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Episode 201: How To Beta Test Your Online Program To Save Time and Money – Kendra Perry

Kendra Perry SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

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Who This Episode is Great For:

If you’re in the process of launching a new online program, course, or other virtual group service, and you want to be sure its the right fit for your audience, this show will teach you how to use a beta-launch strategy, the steps to a successful beta launch and how to make sure your new program is a success.

Summary:

You’re working hard to create an online course or program, and you want to conduct a “beta-launch” but you aren’t sure how to do it successfully and whether or not it’s even needed for your program. In this show, we dive deep with Kendra Perry, host of the 360 Health Biz Podcast, to talk all about beta launches. You’ll the timeline to launch your beta program, how to test your business model, how to charge for your beta launch, and why it all ties into a higher profit full-launch in the future. If you’ve ever thought about a beta-launch but we’re sure how to manage one, this episode gives you all the answers.

Highlights:

  1. How/if you charge a fee for your beta launch
  2. What you’re looking to achieve in a successful beta launch
  3. The exact steps to conduct your beta launch 
  4. How many people you want in a successful beta launch

Resources Mentioned:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Full Show Transcript:

 

You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator, a probate. Hey everybody. Welcome to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, episode number two, 201 I’m April beach business strategist for experts, leaders, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. And you are here listening to our show that delivers you proven,

 

trusted trainings that other coaches charge thousands of dollars for. We’re rolling up on doing this for you for about four years now. And I love that you’re here tuned into this show, all of the resources and the show notes and the programs available to help you grow and scale your business online can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com. We have some amazing things coming up for you,

 

experts and leaders, to make sure we elevate you in your space, especially rolling into 2021. So make sure you cruise over to Sweetlife co.com for all of our intensive mastermind and group consulting programs. Now diving into today’s show. I am super thrilled to be joined by our guest expert. And today we’re talking to all about beta testing, your online program launch.

 

And so this episode particularly is for those of you guys you’re launching an online course or an online membership community or a group program. You know, you have a general outline of what you want to do for your people, for your students, for your clients. But some of the problems we have are going through all the heavy lifting all the work to actually create that ahead of time,

 

and then having a program that frankly doesn’t sell. And so this episode is going to save you time, money. It’s going to reduce the stress around a full, complete launch, because we’re diving into the importance of beta testing your program. In this show, we’re going to talk about different steps to go through in order to beta test your program, what you have to do in order to get that kicked off the ground and what you really should be looking for in a beta test.

 

Why are you beta testing? And our guest expert today has done the same thing as I’ve done. She has built a whole entire program and never sold any of it before. And so we want to save you time and energy and money. So that, that doesn’t happen to you. Today’s expert is Kendra Perry. She’s a former functional health coach turned online business strategists for health and wellness coaches.

 

She’s on a mission to end the online coaching poverty by helping a hundred thousand health and wellness coaches build a thriving six figure businesses. And currently to date, she’s helped 200 health coaches grow their practice. Now, Kendra is awesome. You guys know me. You’ve been listening to the show for awhile. I’m an action sports. As far as the ocean girl,

 

Kendra is a fired up action sports adventure, and you can find her hanging out in the remote mountains of beautiful British Columbia treads in there in the snow, in the middle of nowhere when she is not totally delved into her business and marketing, and also her podcast. You’re going to learn about Kendra’s podcast today on the show. So she’s a creator of the wealthy coach accelerator,

 

and she helps coaches really create profitable group coaching systems and really make sure that if you’re a health and wellness coach, the things that you are building are in fact not just needed but wanted. And so that’s what we’re diving into into today’s show. At the end of today’s episode, you are going to understand what a beta launch is. You are going to generally have a really good understanding of how to go about a beta launch and what are the benefits of doing a beta launch first?

 

And we’re talking about whether or not you should offer your beta launch for free, or you should charge for it. All of this is in this week, sweet life entrepreneur and business podcast, and all the show notes, everything we talk about, how to find Kendra, how to get the resources we have available here within Sweetlife company for you to grow your business purposefully,

 

profitably, and intentionally can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com. All right, let’s dive in.<inaudible> All right. You guys welcome back to the podcast. I’m here with Kendra Perry. And today we are talking about something that is truly going to save you money, save you time and make sure you don’t have a mental breakdown is Kendra. And I talked about and chatted about behind the scenes.

 

So we started recording. You know, we know many of you are launching online programs. You’re, you’re scaling your business. You experts, you leaders out there, you small businesses shoot you big businesses out there are looking at creating amazing online programs to scale your business faster. But all things we create don’t actually win the way that we want them to.

