Lesya has done a lot of great work building a following for her keto lifestyle site, EatBeFitExplore.com. In addition to the people who read her blog for all the great recipe and fitness tips, she has almost 20,000 followers on Instagram and an excited and engaged community on Facebook. What she’s looking to do now is monetize, ideally by offering a course, but figuring what her community wants and how to sell it has been difficult, especially when the blog audience and the social media audience seem to be saying different things.
This coaching call is a fun one because it all comes back to the process I lay out in Will It Fly? (Amazon link). Lesya has a really great niche—moms who are trying to lose weight and feel good about themselves after having children. Sure enough, when she looked at her mailing list, her audience was 95 percent female. The problem has been the different things she’s been getting from her various audiences. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
One of the first things I start encouraging Lesya to do to get clarity is to reach out more specifically to her followers. While it’s great to have data, you need to actually talk to people to understand why they’re saying what they’re saying. Sometimes we make some assumptions we’re not actually aware that we’re making when we’re reading over survey responses, so it can help to talk to a real person who you can ask follow-up questions to.
The other thing I push Lesya to do is to stop standing on the diving board and jump in the pool. Make a signup list with the bullet points from your course outline. If nobody joins, then you know you have to adjust it before you’ve wasted time building it. On top of that, she can find a couple beta testers to both help her make tweaks to her course and provide testimonials that will help sell the course moving forward. Lots of great stuff here, hope you enjoy.
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 1088 of AskPat 2.0. Super thankful you're here, because you're about to listen to a coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. Coaching them through a process, through some pains, problems, confusions, that's what this is all about. And hopefully, through hearing these conversations you are also getting coached at the same time. You can fill out an application to get coached at AskPat.com. You can see our other archives on anywhere you're listening to this podcast, obviously, but also at AskPat.com, and I encourage you to subscribe if you haven't already.
Now today, we're going to be speaking with Lesya and she has an expertise in helping people with weight loss, confidence, fitness, nutrition. She has a blog with a number of recipes. It's going really well. She has a very large Instagram with nearly 20,000 people. It's going great and she's ready to get a course out there but we're having some trouble defining what this course should be. We're having some trouble defining whether or not it's something they actually want. Today, we're going to be talking Lesya about how to work through all that, some of the baby steps that she can take upfront that will help her validate these things so that she can have the confidence moving forward to actually build something that is not only helpful, but that's something people will buy. Let's talk today. We're going to do it. Here we go.
Hey Lesya, thank you for coming on. Ask Pat 2.0 how are you?
Lesya Holzapfel: I'm great, how are you?
Pat: I'm doing good. Really excited to chat with you. If you could really quick tell myself and everybody listening a little bit about what you do, that'd be awesome.
Lesya: I have a website. It is a keto-based blog that I started last October. I help women lose weight after having babies, and at first, started off as just recipes and articles about keto. Because I've been doing keto for over four years and I have a degree in nutrition. But then I started expanding it out to do other things. Right now, I'm kind of dipping into everything where I'm still doing recipes, I'm doing articles, I started doing some coaching. I'm pretty much like Jane of all trades, master of none right now.
Pat: Well, that's cool that you're doing keto, because I've been doing a keto-ish kind of diet the last six months and it's been absolutely life-changing. For anybody who hasn't explored keto yet, I definitely recommend checking that out. Can you give everybody a website address so they can find you?
Lesya: Yes. My website is EatBeFitExplore.com, and I'm also @EatBeFitExplore on Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, although I don't really use Twitter that much, but everywhere it's EatBeFitExplore.
Pat: Cool. EatBeFitExplore. I had gotten familiar with you through a lot of the engagement that you've been offering on my page and through direct messages between us, so I appreciate you for that. Lesya is very active on Instagram if you want to check her out there, but also check out our website, too. So okay. Lots of things going on. Tell me what's on your mind. What do we want to make happen today?
