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Harms: One of the core elements of that was how do we transition through the BATON model?
How do we transition people from the tribe into an offer but a low-cost entry offer?
That’s the phraseology we’re using here, an entry-level offer and our recommended method for an expert funnel putting together a short course in order for you to sell via a low fee at £10 or $10, £20, $20 that kind of price point in order to allow an entry point for not only information, but discovery about your knowledge and starting to build a high level of trust and authority as somebody progresses through your expert funnel is as we’re describing it here.
Kyle: This is a follow-on from the expert funnel masterclass we did, we’re going to be talking about the product, the first paid product that we really recommend you create and we’re going to be talking about why this particular product and then going through it in detail what we’re going to be doing.
The first product that we’re going to be talking about is creating an online course or masterclass/online workshop.
The basic idea is we’re going to be packaging up your knowledge and deliver it as your first product using this masterclass format.
That’s going to the focus of this guide.
One caveat is if you haven’t created online courses before and you’re already selling online courses this guide won’t probably be that helpful.
What we’re going to be covering in this guide is going to be primarily for people who are setting up their first online funnel, selling their expertise but that they don’t really know where to start or maybe they’ve got an e-book or some other bits and pieces out there but they don’t have a full course.
They are the people we’re going to be talking about.
So if you have put together any masterclasses, online workshop over a series of weeks or a course this is not going to be useful.
This is about the foundational first course that people should be creating.
If you’ve never done anything like this before you’re in the right place.
Harms: The idea of this is creating your first pilot course and your first entry-level course rather than creating a complete perfect product that will come later in the future.
For example, you may say I am a regular producer of course content, so I agree with the fact that it won’t be completely applicable unless you decide to move into a new idea or a new problem that you want to solve, then you may want to use the techniques.
If your desire is to build a flagship course of the go to course customers rave about that will happen but later down the line, but really the scope of this guide really is number one what is your basic course idea?
What’s the problem that you want to solve?
Number two is validating the idea we’re going to share with you two techniques in which you can validate that idea and work out if it is an idea that somebody would want to purchase.
That’s really the key here, and number three is an MVP version of that course, so a minimum viable product version of the course.
Harms: The first question to ask Kyle or what’s a nice place to start is the question why are we creating a course?
I’m an expert, this is not what I do, I don’t teach online. I don’t sell educational products, I do something completely different. I am a business coach, consultant PT, yoga teacher.
So why create a course?
Kyle: The term course automatically makes us think about academic courses, it makes us think about lessons and learning mathematics or something highly structured and highly non-experienced base, not expertise based, but more academic.
If you’re hearing the word course, I’m not a teacher, what’s this got to do with me?
Remember the context of this product, this course, this mastermind whatever you want to call it within the context of an expert funnel.
Harms: Masterclass is a really good way to position it because what we are doing is we’re not necessarily going to be providing a step-by-step guide.
Nobody is going to enter our semester, or the first month where we talk about the history of whatever that topic is, it is a masterclass.
It’s you downloading your information and knowledge into a digestible form which somebody can enjoy.
Let me give you some examples of what exists out there online, a great example of this is people who are already established as experts who have gone onto public speaking.
They’ve hosted workshops and what they’ve also done is feature their courses, which are actually referred to as masterclasses on bigger platforms, such as something like masterclass.com.
Think of it as an expert sharing their expert knowledge via a masterclass knowing that at some point in the future there’s going to be a sale or a customer interested, or your audience is going to start to develop.
Kyle: Whatever your business niche is, whether you have an existing business, or you want to set one up.
You are an expert in something, now this could be yoga.
This could be accountancy. It doesn’t matter. You are an expert in your particular field and we are monetising that so at the moment in your business, you might sell services, that’s fine.
You sell your time an hour consultation costs X amount of money absolutely fine.
What the expert funnel is a sales funnel is an online business which takes your knowledge, your skills, your expertise, and we package it up into products.
Instead of you selling your time we’re moving you over to selling products based on your expertise. The traditional way to do this, 10, 20, 30 years ago is to write a book and that’s considered, okay that person has written a book they must know what they’re talking about.
Then you start getting on TV shows and being asked for interviews in magazines and newspapers etcetera that used to be the way to prove your expertise.
What we’re talking about now is producing a masterclass, producing a course as a much quicker, much more effective, and efficient way of encapsulating your knowledge and skills and your expertise into product form.
Harms: Think of the course as a speedy, instant way which doesn’t require as much work as creating a book.
That’s great, but if you dive into some of those authors, those are years and years and years of work to produce one of those incredible books.
However, do you have years and years and years to achieve a sale?
That’s the real topic here.
Where are we sitting in what we spoke about in regards to your value ladder, you can call this your expert funnel.
What we didn’t want to do is just say at the end of last week’s guide go ahead and create a short course, that is not what we wanted to do. We wanted to say we know what we want to create a short course, perfect.
Now let’s spend a week discussing in detail what that short course is and what that entry-level product is that you can offer your market because once we nail that, then we can move people over to the core product and a premium product later down the line.
It could be public speaking or something similar.
I mentioned the phrase there Kyle short course and what’s your thoughts on a short course because I don’t get worried and think, you want me to charge £10 and it’s going to take me 10 hours to create a course and put it together. So what do we mean when we say short course?
Kyle: Imagine someone has dropped out of school and they want to become what you are.
They want to learn what it is you do, you as yourself, you know what those expertise is, you know the steps you took.
Imagine just taking them for a coffee or beer and explain to them this is what I did, these are the steps I took. This is the advice I would give you.
You can encapsulate most of that into an hour, maybe a couple of hours if you get really chatty.
We’re talking about that kind of level we’re not talking about guiding them and hand holding them through every single step. Maybe that’s something you might do as a mentor, a coach later but right now we’re talking about giving them the download of okay, when I was in your position.
These are things I did to get to where I am now. So a short course could be depending on how it is structured, it could be as short as an hour, with you just downloading what it is you know to your audience.
Harms: Some other tips to think about is the outcome for the end user for your short course is quite short, it means they can get this entry-level information quite quickly and because what we don’t want to do is present them with 10 hours’ worth of content, 20 hours’ worth of content which will overwhelm them massively.
A short course, which means it’s easily consumable and what we mean by that is it’s like in segments.
But in simple terms it is easily consumable and not overwhelming for them. But even within that one hour, bearing in mind where they are in their expert knowledge it’s going to be providing massive value.
Don’t feel like actually if I’m only producing a one-hour course am I short changing somebody?
Actually no, because based on what they currently know that hour introduction is like wow, that’s a lot of value I’ve taken away from that hour or whatever it ends up being for your short course. So don’t think of it from that element.
The other advantage to doing a short course is it’s a very quick way to build that trust because what we don’t want to do is build trust of a 10-hour course and fingers crossed somebody completes a 10-hour course.
Instead, we put something together for an hour somebody can actually get through that in an evening or one afternoon, on their daily commutes and within that hour the trust starts to develop quite quickly.
Those are some key points and areas for why we think short course and also the advantages of a short course and doing it that way.
So what’s two ways once we’ve got this short course, what are the two mechanisms in which somebody can use it?
Kyle: It depends on your particular business niche.
It depends on how difficult it is to build up an audience and how difficult it is to make a sale. This is going to depend entirely on your market and entirely on your product offering.
Once you have this course, this masterclass, this asset.
This is something you can use in many different ways. The two broad categories are going to be, you can give it away for free in order to build up an audience. You can use that to generate traffic and people will be attracted to you because you’re giving away this massive value, or you can monetise it and as there are a bunch of different ways to do that.
You can immediately sell it on marketplaces like Udemy or you can host it on your own website, your own membership site and charge people access on that site.
We’re going to be going into different details on how you would monetise it.
We are recommending this course should be monetised for experts.
We talked about giving away free content, giving away free education, giving away free value. We’re going to be using this course as the first paid step. We’re taking people from free okay I am interested to right, I’m willing to open my wallet and pay you $10, $20, $30, $50.
We’re moving into that paid section of the funnel.
Harms: Let’s now talk about the next question, which is the basic idea of the course and what is your course actually going to be about that. So that’s a big question.
This goes back to the BATON model and framework.
Kyle: It goes back to business.
What problem is it that your business solves?
All businesses provide some kind of solution. Even businesses based around luxury brands that’s still about identification, it’s still about having a luxury brand which a lot of us might think is not useful, it’s not something that needs to be, it’s not a necessity, but for some people it is.
All businesses have some form of problem that they solve. And knowing exactly what the problem is and being able to define what that problem is and how you then solve that problem, is the core to a successful business.
We are going to be using that problem statement as the core of our course as well.
Each section becomes very simple because you’ve already defined or this is what my business does, so when we have the question what is my course going to be about?
It’s going to be the same thing. If your business is about helping people raise funding your course is going to be about helping people to raise funding very simple.
Harms: Throughout your expert funnel try to stay focused on solving the same problem.
Now one of the challenges people face is I’m an expert and I want to talk into that space, I want to answer that question, which means if you think your customer comes in here they are like, what does this person represent?
What are they an expert in?
What are they an authority in?
Do I trust them in this topic?
Because for a customer it can also be confusing that one person can be a genuine expert of all of these places. Because we don’t want to confuse interests with generally what problem your business can solve, interests versus experts.
Let’s use the example of a documentary just to give you an idea of what that looks like at the end so if you are helping somebody educate them on that topic. Your premium product at the end here could be they hire you and your company to produce a documentary for them.
Why would they do that?
Because they’ve just seen this entry-level course answering the same problem.
What we know is your premium product that helps people on a shoestring budget and it means you can produce your masterpiece on an iPhone, which means they’re going to have a saving but rather than do it all themselves, they’re going to hire you and your team and bring you guys into doing it.
That’s an example of what it may look like later down the line for you.
What’s a good formula, a very simple formula for them to think about when creating/formalising this for themselves?
Kyle: Very simple we need two sentences, two statements.
One will be a problem statement. So how do I get rid of my credit card debt?
That would be a problem statement.
That’s the first one we just need, the second one is a solution statement so how to get rid of your credit card debt. You don’t need anything more complex than this and I think people tend to overthink it.
We can match a problem and a solution statement very simply, but you just need to know what that problem statement is to be able to work out what the solution statement is.
And that solution statement will basically become the title of your course.
So how do I get rid of my credit card debt and then the solution will be how to get rid of your credit card debt in seven steps for example and that becomes the course.
The main point you’d get across that we need to get across now is we need to know what it is that our audience, our tribe and our customers are struggling with and what it is we can help them with and that is going to be the course.
Harms: I think the complication comes from; I think for me in the past it’s been I don’t think I’m going to reach enough people with that title. Or I want to answer more questions for people.
So for me personally the challenge has been in the past where no that’s too small, that’s not going to get me enough customers, that’s not going to hit enough people and we often have clients who are experts in lots of areas come to us and say, that’s too small of a topic, but what about this?
I want to help them with this?
I think that’s often where the complication comes.
Kyle: The way the Internet works, though, is that people are searching for very specific problems.
Let’s say I have a problem with my foot, so I might be looking for a podiatrist I’m not going to be interested in all of the services a podiatrist can provide.
I’ve just got a big toe that hurts so I’m interested in that. I don’t care about my ankle instability etcetera so experts tend to want to drop everything within their domain within their sphere, I as the potential customer I have one problem.
I do not care about the other bits and pieces, that’s the same for any niche. When people search online they’re searching for that particular problem.
They don’t care about your entire solution; they don’t care about your entire expertise. They care about the bit that is right in front of them right now, that allows them access to you and then from there, they might start to be interested in what else you can offer.
But you need to get them in on something very precise upfront.
I want you to go away right now and start to think okay I could do a couple of hours on teaching people how to do this or I know a lot of people have this problem, so maybe I could do this course.
What we do want to start doing though is yes, you’re going to have some fantastic ideas hopefully you have a few and you might be jotting them down.
What we do is start to validate those ideas because a lot of this process is going to be about using our existing audience, using our tribe members as a resource to produce a product that’s going to be the most possible value to them, so it’s in their benefits as they’re going to get something fantastic.
It’s in your benefit because it means your product is going to be better as a result.
There is a philosophy, theory of business called lean, which is all about how we develop our product, we develop our services in as much public view as possible. Because market research and everything is fine, but we don’t really know the work until we hit the market until we take our product to market.
People might just lie when we’ve got them in focus groups, when you say would you buy this?
They say yeah, just because they want to please you, but as soon you say okay it’s $500, they’re like no.
What we’re trying to do following this lean methodology of creating as quickly as possible and getting it out onto the market.
With this in mind we can actually work with our current audience and tribe to work out what our core should be about. And this is a really nice external way to get some validation about whether this idea is worth pursuing or not.
Maybe you’ve written down five different things I can teach, I could easily give a masterclass about this, we’re going to start talking to your community to work out which of these is worth pursuing and which you should either do later or they’re not important right now.
Harms: There are two methods that we are all going to share with you. And again, there are lots of different ways to validate your idea online but we are going to share with you two.
So the first method to help validate your idea is actually have a conversation with number one your audience.
If you remember we already started to build this at the start of our expert funnel, so have a conversation with the audience and also your tribe and if you remember based on this expert funnel, your audience will typically live out in the wide world Web.
They follow you, they may watch your content, but then the tribe will be living within a community/group.
We cut through the noise there and said a Facebook group is solid and also Slack group will be solid, depending on whatever your expert funnel is.
The first way to consider this is actually just to ask the question, ask the tribe the question and say I’m thinking about putting together a course on how to do X, and which will be the problem.
The problem that they have and you should start to gauge this anyway based on the conversation you’re having with your tribe, following the structure we spoke about.
I’m thinking about putting together a course on how to do this, could you please let me know what you think. Just ask the question.
But people don’t do it.
Imagine you have a group of 500 people or whatever it is, whatever form your tribe is in, this is such an amazing resource and so few people do this when they’re producing a product.
Instead, they just produce the product in secret almost and then release it and hope that a group of people are going to like it.
Just ask, and say I am putting together a course on this, what do you think?
Anything I should include?
These are really great questions because what you think will prompt one thought and anything you like me to cover will prompt another thought, that’s the way to structure this asking of your tribe.
The more you can help them out in this early stage, the entry stage, the better.
So ask is one way, what’s another way?
Kyle: There are different variations and asking them different methods mythically, so one which is particularly useful in Facebook groups if you have your tribe there is to set up a poll.
So the same thing you sketch down five ideas, different masterclasses you can give. You put them in a poll and say which one of these are you most interested in.
