Beyond 1:1 coaching – how to create an e-course that will stand out from the crowd

guest-heather-thorkelson
 

Guuurl, you’ve been running your coaching practice for a while now, and I know you’re ready to take it up a notch and reach more people. You probably have a boatload of ideas for courses and programs but everywhere you turn, there’s a coach who’s already done something similar and you don’t want to be all same-same.

Fair point.

So how do you create a unique and high-value experience for people that stands out? How do you pick a topic that people really need help with and that’s distinct enough for people to associate with your name? (Think Danielle LaPorte and her Desire Map)
 

Here’s my two-step approach:

1) Make a list of everything that your clients struggle with – every single little darn falootin’ thing. No matter what type of coaching practice you have, you’ll have noticed trends in the niggly issues that your clients come to you with.

Think of the negative thought spirals they find themselves in time and again.

What are they waking up sweaty thinking about? What’s preventing them from moving forward? List every thought or emotion (or lie!) you can think of. Get into their brain.

2) Now look at the list from Step 1 and circle every issue your clients struggle with that’s actually super no-brainer easy for you to manage/deal with/overcome.

THAT’s your sweet spot. That’s your area of genius.

An example of this was when I noticed a streak of “comparison-itis” flaring up with many of my clients. It was really holding them back and on the one hand, I could sympathize because everyone else’s life looks so glamorous on the interwebs. But on the other hand, it had been a long time since I’d felt the effects of “comparison-itis” myself and I knew that’s where I could add huge value. I created an e-course called Kick Comparisonitis to teach people the tools they need to thrive in a glossy online world. It was a huge hit!

Next is how to put it all together. This part can be a little daunting as well, but if you take a step-wise approach, you’ll have an outline and plan in no time.
 

Here are some key points you’ll want to consider when creating an e-course:

 
1) Will it be self-directed or guided by you? This is a key piece because not only does that latter require more of your time investment, but also because depending on the subject matter, some people need more of a hands-on approach. Your subject and how you structure the learning will largely inform whether people can purchase and go at their own pace, or if there’s a set timeline for taking the course and you guide them through it.

2) Will it take place during specific dates or will it always be available as an evergreen product to begin at any time? Very similar to Question 1, this is a question you need to ask yourself in terms of how you want this course to fit in to your overall business model. If it takes place during specific dates, you’ll need to launch, and re-launch every time you run the course. On the other hand, an evergreen course will just be available on your site and you’ll be responsible for regular promotion to be sure it’s getting in front of fresh eyeballs. What feels right for you?

3) What’s the launch plan? It’s always good to start launch leaking a good 3-4 months in advance (check out AnneSamoilov.com for loads of launch resources). Start looking at what time of year is a good time to launch (Pro Tip: the middle of summer and Christmas are not ideal) and then work backward to ensure your content is ready on time, but also that you’ve mentioned it enough in your newsletter and on social media so that it’s on lots of people’s radars when the cart opens.

4) How will the content be structured? Are there videos? (and where are they hosted?) Downloadable PDF’s? Pre-recorded guided visualizations? External resources for reference?

5) Based on the content you’re trying to deliver, how many modules do you need? Is it one module per week? How much content will people need to get at one time, to make progress?

6) What bonuses are you offering? Will you have some additional theme-based downloads or guides, some expert interviews, or some other cool freebies that you’ll offer to sweeten the pot? It’s also worth considering if these would be available only to those who sign up during Early Bird pricing, or to everyone. It’s important to have a strategy for getting people excited about all the value they’ll receive.

7) Price point – is there only one? Or will you have 2-3 tiers based on different levels of access (to more robust content or perhaps access to you via 1:1 or group sessions)

8) How many people do you want to cap the course at? This depends on whether it’s live – on certain dates – or evergreen. You’ll want different numbers depending on how you plan to format the course and how much personalized interaction people will get from you.

9) What kind of activities or action items do you plan to include? Adult learning principles show that people learn best when they’re given homework or tasks to take action on. Think about a simple but powerful activity you can include at the end of each section or module to drive home the learning.

10) Is it going to be a downloadable course that people can go through on their own or one that participants have to log in to access learning modules? If the course is going to be more than a PDF and you’ll have modules that participants can access online, there are loads of great platforms out there to host your e-course. You have options from self-hosted software like Wishlist Member which integrates directly into your WordPress website (and which you have complete control over) as well as externally hosted and run platforms (Examples: Journal Engine, Udemy or Ruzuku).

 
Yes, there are a lot of working pieces. But start with a great concept where you know you can add value, then work through the list above to fine tune what it will all look like. In no time, you’ll create an e-course that is unique and powerful that you can run over and over again, and this takes your business beyond the one-on-one client session.
 

Heather Thorkelson is an small business strategist for location independent entrepreneurs over at the Republic of Freedom. She’s a firm believer that it’s entirely possible to live as we dream, and spends her days proving it. Currently slow traveling through Europe, Heather can often be found in Sweden and sometimes in the Polar Regions. Get on her newsletter or say howdy over on Instagram or Pinterest.