Episode 350

17 Ideas for How to Market Your Online Course and Scale with Facebook Ads with Liana Ling

In this LMScast episode we’ll discuss 17 ideas for how to market your online course and scale with Facebook ads with Liana Ling, hosted by Chris Badgett from LifterLMS. Liana is from Power Up Strategy, where she helps empower business owners to get as many clients or customers as their hearts desire.

17 ideas for how to market your online course and scale with Facebook ads with Liana Ling

Liana worked as a corporate litigation lawyer for about 10 years, and then her position was restructured. And after that happened, she realized that she was actually a frustrated entrepreneur, and she would do better to run her own show. She had been through university and law school and working, doing the rat race. But she didn’t know anything about being an entrepreneur. She didn’t know anything about sales, but she dove right in, and fast forward to today she’s known as an ads expert and sales expert and has spoken at Ads World and some other big platforms.

Liana understands how many entrepreneurs can easily feel overwhelmed, and she’s really big on repurposing content. If you create something once, use that content as many times as you can, and do it intentionally. For example, if you record a podcast, take the transcript and summarize it into a blog post. Cut portions of the podcast into short videos to put on Facebook Reels, Instagram Reels, TikTok, and Pinterest. Put the full video onto your YouTube channel and on LinkedIn. And you can also use software to push these out and to schedule them ahead of time. And you can take quotes and soundbites and make images with the quotes on them and put those all over the place.

When you’re running ads, if you have the budget you can use ads to supplement your testing and your discovery. If you have a limited budget, Liana would not recommend moving to ads until you have a proven funnel, meaning you’ve sold some things through your funnel. The reason is that when you move into advertising, like paid ads, it’s always harder than people think. And it always takes longer, and it always costs more. So you want to make sure you have something running that you know is working and is bringing in some money. And you can keep that going while you expand into ads. But Liana does sometimes use Facebook with a small budget for testing.

The most resilient and most sustainable type of the funnels that Liana has worked with are the ones starting with freebies to build up your audience, and then selling to them through your emails on the backend. Liana’s advice is to just jump in, test, and have fun. Show your joy. It comes through, and people will respond to it.

To learn more about Liana Ling check out her website at PowerUpStrategy.com. She’s also on Instagram as The Lead Gen Queen, so you can reach out to her there, too.

And at LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Liana Ling. She’s from PowerUpStrategy.com. We’re going to get into a lot of different things to help you with marketing, to help you with sales, and really talk about the technology we use in that. But also just the strategies and how to wrap our heads around what’s working today and how to stay sane in the chaos of overwhelm that many online entrepreneurs feel. But first, Liana, welcome to the call.

Liana Ling:

It’s great to be here. I’m really excited.

Chris Badgett:

Tell us first what PowerUpStrategy.com is in a nutshell. And then I want to jump into your story a little bit.

Liana Ling:

Yeah, well, what we do is we like to empower business owners to get as many clients or customers as their heart desires.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. I love that vision. You weren’t always in lead generation and sales and MarTech, you started as a lawyer as a professional. How’d you end up over here?

Liana Ling:

Yes, well, I did and I actually worked as a litigation corporate lawyer for about 10 years. And what ended up happening was I was restructured. And after that happened, I realized that all long, I was actually a frustrated entrepreneur. And I also realized which you may, and maybe some of your listeners can relate to is I’m actually a really bad employee because-

Chris Badgett:

What makes you unemployable?

Liana Ling:

Right? Yeah. So, took me a while to figure that out and to admit it and to realize this is where I belong. This is my tribe. These are my people, right? I’m an entrepreneur. I want to run my own show here and that’s what I do best. Yeah. So I just went full on into there. I actually went and I didn’t know anything about… all I knew was what I was trained to do from going through university and law school and working, doing the rat race. And I went from there into being a full time entrepreneur in digital marketing where I knew nothing. I didn’t know anything about sales. I didn’t know any of that to fast forward to today being known as an ads expert and sales expert, and having spoken at Ads World and some other big platforms. It’s sort of surreal to me if I look back at where I was and where I am today.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. One of the challenges for education entrepreneurs I call them, is that they have to wear many hats. There’s the five hats. It’s really the reason why we have this podcast. I have a technology company, which is one of the hats, but then you got to be an entrepreneur. You got to be a teacher. You got to be a community builder. You have to be an expert, all these things, an expert in the topic area and stuff. So people are so busy. I know one of your specialties is in omnichannel marketing, which once we start creating content or getting out there on social, we want to be everywhere. But also see a lot of people just explode with either not doing it strategically, or getting frustrated or just feeling completely overwhelmed. How do we do omnichannel marketing in 2021 and beyond for our education companies?