Again, very simple, but it will give you a quantitative, a real idea of what it is your community is actually interested in.
Harms: Another way to do it is have an open question, almost like an open forum.
You phrase it to say I’m looking for an open discussion here and I would like everybody’s thoughts and feedback on I’m putting on a workshop, a course, a masterclass within your field and what would you like to learn about?
Rather than speaking more specifically to people we’re now opening it up for a community discussion and then allowing that to feed off each other.
Kyle: The first one is asking about a specific course. I want to do a course on this. What do you think? Yay or nay.
Second is I’m going to put a poll up and get some responses based on a few selections.
The third one is an open question.
I want to do a workshop. What do you want to learn about? Totally open.
All three have the added benefit of you getting the cooperation of your tribe, you’re getting the cooperation of your audience.
So yes, they help you come up with ideas, and they’re helping you to validate the idea for a future product, but more than that they’re being co-opted into the creative process.
Let’s imagine you did have an open question and over a week 10, 20 people vocally express opinions and you create a course that has elements of what they have suggested. Let’s say, Sarah has suggested you should do something about putting together the legal paperwork for raising funds.
This is in the funder raiser example.
You say okay I’m going to do a little under a section on the legal paperwork. When it comes to selling that course later, when it comes to filling that course with the first students you can , Sarah by the way I’ve done especially a module on legal paperwork.
Do you think Sarah will sign up for that course?
She’s not only part of the community.
She is now part of that creative process of creating that course which is going to make it a lot easier to get in your first customers. You’re getting feedback on your ideas, you’re actually getting their ideas, what things they would like to see, they can take over the creative process for you.
But more than that because they’re part of the process of creating the course because they’ve felt listened to and valued they are much more likely to purchase a course when you do go live, when you do start selling.
Harms: That’s very much speaking to the tribe and audience.
Now another way to validate your idea is by having a look at what the competition is doing?
This is research around what’s out there.
What’s the competition doing?
Now competition is simply put, it is a great thing so please don’t be disheartened when you go through the suggestions that we are going to give you that goodness there’s like 50 courses on what I thought I was going to speak about.
Because this may be the first time you’re researching and exploring the stuff online, and you may be surprised by how much information or how many people are teaching your specific expert subject.
Don’t be disheartened, and say nobody is going to buy my course, that’s not the idea here. The idea is to say, look at it from an abundance mentality, but also from a data driven approach that, this must mean that a market exists.
If this many intelligent experts are serving this market with their course and their entry cost product and by the way, not everybody will have this setup.
They may have simply just produced an entry level course simply to make cash off that entry level course that may be their technique.
Whereas, although we like to assume that everybody’s got this mail, it’s actually not the case. I’ve seen when we do research somebody has a course and when I further research into their product nothing else exists.
So I think keep an open mind with this and very much look at the marketplace as an idea that a market exists. What we don’t want is the opposite, which is we do research and we see nothing online for what we want to talk about.
That should start to raise alarm bells because there’s not enough proof in a market that there are enough customers to actually purchase this particular course or this product, or this idea.
Kyle: This seems bizarre but competition is great, soon as you see other people making and selling courses or other products connected to the problem you’re trying to solve, that’s good.
That means there is less market risk and market risk is probably the biggest problem when you’re starting a business online or starting a business anywhere.
If the market does not exist you will not be able to succeed unless you have a huge amount of money and you can make the market, but don’t try and do that.
It’s just a very hard way to get into business and instead we’re replacing the market risk with competitive risk. The market exists. Fantastic good to go. And there are competitors in that market, fine.
We can deal with that.
We cannot deal with market risk; we can deal with competitive risk.
That’s a key point here.
Kyle: For example people selling on Udemy that’s their entire business.
They just create courses.
They’re not doing the rest of the stuff about building an audience.
They are not building the tribe. They don’t have any other business concerns connected.
Remember why we’re doing this, why we are building an expert funnel is to drive our actual business, yes we’re going to make money from core sales, but that’s not the be all and end all of this process.
However, for a lot of the people you will see that’s all they are doing. We started by saying we are not trying to become educators.
We are using educational products to increase our business. The people that you’ll see when you are looking at the competitive market a lot of them will be educators.
That is their primary role.
They’re not selling consulting; they’re not selling services; they are not selling retainers off the backend.
So that’s even better as we are seeing a market for this stuff, and the people in this market may not even be competitors. This is fantastic, so very quickly where’d you find these competitors? Google is the best place to start, but more specifically we can look for video courses. The big site you want to check is Udemy. It is probably the largest online marketplace for courses, go and see what’s in there.
Check out the categories, look for what category you would be in and see what courses are, have a look for how many reviews they have. You can also see how many students are involved and look for star ratings.
See which courses seem to be the most popular within your category and maybe that helps you. Maybe that gives your ideas that you can implement into your course as well.
Another one is Lynda, which tends to be for more technical subjects. If you were teaching video editing, or photoshop Lynda would be a good want to look for. Also look for masterclass.com.
Harms: What Kyle has discussed there is an example of looking at current educational marketplaces where they sell courses to see if people are producing courses within your idea within the problem you’re wanting to solve.
If a lot of people are buying it means there is a market here, people are buying and there is enough money, enough interest to support one of the courses
We are asking you to validate the marketplace before you enter it, so another method in order to do this in order to assess the competition is actually quite a big tip.
I would note this down because it is a bit of a loophole/untapped area which not many people are aware of and often Kyle spots these items.
Another way to do it is to have a look at somewhere like Amazon and start to look in their book categories, Kindle book categories and their traditional book categories. Have a look at what popular categories or popular books exist on one side but there’s no video course for those same problems and solutions that the book is talking about.
What we’re saying is we’re identifying an area where there are books but there’s no video course on the same topic.
Why is that so important?
Because what we have here is a demand for a certain type of a book and idea and topic, but they haven’t tapped into the other way and other format people consume educational information, which is video and a video course.
So what we are identifying here is a gap in the market which is completely untapped.
That’s a really good tip now to get started.
Another way to think about what we spoke about stage one is there’s no category here, let me just double check if there is generally no category here or there is a gap in the market. So you head over to the bookstore.
Check the categories. Check for popular books and say genuinely there is a market here. I may have a first mover’s advantage if I enter this market with a video course that will show you a gap exists.
If there is no book on that topic that you are intending on creating the course for then there is no gap so that’s another way to check as well.
Kyle: That will tend to be not always, but it will tend to be with more traditional markets.
So if you are talking about online business, how to do photoshop etcetera that’s all done. Video courses like that exist. If you find a very busy Kindle or book category where there is a lot of stuff going on, there are authors, lots of reviews again, lots of stars, but there are no video versions so maybe there is a gap.
Sometimes people get really stuck here because they are looking for the perfect niche or the perfect market.
This stuff is important and you need to have a look, but you need to not get stuck here and some people will build up big spreadsheets finding the best category but they get stuck.
Marketing competitor research is really useful but it has to be a sense check to make sure you’re not going totally in the wrong direction with something that nobody wants. If you find an existence of a market, there’s going to be a way few to serve that market and just get on with creation and we see too many people here just get stuck because ultimately you do not know whether your product, your course or later your book or whatever it is you do not know if it’s going to be successful until you release it into that market.
So all of market research in the world is not going to help you instead you need real verification, which means creating a basic version of the product in getting it out into the world if people buy it that’s verification, that’s validation and that’s the only validation that matters is when pull out their wallets and say okay, I will give you money for this.
Anything else is just fiddling around with spreadsheets.
Harms: Allow the market to be the decider.
If you ultimately let the market decide if there is a demand for your product once you’ve done a sense check. So, what the key message here is, is that the actual production, the actual momentum of building out your expert funnel here is important, not the whole process off I’ve mastered, I’ve found this pure gap in the market because you may end up selling to that gap and it is a work.
Allow that market to dictate their success once you’ve had a sense doesn’t work and that’s the key here.
Some funnels could take two to three days, something more advanced where you end up with an e-book takes four to five days end-to-end.
Kyle: So while this stuff does sound like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be.
You can move at speed, producing and creating and get things out quickly.
That’s actually what we recommend as if we were to spend six months writing that it wouldn’t necessarily be relevant.
Plus, when you release something you just need to gauge the reaction and then you can adapt. You can add to it, you can create but the key thing is to get something out of the door so you can get that public reaction.
Kyle: MVP is a minimum viability product.
It’s a concept that comes from the lean start-up lean methodology. There is a book by Eric Reis called The lean start-up. It is a basic idea of instead of developing a product or service or business in secret and then releasing it only to find out nobody cares.
Instead, you work more openly, you show people early versions and we see this in software a lot. We have alpha testers. We have beta testers.
We have early access and it takes quite a long time before an actual product is released. In videogames on the PC in particular, often a game will be an early access for years before it’s released as a finished product to the public and that’s accepted in software development. We do less of this in other markets, but we should learn from software development and use this idea of an MVP, a minimum viability product to gauge what it is that the market actually responds to.
An MVP is the minimum that you can get away with really releasing out to the public.
So, let’s use this e-book we just produced as an example, if I just published a Word document onto Amazon full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and no formatting. That’s not good enough.
That’s not minimum viable.
Minimum viability on Amazon, for example, needs to have a cover. It needs to be nicely formatted, it needs to have no spelling mistakes, the links in the document need to work.
These are the basics, but it doesn’t need to be the final version of the product because nowadays we can republish, we can recreate, we can update.
When we publish to Kindle, for example, we can update it if a spelling mistake is found, that can be updated in the file and then instantly that book has been corrected to everybody who has Kindle.
Whereas if a spelling mistake got into a printed version of a book.
That’s it, you have 1,000 copies of Harry Potter with a spelling mistake.
Harms: Also the word viable is variable depending on what you are creating as well, and what that product is for.
If one of your core products is a physical product slightly off a tangent, then it may have to meet certain health regulations that you can’t skimp out on.
What would we define as a minimum viable product based on a traditional format within an expert final.
Typically an expert would go ahead and create a book.
What we would say is a better minimum viable product than a book that an expert can produce is a course that is fully recorded.
Number one is a book, two is a course but it’s pre-recorded.
What is our preferred method for minimum viable product?
What’s the best version of the minimum viable product for your expert funnel?
It’s a live course but then we take that live course and package it up into a book later down the line so that’s the key here, rather than do it the other way, which is a book then off the book, recorded course then off the recorded course we do live video series and Q&A’s, etcetera.
Let’s work this way up the ladder.
Within the expert funnel we’ve extracted information from that book and presented it to you in a very simplistic way for you to immediately take action.
Kyle: The main thing here is using live video to produce the first version of our course allows us to do it fast, we can be doing this within the next few days.
Whereas if we were to pre-record video there’s a lot of production, a lot of time editing. And if we want to write a book it’s going to take nearly six months and you have to find a publisher etcetera.
We just want to go to market as quickly as possible.
You could go to market today if you have an audience or a tribe and follow the steps we’re going to be covering.
Because we get to market quicker we are able to verify the market exists at each step of the process and that; s going to save us just a lot of time and money and anguish.
We’re not going to be in 12 months’ time sitting there with a hundred thousand copies of our book that nobody wants.
We are instead going live, we’re going to verify people want this, we’re going to iterate, we’re going to change based on what we’re learning from our live audience and then use that to step up and build products from that point.
What we spoke about in this guide is you creating your first course and why we are selecting a course and why, we’re reframing it as a masterclass.
We’re going to refer to it as a course
Harms: But think about it as a masterclass when presenting your expert knowledge.
We also spoke about understanding how to identify your basic area.
This whole idea of somebody has a problem and you are providing the how-to for that problem. Then once we’ve got that idea, let’s validate it.
Let’s do a sense check, let’s find out what’s happening out there not going over analytical on it, but just a sense check.
One is for the tribe, chat to our audience, ask them questions, number two is have a look at the competition. And then we spoke about in detail the idea of a minimum viable product, what we see as acceptable and the whole escalation ladder of creating a minimum viable product MVP and then improving it over time with the feedback.
One big to-do off the back of this guide is very simple is think about what problem your course is here to solve?
What is somebody’s problem and what is your how-to you’re going to pick together for that one hour, hour and a half short course.
That’s the one key thing to do.
The exact process to create your first course online, share your expert knowledge and get more customers
Harms: Essentially we’re speaking about the fact that with your course being the first entry point as part of your expert funnel and just bringing it all together.
We’ve spoken about very much what your course needs to be about, what’s the basic idea of the course.
We spoke about validating the idea using different mechanisms and then the principle of getting a minimum viable product ready, so that we don’t spend six months creating this course, we create as we go along.
Now we’re actually going to dive into what should the course include?
How to get your first draft or ideas down on paper and what’s a formulaic structure that we can use that makes the course digestible, consumable not only for the end user your potential client down the line, but also a way for you to present the course very simply, in a way that’s easy for you, especially if this is your first course.
For people who have created courses before the idea becomes quite automatic.
They know the formula in their head. They know the structure they like to use but this is a good starting structure, then you can evolve it and get creative from that point onwards. We are very much building up the course from the start point. B
Kyle: You and I have made courses and prior to this I’ve made a few courses myself as well.
Over doing this over this process, I’ve come up with a way to produce courses to get the content on paper to order, sort the content and then turn that into lessons and modules.
This is not going to be the best method for everybody but it is a method, it’s a way to get started.
We want to give you something that works so you can start moving on it and then by the time you complete it you might think, I should not have done it that way this way is better.
That’s fine because you would have at least gone through the process instead of sitting there thinking what’s the best way to do this, we just need you to get moving.
Harms: The first section is very much going to be focused on what’s the journey that the person watching your course will go through, what’s their starting point?
Taking them from the starting point which is A to the endpoint which is B. Let’s call it A to B as if we’re taking a journey, as if we’re planning a journey on a road map.
Here we are right now where do we take ourselves where we are right now or where your customer is to the end destination which is normally referred to as.
Once they get to B they would have achieved their goal. The learning outcome and the desired result. That’s important.
So how do we take them from where they are now to achieving the desired result?
That’s the focus of this section.
Kyle: A lot of people get confused, they overcomplicate this process and they start to add in lots and lots of different components without really sitting down to think okay what is A?
What is B?
Where are people now?
What is their problem they’re trying to solve? And then what’s the end result? What’s B?
What is there that by the time we get to B, they can look back on the journey and think, okay, I’m happy about the progress.
What are those two points?
People forget to mark these down or we make them too generalised. We have talked again and again and again about the problem statement of your business and what you do as a business owner and expert to help people solve that problem.
