As a business owner do you often repeat information to your customers, clients, vendors, or referral partners that could be documented and used in a digital course?
Anything that is repetitive in your business can be outsourced. The same goes for information. Anything you teach or require from your clients can be documented in a step-by-step format that helps your clients progress, saves you and your clients time and money, and with the right marketing could bring you a healthy passive income stream.
If you find yourself repeating things that you consider pre-requisite knowledge before you can help your clients and partners achieve their goals, creating a course would give them the foundation they need to be able to work with you.
What is a course and how should it be delivered?
A course is a direction or route to be taken to achieve an outcome. It can be delivered any way you want to deliver it: videos, documents, an email series, an audio series, an e-book, or a full-blown curriculum with modules and lessons, workbooks, videos, and interactive workshops online or in-person.
Several software programs are available that deliver digital e-learning courses and track student progress. The choices range from simple course delivery solutions to full-blown programs that cater to those who want to create additional passive income streams and market them.
When is your digital course enough?
Most coaches and business owners overly complicate courses to be the ultimate be-all-end-all resource for their clients in a perfectly packaged digital program. This overwhelm tends to stop coaches from developing courses in the first place, thinking that what they are creating is not enough. Courses do not have to cover every topic, every example, or every situation to create an outcome for your client or for you as a coach to be able to reach the clients you need.
Consider the following ways that you can develop a course for your business to help you expand what you teach, enhance your offers, and to coach your clients into bigger and better outcomes.
1. Educate Your Clients, Vendors, and Business Partners
When your client struggles to understand industry lingo, giving them a glossary of terms with examples is key to helping them be able to know what solutions they are looking for. We tend to speak our own language in our businesses and assume that our customers know what we are talking about. It’s the number one obstacle to take a client’s language and turn it into industry solutions. Our potential clients do not know these terms, what they do, or that they need them to solve their problems.
For example, if you are coaching someone on how to follow a ketogenic diet, it would make sense for you to have documentation that defines what ketogenic means. Teaching someone how a body responds to a keto diet, why it helps someone lose weight, or to see examples of outcomes is key education for someone to understand before they can commit to following the plan.
If you are the coach who teaches prospective clients what industry terms mean, provides valuable information, and shows success stories, then you are top-of-mind when they decide to take action.
Imagine being the business partner or vendor who provides extra value, not just products to sell. You've expanded your worth to those in your network.
2. Focus on What You Do Best
When you provide a service to clients, such as Facebook advertising, your clients are required to know who their target audience is, what they are selling, and how they plan to deliver their product or service. Digital marketing is an excellent way to fast track qualified leads into your business. You must be ready for an onslaught of traffic to your website, landing page, or Facebook business page, so that you can handle the volume it produces.
For example, Facebook loves to tease business page owners into boosting posts to their potential clients as a form of advertising. They make it look so easy to amplify content. Dropping money on a boosted post without doing any of the digital marketing research first to define which audience you’re trying to reach can make a $150 investment in Facebook ads slip right to the bottom of the ocean producing no results. A course that teaches someone how to do market research that helps them define their potential customers would greatly advance the conversation when they want you to create and place ads for them.
If your business is to help your clients create, place, monitor, and troubleshoot ads, having them come to you prepared to run the ads in the first place not only saves the client money but helps the ads specialist focus on what they do best.
When your clients need quick outcomes but they cannot afford to hire you for every step of the journey, a course gives them a way to be able to afford your private coaching services. Entrepreneurial ventures are particularly difficult because the business owner finds themselves in the business of running a business instead of in the business of serving their clients. Successful coaches who want to free up their time and energy to be able to do what they do best have processes in place to market, sell, onboard, and work with their clients on what they love doing. Business needs such as software, content, equipment, and more can weigh heavily on a coach trying to serve clients. More time ends up being spent on administering the business than on helping clients solve problems.
For example, many coaches find themselves spending more than half their time figuring out software, creating content, marketing, networking, setting up payment systems, and everything else that has nothing to do with the service they are providing. The tools and software they’re using are complicated or require integrations that make the non-technical coach’s head spin. Even those who are tech-savvy end up wasting so much time on tasks that are not getting them more clients.
The number one contributing factor to the failure of a business or burnout of the business owner is working outside of your zone of genius.
4. Create Passive Income Streams
Courses are a fantastic way to create passive income streams that do not take up much time once they are in place and functioning properly. As coaches gain new clients, processes and procedures need to be put into place to be able to serve more people efficiently. Without the efficiency of onboarding procedures, material delivery, or marketing in place, it becomes more and more difficult to serve clients and still enjoy the business.
Once you create a course that you use successfully with your clients, many questions arise as to how you can be successful marketing and selling your course. This requires understanding your clients’ digital profiles, marketing funnels, advertising, what software to use, and how to package offers in such a way that helps warm up cold prospects into paying customers.
For example, a fitness coach who loves to focus on fitness motivation knows that nutrition is a key element to her client’s success. This fitness coach does not enjoy teaching the nutrition, so she creates a nutrition plan or course that her client can follow, while she focuses on the motivational and life coaching aspects that she loves.
5. Enhance relationships with your referral partners
Referral partners love to reap the benefits of recommending your business to their clients. Not everything has to be about money though. Sometimes sharing educational materials, valuable research, or a simple list of do's and don't's can be appreciated as much as a referral fee.
💡 Imagine being a local grocer selling local maker's products looking for makers who are loyal and reliable. You want to make doing business with them easier, so you could provide mini-courses on how to make your website marketing-friendly, how to share social media more effectively to promote the stores carrying your goods, or how to use accounting software to make bookkeeping easier to do. The value of that information will keep your supply chain happy and loyal.
💡 Imagine being a high-end interior designer who needs referrals from architects, supply stores, artisans, builders, product makers, and existing customers. You rely on them to promote you, so imagine gifting them with mini-courses they can give to their clients to help them envision their dream home or dream kitchen. A well-branded free course on things to watch for and consider when building a home or addition would go a long way to promote your interior design business.
💡 Imagine owning a gym or fitness studio that gets shut down in the middle of a pandemic. You know how fast people scrambled this past year to get their classes online. Online options are here to stay and will continue to be great opportunities to serve our clients who cannot partake in a local, in-store option. There is some serious income to be made from this!
Tell us your ideas!
We can help you figure out the marketing elements that would be perfect to promote your new-found info-product.
Join me in March for The Ultimate Online Course Conference
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