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Nora Sudduth – Getting More Engagement Using Private Podcasts – Episode #114

“Video is great, and audio is better.”


Nora Sudduth, Co-founder of Hello Audio is a leading marketing & conversion strategist who has helped businesses sell over $500M of products & services online. She’s also designed several courses, coaching, and certification programs that have generated millions more.

Nora has over 20 years of experience working with startups to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between. From market positioning and messaging, to offers and sales strategies, she’s consulted on thousands of marketing campaigns to help businesses have authentic, compelling conversations with their clients. She was also responsible for rebuilding ClickFunnel’s Certified Partner Program—consulting various businesses on over 1,000 marketing funnels.

Questions and topics we covered includes:

  • What’s the difference between a public and private podcast? 
  • How can businesses use private podcasts in their marketing?
  • How to monetize your expertise using The Flagship Formula™.
  • When is it appropriate for marketers to create a course?
  • What are some tactics and strategies Nora has used to promote her own courses?
  • Why should B2B organizations invest in certification programs as a product marketing tactic and when is the right time to launch one?


And more!

If you’d like to connect with Nora, you can find her on LinkedIn –

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto  0:02  

Hello everyone, and welcome to the people Digital Marketing podcast. This is episode 114. Believe it or not, we are past 110 episodes. And I’m very excited to have our newest guest on the show. Nora Suddath. Hi, Nora, how are you?


Nora Sudduth  0:22  

Hey, Kenny. I’m great. Thanks for having me. Of course,


Kenny Soto  0:24  

Before we started recording, I was giving you some context on the podcast, and how it started where we are today, two years in, believe it or not, for digital marketing. Yeah. And now that you have contacts on the podcast, I would like to start off by getting more context about you as a marketer. So my first question, as always, is how did you get into digital marketing?


Nora Sudduth  0:45  

That’s a great question. I actually didn’t start as a marketer, I took that more traditional path to success, I guess you could call it through corporate. So I have a handful of college degrees, started actually, in computer science, did engineering psychology, and then ended up with my MBA, and I was ready to climb that corporate ladder. Because in my world and how I grew up, that’s what I was taught that success was all about. 


And I didn’t have a bad corporate experience, I met a lot of great people, got to work with a lot of amazing companies, from startups to Fortune 500, worked with amazing leaders that I learned a lot, and worked with some challenging leaders that I learned a lot from as well. Right. So all really positive. And I’ll say, you know, as I was climbing the corporate ladder, doing the work, right, helping companies grow, I started to kind of get that itch, that entrepreneurial itch. 


And, you know, at the time, I had very young kids at the time, they’re now older, they’re a little older, but they were I had one in kindergarten at the time and one that was not even in school yet. And my kindergartener wanted to take the bus home. And so all I could hear about was the yellow bus, the yellow school bus, and I’m thinking man, I work from like seven to seven, that note, none of this nine to five, I don’t know where people are getting the nine to five, God bless you if you have a corporate job that lets you work from nine to five. 


For us, it was a really long day, and they couldn’t take the school, and my daughter couldn’t take the school bus home. And so you know, a variety of things happened, my dad passed away, and I was kind of feeling this itch. And I was like, You know what, I’m gonna kick myself in the pants if I don’t do this. And so I ended up retiring from corporate and starting my own marketing agency. 


And so in kind of how that worked, you know, I had spent so much time as a business consultant. And as a manager helping companies grow. You know, I was, I was able to see kind of both sides of the operations, I saw the front end, I saw marketing and sales. And I also saw operations and fulfillment. And so I kind of naturally gravitated toward that marketing. And but in an authentic way, in a very grown-up, I have a business backbone, I have an MBA, and a few degrees. 


And so for me, it was just it was a very natural transition to also want to work with small businesses and help them succeed. And so I kind of started my digital marketing agency with that focus, helping small businesses that didn’t necessarily have all the resources that didn’t necessarily have all the biggest budgets, you know, they’re kind of the underdogs. And that was kind of where I ended up starting, I ended up kind of getting into this at a time when Click Funnels was brand new. 


So this is before the word funnel was mainstream, ever, you know, it was more of the architecting your marketing campaign or looking at your marketing, and we were using WordPress for everything, which as a technical person was not an issue for me. But Clickfunnels was brand new. And I was like, Well, why not give it a shot and so started to use Click Funnels with clients. Russell ended up finding out what I was doing. I was in his orbit because I was part of a coaching program. 


