Alanna Kaivalya was interviewed previously to discuss how she uses Deadline Funnel to grow her business.
The Deadline Funnel team was thrilled to hear back from her a few months later when she told us she had 5x’d her monthly sales in 5 months and…
She won Ontraport’s annual award for “Ontrapreneur Of the Year”!
Way to go Alanna!
A few days before she went to the Ontraport event she and I did an update interview to share with you what’s been working so well in her business.
JB: Alright, one of my most favorite things is when I get an email from a client saying, “Thank you so much, I want to share my results,” and I’m so happy, because I got this email from our guest, who I’ll reintroduce in just a second, and the email went, “I hope all is well with you, I thought I’d shoot you a quick email to let you know I’ve been selected as one of five modern entrepreneurs by Ontraport and will be honored at an award ceremony at the Ontrapalooza event in October. You and Deadline Funnel helped to make this possible for me and I can’t wait to be interviewed and start talking to more people about my incredible Evergreen Systems.”
Welcome back, Alanna, great to have you!
AK: It’s my pleasure, I’m so glad to be here, Jack, it’s always a great time talking to you, so thanks for having me.
JB: Absolutely. We emailed back and forth a few times, there was a hurricane in between and now you graciously offered to come and share some of what you’ll probably be talking about at the event. But also, you shared with me a sneak peek of your results. You’ve grown really rapidly since April. So why don’t you take it away, tell us what you’ve been up to and what’s working.
AK: Yeah, I have so much excitement around the fact that I get to share this news with you, it’s been a huge turnaround for me. It seemed like it took … it was like a slow roll getting it all together and then starting about April and May, things just started to skyrocket and I have a huge debt and gratitude to Deadline Funnel and the services that you provide, because it really makes my systems work.
One of the things that I’ve been chasing ever since the book ‘The 4 hour work week’ came out in 2005, is this magical passive income, which always seemed to elude me, no matter what else I did.
I got into online course creation a couple of years ago. I have loved it, but it has been difficult to try to figure out how to market it and of course I got stuck into a launch cycle, trying to launch course after course after course, which is exhausting and overwhelming. Landing on Deadline Funnel and the fact that I could create Evergreen Systems with that was really a magical shift for me.
I’ve been in process to get that to work and since April and May it has worked like gangbusters. One of the things I feel really passionate about is marketing to non-traditional marketing sources. I am a yoga teacher by trade and by heart and my people are not necessarily online and I find that a lot of marketers right now are providing internet marketing tools and solutions for other internet marketers, who are then internet marketing to internet marketers, which is great for the internet marketing crowd, but that’s not who my crowd is.
It’s taken a while to actually figure out the magic recipe that people who are not used to internet marketing want, but also specifically what my audience wants, which is not a heavy sales pitch. They need a lot of education around being able to actually just even jump online and believe that you can learn yoga online. They’re very skeptical, they’re leery of the amount of personal connection, so a lot of education is really necessary. With that education, of course you do still need to provide that deadline, that pressure to say, “Hey, now is the opportunity, now is the time to join.” And that of course is where Deadline Funnel helps to provide that timeline of, “Look, I’m giving you a special offer and you do need to jump on it now.”
The kind of basics for the Funnel that I’ve found are really successful for me and my audience, again, building that education, building that rapport. I do use webinars, primarily, to do that. I’ll have a Facebook ad that leads people to a webinar registration. I use Easy Webinar, which has been great because it integrates with Ontraport, which, of course, I’m an Ontraport user.
Through the Easy Webinar, which is an Evergreen webinar, people meet me, essentially. They get to know me, they get to see my face, that’s really important. I show up at the beginning of the webinar, I show up at the end of the webinar and then I have a portal for them to be able to ask questions and submit questions that I do actually respond to. And then I give them a timed offer, and that’s how I keep the system Evergreen. Instead of going through the craziness of open and close or a continuous launch cycle, I’m able to roll this essentially all the time and keep my leads flowing and keep my income flowing, too, which is amazing.