Liana Ling:

Yeah, the struggle is real. Absolutely. Especially if you’re on your own. I do understand that. I’m really, really big on repurposing. So if I can create something once and then use it a hundred times, I’ll take that all day long. So I think that one of the keys to “being everywhere” but not being everywhere is to do it intentionally. And then also to maximize everything that you have. I find that as… And maybe you find this too, maybe with a software company that we just tend not to make the most out of things that we buy, whether it’s courses or software, I’m sure that there are many people who have LifterLMS and they aren’t using to its full potential, all the features and stuff that could actually help them. Right? So I find that when we dig deep and see, what can we use and how can we be creative to have an omnichannel strategy when we’re one person, because we don’t have a team yet to make it easier on us, we could actually accomplish a lot more.

So I’ll give you an example, right? Say for example, you have a podcast like this one, you could take the podcast and take the transcript, turn it into a blog, take the transcript and summarize it. Now you’ve got show notes, take portions of the podcast and you can make them into short video and I love short videos. And I’m talking like 15 seconds. Okay? You can put that on Facebook Reels, Instagram Reels, TikTok, Pinterest, you can take the full video, right? And put it on your YouTube channel, put it on LinkedIn, put it on… And the thing is you can also use software to push these out, to schedule it ahead of time. So again, you don’t always have to be on every single device. And so I really challenge people to think, how can I just take this one thing that I’ve created and what could I use to repurpose it?

Then you can also… That’s only just the video part, right? You could take quotes and sound bites and make images with the quotes on it and then have those all over the place. And then you can cycle through things so people feel like it’s fresh by taking little bits and pieces and I’ve even known people who’ve actually done commentaries on their past podcast episodes to make more of it. You can make reaction videos. These are all these things just from this one video that you’ve done. And so, I challenge people to think how creatively can you do this in an efficient way?

Because I guarantee you most people still aren’t doing that. So by just doing some of that, even I know it sounds like a big list, but if you just start with maybe three things, how can I take this one podcast or this one thing I created, I mean, purpose it into three things. And then maybe next week, how can I do it to five and then eight and then 10, et cetera. And then you’ll start to realize like, it’s a lot easier than you think. And then that’s how people start to see you everywhere. And this is before you even put any ads spend behind anything.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. I heard someone say once that we get bored of our marketing before our market ever does. And I think that’s what holds people back from repurposing is that they feel like it’s old news. It’s done. I already said that. But like you said, there’s different form factors in terms of length or different channels, and you’re exposing it to new people. So don’t give up.

Liana Ling:

Sure. Well, for example, what’s your favorite movie?

Chris Badgett:

Geez. I have a lot, but I don’t know. I-

Liana Ling:

What’s your all time favorite?

Chris Badgett:

I like The Matrix is pretty cool. I guess.

Liana Ling:

How many times have you seen it?

Chris Badgett:

Many times.

Liana Ling:

Do you get bored of it every time?

Chris Badgett:

Not really.

Liana Ling:

You know what happens, right?

Chris Badgett:

Right.

Liana Ling:

So it’s the same thing with our marketing, if it’s… We’re just trying to make ourselves a little bit more interesting sometimes, but if it’s good and it’s helpful, I don’t think people mind seeing it. And then I think that there’s also ways that you can make it feel fresh by maybe putting a different style on it. For example, if you take a look at BTS, if you notice, when they put out songs, they have the regular song, then they’ve got like the RnB version. And then this other version, this other version, and they’re always doing different videos where they’re in different costumes and different themes. It’s the same song, right? It’s just the different styles. And I think that’s what we can do with our content. And essentially that’s what we’re doing with repurposing. You’re just giving a different close, a different theme. And it feels fresh to people and it’s still feels entertaining I think, even though it’s the same message, which they probably need to hear anyway.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. If a busy course creator is trying to come up with content, they’re new to this marketing thing. And they feel like they’ve just put everything into the course or the coaching program or the membership site. If we were going to even just create like five strategic pieces of content and really focusing on just repurposing those, how do we pick, what five, how do we think about content? If we’re not trying to become a professional forever, YouTube or blogger, podcaster kind of thing, how do we pick what to make for marketing specifically?

Liana Ling:

That’s a really good question. I would have you take a look at… Let’s take a look at your course, for example. And what I would ask people to do is I want you to think, what do people need to know and believe before they’re ready to make a decision to take your course, before looking at your course, thinking, yes, I need this in my life and I need it now. They need to have some set of beliefs. They probably need to have some type of knowledge in place. Because a lot of times we don’t know what we don’t know, we’re walking around and we didn’t know we had this problem. Right? And I think what you need to do is think about what are those core beliefs? What’s that knowledge base that they need. So when they come to your course, they think, yes, now I know I have this problem and this is a solution for me. Those five pieces of content should be directed to getting people to that point.