And he kind of tapped me and said, Hey, would you be willing to shut down your agency and come rebuild our Certified Partner Program, I ended up being with Clickfunnels for several years built them a couple of seven-figure programs, including their Certified Partner Program at the time and their clicks our coaching program, and I’ve probably now since then I have reviewed 1000s of funnels, I’ve consulted on 1000s of funnels, and I’ve helped sell over half a billion dollars of stuff online. 


But it started by taking a chance and doing something that I love that didn’t feel like work to me and probably something I would have gotten paid would have done if I hadn’t gotten paid. You know, don’t tell my clients that necessarily but that’s how much I think they know that anyway, but I absolutely love doing that. And that’s kind of how it came to be.


Kenny Soto  4:41  

By the time this episode airs. It will probably be early 23. And this topic will still be timely, especially because student loan forgiveness is a topic of conversation. The MBA, I’ve asked several guests in the past their opinions on the MBA. And I would like to know your opinion, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of your MBA?


Nora Sudduth  5:10  

Hmm, that’s a great question. You know, at the time when I got the MBA, I actually ended up going through the MBA program with my husband. And we did it before we had kids. So we both knew we wanted, he took a separate track, he’s an engineer, he’s a project manager. And we both knew that we wanted it. But we also knew that if we, when we had children, because that was in the plans, you know, hopefully, that we would have kids, that it would be really challenging after that, for both of us to get our MBA. 


And so we made the joint decision to both do it at the same time, which is challenging. I’ve never we’re, you know, we didn’t go to school together, we weren’t in the same classes, you know until we did this. And I was like, Well, you know, it’s, it’s, it was, it was very challenging. We did it at night, we were both working full-time during the day. 


And, you know, I will say when I did it, I went with the intention of career advancement in corporate, you know, and I think it demonstrates business proficiency. I think, you know, we were lucky enough, we live here, just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. 


So we were able to get our MBAs through the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. So it was very, it’s a very prestigious program. It’s one of the top places in the nation, we were able to get a lot of hands-on practice. So it wasn’t just booked knowledge, we were able to work with VC funds, and we were able to really kind of just dig into more real-world applications. And I think that was really beneficial. 


You know, overall, did it help me advance in the corporate job insurance, it’s one of those things in your resume, you’re like, that’s great, you’re able to do it, I think what it does demonstrate and where I found it most beneficial, is that I have that business backbone, I have managed multiple millions of dollars of you know, what, it’s a huge project or hundreds of millions of dollars when it comes to an annual budget. And there are not a lot of entrepreneurs who are starting out that have that business background. 


And I think that challenges a lot of entrepreneurs, because they’re, you know, in their amazing people, it’s just something that they haven’t had the experience managing that business and understanding that the profit and loss statement and understanding cash flow and, and all of those things, because they don’t really teach that in school, they don’t teach that in high school, at least most high schools, you know, and they, they don’t necessarily teach that. 


And unless you’re, you know, going into finance, and you know, you’re doing a bachelor’s degree. So I do think that the MBA was beneficial, just from giving me that business backbone, to then not only be able to manage my business efficiently, but also make the right decisions for clients. Because it wasn’t just one-sided, I could see the full picture of the business. So I think that was really beneficial. 


And then honestly, the relationships that I’ve made in the cohort, I mean, those are priceless. When you know, it’s like when you go through, that was someone and they were all working full time. Some people did have families, and it’s, you know, that’s just that’s connections that are, they’re just priceless, for sure.


Kenny Soto  8:10  

So my assumption here would just be that if you didn’t get the MBA, in most cases, you’ll probably learn the same things, but over a longer timeline.


Nora Sudduth  8:20  

Yeah. You know, would it be the exact same? Maybe not, I think I was exposed to things that, like working for that VC fund, and like really diving into tech startups and understanding what VCs look for when they fund I don’t think I would have had that experience in corporate now if I would have switched jobs and maybe gone and worked for a startup. 


I mean, some of my startups, I did learn other things through startups I worked with, whether it was to go public to raise funds, so they have a board of directors they have to answer to so I’ve been through mergers and acquisitions, and corporate, you know, multi-million up to multi-billion dollar acquisitions. So I’ve seen a lot and I learned a lot that I didn’t learn in the NBA, I think it’s a way that helps you. 


It’s not so much textbook learning but it’s about the application and adaptation of what you learn. So that when you do encounter it in real life, if you don’t take it upon yourself to not only just assimilate what they’re saying, but then also take the next step and really figure out okay, if this does happen to my SAS company, right, based on what I’ve seen based on historical like, what are my options to deal with this problem? It’s probably not as useful but like I said also had the benefit of being in one of the top programs in the nation. And so what I have done otherwise is probably not.


