In my last blog, I shared the five things I wish I knew before I built my first program. Now, I’ll share with you the five things I learnt from creating my first program that bring me more sales.
The reason why I'm doing this is because I hear a lot of people say,
Everyone is putting together courses (and I’ll also call them programs). However, there are a lot of programs out there, but there are not a lot of that are making money. There are not a lot of courses that are really well-developed.
I wanted to make sure that I shared this with you because you're not just making a course for the good of the world, right? Yes, you want to leave a legacy. Yes, you want to teach and help people and of course, if you're not doing it for those reasons, as well, then don't bother. However, you are in it to bring sales.
I first wanted to title this, “The Five Things I Learnt from Creating My First Program That My Clients Love,” but I want you to think about the most important thing to you. That is a course or a program that's doing well. If your clients love it, it's doing well, and doing well means bringing you sales. Either they're loving and they're buying your course, or they're loving and buying someone else’s program. Then they’ll either tell others about yours or someone else’s - you pick!
In these five things I learnt, I’ll go through them bit by bit. I'm going to share some examples from my course creation time and just so you know, I do have a background in curriculum development and training. Some of the stuff I talk about comes from that experience, some just comes from me creating programs in my business and learning front he experience, feedback and results. I do encourage you to get some support to be able to design a course and create a course in a way that has your students or your learners' best interests in mind.
If we haven't met yet or you know me, but you don't know my background, I've been running my own business since 2010. I've had multiple programs and the programs are a mix: one on one, group, in-person, online only, with audio, with video, with handouts, with an action guide, with an actual book that goes with it like Dynamic You. It could be a one-day or a two-day retreat, or something that spans over six weeks, six months, or even a year. I've had different programs. I've had different courses. I've had more success with some than others. This is where these five pieces are coming from.
1. Include “Real” Examples
The first one is to include real-world examples, real-life examples, or real people's examples. In the beginning, you may not be able to come up with your own because you don't have clients that have gone through it yet. But have you worked with a client who had a great result or experience? Then share that!
When you bring in these world concepts or scenarios, it really helps the learner to see the practical application and see how what you’re teaching would fit into their life. This also gives more meaning to what they’re learning.
When your clients see real examples that it works, it can enhance their engagement with the program. It can also increase retention, which is where they continue to come back and purchase from you. Real-world examples are crucial.
When I did Dynamic You, I actually had my clients in the program then become part of the book, which then were shared with future clients. That helped them to connect and say to me, “Wow, I'm not the only one that feels that way.”
Sometimes I share examples from my business that have worked or not worked or lessons I've learned. Also, I share where I've seen other people do it or other clients do it. Always get permission though before you share any client-related stories.
2. Incorporate different learning styles
People have different learning preferences. I personally really enjoy working with others in a community setting. The reason for that is, I don't really want to just sit and learn on my own. I like discussion, and I like to be verbal in my communicating and my processing of the learning material.
Here are some ways you can incorporate some different learning styles. You can bring in videos, interactive exercises, quizzes, case studies, or discussions. This will engage people with different learning styles.
Also, here's a bonus tip, if you are selling something, then I encourage you to sell it in the same way that you will be presenting it or teaching it. If you're teaching a live one-day event, sell it at a live one-day event, like in person. If you're going to do it online, then you should sell it online beacuse you already know your people like to learn online. In doing that, you're going to attract the people who are already used to consuming content in that way.
When you incorporate different learning styles, it doesn't take a lot more work. You're just presenting the material in different ways. If you were recording a video, then offer the transcription and then you can even pull the audio and present it as an audio rather than a video. That's even three right there. You can do group calls. That's usually how I like to do it. Group calls are when there's a group discussion, there's a Q&A, or there are breakouts for discussion. Introverts aren't going to love a big group discussion, the extroverts will love it. The introverts will want pair work or smaller groups with the ability to type in the chat.
Try to switch it up because even though someone may be okay with all different types, you don’t want them to be bored. What's that expression? “Variety is the spice of life.” Variety makes courses and programs more interesting, and I believe increases motivation as well.
3. Provide assessments and feedback
It's not just them providing an assessment of you and the course, but assessments of how much they have learnt. Let's look at this further.
Assessments. I love to do assessments at the beginning to find out where people are coming from: to find out their problems, obstacles, and what they don't know. Then at the end, I will give them a similar one where we can see their growth, the improvement that's happened. In Dynamic You, there are nine pillars, Confidence is one of them, so asking how confident are you on a scale of 1-10 at the beginning, and then again at the end, shows there growth. That's a very simple way of doing an assessment from the start to the end.
