Profit From Your Story, Passion, and Course w/ Annie Grace | #016
People learn better visually and messages could have a lot more impact with video courses. Bestselling author and founder of This Naked Mind, Annie Grace, had an instance in her personal life where she found herself drinking more alcohol than she ever thought she was going to. Through that experience, she ended up writing a book and putting it out for download. A friend told her “If you want to be able to do this full time, if you’re passionate about this, you should look at doing a video course because you can profit from your story and actually help people change their lives at the same time.” Annie Grace talks about the transformation that her business went through from doing a different type of launch method and then converting it to a webinar.
Profit From Your Story, Passion And Course with Annie Grace
We have a very special guest who I know you are going to enjoy this interview. Her name is Annie Grace and she runs a website called This Naked Mind. One of the great things about this interview, and I was excited to talk about this, is her niche. One of the things that people always ask me is, “Joel, can I run a webinar if I’m not in a make-money online or business opportunity niche?” You’re going to want to listen to Annie’s story because it’s inspiring. She did this all while she was pregnant and delivering her child. She talks about the transformation that her business went through from doing a different type of launch method and then converting it to a webinar.
Annie, welcome to Sold With Webinars.
Thank you. I’m glad to be here. I’m really excited.
Annie and I met through a mutual group at a mutual mastermind that we’re in and she had posted her story about the success that she had with her webinar. As soon as I read it, I private messaged her right away, “Let’s get you on the podcast because this is going to be fun.” Why don’t you fill our audience in on a little bit about who you are, what’s your background, what’s your story about how you created the product, and give us two to three-minute brief intro about your journey?
I was in big corporate marketing, on the branding, offline marketing side. I didn’t know much of anything about digital marketing. I ran the digital marketing team because I was the chief marketing officer for the company I was with, but they were below me and I looked at the numbers and then translated to the senior board. I certainly wasn’t aware of anything. It’s been a ground up learning experience. I had an instance where in my personal life I found myself ironically as many corporate people do, drinking more alcohol than I ever thought I was going to. Through that experience I ended up writing a book, putting it out for download, and got a ton of downloads.
A friend of mine said, “If you’re passionate about this, seeing that you can help people and change their lives and getting letters, if you want to be able to do this full time, you should look at doing a video course.” I haven’t heard of info products before. I didn’t even know what that meant, but it made sense to me. I also knew that people learn better visually often, and the message could have a lot more impact with the video course. I dedicated the better part of last year to developing this video course. It came out, but I couldn’t sell it because I didn’t know what I was doing.
Talk about your sales strategy, how you wanted to launch this. First of all, your story’s amazing. Talking about the issues with alcohol, I think it’s fascinating. It’s the first time I heard you talk about it. We were briefly talking about this before we went live. I’m like, “I don’t know if that’s mass market,“ but then you shared with me your results, and clearly it’s mass market. There are lots of people who need this and who want this.
I’ll tell you a quick statistic. I didn’t know either. I thought I was alone, I never felt physically addicted. I felt I needed a drink and I don’t like to feel that I need anything, especially something in a bottle and that wasn’t comfortable for me. I’ve since learned that 78% of Americans drink regularly and of regular drinkers, 90% of them wish at least on occasion that they drink less.
You came from Corporate America to jumping into full blown entrepreneurship, and launching your own video course, how did you first try to launch your course and what were your ideas behind that?
I was getting a significant amount of organic subscribers, just by word of mouth. I give my book for free. It sells on Amazon and it sells so well, but I also have a landing page where you can get it for free. I wanted it to get in the hands of as many people. People would come in my sales sequence that way and I had read a book called Launch by Jeff Walker, he has four video sequences. I was doing that. I was sending out these free video and stuff. I was maybe out of 100 people selling one video course off the backend of it. The thing that made me nuts though was that one person would go through it and they’ve be like, “This is the best thing ever,” and they’d post about. I knew I had something great, but I couldn’t figure out how to sell it.
I was told by someone in our mutual group, he came up to me and he said, “You have something and if you can’t learn how to sell it, you are doing a disservice to God and yourself.” That hit me between the eyes. “I need to figure this problem out. I need to get this out there to people who need it.” I felt this huge calling to do that, but the Jeff Walker thing wasn’t working. I have a few theories about why. I think when people are in the grips of feeling, “I drank too much last night or I want to change this,” it’s an emotional feeling and it’s quite instantaneous. Putting them through a ten-day email sequence, by the time they got to the offer, that emotion had left. They got back in control. They hadn’t overdone it. Their wife wasn’t mad at them anymore whatever the case was. There was no urgency. I started thinking, if somebody is looking for it, they could look for it, consume it, and then quickly get where they needed to get. I thought, “Maybe this would work.”
