Ep. 03: Getting Productive with Dara Sklar creator of Get Productive with G Suite

September 14, 2022
Dara Sklar

Meet Dara:

Dara Sklar is a business, marketing, AND productivity expert who helps you get more value out of the tech tools you’re already using (or paying for)! For those of us who love the TV Show Friends, she’s like a tech-savvy Monica Geller, but is a lot less demanding (and shrill 😂). She’s that friend you call for tech help and she specializes in Google Tools like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Workspace.

If you love your work and NOT your website and are ready to grow and scale your business go to laurakamark.com to find out how I can help bring your vision to life.

Full Episode Transcript

Laura Kåmark
Hey everyone. Welcome to the Be Bold, Make Waves podcast, a show bringing you inspiring stories of women who are growing and scaling their business. I’m your host, Laura Kåmark, a website and tech integration specialist who works with online business owners who love their work and not their website. Join me as we have incredible conversations about business mindset, productivity, and of course, the website and tech behind the business.
Let’s go ahead and dive in to this week’s episode.

Welcome to this week’s show. I am so excited to introduce you to my guest today. Dara Sklar. Dara is a business marketing and productivity expert who helps you get more value out of the tech tools you’re already using and paying for. For those who love the TV show Friends. She’s like a tech savvy Monica Geller, but a lot less demanding. And trill. She’s that friend you call for tech help? I know I do. I am specializes in Google tools like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google workspace. And I am so excited to welcome you today to the show. Thank you so much for being here. Can you share a little more with our listeners about a little more about you and what you do?

Dara Sklar
Yeah, for sure. So I, I like to say that I wear a lot of hats, because the business that I have that we’re here to talk about, which relates to the Google tools was really born because these were the tools that I was using behind the scenes, in my everyday business, my like bread and butter business. And this side business on top of my regular business has really blossomed into more of like what I’m actually passionate about, you know, a lot of people I’m sure in your audience have a day job, and they’re starting up with their side business and getting getting the wheels rolling. And I feel very similarly, except that I have my like regular bread and butter. income generator is also my own business. And you asked me what I do. So what I do is I help other people like me who are starting up with their side business whose time is so valuable because they have either a day job or a family or they just want to have the freedom and flexibility of having a flexible freedom type job to be more efficient when they’re sitting down at their computer to get their work done. And the more thoroughly you understand how to use the software that you’re using, the faster you can be, the more efficient, the more organized, and it’s like, it’s those things that people don’t love to invest time in. But I, I really think I make it fun and palatable. And rather than it feeling like work to learn something new, suddenly you’re like, Oh, I didn’t know that thing. And it’s changed my life. And I’m so excited. And I want more.

Laura Kåmark
I love that so much anything so much. That’s also true. Everything you just said, Can we dive a little deeper into what? What started this? If you will side business of your productivity piece of it? How did you? How did you go that direction.

Dara Sklar
Um, you know, it was not a straight line. And I think that a lot of people can relate to that when you’re starting a business that you have these grand first of all, either you’re sold a vision by someone who’s trying to sell you how to build a business kind of program. And so you buy into this vision and you imagine it’s going to be exactly like this. And it really, it might be but it might be eventually it’s very rarely immediately that. But what really happened for me is that I was I had a in addition to my business, I had a part time job in a restaurant in the office. And I was training my replacement, I was leaving and I was done. Like I had kind of I was living in a small town, I’m like, I need a way to make friends. So I got this job at this restaurant. And but I was trading my replacement. And it was this guy who was my age. And he had like accounting background. And I just expected so much more from him from a tech perspective. And I was I would show him things. And he just like was not computing like it just wasn’t sinking in. And I remember driving away from work one day frustrated with the training experience. And I said I wish I could just train people how to be better at using their computers. And I think I said it to someone I don’t know if it was my husband or a friend or like nobody’s ever gonna pay for such a vague promise to use your computer better. But he was like he was just there was such a big gap between like the the bigger picture work that he was doing and all of the tools that needed to use to get there. And he just and I was just like, oh well let me show you how to like copy and paste on your keyboard like he was that there was that much of a gap and I was like lab or gas did that anybody that I believe should know these things didn’t and I really want and So that was like, years before I ever started anything. And when I finally came across the opportunity to start teaching online, that was always ruminating in the back of my mind. And it was like, I wasn’t going to be successful until I finally got to realize that because this is the third, this course that has made me the most money in the most popular has actually been is the third one that I built, I built two other courses prior to it that didn’t quite take off. And maybe maybe because this one is fulfilling that early, early dream of like teaching people how to just be better at using their computers. Maybe that’s why this one was taken off.

