How to use an Online Course to Grow Your Business with Christy Ogilvie

5 - thought leadership inspiring interviews Dec 10, 2020

Christy Ogilvie is a client relations expert who helps financial planners and wealth management advisors outperform the competition by creating sticky client relationships.

She hit a crisis with her Chicago-based business as all of her consulting that was conducted live dried up. She knew she needed a new approach when she and I connected.

She got inspired by the idea of creating an online course to not just be an alternative to her live teaching but a way that her business could not be hemmed in by geography.

Only problem? She never created on online course before.

Bigger problem? There’s a lot of new tech involved which was overwhelming.

Through our work together, she was able to quickly get past these challenges and developed a course that she can sell on its own and extend the value of her traditional client engagements.

More importantly, the process of creating her course was equally transformative. Here’s what she had to say: “This process has really helped me see that the way I am is fine and that what I have to offer is super valuable and not average […]  I don’t know why it takes some of us so long to accept that what we have is valuable… I can command real income and who I am is valuable.”

If you’re thinking about creating an online course, listen in to Christy’s story. And then email me at [email protected] to talk about how I can get your great content manifested in your signature eCourse.

About My Guest: Christy Ogilvie is the President of Ogilvie Consulting who is dedicated to helping financial services firms turn their lukewarm clients into raving fans using big-hearted communication and relationship building. Christy is also a singer, author and all-around amazing person whom I have personally known since we were in high school together many years ago. As a creative visionary who helps sage, data-driven clients, she knows the value that her complementary skills and perspective offers and encourages those around her to own the ways in which they are "unicorns" and special.

About Us: I'm Betsy Jordyn and my business development firm builds strong and powerful brands for remarkable consultants and coaches and their unique strengths. Simply put we design consulting and coaching practices that position you as a thought leader and sought-after expert by helping you find the words to describe the value of what you do and use them on your website and in your marketing. Check out our roadmap to mentoring and website design programs at https://www.betsyjordyn.com.  


Christy's website: https://www.ogilvie-consulting.com/

Schedule a consult call to talk about creating your brand messaging and positioning and online platform: https://www.betsyjordyn.com/schedule

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To Read the Full Transcript:

Betsy Jordyn:              Hey, it’s Betsy Jordyn and I’m so excited to interview Christy Ogilvie today.  Not only is she the latest course creator that we helped but she is one of my dear friends from high school, which we didn’t know each other very well, welcome, Christy. 

Christy Ogilvie:             Thank you so much for having me today, Betsy, this is amazing.  I’m so excited to launch my new consulting business.

Betsy:              Well, what’s really exciting is that you’ve been a consultant for a while and you’ve decided to start a course.  There’s a lot of people who are thinking about courses.  Let’s go back in time where we first connected.  Actually, let’s bring everybody up to speed on how you and I know one another.  How do we know each other?  Tell us a little bit about you.

Christy:             Well, you and I go back to junior high and high school in Glenview, Illinois, near Chicago.  We reconnected because of social media during this pandemic.  This never-ending, never-ending pandemic. 

Betsy:              That’s right.

Christy:             I saw a comment in a thread of a mutual friend where you were talking about DISC personality understandings and I thought that it was interesting and I went to your profile and I was like, hey wait a minute, I know her!  And I sent you a note and we ended up talking not only about DISC understandings and personality understandings but I sort of unpacked the consulting that I’d been doing one-on-one, pre-pandemic and you were like, you know, you could create online courses for this and you would not be hemmed in by geography.  And I went, ding, ding, ding.  This is very exciting because the kind of people I work with are all over this country and frankly, all over the world.  That got me very excited.  Excited enough to work for six months and make a brand-new modality for teaching. 

Betsy:              Not just a brand-new modality, it’s pretty awesome.  Tell us more about your expertise and what you do and what your—put some context together.

