Case Study: How ‘The Abundant Artist’ Increased Sales by 30% (Boosting Completion Rates and Testimonials In the Process)

What it would mean if your next course launch got 30% more sales?

Maybe it would take the pressure off you financially. Or you could travel more. It would mean you’re reaching a bigger audience and making a deeper impact. Maybe it would mean freedom for you and your family.

Today, I want to tell you about how one of my readers did just that – and saw his first 5-figure launch in the process.

Meet Cory, the solopreneur behind The Abundant Artist.

Cory had built a profitable business from online courses and coaching, but had never managed to crack the 5-figure launch barrier. And while his one-on-one clients got amazing results, he hadn’t been able to fully translate that same success into his online course.

In this article, I’m going to show you the three things that Cory did which not only skyrocketed his sales, but dramatically increased the number of people completing the course, the results his students were getting … all while making the course itself easier to put together.

Here’s his story.

“I would say virtually nobody sticks around and stays engaged”

That was the problem Cory kept running into. Working one-on-one, his coaching clients had seen some amazing successes, going from never selling a thing, to now selling pieces monthly or even weekly. It worked, because people were actually committed to the process. But for his online courses and membership sites, it was a different story.

Retention was really low. I would get a very small percentage of people that carry through to the very end. Maybe 5%. The rest didn’t refund, they just disappeared.

Digging deeper, Cory found that while the students loved the course and found it really useful, they also were completely overwhelmed. It was too intense; too much for them to handle. Then Cory and I had a conversation that completely changed his approach:

Last year it was a one hour video each day for like 2 weeks, and it was just too much. But in this course, instead of doing a 1 hour video once a week, I did a short video each day that was 10-15 minutes with a specific piece of homework.

Plus, the short-form content was easier to create:

It was easier because I could say ‘Well, I’ve only got 15 minutes so I have to get these specific points.’

In the end, breaking up the content actually ended up increasing the amount of material in his course. For a course that had left students feeling overwhelmed, this seemed like a huge risk. Did it pay off to do the unconventional, and trust the system? Here’s what Cory had to say:

Overall there was actually more content than last year’s course, but it was delivered in a way that was more manageable. For this course, I had about 15-16 people who stayed engaged all the way to the very end, which for me was phenomenal. I feel like 30% is pretty darn good.

An increase in active retentions from 5% to 30%? Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty darn good, too.

“Immediate results.”

Improving the completion rate wasn’t the only result Cory saw from the changes he made to his course. He also noticed his students were getting better results, too. Instead of focusing his course on sharing information like he had done in years past, this time, he made a specific effort to make it actionable by following the principles of the 80/20 Rule for Creating Awesome Online Courses. Here’s the specific change he made:

The videos last year were about 8 hours of video total. This year it was 5 hours, but then we also did 4 Q&A calls (9 hours total of content) plus this year I did way more worksheets and downloadable stuff. I’d say that last year, it was 90% content. This year, 40% content and 60% people going and doing the work.

It worked. Not only did he see his completion rates increase, but nearly half of his students made sales directly as a result of the activities they did in the course. And that led to the testimonials, which started rolling in. TAA-Testimonials By the time all was said and done, he had received 27 outstanding testimonials.

Last year’s course, I had like 5 testimonials and I had to work really hard to get them. This year, I put together a form and asked my students to fill out the form. It was great, specific ‘I made money because of the course’ kind of feedback.

The comparison between the feedback Cory received from his previous courses and what he got this time was night and day.

Last year, all of the feedback was ‘I really enjoyed the course, but it was totally overwhelming.’ This year, one lady – because of what she learned in the class, she took it upon herself to pitch a painting to a local dance studio, and she closed a 12 painting deal. Another one had never done any email marketing. She compiled all her email contacts, put them into Mailchimp and sent out a couple of emails… She sold 4 prints, she sold out her class, and she later had a sale from her online shopping cart.

And he didn’t have to wait for the responses, either. Almost all of the testimonials happened while the class was still ongoing – which just encouraged everyone else to keep at it, all the more.

Show me the money: Getting a 5-Figure Launch

The final piece of the puzzle clicked into place when it came time to launch. Now, Cory is no stranger to internet marketing and launches. Before starting his own business, he had helped run incredibly successful online marketing campaigns for his previous employers’  clients. So when he went to relaunch his flagship course for artists wanting to sell more art, Cory did what he knew best: he started marketing.

Everything was set up perfectly. Cory had built an engaged list, and there was lots of buzz. He’d sent out a series of emails, teasing about what was to come, sharing the results from previous students, and finally sent the email announcing that the cart was open. But there was a problem: instead of seeing his inbox fill with sales notifications, he kept getting messages from people, peppering him with questions. That’s when the lightbulb went on: he had let people know he was going to do the course, he had been marketing it… but he had never gone into explicit detail about what was being offered and when it would be covered.

People had been emailing me and asking me questions, and enough people asked the question, I said ‘I should just put a schedule together.’ And so I put the schedule together. It was just a PDF with what content was going to be on what day. That was what drove most of my sign ups.

As soon as he sent the schedule, the questions slowed to a trickle and it was like the floodgates opened for sales. By the time the sales cart closed, he had increased his revenues by 30% and achieved his first ever 5-figure launch. TAA-Sales

Get my ‘Perfect Participant’ Quick Start Guide… for free

Cory’s story is amazing, but it’s not unique. It happens time and time again: when you follow the steps in a proven system, big things happen. You make what seems like small, stupid changes … splitting your videos into smaller chunks, increasing the percentage of hands on activities, or even just putting out a detailed schedule … and you see disproportionate results.

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I want to help you get the same results that Cory saw. Sign up for my email updates, and I’ll give you my Quick Start Guide on ‘The Perfect Participant’ for FREE. It’s a step-by-step worksheet that helps you get deeper inside your customers head, so that you can create the course they want to buy.