Laura Kåmark
Can we talk a little more about those two earlier courses? What? Tell me about that, like, what, what were the courses about? And then was there? Did you do like a validation process? Was there a piece that was missing that maybe you think didn’t make them as successful? I also think there’s, you know, I just recently heard the other day, they were talking about the Model T car and there was a Model A Model B A model. That, was it a true story? I don’t know. That’s just what, that’s what I heard. But it made sense. You know, it’s, there’s a reason reason there’s other versions to things. It’s not, hey, I created something and it’s amazingly a hit, there usually is going to be more iterations or we try we experiment, we go put ourselves out there. So I would love to hear a little more about these two earlier courses,

Dara Sklar
for sure. And you know, the interesting thing is that it actually ties into something, I wanted to make a point of bringing up on this conversation. Because my very earliest foray into online course building, I went and made some some big mistakes. And I wouldn’t say that creating those courses that were particularly successful, were mistakes. What was a mistake was paying money, and signing up for software before I needed it. So having overhead in my business, because I expected the new business to start bringing in revenue immediately, and it didn’t. And so the very first course, I had a friend, actually, she was the person who hired me for that restaurant job. And she ended up being basically she hired me to be her assistant, they then let her go. And then they also outsourced a bunch of her stuff and promoted me. But we had met in that job and she was training me as her assistant. And so we got along really well. And we had really complementary skills. And she went off and she became an accountant. And she wanted, she started having bookkeeping clients. And like when she got fired, I actually built her website. And I was like, Don’t worry, you’re gonna be okay. But this website on Google and like, she ended up finding what bookkeeping clients, and she created the system for those clients, to teach her clients how to hand in their bookkeeping paperwork in a way that would make it very efficient for her. So she was charging a really reasonable amount of money because her clients were so well organized, bringing their, their paperwork, paperwork in digitally. And so she she came to me and she was like, I have this idea. And maybe as a team, we could consult and teach people how to use things like Dropbox and file naming and organization. When it comes to bookkeeping, assets, so your receipts and your statements and your all of the all of the accessories that come together to create what a bookkeeper would need. Like, I want to teach other people how to do this, but not do their bookkeeping. And this was before online courses were on our radar. This was just a conversation. And so we joined a networking group locally. I know this is more backstory than you asked for. But I think that like you asked for, where’s the validation came from? Right? So we joined a local networking group. And we started talking to people, and we basically were seeking out people who would hire us to sit down with them one on one, and teach them in like a little literal, physical space, how to do this thing that she wants she wanted. And suddenly I watched a webinar and got the idea of doing online courses and brought it up to her. And she was like, Oh, why didn’t we think of this sooner? Like I think we hadn’t because it was so new. This was 2015. And suddenly, our entire focus shifted. And so we started developing the course outline, we started thinking about how to market it, and I had my past business so I had people to offer it to and they because it was for self employed people who would potentially have a bookkeeper. My audience was perfect for that because my audience was realtors, and they’re all individual self employed people. And so we put together a webinar, we put together a course. And we launched it to the audience that I had. And it actually sold I think, probably 13 of them sold as a result of that webinar, which was a pretty, pretty good success. I think. I think we were selling it at $300 because it was a pre sale. But eventually we wanted to charge $1,000 for it because that was the price tag of the day.

Dara Sklar
And ultimately, why We didn’t continue with it. And I really do think it was a valuable course. And we could have been building a good audience. And I think ultimately, the reason we didn’t continue was just because the partnership wasn’t right. I was doing most of the work. And she was still working full time in her own business. And I was the base, and I was doing all the work. And then the agreement was 5050. And she’s like, but when we make money, of course, I’ll give you extra, but she wasn’t willing to commit. And I was not happy continuing to do something where I’m putting so much of my time for a maybe, and nothing like that it was just 5050. So, so that that dissolved, because we wanted to each of us wanted to move on. That course, content still exists. You know, when you offer lifetime access to your students, you have to live up to that. So all of that stuff still is inside of my membership platform. And if anybody any of those clients ever still wanted to log in, they absolutely could. And there were all people that I think, you know, all but one or two of them were people that I already knew. And then the second course was now me going out on my own. And I created a course that I called Digital Life mastered. And it was very similar to what I ended up launching called get productive with G Suite, which is how you and I know each other very similar content, all about file naming and organizing. And there was a last pass component and it was about Dropbox, and it was about how to organize the behind the scenes inside of your computer. But I didn’t advertise it and I didn’t package it. And I didn’t explain it in a way that made people want it. And this will I’m gonna shortcut this because that one did sell and I spend a lot of money prematurely, hiring Facebook ads, agencies and hiring, you know, copywriters, and doing graphics and all kinds of stuff because I because it’s sold to my warm audience. I did again, pre sale, but except this time, I did a pre sale of $97. When I was thinking that the course would be 300 eventually sold really well. I felt like I was you know, I made it I’m big time now I had 50 People who had bought it. But I couldn’t find a way to build my audience. So people who knew me were buying the course. But I had nobody buying or coming in through my lead magnet, I was like at a loss for what that lead magnet should be lead magnet, if anybody who’s listening doesn’t know is like the free thing that you’re giving away in exchange for an email address that gives someone a taste of what you do, or or gives them a quick win. And the only one that I had was like three steps to inbox zero, which, in fact still exists. There’s an updated version of it. And I personally love it. I still think it’s a great.

Laura Kåmark
Yeah, it’s great. I that’s how I got on your list. And I love that training.

