#151: How To Start Earning With An Online Program Right Away

Starting an online program can be risky! What if you sink tons of time and money into something that…no one buys? Well, Michelle has a better way to get your course started. In this episode she shares about how to start earning right away and know FOR SURE that your course will sell. And be sure to check out this free training to help you turn health coaching into a full time salary – https://healthcoachpower.com/earn

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Hello there health coaches. Nice to see you. Do you know, one of the things that scared me the most for years when I started my business, and maybe you can relate was this idea of putting myself out there, right? There's so many different ways that we might put ourselves out there. What scares you about that? Is it just like telling your friends and family that, hey, I'm a health coach now. Terrifying. Like, that can be terrifying in the beginning, but then it comes down to like actually offering your services, creating a product, creating a program, putting it out into the world, hoping that best case scenario someone's going to buy it. At least hopefully no one makes fun of you. It can just be so, so very scary. I know you've been there. We all have most coaches have these feelings, especially when we're early in our careers.

And then of course over time it gets easier. Yeah. It gets easier because you get used to it. It becomes less scary because you've done it before. But I just have found this fascinating through the years of all the things I have learned how to do in my business, I have become so much smarter about how to put myself out there so that it's not as risky. Like you can't even imagine all the different ways, all the little tips that I've learned through the years of like, if I do it this way, I won't make a huge out of myself if accidentally this whole thing goes south. So today I want to talk to you about how I've learned to do that with online courses. Because the last thing that you want to do is spend a ton of money and time and all your effort creating a course that nobody wants, right?

Like that could be a big risk if you go about it the wrong way, but it can be a tiny, totally reasonable risk if you go about it the right way. So let's talk about this approach. So you can be smarter in creating your own online program. And I would love to hear what scares you the most. If you're here watching live. And I know a few of you are what scares you the most about putting yourself out there? Think about that. Say you had an online course and you announced it tomorrow. What like the worst possible scenario? Not that we should like sit and bathe in our fear, but I think it's helpful to just hear that you're not alone in this, right? You're not alone. I am definitely, always afraid. Like most coaches are. What if nobody buys, we're going to talk about all of that today.

By the way, this episode is brought to you by my free on demand training, how to turn health coaching into a full-time salary, whether you're running online courses or doing private coaching or selling products or whatever your business looks like right now, it's really important to learn how to plan out your year to create the salary that you want to earn. And you can get that training for free at healthcoachpower.com/earn. Now, um, if you're watching on Facebook, you guys know, I record each of these podcast episodes via Facebook live each week inside our health coach power community group. I love the interaction. I love knowing exactly what questions you have. It helps me build great content for you like that. Oh, I know what you need. Right? Cause you're here and you tell me, so again, tell me what scares you about putting out an online program?

What keeps you from doing that? What keeps you from putting yourself out there in any capacity? Are there certain people that you're worried about? Sometimes it's our closest friends that were the most worried are going to mock us or our family members. Um, anyway, again, you are not alone real quick. Uh, let's see. Jess says she's worried that no one buys or that I don't have enough content to build a course. Oh, that's interesting Janice, because I guarantee you have enough content to build a course. Think of... I don't know if you're like so many health coaches, but most of us have gone through some sort of our own health crisis, right. Where we've become ill and we've gotten better and we realize that there's so much healing and the power of food and lifestyle changes. If you know that, you know, so much more than the average person.

So, I am almost positive that you have plenty of content for an online course. And not only that, but even if you just took one small bit of what you learned during your health coach certification training, I just turned that into an online course. Like the content it's almost just right there for you. So no worries there. Janice says she doesn't care what anybody thinks she's old. I don't know how old you are, Janice, but I know that I'm in my forties and I am starting to feel that way myself. Like I don't really care I'm through with that part of my life. So hooray to being 40 plus or whatever age you guys are when you realize that it doesn't matter what other people think. Okay. So, I'm thinking a lot of people are going to worry about, um, knowing what course topic to choose.

Like that is something that might keep you from putting something out there in the world. What should the topic be? You might worry about how do I structure this course? What should I teach in? What order? How does this even go? Maybe you're not understanding how things work technology-wise... Does that ring a bell for anybody? What kind of technology to use? Or, maybe think you're just getting in way over your head and this is not something that you're ever going to be able to do on your own. And then of course, there's that fear. What if nobody buys or, what if I run a group program and only one person buys the agony. I know it. I know I've so been there. We're going to talk about that last one today. Because if you create an online program, I want you to start selling and earning right away.

