How to [FINALLY] finish your online offer in 2022. Like seriously.
What purpose-driven entrepreneurs do vs. don’t do when it comes to building online courses and programmes
If you’ve been sitting on an idea for months or – more likely – years, let me offer a potential remedy that will get that wonderful, world-changing, idea from your head to a payment button that a client can click with glee. Yes, glee.
So many people I’ve worked with over the years have come to me fretting about making more money.
“How can I make more sales, like, Lisa I really need to make some money now.”
“Should I post more on social media, do I need to make Reels?”
“Do I really have to run ads?”
My question in response is always this:
“Can I just check first of all: Is your offer finished and are you excited and proud to sell it?”
You might be surprised to hear how much hesitation is offered at this stage. Remember, I work squarely with good people; purpose-driven people who want to build online businesses. I often find these (wonderful!) people stuck in a subconscious struggle between purpose and commerce. Put into plain English: They want to sell stuff but they have a belief that this is wrong, or they’re not good enough to deliver what they’ve promised; the old “Why would anyone buy from me” line. And so most purpose-driven people turn their offer and the selling of that offer into an impossible dichotomy i.e. these two things exist at opposite ends of a spectrum that can never meet.
I mean think about what’s stopping you for a moment…
If you have a desire to help people, and you have something truly wonderful to share (like a process, an insight or a service), what could possibly be stopping you from making more sales? What is stopping that flow of money coming to you right now? Because surely, it can only be one of the following five things:
- You don’t really believe in or love what you’re selling, so you don’t shout about it. Maybe it’s not linked to your purpose. Maybe the idea is incomplete. Maybe you believe something else you haven’t fully owned yet?
- You’re afraid that if you put it out there, people won’t buy it, or old school friends will laugh, or you’ll fail…oh my god – in everything!
- You believe taking money off people for what you have to offer will leave them in a worse position (not a better one).
- You don’t believe people can afford it – you don’t have this money to spend, so why would your customers?
- You just don’t see yourself as someone who runs a course or sells online or runs a business that makes money.
Any and all of these statements are the sign of a subconscious belief around worth, money or maybe even leadership and being seen. Before moving on, try this: Push back from your desk or lean back in your seat, sit quietly and with a very gentle and kind focus ask this question:
What is stopping the flow of money coming to me right now? If I am the only one blocking the money that wants to come to me so I can live a wonderful life whilst changing the lives of others, what might it be? How might I be offering resistance to that flow?
Don’t force the answer and don’t assume it will come right away. Just sit with it. Let the answer come to you. Whatever comes up is something to be explored further; it’s something to work on. That is what they call ‘the work’.
And by the way, if the penny hasn’t landed yet: Not finishing your offer is one of the ways you are blocking the flow.
Sometimes I like to imagine Angels, the Universe, my Nana watching over me saying: “Guys I know, I want to help her, I want to send her more but like, what can I do? She won’t finish her offer. Oh this kid is driving me mad!”.
I’m not sure that’s how the conversation goes ‘up there’, but it reminds me to get out of the way of that flow by at least opening up the container for more.
What I know, what I can produce, and what I can create for people have value. I have value.
What you know, what you can produce, and what you can create for people have value. You have value.
Read that again and see how you feel. Do you accept it? Can you feel any resistance? What is the block?
[There is a lot more to the conversation about flow and abundance that I will be writing about in coming months. Click here to sign up to the DARETOGROW mailing list so you don’t miss it.]
The Remedy – Returning to Creativity:
There are two sides to the remedy. One side is finding the block and doing the work to release it. I will be sharing more content on this soon so please do be sure to subscribe or sign up to the mailing list to see this content coming out. For now, let’s move on to the second side: Returning to creativity.
Again, I find a lot of purpose-driven people forgetting everything they know about joy, creativity and purpose when it comes to building something to sell. Somehow, they take their amazing idea, their beautiful intention and their powerful programme and turn it into a chore. Something they love, something they were born to create, they turn it into a job, a task, a burden!
“Urgh, I have to film this stupid course this weekend.”
“It’s too hard and I don’t have time.”
Stupid course? ‘Have to?’ You don’t have time? To go after your dreams and give words to what’s burning to be heard?
Building your programme, filming your course, finalising your workbook is an act of creation and it’s one to be enjoyed. You asked for this. You’ve been asking for this for a long time. And you’re built to do this. Try, gently, to shift your attention from the task in hand to the act of creation.
What are you excited to create here? What will make that journey of creation more fun for you? It’s not a chore.
I filmed this video in a beautiful AirB&B in Manchester. I ate out at Wagamamas. I woke each day to write. I made lovely coffees from the machine in the wall. I tried my best to enjoy the process. To type up these words, I got in my car and drove to Waterstones in Newcastle. I ordered a coffee, I put on some ‘Ibiza Chill Instrumental’ over my headphones and I began typing. Part of manifesting the life you dream of is to start accepting it and experiencing it now. Go where you feel creative, treat yourself to what’s on offer. Even if money is tight, a coffee in a nice, inspiration place, or a walk with the dogs, or a wander through the market is just the ticket that leads to better things. You don’t have to fly to Ibiza to do it…but you could.
