“I made more in one week than I had the entire previous year” — Darya Rose
“I felt it was my obligation to share this with the world”
Darya was unhappy with her body, and miserable with the restrictive diet she was on. After 15 years of jumping from one diet to the next, she had finally had enough. She took it upon herself to learn what it really took to lose weight — and was shocked by what she found.
“I did a deep dive into the science and discovered everything people had been telling me for the past 15 years was wrong. Dieting is actually a better way to gain weight than to lose weight.
Darya discovered she could lose weight and feel great without starving herself or following a restrictive program. She immediately lost 10 lbs and felt better than ever. That’s when she started her blog.
“I felt it was my obligation to get this message out there and share my results with the world”
Though her blog was getting some traffic she had no idea how to make any money from it.
“I had no idea how to create, sell, or market a product”
When she first started blogging, Darya had 2 main goals:
- Build an audience
- Write a book
Four years later, she hit her goal. She had tens of thousands of subscribers and a book deal with HarperCollins.
But the excitement soon wore off. All the money she made from her book (both the advance and royalties) eventually ran dry. What she needed was a way to make consistent revenue from her blog “without resorting to crappy ads or sponsored content.”
“I hadn’t found a sustainable business model. Some months I’d have a spike in revenue, some months I’d have nothing. I didn’t have an answer at that point.”
But even if she had a product, selling it was another problem. As a neuroscientist with a Ph.D., she had a reputation to protect. She didn’t want to be associated with scammy internet marketing.
“In my space (health and weight loss), there are scams everywhere… I was wary of any business model that would make me appear to be a sellout.”
“My husband thought I was nuts”
After 5 years of trying to grow her business on her own, Darya decided to invest seriously in outside help.
“I have no problem spending money on things that are going to make my life easier in launching my business. I’ve done it the hard way and it’s possible, but if you can afford not to, it’s a no brainer… To have a blueprint is invaluable.”
Having been a fan of the systematic approach we take at IWT and GrowthLab, she saw Zero to Launch as the perfect fit. So when the course opened, she jumped at it.
“I literally watched the Zero to Launch sales webinar from the beach on my honeymoon in Mexico and bought the course as soon as it opened. My husband thought I was nuts.”
Creating a business with integrity
One of the primary business models we teach in Zero to Launch is how to create online courses. This was a breakthrough moment for Darya, who realized she could earn money from her blog by teaching people what she already knew.
“I was in awe of the business model. I realized I could teach and not compromise my integrity or ideals.”
The question then became, what course does she create?
Darya followed our system, which meant engaging with her readers and finding out what they wanted — and were willing to pay for.
She discovered she could help her audience by teaching them how to cook. But there was a problem; Darya didn’t use recipes. And she didn’t think she was qualified to create a cooking course.
“I’m a scientist, I’m not a chef!”
But one of the things we teach in Zero to Launch is that you have knowledge and experience others can benefit from. Who cares if she never went to culinary school? If she could help people cook healthier meals, that’s all that mattered.
Worried her audience “would freak out” if she sold anything
Darya went to work building her course. But she was was nervous about selling to her list. She didn’t want to be seen as a “sellout” and was worried her readers would get angry if she pushed her products.
But the copywriting material inside Zero to Launch showed her how to connect with her audience and promote herself in an authentic way. When it was time to sell, she was surprised at how easy and fun it was.
“When it came time to write sales copy I was so comfortable. I thought it would be the hardest part, [but] I loved writing my sales copy. And it worked really well.”
“In under a year, my program has generated well over six figures”
Even though she’s trained as a neuroscientist (not a chef), Darya created and launched a course teaching people how to cook healthy meals without recipes.
“My first product launch was intended as a minimum viable product and was more of an experiment for me to see if I liked the model.”
She sold the course for $99, not expecting to generate much revenue. But the results blew her away.
“In under a year, my program has generated well over six figures and continues to grow and flourish. I have literally only sent 8 emails to my list. It’s amazing to me.”
Not only that, but the fears she had about being a “sellout” or angering her list never came true. Her audience actually went out of their way to thank her for creating this program for them.
“They were like: ‘Thank you! Thank you so much for selling this!’ They loved it.”
“The recurring revenue helps me create a business I’m proud of”
After her successful product debut, Darya put her sales on autopilot. Now she gets orders while she’s out to dinner with her husband, at the gym, or on vacation. With this money coming in, she can invest in her business, serve more people, and avoid a lot of stress.
“I’ve been able to upgrade my website. I hired a developer so when stuff breaks I can text someone and they help me. It’s the best!
Having that revenue, at the end of the day, it helps me create better products and serve my readers. It’s freedom, I really enjoy it.”
With her own online business, she now has a flexible schedule. She can work when she wants, from anywhere, and only does work she chooses to do.
“My husband and I have a very active lifestyle. We travel all over the world and I can run my business from anywhere.
I like working out in the middle of the day. It’s quieter in the gym and I prefer that. And I can make my own schedule. And if something doesn’t work for me, I don’t have to ask anyone, I can just stop doing it.”
“If I had Zero to Launch 3 Years ago my business would be much larger today”
We flew Darya into our studio to share her story in person. Below is the full 20-minute interview where she shares:
- The technique she used that doubled her email list (this got her more subscribers in 1 year than the 5 previous years combined) (7:46)
- How Zero to Launch can help more advanced bloggers and business owners (3:53)
- Exactly what she did to connect with her audience so they’d respond with emails saying: “It’s like you’re in my head!” (6:04)