But in a couple of weeks, for the first time ever, I am hosting a virtual weekend retreat. Yes. A weekend retreat for a group of coaches who want to work with me to create their very first online program and like, get it done. Yeah. I have a system that's going to help you get your program off the ground and you can start selling it after just one weekend. Spots are limited and they are available now at healthcoachpower.com/createmyprogram. And this is perfect for any coaches who have been seeing private clients, but they're ready to scale, right? Is that you? Or for newer coaches who want to test the waters with maybe an online detox or a meal planning program, or literally anything that you know how to do that you could then turn around and teach. Think about what you know, really, really well, what you could talk about endlessly.

If people were willing to listen, that topic is probably the topic that would be very well suited for your online course. Get all the details about this online course. Building weekend retreat, a health coach, power.com/create my program. Now here's the risky way to go about it. And I see coaches do this all the time. So I am calling you out right now. If this is how you've been approaching building your course. First, you decide on a course topic that you want to offer. Then you start creating content. You are writing, you're recording videos, you're designing handouts. You're getting a photo shoot done. You're buying a membership platform for a couple hundred dollars a month. And then once you have it all polished and spit shine and everything is up, then you try to sell it. What do you risk doing it that way? Well, we already talked about the time, the money, the energy.

What I see is that you really risk becoming disillusioned. What you once loved and were so excited about. Now, you feel hurt, embarrassed, ashamed. It's not working. Why isn't it working? I suck, oh, I shouldn't even be a health coach. You lose your mojo. You lose that excitement. And why you got into this in the first place. I see coaches lose their confidence and start thinking. I shouldn't even be in this field at all. Is that ever happened to you where you have what you perceive as a failure, and then it's just like, oh, the worst feeling. And you want to just dig a hole and hide for the next several years. Right? The worst thing that we risk is this giving up on our dreams. So I don't want you to do it that way. Here is a better way. Ready? Okay. First don't just decide on a course topic and then take off in a fast, a sprint to get to the finish line.

That's not the way this works. It's really important that you do some homework. So you know that you like this topic idea, but you are not the person who's going to buy the product. So is this a topic that other people want? Are they demonstrating that they're already spending money to solve a problem that your course is going to help them with? Are there other courses out there like this, that people are buying other resources, other books, even on the market, similar to your course? So let's say just for a sake of having an example, because Sharon, who is one of our HPU members gave me this as an example earlier in the week, she said she wanted to run a course on knitting for stress-relief. Great. So, if that was my idea, I would absolutely see, first of all, can I find any other courses about this now there's no one website that you can go to online and find every online course that's available in the world that just doesn't exist, but would do a Google and just kind of see what's out there.

That's one gut check. Another one would be to check Amazon. Are there already some books on this topic? Like, I'm sure you can find books about stress relief, for sure. And you can find books about how to learn to knit, but is there anybody who's combining that and are publishers, this is really the key are big publishers who have much larger budgets than you or I, are they doing in-depth market research and finding that yes, there is a market for people who want to learn to knit in order to relieve stress? If yes, and they're publishing those books, chances are there's a market for it. And that is a wonderful thing. On the other hand, if you can't find any books on your topic or any courses, any paid programs out there that resemble the one that you want to create, and that's a good sign there's not a market for it.

I know it feels a little bit counter intuitive. It feels like, um, I have to come up with something that's never been done before. It has to be super unique. No one has ever thought of this thing before. And you know what, like human beings have been around for. So, so very long, it's unlikely. You know, there are no new ideas. It's unlikely that you'll come up with something that's never been done before. So if it's not out there already on the market, it is more likely to mean that nobody wants it, that it's not a viable product because otherwise someone else would be doing it. Do you see what I'm saying? So this is a way to test your idea. Is it already out there in some capacity? Are people already buying something like this? I mean, you can certainly do it better and you can certainly do it for perhaps a more narrow target market.

But we want to look for a sign that your idea is something that people are willing to pay for. And Dana wrote, yes,. don't give up on your dreams. No, we don't want that. I know way too many health coaches who have quit. That's why I'm here every single week so that you don't, because I look at the world, I look at what people are feeding their kids. I look at what people are trying to feed my kids. I look everywhere and I think we need more health coaches. Okay. So no, don't give up on your dreams. So, what we want to do first, that your idea don't just take off running with it.

