What You Really Want To Consider When Creating Your Course
Oct 15, 2020
Have you ever wondered if the offer you are creating is good enough?
If so, you’re not alone. It’s often at the root of biz owners putting out courses into the world that are either overstuffed with content or realizing they’ve created a course that wasn’t actually tied to an end result that truly helps they people they’re trying to serve.
This episode of The Launch Playbook Podcast, with Adrienne Johnson, a professional course writer, is going to help you deliver a course that makes you proud to sell and gives your customers what they actually need.
I talked to Adrienne about...
- how to create courses that actually deliver on your big promise
- what is an ethical course
- being clear who your product is for and not for
- what happens when you push your boundaries
- the freedom that happens when you release certain expectations
- revenue expectations when creating courses
- creating a course that benefits you in the long run
- permission to build things slowly
- why you might want to consider a mini-course to start
- delivering your one-to-one service and turning it into a course
- asking for feedback so you don't miss what your audiences really want
- how Adrienne actually gets a course done in a day through her VIP offer
- the kinds of content that can be turned into a course and why it's like sewing
- value over volume–avoid the overwhelm
- why it's super important to know the transformation your client needs
- the onboarding course she created for her clients to go through (super meta!)
- what is the big purpose of your course for your business
- ditching PDFs for Google docs
People and things mentioned in this episode
Check out Adrienne's free Facebook group, The Springboard Society
Rachel Rodger's We Should All Be Millionaires
Katy Prince's Seven Days to Sales Success & Squirm Free Sales Masters
My list-building funnel mini-course, The List Playbook
Lindsay Padilla's OnCourseSocial
Learn more about our guest, Adrienne Johnson
Adrienne Johnson is a professional course writer. By day, she writes courses for sales teams at a Fortune 500 company. At night, she loves helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses through course creation. Adrienne started this service because she felt like there's a lot of things that entrepreneurs can do better to make their courses more engaging, more likely to sell, but also more likely for people to get the transformation they pay for.
Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing
Sara: Have you ever wondered if the course you were creating is good enough? If so, you're not alone. It's often at the root of business owners putting out courses into the world that are either overstuffed with content, or realizing they've created a course, that wasn't actually tied to an end result that truly helps the people they're trying to serve. This episode of the launch playbook podcast, with course writer, Adrienne Johnson, is going to help you deliver a course that makes you proud to sell and gives your customers what they actually need. And you're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the start stops and tools of transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success and less burnout. Well, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.
When you're thinking about launching it into the world, one of the big roadblocks that crop up is how to actually make the time to create the thing you'll be delivering at the end of your launch. So not only are you focusing on launching your offer, you got to make it to that's why I'm thrilled to welcome Adrian Johnson to the launch playbook podcast. When I first learned about her services, and Rachael Rogers, we should all be millionaires a group, I was so excited to see someone offering a way for biz owners to get their courses done fast. So tell us about you and your business.
Adrienne: Hey, I'm so glad to be here, Sarah. So my business is get your effin course done, which is something that I honestly came up with on a whim, and was always planning to change it, but it kind of stuck. And I help entrepreneurs, right courses, good courses. Finally, yes. My goal is to help entrepreneurs stop piecemealing things together and actually, like deliver the course that they promise to there.
Sara: I have it and I love you. I love the name of your service, honestly, because you have that big promise of what's gonna happen right there in the name? Like, let's just get it.
Adrienne: Cuz no one, right? Yeah, absolutely. It's, it's honestly, courses can be kind of hard. And we've, you know, as entrepreneurs found all these different workarounds, and everything to kind of get them going. But ultimately, you know, I'm trying to help entrepreneurs stop, you know, creating these kind of wishy washy types of things and actually deliver on the promises that they offer. So it's one of the things that just is, like, Pinnacle to, to what I do, I love that.
Sara: So let's get into that part. So you're saying you want to help entrepreneurs deliver on what they promised? So tell me a little bit more about what that is, and or maybe a case where you find that they're not delivering what they promised? And why is that happening?
Adrienne: Yeah, definitely. So, I mean, I think we've all had, like, corresponding experiences, where we, like, you know, are sold on this big promise, and we're, you know, pay $1,000 $2,000, you know, for a course, and you open it up, and it's just not what you expect. It's, it's fluff, it's, you know, it's got some great starting points, but it doesn't like, go deeper into what exactly you need help with.
Sara: Or overwhelming sometimes there's too much as well.
Adrienne: It's overwhelming. Oh, my gosh, yes, like long, long videos, you know, hardly any action that needs to be taken. I mean, there's just, I mean, I can go on, and on and on about that. So I just want as entrepreneurs, I think, you know, we're in this, I think, maybe second or third wave of online business entrepreneurship, where the first wave was probably just like, Hey, you know, I created this list, and I'm gonna, you know, I send one email, and I make $10,000. Versus now we're all trying to figure out how we can make money online through our businesses, but more ethically, and that's part of what I'm trying to get people to do.