Kenny Soto  9:42  

Now, when it comes to what you’re currently doing, can you describe what it is? Hello audio?


Nora Sudduth  9:48  

Yes, we have found it so I’ve two co-founders, it’s myself and Derek and Lindsey Pedia Hello audio specializes in the private podcast so it’s a SASS company. I always knew that I would end up back up in software in some way, shape, or form, I obviously spent the time clicking funnels, and I spent time with ExactTarget before Salesforce acquired them. I’ve started with a few other SAS products as well. So really, at the end of the day, it’s a SaaS product. 


It’s a software tool. But what it does is it allows people to use podcasts as a communication channel for other types of content. So like, this is an amazing public podcast, right? So people get to subscribe, they get to listen to your episodes, when they drop, everyone gets the same content on the day that you release it right, everyone gets the same content at the same time with a private podcast, and they’re open to the general public, right, so everyone can subscribe. 


And if you haven’t, you probably shouldn’t hit that subscribe button. But with private podcasts, you can get the content. So you’re using the same apps that whatever app you’re listening to this amazing podcast on now, the right private podcast will use the same app. So they feel they operate the same as a normal, what you’d normally think of as a podcast show. But they’re private, which means as the content owner or the podcast owner, you get to control who gets access to that content and for how long. 


So now you can get it behind an opt-in. So if you want to use it as a lead magnet, you can have a private podcast as a lead magnet, or if you want to sell it, if it’s a course, you can have an audio course, but just have it delivered via podcast app, which we all know if you’re a podcast listener, you know, they’re super convenient, you can stick it in your pocket, you can stick your earphones, you know, had headphones on and just kind of go about your day. 


So what we’re seeing now is that business owner who has this, you know, this age-old problem, and it just gets worse and worse, right, with all the digital noise and so many, you know, people being exposed to different marketing messages, how do I break through the noise and reach my audience, we’re finding that audio is actually a really unique opportunity for a lot of businesses to reach their audiences when they’re not sitting here at the screen. 


So it now unlocks, especially with podcast apps, unlocks all of the hours of the day when your audience is not sitting in their butt in front of a screen, which we don’t want to do any more than we have to anyway. And you’re now able to reach them in these little pockets of time that you know, whether they’re washing dishes or walking the dog or sitting in the carpool line, which is something that we didn’t have access to before for a lot of this content. So that’s what Hello audio is in a nutshell, we take that to a whole new level with private podcasts.


Kenny Soto  12:29  

I know that there are obvious benefits to a public podcast, you’re able to have intimate conversations with potential business partners, customers get more information on your ideal customer profile, etc. You can regurgitate and remix the content into written and video after you do the podcast. What’s the advantage? And you’ve alluded to this already? But what are some of the advantages of using a private podcast? In a business’s marketing efforts?


Nora Sudduth  13:02  

Absolutely. So there are a few things about using a private podcast and a couple of different ways. I’ll give you three primary ways to use it and I’ll talk about all three. So one, and I’ll do it really fast, you can kind of lose it. So versus marketing, everything else. I’ll talk about some use cases for how to use private podcasts for marketing. So essentially how to attract and how convert leads into sales. Then the next one is to fulfill fulfillment and delivery. 


So think about course completion, and success rates, like we want people to consume our stuff that they paid for or that they opted in for. So that’s important. And then the third thing that people are starting to use private podcasts for a lot more is actually onboarding. So it’s internal communications, could be employee onboarding, Client Onboarding, no one wants to read that employee handbook at all, no one, no one is reading it. 


They’re scrolling down and they’re signing, right? So think about the difference between that experience and coming bringing someone on board to your team as a leader, and now giving them a private podcast right away before they get access to Slack or their email at all this system stuff that they have to go through, they get a private message from their supervisor, they get to hear about the company values, they get to hear clients success stories, that feels a lot different than reading that employee handbook that really no one is reading either. 


So that’s kind of the third way I’ll talk a little bit more about marketing and delivery and fulfillment here because I think it is important on the marketing side over the last several years. Everyone’s content, content, create more content, create more content, people are exhausted, people are have created and if you’re one of those folks that are listening to this, you’re like I have created so much content. 