You should already know your point A and your point B.
Again, make sure you write them down. This is your problem and the solution and then the course itself is going to be how we get people from A to B.
Harms: I would suggest you even write this down on the top of your paper so as you go down as you follow Kyle and myself through this it doesn’t leave out of mind.
Because one of the challenges that will happen is as you start this process, you’re going to want to talk about lots of different topics which may divert the user, the person consuming your information and education away from the original problem.
If you take them away from their original problem they’re going to feel like they’re not getting the result here.
There is no progression.
They got to point B and they’re now off in the distance whereas their problem is still all the way back there, which hasn’t been solved. It’s worth just keeping that highlighted as you start to work through this so we don’t divert.
That’s probably a challenge that may come up.
Kyle: It comes up a lot and it’s a really useful thing to, as you say, have it written out stuck on a computer or on a wall so whenever you do hit a snag point you can just look at your point A and point B and your mission is to get people to B and that you can look at it and think, is it relevant?
Is it going to get people to point B?
If not, leave it out but we will be getting to that later.
But yes, we recommend you write them out and stick them on your wall and it seems really simple. It seems a silly thing to do but it’s probably one of the most important things you can do.
Harms: It defines a very actionable course to one that is very fluffy just full of stories and maybe not quite actionable.
With that being said, the best courses and the best form of education, the best masterclasses are able to distil the stories, these myths, these things that are subjective. These opinions, these ideas and turn those into actionable objective results orientated outcomes for the listener, the person consuming the information.
That’s the best kind of course where somebody leaves it and they think, I’m better off after attending that it wasn’t too advanced, but it wasn’t too basic. I got enough action points to improve me as a person within whatever that expert niche is so that’s the best kind of course that’s something we want to aim for.
Hopefully once you go through today’s guide you will be able to have almost some KPIs or metrics to make sure you don’t sway too far away from that and your courses are just full of fluffy general advice that somebody at the end of it has an end destination and feel great about the end destination.
Kyle: The tendency when a lot of us talk we talk about ourselves way too much and we don’t make what we’re talking about applicable to the people listening.
The best speakers can.
Those speakers can take their personal stories and use those personal stories to help other people by extracting the lesson, rather than getting into detail of the story.
It’s more about this is what happened for me, this is what I learned from it and this is what you can learn from it.
We’re going to be using stories in that way in a more systematic way.
Harms: And yes, it’s important to include things about yourself there’s a reason for that as well but make it about helping the other person.
That’s really the core message from the start of what we’ve been speaking.
Kyle: We want to give people a step-by-step system or framework to go from A to B, so they should be able to look and think, okay I’m at A I want to get to B.
These are the steps, instead of you delivering a rambling monologue about how you did it. We are going to distil that into a series of steps and the system.
If you look at the best or some of the most popular books and courses, and products out there, they tend to do this. They tend to give you a framework and a structure that you can work through in order to get your goals.
If you to take one thing away from this when you’re thinking about putting your course together is very much this which is systems sell, models sell, frameworks sell, these jigsaw pieces which are floating around in their mind or around the world wide web and allows it to be packaged up into a ABC, 123, A to B destination.
Which is essentially the steps which they can go through and a system that if they go through the steps once they can use that system again and again and again.
It becomes applicable, it becomes easily teachable but also consumable for themselves. So if they’re in another weird situation which is applicable they can say I’ve got this system that I can use again and again, that’s the key here.
A system sell think about and that as another concept for when you’re putting your course together rather than a 100-piece jigsaw, make the idea that you will complete this jigsaw puzzle by the end of this course.
That’s the system that you want to be sharing with your end-users.
Kyle: What we want you to be doing is creating a framework, creating a system of your ideas. You have all this expertise in your head, but as it is if it’s just a big jumble it’s not very useful to people.
We’re going to quickly walk you through how you create a framework or system from those ideas.
If you already teach if you do public speaking or training of any type, you’re probably doing this already, but if you’re not here is a nice simple way to do this.
Harms: Many people are not public speaking or they are from the framework of more of a sceptical side, which is what we discussed about not being a teacher, this is not my business.
So as a reminder, the reason we are teaching this content is not to become an educator as such, but instead to form a masterclass where we are presenting our users with, look this is our knowledge, this is a system we used to get the results we get, and here it is available for you to consume and digest.
Think of it as a masterclass, not the fact that you are a teacher walking into school and lecturing on a specific subject.
They sound similar, but there’s a bit of a difference here because the masterclass aim is to sell your premium product. Your core product later down the line, whereas the educator’s role is to make money from educating.
There’s a big difference there although it can be seen to be exactly the same thing, but the end result is slightly different for you, the person creating the course.
Kyle: We are using education as a means to an end rather than the end itself, whereas an educator teacher teaches for the sake of teaching, that is their job.
Harms: To make that method easier we’ve got a series of steps to help you build out your framework, your system, or your model.
It can be described in different ways.
Kyle the question is how do we refine all the stuff we know to put it into a system?
Kyle: First step is we’re going to use that psychological exercise.
If I am sitting with somebody who has just graduated from high school or university. If they asked me how do I do what you do?
How do I become what you are?
What steps would I give them? We’re going to start wide.
We will start with these are the 10 steps you need to do. You need to get this qualification, you need to learn how to do this, you need to be knocking on the door of 100 people a day or whatever it is.
You need to get the steps down first, get the steps from A to B in about 10 steps. That’s a lot that’s really wide and quite a detailed process. That’s 10 steps first, now refine it.
How do we go from A to B in nine steps?
This should be quite easy.
You should be able to look at one and be like this one is not that essential. We can just remove this or this one is optional or not really relevant to everybody.
So we’ve refined 10 steps down to nine steps.
Then we’re going to do it again.
We’re going to go to eight, then seven it’s starting to get harder now. Then six and now it’s really starting to get tough, we’ve almost cut out half of the things we initially said you need to do.
This is the process of really refining what it is that really needs to be done for somebody to go from A to B, and it’s a challenging exercise to go through but we just remove them one at a time.
As we do, we will naturally find a hierarchy of things that are actually the most important.
We’re going to keep going until we’ve got it down to depending on the complexity around three to five steps. I find that’s kind of a good number anymore and it gets a bit confusing to people. If you get it to three, four, five steps that’s something people can remember and people can hold the whole concept in their head at the same time.
Harms: Are these steps going to form the steps within the course?
What is the exact purpose of what we’re doing here?
Kyle: The basic idea is we’ve got people at A we need to get them to B, what steps are required to do that?
Ideally we want three to five steps but it’s much easier to think of the 10 steps and then from there we start to refine it down.
If you already know the three steps, fantastic. That’s great, but generally making a complex topic getting from A to B in your particular expertise that is a lot easier to start with a large laundry list of things people need to do and then we’re going to be cutting it down.
So we have three to five core steps which now when you say to that person over coffee, these are the most important steps and the person is thinking okay this is a bit more achievable.
We want the person to feel like the course that you’re creating is achievable, it’s not going to be overwhelming and that somebody like them can do it. That is a good end destination for them.
And then they’re more likely to start if you give them 17 things they need to do. What is the likelihood of them doing any of them?
It is very low because they’ll see all 17 and think that is a lot of work. We’re making it as easy as possible for them to get started. I think it’s three to five because we have five fingers, so you can say okay it’s one, two, three, four, five.
Whereas if you start going onto multiple hands psychologically you’ll lose people. So three to five steps is nice. It’s a nice number, whereas if you have two steps that doesn’t feel like a process.
That said, if you get it down to one if you get it down to two, if there is one factor for your success this is something that is really useful to know that does not necessarily make a course, that’s just you saying there’s one thing you need to do.
This will be an extremely important theme underlying all of your work really, if you can narrow your success down to one thing, then wow that’s extremely powerful but for the process of writing a course we’re looking for three to five steps because we want to guide people through the process.
As you probably know, we use a five-step system, five step framework when we are teaching digital marketing.
It is a useful example just to frame this so you have a real-world example.
We use BATON on which again that’s a hand. We have B for business, that is working out the value you’re creating for what market. That’s step one. We have A for audience which is telling the world about the value you’ve created. We have T for tribe, which is finding the people amongst the audience who actually care about the value you’ve created. We have O for offer, which is monetising and generating revenue from selling the value that you’re creating. And then we have network, which is about scaling up all of the rest of this into a sustainable and automatic online business.
That’s our framework BATON.
It would also be harder for the listener to grasp that model if it had seven, eight, 10 steps. It’s too much whereas BATON is easy.
Harms: It is familiar to somebody, the acronym BATON is familiar to somebody, but the acronym is not the key here.
The key is the fact that we’re taking a large subject like online business and compressing it into a system which is the BATON system or the framework or the model, which within there has five key steps. Five key areas.
Now if we think about those five steps alone are not going to allow somebody to learn everything about online business you’re right. But remember where we are positioning this an entry level product. That’s the key here.
The core, the premium, so for me, the premium maybe somebody pays us to come consult with them or host a workshop.
The core might be the agency work or somebody comes and attends one of our more expensive courses, something which is more specialised, original, detailed within the BATON framework.
But the first thing is to allow them the understanding of how we can compress the learning of online business into a system five step process, which is the BATON model.
That’s using the example of us having created it, so you got an example of what an end system looks like based on that process of elimination.
Now let’s think about the next stage, we’ve now narrowed it down like Kyle said to the core steps.
That’s the key here we need an entry point, not an overwhelming point that’s important.
The next thing we consider is before we get into what exactly we want to talk about within each step it’s useful to know a structure beforehand because often people fall into the trap and again there is no right or wrong on this, it is one methodology.
People often fall into the trap of saying I’ve got all this information I want to talk about and then trying to put that information into a structure, whereas what we are saying is let’s give you a structure, and a framework to plug your message in the first instance.
And that way when you start to draft your ideas, it becomes a lot easier knowing that you need to put these ideas into the structure.
That’s the core here and those structures start to fit into each of these steps.
So step one, two three, four, five will have its own structure attached to it and the structure can be exactly the same for each single step.
Kyle what is a great starting structure for somebody certainly building their first course?
That being said, we use a structure for our seven course, eight course, ninth course, it is a great way to present information.
Kyle: Basically we’re going to take those three steps or those five steps and each one is going to become a model and that’s kind of it.
We will have an intro and an outro section before and after but the short version is exactly that is, if you have three steps you’re going to have three modules.
If you have five steps you’re going to have five modules and because right now we’re just producing a short course, producing a masterclass each one of these modules is basically one video.
If you have three steps you’re going to have free videos. If you have five steps you’re going to have five videos. That’s it. We do not need to overcomplicate it at this moment.
Harms: This structure is very much this framework applies to video number one.
Video number one is step number one. This framework applies to video number two applies to again the step number two. It becomes an approach where you just copy and paste.
The key here is to think about your course as starting to now start to shape the course and we want the idea to have an introduction, the steps, and the conclusion.
For the purpose of this let’s stick with five and use the BATON model as an example.
Now it wouldn’t be great for the user to start step one immediately. So what we want to do is explain to them the entire process that they can go through, what the journey will look like, and this is typically known as an introduction.
In front of step number one is an introduction video, now once somebody’s completed those five steps then we have an outro, we have a conclusion.
Think about this, we have the core product or my core steps and I’m going to have a top and a tail, that will be an introduction and a conclusion.
The basic version of that if you were to say what would be in my introduction?
Very simple number one is here’s what you’re going to learn, here’s the problem and here’s what you’re going to learn to solve that problem. That’s important and I’m going to be telling you this in a five-step process and then you very quickly summarise the topics or the titles of those five steps.
We would do it in terms of business is this, audience is this, tribe is this, offer is this, network is this. In the introduction I would mention yourself. This is optional.
I would mention yourself, what you do, why you are choosing to share this course with them and a little bit of your background.
Why that is important is very much for what’s known as edification. It’s giving somebody the reason to trust that the information you’re going to give them is going to be valuable. That will then say to the user these guys know what they’re talking about, I am excited to listen to step one.
Give them another reason as some people operate in that sense.
They are motivated because somebody else is an expert not interested why that’s the case we just would include that element. Then what we do as a final section of the introduction is we just wrap up.
The first stage is about just getting all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper or onto your computer. This is the creative portion.
We don’t want you to self-edit. We don’t want you to stop.
We want you to just get everything down whether it’s relevant or not. What you’re going to do is take a piece of paper or you can set up a Google Doc up to you. I prefer paper just because I find it easier to not self-edit when you’re writing with a pen, whereas if you’re writing in a word document or Google Doc, it’s very tempting to press backspace to delete things that don’t make sense.
Then we’re going to start with step one, we’re not starting with the introduction we’re starting with step.
You have three steps, you’re going to eventually have three bits of paper. With step one we’re just going to brainstorm and get everything we can down. I would suggest at the top you put the name of the step plus what the rough learning outcome is.
Then I’m just going to get everything on the page, what do I mean by everything?
There’s a lot of things we can write down. I would define what does success look like?
So how am I defining success in this module?
This is a good way to frame the module, so if it’s creating something of value for the market I need to define what value is, I need to find what market it is and I need to define what finding value in the market it is.
Then we’re going to move onto methods.
What are some of the methods I would use professionally in order to achieve this?
These might be tools so technical tools that you have out there, they might be physical tools and skills so being able to analyse data for example. This is all going just everything that is connected so methods, tools, skills.
Then I’m going to start moving out of the objective into things about stories and I’m not going to write the whole story paper I’m going to write one or two words just to capture the essence of the story. So that I know if I read that word later I’m like I know what that’s talking about.
Then I’m going to put down facts, figures that I kind of know. I’m not going to stop to find footnotes or the exact figure if I know roughly what it is. I’m just going to get it down on the paper and I will do the fact checking later.
Again this is just about that creativity.
I’m going to add things which help build empathy.
So when did I personally first work out this problem?
How did I get over this step initially?
This is connected to stories but it’s a special type. It’s about building empathy and then I would move to things like common stumbling blocks.
What did I find difficult when I first did this?
When I first completed this step what common problems other people have when they’re doing this and then I would write down things like how to get through these common problems?
Are there solutions?
The basic idea is just to get everything you can down on paper.
I’ve just given you a rough framework, so that’s what success is, methods, tools, skills, stories and anecdotes, facts and figures, how you worked it out yourself.
Common stumbling blocks and common solutions to those blocks.
That’s like a nice framework I like to use but really, it’s going to depend on you and what you think about the subject, how you’re going to be teaching.
But just get everything down now.