Sara: I love that you call that that ethically part. That's exactly what came to my mind as you were described. Yeah. No, this sort of stage of entrepreneurship that we're in here, right, like people are smarter about being sold to now they're more aware of it. We all know about customers and Facebook ads and retargeting. That's why we all think that our founders listening to us.
Adrienne: Listening to us a little bit.
Sara: Because, you know, we look for something we get served up ads for four days. So we have a more sophisticated buyers absolutely have people who wants like, they're gonna put their money into this and I think, especially like this year, right, like the economy, lots of lots been happening in the world and how we're spending our money matters more than ever, right? We absolutely really kerfuffle. So if we're going to take this leap, we need to have faith that the people we're buying from are going to provide what they say.
Adrienne: 100% 100%. And that's the thing is like, I know that there are a lot of people out there, especially in the first and second wave of, you know, online business businesses who are great at marketing. They know that I mean, the reason why they were able to send one email and make 10,000 or $100,000, is because they're good at marketing.
Adrienne: So these people are purchasing something that they haven't received yet. And so we're not getting the other feedback. On the other end of that of, you know, How good was this course? I mean, people will share testimonials and things like that. But I think ultimately, you know, we, we now have to sell, but we don't know how to create good things.
Sara: So tell me what makes let's call it like an ethical course. What like, what do you think? Are those things that really need to be in our course, to make it ethical to make it actually have an ROI result for the people who buy it?
Adrienne: Mm hmm. That's a really good question. And actually, I'm so glad you asked that. Just off the top of my head, like something that makes a course ethical is you really have to understand, well, I think it starts from like a personal perspective, you have to understand what you can actually deliver.
Adrienne: And you have to be very clear about that. And I even had to go through the same process myself, because even with like to get your effing course done, it's something that I initially launched as like a four to six week turnaround. And as I'm going through it, I realize, Oh, my clients need more support. My clients need, you know, project management. And so based on that, I need to update my offer and how I'm selling this because it's not the same anymore. And so I think you really need to be very clear about what your deliverables are, and understand like, what can you actually promise and deliver on versus what would you like to be able to deliver on, you know, so that's, I think the first thing Yeah, yeah.
Sara: I think and I think as a copywriter, that's something I know, when I'm working with clients on their sales pages, or their or their sales email sequences. It's always Let's be really honest about who this is for and what you're going to get about, get from it. And who it's not for, we don't actually want everyone right, even though that sometimes there's some of that fear of like, letting people like telling people, it's not for them, or sort of even niching down as they say, because they think oh, like, what about the revenue, but we want the results for people, right? Because actually, the more results we have, we're going to talk about what they got from working with us and how it changes their life and the transformation. And we do that by being really clear. And honest about it.
Adrienne: That's exactly it. That's the definitely the next thing is like being clear about who your product is for and who it's not for, you know, when I first launched this, it was just like, hey, do you want to create a course, here's, you know, I can help you create content, I can do all this, I can do all that. And now that I have gotten super clear on who it's for, it's like, okay, you need to have some content before we work together now, in the creating of the content is a separate function. So, you know, if you can't, it's always another like, push, it's another level of work, when you when you say you're going to offer a service to someone or a product that someone who is not going to work for it's there's always going to be additional work on the back end. If you don't get that super clear. And so, you know, that's the other thing, too is like, okay, we don't want to take everyone's money, you know, someone might be dying to work with you're dying to buy from you. But if you don't if you know, you can't help them don't take their money. You know? So definitely, yeah.
Sara: And I've seen it like, even you know, for myself over the years or other clients I've worked with when we sort of push those boundaries of what, like, we think maybe this could work, or I think maybe this could happen as soon as we start kind of going to that gray area of Yeah, I could maybe do it. Like it doesn't work well, for any of us, like our energy for our results, end up being resentful. I know maybe on both sides. So I think for, you know, our even our own energy in our ethics, and then also for the clients, we have to really respect who this container would be work for. Right?
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. And then that's the thing is like, clarity, and we all go through iterations in our business, right? We all change our businesses over time and things like that. And there's a transition period where you're trying to, you know, deal with the previous claims and take on new clients and there's all of that stuff. So I definitely understand why there would be a gray area and this is like not to try to vilify anyone who's gone through this, you know, had or no problem Yeah, just more of just like, it's, it's freeing to kind of release that expectation that I have to be all things all people you know, people come to me all the time who want to create courses for people who are like who are like Basically, in consumers in my people who are not entrepreneurs, and I know for a fact that is not my expertise, you know, I have to turn them away because I cannot help them. You know, and that's, it's a free experience for me, it's a freeing experience for them. And they don't feel like Okay, I'm gonna give over my money to this woman, and she doesn't even feel confident, you know. So that's, that's, that's super, super key.
