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THE SMART BETTER LIFE™️  |  September 12, 2023

posted by Annie Bauer

5 Secrets to Start or Scale Your Business with a Digital Course

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July 10, 2023

posted by Annie Bauer

Welcome Trailer: The Smart Better Life™️ Podcast



Do you ever sit at your day-job desk or wait in the carpool line for kids and think, "If I had just an extra $10K, I could . . . (fill in the blank) . . . ?

It might be more possible than you think.

Amy Porterfield, who has more than earned her stripes selling and teaching digital courses, shows us how she provides a simple roadmap and step-by-step how to's on how you can build a digital course, too.

Fourteen years, more than 82 million dollars earned, 50,000 students, and a New York Times bestselling book are all proof that Amy just might be the "Queen A" of all things digital courses and online marketing. And today she's bringing you a "mini-course" in business (meta, I know) to tell us everything we should know about how to decide if building a course might be a good fit for you, too.

1-Courses Scale . . . 1:1 Coaching and Consulting Don't

This one might seem so obvious that you're saying "well, duh" right now. But what seems so easy to see isn't always what we end up doing. If you're a coach or consultant, you most likely got your business off the ground doing one-to-one work. This is a great way to start for a lot of people. But it's not the right fit for everyone, especially if you're teaching a skill that everyone is basically going to do in the same way (like how to bake bread or teaching yoga). 

But, as Amy points out in this episode, often once you start trading time for dollars, it's hard to get out of it. As business owners, we can get stuck in the "solopreneur" identity. We get entrenched in showing up for 1:1 or small group sessions and trainings because we are only seeing one way to keep the lights on and provide our services. But this will put a limit on your business growth, your income, and your freedom.


2-Literally Anyone Can Create a Course . . . on Any Topic

You might be saying, "Anyone?"  And my answer would be, "Yes. Anyone." Creating a profitable digital course has nothing to do with age, background, your subject matter, or just about any other factor.


Teaching Self Worth

Adia made $26,048, enrolling just 16 students in her very first launch teaching self worth. She's a clinical psychologist who wanted more time, freedom, and a way to supplement her thriving practice.


Tax Instruction

Or Mark, a tax accountant, who made $62,000 right out of the gates with his Reseller Tax Course. (Update: As of August, 2023, Mark has now earned one million dollars with his course! Wow.)


Making Sourdough

You can also make a lot of money teaching your creative skills like Sarah did.  She was the mother of a young son who had meltdowns when she had to leave the house to teach her sourdough workshops because the commute and hours away from family were so demanding. Sarah built a digital course, The Sourdough Institute, and made $17,820 on her first launch . . . without using ads.


More Examples and Ideas

Amy mentions many other examples of ideas and knowledge that her students have turned into profitable digital courses. They include dog training, sex therapy, how to clean out your closet, and how to style yourself for your job. Here are some more stories I dug up for you just so you could see the wide variety of profitable ideas out there:

Kari: $68,000, giraffe care

Julie: $21,000, dog training

Cheryl: $47,000, sex therapist

Sukaina: $14,900, food photography

Audrey: $107,000, style and wardrobe

Interested in exploring ideas for YOUR money-making course?

Check out Course Confident Bootcamp!

It's only $47. Totally risk-free.

If you're not happy after the first day, no sweat, we give you your money back. No questions asked.


3-Digital Courses Can Be Highly Profitable

If the examples above aren't proof enough, Amy explains to us how a simple launch that brings in $10,000 in the first launch can turn into $100,000 or more over time. Each time you launch, you're actually building your list, too.  Over time, you can also make your course better, and you'll get better, too.


Calculating How Much You Want to Make

She explains her concept "Course Math" in really simple terms.

  1. First, figure out how much money you're going to charge for your course. Let's say it's $500.
  2. Then decide how much money you want to make. Maybe it's $10,000 on your first launch.
  3. Divide $10,000 by $500 to get the number of units you'd need to sell. ($10,000 ➗ $500 = 20 units)
  4. So to make $10,000, you'd only need 20 people to sign up.


Choose the Type of Course That Works Best for You

There are three different types of courses you can build, too. Amy teaches you how to choose which one is right for you and how to start.

  • Starter Course: A basic 101 course that is shorter and more general, $100-200
  • Spotlight Course: Take one area of your expertise and do a deep dive on it, $200-500
  • Signature Course: A start-to-finish full course with a bigger promise, $500-3,000

 Once you know how much money you want to make and the type of course you want to build, then you just follow the step-by-step framework and roadmap to get there.


4-Simple Frameworks and a Roadmap from an Expert Make Course Building Fast and Easy

One of the things I personally want when I take a course or program with someone is to log in and open up my program to find a clear, easy, and fast program to follow. I don't want to waste a lot of my time watching hours and hours of videos and hunting around the site for what I need.  I own practically every single program that Amy teaches, and I can promise you that they are organized, logical, to-the-point, and easy to navigate.

Whether you want to do a Starter, Spotlight, or Signature Course, you will have the exact roadmap for what to do. She is the Queen of processes, simplicity, and structure. Amy has spent 14 years perfecting how she teaches and how her material is organized, and it just keeps getting better and better. (Side note: you get the future updates and improvements, too! For life.)

Amy also recognizes that most of her students have full-time jobs, families, and lots of other obligations filling up their schedules.  She gives you valuable advice on how to structure your time (Tiger Time) and how to choose your course type based on your bandwidth (flexibility to set your own expectations) as well. As she says in this episode, "Never once have I heard a student say, 'that took me too long'."


5-You Don't Need a Lot of Time, Tech, or Team to Have Success


Amy did a survey of her students, and the vast majority of them had full-time careers when they built their courses. Based on that knowledge, Amy and her team have built their training with the full-time employee, parent,  or anyone who already has a lot of commitments.

  • Adia and Mark sold their courses while working full-time



The tools and tech that Amy recommends are specifically chosen with the non-tech person in mind. (I can vouch for this. I use a lot of the same tools, and they are not high-tech. No coding necessary.)

  • Adia is a psychologist and didn't know a thing about course tech, emails, or online marketing before she started



A lot of people think that being an "entrepreneur" or a business owner means that you have to hire a lot of people, right out of the gate. But in the knowledge industry, it is very common for someone to start and scale in the beginning without the expense of a team, having to hire, or learn how to lead and manage employees. The automation and ease of modern tech means that you can do a lot more than think.

  • Cheryl made $47,000 with a team of just one . . . herself!

How could even a thousand to five thousand dollars change your life?

You could:

  • pay down debt
  • take a much-needed vacay
  • pay down your mortgage
  • start an education fund for your kids
Check out Course Confident Bootcamp!


It's only $47. Totally risk-free.

If you're not satisfied, just let us know at the end of the first day, no sweat, we give you your money back. No questions asked.

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Before you scroll any further, I wanted to say, "Hi!"

(Yes, sometimes my Texas "Howdy" just has to come out.)

I'm Annie, an expert coach and biz strategist, and geeky nerd-researcher. I'm wildly passionate about helping others learn how to build lives and businesses that bring them joy.

If you want to create a "Life by Design, Not Default" where you intentionally build a life around what you love, blur the lines between work and play, and have a business that pays you with freedom, impact, and money, then you're in the right place, my friend. I'm glad you're here!


Annie Bauer, host of The Smart Better Life™️ Podcast in orange blouse seated in a chair in front of a fireplace

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