SEP Episode #59: Create an Addictive Online Course with Off-the-Charts Student Results with Expert Marisa Murgatroyd

reate an Addictive Online Course with Off-the-Charts Student Results with Expert Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa Murgatroyd is an expert at creating an amazing online course and other learning experiences that are enlightening, empowering, and are successful. Many students do not make their way through these courses and drop off before they’re even over. 

Creating these not very gratifying experiences. I know I’ve done it many times with many different courses I’ve invested in. Marisa is going to tell us about several different kinds of experiences that we can build into our online courses and education platforms that will make the learning more fun, interesting, and dramatically increase the success rate of our students.

What You Will Learn On This Episode


  • The journey from documentary film producer to 7 figure entrepreneur
  • Developing courses that people become addicted too and finish
  • Leveraging a program to cater to people at different stages of their business growth
  • Investing in training, coaching and masterminds

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode


Experience Product Masterclass

Message To Money Live 

 Live Your Message

Transcription


Kyle Gray:

Hello, and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. My name is Kyle Gray, and today on the show we have Marisa Murgatroyd. Marisa is an expert in creating amazing online learning experiences that are enlightening, empowering, and are successful. Many, many courses, as we’ll learn on this show, people don’t get all the way through them. 

People drop off before they’re over, and they create these not very gratifying experiences. I know I’ve done it many times with many different courses I’ve invested in. So, Marisa is going to tell us about several different kinds of experiences that we can build into our online education that will make our courses much more fun, much more interesting, and dramatically increase the success rate of our students. So, without any further ado, let’s turn it over to Marisa.

Kyle Gray:

Marisa Murgatroyd, welcome to the Story Engine Podcast.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Kyle Gray:

It’s a pleasure having you here, and there’s a lot of exciting things that I want to discuss with you, but I want to introduce you properly. Will you tell us a story about a moment in your life that’s defined who you are and what you’re doing and how you’re making an impact in the world right now? And then maybe tell us a little bit about what you’re up to.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah, absolutely. So it actually was a day that started out just like any other day. I was living in Los Angeles, the city of something like 8 million people. Or no, it’s more than that. It’s like 20 million people. And I was going in to work and doing work that I loved, but a job that I didn’t necessarily love. I was a documentary film director and working for a woman who owned this production company.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And I was in there kind of doing the producing and the direction of this film, and she walks in at about one o’clock in the afternoon, late, after I’d been there all morning long trying to get the films ready for a deadline. And she said, ah, Marisa, I forgot my power cord at home. Can you give me my power cord? I said, well, no. I didn’t have my laptop plugged in. I need the power cord so I can deliver this deadline we’ve got today. And she said, you know Marisa, that computer you’re working on? I own that computer. And that power cord? I own that too. So give me the power. And she actually said that. Give me the power. And basically that request kind of escalated into a demand, and we end up having a screaming match back and forth. And at the end of the day I gave her the power cord, but in that moment it felt like I really was giving away my power.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

What she didn’t say when she said that she owned the power cord was that she ultimately owned me, and I realized that I’d been spending years building someone else’s business. I was getting a paycheck, about a thousand bucks a month, and that was it. And I didn’t get any share of all the revenue I was generating, all the profit I was generating, all the value I was generating in her business. At the end of the day, she wasn’t even treating me all that well.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So in that moment I realized that I was doing what almost everyone I meet does on a daily basis, which is giving away my power and doing work, like I said, that I did love the work itself, I loved making films, but I didn’t love the job, and I definitely didn’t love the boss.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And every day when I’ve talked to people, they’ve got these amazing gifts and talents, but when I ask them what they’re doing with it, very few of them are really doing all that they can be doing with their gifts and their talents in the world. They’re giving away their power. They’re doing the jobs they don’t love to be doing, and they’re having a fraction of the impact and the fulfillment that they could ultimately have. And so I really dedicated my life from then on out, not just to reclaim my own power in my life and in my business, but to helping other people to reclaim theirs and do work that they love every single day.

