129: How Nathalie Lussier Created A 7 Figure Business Selling Software And Courses Online

How Nathalie Lussier Created A 7 Figure Business Selling Software And Courses Online

Today, I’m thrilled to have Nathalie Lussier on the show. I’ve actually known Nathalie for a heck of a long time now dating back since 2010. In fact, I remember the early days when we were both launching our blogs

But since 2010, Nathalie has been kicking butt. She first found success with her site Raw Foods Witch where she teaches people about the benefits of raw foods. But what I love about Nathalie is that she’s a techie.

With her tech, design and marketing skills, she also created NathalieLussier.com where she now helps small online businesses get off the ground. Enjoy the interview!

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What You’ll Learn

  • How Nathalie started Raw Foods Witch turned it into a success
  • How her blog transitioned into a software and training course company
  • How Nathalie gets traffic to her websites
  • How she built a strong community
  • How she gets ideas for her software tools

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Intro: You are listening to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast. And if you are new here, it’s a show where I bring in successful bootstrapped business owners to teach us what strategies are working and what strategies are not. Now I don’t bring on these famous entrepreneurs to simply celebrate their success, instead I have them take us back to the beginning and delve deeply into the exact strategies they used early on to gain traction for their businesses.Now if you enjoy this podcast please leave me a review on iTunes, and if you want to learn how to start your own online business be sure to sign up for my free six-day mini course, where I show you how my wife and I managed to make over 100K in profit in our first year of business. Go to mywifequiteherjob.com, sign up right there on the front page, and I’ll send you the mini course right away via email, now onto the show.

Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family, and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Today I’m thrilled to have Nathalie Lussier on the show. Now I have actually known Nathalie for a heck of a long time now, and I think I just checked my email inbox and we were emailing back in 2010. In fact I remember the early days when we were both just launching our blogs.

Since 2010 Nathalie has been kicking butt, and she first found success with her site Raw Foods Witch where she teaches people about the benefits of raw foods. What I love about Nathalie is that she is a techy. With her tech, design, and marketing skills she also created Nathalie Lussier media where she now helps small online businesses get off the ground. In fact she is what I call a triple threat. With that welcome to the show, how are you doing today Nathalie?

Nathalie: I’m great, thanks so much for having me on the show Steve, this is awesome.

Steve: Give us your back story. I still remember the good old days with your blog, the Billionaire Woman, I don’t know if you …

Nathalie: Yes totally, that’s like really vintage.

Steve: That’s like 2009, right?

Nathalie: Yes.

Steve: I want to say what happened to that site actually?

Nathalie: That was my first real blog. I stared blogs when I was 12 or 13 before blogging was an actual thing. That was my real like, okay I’m going to try to make this into something real. It was called billionairewomen.com, and what ended up happening, it was all about wealth and mindset for women and that stuff, which is more of a passion than anything else.

People are … Obviously men kept emailing and commenting looking to hook up with Billionaire Women, like it was like a dating service or something. I was just fed up with that. Finally I was like okay this is just not quiet the right scene that I’m trying to attract here.

Steve: That’s hilarious, how did that move into raw foods … Is it Raw Foods Witch or Raw Foods Switch?

Nathalie: Originally it was Raw Foods Switch. That was the original intent of the site. What I ended up realizing is that nobody wanted to switch their entire diet to raw food. My boyfriend at the time who is now my husband was like, “Why don’t you just move that S around and make it Raw Foods Witch, because it could be fun and playful, and you like witches.”

He used to bring up the Teenage Witch and all these different things I was into. I was like, “Wow yeah okay let me try that.” Then as soon as I made that change to the domain, it was the exact same domain, but I just redesigned the site and had like a little witch on a carrot stick, everything changed, because it was a lot more playful and it wasn’t as dogmatic to switching your entire diet. A lot more people got behind the brand.

Steve: That was a site that actually was your breakthrough, right?

Nathalie: Yes exactly.

Steve: Would you say that that design aspect was what flipped the switch?

Nathalie: Yes, I think the design was huge. I also feel like I got a lot more clarity when I started blogging more about that topic. Actually talking to my ideal potential customers. When I was first blogging at rawfoodsswitch.com, I was writing to a lot of other people who were in the raw foods space.

When I made that transition to the witch I was like, “I need to really talk to people who were like me a couple of years ago before I started eating more fruits and vegetables.” I started writing really simple posts like what to do with an avocado, or how to open an avocado, or how to make your first screens movie.

When I started really bring it back to basics, I was able to really speak to the people back that could benefit from the information I was sharing. Before that I was just blogging for other bloggers like me.

Steve: It basically just landed a person. I think I went on that site you were actually dressed up as a witch, right?

Nathalie: Yes, it was the videos definitely.

Steve: Yeah, is the traffic going to that site, is it mainly SEO? Did you ever buy ads, or was it just collecting emails and building an audience?

Nathalie: Even to this point it’s practically 80% SEO at this point. We’ve got really good articles on different topics that people are searching for. The site comes up a lot; my people are looking for things. That was also key thing because I had learned SEO a little bit before I started this website.

I knew I could do something in this market. I never paid for ads, I don’t think that was really on my radar at the time, but I did do guest posting and I did other webinars and things with other people in the industry. I think that also helped a lot.

Steve: Were the articles that you chose to write about, was that very deliberate?

