How to Scale Sales of Your Services and Create Online Courses: Interview with Anna Zakkery

How to Scale Sales of Your Services and Create Online Courses: Interview with Anna Zakkery
Photo Courtesy: Anna Zakkery

By: Samantha Clarke

If you’re still working with clients one-on-one but dream of earning more without expanding your schedule, you’ll learn how to transition to the “one to many” level.

Anna Zakkery, the founder and CEO of ZMG, a producer of online learning centers, a master of management, author of numerous digital marketing educational courses and books currently being studied by over 7000 students, and a member of the “100 Best Entrepreneurs” ranking, the creator of a unique method for launching online courses with a six-figure income, kindly agreed to an interview to provide some practical recommendations.

Anna, let’s start with the basics. How do people become coaches?

It usually happens unexpectedly. If we’re talking about coaching as personal consulting in a “one-on-one” format, it often starts with someone running a blog on an interesting topic. They write valuable content, post videos, and in return, they get likes, saves, comments, and direct messages.

And then one day, they receive a message: someone writes that they like their expertise and want private consultation. That’s how the blog author gets their first individual work. They become a mentor, a coach, a consultant.

Over time, the consultation schedule fills up, the sessions become longer, and at some point, every coach who works one-on-one with clients faces a situation where their workday is scheduled minute by minute, with five consultations back-to-back without a lunch break, and there’s no opportunity to earn more because all the available slots are booked. And yet, they still need to find time for themselves, their families, hobbies, and simply to get enough rest, after all.

What should one do in such a situation?

Finding themselves in such a situation, coaches usually take one of two paths. Either they raise the prices for their product, and some clients drop off naturally, but the coach still earns the same or slightly more while spending less time. Or they choose the smart path and transition from the 1-1 format to the one-to-many format.

What is this format?

This is when a coach creates a full-fledged educational product based on their practice, which is sold online or offline. For 8 years now, I’ve been working in the niche of educational online products, and I’ve worked with no fewer than 20 experts during this time. I’ve created over 60 educational digital products, and each of them could only be accessed by a few people if they were one-on-one coaching sessions. But this way, it reaches a huge audience, benefiting many people.

I firmly believe that everyone is an expert in something. But many don’t even realize what their area of expertise is. Moreover, I’m convinced that it’s unfair to hide expert knowledge from the world. It’s unacceptable and very selfish. That’s why I believe that online educational courses are what help many people grow. And if you have the relevant data, experience, and knowledge, transitioning from 1-1 coaching to the one-to-many format is a must.

Let’s delve deeper into this.

There are several distinctive features explaining why the “one to many” approach is much more beneficial and interesting for a coach. Firstly, it’s 100% growth. It’s the point where you transition to the next level of your career. Your coaching becomes sacred, accessible to the chosen few. All others who cannot afford the valuable time with you go for a regular online course, which is vetted by other people, not by you. It’s a step towards growth.

Secondly, by transitioning to the online course format, you bring benefits to a much larger number of people. Not everyone can afford expensive education at prestigious universities. With your course, you give a chance to such people to study online, just needing internet access, not even always necessarily a computer.

Just imagine the tremendous value you bring! And considering the huge audience engaged in your online course, you gain global influence and impact on the world.

That sounds amazing, but how about from a financial perspective?

Online courses are definitely more effective in terms of money. It’s much easier for distribution and profit compared to one-on-one sales. Moreover, an online course allows you to periodically take vacations: you rest while the money keeps coming in. But the main thing is: by recording your online course once, you simply replicate it for profit, without repeating the same thing to different clients like a parrot, as in coaching.

So far, everything looks very bright and promising. But are there really no pitfalls or problems?

The first thing you need to understand and do as a coach when transitioning to an online course is to have completely different sales methods. It’s one thing to sell a product to 10 people at a certain price and entirely another to sell to a larger number of people for less money. This is the first aspect to tackle. Moreover, advertising methods and material presentation are entirely different.

If before you worked on Zoom, had personal calls, physically met, for an online course, you need to record video material, create textual presentations, PDF files, links, homework assignments, something for material reinforcement.

On the one hand, this may seem daunting: you need to study marketing, write new materials, and learn how to upload videos in a new format. On the other hand, by investing a lot of effort and resources once, you understand that you don’t need to do it again next time.

How should one proceed in this direction? Is there any checklist or roadmap?

I’ll outline the first steps a coach should take when transitioning to the one-to-many format:

  • Determine how much money you want to earn and set prices for your online course.
  • Calculate how many students you need to attract to reach that amount.
  • Decide which advertising methods will suit you.
  • Determine what marketing tools you will need.
  • Choose the platform where you will upload your online course.

Additionally, you will likely need an assistant to delegate some functions and a technical specialist who will help with the platform and ensure there are no glitches.

What are the common mistakes coaches make when transitioning to online courses?

The common mistake is dumping too much information into one online course at once. The second mistake is investing a lot of money in fancy packaging. I mean presentations, branding, logos. 

The third mistake is making the course overly complicated, overloaded with terminology. The fourth is thinking that marketing is the last thing to consider. And the fifth mistake is the most pervasive: at some point during the preparation of the online course, freaking out and saying, “I could have done this faster in a session!” That is, treating the recording of the online course as a one-time event.

So, coaches need to reframe their thinking first?

Exactly. Without this process, transitioning to the one-to-many format will either be very difficult and slow or stall completely. But if you reconsider and accept the fact that with online courses, you can earn much more in less time, everything will change.

How can interested individuals get in touch with you to learn more about the one-to-many format?

You can message me today on Instagram under the handle Anna Zakkery, and I’ll be happy to provide guidance.

Let’s summarize our conversation. A few words to all coaches from Anna Zakkery, please.

Dear coaches! An online course is your next indispensable step in your career. Sooner or later, you’ll come to it anyway. 

Published by: Martin De Juan


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