Your entire business strategy depends on having effective products to offer to your audience. Preferably, more than one. And in order to do that, you need to be able to create these things quickly and effectively.
In this episode of Coffee Break, we’re going to talk about how to SPEED UP product creation.
- Why you should plan your product BEFORE you start making it
- The exact tool I use to outline my training products
- My internal process for producing Action Plans for the Blog Monetization Lab
- Why you should consider teaching your product (the first time) in a live environment
- Why it is OK to sell your product before you ever make it
Put these tips to use and you’ll drastically speed up your product creation. This doesn’t have to be a big deal. And “lack of time” should not be an excuse for not having products of your own to sell.
In the last 3 episodes of this podcast we have been talking about various aspects of product creation and creating online courses. At the end of the day, my business model is primarily based around the selling of training and/or information products. Now a lot of the marketing stuff that I talk about with regard to blogging and that I talk about at the Blog Marketing Academy could easily be applied to selling physical products, selling consulting services; all that type of stuff… It very, very much can work because at the end of the day content marketing is content marketing. But the primary focus of what I do and what I teach others to do primarily is that of selling information or training. And of course I can work with people to set up a higher end offer from their information or training if they want to go into consulting and that type of thing.
So with all that in mind, we are talking here about product creation actually having something to sell, which is really important if you want to call what you are doing a “business”. So along that note, I want to talk about how to speed the entire thing up, how to create your online course faster. And I am going to give you 4 specific tips on how to get that done. So let us jump right in; I don’t want this to be a super long episode today.
4 Tips To Create Your Online Course Faster (And How To Ensure You Finish)
1. I encourage you to plan your course first and then record afterward.
The whole idea there is to separate planning from actual recording. You will find that this really does speed things up. If you make all the decisions, if you outline the entire thing in advance, before you ever create the first piece of training for that course; you are going to find that it goes a lot faster. It is just something about actually separating decision making from the actual billing. Most of the time when it comes to execution of a system where any system hangs up is usually at a point of indecision. It is at a point where you have to choose whether to take one road or the other one. And most systems in our businesses hang up at that point. It is at the point of decision making.
And so for that reason, I am encouraging you to get all of the decision making over with before you actually start recording. Sit down and outline it in bullet point fashion. Outline the modules if you are going to have a module-based course. Outline the specific training pieces inside each of those modules. And if you want to take it even further; which will probably help you, outline the basic points of each individual training unit that you are going to create, whether it be a video, whether this is ultimately going to be an eBook or whatever; outline the thing out, make those decisions in advance. And then, when it comes time to actually make it, you’ll be surprised how much faster it goes because you don’t have to think anymore… So, it will just be “bang-bang-bang” get it done!
2. Plan to record it in as compressed of a time period as you can.
Now, obviously that goes right to the heart of making it faster, but it also goes right to the true quality that you are ultimately going to have with the course. If you drag it out, you are going to lose your mindset, you are going to come back to it after a few days and you are just going to be in a different frame of mind than you were when you recorded the first couple of videos, for example. So the way that you can really speed this up and not lose your mindset, not get out of that mode is to get as close to you can as literally creating this training course in one sitting.
Literally you are not going to be able to probably do it in one sitting unless this is a truly short thing, and I understand that. But when I do it, like if I go to create an Action Plan that go inside the Blog Monetization Lab; what I typically do, (this is new, I haven’t always done it this way) is that I plan out the entire Action Plan in advance. I do it inside of my outlining tool which is WorkFlowy; really fantastic tool, by the way. So I outline the Action Plan inside of WorkFlowy and then I go and I put it on my calendar and I just schedule out those times and I am going to create this Action Plan. And I compress it together as much as I can. I typically dedicate one to two days of every single work week to doing nothing but creating training for the Lab.
And that is what I do; I sit down and I just bang out that Action Plan. And I try to compress it because if I spend an hour on it and then I go off and do other things, and then I come back and spend another hour on it, say, the next day; I find that the quality of the Action Plan is not as good as I feel that it should be. And that is because my mind has been on a bunch of other things and it is hard to get back into teaching mode. And so with this scenario, when you compress it together you get into that teacher mode; you’re like, put on your teacher hat and then you are like “Let’s bang this thing out.”