You touched on something that’s so critical that a lot of times we can’t uncover what you uncover until you actually go through it. I know a lot of people who’ve done launches before with Jeff Walker. They’ve had success with it. I’ve had a lot of people who have also struggled almost very similar to your story. One of the things that is so important to realize is that if you’re talking to a very hot market, meaning they’ve got a screaming problem and they want to get it solved right away, you can’t hold back the product because you’re only reducing your own success. Anytime you add a step, it’s another drop off point and sometimes you need it, other times you don’t. I think as you found, dripping out videos over a certain period wasn’t what your market want because this was a hot market. I commend you for realizing that, and that takes a brilliant mind to actually see that because a lot of people will say, “It didn’t work.” You know exactly why it didn’t work. I can guarantee you 100% that’s why it didn’t work.
It was my theory. It makes so much sense when you put it in those terms.
When did you transition? When did you kill the PLF-style funnel and transitioned to a webinar?
I launched my video course. I found out I was pregnant and then spent the next nine months trying to figure out how to sell this better. I ended up signing up. I knew I had a funnel problem and I heard of something called Funnel Hacking Live. I’d never even known who Russell Brunson was. I went to that and he started explaining his formula for webinars. I was like, “This makes a lot of sense.” I worked hard going through his steps and Joel and I downloaded your case studies, studied those, and went through those in pretty minute detail to say, “What can I do with this?” I was able to launch my webinar. I knew I had to do an auto webinar because I was about to have this new baby. I launched my webinars even days before I had the baby. I had to put it out there in the universe and say, “I hope this works because here comes this baby, I’m not going to have any time.” I went ahead and launch it. It’s been humbling, the results, because that people, they do need what they need when they need it. To have had found something to get into their hands has been freeing. It’s taken that, “I have this obligation to get this in people’s hands who need it too. I’m doing that. How can I do more of it?”
When I talk to people about their funnels and especially their webinars, l’m the anti-funnel guy. I want to go short and sweet as possible because if I add multiple steps, I got ADD and lose focus. Inside of your webinar, tell me about what the core pain points are that resonate with your audience that connects with them and gets them to ultimately want to take your course. What are the core messages that you talk about?
I had done a lot of webinars in terms of being asked to speak via webinar with an expert or via a summit. There’s always so much interest and traction for the topic and people who could relate because it felt very non-threatening. Often you’re giving so much information that people feel like, “They got what they got.” They walk away and they don’t feel a need for anything else. Recently, I had understood this idea of changing some of these mindsets or belief in the webinar is actually more valuable than it is to provide them with answers or solutions and by changing their belief, it’s not necessarily giving them all the answers. You are providing more value and you’re breaking belief patterns which allows for their growth and their freedom from their problem.
The belief patterns that I tried to break in my webinar are pretty simple. When somebody is having this cognitive dissonance around drinking, meaning they both want to drink more and less at the same time. There’s internal battle. They feel very alone. They feel like it’s going to be a long, hard struggle to get out of it and it’s just not. It’s not going to be long or hard once you can understand how the brain works and how to actually change your thinking around it. They think that they’re going to have to give up their social life like their going out and being friendly. That’s not true at all. I know lots of people who what I call nondrinkers, never drinkers who actually never even took a sip of alcohol and they’re some of the most fun loving people I know. I know they have more fun.
Alcohol dupes you into thinking you needed to have fun, that’s not true either. That’s such a limiting belief. Like if you believe that by stopping doing something, you’re never going to be able to have fun, relax, or enjoy yourself again. It becomes hard to stop doing it. If I can free somebody by giving them all sorts of examples, both neurological and scientific, and those things are true. They leave the webinar with hope that there is possibility for change. Even though there’s definitely a pitch at the end for the course, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback in the value of that hope, like, “I know now that this could be different,” and I think that’s been really important.