 

In sometimes we as business owners, I’m raising my hand here. If you’re watching the video version of this have launched things in the past, Kendra’s raising her hand to where we think it’s awesome. We launched the whole thing, and then it’s totally bunk because we didn’t beta test it. So today on the show, Kendra is here to talk to you all about how to beta test your online program so that you don’t fall on your face and lose your ass.

 

Kendra, thank you so much for being on the show. Give everybody an introduction to you, who you are and, and why you’re so passionate about this topic. Well, thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a little while, so it feels kind of like a band girl in a little bit on this side.

 

So thank so. Yeah, I’m Kendra Perry and I help health coaches start their business. Health coaches tend to be very clueless about the business side of things. They just want to help people. And then they’re like, Oh crap, I got to run a business and I don’t even know what I’m doing. So that’s sort of where I come in now,

 

why I’m so passionate about beta programs is because, well, I did that whole thing that April just described, you know, I spent six to eight months creating this program that I thought was amazing. I put a lot of time into it. I put a lot of money into it. I worked on the weekends. I sacrificed my relationship with my partner.

 

Like he probably wanted to dump me during that time. And then I put it out there and I pumped all this money into the launch and ads and like this webinar and like, I didn’t get one sale. It never even occurred to me. Like, as I’m running this webinar, I’m sitting around, post-its like probably 30. Post-its that say $15,000 on them because I was like,

 

I’m going to make $15,000. This is what’s happening. If I surround myself with these, post-its it’ll happen because I’m manifesting it and it didn’t happen at all. And I was like, it never even occurred to me that that would happen. And I was like so perplexed and it really like traumatized me. And then I relaunched this thing three more times over the next couple of months at night,

 

I think I ended up making a couple of sales. So I lost a ton of money, like thousands of dollars and my sanity complete mental breakdown. Right. And it’s because what I knew my people needed and what they wanted were not aligned. It was not the same thing had I beta tested. I actually would have learned that like a year earlier.

 

So that’s why I’m so passionate about this. Okay. Let’s just stop there. And let’s just repeat what you just said, what your people needed versus what they wanted were not exactly the same thing. We could just end the podcast right there with that. I think that that is a huge disconnect for business leaders, especially, you know, you guys are listening to this show,

 

you’re experts in your space, you know what they actually need because you’re the expert. Right. You know what they really, really need, but it doesn’t mean that that’s actually what they want for a whole bunch of different reasons, which we’re going to talk about. I’m sure on today’s show. So what exactly is like, how do you define a beta test Kendra?

 

Sure. So you can kind of think of a beta test is like a trial run of your program. And you can do this for a private coaching program. You can do it for a group coaching program. You can do it for a membership program, basically any new program. It’s the first time you run it and you run it strategically so that you can get feedback from the real life people.

 

So you can figure out where the gaps are and where people are confused. And then you can get the information ahead of time. Is this actually going to sell it space as a way to pre validate and prove yourself, Oh, this is going to sell or it has sold. Therefore I should make it instead of making the whole thing and then it out there and realizing That nobody wants it.

 

Right. I have a question that I want to ask, but I’m going to actually hold this question for a little bit. Cause I think that you might get to it. How often do you find, because you coach health coaches, how often do you find that coaches actually do this? Never. Okay. So if you’re listening and you haven’t done this,

 

you’re not alone. I think a lot of people necessarily know about it, I think. And I think it logically, it makes sense while I create the thing and then I sell it. But when you’re beta testing, you’re bringing in this whole concept of pre-selling. So you’re selling something before it’s made. And that seems really counterintuitive and also incredibly intimidating because you’re like,

 

well, if I sell it, I don’t have it. So right. How does that even make sense? Right. But it actually does make sense, but it just doesn’t logically kind of connect in their head. Right. And so really what I’m hearing you say is the benefits of beta testing is really making sure that it is desirable. People do want it.

 

And you know, I think I first heard this concept you’re right. It scared the shit out of me. When I first heard this, I was, Oh gosh, this is like, feeling like it’s dating me. I was on Lewis Howes book launch for school of greatness, like 2013 or something. And a really small group of people that was like only 40 or 50 minutes in this beta launch and listening to some of these online course creators.

 

And, and these guys were selling their programs in that were, were on this beta team before they’d ever built them. And I remember thinking to myself, because I’m such a strategist, like freaking out about that thinking, there’s no way I could sell something that I haven’t built yet. And just absolutely panicking about that flash forward though. Like I was sharing in the beginning,

 

I have launched stuff since then, that has been totally bunk because I never tested it that way. So you’re right. I mean that initially when you guys hear this, it’s going to be like, Oh my gosh, this is so scary. But what happens is like, exactly, like you said, you’re totally validating what it is that you have and that it is needed in the market.

