It's one thing to create an online course. But it's a whole other thing to figure out how to get people interested in it. How do you get people to find your course? How do you launch it? Do you do a fireworks launch, or a fireplace launch? What do those two terms even mean? Well, we're going to talk about all of that and more today with one of my favorite people in the world: Jess Catorc. Jess was actually on the podcast before, over five and a half years ago, in session 229. Back then, she was a blogger, writer, and brand strategist who helped people with their websites. Now she's become one of the top people over at Teachable, where she co-leads creator launch initiatives. She was head of partnerships for a while, and she's one of the smartest people I know.
Jess and I talk about all things online courses, like how the landscape has changed in the past five years, how to launch a course successfully today, how to know if your course content is actually working, and why community is such an important element of the online course experience. We have so many tips, strategies, and resources to share with you in this episode, including a very special project called the Creators Guild. I'm so excited to share this conversation with Jess because she's just amazing. So, sit back, buckle up, and enjoy.
Jess Catorc, host of the Keep The Receipt podcast and coleader of Creator Launch Initiatives at Teachable, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs expand their reach and share their knowledge and passions online. She’s been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the ABC television network, and has spoken at events around the world including Google Campus (UK), Karlie Kloss’s coding bootcamp, and Sound Education FM hosted at Harvard University.
- How Jess went from course creator to head of partnerships at Teachable—and grappled with her identity as an “entrepreneur” in the process
- The biggest trends and shifts in online courses that Jess has seen in the last five years
- How to get clear on the transformation you promise in your course, then work backward to build the content
- Why your course needs an “education phase” if you want to launch it successfully
- How to measure the success of your course
- How Team SPI has been rethinking our own course launch strategy
- Why community is a magical element to add to your course experience
SPI 521: How to Build, Launch & Sell a Course Today with Jess Catorc
So, it's one thing to create online courses, and how you create them matters of course. But it's a whole another thing to go, "Well, how do we get people interested in them? How do we get people to find them? How do we launch them? Do we do a fireworks launch, or do we do a fireplace launch? What does that even mean?" Well, we're going to talk about all those things and more today with one of my favorite people in the world, she has actually been on the podcast before over five and a half years ago, that was on episode 229. And back then, she was a blogger, writer, brand strategist, would help people with websites. Now she's become one of the top people over at Teachable. And she co-leads creator launch initiatives right now. She was head of partnerships for a while, and one of the smartest people I know in a world. Her name is Jessica Catorc.
And, you could find her in this episode, and of course at Teachable. And, we have so many resources to share with you, including something called the Creators Guild. And, all these links and everything we're mentioning today is going to be on the website, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session521. I'm so excited because Jess is here today and she's just amazing. Jessica Catorc from Teachable. So, sit back, strap in, because this is going to be awesome. Here we go.
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it's all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host, his longest camera lens is over 18 inches long: Pat Flynn.
What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to session 521 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Wow, that's a lot of episodes. And I'm really excited for this one, especially because, as you know, we're here to help you make more money, save more time, and help up more people too. And, there's no better way that I can imagine doing all three of those things, than with something like an online course. And online courses, thanks to Teachable... Teachable is the platform we use to host all... I think we have 10 courses now. It's crazy. We have so many. And we have over 120,000 students, who've gone through those courses. That's both paid and free courses. And, it's been one of the best business decisions we've made since 2017. It's accounted for nearly $5 million in sales.
And, today we're talking with Jess from Teachable, Jessica Catorc. And, you could find her on social media and we'll have all the links on the show notes page, which I'll mention again at the end. But yo, she brings it today. And if you are ever, ever going to launch an online course, or if you've launched them before... Honestly, even if you launch anything, you're going to want to pay attention to this episode; it's so fantastic. So, I'm going to stop talking. Let's get into the interview. Here she is.
Jess, welcome back to Smart Passive Income. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you for having me back. This is crazy. We were saying this before: this is a full circle moment, but I'm really happy to be here.