Kyle Gray:

I think that’s a really beautiful thing. It’s all too common a problem I see with many of the people I work with, many of the people I hear from. But it’s something, yeah, when we don’t hold enough value for ourselves, it’s so easy to give away that power in jobs or work and with money, that’s one of the most common areas.

Kyle Gray:

Were there things that you did or you learned in that moment where you were like, hey. I want to take this back to your life. Maybe even the power cord was such an ample thing, and I think everybody’s had a battle over a power cord once or twice in their life. But yeah, how did you notice, I’m giving my power away, and what were some of the things you did to change the story in your head to start moving forward and start changing your situation, and how far has that come from now? Tell us what your world is like these days.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well, a lot of the frustration was not just the job, but I realized that I was in a career where the average documentary takes three years to make and less than a thousand people see it. And as much as I love filmmaking, the artist in me loved to express myself in that way, I definitely knew that I wasn’t having a level of impact that I wanted to have, and it was taking a long time for a little bit of return. And so it kind of sent me on an inquiry of where I could actually give my gifts in a way, not just a different job, but where I could be as impactful as possible. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, it was somewhere at the intersection of entrepreneurship and the internet, because film-making is slow and the internet is fast. I was also working some in the nonprofit space as well at the time, which is also not as fast and as dynamic and flexible as entrepreneurship.

reate an Addictive Online Course with Off-the-Charts Student Results with Expert Marisa MurgatroydMarisa Murgatroyd:

But I honestly didn’t know what anyone would pay me for. I would ask myself what could I really do and what would people pay me for? And the only thing I could come up with is how to make things look good and sound good, and I can tell a damn good story if I need to tell a good story. But who was going to pay me for that? And it’s so funny because you just don’t know what you don’t know.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

But at the time, as an artist, someone out of art school trying to make a living as a filmmaker, like everybody else in LA, right? I was like, this skill set clearly isn’t all that valuable. But that same skillset is the foundation of all business and marketing. Making things look good, sound good, and telling good stories.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So in another context, the skills that were not valuable in one world, we’re completely valuable in another. And so I just learned to use my skills in a completely different domain. And since then I’ve built from mid-seven figure business that serves over 5,000 people around the world, and this is coming from someone who began my career as an artist. And you know, my dad told me when I graduated from college that he wasted $115,000 on education and I came out with no marketable skills. So as someone with no marketable skills and an art degree, I managed to build a mid-seven figure business. And since then, I’ve taught over 5,000 people how to do the same. Many of whom also had no marketable skills, and also had people who told them they couldn’t do it.

Kyle Gray:

Wow. I love that. I’ve got a soft spot for artists too, as I was a singer-songwriter growing up and through college. And I thought for a long time, that’s the only way that I’m going to be able to live a happy and fulfilled life. But one of the things that makes me smile these days is seeing the skills and abilities and talents I developed as an artist, really seeing myself as an artist, really play out in very valuable ways.

Kyle Gray:

Tell me a couple of the ways in your everyday life and in your seven figure business and with your team that you really get to express your art and your brilliance and your creativity.

reate an Addictive Online Course with Off-the-Charts Student Results with Expert Marisa MurgatroydMarisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well, it’s actually what I’ve become known for. And what I become known for is helping people who either have a product or an online education, a program that they’re offering the world or want to create one, sell way more of their products and get way more people to finish their products. Because the thing is is that 97% of people who take online programs don’t finish those programs and get the results. And I basically invented a methodology that gets between 10 and 30 times the number of people to the end zone. And that leads to more front end sales, more referrals, more repeat customers, and a lot less refunds.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And the reason why I was able to come up with this methodology is because it’s a very creative methodology. It’s bringing together the worlds of gamification, the worlds of adult learning theory. And the psychology of motivation is that creative thinking allows me to create connections and associations and frameworks that nobody else has been able to create before just because I’m bringing all these worlds together into a new configuration and I’m able to solve problems in a unique and different way. And business is all about solving problems. And if you can solve a bigger problem or solve it in a different way, you can make a pretty good living doing that.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So all that artistry came into play here because some of the things that I teach people to do are things like creating unique experiences, creating peak emotional experiences for people through your work. And you don’t have to be an artist be able to do that, but it does involve thinking about things beyond the way that they’re normally delivered and presented.

