When was the last time you said you were going to finally get around to creating, launching, or growing your online course? How many times before that did you say you would do it? Have you done it yet?
If these questions make you feel even slightly uncomfortable (or guilty), then keep reading.
Let’s stop beating around the bushes. The year is almost coming to an end, and it’s time to get to work. A lack of time or motivation will no longer be an issue after you attend out next week’s Teachable Summit.
If you don’t believe me, just check what some people have said about our previous summits:
Whether you’re just coming up with an idea, preparing to launch, or thinking about growing your business, we’ve brought together our most prestigious group of experts yet to give you highly actionable advice for whichever stage your online business is in.
We prepared this post to demonstrate why the Teachable Summit is just what you need right now. Click below to navigate to any section or just keep reading:
- Struggling to come up with course ideas or decide which one to pursue?
- Confused about how to set up the right goals?
- Looking to build a massive audience?
- Thinking you don’t have the budget to create content that lives up to your standards?
- Wishing someone would guide you through your course launch?
- Concerned about how to delight your students?
- Figuring out what’s the next step for your business?
Struggling to come up with course ideas or decide which one to pursue?
When it comes to business ideas, I believe there are 3 (almost Darwinian) stages every entrepreneur goes through.
- Coming up with a lot of business ideas
- Separating the good ones from the bad ones
- Choosing the right one to work on
The first and obvious step towards your goal of creating a profitable online business is coming up with a list of business ideas to work on. Most people get it wrong and believe this is the hardest step of all.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Coming up with a business idea is super easy. Think about it. How many times have you thought to yourself “wouldn’t it be cool if microwaves cooled down things super fast as well?” or “if I created an on-demand burrito delivery service with drones, I’d be swimming in guac money in no time” - or maybe that’s just me? Anyway, you get my point.
People come up with business ideas every day.
Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, said it best: “there are at least a thousand times more people that have good ideas than people who are willing to do the kind of work it takes to turn a great idea into a great company.”
Which leads me to my next point. Weaving out bad ideas and sticking with good ones is something most entrepreneurs struggle with, especially because it’s hard to tell which is which. You have to look beyond your beliefs and look at what the market needs: are you solving someone’s problem? Is what you’ll offer valuable enough for people to pay for it? These and other questions will help you tell the difference.
Now, should you work on just any good idea? Absolutely not. (Tweet this!)
The hardest step of all is deciding which of the ideas should you pursue. For example, I happen to think that the first pizza place on Mars would be a gold mine. However, I have no expertise on how to make pizza dough, cheese, or growing tomatoes - even less so in outer space; nor do I have a passion for the foodservice industry.
At this point, it comes down to two things:
- Are you passionate about it? Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of dedication and hard work, so you should have a genuine interest in what you’re doing.
- Do you have relevant skills and experience? Your knowledge is your most important asset and what you will build your business around.
All of this sounds very simple in writing, but how do you get it done? We’ve brought an expert in the matter.
You don’t want to miss Mariah Coz’s (of Femtrepreneur) talk on “How to Choose an Irresistible Course Topic” on Tuesday, November 22nd.
Confused about how to set up the right goals?
Time to talk about goals. I guess you’re expecting a cheesy analogy about how goals are like your compass, your GPS, your northern star… That’s not my style.
I’ll go straight to the point. Goals allow you to:
- Be smart about managing your time by working on things that matter.
- Provide motivation when times get hard.
- Work backward to determine just how much work you need to do.
- Track progress.
- Define a value and time constraint for what you want to achieve.
Business goals are the opposite of new year’s resolutions. You are actually meant to hit them. (Tweet this!)
Setting goals for your business is not an exercise to be taken lightly, everything that comes after this will be influenced by it: building your audience, creating your product, launching it, and growing your business.
You’re in luck, because for our panel discussion “How to Set Goals for Your Course and Actually Hit Them” on Friday, November 18th, we’ve brought 6 and 7-figure course creators to teach you exactly how they do it on.
- Andrew Warner of Mixergy
- John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire
- Nick Stephenson of Your First 10,000 Readers
- Joseph Michael of LearnScrivenerFast.com
Looking to build a massive audience?