Next, instead of diving into recording videos, which by the way includes like buying the lighting and the backdrop and a teleprompter. I have done all of these things. You guys, the money can really add up quickly, hiring an editor for your videos, building out that member site. All you need, write this down... Here's what you need to start. Your course, you need a pen. You need a piece of paper or I'm kidding. You didn't really have to write that down. That's all you need. That's it. You can make money from an online course. And those are the only two things that you need to get your course, all sorted out. You're going to use that pen and use that paper to decide what do I want my course to cover? How am I going to break down this information so that it is digestible to the person who's learning?

And by the way, I have a free resource that can help with that. If you're kind of struggling with this whole, like, what's my topic, what's my content. Uh, if you have that problem, you can get my guide to starting your online course at healthcoachpower.com/onlinecourse, that's going to get you into that initial planning. But again, all you need in terms of tools, pen, and paper, that's it. And once you know what your course will entail, stop, stop right there. So if you're here, live, tell me in the comments, what do you think your course might entail? And I said, might on purpose might because even once you start selling this thing, I want you to stick with a beginner's mind, which says this could work. I'm interested in experimenting with this idea, as opposed to, I'm going to build a course about X come hell or high water. This is what I'm going to do to leave some room for what we're going to learn along the way. So, you think about what your course is going to entail and then stop right there.

Don't create anything else. I do not want to see you recording any videos. I don't want to see you recording audio. I don't want to see you open up Canva and start getting all fancy with colors and fonts. That is not what makes for a great course. That's not the thing. Instead, what I want you to do is find someone to be your Guinea pig. That's not really the nicest way of saying it. Find someone to be a test client, a tester, a beta client, preferably you'll find two or three of these people. Janice says that she wants to do a course Keto for menopause. Great. So what should Janice not do next? She should not start writing out a script for her 30 minute video that she's going to hire. You know, the recording studio in the city to go down there and record next week.

No, none of that, none of that. She's just going to start figuring out what do women in menopause need help with? How am I going to teach them to incorporate the keto diet into their lives? What should come first? What should come second? What should come third? Right? And then she's going to find a woman in menopause. Who's willing to give it a try or two or three, a handful, even if you intend this to be a group program in the end. And I think when we are considering online programs, we usually are thinking about them being grouped. They don't have to be, but even if you are thinking, okay, this could be a group program. I suggest that you offer one-on-one in the beginning to just a select group of clients, let them know, Hey, I'm testing out something new. I'm trying to develop a solution to this problem. So like, by the way, in Janice's example of keto for menopause, the problem is not keto for menopause. The problem that they're trying to solve is I'm going to guess weight loss, but whatever the problem is, Janice, like, that's what you would say. You would say, I'm trying to develop a program to help women in menopause with weight loss.

See if you'd be willing to test this out with you, offer it to them at a very discounted rate, a very bare bones format. Like there's no materials, there's no handouts. There's no stuff. It's just going to be your zoom calls or your phone calls or whatever it is, whatever the easiest format is for you to lead them through your program. That's what you're going to offer to these first people. Dana says it may include an intro, a few mini lessons and a conclusion. Yes. Eventually Dana, eventually you're going to know what you need to create. Maybe some sort of intro video, and then some lessons and some conclusion or wrap up video at the end. But you will never know what those videos should have in them until you go through this process, you could try, but you're going to get it wrong. Like 100% of the time, you're going to get it wrong in the courses that I've run for years and years and years, I still edit them.

I still tweak them. I still change them. Add things, remove things because I learn every time I run it, you know what? That didn't work so well. I'm going to do it differently next time. Okay. By the way, there's a huge storm outside with thunder. I don't know if you can hear it, but I'm hoping it doesn't zap my house and zap our connection. Here's hoping. So anyway, when you're running this program for the first time with your first group, your test clients, here's, what's going to happen right off the bat. You're going to find out if anybody is interested, if you just, Hey, is anybody interested in keto for menopause? A lot of people would probably say yes, but when you're asking them to give you money, even if it's a small sum, let's say that Janice is going to offer her first go round of this program for $99.