Nathalie: Yes, originally in the beginning they were not deliberate by any means. It was just like, “Hey here is the salad dressing that I really like.” But then I did some research on what people were searching for, and a lot of times they wanted to know what’s the difference between juicing and smoothies, or which blender should I get. Once I started writing some articles about the topics that people were actually searching for, that’s when things really started to take off on the SEO side.

Steve: How is that site monetized?

Nathalie: Right now we have Google Adsense, and then we also have Amazon affiliate links. I used to have an information product or a course that I taught, it was called Cure Cravings Forever. That was actually the main revenue at the time, but I have since sub-setted that course, because I’m no longer as active on the site. I didn’t want have to support that as much.

Steve: Was that site the one that allowed you to quit your job or your husband’s job or?

Nathalie: Yeah, actually when I started my business I didn’t have a job. I was fresh out of college, and I actually turned down a job on Wall Street to start this business. Basically in the first couple of months it was definitely touch and go. I was living with my boyfriend, and he was sending me little ads for different job openings that he wanted [inaudible 00:07:17], because sometimes things weren’t picking up as quickly as I expected or wanted to. Then things definitely did take off. That wasn’t actually the site that led to him quitting his job, that came a little bit later when I started the nathalielussier.com brand.

Steve: You didn’t take your job on Wall Street to start blogging?

Nathalie: No actually, yeah I … Well basically when I was graduating; I had actually worked on Wall Street as an intern, so I had some experience. I knew that at least for me it wasn’t quiet the right path. I had this like intuitive nudge that if I said yes I would just wake up 40 years down the line and wonder what happened to my life. Just because I knew how fast paced that environment was.

I probably wouldn’t have a chance to step off the treadmill so to speak. I knew I had to say yes or no right when I was graduating. Luckily enough my parents were like, “You are crazy.” But also, “It’s not the biggest deal.” You can try something, and if you fail you can always get another job. That was an interesting position for sure.

Steve: Did you have a nest stake saved up at that point?

Nathalie: I did, luckily the internships were paid. I actually had money to start my business.

Steve: Okay, and before we switch gears and talk about your software and courses business. I wanted your opinion; we started blogging way back in the day 2009, 2010. You’ve been doing since you’ve been 12, 13. Do you think today that blogging is still a viable way to make a significant amount of money?

Nathalie: I think the internet is a viable way to make a lot of money. I don’t think necessarily blogging by itself so much, just because even if you just look at magazines or newspapers like that … The whole advertising model is dying if you will, because it’s just not the way the people consume content as much these days.

I do feel like there is definitely ways that once you have built an audience that you can monetize it, whether that is through sponsored stuff or through creating your own products or services or that kind of thing. I think there is definitely tons of opportunity to have a successful business online, but I don’t think just blogging is really what it’s going take these days.

Steve: Great because we both have podcasts, we both have blogs and then we both do a little bit of video. You probably do a little bit more video than I do. If you were to start all over again would you just pick 1, or would you do all 3?

Nathalie: Such a good question. I feel like you have to eventually do all 3. Not necessarily, obviously if you hate video, if you hate audio don’t force yourself. I do feel like there’s different mediums that reach people in different ways. For example, text, Google is still primarily text based when you’re searching.

Having a blog or having really good SEOed pages on your sited is really key if you want to show up for certain things whether it’s local or a specific service that you offer, a product that you offer. But then some people much prefer to listen on the go, that’s why podcasting can reach those audiences. The same goes for videos, some people just hate reading. They would rather watch something.

I feel like eventually you will probably want to go in all directions, but I also like to caution people not to try to do everything at once. I would say pick one, get really good at it, and then add on the other one, which I think is something that both of us have done. We started with a blog, and then later we added on the other pieces once we kind of mastered the first one.

Steve: It’s really overwhelming to try to do even more than one thing at a time. I agree with you. That’s why I asked you the question, because people have been coming to me and they’ve been asking, “Hey, should I start a blog?” I’m like, “Blogging is just so saturated now that you really have to do something extraordinarily special in order to stand out, in order to succeed today.” Whereas back when we started it was a little easier I think.

Nathalie: I think that’s true, definitely. I think that there is always the first mover’s advantage. If you were to discover a new niche market of which I don’t know if that’s possible either, but maybe if I can do a new type of weaving baskets that people love, you could totally be the first one in that market. Then yes, you could definitely get away with just a blog or something like that. I think there is something to be said for what you mentioned there.

Steve: What I like about you now is we kind of have similar backgrounds. I’m a hardware, software guy, I run a blog, an ecommerce store training class, and now I’m moving into software myself. I was just curious; you transitioned over from your blog at Raw Foods Witch over to software and training courses. I was just curious what your motivations and how that happened.

Nathalie: It’s a really interesting story, because I like to call it my spiral staircase since I studied software in school. I didn’t actually go into that field when I graduated, because I started this business. It almost felt like I threw out the baby with the bath water, because I had all this training, but then here I was talking about healthy eating which had nothing to do with technology.

At the same time people kept asking me, “Who made your website, and how are you doing all these technical stuff on your own? Can I hire you?” In the beginning I actually put these people off. I was like, “No. I don’t do this. My passion is about healthy eating.” Then finally I realized there’s enough people who are asking this. Maybe this is actually something that comes super natural to me. Maybe I should go in that direction.

When I did that, that became the first time I hit the 6 figures in my business. I started actually designing people’s websites. I did that for about a year until I basically maxed out on my capacity of being able to do that.