At this point, you know what to work on and what to aim for - now you need to find the people who want what you have. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive to some people - you don’t have a product yet, why should you start to build an audience?
If you wait until your product is ready to start reaching out to people and building an audience, you’ve waited too long. (Tweet this!)
Capturing interest for your product even before it’s ready will allow you to do these three things:
1. Assess demand: at this point, you’ve probably discussed your idea with yourself while taking a shower, and with a couple of friends and family members. It’s risky just to go off on these conversations since most of us tend to surround ourselves with similar-thinking people, which can just end up working as an echo chamber (click on it, it’s a super interesting read) - I’ll be the first to admit that, most of the times, I agree with myself.
So bottom line, get out of your circle and try to gauge demand for your business - this will give you a sense of how many people are interested and how much they want it.
2. Make changes to the product: your initial business idea may will evolve over time - often times what you think people need is different from what they really need. Reaching out to people before you launch will allow you to hear their feedback and tweak or pivot your product into something they would pay money for.
If you don’t do this, you may spend weeks or months working on a product that does not address your target’s needs.
3. Have an audience ready to buy as soon as you launch: think about all the people lined up outside of Apple stores on the day each new iPhone comes out. The online equivalent of this (at an appropriate scale, of course) is what you’ll get if you do this right.
The most successful online entrepreneurs out there agree that the single most valuable thing for their business is their audience. The larger it is, the easier everything else becomes.
This all sounds great, but how do you get it done? Well, we’ve put up what may be our greatest line up of audience-building expert workshops and panels for the Teachable Summit.
On Wednesday, November 16th attend “How to Create Mini-Courses and Email Courses To Grow Your List” with a panel composed of:
- Darrell Vesterfelt of ConvertKit
- Maya Elious of mayaelious.com
- Jenna Soard of You Can Brand!
- Danny Iny of Mirasee
On Friday, November 18th, Melyssa Griffin, of melyssagriffin.com, will show you “How to Put Together A High-Converting Sales Funnel for Your Course.”
On Monday, November 21st join Sean McCabe of seanwes.com for “How to Grow Your Business With Writing, Even If You're Not Good At It.”
Thinking you don’t have the budget to create content that lives up to your standards?
Did you know that Sin City’s director Robert Rodriguez filmed an entire 11-minute short film on a Blackberry? And that one of the best films of 2015’s Sundance was shot on an iPhone?
Some entrepreneurs worry about having the budget to create a product that meets the standards they have for it in their minds. However, starting a business today is more accessible than it has ever been in history. You can achieve world-class levels of quality in whatever it is that you’re working on without breaking the bank.
After all, high-quality products are about the value they bring to the customer, not about how much money is spent on creating them. (Tweet this!)
All you truly need to create an amazing product is the will to do so.
For the Teachable Summit, we’ve brought Caleb Wojcik of DIY Video Guy to teach you “How to Create Beautiful Video for your Course” on Sunday, November 20th. Caleb has shot video for course creators like Pat Flynn and Jeff Goins and is a believer of accomplishing big results on a small budget.
Wishing someone would guide you through your course launch?
Do you remember the first time you asked someone out? The first time you watched a scary movie as a kid? That time your friend told you that you eat an average of 8 spiders per year in your sleep? (that last one is not true, btw.)
Combine all of those and then some. That’s how launch day sounds for most people.
Probably the scariest and most stressful time for an entrepreneur. Up until this moment, your business idea has not been out in the real world. Will people like what you’ve created? Will they pay for it? What if something goes wrong with the payment system/launch emails/website?
Freaking out yet?
However, product launches can easily go from being the reason you want to eat an entire jar of ice cream in one sitting, to one of the biggest days (sales-wise) for your business - if you do them right. So, how do you go from one to the other?
Well, launching a product is by no means an exact science, BUT there are tried-and-tested frameworks you can follow to dramatically increase the odds of your launch being a huge success. For the Teachable Summit, Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur will guide you through “How to Have Your First $5K Course Launch” on Thursday, November 17th.