Christy:             I work with financial planners and wealth management advisors.  What I do is I assist the teams that I work with in client relations.  That sounds boring but it’s not.  When somebody asks me what I do, I say I charm people.  And then I convince them to stay on top of their financial planning.  I realized quickly that what I do is different and special and very effective and what I do basically is, I take one part communication skills and pair them with CRM technology. So that something that a lot of planning people and advisors in general find to be a pain in their tuchas and I make it fun and efficient and really effective.  When I realized it was different, I started my consulting business and so the online courses are making it so that I can do this no matter where the advisor and that team are located.

Betsy:              It sounds like you provide something that’s really unique to financial services firms.  It sounds like they do really well at advising their clients around their financial portfolio and what you do is you come alongside them and train them on how to be great client relationship managers as well.  When they are able to engage their clients in a different way, what are they able to create that they wouldn’t be able to create without you?

Christy:             The thing that’s different is financial planning is a very analytical business.  You need to understand the people that you’re providing the service for in order to give them what they’re looking for.  They may have financial goals.  They have dreams that they want to make come true, or they may have children or grandchildren to educate.  You name it.  Then you pair that with the anxiety a lot of people have around money and analytical business has to be relational. 

What I try to do is take financial planning teams out of transactional work and into relationship work.  

Betsy:              Wow.

Christy:             You can have a smaller stable of clients for a lifetime instead of constantly going out and reselling and reselling and reselling, piece meal plans.  In the seven years, I’ve been with the team I help, I’m noticing that over time, when they see my name show up on their phone or when I’m in their email inbox, I get these like, “Hey!!  Hey Christy!”  Or the email back like, “what’s going on momma?”  And I’m like, this is a formal business, what’s going on?  But it’s just they’ve started to feel bound to us.  I love that.  I love that.  I am scrupulous about keeping track of what people tell me.  When I call them or write them, I’m like, hey did you sell the house?  Or did your grandson finish college?  Or you know, whatever they told me three months or six months prior, I just pick up that thread.  I do that with technology.

Betsy:              How interesting.  

Christy:             Yeah.

Betsy:              It sounds like you train your clients on how to use empathy and relationship skills to actually increase their revenue by making their clients super happy in terms of achieving what they really want which actually helps them to grow their own revenue without having to go out and market more and market and get more clients, did I get that right?

Christy:             Yeah.  Yeah, you did.  Basically, I’m asking financial planning teams to engage with the people they’ve already sold the product to.  I want them to see the opportunity that’s in front of them and see that they can spend an hour or two a day or five hours a week maintaining and building those relationships because when we have trust and friendship, you not only get more business but they will refer their colleagues and friends to your business, so you’re not marketing.  You’re just being an awesome person who’s good at their job who then attracts more wonderful people to your practice.  It’s pretty fantastic. 

Betsy:              Financial services firms could actually compete on the basis of their customer service which is unusual for that industry.  That is really unique what you’re able to do.

Christy:             Yeah.

Betsy:              This makes sense, so that when you were going back during the COVID time, it kind of accelerated what you started to say which is you felt like you were going to cap out on how many clients you had available to you in Chicago area, which is where you live.  It sounds like you have a pretty hefty mission of how you want to help these firms with that big hearted communication and so the course is enabling you to go beyond.  Am I hearing this accurately or am I just reading between the tea leaves properly or this is a—? 

Christy:             No, you’re right.  I feel so excited about the potential to reach people in every area of this country.  It doesn’t matter if you live in Decatur, Dekalb, Peoria, or Chicago.  It doesn’t matter if you live in Lubbock or Houston or Dallas, Texas.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a big city or a small city.  It could be Burlington, Vermont.  I can work with you and help somebody on your team or sometimes the whole team become really excellent at relationship management.  In the long run, you’re doing less work because you’re not sell, sell, selling all the time.

Betsy:              Let’s go back to when you were talking about the course.  It sounds like you were doing a lot of that training live and now you have a course.  What made you, outside of me saying, hey this is a good idea, made you say, "what I really want a course.”  What was it about a course and what did you have to overcome in order to get going on building that course?