Dara Sklar
Yeah, it’s so quick and easy. It’s like literally a 10 minute video. And it looks at at Inbox Zero from a really different perspective than I think a lot of other trainings do. Because it’s not about, it’s just about kind of clearing the slate, or cleaning the slate and getting a better view of what you’ve got going on and what you have to get done. So, so I wasted a lot of money at that point as well, at least at this at the second course build, I was using better software that was not costing me a ton and overhead. Because it was software I was already using for my my bread and butter business. Not literally bread and butter. And so yeah, and so I at that point, I was like really disappointed in myself, I dropped about $5,000 on a Facebook ads agency that really should just never have taken me on. And they should have said, you don’t have a converting funnel. So we aren’t going to hire like don’t hire us go do something else and then come back or you know, they should just shouldn’t have taken my money. And so at that point after having sold 50 of that second course, having spent this money that I didn’t have and hadn’t earned, and then them saying yeah, this isn’t working. I was actually just so disappointed in myself that I decided to step away. And like what I said to myself at the time, and I’m you I know have lots of woo in your life. And I am very not Woo. But the way that I said this to myself is like what, at the right moment, the right angle will come to me. And it may be a different course. Or it may be a different perspective, whatever it’s going to be. I will find it when it’s time for me to put my time back into this. And it was very, very true. Because ultimately, I ended up building a course all about how to be organized inside of your business, except this time I slapped Google onto it. And I’ve used Google my whole business life like I’ve used Google workspace and Gmail from the moment I possibly got could get in the door. And so I really consider myself an expert in that. And everyone uses Gmail and everyone uses Google Drive and everyone uses all the Google tools and the moment that I started teaching It’s exactly what I wanted to teach all of those years ago. But I started teaching it when, like, through the Google lens for the people with the Google tools, it started flying off the shelves, I had 100 people on my waitlist before I even launched it. And I had made, you know, they always say like your five figure launch whatever I made over $10,000 in the first weekend of that of the horse being sold, and it was a $37 course. So I mean, $37 course with a couple of optional upsells. But because I had people on the waitlist, I launched it on my birthday weekend, so I was had a lot of attention. I had two different people shout me out, because they had seen what I was doing. And they were like, You guys need to go check this out, because it’s such a great products and such a great, great price. And it was Black Friday. So I kind of had this like whatever said, What’s a trifecta with five, a 5x.

Laura Kåmark
Five factor.

Dara Sklar
And ever since then, it has just escalated, I have over 30, about 3500, teetering on the edge of 3500 students have purchased that course so far. And I have people who include it inside of their programs as bonuses, I have over 100 affiliates, like in the whole thing. I mean, I think it still has so much potential because everybody uses Google. But that’s basically the trajectory of those three courses. So I know that more than answers your question, but hopefully it was a good story to get you started.

Laura Kåmark
I love that. I mean, I love how, in the beginning, you had a partner, you guys went out there and you you did the market research. And you You asked people what it was that they were looking for, because I think that’s an important piece that sometimes gets forgotten. And then with the second iteration of a course that you did, you had an offer, but you still just weren’t quite talking about it with the right language. And then with this third one, it was like boom, you hit the nail on the head. You’re solving this pain point that people have the I don’t even know if everyone realizes that they have it like that there is a better way to be organized. Because like I know, for me as a user of all the Google products, there’s some little things that are so frustrating about like if you click on a document and it just kind of falls into this document place on the desktop for it. And you go in and really explain like, here’s how you can I organize this. So you don’t just have this like overwhelming cluttered mess.

Dara Sklar
And I love that. I’m glad I can tell you guys something about Laura is that probably, I mean, it used to be maybe a little bit more often. But about once a month, she sends me a picture of a cheese plate, a glass of wine and my course on her laptop in the background. And she’s chipping her way through all I don’t know, I don’t know at what point you’re probably you’re probably getting close to

Laura Kåmark
the end. I’m done. That’s why I went in recently. And I’m like, you know, I feel like she might have added some bonuses. So I went in, I was like, oh, like I guess I’m done here. I’m ready for you to put out something else. So yeah, no,

Dara Sklar
I’ll give you the next thing.

Laura Kåmark
I would love for you to talk a little more. I mean, I’m obviously very familiar with your course I talked very highly of it. I’m an affiliate for it. Can you tell some of the listeners a little more about exactly kind of break down what you’re? Well, not exactly, but break down a little bit what your course is about and when it goes through and those