Steve: This was like a consulting basis?

Nathalie: Exactly, consulting and actually implementing people’s websites. I actually hired other designers and developers to work with me. It was becoming this whole thing, and then I realized, “Wait, this wasn’t the business I wanted to start.” I took a step back and then that’s when I started doing more of the training courses because I realized I do have a gift of simplifying technical complicated things. I also applied that there into the technical trainings that I created and marketing trainings that I had learned along the way.

What that ended up happening is, it was still little bit too complicated. I realized, okay well I can simplify one more step by actually making software that does it for you. That’s how I brought my husband into the business, and got him to quit his job so that he could co-lead this company and be our main developer for all the different software products that we’ve since released.

For example, I’ll just give you a concrete example. I was teaching people how to create beautiful opt-ins on their website, but they still had to learn some HTML and some CSS code to really make it look how they wanted. My husband and I developed the PopupAlly plug-in which is actually … It lets you do pop ups as well as embedded optins on your site and really design everything without needing to touch any code. That was really from seeing people struggle with me trying to teach them all these things, so that now they can just install it, and customize it the way they want it to be and it’s really, really easy.

Steve: Customize it as in like drag and drop or?

Nathalie: Yeah, exactly. You can basically choose what colors, fonts, images, where you want everything to show up … Really simple. We have some templates too, but that’s really like, if you want to do a horizontal opt-in you can do it. If you want to do a transparent pop up, you could do that too.

Steve: You started out with courses, and then evolved in the software then or?

Nathalie: That’s right, yeah.

Steve: What were your first courses about?

Nathalie: Definitely the first course was in my Raw Food business and that was called, Cure Cravings Forever, but then once I transitioned to more of the tech space and the marketing space my first course I think was actually … Yeah, it was called Websites Made Easy. It was all about building your first WordPress website.

Steve: The reason you chose that topic was because you were getting a lot of people asking about it.

Nathalie: Exactly. I was doing it for people. I was setting up websites and helping them with that. Then I realized I had met my capacity doing that with one on one clients. How about if I teach people how to do it, and show them the shortcuts that I had learned along the way?

Steve: How did you launch that class in the very beginning? How big was your list at the time? Did you have a big audience?

Nathalie: Yeah. Around that time I think … It’s hard to say. I probably had 5,000 people on my list.

Steve: Those people were gathered from … Those obviously weren’t Raw Foods people, right?

Nathalie: I did actually invite all the people on my Raw Foods list over to my new business.

Steve: Really?

Nathalie: Yeah, I did.

Steve: That’s really random. How did that work out?

Nathalie: You would be surprised. There were so many people who emailed and who said, “I’ve been waiting for you to do this.” I was like, “What? That makes no sense.” For some reason I had just been … People were curious about my website and all the things I was doing. I think they were just ready to do their own stuff, but following in my footsteps I guess.

Steve: Interesting. You had a list of Raw Foods people.

Nathalie: Yes. I definitely grew some of that list about technology and marketing as well in between before I launched the course, because I had about a year in between there.

Steve: Was your strategy building up your list? Was that just through content at that point?

Nathalie: Yes. At that point I was doing a weekly little mini-tech tutorial. I was calling it, Getting Techy With It. I would teach like a new tool or a new plug-in or a new thing that I thought would help people, and that helped bridge the gap between the first business and the second one.

Steve: Was this video based?

Nathalie: Yes, they were all video tutorials.

Steve: Interesting. Who were the people you were attracting?

Nathalie: I was attracting actually a lot of other health coaches and people in the raw food business, and who had their own blogs. Like I said originally I was blogging to that audience by mistake, but then they saw how I became successful after I stopped blogging to them. That helped initially. Then through word of mouth I got connected with other business owners and people in the marketing space or small business space. That really brought in the right people for what I was doing.

Steve: How did you launch your course, the very first one?

Nathalie: The very first one I did a webinar, and I sold it at the end of the webinar. Then I actually taught the program live on a webinar. Basically I used the free webinar to sell a paid webinar. That was the simplest way I could imagine doing it.

Steve: Wait, time out, that’s confusing. You used a free webinar to launch a paid webinar, meaning the paid webinar was your course.

Nathalie: Exactly. Then I recorded it and then that became my … You can log in and watch it.

Steve: Interesting. How much did you charge?

Nathalie: It was a $97 offer.

Steve: How many did you sell at that first course, that first webinar?

Nathalie: I don’t remember the exact number, but it went on to sell like hundreds. I’m pretty sure the very first time, like when I did my first live webinar, probably 20 is what I’m estimating.

Steve: That’s a good amount right there like for the first one. At that point, were you like, “This is a better business model?”

Nathalie: Yeah. I basically realized, okay if I can scale this, then it’s way different than actually working with clients. Also at that time I was realizing that working with clients really left me at their mercy a little bit. The week before my wedding, I was working on a really big project. One of my developer contractors basically said, “Okay I’m done. I can’t work on this anymore.”

I was left holding on to the project and trying to finish it and wrap it up before my wedding. That was the D-day. I had a couple of experiences like that that made me realize, there is something to this courses and product way of doing things.

Steve: I was looking on your portfolio software, and I noticed a webinar piece of software that you sell too. I’m starting to see a trend here. You start doing something. Did people ask you about how to do webinar?