For sure. Because the last time you were on, it was episode 229, which was years ago. And, you were doing so many amazing things and now you're doing even more amazing things. Can you give us a quick update on what you're doing, where you're at now, what's going on in your life?
So, this is a crazy story. If you haven't listened to episode 229, I reached out to Pat using a video pitch, posted it on Facebook. I was just saying thank you for the work that he's done. And, what's crazy, Pat, is... So, after I shared it, a few people started sharing it on Facebook, as you saw. And, one of the people that reached out to me after that video was Ankur, who is the CEO of Teachable. And, he just sent me a message on Facebook, he's like, "Hey, not sure if you've heard of Teachable, but how would you like to live in New York for a bit?" One is like, "Is this how people get job offers? Is Teachable a legit thing?"
And, basically what ended up happening is they invited me to meet the team for two weeks just to see if this is something I'd be interested in. And, really what's interesting is that I was already a course creator. I was already familiar with the space. But, there was a part of me that was thinking there's no way that I'm going to work for another company. And, I feel like maybe there's a few people in the audience that had this conflict, where you start to question, "If I were to work for another company, can I still call myself an entrepreneur? Am I still a creator if I'm working under other people?" And, I really struggled with that, until I met the team. And, I mean, you've met the team at Teachable, but it was one of those things where everything felt right about this opportunity, the people, the space that they were in, how passionate they were about helping creators.
And so, I said yes. And I joined, and I thought I would be there for a year. And, it has been such a wild ride... I mean, it's been five years now, and I never thought all the things that ended up happening from that point on would've happened. So yeah, it's been a wild ride, but crazy that we are back full circle here.
Yeah, and now you're back. So, it was that pitch that really started this and Ankur and the entire team at Teachable have been so wonderful to everyone here at team SPI. It's so cool to see that they essentially headhunted you, they recruited you. Did they give you any sense of, what was it about that pitch that attracted you to them? What caught their attention? Did they ever tell you?
Not specifically. I think the biggest thing was... So, my role that I was stepping into was partnerships. And, when you're working at a startup, when people don't necessarily know who you are, you don't have connections or ways to expand your reach right away. I think, the way that I reached out to you showed at least that I was willing to go out of my comfort zone and try different things to connect with people on hopefully a more personal level, than just copying and pasting a bunch of emails. I think that was it, but also just talking with the team, I don't think they had a specific role yet. It was more of, "Let's see if there's something here." Which obviously eventually, ended up being partnerships.
It's so cool. And, to be here on this side and see all the work that you've done for them, and how much more they have grown as a result of the work that you've done for them. It's been really amazing. I'm super proud of you. I am just super stoked. And, I'm excited to chat more about online courses with you today, because you're obviously helping creators with creating online courses. You're very much on the front face of the brand a lot, in terms of how we can do this? What's working? What's not working, et cetera? And, online courses have changed quite a bit since you came on, what are maybe the biggest or most radical changes or influxes within online courses from five years ago, when you came on and what you're seeing and what's trending today?
This is such an interesting question. And so, I'm going to address the first one, I think everyone is thinking, which is cohort-based courses have seen a huge influx. And, for those that are not familiar with what cohort-based courses are, it's essentially a live version of a course. So, there is a set period where the content begins, there's live instructions, there's often coaches, or your course instructor will help guide you through to ensure that you're getting results. And, that is honestly one of the reasons why they are so impactful, is because people are joining a course, they're actually following through because there is that added level of accountability. It is live, you have to show up. So, that's the first one.
The second one, and it is in the same note, which is that, I think at the beginning, there's a huge focus on marketing and customer acquisition. And, I think that is important. Of course, if you're starting in a business, you need to ensure that you have sales. But, what I have seen consistently, it's clockwork. I guess, the best analogy would be firework and fireplace launches. So, firework is those grand huge launches, just incredible numbers, but they're very short. And then, we have the fireplace launches, which are slow and steady, but more sustainable. And, what we're seeing is there's a huge focus on customer acquisition, which is leading to people having these really big launches up front. I think we see these stories, like the overnight successes, the six figures in first year of business. And, what happens is when we're only focused on getting new customers in the door. The missing piece that well intention creators often miss, is customer retention. And, specifically for courses, people are investing in an outcome.
