Select Page

How Krista Miller Had Back-to-Back $60k+ Course Launches

 

 

  • Course Instructor: Krista Miller

 

 

  • Course Topic: Summit in a Box – Everything you need to plan and launch a profitable virtual summit

 

  • Interesting Stats: 
    • $63k launch on the backend of a virtual summit
    • First launch of the course made $60k
    • Two back-to-back $60k+ launches within 5 months
Krista-Miller-Summit-In-A-Box-Full-Size

Would you like to learn exactly how to create, sell, market & scale your online course?

Join Our Free Event:

The Ultimate Online Course Conference

March 29th - April 4th

Registration Closes In

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course

1. Who are you?

My name is Krista Miller and I’m the founder of Summit in a Box, where we help entrepreneurs plan and launch profitable virtual summits without wondering where to start or what to do next.

I started my own WordPress development business in 2015 as a way to get out of a toxic corporate job. In 2018 I hosted a virtual summit as a way to get my name out there. I didn’t expect much for results, but the outcome of that summit blew any goals I had out of the water. At the time, I was bringing in about $3k per month with 500 people on my email list. That first summit brought in $16k tripled my email list and booked out my services for 6 months in advance.

After a few months of speakers and attendees asking me to teach them how to host a summit like mine, Summit in a Box came to be!

2. What’s your course all about?

My course, also named Summit in a Box, takes the guesswork out of how to host a virtual summit. It contains over 1000 resources including training on the strategy behind an effective event, copy templates, graphic templates, website templates, processes, task lists, tutorials, and more.

If someone needs a resource to make their summit prep easy, it’s inside Summit in a Box.

3. What makes you an expert in this field?

Over the past 3 years, I’ve hosted 5 virtual summits with relatively small audiences (as small as 500 people on an email list), bringing in over $240,000 in revenue.

With each of those events, I’ve been able to experiment with what works, what doesn’t, and what the true keys are to a virtual summit that works.

At this point, I’ve influenced hundreds of virtual summits that have been life-changing both for the hosts and the attendees.

4. What is the transformation your course offers to the students?

Summit in a Box allows students to go from overwhelmed with the idea of hosting a summit with no idea of where to start to feel confident in having a process that will get results.

From there, it goes on to help them 3x (or more) their email list, bring in more revenue than they’ve ever made in a month, and reach their biggest launch yet of other offers following the summit.

5. Which market does your online course serve and how did you get into it?

Summit in a Box primarily serves B2B entrepreneurs in the more creative side of the online business space. We have a lot of course creators, coaches, and membership site owners.

I ended up in this market because it’s where I was with my previous WordPress development business. That business served female brand and web designers, which put me in touch with a lot of coaches and course creators who were teaching on how to run a successful business. Since they are the people I knew how to serve, it’s who I stuck with for Summit in a Box.

6. Why is it important to you to serve this market?

I love to serve this specific market because they have so much to gain from hosting a virtual summit. I’ve seen coaches go from never having made a penny through their business to making 5-figures per month after hosting their first event.

I’ve seen web designers with a small audience book out their services for 6 months after putting on an incredible event. It is incredibly rewarding to serve a niche where what I teach has such a profound impact.

7. Describe the moment when you decided to create your own course. Where were you, what happened and why did you decide to do it?

About 5 months after hosting my first summit and repeatedly telling everyone “no” when asked to create a course about summits, I had three people bring the idea up to me in one day.

First, I had an email from an attendee asking if I would teach her how to do it. Then, I saw a Facebook message from a speaker at my event saying that if I sold the process, she’d buy it. And the icing on the cake was when my coach sent a voice message saying she had a dream that I started a “virtual summit empire”.

I don’t tend to take a “woo” approach to things, but that was a message from the universe that I couldn’t ignore. I had the domain purchased and a plan made later that day and couldn’t wait to dive into getting the first version of my course launched.

How to create an online course.2

Try Thinkific for free here.

8. How did you overcome doubtful moments during your course creation journey?

I experienced a ton of self-doubt in the process of creating Summit in a Box. Enough that it was a 1.5-year-long process to get the course up and running. But to overcome that self-doubt, I took things one step at a time and continued testing whether or not it would work.

The primary way I did that testing was to start by offering a minimum viable product, rather than trying to launch a massive course with hundreds of resources at once. When I saw that people were buying that small, easy-to-create product, I moved to a membership. Each month, I added a bundle of resources to the membership and raised the price. And each month, new members continued to join and then stick around.

After a year of that membership, I relaunched it as the full Summit in a Box program. Despite being shown every step of the way that people were interested, there was still a ton of self-doubt involved in that first launch. All I knew to do was to keep pushing through it.

