Marisa Murgatroyd teaches how to build a mission focused experience product instead of a low engagement information product in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS.
In order to be able to market to hundreds and thousands of people, you have to refine both your marketing message and the delivery of what you do. Understanding how to channel your message really helps with scaling rather than just getting someone to buy. It also helps you cultivate a positive experience for your students to create life-long customers.
Offering one-on-one coaching or one-to-few coaching with a handful of people before you start developing a program can help you understand more about the nuances of what people are looking for from a product in your space. It can also help guide you by pointing you in the right direction on what aspects of your course or membership site really get results for people.
Marisa built a framework called The Stages of Business Growth. These are the four stages in her framework:
- Blue Sky – Making less than $2,500 per month. The challenge with Blue Sky is to understand who you serve and the value you provide.
- Call Me – Usually get customers by getting them on the phone and talking with maybe six to twenty people at a time.
- List Build – Building up a list via email, social following, etc. and selling to them through that channel.
- Authority – Making money by speaking, selling books, and a lot of different products and marketing channels.
Companies that do very well with products at scale still incorporate the direct touch element. If you haven’t refined your message and your delivery in direct collaboration with people you serve, then scaling becomes extremely difficult.
Starting by creating products that mimic some strategies of successful products as they are today without the proper foundation is like trying to jump to the top of a staircase. Once you understand how the process of climbing the stairs works, you greatly increase the speed at which you can ascend in your industry.
Marisa offers a program called The Experience Product Masterclass where she goes over how to become an important facilitator rather than just an expert. A facilitator is a person who gets someone else results and provides the context in which they can get results. You can find The Experience Product Masterclass at LiveYourMessage.com/Lifter
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Chris: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Marisa Murgatroyd. Welcome to the show, Marisa.
Marisa: Hey, hey, it’s good to be here.
Chris: We’re going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, which is creating impact with online training and online programs. We’re all about the, you know, not against making money online and that kind of thing, but you had up a quote on your website, which is, “before you make money while you sleep, you have to be able to make money while you’re awake.”
Chris: Can you explain why you brought that message out and kind of lead with that, from your site?
Marisa: Yeah, well it’s an interesting one for someone who’s thinking about building a course, is that a lot of people dream of having passive, automated income while they sleep. And if that’s your first venture into making money in your business, it’s hard to be successful with that.
Marisa: So a lot of times, I recommend people start by serving someone one-to-one, or a small group of people, before scaling out to have these massive blockbuster programs with hundreds or even thousands of people in it. Because, here’s the thing.
Marisa: In order to be able to market to hundreds and thousands of people, you have to really refine both your marketing message and the delivery of what you do, so you can scale not just getting people to buy, but getting people to consume what you’re selling them and getting them to get the results and have the engagement that they need to have a good, positive experience.
Marisa: So I always recommend people start by really, you know, beta-testing your offer one-on-one or one-to-few, with a handful of people, before trying to go so big with your program, because so often people are following models of internet marketing and product creation of very successful people, and trying to do what they’re currently doing, and they haven’t necessarily had the ability to see what they did before they got to their current level of success.
Marisa: And almost invariably, you’ll find someone who was willing to work with people one-to-one or one-to-few in an intimate way to really refine what it is that they’re all about before scaling it up to this blockbuster product.
Chris: Wow, that’s awesome. You also made a comment, I saw somewhere on your site, that sometimes people go for authority positioning to early, can you elaborate on that?
Marisa: Yeah, so I talk about something called The Stages of Business Growth. And I’ve defined four stages, which is Blue Sky, Call Me, List Build, and Authority. And Blue Sky is where, I like to say, the sky’s the limit, anything is possible, and the challenge in Blue Sky is, you haven’t really started making money, and if you have, it’s very little. It’s less than $2500 a month.
Marisa: So the challenge is to really find your focus, to define your niche, to understand who you serve and what you uniquely do for them, which is the value you provide, the results that you get. So in the Blue Sky stage I often recommend both one-to-one marketing and one-to-one delivery.
Marisa: And then once you nail that idea, like you have a sense of what you really do and who you serve and you get some experience with sales, you can go to Call Me. And Call Me’s the phase where you usually get people to become customers by getting on the phone with them.
Marisa: You’re still working with people on an intimate level. If you’ve got group programs, it’s, you know, a handful of people at a time, maybe six to 20 people at a time, and you’re doing kind of one-to-few marketing as well. So you’re keeping things simple, you’re really gaining momentum and clarifying your message and getting used to sales and marketing.
Marisa: And then when you get to the List Build stage, which is the stage that’s commonly taught in the internet marketing world from many of the business training gurus out there, that’s when you start to make money by getting someone on your list and then marketing to them on your list. But like I said, before you can make money while you sleep, you’ve got to be able to make money while you’re awake.