Harms: That’s to give you some prompts and ideas to get your mind working and I think Kyle is spot-on.
If we take that scenario of getting the information down now we plug that in to the steps. It’s about ordering things in a sequence that will best help put this course together and I think that’s the key here.
So there are two real big steps that we spoke about.
Kyle: Personally, I think working out the order is good to know what the final structure is going to look like, right now we’re talking about getting ideas down.
Don’t start structuring things right now we’re going to be doing that later.
This is why mind maps are really useful.
You can go all over the place and you’re not necessarily thinking this needs to go in front of this, this needs to go here. We’re going to be doing that later, right now just everything to do with topics you can think of that might be useful goes on a bit of paper and we’re going to do that for each of the steps we have.
These are going to be modules eventually. I’m going to end up with lots of scribbles, lots of notes and then later we’re going to be taking and distilling them and getting them into order.
But right now just for each of the modules in your course is going to be getting down based on these prompts we just went through as much information as we can.
Harms: Again it’s with the end in mind but the first stage is really getting down as much information within each step as possible and then we will go down another process of elimination.
Kyle: Once you’ve done this first stage I personally find this really helpful again, everyone’s process is going to be different, but I put those notes away for a day or two and go for a walk.
I forget them and then when I come back to the notes it’s almost as if I didn’t write them. It’s all almost as if I have fresh eyes on them and that allows me to move onto the next stage, which is editing.
When you have fresh eyes when you are disconnected from the moment at which you were with them. It’s a lot easier to start going through it like nope, nope.
The next thing we recommend you do is you get everything down on paper based on this prompt and then let it sit and put it away for awhile and that’s going to be really useful when we move into the next stage.
Harms: The focus still remains on the original thing that we spoke about where it’s I am solving this problem?
I want to show my audience and my tribe how to do this. I want to take them from A to B, so don’t be alarmed. I think if you see the page and think what the hell is this, that’s great.
That’s the whole point of going for the walk and stepping away from the page having that couple of night’s sleep.
Kyle: We are going to allow as an action step we are going to allow inactivity, we’re going to allow our unconscious a little bit of time, a little bit of space to sort out or start to begin the sorting out process of what we’ve written down.
Give your brain a few days to do that anyway.
Harms: We are saying the process of stepping away and allowing yourself to unconsciously process will help the end product massively because we do appreciate that creating your first course can be overwhelming for you as well.
We’re talking about 20, 30 years becoming an expert in your field, a topic in your area of expertise now we are saying, hey, we need to get that down to three steps to five steps as an entry-level product to share with the world what your expertise is, that can be quite overwhelming.
Kyle: If we just say go and write a course it’s too big a task, that’s why we’re trying to give you a step by step framework, a system to create a course and some of these things sound quite obvious, especially if you’ve written a course or any kind of creative work before.
But this is a framework we find works really well, so we’re starting to make sure we have very definite A to B.
Then we broke that down into steps.
Initially there were too many steps so we asked you to get rid of one. Then we pass that down until we get to three to five steps from A to B. We remove them one at a time, and from that we’ve got a system we can create a very easy to follow framework that can be followed by other people.
Each of those steps is going to become a module in the course we’re going to be producing. Then we brainstormed on one piece of paper per module per step, we’ve brainstormed all the different things that we could talk about in that particular lesson.
We gave you some prompts about what does success look like?
Methods, tools, skills, stories, anecdotes, facts, figures, research, your personal story, self-stumbling blocks and overcoming stumbling blocks.
Use these as prompts plus add anything extra.
For now take these bits of paper, put them away for a bit and allow your unconscious a bit of time to work through it all. It’s going to make the creative process a lot easier further down the line.
Harms: The to do is very simple get that stuff down on paper.
The 8 stages to taking your first course from idea, to a script, to getting it ready to be delivered to an audience online
Harms: If you’re coming in today with those pieces of paper ready and you’re saying, right what do
I do now?
How do we take that and turn it into an organised piece of work that we can later share?
We asked you to sleep on it but the idea is you download all the information then we step back a bit and now what we’re going to do is come back to this information with fresh eyes hopefully and start to structure it.
Start to go through a series of steps taking all of this information, all of this expertise and knowledge that you have and starting to structure it into a clear learning pathway.
A way to get that knowledge over to the people you’re talking to.
These people are your students for now but they will be your customers later.
We have broken it down into eight stages and we’re going to be working you through step by step by step how you would convert all of this information into a course.
Kyle: Let’s call this information a complete mess on your paper so the key, here by the end of today is giving you an eight-stage process which will allow you to organise the mess.
Harms: Stage one we’re going to take Post-it notes.
Let’s say we’re doing a three-stage course for now. I just want to take three Post-it notes and write the name of each step. That’s all, these are going to be titles and I’m going to stick them up.
If we have three steps in the course we want three columns eventually, if we have five steps it’s going to be five Post-it notes.
You need space for this because we’re going to be reordering and moving things around. Stick them on the wall and these are going to be column headers.
Stage two this is a bit more work.
We are going to get our sheets of paper that we wrote our notes on, we are going to start transferring each of those onto Post-it notes.
Yes, we’re going to use quite a lot of Post-it notes, but the end result will be worth it. We’re going to take these notes and move onto stage three of the process.
As you are writing them down, stick them with their step on the wall so we have step one, step two, step three as our title Post-it, we’re going to start sticking our ideas that are related to each stage below.
A big mess is absolutely fine at the moment, you might find depending on how your brain works you might already be starting to order them like some things you’ll be writing on a Post-it, some ideas and you’re thinking this is quite important I’m going to put that near the top.
You might start to do this anyway but you don’t need to at this point, a big mess and just getting them into the columns is enough for now.
Kyle: Now we’re going to be combining things into stacks, we’re starting to clump them into that fits there nicely. It’s about getting things together, pairing, matching, maybe there are three items that you want to interlink and deliver as part of a message, we’re going to start clumping items.
Stage four is exactly what Harms said, using the very nontechnical term, but clumping we are going to take similar ideas, similar tools, similar methods put them together.
When they were on a bit of paper initially it’s hard to connect them. Now that we have them on post it we can physically take one Post-it note and say okay this story is connected to this learning moment or to this method, and you just place them near to each other.
Post it notes are great because it allows you to move, re-order, but the key here is the fact that we can now pair things.
It allows flexibility without having to worry about whether I need to re-write that item or I need to copy and paste, all of those things are going to slow this process down whereas post It notes are a quick, rapid process.
Harms: This is a creative process and we need to remove all of those barriers and if you are writing longhand all steps and all of the points each time and then changing it around it’s just too slow.
That’s stage four clumping, starting to bring together combining similar themes, similar tools, similar ideas, similar stories into these clumps and then we move into stage five which is ordering.
We are going to order the clumps we have just made.
Let’s say we have three or four Post-it notes here all around creating a product for your market. This is the idea that you’re going to be discussing, so you have a method for creating a product, you have a story about creating a product you have maybe an anecdote about your first product, which was rubbish and therefore you have learning moments.
These are all clumped together in this product creation.
What we are going to start doing in stage five is ordering these clumps into a natural order.
This will be a few Post-it notes stuck together and moving them up and down within a particular step. We’re going to give you a rough structure within a step. This is not the structure of a course; this is you’ve got at the top the name of your steps.
Step one business for example, and then you’re going to have Post-it notes underneath.
This is a one method for ordering the clumps within those steps; it’s not the whole course.
It’s one step.
Kyle: The purpose of this is to create a course section within step one that is engaging, allows you to distil all this information in a way that’s digestible, it’s not repetitive, it is boring.
That’s the reason we are sharing this sort of structure with you again the structure is a guideline, it’s not a you must do this, but the assumption again is this may be the first course, and it is your first course, then feel free to use the structure and then adapt it on your second, third, fourth.
By the time you’ve done your 10th expert course out there in the world you’ll have your own formula. Here’s a rough structure that you can adopt so number one is a 10-step process.
Number one is what I’m going to show you.
You may want to tell them stage two which is how I learnt it and I learnt it because this is the current situation I’m in. I wasn’t always in that situation. I was doing something else. I transitioned but now I’m in that situation which is why I learnt and am open to sharing it with.
Now let’s dive into a tool and techniques number three.
Maybe your first tool, the first technique or the first method you would like to share with them. Number four may be a story or an exercise.
You may ask your listener to take a pause. Or you may share a story or anecdote analogy at this stage.
Number five is going into number two, and then again off the back of the tool you present them with another story to reinforce the learning.
Another analogy to reinforce the learning or it could be an exercise for to again reinforce learning. That’s the technique there, give them something logical and give them something emotional to then anchor back to that story so they don’t forget it.
Number seven, eight is a repeat process of the same thing.
Method number three, tool three, technique three and again a story, exercise analogy to help solidify that within the learning.
Finally number nine and 10 are typically challenges that you may have come across this is you speaking to the audience directly and saying, here’s some things that people typically get hung up on.
Here are some of the things that may be a challenge or used to be a block for me, plus how to get past them.
Finally some actionables, some to do’s.
If you listen to the BBO Show at the end of the show we’ve always got one or two things to do straight off the bat. It’s nice, it allows practice for the go-getters, the action takers and the actionable could be anything. It could be to visit this blog post and read up on this subject in more detail and the blog post could be featured on your website.
Harms: We are in stage five still, which is ordering we’re moving our clumps around. That brief structure we gave you is basically an introduction which is I’m going to show you this, and this is why I am qualified to talk about it and then we do tool one or method one, tool two or method two, tool three and method three.
Within that sandwich filler we’re moving from logical this is how you do this to emotional or active.
Here’s a story about it or here’s an exercise you should do. We are alternating between different learning modalities at that point, it also means it’s less dry.
If I were just giving you three tools it’s a bit boring, so we’re breaking it up a little bit with more emotional story or anecdote. Then we round the whole thing off with, okay, I’ve given you the content here are a few things that people often get stuck on, and here’s why you shouldn’t. we’re objection busting we’re moving through common frequently asked questions and we round up with the actionable. It is just a really nice structure.
We’re trying to give you the basics but at the same time, it’s possible for us to talk about what we are doing now, which can be confusing, but at least you can see that we are using the same methods of teaching as well and we’re giving you the good stuff basically.
Kyle: Stage six which is probably the most difficult one for most people which is cutting.
The best way to think about this is when you are clearing out your wardrobe at the end of the season and thinking about what do I give away to charity?
What do I sell?
What do I throw away?
It is all about how we now cut away things that shouldn’t be there and don’t serve the original message that can distract the audience and the learning outcome.
But also take away from the journey. If you remember the journey is an entry-level product which takes them from a core product to a premium product that you have to offer.
Anything which distracts them from that process will also lower your conversions in the long run.
Remember with this with your ideas with your stories, etcetera what we’re going to be doing is yes if you take a Post-it note off the wall here and it’s not going in this step, that can go on another course that can go in a blog article, then go somewhere else like.
It doesn’t have to live in this course, if it is truly precious it can live somewhere else and it can be used for content elsewhere.
We’re not really losing anything. Right now we are just editing and making sure the flow of this particular course is the most efficient way to teach somebody, to build trust and build your authority.
So cutting anything that is not needed we need to get rid of it.
This is the hard thing to do.
One useful thing to do is to look at the learning outcome. So what’s at the top?
What’s on that step one?
Refer to the learning outcome and the name of the step that you’re working on is irrelevant. If not then you can probably take that out, put that Post-it note elsewhere.
Another really useful way to do this is you’ve clumped everything together and then you have three or four Post-it notes that don’t clump with anything else.
They don’t really fit anywhere you really want to put them in but you don’t know where to put them. Cut them, they go out.
If they do not fit into those other clumps then they’re going to end up as just pieces of information floating around and get in the way of the through line. That’s another benefit of having the Post-it note approach is that you can immediately see, I call them orphans, the orphan notes they don’t really go anywhere.
That’s not me being mean about kids, it’s from programming SEO. If you have these Post-it notes that don’t fit in this particular structure, we can keep them for another time.
And if they’re really valuable maybe they become their own blog article, video.
If they are really useful, they could become their own course further down the line, but right now they don’t fit within the structure.
The core question is does this help the learning outcome?
Does this help the audience member with the specific learning outcome if the answer is yes, it stays in. If the answer is no it stays out and we’re even being ruthless to the point if it’s maybe then it goes.
The next stage now is stage seven so image on your wall or table you’ve got these steps. Step one, step two, step three within the steps now we’ve got clumps and they’re ordered in order that we are happy with, we’ve removed things that don’t serve.
We’ve done a cutting process but now we’re faced with a different challenge, which is step one has loads of things, step two has a couple of things and step three has even more than step one.
So something within this step-by-step process for this course looks unbalanced.
What we call stage seven is balancing out the course so it’s consistent, each step has the same level of effort required by the audience and the person producing it.
Harms: We want consistency throughout, so we want people to turn up each week for the lesson or to watch the lesson on that schedule and for it to be roughly the same amount of time. Imagine how annoying it would be if you go to class and one day it’s 20 minutes and the next day is two hours long, and then the next one is 50 minutes it would just be very confusing.
The actual length doesn’t matter if you set the expectations and your lessons are an hour long and they are an hour long every single time, fine.
That’s not going to be for everybody, and that’s another debate about the length of content. But in your lesson, your course, your masterclass the main thing is consistency.
That’s why we can look at the Post-it notes and we can see if they’re balanced.
Harms: What happens if they’re not balanced?
Kyle: There’s a couple of things you can do.
The first would be if there are any clumps that can go to another stage, then you can do that. That’s nice and simple.
However, if you see something massively dramatically different as we just talked about. Like a hundred Post-it notes in step one, 20 in step two and 200 in step three.
Chances are there what we need to do is break up, step three, which has 200 notes that needs to break into step three and four and that’s going to help balance out and then maybe step two, which only has 20 notes in this example should be subsumed into step one for example. It’s going to depend or you create more content for step two but you need to at this point make a decision because you’re looking at it and step three has this amount of content.
Step two has one tenth of the content. Is step two as important to step three?
Chances are it is not. The main thing here is we can rebalance by adding new content or removing content.
We can split steps or we can combine steps, but at the end we want everything to be roughly the same length roughly the same amount of ideas and tools and techniques.
Kyle: This is why we do encourage you to try and get this down to a three step, four step process from the get go, because if you are in this scenario now you will be going from a three-step system course to a four-step course.
You’ll have them to expand the steps.
At this stage if you have to that’s great. What we’re not doing is going from an eight step up to a 10 step, 12 steps.