Eventually she's going to sell it for like $4,000. But right now, this first test script, she's just going to ask for $99. If lots of people will... You know, talk is cheap. They'll use their words and tell you that they're interested, but nobody's willing to sign up for $99. You're going to go, Hmm. They're not really interested in this, or I'm not communicating the value of this. You're going to figure this out right away. Okay. So we'll know if anybody's interested. The next thing that you're going to learn by going through this process is you're going to hear what questions they have before they sign up. And this is going to help you later because down the road, when you are selling at a larger scale, you may have some sort of sales page or something on your website. And if you know the questions and the common objections that people have, when they're considering joining your program, you can address all of those right there on your sales page.

So you're going to start learning about your target market. Then of course, you're going to walk these people through your process and in doing so, you're going to see where they get stuck. You're going to see where they have success. You're going to see where they give up, you know, and this is going to again, teach you, okay, what can I do differently? How can I give them more support in this area? Or I tried to get them to do this. You know, maybe a Janice says, I'm going to try to get everybody to go keto, cold turkey, you know? And then that doesn't work. So she's going to adjust from there to make it something people are able to have success with. You're going to learn, what do I have to add, what do I have to remove? Maybe what do I need to rearrange in order to make this a system that works, people want to buy a system that works.

That's why something like weight Watchers is so appealing because it's a system that lots of people use to get results. It's like when you have a step-by-step system, people go, oh, that sounds wonderful. I'd love to do that. You're going to be able to create your own system, but only after kind of stumbling through it a few times with people who are trying it out along the way. And then of course, you're going to watch these clients. They're going to have successes. You're going to be able to write up case studies. You're going to get testimonials from them. This is also going to help you sell your course at our larger scale down the line. And in this way, you are getting paid to develop your course. You could have developed your course all on your own and just hoped and wished and prayed that it came out well and the people were going to buy it.

But in this way, you get paid along the way to develop a course that, you know, works that you know, cells and all that work that you were going to do, you're going to do it better. You're going to do it with the benefit of experience behind you. And instead of losing money to all those expensive tools, you're going to be making money. Now, even once you go through this process, I would not jump from that first test group to a full on full blown bells and whistles online program. I just wouldn't, that's too much of a leap. Again. I would collect myself, I would do a debrief. How did this go? What can I learn? Reorganize. Polish things up a little bit, and I'd offer it again at a higher price point, still just to a select group. And once again, go through that learning process, see what we're doing here.

Doesn't that feel smarter and just like leaping into the whole full blown course. Once you know that you definitely can get results with this program and you know that people want what you are offering because they are already buying it. That's when I feel you then have permission, you can give yourself permission to go ahead, get fancy with it, offer it on a larger scale. The thing that I want you to remember here is start simple, get ninja later. Cause everyone wants to start at the ninja level. Like we all want to start there. And that is completely backwards. Don't do that. You will regret it this way. As you grow, as your course grows, you're going to, you know, add the member site when the time is right for that, you're going to make those videos. You're going to add the online community, whatever your course requires, you'll raise the price and you're going to be so well positioned to make a killing with it because you did your homework.

Every business operates this way. You think Nike is just like, we have an idea for a sneaker, boom. Let's produce it and send it out to a million stores. No way! The best part is that all along the way of this process, you're earning money instead of risking losing any. Kelly says I did my first group program, bare bones like that. I've really been wanting to do another one. And I just enrolled my first participant for my next one today. That's terrific Kelly. And I'll be interested in seeing what you learned this time around. By the way, the rain is so insane right now, outside my window. It's a little bit distracting. Ooh.

Anyway, Hey, thank you for hanging with me throughout this rainstorm and my electricity staying on. Such a good thing, because I wanted you to see the bigger picture here of your business. It's not just idea, build it, make money. It just doesn't ever work like that. So if you follow the process... You heard that, right? Do you follow the process that I've laid out for you? You're going to have much greater success. And this is how I'm going to teach you to get your course up and running during my create your first online program weekend retreat. Coming up later this month, we're going to map out your ideas. We're going to vet them so that you know, they're viable. We'll figure out all the technology required. I'm going to walk you through that. So, you can really see how this is all going to come together in the end.

And I'm going to teach you how to offer it now to get those first test clients through the door and start earning. This is a skillset, right? I'm going to teach you a skill set that has taken me like 12 years of running a business to figure out and I can teach you everything I know about this whole idea of online program development. So you can be successful right from the get go. So, for details on that event, again, go to healthcoachpower.com/createmyprogram.

And it's been a pleasure being here with all of you today. Wow. That lightning and thunder is just scaring the living bejesus out of me. I'll be back next week to take more of your questions, then have a great week, everybody. Bye bye.