Marisa: What most people don’t know is even in the big internet marketing launches where they’re watching Jeff Walker or Ryan Levesque or Stu McLaren or whoever, up to 40% of sales actually are assisted by a phone team, by people actually talking to those human beings.
Marisa: And so even when it looks like something’s fully scalable, there’s still that direct touch, and if you haven’t gone through the phases of Blue Sky and Call Me, where you’ve really refined your message and your delivery in direct collaboration with the people you serve, jumping straight to this leverage and scale stage is going to be really tricky for you, just because you haven’t really had those earlier stages that you’ve passed through.
Marisa: And Authority is the stage where, a lot of times, you know, you’re out there and making money by, like, talking, by selling books, things like that, having a lot of different products and a lot of different marketing channels. It’s the point where you feel like you’re everywhere.
Marisa: People are seeing you on Instagram, they’re seeing you on Facebook ads, they’re seeing you through JV partner promotion and launch, and you’re just about everywhere. And that’s where a lot of people want to get to, but if you start out by trying to be everywhere, you’re going to all of these different forms of marketing poorly, right?
Marisa: So it’s good to double down on a single product line before trying to scale and be everywhere. And it’s the reason why people, when they go into internet marketing and go into having an online business, end up spinning their wheels or doing all kinds of work and exhausting themselves without a lot of return, because they just don’t have that focus. They don’t have that clarity yet, to make all of that big marketing machine work for them.
Chris: Why do you think that’s such a big issue? I see that in our industry as well, where… like, what are people thinking, or what’s going on in psychology, where people kind of skip that, or they’re just not aware of that Blue Sky phase?
Marisa: Well, I think it’s a combination of two things. One thing is that it’s easy to think that having an online business is not the same thing as having a business, and that because the tools are available to everyone, and it seems like it’s accessible, and it’s easy, people tend to skip steps and want to go for the fame and the glory and the money and the impact right away, versus realizing that you can ramp up to ever greater levels of fame, glory, money, and impact. But you’ve got to go through the process of building a business.
Marisa: And that’s universal. It’s been universal since the dawn of time, when people were bartering in markets, you know what I mean? It hasn’t changed with the advent of the internet, in terms of understanding who you’re serving and what the unique value is that you provide.
Marisa: And so many people skip that and think that by throwing marketing at something, they’re going to solve the problem just if they have enough traffic, or enough paid ads, or whatever it happens to be. But until you really crack the nut of that value proposition, none of that’s going to work, and you’re just going to waste a lot of time and money.
Marisa: Now, I think that’s one of the issues, is perception that the internet means easy money. And second is, there’s a lot of people out there, and I’m not going to call them unscrupulous, but they’re selling these internet marketing solutions as if they’re push-button easy. It’s like instant automatic success, money, and fame.
Marisa: And you have all these people telling these stories and selling these magic bullet solutions that just seem like the answer of why you haven’t been able to figure it out before. But the truth is is that if it feels like it’s a magic bullet solution, it probably is.
Marisa: And you can’t bypass the process, like I said, about just delivering a really good product that’s really valuable and understanding how to market in a way that really, genuinely connects. So if it’s just like, “create a podcast and all your answers are going to be solved,” or whatever it is, or “just start blogging,” probably not, unless you have all of these other things figured out.
Marisa: So, I am kind of the person who likes to have people say, “slow down for a moment. We can get you there, but first we’ve got to start you here, because you can’t jump to the stop of the stairway overnight.” And there’s lots of people trying to sell you these magic flying suits [inaudible 00:08:01], and they just don’t work. You’ve got to climb every step. And when you do you can actually ascend very, very quickly to a lot of success. But you’ve got to be willing to climb the steps.
Chris: That’s awesome. You said, or you have a program called “The Experience Product Masterclass.” You that are listening to this, you can find out more at liveyourmessage.com/lifter.
Chris: I wanted to get into this concept of an experience product. What I like to say is that the Information Age is over. What people want is, they don’t need a paywall and then information on the other side. That’s a very old way of doing things.
Chris: People want integration. They want results. They want transformation. They want to work with a trusted guide who’s going to support them and hold them up in a nourishing community. How do we create experience products, and how do you define those?
Marisa: Absolutely. So, to give you a little bit of context, I started to notice, in my own personal journey, that I was creating products that people were not finishing. And as a product creator, it kind of broke my heart.
Marisa: And I remember asking one of my peers, “I mean, is this normal? Are you seeing this kind of thing too?” And I’ll never forget what she told me. She said, “Marisa, some people just aren’t meant to succeed.”
Marisa: And I was jut floored, because I don’t believe that one bit. I believe that everyone is meant to be successful, and it’s my job as a product creator to basically stack the odds in their favor and create a game they can win.