Dara Sklar
pictures. So the course is really for anybody who uses any of Google products. And I would say like there are some people who have said, I thought I was a Google expert. And then I came in and took your course and you still wowed me. You know that? I’m sure that that it wouldn’t be 100% of people’s reactions. But the course is designed for anybody who uses any of the above, it does not have to be all of the above because the way that the course is structured is that you get a module per tool. So if you use Gmail, if you use Google Drive, if you use Chrome, even if you use calendar, if you use contacts, if you use keep or if you don’t use them and you think you might like to then the course is basically a series of modules that that goes through several lessons. I mean, I think the Gmail module has 14 or 15 lessons, they’re all short, they’re like five to 15 minutes or three to 12 minutes or something like that. The videos themselves are all quite short. And it’s basically a series of tutorials, each one of them with the through the lens of how you can make your experience while you’re using the tool more productive. So here’s here’s a feature, but here is why this is going to make your life better. And the whole course actually starts out with a conversation around how can you see I call it like the productivity lens. And you’re basically looking at things in a way like how can I make this easier for myself tomorrow or next week or next year? What can I do now that will save myself Now in a few seconds that will save myself time and frustration, and even just like throwing me off course in the future. And one of the biggest things that people thank me for in the course, is that I give permission not to go back and clean up your past mess, but just to create a system that you’re going to use from now on. So there is a whole module called quick wins, it’s I call, it’s actually module 3.5. Because as I was building things out, I was like, oh, you know, what this course really needs is this, like, clear the deck like clean slate module, I should have called it clean slate module, because it really is the quick wins clean slate, where basically, it shows you how to get to inbox zero, it shows you how to clean up all of the loose files that are sitting inside of Google Drive or even on your desktop on your computer. And really, because what you’re looking for is that system from now on, it’s really hard to do that in a mess. And if you could picture like a mess inside of your house, it would be really hard to keep an area clean amidst like with with when all you could see is is you know, imagine if you had like a dresser and everything was folded in and put away nicely in the right drawers. But there was clothing all over the floor everywhere, like it would be very demotivating. So the quick wins module takes you through that. So the first part of the course is just like this whole kind of reset as to don’t need to go back in time in order to have a system that you like from now on. And there’s a really valid reason for that. I’m going to just say that it’s not just because it’s not just because you get stuck in the past, and then you don’t move forward, like yes, there’s that as well. But another really good reason to do it that way is that who I am in business today is very different from who I was in business a year ago, and three years ago, and five and 10 years ago. And so what I need today, I know myself so much better now that I can create a system now that from today will work for me. And a lot of people have changed have made so many changes, you know, we started off the conversation by saying that the the journey to wherever you are, it was not was not a straight line. So it’s not like the day that you opened up the doors to your business, you knew what folders and files and naming conventions you were going to need like of course you didn’t. So if you just pick up and start from today, because you know who you are today. And you clean up everything so that it’s not like visually freaking you out. Because you can always especially with digital, you can always just like open up the closet door, pull the thing you need and put it into your new filing system. So does that answer the question? Yes, I think I went on a tangent, though. You were asking for the content of the course.

Laura Kåmark
But was that? No, I think that is it. Yeah, absolutely. I think that spells out very much like who it’s for how it helps. I mean, I know for me, like trying to put in place a system, you know, there’s no right way to do it. And there’s 100 plus different ways you could do it, and having someone go in and say, Hey, this is how I do it. Here’s a way that you can implement everything. And here’s the system and a strategy. Let me show you how

Dara Sklar
well and you bring up a really good point, because one of the other things that I was very careful to stay away from was saying, here’s how to do this. What I say is, here’s my thought process. And here’s how I do it. So here’s why. And here’s how. And then you go and you take that logic, the same logic that I’ve just explained to you my thought process and take it and put it in your brain and your personality with your lingo and your experience and your instincts. Because if I say, Laura, go file all your files, that way I file my files, well, you’re never gonna find them, because you’re not me. But if I show you how I set things up, and you’re like, Oh, I like that, or Oh, that makes sense to me, or, Oh, that doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m going to name it different, and that’s going to work. And then you’re going to be able to find things. So I’m not actually saying, Here’s a filing cabinet with all the folders already filled out and you need to use mine filing system. What I’m saying is, let’s think about search. Let’s learn how to use the search functionality, so that we don’t have to file things so rigorously. Maybe we just need to make sure we’re naming files properly, or labeling certain emails, but not all of them. So it’s just really like, you know, one line that has struck me for years as one of the best ways to to explain what I do is you don’t know what you don’t know. And then this is probably why you send me pictures and quotes of pictures of your cheap wine and cheese and and photos of your laptop but quotes to me like mind blown didn’t know well, you’d if you didn’t know. How could How can you and it’s a hard thing to sell. It’s a hard thing to sell something you don’t know you need.

Laura Kåmark
I’m going to teach you all the things you don’t know that you don’t know. And now you’ll know you know. Yeah, I don’t know. We know we know.

Dara Sklar
We were talking about our favorite favorite Friends episode the other And that’s that was on my list the you don’t know, we know we know, they don’t know.

Laura Kåmark
So good. Oh, so good. I would like to talk a little bit you mentioned affiliate marketing, and how that sort of shaped your business and how you use affiliate marketing, how that’s helped with your course sales. Can we talk a little bit about that?