Christy:             Oh boy.  The reason I wanted the course is when I created the system that I already had which is, Eight Weeks to Mastery, that’s what I was calling it.  I had written and copyrighted a manual for that and I had been working with teams one-on-one, in person at first and then often the coaching, phone appointments later.  This had been very successful.  When I saw the potential of putting my content into a visually appealing course online, I was like, oh PowerPoints, oh, voiceover.  Well, I’ve done a tone of voiceover, so that wasn’t scary.  PowerPoints were a little scary because I didn’t really know how to make them, but Betsy, you made it easier.  That was good. 

I did have to overcome my fear of new modalities and I did have some freak outs and some long text streams because I didn’t have a skill, but the lucky thing about being someone who trains other people to deal with their anxiety about skills is, I know that that anxiety can actually be the push to the next level. I welcome that and I see the pattern in myself and I see it in my own mentees. 

I overcame a lot to make the course, but now that it’s complete, I am just full of excitement because I feel really unlimited potential to reach all the people that really could use some help.  I feel like I have something special to offer and it’s not an average thing.  Frankly, now that we aren’t all working together in the same space, I’m noticing that in the before times, people who wanted to know what I was doing would often come sit near me.  They would spend a whole day, sitting by me at my desk and listening to me talk on the phone, watching how I manipulated my CRM.  Asking me, how do you know what to say when the email is about this and how do you respond if they say that?  If this, then that...what, what, what.  We don’t have that now.  We don’t have that office culture to help kind of climb the ladder and then put the ladder down behind you to bring the next person up. 

I hope that financial planning teams are going to see what I have to offer and see the opportunity for their teams that they don’t have time to sit around training their staff.  Frankly, if their staff is across town or across the state, they’ve got me.  They’ve got me and I not only have a great standalone course, but I have mentoring skills.  I’ve been doing this for years.  Not only in this business but prior, I had a teaching studio for 20 years, teaching music.  I’m a pretty happy and skillful coach.

Betsy:              It sounds like there’s three things that doing a course and creating a course is creating value for you and for your clients but it sounds like, number one is just experiencing being on the edge of your current level of competence.  You knew you were walking off the edge.  You hit it, you mastered it and then you can move on.  It sounds like there’s more opportunity that you can see for your business now that you’ve mastered that.  It sounds like the second is that before when you trained people a lot of times it was more intuitive, like they came by you, they’d ask questions, you’d answer it, but creating the course really forced you to get clear on what is in my secret sauce, what is actually my recipe for success and getting all of that out.  Then the third, it sounds like you have a different way of how you can help your clients is by having a course, you can go with their people wherever their people are whether they’re across town or in other places, that you’re always available.  That’s really powerful.

Christy:             It’s super powerful and because we have this tech where we can talk to each other in Chicago and Orlando, in real time, we can do this anywhere.  I can have a client in Germany.  I could have a client in Japan.

Betsy:              That is the best part.  That for me actually is my favorite part of an online business is having clients from everywhere and having an opportunity to expand your reach.  You did such a good job on your course; do you mind if I just give everyone a little sneak peek of what you got?

Christy:             Show it!

Betsy:              Okay, [drum roll]  This is Christy’s course.  Christy, do you want to just walk everyone who is watching through just big picture, what all is included in your course and what kind of value people can get if they get into your course.

Christy:             This course is called Eight Weeks to Client Relationship Mastery.  It is just shy of three hours of content.  I designed it to take the learner step by step through understanding every element and yes, the first part is the client perspective.  If you’re trying to engage people the first thing you need to do is put yourself in their shoes.  You want to try to think like they’re thinking and understand why they respond the way they do.  Some of that is about where they are in that moment and some of that is about who they are as a person, which took us to the DISC understandings that you and I started talking about back in April. 