JB: And I would imagine, whether you do it all the time or not, you get the opportunity because it’s an Evergreen Funnel, you can come up with different headlines or different tweaks that you can find improvements every so often.
AK: Yeah, exactly. Ads do kind of peter out, so you have to refresh them a little bit, either refresh them with images or the content or even the lead. I provide different little bonuses, when people register for my webinars they get a free gift. So I can change that out, too.
Again, it’s a lot about education. There is a huge amount of emails that go into these Funnels introducing myself to people, reminding them of all the benefits that they get when they join the courses with me, that I am here on the other end, that this is my passion, you will be my student, we will get to hang out.
All of that really goes into the stats. Of course, it’s all about the stats for us, right? We have to watch all those numbers and see what people are responding to, see what the open rates are, if things start to fall off, how to pick them back up. There’s a lot of different things you can tweak and play with.
I think that I’ve hit on a pretty magical combination and I’m honestly really excited, because I have started to become more active in the marketing community, because a lot of people are interested in figuring out how to market to non-traditional, not-internet marketing markets.
I’ve witnessed and seen the stress of people having to deal with their launch cycles, and Oh my gosh, it’s so nice to just have that continuous kind of rolling Evergreen cycle.
JB: Yeah, absolutely. I call it the launch revenue rollercoaster. When it’s up it’s up and then it drops off a cliff. It’s nice to be able to … I’m actually writing a long article about this, that my position is launches aren’t necessarily bad, but you should launch when you want to, not because you feel like you have to.
Let’s talk about the differences in the way that you’ve tweaked your education-based marketing and how you view that different than maybe what you see marketers sell and marketers do.
One of the things that I actually do … I have, of course, like many of us, digested as many webinars from as many experts as possible and tried to learn all those things and utilized various webinar templates, utilized various email sales templates. First of all, the heavy-handed sales pitch doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. People want to hear from me, they really just want to get to know me. For anyone who is targeting a non-traditional or non-marketing audience, I think that a level of authenticity and just being really genuine goes a long way. And letting people know that you’re not some sleazy, weird salesperson … you know, I’m not here just to make money. I do love and appreciate the fact that I can make money at this, but this is my career, this is my calling, this is my craft, this is my heart and soul. I’m also here to provide a service. And when I can let people know that then that’s really important.
Another thing that has really helped also is … Of course, we as marketers always provide some kind of testimonials or social proof to let others … Other people are doing this, right, it’s not just you alone. You’re not gonna be the only person on my online teacher training, you’re not gonna be the only person in my online course, this has been happening for a while, we have hundreds of people in these courses now.
I use a little tool called Proof, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s pretty cool. It will pop up a little thing that says, “This person just registered, or this person signed on,” and I’ve actually seen a big boost from that, where people can actually see, visually, oh wow, Joe from Arkansas just signed up for the webinar. People really appreciate that, so there’s that kind of friendly personal connection that I think is really required with this.
The other thing is too, I’ve been on a lot of webinars where it’s obviously automated, but not just because that’s obvious to me because I know what’s going on, but they don’t actually show up. They literally start with a slide and you never get to see the person’s face, you never get to connect with them visually, and I think that’s a really important … I mean, it’s small, but that’s a really important difference, that you actually have to show up, your shining, beautiful face has to show up on the screen for folks. They want to see that.
The other thing is too, just providing tremendous amounts of content. Giving people lots of options, giving people lots of opportunities to either work with you or kind of get snippets of what you have to offer, before they actually buy into the product. I know we’re all familiar with lead magnets, but sometimes one isn’t enough. Sometimes one type of lead magnet isn’t enough.
The other really key thing is in the webinars, again, it’s not, for me, all about the sales pitch. I mean, obviously I tell them about the offer at the end, but the webinar is actually literally educational. I actually take them through my course. So I say, “Okay, I have this online course, it is eight modules. Let me show you what you get in Module 1. Let me show you …”, and that’s actually the bulk of the webinar. Orienting them, it’s like an orientation. Orienting them to the program itself. “Here is what it’s gonna look like when you log in. Here is what the actual interface looks like. Here is what the forum looks like. Here is a snapshot of the Facebook group. See all the people in there? Here is a sample of the lesson from this module. Here is how you and I are gonna interact.”