Nathalie: Yes. That’s something that I keep realizing. I see people struggle with things and then I’m like, “Oh I think I can solve their problem.” I will develop something to do that. With WebinarAlly, I just was seeing people not necessarily doing enough webinars to warrant paying $400 a year or $100 a month for different webinar software. Also being not technically savvy enough to use the free Google Hangouts and copy and pasting code and doing all these things.

We developed WebinarAlly which is a super simple plug-in that works on WordPress, but that integrates Google Hangouts and helps you schedule your webinars and handles some of those things that make it too complicated to use usually. It’s just a super simple onetime $27 fee. People are just eating it up, because it’s that in between place. They are not quite ready to invest tons of money on webinars, but they need to try it in order to actually see if they’re going to be good at it, and if it’s something they want to do in their business.

Steve: How did you market this piece of software? Was it just to your list? Did ever buy ads or anything?

Nathalie: Yes. Initially we did our big launch to our list. We got a lot of word of mouth marketing from it, because it’s a no brainer in price point. People are like …

Steve: It’s super cheap. Like 27 bucks is like you don’t even have to think about it.

Nathalie: Exactly. That actually was huge just from word of mouth. We had residual sales from launching it. Then we did actually run … We tested some Google AdWords and then we also ran some ads on Facebook. It’s interesting. We’ve actually realized that for this price point, it doesn’t quite scale very well for ads, but we do sell it through the different products that we have, cross sale naturally that way. It works out pretty well.

Steve: Can you talk about why you priced it so low at 27 bucks?

Nathalie: Absolutely. Like I said I saw the need in the market place where there was just really expensive options or something free, but that’s really complicated. That was one of the initial things. We also toyed with the idea of just making it free because we do have a free version of PopUpAlly.

That was our, “Hey, maybe we can do a 2nd free plug-in and see if that works.” We realized we wanted it to have a big reach, but also we wanted people who were serious enough to be doing webinars in their business. That was our little compromise there.

Steve: With that $27, do they get free upgrades?

Nathalie: Yes. As long as they paid, yes, we’re going to be upgrading that. We’re probably not going to be building a ton of new features for it, but yeah.

Steve: Wow, because I find that just the maintenance of software is a huge expense. Do you find support for the plug-in is a problem at all?

Nathalie: Luckily with this one we have some good video tutorials and even written knowledge based articles. We haven’t had a lot of issues. But for some of our more complicated products … I wouldn’t say complicated, but they have more features. They have a lot more potential little pitfalls like PopUpAlly and ProgessAlly.

Yes, we do have a renewal. If you want to get future updates and if you want to keep getting support we do have that in place. We also like to keep that low, because we want people to feel like, “I like the software. I want to keep supporting it. It’s not going to take such a huge chunk out of my wallet either.”

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Interesting, I’m just curious now that we’ve been talking. In terms of just revenue, where do you derive the most? Is it the software, or the courses, or affiliate stuff?

Nathalie: Good question. Now that you mentioned I’m like probably 33% each.

Steve: Really, okay.

Nathalie: Yeah. It is pretty sleek across all of them. The software is where we are focusing more these days, but the courses that we’ve created are still selling really well. That’s totally cool by us too.

Steve: Are the courses hands off? Do you give anything live for the courses or?

Nathalie: Yes. We basically have our membership program which is called Heartquarters, and that’s where we house all of the courses I have created over the years. We do maintain and update them if things go out of date. With that we basically have a quarterly coaching call with me. Every quarter I get on a Google Hangout and then we answer people’s questions. Then we also have a Facebook group where people can ask questions and support each other as well.

Steve: Is this like an all you can eat type of thing?

Nathalie: Interestingly enough it used to be you get access to everything, but we’ve recently switched to a credit based system, because it’s called Heartquarters, people earn hearts every month. You earn hearts for doing different things, like completing a course, supporting your accountability partners in the group. You also just get hearts every month for staying active. You can use your hearts to redeem courses.

We have all kinds of other cool things like you can actually get free hosting. It seems random, but you can also use it for plug-ins or anything else that we’ve created for them. It makes you a little bit more intentional when you use your hearts as opposed to just saying, “I have access to everything. I’ll get back to it later.” When you have them in your account, you’re like, “I need to use my hearts.” Then people actually unlock and finish things a lot more than they used to.

Steve: Interesting, so do you have to pay to get some hearts in the beginning or?

Nathalie: No, when you join you get I think it’s 300 hearts right away, so you can start unlocking things on your 1st day. But then to keep going, you have to either wait a little bit or you can purchase more hearts or you can just be more active, and that will earn you more hearts.

Steve: Is it a onetime fee to join?

Nathalie: It’s a yearly or a monthly fee.

Steve: I see, so it’s recurring revenue.

Nathalie: Exactly.

Steve: Okay cool. So how much do you charge?

Nathalie: For the full year it’s $750 or $79 a month.

Steve: You’re constantly adding content to this repository of courses.

Nathalie: Exactly, yeah. The way that we do it is that we ask our students, “What do you want to learn next?” Then we decide, “Okay, we’ll create a course about that.”

Steve: That’s ingenious. This heart thing, it doesn’t annoy people though that once they pay they want to access everything.

Nathalie: Well when we first switched over because we made the switch in early 2016, the old members were like, “Hey. I used to have access to everything.” We didn’t take anything away, but then they realized for any new stuff, they would have to use their hearts. We’re generous enough with the heart set, you can unlock stuff.