I like to call it pre-framing. A lot of people use that term as well. What can you do to preframe them? What can you do to change their minds, to give them that knowledge, to bring that awareness to them. And how can you do that with those five pieces of content? And it depends on the creator. I think you need to also go to your strengths. If you’re a storyteller. I know some people who are amazing storytellers and that’s all they can do. So you know what? Lean into that, all your content, you should be five stories. What are the five stories that you can tell that bring people to that point? Maybe you’re a singer. Maybe you’re a dancer. Maybe you’re like more me where I just do more educational content, because I don’t sing, dance, those types of things, but what can you do to teach people and change their frame of mind there?

And I think also what that helps to do too is you take your five pieces of content, and by the way, I like to test with ads just because it’s faster. And I can find out if the content is good or not, and it’s doing its job. But if you measure it against that, then you’ll also know what you need to do to change and why something isn’t working. And I think just as a bonus to that, what I would recommend is one of those pieces of content definitely be a case study, because I’ve just gotten so much mileage out of one really good case study because number one, it shows results and it shows your approach. So you look organized, you look like you have your act together, you have something to share and it works and people are still interested in seeing case studies. Some of them disguise as story, some of them are disguised as webinars, but like I just find that is a, if you have to start where I would really start with a case study.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. And the case study really focuses on results and people can resonate with like, oh, I’m like that person I had that same problem too. And they fixed it through this. You mentioned Facebook ads as a way to, or just ads to test content. What’s your take on when are ads appropriate? Because I hear two arguments. One is that you should start with ads right away. Another is that ads are more of a scaling strategy after you figure out what’s working, but you’re kind of saying use it together to help figure out what’s working. So especially with a limited budget type person or company or organization, how should they think about the sequencing of content versus ads?

Liana Ling:

Sure. So if you have the budget, definitely use ads to supplement your testing and your discovery and things like that. Of course, because you have the luxury to do that. If you have a limited budget and again, this depends. If you’re good at organic, then you can leverage the organic traffic that you do. I have a friend who’s just really, really good at short video and she can get a lot of attention on TikTok for example, as a platform. She does not have to run ads to test things out because she can just go to her audience. So part of this is, it depends, right? If you have an organic audience and you’re really good, and some people are just really, really good at this on different platforms, lean into that and try and see if you can sell your membership or your coaching that way.

If you have a limited budget, I would not move to ads until you have a proven funnel, meaning you’ve sold some things through your funnel. The reason is that when you move into advertising, like paid ads, it’s always harder than people think. It’s always way harder than people think. And it always takes longer and it always costs more. So you want to make sure, number one, you have something running that is bringing in some money that you know is working and you can keep that going while you expand into ads. And then the other thing too, is you also something that you know is actually working. And so you have that as your base because you’re going to have to adjust it when you go to advertising. So that’s the ideal world. With that said, I do sometimes use Facebook with a small budget.

You can even use like $100 a day or something just to quickly test some concepts out. So what I’ll do is I’ll just run very, very limited traffic ads to images with text on it, to test different headlines, to test different concepts. It’s not scientific, but it just gives me idea of what people would raise their hands for. So that helps me a little bit, but that’s just because I am just naturally… I struggle with organic. It’s just not my gift. So I don’t have 200,000 people, for example, following me on TikTok that I can test something out with. So that’s what I would do if I had a very, very limited budget in order to test things.

But if you have to just hustle and do everything organically, talk to people, talk to friends, get them to help you, spread the word and say like, you’re trying to launch something, you have a beta group, just push it out there so that you can quickly get as much data as you can, see how it’s going to work. And I think it’s just a matter of how resourceful you need to be. Or if you can just rely on paid advertising to do that for you.

Chris Badgett:

Based on your experience with like Facebook ads as an example, you mentioned numbers like $100 for a test, is there a certain price point that the actual service or the coaching or the product course needs to be at to even put Facebook on the table as an example? And then like, what’s… I know there’s a lot of it depends, but if somebody’s really going to try ads, what’s a reasonable budget to at least give it a go with some odds of success?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. So yeah, the testing, the little sprint tests that I do, which are like $100 each, that’s just something that’s very… To me, that’s just a little blip. So to set that aside there, I would just put that in another bucket totally. Just for testing. That’s a great question and I hate to be the one to always say it depends, because I know it makes me sound like a lawyer, but part of it also depends on how fast you want results. Because I like to tell it like it is, and the thing is if you’re going to put some budget in, yeah. It’s going to take a while. Eventually you’ll get results. It’s just, if you want to get results quicker, you got to spend more to get it. And sometimes that opportunity cost is worth it to spend more just to kind of get there.

So first of all, let’s talk about the price point. I find that on Facebook, it does tend to work better if you are getting freebies, build up your audience and then get them on the backend, meaning you’re selling to them through your emails. Even if you have people in a Facebook group that are very engaged, I would make sure I still have them on my email list on an SMS list where you’re doing marketing or something to them where you’re selling to them on the back end, through the emails and all… Like a ton, a ton, a ton of follow up that way. And good nurturing and all that good stuff when you’re doing follow up.