Kyle Gray:

I love that. And thinking about things beyond the way they’re normally delivered and presented, that is actually what I was just begging to dig into as you were saying that.

Kyle Gray:

You mentioned courses and online learning. I think a lot of people have an idea of it’s a static course, I’ve got videos where I’m talking over PowerPoint slides, and it’s this many hours long, and I think there’s kind of this idea of what a course is. And I would love to hear from you some of your unique perspectives on maybe uses or applications of other courses. What’s a different perspective on how we can use these in our business?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well first of all, this is a gigantic industry. Right now online education is over $200 billion a year industry, and Forbes predicts it’s going to be a $325 billion a year industry by the year 2025. So this is a massive industry, but a lot of people are selling very low ticket online trainings like the kind that you’re just talking about it. But where I’ve become fascinated looking at how can you get more people to get so excited, almost addicted, to overcome their biggest challenges and obstacles and achieving their greatest goals in life?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And I had this big breakthrough in the summer of 2016. Basically what happened is Pokemon Go became this massive phenomenon. It was like this kind of boom and bust cycle. But for a while in that summer, grown adults were basically double parking their cars in New York City, getting out of their cars, and chasing little virtual creatures through the streets. There were stampedes of people in Central Park. There was like hordes and hordes. Talking about walking dead. I mean, basically thousands of people running through the streets to catch some rare Pokemon that spawned in Central Park. And it was just craziness. And when I had this image of people stampeding through the streets like that, I thought, well what if I could get people excited about achieving their life goals, about overcoming their greatest challenges? And I kind of got obsessed with that question. Is it possible to get people that excited, that hooked, that addicted on life change?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And that’s really what I see an online program as. It’s not the mechanics and the features of a program, X number of videos and whatever it is, logging into a membership site. And a lot of people tell me, Marisa, I’ve got to have a membership site. Well, why do you need a membership site? Because I heard it’s going to help me make money while I sleep. Well, what are you going to put on the membership site? I don’t know, but I need to have one in my business. And if you’re looking at it in that perspective, it’s not the most productive, in my opinion, way to look at it, because you’re just looking at it a tool to make you money.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

I love the philosophy of Zig Ziglar, who said, you can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want. And the way that I teach product creation is what are you going to be able to help someone do, be, feel, have, overcome or achieve? And that’s what I call a mission-based product. And by mission, it’s not your personal mission, it’s the mission you’re inviting someone to join when they say yes to your program, and actually teach a very specific template, a formula for creating your product commission. And the reason this is so important is your mission has to be so clear you can almost film someone crossing the finish line to mission accomplished. There’s a very clear before state and a very clear after state. Because if you’re going to help people create a game that they can actually win and stack the odds in their favor, they’ve got to know what winning looks like precisely and exactly.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So this mission accomplished state has to be so clear it’s almost binary. You’ve either done it or you haven’t done it. And so often when people go about and create a program, they’re like, I want to teach everything that I know about using Evernote, or filing your taxes, or whatever it happens to be. But it’s based on a perspective of knowledge transfer, right? Expertise transfer. But the way adults learn isn’t about acquiring knowledge or expertise. It’s actually about is this going to let me solve a particular problem or get a particular outcome that I want?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So the formula that I use is stolen, actually, from the Mission Impossible movies, and I call it the Mission Possible template. So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is blank. And by using this template, it instantly takes you out of your perspective of what you want to deliver, to the perspective of your customer and what they’re actually saying yes to doing. So for example, in our signature program, the Experience Product Masterclass where I teach people how to make experience products instead of information products, it’s your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design, market, and make $2,000 or a whole lot more with an experienced product in 12 weeks or less. So they know exactly what they’re going to do. And not only does that help them focus on what it is that they’re going to do, it also helps me focus. So the only thing that I need to deliver in the program is what’s going to get them from mission to mission accomplished.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So also, when I’m on these group coaching calls and I’ve got people who want to know something beyond the scope of that, like how do I name my business? And do I incorporate? Or if I do, is it an S corp or C corp? I get to say, that’s beyond the scope of our mission together. So it’s out, and I get to focus on what we’re really here to do.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And so often I think programs have too many masters, and because of that it’s just people don’t know what they’re really going to get from the program. The program becomes unwieldy. It’s hard to say yes to. It’s got so many different promises in it versus this clear focus, which is what am I going to be able to do, be, feel, have, overcome or achieve?