If it’s an audience that isn’t used to being online, you have to overcome that actual barrier in and of itself.
AK: Many of my people don’t think you can learn yoga online, so I actually go through and show them how they do it, so that it’s familiar to them. I actually walk them through the checkout process, “Here is what the checkout page looks like, here is where you’ll enter your credit card information. I promise you it’s secure. Here is my money-back guarantee.”
That’s really probably the biggest major departure from how I structure my Funnel. It’s really more of an orientation, rather than a sales pitch. These people have no idea what going online means and they don’t want to do it. So I’m overcoming that barrier and that skepticism.
JB: There’s a lot to unpack there, but there are two things I really want to focus in on that I think are great that anyone can use. One is that you’ve mentioned several times about the importance of, on your webinar, of them being able to see your face.
I’ve been doing a lot of reviews of sales pages lately for people who buy on special offers for Deadline Funnel. More often than not, when I see that there’s a page where there’s no video of the person actually speaking, I say, “Look. Even if you’re uncomfortable, just five seconds of you just saying ‘Hi, my name is Jack and this is my passion. Let me tell you about how I help and who I’m here to serve.'” Just a few seconds gives someone that sense of, “Hey, I know this person. It’s not just salesmanship that I’m reading online or emails that I’m reading.” It adds that extra dimension, which you really just can’t get any other way.
I’ve seen your site, you’ve got videos, where you’re speaking into the camera. And the technology is so easy these days that you don’t need a high-tech setup. You can just set up your iPhone and record away.
If someone’s not doing that, I would really recommend that you add at least a video on your sales page of you talking into the camera. At least walking them through the course.
The second thing that you mentioned that I think is really, really powerful, is that you tackle one of the major objections head on, which is, “Look, a lot of people who show up on my webinar, they want to achieve this goal, but they just don’t believe that you can learn online.”
Rather than just trying to dance around it, you face it head on and you show them, “Look, here are the results that other people have gotten and here is how it works and here is a preview,” and just walk them through the entire thing, so that they can see for themselves, “Okay, this is what I’m gonna get, this is what’s gonna happen next.”
That’s really great. And anyone can do that. That’s really, really good.
AK: Yeah. Because it’s not a course pitch. I got a webinar template from one of the big top experts, slide by slide. Seventy slides to webinar success. And I went through and I was like, “Okay.” It felt really unnatural and really uncomfortable to me. And I thought, “Well, maybe that’s just me and that I’m not used to doing it.” But I went ahead and did it exactly as the template said, and again, a marketing internet marketers kind of template.
I got such vile responses from it. My clients were like, “I’m not here for a sales pitch, this is ridiculous, I don’t even know what you’re selling me.” It was just really clear, that this wasn’t gonna work for them.
So dialing it back and again, really trying to go with a level of authenticity of like, okay, how do I get people over that hurdle?
One of the biggest objections I get regularly is, you can’t learn yoga online. So let me show you that you can, let me tell you that you can and let me show you exactly how we’re gonna do it.
It is truly, like I said, I think that it is an orientation. I’m not selling them the course, because they don’t even know what an online course is. I’m actually selling them the idea of being online. That this is possible. And I think backing it up that extra step for people who are going for markets that aren’t used to being online is very powerful. And it gives them a level of confidence, too.
It’s almost like a ‘try before you buy’. They actually get to see what they’re buying into.
JB: That’s awesome. That’s great.
That was a ton, but is there anything else that you’ve found that really … Because you’ve had tremendous growth. Am I allowed to talk about the type of growth that you’ve had?
JB: Okay. You wrote back to me and you said that you’ve quintupled your monthly revenue since April.
JB: I mean, that’s fantastic.