And, when you are saying on your sales page, "At the end of this course, you're going to achieve this." It is so important that you actually see, "Can I measure that? The people that are going through this initial launch, are they actually getting to that outcome? Is it a different outcome?" And, when you do that, you're going to have people that are actually going to be talking about your course, they're going to be getting results, you're going to have better testimonials, but it's something that most people miss. And, it's not because they're trying to scam people, it's not because they don't care about the results that their students are getting. It's just that they often don't know how to actually do that.
So, can you share with us how we can actually do that, to ensure that people as they're coming in, they're also getting the value and seeing it all the way through? To a point, I agree with you. Your best marketing team are those who've already taken your course, who have gotten results from it. We've seen this with Power-Up Podcasting, and our email marketing course, people are sharing it on their own because they're getting radical results. And, that's the goal. And I think that, like you said, is not intentional for people to sell a course and then not have that happen. But, how do we encourage our students? Or how do we encourage the creators who are creating courses to get to that point where they are in fact creating retention, and community, and connections after? Yeah, how do we do that?
The first thing, and this is really what you want to do before you even start creating any content, which is, that you want to get clear on what your transformation is. And, what a lot of people will do is they'll create this huge outcome. So, it's not like they're just creating a course on, let's say, I don't know, "Be your best self." It'll often be somewhat specific like, "How to be confident?" But what you'll find is, when people start to work backwards to create the content, they either have too much content or they're not really sure what to include, because being confident could mean so many different things.
So, the first step is really getting clear on, "Okay, what is the specific and hopefully measurable outcome?" So, example could be, rather than being confident, it could be, "How to feel confident in networking situations at conferences, when you're an introvert? Five tangible strategies that you can implement when you're having a conversation with someone, when you feel like you always run out of things to say." These are things where you can have a wave of students come in, and really start to see, are the people getting to the end of the course? And are they able to do that?
So, you want to determine what is success going to be for your students? And then, also looking through what is your success rate? You could say, that you have a very specific course, "How to have five conversation starters at a conference when you're in introvert." And people are getting to the end of the course, but you're noticing that, the people that get to the end of the course are achieving that. But the majority of the people aren't even getting halfway through the content, that's equally as important. Because, even if you are delivering on your promise, you want to ensure that people are engaged, they're actually getting through it so they can achieve that. Things like getting clear in your outcome, you want to ensure that your videos are short, bite-sized videos. Really, I would say, avoid having hour-long videos, because you want to ensure that at the end of every single video that your student watches, they get to a specific outcome, a win, or a transformation.
Each video should build off of the previous one, and the previous one. Even as a learner, if there's an hour-long video and you have to go through and scroll through 30 or 40 minutes of content to find that one specific piece that you're looking for, that can be also challenging. Getting specific, measuring what your success rate is, and trying to improve that. Now, how do you actually improve that? One of the best things is to speak to your students. So, if you don't have anyone who has paid for your course yet, have a beta launch. I know you've spoken extensively about this. And, what you can do is go through, have some people do your course for free. But ask them at the beginning, before they even go through the content, "What is your current expectation? What are you expecting to have at the end of this course? How much time do you expect to spend on this?" Things like that, so you create a baseline.
And then, at the end of the course, ask them, "What was the outcome that you achieved? Do you feel like I measured up to what I had promised you? Were there things that you struggled with?" Getting really clear and speaking to the people going through your content, you are going to learn so much about, what is working and you might even find that the outcome the people thought that they were getting was completely different to what you had intended. And then, you can adjust it and tweak it from there.
