#152: 3 Types of Online Programs You Can Create & Sell

The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating online courses…but sometimes that’s a bad thing. There are too many options! How can you possibly choose? In this episode Michelle will help you brainstorm by describing three different categories of programs that have worked well for her in the past. Get Michelle’s free Guide to Building Your First Online Course at https://healthcoachpower.com/onlinecourse

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Hello, health coaches. If you can freaking believe it, we are halfway through the year. Yes, I am recording this on June 15th. Here we are smack dab in the middle of 2021. So now is a very good time. If you haven't already, to take a look at your income and just notice what's going on, they're like, Hmm. You know, am I on track? Is this what I want to be making this year? And if so, awesome. Yeah. I want to definitely celebrate that. And if not, you want to think, what can I do in the second half of this year to turn things around today, I'm going to share some ideas for programs that you can run online and hopefully spark some ideas for you. These are not just random ideas. These are not things that I've just seen done in the industry.

In my 12 years, as a health coach, I've run tons and tons and tons of online programs. And then as I was thinking about them. I thought, you know, they really fall into three categories. So, let's kind of talk about that and get your wheels turning on the types of programs that you might like to create.

Now, this episode is brought to you by my free guide to building your first online course. I created this guide to help walk you through the first steps of creating any new course. It's the exact process that I use myself. And you can grab it right now for free healthcoachpower.com/onlinecourse. And I'm going to drop that into the comments right here for those of you that are watching live.

And before we dig into today's topic, I also need to give a quick shout out to Morgan. Hey Morgan B, she left a five star review on apple podcasts, Morgan. I appreciate that so much. Here's what she wrote. She said a must for new health coaches, amazingly valuable info here. You won't regret investing some time listening to these episodes if you're growing health coaching, Morgan, thank you so much. And I completely, I really appreciate the fact that this is an investment of your time. So when you're listening to the show, or if you're here with me live, I appreciate that. And I want to make it worth your time. Every time Morgan, please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com and just reference this episode, which is, oh my God episode number 152, so that we can send you a little, thank you gift. And for everybody listening, if you find this show useful, can you take a moment, leave a review on apple podcasts? Because this is how we reach our coaches. And that's what allows me to continue bringing you practical free content every week. And who knows, maybe I will read your review on the air next time.

Okay. So we are going to get into it. These are the three different types of courses that I have basically run over the course of my career. And I want to break it down for you. She could start thinking, and I would advise you as you kind of listened to today's episode, think about, okay, what ideas do I have for this category? What ideas do I have for that category? See if you could jot down some different notes underneath each of these different types of program ideas. So that at the end, you will have quite a few that you can start to suss out and figure which of these might be the best fit for me and my business right now. Okay. So, the very first one I want to talk about is maybe the most straightforward, maybe so straightforward that we don't even think about it, but the first type of course, that you can create, I would call a skills transfer, or think of it like a, how to, how to course, how to lacto-ferment, vegetables, how to meditate, how to start a keto diet.

All right. So if you're here, live with me, tell me in the comments, some ideas for different, "how to" courses that you could potentially offer. What's something that you know, how to do really well and could teach. It doesn't even have to be directly related to food or health. It could be something slightly tangential. I think I used this example last week, but Sharon, one of our coaches inside healthy profit university, she had mentioned that she could run a course on how to knit for its meditative qualities, right? So, if you know how to knit, you might think, well, that has nothing to do with health coaching, but maybe it does. So, what's something that you know, how to do really well and could potentially teach other people now for this kind of course, you would likely need some kind of videos. They don't have to be fancy, but some type of videos or some type of photos that show the how-to methods, right?

You would probably need some kind of lists of equipment required or groceries, you know, depending on what you're teaching, you're going to have to provide step-by-step instructions and maybe have some kind of planner or a progress tracker, right? Like what would help people actually learn the thing that you're teaching? That's what you want to think through. Of course, like this would also typically be probably on the shorter side, teaching one very specific skill or set of skills, right? It may or may not include personal support, but it very well could have a Facebook group or some type of online community where members could engage with each other and perhaps with you and ask questions as they go along. Now I'm thinking with something like this, again, it depends on the topic. It depends what you're teaching. It depends on so many things, but typically you would offer something like this at a relatively lower price point and think of it as a first step, right?

It's something that people might do as a first step towards working with you. And then you might upsell your members into a more comprehensive program or private coaching spots. But you know what, before you have anything created for a course like this, before you start recording videos or taking pictures of yourself, doing your knitting or whatever it is, you could offer this course right away. Like we talked about last week's episode, did you listen to that one? Because you could test this idea by selling even today, selling a few spots and doing a very rough first run of the program. You could just do it with a series of live zoom calls, nothing fancy, right? See if you're able to teach the thing that you want to teach, see how it's received. You learn so much from going through that process. I would definitely consider doing it and that sort of down and dirty, rough way first, and then getting polished with all of your materials.

