Are you considering adding a course to your coaching business? This episode is a must-listen for coaches who are considering expanding into the world of online course creation...
Personally I've invested literally tens of thousands of dollars on the topic of profitable course creation alone, and that's not accidental!
Most programs will teach you the mechanics of building the course, and give you some exercises (that many participants skip over) to get the course idea on paper, making everything about the end product.
I decided to dish on my own experience with building courses in my business, including the EPIC failures that led to our new standard for creating only courses that we know are going to work for our business. Basically, I'm sharing with you what I wish I knew when I first started!
This week we're running a beta of our newest mini-course, The Coach's Course Cure, and if you'd like to grab a beta seat, you can do so right here (if any are left!)
Transcript of Vlog - August 8, 2020
Hi there. My name is Amanda Kaufman. I'm Chris Lavelle, and you are listening to The CRUSH Method Show. Join us each week for ideas to help you move your coaching business forward into service of others faster and with better results, we're committed to professionalism and coaching. We want to help you get it done. Hey, Hey. So we've been talking this week a lot about the role of courses in a coaching business,
and I thought it would be fun to just take a little trip down memory lane and share with you some of the things that really didn't work out when I was first doing my courses to hopefully save you some pain, um, and also offer you some, um, some insights about what it can really take to make a course profitable. Now, I don't do courses that aren't profitable and,
and the, the main reason is, is that I have a approach, a method that I use to validate my course idea before I ever build it. Right. It's kind of like selling a house before you've ever poured the foundation. It happens, right? If you've got a really good description of what the outcome is going to be of the program of the blueprint,
the structure of how it's going to be, and you can create that vision, people will invest in the program. Um, particularly if you're upfront about it, if you tell them that it's a beta program, if you tell them that it's the first time that you're running through it and you give them prescriptive dates for when they're going to get the content,
people are cool with that. And if they're not cool with that, they're gonna give a big old pass on the offer anyway, but lots of people are super cool with that. And then once you have the beta, you can turn around and sell that sucker over and over and over again. Right? So, um, I learned to do this in part,
because I've paid for a ton of coaching and mentoring and courses, and also I've obsessed over the people who are very, actually successful in the space. You know, I have a little heuristic of, are you truly a successful person or are you putting up an excellent front? And, uh, and so I can tell usually pretty quickly with a little bit of research,
uh, whether somebody is the role dill or whether they are full of it, right? And I'm going to tell you the people that have the real deal, they often do not have the program fully produced before they actually sell it. And, uh, and you know what, that's actually, I had to wrap my head around that one because I thought maybe that's not ethical.
Maybe that's not the best way to do it. And then I realized, you know, what if I, you upfront that it's a beta, then you can hardly be mad if the course content isn't exactly what you hoped it would be because you're in a beta environment, you can give me that feedback. So then when I go to market that program again in the future,
um, I have a lot of confidence that it is working for the students, that they are getting a lot out of it. And so therefore there's no ethical issue, none whatsoever, as long as you're super up front. Right? So, um, I, I learned the hard way that building courses without this beta phase is an enormous, enormous lift and an enormous waste of time.
My very first course, I'll never forget it. I was, um, I was actually, it was, this was actually my second paying client and I thought, well, I'm going to be so clever. I'm going to go ahead and, uh, create this course to deliver alongside her coaching experience. And they're that way I'm going to have leverageable content.
I'm going to have, uh, something that I can sell independently and she's going to love it because she's going to have an enhanced experience. I mean, the strategy, it was water tape thing was, she was only paying me about $50 an hour. And she did, she did attend my coaching sessions, which was a step up from my last client where,
um, she paid me $10 an hour and she didn't show up once. Um, but anyway, I digress. Uh, the thing is that this $50 an hour, um, training, I would be killing myself to get the training to her in advance of our coaching call. And of course I completely underestimated the amount of effort it would take to shoot the videos,
uh, edit the videos, cut the videos together, do the worksheets, do the content and all this kind of thing. I'm killing myself. Right? And, uh, and not only was she having a hard time coming to the coaching calls, but she didn't watch any of it. I mean, she watched the first week, but I made like eight weeks of content and I'm killing myself week after week.
I spending no time, uh, recruiting additional coaching clients in this period of time spending no time having sales conversations with anybody else spending no time building my community or building my presence or rapport with anybody online. I'm literally spending every waking hour on this course that she didn't watch. Oh, the fun continues. So, so I got that course done and I thought,
great, this is going to be my, this is going to be my signature program. And I'm going to pedal this, my wares, you know? And so I tried to sell that sucker and you want to know something, it didn't sell, you know, I tried funnels, I tried pages. I tried, I tried, uh, selling it,
uh, at a very deep discount at a networking event, live networking events. And I was like, okay, this isn't selling incidentally, the program was on productivity, but I wasn't clear on what, uh, what the outcome was of the course. So I was just like, it'll be more, it'll make you more productive. Right? Um,
no takers, uh, the, I'm just thinking about this, not only did I have no luck at all selling this first course, I even attempted to give it away as a free gift to people in exchange for their email address. And it was crickets, how embarrassing, right? Like I couldn't even sell it for free. And this is after spending hours and hours and hours producing this,
I'm paying for software to host it. I had to learn some graphic design to create the content that went alongside it. It was such a flop. Like, I really just want to underscore for you just how bad this particular effort of mine stank. And it wasn't because I wasn't working hard. I was working so hard and the thing is, it just didn't work.