And then it’s almost like Okay, great. Well, isn’t that what it is doing? Is it doing anything for you? I think that one of the biggest advantages of audio that we’ve already talked about is that it’s just easier. The video is great. The video is amazing. And audio is easier. Right? It’s easier for you as the creator you don’t have to be camera ready, wow, what a pain in the butt. Right? If you’re giving a presentation or a webinar, like the thought of sometimes putting a slide deck together, or if you’re trying to create a course the thought of that slide deck can be enough to be like, Man, I don’t want to do this anymore. 


Never mind, I’ll do something else. So there’s that, you know, it’s all and then video editing is a pain compared to something that is straight-line editing with audio, right? You don’t have to worry about what your mouth was doing or how crazy and wonky the clips are with video editing, it’s just easier, not only for you as a creator, but also for your listeners as well. And what we’re finding we have a couple of use cases with Hello audio is that people are using lead magnets and getting greater conversions. 


So instead of just that ebook, for example, that ebook, which has great content, we saw an ebook that had 20% conversions to cold traffic, which was actually pretty darn good. It went up to 80%. When we turned it into an audiobook that was a private podcast didn’t change a word. If you think about it, think about your own behavior to which we all I’ve opted in for bazillions of PDFs over my Nui and have graveyards like PDFs, graveyards and multiple machines throughout my house, I trust myself a lot more to listen to something in audio than I would read a 50 page PDF, I’m not doing that I might read the first couple pages, and then I’ll get distracted by the 70 other tabs that I have open on my computer. I’m not alone. 


I know a lot of other people are like that, too. But we’re seeing conversion rates go up for lead magnets, what happens when they actually consume the lead magnet, they’re a lot more likely to take the next step right in your marketing campaign. Same thing with your launches. So we’ve talked, and you’re probably there are so many different ways people launch and everyone teaches the Evergreen launches, and Product Launch Formula webinars, right? All these different things. 


What we’re finding is that whether you run a challenge, whether you do a workshop where they do a webinar if you podcast that content, because people miss it, right, they miss the challenge, they drop off engagement day to day, they don’t make it to the live webinar, because it’s at seven o’clock. And that’s when Conor has soccer, right, whatever that looks

like for your audience by putting it into a private podcast, and it can be a pop-up podcast, which means that you know, you have built-in urgency, hey, this thing’s going away by Friday, right? 


So get in and listen to what you’re giving, you’re just making it easier for people to consume your content, you spent so much time and effort creating this content, so why not make it easier for them to consume, right? And if they consume it, they’re a lot more likely to take the action that you want them to take. 


So that’s why we’re saying use it for marketing use it for fulfillment and delivery. Watch your client, we have folks that just added a private podcast for their course, client success rates went up by 400%, and content didn’t change, we just made it easier for them to get the information they need to get the results that they want. 


So there are a lot of benefits to using audio, in addition to just being able to form a connection with your people, right? That’s why you and one of the reasons you have a podcast, you’re able to talk to people and get to know you, your voice, your personality. They know your values. They know what you care about. Being able to use audio in your business allows you to make that connection with your people as well.


Kenny Soto  18:11  

As you were explaining this, what came to my mind because I like to have tangible examples. There is a marketer, I’ve probably mentioned him in the past. His name is Brendan Hufford. And he has a podcast called SEO for the rest of us. He also has, which I think is a great tactic that ties back to what you were talking about a private podcast, same title, but it’s for people who go into his paid community. 


And he basically asks bonus questions of each guest that you can only access by being a paid member of his community, therefore showing the viability of a private podcast as a quick example.


Nora Sudduth  18:48  

Absolutely. And that’s one strategy. And a lot of podcasters are kind of like Apple had that Spotify had that Patreon. That’s a kind of Patreon model, right? It’s like, $5 a month or, you know, maybe $7 a month. And, what we’re saying too is, that’s a great model for a lot of folks, though, they don’t even see themselves as a podcast. So they’re like, I don’t really want to show that’s a lot of work. But you know, it’s a lot of work. I know you put in a lot of effort to make this show as amazing as it is. 


And so a lot of people are like, Yeah, but I’m not a podcaster. What we’re saying is, you don’t have to be a podcaster to have a podcast. And I think that’s the cool part is we do have people yet that kind of use that tip jar model with five and $7 a month and they kind of have this membership for and that’s great. That’s a viable model. We also have people charging 1000s of dollars for their private podcast because it’s private coaching or launch coaching or, you know, a 30-day customized meditation or fitness sequence. So there are a lot more options, but an easier delivery model.


Kenny Soto  19:48  

I saw this on your LinkedIn and it drove my curiosity enough to ask you in this interview, what is the flagship formula?


