Creative Solutions for Course Creators


Today on The Legalpreneur Podcast, Gina Onativia simplifies online course creation. Founder of the Course Creation Boutique, Gina helps experts quickly produce high quality online courses in as little as 90 days. Formerly the digital strategist and course creator for Tony Robbins, Gina has perfected the process of developing a fully functional online learning portal. Once her former client Amy Porterfield suggested that online courses were the future, Gina left her job to become a full time course creator consultant.

In this episode, she shares tips for how to utilize sales funnels that steer clients from a starter course to the heights of your expertise. She helps you configure tiered price plans that hook clients with an introductory course, or even a freebie that leaves them eager for your more valuable programs. With Gina’s help you can develop, launch and market your knowledge in a digestible online package. 

Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Realizing that courses are the future!

[3:00] Never miss a moment with your family when working from home

[4:00] The experience that taught Gina how to develop courses from the ground up

[5:30] Expertise comes from experience not from a degree

[8:54] If you have a system for results and an have a course

[10:00] Start small with your money making course or workshop

[11:30] Choosing your minimum viable products out of pre existing content 

[12:05] Funneling customers to your momentum builder from your cheaper courses

[15:28] Get creative with your freebies by providing info that prepares clients to buy your course

[18:00] Setting up a selling system with a value boost after your trip wire

[19:30] Starting big often leads to failure so start small to finish on fire


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The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022



Legalprenuer transcript:

Andrea Sager  00:03

Welcome to the Legalprenuer podcast. I’m your host Andrea Sager founder and CEO of Legalprenuer Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business. I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your business’s growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves. In true attorney fashion, the information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Hi, welcome back to another episode, I cannot wait for you to hear from today’s guest, Gina Onativia. She is with the course creation boutique. Of course, talking all things course creation, I’m so excited for you to hear from her because so many listeners ask me all the time like hey, how do I create a course? How do I do this? How do I do this? And I’m not the expert when it comes to creating a course. And so I’m really excited to have Jean on today because she’s gonna give us some great tidbits about how to create a course. How do you find your idea? What if you have too many ideas? So Gina, thank you so much for joining me today.


Gina Onativia  01:20

So excited to get started. Andrea, thanks for having me on.


Andrea Sager  01:24

Yes, I’m excited. So tell the audience like tell us what’s your background? How did you get to here like where so many people I love talking to my podcast guests, because it’s so many different backgrounds. So many people started and corporate, so many people started here. They’re everywhere. So I’m really excited to hear your story.


Gina Onativia  01:42

Yes, absolutely. So I’ve take you way back to my days at Tony Robbins working Oh yeah, a peak performance coach, Tony Robbins and I built courses, multimedia courses for Tony Robbins, I’d go into the studio with him. I prep him for events. And then I decided to get pregnant with my son Tristan, and Amy Porterfield. I’m sure your listeners are familiar with Ames. Ames was my boss and my best friend. When I was pregnant, she said to me, you know, you don’t have to go back. Courses are the future. You’re great at them. You could go out on your own. And then I started course creation boutique based on him. And that just takes that one thought, right? That one person just say, hey, what if and Ames was that person for me. And then from there, I joined my husband already had a business. He’s an art director. And we started building courses for experts, speakers, entrepreneurs, and we build out to digital marketing. And we have the business we have today. Because Amy had that idea.


Andrea Sager  02:45

That’s awesome. I have no idea. And that’s really cool. I love to hear because I mean, most people listening have probably heard of Amy probably listen to her podcast, she is one of the Queen’s of digital courses. salutely. And I love that she was such a supporter. And I think people listening will probably love her even more after hearing that because as women even as women, and I don’t always like to point out like as women this as women that but as women like we’re the ones pushing out the kids. And so we really do have a little bit more of that, like, oh, I want to be with the kids and versus typically the the fathers. And so I love that she was so supportive, and I know that she doesn’t even have biological children. And so that’s really I love to hear that. I’m glad you shared that.


Gina Onativia  03:36

So, so generous. And then and plus you’re saying for moms, I knew I was gonna have one we have Tristan and I didn’t want to miss one moment. And she knew that and she’s always been like that just just so everyone knows. Like she’s so authentic and generous as you think.


Andrea Sager  03:52

Oh, that’s awesome. So how long ago was that when y’all worked at Tony Robbins?


Gina Onativia  03:55

Oh my gosh, we are going on that was 1213 More than a decade ago to get to awesome Robbins and I mean, we shared hotel rooms together just so you guys know Amy likes to shut down the lights early and just go to bed. She doesn’t care what you’re doing. So when she’s ready for bed, she’s ready for bed.