Couldn't have said it better myself, the beta launch, and especially, within a beta launch, the communication with those students. So, so key, that can help guide what the course will then become when you launch it publicly. It can help you fill in a lot of the holes that might be missing. And then most of all, help you empathize with the students who are struggling, who are looking to get this result from you. And that question of, "Well, what do you expect from this?" Is so key. That is such a powerful question that even in conversations, even before a course, if you are having conversations with people in your audience, and we're talking about a solution, "Well, what do you expect out of something that you might purchase? What is it going to ultimately give you in the end?" Wow, that is absolutely incredible.
So, thank you for those tips, because I think there are a lot of course creators here, and future course creators here listening, who can highly benefit from that. The big struggle that I know a lot of people have who have courses or are thinking about creating courses is, "How do we launch this thing?" When we see other people launch courses, it can be very intimidating, "Wow! I have to do a whole three-video series, and it looks professional, and all this stuff is happening." What would be, in your opinion, the easiest way to make the biggest impact during a launch to get the right students and a good amount of students in your course?
This is such a great question. You do not. And, I would actually highly encourage you do not spend a lot of money on creating these highly produced videos up front. What you will find, and I can say this from firsthand experience as someone who thought that the only way that my launchers are going to be successful is if I have a professional video shoot, we sit down teleprompter all of that, is that your courses, your marketing, even what you think your target audience is and who ends up being attracted to you is always going to change. It is always evolving even as your brand grows. And, when you start things off, where you spend a lot of money without really understanding what exactly is going on, you're going to find that you need to change things.
Now, if you start small, and you start with your phone camera, you start with your laptop, then you can start to improve things. And also, you can't improve on something that doesn't exist. So, start small, that is the most important thing. Now, as far as, how you can have the most impact upfront, without having this huge marketing team or creating all these marketing funnels, is I think it's important to understand who is in your audience and having them express what it is they're trying to achieve, or what are their specific pain points, and starting to bring that to the forefront. So, what I mean by that is really reaching out to your community. And, if you don't have the community, you can start posting in forums. Reddit is such an incredible platform that I think so many people sleep on. You can get very specific forums and topics, and you can speak to people about what are they currently struggling with? And, you're going to start to see patterns with specific things that people are looking for, in the way that they're describing them.
Often, we'll create courses, or we'll try to launch products with the overarching goal that we know that a lot of people in our audience want, rather than seeing, "Okay, well, I know that maybe 20 percent of my audience is specifically asking for this specific thing." And, focusing your attention on that. The other thing too, launch in two phases. So, rather than going in, and creating a bunch of emails, and launching it, and just helping people buy, you really want to ensure that you're having an education phase up front. That is showing people that you can help them get to an outcome. You can go live, you can go on your social, you can answer questions in forums, or if you want to make it even bigger if you have an audience, create content.
Amy Porterfield does this really well. You do this really well, where you're talking about the topic that your course is eventually going to help address, throughout all of your content. So, people already start to think, "Okay. I didn't realize that I was interested in this topic. I want to learn more." And then, when you do launch your course, it's not a surprise.
That's so key. And, just to be honest with you and everybody listening. We have at Team SPI struggled a little bit, with having, first of all, a library of so many products that are great. But, feeling like we have to push each of them out within a certain time period, thus not allowing for that education piece to come as much as it should. And I remember when we launched a Power-Up Podcasting back in 2017, 2018, we had a whole three-week campaign. Now that campaign was not emails every day and even announcing that there was a course up front; it was just letting people know about podcasting. Letting people see that there is an opportunity, letting people know what the biggest mistakes might be, helping them determine if they were interested what the best approach would be. "Here are ways that people are doing it and how it's changing their lives."
Then, opening up the launch for the course. And then, that launch, because of all that upfront education, and inspiration, and objection crushing, if you will, or neutralizing those objections that people may have had. We did a quarter million dollars in that launch. And, we have not had a launch that big since, even though our audience has grown, even though our email list has grown. So, just a little bit of a reality check for myself, even. And this is something that we're already talking about changing, less launches of less courses, but more pouring into our audience, more conversations, more understanding, more value up front. Thus then, not just proving our expertise, but then hopefully helping them understand that we can serve them and that this is a good opportunity for them.