Nora Sudduth  19:58  

Ah, so the flagship formula is something that I worked on to help folks monetize their expertise. So what, you know, this, this world this marketplace is, you know, we’ll talk about full of gurus and the expert industry and all that kind of stuff, right? And it’s like, how do you stand out? Yes, you’re different. Yes. You know, every single one of us is unique, we have our own unique, just, you know, weird things about us, we have our values, we have our personalities, some people are going to resonate with us, and some people won’t. 


And that’s natural. The other thing that we have in our favor is creating your flagship framework. And so really, this flagship formula was meant to say, it was built to really help people leverage their proprietary framework for getting a result for other people, whether you’re a coach or a consultant, or an expert, whatever industry you’re in, you help probably someone goes from point A to point B. And you do that in a specific way. 


And for those of you that are just starting out, and you’re just kind of starting to discover your process, I guarantee that process is there, even if you don’t see it yet. I’m someone that likes to see patterns, I see those kinds of things. So I like to pull them out. But as you refine your craft, as you work with more clients, that pattern becomes more visible, it becomes more noticeable. And you’ll also start to realize how to tweak some of the nuances of the framework that you use or your proprietary process. 


When things are different. When clients say Oh, I’m I do this, instead of that, or I’m this kind of a, I have this kind of a business and you know how to tweak your own framework. But that proprietary flagship framework is really the foundation of anything that you’re going to build any product, every service. 


And so when I look at the flagship formula, I look at being able to create, you go from where I was making six figures in a corporate job, and knowing how do I leave that corporate job, I had two kids, I was the primary breadwinner, I couldn’t just leave and be like Sia, good luck, you know, it’s like, it was at the time I was paying like 300, and some odd dollars a week for daycare. 


Like it wasn’t something that I could just leave. And so how I could replace my corporate income, to go from that to a six-figure income doing something that I wanted to do, it really helped, I relied on my flagship formula. So no matter what I built, whether it was a course, maybe it was a coaching program or one on one consulting ultimately ended up creating certification programs for a couple of other folks as well. It was all truly built on that flagship framework. And that drives kind of that the ability to make six figures and beyond with that.


Kenny Soto  22:39  

I want to preface this next question, with the goal of specifically helping marketers and I think this is a theory of mine, I’ve had since probably 2016 2017, that regardless of marketers, industry, or channel or set of channels, they’re an expert in one stream of income they have most likely to salary or some kind of income stream from freelance work. 


But I truly believe that every marketer can ship an info product, whether that’s an e-book, private podcast, or even a mixture of multiple content formats in a course. When is it appropriate for marketers to create a course? I asked this because you’ve already alluded to it saying that we all probably have a process, even if it’s not laid out. But can you expand on that?


Nora Sudduth  23:30  

Absolutely. I truly think every single one of us has more than one course in us. You may not see it yet. But I think you know me now looking back, I have a few decades of experience, I’ve learned a lot I’ve seen a lot I have I’ve put patterns together that I could teach other people to help shortcut and help them save a bunch of time and probably sanity and a lot of money, right? So there’s a lot that each of us learns in our journey. 


And you know, that looks different for each of us, depending on what industry you’re in, whether it’s fitness, or E-commerce or whatever that looks like, you have valuable information that other people would pay for whether we think about, you know, does that is that a course? Is that an audio-only course through a private podcast? 


Is it you know, maybe it’s visual and you want to show people how to run ads through a specific platform? Is it? Is it something that you could do consulting or put a group coaching package together and then turn that into a course I think it’s it’s all about, you know, you’re ready to create a course when you can say, I’m gonna take this person, whoever that ideal person is from point A to point B. 


And this is how I’m going to do it. That alone if you can say, Yep, and you could, it doesn’t have to be a huge transformation. It doesn’t need to be Hey, I’m going to take you from zero to 10 figures. It can be Hey, I’m going to take you from zero to launching your first successful ad. It can be it doesn’t have to be I guess this huge flagship program, it can be a bite-sized course. And I think starting there because what happens when you create these bite-sized courses, it takes the pressure off and no you don’t need to start with your life’s work. 


And no one really wants 60 hours of video, right? It’s not what people are buying right now, in case you haven’t noticed, they’re looking for targeted ways to get help. They’re looking for things that are going to move the needle for them. And ultimately, what you end up doing by creating these bite-sized courses, you condition yourself to create, right, because that’s a process that you sometimes Yeah, there is impostor syndrome, there’s fear. When you create a course there are some things you gotta get over perfectionism. 