 

So what steps do you need to take before you run your beta test? Talk to us about that. Okay. So the first thing that you need in place, and I’m sure you’ve talked about this with your audience, and I’m a, like a broken record about this. I like am like constantly punching this into people’s head, but you need to know the who the problem and the solution.

 

Right. Which is essentially the niche you need to know your niche. You can’t just sell like a general basic program. Like it needs to be specifically for someone and it needs to solve a specific problem and give a specific outcome. So who is the program for, what does it solve for them and what outcome does it help them achieve? And that needs to be incredibly clear.

 

And if you don’t know what that is, then that’s where you need to start. Like don’t even consider launching a program. I see a lot in the health coaching World, they launched, Oh, this is my detox program. And it’ll help you solve fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, leaky gut. You’re going to lose weight too. And like,

 

yeah. Okay. We know in health and wellness that these basic strategies can help with a lot of things, but people don’t know this. They’re just like, well, I’m fucking tired, but you’re promising too many things. So now it seems inauthentic. Yeah. And I think, let me ask you this too. You know, we, we talked to a lot of business owners that are launching membership sites,

 

right? So the business strategy, the business model of a membership site is to keep people in your membership site. And so you’re always, so in your mind, as a membership program, creator, you are always thinking I need to come up with more content, more content to keep them in there, keeping them engaged. Yes. All that is true,

 

but there still has to be an injury result. It could get in result of each month. It could be an injury is all to be tweaked. And this is like my broken record. Like you have to have predictable transformational results within any single program, whether it’s in a day and an hour and a week. And these like benchmarks that people can measure to go through.

 

And I totally see that too. You’re so right about how, like, people don’t know how to explain, like when you do this well, or when you’re done with this or at the end of this, you’re going to have these, you know, things. Yeah. Okay. So obviously step number one is knowing the end result you provide, even if it’s an ongoing end result for those of you guys that are launching membership sites,

 

you are not exempt from this. You have to know that. Yeah. Because there’s that maintenance piece too. And if I’m speaking to health and wellness, if we use fatigue, it’s like the membership helps them get more energy, but they stay in the membership to keep their energy. Right. Right. There are still measurable results. Okay. So that was my,

 

I just was dealing with that with some clients this week who have a really successful membership site. That’s falling off. They’ve had literally thousands of people in it it’s falling off because of that fact that they haven’t really measured the end Results in that totally aside from this, but just for you, guys’ membership people. So step number one is obviously knowing the,

 

who the problem you’re solving and the solutions you deliver. Okay. Totally great. Yeah. And then next, what you want to do once that’s done, you kind of can create the program structure, but you’re literally just creating like an outline for the program. Like what’s the timeline? Is this going to be a four week 90 day, a six month?

 

Like, what is the timeline of the program? How are you going to set up the calls? You know, in the case of a private coaching program, how often are you going to meet? What types of sessions are you going to have? If it’s a group program, when are the training calls? When are the Q and a calls membership as an example,

 

like what are they getting monthly in terms of call in terms of content, whatever that is, you can set up the structure and you can make a basic outline for what you’re going to cover in each sort of training call or education session. But that’s, as far as you go, because you really like, I teach people to launch with an idea or an outline.

 

So like, this is the program, this is generally what it’s going to look like, but I’m not going to spend the next three to six months, like video recording all of the content because you’re going to actually run the program live again, whether that’s private membership or a group program with a fixed date, it’s live right. You’re running it live.

 

And that’s how you can launch with an outline because you’re not prerecording anything. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Anything else we should have done before somebody runs his beta? Honestly, That’s it, because I think with a beta in order to test something five to 10, people will do it right for a first round and you don’t need a fancy launch strategy to get five to 10 people.

 

A lot of my clients are literally just doing direct outreach. They’re like writing a list of people who they think would be interested in the program and they’re reaching out or saying, Hey, I’m thinking of doing this. Would you be interested? And I think that’s totally fine. Sure. If you have launch skills and you know how to launch, you can launch a beta with a fancy launch style.

 

That’s what I just said. I literally just launched a beta that finished enrollment on Friday and it had the whole fancy webinars sales sequence thing. But as someone who’s newer, like you don’t need any of that. Like you were literally just need a payment link and then some direct outreach to get someone. So kind of depends on where you are in your business.

