Today I want to share with you a very special Kajabi Hero story.
New York Times bestselling author and creator of several highly successful online academies, Chalene Johnson, has been a long-time friend and customer of Kajabi.
She got her start selling training before online courses were even a thing (from dvds to infomercials!), and she has a wealth of experience.
From finding huge success early, to discovering her true passion, and finally starting all over again, Chalene has been through it all.
In this #KajabiHero story, I want to share with you Chalene’s path from wide-eyed entrepreneur to highly successful business owner (which includes a ton of missteps and soul searching along the way).
Her story is a motivational one of what it means to pursue your passion without having to compromise what’s important to you.
And, as you might imagine, she also has a ton of advice to dish out, so I’ll also let you in on the exact blueprint Chalene uses to plan and outline her highly successful academies!
Let’s get started...
Chalene has always grown up with an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong passion for teaching other people.
One of her earliest gigs was as a fitness instructor making only $13/hour to help pay her way through school.
Eventually, she took her knowledge and created fitness dvds to help other instructors save time with pre-formatted workouts (old school, right?).
That idea introduced her to an entirely new world of fitness infomercials where she really started seeing some tremendous success for the first time… one of her infomercials was even the no.1 most popular fitness infomercial for a period of time!
Digital Products: A New Way Of Doing Things
But as you might know, momentum was shifting away from television, dvds, and other traditional mediums towards going online, and Chalene knew that she had to adapt and evolve if she wanted to stay ahead.
Plus, there’s so many other reasons that enticed Chalene into digital products...
By going online, Chalene realized she could spend most of her time with her family (a huge reason for why anyone decides to jump into creating digital products).
She also wouldn’t have to travel anymore; she could work from the comfort of her own home, film videos, and still serve people worldwide.
(In her words, she loves being a homebody!)
For Chalene, it just made so much sense to jump on this new wave that was happening online, and it was the also opportune time for her to make the switch (in more ways than one)...
From Fitness To Her True Passion
Even though Chalene found so much success in the fitness world and it was what she had done nearly her entire life, the truth was that fitness wasn’t Chalene’s real passion.
She honestly couldn’t see herself doing fitness videos for the rest of her life.
She realized during her journey as a fitness entrepreneur that her true calling was helping other people lead the lives they want to lead… to help them get organized, set goals, be productive, and accomplish whatever dreams they had in mind.
In a sense, Chalene wanted to teach others how to be their best selves.
And she also wanted to teach people how to avoid all the same challenges she went through… this was her real passion.
It really was a monumental occasion that led Chalene to completely change niche AND change the way she ran her business.
Chalene faced many struggles in the beginning when it came to transitioning online and launching her brand new product.
Even though she had a wealth of knowledge and experience when it came to designing, teaching, and selling training programs, going online was a completely different world.
There was a learning curve to actually building a digital product. Making the videos was a cinch for Chalene; it was turning it into an online course that was a problem.
Then she had to somehow get that digital product into the hands of her customers and lock it behind a paywall - which was a huge task during that time!
Chalene also had to get up to speed on lead capture devices, sales funnels, upsells, payment gateways, and much more - and then find a way to connect them all together with her digital products to form one cohesive online business.
It was like learning a new language.
That’s when a chance encounter with Kajabi completely changed her entire outlook...
How Kajabi Changed Everything
At a Brendon Burchard event many, many years ago, she heard of a platform that had all the tools that made it easier than ever to get your content online and sell it to your customers.
That platform? Kajabi, of course :-)
She wrote down the name of the platform (misspelling “Kajabi” in the process as she let us know afterwards) and went home to get more information.
And from there, as they say, the rest was history.
“Kajabi is so revolutionary, so easy.”
Kajabi made it easy for Chalene to finally get her content online and fulfill her mission of helping others.
With Kajabi, Chalene was able to build out multiple academies under one roof. Because these products came with a built-in payment system via Kajabi, new customers could seamlessly pay for a product and then be brought into the academy to immediately consume content.
