I decided not to do another update until my free course was ready - and it took a lot longer than I thought, so welcome to Day 9-13 update, it’s long ;)
Just so you know what this is all about, I’ve decided to add daily updates to the blog, in case it’s helpful for someone else who is doing a sprint course creation mission! I’m writing up a detailed outline of what I’m doing and why.
If you’re reading this and not aware of the what the Epic 30 Day Course Building Challenge is all about, check this post here first.
And, if you want to get daily updates sent to you via email not only will that fill your inbox with awesomeness from me, I’d appreciate the cheer squad 📣 Sign up below.
Dreaming of Bali
I now understand exactly why some people head to Bali for three months to create their courses.
Creating a course, in amongst the challenges of day to day life + running two businesses, is pushing me right to the edge of my capabilities ;)
I mean I know i’ll get it done, but I have spent far too much time this week daydreaming about how nice this process would be, doing it from a chilled space in Bali. With sleep ins and afternoon swims.
I read about people doing that and get a little envious cos here it’s all #mumlife with end of term school events, activities and camps, plus juggling two businesses and doing this course. Lotsa hustle!
I was a little concerned that with so much to do, I was spending a bit too much time writing about what I was doing instead of actually doing it, so I decided not to write any more updates until I got my free business course up and ready to go! It’s not technically up yet, but it will be going up today, and I’ve not updated all week, so I thought it was time.
Two things have majorly slowed my progress this week.
There is a reason I have pretty much stayed off Facebook for the past few years. It is so easy to spend (waste) hours on there without realising! If you’ve ever read about Gretchin Rubin’s theory that you’re either an abstainer or a moderator, you’d know what this is about.
I am totally an abstainer.
I have to take things like that right out of my life, cos I can’t be trusted moderating with a having just little bit of something
t’s the reason why Nutella is banned in this house. I can’t have wee taste or one bit of nutella on toast. Bbefore I know it I’m 8 spoons deep in that jar of deliciousness and my arse is not thanking me for it. So I just avoid it altogether and then I’m fine.
It’s the same for me with Facebook, I don’t do well at just a little bit. I tell myself - just five minutes, but as I’m a bit of a chatterbox, when I go into a Facebook group to ask a question or look for some info, before I know it I’ve replied to five posts… then my notifications are pinging like crazy…. then I get drawn back in to the replies and goodbye 45 minutes (if I’m lucky!)
I just find it too easy to jump on for a quick check, then that turns into a big time waster.
It is super helpful - if I had the time! But this month, is not a spare time month. I need all the time I can get, so now I’ve got my research sorted, I need to back away!
So as of today, I’m taking myself off Facebook until the course is ready! I can schedule posts to my page through Later and the only thing I will do, is post for my clients if needed.
I am super grateful to the info I’ve got from there and I have found clients on FB and also the amazing girls who have signed up to be beta testers for the course (more on that below!) but for now, it’s goodbye FB
The unexpectedly epic lead magnet
I’ve also been a bit waylaid this week by something that was a brilliant idea at the time, but ended up taking a massive amount of work that I didn’t anticipate!
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research about lead magnets and what you can offer to people to push them over the line and get them to sign up. (probably too much research if I’m honest - I find I use “research” as a way of tricking myself I’m not procrastinating sometimes)
Anyway, I read someone saying their most successful lead magnet was a checklist of everything you need to do for an awesome Pinterest profile (she ran a pinterest course), saying the checklist was easy to create, as it was essentially a summary of the modules of her course. Nice! Great idea I thought.
So, thinking I could emulate that, I decided to make a checklist.
Now I’m not a graphic designer, I’m more of a Canva tinkerer.
I can usually come up with something OK - or buy a template for it or use one of the Canva templates. But no, I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to do it myself. Mistake number 1.
The perfectionist in me took over and took waaaay too long creating it, when really, whilst it’s good to look good and not just be ugly text on a page, that stuff does not matter as much as the content!
Then mistake number 2... instead of a nicesimple checklist, I created a massive 14 page checklist!
Yes it is epic and has a lot of content and looks great, but not exactly the quick thing I thought I’d whip up in half an hour…
…it took me 8 freakin hours of faffing about in canva.
I mean it’s done now, and I can use it long term, but probably not the best use of my time in a crazy month.