Sara: I love that we're talking about that. Because I think that's what I hope for the launch playbook podcast is really we talk about their real things behind the scenes for courses in launching and making decisions around our offers and who were for. And because it's not just a step by step formula, right? And it's not, we can't just follow what other people are doing. And even if we, you know, we want these big revenue goals, we have to recognize, first, who we are serving, who we can really help, and really go sort of all in there.
Adrienne: Absolutely. I mean, revenue goals are great, but I think that's one of those things that can be in some ways a little bit misleading. You know, especially coming from, you know, people who are who have been doing this for 15 years.
Sara: Teams. Different.
Adrienne: Yep. And the key is, is like, we think revenue, we see revenue, and we think, oh, they're pocketing that much money. And it's just not the case.
True. Yeah, that's definitely one. When people come to work with me on a launch, I always have to say, like, I've had people come like, Oh, I want to make 100,000 first launch, and they've never launched and there's no list. I'm like, we have to talk about expectations here. And like the fact that what we're building is a foundation that you're gonna use, yeah, lots of times over, but know that you're in this for like, at least four or five, six times iterations. This is this is just the beginning. And maybe you get there, I won't say yes, they won't say no, we have to get like traffic in and we have to make sure this is the right offer and courses and all those things. But having that like realistic expectation will also not wanting to find like, kinda kill the joy a bit like, yeah, we can get you something great here, but know that this is a long haul process.
Adrienne: It's a long term process. It and you know, I think when people have those expectations of making six figures in a first launch, without a major team without a Facebook ads agency, all these things without traffic without a list. That to me is like a surefire way to know that this person hasn't been in business for very Hmm. Usually, they haven't been in business very long, or they're dislike, oh, and will online is just so easy. It's like, I get to work from home. So ever automatically, everything is going to just fall into place. And it's just it's just, unfortunately, it's not that easy.
Sara: That's true. Usually what I see people who really are looking for that high revenue goal, I actually go back because I work with generally service based business owners, I'm like, Well, how can we instead call in some more money from you, from your one to one work at a higher level, to help bring up some revenue, so that you can then you know, have some more space to create your course?
Adrienne: Absolutely, absolutely. raising prices, you know, figuring out how to work with clients who already have, those are all super key to do it. And that's the thing is, of course, is an investment usually, um, and again, I mean, people launch courses every day, without hiring me without hiring as, you know, an expert or anything like that. So it's not to say that it can't be done. The question is, like, Are we really gonna keep with the same trend that's been going on and slap a course together and try to sell it for $2,000? Yes. Is that really what's going to benefit you in the long run? Because if you do it that way, then there's going to be so much extra work you have to do on the back end to try to make it evergreen, there's I mean, all these different considerations. So, you know, do we really want to continue that, you know, it's okay to kind of build things slowly, which I think is.
Sara: You know, mission flipped to do that. Yes.
Adrienne: Yeah. It's all right. We see all these, you know, these people who are making Oh, I just literally put this course together two weeks ago, and I just sold it, you know, and it's like, I get, I get why there's such a need for that, right, I get that there's a desire to make money quickly, and to do all these things and have it be passive, but that's a really surefire way to like start pulling your hair out. You know.
Sara: Do you think that all courses have to be sort of like those larger scale courses? Or do you think that there's a place for you know, starting with sort of like a mini course let's call it like, a few little modules, or maybe 90 minutes of kind of work? Where Where do you think the line is and where do you recommend that most people
Adrienne: Oh, that's a great question. I think starting with a mini-course is great. It's perfect. Mainly because and I've seen this work for me is that when you have someone who kind of invest in your smaller course, you can then see if they're willing to invest in your larger, longer-term course. So I definitely think it's great to kind of bring people who are already interested in investing in you and in your business. But as far as creating the course goes, it's also less of a stress on you to create a smaller course. And you get your feet wet, you know, eventually, you can like build it out to more stuff, if you'd like it to be. But ultimately, I think it's a great idea to start out with a mini course, or even like a beta round of your course, and then build out the larger course from there. I have several clients who've done that, and I respect that wholeheartedly.
Sara: I love that you're pointing people to pay attention to what they're actually getting feedback on, like that voice of customer research, and what our customers are telling us is so key, and we know that, like, the secret to what they actually want is right there and what they're saying, right? And that the more we can tune in and pay attention to that, I always think of that as like sort of adopting a listening mindset or the more we can actually have an offer a course that really nails it.
Adrienne: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, the listening part is key. And there's an assumption, I think that if because you know, your your industry or your niche, or whatever, that you know how to teach your industry or your niche. And I think those are two separate things. Knowing how to, you know, help a one on one client and work with people or done with you types of things, is a very different ballgame than actually like translating all of that into a course itself. And that's the key. I mean, again, it's not to say that people haven't created things, and then great things with that. But I've just think it's, it's a little bit like, know, when you've been outmatched, someone, you know, understand when you you know, might not have what it takes, so speak to teach people how they need to learn it, if that makes any sense.