Honestly: I know I will produce a lot more here [currently typing in Waterstones] than I would sat at home all day…although the laundry would be all done by now, damn it!
What I’m saying is that the act of creation is your greatest gift and it is the whole point. Creating it is more of the point than it being done. In the creation you get to think, to explore, to tune in, to organise exciting, life changing ideas for the good of others, and for you. That is the whole point of being a purpose-driven entrepreneur: To enjoy the creative process of inventing things that helps you and others. And guess what? When you do that and you’re honest and true, and you turn up and tell people about it, and you’re excited, money will flow. Because you enjoyed it, you believe in it, it was created in joy and authenticity.
Money is just a token of value. If you want to make more money, create more value in joy. And tell people about it!
Finally, before we move on to the process can I tell you, sadly, that this process is never done? You’ll never truly ‘finish’ your course. I mean sure, it will be complete enough to sell. But the video in your head won’t match the video you produce. The first cut of the worksheet won’t compare to the workbook you print and send out two years from now. This first live event or Zoom won’t flow as easily as your tenth.
Part of this process of creating is accepting the ole ‘First Sh!t Version’ mentality. You just reach a point where it’s good enough to help people and you price accordingly and release. Once it’s ready and you’re selling it, you can refilm videos, you can teach more concepts in weekly lives or monthly Masterclasses. You can release bolt on videos. You can always make it better. But please do strike the balance between ‘that is helpful’ and ‘it has to be perfect’. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be solid enough to help people move forward with their lives.
How to Complete your Online Course or Programme – The Process:
I could have started this write up here, but the context was important, wasn’t it?
So how do you finish your course and get it ready to sell, practically speaking? There are seven steps:
Step 1 – Get yourself to a place of inspiration. This might be Waterstones in Newcastle. But it could equally be your dining room table, surrounded by pens and Post-its, coffee and cake! Pick somewhere that will help you feel open and creative and start with these questions: What are all the things I want to teach these clients and what are all the things they would need to know, understand or apply to get the result?
Gently, start to map out the key themes you want to teach on. Over time, start to group the ideas and themes together. All you’re trying to do here is summarise the big things you want to teach – the headings, the module titles, the big learning points, the big steps. Edit, tweak, rewrite, refine. I often find that more ideas come the more I write. So, I might go to bed with a solid outline of key themes and wake up with the missing piece. Or it comes on the treadmill. Or in the bath. Damn it, both times!
For Pre-Ex Business School, this meant writing out titles like:
- How to sell online
- How to set up a business
- How to build a funnel
- How to find my purpose
- How to finish my offer
- How to run ads online
I just listed out everything I needed my clients to learn in order to build a scalable business online as a purpose-driven entrepreneur.
Step 2 – With the themes broadly generalised and written up as key headings, start to fill in some of the details. What are the 3-5 core ideas within that core theme? How can you break up this idea into easily digestible pieces? These will form the units within that module. Using Pre-Ex Business School again, I know I need to teach people how to finish their offer, how to build a funnel, and how to sell. They are three themes and they become three modules. Under ‘how to build a funnel’, I know I need to teach things like ‘how to craft a landing page’ and ‘how to write emails that lead to clicks’. Now I can pick a module and start breaking down the core teaching points or units.
You don’t have to do this in one go. It’s not a race and this is not a punishment. It’s not a job! You chose this. You want to do it. You have everything within you to bring this to life. Just sit gently with the process and keep returning to the light feeling of creativity. What are the specific things I need to teach my wonderful clients under that core heading?
Step 3 – With the modules and units broadly finalised, it’s time to start typing up the content for each unit. You can do this word for word in a Word document, but you could equally write out key bullets on pieces of paper, or Post-it notes. I personally love to include write ups of my units in the finished course. These write ups often have more details than the videos – the videos are ‘here’s how’ but the write ups are more like ‘here’s what this looked like for me’. They have additional personal anecdotes, more stories. And I embellish the write-ups with questions and prompts to help people do the work. These write-ups and worksheets come together to form the printed workbooks I send out in the post. It’s one of the bits I love the most; producing the workbooks, printing them, sending them out in the post. I love it! So writing the unit content in full provides so many benefits from me.
Step 4 – Practice filming, before filming. You don’t not have to film your entire course in a weekend. You don’t have to do anything in that timeframe! Long before you get to filming the actual content, I find there is another step that eases people in and leads to a better result. Practice!
Before I sit down and begin actually filming a new course, I spend a weekend (yes – a weekend!) setting up my ‘set’, trying different angles, and filming a few bits to camera to see how it feels. This not only helps ease me into this next stage but it helps me to be productive when I come to film. I always separate the set up from the action in most things I do. This looks like clearing a space and getting your pens and pencils out the night before. It looks like setting up your set one day and filming the next.