Those are the most resilient and most sustainable type of the funnels that I’ve worked with where we put traffic on the front end and putting it through. And that’s for a variety of different price points, $27 all the way up to selling high ticket offers like a $2,000 product or a $20,000 product. But the difference is that when you have a very high end ticket offer, once somebody opts in from your ad, you’re sending them through sometimes many, many other different things, right before they even get to that 10,000 or $20,000 offer.

Chris Badgett:

So just to clarify, is that a mistake people make sometimes is they try to scale and target and send people right to a sales page versus put them into a more multidimensional top of the funnel kind of system?

Liana Ling:

Yes. Yeah. I like how you call it multidimensional. Yes. Because ads will not solve anything you have. Ads will just amplify what’s good. And ads will amplify what’s bad as well. You have to remember that Facebook and these other platforms, they’re social platforms. So when you hang out with your friends, when they first come up to you, are they saying, hey, buy my this, buy my that, no, you’re just hanging out. Right? It’s the same thing on social media and with social ads because we’re in a social platform. So it’s all about making friends and asking those friends if they’ll buy something from you quite frankly. And if you think of it that way, I think that you would realize why you would not send somebody directly to a sales page. Of course there’s exceptions and there’s always exceptions to the rule.

And there’s always that one person says, well, I did this and I made $5,000 doing that. Okay, great. But that’s usually the exception to the rule. And I bet if you dug deeper, that person usually had done it already on organic. So they knew what to do. They knew it was going to work. They knew exactly who to target. And that to me is a lot more rare. So the rest of us have to do it the more traditional way where you keep testing and testing and testing. That said, I would recommend that. I personally would start off with 25 to $100 a day if I could in order to really starting to be able to have more than one campaign, even if it’s like a tiny little value campaign and then getting offers. I personally started that off even just as a side project, trying to launch my own course, for example, but I would start with that and then it gets your feet wet. And then you can start to see how fast you want to be able to scale up from there.

Chris Badgett:

Do you have any thoughts on which ad system to use, whether it’s Facebook or YouTube ads or Google Search ads? What’s your take there?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. Despite everything, I do find that Facebook in general is a good place to start. So I tend to use Facebook to open up a funnel. If you haven’t sold anything or have you sold very little from it, I will tend to start with Facebook. The reason is that I just find that most people cannot create enough video content to do well on YouTube ads. And most of the time Google Search can also be very expensive. Especially since I know a lot of the courses are, how to make more money or how to improve your life or how to… They tend to have higher costs associated with it. And I just find Facebook is so good still at finding the people that we need. So those are the reasons why I would start from there.

And if you are going to do that though, I do encourage everybody to create a tiny little brand campaign in Google, which just put it up for $2 a day. And it’s just for people searching for your name. Because that’s probably your low hanging fruit, right? If they’re looking for LifterLMS, if they’re looking for Chris Badgett, then those people are probably pretty hot prospects. Right? So I would at least create that as a little Google Search camp brand campaign, which again, helps you get your feet wet and Google Search as well. Just to have that running.

Chris Badgett:

Any thoughts on a budget on that?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. You can do it for even just like $2 a day, if you want to. When you’re starting out, honestly, probably not many people are going to be searching for you anyway. So you might not even be able to spend that much just because with a branded search campaign you’re telling Google, hey, spend up to $10 a day. But if two people searched for your name that day, then you’re not going to spend that much. Right? So you can make it very… I’ve done stuff where I just put it on for $2 a day, just because you never know, you could capture somebody from there. Maybe they saw your webinar and they just… I don’t know, like a cat ran over their keyboard and or something like that. And they forgot about it. They remembered your first name, or hey, guy in a blue hat who was selling this. So at least they can find you a little bit easier.

Chris Badgett:

What kind of tips do you have around Facebook ads and targeting, like find your people and even at a higher level, like understanding your customer avatar and that kind of stuff as it flows into spending on ads?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. It changes so much. And maybe by the time this podcast comes out or by the time somebody else is listening to it, this is all going to be wrong, because it’s changed. Okay? What’s happening now at this moment that we’re recording is broad tends to work better on Facebook. And I don’t think we want to go into that’s like hours and hours of conversation about why. But they’re really pushing broader targeting. So you have to know your target market only because I think that the way it’s moving is towards a type of poll marketing rather than push. Meaning you’re trying to attract people too, so imagine putting your ad in front of a million people, but out of that crowd, only the people in your tribe, only the people who are your ideal clients would respond to that ad because of the image that you chose, because of the wording that you chose really spoke to them.