Marisa: Now, just because you know how to do something, you’re an expert, does not mean that you’re an effective facilitator. And a facilitator is someone who gets someone else results and provides the context in which they can get results.
Marisa: It’s not just about sharing your expertise, and I think a lot of information-based products have been based on sharing expertise. And because of that, it’s widely known in the industry, it’s the dirty secret of the industry, that up to 97% of people don’t get results from those products.
Marisa: They don’t finish them, they don’t engage in them, and they don’t get the results that were promised so they end up getting stuck, frustrated, and ultimately walking away at some point in the journey, which leads to high refunds, little to no repeat sales, and a declining reputation. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of people’s businesses have been going down, even the biggest names in the industry, over the past couple years, because as there are more options, if you’re not having that track record of success, then ultimately, your reputation’s going to decline, and it’s going to be harder and harder to get sales in the future.
Marisa: Plus, it’s not nearly as fulfilling, because you’re not doing what you probably started to create these products for, which is changing people’s lives. So I started to get obsessed with this idea of how do I get people results?
Marisa: And it happened to be the summer of 2016, and something just came on the scene that revolutionized a lot of things for me, and that thing, believe it or not, was Pokemon Go. What I noticed about Pokemon Go is that grown adults were literally, you know, double-parking their cars in the streets, getting out to chase little virtual creatures on their cellphones.
Marisa: And there were huge stampedes through Central Park. People were going completely, irrationally crazy over this game. And I remember watching these clips on YouTube of people stampeding in chase of some rare Pokemon that had just, I don’t know, sprouted, or whatever they do, I don’t know what word, spawned, you know, in these different locations.
Marisa: And I was like, “wow, what if I could get people that excited about chasing after their life goals and overcoming their greatest challenges? Is it even possible?”
Marisa: So with that question in mind, I started studying video games and apps and just the places in the world where people were successfully capturing attention. And I created something that was a fusion of gamification, adult learning theory, psychology of motivation, and I developed a series of 10 principles that when you stack them together, you create a phenomenon called experience escalation.
Marisa: And that’s where people get literally hooked on, you know, your product, and ultimately achieving their goals through you. Hooked on getting from what I call Mission to Mission Accomplished, which are two of the principles, and building unstoppable momentum along the way.
Marisa: And alongside those 10 principles, those 10 experiences that you want to embed in your products, there are 10 opposite experiences that you want to avoid like the plague. When you have those experiences, you create what I call the Downward Death Spiral.
Marisa: Unfortunately, those 10 experiences are the ones that are commonly, you know, delivered through online programs. It’s what’s commonly thought of as how to build a good information-based product, but it actually does not work at all, which is why the industry has such a huge fail rate.
Marisa: So what I’ve seen is that when you use the 10 core experiences to build experience escalation, and avoid these other 10 negative experiences, that you can get anywhere from 10x to 30x the industry average students or customers to complete your programs, get results, and ultimately want to refer you and buy from you over and over again and virtually eliminate all refunds.
Marisa: And it’s just had a remarkable success rate, and this is something that I’ve taught thousands of students. I’ve taught it onstage at Mindvalley Momentum’s Mastermind, at Jeff Walker’s LaunchCon, at all kinds of places. Leaders have sent their teams through my programs and, you know, everyone from Josh Turner and Morrissey to John Assaraf to Alex Mandossi and Bill Behr. They’ve all sent their teams through to learn how to do this, because everyone realizes that the secret to enduring impact and success is to simply deliver results and transformation.
Marisa: And so I’ve based this whole methodology on a quote from Zid Ziglar, who’s a late, great motivational speaker, and he said, “you can everything you want in life if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” And so I like to help people get what they want, and I consider that as my only job.
Marisa: And so I’ve been re-inventing online education around the world so results and engagement become the norm and not the exception, and I’m really lit up to help your audience do the same thing, because I know if you’re listening to this, and you’re using LifterLMS, that means that you are delivering some kind of online course or program, and knowing the secret of keeping people motivated and engaged can make a massive difference in the impact you have and the success of your business.
Chris: That’s awesome. That was like Mozart in my ears. Thank you for that. Zid Ziglar did not say, “sell them what they think they need.” So I love what you said there, like, actually getting people what they want. That’s how you get what you want. That’s beautiful.
Chris: Can you give us an example of an all-to-common Downward Death Spiral element that unfortunately is kind of popular in the industry?
Marisa: For sure, well, let’s go to the first principle of the Experience Formula. The first principle is Mission. And the opposite principle is Too Many Masters. And Homer the Greek, not Homer the Simpson, used to say, “if you serve too many masters, you will soon suffer.”
Marisa: So often what happens is a program is basically a survey course, almost like, you know, Economics 101, where you go and you learn about finances, or whatever it is, or managing your finances. But there’s no clear outcome. It’s not clear to people what are they going to do, be, feel, have, overcome, or achieve through the program.