Obviously you can’t unlock everything on day 1. We’ve also seen people buying hearts, because they are eager enough to keep going. Also I feel like it really makes you choose what you want to focus on. One of the problems I see a lot with online marketing and online space is the shinny object syndrome. This is our way of combating that.

You can actually take one course, finish, implement, and then you go on to the next one, as opposed to saying, “I’m just to going to watch a little bit of this and a little bit of that and never actually get anything done.”

Steve: Interesting, so these hearts, like the implementation of that, is that something you custom coded?

Nathalie: That’s something that’s available in our AccessAlly Plug-in. It works with Infusionsoft and Ontraport and WordPress, and soon to be Convert … Not Convert but ActiveCampaign. Basically it’s a tag based thing with the CRM.

Steve: Interesting, okay. Then to sell these courses, do you do any paid ads or is it webinars?

Nathalie: Yes. We do ads that bring people into our space if you will, into our funnel and then we definitely do webinars, and do all kinds of other things to get people into the Heartquarters. The other thing that worked really well for us is that we have inside of our members’ area, we have some free courses. We have something called a 30 day list building challenge.

It’s actually happening right now, but it’s always available. That’s free and people join, but then they’re welcomed into our members’ area and they see all the other courses that are greyed out and that are on display, but not available. When they click on that they can sign up for the full … I think they can do the monthly or the full year, and then unlock those courses.

Steve: They actually get a log in.

Nathalie: They do.

Steve: By into your funnel, do you mean an email list? They’re giving you their email address?

Nathalie: Exactly, yes.

Steve: Okay, so once they give you their email address, they automatically get an account with your …

Nathalie: They do.

Steve: In which they see they can access anything.

Nathalie: Right or they can access all of the 30 day challenge videos. There is 30 videos and they are for them, 1 a day for 30 days. Alongside that they’ll see there is also a module about Facebook ads, or there is a module about doing an Amazon book, or there is a module about affiliate marketing. If they are curious about that, they can click on that and then decide to enroll in the program.

Steve: Interesting, okay. Can we talk a little bit about this email sequence, because I know you sell a whole bunch of different products? Does that mean you have separate email sequences for each?

Nathalie: Yes and no. Basically our main entry point is the 30 day challenge. That is 30 emails over 30 days which is a lot. But also it is the most high value thing that we give away for free. That’s why we want people to go there. People get amazing results from going through that challenge. But then we do also have smaller one-off things that we offer. For example we have an eBook all about how to setup your webinars, and that leads into WebinarAlly.

Then we have an eBook about how to use gamefication in your membership course, and that’s to sell our membership plug-ins. Yes, we do have smaller things that lead into separate funnels, but for all of our courses, the 30 day challenge is how we introduce them to it.

Steve: How does the 30 day challenge work?

Nathalie: It’s a free challenge that people just go, they put in their email address to sign up. Then over the 30 days they’ll get one email with one video, and a really simple action item that they can take to really grow their list. They also get to join our Facebook group. Right now we actually have a contest running, so when you complete the items on each day or share it on Facebook, you earn an entry towards the contest.

We’re giving away just some fun prizes for our products and for events that I’m going to be speaking at, and all kind of things like that. We are really trying to make that as interactive as possible. That’s something I will probably going to keep doing throughout the rest of the year too.

Steve: That’s sounds amazing. Every day for 30 days there is a video.

Nathalie: Yes. That was a pretty intense video shoot day.

Steve: Are these really short videos?

Nathalie: Yes. They are really short videos. Most of them are about two minutes. Some of them go up to about 10 minutes if they’re a little bit more technical, but yeah. They’re pretty short, and it’s really meant to be a digestible action item that you can take every day to grow your list. That’s why they are not super intense.

Steve: It’s something like, “Here is how you install PopupAlly, and collect email addresses that way.

Nathalie: Right, exactly or here is how to research where you should write a guest post, or how here is how to join Facebook groups that might be with your ideal audience in them.

Steve: I see. Then some of them lead to your products and some of them do not.

Nathalie: Exactly. I would say 80% of them don’t, but some of them do.

Steve: Then by the end of these 30 days, what’s the goal?

Nathalie: Yes. At the end of the 30 days, the ideal scenario for most people is that they’ve built a list, and now they’re probably thinking of launching a course or a product. We have a course that teaches that, so that’s our launch and profit course.

Steve: I see, so it leads in from the 30 day challenge to another sequence about courses.

Nathalie: Exactly, yes.

Steve: Okay, interesting. You teach them how to build an audience and then the next logical step is to create something that you can sell to the audience, and then that leads to WebinarAlly.

Nathalie: Yes.

Steve: This is interesting. I like it.

Nathalie: There is a lot of layering that’s happened over the years, but that’s how everything interconnects.

Steve: Are you guys using InfusionSoft by any chance?

Nathalie: We are, yes.

Steve: Because I noticed you had another piece of software that did something with InfusionSoft. I don’t remember.

Nathalie: Yeah, so that’s the AccessAlly that I mentioned. That’s the membership site plug-in that integrates with InfusionSoft that does all the cool tracking and credit system and unlocking and up-selling and cross-selling, and all that stuff.

Steve: When do you actually sell the full blown membership site?

Nathalie: You mean like the membership program?

Steve: At what point in the sequence?

