BBO.SHOW #16 – The exact process to create your first course online, share your expert knowledge and get more customers
Hey Harms here, thanks for watching today’s show, if you have not yet then…
What you will learn in today’s show:
The focus area is: online course creation.
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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.
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.
Goal: course to take people from A to B
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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.
Need a series of steps: Framework/system
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 is as 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.
Fleshing out the framework/structure
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 and applies to again 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.
Filling in the modules
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.
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