So, we're working toward that again. And hopefully, this provides a dose of reality for all of you that you can do even better than us. We got lost in the churning out of too many product too fast. And, the way we launched was just an email announcing a webinar. Then the course launch. There was really nothing other than the webinar, but even then, not everybody's going to be showing up, or there's just one touchpoint out of several that may need to happen.
So, thank you for bringing that up. And, we're excited to pour more into who our audience is, and really getting specific, especially with regards to a lot of the brand changes that we have, changing from, "Hey, let us help you with everything." To, "Hey, let us help you build your audience and go from there." Which is, really what our focus is going to be moving forward, which is going to be really exciting. So, that's really cool.
What I love about Teachable, specifically, is you always share these really amazing case-studies and success stories from sometimes random niches and course creators who you wouldn't even think could create a course about their thing, from copper deficiency in goats, to being an aerialist, for example. There are so many different things. Have there been any new really interesting stories or case studies from successful students who have gone through Teachable and have created courses and served their audience?
This is my favorite thing about being at Teachable is just, if you've ever had imposter syndrome of, "Is my course going to be successful?" I think, you should apply to work at Teachable, so you can see all of the topics that are actually successful. But really, okay. So, I'm going to think through some. Summer Oakes has many courses on houseplant masterclass. And, this is I think, very relevant. There's also Mike Greenfield, who's at Sourdough University with pro home cooks. So, lot of—
... It is, Pat. I did it. Shameless plug, but it is incredible. I never thought I'd learned the science behind sourdough. But, it's helpful.
You took the course?
I did. I did.
Yeah, but that's the thing is, things that you maybe do every single day that come naturally to you, or maybe you show your kids how to do, or your family, or your friends. And, these are things that other people want to learn, but maybe don't have the opportunity to, in their immediate family or friend group.
So, yeah. Houseplants, sourdough, there's sauna courses. So, using sauna therapy, understanding the best saunas to get, very specific. But, I don't know if I would call this a case study, I'm going to call this a... Well, it's more of a success story, but Asad Chaudhry from 52Kards, he has courses on card magic and teaching people different tricks. And, it was a few years ago... What is time? But yeah, I think it was a few years ago, we did a video shoot. And, we brought in a few creators to New York and we told them that they were going to talk about their courses, which they did. What they didn't realize though is that we actually behind the scenes had reached out to some of their students, and people that have taken their courses and their content, to have them record videos to share really what the impact they have had on their life.
Asad thought this was his impact. Benny Lewis thought this was his impact, but actually hearing it from the students. And, we just create this video and showed it to them. And, I mean, I can send you the video after. It's incredible to see what people are saying. But, the part of Asad's story that is mind blowing is that we reached out to people, he watched the video. And at the end of the video, he just sits back and he's just silent. And, he's silent because at the very end, there is a guy who ended up being the first magician to win India's Got Talent. He knew of this guy, he had followed his journey, he had no idea that this man started off learning from Asad. So, you just can't anticipate the impact you can have. It is not just about creating a life for yourself, but really seeing the domino effect of you just stepping into this space to share what you're passionate about, to help people get results. So, that's definitely the one we were just bawling in there, but yeah.
I'm sure. I mean, I'm welling up a little bit hearing about it. And, being a course creator myself, I can relate to, maybe not having one of my students win an entire nation's competition, but having people's lives change as a result of the work that we do now. Work hard now, so we could reap the benefits later. But also, so that others can benefit from the knowledge, and the information, and the experiences that you've had, that you are now packaging into a course. And, I'd love to, before I talk about the Creators Guild, which is so exciting, I want to talk about that and share where people can get more information about what that is and where to go. I want to ask you about the future of online courses. You had talked a little bit about this trend toward cohort-based courses, we've run a few as well, where you're launching these things live.