I call it the expert’s curse. When people feel like they have to teach on a webinar and they teach, teach, teach and ultimately when you teach so much in an hour-long webinar or however long it is, you teach so much that you confuse them and a confused mind doesn’t buy. You’re 100% right. Inspiration, transformation and hope is the whole goal of the webinar and it’s conflicting for experts sometimes to hear that and to understand that because they’re the teacher, they’re the expert. All they want to do is teach and so they feel like, “If I’m giving them hope and inspiration and breaking their belief patterns, they don’t see it.” Most of them don’t see it as breaking their belief patterns. They see it as, “I’m not teaching, so I’m a fraud.” Internally, it’s a huge battle that we have to overcome. In every form of transformation that has to happen, whether you’re buying a course or no matter what you’re buying, but you have to believe that it will work before you receive it. How much is your course by the way?
It sells on my website for $5.97, and then on the webinar it’s $3.97.
What’s the volume? What’s your funnel statistics look like? Let’s break it down for a little bit.
Before the webinar, I was selling about $8,000 worth a month. Now, I’m closer to $40,000 a month, that’s without a launch, organically. I barely started Facebook advertising. I’ve sold maybe 10% via Facebook ads. Most of that is organic traffic because I’m blessed in the sense because of my free book. I feel good about breaking the belief patterns and giving them hope, because if they can’t afford the webinar, go get the free book and then you have the solution. The number one thing I want to do here with this whole passion is make sure that people get the help and the change that they’re looking for. I feel so thankful that I feel free from this alcohol trap. I want to pass that on. My husband is a finance guy and he always says, “You’re giving it away for free. That’s our livelihood. What are you doing?” I’m like, “I guarantee you, every time I give it away for free, I sell more books. I get more Amazon reviews.”
It’s this cycle that you give it away for free. It’s been picked up and shared, not by me, but by other people on groups like Reddit. There’s a stop drinking forum that has 40,000 people. There’s a group called Hello Sunday Morning that has 90,000 people, and some people share this free book link. They come in to the webinar funnel that way and that’s cool because then I still can give them some free content up front. I still have my Jeff Walker sequence in there. I walk them through those videos and then the last email in that sequence is Plans Later Today, then that gives them access to the webinar. I’ve also changed my homepage to be the webinar registration page and I would get about 80,000 visitors a month for my homepage.
When did you launch the auto webinar again? You said you launched that right when you’re about to give birth seven days before you delivered?
I launched my subscriber list first. I sent it out to them with simple one email to say, “I did this webinar if you’re interested.” A lot of my online subscribers already read my book. They’ve already found freedom or they want to be in newsletter. It wasn’t huge. I’d say that did$30,000 worth of people just with the launch. Then I made it my homepage, then that was the big dial turner. I added it to that ten-email sequence. There are a lot of things that I know I still can do. They register for the webinar, they get a reminder email ten minutes before it starts. They go through the webinar. The next day send out a replay email and then the day after that, I send out a final chance to watch the replay email, and that’s it. What’s missing there is I don’t ever send them an email with the offer, which is dumb. They have to watch the whole webinar to get the offer. I was like, “I need to fix that especially before I talk to Joel.”
I’m going to fix that. Right after my webinar is over, I’m going to send out an offer that’s a sales page. I’m sending them to a checkout page. I’m adding a sales page into my sequence so that if somebody didn’t watch it, they can learn about what the offer is because that was big and missing. All those sales are from people going all the way through the webinar. Maybe the webinar is too big of a barrier, because I do sell full price courses to people who hear about it from a friend. They want to go right and buy it. I think I can get it into more people’s hands by fixing those holes.
What’s next? You’ve got the funnel working. It might not be completely built out. You’re doing $30,000 to $40,000 a month with this webinar. Where do you go next in your mind as now a successful product owner and a successful training course creator? What are your ideas?
One thing I’ve noticed is that my book, it’s called Control Alcohol, you have to be wanting to look for a solution. It’s interesting because I think there are a lot of people who hear about it and they’re like, “That’s cool. I’ve never thought about that before. I don’t love how much I drink, but it just seems like the thing to do with so many people.” I actually get Amazon reviews from people saying, “I read your book for a friend and then I ended up cutting back on my own drinking and I’m stoked about it. Thank you so much.” A lot of people who aren’t looking for it, they need a lower barrier of entry to the conversation. Ideally if I could say, “What would I love to do with this business? I would love to change the perception of it’s taboo to talk about drinking too much.” We’ve made it like, “Then you’re an alcoholic and you’re totally screwed for life.” If me and my girlfriend were sitting down over some donuts, we would be like, “They have so much calories.” We’d talk about the health effect and it would limit us. We’d only have a donut. If we were sitting down over some glasses of Chardonnay, we’re not going to talk about the fact that that’s going to cause breast cancer, and I want to make that conversation less taboo and more normal.