And that is what I find is working better and sometimes I’ll even do zero interest targeting. I’ll do like all men in the USA, this age group, because I know that the message is so good. And I know that the image is so good that it’s going to track. I let people select themselves. Right? And I’ll attract the right people just because of the wording and just the ideas and the concepts I’m putting in there. And so it makes it easier, but then it does make it harder because you really have to get your creative and your copy and your offer really, really, really dialed in.

Chris Badgett:

Well, let’s talk about the funnel for a little bit. Let’s say we were just amplifying the top of the funnel. If somebody has a course and they’re doing marketing, what are some things that would be on that customer journey from the top, all the way down to the bottom, paid ads may amplify something and there’s an offer at the end, but what’s in the middle?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. I would go back to that question. What do people need to know and believe before they see your course as a solution? And I would just quite simply create some videos of tips or whatever it is that you need to do in that video to take that person on that journey. So it could be a combination of… Maybe you have to do some education. Maybe you have to do some mind work with them, but just be authentic and teach that in a video. And then put that content out. If you feel more comfortable writing, do it as a blog post or whatever medium you feel most comfortable in. Excuse me. And if you put out those say five pieces, you’ve got five different angles, hooks, whatever you want to call it, see how that works to put people through.

So ideally, I would have that out there. I would put something in the middle that’s maybe free or that’s the $7 or $2 or just something that is a no brainer for people to buy, that kind of bridges it. So once you teach them something in that free video, you’ve now given them a new challenge or new problem, what can you put out there that will help accelerate the solution to that problem? And can you get them to pull out their wallet? Can you get them to put in their email address, put that in there. So at least they get on your email list, that you can start nurturing them. And again, just remember your north star is, this is what I’m trying to convince people of.

This is what I’m trying to teach people. This is the mindset I’m trying to get people to change to. And it’s everything working to towards that. And depending what you’re selling, you may need several little things in front of your course before they get there, because it may be progression, right? You may need to have them go through several stages of getting better quality problems before they get to that point where they need your course.

Chris Badgett:

Any advice around call to action or linking all these things together? What does somebody say at the end of the video or at the end of the blog post to connect all the dots here?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. I mean, that’s a really good question because it does change from platform to platform. First of all, I would say just do it as natural as you can, because the more genuine, and I think the more that it sticks within your voice, the better. There’s nothing worse than your reading end of an article and then you can tell, oh, here comes the marketing language, right? So I think don’t… And I don’t want people to be stressed out about it. I think do what feels natural. And I know I’ve done that. I’ve literally written stuff down and tried to say that loud. And I said, that sounded really awkward. That was not me. So I think, if you just sound to me, I’m not as direct as some people.

So I might just say, hey, if this sounds like you want to learn more about this, go over here. Or if this is a problem for you or you want to learn more about this go here or, hey, I actually created 10 templates for you that you can download right now. Go over here or check this out over here. What’s interesting I think on some social media, some people, they don’t have a click call to action. It’s an interesting little thing they might want to test, is make sure your content is compelling and interesting enough, but don’t put a call to action and leave an open loop so that it forces people to comment. So sometimes for example, I’ll show tech. I’ll do like, hey, look at this cool thing it does this and I’ll do a little screenshot and I’ll talk about it.

But I won’t say the name of it because I want people in the comment say, oh, what was that? What was that? It went by too fast and then I’ll reply to comments. So what the commenting is doing, is it’s boosting your reputation in the platform because the platform thinks your post is popular because people are commenting on it a lot. And then I’m also getting people to take micro commitments by putting in the comments. And then I might reply to those comments or I might just say, hey, go check my LinkedIn bio or I might do a reply video or something like that to answer. But that’s another little trick you can try as well. But I don’t have like this is the one to use every single time.

Chris Badgett:

I love that. I love that. What about the actual tech tools? I get asked a lot of time to like, oh, what do you recommend for email list or this or that? What are some of your favorite marketing technology tools that would be useful to a education entrepreneur?

Liana Ling:

Sure. I think first thing is, I would and it’s not a direct answer, but I would just wanted to caution people to say that there’s a ton of tools out there. And what I like to do is just write down your top three things that you want out of it and then measure things against it because I’ll tell you what my favorite are. So first of all, I love Slack. I don’t know if you use it.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah, I do. Yeah.

Liana Ling:

I live in Slack. I love Slack and their paid plan is amazing. They have so many amazing things that make it so easy to connect and I even have a paid group inside of Slack. I’m testing that out instead of the Facebook group.

Chris Badgett:

How’s that going by the way? Because community building is a big part of… One of the hats of course creators and Slack is an option, but Facebook’s very different. There’s… I don’t know. What do you find?