What else is coming in the future, with relation to online courses and how they're going to…? I mean, they're not going anywhere. In fact, more and more people today than ever are absorbing online courses. What should we be paying attention to? What should I be paying attention to and every other course creator here, in terms of how to continue to serve our audiences with online courses, and what maybe we don't see that maybe you do being on the front lines of it all?
I've thought about this a lot. And, I think that with 2020, 2021, I mean, specifically 2020, there was this huge spike in people creating courses, people who maybe would not have expected that they would be doing that, or people with offline businesses and transition them online. What that means though, is that the industry just skyrocketed where it was going. Maybe this was going to happen over the course of three years or four years. And in one year it was just like everyone was doing it. What that means is that there is so much more competition. There's so many more people in the space, sharing their ideas, creating courses. And, I use competition not as in competition, like we're butting heads, but competition as in, as a consumer, there is so much out there. If I search for courses on painting your office desk, let's just say that, there's probably courses on that.
And so, what that means is from the customer's perspective, there's a bigger step, there's a bigger jump to invest in a premium course right away. So, if I'm going online and I'm seeing that there is three courses on, let's say, cooking. There's one that is $500. It is worth $500. It is a premium course. This creator knows what they're doing, and it is great. But there's also some other courses that are a little bit cheaper.
Or, I go through this website and I see that they only have one course that is $500. What I think is going to be really key for people to do is really start to think through. And, I really don't like this term, but creating trip wires, or creating smaller entry points for customers. Because of that, if someone has seen your videos and they're connecting with you, it's really great to offer a smaller piece of your course, that could be free, that could be a $20 ebook, or checklist, or whatever that is, but start to create a portfolio of products, so people can start to eventually grow into your higher-ticketed products. This is not taking away. And, I still stand by having premium-price courses.
But, if you really want to start to prepare yourself for what is happening in this landscape, I think it's important that people are able to work with you sooner at a lower price point. You're not giving away your premium course for $20; that's not what I'm saying. But you are offering those smaller “pocket products,” as Suzi Whitford also talks about, to ensure that you're opening yourself up for more people.
I like that. I think people are definitely going to be more protective of spending so much money so quickly. So, having a smaller dollar amount item for people to get used to your style and enjoying the way that you do what you do, to show that you can actually provide value to them. And, I always talk about the idea of the small, quick win. In my book Superfans, it's the idea of, if a person finds you for the first time, how can you give them something that they haven't gotten before within 10, 15 minutes? The tiniest bit of a win goes such a long way, that yes ladder that we sometimes hear “Yes," small yes to bigger yes to biggest transaction yes. A book could be that. A mini-course could be that, an actual paid course.
The cool thing about that, and the reason why the tripwire, and I don't like that term either, because you trip a wire and then you explode. We're not trying to cause any damage or anything. But, that idea that starts this entire process and you have a buyer now. And a buyer is a different person than somebody who might absorb a content for free. And, that's why that's important because that buyer, if they see that there's a huge ROI on the value that they've gotten from that small a purchase, the question in their mind is now, "Wow! What happens when I spend $500 on this course now?" The value's going to be that much bigger. I agree. And, I think that's going to be important. I also feel like community is going to be an important component of these online courses as well. I'd love your thoughts on that.
And, I know that Teachable and Circle, for example, have a really good relationship with each other. We use Teachable and Circle together, not just for SPI Pro, which is our membership community, but also to have a cohort of students and people in a community who are taking our certain courses, they have access to what's called the SPI academy and can connect with each other. And, we had those once on a Facebook community. But, with Circle, we have a little bit more control and it's just not on Facebook, which we like. But what are your thoughts on adding a community element? Any tips for anybody who's thinking about adding a community element, on top of their digital course?
