First launches don’t always go this well! IIN & FDN Health Coach and former Group Program Academy student, Ciria Velarde, made 14k on her first program launch. Her program is in treating Hypothyroidism through Functional Nutrition and Lab testing. Discover how she did it and why joining a program is the way to go as a starting health coach. Join Kendra Perry as she talks to her former student on her first program launch!
Listen to the podcast here
How Ciria Velarde Made 14K On Her First Launch
I have a great interview for you. We are talking to my former Group Program Academy student, Ciria Velarde. She’s from Mexico. We are going to be talking about Ciria’s first program launch, which honestly blew my mind because this was her very first launch and she was able to generate $14,000 and enroll 18 clients into her Hypothyroidism Program.
I was so excited because first launches don’t always go that well. We spoke with Group Program Academy student, Dr. Shannon Curtis. We talked about how her first launch didn’t go the way that she wanted it to. That’s normal and what happens. If you want to read that episode, it’s episode 117. The first launch is the success. Even if it flops, you can learn so much from it that you can be successful on the second launch. Shannon was successful on her second launch. In the program, I try to help people be very realistic and have realistic expectations because the first launch is the hardest one.
When I have a student make $14,000 in their 1st launch and make the most money that they have ever made at one time in their business, it blows me away. While everyone’s first launch is a little bit different, it goes to show that if she can do it, you can do it. It truly is true. Those are the opportunities that are available to you if you come into my program, Group Program Academy. As a reminder, Group Program Academy is a self-study program that will help you not only create your first group coaching program but launch it using social media and email marketing. You too, can have the same success that Ciria has, which is super fun.
Ciria is an IIN and FDN coach. Her struggles with Hashimoto’s were what led her on her health coaching path and why she is able to truly understand and empathize with the struggles of the woman that she works with. Her expertise is in treating hypothyroidism through functional nutrition and lab testing. Let’s dive into the interview.
Ciria, welcome to the show.
Kendra, thank you for having me here.
I am so excited that you were here. I cannot wait to dissect your launch and talk about all the success that you had. Before we do that, I would love it if you could tell the readers a little bit more about what you do and maybe how you got into health coaching.
I’ve been in this business for years but it is the first time that I can say that I have had success finally. I was putting all my efforts into studying more, doing more certifications and all those things that you talk about and it wasn’t working. At first, I started with my coaching business. I’m an accountant. That will explain a lot of why I got stuck with all the marketing things. I didn’t know anything about that.
I first started at IIN. It helped quite a bit. I was doing a lot of research before and reading a lot of books. I was very into health before IIN. I thought it wasn’t enough so I kept searching for the next course or certification. I wasn’t doing anything about marketing because I was afraid. I procrastinated for six years until I found you. I always thought I was going to learn it myself.
I learned a lot of things along the way but I can tell and be very honest that it was a huge mistake waiting to do it all myself. It held me back. When I found you, I was nodding at all your posts on social media because I felt that you were speaking to me. You were rejected and frustrated at the beginning. I was like, “I’ve been there.”
Everything you were saying was so relatable. I’m so grateful that at that point, I was ready to invest in myself. I was doing a lot of inner work already. That timing was perfect. You were there. A friend of mine recommended your page and social media. I’m so grateful for her because, through her, I found you in Group Program Academy.
When I first found you, I didn’t even have a freebie. I wasn’t even paying attention to my website because people don’t pay attention to websites a lot. You were talking about that also and I thought, “No wonder my website is forgotten. I was asking you if I could join Group Program Academy because I didn’t have a freebie, an email list or anything.”
I was already doing one-on-one coaching for more than five years and I didn’t have a newsletter. I had quite a big following on social media but that was it. I didn’t have anything else. I didn’t know how to sell. I didn’t have a package. When I started, I had a package but I got desperate and thought, “Nobody is going to buy a package.” I had all these mindset blocks. I started doing one-on-one because I thought it was easier and cheaper for people. I thought that was going to work but it was exhausting. I was burnt out.
When you were doing one-on-one, were you pretty busy with one-on-one clients?
I was pretty busy.
Was your inspiration like, “I’m burning out. I want to switch from one-on-one to group coaching,” so you could free up more time in your schedule?
Yes. I got that idea when you were posting about that. You were talking about all the mistakes that health coaches do. I was doing all of them at the time. I thought, “A group program sounds terrific. It will be more relaxing. I will help more people.” I don’t know how to do it because I didn’t even have a newsletter. To me, your program was liberating. I was doing my group program. At the same time, I was going through each module. I was working my fingers to the bone on my program because I already had all the information. I was doing that with each client every single time. I was repeating myself all the time.
I thought, “I have everything. I need to put together a freebie, a newsletter and all the things that you need to do to create this embodiment for selling.” It was super helpful. I loved it. I could recommend it to anybody that is doubting about buying. It is the best investment you can make for your business instead of waiting to do it or figuring out everything yourself. It’s not worth it. My message to any young coach that is doubting about this is, please do it.