Lesya: I'm trying to figure out how to scale my business and what I could really do that doesn't waste my time. Right now, I'm doing everything and I feel like it's just getting so overwhelming and I'm not really moving forward. I understand with food bloggers, it takes a while to make money and it's a lot of work upfront, but I don't necessarily want to be a food blogger. That's not really my passion. I'm just trying to figure out what is it that my audience wants from me and how can I help them. I'm kind of at a crossroads of should I do a course, should I maybe do a membership, should I just do more coaching clients? Then I also discovered this other passion of food photography and started getting into restaurant photography, and I actually got hired for a shoot.
Pat: That's awesome.
Lesya: I know. I love doing it. It's so much fun, but I can't do it all on top of being a stay at home mom of two small kids. I'm like torn between those passions and the ideas that I have, and there's just so many things being thrown at me, so many ideas. I don't know which one to focus on and just do the one thing that's really going to progress, and move the needle, and scale my business.
Pat: A lot of things going on, and obviously the more you say yes to things, the more burned out you could become, and with two young ones at home, you don't want to compromise time with them as well. I think this is a really, really smart question to ask and conversation to have at this moment in time. But on the other hand, these are great problems to have, right? New opportunities, choices, options, a growing audience, and it's just like, okay, which direction do I go down, right? Am I seeing that correctly?
Lesya: Yes, exactly.
Pat: My first question to you is no matter what you end up choosing to do, or focusing on, or what strategies you use or anything, we'll talk about those things in a second. But if we could just fast forward through that and things were great, things were the way you would want them to be, what would that look like to you?
Lesya: I would love to have some kind of course on teaching women who've gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, how to lose it, and I always say like bring their sexy back. You know? A lot of us women like after having babies, we don't really feel that sexy anymore—and all the changes and everything—and I want to help women do that and not just through low carb, but through exercising, and finding a morning routine. I have discovered that from listening to your podcasts and reading The Miracle Morning (Amazon link), I started waking up at 5:30 and it's changed my life. And mindset stuff, and self-care, and self-love. I just want to help women out with that. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
But I don't know if that's exactly what women are looking for or my followers are looking for or if they want more of recipes and meal plans and all that. Even though I have created those and it's like, okay, here they are, but then not a lot of people are really wanting to buy them. I made everything that people want. I literally laid it out for them, spent so much time, and then it was just like a little bit here, a little bit there and I'm like, “I gave you what you want.” You know, here you go!
Lesya: But it seems like everyone kind of, when it comes to recipes or meal plans, they want it all for free.
Pat: That's very true, I mean because these recipes were available in those places anyway. What's great about that is people love them, they consume them, they thank you for them, that sort of thing. Charging for them is a little bit difficult, so I love the idea of creating a higher offering people for people who love you, love your style, love your recipes, who want to go deeper with you, who want to get, essentially, the coaching to help them actually lose that weight, which is obviously very important to you and making people feel good again about themselves. I think you've nailed your niche market, so we don't have to discuss that. You would know exactly who your avatar is, your ideal customer. I'm assuming that these are the kinds of women who you are building a following from on your email list and on Instagram, like you've kind of done that already, right?
Lesya: Yes. Yeah, I have ninteen thousand on Instagram and my email list is almost five thousand. I've kind of cleaned it up because there was a lot that just they were not ever responding. The surveys that I've done, and the statistics that I look at, and the analytics, it's mostly like ninety-five percent females.
Pat: Great job.
Lesya: And a lot of moms. I figured out that's my niche: moms.
Pat: Yeah, no that's great. That's fantastic. I mean, moms and you are a mom as well, so you can relate. You have a specific kind of language, you have a specific set of problems that you can solve versus somebody who's maybe younger or older or what have you. That's great. That's good. I think you have the perfect opportunity now to—I talk about this in my book, Will It Fly? (Amazon link), and this is really important. I don't know if you've done this yet, but this would be an ideal next step because oftentimes when you have this audience and you don't know what to offer them beyond just the free content and free stuff that you've been offering, this is a perfect time to remove the guesswork by having actual real life conversations with them. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if your purchase through this link.]