Nathalie: That actually tends to happen on more of kind of when we do a launch kind of thing. It either happens when people see the courses and then they unlock them, or we’ll just do a promotion for them.

Steve: Can we talk about what a promotion would look like?

Nathalie: Yeah, absolutely. We actually just wrapped one up about a month ago.

Steve: How does it work? Do you do a webinar, or how does it work?

Nathalie: Yes, pretty much every time we do a promotion we’ll have a webinar. Sometimes we’ll have several webinars just because people are in different time zones. Sometimes we actually have the exact same content on all the webinars, but it’s just to catch people at different times. We’ll also invite our affiliates to help promote. We do have a good number of affiliates. Different affiliates will promote different things.

Some people just want to promote the software and some of them actually just prefer promoting the courses in the memberships. We’ll invite them to promote. We also do an affiliate contest. We do have prizes for affiliates who promote as well. We do kind of an email sequence leading up to the webinar, and special bonuses to get people to take action.

Steve: Can we talk about that? What do these pre-email sequences look like?

Nathalie: Yes. Depending on what the focus is, so for example our last one the focus was kind of on this new accountability feature that we added to the membership site. We talked a lot about accountability, so I had blog posts about how accountability groups are important for business.

Then we also had testimonials or other ways that people have enjoyed that feature already, or kind of gotten a lot out of in the course or the program. Then we just lead all of these things back into the webinar. So whatever the webinar topic is and getting them to show up live.

Steve: What was the topic of the last webinar?

Nathalie: The topic of the last webinar was all about productivity. I realized having an accountability group plus having the right information, and making sure you’re working on the most important things in your business really makes the biggest difference, especially because I just had a baby three months ago.

It was very high on my mind at the time of like, you should really be working on that 20% of the stuff that makes you 80% of the results in your business. That was kind of the main focus. But also getting people to realize that there is the shinny object thing, and you need to really be clear on what these next steps are for your business.

Steve: These webinars that you have with the affiliates, is it one big gigantic webinar with all the affiliates combined, or do you do separate ones per affiliate?

Nathalie: For this one it was just one. In the past we have done different webinars with different audiences and different joint venture partners, because of the baby. I was like I combine our efforts into one webinar.

Steve: Totally, interesting. In terms of the topic, not everyone who comes in is going to know you are. I was curious how you structure the webinar.

Nathalie: Yeah. I like to start with my story definitely to make sure people know how I came here, what my expertise is, and just kind of situate everybody and give them some context. The other thing I like to do is to really showcase our clients and our customers. If I have any good case studies that relate to the topic, I like to bring those up, or even just showcasing what they’ve done on their websites, and what they’re seeing in terms of results as a result of taking the courses that we’ve put together.

I think that’s huge too, because I could talk about myself all day, but it doesn’t really mean much, whereas if somebody else actually has direct experience with my work, or with our tools or anything like that, it speaks so much more than just myself.

Steve: Interesting, okay.

Nathalie: I was going to say also in terms of the flow of the webinar I definitely like to actually deliver real value, and have people to be able to start taking action on whatever I say after we hangout whether they sign up for something or not. My goal is really to make the offer just such a no brainer it’s an immediate yes for people. That usually means bonuses or special price or something that really makes them go, “Wow. I would be crazy not to say yes to this.”

Steve: In terms of your last webinar since that’s probably the freshest in your mind, what piece of productivity did you teach about, and what were some of your bonuses that you gave out?

Nathalie: The biggest thing that I’ve been realizing is and I kind of look at my community as my feedback loop for what to teach. What I’ve realized is that some people are actually really good when it comes to productivity. They can get so much stuff done in a day, because they have read all of the blogs, and they’ve got the cool planner, and they’ve got the cool apps and all the productivity stuff.

They’re applying all these productivity knowledge to the wrong activities I would say, or at least the easier activities because there is always those activities that are outside your comfort zone, and that push your buttons a little bit. For myself when I first starting in business having sales conversations, or reaching out to somebody who would actually be a potential partner or somebody who would promote something, that was always too scary for me to actually do.

I would put that off and then I would tweak my website, or do something that was really easy to do. I felt like I did so much or I accomplished so much or I checked so much off my to do list, but that 20%, it was not getting done, that stuff that actually moves the needle in your business. That was a really big key take away from that webinar. Then in terms of the bonuses that we offered, well we offered a really cool way to get your website hosted for free on WP Engine when you sign up for the Heartquarters program. We’ve actually partnered with WP Engine.

We’ve designed some templates for people to get started with their WordPress websites. If they were brand new and they were kind of like, “There is just too much to do. I don’t know how to get started. I don’t even have a website yet.” Or if they have website, their website is hosted somewhere else, but they keep getting hacked and they’re like, “I’m done with this cheap hosting,” then that was a big reason to get them onto our platform.

Steve: Interesting, and that WP Engine is like an affiliate relationship too, right. You benefit from that?

Nathalie: Yeah, we’ve actually moved it in-house, so we kind of handle the hosting ourselves. The tech support is handled by WP Engine, but we actually host the sites ourselves. People can use our plug-ins already installed. We’re moving towards an environment that we can help setup so that it’s not from scratch anymore.

Steve: Interesting, so you’re a hosting company too.