I love that you speak to this doing it all yourself thing. I can resonate with that because I was the same way. I’m like, “I’ll figure it out on my own.” I didn’t want to hire a coach or buy a course. I’m like, “I’m capable. I can do this all on my own. I don’t need anyone.” Like you, I had the same experience. You spend so much time trying to figure it out and you don’t have a lot of time. All you’re doing is trying to figure it out and don’t have anything that works. It sounds like you had a similar experience to me. As soon as you invested in yourself in a coach or a course, suddenly things happened quickly.
We got to be very honest about what we are good at and what we are not good at because that will save us a lot of time. That time can be years if you don’t realize it right away. You can get very frustrated. I was losing hope from the people around me because they watched me struggling with my business and being tired all the time. They were not even trusting that I knew what I was doing and that I was going to be able to run a successful business.
When I ran my better program, I didn’t even know what a better program was. Now I know. When I launched, my boyfriend was like, “That’s another try and another thing you’re going to do.” I’m a hard worker. I thought I had tried everything. He was like, “Let’s see.” When people were signing in for the course, I had to call him and say, “There’s another one.” It was so exciting.
I’d love to talk a little bit more about your launch because as I teach in Group Program Academy, especially with launching, people need the pressure to buy. They need that deadline. With that, most of your sales end up coming in at the end. Can you talk a little bit about you running a webinar and then what happened a couple of days after the webinar?
People were sending me messages but nothing was happening. I only had one person that was already my client in one-on-one coaching. She knew what I was doing before with her, so she signed it immediately. It was the only one and I waited and waited. In the last hours, people made the decision. I enrolled eighteen people in the end.
It’s an interesting thing because this happens all the time. I’ve launched dozens of times and this still gets me. You might get a few trickles in at the beginning and then you have this phase in the middle where nothing is happening. That’s always where I go to the bad place, sometimes where I’m like, “No one’s going to sign up. I’m a failure,” and then all the people come in on the last day. I remember getting a DM from you. You were like, “Kendra, I don’t know what to do. Only one person has signed up.” I was like, “Chill. Don’t worry. Most people will buy at the end.” It’s exactly what happened.
Those were wise words. I remember that day. I was like, “She knows better. I’ll wait.” It happened exactly as you said. “Wait. People wait until the last minute.” Sure thing, it happened that way. I did the webinar. I don’t remember if you mentioned that on the program academy or social media. I’ve been following you for a while. I was so ready when I found you, especially because someone recommended your stuff to me.
I was so ready to do what you were saying. I did everything you mentioned. I did the webinar, all the emails and the section where you provided the templates for the emails we need to send for the selling phase. That was so helpful because I had no idea how to do it. I was blocked because I was so nervous. The program is so helpful.
I don’t teach the webinar inside the Group Program Academy because with that beta launch, you don’t necessarily need one. I keep things very simple. With subsequent launches, that’s a good place to be to start bringing in webinars. With your business, because you were pretty well established and you had the following, the webinar served you very well. I’m pleased that it worked out for you. In the course, I gave you a webinar script. I’m curious. Did you use that script or did you go with something else?
For the webinar, I went with the flow with the stuff I already had. I live in Mexico, so I thought I had a lot of problems with mindset. That’s another thing that you offered in your program. You are not letting people go away with their excuses. I love that so much because I’m a procrastinator with my business when I’m afraid and there’s something new. I usually procrastinate when I don’t know what I’m doing.
I live in Mexico, so I thought, “I don’t think people know what a functional coach does.” I was preparing all my excuses on why people wouldn’t buy the program. I thought I needed to do a webinar because of that. I need people to understand what I’m offering. Having a newsletter is not a usual practice in Mexico. Health coaches down here are doing only social media, so I was doing the same. It doesn’t work. If you are trying to sell a program, social media doesn’t work for that.
It’s so true because you don’t know who’s going to see it. Not everyone is seeing your content. You don’t own it. As soon as you start getting promotions on social media, your reach goes down. It speaks to the value of the email list.
For example, if someone says on social media that your program is expensive, people will follow through with the same comment and will buy that comment. Selling through email was the greatest thing. I found a pressure. Email marketing works.
You had eighteen people enrolled. How much income did that generate for you?
That generated close to $14,000. I tried to do a program before and I didn’t sell. It’s not even close to that because I was doing it the wrong way. I was trying to sell it on social media the first time. I tried several things. I enrolled 5 or 6 people but I was doing it only on social media. Now that I did it the right way and the way that you teach in your program how to do it, it worked so much better.
After you enrolled all of these people into your program, how did it go with running the group program? Is that going well? Are you enjoying it? Tell me a little bit about that.
I’m very happy with this way of doing things. My practice will never be the same. I will never go back to one-on-one coaching. People get lost. You see people maybe 2 or 3 times. They don’t come back or follow through. You get frustrated. You think it’s all about yourself and you’re a failure. People get busy, distracted and/or think it’s too much work.
When they invest in themselves and already buy a program for 2, 3 or 4 months, it seems they are so ready to do the work. You don’t need to be pushing them. You don’t have to call them to see when they are going to schedule the next consultation. They are doing the work and are committed. They see you all the time. I’m doing it the way you taught us to do it. I’m running a class each week and one day of questions and answers for them. It’s working pretty well. I’m so happy and ready for the next one.