Mariah is the best expert we could’ve brought to talk about this topic. She has strategized and executed several product launches and has registered some of the biggest course sales ever on our records during these.
Concerned about how to delight your students?
Let’s run a quick experiment. Look at your smartphone and check how many apps you have in there that you probably used only once or twice - for me it was the fitness apps (sorry mom!) and Pokémon Go (as I write this, I’ve come to the sudden realization that probably nothing will motivate me enough to go for a walk.)
Would you recommend those apps to your friends? Would you write a good review for them on the app store? It’s not that they’re bad products, it’s just that you didn’t use them as much to put your endorsement behind them.
That’s a problem.
Word of mouth and recommendations are probably the strongest driver for action of any single product out there. (Tweet this!)
How many shows are there on Netflix? Yet, I chose to spend a whole weekend binge-watching Stranger Things because my friends couldn’t stop talking about it (if you haven’t, you should watch it, IT’S SO GOOD!)
See what I did there?
After you’ve sold to your customers comes the time to work on getting them to use your product and help them realize the value it provides. If you’ve built a great product and they use it, then you will have helped them achieve their goals - recommendations and endorsements will follow.
To learn how to enable your students to consume your online course and achieve their goals, we’ve invited four course creators with some of the highest completion rates in the whole industry to explain how they did it.
On Thursday, November 17th, attend our panel discussion on “How to Increase Student Completion Rates For Your Course” with:
- Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income
- Troy Dean of RockStar Empires
- Regina Anaejionu of ByRegina
- Brennan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing
Figuring out what’s the next step for your business?
“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars” - Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker in “The Social Network.”
If you watched the movie, you’ll remember that, after that scene, Mark Zuckerberg went on to grow Facebook from a few thousand users in a handful of universities across the US to to several million users all over the world. A project from a group of friends in a dorm room became a full-blown company with thousands of employees - all of that is shown in about an hour of film.
Ahh, the magic of Hollywood. It seems so easy when they do it.
Once you’ve created a product people love, started selling it, and gotten your customers to use it, there’s only one way you can go: up! But growing your business is entirely different from starting it because your challenges will be completely different too.
- There’s so much to do and only one of you. Should you get outside help or even hire someone?
- If you go from a one-man-show to a team? How do you know who are the right people to add to your team and how do you lead and inspire them?
- You found something that worked to bring customers in, but are there other channels that are worth exploring?
- Other businesses will notice you and want to reach out. How should you handle these and how do you make the most out of it?
If you’ve already gone through all of the stages described in this post and are in the process of taking your business to the next level, then there are at least a couple of sessions you have to join.
On Tuesday, November 22nd at “How to Build Your Dream Team to Help Grow Your Course Business” you’ll get a chance to learn how three successful course creators built highly-effective teams of anywhere from three to thirty people.
- Taylor Pearson of TaylorPearson.me
- Kenny Yap of Life Academy
- Abby Lawson of Just A Girl & Her Blog
- Karen Salmansohn of NotSalmon
And on Monday, November 21st, check out "How to Build and Leverage Relationships with Partners to Grow Your Course Business" with:
- Jaime Masters of Eventual Millionaire
- Grant Baldwin of grantbaldwin.com
- Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers
- Navid Moazzez of navidmoazzez.com
A lot of people say that starting a business is a lonely job.
Even though you’ve decided to make it on your own, you’re not the only one who has gone through that process. Moreover, these people understand just how hard and satisfying it is to work on what you’re passionate about.
Every single expert we invited to the Teachable Summit has gone through the highs and lows of starting their own business, they were in your shoes just a few years ago and made it big. Now, they have decided to share their knowledge and experiences with you.
The Teachable Summit will kick off on Wednesday, November 16th, with a workshop providing a comprehensive overview of everything described on this post: “7 Steps to Launch Your Own Online Course” with:
You decided to start your own business, no need to do it alone! Register for the the Teachable Summit for a chance to learn from and ask questions to some of the most successful course creators in the world.
Have any questions about the Teachable Summit? Ask away in the comment section. I’ll read and answer every one.