Marisa: Here’s the thing. You can’t win a game if you don’t know what winning looks like. And it’s hard to stay motivated if you don’t know where the finish line is, correct?
Marisa: So the opposite principle of Too Many Masters is what I call Mission, and Mission is defining a very clear outcome for whatever it is that you are offering. And that outcome has to be so clear that you could almost film someone crossing the finish line to Mission Accomplished. It’s a binary state. You’ve either done it or not.
Marisa: And I have one simple template that I teach that allows people to define their mission. And I actually stole this from the movie Mission: Impossible. I call it the Mission: Possible template. And it’s, “your mission, should you choose to accept it, is blank.” And that automatically shifts you from thinking about what you want to deliver to what they’re really saying yes to, and what they’re going to do through your product, and what they’re going to get along the way.
Marisa: So for example, for Experience Product Masterclass, the mission is this. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design, market, and make $2000 or a whole lot more from an experience product in 12 weeks or less.”
Marisa: So you instantly know what you’re going to do, you know, “design, market, and make money from this experience product.” You know exactly how long you’ve got for it, “12 weeks or less.” You know whether you’ve done it or not, whether you’ve succeeded. I mean, we’ve had people make $400,00 in the 12 weeks of this program.
Marisa: But simply making $2000 from your first program can be a big milestone as well. So whether you already have a successful product that you want to make way more successful, or you’re just starting, it’s still relevant for everyone. And what that allows people to do is, they’ve got that clear vision of success. And psychology shows us that when someone can visualize what success looks like, they’re 70% more likely to actually follow through and attain it.
Marisa: So if you don’t have that clear, measurable, visualizable result, then it’s going to be for people to, first of all, say yes, and if they do say yes, stay motivated.
Marisa: Now the other thing this allows you to do is it allows you to stay laser-focused in your program. So instead of having the experts’ curse of delivering everything because you are fascinated beyond fascination about your topic because that’s why you’re building a product about it, but most people are not as fascinated as you are.
Marisa: And the truth is, if they’re buying a product from you, it’s because they struggle around this topic. So they don’t want to know everything. They only want to know what’s going to get them the result that they want. So this gives you the context to actually simplify and streamline your product and only deliver what’s going to get them from Mission to Mission: Accomplished.
Marisa: And then when people start to stray in the program, it also allows you to set a powerful container and say, “you know, that’s beyond the scope of, you know, designing, marketing, and making $2000 or more from your experience product in this period.” So when people ask me about say, branding their company, and whether they should incorporate, I’m like, “well, that’s beyond the scope of this, and if we talk about that I’m going to distract everyone here on the line.”
Marisa: It’s just a very elegant way to keep everybody focused, because that’s people’s tendency, it’s like [inaudible 00:18:27]. And when you actually give them this clear, straight path to the outcome, it’s amazing how many people are going to be able to walk that and realize the outcome.
Chris: Beautiful. I’ve got to tee you up with another scenario. If we have a clear finish line and a clear image of Mission: Accomplished, and we sell that, there’s a moment in human psychology where people experience as if they’ve already achieved that after they make the purchase of your program.
Chris: How do you get people… and then there’s this inevitable buyer’s remorse kind of hangover thing that happens. And you know, right when they buy, the motivation’s the highest. How do you keep it up? How do you keep it up?
Marisa: Very good question. There’s two other principles of the Experience Formula out of the 10 principles that relate to precisely that thing. The next one is Constant Wins, which is Principle #4, and then there’s Unstoppable Momentum, which I believe is Principle #9, okay?
Marisa: So Unstoppable Momentum relates to the overall structure of your program, and I recommend ramping people up from small, simple actions that lead to small, simple wins to more complex actions and bigger wins. So, simply, understanding how to start the journey, which is what I recommend at, I call it Moment One of Day One.
Marisa: Most people believe that the most important moment in the relationship with your buyer is the moment that they buy, and I actually would say, “no, it’s not.” The most important moment is the moment after they buy and what happens and how you start to deliver on the promise of what you just said you were going to deliver.
Marisa: And so when you look at your onboarding sequence, you look at what happens in that first hour and how you can create that unstoppable momentum. So Constant Wins is the idea that every single time someone interacts with you, they win.They’ve experienced a win. They’re able to check something off, they’ve made forward progress, they’ve made forward momentum.
Marisa: Historically, the opposite of Constant Wins is what I call Chasing Your Tail, right? And that’s usually what happens in a lot of programs where you have a whole module just to talk about what you’re going to do together, right? So you basically have whole module of, excuse my French, bullshit, right, where you’re training people to listen and do nothing, and you’re just like repeating the whole premise of the program and a bunch of theory and blah blah blah blah blah.