Sara: So, as a copywriter, I've had a lot of clients show up at my virtual door with a course idea or an offer that might not be actually what their clients want. And we've had to talk about how to figure out if this offer is the right one. What advice do you have for business owner who has an idea for a course but has no idea if it might work?
Adrienne: Hmm, that's a great question. The first thing you have to do is ask. Anyone who's been on my list has known that I constantly ask for feedback and survey my audience all the time, because.
Sara: I'm on your list of seniors.
Adrienne: Yeah, so you see, yeah, that's like one of those things where it's like, Okay, I know, when you're, when you're so so deep into your own work, sometimes you lose the perspective of people who are just getting familiar with courses, or just getting familiar with your niche. And so like, I have to ask people all the time, because things that are normal to me, and things that I might see as like, just you know, secondhand are things that maybe my audience are like, wait a minute, wait a minute, this is too deep for me, let's start from the beginning. And so I have to always, like maintain that level of perspective. So out all the time, please ask your audiences what they want, what they're interested in. And you have to basically be willing to kind of figure out at what stage the people who are coming to you are at. So like, I have a lot of people who are just interested in courses, or have a lot of people who are just interested in a business idea and haven't solidified that yet. I have people who have done courses forever and years and years. So you have to know like, what offer is going to fit that client and how to speak to them specifically. So always ask would be the make that I'd
Sara: So I'm gonna dive into a question that's been on my mind since I learned about your course. What is your secret? How the heck can you get a CT done? in a day or really quickly? I have a couple of different options.
Adrienne: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So again, like I so basically, part of the process is like, when a client pays, we set up a kickoff call, I get them set up in Google on the back end. And they basically submit their content to me, I basically, from that point, format it do a rough outline of it, figure out what's there, what's missing. And then I asked them to basically like either submit video, audio written work or whatever, to kind of fill in the gaps so that I understand what they're talking about. So there might be portions of their content that I have no idea what they're talking about. Or they're just, you know, they're still fleshing it out or, you know, I might need more information. And so, from that point, they submit that and then on the VIP day is when I literally like take all content and following it down, make it real nice and pretty. and upload it onto the course platform, which is a fun is a fun long day. It's a fun long day.
Sara: I love that you put on the platform that much like that's a really nice visual result of.
Adrienne: Yeah, it is, it is. And I have I have help I have a virtual assistant. So she's great. Um, you know, so we, we tag team that, but as far as the content itself, it's something that I literally, I have fun doing this, it's like a fun thing for me to like reformat content, which is kind of weird. But um, yeah, so I just literally, you know, flesh out the course from there. So I do have to have the content to begin with. But I do help like them formulate their idea. Figure out a rough outline, put it in order, see what's missing, get that content, and then put it all together on the VIP day itself. Right?
Sara: So what kind of content do they need to bring to an end? How does it have to be like, like bullet points, it can be audio, tell us a little bit about more about sort of like that prep work the client would need to do
Adrienne: Yeah, so thanks for asking that. So basically, it could be anything it could be like out like pass outlines. I have clients who come to me with like freebies that they've done. And they want to turn that freebie into like a fleshed out course. Or they want to turn multiple freebies into a course. So that's a big one, blog posts, old videos that they've recorded, you know, live videos, audio, pretty much anything, I can take pretty much anything and turn it into into a course itself. And I just love like piecing everything together. One of my clients said that I was like sewing all these like patchwork things into a quilt. And I thought that was a really great analogy for what I like to think I'm doing so. Yeah, so pretty much any type of content, they just need to do seem to have.
Sara: Do you ever need to tell a client that that? Let's say course idea, or even a module or piece of it isn't gonna work or isn't a good fit?
Adrienne: Yeah, definitely, definitely. So like people, like, they'll come to me and like, we'll flesh out who the course is for who it's not for, what's the transformation we're talking about here. And then we walk through the step by step process of that transformation. And there are definitely things that either don't fit, right, there's like, they sometimes they stick out like a sore thumb, you know, you can tell that this content does not belong here. And so I'll say, Listen, you know, we we need to, like, take this content out and like make it either a bonus, or you can use it in a different format or a different course. But I try to keep people from like overwhelming their students, their learners, and keep it this one straight transformation. And they can add additional stuff as bonuses or whatever. But yes, definitely, that does happen a lot.
Sara: Yeah, I love that. You call that out? Because I think I don't know who said it. But I know there's that phrase around value doesn't equal volume, right? Oh, yeah, totally actual transformation, the result? People get it. But I do see that so many come in with just a lot of stuff like here have everything in my brain. And then that can make people feel really frozen.
Adrienne: Mm hmm. I get that question literally every single day, people in the Facebook group, and they're like, I'm so overwhelmed, overwhelmed. And it's literally because we haven't nailed down who this is for who it's not for, right? Because every business has like probably at least three or four clients. You know, there's like the early stage client, someone who's not ready to work with you yet. But they're, you know, you're prepping them to get ready to work with you, then you have someone who's like maybe at the next level, and then someone who is ready. So you know, all of those, those clients need different things. Each of them needs a different level of content. And they're going to need a different transformation based on what you're saying. So super important to understand who that is. Because even though we're all speaking to one client, so to speak, you know, that client has taken the journey to get where they're ready to work with you.