Andrea Sager  04:16

Well, I’m curious, Gina for you. Your background even before Tony Robbins what like what were your qualifications for not saying like, you have to have these certain qualifications, but I’m curious like to get hired at Tony Robbins like, yeah, what were they looking for? Yeah, I


Gina Onativia  04:30

love that. You asked me that. No one ever asked me that. So I’m a journalist by trade by education. I went to J school with a double English major. Okay, really, really using that right now that’s really helping my marketing skills. But I knew how to develop an idea because I was a jerk. Yeah, I knew about content. I knew how to tell a story. And when I got hired, this is great. No one would hire me when I moved to San Diego because I like who is this new girl right in her 20s. And I was like, Okay, I just gotta walk into the courtyard. The people at Tony Robbins, were having a party in the courtyard I walked up to I said, Where’s Andrea from HR. They said, that’s her right there, she had a cake in her hands, I go, you need to hire me. And I handed her my resume. And then I got hired. And I had no idea what the role was really about. They said, The chairman is looking for creative help, and content development help. And I’m like, I can do that. And then all of a sudden, I’m going all these events. And I’m traveling once a month, and it was a greatest experience of my life, because that’s how I learned how to develop courses, how to develop programs from scratch, and how to support any course creator, any expert in that endeavor. And so am I an instructional designer by trade? No, I had a guy asked me that once, by the way. And I’d call like, okay, where does your degree from? And I said, I don’t have a degree, but I worked for Tony Robbins for five plus years. And it was the greatest education ever. And everybody listening, and I know you talk about this Andrea, expertise doesn’t mean you have a degree, it doesn’t mean, you paid for something, right? It’s about experiences. So I’m shut up for a minute. And


Andrea Sager  06:10

no, you’re great. I love it. And I mean, I love that too. Because what I have learned for me personally, because I left a big law. After seven months, nobody’s gonna hire me. I didn’t have experience like seven months, and big was nothing like I still know nothing. But I knew that I was so hungry and determined to learn. I literally taught myself everything I needed to know to serve small businesses. That’s right, because I was doing something I was doing litigation at big law, just miserable. But what I’ve learned from there, even hiring, I actually don’t care what degree people have. When I hired my first associate, back when I had the law firm. He was brand new and law school, and most people want experience when they’re hiring an associate. And I’m like, No, I actually don’t care about the experience. I want to know that you’re hungry enough. And you actually care enough about the small businesses. So I’m totally with you there about the degree like whether it means something or not. It’s a matter of How hungry are you? If you don’t have a degree, if you’re wanting this more advanced position, like, do you have the experience because that experience, Oh, screw the degree. But that’s honestly like, that’s what I hate about corporate America these days. Like, oh, you have to have this degree. And like my best friend, she works for MD Anderson. It’s one of the top cancer centers in America. And she’s on the admin side. And she’s like, way up for medical coding. But she’s stuck because she never she didn’t get a four year degree. But she is wonderful at her job. She’s great knows how to like wonderful at managing people, like people love her. But she literally will not be able to get another promotion until she has that four year degree. Wow. And it’s just like, look at how many people you’re holding back. That’s from going further in your organization because of just a piece of paper. Yeah, yeah. But anyways, I don’t want to, I don’t want to make this about


Gina Onativia  08:05

waiting for permission. Be experts. Well, I guess I’ll wait around until somebody says like, I’m the expert. Or maybe I’ve had people and I know I bet you to like, oh, I have to go back to school for this. Like, yeah, yeah. So yeah. Now that those experiences, and it’s about what you’re teaching now, and the transformation that you’re providing now,


Andrea Sager  08:25

for some reason, almost weekly. Now, I’m getting DMS, about people that want to go to law school, and I’m like, can you give me some advice? I’m like, yeah, don’t go. Because I tell people all the time. Like, I’m not using my law degree right now. Like I don’t, once I graduated from law school, I was like, I actually don’t want to be a lawyer for the rest of my life. But I knew I wanted to be involved in the law. And so I don’t want to keep going on this topic. But basically, what I’ll end with is, you don’t need to have a fancy degree to be successful apps, figure out what you want to do. And figure out how you can do that without getting a degree experience is worth so much more than any degree. Anyways, love that topic. Love that we had that discussion. But going back to courses, so it speaking of experience, when someone has an idea, and they’re like, Okay, I want to create a course. But maybe they think they don’t have experience, or they don’t even know what they want to create a course on how like, what are some tips that you have for them?