9. What are some of your tricks to deal with imposter syndrome?

My main trick for dealing with imposter syndrome is to think about what would happen if I let those doubt-filled feelings dictate my decisions.

For example, if I decided that I wasn’t experienced enough to launch a course on virtual summits, what would happen? I wouldn’t launch the course, which guarantees failure.

Whenever I think of things in that light, it gets a bit easier to keep pushing through.

10. How long did it take you to create your course?

It took 1.5 years to create my course once I started the Summit in a Box company. Since there were over 1000 resources to create I knew that it would be a labour of love. To help, I made resources available in a membership as I finished them to fund my work and keep motivation up.

Even though Summit in a Box is out in the world with hundreds of students, I still don’t consider the work done. We add new resources every single month and have no plan to stop.

11. How did your first launch go?

My first launch of Summit in a Box blew my goals out of the water. Up until that point, my biggest digital product launch (other than a virtual summit) had made about $2500. A multi-5-figure launch wasn’t something I ever thought I could do, but friends and team members encouraged me to set my sights high with a $20,000 goal.

I launched in April 2020 with a free 5-day challenge to an email list of 2200 people. I came out the other side with $60,000 in course sales.

12. How do you structure your launches in general now?

I focus on two styles of launches. One is the same free 5-day challenge that I did that initial launch with and the other (and my personal favorite) is with a virtual summit.

With a virtual summit launch, I host a 5-day summit about summits with 25-35 speakers. Throughout that summit, I build awareness about the Summit in a Box program and launch it through a webinar on the final day of the event. From there, the cart is open for 6 days with an email sequence that goes out to attendees.

Doing this in September 2020 brought in $63,000 in course sales just 5 months after that initial $60k launch.

13. Where does your traffic come from?

I primarily get my traffic through Facebook ads. One benefit of starting this business while I was still running my WordPress development company was that I was able to pull a profit from that business to fund this one.

That means, I was able to kick things off with Facebook ads immediately and it has been our primary traffic source ever since.

14. Which content do you like producing the most?

My primary and favorite form of content comes from a weekly podcast that I produce, called the Summit Host Hangout. I enjoy this method of content creation as it’s easy to get a question from an audience member, outline and record the episode, and let my team handle the rest.

It’s also a great way to build a stronger connection than blog posts would allow, as I’m in peoples’ ears as they’re going through their day.

15. What online course platform are you using?

I use Kajabi as my course platform.

16. What is amazing about this platform?

I love that Kajabi has everything I need for my business built-in. I don’t need a separate email marketing platform, affiliate platform, blog platform, and course platform. It’s all in the same place and it couldn’t be any easier to get those pieces talking to each other.

17. Which features do you wish this platform would have?

I do wish that Kajabi made it easier to visualize and sort automation rules. For example, we have 524 automations in our account, but no way to easily sort or search them.

That means if we want to look for a specific rule that triggers once an action happens, we have to click through and manually search 21 pages of automations to find what we’re looking for.

18. Why did you choose this platform over other platforms?

I chose Kajabi over other platforms because it was an all-in-one platform that looked professional and easy-to-use. Even as a WordPress developer, I didn’t want to take the time to develop a new site from scratch and have to piece together a ton of plugins and tech platforms to get the features that I wanted. Kajabi looked like a fast and simple solution and it was!

19. Which other tools do you use to keep your online business running?

A few of our other primary tools include EasyWebinar, DeadlineFunnel, and Asana.

EasyWebinar is what we use to host our evergreen webinar, which sells Summit in a Box. In between launches, EasyWebinar has launches running for us in the background all the time as new audience members sign up for our webinar.

Deadline Funnel is also an important part of our Summit in a Box funnel, other supporting funnels, and our virtual summits. It’s the only tool I trust for authentic countdown timers to add real scarcity to our launches.

And last, Asana is what keeps our team going, working together, and on schedule. We plan every project we do in Asana (including virtual summits, course updates, launches, content, and more) and enjoy how easy it is to start new projects on the fly and collaborate.

20. How many students have you served so far?

In total, all of our summit-related programs have served about 2700 entrepreneurs. 250 of those being Summit in a Box students.

How to create an online course1

Try Thinkific for free here.

21. How much revenue have you created during your first launch, and ongoing?

Our first launch of Summit in a Box brought in $60,000. In total, we’ve made $230,000 in the first 10 months of the course being available. Our other, smaller programs have brought in another $167,000.

22. What are you running costs to keep the online course business going?

Since we are currently focused on growth, we are okay with keeping our profit margins fairly low for the time being. A lot of our revenue goes right back into Facebook ads, software tools (like Kajabi, EasyWebinar, and Deadline Funnel) and marketing specialists who can teach us new ways to scale or take care of the implementation. We generally have about $25k in expenses each month coming out of our $35-40k in revenue.  