What I’m hoping to do is launch a 30-day alcohol experiment. I’m writing a book about it. It’s going to be for any person who wants to give it a go for 30 days. See how it is and then make some mindful decisions about drinking instead of just kind of being, “I was swept up in the corporate culture. I was told that the bar was somewhere to get new business. I jumped in and there was no mindfulness about it.” I’d love to bring the conversation into a less scary, more mindful spot in our society through a book. I have an online community that’s about 7,000 people. It’s not Facebook because it functions like Facebook, but it’s quite private.
I’d like to expand that and have that be more of a bigger thing where people can just get together and say, “This is the day I’m on,” and support each other and it’s not about all or nothing. It’s not about forever. It’s about taking a look at it and saying, “Am I happy doing this and can my life be better if I was doing a bit less?” There are lots of webinars in that future as well. I think there are tons of beliefs to break and hope to give and whatnot. I’m starting with the book. That’s what I’m focused on.
Do you have any higher-end packages like any upsells or is your course the highest?
My course is the highest. I get a lot of asks for people who would like to be a Naked Mind coach. They want to go and they say, “Can I be a coach?” I’ve got some hypnotherapists and psychologists, medical doctors, they say, “I want to be certified in this method. Can we put it into my business?” I think a coaching program for people would be huge. I’m trying to figure this all out. I don’t have the capacity, but I think that definitely would be huge. There are a lot of people who want to do live speaking or retreats. I’ve gotten a lot of requests for that. I’m also going to put that on the back burner until my daughter is at least a year old because I traveled so much with my other sons that I have this opportunity now as an entrepreneur to stay home with her and not go insane travelling all over the place.
If I were you, I would put another one-time offer right after the purchase of maybe more training or a call with you to increase your cart value even more. How long is your webinar? A big question that I always get is, “How long should my webinar be?” I watched your webinar by the way and I know the answer, but I want to elaborate on this a little bit more.
I had hesitancy about how long the webinar is. My husband said, “It’s way too long. This is a problem.” My graphic designer said, “This is too long.” Let’s keep in mind here that all my sales are coming from people who have sat through to the offer because the offer doesn’t actually pop up until the end of the webinar. I don’t have an email going out to tell anybody about the offer. My webinar’s two hours long. The first hour and fifteen minutes is the breaking beliefs. I spend 20 minutes to 25 minutes on what people are going to get, walking them through the course, the value. Then I do 30 minutes of Q&A. Everybody said that I was completely nuts, but I followed the formula and so far so good.
The most common question that I always get is how long should this be? If it ever goes over an hour people are like, “I need to trim it out. “I can’t tell you until you start giving me some numbers. I’ve seen longer than two hours convert. I’ve seen shorter than two hours convert. I’ve seen shorter than one hour convert. It’s all over the map. People have this belief in their mind that they have to keep it to an hour and that’s not true. As you know, Russell has done webinars over two hours before and he’s crushed it. It’s all market specific and you get the content in there, run it and see how it goes.
I think another thing that I personally struggled with in addition to the length was putting the urgency and scarcity around it. It felt awkward. What I realized is that I want people to act and they say that. I’m like, “I do this all the time. I see something that should be good for me, but I don’t pick it up because there is no reason to act now. I’m actually doing you a disservice if I don’t give you a reason to act now.” Once I embraced that, I started believing it. I believe that that is true. Somebody is suffering, somebody is on this two-hour long webinar because they have a problem and I should be doing everything I can to get them to take the next step. I have a massively generous guarantee, which I don’t know. Maybe it’s right, and maybe it’s wrong. It sits right with me. It’s a 30-day course and I give a 60-day guarantee. I do that because I don’t want people’s money who it doesn’t work for. I want people to find the change in the freedom they’re looking for. I say, “Act now, get it.” I try to do everything I can to get somebody to act now. I pull out every trick in the book. I am marketer by heart. I get critics about that on the rare occasion but the truth is that I do believe now that I’m doing somebody a disservice if I don’t get them to actually act.
Then the other thing was a typical price point and I’ve been told this for my course should probably be around $997. I think that that’s probably true. I think there is a lot of evidence to say that when people experiment with it and the results people get because I do believe that the times that I’ve given it away for free, somebody will write me an email and say, “I can’t afford it. I’m suffering and I’m a bleeding heart.” I’ll say, “No problem. Let me help you out.” I go and I check in and they haven’t logged in or they’ve watched one video of it. That was like this big a-ha moment for me. When somebody gets this free, they don’t value it and they don’t do it. Those were my other big struggles besides the time.