We’ve narrowed it down to the worst case at this stage if you’re realising actually, this step could be divided into two topics now is a good time to do that.
The reason for balance is important for consistency and the expectation and just having a course which also visually looks right. Moving onto the final stage, stage eight.
Harms: Once you have all your steps up there with all the ideas underneath and it’s looking roughly balanced and they’re nicely structured, you basically have your course and you have it down.
It’s just not in a very useful format right now it’s covering your fridge. It’s not a very efficient way to deliver your course and because it’s a bit messy so what we’re going to do in stage eight is we convert all of this work into a syntax.
It’s basically a reforming of the format so that we have a document that we can use that we have in front of us, which we can use in the delivery of our course because the Post-it notes are great for structuring the course, they’re not great for delivering.
Harms: The first question is what is a syntax?
It’s your crib sheet. It’s your flashcards, quick reference guide. It’s your blueprint and I’m using a few names there because each of those means something different to somebody else.
But what it essentially is going to be doing is taking all of the information that we now organised in stage one to seven and solidifying that into one place, one go to document which provides you the same outcome that a quick reference guide will allow you to do.
One of the key things is it is not to take all of these notes and turn that into a whole script like you’re writing a book. That’s a lengthy process, but it’s quite important to differentiate between a script and prompts.
So what we are looking for are prompts which live in our syntax not a script.
My personal viewpoint for that is because if you think about the written word it’s very different to the spoken word.
The way I’ve experienced it as an audience member, if I listen to an author dictate their book to me via audible or audiobook it’s great, but it is as if I am reading along.
It’s not natural, but it’s as if I’m reading the book, just digesting it in audio format. We want to avoid that, what we want to do is get your natural voice and by doing that, your personality naturally shines as well.
Kyle: Plus you’re an expert, remember this is off the back of an expert funnel. If somebody asked you a question about any information within your particular expertise you’d be able to answer quite freely and easily.
The tendency to try to make a script is like a comfort blanket.
However, we’re much better we’re much more engaging if somebody just asked the question and we’re like I know this, we can do that very easily.
We’re going to be doing that using the syntax instead of preparing everything advanced as it is so dull and it takes forever.
Kyle: If you’re thinking preparation is important, you’ve started the preparation process that has already begun. You’ve been preparing, you’re the expert, these are your ideas, we’ve just given you a structure.
All of that is your information so every time you go through this stage it’s becoming more solidified in your mind for the point when you deliver.
Why do we need a syntax?
We’ve roughly mentioned it, but just to keep it clean it takes the thinking and creating part of the course and leaves that on paper, document text, which now allows you to free your mind up for the delivery.
So all the creation thinking part is done and that’s stage one.
We want to prepare ourselves for the delivery stage.
What we don’t want to do in the delivery stage is think I should have done this instead. Done it’s on the syntax we’re now rolling with that information and then we can focus on delivering.
It allows us to be able to focus on the delivery, which is hard enough, that’s setting up the camera, speaking to camera, having the syntax, all of that becomes a different challenge in itself which we will help you overcome.
But that’s what the syntax allows to do. It’s converting the structure into a syntax.
We’ve got the order of things.
What we want to do is convert that structure, which is currently Post-it notes, convert that into what we call a syntax. We spoke about why we use a syntax, why it’s important and where it allows you to focus which is the delivery not the creation.
Everybody prefers a different mechanism but to keep it very simple where the syntax will live will either be in a handwritten grid format or a word document or Excel document.
My preference is word because I like the table format.
Now think about opening a word document and you’re going to create a table with four columns and lots and lots of rows. In these columns are the following headers and remember we’re turning the structure into a document now.
Heading one is timing. Heading two is the section, heading three is the content and heading four is the notes.
Now what you put in here will ultimately be up to you that’s the reality of it, but my suggestion for each section is column one is the timing.
Timing is critical because you are an expert and there’s no doubt you can talk about this topic for days and days, but the audience at this entry point does not have days to spend with you. Let’s think about putting some rough times in there don’t become too anal about it.
We’re talking about like five minutes or 10 minutes.
Round the times.
Column two now is the section. It’s up to you how you want to break the section down, my suggestion is you’ve got 10 different clumps under the main topic.
Each of those clumps will become a section. So now I’ll take that and start to populate it in sections. You’re going to have 10 rows for each of those sections.
Kyle: The next row is the content.
This is where rather than have a script we have bullet points to remind us and prompt us within each of those sections.
Let’s take tool or technique number one, you’ll title what that is for you.
For us it might be finding out how big my audience is. That becomes a section now in that section.
I may want to talk about three or four things again we’re not going to write a paragraph. I’m going to put three, four bullets that remind me of the sequence that I want to speak about things in and also what I actually want to talk about within that section.
It is no more than that.
The temptation will be to write a script just to avoid it, avoid the paragraphs or the sentences sticking to a bullet point.
Sometimes you may want to include a quote, the name of a book by all means put the whole quote in as it may be easy just to read it off, statistics and figures as well.
The final header is notes.
Notes may be anything from using this prop, it could be as simple as remember to show them the sticky notes as an example. It is a reminder for you for prompts.
Kyle: It is really useful if there are two of you.
If you’re doing a two hander while Harminder is talking about something I could be pulling up a screen share on my laptop or when I’m talking he does this a lot, he’ll be drawing a diagram on a piece of paper.
You can add that thing in the notes like okay while I’m reading this bit, you should be doing this part.
It’s generally going to be whatever logistical things you should be doing.
Now we’ve taken you through an eight stage process where the final stage is you have something permanent on paper, the sticky pad notes have gone, you’ve got your document which is a permanent document now which will allow you to organise your thoughts, in preparation to deliver your course.
That’s phenomenal those eight steps I think can be used on any course.
Harms: A lot of this stuff seems common sense but when people first begin putting together their very first course, it’s a bit overwhelming.
You do need a step by step-by-step. If some of this does seem quite obvious I hope that’s because we’ve delivered it in a very step-by-step method and that you’re sitting there thinking well this is easy.
I can do this if that’s the case, fantastic we’ve done our job.
Kyle: Everything is obvious once you’ve heard it.
By working smart and using a structure like this you’re going to save time because the aim of this is how do you go from an idea to a course as quickly as possible?
You can build this in a week easily.
Once you’ve got it down to a syntax it’s there, that is your course.
It’s like a simplified script without having spent the entire process of writing this book, that’s not the purpose here.
It’s getting it simple, actionable.
Harms: Syntax in of itself is a really powerful asset because we can deliver that in multiple forms that could be the syntax for in-person workshops you deliver where each session is an hour long and you teach people a day.
It could be the syntax for an online course, that’s what we’re going to be focusing on.
It could be the syntax for an audio course it can go in many, many, many different directions. The creative process and the distilling down into the syntax has created something that’s very valuable.
Kyle: Again the fact that it is now permanent and lives on a document somewhere means it can be used again and again and again, rather than relying on memory.
Final to do is very simple, which is to convert your ideas into the syntax and have a final permanent piece of work that you can start to use to deliver your course and work through those eight stages.
Now this won’t be an overnight thing it takes you time, but certainly by the end of the week you will have the A to B process.
The one to 10 steps in order for you to actually go ahead and start to create your first course, from idea to delivery and then to sale.
How to film your first course, confidence and finally making the announcement
Harms: We’re talking about how to build your first course which will live as an entry point within your expert business funnel. With the end result being you get clients paying for your premium services whether that’s coaching, mentoring consulting, you have a package to sell, a premium product to sell whatever it is.
This is a great mechanism specially for an expert funnel in order to allow an entry point for clients and that’s where we are.
Specifically, we are now on the point where we are taking what we discussed with all our ideas which would be forming our course and we turned it into a syntax via an eight-stage process.
Let’s assume now that we have that syntax in place which is a snapshot of a permanent document. It highlights sections of your particular course and also what the content is.
Remember, this is not a script.
These are just bullet points, prompts, flashcards to just prompt us and sequence the order of the course. We are assuming at this point you have a syntax.
Now we’re going to be bulking up the course and getting it almost to a final product, a final MVP minimum viable product.
Not a perfectly polished product.
Kyle: We structured our course, we’ve got everything step-by- step and that became lesson one, lesson two, lesson three guiding people through teaching about our expertise about our knowledge and really providing a massive amount of value to people who want to learn from us and potential customers.
We have set down the body of this course, we have the steps, what we didn’t do is put an introduction on the front or conclusion on the end.
There’s good reason for that, we first need to know what the structure of the whole course was. Now we know what that is, now that we have this syntax in place we can loopback add the introduction and we can add the conclusion as well.
Harms: Because the danger of doing it the other way is if you create an introduction and a conclusion.
It’s almost like everything you put in between there has to abide by what you introduce and abide by what your conclusion is.
It’s not quite like writing an article or a piece of work where you say this is the conclusion of my hypothesis, and you discuss around that point. We are doing something similar in the sense that we have a problem statement to solve and the course answers that problem statement.
But now to actually provide an introduction i.e. what you are going to learn in my course today will be this and the conclusion it can naturally be put at the end.
The conclusion may be very simply the fact that we are talking about problem solving and hopefully by this point, it’s now solved via the stages.
So think of it like that , the introduction conclusion comes last not first.
The introduction and conclusion are important but after the main body of work.
Kyle: We write them after everything is said and done.
What I did want to point out is that they do not need to be the same length as whole lessons, so let’s say each of your lessons each of your steps within the body of your course takes an hour, for example.
You do not need your introduction or conclusion to take an hour.
Regardless of whether these are pre-recorded videos or live session or if you have people in the room, regardless of this, you shouldn’t spend this much time on the introduction or conclusion just because while doing that, yes, you’re framing the course but you are not delivering the actual value, the actual content that people are there for.
We’re going to keep these relatively short, you do not need to overview absolutely everything.
You just need to give guidance on where we are going.
Kyle: You should be adding the introduction and the conclusion to your syntax.
We do want to add them into that document but they don’t need to take as much space as a whole lesson.
I would recommend putting the introduction section at the beginning of lesson one so you have your introduction, framing the whole course and then you say now we’re going to get into lesson one.
Harms: Add it to your syntax and then you’ve got that document so you don’t have to continue to think about what’s my introduction going to be, it’s already there on paper.
The next question at this point is how do we deliver this course?
One is delivery, but also how do we film it?
That forms part of that delivery.
Kyle: For context we are going to be doing this via Facebook live. I’m going to go through chronologically how we do this.
We’re going to be doing it through a Facebook group. We could go through the dozens of different methods for delivering your content but we’re going to use one.
This is your first course. It’s a pilot, remember it’s an MVP minimum viability product.
It does not need to be perfect; it needs to be done. We’re going to release that product, get feedback and then we will adapt.
Basically, we’re going to be setting up a Facebook group, we will be getting the students in the group go and then we’re going to be delivering to that group using Facebook live.
We are going to be talking about the technical, how we get people in the group. But that is the basic shape, we set up a Facebook group.
We get people into the Facebook group and then we deliver using Facebook live into that same group. That’s it. That’s the framework we are going to use.
Harms: When we work with some clients they are working on a television show for example, it has genuinely taken them eight months to get a couple of series filmed.
Whereas an equivalent production timeline could be somebody just shooting live there and there. Very similar to the BBO Show video show with all of his life. I can’t imagine the amount of work involved.
Kyle: The key here is for you to get the work done so we need to remove as many barriers as possible and if we’re removing things like editing and uploading and creating a website, we are removing the barriers between you and an audience.
The people you need to deliver value to.
We’re going to start teaching ASAP.
Once you’ve delivered the content live that content can be repackaged, that content can be downloaded. We can package them, edit them, tidy it up and make an ebook. We can do so much with it.
Once we have finished the first draft and the first draft is what we’re doing now to you, talking to you via Facebook live or YouTube live and we are asking you to do exactly the same thing you do in your first draft of the course using live video.
Then based on feedback based on what works, based on what doesn’t work then you create a longer-term product we are doing exactly what we are preaching here.
Harms: The first question off the back of this is when do I deliver?
One method is you’ve got the whole syntax and you say I’m going to deliver this in one day. That’s one method, what’s a better solution for the person creating the course and the people consuming?
Kyle: I would say if you feel really excited and want to deliver it one-day, do it, go ahead that’s like your first run, your first practice.
Fantastic you’re going to have a really good asset at the end of that. However, for most people that is not going to be sustainable nor is it the best way because we’re not getting feedback as we go along.
What we suggest will be up to you and your situation but we suggest you deliver one step, one lesson of the course per week.
That tends to be the best, a month is too long, daily is too short, and a week is about right.
So why a week?
There are two different things.
We’re talking about you and the audience, so the audience gives your students time to actually assimilate the information you’re teaching and to go through the.
Remember when we did the syntax before we talked about at the end of each step of the end of each lesson we should be giving them something to do.
Getting people to take action is really the point of this course, we want them not just to sit and listen to us but to do something about it.
By spreading out over the week we can give people a week to complete the actions, they’re more likely to get them done and that means buy in with you more interest in what you’re doing.
On the flipside, you as the teacher gives you time to make adjustments, so let’s say you’re delivering a five part course and the first two weeks you find time you’re running out of time, you are not able to deliver this in an hour each week.
That means for that the next three lessons you can start to edit things out.
You can actually go through and say, okay, now I know this week I’m going to do three as that will take me to hours to deliver. It allows you to adapt on the fly.
Whereas if you just blasted through in one go you can’t make those adjustments or tweaks. This is just-in-time production, you can adapt during the process.
We’ve got practice looking at the camera now, but the tendency is because Harminder is on the screen down here, I might just be looking at Harminder rather than at the camera.
For the audience watching that creates a really weird disconnect as I am no longer really engaged with the camera up here.
These are the kinds of things if you make that mistake in week one and you watch the video or somebody tells you, week two you won’t make that mistake. Your course will get better and better and better.
If you were like the excited person at the beginning of this section and blast it out in a day.
Great, you have the course.
But imagine if you are just looking down here all the time while you are doing the course and it’s just your reading off your notes.
Yes, you’ve learnt you don’t look down here you look at the camera but you’ve put in a lot of work before you learn that, whereas we can adapt on a week by week basis by delivering a staggered schedule.
Harms: Exactly and that’s one example of not something that can go wrong but you may want to improve on. It could be a sound issue. It could be the way you’re delivering the content it’s not understandable, it could be you’re speaking too quickly.
So that doesn’t allow time to adapt, adjust, evaluate and that’s the key here.
Another thing that people sometimes wonder of is what time do I actually deliver this?