Sara: Speaking of those sort of different types of clients that we all have, is there any that you recommend that we focus on for starting, let's say, our is our first course? Is it like the early stage mid stage more advanced? Where do you? Does it depend on the on the business? Tell us a little bit about that?
Adrienne: That's a great question. Um, I'm actually going through this process myself, speaking for myself, and what I would advise people to do is understand like, what is your primary source of revenue? And where are you? Like, what is what is your plan you know, because we're, you know, we're all selling like multiple things at a time. Usually, it's like a one on one service and ended on with you in it enforce, you know, all those different types of things. So you have to understand like, what, what is this going to do in the long run? What is the purpose of this course? Is this is this course supposed to like? Give me more time back and allow me to work less with people one on one or like, what's the purpose of it? Is it too Like, bring people into my business. So in that case, it might be like a mini course you know, where you're like trying to introduce yourself to people who don't know you. So those are all questions I would ask for me specifically, it's just like, Okay, at this point, like, I'm, I'm in the process of like going through working through like an evergreen, like mastermind, and putting together a webinar on funnels and all that stuff. And initially, I was thinking, Oh, let me create a course for this, because it's going to be passive income, so to speak. And as I was going through it, I'm like, what, you know what, I think I really want more done for your clients. So let me change this, and make it so that it's for my VIP days instead, right. And so you really have to know who you're speaking to first. And what the purpose of that is, because even though the course creating the course, for me, was going to be more of a heavy lift than just doing VIP days, like I'm doing now. Um, so I think you have to understand, like, what's the purpose of this course? What is it supposed to do for.
Sara: And I think you call it out to is we have to sort of know what our energy and our capacity is at that time, as well. Like, what is right for us in our life right now? Doesn't mean that down the road, like in six months, it might change. But yeah, honor, where we actually are? What's working?
Adrienne: Definitely, absolutely, you have to know where you are. For me, I know, I'm heading into the holidays, which means I'm slowing down, you know, I'm slowing down, I'm trying to limit the number of clients I'm taking on for the rest of the year and beginning of 2021, you know, and so because of that, like, I don't have the energy to write out my chorus, you know. And that's the, that's the dilemma that we all face, right. But I know that you know, and I think if you can know that you can use you know, of course, your benefit however you like I mean, I'm also creating a course that's for onboarding. So for my clients. And it's just something where like a home base for my clients to go to, for working with me because I don't use like dubsado or anything like that. So you know, that's something that I'm really interested in and fascinated by right now is how can I create an experience for my clients and use courses in that way? So it really just depends on what you're trying to do and what your what your your goal is, right? Now, you can always create a course you know, down the line, I mean, this obviously best, the sooner you do it, the better. But you can there's so many different ways you can create courses now that it really just has to work for you. What are your favorite ways right now to create a course? Oh, yeah, well, definitely what I just said that the onboarding, like course, like I love, I'm like, super excited about about that experience of just like, you know, sending my clients to a course where they go through it, I introduce myself at Dell, I tell them about the VIP days and get them excited, because sometimes it can take a long time before I'm able to work with them.
Sara: Because they have to get ready right with their content.
Adrienne: Absolutely. They get ready with the content, we have the kickoff call, which is like a one on like, it's a personalized thing. But between the kickoff call in the VIP day could be a while it really just depends on the client. And so I want to keep them engaged and keep them kind of feeling like I understand them. And I'm with them every step of the way. So that's one way I really enjoy using courses. I love the mini course idea also because it's like, I think is a perfect way to introduce get people used to going through the process of taking of taking a course from you, if that makes sense. So I think that's just a useful way. It's usually not a super heavy lift, but it does have to be done. Right. So that's something that you know, I'm fascinated by right now,
Sara: What makes it that right?
Adrienne: For your book? Yeah, I mean, first of all, you can't overwhelm people for the mini course. It literally has to be like a short term, like, like, You can't expect too much from people. It can't be a full length course it just literally so I will just call out. Katie Prince, I took a course from her when I was like about to start doing sales calls for VIP days. And it's called seven days to sell success, I think or something like that. Yes, I got very right. I mean, I don't like kajabi. But I think outside of that Katie delivers on what she promises. And I just as a disclaimer, I am an affiliate for Kaylee, Katie, but that was only after I've taken her courses. So I just have to say that but like, it was such a great course. And it really got me like fascinated by her personality and her mindset because she does ethical sales and copywriting and things like that. So I was super fascinated with that concept because it's something that's still I think coming around as to being like new in this space. But what makes a course good is like it was seven days right day one, here's what you got to do day two. Here's what you got to do that type of thing. There's a definite start and and there was like I feel a quick win, right like if someone was looking for support with sales. It was like a really quick win, too. Get there and to get definitely, definitely, I mean, challenges are another like way to do use mini courses. So a lot of so that's what I think what she was trying to do is like it's something like a seven day challenge. But it's been reframed into a course. And I think if you give people a quick win, and they're super happy with it, and you give them some really good tools and resources that they can use to be successful, then that's really what constitutes as a good course. Yeah.