 

But if you don’t have anything you don’t need much. Yeah. And I love that. You just said that because that’s so true. And I think I’m in the whole launch strategy and process really holds people up, especially when they’re in newly developing their program. And they’re newly learning how to the whole launch strategy. It’s just a lot at once. Okay.

 

So now I’m going to go back and ask this question that I was thinking about asking you earlier, do you recommend, so business model, so you were talking about, you know, we have to know you call it a structure of your program. I call it the business model of the program in a beta. Do you recommend that your people run it on a condensed business model or a condensed structure,

 

or actually, do you feel like it needs to be the exact structure they’re proposing? If the structure actually aligns with the results they get, what do you think about that? So I think it could go either way now with my people. I recommend that they do it on the timeline, just because health is really hard to speed up, you know,

 

for people to get Results like they need time to implement, but it could, you could run it on like a quicker or condensed timeline, I think would be to be something where you’re teaching like business strategies or something like that. I think you could definitely do that, I think either way, but it probably depends on your industry. Yeah. Great tips.

 

Okay. So how do we actually run a beta program for free? How do we go through that process? What is the value in that? And really the question I can ask you, because we see this all the time is how to keep people engaged when you’re giving them something away for free. You know, there’s always some sort of skin in the game thing,

 

especially, well, I actually don’t, I don’t think I would ever recommend doing a beta for free or like offering it for free. I think people have much of a stake and things they get for free. Right? So a lot of the language around running a beta is to offer it for free, but I just don’t think you get committed people.

 

And the point of the beta is to test and get people to go through it. And I honestly think, and I don’t know who said this, that the transformation is in the transaction. I don’t know who to give credit to, but I’ve heard that before. And I truly believe it. People have to give away something that hurts just a little bit in order to be engaged and committed.

 

And most people, I know who’ve run free betas. Like a lot of people drop off. So I think people should charge for it. But I think they should probably charge maybe around half of what they ultimately want to charge for the non-banks. Yeah. I’m glad you said that. Yeah. We just did a beta of our masterclass, your signature offer and it was half the cost,

 

which is still hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. Okay. So I was going through kind of our notes and I was like, I wonder what she’s going to say about this predated thing. So I’m glad you said that. All right. And so in what are the three steps you have to running a transformation in your beta program,

 

a transformative beta program. So yeah, I think there’s three components in any sort of transformative program that really what they make up is the experience of the program. And I really do believe the experience is what generally sells in a program rather than just some like DIY info product that there’s a zero experience. So the first one is education, right? You have to be teaching people,

 

something new, something they didn’t know before I find it. A lot of programs though, people stop at the education piece and they’re just spewing out content and information and content and information. Doesn’t equal transformation because we actually have an abundance of content. Like content is not our problem in this world. It is literally everywhere and there’s too much of it, but you do need that education piece.

 

So the next piece is the support, like how are you actually going to support people? And that might be through live coaching calls, live Q and a calls might be through email support, tech support, if you’re doing more of a private coaching program or some sort of one-on-one program, but you do need to support people. And that’s really why people in best cause like the education is great,

 

especially when you deliver it in a step-by-step format, but like they can find all that stuff if they want to. Right. So that support piece is really important for that experience. And then the third is accountability. I think accountability often again is missed, but how are you actually going to hold people accountable? Because people actually need that. Especially if you’re talking about health and wellness or even business,

 

right. Especially new business owners. Right, right. Like how are you actually gonna like call them out on their shit and be like, Hey, did you actually do this? And that can be through email check-ins or homework assignments where people actually have to hand it in right. In my programs. Cause I like to run more intimate group programs. If people go Mia,

 

actually follow up with them and I’m like, Hey, I noticed that you haven’t been engaging. I just want to know like, is there some way you’re not being supported? Like how can we help you? And obviously in the end that it’s their responsibility and if they go Mia, that’s, that’s their thing. But I think that accountability piece and being able to keep tabs on people in some way is really important in a program.

 

Yeah. I love the subtle that, so education, support and accountability for sure. Yeah. Three ways to build this transformative program. Love all of that. I agree with that a hundred percent and love that you run smaller groups. I love smaller group programs. I think that we’re really starting to see a shift. Thank heavens from the cattle drive courses and programs that have been certainly popular from about 2017 to 2019.

 

And it’s all about relationships. So if you guys are listening, you you’re about to launch a math course. Great. That’s awesome. Or super happy for you, but there is massive value in the accountability piece and the relationship piece between smaller elite programs. Love that. And then how do you recommend people actually use this beta testing process to lead in their space,

 

to lead their industry in their program? What are the, this is kind of the wrap up question here, but what are the springboard steps after this beta that you recommend people take in order to take the lead in their space, especially for you, like you deal with health coaches, they’re all health coaches, you know, but everybody’s different. Everybody brings something different to the table in their program design.