It is going to depend on your personal situation and when is the best time for you. That’s typically the caveat then the second thing would be when is the highest chance of my audience listening?
The closest you can get both of those together, the better.
There’s got to be a balance, if you keep on disrupting your personal life the likelihood of you not continuing to complete the process becomes high.
Kyle: It needs to work for you otherwise you’ll stop doing it.
Consistency is always going to win. Whatever fits in your life yes, you need to make it fit the audience as well, there might be a compromise, but ultimately if it does not fit with your schedule and you get tired of it. You will stop producing content, it doesn’t matter when the audience is online because you’re not doing it.
You become number one and the audience becomes second in this particular topic, which is what time do you deliver this, because the detrimental effect is it will annoy you, the people around you and will stop you from doing it.
Harms: Now we’re starting to build layers to it, now we’ve got an introduction, outro to our syntax.
We know when we’re delivering it, you know how to determine what time you deliver it. Again it is going to be personally dependent.
Now we’re going to announce it.
Why are we doing this so fast?
Kyle: We want to keep the momentum and excitement.
We’ve just created this amazing course we want to maintain that level of excitement and through to our potential audience.
What a lot of people do now is they have this nice nicely formatted Word document they say, I’m going to edit this and make it perfect.
A lot of people out there have this perfectional streak and you need to suppress it.
Harms: By announcing it and giving it a deadline that’s probably the best way to remove this perfectionist.
Take it at this stage, in terms of look we all want the perfect product and the first product, the reality is it’s never going to be perfect, because we haven’t had any feedback from it. It may be perfect in our mind but we can present that perfection and somebody says can you do this instead?
A way to streamline that is to have a start date which is publicly announced and that’s the best way to do it.
It also comes with another advantage which is we now start to set the expectation and make the course known to people out there in the online world.
Kyle: You could have in your head this perfect course but as soon as you go out and you meet the customer, the audience.
What they start telling you, the feedback you start getting means that you are going to make changes.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been planning your course for six months or the last week as soon as you come into contact with the market with actual people, things are going to change.
So you might as well get in contact with the audience as soon as possible rather than waste all that time creating the perfect syntax, perfect course.
Harms: It doesn’t matter because what you think is important might not align with what your audience thinks.
Then how do we announce it?
We understand that we’re going to announce it, but how do we actually announce this?
Kyle: One thing I’d advise regardless of who you announce it to announce it with a time delay.
Do that four weeks out or six weeks out, because it’s going to give you more time to get people excited about the course, get them into your group and also if you have any lingering thought about finishing up the syntax, this is the time to do it so you have plenty of time.
You don’t need to have six months and then you announce, instead you announce and you give yourself a little window to polish things.
If you’ve watched any of our videos or courses you build up an audience and we build a tribe of people.
If you have done this already this is where you announce it to, specifically into your tribe.
Hopefully if you followed all the way through we started building a course we asked the questions on what the tribe wanted to know.
Very simply go back to those people saying, I’ve created a course on what it is you wanted to know. Because they’ve been part of that creation, because you’ve listened, you built their questions into the course, they should be very easy to get on board immediately.
Generally, you are announcing to your tribe and you can announce to your audience as well and doing a course in four weeks’ time it’s going to be about this.
You can give an outline of what it is about, you have the syntax, you can talk to them about problems, solutions as you’ll have this sketched out already.
Harms: Now is a great time to talk about do I charge or not?
I would say, because this is your tribe this is a caveat here because they are your tribe there is already trust and the fact that they know you’re an expert.
The suggestion is your first pilot course, your MVP so don’t charge a crazy amount, it could just be a nominal fee that allows somebody to transact with you to make that first piece of income that first transaction online and also practice a mechanism asking for a sale online for your valuable expert knowledge.
It is a great feeling once it is done and then you open the door to more expensive products in the future, but at this stage it can start quite low.
The advantage of charging once they’ve committed funds they’re going to value the course more. They’re likely to turn up, likely to watch the videos.
This is the challenge with all of the content out there in the world, yes it is free, but only the person who really desires and a tiny percentage will see that information.
If they don’t skim it if they don’t just fast forward the content.
Charging adds a layer of value in and it means that they’re going to sit and watch it and actually attend.
Kyle: They’ll carry out the actions as well as they’re valuing the information you give them more as they have to pay for it.
They’re more likely to carry out what you suggested they do, then you’re more likely to see more success stories. If what you’re teaching is genuinely valuable by charging for it you can help people, which seems psychological.
When we’re talking about charging it’s not just for you. It’s not just your income. It will help them to achieve their goals as well because they’re going to take it more seriously.
If you do have any hang ups about charging for it think about it that way about.
Even if it is a nominal fee charging your tribe access to this course is going to help them.
Harms: Now how should somebody take payment for their course?
Kyle: Right now before we have a website, e-commerce infrastructure we’re going to use something called gum road to charge for digital products or we can use PayPal.
Right now building a whole ecommerce site and taking payments is not worth it.
We need speed in your tribe, so they know you are if you send them a PayPal link it’s going to be a lot simpler. There is enough trust for them to pay you via PayPal or Gum road if you want to set it up.
Harms: One of the challenges is what if my tribe isn’t quite there yet, what if I don’t have a tribe what do I do then?
Kyle: If you don’t have a tribe yet this is a really good time to build one because you have something of value, something to announce to people that you could take out to the world and bring people into your tribe based around the launch of this course.
You might already have professional people in your circle, people you already mentor, coach or just people peripherally around you in the professional world depending on what your business is.
If they’re interested then reach out to them and tell them that you are doing this online. That’s going to be the simplest way.
Use the fact that you’re doing a course in four weeks and the course is going to solve this problem, use that as a hook to move your audience into your tribe.
This would mean you typically may not be charging at this stage because that jump might be too steep for them, even if it’s one pound, £5, £10. It will be too steep so it can be done for free.
And that could be the hook, which takes them from the audience into tribe.
Think about what professional networks you are in, who you can email, what relationships can you leverage to launch your first course?
Kyle: Any newsletters you might be able to send to again because it’s something new you’re launching.
Harms: If it’s free then it is a no-brainer for them.
Any groups you are in are great, any existing groups that you add value to that works as well.
Another method is you can do a cold reach out to anybody who is an influencer, or you think has a large following within the industry and temporarily align yourself with them providing their audience value and also helps you launch your first MVP.
If you are charging, they may say actually I’d like you to charge for this product and I would like to take a fee.
The purpose of this remember is not to make lots of cash up front, it is to allow your customers to go through your value ladder, entry-level product to purchase something more premium from you later.
Think about the approach but it is different for everybody.
Kyle: As long as your course is valuable and you are sharing in places where the people will actually find it valuable and you’re not trying to sell something immediately.
If you just go and spam random Facebook groups that you have never interacted with then you’re going to get kicked out and you’re not going to make any conversions.
Harms: Now onto the actual delivery of the course.
Again we’re adding layers we understand about the announcement, who we’re going to announce it to, how we’re going to announce, how we are going to take payment?
Now we’ve got all of those things figured out.
It’s time to get technical with the technical details, and how we can deliver. Technically if you remember we said go live.
But that’s the technical principle, but what do you mean by Facebook live?
It is essentially taking the camera.
The simplest method is you log into Facebook and when you post something it also gives you an option to post live. It takes whatever we see on this camera and shares it live on their device, that is the mechanism.
Whereas typically somebody would have to shoot video, then upload it as a post two different things.
One has a time involved. One is instantly live broadcast.
Kyle: We can go live to the world. It’s incredible, we have the technology now.
Lots of people may not view the video in the first instance, that’s fine, but look how much time you save by avoiding the challenge of recording, uploading etc.
There is no paid software, no subscriptions.
There is nothing involved and if you don’t have the budget for a webcam as an example you can use your laptop standard webcam.
There is also the option to share your screen and do slides.
I would recommend not doing slides.
Using PowerPoint is something that people default to and I don’t think it necessarily helps their teaching.
It’s going to slow your production massively because instead of just having a syntax and starting to teach, getting the value out there now you’re suddenly spending weeks building up a slide deck slide.
They also reduce engagement. It’s you looking at slides and in the wrong hands it can be very boring. They can be useful but they need to be done well plus even then it’s going to take you time and slow you down.
We’re falling back into that specialist trap of trying to have everything ready, instead just talk to the camera.
It’s just a lot of hassle and remember this is your minimum viable product.
This is the first draft, the first full course you’re putting out the door, don’t overcomplicate it.
Harms: A cool mechanism is if you have got an iPad that can be plugged in and you can share that to your live screen.
Kyle: That’s great but I would say you’re adding additional layers of complexity, though again, unless it is entirely necessary.
Keep it simple.
Harms: That’s the live stream technique of how to do that and we suggest keeping it simple.
What about video and audio?
These are important, but one has to be more perfect than the other.
Kyle: Audio is the most important people need to hear you. If you are using the telephone microphones on these are rubbish.
You want to have a headset or you can get a podcast microphone.
Harms: The purpose of the microphone is essential as it allows you to capture a direction from your voice.
The challenge is if you don’t have a microphone focused on direction it will pick up all the environmental noise and that sounds terrible just sounds very low budget.
I think people are accustomed to not having to deal with that when it comes to audio.
Go with audio first always, video comes second video.
Kyle: Most laptops will have a good camera and on a smartphone so there is no need to go crazy about this.
It’s very easy for people to hide behind the technical stuff.
We just want you to move through that so instead of giving you basically the space to make excuses.
Just move on this stuff, don’t let it stop you.
Harms: Do not go for the most expensive item, until you do these courses regularly, comfortably, and consistently.
Then it is worth investing in some awesome tech. if there are two of you or you have a guest to guest live presentations. We use a software called Be live, there are similar things like that.
My suggestion would be to Google guest streaming software.
It is not essential, but you may want to do it and it may be worthwhile if there are two of you. It adds a whole different level of dynamic if you’re by yourself just go straight to Facebook.
Harms: That’s the technical side, what about actually going live during the teaching part and what if there is a challenge with confidence.
Kyle: This is the other big objection.
People come to us with technical objections but really the big objection is confidence, you can hide behind the PowerPoint etc but the real block is the person.
They don’t want to go on camera, they don’t want to speak to people and I get that.
It’s a skill like any other skill you’ve got to practice and when you start it’s going to be rubbish and you’re going to hate it.
But you will get better.
If you want a safe way to do that you can do Facebook and YouTube lives outside of the course environment that’s the best way to build up confidence levels.
Harms: A good tip is to buddy up with somebody who you trust and you can go live in front of.
This doesn’t mean a one-to-one FaceTime.
What you do is you create a private Facebook group, completely separate and give it a name. Harms practising going live to a group, that’s the name and it’s known as a secret group, which means only somebody who’s searched that specific name, or gets invited can join that group.
The practice of going live on a Facebook group using the technical stuff we spoke about and potentially somebody watching it was enough for them to practice and get really good at it.
Kyle: It is also not that different from FaceTime.
So yes, you might say thousands of people are going to see me. Initially they won’t.
They’re not all going to see you but if you’re doing it to the course as well remember, the people are in your course because they trust your expertise, they’re there for your value and your knowledge and they’re going to respect you for that.
Harms: If you are really struggling with the fact that there is no way I can do this because look at the amazing people out there.
But one tip I’ll give you is to scroll back 10 years ago, five years ago to when they started YouTube or Facebook lives, you will see that they were rubbish it’s not an opinion.
Compared to where they are now they appear rubbish but back then they were great, they were great at doing what they did back then.
They just got better and better and better through practice so use the fact that they started on the first step as a piece of encouragement that somebody who I look up to and say they’ve done amazing in video actually started like this.
Same thing with celebrities, actors, actresses in their film versus what they are now. I am looking at two different actors and actresses here.
Don’t compare yourself to somebody who is at their perceived end destination.
Compare yourself to where they were at the start, it will motivate you to get started. If you’re recording yourself you can let yourself off the hook because you can now look back and say how that wasn’t good enough, I’ll do another take.
Live video does not let you off the look so if you stumble, repeat yourself, doesn’t matter if you continue onto your next sentence.
The live video will take five minutes. The recorded one I would say count how many times you stop recording and start again.
Kyle: It will take a long time whereas with live video you might stumble, but at the end of the day you’re a person.
That’s why these people are attracted to you and your tribe because you’re a person.
The fact you might stumble over a word does not mean you don’t have a massive amount of valuable expert information and knowledge.
You are important to them in this course.
Harms: They’re not buying your course because they want it perfect they’re buying into your course as they want to know what’s in your head.
They want access to you, your knowledge, and the service you provide.
Kyle: Interestingly enough the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ gives a higher level of intimacy and authenticity than a fully polished, beautiful, corporate video, where somebody is delivering a message.
It makes the personality of the person more attractive and you find yourself wanting to do business with them or learn more from them, whereas if it is fully professional, I think less and less that polish professional look works.
Harms: There are pros and cons of both but for you at a starting point this is the quickest way, we’re talking about five minutes versus multiple takes versus production workflow.
Kyle: Personally from my point of view I record lots of courses and audio courses. I used to hate the sound of my own voice, I’m still not particularly comfortable with it.
Editing my audio and video used to be an absolute nightmare.
The first course I produced took 10 hours teaching Chinese, reading, writing, and having to record all of that, edit it, it took months and months and months.
It was utter anguish and eventually I got over myself, but it took a very long time.
Whereas if I’d done live it would have been a lot quicker.
I would have been able to move through to get to the comfort level faster.
That’s why we recommend it to everybody.
Once you get through, once you take the plunge and start doing live video as you get used to it, the quantity, and the quality of the content you can produce skyrockets.
Harms: We’ve also taken the pressure off because we’re not talking to a script, there is no preparation.
All we’re doing is using that syntax we prepared and allowing that to allow us to recall expert knowledge in our mind.
It is already there we’re not coming up with new things that we were never aware of.
You could probably talk about if for days.
Your challenge is going to be keeping it concise.
The purpose of the syntax is just to remind you of what you need to talk about at this moment in time when you deliver the live session.
The first session our suggestion is that you print the syntax rather than having it on a computer because you may end up just being fixated on syntax and forget that someone’s watching you on the camera.
Have it printed off and let the audience know I’ve got some amazing notes to share with you. Don’t hide it.
Allow that to be your point of reference then bring yourself back to the camera to deliver that point.
At no point do we hide it, allow it to prompt you, never ever a script.
Again I occasionally glance at my notes, my syntax and say okay that is what I want to share here.