Dara Sklar
For sure. So I mean, there’s, there’s two angles to it. One, of course, is being an affiliate for other people. And the other is having affiliates sell my course and recommend my course. So I’m going to talk about the second thing first, although it all really does tie together. And I would say that like, one of the biggest unexpected benefits of, of having a course that people love, both to take and to recommend, has been the relationships and friendships that I’ve built. So I have a lot of people who I respect and who respect me, and where we are literally friends, where we get to collaborate with each other. And we get to promote each other and affiliate for each other. And that has been like something if you had asked me like, what, you know, why are you doing this, this that would never have been on my list, I would never have said, Oh, I’m doing this so that I can network with and promote other people or, in fact, I was actually quite resistant to having anybody affiliate because I’m like, It’s my little $37 course, why can’t they just recommend it? Like, what do they need that $14 For for? You know, because it’s a 40% affiliate commission, you know why? It was the person who asked you that, who made that, who like made me have this erroneous thought pattern was someone who I had been, I had helped a whole bunch. And a bunch of my friends had actually promoted the course before I ever had an affiliate program. And this one woman came up to me and she’s like, Hey, do you have an affiliate program? I’m like, we’ve just done all this stuff together. Like Can’t you just recommend my course, like I didn’t understand. Then I started running Facebook ads. And I was running Facebook ads at the time that I was doing this was in early 2021. And it would cost me about 30 to $40 to sell my $37 course, but because there are a couple of upsells let’s say the average person spends on on average, people are spending about $55. Okay, so there was a little bit of profit, and sometimes it was a little bit cheaper. Well, if I’m paying 40% Commission, to someone who I know and love for, like, if I if I’m paying 40% Commission to an affiliate, but I’m paying like 80 to 90% to Facebook, like why wouldn’t I choose the affiliate, where there’s more like, it’s almost a more assured sale, you have fewer people who will click from an affiliate link and, and not buy. So all of a sudden I was I had that epiphany, somebody said I’d rather give my money to affiliates than to Zuckerberg and I was like, Oh, I hadn’t thought about it from that angle before. And I immediately went out and started looking into affiliate Affiliate Software, or I’m setting myself up to be an affiliate, at which point I was then able to contact because because then people had been asking me and I was like, I’m thinking about it, it’s on my roadmap. And then finally, I was like, I need to do this, because clearly there’s a demand for it. And so that has been really beneficial. And I was just looking at those numbers earlier today, in anticipation of this conversation. And in. So in 2022. So far, I’ve been paid out $1,153 In affiliate income, and last year, in about seven or eight months. 1873. I mean, it’s not a significant number. But and that doesn’t include people who buy my course in bulk for their students or as a bonus, because I have several people who come to me, every time they have a launch, they they give it to all their students just because they understand how foundational this information is. So that’s me having affiliates recommending me and I probably could do a little bit more with that maybe be in touch with my affiliates more regularly have some kind of email sequence that, you know, reminds them of my existence and their affiliate link. But the biggest surprise so when you sell this $37 The reason that my course is $37 is because I’m following a method that’s called a self liquidating offer. And it’s what you do when you have when you’re when you’re an unknown entity. So nobody knows, nobody knew who I was, you know, 18 months ago. And in order for me to gain their trust, there has to be low risk for what they’re buying. And so it’s also a great way to sell to people directly off of a Facebook ad. And so the self liquidating part means I run an ad I pay for the ad and then someone clicks through to my sales page and buys and enough people buy to cancel out my my Facebook ad costs. And truly that is a proxy really how it has worked. Thankfully, I have a very universal product. So it’s not I’m not selling to a tiny, tiny niche where they’re the pool of people who are interested in what I’m selling is small. And it has sold really well. So I’m very glad that, that I picked the right thing, that I’m selling it with the right.

Dara Sklar
I guess language, as you were saying, and that it’s the right price point. And we’ve got lots of great feedback. So like, there’s a lot of things working for me in my favor. But what happens like, you know, if I’m only ever breaking even on this $37, is that a business? Well, it’s not. And I didn’t, and I again, I kind of trusted that whatever would be next would reveal itself to me, again, not in a rude way, just in a business way. Because as you have customers, you start listening to and interacting with customers. And one of the things that I started doing was office hours. And it was a way for me to almost funnel questions into a specific time period. Okay, I don’t want to receive and, and be answering questions from my students who’ve paid me $37. And literally has, you know, where I’ve basically broken even like, I don’t want to have have to maintain a conversation. Oh, you know, I want to be available. I want to answer questions, but I don’t want it to be all the time. So I created these office hours. Go ahead.

