If you spend any time keeping up with sales and marketing trends, you’ll no doubt be aware, that for awhile now, online programs and online education have been hailed as part of the way of the future. And that’s true. And there’s a whole new art and process to the development of an online business, for those who happen to be in the business of selling a unique service they offer and not just someone else’s product.
This last few years, I’ve both watched and helped many people have a whole bunch of success in this realm. But just as often, supported people who gave building an online program their all, but it didn’t fly and they’re now pulling away from the whole thing, feeling largely disheartened and disillusioned with the whole thing.
Which is why I feel like it’s kind of NEEDED to point out that there’s a whole set of pre-requisite preparations you have to have made before you can expect to build an online program and see it get massive momentum. And if you hire a Mentor, they too should be telling you this.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FIRST (OR AT MINIMUM ALONGSIDE)
WORK ON YOUR COMMUNICATING AND RELATING SKILL SET
Take it from someone who's been hired to improve client retention for years, while leaders working on their inner game and communication and relationship skills and modes of service, there’s really know way around this one. If you want to work in the business of helping people, there’s nothing like starting a business to show you where you’re still playing out a bunch of learned unhelpful habits and childhood traumas in connection with others, where the deficiencies are in your ability to communicate effectively with them, plus build lasting relationships with others. And in this case, when it comes to online programs and sharing a message that is largely fixed in the online space, until you or an online staff member is engaged for an actual conversation, the need to be clear and confident in what you’re intending and offering is greater than ever in online business. Because the client only has the website, the sales page, the video, the visual content to go off and what vibe they can pick up from that, until such time as you've built sufficient testimonials and social proof and social media numbers up that you get authentic momentum in people realising via social proof you've got something powerful that clearly works. And/or they get that chance to interact in real time with you.
Thus, its worth taking the time to learn how to bring the absolute best of you and what you have to give in service into your communicating and relating practices.
WORK ON YOUR MODES OF SERVICE (DELIVERING AND REFINING YOUR MAGIC, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC SPEAKING)
This section relates to the 4 main modes of service every Business Owner who has something important to say to the world and wants to make a difference helping solve people’s problems has to nail in order to achieve positive impact. The online program pre-planning steps below are where refining your magic and business development meet.
ONLINE PROGRAM PRE-PLANNING
Here’s a few business steps you have to take FIRST. (One’s that many people who bought online course building programs and haven’t nailed it yet, need to come back to.)
1. You need to have made a couple of basic decisions about exactly who you want to help via this awesome future program and with what.
2. You have to have some expert knowledge of that market and their problems and aspirations.
3. You need to make sure that the way you talk about what YOU know about their problems and aspirations, matches up with the way they think and talk about their problems and aspirations.
Helping anyone and everyone is a noble intention, but a message that is aimed at no-one in particular, connects with no-one in particular. A bit like ordering Uber eats….how can anyone bring you food if you don’t select a restaurant, a dish/dishes, and actually submit an order? Same thing with your online message, if you don’t make a decision about who you’re helping and with what. For the marketing about an online program to connect, you HAVE to know that audiences problems intimately and inside out and have a good idea of what they’re aspiring to inside out, so that when someone from your target market reads you talking about your program, they immediately think what you said was like you just stepped inside their head and were reading their mind and wrote it just for them. Period.
4. Finally, you need to do some market research on level of interest in what you’ve come up with. You need to check that a reasonable representative sample of your market are actually willing and motivated to buy what you want to offer and for that specific problem or set of problems. (This is about attuning to the collective energy of how that market needs you to show up with all that you have for them in the present, beyond what “my 3 Masters and phD’s worth of accumulated knowledge and experience that qualify me to know” alone would think is the way.)
5. Then you need to create the solution and structure it in a way that makes it as simple as possible to understand the concepts behind why you’re teaching it, what the processes are and exactly how, where and when to apply them and for what (which might mean, doing a little extra training yourself in how to both train/teach and how to present content in dynamic and impactful ways that get the best learning outcomes.)
6. Do a first “test” run on delivering your solution, then
7. Get feedback about what the client did and didn’t get out of it and on anything else they’d like added or addressed now (which you examine with objectivity and a degree of discernment to determine that they got sufficient value out of it and if it’s worth running again and further investing in AND
8. Refine what you just created into a version 2.0 that you start putting more resources behind. If it works again in repeat, THEN you start throwing your everything behind it.
At minimum, depending on the program length, that could take you 6 months to a year to execute, sometimes up to 3 or more before you nail ALL of the above enough for this program to truly fly and you should be planning to have an alternative source of income (wether accumulated in the past or off something else you do in the present for that time).
Because like they say in tiny fine print at the bottom of sales pages and terms and conditions forms, that "how amazing is she" million dollar Mumpreneur you just read about, who's nailed everything i just wrote about and got out of her own way, is NOT A-1 typical of everyone attempting online program building for a living...so please don't beat the mental bejeebus out of yourself thinking you're not as good as her, or him or any other entrepreneur sharing their present wins. For every one of those, most entrepreneurs who are still in it now have had just as many failed attempts at offerings as they have had wins. (Lord knows I have...and more than that, i could tell you why i had every one of those fails and how NOT to do it again.)
And just FYI, half those people who advertised on FB last month with their amazing "secret formulas for making 15K a month" (after they only just did it once for the first time, like ever.)..are often now struggling to repeat it and are contemplating jobs again this month. What you read on FAKEbook is only half the story. Anyone who's worth their Mentoring weight in gold will tell you the truth, so that you can plan, manage your reactions and expectations, but then they'll hold you to being your best and getting your best work done and out there in the world.
If you've had a go or to at an online program and it hasn't landed yet in the way you hoped and you'd like a bit of help in working out which foundational steps you've missed and what you still need to do next to take both your local practice and online program building to the next level, don't forget our fortnightly Women in Wellness Leadership Group Mastermind starts next week and it's a golden opportunity to start planning and executing NOW on making 2019 your best year in business YET.
You can connect with me below if you'd like to know more.
Until next time.....
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