Jess Rodriguez, owner of Freedom Driven Success is joining me today to talk all things time freedom and course creation. Jess is on an unapologetic mission to help purpose-driven businesses expand beyond a 1:1 reliant business model with scalable offers that allow them to amplify their impact and profit, all while enjoying the freedom they started their business to have, and today she’s sharing how!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Jess helps her clients decide if a course is right for them and their business
  • The way Jess guides her 1:1 and service providers to a place they have never been
  • Why you should focus less on growing your audience and more on your course validation with your current audience
  • The importance of setting clear expectations from the beginning before you live launch your course


I don’t think a course is for everyone, every business, or every niche. I also don’t think it is a right step for you if you are newer in business, and you haven’t necessarily fleshed out what it is that you do for people.

If you can’t create a course and sell it to the people already in front of you, adding more people won’t fix the problem.

The goal is to not take everything you do with your 1:1 offer and shove it into a course

We get to choose all of our own timelines in business.

Focus on prospering where you are a planted.

More on Jess:

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Click here to read a raw transcript of this episode

Britney Gardner  00:03

All right, just I’m actually really excited about this. I think based on our, you know, pre interview, talk and everything, this is going to be a very intriguing episode, not just for the audience, but for for me. And I try not to be selfish with my guests on here. But I really do enjoy it when I have like actual questions. And it’s not like, you know, a setup thing. So before we dive into all of that, can you just tell us a little bit about you, and then we’ll move from there?

Jess Rodriguez  00:32

Sure. So my name is Jessica Rodriguez, I am the CEO and business strategist behind freedom driven success, where our focus is really helping business owners turn the best of what they offer one on one and done for you into online courses, essentially, so you can reclaim the freedom you originally started your business to have.

Britney Gardner  00:52

So I’m going to lob a hard ball at you right off the gate here. I mean, why not? Right? I hear a lot of people with that general message I don’t, you know, like, our mission here is authentic, automated marketing. So clearly, you know, with automation being at the forefront, you know that getting back some of that time, freedom is a goal of me and my people as well. But with so many people talking about oh, just you know, make a course, it’ll save you so much time, you can serve so many more people. And I love it at the heart of the argument. I totally agree serving more people helping more people, is my ultimate goal. And also, I see a lot of not so wonderful courses out there. So so how do you navigate this?

Jess Rodriguez  01:40

Yeah, so I’m really glad you asked that question. Because I feel like we can have a really good conversation about it. Because there’s a couple of things I believe, number one, I don’t think of horses for everyone and every business and every niche. I also don’t think it is a right step for you. If you are newer in business, and you haven’t necessarily fleshed out what it is that you do for people. So if you came to me, you’re like, you know, I don’t know what I’m good at, I don’t know what to make a course out of, I’m like, You do not want to take this journey. Because just like anything else in business, of course, takes work to set up to establish to pre sell all of those things. So I want to make sure that no, I can’t guarantee that somebody’s you know, just going to hit it out of the park. But I do want to make sure you have some set things in place first, so that we can make it easier for you to do that. Right. So I am always thinking of number one, it is somebody who, and this is why I focus on like one on one and done for you, you know, type of service providers, because you already have something that we don’t have to question the results of so great. However, we also know that you’re going to run into an issue of just straight up time and capacity, that when you’re trying to free up your time, and then I come in and I’m like, Okay, well, we have to record a course. And we have to you know, we have to do these things that actually happen. This is where I find a lot of our business model is different as far as how we help support people through that, because it is this realization that your business is not the only thing that’s going on. And if you’re going into creating a course, first, we’re going to make sure you have those pieces, like the expertise that you have some people following you doesn’t have to be 1000s or anything like that. But like, do you have people that you’re actually connecting with, because just going scalable isn’t going to fix a sales problem. So like, are we doing those things, and then from there, we are taking them through this process of understanding that if you are going to create a course, and you have a lot of time on your hands, you just have a more flexible lifestyle, maybe a one on one is super high ends, you don’t need as many people, you know that type of thing. Sure, we could probably have a course out there within a month or you have a team, right? Like we can have those things. However, if you’re coming in and you already know your time is stretch and you’re trying to reclaim your time, then we need to establish some different parameters for you. As far as this may be a six month process, you know, you may be able to pre sell a course and like validate the idea in two weeks. But as far as dripping out the content, if you’re building funnels, like depending on your goal, it may take you six months or maybe a year to be able to do this. Are you okay with that, because that will allow us to keep your income consistent with the client work, understanding the bigger picture of this, versus if I try to like push you into a 12 week or five week or you know something like that. And you either burn yourself out or you completely deplete yourself to the point where you don’t feel like this is for you. I think that’s where we start to cause problems when it comes to course creation because at first it isn’t reclaiming your time at the beginning right like you have to really kind of juggle almost like when you’re working a nine to five and then you start building your business you have to like Have that messy middle of time that you’re juggling a little bit. And then after that, yes, the work can be working for you. And that’s how you start to get to that, you know, amazing place and this guy, like you start to get there, but that doesn’t mean that it’s set it forget it, you know, anything like that.