What I love about this strategy is no, it's not super scalable like a survey. But it's not about the data, it's about the stories, and the emotions, and really getting to know who is in your audience, like by name. I interviewed this guy, his name is Stu McLaren, who teaches people how to build membership sites, and when I was speaking to him, he just gave me so many examples from people in his community by name, and like told me their life story. I just was so impressed with how well he got to know his audience. This is a big reason why, number one, he's very genuine. You can tell, because he wouldn't have paid attention to these stories if he wasn't. But number two, it's so convincing as well, because when he says, “You know, Marissa from so and so who has this little tribe of people who knit, and she was able to start her membership website and build it up to five hundred people paying her twenty dollars a month and she's been able to quit her job . . . ” and it’s like, “Oh my gosh. That's what I want, too.”
It's hard because when you know the things, it's hard because people are initially doubtful. Just as humans, we see somebody trying to teach us some new stuff that's scary and different—we're immediately doubtful. But when we see this person with the proof, and the stories, and examples of people just like me, it becomes a lot easier to get on board with that. And so, have you had conversations with people in your audience? You would be really good at this because I can already tell through how you interact on Instagram. I mean, that would be the method. It would be to number one, ask a question on a general Instagram post. And then for people who comment back or who say, “Yes, that's totally me,” or, “Oh I need help with that, too,” you then send them a direct message, which you just have that skill sort of innate built in you. I keep saying that, because I remember you. Right. There are hundreds of messages that come my way every single day through direct message, and for whatever reason I just remember you.
Lesya: You're going to make me cry.
Pat: Yeah, so you're good at that. I think use that superpower to connect with your audience, but then you can have a direct conversation just to ask them like, “Well what do you need? I'm here for you,” because likely they won't say, “Oh I need more recipes.” Or you know, they'll likely talk about the mental things, the challenges that they've been facing, and then you can build something for them after that.
Lesya: Yeah. I actually try to do that as much as I can. A lot of times I'll get DMs asking me about a question and I always respond to all my DMs pretty quickly and I always get the response back like, “Wow, you actually responded. I'm really shocked. Thank you so much.” I try to connect, but I also think that there's this fear of people on Instagram, they think a larger account, which I don't consider myself that big, but they think that we're too busy to actually respond to people. I guess they'd been burned so many times that they don't want to reach out, because they're like, “Well, none of these other accounts ever get back to me.” I'm like, “Well I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. Of course I’m going to get back to you.”
Pat: Right. So you're starting to reach out. That's the thing. That's fantastic. That, number one, is an immediate great first impression. Then from there you can sort of determine whether or not something like a course would be interesting. Then to further the conversation related to a course, I think you should just set up a landing page for a future course and have people join a waitlist for it, just to gauge are people actually interested in this. That way you can start collecting emails and you know, get real proof that hey, this is something people actually want, versus we're just we're just talking about it right now. You can then actually know. It would tell you if nobody ever signed up for it, you would go, okay, I'm glad I didn't build the whole thing and spend all this money doing that, because it's obvious that now when push comes to shove, people aren't signing up to the waitlist. So let me see what else they might need help with.
Lesya: Yeah, I guess what I'm struggling with is trying to figure out exactly what they need. Actually, I have Will It Fly? right here, opened up on my desk. I have my mind map on the wall, I'm staring at it right now. I started going through the tests and I actually got to the survey responses. I did a survey a while back and I started recording the problems and the language and the needs and everything, and I'm just seeing a difference between my blog followers and then my Facebook group and Instagram. Like, my blog followers are like, “Oh, we want more recipes and meal plans.”
Pat: Of course they do. They're on your blog. Yeah.
Lesya: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then the Facebook group was like, “I don't have time to work out. I can't get rid of this belly fat. I have sugar cravings, motivation, exercises,” stuff like that. It's like two different things, and I'm like, well, which? If I did a course, what would it be about? I'm struggling to figure out what the course should be about.
Pat: Gotcha. Well that's, that's something that you'll have to figure out. Here's something that could frame it. It's a person takes this course, whatever it is, what is their life like on the other end? What's that going to help them do? You know how to make them do that, but you need to define what the transformation is. Is the transformation more energy? Is the transformation weight loss? Is the transformation feeling confident again? Maybe it's a combination of all of the above. That's what you're selling. People don't want to buy a course. They want to buy the outcome of the course. Does that make sense?