So that is a skills transfer kind of online program. Let's move on to another idea for you. This is more number two is more of a protocol based program where you're going to take participants through a defined experience together. And the very best example I have of this would be running some type of detox or cleanse where you're saying, here's what we're going to do. Here's what we're going to eat here. We're not going to eat, you know, that this is the protocol essentially. Um, but it wouldn't necessarily have to be a detox. It could be something like 30 days of going gluten free, where again, you're going to provide like, here's what we're going to do. Here's what we're not going to do. Here's what we're going to eat. And here's where we're not going to eat that sort of thing. And we're going to follow this protocol for X period of time.

So again, tell me in the comments, if you've had ideas for programs like this, something where you define an experience, whatever it is and lead people through it, and it doesn't have to be about food. I realized that those examples I just gave were all about food, but it could be something again that has to do with yoga or has to do with meditation. But again, there's a path that you've created and you're going to lead people through that path. Or if you've already done a detox, a cleanse or something like that. Again, tell me in the comments, I feel like this is probably the most popular form of online programs. And when we think of online programs, a lot of the times we're thinking of something like this, even though it's just one type of program that you can run. So again, when we're talking about a detox, we're talking about something that follows a protocol.

These types of programs are usually more on the shorter side, because how long can you really expect to follow a given protocol, right? A program like this usually has in terms of materials, some type of manual or a guide or something that explains the protocol. It might include recipes. It might include other types of support resources. Sometimes you'll do a kickoff call and the beginning weekly calls for support, maybe a wrap up call at the end for the whole group. And for this type of program, I find that having an online community like a private Facebook group to be very, very important. So I wouldn't skip that, but again, you might be thinking of this in terms of like, okay, I'm going to have this big group of people. I'm going to run a detox. You don't need a big group of people, people to get a program like this started, you could even run this type of program one-on-one or with a very small group, two or three people, same idea, test it first, do it in a very rough way.

You want to make sure that however you've defined this protocol that you've put together, that it's easy to understand, and it's easy for them to implement much better to find that out with a small group or a couple of one-on-one people then to have, you know, 300 people sign up for your detox, which would be amazing, but that's not. When you would want to find out that there is something confusing about the protocol that you've put together. You hear what I'm saying? Okay. I used to run a 21 day detox for many years of my health coaching business. And that definitely fit into this category. And it was funny because when I started, I had this really, really basic word document. That's all that it was, that was my manual for the program. I thought it was very, very clear, but my participants had so many questions.

So every time they had questions, I would answer them. And then I would update the manual to include that information. And then every time I ran the program, I would get more questions and more questions and I would update the manual. And by the end, I think I had the most comprehensive, any question that you could ask is already answered manual that ever existed. I developed this huge recipe book along the way, but I guess my point is I never could have done any of that on my own, out of my own head. In the beginning, I had to go through the process with real clients and learn how to meet their needs along the way. So those are first two categories. And then finally, the other category of online program that I want to talk about would be something that is meant to replace or something that is meant as an alternative to standard one-on-one coaching.

So for example, group coaching, right? If you're doing your group coaching online, guess what? That's an online program. So maybe you have a group coaching program with zoom meetings every week, or you're to do even a private program with both your private calls, but then it's some type of hybrid structure where they also have online lessons that they watch maybe in between your calls or to supplement your live calls. This way, you can keep your calls to coaching while they learn things that they need to learn, or they learn skills that they need to learn in the online lessons. So with these types of online programs, the ones that are meant to somewhat replace one-on-one coaching, these tend to be a bit longer. They tend to be packages that are priced a bit higher, and the emphasis is less on teaching and more on coaching, right?

With, with those live meetings included in some form though, you could still teach via online lessons that participants are going to do on their own time. Now, the cool part about a program like this is that it requires far fewer materials, but on the other hand, it's going to require more of your live in-person time, though. Not as much as standard private coaching would require. So instead of somebody signing up for your six month coaching package, including 12 one hour sessions, maybe you're going to have a group sign up for this, whatever six month coaching package. And maybe there are still 12 sessions, but now you're going to reach six people, seven people, eight people instead of just one, right? So it is a better use of your time. In many ways, this reminds me of one of my very, very earliest programs. It was group coaching, similar to what I just described.

I had about five participants, maybe six, and they were from all different parts of the United States and Canada. And it was very, very bare bones. All we did, we met every other week. That's really all that there was to it. And because it was a small group, the women really got to know each other and support each other. So that's a benefit that makes groups sometimes more valuable than one-on-one. So when you're thinking about pricing, remember you always want a price based on the value of the program, the value of the result that somebody gets from your program, and sometimes groups can be more effective than one-on-one, which is pretty cool. So to recap, main categories for an online program are a skills transfer program where you teach them how to do something or a protocol. Number two, it was a protocol-based program where you lead participants through a defined experience.

And then third, a coaching based program meant to replace or meant to augment standard private coaching. And you can combine these three types. And actually my online program for health coaches, which is Healthy Profit University, is a really great example of this. So I wanted to explain how you might combine what we offer with HPU is a defined experience that coaches go through step-by-step. So in that way, it's a bit of a protocol, but along the way, we have all these different skills transfer segments, tutorials, right? Like on how to set up your mailing list. That's a skill that you need to learn something you need to do, um, how to create your freebie, how to build an opt-in page using free tools. This is all skills transfer. So we include that and we have so much support. Our coaches are basically getting elements of private business coaching without the private business coaching price tag.