AK: Yeah, what a fun word to use, ‘quintupled’. I quintupled my monthly revenue since April and I’m a career yoga teacher, I have made more money in the last two and a half months than I have in literally years. It’s mind-blowing to me and I keep joking with my friends, “You can make money on the internet, it is totally possible.”
I’m really excited to finally have results. I’ve always believed in my product, I’ve always believed in my courses, I’ve always believed in the power of online learning and have really been a pioneer as far as yoga goes and to yoga online. I kind of pushed into it and extended into the online market, even before anybody else was doing it and before it’s been proven. Because I just had so much confidence in the power of online learning and the ability for us to connect, no matter where we are and to neutralize the playing field of it.
Being able to take an online course with me is far cheaper than flying to New York, spending the money to put yourself up in a hotel. It makes it more accessible.
The other thing that I would say is, I actually also had to find the price point that my audience was comfortable with. Now, I don’t recommend, as most experts would, being the cheapest kid on the block. There is no value in undervaluing yourself, at all.
I remember going to an all-day conference of internet marketers and talking about my stuff and this was months ago, probably back in February, where I was still frustrated, like, “Why isn’t this hitting yet? What haven’t I figured out?”
I have the world’s first and only 500 hour online teacher training. Still is, it’s amazing. And I announced that I’ve got this online teacher training, it’s incredible and it’s priced at $1,995, so just under two grand. And then on the webinar, I give a $500 off offer. So they can actually get it for $1,495. And this, “Huhh?” Went up from the audience, like “Oh my god, you’ve got 500 hours of training and it’s only $1,495,” and I had people rushing up to me afterward like, “You’re undervaluing yourself, that’s way too low, it should be no less than $5,000, you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
And I was scratching my head, thinking like … First of all, there is not a teacher training on the planet in-person that is five grand. This is just not a market that bears that kind of inflation. I wish it was, it’s just not. I wouldn’t sell a single product, if I priced myself like that. Which is completely understandably how other consultants may be able to price their courses. Totally fine.
So, I’m able to sell 30 to 40 people in that teacher training per month, because I have priced it, where people are able to actually buy it. It’s not where Amy Porterfield might price her course. It’s not where some of the other experts might price their courses, but it’s what my market will allow.
I think, really being flexible in that a little bit and not, “No, don’t be the cheapest kid on the block.” If your market is not used to paying thousands of dollars for consultant services …
JB: Sure, but something else to point out, you mentioned this earlier, you’re contrasting it versus the prices someone would pay to come out and travel there, hotel and pay for you for several days. That’s a good comparison, because I believe, actually I know, that you used to do that, that used to be part of your business model.
You know exactly what that is and people really, truly were paying that all the time, and so, by comparison, no it’s not cheap, you’re not giving it away at 300 bucks or so. But at the same time, it’s a discount compared to what they would pay, if they had you in person.
AK: Right, exactly. And you don’t have to take time away from your family, you don’t have to pay for the flight. For example, the average teacher training price in person in a studio is probably around $2,500 to $3,000. So to pay $1,500 for a full program, that’s amazing. And I can do that, because it’s online.
It’s just a different market and I think that recognizing and respecting your market and realizing that you’re gonna have to play with the pricing … I did the same thing with some of my other online courses. I looked at sort of comparable things out there and there are people who are able to sell their courses for $1,000. My course has twice the information and my people won’t pay that.
It’s almost like, it’s not a science, it’s magic.
JB: You have to test around.
AK: You really have to test it around and you have to tweak it and you have to tweak it in little degrees and you have to tweak it continuously, until you hit that magical place, where people are comfortable, where they see the value in what you’re offering, where they feel like they’re getting out of it what they’ve invested into it.
It’s fun. It’s actually really fun in the end.
JB: Yeah, and I can tell … so were talking about the money and I know that, like me, the people that you serve … I mean, the money is awesome, but nothing feels better than seeing that you’re able to impact so many people at the same time.