Gina Onativia  09:24

Yeah, so I say that you have a course inside of you if you have a result and an audience. So so let me back up a little bit. So I know you talk about having a great niche. I’m a big believer in that to starting with the smallest segment, or as Seth Godin says, We love Seth Godin, the passionate corner or the swimming pool, like people look for an ocean, right? Like, oh, what’s the ocean of people I can provide? Like, alright, alright, let’s start with just a swimming pool of the people that you can speak to and that’s where we’re talking about niching down and then the second part that result? What have you brought to someone or to yourself like I of course creators who said I worked on myself, I have a unique weight loss system that I did for myself. I want to teach people that too. So as long as you know that there’s a system for results, you can have a course you can teach a program, you can put yourself out there. That’s, that’s what I truly believe. And that’s what I see again and again.


Andrea Sager  10:16

And on the flip side of that, what do you say to the people that have too many ideas? They’re like, oh, I want to talk about fitness. I want to talk about career I want to talk about, yeah, this and that. What do you say to those people? Yeah. So


Gina Onativia  10:28

I say I talked about the three M’s, if I could, like, just go through that, Andrea? Because that’s every entrepreneur, right? Like, so many people we work with, are like, I’ve got a million ideas inside of me, I don’t even know where to start. So here’s three M’s that I want to talk about two, one is money maker. And it’s Listen, it’s not always about the money. But let’s be honest, we want some cash flow going. It is. And this is where I say like, where can you make the money to start where you get that cash flow going. And it might be something with a lower price point. I think a lot of times when I’m talking to people, like I’ve got my signature masterpiece, ready, I’m like, Ah, how about starter course material, right? How workshop? How about we start with a two hour cozy little paid workshop? And then build from there. Where can you start in terms of that, like, I had a client I had a grad Elaine, who taught colorist how to do a traditional way of coloring their hair. And she was putting out like a 497 program. She was seeing limited results. I said, Why don’t you try paid webinars for $97. She built her business on those low price webinars, sold her salon lives in the beaches of Florida now is living the life because she started smaller. Right, because and she went for that moneymaker. So and then the second one is stopped me at anytime, Andrew to break me up here. MVP. That’s my second one. I’m sure you know, minimum viable product, right? What’s the low hanging fruit that you have that you can build a course today? So because a lot of times I do this, too. It’s like, Oh, I really want to build this course. Well, what do you already have content for? Like I had some a woman who wanted to teach doodling, doodling. I was like, that’s cool. She’s like, I already taught these three webinars, can I make a course out of it? Sure. She bundled those together, she made a $97 course boom, M V P baby. And then the third is the momentum builder. So where’s the next step in terms of customer path? And where are you ready? So if you want to put out that lower price point, maybe you have a higher price point course maybe you have group coaching at the other side of that, right? And like where do you have that journey? already thought out? That’s those are the three M’s that I like to start with people if you are struggling with having too many ideas. Yeah, a lot of times people have pieces, but they think it’s not good enough. Right? Oh, well, I’ve got to do it from scratch. Or I wonder I’ve had people who filmed something right recorded something a couple years ago. And she’s like, I’m not quite sure I’m good enough. I’m like, It’s good enough, go put it out there because I think it’s imperfection. We’re afraid of that right and imposter syndrome, put it out, see what happens, you never know what’s gonna, you never know what you’re gonna get out of it. You say hierarchy is a funnel or customer path or journey or whatever you want to call it. It’s having that path in mind, in terms of how you want to help people, right. So if you have your part, like we could talk about your funnel too, so but because I know you’ve got programs. So say you’ve got lower priced ones, they’ve got a $47 course that you’re getting people in, you’re getting mass quantities, and then maybe you’re selling to a $500 course, that then sells into group coaching. And that’s your higher price point. I know that one feeds into the other. I’ve got clients and students who like okay, Elaine, I mentioned Elaine. So from that 97 webinar, she has a membership site that you can opt into now. And then from there, she can have coaching. And then now she has retreats. So she has high end retreats at the end of that, but initially, she just had the 97 and to say that 497 or 397. And now as as she has built herself up as a course creator, she has built out more of that path. So just having kind of the end game she knows her sweet spot now is that membership. So she knows she wants to drive people toward that. Keep that in mind, what’s your bread and butter in terms of what you’re driving people towards? And then what’s that lower price point what’s at entry point for them the sweet spot and then you might have a higher price point. And you might not


Andrea Sager  14:29

so one question that I have because I’ve been hearing mixed reviews or mixed feedback is what about freebies because I know like five years ago it was Oh offer free and then sell and and now I just keep hearing about SLOs and which self liquidating offer for those listening and that’s really coming in at that 37 $47 product and then upselling then I hear a lot of people just doing away with freebies. I’m curious about your take on it.