Britney Gardner  05:17

Alright, cool. So much to unpack there. So I went on tangent. No, no, it’s good. I love that. I mean, you obviously you know, your stuff. And you’ve got opinions. And I love all of that. So let’s, let’s try and parse it down a little bit here. So, one, yes, it’s not for everyone. And I’m so glad that you just right up front, acknowledge that because I agree, courses aren’t for everyone. And I, I have seen it with my own clients where I’m like, okay, so what is your method of guiding people? And they’re like, method? What do you mean? I’m like, Well, I mean, if you’ve been working with one on one people for, you know, two years, Surely you’ve kind of figured out some sort of framework or you know, something. But I have found that as someone’s guiding them in their content and marketing, I have to often help them name their frame framework, I have to help them figure out, oh, no, there really are four steps in here, not just to talk through process. And I feel like, you know, as a one on one provider, and to certain extent, a done for you provider as well, a lot of people are really good at doing the work, but they’re not good at packaging, the work. And that’s where marketing comes in. And obviously, you know, this, right, but they don’t. And I think so much of the course failures that we see out there are because people are like, I just want to teach you all the things, I’m super excited about them. And I’m sitting here like, I don’t need a fire hydrant of information, I need a trickle so I can actually digest what you’re telling me and then go and implement it. So I love that you acknowledged that. When you are talking about all of that, right? You can have a wonderful course. And this is really, I hope that we’re going into like the meat of this of this interview. But you can have a wonderful course, you can have a fantastic marketing team on board, you can have all of that running for you. But we still see a lot of course failures out there. And I’m not talking about the quality of the course itself. I’m talking about getting butts and seats, you know, getting people in the door. So how are you guiding, you know, typically one to one and done for your product providers who don’t have large audiences into that piece where they now need to be hitting different numbers than they used to.

Jess Rodriguez  07:39

And the first thing I always think it’s so important here is letting go of this ashame. And this I should have could have would have that happens a lot along the way, where most likely your business was built from maybe some social but you have referrals you had, you know, different things that happen that allowed these clients to come in. And then when you go into a course, there can be a lot of this conversation around. Oh, well, I mean, I never got a chance to build my list, or I never really built my full social following. And it’s like, well, of course not. Because you focus on what was in front of you in that time. And your business needed some different things at that time like that. That’s all it’s saying is there’s a million other things I could be doing in this very moment that I’m not doing because I already have other things on my plate, right? So that’s just pretty much what happened. However, what can we do with what you have now. So the first thing I take a look at is the audience that you do have, and this could be a couple of 100 people, it could be, you know, 50 people locally network, things like that, it’s usually a little bit more than you think, because you have experience already. So there are people that you have worked with, they also know people that could possibly use what it is that you have. So I am very big on first, like, let’s prosper where were planted. Because if you can’t take this course, and effectively sell it to those that are already in front of you, even if it’s five people, if you can’t do that, just having more people isn’t going to fix the problem. It’s just gonna make them more expensive to be able to. So instead, what we always teach, and this is the second pillar in our framework is going out there and validating so validating your course with sales and really getting away from this like, Okay, I’m creating my first course, it must be a you know, six figure course out the gate. And it’s like, if you have a very large audience, and it’s possible, right, like Absolutely. Most people I work with, that is not the reality that they are dealing with. So what would make this worth it for you as a starting point? Can we get those sales pre validated to see if that messaging is even connecting to see if the one thing you’re pulling from your one on one is actually a fit for them? Because just like you said like the guy goal is not to take everything you possibly do one on one and shove it into a course, it actually doesn’t serve people that way, because they’re overwhelmed. So instead, if we are taking them through that process, and you are making, let’s say, your first course launches that to grant, like, the numbers really relevant, it’s more of proving that people want that concept. And then we can take it from there and go into your bigger launches to building your list around that course topic. Because you know, people want it already at least enough for you to move forward with it. So my thing is, instead of always looking for the audience to just go bigger, how do we leverage a small audience? How do we leverage who is right in front of us and connect with them, serve them, because if you’re serving those people very similar to one on one work, they start referring more people, right, they start sharing your posts, they start doing those things online. And when they do that, magically, your other quote, unquote, problem of meeting more people starts to get fixed, without you having to focus on it, right? You’re focused on serving the people in front of you. And I don’t know if it’s just because I mean, I’ve been in the online space for nine years, and I’m just, you know, AOL days, like we’ve been online forever. I