Community is huge. And, I think there's two factors to this. One is, going through the same experience with someone, but also accountability. What I will say though, and this is only because I've seen many people start communities just because I need to start a community because everyone else is starting a community. You want to ensure that you're doing this, and you have the bandwidth to maintain it. So, only because we're on the sourdough train. But, communities are your starter. So, you have to continuously feed it for it to grow. If you just put flour and water into a jar, it might grow for a little bit, but then it stops. And, this is the thing that maybe people miss or maybe don't think about before they start this. And, what that can mean. So, when you're feeding your community, it's not just posting daily questions, but you actually being engaged in that community.
And, I think that's what is so magical, specifically looking at your communities too, is that, people are joining to connect with people who are on the same path. They're looking to connect with people who also want to achieve a certain goal. But they also want to connect with the instructor. They want to feel like they're a part of this and they've got this coach or this mentor that is rooting them on the entire way. And so, when you're creating a community, I think it's important to find ways to ensure you're personally responding to people if you can, if you're in a position to. If you have a huge community and you can't do that, at least doing some type of live Q&As, where you address some of the questions. And, consistently showing up for people. So, if you create a community and you're like, "Okay, in a perfect world, I want people to take my course and I want them engaged in my can community every single day. I want them commenting first thing in the morning and last thing at night."
But then, you look at your own behavior and you're only showing up in that community every three days, or once a week to post a prompt or a new video, people are going to follow your lead. If they see that you are in that community every single day, they're going to be like, "Okay, I should be in here every single day." Or, "I want to be in here every single day." And, yes, that is a lot of work. Yes, that isn't always scalable. But, that's why often if you have a smaller audience, you have an advantage because you really can be that direct point of contact. Yes, communities are great, but I always caution people by, make sure that you're doing it when you have the space to fully commit to it because they are incredible. But, only when they're done effectively.
Yeah. Thank you so much for that. Within our communities, they've grown to a point where I can't be there to respond to every comment or answer every question. So, what we've done is, we've had people who we brought on the team to help with that. Whether that's actual people that we've hired or promoting some of those members who in fact in the community are more active as moderators to just be there and continue to support that community, that's really helped out. On the accountability level or the access to me level. I've been able to actually hold office hours once a week. And, I've done this for the past four years. I've only missed a couple weeks for travel or if I've been sick. And, this office hour that I have every week. And honestly, people tell me that even if it was every month, it would be worth it.
But I like to show up because it gives me that connection to the audience and allows me to show them that I am here for them and I am showing up. But it also allows them for just a quick answer to a quick question, which could be the one question they need to get over that hump. Right? And, what's really cool that I find that happens in those Zoom calls is that people are connecting with each other in there. And, they're actually forming partnerships and creating friends within those groups as well.
So, it doesn't have to be an ongoing 24/7 thing. It could be something that can allow you to at least control your time a little bit more, like these office hours that happen. But, something on top of just the information alone could be of a huge value add, and a great way to not just convince people who are thinking about getting in your course to get in your course. But, a way to actually prove to people who are in the course that this is absolutely worth the value, and that you are there for them. Thank you for that. What is the Creators Guild? Let's finish off by talking about that. This is something that we've talked about. SPI’s in fact, promoted this a couple times before. And it's really, really cool. And, I'd love to push people toward that. What is the Creators Guild? It's something awesome that Teachable's done.
It really was this idea where we were talking with... We have really great relationships with so many people, different brands with our creators, and we speak to our creators, and course creators, and entrepreneurs all the time. And, what we were seeing, which as you can imagine, people aren't just using one platform, they're using a bunch of different platforms. And, I think often with providers and brands, it's always them promoting their product to their audience. And so, we were like, "Well, wouldn't it be fun if we could reach out to the top brands that creators are using. And, what if we created something where it was this hub for entrepreneurs or people who were wanting to start businesses. And, we could offer training. What if we could offer discounts and freebies? And, it was just a small conversation that grew into this huge thing now.
But really, we've joined forces with you, SPI Media. We have entrepreneur magazine Pexels, tailor brands, Calendly, of course Teachable, and BestSelf Co. And, we've basically brought in incredible content, you should watch Pat's workshop all about webinars, and StreamYard too. It really is just access to the best possible price. You have access to freebies, and gifts, and really great training on different topics to help you grow your business. But, I'm so excited, and the response already has been incredible.