Laura Kåmark
Yeah, I mean, just the amount of time you can spend in your inbox when people have questions. And if they’re inboxing, you emailing you and back and forth, I mean, that can be a huge time suck, of course,

Dara Sklar
and that there should also be no expectation from my students that they would get personal answers, or from me, when what they’ve purchased is such a low price, it would be different if it was a higher ticket course. But for $37, I think it’s kind of it would be very presumptuous to expect support that comes with it. And that’s also why I’d have one on one, you know, you can by 45 minutes of my time and that kind of thing. However, with, with this idea to have office hours, suddenly I was able to interact with and talk to you. And maybe at first it started out with the people that I know. But I have a core group of people who almost always show up to my office hours, I have probably somewhere between, I don’t know, it’s up to up to about a dozen people who will show up. And it’s two different one hour chunks on the same usually on the same day, once a month. But it gave me this opportunity to really hear what struggles people had, instead of me imagining and so I, it did really help me. First of all, understand what should come next. But it also helped me build a rapport. And that seems to come back around to the affiliate thing is, I have such a trust, like my audience has such a trust and appreciation relationship with me. But I’ve made a really significant amount of money in affiliate income by recommending things that I know that they need. So I got to know them. I build relationships with other people. And I can make very genuine recommendations and offers to my audience who trusted know me because of all the ways in which I’ve supported them. And I’ve made like a really big chunk of money from affiliate income that I would never have dreamed was it wasn’t on my roadmap at all, like I had never affiliated for anybody, I was always the person. And I still am, I will still never recommend something that I wouldn’t pay for pay for myself. Or that I wouldn’t recommend even if you didn’t get like if I didn’t get any money for it this morning, I had a call with someone. And I was handing out someone else’s affiliate link to thrivecart. Because I was like, Oh, her bonuses are so good that you need to buy it from her. I don’t you know, yes, of course you could buy it from me, but I don’t want your affiliate income, I want you to buy it from my friend. So I’m still that person. But at the same time, I have now an audience of several 1000 people. And then the revenue potential from that has shown itself.

Laura Kåmark
I know for me, I find myself in a lot of situations more like one on one conversations or in a group setting in programs I’m in where someone comes in, and they have this problem with the Google products and I’m like, Hey, you should check out my friend errors. Course get productive with G Suite because it has so much and it has all this information and your mind will be blown the office hours if you need to office hours. Yeah. And I know I see a lot of affiliate commissions from just when I when it naturally comes up in conversations and I see that someone has a pain point that that course can solve.

Dara Sklar
I’m pretty sure you are my biggest volume affiliate and what and I see this like almost incredulously and just because you make such genuine recommendations, but it’s not like you’re sending out a big it’s not like you have a big email list. And it’s not like you’re hammering people to buy my course you just are handpicking the people who are asking the questions, but you probably are At least number two, not number one in terms of volume for for affiliate sales. So thank you for that. Yeah, I love Cindy. She’s adorable. Send me a message. I love seeing all notifications.

Laura Kåmark
I mean, I’m one of those people, I’m the same as you. Like, I love to recommend when I’m such a problem solver. And so when I see that I, when someone tells me about probably half and I’m like, Oh, I know a solution for that I love to recommend tools, or courses that I know will help solve that problem. So that to me, it makes me my cup feel full, when I know I can help problem solve for

Dara Sklar
others. And the other thing is that I can’t be an expert in all the things right? And neither can you. And so rather than me saying like I mean I we talked about this whole bookkeeping course, or the bookkeeping paperwork course, that I had created. Well, I, I’ve been through a whole range of things. From a bookkeeping perspective with my business, like, there was a lot of years in the early days that I was super miserable, about my bookkeeping, and I went through this big learning curve, but I’m still not a bookkeeper. But hey, I partnered up with someone who is an like, is a bookkeeper. And who does teach that. And so I was able to do a joint webinar with her. And like, here we are, we’re collaborating, she’s winning, I’m winning, my students are being offered something that they need or affiliating for, let’s say, the contract shop, where these are people who might need legal templates, contract templates. And so having those resources built into my business, like Rolodex is a benefit to everybody, basically.

Laura Kåmark
Absolutely. Well, I would like to change gears a little bit and talk about some of the struggles that you’ve had. Because as we know, it’s not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows in business? And what would what kind of stands out to you is one of the biggest struggles that you had, that was a big learning experience for you.

Dara Sklar
Okay, that’s a really great question. And I think I have touched on a couple of them, like spending money before I needed to, or wasting money, or, you know, having hired a company before, when when I wasn’t in the right stage of business to sustain that kind of expense. But I would say that probably one of my biggest struggles, is is kind of twofold. The first part of it is like the I’m the bottleneck. So for me, of course in concourse content creation, I love to answer questions, I love to demonstrate things. And there is some kind of like block and fear that I have. Sometimes it comes in like rears its ugly head at the wrong times, when it comes to creating pre recorded course content, I didn’t really have that problem creating get productive with G Suite, I think I was just head down was like, so focused on getting the content created. But I in the subsequent courses, I have really struggled to. It’s like, somehow I suddenly have a bit of impostor syndrome, even though I know what I’m doing. And I know, I know what I’m doing. And I know I’m solving people’s problems, it’s still I’m not hearing myself say that. So I have struggled with some course content, content creation and being that bottleneck. And I think that’s probably the biggest like, I would say, that’s like, the most surprising thing that has come up. And that has been pretty consistent. And I’m trying to break through it. And I know that the way to break through it is just to do the damn thing. And I also summertime and I’m being I’m very motivated by like, if you get this done, then you won’t have this on your shoulders all summer long. So I’m really determined. I just had a few very, like probably two very busy months. And now I’m finally going to get those long term to do list items clear so that I can enjoy the summer. Thankfully, it’s only early June. But

Laura Kåmark
I love that, um, I think I can definitely relate with that with when it comes to creating videos on stuff. I know this stuff. And for some reason, I still find myself that same block. I don’t know if it’s so much for me imposter syndrome, or just I don’t know what it is. I think sometimes I feel like I know that once I get into the flow of recording. It starts, the movement happens, the momentum gets going, but man just sitting down and getting started. I will procrastinate that and find other important tasks to do and yeah, I’ll clean.

