Corporate Chaos to Online Course Creator: How to Build a Life-Honoring Business with Katie Ferro

Jul 18, 2022
Online course creator



You’re in for a treat today, Dreamers! I interviewed one of my very favorite people, Katie Ferro, and asked her to talk about her experience going from corporate chaos to being a booked-out bookkeeper to becoming a two-time online course creator. And not only that, but how she did all of it—escaping the corporate hustle, building a business, and putting together not one but TWO online courses—while momming three kids!



Who is Katie Ferro?

But wait—who is Katie Ferro? If you aren’t familiar with this amazing woman, let me be the first to introduce you! Katie Ferro is the host of the Profits+Prosecco Podcast, the two-time online course creator of Become a Bookkeeper and Life By The Books, mother of three, incredible bookkeeper, and my wonderful, life-saving CFO. She’s a marketing queen, and I know you all can benefit from hearing the story of her journey toward becoming an online course creator. So let’s jump right in!


Step 1: Kicking the “Can’ts”

Katie: “I had a lot of stories for why I could not do this. I didn’t have a babysitter, and I had three kids…then as I was asking (followers) what they were struggling with, I was like, ‘I could tell you this so easily…’
There are a million and one valid reasons for thinking you don’t have the time to commit to becoming an online course creator. When you already have a job, and you’re not willing to give up any more of your valuable time. When you’re juggling kids and keeping your house under control. When you’re playing carpool to clubs and sports and school. The list goes on and on and on. But the thing is, when you get down to it, it’s so much easier than you think. And ultimately, the benefits of becoming an online course creator are worth the risk!


Step 2: Finding Yourself

Katie: “If you build a business in a way that doesn’t honor your life, you build a business that doesn’t honor your life.”
Before we get into why it’s important to be genuine in order to attract the right audience, let’s talk about why it’s important for you. Adding on the title of online course creator to your life as a business owner or coach is doable, but part of building a business that honors your life is assessing what, exactly, honors your life. Especially when you’re just starting out as an online course creator or business owner, it can feel like you need to cast your net out as wide as you can. But when you commit to something you’re not 100% comfortable or confident with just to get a bigger audience, it will ultimately harm more than it helps.
As Katie says, you may think you need to teach everything when you become an online course creator. By focusing in on your pitch, your message, and what you want to teach people, it may seem like you’re limiting your options for sales. But in reality, you’re actually one step closer to finding the core of your message…and finding your core audience. In fact, if you aren’t careful, by not honoring your message, your method, and the amount of time you’re able to commit comfortably to becoming an online course creator or building your business, you run the risk of those “can’ts” walking right back through the door.
Without taking the time to really assess what works for you, what doesn’t, and what you’re absolutely not willing to give up in your pursuit of becoming an online course creator (For Katie, it was time with her kids: “I wasn’t willing to sacrifice those young years with my kids for anything…except sleep, which I guess I wasn’t getting anyway!”), you increase the chances of burnout, frustration, and eventual unsustainability tenfold.



Step 3: Finding Your People

Ariel: “When we think about us as course creators…when you can capture your unique perspective and you’re really fucking clear about what you stand for, what you don’t, and what you believe in, and how you want people to go through this experience with you, that is going to create such a loyal fanbase of people that want to come along with you. Or it’s also going to show people that maybe you’re not the best fit for them, and that’s fine. But that’s also how you’ve really been able to attract people that GET IT, and they’re your people.”
Here’s the biggest thing you need to remember when preparing to become an online course creator: people can smell a façade a mile away. It’s true in life, and it’s even more true in business. If you’re too scared to be your most real, most genuine self, people can sense that, and that lack of confidence in you might lead to them having a lack of confidence in your business. If you want people to know that you’ve got a grip on your business, then you need to own your brand. Own what works for you. Building a business that honors your life means being 100% real about who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re here to teach.
If you try to teach everything when you don’t have the bandwidth to do so, you’ll end up missing things. Your students will suffer, your clients will suffer, and you will suffer from not being able to live up to your own standards and expectations for your program.
The most important thing you can do for yourself when becoming an online course creator? Get very clear about the nitty-gritty details of your message. Cover less ground to make sure you can cover it better. And when the right people see your commitment to being genuine, your commitment to sticking to the core of what you want to teach, they’ll naturally gravitate to your confidence, your steadiness, and how well you honor your own boundaries and your own limits. By giving yourself space to be real, you give them permission to be their own genuine selves, too.

Becoming an Online Course Creator: Is It Worth It?

Katie: “I was able to go from being a burnt-out tour guide to the front desk of the bougiest hotel you can imagine…just being like, ‘Hey, where do I get the massage?’ ‘Oh, that’s in room two.’ ‘Where’s the best place for dinner?’ ‘Let me make you a reservation.’…I don’t have to wait on you at the restaurant, and I’m not giving you the massage, but I know exactly where things are.”
Becoming an online course creator is not only a great way to gain some passive income; it’s a great way to help you take your hands off one side of your business so you can focus on the moving parts that need your full attention. And when new clients or students come to you and say, “I want everything you’ve got!”, you can easily direct them to your course full of your very best work without having to teach it all to them right then. You’ll never have to scramble to put together a coherent presentation or set up long meetings to go over anything with your students—all that will be done and ready to go. And the best part? When you make an evergreen course, it’s one-and-done. It’s something you only have to do once, but once it’s done, it can bring income to you in perpetuity!



Thanks for Coming Along!

Katie: “It took it from something that was working and turned it into something that really gives the results in a way that doesn’t have to always come directly from me. And the experience of working with (Ariel) and (her)  team has given me the capacity to do these things and more…like, anything that I want and more, and to create more.”
Becoming an online course creator can seem like a daunting task. But if a booked-out bookkeeper and busy mom of three can do it, so can you! And of course, we here at Dreampro are always here to help. As always, thanks for coming along for the ride, and I’ll see you next week!
Want to connect with Katie? You can find her on Instagram @orderlyaccountingbykatie. You can also listen to her podcast, Profits + Prosecco, or check out her website!
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