Marisa: Now, that’s how you create the Downward Death Spiral really quickly, and people are already starting to chase their tail. So instead of doing that, think about what’s one immediate win that you can give people within seconds after they buy?
Marisa: So, for example, after someone buys EPM, when they invest, I’ve got what I call a Welcome Page. And this happens before they even go to their inbox to get their login information for the LMS or anything like that, because as soon as they’re in their inbox, I’ve lost them.
Marisa: They’re in the inbox with everybody else, right, I’m now competing with every other email in their inbox, and as they say, your inbox is a very fabulous organizing device for other people’s priorities, right? Now, I don’t want them getting lost in other people’s priorities, I want them focused on what they just bought.
Marisa: So right there on the Welcome Page I designed an experience. First, I usually have a surprising celebration video that re-sets the context. It re-states the mission and the future [inaudible] vision and the bird’s eye view, which are some of the other principles that I won’t talk about right yet, because I want to stay focused on Constant Wins.
Marisa: It gives them a sense of what to expect, and it assigns the very next mission. So you have the overarching mission of the program, but then every single piece of the program has a mission. Every module has a mission, and so they’ve got all of these bite-sized wins.
Marisa: So right there below the Welcome video is what I call the Show Me the Money video. And this is about a 20-minute training, it could be shorter, but this is how long this training takes, where I have my students set minimum target and stretch goals for their time in the Experience Product Masterclass using the very specific formulas.
Marisa: So if someone has never sold anything and never made any money before, they have specific minimum target and stretch goals. The minimum’s always $2000, because that’s the promise of the program, is that you make as much as you spend with us. And then, you know, the target and the stretch depends on where they currently are in their business.
Marisa: Now if someone already has a program that’s successful, it’s going to be a different target and stretch goal, and if they’ve got a program that’s very successful already, it’s different.
Marisa: So, basically, you cannot go wrong. You cannot not get to the outcome of this particular training, because I’ve made it so obvious with very specific templates that consider each person and where they currently are in their business. So within 20 minutes of joining, they’ve watched that video, they’ve already taken an action, they’ve already had a win, and they can actually see how much money they’re going to be making 12 weeks from now.
Marisa: So, I say my goal is to put the money they just invested in me right back in their pocket as quickly as possible, so the Show Me the Money video. And now that’s happening before they check email, before they log on to an LMS, before any of that stuff. They’re already watching a training, but they’re taking an action. They’re actually doing an exercise as well.
Marisa: So that’s one of the ways that I get people to an immediate win. I want them to instantaneously, on the very Welcome page, you know, after they buy, see that this is not like anything else that they’ve ever signed up before, right?
Chris: I love that, that you care more about the moment after they buy than the conversion point, and giving them those early wins. It makes a lot of sense.
Marisa: Yeah, one of my big pet peeves is, people have these massive marketing… well, they don’t necessarily have to have massive marketing budgets, but they blow all their money on marketing. And then all the sudden you’re in the product, and it looks like crap, you know what I mean?
Marisa: You know, like, they didn’t invest as much money as they did on marketing on the actual delivery of the product. I want that to be seamless, that the product delivery is as good as the marketing, right?
Chris: Yeah, I think there’s a saying in Texas, like, “all hat, no cattle,” or something like that?
Marisa: “All spur, no boot,” I don’t know.
Chris: I want to ask you about something else. I’ve been aware of you, I think, for a couple years now, but on your website, it says something like, “there are 4 million, however many thousand people online, but there’s only one you.”
Chris: You have this part of your brand or your core message that goes around authenticity, which a lot of people talk about these days, but you seem like you really park on it. “There’s only one you.” Can you expand on that for the creator, the person who wants to serve a particular audience and they’re… I don’t know whatever they’re dealing with, whether it’s imposter syndrome or “who am I?” Or “I don’t know if I can do this,” all the fear.
Chris: What is this “only one you” thing, and what’s your approach to helping people with that?
Marisa: Sure, first of all, I want to give you props for actually preparing for this interview, which I love. It allows us to have a deeper, richer conversation. SO when I say that there are, you know, four billion people online and only one you, it’s the acknowledgement that we are in the most crowded internet that the world has ever seen, and it’s only going to get more and more crowded.
Marisa: No matter what you do, if you’re in aa viable niche, you probably have thousands of competitors. And so a lot of people, when you have thousands of competitors, well, there’s two ways to stand out.
Marisa: One is through value creation, and value’s at the intersection of what you do and how you’re different, so how your products and services are different. And the other way to differentiate is through tribe, and tribe is at the intersection of who you are and how you’re different.
Marisa: So a lot of people, in the obsession around their products, forget that people buy based on how you make them feel as much as what it is that you’re offering, because there’s so many options out there. And if you look purely on value creation, a lot of times it’s trying to be better, faster, or cheaper.