Britney Gardner  11:14

feel like our generation,

Jess Rodriguez  11:16

we’ve done it all. It is this, like, focus on more, you know, more is better. And instead, like, I really want to get people to understand that as humans, we all thrive on connection. So how can we connect deeper with the people right in front of us? Serve them serve their needs with that course. And this could be for any skill? Offer, honestly, how can you do that? Have a great experience be known for giving that great experience? And then build your audience out? Bigger?

Britney Gardner  11:52

Yeah, no, absolutely. And I love that you acknowledged, you know, the list shame thing, right? Or, you know, I feel like, you know, Instagram finally just released the 10k, you know, necessity for getting links, right. But like, you know, for so long, you know, if you didn’t have 10k followers on Instagram, people were like, oh, and I don’t know that I would be able to serve 10,000 followers, as well as I can serve my, you know, I think 2300 or somesuch, what I have, right? I remember, when I kind of first came back to my business after my maternity leave, I was asked to be on a summit. And I was like, Yeah, sure. I could totally talk about that subject. i Yeah, I’ve been working with clients and that for years. And I went ahead, did the interview, got all that? And then the girl was like, oh, and what’s your list size. And I was like, oh, that’s like 550. And he was like, Oh, 5000 minimum. And I was angry, not because of the limit, hey, if you want to put a limit on something, that’s your choice, like, whatever, I was angry that I went through the whole process and wasted my time, because that clearly could have been stated upfront. And it made me feel very less than in the situation, after I had already given all my expertise. And I was like, what happens to an equal exchange of value, and all of that, and clearly, that was not my person. And that was fine. You know, I get it. But that that kind of lists shame that people have, and, and all of that, it’s a real thing. And I always try and balance that with my clients. I’m gonna ask you how you do the same for yours. But, you know, I often will take my clients when I’m kind of diagnosing their funnel problems, or when we’re working on the content strategy to bring traffic to their funnel, I take them through, you know, some, like average numbers scenarios, like, okay, so if there’s a 3%, average buy rates, and you have 100 viewers on your sales page, that means for an average situation, you’re going to have three people on your horse. Is that worth it to you? No. Okay. All right, well, then how many of our viewers do we need of your sales page? Well, now let’s look at the the more common thing of only, you know, a 1% Buy rate, how many people do we need on our sales page. And I always try and balance those numbers, just real world numbers with the amount of people that are actually in the person’s audience because I want everyone to have that kind of upfront knowledge so that there isn’t that shame afterwards. Oh, I only had you know, a $1,200 course lunch instead of a $120,000 course lunch. If you’re running with different numbers, you should not be expecting that six figure course what you can you shouldn’t even be expecting a five figure course lunch. And also, once you have all those tools in place, you know whether you did a sales page, whether you’re doing a live launch or challenge, launch, whatever it happens to be right. Once you have all those tools in place. As you do go and build your audience. You don’t have to reinvest and building the tools anymore. You can just invest in audience building. So that’s kind of how I like to pose this, you know, there’s a, a balance between these are your current numbers, there’s no shame here, but we need some dose of reality. How do you run through that with your clients? Because I love your message of not needing a large audience to, to move into this next or different phase of business. But I love hearing how other people take on it as well.

