How to Launch a Course With Minimal Reach with Melissa Gamara
Welcome to episode 56 of The Determined Mom Show, and I have a very special guest, Melissa Gamarra, today, and she is an o b. So if you don’t know what an OBM is, you’ll learn about it today.
And she is the owner of Melissa Gamara Management. And if you want to check out her website, it’s just melissagamaramanagement.com. So welcome, Melissa. I’m super excited for you to be here because what we’re going to talk about today is relevant, especially in our current times.
Many people have so much knowledge. They need to bring it to the masses and are good experts at something. They have all of this stuff inside their head or experience in some topic, but they don’t necessarily have an audience. So you’ll be able to teach us today how to launch a course with minimal reach.
I’m super excited about that. I’m excited to talk to you about it. I feel like. So incredibly important, uh, for people to understand that they need to have this particular piece of their business running in the background, especially when you’re thinking about expanding your business maybe into the six and seven-figure range and trying to build that up, you have to have multiple different avenues of revenue that are coming into your business to make sure that if one thing goes down, then there’s other stuff to kind of catch you.
Tell us a little about how you got started in your business and started working from home. Cause I know you’re a mom. I started my business back in the summer of 2018. I was pregnant with my daughter about a year and a half ago.
During that pregnancy, I was working in the business. I had worked at that company for a couple of years, but pregnancy changes things, as I’m sure many of your listeners can attest. So during my third trimester of pregnancy, I started looking into daycare and realized that that is incredibly expensive.
For somebody who’s working full-time, when I was looking at the time, it was like a thousand dollars a month for a newborn, like in a facility, right? Consistent care for the full-time. I didn’t want to do it out of somebody’s house because there’s always the possibility that they have an emergency or can’t care for my child.
I didn’t want to deal with that. So as I’m looking and I see that it’s going to be somewhere in the range of like a thousand dollars a month, I started thinking to myself like, I don’t want to work for somebody else only to spend 50% of my paycheck on childcare, just so that I could go to work.
Make more. Like it just didn’t, it didn’t work. And so, I’ve always wanted to be a business owner. I remember when I was a teenager, I think I was like 16 when the show Shark Tank came out, and I remember laying in bed at night. I have terrible insomnia. And so I’d lay in bed at night and think, what can I invent?
Like, what’s the new thing I could invent, invent that would let me? Be rich, have a successful business, and like work for me because I knew from a young age that working for somebody else was not. Not for me. My parents always would get mad at me because I’d like to quit jobs all the time, mind you, as a teenager.
But they’d be mad because I would only stick with jobs briefly. But I’m the kind of person that I don’t particularly like sticking with things I don’t enjoy. If it doesn’t make me happy, I won’t do it. I started looking around for things that I could do working from home.
I have a finance background, so I was like, okay, I could do like. Bookkeeping for people or something along those lines and digging on the internet found virtual assisting, an umbrella of tasks they do. It can be anything from general administrative, responding to emails up to like website.
Development and, and changes and things like that. So you can have a VA do a huge array of items. And so that seemed like it would be the perfect fit. So I signed up for Abby Ashley’s VA course. It’s incredible. I highly recommend it; it taught me how to stand my business up from like start to finish, which was helpful because, While I’ve worked in business finance and I kind and I understood it, it was nice to have somebody say, this is what you need to do.
This is when you do it, et cetera, et cetera. So I started my business as a VA and worked at that. I quit my job in February while I was still on maternity leave. I had replaced my income, which I’m very fortunate for. And then, by August of that same year, so 2019 last year I became a certified online business manager after.
As a VA and bringing on more clients, I realized that I was doing a lot more like business and marketing strategy, helping people, expanding their businesses, and bringing more people on and launching courses and websites together. I was doing much more high-caliber stuff.
I didn’t want to be a VA. I wanted to be more of a business partner. And so that’s how I. The certification for online business managers went through that process, and now here we are. And that’s what I do now, which has been great and rewarding. And I think what you were saying at the beginning about pregnancy changes, everything, almost every single one of the guests that we’ve had on have had that moment where like, okay, either it’s before they have the baby when they’re pregnant, or, it’s like after they realize. They don’t want to leave their baby.
Like it’s that like thing, and it’s just a pivotal moment in every mom’s life. And I’ve been in a position twice where I couldn’t change my circumstances. And then this third time I had my third daughter, I was like, okay, look, this is not going to happen again.
I always think to myself, just reflecting on how grateful I can work from home and a family member watches my daughter during the day. Who stays home with her young child. And so she is still in daycare in some sense of the word, but I can’t imagine having to leave for work at seven 30 in the morning, not getting home until five 30 in the evening, and then basically just happening to put my child down.
Like, I can’t, cannot imagine. How different would my life be if I did not make this huge leap back when? I’m incredibly thankful and blessed to be able to work from home and have my child live just a few hours or be watched by somebody who lives a few houses down.