Marisa: And the truth is is that can be a race to the bottom as you start to compete on being a commodity. So you either have to come up with a big differentiating idea, and/or understand how to kind of be uniquely you in the way that you offer your services. Because as Maya Angelou famously said, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
Marisa: And having that caring and being willing to stand up for your beliefs and sharing your values and having a business that’s way beyond your product or your service is going to allow people to get to know you and your motivation and why you’re in business.
Marisa: And people do choose to do business with people, more than choosing to do business with products or with companies, which is why some of the greatest companies have a leader at their helm, whether it’s, you know, Richard Branson, you know, the head of Virgin, or Steve Jobs, who was the head of Apple, or Oprah Winfrey, who’s the head of the Oprah Winfrey network and all of those brands.
Marisa: When there’s a powerful leader at the helm, it allows someone to have an anchor point. And I know that it can be tricky to step forward and to do what I call, “turning up the dial on your unique expression,” because a lot of doubts and insecurities come about, because so often all of us have had that moment in time where someone, whether it’s our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our friends, have told us we were too something or another.
Marisa: You know, “you can’t be that way, you’re too loud,” or “you’re too bold.” And so often we end up shying back from our gifts and our abilities. And when you actually are able to turn up the volume, turn up the dial on what makes you uniquely you, it actually magnetizes people to you.
Marisa: It’s like your bat light, right, so the world, [inaudible] or people are like, “okay,” they follow that light. And so even if you’re an introvert, even if you’re highly sensitive, whatever it happens to be, people are going to work with you because of you.
Marisa: And when you find that way to express yourself through your work and to stand for more than what you deliver and to have a voice and a tone and a personality, it’s just a lot more appealing.
Chris: That’s great. And go sign up for Marisa’s YouTube channel to get a feel for who she is, but if this is somebody’s first time meeting you, Marisa, how are you different?
Marisa: Well, that’s a very good question, and I’m different in a lot of different ways, you know? For one, I do have that core belief behind all my work, is that the only thing that allows you to stand out from the noise is to be more you.
Marisa: And so all of my offerings, no matter what it is that I do, whether it’s Experience Product Masterclass, I’m helping people create the product that they’re uniquely designed to create, and do it in a way that aligns with their gifts and their talents and their strengths so they can create a unique experience through the product.
Marisa: It’s not just going to lynda.com and, you know, learning whatever they’re going to learn from, you know, someone who just sounds like everybody else, but figuring out your unique style and your unique methodology, you know?
Marisa: In my mentorship programs, I help people build what I call a Market of One, which is really tuning in to their business and making it so unique and different that they’re going to be able to stand out. So a lot of what makes me different is, yes, I’ve developed a lot of unique methodologies, like the Experience Formula, that’s our trademark, we own the trademark for Experience products, we own the trademark for this particular formula.
Marisa: It’s a methodology of product creation that’s very, very proven, so I’ve developed a lot of unique methodologies and formulas and teaching tools and intellectual property and things like that. But ultimately, people choose to work with me because they just feel like I’m a real human being, like I’m not better than, I’m not the guru on the pedestal or the mountain, even though I have a mid seven figure company, you’re not going to see me posing in front of sports cars and yachts and a trophy husband, you know?
Marisa: It’s like, I don’t really care about any of those things. It’s kind of like what you see is what you get. I don’t hold back. Once I’m onstage or whatever, people are in my audience, they’ll see that I’m pretty irreverent and quirky, and I have a lot of fun, and I’m willing to go there and say things that, whether it’s appropriate or not, but it just gives everyone else permission to express themselves in a deeper way and to realize that business can be fun and that you don’t have to be serious to be successful.
Marisa: And just because I’m willing to be silly or whatever it happens to be, or playful onstage, doesn’t reduce my credibility. I mean, I still have a lot of experts paying me $15,000 a day for consulting. You know, I have clients who are at the top of their field, like, many of my clients are seven, eight, and nine figure entrepreneurs, you know, people like Susan Peirce Thompson, Eben Pagan, Mike Koenigs, you know, Josh Turner, Callan Rush, Justin Livingston, Sage Lavine. They’re all my clients, Danny Iny.
Marisa: And I can still be my whole loud self, and it doesn’t make me less credible. I can still look like I’m, you know, 30, or whatever it is, or 25, and I can still be credible. I’m 4 foot 11 and a quarter, I’m short as can be, but I’m still a powerhouse. And that when you accept all of who you are, and just recognize, “okay, this is the good, the bad, and the ugly, here I am,” people can fall in love with you.
Marisa: And the greatest characters have what’s called polarity. It’s like tension. You know, if you look at any films, they have strengths, and they also have a dark side, and it’s that polarity between the positive and some of these more difficult, challenging areas that allow people to see you’re a real human versus this shiny, happy emoji person, right?
Chris: What’s your kryptonite?