Awesome. Well, for those of you listening, we will create a prelink for you that I'll share with you in just a moment, that will allow you to go through and check it out. But, people have been commenting about this after we shared it previously, that it's massively helpful, just a really cool way for you to step up as Teachable to create more things and bring people together that are actually useful to us. So, I just want to say, I appreciate that. And, that's really exciting to see, more and more people coming together to help the creator economy. Because, we are in the middle of it now. And, it's just been this term now that I think a lot of us, and Teachable included, were ahead of the timezone for a while, in terms of, "Hey, let's create and let's put this stuff online, and let's make money from it, and serve people at the same time."
And now, everybody's doing this now. So, to your point earlier about, the fact that there's a lot of competition is so key. So, understanding about what you, is your superpower, and how you stand out, and how you serve your audience. And also, building your audience, and being your best self, and putting yourself out there, all really key. And anytime you can get access to workshops, and tools, and companies like this. It can only do nothing but help. So, thank you. And we'll share that link in just a moment, but any final words of advice for those who're in the audience who are creating courses, what would be your final hoorah for them, before we send you off?
I think, well, first, thank you so much for having me on here. This has been really fun. But, I think the parting words is, there's so many creators that I speak to every single day that have ideas for things that have these... I mean, I'm sure there's so many people here listening. You're probably shaking your head. You're like, "I've been sitting on my idea for two years. I know what I want to do, but I haven't done it." And, often, I feel like I say this all the time, but we focus on our fears, "How people are going to perceive me, what are they going to think of me?" And, we completely eliminate the other side, which is the impact of what will I be able to do for other people?
And, if you think of the TED talk that you saw that changed how you viewed something, or the course, or the creator, or something that completely changed the way that you live your life. If you imagine that those people stopped because they had 50 followers on Instagram, or they were worried that they didn't have the right setup, or they weren't great on video, you realize that the impact of you saying, "Yes," to this thing that you want to do, this feeling that is there and it is not going anywhere, is there for a reason. And I think that, rather than giving yourself a chance to just launch your course, I think we need to give ourselves a chance. Let yourself try. Don't try to launch a successful course. Just try, because that's the first step. And, when you start to see those initial messages come in, when you start to see that one person that responds and says, "I was able to do this with my family because of your course, you're going to start to see that. I wish I had said yes years ago, but the best time is now.
Jess, thank you so much, stick around, I'll share all the fun links for you in just a minute. But, thank you so much for coming on as always. And, we look forward to connecting with you again soon. Hopefully, not every 250 episodes. Maybe we can get you in sooner again next week.
All right. Thank you. All right, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Jessica Catorc from Teachable, co-leading creator launch initiatives. She has been doing that since the middle of 2021. And before that for four years she was head of partnerships. We've just had an amazing relationship together. We have done a lot of filming, and partnership type stuff, and just can't wait to see what she does next, because she's just doing amazing things. And so, is Teachable. We wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Teachable.
And so, all the team members at Teachable thank you. And Jess, especially, we appreciate you. And again, all the links and everything we mentioned, including the Creators Guild, everything you can find all the show notes page that you can go to right now at SmartPassiveIncome.com/session521. Again, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session521. All right, so what was the biggest thing you learned in this episode? There's a lot of takeaways, and I hope that even just one of these things you implement, you take action with, and you get some results from. Jessica, thank you once again. Thank you, the listener. I appreciate you for spending some time with us today. And make sure to stick around because if you subscribe, you'll hear from me on Friday, and we're going to go a little bit deeper into course launching, and give you some tactics, and stuff too that you're going to want to make sure you don't miss. So again, that's coming on Friday in episode 522. Yeah, can't wait.
Until then, take care. Thank you. Peace out. And as always, Team Flynn for the win. Cheers.
Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We'll catch you in the next session.
Want more from SPI?
Enter your information below if you'd like to join our newsletter!