 

So what are really kind of the springboard steps to lead in whatever area they want to lead in. So it’s being very intentional with the feedback that you receive in the beta, right? That’s, what’s going to allow you to make the program better and optimize and make it the best in your space in your industry. And so you want a really robust way to collect feedback within the program,

 

right? Yeah. You can like kind of gauge what people are thinking, you know, in the Facebook group, if that’s what you’re doing or however you’re doing it, but actually creating surveys that you give away after every phase of the program. And I typically, I love bribing people. So I usually say, Hey, if you fill out all the six surveys,

 

I’m going to enter you into the contest. And I make the prize like really juicy, like just like, Oh my God, because people need a little bit of incentive. So I like to call it ethical bribery, but there are actually four questions that I want to share with you that you can ask your people after each module or phase or step,

 

whatever you want to call it. And that is what was your favorite part about this training or module? What was confusing about this training or module? What do you wish I had expanded on? And finally, what resource would help you better succeed? And that’s what helps you. So when you run the beta, like you want to run it super basic,

 

you know, like it’s the most basic way you can run it while still providing the value. So don’t go and create a million handouts and like a million resources and all this stuff like actually ask them like, what would help you? It’s almost like a co-creation process. Like you’re creating this program, not just with you, but with the people who are literally engaging in it.

 

And that’s how you make it the best. Because at some point after you do this a few times, people are like, wow, I feel like you made that program exactly for me. And you did right? Because you can get with Them. Right. Right. What an awesome idea. I love those feedback questions. And just being able to measure where people are in each benchmark of the program too.

 

And how cool is this? Like, you can’t do this. If you’ve already taken the time recorded, the videos done all the PDFs and they’re all pretty and they have your logo and they’re all branded on there. And then you go like you don’t get an opportunity to do that because you’ve already created the outcome for that. So this is, this is a very cool concept to actually take it from that direction and have the beta students go through and tell you,

 

Hey, this is what I need right now in order to take action on what I learned today or this week. So super awesome. Kendra, thank you so much for being on the podcast. This was super informative. How can people find you and connect with you? You have your own podcast. Let’s talk about that for a minute. Yeah. I have a podcast called the wealthy coach podcast.

 

So for anyone who’s doing online coaching, I speak primarily to health coaches, but anyone who’s in the kind of online, personal development, health and fitness space, I give a lot of great information on that podcast. But if you want to connect with me or ask me any questions about the show, the best place to connect with me is Instagram. My handle is at Kendra Perry,

 

inc. I answer all my DMS and I love chatting with people. So don’t be shy. I love it. I love it. And we, we really appreciate you being on the show and following this. So for our listeners to take action, we were talking about a way for them to go through and take action based on what you talk about.

 

We’ll have a resource to be able to share with our listeners that they can take action in the show notes of this show, where they can do that to drop on my pen here and we’ll make sure that they find that. So all of the show notes you guys can be found@sweetlifeco.com, click on our podcast and where to connect with Kendra, how to find her podcast and everything we talked about today will be in those show notes for you.

 

Thank you so much, Kendra. We appreciate your time. And I love the concept of the beta launch, both you and I have learned some hard lessons and hopefully those people who haven’t done this process yet, we’ll save them some time many, and I’m certainly increasing their peace of mind. Thank you April.<inaudible> Thanks for sticking with us in today’s show you guys.

 

I can’t wait to talk to you next week, where we have another awesome guest coming on the show it’s guests season. Wow. I love our guests. I learn. And I just benefit so much from our guests as you guys do. Thank you for your reviews. You leave on this podcast. You know, our mission is to give you proven strategies,

 

business strategies that you can take to the bank strategies, that if you were to hire a coach, they charge you thousands of dollars to tell you the stuff that we deliver. You hear on the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast. I’m a nonprofit founder as a nonprofit founder. This podcast is one of the Sweetlife company’s missions. It’s one of our mission, one of our outreach to make sure that entrepreneurs across the globe are not only growing their business,

 

but you’re growing it strategically in a way that you can trust is going to give you that future. You want. That’s what we do here on the podcast. That’s what we do in this sweet life company. So thanks so much for staying tuned with us. Of course, find everything that we talked about on the show notes, including programs on how you can work with us,

 

how you can work with me privately and personally, to grow your business by visiting Sweetlife co.com