Sara: And I noticed that like, you know, for Katie's course, and I have one to the list play book, which is all about building our list. I feel like when you take something that you've proven and done over and over again, and I believe in kidneys, it probably came from part of her, you know, her bigger courses, squirm free sales masters, I believe it's called. And for me, I had, it's been part of like my launch funnel I do with people. And these training, I think, when you know that, this is what people want, you can take a piece of your larger course and kind of test it and put it out there and get people to experience that, and sort of like quick dive in and with you, and also get to know how it would be like to work with you, right? Like if, if this smaller course, actually, you know, brought you to the result that you wanted, imagine what the bigger course would do.
Adrienne: I mean, you you've already proven yourself, right? At that point, you've already proven that you can deliver on the promise and Katie's you know, help. Like she she's the she's definitely the reason I would say why, you know, I was able to have pretty record months for me early early on was because of the tools that she provided the help of like figuring out how to, like actually do a sales call. I'd done them before, like two years ago, but it's been a while. So, you know, it was just like, Okay, this is how I can have this conversation. Here's how I can make sure I'm delivering on what I'm saying. You know, as far as within the sales call itself, that type of thing. So I felt like it was the first beginning step to say, okay, she understood from the very beginning, okay, people are coming to me because they want to make more sales. So how do I help them make ourselves right? So that's kind of you know, and I actually did her SCORM free sales masters, which was fantastic. And like I said, I did not become an affiliate until after I'd already taken the course. But it was that good.
Sara: Years are burning right now that we're talking about her?
Adrienne: Yeah, surely they are.
Sara: If you don't know her, yeah, get to know her. She's She's, she's fat, for sure. I think I want to come back to sort of that beginning. So if someone was coming to you, and they wanted to get their course done, but they actually had nothing? Where would you recommend they started? How can they sort of pinpoint what's working now? Not a new business owner? Let's assume that they've been in business for a while their service based business owner, they've been in business for a while, where would you recommend is their starting spot? How do they figure out one way to move forward with?
Adrienne: That's a great question. So usually, when people come to me with a course, sometimes they come to me, because they just they know, they've always wanted to create a course and everything like that. Sometimes people come to me with with an idea for a course, because it's that they're having some issue in their business that they think, of course, will sell off. So the first question I would say is that you got to determine whether or not this course is just like something you've always wanted to do? Or is it like supposed to take place, take the place of something that you're doing in your business, some people say, like, you know, I had one person who was a part of my course creation intensive. And she was like, I need to create a course because all of my clients, they'll come to me and I'm constantly repeating myself over and over and over again, with each new client. And I just don't have the energy to do that anymore. You know, which is a great reason to start creating a course, you know, like, if you can switch up and get all those foundational stuff in place for your clients so that the VA, the done for you or the done with you experience is so much better than that's a great reason to start getting your course. So just determine like, what is the what, what purpose does this course serve? You know, what problem is it solving? That is exactly why I did my list playbook because everyone who came to me for launching, almost most let's say most of them needed to Yeah, their list. And it was something that they could get started on their own. They didn't have to, you know, invest, they could take the resource to invest in me for the bigger launch process and just kept getting kicked off, which is exactly why I did that. And I and I think that's so accurate. I've seen that over and over. Definitely. Yeah, it's a great reason to get started because you're having a good problem, right? You have people were coming to you they realize they need help with this particular issue. But if you can, like not only you know, make money with your expertise, and also help them then it's a win win. You know, from that perspective.
Sara: What would you say to someone and if you've had this happen in a client call Do they ever come to you And worried that if they create this course, that they'll no longer people will no longer buy their services that they're giving it all away. I'm air quoting here.
Adrienne: Hmm, that's a good question. Um, I don't get that so much. But I understand the sentiment, I have had someone who asked me, How can I How can I provide the same personalized touch with a course? As with one on one services? And what do you say? So back then, my answer was, well, you can like create different tracks for your course and tell your clients when the beginning of the course, hey, if you're having this particular issue, follow this track, if you're having this other issue fall down this other track. But, um, and I think I've seen that done, and I think it has its virtues. But now going back, I think that's kind of the thing is that, like, the personal touches, what people pay extra for that upgrade? And your course, yeah, the course doesn't have to specifically be super personalized, and super custom. And that's okay. And if people want that, then they, you know, need to hire you for one on one services. And if that's the case, then then you're selling a course primarily, you know, up your prices. But that's what I would say, I changed my answer, because I don't think you know, nothing is static. And as I grow and learn and get more, you know, involved with, like, the people who were in my facebook group and everything like that, I feel like I am, you know, becoming more like clear.