One of my first podcast episodes is specifically about, But definitely, it gives them that kind of glimmer of hope, that light at the end of the tunnel, that there is a solution. You could work from home and make the same amount of money if you make less than in your corporate job.
So it’s important to have people like you come on and attest to that. It’s one of my favorite things to help give people the tools to do so. Start up their own business, which is why I love giving people information about starting their course.
Because that is such a key piece to having a business that is self-functioning and in times of. Crisis and whatever is going on. Maybe people aren’t buying your one-on-one services, but they’re buying your group services because those are a little bit cheaper, or they’re buying a course from you because it’s a little more inferior, whatever you can to, to keep the lights on.
And online courses are a huge part of that. And we’re in the middle of this pandemic as we’re recording this. It’s not going to be when it’s airing, but at this point, we’re very uncertain of what’s going to happen, and millions of people at home are looking to change their lives right now.
Many people are at this moment where they realize that your business does need to have an online piece to it so that. People can still get to you and pay for your services and your time, and your business doesn’t have to stop just because of how things are going or circumstances beyond your control. And I see so many brick-and-mortar businesses that would typically only have something to do with online.
To launch a course and get some traction. First, let me preface this by saying I’m a big fan of email marketing. Some people are on the fence about that. But I am a big proponent of doing launches via email marketing. However, many people who are just starting out may haven’t done the online thing for too long, or maybe they just haven’t thought about it this far in advance.
I’ve learned on Instagram that if you are tagging people strategically, it helps boost that. You don’t want to label people unnecessarily. Like I’ve seen posts where people do that, but if you post a quote from Marie Folio, tag Marie Folio, like do that and do what you can to increase your visibility via social media and build up your email list.
Those are. Like go-to strategies, but on top of that, those take time. And so there are other ways to increase your reach—piggybacking off of what other people are doing. So the biggest one I find is Facebook groups. The Facebook groups are huge, especially for women in business.
There are many of them, and many have days where you can promote free products, promote your courses, and drive people to your Instagram or Facebook page or whatever to help build your audience. And then, once you’re ready to launch your course, you can also push that in there.
Like forging a relationship with them from a good place. From a place where they can say no to you if you ask them a favor, but having people that you have had a conversation with.
Can you post my course on your Facebook page and give them money, or maybe you give them your course for free, or maybe they’ll do it for free just because you’ve built such a strong relationship with them? You can use other people. Because we’re kind, we’re all in this together. I feel like many of us are willing to help out if it’s done correctly, like if there’s a relationship there, if there are bonds between you and the person, and it’s not just like being thrown out of a left-field of like, Hey, please promote my course even though we’ve never talked before.
Those are all great strategies. Promote your course and get a more extensive reach, even if your email list is like ten people or 40 people, or no people; these are all excellent ways for you to get in front of more eyeballs without having to have all of this back work done could take up to a year.
It gives them an insight into who you are and what you do. And then also it allows them to ask questions, right? Like if they’re struggling with whatever that thing is. I’ll often post in there, like how many people have claimed their Google My Business page. And that’s one of my, like, the main focus of my business is, Helping people with Google my business, and 99% of people still need to learn what it is.
It’s like this like what, there’s a Google-like Google that gives you a free business listing. It’s like sparking that interest and curiosity is a helpful thing in the group, and I think we live in a time where people are so bombarded with like sponsored.
Emails and posts and ads and just everything. So it’s essential as a business owner for you to always give value. And you can do that by providing consistent value on social media, Facebook, and LinkedIn groups.
Trying to do guest blogging for other people’s blogs is also a really good way to do that. There’s always, like, I’m trying to think of some of the other things you can do, get on people’s podcasts. They will send you. Report-like topics that you can email the reporter and give. Your information to them. And that’s a great way to get more eyeballs to your page. I get emails from them every day. All of these things are long-term play. These are all great ways to drive more tracks back to build a following.
And that way, when you launch your course, People will see it. People will see that, oh, this person has online learning. I enjoyed their value-based posts and will sign up for their course. It is twofold, but I always tell people you must lead with value.
And so you have to remember that you need to be competitive if somebody in your industry is giving away, like, I have a client who’s a brand strategist, and I do a lot of market research for her. We talk about what’s too much and her signature system. Where exactly is the line between?
Your intellectual property and value that’s already available on the internet. And so a lot of it, I recommend that people go out and look for others in their industry to see what those people are giving away and see, like, is this person giving away free marketing audits?
Where do they go through your marketing and tell you what’s wrong? Are they giving away that? I could give that away too. I will do that, like, and only copy some of those people are doing. Still, it gives you a good idea of what’s available on the internet and what is beneficial and of value to your ideal client, and making sure that you’re staying competitive with those people.