Lesya: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. For sure it absolutely makes sense.
Pat: So you then have to have these conversations, which you are having already. You're going even beyond and doing data analysis and surveys, which is fantastic, because that can help support this. Then you have to just pick a transformation and put that stake in the ground and say, “I'm going to create a course to help you with this transformation. If you're in, sign up here for your email. I'll let you know when it's coming out and more information about it.” You don't need to put the price, you don't need to put anything, just the transformation only. That's what you want to know. You want to get people on that email list who say, “That's my goal. I want what you're promising here.” Then it’s your job then to take those people, and if you get a bunch of them then you can . . .
I mean there's a number of ways to sell a and even pre-sell it too, to validate it even further, which as you go further into Will It Fly? it'll show you how to do that. But I think that you're going to be so motivated when you have even a hundred emails from your entire audience of people saying, “I want more confidence. I want to just feel better in my body.” That's the outcome. You know how to get them there. The thing is people won't care about what's in the course. They want the outcome.
Pat: What are questions that you have related to that?
Lesya: Another thing is then on the other hand, and this is just such a limiting belief that I have and I know I have to get over it, it's like well, who would want to buy a course on weight loss when they can get so many free things on meal plans and recipes and stuff? I think like, okay, I understand membership sites, but I don't know if I necessarily want to do a membership site because I already have so much free content on my site with everything. It just sounds like so much work, to be honest. Not that I would never do it, it's just at this point in my life, I don't know if that's what I want to do.
My thing is like, well if I say, “I'm going to teach about weight loss, are you in?” And they're going to be like, “A course on weight loss? I don't know.” I have this like limiting belief that that's not something that people are willing to pay for. Like it's easier to justify paying for a course that teaches you how to make money or learn photography. You know, I bought a photography course, stuff like that. But weight loss, it just with the industry being how it is, and everyone seems to have this next new fad thing and they might think that I'm just the new . . . you know.
Pat: You're saying the perfect things, because everything you're saying is a potential objection that a person can have, right? “Is this just another one of those fad diets?” “What's the actual outcome of this?” All these objections, this is a great exercise for anybody who's creating a course or anything that you're going to sell is to list out all the questions that you have and that you think other people will have that would deter them from buying something. Then in your sales copy, in your webinars, in your emails, you have to be able to answer those things. You know, I'm imagining, for example, you had said, “Oh, who would buy a weight loss course?” I mean, number one, it's proven. I mean, the industry is huge for a reason. People want that help. But you can say, “This is one that's not like the others because X, Y, and Z. It's step-by-step.”
What really people are paying for is not just the outcome, but how convenient it is that you're offering this information to them. Even though a lot of this stuff may be free elsewhere, even. You know, I have podcasting material that's free out there, yet people are still paying hundreds of dollars to pay for a podcasting course. Why? Number one, because it's all in one place and it's step-by-step. It's one lesson leading into the other. There's literally no thinking involved. They just follow the path. Number two, they've gotten to trust me, and that's another big reason why, Lesya, that people would want to buy from you, because they want to buy from you. Because they trust you, they don't trust all these other celebrity names out there. They trust you. You've been the only person to interact with them on Instagram. You're the only one who's real on your Instagram posts. Those kinds of reasons are reasons why people would want to buy from you and they would be comfortable doing that.
The objections and I think a big part of this is just, like you said, a limiting belief. I mean, you've already proven that you can help people. I think what you could do perhaps, and this is a big strategy I often tell people, is if you don't believe that you're qualified to teach something, teach one person that thing and get them some results, because then forever from that point forward, you will never doubt yourself ever again. The course is just the mechanism by which you are sharing this information. Like I said earlier, nobody's buying the course—they want the transformation, and you just happen to be offering transformation methods in a course.
Lesya: Yeah, that makes sense.
Pat: I think again, it goes down to the direct contact with your audience and if you needed the help personally and mentally to get over the idea of like what people even actually do this with me. I mean, maybe you could do a scholarship for two people for the next month to take them through, essentially, everything that you would talk about in the course. That way you number one, prove to yourself that you can get results for people. Number two, these people could probably guide you, because they can be like, “I liked this lesson but I wasn't sure what to do here,” or, “I think the next lesson should be about this.”