Dara Sklar
I created a whole workshop called Goodbye digital clutter and I coined the phrase productive procrastination because I was like, what, what do I do when I am trying to avoid something and there’s definitely stuff that I like some some of my like go to activities, where it’s like I feel good. It’s like I’m scratching the itch. of getting something done, but not the thing that I’m supposed to be doing. But I’ll actually slip circle back around. And maybe I’ll retract or or temper my comment about impostor syndrome and say, it’s also a degree of perfectionism. There is a big part of me that when I’m recording a video, I really want to be concise. I don’t want to ramble, I want to give, I don’t want there to be too much information, I want it to be just like, here’s what you do, here’s how you do it. Here’s what you just did. And I really am trying to be very clear with that. And sometimes I find myself like what I’m in the midst of like partway through right now is recording my Google Photos. It’s a module within a bigger course. And it’s hard because I keep looking at family photos and like falling down a rabbit hole, and not wanting to do that on video, and also not wanting to have to painstakingly edit out me falling down a rabbit hole. So like, I think there’s a few components there. And it’s, there’s the high standards, probably, is where that impostor syndrome comes in, is that I really want it to be good. And it’s not because I don’t know what I’m doing, because I want it to be the best it can be. And that’s where the imposter syndrome is. So that’s actually a good epiphany that I think I’ve just had, well, we’ve been talking this through.

Laura Kåmark
So what’s a piece of advice you’d give to anyone else? Who’s kind of maybe resonating with that? Where they’re wanting to go forward with it? They’re feeling a little stuck because of the perfectionism? Any advice that you I mean, on how to get past that hurdle? Oh, gosh,

Dara Sklar
it’s that’s a really hard question, because I’m still stuck there. And the things that I like some some ideas that I’ve had, would be, well, I’ll just tell you the ideas, whether they’re practical or possible or not, is a whole other question. But like, I would love to rent an Airbnb for four to five days with three, two to three other people. So there’d be a maximum of four of us there, we would all be working on content creation, there would be quiet spaces for each of us to do like the recording and the actual stuff. But we would be accountable to each other. Yeah. So be like you go do this, and only this. And this is like this house is only for this one particular project. Because I do think that one of the struggles I have is I’m sitting here in my office, and I have this like whiteboard on my desk. And it’s like this whole big list of things that I need to be doing and volunteer tasks. And I’ve just like, there’s just so many other things, and at my desk is not a safe, productive space, because I’m doing all business things. So to like, go somewhere specific just for that one thing could be really beneficial. I haven’t done it. But that’s like my fantasy. And the other thing is like to hire someone who will babysit me and like, crack a whip,

Laura Kåmark
sit on my couch behind you and be like, what are you working on?

Dara Sklar
Exactly. And like I have so many times over the years when I’ve been procrastinating I literally wish that I could have someone who would just sit there and stare at me and not let me deviate from the thing that I said that I was going to do. So if anybody wants to volunteer, call me.

Laura Kåmark
I know I had about a year ago, I was struggling with some recording. And you had I had reached out to you and said I am just struggling to get this done. And you said just record it and call it first draft. And then you can re record it and it took longer than I would have liked it to. I did a lot of pauses and then restart over when I kind of fumbled on my words or didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. And I ended up so exhausted after that first round, I’m like Done is better than perfect. Moving on. And I edited it and sent it in.

Dara Sklar
Yeah, and I definitely did that with the Google Photos module, where I was like, I’m just going to start recording. And then I actually ended up re recording stuff in the second and third version were so much better. A lot of that, for me is not only motivated by like the output, but also the editing process because it’s so much easier to just edit something that goes that flows through where there isn’t any major. I don’t know, like there are times when I’ll say the wrong thing, or that the demonstration I think, because a lot of the things that I’m recording our tech demonstrations, if the tech doesn’t go the way I expect or if I can’t find that menu quickly. And I don’t want to sound like I’m fumbling like there’s a lot of little bits that I would want to edit out. So the smoother it goes, the faster it gets edited and sometimes even faster to re record a smooth take vent to agonize over editing a 10 or 20 minute video. Very good point.

Laura Kåmark
Well, we are getting close to the end of our time together. I do have a couple more questions that I want to ask you. I would love to know who is one person that you admire or look up to based on the bold decisions they have made in their business.