Also, do little assessments as things go along. Regular assessments are brilliant because they’re going to help you gauge their progress of how they're doing, and if they really are understanding. Plus, asking throughout the course, “Do you have any feedback, anything you need, anything we can help you with?” This might give you some areas for improvement, and it’s beneficial to be refining our courses. Again, including quizzes, assignments, interactive exercises, discussions, and maybe hot seats, are ways you're going to provide an assessment to see if the people are actually getting what you're teaching.
In Dynamic You, I also had an implementation activity, every single pillar, which was really cool, because it had my clients implement what I was teaching by applying it and engaging with it. In that implementation, they received deeper learning and then they had more questions, which helped them to be more knowledgeable about that pillar.
4. Use a learning platform
In the beginning before I had Thinkific and before I had learning platforms, I used my website. I had a hidden page on my website that was password-protected, all special pages were password-protected with the same password. I would just give my clients the link and the password, and they were able to access it.
However, I couldn’t put all of the materials there for the whole program because we were going through it week-by-week. When the time came for the next module, I actually had to go and manually upload the content every single week for them to see it.
I then moved over to Thinkific, so it would automatically drop the modules. A learning platform is also going to help you to integrate all the different multimedia elements such as images, videos, audio clips, interactive visuals, handouts, downloads, action guides, or workbooks, all these different modalities. When you have a learning platform, you can also do things like quizzes and assessments. You can have a place for them to comment and share or ask questions rather than just a Facebook Group.
Now, I’m using Groove. I love it. They have a lifetime option, so I replaced Thinkific, ClickFunnels, my membership site, etc. It can be your CRM, as well as replace many other software and platforms that are out there.
Learning platforms can also sell your courses for you. This is great since they have their own network and also, when courses are sold on the platform, it immediately gives your clients access. This is especially great when you are doing a limited time they have access to it or with memberships where they need to be billed every month. Grab a learning platform to do that. That's definitely a way to uplevel your game and to just do better for your clients.
5. Continuously update and improve
Just because you run a course once doesn't mean it's perfect. I am yet to hear from someone say, “I ran it once and didn't change a single thing after.” You're probably going to change something, and that's good and you should because the learning landscape is constantly evolving. That can mean how people learn, the platforms that are available to them, and the ways to do it.
In the beginning, I had handouts. They were just Word documents. Then I thought, it'd be way better to put all of those separate handouts into a booklet, so I I made a booklet and that was great. But then people had to print it off, and so I thought, we could make it fillable.
Plus, the way I deliver the materials has improved. In the beginning, I did Dynamic Year as a 45-minute workshop. It is now turned into a four-week program with quarterly check-ins, and I've also done it as a retreat. There are so many different ways I can deliver it. Getting the feedback that I mentioned before is helpful to finesse your programs. Also making sure you have the best learning platform, getting feedback on it, incorporating different learning styles, really all these pieces that I've said, that's how you should continuously improve.
Here's another BONUS TIP: go back to the graduates of your program and give them a 20% off code or a 50% off code. Why? Because you've made it even better, you've added more things, you've adjusted it, you've maybe given more real-world examples. It makes sense that you would offer it to people again. In a lot of my programs, clients will get a level higher or deeper when they go through it again, so if they want to continuously get better, then they can just keep taking it.
Don't consider your course or program, something that's locked in. I've taken some people's programs and I can tell based on clip art and other things that they were made like 15 years ago. I don't feel motivated to be doing something that I know was created so long ago. Yes, some things stand the test of time, I get that, but all of your elements in the program should be updated, even just in appearance.
I encourage you to be a constant learner yourself. Stay updated with new developments in your field, your industry and the topic you're teaching on. Gather feedback from your learners so you continuously improve the course. It doesn’t mean the course is bad, it might just be that they want a little bit more of something. For example, they really love Q&As, and they want more, or you found that having quizzes after each module rather than every other module is more helpful. So great, add them in. When you continuously update and improve your course, you can also charge more. That is a plus making it even more worth it.
Make sure that you’ve also read my previous blog, because this blog and that blog go hand in hand.
If you're stuck, and you're wondering, “How do I make my first program amazing?” or “How do I make my 100th program even better?” reach out to me, and let's have a conversation. Bringing me in would be a support to you, not only in how to put it all together, but the learning objectives, the platforms to use and other strategies I use so I make one thing and turn it into five things. Repurposing and being more efficient is going to save you money at the end of the day, and in turn, make you more money. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best in making your programs!
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