Kyle Gray:

Now along with mission possible, which I really love because it simplifies what you want to get to somebody to a simple result. It gets them thinking in a totally different way. And I think experts have a really hard time doing this sometimes, because they’ve spent so much time being trained and developing their skills in whatever it is that their art that they’re using to change the world. And so it’s difficult to be able to sort out what’s the smallest thing that I can give somebody? Or at least, what’s a very limited clear on or off kind of thing? Instead of just making it like a college course and dumping all of the knowledge you could possibly have into it.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yep. It’s why the best entrepreneurs drop out of college, because they’re not seeing the relevance in their lives. I mean, I’ve got an Ivy League degree, so this is speaking from someone who’s overeducated to the hilt, and it’s not the way most people learn. Especially when they’re learning on their own time, when it’s their discretionary time that they’re using to learn something new. They don’t want to feel like they’re in college or worse yet, in Ferris Bueller’s classroom. You know, Bueller, Bueller, Bueller? You know, whatever it happens to be. They want something that’s a little bit more engaging than that if they’re going to spend their discretionary time.

Kyle Gray:

So let’s bring the Pokemon back into this. How do we get people engaged like people were with that app, with our courses, with our online content? How do we keep people moving forward and getting to that mission accomplished and feeling great about it?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well basically instead of creating an information product or an online course, create what I call an experience product. And an experience product has 10 core principles that you stack together to create what I call experience escalation, which is this excitement that kind of builds and mounts through the program, versus what I call the downward death spiral.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So there’s 10 core experiences you want to include and 10 experiences that you want to avoid if you don’t want to create the downward death spiral, which is where people get frustrated, stuck, walk away, ultimately give up. They may or may not ask for a refund, but it’s not a good thing for your program.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So the mission is one of those, but there are nine other principles. And probably don’t have time to go in depth on all nine of them, but I will give you a resource to get all 10 of the principals after this interview.

Kyle Gray:

That’s awesome. Could you give us an example of maybe, since we have a positive creative mission experience, what’s an example of one that we should avoid at least?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well, the opposite. Like I said, each of these principles has an opposite corollary, and the opposite corollary of mission is too many masters, and that’s basically when you have a program that’s got too many promises in it. And so you’re trying to do too much and people don’t really know what they are saying yes to, or they get lost in route to that.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Another example, and this is a really interesting one, is one of the core principles of experience escalation is normalizing challenges. Because what happens is if they’re achieving anything that’s really worth achieving, there’s going to be some challenges along the way. So the opposite, the downward death spiral principle, is what I call everything is awesome. And if you’ve ever seen the Lego Movie where there’s a song Everything Is Awesome. Basically what happens is in marketing people present this everything is awesome, push button easy, it’s fast, it’s quick, it’s easy, your grandmother could do it blindfolded in a hundred degree heat kind of thing. And the truth is it’s not the case always.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And so normalizing challenges, and actually even in your marketing, letting people know, this is a significant commitment, and it’s for you. If you want to build an asset in your business that’s not just going to earn you $2,000 in the program so you make your investment back, it has the potential to put $2,000 in your pocket anytime you want it, day after day, week after week. Now it’s becoming a lot more interesting. Now you’re not going to get to an asset that you can use over and over and over again in your business without some real commitment of time and energy. Getting someone to pull out their wallet and buy from you is not an easy task, especially when thousands of people a day are competing for your wallet, right?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So here it is. But what I can promise you is even though it’s not easy, and it does take work, I can promise you the fastest, simplest path to getting there, to getting to a product that’s going to be so hooky that your customers are going to get addicted to taking action, getting results, and ultimately buying from you over and over again. So if you’re willing to put in the time to create this kind of asset, then the Experience Product Master Class is for you.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