The other thing too is that you do not lose your pathway as you go through. I actually create my training in order of the outline so I am mentally following along with my student. When I know that they are up to a certain point, I can speak to them like at that particular point because I am literally creating the training in the order that they are going to consume it and so that speeds the entire thing up; it really, really does. So, record your training course or write it; if that is the way you are going, in as compressed the time period as you can. It is going to speed it up, not because you are compressing it but because literally it will speed it up because your mind is not going into a bunch of other things.
3. Consider teaching this course in a live environment.
Here’s the thing… when you have people that are going along with you, you are going to deliver. And not only that… Because they are sitting there you are not going to be allowing yourself to screw around with re-writing things or re-saying things or re-recording or second guessing yourself, because you literally have people sitting there who are listening to you in real time. So it takes a little bit of guts sometimes to do it this way. But if you know your material, it won’t be a problem. And the other thing is that you will really speed it up.
So one of the things that you can do is to sell your offer before you have actually even made it and just say this is going to be a live class. And you do that live class via webinar or something like that; tele-seminar if you want, but I think webinar is just better. And you, at the scheduled time, you show up; your students show up and you bang that thing out in real time. And of course you record the entire thing and that turns into your product.
And then you can go and you can have it transcribed, you can break up that recording into little pieces; if you want to take one training module and turn that in to 5 different training videos divided by topic you can do that all in editing. But the actual material would have already been created and it was quick because you did it in a live environment.
4. Pre-sell the course.
Now this works beautifully if you are doing it as a live class. If you are selling it in advance, then you are going to probably sell a live class. Now, you do not have to, if you are going to do “not live” and you just want to come out the gate with recordings; totally cool, whatever. But you can pre-sell it and literally sell the thing with a sales letter and everything before you have actually completed it or even in some cases, started making that course.
So a couple of things happen here. One is you can test out the concept of the course and see if it has actually has legs. If nobody buys it, maybe you do not need to make it. Maybe you did not really peg the exact right offer for your audience. So, it is a great test and it could be a massive time saver to pre-sell it and see whether it sells or not. Now, obviously if it does sell, then you are like you know you have yourself a winner at that point.
The second benefit of pre-selling is that it will set a deadline on you to actually make it because now, you have people who have given you money for that course and you are obligated to create it. And that really will (I don’t want to light a fire on you but it really, really will)… That will speed up how fast you create this thing. It has been said before that any project or any goal that you have will expand to the point where you create a deadline for it. It will basically expand to the time that you allot for it. And so if you have people who have paid you and they are waiting for that thing, you are probably going to want to deliver as soon as possible. You will set a deadline for yourself and what do you know… You will actually get the thing done by that time. So a lot of benefits here to pre-selling the course and definitely that is something that I recommend that you do.
A really quick summary of these 4 tips for creating your online course faster:
- Plan it first and then record it. So, separate planning from the actual making of it.
- To then plan out to record it in a shorter time period as you can. So like literally, if you got a day off, if you got a job and you got a day off from work, make that day then you sit down and you bang out as much of that training product as you can like really get it done. Not only does this compress the time to create it, obviously, but the other thing is that it will really keep you in that mindset and the result of that is you are going to be a lot more productive with that time.
- Consider teaching this course in a live environment with people actually there watching you in real time. It will drastically speed things up because you do not have time to screw off. And then of course after the live class is over then you go back with your recordings and you can split them up and transcribe it and do all the cute things that will turn it into a true online training course.
- Pre-sell the course; literally get people in the door, having paid for it before you actually deliver it. And this is going to help give you a personal deadline; a personal fire under your butt to get that thing done.
So that is how to create your online course faster; definitely something that I recommend.
I want to end off this episode with a little heads up… Now as of the time it is being done; this podcast is being recorded, I am about halfway through in creating a brand new Action Plan for the Blog Monetization Lab called Product Creation Blue Print. And it is literally going to be a full system that will guide you through creating your products and doing it officially but also making them effective; making them as such that they actually get the result that you promise for people because these offers, these products are going to form the entire foundation of your business. Any marketing or monetization tactic that we can talk about, and that we will talk about; it does not matter if you do not have good things to sell them.
So this Product Creation Blueprint is going to be highly important. Definitely this is going to be one of the big ones inside the Lab. The Lab is the training portal. You will get access to this Action Plan when it comes out which is going to be very soon; the Product Creation Blueprint, but you are also going to get access to all the other Action Plans that are already in there and in the future. It all comes with that Lab Membership. So again, that is at blogmonetizationlab.com.
Again, thank you so much for listening and I will see you on the next episode of Coffee Break Blogging. 😉