Why courses fail and how to fix it
Release Date: 01/25/2018
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In this podcast, we will talk about anything from marketing, building your course and audience, and how to create a successful and effective course videos.
Video tip of the Week
If you are doing a video and you are talking about technology or anything that has to be updated regularly based on new laws, rules, and regulations, this tip is for you. Try not to mention any specifics and be as vague as you can with what you're saying on camera. Instead of saying, "Use your iPhone 10," just say, "Use your iPhone to create course videos," and show the newest model with a photo or slide. It can get really time-consuming to update your video whenever a new model or law comes out. It is easier to be a little broad in what you say and then just show the specifics on the slides. In the next few weeks, I'll be releasing Easy Video for Courses, an online course that teaches you how to make effective videos. I'll be sharing more about it in a week or two, but for now, you can get a free video on 7 tips on how to create better course videos. I plan to give discounts just for my podcast listeners. So make sure to subscribe to the podcasts and listen to future episodes to learn more. Also, I will be at Social Media Marketing World on February 27-March 2. If you are there, make sure to chat with me or tweet me via @jeff_long so we can meet and talk about online courses. I have a front-row seat to talking to a lot of people by going to conferences, trade shows, and networking events. I also have this podcast and I correspond through social media and emails. A lot of times, these are the reasons why courses fail. So, I want to talk about how to fix them.
Why Courses Fail and How To Fix Them
1. You did not take the time to build your audience.
The first reason why a course fails is you did not take the time to build your audience. This is probably one of the biggest frustration for people who want to build a course, but did not sell very well. You can put it on Udemy and let them market for you. You might get some sales, but then Udemy sends out coupons regularly and you can't control the price. You have to be fine with that. What I recommend is building it on your own website and then build your audience. One of the first steps that I do with my coaching clients is to talk about how big their influence is. That includes the email lists, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followers, and YouTube fans. The next step is to spend at least 90 days to build your audience. If you are just getting started, the first step is to build your audience. Download my free guide to deliver bonus material to your students and collect their emails. You can learn my strategy of how to deliver bonus materials to your audience and how to build out that system. I can give the software and systems that I use for myself and my students.
Tip #1: Go on podcasts.
Be a podcast guest and borrow their audience. Do interviews within your circle of influence and about your course topic.
Tip #2: Do Facebook Live videos.
You can do this on your personal or business Facebook page. Personally, I like to do them under 5 minutes. People don't have time to watch 10- to 20-minute videos. You can take 1-3 very short tips and at the end tell my audience about my website and free guide.
Tip #3 Create a blog.
Blogging is something you should consider. You can blog about successes, tips, technology, FAQs, industry news, and other things related to your online course. At the end of your blog post, put in something free that you are giving away.
Tip #4 Answer questions in Facebook groups.
If you are not involved in FB groups, I highly recommend that you do. There is so much value in FB groups. You can ask and answer questions, as well as learn about different things. People have grown their audience significantly by giving answers on FB groups.
Tip #5 Give guides and checklists away in exchange for email addresses.
Tip #6 Make tutorials.
Your tutorials can be in the form of a podcast. They should be simple to understand and to follow.
Tip #7 Start a podcast.
If you don't have a podcast, start one as soon as possible. Even if there are the same podcasts in your industry and area, don't be intimidated.
Tip #8 Make phone calls.
If you need to call influencers, organizations, agencies, and potential clients, then make a phone call or send letters.
Tip #9 Create tutorial videos.
You can put these videos on YouTube and Facebook.
Tip #10 Reach out to influencers and ask how to serve them without selling to them.
2. Your audience wasn't well defined.
You did not take the time to go through and think about who your audience is - their ages, income levels, likes, dislikes, goals, struggles, and questions. A course that is very broad will not sell well. The more you define who your audience is, the easier for you to speak to them. If you want some helpful tips on how to plan and build your audience, I'll be coming out on a mini-course on planning your course. You can sign up for that and get alerted when the course is available.
3. You view your course as a single event as a launch and not as a marathon.
- A launch can work with a large audience because you can package all the effort in one event. But it is not the only way to a course. You are there to serve your student before, during, and after a course. Check out this podcast where I go in-depth about how to serve your students, during, and after a course in a different podcast.
- Think about your course as a marathon.
- Find out what your audience is struggling with and then offer course content for it. Think of ways you can package your course in different offers.
4. You view your course launch as a singular failure.
I love and recommend John Maxwell's book "Failing Forward". See failure as temporary. Maybe your course didn't sell well, so what are you going to do to turn that around? John Maxwell also talked about rejecting rejection. Achievers have a healthy self-image that's not dictated by an external stimulus. If you made a mistake, just learn from it and move on.
5. You compare yourself to gurus who market massive success.
Don't get discouraged just because there are people out there who are better than you. Instead, think about what they did to achieve that success. Are there any ways you can partner with them? Maybe you are comparing yourself to somebody who has more success than you. All you need to do is to readjust your gauge of success. I've been doing this podcast for two and half years and it's a marathon. If you are just starting out in your course, don't get discouraged. Keep coming back to my podcasts, videos, and other resources. Remember, I will be re-launching the Easy Video for Courses in the next couple of weeks. Also, check out my free video on 7 simple tips on how to create course videos. Keep coming back for more podcasts and I love talking with people from around the world. It is my goal to help to teach many to impact millions.