Kyle: With syntax we have got one side where you memorise the whole speech, whole and then the other side we have reading a script.
We are in the middle but we have our notes so we can look there and then we have our point and it’s so natural.
Reading off a script has zero engagement so syntax should allow you to be a lot more comfortable in a live environment in the format.
Harms: The big one to start with is keep looking at the camera, don’t look at yourself, that could be a prompt.
If you do it now and then it’s not the end of the world. But try bringing yourself back to that and it will become natural.
You won’t be able to speak to anybody but the camera.
Kyle: The big tip is just to do it. All these tips will help you iron out kinks.
Harms: We spoke about schedules. When should I deliver this?
We specifically said weekly is a good suggestion and at a time that suits you first, that’s important otherwise you’ll end up not doing it.
Then we spoke about announcing the course, let’s go ahead and announce a course we can do this to our tribe directly, or we can do it as a hook to get people into our tribe.
Another thing within announcing is how we take payment and how do we set the expectation for the start date. We recommended doing about four weeks out to give you some preparation time and then when the four weeks comes we can take payment leading up to that.
We mentioned very simply to use something simple as PayPal, people are familiar.
We then spoke about going live as the main mechanism for delivery.
We spoke about the tech audio and video and some budgeting starting points.
Finally teaching techniques.
The most important thing that you need to be aware of for your first course, things will evolve and we also spoke about overcoming some of the barriers actually going live in front of the camera.
Confidence, objections, and hopefully scenarios, situations we’ve been in that can help.
Don’t compare yourself to somebody who seems to be at the end of the game compare yourself to what they were like at the starting point.
That’s a good starting point to motivate you to actually climb the mountain, otherwise it is pretty tough.
Actions from today are if you have not done it yet to finish the syntax of what we spoke about, adding an introduction and conclusion that will give you a nice finish syntax.
Start to populate your times.
Then the second thing is to set yourself a deadline, go ahead and announce the course for four weeks’ time, five weeks’ time whatever suits you.
But give yourself time for you to take payments, to announce it, for you to get people to sign up to the course and in this instance, that means joining a Facebook group for where you will publish the course and present it live.
That is it, finish the syntax and announce the course that will get you going, some public accountability as well.
Converting your live course into a product for automatic income
Harms: We have spoken about what to create, how to create it, how to deliver it, how to teach, the confidence involved, the technical aspects involved, including the fact that you’ve actually got a physical document now.
Plus a first production of your course which was shot live in play, so you’ve got these permanent assets in fixture, one is a syntax which is a structure of the course, which is permanent.
Also, we have the video out there which was hosted in a Facebook group with social learning units and now that exists, that’s also a physical asset that is out there.
This has now given you the blueprint, the steps on exactly how to do that.
Now thinking about how to turn this into a product that we can use again and again and again and make money from again and again.
Kyle: We are going to take all the work we’ve been doing, all the Ip that we’ve been creating and turn it into a proper product.
You might be thinking I’ve just delivered the course, I made money, isn’t that a product?
The thing here is that the product and a service are not the same.
This has become confusing more recently because of digital and because of online.
It used to be a product that was something physical, something you can hold in your hand tangible and a service was intangible. Somebody coming to your house to help you clean it is a service.
However, the line between product and service has become blurred because now when I buy a product online it’s not the same as having something I can hold in my hand.
It might be a pdf file so it’ s not tangible, it’s a bit different. It’s useful to get a recap of what products are and what services are.
A more useful definition nowadays is a service that every time I sell a service it’s something that I need to spend time doing.
If I were doing one on one consultations with a client that would be a service because I need to every single week or every month sit down on skype or zoom or whatever and talk to them.
That takes my time whereas a product I do not need to. If I write a book and sell a book that is a product somebody’s purchased from me. I’m not needed to read the book for them. I’m not needed to hang over their shoulders and say this is a good bit.
My time is disconnected from the product, whereas with a service I continue to put time into it.
We want to be moving towards a product.
Harms: A product allows scalability which means we can get this one item out to an unlimited amount of people essentially without us having to spend more time.
When you talk about time and scalability if you were talking about the service sector very much the best way to scale time is to hire more people. That comes with its own challenges, own business infrastructure required salaries, employees, training.
Whereas that’s scalable in the service industry or as a service.
A product doesn’t require the hiring of more people, you can reach more people because you have a product which is a digital product.
Kyle: Even if you hire your staff members just like you, they only have 24 hours in the day, there’s always going to be a limit.
There is a time limit whereas if I suddenly had a million customers wanting to use my coaching services I would need to hire a lot of people it doesn’t become possible at that point.
Whereas if I can sell a million copies of the book, absolutely it doesn’t take me that much more work as I’ve written the book and the publishers doing a lot of scaling for me there or if it’s digital, I just sell a million of the book that’s done.
We are moving more towards this product now.
Harms: The goal is therefore to create a product that.
We appreciate there’s going to be a service to sell but you can sell the service later down the line for a much more premium price point than you probably are selling now if you follow this particular model.
Right now the focus is to create a product.
They may ask us a question which is why we just create a nice shiny fancy for a while. So why didn’t we create the product?
Why are we putting you through this process, these eight stages?
The fact that we shot it live, why did we do that method rather than just create it?
Kyle: We started by providing a service, we did a live service to the people we were teaching. Why did we do that?
In fact, a few days ago we said do not build a product. Do not build a beautiful shiny clean final perfect version of this course, we’ve told you not to build a product and now we are telling you, you should have a product.
I can understand if you’re annoyed here the problem with creating a product straight out of the gate is that the amount of time and energy and work it takes means that most people do not complete the product, they never ship it.
You’ve probably got a novel in your head that you haven’t written down as it is such a big and insurmountable task, we either don’t start or we start we give up.
What we have done is given you a framework that you can push through the creative process, so that at the end, you’re left with the course you’ve taught it to people, you have a syntax which is a document which is your intellectual property on a piece of paper.
You have recordings of your course.
We have the foundational elements for a product because we pushed through and we did a service first.
The lean methodology is what we are applying here. We are using this first draft, the first live course we developed and delivered already we’re using this as a learning tool.
We can learn what worked and what didn’t work, what could we improve, what can we cut entirely.
We can learn from doing this first draft and then add those learnings and add those improvements into our final product.
The final product is going to be much, much more powerful, much stronger when we take it to market.
Harms: Which leads us onto the question what can we learn from this and buying learning those things we ultimately understand how we can improve this.
The best thing to do is focus on, let’s look at the ways in which we can collect information in order to improve this first draft.
At this stage we’ve got a syntax, minimum viable product.
How do we take this minimum viable product to the next level?
The first thing to consider when understanding how to improve a product that you created is by collecting feedback.
There is one quick way to collect feedback which is to survey your current students, people who have purchased your course. Maybe they subscribed to it, maybe they joined your group.
You can essentially survey these people with two mechanisms that both have the same output, but it depends what you system you currently use.
You could use a google form to survey them or use a tool like survey monkey, both have free mechanisms.
We personally use the google ecosystem but survey monkey is great as well, they create pretty looking forms. You can send those questionnaires to the people who have essentially sat your course.
What’s important is the questions you ask them, there are obvious ones.
What did you like about the course and what didn’t you like about the course?
They’re great but they are very general and you may not get the specific elements you want to help improve the course. You’re just going to get a general answer back.
We can ask some more useful question things like, where did you struggle?
What lessons seem too fast? What lesson seemed to be too overwhelming? Did you fall behind at any point if so at what point did you fall behind? Why did you fall behind?
Asking very specific questions like that to your first course attendees allows us to make adjustments very, very quickly. You don’t have to take everything on board.
The idea is to survey.
It is also removing the anomalies from the situation; you’re always going to have an extremely happy customer and the other end of that which is an extremely unhappy customer.
They love you and they hate those two are amazing and they come with their own negatives.
What we’re looking for are the people in between. People who rate us, two, three, four stars out of five, not interested in the one stars or five stars.
They don’t tell us much because they were either pissed or they were just so in love with us, two extremes great but not really useful.
The people in between and their rational reviews are useful.
Kyle: It is the amount of evidence that stacks up pointing in a certain direction, you can ignore one person as everyone is going to be different and subjective.
But when a lot of people are saying the same thing it’s time to really have a think about making a change.
Harms: Adapting and that is the whole point, it is the first product.
What’s another mechanism we can use to improve what we’ve got?
Kyle: Asking people direct questions is great but many respondents are not going to give you particular truthful answers or they might not even bother to fill out a survey and so it’s relatively limited.
You’re only going to get a surface level of information.
What you can do is also look for customer and audience feedback that they’re not directly telling you, we’re going to read between the lines here.
One really useful thing in Facebook and Facebook groups in particular we can look at the analytics data of the videos and see how many people watched our videos, what the average watch time is and I think we can see when people dropped off.
We can see very granular information about how people interacted with our particular course material so we don’t have to ask them what they found boring; we can see halfway through this 30-minute video 30% of the audience tuned out.
What was happening there that made them bored?
We’re looking at the data instead of asking people.
How long each video is watched is really useful. That’s going to give you a comparable metric for how much engagement is across your course.
If you have 10 videos across your course and people watch 100% initially and then 90%, then 80%, 60% et cetera you can see there’s a drop off over the course and that gives you information you can act on.
Whatever it is to get people through the whole course so read between the lines look at the data and you’ll be able to gain more information than just asking people.
Harms: It will give you the data but it is up to you still turn to say something is not right there.
What could that be?
Harms: Another mechanism to use and it is not overwhelming it’s very much a self-reflection process that is going to be self-awareness.
Being able to take yourself and it’s an extremely difficult thing to do especially because the way we are wired and hopefully everybody does love themselves, but we are wired to love ourselves in the sense that it is very hard to be critical of ourselves.
It is very hard to look at ourselves objectively and ask powerful questions and essentially we want to take ourselves out of ourselves and imagine looking at our course from an objective viewpoint.
Or if you were a student going through the course and someone else is teaching it how would that change your viewpoint here?
Put yourself into somebody else’s eyes, position yourself as a student, somebody interested in the subject but maybe watching this for the first time, just remove the fact that you are the person who delivered the course out the scenario and then you’re going to start to get an objective view.
It is tough as we’re being very self-critical, but for the purpose of improving our course and the best course is the best people out there are constantly doing this, whether it’s journaling in the morning, evening and a part of that process is how can I be better?
How can I show up better?
Where am I not showing up fantastically?
Where am I showing fantastically?
It is using those techniques and mindfulness tools out there to allow self-awareness.
We’re going to focus and direct this on our course that we have created specifically.
Are there any places whether it is in the syntax or when you watch the course is there anything I could have explained clearly?
Did I go off on a tangent which wasn’t linked to what I was speaking about?
Because remember this was filmed live, so it’s great and it allows you to explore this mechanism of live production.
Were there areas which you explained but did it make sense?
Any points which may take a very long time to explain which could have been simplified into a couple of sentences. At the same time were there any complex points or things that you felt were rushed?
Did that point need a diagram?
As you are going through this course did it follow the natural sequence or do you have to rejig the sequence?
I think the most powerful question here is if I were going to immediately as of today and tomorrow teach this course again, how, and what would I change in it?
These questions help support that question because ultimately we’re going to take our minimum viable product which we’ve created, take the feedback and take these learnings to improve and actually go ahead and do a second run of this course.
Which is massively exciting.
We’ve got feedback, ways to improve, potentially already got cash from this course, we have people who have watched the course again proof of concept, that there is a demand for this knowledge.
Now it is about taking it up to the next level that is exciting.
What is that next level?
Kyle: Quickly on these reflections on feedback, etcetera from a technical point of view you should be trying to make notes into your syntax.
If you are watching through your videos for example, and something doesn’t really hit home or needs a graphic image you can make a note on your syntax.
Harms: I think, have another column that says improvements or enhancements whatever word feels right for you.
That becomes another column and as you’re watching you can update the syntax.
Kyle: Then we’re going to feed that back, improve and go for our second run, which we’re about to talk about now.
We are going to create a product, we have the raw materials we have all the bits we need; we’re just going to rebuild and we are going to create something that we are proud to release into the world.
Probably for a higher price point and to a much wider market, so this is an exciting opportunity here and we’ve done a lot of the hard work already to be honest, a lot of the hard work you’ve done most of the creation.
The ultimate goal here is we want a nice clean video course, live is great, but it’s not gritty, it’s authentic.
When we stumble over a concept for example, you get to see that in a live setting like this live video is fine, because you’re seeing we’re human beings, but if you are creating a product, then it’s okay to be more polished.
We create something that’s cleaner. It doesn’t have the mistakes of getting distracted.
Even visually one of us might blur out slightly that’s the wi-fi connection.
Kyle: Audio will sometimes become a bit static so we’re going to remove all of that, the ugly parts of the process and we’re going to be creating something more precise to the point and it’s going to be taking people from A to B in the most efficient, clean manner possible.
We are experts showing people how to get from where they are now to where they want to be and that is the core of this education and we’re showing our expertise and skills, knowledge by taking them on this educational journey.
When you create a product ultimately that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to create a cleaner, faster, more efficient pathway from A to B.
Harms: When you look at it back in self-reflection, you probably may say there are improvements to be made, but not so drastic that this live course doesn’t work as a product.
So by all means if your live course is created and you look back and say it’s good to go, that can be packaged up.
We’ve done this with a certain course.
We run certain courses live and we’re like we can’t sell that as a product.
Whereas other times we’ve filmed live and as the content was so solid, so precise and to the point, each lesson is exactly an hour. That kind of mechanism we packaged that up and immediately sold it as a product.
Again it’s going to be a gut call here, maybe you have a third party look at it and say yeah that looks good to me.
But if you don’t then this will be the suggestion.
Kyle: If you went through the whole process we just talked about collecting feedback and self-reflection and there are big changes that need to be made, if you can get people from A to B quicker and more efficiently, then that’s probably the main reason why you would want to re-record.
But if you’ve nailed it, everyone loved it and when you watch it back you’re thinking it is very good then just package that up and release it.
Harms: The next question is, let’s create a second run of this course, let’s take our learnings and take it up another level because I love the idea of this product out in the world.
The question is how do we do that?
Number one in regards to how we do that is exactly the same thing you’ve done, but this time the message is tighter.
Syntax is cleaner and we’re doing another live course.
It is the fastest way to dive back in, the fastest way to produce a level two. You can get your current customer base free access for the second version and then resurvey them, so again they’re a part of the process of improvement.
Essentially what we’re going here is filming it the same way doing it again live, but this time you’ve practised it, you’ve created it.