You see, even in the marketing there, it’s not that it’s not compelling, it is compelling, but I am telling people it’s going to take work. I actually made a mistake with this the first time I released this program, and I’m on my fourth release of the program. 

I think I said it would take anywhere from seven to ten hours a week to do, and that’s just a flat range. And the truth is is that some people could do it in seven to ten hours a week, and some people were working full time on creating their programs. And the people working full time, some of those made up to $400,000 in the 12 weeks of the program. So what I have now said is very different. Now I say it’s a minimum commitment of seven to ten hours a week, and up to as much time as you have available.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And what I’ve also done is I’ve broken the program into two tracks, what I call the core track and the overachiever track. And so the whole program is gamified. I give experience points for every training they watch and every action they take. And so I have XPs and I have triple XPs, which are corn for overachievers. And so anything that’s not 100% essential to getting to mission accomplished, I put into the overachiever track. And so I pre-frame people, look, if you only have the minimal amount of time available, seven to ten hours, then don’t even touch touch the overachiever track. Or if you’re a beginner and you’re just getting started, or you eat easily get overwhelmed, or you’re not comfortable with tech, or you haven’t figured out your business idea yet, start with the core track. Don’t even touch the overachiever track. Now if you’re more advanced, if you’ve got some cruising altitude, if you’ve got extra time to spare, then go ahead and go in there.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So I’ve actually changed this to really create ways for people to leverage the program that would recognize their different stages of business growth, the different amounts of time they had available to them. But when I was first starting, I just had seven to ten hours a week, and that kind of blew back on me. Some people were a little bit upset because they needed to spend more time than that to build their program. And of course when it comes to product creation, you can’t give an exact time commitment, because it depends on whether you’re building a product, like the Experience Product Masterclass, you’re building a $97 product, it’s going to be a different amount of time.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

But in the attempt to make it push button easy, like you’re often taught in marketing, I did try to simplify it, and then some people were upset later on. And now I’ve changed the way I talk about the time commitments, and as soon as they get into the program, I pre-frame them on which path to choose based on their time available. And I really do normalize the challenges so people don’t get in over their head and then think it’s me.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

But the truth is that I have to be responsible to my students. And while I can’t take responsibility for their success, I have to set them up to win. So I need to anticipate all these different scenarios.

Kyle Gray:

I liked that a lot. And one of the scenarios that I’m really curious about is a course for many people, for many businesses, is a first touch. It’s a place where you can experience some of the education and then there’s a lot of times offers for maybe a done for you, or done with you, or moving deeper, and I think it’s an attractive thing to do with many courses. How do you set up your content in a way that gets people anticipating and desiring moving forward with your business and investing more in you? And is this something that you start doing right from the beginning, or do you start kind of warming them up to this as they progress through the education?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well, the very first thing I’m concerned about is delivering a transformation and delivering on my promises. Because if I don’t deliver on my promises, they’re not going to want to move forward any which way. And I think that a lot of people do this poorly, where they’re like, ah, to get to the good stuff, you’ve got to go buy this other program. So I want to give a complete experience of everything that I’ve promised, but to set it up in what I call the Message To Money pathway. So basically every offer has a promise, and when you deliver that promise it usually creates what I call a new, bigger problem, a higher class problem. Right? So, for example, now that you’ve got a program set up, a product that’s making some money, how do you create a whole business around that product? How do you create multiple cascading offers that work together? So there’s a next value proposition that becomes possible now that they’ve achieved this first one.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So I want to kind of back up and then paint the picture of all that they can achieve. And we have, for example, with our Experience Product Masterclass, we invite them to a live event, and the live event starts to position some of these other steps. Great, now you’ve been looking at one product. Let’s look at the business as a whole. Let’s look at what’s possible when you really focus on your entire business and not just one particular offer, and people join our year long mentorship programs. But even if they don’t join us in a year long mentorship program, they still have everything they need to launch a product.