Marisa: My kryptonite? Well, there’s a few of them, quite a lot of them. One is, I have zero patience. You know, I want it, and I want it now, right? So I would say I am a very impatient human being.
Marisa: I’m not the best manager in the world. I’m much more of a creative. So I’m at my best when I get to have my nose down and my tail up and just creating stuff, and running all the minutiae of having a mid-seven figure business pulls me away from that sometimes, and I can lose patience or get frustrated with it.
Marisa: But at the same time, I know that my business is about so much more than my own personal preferences, so I’ve learned to understand that the business is a reflection of who I am, but it’s not me.
Marisa: So the business has different needs than I have as a human being and recognizing that you don’t want to make your business your self-identity. You don’t want every failure in business to feel like it’s a personal failure.
Chris: That’s awesome. Well, thanks for sitting in the hot seat. I want to pivot to one of my favorite topics, which is community-building. And you mentioned the tribe. You also mentioned adult learning theory, and if we go back and look at self-determination theory, what motivates people is autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Chris: In terms of relatedness, when people find their tribe… I can tell when I meet an entrepreneur, somebody who’s really focused on their avatar and their tribe, like, the make money is a secondary part in terms of making money online. What are the elements of your tribe, the people that really resonate with you and your message?
Marisa: That’s a great question. So I have to say, whenever we have a new team member, and they come to one of our events, they’re like, “your tribe is amazing! I can’t believe how nice everyone is.”
Marisa: So because we’ve defined our core values, and the core values include things like “if we’re not growing, we’re dying,” “you can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want,” “express yourself,” “experiencify it.” I mean, these are just four of of our… “all in like a boss” is another one, and also, “we’re stronger together, we can go farther together than we can apart.”
Marisa: So these are our values. And because we actually have built our business from those values and our programs from those values, we tend to attract people who deeply care about the work that they do and the impact they’re here to make in the world.
Marisa: And that is more important than the money, even though the money matters, because the money allows them to have the fulfillment and the nurturing and the sustainability that they need to keep giving on a bigger and bigger way. And because of that there’s a spirit of, you know, people being fully themselves in their business, not holding back, not pretending to be professional or becoming this talking head or whatever it is, because they think that’s what business is supposed to be.
Marisa: So we have a really good time together, and we have everyone from very, very spiritual healers to very left-brained, kind of financial people and project managers. And it’s so funny, because on the surface, there’s not a lot of commonality. It’s like, people are very different kinds of businesses and industries.
Marisa: We’ve got both men and women, we’ve got people in their 20s and we’ve got people in, I have people in their 80s who are in my programs, right? So across the board, from gender to location, I think we’ve got people in, I think, 40 or 50 countries around the world, but when you look at what brings them together, it really is based on this tribal affiliation.
Marisa: And a tribe is people who’ve got shared beliefs and shared values, and they come together, and they all get along, and they have so much fun together because they’re coming and they’re committed to expressing themselves, or committed to making this impact.They’re committed to growth, and they’re committed to being open-minded about each other’s self-expression.
Marisa: And so those are more the psychographic qualities of who my tribe is, and it’s a reflection of who I am. And I like to say that building a business is awesome because, you know, if you’re the person that was not popular in high school like me, you know what I mean?
Marisa: I always say there’s three kinds of people in life. The people who were popular in high school, the people who were popular in college, and the people who really come into their own later on in life, right? It’s like, geeks are now ruling the world, you know, the people who are making tech software, it’s like, yeah you probably were not popular in high school, but now you get to build a tribe based on exactly who you are and what you love to do, and so you’ll never be lonely again when you start to build a tribe.
Chris: Well, that’s awesome. Thank you for that. And just our last collection of minutes here, I just want to do a quick lightning round with you, because I have a lot of questions and I’m not going to be able to get through all of them, but just some quick short answers to help people who are building online training programs.
Chris: What do you recommend around creating a guarantee?
Marisa: Yeah, so this goes back to the thing about mission, right? So when you have that laser-targeted mission, there’s actually about four different kinds of guarantees you can do. Now, the scariest one is what I call the Results Guarantee.
Marisa: If you could actually tie your guarantee to the mission and the realization of the mission, you’re going to have the most ironclad, strongest guarantee that feels like you’re putting your money where your mouth is. So, for example, I’ve got the $2000 guarantee, basically. My guarantee is that if you don’t make the $2000 you spent on our Experience Product Masterclass during the time of the program, we’ll make up the difference.
Marisa: So if you make $1000, and you can prove that you did the work and you launched your product and you reached the people that you needed to reach to do that, then we’ll give you $1000 back, right? If you made nothing and you did the work, we’ll give you the full $2000 back.
Marisa: And the number of people that have really, that’s given them the confidence to sign up for the program, because they’ve been burned by other programs before, is huge. Now some people do the work, and they decide not to launch in the 12 weeks, and they want to wait to launch a little bit later, and very few people are out there claiming the guarantee otherwise because we’ve delivered such huge transformation in the program.