You’re a 100% correct on that. To go back on the guarantee point right there, when I’m reviewing somebody’s webinar, the very first thing that I look at is the offer and the guarantee because more times than not, the content that they’re teaching is good enough to make a sale or two. If they’re not making any sales, it’s probably because their offer is missing the mark. We’ve reviewed, watched, and built probably over 100 webinars in the past eighteen months. It’s insane at this point and we’re seeing somebody different morphs of offers and nobody wants to buy a course anymore. Now, we’re having to re-frame the term course and explain it in a different way and come up with unique guarantees. Guarantees are the quickest way to boost your sales.
Let’s say that somebody in the audience right now, they’ve got a course and they’re afraid to make a strong guarantee. One of the guarantees that I’ll let anyone who’s reading this right now, this is one of our big secrets. We do a two-part guarantee. Part one is you get a 30-day money back guarantee. Part two is we give them a course completion credit. When they complete it, they get a credit towards future work with us. If it’s a $9.97 course, “I’ll pay you to complete this course.” From a marketing standpoint and business standpoint, we’re incentivizing them to go into our next level products. From a mindset standpoint that does a lot of things.
Number one, it sets the tone saying there are other products that, “I have to help you even further. If you complete this, I’ll give you credit to go into that next level program.” We’re always continually trying to ascend people into the next level and people want to work for that. Even if they do complete it and they ask for a refund, if they get results, they’re going to feel ashamed if they ask for a refund. You provided what you promised and we don’t see the refund rate go up at all. I think you nailed it on the head with that. Where can people check you out, Annie? You said ThisNakedMind.com. Is that your main website?
That’s it. That’s where the webinar is. I might do something different with the homepage in the future. I’m experimenting and learning as I go. It’s the webinar registration page, and that will always be my website.
What’s the name of your book?
I love the funnel that you’ve got of getting people into the book. Then the very next thing that they do is go to the webinar. I have a bestselling book and I don’t do anything that you were doing. I love listening to stories like this. I love learning about off the wall product ideas. So often I get approached with business opportunities and webinars. It’s refreshing and enlightening to see somebody like you crushing it with a non-business opportunity niche and doing very well. I guarantee you’ll hit over half a million this year if you keep going up from $30,000 and $40,000 a month. Is there anything else that you want to share with the audience and any other tidbits, anywhere else they can connect with you before we sign off?
I want people to find what I’ve found with this. I definitely have to give that credit before any business tricks because I think that a sincere intention to help people always makes the best business at the end of the day.
Annie, thank you for joining us. I had an awesome time. I know my audience is going to enjoy this episode and we will see you all on the next one. Take care.
Thanks so much for being here. We hope you enjoyed our episode and we look forward to giving you the next one. You can also follow and watch the behind scenes look at how I’m personally launching a brand new six and seven-figure product from scratch at SoldWithWebinars.com/TV. If you’d like to come hang out with other fellow experts, join our Facebook group at SoldWithWebinars.com/Experts. Join us next time and I’ll see you there.
About Annie Grace
Annie Grace is no stranger to success whether it is in business or personal matters. At 26, Annie was the youngest Vice President in a multinational company and her drinking career began in earnest. At 35, in a global C-level marketing role she was responsible for 28 countries and drinking almost two bottles of wine a night.
Annie didn’t want to live life in a daily battle for sobriety. To live a life avoiding temptation. She didn’t want her entire existence to revolve around alcohol. She wanted to take the power away from alcohol rather than make it a reward she was depriving herself of. She wanted freedom from alcohol. She wanted change. To find another way. And she did.
Annie Grace authored; “This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness And Change Your Life.” Her book reprograms your unconscious allowing you to break free from alcohol. Countless hours of research went into the writing of the book – it breaks down how alcohol changes us both physically and mentally. Annie no longer drinks and has never been happier. She left her executive role to write the book and share her method with the world. Since publishing her book she has been featured in publications such as Forbes, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune and Mind Body Green. Annie Grace wants to share her message and the ability to find freedom from alcohol with as many readers as possible. Beyond the book, her goal is to reshape society’s views and our alcoholcentric culture so that the non-drinker is no longer an exception to the rule.