Gina Onativia  15:00

So I’m a fan. Okay, so you call it an SLO. I call it a tripwire, whatever. Yeah, whatever. I’m a fan of testing what works for you. I am not going to say get away from the free just yet, though, because I think people see value in it. Here’s what I will say, get creative with a free opt in, right? So, and really what do your people want? And where will you see the least friction. So the like a guide, a good old guide, a cheat sheet, right is still gold for many people who just like, hey, just give me the steps or questions that I need to move forward. People are still looking for that quick win. I don’t care like what industry you’re in. So and in terms of what do they need to know? Or where do they need to go before they take your class. So for example, I was just talking to a student who’s teaching advertising writers how to go out on their own and freelance, and she had a section in her course that was about to overcoming the fears and how to make sure it happens in longevity, like how to make it last. I was like, this is a great lead magnet, the secrets to making an advertising freelance career last for the long term because that’s what she’s done. She’s she’s got a career for years and years. I’m like, you want them to get over those fears, so they’re ready to buy your course. So that’s why I still like that freebie, Andrea, because it gets people ready to buy whatever your next offer is. I also like a tripwire depending if that’s right for your business. But I say Test, test test test, like a free masterclass might be better for you than a guide, right? A quiz might be better or an assessment, but I’m still a proponent of the free. Just just test what really works for your people and what gets them to buying your program. Got it? Yeah, no,


Andrea Sager  16:45

that makes so much sense. And for the tripwire and now I’m kind of selfishly asking, because I’m always curious about these questions for the tripwire. So let’s say you have like a 20 to $60 product to get people in. What like I’ve heard from people like, oh, I only sell like a $2,000 product after that, or you could sell a $10,000 product after that, or just a few $100 product after that, like what do you like, what is your advice around that? Oh,


Gina Onativia  17:12

I mean, okay, so again, we’re gonna test well, not okay. And I’m


Andrea Sager  17:15

not talking about the actual tripwire. So you have like the offer and then the bump. I’m talking about, like, they go through that. And then


Gina Onativia  17:22

and then there’s, I’m a fan of a selling system at the end of that tripwire. So that could be a video sales letter. Right? That could be a video series. I could be an evergreen masterclass. So I am a fan after that tripwire that there is another boost of value to then sell into the program, especially if you’re talking about like a $2,000 program. I’m fine with that. If there’s that substantial selling system, like like what I just mentioned, one of those three that I just mentioned, or a challenge. I’ve seen people like turn their challenge to Evergreen, then I’m good with it. Like you said, 2000. I was like, oh, whoa, I know. Right? So I still think maybe like a under a 997 might be a great offer. But it depends also on what how much value you’re willing to put out there. Right. So I think it’s right, what’s right for your industry, what are your competitors doing? And then change it up and test it out?


Andrea Sager  18:15

Oh, my gosh, so much value. I can talk to you all day. But I know we only have a limited amount of time. So before we end, there’s one question that I ask every single guest and that is what is your number one business tip. Oh,


Gina Onativia  18:29

oh my gosh, my number one business tip. Start small. So I kind of mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, but people I think have big, big dreams and big ideas of what they want to achieve. And listen, I want you to have big dreams don’t get me wrong. Like I want you to build that wellness center in five years or 10 years. But for now start small start with a starter core. So that workshop that I mentioned before, and just get your your feet wet. Yeah, try that on because I think so much so many times when we try something big. We end up not finishing. Yeah, you start small you finish on fire. That’s what I that’s I think so.


Andrea Sager  19:07

That’s so good. I love that. Okay, well, Gina, please tell everyone where they can find you. How can they find your courses? Which I’m sure you’ve got plenty of them.


Gina Onativia  19:17

Yes, I do have a few courses. I would love if you’re gonna be on my podcast, Andrea. So yes, if you go to course creation You can check out the podcast you can check out my different freebies and all kinds of goodies for your listeners. I love it. Yes, absolutely. This was fun. Thanks for having me on.


Andrea Sager  19:38

Here at Legalprenuer, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community for all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with a fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners which allows me to support more business stoners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show. Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram. I promise I read all of the messages and comments. And if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest, simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.