But if you create these bite-sized courses, ultimately, you could create one a month and at the end of the year, you have 12 saleable assets that you could maybe bundle together or do something bigger with, but it starts with one and I truly believe every single person, you can take someone from point A to point B, maybe it’s a belief shift, maybe it’s something more clarity that you can get them unclear to clear whatever that transformation is for you. If you can take someone from point A to point B, and they value that transformation, you have a course inside of you.


Kenny Soto  26:08  

When you say that I’m already thinking, of course, I could probably teach us how to create a podcast. So that’s me. That’s beside the point. My next question for you, Nora, is, what are some tactics or strategies you’ve used to promote your or your own courses? Or tactics and strategies you’ve seen successfully deployed to promote courses in general?


Nora Sudduth  26:30  

Yes, I love this question. Because I get a lot. There are a lot of folks at the very beginning stages, and they aren’t necessarily they’re not well-known in the industry. You know, there’s I. Let’s just be meta about this. Right? And it’s like how to create courses, right? Everyone, you probably know how many people are out there creating how to create courses, right? Like, there are courses on how to create courses all over the place. 


And there are some really well-known people, right? So if you’re competing in that space, you have to think, Well, why is it that, you know, a lot of folks get impostor syndrome, are they why would someone want to buy this course from me when they could buy it from insert? famous person, right, Amy Porterfield, like there’s, you know, all the folks that are there selling those things, and it comes down to a couple of things. 


And so one is obviously you which we talked about, you know, it’s you your ability to help someone the fact that you care. And like someone taught me this phrase, and it was all about turning a bug into a feature, right? So I used to be in SAS, used to be in software, and we used to have fun with defects meetings every day when we would prioritize defects and bugs that were in the software. And so someone once said to me, what if we make this bug, right, this defect into a feature? And the same thing applies if you’re a course creator, trying to market yourself, it might be so on while not well known. 


Oh, well, there are only three people on this course. So you think, okay, that’s a bug, that’s a defect, clip it and turn it into a feature. So if there are not that many people in your course, guess what your people now get more one on one attention. Right? Maybe your course, isn’t it? Maybe it’s, you know, you’re like, Oh, I’m not going to charge that much. Okay, well, maybe you’re making it more accessible for someone who, really, truly needs that help to get started, right? But there is a wealth of information, and they’re going to crush it. Why why? What is it about that you might feel there, those hesitations? Turn it into a feature. 


So that’s one thing I will say there, I would say the other thing is, it’s all results. When you’re brand new. If I look at any offer across the board, any offer that I’ve helped put together that has sold really, really well. It’s because of the likelihood of success. So certainty people pay for certainty. That is something that will increase the value of your offer. So how can you increase the feeling of certainty? The feeling of like, yes, if I buy this I am certain it is Garrett. So yeah, it could be guaranteed. 


It could be promoting your results. It could be testimonials, not just endorsements, like you know, Kenny is great. It’s like, you know what, what? 10 He helped me launch my first podcast in 30 days, right? Like, what? What does that look like for your course? And if you don’t have people that have gone through it yet, that’s okay. Let’s do a beta, the beta, right? And that’s the beta launch. 


That’s what it’s all about. I would say look at the likelihood of success. I would say another thing that people pay for, in terms of creating a course or selling your course and making it more valuable, is ease and convenience, for sure. No one wants to work hard these days. No one, even those of us that are brought up working hard. But you know if you can make it easier and more convenient for me to get through something that would be amazing. 


That’s kind of also why we have a private podcast, right? Listening to that content is easier and more convenient, that kind of fits in that. And then I would say anything you can do to reduce the time it takes to get that outcome. So if you’re helping someone get from point A to point B, what can we do to crash that schedule, right and talking a little bit like a project manager, but time is money, right? So if you think about it, I’m just helping you craft the van Do you like the value of your offer? And it’s really those three pillars. 


What can you do in that offer to make them feel like success guarantees we’re increasing the likelihood of success, we’re decreasing the amount of time it takes for them to get the result because time is money? And then we’re making it easier and more convenient. And yeah, if you can have fun along the way, that’s even better if people do pay to be entertained as well, those are the three things I would look at in your marketing if you’re selling any type of info product, course, or coaching program.


Kenny Soto  30:30  

This is somewhat related. But now we’re going to talk about as opposed to an individual’s perspective to an organization’s and you created a certification program for one of the biggest SAS companies ever built, which is Clickfunnels. Can you tell us the story of how that came to be? Did you allude to that at the beginning of this podcast? And then can you describe for example, at a high level, when is it appropriate for a b2b SaaS company to start thinking about creating a certification program?


