Lydia Lee of Screw the Cubicle got her first self-study online course up and running in 60 days.
She created and launched her Startup to Sold Out course with 8 modules of teaching videos, instructional Pdf worksheets, and bonus resources (tools, checklists, templates).
But she didn’t jump straight into creation mode. This is a mistake many people make. They try to create their course content without planning it out first.
If you launch headfirst into creating videos or pdfs without first building an outline of course it’s very likely that you’ll spend way more time than you need to feeling confused, stressed and overwhelmed. You’ll probably end up re-doing your content many times over this way as you create and then realize the different pieces of your content don’t necessarily fit together.
Lydia was getting stuck trying to plan out her content by herself.
She had been working full-time with clients 1:1 and running live workshops for several years on her course topic. She had so much content she could use for her course it was really difficult for her to see what needed to go in and what needed to be left out.
She wasn’t sure if she should try and cover everything or just focus on a particular theme or stage her participants were at.
Below is the process she used to overcome her confusion and get from idea to launch in 60 days.
(1) Decide on the course focus
Lydia decided to focus her course on a specific journey that people going from employee to entrepreneur all go through – taking an idea and turning it into a real business that is ready to launch. This journey represented a smaller sub-set of her current list and she wanted to go into detail about the steps they needed to take in order to build their idea into a business.
(2) Pick a delivery format
She chose a course format that would be a combination of videos of her speaking and written instructional materials and homework tasks. Lydia decided she wanted to create an evergreen course (one that people could purchase and complete on demand when it suited them) that was self-guided with a private FB group as a forum for sharing and asking questions.
She decided to test it out first using a small live group intake (where everyone started at the same time) and then develop it into a DIY course after that.
(3) Get in the head of your ideal participant
Once Lydia identified that her ideal client was a sub-set of her current list she could pin-point their starting point and struggle spots. She reviewed her past 1:1 client work and live group workshops to get clearer on what these people already knew and what they still needed to know.
(1) Create a basic version of your content
Lydia knew she was going to create videos for her course but for this first round she simply created audios (to avoid having to film twice while she was still fine-tuning her content). She create simple B&W documents (on Google docs) without any fancy graphics, which later she planned to turn into more attractive Pdfs.
(2) Fill in the gaps with a live component
To fill in any gaps in her course Lydia included a live component where her participants could ask questions and get feedback. With each module she had a live group coaching call and her participants could get individual feedback on their homework on Google docs between the live calls. Giving this extra live feedback enabled her to still charge for her course while it was in testing phase.
(3) Deliver it as an email course
Lydia kept the delivery simple so she could focus on the content and giving her participants a great learning experience. She included her audios as an email attachment and gave a link within the email text to the Google doc homework instructions.
(1) Use a small group to test
Lydia decided to test her course out with a small group before releasing it as a DIY self-study course. The benefit was she got to talk to each of her participants and get feedback from them about where they needed more help or different teaching materials from her.
(2) Create resources for your participants
From the problems people were facing going through the course, Lydia created extra resources (such as templates, checklists and lists of tools) for her test participants that she could use for the self-study version of her course.
(3) Give bonus 1:1 coaching calls
Lydia offered a bonus 1:1 call to each of her small group. This meant she could fill in any of the gaps in her course, make sure her participants got real results and learn about where people needed extra assistance to help her design her DIY course.
(1) Put it in the right order
After the course finished Lydia realized she needed to shuffle some of her content around. She made sure she had the right number of modules and all the pieces and homework exercises were in the best order, based on the feedback she gathered.
(2) Simplify and prioritise
Lydia discovered she needed to condense some of her homework exercises and take out the unnecessary or bits that were too advanced for the stage they were at. Where the homework was too complicated her participants felt overwhelmed and couldn’t complete it without extra assistance from her.
(3) Fill the gaps
Knowing where people got stuck doing the steps on their own, Lydia knew what extra resources she needed to create so they could complete the full course in the DIY version.
(1) Create the materials for the self-study course
The videos were filmed and Lydia got a graphic designer to create attractive and functional Pdfs to instruct her participants through each of the 8 modules.
(2) Get it onto your course platform
Lydia used Teachable as her course platform. She uploaded her content onto her course page where her participants would pay and access the course materials once they were signed up.
(3) Set up your private FB Group
A private FB Group just for course participants was set up so they could easily reach Lydia for questions and share their journey with other people taking the course.
(1) Write your Sales page
Now she knew what her test participants got from doing her course, Lydia could write a Sales page that could accurately describe the Before and After state that people could expect if they bought the course. She had a much clearer idea of what each module included after testing it out and could write more direct and succinct sales copy.
(2) Plan your marketing launch strategy
Lydia then planned out her marketing launch strategy, picking webinar and blog topics that would lead people to buy her course and planning out a sequence of emails to send to her list to tell them about the course.
(3) Write your email reminders
When people signed up for her course, Lydia wrote her welcome and reminder emails so they would know what each module was about and be reminded to watch the videos and complete the homework.
She didn’t do it alone. We worked together to take her from idea to launch in 60 days.
If you want to work out the next steps for your course, click below to book in a free chat with me.