AK: Yeah, it’s really exciting. The ability to scale is awesome. Again, I’m able to serve so many more people at such a higher level, because it’s online. If I had 130 people sitting in front of me for a teacher training all month, I wouldn’t remember all their names, I wouldn’t be able to answer all their questions, there’s no way. But I have 130 people in my teacher training this month right now and I’m totally able to answer all their questions, get them all personal attention, because of the online nature of the course.
It’s pretty cool, when you think about it, that I’m actually able to give people a much higher level of education this way. I’m hugely passionate about that.
JB: If you don’t mind, let’s finish up with a few nitty-gritty kind of tactical, in-the-weeds kind of details, because I know someone watching this is gonna want to know more details.
Anything that I ask that you don’t want to answer, just don’t answer. So when you’re driving people from Facebook, are you sending them directly to a registration page? Or is there something else?
AK: Yes. Facebook ads straight to webinar registration page.
JB: Okay. And is the registration time set up for top of the hour?
AK: Yeah. Here is another fun sort of, again, industry-specific tweak that you’ll need to magically stumble onto.
The general rule I’ve heard is that you should have an immediate one available or 9:00pm. That doesn’t work for my audience either, nobody’s up at 9:00pm apparently. I have three webinar Funnels right now. Two of them have 11:00am, 8:00pm fixed in the user’s timezone and a last-minute registration, so on the half hour. If you show up at 11:15am, your next available will be 11:30am, and then 8:00pm. So they’ve got three options to choose from, 11:00am, 8:00pm or immediately available. That’s for two out of the three.
Now, my teacher training webinar, which is … It converts like crazy, it’s an awesome webinar, I actually do it once a week. It is at 8:00pm on Wednesdays in the user’s timezone, period. And what that actually allows me to do, is, let’s say a person registers on Thursday, they have to wait now six days for the webinar. It makes it more of an event. And I also have a six-day email series that leads up to that Wednesday webinar that essentially, again, educates them about what this huge program is gonna be like.
One email is all testimonials, one email is evidence of what the graduates are doing, how they’re spending their time, how they’re able to work, some of the things they are doing out in the world. Another email links them to a blog that a graduate actually wrote. Another email goes through the Frequently Asked Questions that they might have, even before the webinar about the course. Another email explains why I actually put this course together and why it’s so amazing that it’s online.
Depending on when they register before the webinar, they’re getting any one of these series of emails, which is actually gonna give them more information, more credibility, more rapport with me. They’re gonna see me in their inbox and it establishes a little bit of excitement for the Wednesday webinar. And then on Wednesday, 8:00pm their time, they get the webinar.
Setting it up that way has actually increased the rate at which people watch and watch the replay, which is great. And then, of course, they go through a 24-hour sale cycle.
JB: That answered my next question, so there’s a 24-hour deadline.
What’s interesting that I want to rewind to, is, that it sounds like everyone who’s going to the webinar is well-aware, through multiple emails, that there’s something to buy on this webinar. It’s not like a big surprise.
AK: No, and in fact, the ads are that way as well. There is no hidden agenda here. I am here because I have an online course and I want you to enroll. The ads say that. The emails say that, it talks about that. It’s not like, “Take my training!” Or like, “Get this free bit of content,” it’s, “Take my online course. I want to show you more, I want to take you inside my online course, I want to show you my online course. Interested in online teacher training? Come join me for online teacher training. Come learn all about it.”
So again, orientation. Orienting people to the fact that online is a thing.
JB: Now I do want to point out that in some markets that might not be the best strategy, only because, I would guess because it’s working so well, there’s a significant population of yoga instructors, who want online training. You don’t have to convince them, “Hey, online training is good for you.”
You could do that, but the people who are responding to the ads, it’s about online training, right? Or certification.
AK: A lot of people want to be a yoga teacher. So the ad is like, “Want to be a yoga teacher? Let me show you how you can do that online.” And then people are like, “Oh!”
And right on the webinar registration page, the video that’s on the webinar registration page … The first thing that they see is me, like “Hi, I’m Alanna, I want to tell you …”
And actually already there give them some education about how online training works. It’s not something that they’ve necessarily heard of, many people are skeptical about it. It’s the same with my other online courses.
