Business Breakdown
with Anne Samoilov

Turning Your Natural Talents Into an Online Course Doesn’t Start With You

Last month, LKR truly worked as a well oiled machine to create our advanced email marketing course… so today I’m taking you inside the making of that course.

Editor’s note: we have since shut down Social Media Marketer. But all the advice in this article is still very relevant!

You’re going to see what happens when people work well together – everyone contributes to the project and the outcome is a quality training that shows Team LKR at it’s best.

You’ll also learn:

  • Why we’ve had a rocky love affair with email marketing here at LKR and why it’s mostly our fault.
  • What we discover time and again when we review and evaluate our email marketing strategy.
  • The simple process we use to create all our courses – which made this one happen effortlessly.
  • How to turn one of your own natural abilities/talents into an online course.
  • How I know this training rocks…and yes I’m completely biased.

Data is our friend

It’s always there – giving you the hard numbers. The truth.  This many people opened your email.

This many people clicked on your link. This many people bought your product.

The data is always there telling us how great email works for the company – how easy it is for us to create – and yet, on many occasions we forget and then realize after the fact – oh right… we just need to write an email and make an offer in that email.

So – when the Advanced Email Marketing course came up in the production line – I suspected that it was going to be a labor of love. We’d blink and it would be done.

Where as other courses felt like a labor, kind of hard, and ones we could in theory drag out indefinitely.

We produced the course with the same process as always, but this time I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to show what we do, what we know, what comes second nature to us.

Our challenge: How would we share our approach to email marketing as a framework + something people could apply on their own?

Why It Feels Unnatural To Create Something You Do Without Thinking

When you’re good at something or can do it in your sleep – you know you’ve got something to share. Putting in some form for people to consume and learn from is the hard part.  To you – it’s just what you do, who you are…and it feels “odd” to make something that obvious into an actual product.

But – it’s possible if you just take it out of your own head.

Here’s how we jumped off the LKR cliff to create the advanced email marketing course –

We started by thinking of some general things the course needed.  We knew we had to have some key elements in it in order for the course to be engaging + share our signature easy to implement to dos.

Here’s what we decided:

Show Behind The Scenes

People love seeing what’s going on behind the scenes.  At LKR we don’t pretend we’re working every second – we truly do have fun together.  People like to see the fun karaoke filled nights at our team retreat BUT they also like to see exactly how we run our business. This is especially useful to people building their own online business. How does Laura do it is a question we get A LOT.

People like this stuff….

team-lkr-working

But they also need this…

fbcheatsheets-capture

Share specific strategies

In addition to the behind the scenes – and setting an example of running a streamlined business, Laura is also known for how she breaks down complex topics into actionable advice.  I do the same thing – that’s why our minds work well together.  So – we picked very specific strategies to cover in the course that could be implemented easily by students.

**When you are creating any course – it’s a good idea to think of the quick wins you want your customers to get when going through your content.

Focus on more advanced content

We’ve watched our customers grow their businesses – the how to set up a Facebook page no longer cuts it.  So – we’ve been able to  make more advanced content now – as our customers have grown up!

**Before you create your course – make sure you know where your primary customer base lives on the knowledge scale. Do they need beginner tutorials or more thought out advanced strategies?

The LKR production process at a glance

Remember I told you about the well oiled machine? Here’s a glance at the production process when we create new courses for any project.  You’ll see there was room for additional videos and changes during the process.  We started with a plan and then revised it when we needed to!

  • Create an outline of video and content to cover in course – send to Laura
  • Laura review – combined some of the videos, made notes, sent back to Anne
  • Laura creates prezi presentations
  • Stacey proofs prezi’s
  • Laura records videos, edits, and uploads them
  • Erin takes videos, makes mp3s, uploads everything to s3, sends to transcriber
  • Anne + Laura record video interview covering 2 different case study topics
  • Anne suggests we talk to Stacey as part of the course
  • Anne + Stacey record case study interview
  • Erin keeps all the content – links to videos, mp3, transcripts
  • Anne creates 2 checklists + 1 worksheet to complement material
  • Anne sends materials to Laura to review – makes changes
  • Erin coordinates with Matthias to make sure all course materials are loaded to membership area + everything’s tested.

The Secret Sauce

The secret to why this course felt so effortless lies in just 2 ingredients!

Collaboration

No one did it alone.  Every single person on the team touched the course.  Now – even if you don’t have a team, you have friends, family and others you trust who will read over your work, who you probably can bounce ideas off of… I bet you even know personally a few of your customers.

Topic Love

The topic was one all of us enjoy teaching and doing.

Stacey is constantly on email handling customer service – if you could see her in action, we never take her patience and nurturing care of our customers for granted.

Laura can produce a year of emails in one sitting. And they are GOOD.

Erin is relentless and persistent emailing out for press hits and guest post pitches.

Matthias has a keen eye and often brings up mistakes or weird or confusing language in emails.

I’m always looking at the deliverability and sequencing of how and when our emails go out.  I take our relationship with our readers and customers very seriously. So often am the one people come to decide when we should send this and to whom.

Your Take Away

Even if it’s only just you – again – apply this framework to create your own course that’s based on your natural talents. Though you know these “talents” aren’t throw-away pieces of knowledge, you might wonder how you can translate it all into an actual course.

  1. Brainstorm who your customer is – where they are in the knowledge cycle – what do they know and don’t know.
  2. Determine if they are beginner/intermediate/advanced.
  3. Decide what type of content and training people need at those various levels.
  4. Create an outline with a mix of content:
    • implement this
    • present overall strategy
    • show how you specifically do something
    • look for a few places to add quick win lessons
  5. Get feedback from people you trust… and what about your current customers?
  6. Once you figure out who you’re teaching – you’ll understand how you should explain the content and know exactly what they need.
  7. Does a person starting their business know how to set up infusionsoft from the inside out? No.
  8. But maybe they could use a general step by step on which email marketing provider to use and the pros and cons of each.
  9. Create for where your the majority of your customers are right now…and always be thinking about future solutions they’ll need too!

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About Anne Samoilov

Anne Samoilov is the creator of Fearless Launching - a program teaching entrepreneurs how to pull off their first launch. Each month, she’ll come in here and write about managing launches, teams, and setting up systems to keep you productive and your business growing. Check her out on Facebook!

Comments

  1. Kim Roberts says:

    Anne, this was so incredibly helpful. Love how you make it all so simple. much appreciated!
    Kim

  2. great article Anne – second reading sank in a lot more.. You gals make every thing sound so simple that it’s easy to discount it.. Got it the second time – thanks!

  3. I love this post! Thank you so much for this inside scoop! I’m currently working on training people online for my business too! http://www.socialkangaroo.org It’s a lot more time consuming than I thought to really create good content and lesson plans! Again thanks This is an awesome post!!