I literally break it down.  Client’s perspective, how to talk to people, how to write to them.   How to break down the uses of technology to make contacting simple.  It’s not like you reach out with an email or a phone call and they immediately answer you.  That’s not how the world works.  People need often multiple touches to get them to respond.  I make that system really user friendly and customizable.  I give a ton of scripts.  I give email templates.  I offer live coaching on speaking on the phone with people of all kinds of moods and personalities, which is hysterical while you’re learning.  I get into the nitty gritty of how to work with people and their schedules.  I break things down into literally, how to structure your day so that you can be effective. 

I just get so excited about it all, I feel like such a nerd.  I’m a total nerd for this stuff. 

Betsy:              I sure hope you’re a nerd for what you do.  That seems like a requirement.  We should all be nerdy about our area of interest.  What I think is really exciting about what you’re talking about here is it sounds like you start off on the big picture and then you move it into like the practical tools and then you move it into the implement and reality.  You go big picture, now you got your tools, now you go walk it out.  I’m also hearing between the lines here is that, you don’t offer just the course alone but it’s something that’s going to accelerate your overall consulting experience.  It’s not like, just because—some people just want to get a course just to make money off of a course, but you have another purpose for your course which is really to expand the value of what you do with your clients.

Christy:             Yeah.  There’s ongoing mentoring.  I have found that just about everybody I’ve trained which is a couple dozen at this point, that they get the main stuff, whether they do it in eight weeks or some people take a little longer, it just depends on how busy their schedule is but they always come back to me with more questions.  I call them sticky wickets.  They come to me, the client, with the goofy attitude. They’re hot and cold, they’re brisk, they’re rude, but they’re a very high-value client and  “what do you do”, and “how do you communicate with that person. “ I have experience all these things so I can give them really helpful guidance.

Another thing I offer that I think I wish I learned when I was coming up which was, not to be afraid of errors.  I think a lot of clients are really charmed when you say, oops!  Or that was my mistake and I’m going to fix it right now.  Or, if you can’t fix it right now, that was my mistake and I will have it finished for you and corrected by this hour on this day. 

And fulfilling your promises, like the humanity of making a mistake and then, fulfilling the promise of fixing it is so refreshing to people that I’m actually almost glad when one of my mentees makes an error.  I’m like, you have a huge opportunity now to show these people what kind of person you are and that you operate with honor because it’s rare.

Betsy:              I think it’s so interesting because you can apply it to your own experience.  What you said at the beginning is any time that you’re in that place where you’re making mistakes, you’re not necessarily knowing what you’re supposed to do, you’re actually in the right zone anyway.  Everything is a learning opportunity.  One of the things I always ask and I think you and I talked about it in the beginning is, just starting off this process with the beginners mind.  Just because you taught live doesn’t mean you know how to teach online and just because you created one course doesn’t mean that you know how to do the second course.  There’s always these moments of, I don’t really know.  It’s about the more perfect business and it’s about the more perfect professional that you’re going to become. 

Christy:             Yes.

Betsy:              Now, if you were going to summarize, so now let’s say we look at the whole scope of our whole course creation process, what would you say is the biggest thing that you personally got out of creating your course?  Like, how are you different as a result of this experience?

Christy:             I trust myself more.  I trust my instincts more.  I trust the process more.  The timing more.  I’m really grateful that I have had your guidance and sort of open good humored acceptance of my process because I think those of us that are trying to offer consulting services—I call myself an outdoor cat.  I don’t fit in well with office culture in its sort of blandness.  I’m too sparkly and I also like my own hours and I like my own calendar.  If I know I have two weeks coming up where I have to be in and out offices, I’m really good with that because I know that the week after all that’s over, I’m going nowhere.  I’m going to be like, in my living room, doing yoga and listening to music.  I can like regroup and fill my well. 

This process has really helped me see that the way I am is fine and that what I have to offer is super valuable and not average.  I knew that from the beginning but it took me a while to accept it.  People kept sending me their staffers and going, can I just buy you lunch and you’ll let them learn from you?  And the first three or four times it happened, I was like, oh that’s so flattering, sure.  And then I mentioned it to another friend who is a consultant and she’s like, girl, uh-uh, no.  Don’t be giving your stuff away for a sandwich.  This is like a gourmet weekend away learning to cook alongside a chef, that’s what this is. 