Mindset lessons learned this week
I was starting to feel all the fears this week, around actually doing this and putting myself out there.
And I’ve got to be honest, I was starting to really worry about doing it with such a small list.
If I was just focusing on list growth, not 4 other things at the same time, I’m sure it would be growing faster, so once gotta be realistic here.
I think if I’d even spent a month focusing on list building first, before working on the course would have helped a LOT. I mean it’s understandable that I’m worrying - am I going to create all of this and put it out there and have no one to sell it to? Was I doing this right? or just going to make a giant dick of myself (especially as I’m doing this publicly?!?!?)
As my doubts and worries were taking hold, by fluke I stumbled onto a YouTube video that changed my week.
I have been trying to unsuccessfully find it again, as I can’t remember the name of the person who made it and I would love to link it here. I am SO glad I pressed play on it! (And I was faffing on Facebook at the time, so whilst I still hate Facebook, some good does come!)
The video was from a girl who launched her first course and it ended up being a bit of a flop. She bought a $2k course about how to launch - I’m assuming Jeff Walkers Product Launch Formula or something similar.
Anyway, this lovely youtuber said, with having such a small list, the whole video series, webinars and fancy launch just didn’t work for her - as she had such a small list.
She did all the right things, all the things she was told to do, that worked amazingly for other big players in the course world, but for her and where she was at in her business (new and unknown with a small list), it didn’t work.
Now I’m not big on these “look at me being all vulnerable” videos and posts that seem to be flooding the interwebs of late, but man, seeing that while I was in self doubt mode, was the most transformational thing for me! I didn’t feel so alone in all this and how I was feeling about it, which was nice.
I just wish I knew who it was so I could thank her! If I somehow find the video again, I’ll come back and link it. It was just what I needed to see this week.
She talked about how it was totally normal for all your fears and self doubt to start coming out during a launch process - especially for your first launch. That you could doubt yourself and wonder if you’re good enough to be doing this, good enough to being a teacher and how important it is to push past those feelings. The self doubt has been the story of my life this week, so I really resonated.
The other point, that was probably the most helpful thing was something she mentioned about pricing.
How everyone says to value your worth and not to discount or sell too cheap etc but she ignored that and went with her gut and did some discounting and it worked really well to get initial momentum.
Given how small my list is, I decided I needed some initial momentum and did something that does against everything I’ve learned about courses in the last few years.
I was almost considering my May 1 launch as my paid beta launch, as I can still hear Pat Flynn’s words from the smart passive income podcast I listened to a few years ago, saying you have to get beta testers to pay or they won’t care as much if they don’t pay and won’t give you feedback like they would had they decided to be a paid tester. Which is likely true.
However. Getting paid beta testers might work if you already have an audience.
But if you don’t, what do you do?
I’d love some people to try the course out and help me improve it, cos I want this course to be spectacular and really help people get started in business.
So I put out an offer for people who were just starting their businesses to do the course for free.
Yep for free.
Which runs counter to everything I’ve been taught, but I just had a feeling it was the right thing to do.
And I’m SO glad I did.
I advertised in a couple of Facebook groups and got a great response in one group in particular, over 100 people interested.
Not only was it super exciting to have a lot of people keen to be testing - which affirms that this course is a good idea and there is a lot of demand for it - it had many positive impacts.
It will force me to get my shit together and get the content produced ASAP
It will enable me to fill any obvious gaps before the course goes live, getting feedback about the delivery, structure etc, will be invaluable.
It has already given me some great feedback about needs, as I requested people to do a survey of where they were at in business. This also gives me something to refer to when I get their post course feedback, so if they hate the course for example I can see if they are in my target market or not, if they are, I’d need to pay more attention to the feedback.
Doing a survey enabled me to separate the people from those who were vaguely interested, to those who will likely give me good feedback. If someone doesn’t want to do a survey at this stage, it might be like pulling teeth getting information out of them after they’ve done the course.
It will enable me to have real testimonials of people who have done (and hopefully love) the course - social proof is soo sooo important
Those people who do it, may refer friends if they really enjoy it,
And it is going to help a stack of people with their businesses, which helps the giving part of me that feels slightly icky about taking money for courses feel good (oh yea - I got money blocks to be worked out) . Helping like this feels good for me and this is a win/win for those that get a free course.