Jess Rodriguez  15:26

Yes, and I’m so glad you brought this up. Because this was something that I really struggled with. When I first was learning. I mean, we’re talking years ago with different you know, funnels and launching, and you get all excited, and then you, you get punched in the face, because you realize, Oh, I thought, you know, this is what was gonna happen and things like that. And then as I started working with clients, and I would go through to see like, where is the bottleneck here. So, you know, you wanted to have this many sales, and this many people are in your audience, your list your network, you know, all of that, depending on what they had in place at that point. And I kept battling with myself that if I shared that with them, before they got into it, that I would make them feel defeated, before they went in. Like, what if I share this and I’m like, hey, you know, this is if we get this at 5%, let’s say it’s a LiveWatch. Like, we get it at 5%. And this is what industry averages are. And just so you know, like this is how many leads you need. And I would make the calculator and everything. And I would be so hesitant to share it. So I’m like, what if that’s not enough for them? And I had to like, take this moment back to be like, is it enough for me? Because I’m really starting to make it’s like, I’m bringing some of my own, like perceived thoughts about this. And then I started to share it with clients, and you just saw like this instant relief that happen for them. And sometimes there would be some fear, especially when I’ve done this in like a challenge setting. It’s like this is how many leads you need for that goal. And they’re like, how do I get this many leads? I’m like, well, wouldn’t you rather know that now? Right? Like it started to switch that like, yeah, goal, because, you know, you can’t come up with 50 leads in two weeks, unless you want to spend an enormous amount of money to try to do that. It’s just so I think this is something where all of us. And again, like I’m just so glad to hear you say this, it is setting that expectation from the beginning. And once I finally broke through of like, No, this is me actually, like, doing what I’m supposed to do, like, let them know the full picture, and know that it could be this or better, because of course, I’ve had clients that completely crush any kind of industry standard. And I’m like, Yeah, but I don’t want to just praise X, and everybody’s gonna think that’s, you know, like, that’s what you’re supposed to have. There’s, there’s room for it. But I also don’t want people to like, it’s such a tricky spot, right? So instead, I would rather have them see like, here’s the average. And then how do you feel about that? So do you like that as a starting point? If that was the case, let’s say, the next three times you launch it, like, let’s say that happens the next three times? Are you okay with that? Because you’re building towards the bigger picture. And you understand that it’s going to, you know, take time, and it’s going to take effort? Or did you look at that and go, You know what? I’d rather just like sell one high ticket client and you know, call it a day, and I’m okay with that. And I’m like that both are valid, as long as you choose the path you would rather go down.

Britney Gardner  18:32

Yeah, and they’re both both very valid business plans. You know, there’s there’s nothing to say you have to scale in a specific way by I had a client last year who she’s a nutritionist, and I wrote and designed her sales page. And it was beautiful. And I was so happy with it. And she just did a soft launch to friends and like family and like, you know, emailed her past clients. And she booked enough business off of that to pay for my services entirely. And I said, you know, that’s a huge win. Like, that’s fantastic. You have now completely paid for the assets that you can use to go and relaunch this course next time. And until I set it in that way, she was feeling like she had failed. Behind. You know, she was a low four figures, I think it was in the $2,500 range of what she sold on that first one. I was like you didn’t do ads, you didn’t do a huge social media push. You didn’t do any big launch. This was a soft launch and you’ve already paid for your investment of, you know, deliverables, all of that. It’s all taken care of. And I think I think one of the big things around this whole course topic, you know, we see these big names in the industry. And you know, they’re showing testimonials of people who have $50,000 lunches their very first time. And you know, I get so angry To be honest about that, and like, how much did they spend on ads? Did they hire outside contractors for any part of their marketing, whether it was content, creating the funnel, whether it was actually like editing the Horse Videos, or whatever, right? All of that costs money to have an outsource, if you choose to outsource it. And I always want to see on all those testimonials, how much money did that person bring in for the amount of hours that they put in? Because it isn’t the right path for everybody. And when it is the right path, it still is going to take a couple iterations to really start seeing the rewards from it.

Jess Rodriguez  20:39

Yes, and this is why i Another thing that just kind of discuss here as well is that path, understanding what it looks like to go down it. So for example, for some people, it is navigating that like, hey, I need to take a certain amount of clients so that my income doesn’t dip in between, because I do better, you know, that way, just kind of knowing from like, it’s hard for me to be able to work if I feel like my income is dip beans, I need to do that. Which means creating your course, your launch, things like that, you’re either going to need to bring in a team to help to, you know, bridge those gaps for you. And or if you’re doing it yourself, then we need to be aware that your timeline needs to be longer. And does that matter, right? Like we get to choose all our own timelines and business, right? So it’s okay that that’s a little bit longer. And there’s so many of these things that happen behind the scenes where I have other people or like, even for myself, when I first went into courses, I knew I would keep like dragging my feet. So I cut off all my client work for six months, created the courses. Automated. And I was like, because I know that I work really well that way, right? Where if I have a safety net? I’m like, I mean, it’ll have to, like, I’ll start playing that game once myself. So I did it. Majority of people I work with are like, Absolutely not. I could never create a course that way. And I go good. Yeah, then don’t please don’t just replicate what I do. Like, that’s not the way it works. But if you’re coming in and understanding the awareness with that numbers, it’s like, okay, then how much? Is it for my team? How much if you’re running ads, if you’re doing that? I’m always asking me, like, how would you define success for this specific launch? And it’s different for every single launch? So like, if you’re launching this in beta, if it’s the, you know, full launch, whatever? What is success for that? And then breaking that? Like, what does that look like? What does that feel like? Before we even talk about the money? Like? What does it feel like? Because in your case,

