If you know me at all, you know one thing: I’m possibly the most cynical person when it comes to the online “knowledge economy.” There’s nothing that makes my blood boil more than course creators selling courses about how to become a course creator selling your own courses about creating courses. I mean, that sentence is just stupid to write – and yet people are profiting off of the hard work of thousands of people, selling these course multi-level marketing schemes every. single. day.
Okay, deep breaths.
You might wonder then, if I ever invest in online courses. I’ve been taken in by those snake oil course salespeople over the years, but my radar is so aggressive now that I just block people outright if they start trending that direction. (I would say no judgment, but absolutely I judge people who become part of the course creator circle jerk.)
Actually, I have invested in courses over the years – usually, I make one big investment per year. And what I’ve discovered is that when a course creator is A) teaching an actual skill and B) qualified to teach that skill based on their experience and performance, I am totally on board.
One of the best courses I’ve ever invested in was Love Your List (LYL) by Kate Doster. I bought this course in November 2021, and was really happy with my investment. Since I purchased it a few years ago, the course has changed – and I wanted to update my original (glowing) review to reflect my thoughts on these changes.
UPDATE: This post was originally published in November 2022, and was updated in February 2023 to reflect major changes to Kate’s course as of March.
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How I Discovered Kate Doster
Before jumping into my Love Your List review, I thought it might be helpful to share how I discovered Kate Doster, and how I ended up investing in LYL.
Many years ago – probably 2018 or early 2019 – I saw Kate’s name mentioned in a Facebook comment answering someone’s question about how to get better at email marketing. I’ve long thought bloggers – especially travel bloggers – suck at email marketing and should get better at it; while I had a pretty sophisticated at the time, I knew it could be better.
I started listening to Kate’s Podcast (Inbox Besties) and joining a few of her free events. Over the years, she has participated in some free summits and freebie bundles and such, and I began slowly accumulating various educational resources/mini-courses/trainings from her.
Eventually, I took the leap and bought lifetime access to one of those summits (the Big 3 Summit Vault Product Launch Edition ’20, according to my course access).
Over the next year, I continued to consume her free content, and was intrigued enough to again invest (in the Audience Booster Action Pack Big 3 Summit July ’21). By late autumn, I was definitely on the Kate Doster fan-wagon (like a bandwagon, get it?) and decided to buy her Black Friday SOS Kit. This was the game-changer: I realized Kate really does know her sh*t and was ready a few weeks later when Love Your List 2.0 went on sale.
But at the time, it wasn’t a small investment: I made myself a deal that I needed to earn back my entire investment over Black Friday or I had to request a refund (Kate doesn’t know this!). While I didn’t like, hugely exceed that amount, I did make about 35% more over BF/CM weekend than I invested in Kate’s courses in the month leading up to it. I was hooked – and had only gotten part-way through the course at that point.
What is Love Your List 2.0?
If you’re reading this review of the Love Your List course, my guess is that you already know something about it. Maybe you’ve attended one of Kate’s free/live trainings, or follow her podcast Do The Brave Thing (formerly Inbox Besties).
Kate does an awesome job of promoting LYL in a very authentic way, which is what I love about her – she’s really real, and that rings true for me. But she doesn’t share much about LYL, which is why I’m here to help. Below you’ll find a breakdown of Love Your List 2.0 (currently the second version of the course) that should help you understand what you’re investing in – without giving away all the goodies.
It’s kind of funny: the course modules are what you’re paying for, but I think they’re among the least “important” parts of what makes LYL a good course. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to see the topics of each module so you can understand how the course is structured.
As of February 2023, here is the course Module List:
- Mindset (“How to Never Annoy Your Subscribers Again…”)
- Copywriting (👈 worthy of being a whole course in itself!)
- Welcome Series
- Thank You Pages
- Landing Pages & Opt-In Forms
- Ongoing Nurturing (Newsletters)
If you know anything about email marketing, these topics probably look familiar – and I’ll admit I think they’re a little bit out of order (Landing Pages & Opt-In Forms should be after Freebies and before Welcome Series). However, I know Kate is working on Love Your List 3.0 and reorganizing the course.
Now before you come and say: but Valerie, I can learn all that stuff online for free! Yes, you can learn about these topics online, but you won’t find them all in one place as part of a holistic strategy – and you won’t get that special Kate Doster sauce that I think makes this course shine.
My best evidence of this? Kate uses the exact strategy she teaches to sell LYL, and I bought it – and you’re considering it – as a result. That’s pretty darn effective since I’m the most anti-course person I know!
In-Course Bonus Modules
In addition to the modules above, there are some other modules within LYL currently:
- 5-Figure Funnels Training
- List Explosion Bundle
- Easy Yes Offers & One-Click Funnels
- Sticky Situations Templates
- Grab & Go Template Center
Without going into too much detail here (so as to not give away the value within these bonus modules), these are basically extra courses within LYL. My guess is that Kate will integrate them into LYL 3.0 or spin them off as mini-courses or bonus courses
As I said, the course materials are certainly a big part of Love Your List, but they’re not where I feel my investment has been most beneficial. The Facebook Group and Coaching Calls (next section) are what I consider the real value bombs of LYL.
