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Coaches Go Social: A Digital Product or Course? How to Decide.

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“Get it done. Get it out there.”

In this virtual world, we have to be ready to get online courses and other digital products launched. 

I’m continuing the theme this month of creating online courses and digital products in online spaces. Now is the time to do this more than ever!

This week, I talked to Melody Johnson, The Course Consultant. She helps people really define and create their courses. She also teaches why to consider mini-courses over a larger product or course. Also, she shares when and how to market your online course. 

Melody has a master’s degree in instructional design. She helps coaches shift their services into online courses and training programs that make impactful transformations for their clients and students. 

Why is done better than perfect?

She spent several years in the corporate world as an instructional designer. An instructional designer creates training materials for corporations. That was a lot of large scale planning across multiple training departments. That meant big budgets. Big dollars. Big conversations were had. 

These huge projects would take months or even years to plan. People would spend so much time nitpicking tiny details that staled completion. She thought there was a better way. She just wanted to get it out there. But she didn’t have control over the projects then. 

This experience inspired her to transition into creating her own business where she helps people create online courses so they can scale their services into virtual training programs. 

Clients would have these amazing ideas, but when it came to pushing the publish button, they would freeze up! They would get into this mindset that everything has to be perfect before they launch anything. 

So Melody spent a lot of time coaching people to change the mindset of perfect. She coached her clients by pointing out that the more they hesitate and overthink their courses, the more they will prevent people from learning the information that could impact their lives and change the world. 

She’s refined her process to prove that it is possible to create a course in less than a month. You don’t have to overhype or over plan! You don’t have to have it perfect. You just have to get it done!

Mini-courses vs. Large courses

For many years, across the online course industry, the thought was the bigger the course the better. For many years, that is what people were doing: Selling this sprawling, massive course with something like 20 PDFs, and a gigantic launch you spend thousands and thousands of dollars on. It can be overwhelming. 

But what is true now more than ever, people want quick wins. It’s a strategic mindset. When people come to learn more about you, they generally have some sort of opt-in or freebie. Now, people are pushing for the Self-Liquidating Offer (SLOs) instead of the freebie. A SLO can be a mini-course that people offer anywhere from $6 up to $47. This gives people a taste of a larger framework for a course or a group coaching program. 

Generally, with the high touch courses, 6-10 modules, not everyone is going to buy them. By creating mini-courses, you are creating a beautiful magical value ladder. This way, people get a taste of what it is like to work with you at a lower price point. 

It’s so much easier to create a smaller digital course from the larger archives of content you already have to create an opportunity to convert that audience member who just got a taste of what it is like to work with you into a larger group coaching program or a live group support program that you have for your course. 

It’s definitely possible to do that without spending weeks or months planning. 

You have to think: If someone were brand new to you what is a way you can support their growth while also generating sales? And it is a myth that you have to have ads at first in order to make sales. That’s false! You can still sell it with your organic reach. You can create an ad later. 

You can sell the course strategically with your network than build from there. Then your launch is in stages instead of one huge thing. It’s so much more doable. 

People create a low-ticket or self-liquidating offer ($6-$47) to essentially pay for ad spend. You are putting something small together as step one in your process to get prospective clients to know you and your value.  It doesn’t have to be scary. Get it done. Get it out there. And THEN come up with a larger launch strategy. 

When and how you should promote your digital courses/products?

Melody believes you can create a marketing strategy that is authentic and provides value and still connects with people and still gets a sale. 

One of the ways Melody does this is by creating affiliate programs. These programs help Melody connect with her audience and reach further. It also helps get sales. Melody has promotional strategies by being a guest on other people’s podcast episodes and professional collaborations with other creators, she doesn’t generally do a lot of Facebook advertising.

People tend to spend a lot of time in product creation and product development. What people sometimes forget is the pre-launch period and pre-launch content. With pre-launch content, you want to focus on three things:

-Providing some kind of value that is associated with your digital product or course (this can be a resource you’ve already created (a free live training, a template, etc.)

-Send emails. Emails are not scary. It’s all about your personality and showing up in a way that is authentic. In the emails, promote your digital product and then provide the free pre-launch resource. This is also known as a tripwire.

 -Giving them the nurture sequence into a larger program. Sending them more free resources like blog posts, podcast episodes, or a connection to a Facebook group if you have one.  You should nurture them in a way where they can see the value in what you have to offer. Then when you get into the sales emails, they will remember who you are. 

Consistently and purposely offering value. That’s key. That’s how you’ll build up that relationship. 

If you already have a platform that is a great way to nurture by sharing more of your personality so you’ll attract the right clients you want to work within a way that is fun for you. 

One final tip from Melody: You have something to say. You already are an expert. Even if you haven’t been in the industry of creating courses for a long time, people want to know what you have to say. You are an expert. You can serve and sell your course without using sleazy sales tactics, without having a large audience, even if you don’t like going on camera, even if you are afraid of selling, online courses are a great way to serve your clients and to scale your services. To move into a new world of influence. 

You can learn more about Melody over at her website TheCourseConsultant.com  She also hosts a bi-weekly podcast show called The Course Consultant Show. On the show, she talks with successful course creators and they share all about successful course creation strategies that are authentic and fun! You can also connect with her Facebook Group, Inspired Course.  

Also, if you are a coach looking for a little more marketing support come join my private Facebook group, the Consistent Content Club! I also have another group that goes even deeper. If you’re interested in the new Tidepool group, set up a time to chat with me directly! 

If you want to talk more about building a course or if you just need some positivity right now, let’s set up a time to chat!

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