23. What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way?

One of the biggest mistakes I made in launching Summit in a Box was underestimating its success. While it’s mostly a good problem to have, it has led to challenges.

For example, one tier of our program comes with group support and two 1:1 reviews from me. Since I didn’t expect as many students as we ended up with, we didn’t put limits on how long that support lasted. Within 6 months, we had over 100 students in that supported version of the program and it had become time-intensive to offer so many students daily support. To help, I’ve trained a team member to do a majority of the management and we now limit support to 12 months for new students.

Another mistake I made was with our initial pricing. I’ve always seen other courses have payment plans that come out costing significantly more than the full-pay option. It’s always made sense to me, since I know that extra work and expenses go into managing payment plans and chasing down failed payments.

However, in working with a DEI coach, I started to see things in another light. Instead of covering my costs, I was essentially punishing people who needed financial help and weren’t in the fortunate position of being able to dish out $1500 on short notice. She helped me see that instead of charging over $300 more to those on a payment plan that I should distribute any extra costs across all payment plans and make the pricing options equal.

It’s not the way that a lot of course creators do things, but I will say that it was a great change to implement and we’ve gotten a lot of appreciative emails. It wasn’t necessarily easy, as we had to manually adjust the payment plans of everyone who purchased within the first couple of months, but it was definitely worth it. 

24. How has your business changed since implementing an online course into the business model?

The change in how our business is run is completely night and day. Before launching Summit in a Box, I had a contracted virtual assistant helping manage things, I was making most of my income through 1:1 services, and we were bringing in about $6k per month. I was also doing a lot of the in-the-weeds tasks, rather than focusing on growth-related activities.

Since launching Summit in a Box, I have a full-time team member in addition to a larger team of contractors, I don’t offer any 1:1 services, and we bring in about $40k per month. I’ve also stepped into more of a CEO role, focusing on growth-related activities.

25. How has your personal life changed?

With discontinuing 1:1 services, I’ve been able to focus significantly more time on myself and my family. Rather than working 7 days per week and a lot of night hours, I work 4 days per week, meaning 3 days are totally away from my desk.

It’s crazy to think that we’re bringing in over 6 times more revenue than we were before, but I’ve still been able to cut my time working into a fraction of what it was.

26. What’s the greatest transformational story you can tell about one (or more) of your students?

One of my favorite students to talk about was just starting her business when she found and purchased Summit in a Box, thanks to a referral from a friend. She didn’t have an audience and hadn’t made a penny through her business. But she knew she had something incredible to offer.

She decided that rather than focusing on trying to kick things off with slow-growth strategies, she was going to go all-in and host a virtual summit to launch her business.

I can’t imagine all of the mindset hurdles she overcame as a result. She had some huge names in business as a part of her speaker lineup and did an absolutely incredible job hosting. She put so much love into the experience she created and poured into every speaker and attendee that would let her.

I was a speaker at the event, and even though I didn’t know anything about her I totally fell in love with what she was all about and became one of her biggest fans. I wasn’t the only one!

With her purchase of Summit in a Box, a summit producer, affiliate payouts, and the tools she needed to start, she broke even with her summit. However, she now had an email list of 500 people who had no idea who she was before. Even better, as of a couple of months ago, every client she’d worked with in her now 5-figure per month business came from that summit in one way or another. Whether it was an attendee, speaker, or referral from an attendee or a speaker, she now runs a 6-figure business because of that summit.

Having even a small part to play in that through offering solid strategies and resources in Summit in a Box will always be something that excites me.

27. If you could use a time machine and send yourself back to the time before you started out, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

If I could go back, I’d tell myself to trust the journey. I had so much self-doubt when I started my first business and had many periods of wondering if I should give up.

There were times that I felt like making significant income through a course just wasn’t in the cards. There were all kinds of failed launches and months bringing in the bare minimum. But every single one of those tiny launches and tough months got me closer to where I am today. If it weren’t for the lessons I learned on the journey, Summit in a Box wouldn’t exist.

28. What is your million dollar piece of advice to those who are just getting started in their online course journey OR for those who are looking to scale?

My biggest piece of advice is to dive in and expect it to be messy. Don’t wait until you have a huge audience or a perfect idea. Listen to the audience you do have, key in on what they want, and put your first course out into the world.

Odds are, it won’t be THE course. But it will get you one step closer to keying in on exactly what’s going to be your $60k+ launch-worthy idea.

Would you like to learn exactly how to create, sell, market & scale your online course?

Join Our Free Event:

The Ultimate Online Course Conference

March 29th - April 4th

Registration Closes In

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course