Nathalie: Yes. Very recently we went into that as an experiment because again every single I feel like I see a problem that people are having and I’m like, “I wonder if I can solve this for them.” Sometimes people have a hard time choosing a theme or setting up the plug-ins or getting really started on how to point their domain and a lot of stuff. Now we can really help them. They can literally just click the button inside of our members’ area and say, “Start my website.”

Steve: Interesting, are these servers hosted by WP Engine then, because I can’t imagine why they would to support …

Nathalie: Yes, they are.

Steve: Okay that makes sense then.

Nathalie: There is totally a WP Engine host. You get all the same features, but the main thing is that I guess we have our own scripts and things setup in between.

Steve: Right, they give you further access so you can custom manage the people that you’re bringing in so to speak.

Nathalie: Exactly.

Steve: That’s an interesting relationship. You have that offer. Do you usually discount?

Nathalie: Sometimes we do. For this one we didn’t, because it’s kind of a no brainer price at this point.

Steve: What was the pricing for?

Nathalie: It was $79 a month or 750 for the year.

Steve: Was there any scarcity introduced?

Nathalie: Yes, because we were doing our next coaching call. I think it was a week or two after the webinar, that was kind of the main like come and get coached, and you’d actually get some support for your business.

Steve: How do those coaching calls work? Do you get a lot of people to show up? What’s the attendance like?

Nathalie: Good question. Sometimes we have 20 people, 30 people. It does depend a lot because we have some people who are in different time zones like across Europe and Australia. It really depends on what time we schedule it for, but I do try to make it at least accessible as much as I can for those different time zones.

The people who show up get so much out of it, and that’s really to me the biggest thing. Of course they are recorded so people can also send in their questions. People do that as well. There is always so much activity after, because everybody is like, “Oh my God, I’m so fired up again.” I do feel like there is a lot of value in those calls.

Steve: Is there an agenda beforehand, or is it just Q&A?

Nathalie: What we usually do is we’ll go over people’s quarterly priorities, and that’s the thing that we do in our business too, is that we plan everything on a quarterly basis. I kind of bring people into our process and get them to do it live as well. They’ll share what their priorities are.

I will also coach them if I’m like, “Okay. That doesn’t look very realistic. Or maybe you should try a little bit outside your comfort zone on that particular piece.” There is some but then there is also plenty of time for actual questions too.

Steve: You don’t actually bring in any people to your webinars. You just bring in new people to your list, and then you setup these webinars strictly to your list. Is that …

Nathalie: Yes, exactly. That actually works better for us at this point.

Steve: Then in terms of the post-webinar, I imagine you have some sequence as well?

Nathalie: Yes we do. That’s right.

Steve: How many emails is that?

Nathalie: It really varies, but I would say no less than 4 usually.

Steve: What is your way of getting them to actually open these emails?

Nathalie: Good question. We do try to test our different subject lines to make sure that they are actually useful, and also have that curiosity and that open loop. Also if it’s like the last day to sign up with bonuses, just letting people know like, “Last chance or this is going away now, bonus is going away, that kind of thing.” We try to make it as curiosity based, but also let them know what’s happening so that they don’t miss it because of a cryptic subject line.

Steve: Here is something I’ve been struggling with. After a while, let’s say you discount the course or you offer bonuses, after a while people are only going to sign up during the webinar. How do you combat that?

Nathalie: Yes. Something we’re actually testing right now inside of our members’ area is we’re going to be offering a one month’s trial, and basically that is going to have a timed expiration date to take us up on that trial. Basically we’re kind of making the first month as easy to say yes to as possible, and then assuming that they enjoy what’s in there, they’re actually getting a discount by using that first month. It’s going to a dollar trial.

That is something that we’re just testing. I totally hear what you’re saying about like, “Wait, are people going to wait?” I also think that there is always new people finding you. That’s the other piece of that coin.

Steve: Sure and those people who have the one month trial don’t have access to everything because they don’t have enough hearts, right?

Nathalie: Exactly, yeah. There is definitely a reason to stay.

Steve: Interesting. This is really good stuff. I haven’t actually heard anyone use gamefication really in their courses. Are there other rewards for these hearts once you’ve unlocked everything?

Nathalie: Yeah, so the next thing we’re going to be rolling out which I’m really excited about it is going to be critiques. It’s going to be live with me, either an opt-in page, or a sales page or something that you want critiqued on your website. They are going to be individual and you can use your hearts to unlock that. We’ve actually built that into our ProgressAlly plug-in.

We’re calling them private notes. It’s kind of an individual way to communicate with customers inside the members’ area. It almost looks like a chat box, but it’s actually static on a web page. You could say, “This is the page for copy critiques,” but every single person will see a different reply, so that it’s individual to each person.

They can also review it down the line. It’s not like an email where they can archive it or whatever, but it’s going to be there inside their members’ area. That’s something that I’m kind of pumped about. Anybody else who does coaching on that individual basis, if you need to send notes after your coaching call or anything like that, you could use that ProgressAlly feature.

Steve: Interesting, yeah so what’s funny is the way I run my class I have points also. I do a little bit of gamefication. They get points for participating, for attending the weekly live sessions, and then they can redeem those points for a free consult or website critique. I’ve been doing those for five years now actually. I’ve got a whole bunch of them.

Nathalie: Oh my God, I love it.

Steve: I like the other ways that you’ve been talking about where some people, they go through a class and then they just start watching random videos and skip all over the place. I like how you have this heart system which keeps them on track.