Kyle Gray:

That’s very cool. And it’s interesting how your course and your live event interact with each other, and I think this has been a really interesting technique that I’ve seen a few big players using recently. And again, it’s an excellent idea for a next step because they are both experiences, it’s not something that, yeah, is kind of moving you up to something, I guess just trying to push another product on you immediately. But it’s like interaction, and more of just something memorable and fun and engaging.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

That’s it. We do try to invite them to claim the ticket as soon as they sign up when they’re most excited. And that’s not true that that’s when they’re most excited, because when you do the Experience Product, they keep getting more and more excited. But you know right when they’re there, we do try to invite them. And a certain percentage will claim their tickets right away, and then others we have to follow up with to claim their tickets. But I’m really focused on, it’s a bonus, it’s cashing in on a bonus, it’s not buying the next product. If that makes sense.

Kyle Gray:

In your own business, did you create your course and this event kind of side by side, or did one come before the other and have you learned to kind of balance and work the two together?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah, well actually the event came before this particular course. I mean, I did other courses. So the event’s called Message To Money Live, and previously I had a Message To Money course that created all the downward death spiral experiences that I say to avoid, where it was one of those thud factor courses that tried to do… It had six different focal points. Not one, but six. And even though people liked it, and some people built their business from it, it’s not following my current methodology. So I built Message To Money into Message To Money Live. I discontinued Message To Money, and now the Experience Product Masterclass goes into Message To Money Live. So I always tell people nothing you ever do is going to be wasted. It’s going to be a part of something else, a stepping stone for something else.

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, I think that’s really cool. And I appreciate you sharing a little bit of a story from your own experience developing courses. Do you have any other good stories or really big insights of just small shifts that you’ve made, either between the old course and your current course that you’re really excited about?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. Well I mean, the interesting thing is with my old program, which was called Message To Money, not to be confused with the Message To Money Live events. But Message To Money, the original program that I made, like I said, I made all the mistakes. And I remember talking to a colleague about it and saying you know what? Are you seeing the same thing? Like people buying your programs and not completing them and getting stuck and frustrated? And she said yes, because everyone has that experience if you’re building products traditionally the way that it’s normally taught to do. And she said something to me that really didn’t land with my whole value set. And she said, well Marisa Murgatroydaybe some people just aren’t meant to be successful. And I was like, ouch. I actually believe that everyone was meant to be successful, and given the right circumstances and environment and context, they can succeed. And it’s my responsibility to stack the odds in their favor as much as I possibly can.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

In that moment when she said maybe not everyone’s meant to be successful, I realized that the vast majority of people believe that those who are delivering programs. And so they’re operating from a paradigm of the vast majority of people are not going to succeed, that they’re not going to complete. And that was one of the things that shifted for me that had me get obsessed with figuring out how do I get as many people as possible across the finish line to mission accomplished.

Kyle Gray:

This makes a lot of sense, and it resonates deeply with some of the work I do. When you’re building trust with your audience, it’s not just about building trust in you saying, I’m an expert and I have this experience, it’s being able to cultivate trust in themselves to know I can get this result. And I think that that’s probably one of the biggest misconceptions I see in marketing and sales, is just kind of propping yourself up and not focusing enough with your storytelling and with the education and outreach that you can do this. This is a great process that will fit you. 

