Most people we speak to want to build an online program, to leverage their time and knowledge with what they want to deliver, how it is to be delivered and how to get it out to the right people.
They think it is the technology that holds them back.
It goes something like this.
You’ve been working and learning your craft for a long time, you know how good you are at it, you have a business to prove it.
Your clients love you.
They love what you say, how you say it and how it makes a positive change in their lives.
You’ve thought of ways to generate more income, to leverage what you do, to make more money from what you’ve got.
You see all the posts on Facebook telling you how to generate 6 figures from an on-line program business, and wonder if you could do it to?
All true and real…well, some of it is.
The thing is where do you start, what tools do you need to get it off the ground.
Before technology comes into it, there are five facts you need to know to build your online program, some may surprise you.
FACT ONE: STICK TO FACTS NOT ASSUMPTION
When you are passionate about something and have a lot of knowledge in the area, it can be easy to create a program based on assumption and not facts.
Just because you love the topic, does not mean everyone else will too.
As with most business decisions, your program concept should meet a few standard criteria.
#1 Be digital friendly – to get the optimum return on investment of your time and money, your topic of choice must be able to be shared digitally.
Be creative, think outside the square, with the amount of apps and tools available, you can reach a LOT MORE of your ideal clients than in previous decades.
The best place to start is to see what is already out there in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, countries who are very familiar with on-line purchases.
FACT TWO: WHO IS IT FOR?
Before you write a word, or mind map out ANYTHING, think about what you want to deliver, and who is it for?
Is there are a market?
Yes, it is possible to create absolutely anything for a specific niche, the thing is, when starting out, it is better to begin in an already emerging market, rather than starting out from scratch in a market that does not exist.
Competition is good, it means that people are searching for the solution you provide.
What does your ideal customer or client want? What are their problems?
When you can answer these questions better than they can, BOOM, you have a market.
#2 – Tools such as clickbank.com – where you can see what courses are already on offer and Google Ad-Words will help with what keywords are already being searched for.
With that said, when you are clear on your market, you can create whatever you like, however having clarity on your ideal market is essential in the research phase and knowing who your audience is.
FACT THREE: DELIVERY
An on-line program can be anything from an email sequence with links to videos.
Or audio recordings and worksheets, to a full log-in process on a dedicated website.
Both deliver content.
Obviously the bigger the budget, the more creative you can be.
It IS possible to start an on-line program on a shoestring when you know how.
It starts with a database. Activecampaign.com are really hitting the market and have a great CRM (customer relationship management) system at low cost.
Research and planning will save you a stack of time and money.
With the amount of apps, software and programs around, it is more about knowing what ones will work, compared to ones that are too complex for the average business owner to use on a regular basis.
Go with what you have, package up what you do.
The best part in building on-line programs is you can change it, and mix it up as you need to.
Getting it perfect the first time will cost you money…not to mention many hours of headaches, heartache and frustration.
Speed to market is key to success, which means getting your ideas, key learnings and delivery into some order, rather than writing every single module as if it were forever.
When you see the big internet marketers send their emails, run their webinars and affiliate campaigns, watch it from afar, as this is probably not for you.
What works for someone with a 6 and 7 figure database, does not translate as well as it should to someone starting out building their first on-line course.
Of course, the internet marketers are fantastic at what they do, I follow a number and love their emails and offers.
The difference is, after being in this space for a number of years now, and having built quite a number of programs myself, building an on-line program is not as simple as they make it look.
You don’t know what you don’t know, which can be super frustrating.
Delivery to suit your market is key to making the cash-flow you’re looking for.
Simple is best, especially if you’re not tech savvy like I was.
FACT FOUR: TIME
You need to know how much involvement in the delivery of the program you want to commit to.
Do you want to have the whole thing automated?
Do you want to have a more bespoke style of program?
Is it about the money or about the difference you want to make in someone’s life?
There is the fully automated series, where you pay a low-cost figure, you get sent your log-in details and perhaps added to a group.
The rest is up to you.
Email support, live Facebook or group calls, and not much else, a minimal level of personal communication.
No doubt you have signed up for a few of these yourself.
Generally speaking, statistics on on-line course completion is as low as 6%.
You may think the price tag will reflect the involvement of the program owner, or the more people pay, the bigger the result.
What is most important here is how much YOU want to be involved in the program.
The bespoke program can have a similar start process. Do not be fooled into how much work is involved in creating the technological steps to bringing this to life.
Time is money.
The level of involvement dictates the way in which you develop the program process.
As the owner of various on-line programs, from fully automated through to what is known as a blended learning model, where the student has access to an on-line automated program, plus high-level access to and active input from Paul and I.
Either system, whether it be the fully automated or blended model takes a LOT of time to build and then run.
Knowing your level of commitment will dictate the level of involvement with your students.
Passion is profitable, as long as you respect the time and effort to bring it to life.
The best part…is you can design it to suit your lifestyle.
At the moment, we are working out of London, the time zone difference is a pain, but the programs and business model is business as usual.
Think of the bigger picture…if time, money and resources were endless, how would you like it to look in the future?
Design your on-line program to suit it now.
FACT FIVE: DO NOT WRITE YOUR PROGRAM
UNTIL YOU HAVE SOLD IT
I repeat, please do not write a word, design a logo, or presentation until you have sold your first program.
You know what you want to build, you know who it is for, you know their challenges, you know their desires, you know how you will deliver the program, and you know your level of commitment.
Before you physically build a thing, you need to sell it.
Sounds strange I know, but this ONE fact will change the results you get from the get-go.
Put an offer to your current clients, your Facebook groups, your followers, your database.
Have a clear sales process.
When I first started my first on-line business – Nurse Power, I knew exactly what I wanted to build, I knew their challenges, their desires, after all, I had been a nurse myself for over two decades, I knew it to my core.
I didn’t have a list, I had nothing.
I ignorantly believed so much in what I was doing that it would sell itself, I did not give the sales process much thought, I naively believed the course would sell itself.
How wrong I was.
It didn’t take long for me to start Facebook advertising, building my list and then selling the program.
And only then, did I build the first module.
Whatever you believe in this space, whether you believe in the law of attraction and abundance, it takes WORK and a lot of action to bring it to life.
Action leads to the attraction.
If you have a list, come up with a compelling offer, speak to your clients, ask them what do they want.
If you don’t, start doing everything you can to meet people, network, friends of friends, LinkedIn, Facebook groups, your program WILL NOT sell itself.
It needs you to get over your fear of asking for the sale or hiding behind a 7 step risk reversal email series.
#1 Due diligence and research will provide you with the facts, not an assumption. Assumption costs time and money and can lead to failure.
#2 Be clear on who EXACTLY your on-line program is for.
#3 Delivery – how would you like to connect with your students, perhaps a fully automated program or maybe a bespoke intimate program with fewer members?
#4 As my teenage son reminds me often, time is whatever you want it to be. What level of commitment are you prepared to make during the build and in the on-going process?
Let’s be honest, there never is enough time, so be truthful, how much of a commitment do you want to make?
#5 DO NOT write or record the program until you have sold it. Not only will you have a deadline to deliver once it has sold, you will also have the proof you need to know your market is looking for your solution.
If you would like some help mapping out these five facts, please click this button to Request A Consult with Paul and Bron, click on the link here and we will be in touch on the number you provide.
Have you got an idea for a program and not sure where to start? Comment below and let’s start a conversation.