Marisa: So the best guarantees are the scary, results-based guarantee that ties into the mission or promise of your product. Other ones are just, you know, time-based money-back guarantee, like a 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, which is expected. I don’t actually give that in our program, because here’s the thing. As soon as someone invests in our product, we invest money back in them.
Marisa: I actually pay for coaches. Students have unlimited email access, and they’ve got group coaching calls every single week, and so it costs me money to put people through this program. And I also want people who are serious about realizing the mission in the time period, they’re not just like, “let me check it out, let me just see, let me watch a couple trainings.” I don’t want those people in this program.
Marisa: And I actually tell them why we don’t give a time-based money-back guarantee. So if you don’t do that, it’s good to have a rationale for why you don’t choose to do that.
Marisa: Now there are the kinds of guarantees that are more based on different kinds of offers, like if you have one-on-one coaching or whatever, it might be a satisfaction guarantee, right? So there’s different kinds of guarantees like that, and then there’s an unconditional guarantee as well. You’ve got unconditional guarantees that could even be no time basis, like, at any point in time, right, you don’t feel like you got your value, you can get your money back.
Marisa: So those are four kinds of guarantees, but the one that I recommend going for is the scary, results-based guarantee.
Chris: That’s awesome. And if I’ve got somebody on the edge of the pirate ship plank, and they’re going to jump to create… they’re going to go into the Experts Cursed Sea, and they’re going to create a membership site that includes everything they know, what advice do you have? You’ve got two sentences to focus on a twelve-week program.
Marisa: Okay, so here’s the thing, and this is, especially if this is your first product, the biggest mistake people do is creating what I call the Kitchen Sink Product. And there’s two problems with that.
Marisa: If you create the Kitchen Sink Product, problem number one is, no one’s going to finish that product. Problem number two is, you have no opportunity to make future products, right?
Marisa: So if you think about this, say that you, whatever it is that you do, it’s ultimately a trip around the world. Maybe the first product gets them from New York to LA, right? The next product gets them from LA to say Singapore, right? You want to get them all the way around the world. You can give them different legs of the trip.
Marisa: And it’s a lot more manageable for people. It’s not about withholding the results or the good stuff for them, it’s about allowing people to focus on an outcome.
Marisa: So I would say define that outcome. Do not serve too many masters for your product, but define that laser clear-focused mission that’s so clear you could film someone crossing the finish line. And even for personal development and spirituality programs, I’ve got a lot of people in that market, you can still make a very focused mission.
Chris: That’s beautiful.
Marisa: And the other thing that happens, I want to say, about membership sites, is there’s a lot of misconception about what a membership site is. A lot of people think a membership site is passive income. Now, a membership site is only the place that you do to deliver some kind of program.
Marisa: That program can either be focused, like time-based and mission-based, say three months or four weeks or six weeks or whatever, or it could be subscription-based or continuity-based. Even if it’s continuity based, it needs focal points and missions, even if they’re missions that kind of evolve along the way, where you finish one mission over a quarter and go to the next mission, then the next, and things like that.
Marisa: People need to know exactly what they’re going to do first and exactly what they’re going to do next, but the number of people who tell me, “I need a membership site,” and I say, “so what are you going to put on it?” Like, “I don’t know, I just think I need a membership site.”
Marisa: You do not need a membership site, you need to figure out how you’re going to give value to someone, and that very well may be deliver it on a membership site, but don’t put the cart before the horse.
Chris: That’s incredible. Marisa, I want to thank you for coming on the show. If you’re resonating with what Marisa is talking about here, if you feel called and resonate with the tribe that she serves, I’d encourage you to check out the Experience Product Masterclass.
Chris: You can head on over to liveyourmessage.com/lifter. She’s also got some other ways she helps creators, and we’ll have some links to that in the comments down below. Do you have any final words for the people?
Marisa: Yeah, well, what I was saying is, I’m not sending you directly to the Experience Product Masterclass when you go to liveyourmessage.com/lifter. I’m actually giving you a cheat sheet of the top 10 core experiences in the Experience Formula to create that experience escalation and the top things that you want to avoid if you do not want to get people into the Downward Death Spiral.
Marisa: So I want to just give you some free value, and check that out, go there, and you’re going to get that cheat sheet, my Viral Product Checklist of the 10 Core Elements You Need to Get People Hooked on Your Products, Programs, and Services, in a good way, because it ultimately means getting them hooked on the transformation that they want to see in their lives, all right?
Chris: Awesome. Marisa, thank you so much, and we’ll see you around.
Marisa: Go out there, live your message, as I like to say.
Chris: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed this show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life.
Chris: Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results-getting courses on the internet.