You look back on it, get feedback, sharpened up the syntax and now going again.
Kyle: The more you do it the more practice you’ll get, the same if you’re giving a keynote speech.
The first time you give that keynote will be fine but maybe you stutter over certain parts, you get a bit confused it is not polished and it’s not fully resonating.
Second time it’s going to be better, third time is going to be even better and it’s going to increase as you tighten and polish your content and your ability to communicate with the audience.
Exactly the same here we will just continue to deliver.
If you are doing this, make sure you’re charging because what we’re doing is providing a continued service.
We are going out to our audience and tribe saying, once a month or once every couple of months I’m going to be launching this course, it costs this much money. You shouldn’t necessarily be doing this as a free course running every single month, for example.
This is not really a product that is continuing to run it as a service, so make sure that you are continuing to pay for it.
Harms: One of the objections here is didn’t I give it free to people to start with?
Yes, you did remember these are the people you gave a free gift to because they were early adopters, they trusted you, they took a risk on your product.
The risk was paying a low price for following the course and the risk is also giving up time to learn something new.
We are rewarding the early adopters and anybody who turned up late to the show, that reward is gone now. Now there is a price tag attached to the course.
But guess what? I’ve got a whole bunch of people who have watched it, liked it, reviewed it and I’ve got proof of concept.
That is great, now what’s another way to do it?
Kyle: The second way is we’re going to shoot a recorded version.
This is the clean version. It is something that you are setting in stone saying this is my masterclass, this is my course and this is what you can purchase from me. It’s going to require a lot more production and this is what we are going to produce.
I’m going to call it the recorded version even though when you do a live video, you do get a recording afterwards.
The terminology is a bit weird here. What I’m talking about here is we’re not producing it live, we are going to be producing it just recording onto a computer using the camera and sound.
Harms: With the recorded version the reason we are doing this is because we want it to feel more like a product now, it’s a case of turning that into a nice clean, professional looking finished product.
Because when we have that we can attach a higher price point to it that’s important.
Again depending on what the niche is the price will change, but the point is we can charge a price point.
Maybe your first live course was free or nominal, remember we spoke about paying what you want. Whereas this is a fixed price of $50, $200. But someone is paying for that in exchange for the material they get a product, a nice clean finish looking material which looks great and sounds great as well, and that’s important.
In this case we use a higher quality camera, high quality audio equipment, lighting setup; you may need to hire somebody to record you or record yourself.
This is going to be a combination now of you to camera also, slides.
But think about this as your camera also videos off the screen.
Now we’re talking about adding more layers to this course.
Kyle: If you’ve ever done an online course in pretty much any subject you know what we’re talking about here.
There’s going to be a slide deck, maybe you get a pdf of the slide deck afterwards, maybe some worksheets, checklists.
We will be adding this collateral to really flesh out the course so it is not just us talking to camera, it’s plus being able to show you things, plus being able to give you resources outside.
These are the two main things: it’s going to be videos of you talking to the camera and then there’s going to be videos of your screen of your slide deck, of whatever visual elements you’re going to be using.
Harms: Let’s talk about the actual videoing of you, creating this product.
Video production is a humongous subject.
The big variable factor is what budget you have available?
That will essentially determine what level of video production you have. All are okay and they’ll be depending on where you are within your business.
It could be you as a freelancer, as a solo entrepreneur and individual business owner and you’ve got to produce this on a tighter budget.
You’re both going to have a good finished product just going to be varying levels of output.
As a kick start guide let’s break this down into audio and video.
Kyle what are your thoughts on audio?
Kyle: Audio is more important and you need to make sure you really nail the audio.
People are more charitable if your video is not quite right. If you have bad audio it is not going to work you need to get good audio otherwise people have a very low tolerance about audio.
We talked about getting a decent microphone or a headset.
If you are recording a full course and you really want to make it shine, spend a bit more money you don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands.
You can get yourself a shotgun microphone that’s a directional mic that you will point to yourself from a distance and it will only pick up what is here rather than everything around you.
Shure and Road make very good ones, can’t go wrong with them really.
You can get a lavelia which clips on you’ll see them on celebrities a lot and again, Shure and Road you can’t go wrong with them.
They will be a bit more expensive but we’re still talking about entry level at a hundred quid or so.
Harms: I think if you’ve proved the concept it’s all about now reinvesting and spending a little to increase my production.
The things we’re talking about now are Kickstarter, entry level.
Kyle: If you’re going to sell your course for £200 or $200 investing 200 into a mic, it’s a relatively small investment.
Harms: The next thing is video.
Three options here which is you can go with a smartphone, DSLR, compact digital camera and then the high end is when film people come and bring to the table.
What I am saying is a kickstart if you’ve got a decent smartphone that is a very, very powerful site.
You may want to purchase the software which lives on the phone, video software which taps into the ability of these cameras. The iPhone is the standard software, but it’s very much fixed there’s not much you can do with it.
There are a couple of software out there which turn this into a video camera.
I say start with the phone you have. You can rent out DSLRs.
Kyle: Because of their lenses they have optical lenses they allow you to get depth of field.
Basically when you see in a film the subject is in focus and behind them is out of focus. That’s called depth of field. DSLR’s allow you to do that.
That said new phones allow you to do that digitally 90% of the time unless you’re actually getting a professional film crew, if you’re just looking to use your camera a high-end telephone is going to do the job.
Harms: Work with what you’ve got and do a trial run.
Another tip is often it’s not the tech that’s the problem it is how we’re using it.
Kyle: If I’m talking directly to the camera and I’m delivering a script reading my lines coming off my syntax and talking and talking and talking, then suddenly I forget what I’m saying and I know I’ll have to edit this out later.
I re-centre myself and then I come back to delivering.
If I’m doing that with a single camera I’m going to have to cut out all of the errors I’m making totally and then myself in the camera I’ll be talking and talking and then suddenly I will shift.
The audio will sound a bit different. I might move in the frame. My hands might move that’s called editing inside the shot, editing inside the frame and it’s quite jarring.
You’ve probably seen this in videos where it just cuts all of a sudden and somebody continues talking.
That’s because they have edited out a mistake that they’ve made but only had one camera.
If you have two cameras you edit out the mistake by switching to the point of view of the other camera and that hides the mistake and it also hides the fact you’ve made a cut.
As a viewer, you only notice the fact that it has gone to the other camera and you don’t notice necessarily where the person’s hands are, or if they’ve moved.
If you have two cameras it allows you to edit together footage much quicker you can just cut, every time there’s an error you make a cup point and then you switch to the other camera and continue.
If you’re hiring an editor to edit your footage and you deliver them two cameras worth of footage they will praise you, they will drop down and bow before you as it’s such a great asset and it’s going to be so much easier for them to edit than if it was one camera.
Harms: If you do it that way, you can actually get the production done a lot cheaper because now you’re talking about a process versus a creative process.
The final point is lighting, again lighting requires a guide.
Lighting nowadays you can pick up some quality lighting for anything from £30 to £120 and £120 has your entire lighting in.
Lighting is critical.
It makes what I’m filming here 10 times better.
Kyle: This is why the camera doesn’t matter that much.
It’s more about the lighting because if you are good at lighting, you can make a really bad camera still look fantastic.
Harms: It’s how much light you can get into the picture.
People talk about one-point lighting systems two point, three point and there’s backlighting it gets quite complex.
Kyle: Three point lighting is fine it is just three lights, so once you’ve got those three light setups that’s fine, that’s all you have to do.
You don’t need to adjust the lighting all the time, it’ll be a matter of having these kits that have three light sources for example, setting them up once, according to a guide and then that’s it, you just deliver your course.
It is nice and simple, but the difference that will make to your end product is phenomenal.
Harms: We’ve spoken about actually filming yourself, videoing yourself, audio, and the use of microphones.
We’ve spoken about video and the use of certain video technology, camera iPhones, dslr.
We also spoke about lighting and why it is important.
Remember there’s two things, one is a video of you and the other one is the video of the screen, so let’s talk about how we do on-screen stuff.
Kyle: You don’t need fancy graphics packages, you don’t need animation or anything like that we are literally talking about having a PowerPoint slide deck and whether it’s PowerPoint or if you use a mac, or you could be using google slides we have that and then we have in the bottom corner maybe our video overlaid.
The complexity here is that we have more than one video source.
We have our slides, but then we have our web cams as well, so we need screen recorders that allow us to do that to them.
Camtasia studio that’s the big daddy in this industry, it does everything. It does screen recordings and allows you to do a presentation, it allows you to capture from your webcam.
I think you can have multiple sources of video coming in.
You can overlay them; you can bring in other sources Camtasia allows you to do all of that. It is made for course production.
It’s the best tool there is for creating a course that has your face, that has slides, that has transitions, etcetera.
It also has a rudimentary editor so you can chop up your videos afterwards and export them. It’s great. It’s not cheap. I think it’s a few hundred dollars.
Harms: If you want a step down from that which is not as expensive but has a similar output there’s a web-based product called screencastomatic.
It is a nice alternative and cheaper and also has a good free trial period built in.
Kyle: Camtasia is £241 so it is not cheap, but it’s great.
I actually use screencastomatic more than Camtasia because it is so fast. It’s very lightweight and you can very quickly capture your screen, capture your camera, so if I need to do anything relatively fast I’ll use screencastomatic.
If I need a full production workflow for a big long 10-hour course I’ll use Camtasia.
Try them both out, they both have free trials and see which one you are more comfortable with.
Harms: The next thing to consider including in your production, your course which goes out to the world, are slides, graphics, resources, and anything that will add additional layers and value.
In the first draft we said drop all slides, graphics make it very simple.
The focus here is to get your first draft out there now we’re recommending you add some slides and add another layer of dimension and engagement to your audience.
Kyle: If it makes sense for what you’re teaching.
If you are teaching yoga for example, you probably don’t need slides. You need a good quality video of yourself talking and showing people the postures.
It’s going to depend entirely, but yes, it’s worth investing in putting together a nice slide deck at this point for the majority of courses.
Harms: Remember having slides doesn’t mean you break the engagement rules and start to bore your audience to PowerPoint death.
Slides should help enhance things you’re talking about, but the focus is still you and your expert knowledge, the focus should not be somebody staring at paragraphs on the slide deck that is no good.
Kyle has a suggestion for templates that you use and you go to creative market.com and here you can find templates which are beautifully designed, slide decks which can plug into most places like key note, PowerPoint.
Which you can build off of and they’re already built to encourage the opposite of death by powerful.
Kyle: These templates are worth investing in if you want to make it look a lot more professional because the built-in templates on PowerPoint in particular are very corporate and quite ugly.
They’re better in keynote on Mac but they’re generic.
They’re not exciting, so go to somewhere like creative market.com and you can just get the template packs and they have all the headings, they’re already built for online courses so it makes it a lot quicker for you to put together a slide deck.
Harms: Let’s combine that now and think about what we have in the production of this.
We’ve got the camera feed, which is backed up by the audio. It is actually us looking at a camera that makes one part of production, then the second part of production is the slides, graphics, the resources maybe using a template.
The way we combine that production is we use something like Camtasia, which is a screen recording software, once we use that we then click record and then we go for it.
Now remember, don’t get bogged down again by a script we’re just replicating a cleaner improved version of what we’ve already done in version one of the course.
You’ve already done it, so don’t overthink it.
It’s the same thing it’s done but we’re doing here is focusing on the production side of things.
The message is the same, you are the same we’re now just capturing a cleaner, more refined version.
That’s the production in a nutshell.
Kyle: We do not want to over complicate the process we are literally talking about yes, you have a camera feed which you’ve already done for your live course, we’re adding in maybe some graphics and slides and then bringing them together with Camtasia or screencastomatic, that’s it.
Harms: Let’s now assume the next step is we’ve finished the process, we’ve got the produced course amazing work, now we can sell it.
Again, this is a massive topic.
This is now entering the world of digital marketing, funnels, influence and branding all that stuff comes into play.
But we want to simplify it to the part on how you mechanically sell the product without falling into the trap of all of that amazing stuff, but it can be extremely overwhelming.
Kyle what is the process here to sell their product?
Kyle: I’m going to keep it really; it’s called Gum road.
Before you go and spend £5,000 putting together a website with a membership section and allowing you to host courses don’t spend any money right now, just get it onto somewhere like Gumroad.
You can upload your lessons, videos you upload any pdf resources, you add descriptions, you add titles and that’s kind of it, Gumroad does the rest of it.
It will allow you to process credit card transactions.
It will deal with enrolling people into the course and giving them access to the course material so you don’t have to do any of that stuff. It takes a small percentage for doing this, but it’s relatively minor compared to the massive amount of money you’d have to spend paying somebody else to build an e-commerce site.
For now though, if you need a place for your course to live you can charge money, the deals with payment, the deals with sending people notification emails and to help them recover their passwords and stuff like that you don’t want to be dealing with, then Gumroad is great.
It is very simple, very easy to use.
Harms: Everything we are doing is answering the same problem and we are focused on the entry-level product that’s what the focus has been this week and now we’re getting closer to this line in between, which is a polished version of that which can scale, and it can be sold to a million people, one thousand people, hundred people.
But once the work has been done once we don’t have to repeat that work again and again and again.
No more time is required to achieve that which is great on many fronts.
What you have learned is how to create an online course, the right way. What do we mean by this? Firstly – not being a course creator to replace your current job/business to become a teacher, but instead to position yourself as accessible, an authority, an expert in a niche and build trust over time. Which in turn represents sales for your business through courses or core products which feature later down the line.
Now we understand this, we can secondly discuss the online course creation itself. One way to create an online course is to close the doors, spend 6 months in production, 2 months in editing, thousands of pounds and finally revealing it to the world – hoping to make sales.
The suggested (you can decide which is the right way) way is to validate your idea first, create a minimum viable version of your course through determining what you will talk about, how you will talk about it and the way it will be presented. The next stage is to then get free/paying users to go through your course and basically tell you if it’s good/needs improvements. You now know how to do this and more importantly the importance of how much time and money it will save you in comparison to the way most people create courses.
The final big learning is to convert this minimum viable course into a ‘better’ product that can now be sold automatically. We know this course will be a hit, because we have had real customer feedback on it. This is where you can now invest time and money in creating a course of greater value which can be sold for a higher price point.
What you have learned is counter intuitive to how most people create online courses for their business. Counter intuitive in the reasons why, who to produce it for and how to produce it. But this process if implemented has the goal of leaving you with a system you can repeat again and again allowing you to reap the benefits of online course creation.
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