Liana Ling:

It’s so hard, right? I’ve tried Facebook. I’ve tried Mighty Networks. And I’ve tried Slack. So the Slack group has less frequency, but higher quality I find, and more in depth. Facebook can be like that, but Facebook definitely has a much higher frequency because people are just literally in it all the time. But it’s more frequently like more shallow conversations I find in there. And more like drive by comments. Right? Like, hey, that was great. Okay. Then moving on. I was in Mighty Networks for a little bit, but I wasn’t able to test it out as much because I had trouble getting people to leave Facebook and go into Mighty Networks.

So again, Slack, a lot of people are in Slack already. I think there’s something to it where they have to leave a Facebook and then they purposely, okay, I’m going into Slack because I know this group is in there and I’m here to work versus I’m playing around on Facebook. Oh this crossed my feed. Let me go comment on it really quickly. So it’s really hard. It’s really hard. Again, it’s that omnichannel thing. Right? I think you have to have really surround them with everything like communication and why you have to be in there and then build it intentionally that way. Right? So there’s pros and cons to each of them.

Chris Badgett:

What other marketing tech tools do you like besides Slack?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. Besides Slack. Yeah. It’s clearly my most favorite one. Yeah. So I like, let’s see what else in terms of marketing, for email marketing, I have come to like active campaign. I’ve tried a lot of different ones.

Chris Badgett:

I’m an active campaign guy myself.

Liana Ling:

Are you?

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. Yeah.

Liana Ling:

It really has… I used to be in Infusionsoft because I had to.

Chris Badgett:

I was in Infusionsoft as well. I switched maybe six years ago.

Liana Ling:

There you go. It’s powerful. I love to use the predictive send. And it’s easy to use and the support has been great. And maybe I’ll get a lot of hate for this. I don’t know. But my newest page builder, because there’s so many, but I really, really love like Converti as a page builder. It’s C-O-N-V-E-R-T-I and the number one reason first is that it’s fast. I’ve built, you know those really long sales pages? So I tend to be a WordPress person, but those pages would just be like, it would crash even when we’re building it and it’s slow and I can never get it sped up. And then a friend of mine said, try Converti and you can actually import the page into Converti with just the URL.

And it was so much faster. And the other thing I like about it is it’s just pure drag and drop. You don’t have rows and things like that. So I’ve also had clients try who are very creative and artistic. And they feel more free because they can literally just move stuff around the canvas and then somebody else can come in and make it mobile friendly and add in all the conversion stuff that needs to happen there. So that I only use it for that. I don’t use any of their other features. I think they have a cart and stuff like that, but I like to use Converti and then I pair it with ThriveCart.

So I’ll embed ThriveCart into Converti. So it looks pretty. And then I’ve got the ThriveCart in the backend to do that. And then of course you have to have Lifter, right? To have your LMS, put it all together. And then I guess my last… The tool actually also that I can’t live without, I use every day is Zapier because it just… I gave up trying to find something that integrated with everything, even though I’ve tried them all, I still needed Zapier to get some things done. So to me it’s just been a magical piece of software.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s a solid list of key things and that’s not like 30 things, that’s less than 10 tools.

Liana Ling:

Yeah, for sure. For sure.

Chris Badgett:

Any kind of just general communication, like copywriting/headline, but like how do we speak marketing or create it in a way it’s effective, but also authentic in terms of the language?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. I have a good little hack for this. Again, if you’re really good at organic, this is why you have the upper hand on this. Is, you know yes, there’s formulas, there’s NLP, there’s all these things you can learn. But I found just with all the testing and advertising that I’ve done is using the words of the customers, using the words that your community is using is way more powerful than anything that you or your copywriter tends to come up with. The best types of copy are when your customer looks at it and thinks she’s in my head. Or she said that better than I could have ever said it. So I think that to go out there, if you have to, run a contest, pay people for their time, interview them, get the actual words they’re using and literally use that in your copy.

Don’t try and add some marketing flour to it and literally test it like that and just see how that works versus you creating something. I do like to use AI, by the way, I do play around with AI, like jarvis.ai and Headlime, and couple others to help me write things because I don’t like to look… I can’t work from a blank page type of person. And that helps actually. The AI is getting so much better at helping us write, but it’s still the best, I find anyway, the one that just captures people’s attention the most is literally like the language and phrases that they’re using.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. I was working with somebody recently who sucked into some software, all of our reviews. And then it made a word cloud of the most common words. And the words that we’re used is the most were the biggest, it was just like this really insightful and like, wow, I’ve never thought about that.

Liana Ling:

Oh, that’s so cool. What was that software?

Chris Badgett:

I don’t know what that software was, but yeah, it was interesting. What about conversion? I call them conversion tools like a sales call, webinar, a demo, a free or paid trial. If we bridge from marketing into sales, how do we close sales and just do it well without our heads exploding? How do we think about that conversion point and what should we be doing?