Nora Sudduth  31:01  

Hmm, that’s great, that’s such a great question. I will say, you know, with ClickFunnels, specifically, one of the biggest reasons for their success is when people actually launch a funnel, right, it’s about in order for them to keep turned down. And this is with most SAS businesses, right for now, do we want people to create feeds, if they’re not creating feeds, they’re not going to use the software, just like with ClickFunnels, if they’re not creating funnels, they’re not going to use the software, right? There’s no need. 


So that’s kind of a basic thing. And so there’s a demand, there’s a need for people to help people with their funnels. Right. And so what does that look like? It’s like if they could, that was one of the reasons behind this certification program for them, was it they had a ton of demand, they’re like, please, I need someone to build my funnels, I can’t do this. This is too hard. This is too time-consuming. I’m getting stuck, right? And there’s a lot that goes into that too. Right? They could have done it, yes, may not have been the best use of their time. 


But there was a ton of demand and not enough funnel builders that I think we’re maybe adept at using the software. And so one of the things that I think really made Clickfunnels different is they were like, You know what, we’re gonna create this sort of this certification program, we’re gonna start, we’re gonna put our stamp of approval on folks, we’ll put them in a marketplace. And that means, for liability reasons, you can’t really recommend someone who’s specific. So you know, it’s all that legal stuff that goes along with it. 


But now they’ve created a marketplace where people can hire folks and feel a little bit more confident, you have to do your due diligence as a consumer, but now they could kind of come back and say, Okay, I’ve got people who can help me that that I know, know this tool, verses for a lot of us at the time without having a Certified Partner Program. 


And this goes like, keep formerly known as and shoot, Infusionsoft has done this, right? A lot of sass companies have done it. And it’s really because it’s like, you know, what are the other options for people to get help from Fiverr Upwork? And it’s scary, like you just, that’s, that’s scary. 


And so I think this provides a little, another layer of that certainty, right, the likelihood of success or likelihood of getting that outcome is kind of what this certification and Hiring a certified person kind of represents, again, still have to do your due diligence. But that’s something that was kind of the reason behind it. So as we look at, you know, at Hello, audio, our tool is actually so easy to use, that we have over 70% of our people that launched their first feed in less than a day. 


And so we don’t have a huge demand for other people because it’s just so easy to use, however, look at something like Salesforce, holy cow. Like there are massive programs that go into a Salesforce administration. And that kind of stuff like that, that requires assistance. That’s a heavy lift, right is what we call it, that’s a heavy lift. And so we do need like those types of tech companies that are really, really well positioned to create those certification programs like even I would say keep right Infusionsoft was, that was a beast that was a heavy lift to get up and running. 


And so now we see the SAS companies where there’s a heavier lift involved, that all SAS companies want to do is they want to decrease the time to value. That’s one of the metrics that SaaS companies look at when they’re trying to make sure that they are doing the best they can. 


They want people up and running as quickly as possible. They offer migration services, they offer lots of things, this is why they do it, right, because they want that time to value to be as short as possible. 


And not everyone can build SAS tools that are just easy to use because they do a lot of stuff. So here’s what I would say, when Russell first created the certification program, they didn’t. I mean, Russell, I’ll caveat this Russell is an absolutely amazing sales and marketing person, right, like one of the best in the world hands down. 


And, you know, I would say curriculum design is not his strong suit. You know, that’s why he has a team to do it. And so during the first iteration of it, I think the team did a great job. And they had a ton of people, I think they weren’t ready. 


They weren’t expecting the demand that you know, people really wanted to take an opportunity to be funnel builders and do it. And I went, I went to Boise. And I was like, Oh, this is the curriculum, the systems person in me, the trainer in me is like, Oh, we can make this better, right? There are some things that we can do. 


And I think me coming into it with the knowledge of not only being a business owner and helping clients with it but also being an educator and someone who can design courses and coaching programs that sell it was an easy way for me to kind of be able to add value to that organization and organization and obviously one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world. 


And who really changed the landscape of how we do marketing? It changed how we talked about marketing it made funnel like yeah, okay, you want to might be like, you know, the next dirty F word or something, but like, the reality is, no one was talking about funnels until Click Funnels came along or not meant not is that wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. And so being able to step in, I completely overhauled the curriculum, and I focused a lot more when it comes to certification. 


