25th for five hours of work. Did you say it’s usually about seven to ten hours a week?
It's about seven to ten hours a week, but when it comes to making a product, you can spend more if you want to make a big product. If you want to do something simple and do a beta product, which I recommend if you've never done it before, you want to keep things simple.
I liked that you said that there are many people who have courses and whatnot, they gloss over that because it's almost like you buy the course and then find the time to go through it and whatnot. Seven to ten hours a week is a real investment of somebody's time.
It shouldn't be hard because if you stay off of Netflix a couple of hours a day, you can do some good dedicated work on this. As we all know, new projects, entrepreneurship of any type takes the sacrifice of time and money investment. If you do it, it's worth it.
If you've got somebody to help get you over the obstacles and through the path who's done it before and seen success, this is one of the things I like and respect about what you're doing here.
Unlike a lot of folks out there who are spinning out a new product every six months, as opposed to taking the time to go through this, refine this, see what works, see what didn't work.
You've been doing this for several years and I guarantee that it's probably morphed and changed as you've gotten your own feedback of, “This might work better.”
Having somebody double down and become a master of this specific craft of experience of buy-in, the course I see it is super-duper valuable.
I'm not going to go out and buy most information products these days, especially if somebody comes around and says, “I've got this.” Let's say it's a twelve-week program. There are 200 video modules. None of that appeals to me because that's too much information.
I want to know if I'm getting something. How much of this is actionable? How much can I implement right away? Can I see the results? Am I just buying something academic? That's great theory.
That is not going to do anything for me. This helps bridge that gap between a robust product that teaches you everything you need to learn, but something actionable that gets you into momentum and gets you to see those wins.
It's about the step-by-step, do these steps in this order and you will design, market and launch your product and start making money.
What's the name of the masterclass?
It's Experience Product Masterclass because I'm not teaching you how to build information products. I'm teaching you how to create experience products, which is a whole new breed of products.
I liked that, Experience Product Masterclass. I do remember things seeing that and that in itself is like a little pattern interrupt. What is an experience product? I like experiences and I like products. If you combine them both, I like them both. This has been fantastic, Marisa.
At the end of every episizzle, I ask a very specific question to all my guests. I have a feeling I know what your answer is going to be on this one. What’s a nut that you're trying to crack? That's not necessarily, “I want more customers. I want my launch to do well.”
Is there any specific nut out there you're banging away on? It’s like, “I'm trying to figure this out, meet somebody specifically, learn something, find something.”
Is there anything out there that's been a stubborn nut that you can't crack that my audience or myself might be able to offer some value in exchange for all this insight?Some technologies can enhance the experience, but they’re not essential. Click To Tweet
I've got the big nut and then I got the little nuts. Let me share the big nut first, the Brazil nut on that. I want to reinvent online education, not just through my students but around the world. Results and engagement become the norm and not the exception.
Doing this and teaching people how to do this, and I've been on stage for the Mindvalley Momentum Mastermind, for LaunchCon, for a lot of different places, teaching experts how to do this too. Everyone realizes the future of their business is based on how well they can serve their clients.
I can see a lot of distrust in the market now because people have been burned by products. That pains me because there's still so much transformation and so much opportunity.
Forbes anticipates that the online education industry is going to be a $325 billion a year industry by the year 2025. That's not far away. It's already over $200 billion.
What's the one thing that has the chance to disrupt the entire broken primary, secondary and college education system? It is the one thing that needs to be disrupted terribly and this is the stuff that can do it.
I love to disrupt. That's the Brazil nut. The peanut is trying to get 3x to 4x growth on paid traffic into this program. That’s the peanut that I'm working on now.
Are you buying traffic for this?
We are buying traffic into this. It usually takes a few months even to be profitable when you're starting evergreen funnels with cold traffic to get the return on ad spends. We're in the middle of that. That's the peanut.
Are you working with somebody on your team that is doing a great job? Are you looking for other resources there, whether it's other media buyers or other insights that might help out? Is there anything specific?
We have Mike Hill’s ad team and he's doing a rocking job on that. He hasn't taken a client for a couple of years. They took us in because he loves what we're doing and believes in our message.
We have that. I'm always looking for people who've cracked the code to talk to them about what have they done each step of the way, everything from sales teams to technologies to small optimizations, micro-optimizations.
We're in the process of hiring a direct response copywriter and funnel optimization expert. If there’s someone in the audience who fits that bill full-time role there, that's what I'm looking for right now is to crack that smaller nut.
It brings us to the end of the episode, but for the audience who has stayed on with us and who are interested in either refining the current courses they've got. I can imagine that this is an awesome opportunity for people who have courses to take your masterclass and go back.
They may not have to redo everything from the ground floor, but to use a lot of the principles and a lot of the things in there to go, “How can I make what I've got a lot better and revamp aspects of this without having to start from scratch.”
I guarantee you there's a lot of folks out there who have been dying to do this. They don't want to throw up another info product that they want to do something that's going to be remarkable.
It's going to get results and that they can be proud of. I encourage everybody to go check that out. I'm going to have a link here that you can go to.
LiveYourMessage.com/bacon. I'm going to give you my viral product checklist, which is the ten core experiences that will create the experience escalation and make your product super-hooky addictive and exciting for people to want not just to buy but go through to the very end.
Get the results as well as the ten principles to avoid if you don't want to send them down the downward death spiral.
Learning this is the difference between having a super successful program that starts to sell itself or having a program that sits on shelves, it goes unopened or ends up being frustrating for you to continue to market and for people to consume.
You said something awesome there, which is it continues to sell itself because the more you can put something out there and if it gets a launch revenue, that's cool. If it's not continuously generating not just sales but also feedback and excitement, you're going to get bored of it.
I am willing to believe I have not had a course that does that. When you see all these people excitedly going through it and getting results and coming back, it reinvigorates you like the course creator to go, “Let's double down on this. Let's have some fun,” because it's easy for us entrepreneurs to get bored.
It’s LiveYourMessage.com/bacon. Marisa, thank you so much. It's been awesome to reconnect with you after a couple of times that we've hung out at Christian Mickelsen's event.
It's been fun to hear much more about what you do, how you do it, who you do it for and how people can get results. I look forward to watching you disrupt education all over the place.
Thank you. I look forward to disrupting it in all the best ways.
Thank you so much for joining us
Go out there and live your message. Thank you.
Marisa Murgatroyd is the Founder of Live Your Message and the creator of the Experience Product Masterclass where she helps entrepreneurs sell more online programs and get better, faster results for their students.
Marisa started her career as an artist who was told by her father that she had no marketable skills. She figured out how to build a mid-seven figure online business anyway and she’s shown over 5,000 students how to succeed online — many of whom also felt like they had “no marketable skills” or were told they couldn’t do it.
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