Liana Ling:

Sure. Yeah. Yeah. That’s definitely a struggle and a challenge, especially with course creators. Absolutely. Again, I think it also depends on the market. It depends what you’re selling as well. I think. So let’s just put that as a caveat. And so there isn’t any one thing that works, everything works. And then at the same time, everything doesn’t work too. I’m sure you’ve tried the, oh, I’ve tried this entire list and nothing worked. Right? I think that the best ones are the ones that have people raise their hand again. I really think it’s about this book. The industry calls pull marketing versus push. The more you can get people to raise their… And that’s why people, I know it can be kind of annoying, but have you seen those posts on Facebook and I’ve done them too, where you just ask people, hey, like I’m thinking about doing this.

Are you interested? Let me know in the comments. Those types of posts. And I know they can be annoying, but you know what? They work, because it gets people to put their hand up and they’re taking a micro commitment. So anything where you can get people to make a micro commitment, to show some interest and raise their hand, that’s going to help you the most because then it’s about helping them through the journey to get to the sale. A friend of mine, Richard Matthews told me this, I never forgot because I thought it was really helpful. When we’re using what you call the sales tools, webinar, opt in, e-book whatever, what you’re actually doing is you’re taking people… It’s if you are a guide taking people through a forest and when you take them to the webinar and you finish the webinar, you’re literally leaving them in the middle of a forest.

And we don’t normally do that. Right? When you’re a guide, you take them into the forest, see what you have to see. And then you take them back out safely. Right? But too many of us just abandon people in the middle of the forest and then we cut and run. Right? So what you do, if you think of yourself as that guide and you say to people, look, by the way I have the map that I can help you turn around and we can get home safely and faster and in a pleasant way, because I’ve done this so many times. I know where all the danger zones are. I know where the quick sand is. I know where the bear jumps out. No problem. And I can get you there pretty quickly and in time for a really nice dinner or I’ve told you about it, you can figure it out on your own.

You may not get home in time for dinner and it probably be a really tough road and you might get lost along the way, but you can also figure it out yourself and I’m going to go home now. So you can come with me if you want to, or you can go figure it out on yourself. And that, I don’t know, just spoke to my brain somehow. And I think that’s what people are doing with these tools, is stop leaving people without any direction on either how to do it themselves and tell them this, say, okay, our tour’s over now. Now it’s your turn, go home on your own or come with me and then raise your hand if they don’t come with you. Okay. They’ll learn next time. Maybe they want to come back again to the middle of the forest. And now they’re like, hey, it wasn’t so great last time. I think I’m going to go back with her this time because I didn’t have much fun doing it by myself.

Chris Badgett:

I love that. I love that. And as part of that too, is like, it’s not like a hard close, you’re giving them a choice and it’s up to them to make the call.

Liana Ling:

Yeah. People love to buy. So it’s not a bad thing. Do you do this? I love watching QVC. Do you ever watch those? Or those infomercials. I just like to watch them. And yes. And when I’m excited to buy something, I love to buy, like Black Friday’s coming up. Right? I really do love to buy things and I think we have to remember that, it’s people love to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to. And so it’s not like a dirty or pushy thing if we’re asking them, right?

Chris Badgett:

Let’s talk another really important conversion tool is the sales page. I mean, I’m a busy course creator. Let’s say I created an entire course and the front page, I’ve got a title, an image to represent the course. What else should I say? What needs to be there on that sales page?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. So I find the headline is the big thing. And if your page isn’t working as well, the first thing I would change is the headline, like something at the top. And so make sure you’ve got that compelling headline again, in their own words. I think it needs to have details about what you’re selling because people want, again, it’s all about putting your hand up. People need to make an informed decision. So make sure you have, this is what’s included, right? So you’ve got your section of here’s actually what I’m going to get in a very clear way. And if it’s alive, make sure you’ve got the dates on there, make sure it’s very clear. These are what the bonuses are. A lot of times people are just very confused about what you’re selling. So they leave. They just don’t know what it is that they’re getting.

The other thing you want to do is have that transformation on the page too. Tell me how is this going to help me? How is this going to transform whatever it is, my business, my hobby, my skill, my life, whatever it is, what am I going to get at the end of the day? How am I going to be transformed? And I also think that you need to have the social proof, just a test. To me, I sprinkle them all throughout the page. I wouldn’t just lump them all. I think it’s awesome to have a wall of testimonials, but you also want to strategically put them in places like close to the buy button or close to places where you feel like people are wavering. And then I would also finally put a section that humanizes it and gives your why. People really do want to know… They want to know why you’re doing something, also just to satisfy the logic part of their brain, because it has to make sense for them to buy into it.

But I think also people want to know who’s this person behind this program and can I relate to them? Do I like them? Is there something a little bit interesting there? And what’s their bigger purpose here. And if it aligns with me, then I’m much more likely to buy this course because even if you’re not teaching it live, they’re going to be spending hours and hours with you like you’re recording. So I think that they have to buy into the personality and what that person stands for as well.