It didn't work at all. So that burned me for a long time from ever wanting to do courses, because I just felt like, I felt like the whole thing was a sham. You know, like people don't really make money from courses, do they? And they do right now, fast forward a few months, I, I licked my wounds and I was feeling optimistic again.
And I had more training and I can sort of see why people weren't buying the original program. So I decided to do my next course. And this time I decided to choose a topic that had a little bit more clarity of the outcome. And this time I didn't build it, I didn't build it until I sold it. So, you know, little birdie,
my coach told me don't, don't build it until you've sold it. And this time it was also a massive flop. And here's why at the same time, as all of this is going on, I learned how to sell high ticket coaching. So what that meant was I could have a conversation with a person and two hours later, or an hour later,
I had thousands of dollars coming to me through my Stripe account because they were hiring me as their personal private coach. And I had made six figures in six weeks doing this. Okay. So the process was working for that high ticket coaching. And I was not as worried about money, but I still had this tantalizing idea of what it would be like to have a,
um, a course and be able to sell something passively online. And so I spent a lot of time on landing pages and funnels and the whole bit, but this time a little wiser, I was like, okay, I'm not going to build the course. I'm going to, um, prove out the marketing and prove out the offer. And then I'm going to build out the course so clever.
Right? Yeah. Well, what ended up happening was I was spending all my time on this dream of having the course and the automated funnel and all of that. And I stopped doing the things that had made me the six figures. I stopped talking to people and connecting with them and engaging with them, um, on a, a very conscious level to talk about private coaching,
because I now put my eggs back in the course basket. Well, not only did nobody buy actually, no, I take that back. One person bought the program. Um, but I needed like several people to buy the program in order to, uh, to get it out there. And I lost the opportunity of having a full pipeline of people talking to me about private coaching.
And so I nearly had to fold up on this business because I had stopped doing the very thing that was generating revenue for me, the proven process that had actually worked. And fortunately, I did have coaches at the time who basically unanimously said, girl, you had a winning formula, go back to it. So I went back to the formula of talk to people,
sell private coaching. And I managed to, um, to turn it around the next time that I launched this course, the next time I launched this course, I launched it to people who had had conversations with me about coaching and they weren't ready to jump in. I also talked to my existing clients and I said, Hey, would you be interested in this course?
And you know what the answer was? Yes. Oh my gosh. So I finally figured out that people would pay me to create the content and be behind it if I was totally aligned with what their goals were on that mission. So I'd followed that formula over and over again, uh, over the next few years in my business. And I've generated multiple courses at this point that are six figure producing courses,
but it, but it really, really took not just the course, right. It really, really took building out the rest of my business and viewing the course, not as the savior of the business, but rather an add on an accessory to the business that then gave me so much time, freedom, and allowed me to leverage how many people I could serve and,
uh, how extensively I could serve them. And so on. I don't work any harder on having courses than I did before. But the thing is, is that I have this validation technique that I use now where I know something's going to work before I build it. And I also know what it takes to build kind of that front end community and connection before you put something out there.
So I don't know if this was helpful to you or not, but if you are thinking about building a course, I really encourage you to check out our coach cure. Our course, coach cure a program because that program is really designed to help you not only have a stronger strategy, but to make it align to a coaching business. That's, that's why I'm creating this,
this particular program is I don't really think you should buy into the hype that, you know, one funnel or one product, you know, is all it takes. It can be what it takes to do the one, but that's not the only way to make a livable wage with your business. This still has tons of freedom, tons of, uh,
inspiration, tons of connection with people. I think, I think that gets so lost in the, in the business building journey is like, there's honor in the little guy and in the, in that ability that you have to help people on more of a one-on-one connected kind of a basis. I think what gets in the way is that we think of ourselves as being only,
or just a coach. And we think that somehow what we're doing is not helpful, but if you're doing something with someone, I just got off of a Voxer with a client of mine and I helped save her like four hours of effort because she could ask me a quick question. And I was able to answer that question for her pretty quickly. And then she's away to the races and she's off and running.
You know, if I was a big, big guru, I wouldn't have that ability to just drop what I was doing and help. Right. There's a lot of power in the connection. And I think when we don't have a really big business yet, um, we think, Oh, well, my course, isn't going to matter because it's only helping one person or my coaching's not going to matter because it's only gonna help one person or I'm so small time.
And we kind of get whapped up in that thinking. And it stops us from taking the very action that would really move us forward, whether it's to build a course or whether it's to have private coaching or group coaching. You know, I, I used to think that there was only one way to build your business. And now after studying successful businesses that have so many of the features that are important to me,
like time, freedom, location, freedom, financial freedom, flexibility, scalability, you know, all of those, those pieces that are super, super important. Uh, what I've realized is, is that it's all the same in that you're meeting new people, talking to them, fitting with them, and then delivering to them. That's always the same,
but in terms of the specific strategies to be able to fulfill on that, it's so different. It's so different from person to person, from company to company and the mix of how they deliver things can be very different. And there is no one right way to build your business to be awesome, right? Maybe a course might have a good role for you in your business,
but I would very much encourage you because they can take a lot of effort to build that you get a lot of clarity about exactly what you're delivering and why it's so important. Hope this was really helpful. And we'll see you again soon on that note. We want to thank you so much for tuning in. Can you please do us a favor, please go ahead and subscribe to our show.
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