Nathalie: Yes, and we actually have an assessment as soon as they join. They fill out some questions and then we recommend which course is best for them next, so that it’s not so overwhelming like, “Should I do a podcast or should I do a blog?” Like kind of what you’re saying.

We tell them like, “Based on where you’re at right now and what your skill sets are, we recommend these next steps.” That way it really sends them in the right direction, and then if they finish that course and they start implementing, then they could take the assessment again technically and go onto the next piece.

Steve: Would you say that your class is mainly targeted to people who want to build an audience and sell some digital product?

Nathalie: Yes. I would say that. There is definitely people who are on the ecommerce side, but they are a much, much smaller percentage. I do think that the online info space is definitely more the target market.

Steve: Okay, interesting. In terms of the people who’ve taken your class, is there a specific demographic? Are they into healthy eating, or is it just all over the place?

Nathalie: At this point, it’s a bit more broad. We’ve got like photographers, definitely some health coaches, regular coaches, life coaches, yoga people, even like dog trainers. We’ve got a pretty wide range of people at this point. It does tend to attract mostly women. We have a couple of guys, but for the most part it’s mostly women.

Steve: Actually we’re running out of time here, but I just was curious since you work with your husband primarily on this business. I’ve mentioned this several times in the past in podcasts. I’ve even had my wife on the podcast, where we actually don’t work that well together. We argue a lot especially if we’re overlapping on stuff. I’m just curious what the dynamic is like with your husband when you guys work together.

Nathalie: I think we work pretty well together. We think very differently, but we’re easily on the same page. One of the things that we learned the hard way was actually organizing one of our live in person conferences, because we were kind of giving each other orders, and we realized that that does not work very well for a relationship. We came up with the because rule.

Whenever we tell each other to do something or that we need to do something, we say, “Because.” Then we explain why. That really puts everything into context, and it takes the forceful ordering around kind of attitude out of it, and it’s like, “Oh okay. We’re immediately on the same page.” It’s like, “Oh okay well this might not be the highest priority, but I understand why we need to do this or whatever in whatever situation.” That can really diffuse some of that forceful energy that might be coming from working together with your spouse.

Steve: Interesting, I can see my wife going, “We’re doing it this way because you’re stupid.”

Nathalie: The other thing too is that we try to also have time where we don’t talk about business. It’s a little bit harder these days.

Steve: That’s hard to do for us. It’s probably really helpful now that you have your baby also that you guys both work together and at home, so you can alternate the duties I would imagine.

Nathalie: Yes. That’s been really helpful. For example when I’m on this interview, he’s on baby watch if she wakes up. If he has to really focus on something I can totally be there. It really helps us alternate. It also feels like we get to spend more time with her that way too, so we actually see her grow up, but also get a lot of work done which is kind of nice.

Steve: That’s awesome. Do you have a staff to run all this, or is it just you and your husband?

Nathalie: Oh yeah. We have … I think we’re up to a team of 7 now.

Steve: Oh really.

Nathalie: Yeah. They are all over North America. We’ve got people in Seattle and Canada and Colorado. We’ve got support, tech support. We’ve got a writer, a project manager in marketing, and then another developer, and then my husband and myself. We have a video editor as well.

Steve: That’s amazing. That’s awesome.

Nathalie: Yeah.

Steve: I want to respectful of your time and we’re running out of it. I do want everyone to know where they can find you, your courses and your products.

Nathalie: Yeah, absolutely. Like I mentioned the 30 Day List Building Challenge is a great way to get introduced to my work. That’s just that 30daylistbuildingchallenge.com, but to check out all of our products you can go to AmbitionAlly.com. You’ll see we’ve got all kinds of cool stuff for WordPress, and if you don’t use WordPress, then you can go and check out NathalieLussier.com.

We’ve got our off the chats podcasts there that you can take a listen too which Steve has been on and you as I said was very, very well loved and acclaimed, so that’s awesome. Those are the main places where I hang out, and I would love to get to know everybody and have you guys join us inside of our Face book groups, and see if there is any problems I can solve for you.

Steve: Nathalie needs more males.

Nathalie: Yes, come on down.

Steve: That’s the key take away that I got. Her sites are just so beautifully well designed as well. You guys should definitely check them out.

Nathalie: Thank you.

Steve: All right Nathalie, thanks a lot for coming on the show. I really appreciate you.

Nathalie: Thanks for having me.

Steve: All right, take care.

There you have it. What I love about Nathalie is that she’s a triple threat. She can market, she can code, and she can sell. I really admire what she’s done with her software business.

For more information about this episode, go to MyWifeQuitHerJob.com/episode 129. If you enjoyed this episode please go to iTunes and leave me a review. It is the best way to support the show and please tell your friends, because the greatest complement that you can give me is to refer this podcast to someone else, either in person or to share it on the web.

If you’re interested in starting your own online business, be sure to sign up for my free 6 day mini-course where I show you how my wife and I managed to make over 100K in profit in our first year of business. Go to My Wife Quit Her Job for more information. Sign up right there on the front page, and I’ll send you the course via email immediately. Thanks for listening.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com.

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One thought on “129: How Nathalie Lussier Created A 7 Figure Business Selling Software And Courses Online”

  1. Kate @ Cashville Skyline says:

    This is incredibly inspiring! I recently took Natalie’s 30-day list building challenge and I learned a ton. So many helpful tips and tricks!

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