No more tying together different services and trying to make it all work.
Kajabi also helps Chalene foster a thriving community inside her academies where her students can ask questions and engage with each other, while Chalene’s team can act as virtual assistants and moderate discussions.
Kajabi has also helped Chalene bring in new leads for her business and nurture them along the way of turning them into what she calls her “lifers.”
By utilizing the power of multiple sales tools, Chalene can offer multiple payment plans so her new customers can feel comfortable choosing the plan that works for them… Whether it’s subscription-based, monthly payments, or lump sum, the barrier from lead to customer is lowered even more.
And now, with Kajabi’s upsell and cross-sell features, it’s even easier for Chalene to turn buyers into repeat buyers!
There’s really no shortage of tools that help Chalene scale her business like never before, and get her content into the hands of those who really need it.
To date, since finding Kajabi many years ago, Chalene has made over 8 figures selling her online academies!
Words Of Advice From The Kajabi Fan Club President
Kajabi has given Chalene an opportunity to fulfill her passion (serving others) without compromising what she values (time with her family).
These days, Chalene continues building her life-changing income from the comforts of her home while running a few big events each year; she is truly living the life she wants to lead and Kajabi helps her do that.
As Chalene says, she is “the president of the Kajabi fan club.” (I promise there’s no such thing… I think.)
Chalene tells us that everyone she’s meeting who wants sell their content online is trying to build their own platform or tying different tools together, so she offers them the same advice she gives to everyone else...
"Why wouldn't you let the experts do that? It's the smartest thing to do... let Kajabi do that for you."
How To Create An Online Academy That Provides Real Value
Before I let you go, I promised I would share with you the blueprint that Chalene uses to build out her multi-million dollar online academies.
These are the questions she asks herself when coming up for the design of a new academy…
If you can go through this list and successfully answers these questions, you’re going to have an amazing digital product that gives people an end result they want while providing them with a ton of value.
In a sense, you’re going to build your “lifer.”
Here are the questions Chalene asks herself when she creates a new academy:
1) What is the end result when someone completes your academy?
In other words, how will that person's life change for the better? Will they be able to accomplish X, have more time in the day, make more money with a certain technique, etc?
2) What does the average person need to know before they start?
When you’re building a product, it’s important to understand what stage your customer is at in his/her journey. If it’s a beginner course, they probably don’t need to know anything beforehand. But if you’re building something that’s more intermediate, you should at least keep in mind what knowledge is needed to get there.
3) What’s the biggest mistake I made and how can I help people avoid it?
People really benefit from other experiences because it makes it easier to connect the dots for why something doesn’t work when it’s a real world example… so let them know what mistakes you made and how you overcame them.
4) Where do people get stuck?
What’s a stage in the journey to accomplishing X where people generally get stuck? It would be wise to spend more time and effort in that area so your customers won’t make the same mistake as well.
5) What seems obvious but people don’t realize there’s a specific technique to do it?
There are always going to be stages in a journey where the answer seems obvious, but maybe there’s a better way to do it or there’s a specific technique that produces an actual result that’s needed to move on to the next step.
6) What about my formula is going to make a difference?
By this, she means that your audience has presumably tried to find a solution to their problem before but for whatever reason it didn’t work out - that’s where you come in. You have to show them WHY previous answers your audience found didn’t work out for them, and why YOURS will.
7) What tools and training do they need and in what order do they need to know them?
The last part of this question is just as important as the first - it’s not enough to know what tools & training your audience needs to know, it’s important to know the order in which they learn it. For example, if you taught guitar lessons, you probably want to teach your students how to tune a guitar before you teach them any chords.
8) Who is this for and what is their attention span?
People generally have REALLY short attention spans, and this has gotten significantly worse in the digital age. If you know that your audience tends to bounce after a while, then you need to break your videos down to make them more digestible.
There you have it! That’s the exact same checklist Chalene goes through when designing her highly successful online academies - and they can work for you, too!
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