When are you going to launch the next round?
I don’t know. If you are going to tell me to do it differently, I would love to know your opinion. I’m trying to do it a little bit differently this time with the launch process. The first time I was nervous. I wasn’t sure, so I launched and started the program. I closed the door on Sunday and started the program the next Monday right away. I was still reeling people and the program had already started. That was a little bit stressful for me. This time, it will be better if I lunch and wait probably at least 2 weeks or 3 weeks to start. How do you feel about that?
That’s fine. I had a Group Program Academy student. We interviewed Dr. Shannon on the show. What she did was launch her program on Black Friday, which is typically the last weekend in November and her program didn’t even start until December. She pre-sold it. There’s no problem if there’s a period. It makes sense in that situation because Black Friday is a crazy shopping holiday. People are stoked to get in at the lower price point and then start in January. The advantage of starting the program sooner after the launch is you keep up that buzz.
People’s adrenaline is firing off because they’re like, “I invested in myself.” It’s great to jump into the program but I don’t see any issue with waiting 1 week or 2. Make sure people know that it starts. I closed the cart on a Tuesday and then not started until the following Monday. That’s fine. There’s a lot of effort and energy that goes into a launch. You want to be able to keep that energy the same to get into your program. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving yourself a bit of rest time.
You can give them something to do while they’re waiting for the program to start. Maybe there’s a prereq module, you have them buying certain things for their cupboards, cleaning out their cupboards or whatever it is. It can be helpful to give people something to do to prep. That way, they’re busy and it keeps them engaged.
I like that. I’ll do that. Maybe running a lap before starting the program. I like the idea of sending something. That way, people don’t feel in this awkward space.
Usually, people are anxious to get started. If you give them something to do, that’s helpful. The big goal with the second launch is to look at what worked well from the first launch and repeat it and look at what didn’t work and then change that. You’re making sure to look at your sales page conversion and the open rates for your emails. If you have low open rates for one email, you got to update the subject line but you probably don’t need to change anything in the email.
If the click-through rate is low, then it probably means you need to rework the email a little bit. Updating the emails a little bit is necessary. If it sounds like the webinar worked well for you, what might be helpful for tracking is to have two sales pages, one that people get the link for only on the webinar and then the one that goes out in emails. That way, you can figure out who signed up based on the webinar.
The second one can be live also. I have nothing recorded but the classes through zoom. I didn’t manage the time pretty well for the first ones. They are long classes. I don’t want to use those for the final program. The second round, do you recommend doing it live again?
You can do this in a couple of different ways. When you’re in beta mode, you want to move out of beta mode. When you’re like, “I feel good,” you want to be updated based on their feedback. Some people are ready to do that after the first round and some people need to stay in beta for a while. You have a couple of options here. You could run it live all over again or prerecord the educational component of the program and still run it live.
You drip out the content if that makes sense. You release a video each week or every two weeks and then you have your live Q and A. It’s a bit of a hybrid. At some point, it’s important to run your program live several times to get the feedback to make it better before you turn it into an ongoing enrollment model.
I got it. Thank you so much. For someone reading and doubting if they should take this program, everybody should. I love that you keep things very simple. Everybody’s busy. All your modules were very straightforward. The videos are short. Anybody can go through the program. Even the busiest person can do it.
You invested a lot of time and effort putting all the sequences together and all the templates that you offer. It’s pretty easy to put together a group program for your program. Even if you have no clue, you can do it. You can do it without a newsletter or an email list. I have zero people on my email list. The email list didn’t exist in my vocabulary until I found you. I built it at the same time I was taking the course and it worked perfectly.
I tell people signing up for Group Program Academy, “It’s fine if you don’t have an email list because you can build that. Essentially before you launch a group coaching program, you need to have your brand and niche. You need to know how to use social media.” We don’t talk about how to utilize social media. You were in a perfect situation because you had the following. It made that transition very easy to grow the email list and then launch.
I’m so relieved that I found you. I’m sure I’ll keep learning from you because you make things pretty easy to understand. Even the busiest person can go through your programs. You got to put in the work but it’s very straightforward and I appreciate that.
Thank you so much for hanging out with us. If people want to get in touch with you and connect with you online, how can they find you?
Usually, Instagram is the only social media that I use and it’s enough. That’s CiriaHealthCoach. You can find me there. I have a freebie. Unfortunately, it is only in Spanish. If there’s someone else that speaks Spanish and English is their second language, you are very welcome to my social media. You can download the free guide. It is pretty good. If you suffer from Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, it’s a great way to start.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to hang out with me from Mexico. I very much appreciate it. Thank you to all the readers for reading and taking time out of your day to hang out with us. I will see you again next time at the same place where I help you become wealthy AF.
About Ciria Velarde
Ciria is an IIN & FDN Health Coach. Her own struggles with Hashimoto ́s were what lead her on her health coaching path and are why she able to understand and empathize with the struggles of the women she works with. Her expertise is in treating Hypothyroidism through Functional Nutrition and Lab testing.