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Absolutely. That’s actually one of the biggest reasons people don’t buy is a lack of belief that they can get the outcome that you’re promising, which even means you have the wrong promise. Which is why my program says design market and make $2,000 or a whole lot more. Now $2,000 is just what people invest. So it’s such a small amount back, but really it’s proof of concept. And many people make way more than $2,000. But I don’t promise that, I just promise that they’re going to make their money back. And I have this no risk guarantee. If you do the work, you design your product, you launch your product, and you don’t make the $2,000 back, we’ll make up the difference. So if you make 1000 bucks and you paid 2000, we’ll give you 1000 bucks. Right? But they have to do the work.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So it’s a very simple promise, because I want to create that belief, oh, I can make $2,000. Even though to some people, $2,000 is a drop in the bucket. They’re not that interested in $2,000, but they are interested in 2000 over and over and over and over again, right?

Kyle Gray:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s a really interesting point, and I love how throughout this whole time you’re using language to both encourage people, but also set firm boundaries and expectations of what your responsibility versus their responsibility is. Do you have any other really good insights or really good kind of boundaries and how to draw those when onboarding and educating people?

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Well, I think it’s when you get so clear on the mission, and you also want to create what I call a future self vision, which is what their life is going to look like when they realize that mission. And then you deliver that those are the first two principles. The third principal is bird’s eye view. Which is you lay out almost the aerial path from mission to mission accomplished. And so when you’ve got that clear mission state, that clear mission accomplished state, and they know the pathway in between, it allows you to get super clear as to what you’re actually doing together. What’s in scope, what’s out of scope.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And like I said, even within that I created multiple tracks in my program with the core track and the overachiever track, and tried to balance expectations. You know, you don’t necessarily build the Taj Mahal the first time you try to build something, right? And if you want to build the Taj Mahal, you can’t expect to do it in seven to ten hours a week. So don’t come back to me later on if you decide to tackle a program as big in scope as the Experience Product Masterclass. Don’t come back to me and say it took me longer than seven to ten hours a week. Right? Of course it did.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So if you have a lower amount of time available, then you want to pick a more modest product. And so I have to set those expectations right at the beginning because otherwise people tend to bite off more than they can chew, and then say, hey, but you told me would only take seven to ten hours a week. Right? 

Kyle Gray:

Yeah, and that’s one of the biggest challenges.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah.

Kyle Gray:

Sorry for stepping on your toes. But yeah, I think this is one of the biggest reasons. And again, with challenge normalization, people get so excited, and yeah, the copywriting has gotten them this very different vision of where they’re going than what you illustrate. And I think that’s an excellent way to really make sure that people are as successful as they really want to be and with that clarity.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah. So I’ll still make big promises and have great marketing and things like that, but I want to ground them in what’s possible for them right now.

Kyle Gray:

Absolutely.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And a lot of the success stories, we do have very big success stories. But if you’re a single mom working three jobs and you’ve never done anything before like this, you’ve got to kind of have expectations that match. Your current circumstances is never a limit to what’s possible for you in the future, but also, it does help to set you up for success.

Kyle Gray:

Definitely. So we’ve talked a lot about transformations throughout this whole conversation, and I want to I want to get to know you a little bit more as we’re getting close to the end of this interview. Will you tell me about an investment that you’ve made in your business and your life and in the work that you’re doing that’s really moved things forward? I think that this is a big moment that a lot of course creators have where you have to offer what you’re doing as an investment. And I love to hear stories about what people have invested, and that maybe at first felt like a chick in the stomach, but turned out to be one of the best things you’ve done.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Oh, I invested in a lot of different year-long programs and Masterminds. Probably spend at least 100,000 a year, if not more, and I definitely remember my first one. And it’s so funny because I did not get my start as an entrepreneur. I actually got my start photographing a business building event. So I ended up kind of randomly ending up at the Hollywood Bowl with someone who was an early business trader in this particular industry. He found out I was a photographer, asked if I wanted to come photograph the event in exchange for coming, and I said sure. And I heard his offer something like five times. I photographed five events, and after the fifth event I was like, hmm, maybe I can do this too.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

I actually was so stubborn and so stuck in my artist’s ways that I had to hear this offer five times before I could say yes. In the meantime, the offer went from being $10,000 to being $25,000.