Dara Sklar
Oh, can I pass? I think like picking one person is genuine much you can pick. Yeah. And you know what I think? I don’t know that I want to like specifically call out individuals. I think that and I, and maybe this, I’m going to answer this question without giving without, I’m gonna answer this question in a vague way, but for a reason, because I think what happens in business, especially in online business, is it becomes a very, very small, insular space. And we suddenly realize that we’re kind of only paying attention to a handful of people. And sometimes that’s great. Sometimes we just need that one mentor, and we’re just following in that person’s footsteps or their instructions. And that can be really good. But what I think is that we also should not be blindly doing anything that anybody says we should be going forward with our version of whatever our version of online businesses, and if that means, and I don’t mean this in a listen to everybody and get nothing done, but I do mean, pay attention and see what out there resonates with you. And so if today, that means following this one person and doing what they’re saying, and tomorrow, or next week, or next month, that means listening to someone else, or maybe you’re creating a hybrid, maybe you’re attending some free webinars, and taking in some content, and then maybe you buy a paid program, and you’re just kind of melding together a hand, especially if you have experience in business, and you have a degree of confidence in in the way that you might market or the way that you might do some copywriting, I think there’s so much more value in being your own person informed by a whole bunch of other inputs than just doing something in one person’s particular methodology. And, and I see that as somebody who pays good money to be part of a high level mastermind, and has and you and I were in a high level mastermind last year together. And it’s not because those people aren’t wonderful. But I just think that there is value in the way that each and every one of us does business. And if you follow one person, and then they pivot, and then that you might lose some kind of respect, because you were doing what they did. And then they decided to change, like, just look and see what the landscape is, look and see what works and resonates for you. And then go forward with that. You know, I don’t know anybody else is doing office hours for a $37 product. But look how well it’s doing for me in the way that I have rapport with my clients, and students the way that I’m serving them, the way that they’re recommending me the way that they’re buying things. Like I’m still getting a lot of benefit, both emotional and dollars in my bank account from choosing to do things that is a little bit different. So I’m not going to answer your question. But I hope that that still is a valuable perspective.

Laura Kåmark
That actually answers a question that I knew we were going to run out of time for me to ask, but that would answer my question of what are you doing that’s being bold in the industry that not others are doing and that would be right there with your I’m offering office hours on a $37 product, which I think is incredible. And also the fact that you’re getting market research out of it to help you on huge what to create next. I mean, yeah, because that’s what that’s how you validate an offer.

Dara Sklar
Yeah. And it’s giving me content for emails, it’s giving me content for Facebook ads, it’s giving me content for an upcoming YouTube channel. Stay tuned. Hopefully, it’ll happen sometime soon. It gave me inspiration for my my PDF, the top top top 40 things you’ll wish you’d been taught 40 Google hacks you’ll wish you’d been using all along. Like all of that came from questions. And for me just doing off the cuff demonstrations, which would never happen. I’m inspired when I’m I, I am my most creative when I’m speaking something through or demonstrating something. So having that opportunity. So it’s like it’s a total win win. I love that. Okay, my

Laura Kåmark
final question is what is one piece of advice you would give someone when they are first starting out their business that would help them be bolder, be louder and make waves in their business?

Dara Sklar
Oh, well, I was going to give you a piece of advice that didn’t have anything to do with loud and bold. So I’m going to say that anyway. Because I think it’s really important is not to get sucked in by spending money but spending much money before you’re making it. So don’t commit to big ongoing software expenses. Before you’re making revenue. Don’t go buy webinar software before you’ve even written the webinar or have your email list of people I did. I did all of these things. I bought expensive email software. I paid for a whole year webinar software and I never built myself a single webinar, all of these things because you’re following people’s advice and seeing what others are doing. Don’t go. This is like the opposite of how to be bold. Unless it’s the thing that lights the fire. It’s like buying into the diet program but not actually following the diet program like don’t waste your time and money because that’s going to deflate you and make you less inclined to be big and loud and bold. And I would say also go with your Gotta go with your instinct. Don’t just do because I think I, I spent an amount of time an unreasonable amount of time after building my course, waiting for someone else, a guru of some kind someone I was following, or some mentor in my space or some friend at a higher level and more advanced in me to tell me what to do next. And what I really needed to do was listen to my audience in my head.

Laura Kåmark
I love that so much. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. For all our listeners out there, if you want to go check out get productive with G Suite. my affiliate link is Laura Cole. market.com/dara. That’s da ra. And I will link that up in the show notes. Where can you tell the audience where they can go online to find out more about you and connect with you.

Dara Sklar
You can go to with dara.com that has links to everything I do everything I offer, and a bunch of blog posts and so on. So yeah, so central location for Dara is with dara.com. Wonderful,

Laura Kåmark
thank you so much for being here today. Thanks, Laura.

Dara Sklar
It’s been so much fun. This was like the recorded version of us hanging out with questions.

Laura Kåmark
Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. Be sure to check out the show notes at LauraKåmark.com/podcast. And if you’re ready to grow and scale your business, and your current website is outdated and doesn’t reflect the magic you bring and the results you get for your clients. Go to Laurakamark.com to find out how I can help bring your vision to life. Thanks so much for listening. I’ll see you next week. Bye now.

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