Now if you’re doing a launch with a tiny list and want to try out this strategy, a few things I’ve learned so far.
People often say they are keen, but follow through can be an issue. This is not the first time I’ve experienced this ;)
I had 110 people express interest on facebook.
Of those, just 60 actually signed up and of the 60, only 50 completed the initial survey.
Which is a pretty big drop off. And I suspect given past experience with completion, only 50% of the remaining people, will give me feedback after they go through the course.
So getting a big response was awesome, (even if it did take me over 2 hours to respond to everyone personally) but the actual sign ups was more in line with what I expected.
If I get 25-30 great responses out of it, especially if they are nice and detailed, I’ll be happy.
The tech to handle my beta testers
I knew once I had lots of people responding, there was no way I’d be able to manage it all using a spreadsheet, so I set up a landing page in Convert Kit to capture the emails - which makes sending everyone updates a thousand times easier.
I’m going to split the testers into two groups based on their responses, so I can see whether weekly drip content, has a better course outcome that giving it all out upfront.
Using Convert Kit means I can create tags for each group, so again, easier to manage.
Once people had signed up, the page automatically redirected them to the survey which I built in Four Eyes.
That took them through a series of questions, which helps me suss out where they are in business (so I can better evaluate their feedback at the end) and also helps me work out how to A/B test.
I’m going to have one group go through the course as I was originally planning - with all the content available at the start.
The other group will go through as a weekly group - and I’ll split the course into weekly lessons - perhaps over 8 weeks. I’ll work that out once I look at the lesson split.
The weekly group can then start within the next week, as I’ll have the initial content ready - week 2 is pretty much already done, as it’s business planning - and I’ve created most of that content with the free business planning course.
The second group will start once I’ve got it all ready - so might be a couple of weeks away.
Lucky Easter is coming up so I can go on a content creation mega weekend!
The only thing is figuring out if I can do set it up as an A/B test in teachable, or if I need to basically create two versions of the course - which will be a HUGE job.
But worth it to get valuable feedback.
So this is a total bust. Which I’m really bummed about.
I mean who doesn’t want 20 freakin hours of FREE business coaching??? I thought that was an awesome prize, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to be resonating. Maybe people think it’s a scam or something?
I’ve advertised it in stacks of Facebook groups, on Pinterest with multiple pins that no-one clicks on - even the paid pins got no clicks. It just seems to be falling flat.
It just goes to show the power again of social proof. Perhaps giveaways are better when you have a bigger list to get some initial traction and shares, not for building a list from scratch.
It still has just over 3 weeks to go, so I’ll keep it up, as I’ve already got entries, but right now, it is probably the most expensive cost per lead EVER!
I may have been better off just doing facebook ads to my free business planning course - even though I’d be fighting with every other coach, mentor and thought leader on facebook…
I’ve spent WAY too much time trying to promote it, with very little return, so I’m just going to leave it now and take whatever entries come from website visitors and just do a few posts on my socials etc.
Free Business Planning Course
So this is being produced today. Yes!!!
I was going to do it yesteday - but my old friend self doubt had me procrastinating… then it was too dark so the light wasn’t good and gthen things got shuffled to today.
I won’t be allowing that to happen today.
I have decided to make almost all the videos as audio over powerpoints to take the pressure off myself.
Despite the fact that I have read literally thousands of scripts as a voiceover artist - I record my voice every day pretty much, I’m nervous about talking to a camera.
It’s scary! But I just have to do it.
I think it’s really important to have your face in the video to build trust, so I’m going to do the intro and outro on camera and then do the rest with slides.
Hopefully once I’ve recorded myself on camera once, I’ll get the confidence issues out of the way and can feel more comfortable going forward. That is the plan anyway ;)
I’ve also got to build the “sales” page today and load all the content all up to Teachable, so this is going to be a BIG day!
I can’t wait to put it out there!
Day 13 numbers update
73 Email Subscribers 🔼 57
5 Landing Page Conversions no change
106 Pinterest Followers 🔼 12
73 Facebook fans no change 🔼 2
44 Instagram followers 🔼 3
19 Twitter peeps 🔼3
I didn’t make graphs yet as I found plenty of other ways to procrastinate ;)
Please comment below if you’ve got any questions, or just want to cheer me on 🎊 I appreciate your support!
Til then, Sue x
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