Kyle Gray:

Wow.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So waiting a couple of years meant that I had a paid $15,000 more for the same thing. Now this didn’t actually end up being the best program in the world for me, or the best investment for me. This guy does not do business coaching and training anymore, but it got me onto my path and got me into this world. So in some ways I’m glad that I made that investment, even though I didn’t get what I thought I wanted to get out of it, because it started me on the path. And if I’d waited a year longer, I don’t know if I’d be in this place where I had a mid-seven figure business, or maybe things would’ve been harder if things would’ve been different. So I’d have to embrace that, that even though it wasn’t the best program in the world, it got me on my path.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

And it’s so funny, because even when I’ve made bad investments, investing in a private coach, spending $30,000 and he wasn’t really able to coach me properly, I still learned one thing from this guy that I teach my students that has made me millions of dollars. So even though overall the coaching engagement failed, I got my money’s worth. And when I look at every investment, even the bad ones, the transformation, even if it wasn’t what I thought I would get, is still more than what I put into it. And now when I look at my best investments, like the ROI on those investments is probably 10x.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

I’m part of an intimate Mastermind. 50 of the top marketers and entrepreneurs in the world. It’s called Plat Plus. And you know, we’ve got like Stu McLaren, and Ryan Levesque, and Susan Pierce Thompson, and all those kinds of people in this group. And it’s the 50 of us. And I remember the very first meeting that I went to, I was going on one of my launches. And I got some advice. And I swear I made at least $100,0000 or $200,000 more just from having one hot seat in this group. And that was my very first session. So it was well worth the $30,000 that I invested to get that one piece of advice.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So sometimes I think that people have these expectations, like your entire life’s going to turn around, but a lot of times, even if you get one thing that’s so pivotal for you, it can mean such a big difference in your life.

Kyle Gray:

It means taking action and making the moves and getting out there. I love that. And that was very diplomatically told as well, as far as the story goes. We had good insights. And yeah, I think that that’s an excellent example of something that moves you forward and keeps you going and going deeper.

Kyle Gray:

So Marisa, we have explored so much and it’s been a great pleasure having you on the show today. I would love if you have any closing thoughts for us, share a closing thought, and then let us know where we can learn more about you, and tell us where we can get that awesome gift that you mentioned earlier.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Yeah, for sure. So in closing, I would bring us back to that Zig Ziglar quote. Which is you can have everything you want in life, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want. And I really believe that when you shift from what you want to deliver to really providing transformation and creating a game that people can actually win, it’s not even necessarily a game, but you’re stacking the odds in their favor. You’re letting them know what winning looks like, and then you reinforcing that winning every single time they interact with you. It really makes product development a lot more fun, facilitating programs more fun, marketing more fun, because you can really stand behind what it is that you’re offering.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

So I’ve actually put together all 10 of these experiences to create experience escalation, as well as the 10 experiences you want to avoid if you don’t want to create a downward death spiral, into a viral product checklist. And you can grab that at liveyourmessage.com/engine. Liveyourmessage.com/engine. So you can grab that there, and you’re definitely going to want to pay attention to these 10 experiences and avoid the other 10 experiences if you don’t want to end up creating programs that lead to a lot of dissatisfied people and refunds, and you really want to be able to sell more and ultimately get more of the people who buy to the end zone.

Kyle Gray:

Absolutely. Wow. Marisa this has been a very valuable conversation. Very enlightening. And I really appreciate everything you do and everything you’ve shared today. Thanks so much for joining us on the Story Engine Podcast.

Marisa Murgatroyd:

Thank you Kyle. It was fun.

Kyle Gray:

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned on this episode and every other episode at thestoryengine.co. If you’re looking to learn more about how to use storytelling to grow your business, then check out my new book, Selling With Story: How to Use Storytelling to Become an Authority, Boost Sales, and Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience. This book will equip you with actionable strategies and templates to help you share your unique value and build trust in presentations, sales, and conversations, both online and offline. Learn more at sellingwithstory.co. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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