Yoga teachers … The reality of this particular community is that it’s actually really difficult to make a living as a yoga teacher. So many yoga teachers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, to increase their education in order to make their careers better. They are looking for education. So that’s the thing that I highlight and call out and then I let them know that it’s online, which also means it’s gonna be less expensive. Which, for a market who isn’t making much money already, is awesome for them.
JB: So your course is available all the time, but on the webinar it said a $500 discount and then you’ve got some extra bonuses?
AK: The teacher training … The bonus is the $500 discount. I have a fast-action bonus, that if they register within 60 minutes, I’ll buy their course books for them.
AK: That’s within 60 minutes, otherwise 24 hours to get $500 off. And then I have different setups for my other courses. Some of them are just the course plus a bonus course and some of them are courses with a discount plus a bonus course as well. And again, that’s that magic. What are people willing to spend, what do they need to actually join me on this.
JB: What do you do with the folks who register but didn’t buy?
AK: For the teacher training, God bless Ontraport for the ability to tag everybody and have behavior-based responses. So registered and did not buy for the teacher training, they get an invite to … Maybe you’re still interested, do you want to take my eight-day free mini course?
I use Teachable for many of my online courses and Teachable allows you to do a free mini course. I actually pulled out little bits of the full program and separated it out in the same manner that are in the full program. So they get a lecture every day, they get a corresponding email every day, and once again at the end of that eight-day free trial, they get another offer.
For my other courses … One of them, I do follow up three days later and say, “Hey, maybe you need a little extra time, let me give you that offer again.” The other one, I offer them another three-day free mini course and then try to take them through the Funnel again.
For some people, 24 hours is a lot of pressure, they need a little more time to think about going online, they want to do a little more research. So just giving them a little bit of a window of breathing room and perhaps a little more information is what then leads them back into actually purchasing. If they don’t purchase in any of those scenarios, they do remain on my email newsletter, of course I am very diligent about weekly newsletters, continuously doing offers on my weekly newsletters. And there’s a lot of cross-colonization here. These are all yogis, so if they don’t end up buying the teacher training program, I’ve had a lot of them that then end up buying another course with me.
If they don’t buy on the teacher training program now, some of them are enrolling with me nine months later. It’s a lot about continuing to build that rapport and follow up, but there’s also retargeting with Facebook ads, which is brilliant.
JB: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing all those details.
JB: So you’ve come a long way. You kind of started to mention this, but I’m gonna go ahead and do a little bragging for you. You were one of the first, or the first yoga teacher to have a podcast online.
AK: That’s right.
JB: I think you were also either the first or one of the first to have an online course. No, the first to have an online course over 500 hours.
You’ve been breaking ground for a long time, you’ve come a long way. For someone who’s just starting out, they’re new to online course creation, they’re excited about the results that you’re getting. What would you tell someone who is just starting out right now?
AK: Hang in there and make the investment. Get your systems ready, get them working. It is a very large investment of time, capital, effort upfront, but the reward is well worth it. The ability to be able to sit back and watch your phone light up with registrations, it’s magical. It’s so rewarding.
And the ability to scale, if you are someone, who wants to be able to reach more than just the amount of people that can fit into a room with you, there’s nothing better than learning online education.
The systems are available to you to make this happen. Deadline Funnel is absolutely one of my top go-to’s, I could not do what I do without that. It is possible to create these Evergreen systems. So just hang in there.
I know what it’s like to be so invested and in the thick of it and have so much of your heart and soul in an online course and to be wondering, “When is it gonna work?” Trust me, it does work. You can make money on the internet and it’s a wonderful place to be.
Hang in there and just keep going.
JB: Thank you so much, Alanna. Thank you for coming back and sharing the update with your success.
AK: My pleasure.
JB: Can’t wait to hear about how Ontrapalooza goes for you.
AK: Yeah, I’ll send you some pictures.
JB: Absolutely, that’d be fantastic.