Now that many financial advisors have used my service and I see how their practices have grown, and how their staffers are so much happier and more comfortable and fed by what I gave them.  That is—that’s everything.  I want to do that like 100 times and then 100 more times.  I want the whole world to be what one of the teams assist calls me.  They say I’m the unicorn because I’m the only one.  And I say, let’s make a herd of unicorns.  Let’s spread beautiful relational big-hearted service all over the country and all over the world, because I’m altruistic. 

Betsy:              I love that.  I definitely want to help you create those herds of unicorns, which I’m sure you do as well.

Christy:             [laughs]  Herds of unicorns, yes.

Betsy:              I love that and I love the outdoor cat, I’m going to have to borrow that one because I feel like a lot of us consultants not only are we outdoor cats, and coaches as well, we just need to own that positioning of being an outdoor cat because that gives us the positioning and the perspective that everybody on the inside don’t have.  It sounds like the big thing of how you’re different is, it seems like during the process and I remember when we were working on the learning objectives and the value of the program and all that kind of stuff is that, you kind of had all the thoughts like in a lot of different areas, but being able to get it to words that you could use in the course, it forced you to drop your value proposition from here deep into here.  Now you know, now you know what you know and now you have a tool that actually manifests what you know.  You have now something—your life work is manifested in a tangible way that other people can access and replicate.  That’s really powerful. 

Christy:             I don’t know why it takes some of us so long to accept that what we have is valuable but like, sometimes I feel like I’m finally here in my 50s and I’m like, I’m a big girl now.  You know, like there’s a big part of me that’s like, my feet go all the way to the floor and I can command real income and who I am is valuable. I don’t know why it took me half of a lifetime. 

Betsy:              And you know, that sparkly personality, you can command the space, I remember her in high school walking through the halls singing but now she has a course that manifests that song.  You’re the same person but deeper and I just love that.  It’s not like you’ve become a different person, it’s just what’s here, goes here and now it’s in your body and now it’s more of an empowerment kind of tool that you have as much as anything.

Christy:             Yeah.  Massive.

Betsy:              If you were going to go back in time, when we first started chatting and you were having your questions and you could talk to that younger version of you, what would you tell her about the process to continue to motivate and encourage her?

Christy:             I would tell that younger me that her instincts have always been great.  I would tell her that her loyalty and her trust in people should be placed where it belongs and not given away easily.  I would tell her to work hard and to dream really big, bigger than she has.

Betsy:              Would you give her any warnings about the tech stuff and any encouragement about the tech stuff that was a little overwhelming? 

Christy:             Ha, I would tell her to believe that the answers were coming in their own time. [laughs] 

Betsy:              That’s fine.  The answers will come, no worries.

Christy:             And it’s going to be fine. 

Betsy:              If somebody wants to learn more about your course, if you’re a financial services firm and you want to turn your team into big hearted communication experts who can engage your lukewarm clients, where do those people—where do they need to find you and what do they get when they get on your website?

Christy:             They need to come to my website and watch the videos and read a little bit about what I offer.  The site is www.Ogilvie-Consulting.com.  Ogilvie is O-G-I-L-V-I-E.  Not with a Y, I-E. 

Betsy:              Watch your videos, for sure.

Christy:             Watch those videos because you’re going to get a little sense of what I offer as a coach and I kind of break down the courses in the website and then, I’ll be happy to do a 20-minute consultation with you to see how I can help your practice.

Betsy:              Awesome.  And if you want to start creating a course to expand the value of what you offer as a consult or coach, definitely let us know.  Join me over at BetsyJordyn.com and schedule a free consult with Jen and I and we would love to help you as we’ve loved helping Christy and you might even have an opportunity to meet Christy one of these days. 

Christy:             Yes.

Betsy:              All right, thank you Christy, for your time.  It was so great.

Christy:             Thank you so much. 


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