Then boom, the whole thing's created with people to point where at the end they have this transformation, and now you have two stories to tell to people and when you're mentioning this course. You can invite them on your Instagram, you can mention them and people are going to go, “Oh my gosh. Like you were able to do that? Like how did you do you do that?” “Oh, well Lesya helped me out. All that information I learned was right here in the course.” That way you have that proof, you have the results, and nobody can argue those.
Lesya: Right. That makes sense.
Pat: And as far as your photography stuff, I think that sounds like a fun side thing that's kind of helping to supplement. I would just keep in mind that you don't want that to distract you from what you know you need to focus on, and not just your business, it's your kids too. Right? As long as you have and feel that you're not overwhelmed with that, then you could probably continue that. However, I think that there's huge opportunity with the audience that you've built to create something much more probably fulfilling for you in terms of helping people and more lucrative in the online course. I think you are perfectly primed for an online course that you could sell with the audience that you have and what I know about you.
Lesya: Thank you.
Pat: How are you feeling?
Pat: You don't sound good. What's the hesitation? Where's that coming from?
Lesya: I guess I just don't know how I would put everything together to make an offer that sounds like, “Yes, I want this.” Like, I could like go on and on about teaching kero, weight loss, and fitness, and everything. I don't even have that like imposter syndrome like, “Who am I,” and, “Who am I to . . .” Like, I have none of that because I know I know my stuff. Not like to sound overconfident or anything, but I do. But that's not the thing. My problem is like the marketing and the making women know that this is something that's going to be worth your while, that it's going to be something that's truly going to help you, that it's something you're not going to be able to find anywhere else. Then also not letting them down by how I build it. You know, I have that personality where I like to just give too much. Like I don't want to overwhelm, but I literally just want to lay it all out, and I know that's not the way to go with courses. Like, you don't want to overwhelm people with too much information and all of that. I don't know how to approach that. Is that just something that I would ask my audience? Like what do you want to learn? What do you want to get out of this? Is that something I have them kind of tell me what they want? Like how to approach that.
Pat: Yeah. I mean you're the expert, right? I think again, they want the transformation, and you sell that by sharing your expertise in this space, but also how your course can help them get there, and why it's different, and how much that transformation might mean for their life. The course material, which is what you're talking about, like overwhelming them and—I think that just, obviously, course content can change over time, and you can remove things if it's too much or you can add things if it's not enough. However you have to go, “Okay, this is the transformation. This is the what the course is about.”
Then you can use my a mind mapping process, which it seems like you're in right now in Will It Fly?, and take the Post-it it notes, and just all the things that you want to talk about that you think can support that transformation. Put them each on a Post-It note. And just get this sea of Post-It notes, right? Then you can start to clump them together to create order in them, because they're not going to come out in the right order all the time. Then those become your modules. Those become your lessons.
Then you go, “Okay, well what in here is not necessary for me to still help people achieve this goal?” Then you can start removing the Post-It notes, and this is your weeding process so that you can remove the things that aren't necessary so that the course ultimately does become something that is concise but efficient and will help people get through to that transformation. I think that it's just you haven't done this before so you aren't quite sure about what it might look like, and I think it's just a step by step process. Then once you get that outline—that's the first thing I would shoot for, is what would the outline of this course look like? Again, that's supporting the transformation.
Then you could even share that with a few people and go, “Hey guys, I'm thinking about building a course. This is what's all included. Is this something that you can get behind? Or do you think there's something missing? Or do you think there's too much information here?” Without asking people to pay for it: “Would you be interested in something like this?” I think that alone is going to teach you a lot, and that's the first step. Because what most people do is they build the whole thing, guessing the whole way, and then they try to sell it. And it doesn't sell because it is too much or because it just wasn't the right language, and it's because they didn't get that guidance from their exact customers. The thing is, you have nineteen thousand people on your Instagram, and a number of people on your email list, and a number of people—thousands of people visiting your blog, you have access to them. They should guide you on what you should create for them.