When you join LYL, you’ll get six months of access to a private Facebook group for all current “Listies.” This is a great place for feedback, asking questions, and getting personalized advice from Kate directly. After your six months, your access will expire, or you can re-up for 6 or 12 months at a time.
I joined LYL in November 2021 and had access through May 2022; after my group access expired, I found I was really missing the community, and paid to re-join in October 2022 for another year!
*UPDATE: As of March 2023, Kate will no longer offer access to a Facebook group as part of LYL, and the Facebook group is shutting down on September 1, 2023. I personally think this is a big mistake – this is a huge part of where the value in LYL comes from.
As part of the Facebook community, Kate also holds weekly coaching calls; as she says, she should charge way more for the kind of personalized attention you get in these calls. Literally, Listies submit questions and copy for review, and Kate goes through each one by one. As Kate was a pro copywriter in a past chapter of her career, this is invaluable as you master the skills she teaches in the course modules.
If you don’t have Facebook, that’s okay – all coaching calls are co-hosted on Zoom so everyone can attend.
*UPDATE: As part of the changes she’s making to the course, there will be no more live coaching calls after September 1, 2023. Again, I think this is a huge value loss from the course, as these calls are a great benefit for course/group members.
Guest Training Vault
In addition to the course modules, group access, and coaching calls, there are a bunch of other things you get when purchasing LYL. If you buy the standard course, you also get access to attend Guest Trainings – and the Guest Training Vault.
Once per month, Kate brings in a professional on other topics to teach the group about that part of running their online businesses. Yours truly (me!) spoke on “To SEO or Not To SEO” back in early 2022; other past topics include getting visibility on Instagram, sales page design, and effective outsourcing. As I write this, we have an upcoming training on sponsored newsletters I’m keen to attend – by the time you read this, it will be in the vault!
This is a nice bonus because it allows new Listies to get the full benefit of all the education that has happened before joining. I went through the vault and marked a few I still need to watch from before my time.
If you haven’t gathered, Kate has lots of bonuses. To be honest, it’s a bit overwhelming! In October 2022, I went through ALL of my bonuses and identified which ones I want to do – I somehow have access to 15 courses from Kate over the years!
No matter when you buy Love Your List, it will probably include a bonus or two (Kate wisely uses these to encourage people to buy as part of her launches!). Without giving too much away, some of my favorites are the Black Friday SOS Kit (which has helped me boost my Black Friday sales every year since I joined) and the $10K Last Minute Affiliate Launch which I’ve used to promote big-ticket affiliates on occasion. I still need to go through some of them, like the Email Marketing Fairy that Kate also sells separately.
While I wouldn’t make the decision to buy based on these bonuses, I recommend buying when she offers them (more bang for your buck) and going through them – there are always hidden gems of knowledge in each one.
Love Your List Overall Thoughts
I’ll be honest: I was a huge fan of Love Your List, and believe it was a great investment for me and my blogs. It taught me a better mindset about email marketing and sales, and I’ve seen that benefit on several of my sites.
Key word: was.
As part of her new course structure, I’m much less enthusiastic about recommending LYL to my community. I think removing the Facebook Group and Coaching Calls guts a big part of the value in this course, even at its new (even higher) price.
Speaking of investments, you’ll notice I haven’t said that LYL is a specific price yet. Historically, like most course creators, Kate has increased the price over time. If you want to purchase LYL while the Facebook Group/Coaching Calls are still offered (details below), the cost is $1297.
But back to the question of “is Love Your List worth it?” Like all online courses and communities, Love Your List is worth it if you put in the work. You need to go through the course materials and implement the suggestions. To be totally honest, it took me a year to get through the entire course, and Kate admits in the final lesson that the vast majority of students never make it that far.
If you decide to invest, don’t be one of those students.
Treat LYL like a college course: dedicate time to it weekly, take notes, do the homework, and quiz yourself.
This requires discipline, but if you are able to commit and stick to it, you’ll absolutely see your audience grow, watch your opens/clicks improve, and hopefully even see sales.
How to Buy Love Your List
Okay, you’ve made it to the end of my Love Your List review – but you might be wondering: how can I make this investment? How can I buy Love Your List?!
As of updating this post (mid-February 2023), there is one last chance to purchase LYL with access to the Facebook Group and Coaching Calls that I think make the course worth purchasing.
Love Your List is on sale from February 20-28, 2023 at a price of $1297. If you purchase during this window, you’ll receive:
- Access to the full course for life
- 6-month access to the Facebook group
- 6-month access to live weekly coaching calls with Kate
- All of the freebies mentioned above
I will come back to update this post after February 28th to confirm what your new options for LYL are… But it’s safe to say that my glowing recommendation will be a little bit less so after Kate guts her course and the additional value she’s been adding with the group and coaching calls.
If you’ve made it this far, I’m not trying to be pushy – but you should by LYL before February 28 if you want to get the value I did from it.
Have any other questions about Love Your List and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your business? Let me know in the comments below!