It’s important at this stage that you test the thing you’ve filmed properly on your computer. Don’t just watch it back on your phone or camera. Put it on your computer and watch it. This helps you to spot any issues you don’t see on a small screen, and you can check the sound has worked well and isn’t too echoey or quiet for example.
Step 5- Well, now it’s time to film. But by this stage, look at the clarity you have. Look how prepared you are. And consider the different energy you will feel by considering this as a creative project you enjoy, rather than a task you must complete in punishment! Remember, you wanted this. You are equipped to do this. And the more hours you put into practicing this skill, the better you’re going to get.
So now take your time. Enjoy the process. See if you can film two or even three videos in a day or over the course of the weekend. Enjoy it. And do it well. I know this sounds mad. There is so much pressure on people to film quickly, to smash it, to just get it done. But that mentality and approach rarely works for purpose-driven people. Purpose-driven people tend to produce better work with the pressure off, with time to enjoy the process and through the lens of creativity, not productivity. So take your time. Enjoy the process.
For me, enjoying the process means having a banging set! Literally, I love buying shelving units, setting up a scene, hanging pictures on the wall, buying new trinkets for my shelves, setting up coloured lights. I also love a second camera angle. I set up two cameras: The first one is cropped to the main shot – me talking. And the second camera angle is wider, set back, with the edges of the other camera or lights showing. I love that. It shows my viewers what the ‘fuller scene’ looks like.
And remember, I didn’t always have two cameras, mics and lights. I started filming with iPhones and handicams. Your content and the way you make people feel is the key to a good video. If you can make the background decent to look at and use lights or the natural light from a window to brighten up the scene, well even better!
Step 6 – Edit your videos. Again, I like to film allll the content before I begin editing. Or at the very least, I film a complete module. It can be very taxing to go from writing to filming to editing, back to writing. It can be a lot more productive to batch all the writing and do it well, coming back to fill in the gaps and update your ideas through the natural process of creating and editing. Then do the same with filming. And now with editing!
For editing your course content, you can either do this yourself using a simple movie editor software (literally Google that to find one you like), or you can outsource it. Maybe you have a friend who knows how to do this? Or you could put the project on something like People Per Hour and get people to bid on the work.
It’s not as expensive as you might think for someone to edit the files you’ve filmed. Just be really clear on the final look and feel you want and if you want things like music in the background, titles appearing to break up ideas or closing slides. You can have anything you’re willing to pay for but don’t leave it to the video editor to guess. Find videos you like, use them as examples and write a clear brief of what you want as an outcome.
Step 7 – With your video editing in motion, it’s time to return to Step 3 and finalise any write ups, any worksheets, and homework you’re assigning with your content. Start to set up the modules and units in your online course software, which might be something like Teachable or Kartra. Create the framework and as the videos are exported, drop them in, upload your worksheet and watch it come together before your very eyes!
I honestly LOVE that moment when I log into Kartra, paste in the link for the video and upload the worksheet. There it is! All my hard work. Online and ready to share with customers. It really is an amazing feeling to see the ‘physicality’ of something you’ve created.
Launching your course:
Of course, what comes next is telling people about this programme and giving them a way to learn more about it, to try it and to buy it.
I teach a very specific method for doing this called the Split Freebie Approach. I like to use something like a long copy write up (a PDF) or a comprehensive workbook to get people off social media and onto my mailing list so I can communicate more specifically with them.
The key to success here is, as with everything, value. You’ve got to write something or create something that is useful, practical and valuable.
I add heaps of value in these PDFs. In fact, you can see one here. This 33-page guide is called Stop Faffing, Start Scaling: Three Bridges You Must Build and Cross to Hit your Six Figure Year. It’s free to download and it’s bursting with the truth of what it takes, but it also includes checklist and deeper insights on details like ‘What goes on a sales page’. Thousands of people have downloaded this now and that means I have thousands of people I can talk to, I can build a relationship with, I can help…I can ultimately open sales conversations with.
As people start to read the PDF, I invite them to join me on a webinar to see this process in action. On the webinar, I literally show people how to build an online marketing funnel. I don’t hold back with what I share. Over the years I’ve found that people love my free content, but when they want to do the work, they gravitate to communities, support, processes meaning they go looking for courses and mentors to help. By sharing so much of my process and turning up so fully online, I just put myself on the list of business coaches to be considered.
Would you like to work with me?
Pre-Ex Business School is my 14 month online training and mentoring programme for purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are serious about learning how to build a business, how to sell ethically, and how to scale up using online marketing.
Click to test it out with my 45 minute webinar. In this energetic video, I show you the methodology I teach my clients, and offer some insights and words of wisdom to get you taking bigger action today. Watch now >>
If you’d like to find out more about the programme, you can find all the details here: https://daretogrow.co.uk/preex/