Sara: What is something that really bothers you, and excites you, but the whole course creation process? What do you wish everyone knew about it?
Adrienne: I think that in business, at least, at least what I'll speak for myself and business for me, when I first started out, like three or four years ago, I was trying to DIY everything, because I didn't have it, I didn't have the money to invest and you know, brand person or, you know, through we'll start Yeah, I mean, that's where we all start, right? Got it. Get scrappy, gotta get scrappy, you learn everything that you need to learn about your business. And you learn every little aspect, every tool, everything. And I think as you grow, at least for me, as I grew as a business person, I knew what I didn't know. And I was more willing to respect the expertise of people who knew what they're talking about. So that's the thing I wish people knew about courses is that once you get really, really serious about your, about your people, about your clients, that that's a good kick, get get serious and be serious about their clients, I'm just saying, there's a different level of respect that goes into, you know, a craft. And I know that's not your strong suit, or if you're ready and willing to outsource it, that's a that's showing a level of respect for the time it takes to actually do something. When I dig into it, I find that there's usually something unexpected or unusual, that works to make a launch successful. And so coming at it from either the way you're launching your get your course, effin done, or even working with people on their courses, what do you think is the big move that makes launches work, the biggest move that makes launches work is planning. I know, that's not very cycle, I love it. Tell us more. Like planning, planning, planning, like I see all the time, you know, again, people are either in need of needing to care, like, make money quickly. So they, they say, I'm gonna launch two weeks from now I'm gonna launch next week, that type of thing, there's, there's usually a need that's kind of sparking that decision. But I have learned that planning is best. It's less stressful. You know, it's, it's, it's just one of those things where if you, if you're not gonna plan it out, you can't expect a big return. And it doesn't have to be complicated. Literally, you can just say, hey, on day one, I'm going to do this on day two, I'm going to do that. Or this week, I'm going to talk more about this, I'm going to highlight a client or whatever, just do some type of planning.
Sara: It doesn't have to be miss something. So when you start and you actually like open your computer that day, you know what you're doing?
Adrienne: Yeah, I mean, even even if you're like, you're planning out, you know, for a break in advance and you're not, you know, plan the whole thing out six weeks in advance, but you know, know what you're going to what know what you're going to do next basically.
Sara: What do you have a favorite planning tool? I know you mentioned that sometimes you have helped your clients, your VIP clients with this, like project management of the course creation process. And is there something you like to use the Lena?
Adrienne: Yeah. Um, I honestly so I way back I had, like, use Lindsey Padilla's. I think she's got a spreadsheet That's cool. I think it's called encore social. And so when I was first starting, I think that was a great tool to just give me the mindset of like, okay, here's the types of things I need to kind of be talking about. As I move forward, I right now I use notion. And so I just literally like create a task and notion and just say, Hey, you know, I want to emphasize these seven things, or five things about the VIP day and course duration, and things like that and handle objections. And, you know, here are the places I want to post and repost my Facebook page in my group. So it's I'm definitely more simplified. Now, that tool is very robust. So it's, I definitely suggest checking it out. But for me now that I've kind of gotten the hang of it and done it a few times, I've just kind of just outlined, you know, in short, and short form, what I what I want to do nice.
Sara: I want to go back in time, a few minutes to go to when you were talking about your onboarding course, I'm really fascinated by this idea of your onboarding course. I love it. I mean, usually, I see people more I mean, for myself, I use dubsado. It's more some emails and questionnaires, and a little video I've seen like, welcome kids.
I haven't actually ever seen someone do an onboarding course.
Sara: A little bit more about what goes into it?
Adrienne: Oh, yeah, sure. So I started using onboarding course, because I have even though I love PDFs, PDFs, you know, I work for a tech company by day, and PDFs quickly, almost nearly immediately become outdated. So I've just, you know, you have to go back and change it need to download it again. And you have to link it again. And the whole, like, whole thing. So as I was doing that, I was thinking, well, maybe I'll just use a Google Doc, because I can easily just go in with the Google doc and change it and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But then I thought, well, you know, what, let me like, show people how a course can be and how good it can be. without it being like them actually taking it. Taking taking it as like a done, like a DIY, exactly. Basically, what goes into it is like, it's just like your welcome kit, you just kind of outline like your welcome kit, and do all that and say, Hey, introduce yourself, remind people who this is for who the service is for. Set out some boundaries. So I usually like put like the link to terms and conditions, I might do a video about it. Frequently Asked Questions definitely goes in there. And I just find it super easy to update kind of meta, like, Yeah, I know. It's like, of course, my courses my course. Yeah, it's like a whole it's a whole like Inception thing.
Sara: But what a great way to tease for them like what's the common the promise? What's happening for them? Definitely really set that standard that you really know, like, here's the course that you have. Yeah, and to really make that ticket like that VIP process really feel high end.