This is why these little conversations and the DMs are going to be really important. But I would work toward that outline of a course and just have that be your number one goal. Don't even worry about selling it, don't even worry about marketing, just create the outline first. Because I think that'll show you and give you something tangible to kind of encourage you and motivate you to move forward into the next steps, to then show to people and have conversations. Again, it's all outlined and Will It Fly? for you, but you're on the right track.
Lesya: See, that makes sense. That's something that I can do, because I think I just got overwhelmed with everything, and then I did the mind map, and I started taking down the survey results, and then I'm like, “This is just so much stuff. What do they want? Just somebody telling me what you want and I'll make it for you. Just tell me what you want.” Again, I don't want to spend like six months, three months, well at the rate I am, probably taking me a month because I'm like crazy. When I start something, I finish it in a month. But I don't want to take that time and then have it be something—again like you said—that nobody really wants because it's what I thought that they needed and wanted it, but it's not really what they're looking for. That's my only fear of it is I don't mind doing the work, but I want to make sure it's something that people actually are going to purchase and follow through and get results from.
Pat: Right, right. Which is why getting to the outline is key, so you can share that and have them go, “No, this is not what I want at all.” And you want to hear that because then you know, okay, that's not the direction. Let's move to another direction. Versus like I said, most people will just create the whole thing and then find out nobody will buy it, and that's very deflating. So get to the outline, have conversations with people, and again, make sure you're selling the transformation. You're asking people: is this what you want your life to be like on the other end? The information in the course just supports that. You're the expert, you know how to do that, which is great, because most people I speak to do have that imposter syndrome, which you don't.
So you're very close. I think you just need to hear from your audience confirmation that you are heading in the right direction and you may need just checkpoints along the way to continue to get that validation from your audience so that you can keep moving forward. Well I'm excited for you. I think that you are right on the cusp of something amazing. I would just encourage you to take it step by step, little baby steps, and you'll be on the way. Do you mind if we reached back out to you in the future to kind of see how you take action from here and the kinds of cool things that happen?
Lesya: Not at all. That would be awesome.
Pat: Awesome. Well I'm very stoked for you. Again, you have some superpowers that stood out to me. Keep using them. One more time, where can people learn more about you?
Lesya: So again, my website is EatBeFitExplore.com and on Instagram and Facebook, @EatBeFitExplore. I just want to thank you so much. This was like amazing, a dream come true.
Pat: Thank you so much. It was great to chat with you and we'll chat soon.
Lesya: Awesome. Thank you, Pat.
Pat: Alright, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Lesya. You can find her at EatBeFitExplore. That's how to best memorize it. First, you have to eat, then you're going to be fit, then you'll get to explore. So @EatBeFitExplore on Instagram or on all the places, Google search, et cetera. She's closing in on 20,000 followers there, which is amazing. Thank you again for being on the show. Thank you for listening in, all of you. Again, if you want to get coached just like Lesya did today, all you have to do is go to AskPat.com. You can fill out the application there. Leave me a little voicemail and my team and I may select you for the future, and you'll hear from us if that's going to happen. I'm excited.
I'm excited because you're about to start listening in on a number of the call-backs from people who are . . . Actually, we got a couple of surprises for you coming up in the next few episodes. It's going to be a little different. We've done a whole year of coaching calls and I know a lot of you are interested in the people that you interviewed and coached at the beginning of the year, where are they at now? You're going to hear some of those. But also we've got a special surprise, a live AskPat recording. Actually, it's called AskPat Live. Because at FlynnCon earlier in the summer this year, I had about an hour and a half show which was called AskPat Live. It was experimental and with the audience of four hundred people there. We wanted to see, can AskPat, like you hear on the podcast, be done live? We had just a number of people lined up to ask questions. I had special guests on. You're going to hear some of those as well. So look out. Make sure you subscribe if you haven't already. It's going to be a lot of fun and I appreciate you all, especially those of you who did attend FlynnCon.
Cheers. Thanks so much. Team Flynn, you're amazing. As always, Team Flynn for the win.