Having that business background, I knew that if a company was putting its stamp of approval on somebody, it needed to mean something there needed to be assessments, and there needed to be more assurance for the consumer that they knew what they were doing that it was rigorous, right? I’ve also seen companies not click funnels, but they have multiple choices like watch a video, here’s a multiple choice quiz. Yeah, I’ve taken those certifications where I’ve slept through the videos, and I got 100% on the multiple-choice quiz. 


And yes, I’m a certified traffic person. And it’s like, does that really mean anything? You know, probably not as a consumer, would I have confidence that knowing that that person slept through the video, and answered all the questions, probably not right. But I knew it needed to mean something. And I knew that it needed to be done. Right. And that was the other reason why I was able to get brought in, and it was such an amazing experience to not only just be a part of that community and be a part of the growth and be able to see the challenges and the opportunities and, and really kind of be a part of that amazing team. 


But also to help people build businesses, there were people who went through that certification program that now have multimillion-dollar agencies. And that’s a really cool thing to be able to see and know that you were kind of able to facilitate and help in that process. Right. I think just being a part of that is pretty amazing.


Kenny Soto  37:33  

Nora, my final question for you is hypothetical, because time machines do not exist. But if they did, then you can go back in time, about 10 years in the past, knowing everything you know, today, how would you specifically accelerate the speed of your career?


Nora Sudduth  37:49  

Oh, that is an amazing question. I would have gotten back into SAS sooner. Why? For me, I, it’s interesting, you know, is uh, I didn’t really think about it back then, when I went through my computer science program back in the day, right, I was one of the very few women in the program. Not many women in tech at that age. Granted, I’m kind of dating myself here, but I’m older than I look. And so it was very, I didn’t really think about it. I mean, I’ve been in it all my life. 


And it just doesn’t. I don’t think about being, you know, in that minority and kind of doing it. But I also think that having a business background and having such a passion for client success, course completion, and helping people get the result is so results-oriented. There’s something magical about being that person who is tech-oriented, and who cares so much right about someone getting that result. 


And what I think I found with Hello, audio, just feels like home, it’s like I’m able to build a piece of technology, that is easy, that is easy to use, that people actually love, they get results from it and being able to create and come at it from a marketing standpoint and come at it from development and according to completion, it just it’s there’s something magical about this. And maybe who knows, maybe I would have needed to do all the other things not that I didn’t love doing. 


They’ve loved creating certification programs, I’ll still do that. All of those really cool things. I just feel like SAS, there’s something about SAS that will always have part of my heart. And so that would be the one thing as I would have gotten into SAS a little bit sooner, I think I could have created some really magical things that would have been around for a really long time.


Kenny Soto  39:51  

There are some things to say. Once you find out, maybe not what your ideal role or position is. But when you find out what your ideal is, it makes life and works much easier to deal with. I recently went through a whole journey internally and I came to the conclusion that financial services, insurance, FinTech, etc. 


Yes, that’s, that’s my space. I don’t know if SEO is going to be the role that I always have. But at least I know, I’ll always have fun. And this is great to say I always have fun promoting financial products. So when you said SAS, that’s what clicked in my mind, it’s important to find at the very least, an industry you enjoy being a marketer.


Nora Sudduth  40:34  

Yes, the fun in it, you know, now that I’m in my 40s I will say this when I was in my 20s I was the type of that classic many of you listening to this might be a classic overachiever were like I get no I listed out I cross them out. They don’t like fun as a side like if I’m having fun bonus, but it was never the driver for me. It wasn’t like oh, pick a career that you’re actually going to enjoy. It was like I’m doing this, this is a success. 


And so what I found now, right going through the 20s and 30s and now I’m in my mid 40s And it’s just fun is more important than I think I gave it credit for early on in my career. And it’s amazing you know, I don’t know if I just didn’t believe it at the time that fun could be successful and fun could be lucrative. Maybe it was just I was brainwashed and like who knows maybe I didn’t feel it. But it is true. It exists, it’s real. It’s a reality you know and so it is something I take more seriously now that you know I do look for fun and AND THE HELL YES before I’ll say yes to it for sure.


Kenny Soto  41:43  

Nora, if anyone wants to say hello to you online, where can they find you?


Nora Sudduth  41:47  

You can find me on Instagram at Norris edit or Norris


Kenny Soto  41:51  

Awesome. And thanks for your time today and thank you to your listener for listening to Episode 114 of the people’s Digital Marketing podcast. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe and rate us on Apple and Spotify. And as always, I hope everyone has a great day.



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