Adrienne: Yes. And the cool thing about it is I love that with the pro plan and Thinkific I can drip content out what you can pretty much you can do content with any course platform. So I just think that's that's great for people who might be hiring me now. But maybe our VIP day won't be in February won't be until February or March, right. So I can drip it out and keep giving them stuff without having to do very much.
Sara: And I gotta tell you, it made me I heart happy for you to say about using a Google Doc that you could edit because that's what I've been doing for my own courses. And yeah, and for my my membership, launch playbook membership. Because exactly that I can edit it, things change. But I was feeling a little bit like, oh, should I like make this more fancy with the PDF?
Adrienne: And I feel like you just gave me that permission slip to say, forget it. No, don't use PDFs. No, I think Google docs are a perfect alternative alternative. If you don't want to have a course platform. There's nothing a Google Doc. Can't do that. Of course platform can do. I mean, so I highly, highly suggest if you can do Google Docs, I live and die by Google Doc. So if you can, if you can do that, go for it. I'm just trying to be a little fancy so to speak.
Sara: Yeah. Dogs and I put the link in my course platform I have in kajabi and then I also always just like download it as a PDF in case people do want it. Yeah, in there to view only Yeah, so you mentioned that sometimes people will be going through this process for a few months to work with you. So tell me about how do they get to work with you I know you're working a little bit out into the future and that you have actual real you have real scarcity it's not just like a made up thing to make people you know, book with you. It's true. Tell us about that.
Adrienne: Yes, sir. So I, I write I write mini courses. In my day job. I work for Salesforce. And because of that my job was pretty cool. I like it a lot. I don't really plan on leaving it. anytime soon, so I'm just gonna, like stay as long as I can. Because I really enjoyed and I enjoy the people that I work with. But on the side, I mean that that kind of limits the type of the number of clients I can take on at a time because my VIP days are typically on the weekends, at least right now they are and based on that there's only so many weekends I'm willing to give up for VIP days. good sense. Yeah, I've learned over time how important it is to to build in that buffer time and that whitespace so to speak, in my calendar. So you know, I don't like to overbooked myself. I've done that before. And it is a nightmare. And I will never do again.
Sara: So, yeah, love to learn, right?
Adrienne: Yeah, absolutely. We all have to learn the hard way. But yeah, so I only have like, maybe two, two is a comfortable number. For me three is an absolute max number of VIP days per month that I that I can do. And I prefer to just do two. Because again, it's a long day, and there's a lot leading up to it. And there's, you know, 30 days, of course, support after the fact. So it's it ends up being, you know, a lot of work. So as much as I super enjoy working with my clients, I really, I am trying to heavily enforce my boundaries. When it comes to taking more clients on than they can handle.
Sara: I think we all need to do that right in order for us to show up the best for our clients and to have that like creative energy, right? Like your writing, or writer, I need that creative space and energy to otherwise it can all feel the same.
Adrienne: What am I even doing here?
Sara: Great that that free space. So if someone wants to work with you, tell us sure if the listeners here how we can find you online, Adrian and how we can learn more about working with you and helping you to get us to get our courses done.
Adrienne: Yes, absolutely. So if you want to you find my website, it's Adrian Johnson CO and that's a Dr. ie in any Johnson CO and then also my facebook group, which is called the springboard society. And it's like, you know, telling you how to get your course done the easy way we do bi weekly q&a. I have super, I enjoy that so much. It's one of my favorite things about about this business is the q&a. So we come in drop a question in the in the in the question box. And we'll vote every other week on q&a. And that's like the highlight of my week sometimes. So like, yeah, so so catch me on my website, and also in the Facebook group, springboard society. Love that. Well, we'll put all of that information in the show notes, we can come and find you. Be sure to check out Adrian and get her help to get your course done. And out there so you can get it launched.
Sara: Thank you so much for joining us today on the launch playbook podcast. Adrian, it's been so much fun to talk about courses with you.
Adrienne: I could do this for hours. Oh my gosh. Yes. Thank you so much for having me. It's been a blast. Have an amazing rest of your day. Thanks so much. You too. Thanks.
Sara: The big takeaway from this conversation with Adrian for me was that we don't always have to move at lightning speed and go quick, quick, quick to put our courses out into the world. I mean, I know. That's what so many business owners are being told from lots of coaches out there in the world, that the best time to do something is today that we need to take action. And yeah, I'm a launch strategist, and I'm a conversion copywriter. And I get it when we take action and we put our things out into the world, our offers, we get feedback, so we can optimize it and we can improve it and then we can scale it wherever that's through impact and through revenue. But Adrian reminded us today that creating a course can take time, and it's okay to allow ourselves that time and space so that we can create something that we're really proud
to promote in the long haul of our business.
Thanks for tuning in to the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes, so you'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just the thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review in iTunes, telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, friends. Keep putting your big ideas out into the world.
I'm rooting for you.
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