Chris Badgett:

I love that. Yeah. There’s a lot of angles. There’s the emotional part of buying, the logical part. What’s in the box and then the emotional, do I like this person, do they resonate? There’s the people that read everything. There’s the people that scan, the visual learners. Maybe you should have those video or some images. Other people are not going to play the video and they’re just going to read so you got to cover it there. That’s-

Liana Ling:

Yeah. Have different variations if you can. Right? To see which ones work better and also again, so people have the option.

Chris Badgett:

Cool. This is awesome. I can nerd out about marketing and sales for hours and hours, but let’s talk a little bit about Power Up Strategy over at your website, powerupstrategy.com. What do you offer there? Let me just ask you since we just mentioned it on the sales page, what’s your why?

Liana Ling:

So my why is I really want to help people live out to their full potential in terms of what they want to do. I just find that too many of us are… And I’m guilty of this too. Right? We don’t use everything that we have. So I really want to help people just to live out their purpose and to affect as many people as possible. All the entrepreneurs that I speak to and that I work with, they all want to change something. They want to change something in the world. And the way I see that I can help affect more change in the world is to help more entrepreneurs, help other people make more changes in the world. I mean, it sounds sappy, right, but that’s how we make the world better.

Right? And how we can help more people. So that’s my ultimate why, and I’ve always wanted to do that. And I had to figure out what it is. And as I dug down deeper, it’s most people just don’t have enough people who know about them. Right? Forget about sales, right? They need to know you exist. They need to know what your offer is. And most people just don’t have enough people seeing the offer. So then they think, oh, imposter syndrome kicks in. I’m no good. What I’m selling is no good. Well maybe it’s just because only 10 people saw your sales page and that’s not enough people. So I help people with lead generation and to drive traffic to their offers. Right? So that they can then fill their pipeline. And then that way they can obviously from there, people are going to buy and then again, you can affect more people and carry out your purpose that way.

Chris Badgett:

Do you have any advice for people of when’s the appropriate time or when does it make sense to get some help with sales and marketing? I know sometimes with entrepreneurs, there’s like a… Especially if you’re pure bootstrapping, you got to do it all. But at what point does it make sense to get some help?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. And I’m going to assume that it comes from a boots dropping startup as well, because I mean, clearly if you have the resources, get help, right? Because you can get there faster, but yeah, if you’re boots dropping, I think that it makes sense to get help when you are bringing in sales regularly at a certain level every month. I mean, I know some people say, hey, wait until you make 10,000 a month or wait until you make 20,000 or a… Whatever it is, some number that they’re pulling out, but everybody has different costs. And everybody I think, is growing at different rates. So I would say number one, make sure you’re having some type of steady sales coming in at some level, because I think that bringing in help is really meant at that point again, when you’re bootstrapping is bringing in help, the point of it is to help you scale up.

The other thing I would look at though, is how much time you’re spending in your business versus on your business. So if you’re at this point where all you’re doing all day is your own marketing, that would make sense to bring in somebody, to help you with marketing because the opportunities that you’re leaving on the table by not being the leader in your business, by not being able to be the creator and be the visionary, you’re probably leaving a lot more on the table than it would cost to hire somebody to help you with the marketing to take you to the next level.

So it’s not an exact formula, which I know maybe you were looking for an exact number, but I think it depends on the person’s situation, but you need to have some stability, I think before you bring somebody in, because they’re just there to amplify what you’ve already done. That said, I know some people need help testing out their stuff, but you’re going to have to invest in that to have somebody help you with that. So if you can’t afford it, then you’ll have to bootstrap and do it on your own.

Chris Badgett:

That was awesome. Well, that’s Liana Ling, she’s at powerupstrategy.com. What’s the best way for people to connect with you and learn more about what you’re up to?

Liana Ling:

Sure. So you can go to my website, powerupstrategy.com. I’m also on Instagram as the Lead Gen Queen. So that would also be a great place to reach out to me there, too.

Chris Badgett:

I love that name by the way. I know a good name when I hear it once I know I’m not going to forget it. That’s a great Instagram name, the Lead Gen Queen on Instagram. That’s Liana Ling. Any final words for the people before we sign off today?

Liana Ling:

Yeah. I think have fun, have fun. Just jump in, test and have fun, show your joy. It comes through and people will respond to it.

Chris Badgett:

Awesome. Well, thanks, Liana, for geeking out with us today on marketing and sales. You added a ton of value. I really appreciate it.

Liana Ling:

It’s my pleasure.

Chris Badgett:

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Go to lifterlms.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

Exclusive Download: 2021 WordPress LMS Buyer’s Guide – Stop wasting time and money researching online course and membership site tech.

Share

Subscribe

Scroll to Top