Britney Gardner  22:50

um, hold on, I just want to back up a little bit, we had some internet glitching. And I like what you’re saying I don’t want to freeze? And I think if you started back at the, you know, just what does it look like? You had you had mentioned, you know, every course has a different goal, right? So just maybe start from there. Yep.

Jess Rodriguez  23:09

Okay. So with your course and your launch, depending on what launch it is, your goal could be vastly different, you know, then somebody else has. So when we talk about like the testimonials, where some person heard snow 50k 75k All of this stuff? Well, their goal could be literally leading into a higher ticket offer in the end. Or in this case, maybe it’s so sizable, because that is their highest ticket, like that’s all they have. And there’s other things that feed into it. So whenever we’re starting with a course it comes down to, you know, what is it that that you want from this? So what would a successful launch look like to you? And how would it feel? Like, how would you go through this launch? At the end? What do you want to experience, and that all comes before the actual dollar amount, because you could hit the highest number in the entire world and a launch and be miserable, you could also hit the lowest amount and be completely grateful, because now you have all your assets for the next one. Like, there’s so many different, like variations that go on with each and every business. So if you can identify what successes for you first, and like what is it that you want to take away from it all getting a new offer. Another time is to, you know, increase members because this is going to have more people having that impact and that experience and things like that there’s no wrong answer. But that then starts to guide your decisions.

Britney Gardner  24:43

I love that. Yeah, I mean, having having the ability to simply say, this launch is solely to validate my offer and get this information out there and the next launch maybe that’s the one where I start shaving percentages off, you know, increasing my you know, By on page rates, you know, maybe includes increasing my email open rate and the follow up sequences, right? But getting started doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be an immediate success. And, and going in with that knowledge, I think sets people up for a much better mindset around the entire process, whether they’ve chosen to burn the ships and kind of client work or keep their client roster full, to support themselves. Through that process. I think I think either way, knowing upfront what you expect, and, and having that good, better best goal situation? I think it’s just gonna help the whole the whole process all around.

Jess Rodriguez  25:42

Yes, and every single launch, all it is is data, like we are collecting data every single time. And it’s up to us what we do with that. So when you start to find just like, you dive in with your clients, like where is this bottleneck here? What’s happening? For a lot of people it does, eventually it gets to a point that it’s elites problem. So if you know how to sell and you know how to manage that with an audience size that smaller, you’re like, oh, no, we’re selling. Now all of a sudden, those numbers are getting lower and lower. Usually, you can connect it back to Oh, you haven’t been growing your audience along with these launches. So we need to work on that. However, at the beginning, people think they need that audience to start, it’s like no, no, like, you can start with what you have, you’re not going to stay there though, like you are going to have to focus on that area of the business.

Britney Gardner  26:34

Yeah, scaling does mean that you will have to deal with that. I think it’s a great way to kind of close this out. Just that was fantastic. I love your thought process around this. And and it was really just nice hearing that you and I have kind of struggled in the same way on how to give our clients the information they need in a way that’s supportive rather than just I don’t even know what to say just like, you know, an albatross of a situation right. So any closing thoughts?

Jess Rodriguez  27:04

Just to focus on prospering where you’re planted. I feel like I say it so many times. But whatever you have in business, whatever skill sets, Audience List size products, like you have the ability to prosper in this moment, and you’ll grow as you go.

Britney Gardner  27:21

Perfect. Thank you so much.

Jess Rodriguez  27:24

Thank you

To Market Your Business Online:

Navigating how to market your service business online–especially when you’re moving from 1:1 services to a 1:many model–doesn’t have to be hard even when you have a lot of moving parts.

You just have to know where you’re going. The Biz GPS Intensive is the best way to get that 30,000-foot view of your business–and a concrete plan for the next six months.

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Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!