We have an active Facebook group. That's one place where you can always offer coaching. I show up every day to help out our coaches in that space. Plus we have live monthly calls where I speak to our members about their most pressing problems. So you can see that even though I just outlined these three distinct areas of online programs and you can mix and match and you can combine, and you can come up with a program that works for what your audience needs, by the way, if you want, you can get more information about healthy profit university by signing up for my free training on how to turn health coaching into a full-time salary@healthcoachpower.com slash earn. So I have a few other questions I want to answer today that have come up in our group lately. I just want to make sure first that nobody who's here live has any questions.

You can feel free to continue to add those to the chat, but I always like to leave space at the end of these episodes to answer questions that have come up in our Facebook group over the past week or two. So let's get into those. Now, the first one comes from Daryl and Daryl said on the topic of online programs, by the way, Daryl said, I'm going to start creating online programs. And I see much content out there to buy, but does anyone know where I can buy videos to add to my courses specifically, I'm looking for unbranded cooking videos and I can edit into my own videos and workout videos that I can add to a module that is unbranded or at least sold for the purposes of repurposing. I currently have a few cooking videos I can use, but I know there has to be sites that just have them in bulk for sale.

Well, Darryl, I don't know if that exists. Anybody knows if something like this, but Darrell, it sounds like what you're looking for is instead of stock photography or, um, that clean life, which is an amazing service for recipes and meal plans, but in printed form, you're looking for something like that that comes in video form. I've never heard of it. So my advice to you would be A) create the videos yourself, B) hire a health coach or a personal trainer to create the videos that you want for your program. Now, when you do that, of course, you're going to have a better product because you're not going to be using something that's generic. I find that anytime, you know, you're borrowing from somebody else, you're going to be like, yeah, make this recipe, but not with that ingredient or, yeah, I want you to do this, but want you to do it slightly different than what's shown here.

If you actually hire someone to create these for you, then they can be exactly the way you want. In fact, I did this years and years ago before we had services like that clean life for meal plans, I was creating an online program that required me to have all these recipes and meal plans. And I wanted to make sure that they're very professionally done. I'm not a trained chef or recipe developer, just like I like to cook. So I actually hired another health coach to help me develop the recipes, test the recipes, take the photos it's pricey. But in the end I had things that were mine to use and mine alone. So they were unique to me and my business. And that's something that you could consider Daryl. And if anyone knows of a resource, like what Darryl's talking about, pop into our Health Coach Power Community Facebook group and let them know.

Also, I think that's a really interesting idea. And maybe it's just a matter of time until somebody gets the entrepreneurial spirit and put something together like that. Maybe it'll be you Daryl. Okay. Here's another question that comes from Christie. Christie says I graduated. IIN in 2019, and I remember that they said we could contact corporations to create wellness plans as they allocate lots of money for health and wellness. And then she said, does anyone know how we can find out how much money they allocate? Well, Chrissy, every business is going to be different, right? Some companies don't do this at all. And some do it on a very large scale. Some companies even hire their own health coaches. So there's, I don't believe there's any one place that you would ever be able to go to just get this information. You would always want to start by creating a relationship with, you know, find a contact and become friendly with somebody who works for companies that you're interested in partnering with.

And the best way to do this is to start with who you already know. So maybe you have friends or family members who work at different corporations. Maybe you yourself have worked for different businesses. These would be the ones to start with. And of course you probably wouldn't start with, Hey, how much money do you allocate for your health and wellness program? You probably start by saying, Hey, do you ever offer health and wellness programming for your employees? And if they say no, then you know, this is going to be a little bit of an uphill battle. But if they say why yes we do. Then you could say, oh, tell me more about that. I'd love to see how I could help you guys out. And then you're in a conversation. So, like I said, businesses really range in what they offer and how they offer it.

But it's a good idea to start with who, you know, when somebody already has some form of trust, you know, they know you, they trust you, then we're likely to have this conversation with you versus just reaching out cold. So I always suggest starting there. And the other thing that I've learned through the years is most companies who have budgets, well, guess what? They have those budgets in full for January 1st. So a really good time to reach out to these companies might be at the end, toward the end of the year when they are looking towards planning for the following year or hitting them up at the beginning of the year, when they have fresh budgets to work with. It's possible that if you reach out in like September or October or something like that, they'll say, oh, that's very interesting, but we don't have any money left for this year.

So that's just a little extra tip to help you out Christie and good luck with that. Okay. And I have a question here from Janice and Janice said, I need to figure out how to see the Facebook comments when I'm streaming to it through zoom, any suggestions? Yes. Sometimes it feels like I'm playing musical devices over here because I got one window open for zoom. I've got one window open for Facebook. Maybe I have another window open with a slideshow, you know, depending what I'm doing. So I know it can get a little bit confusing. Um, and I don't know exactly what your setup is, Janice, but what I do in fact, what I'm doing right now is I have zoom and zoom is recording. And then I'm not actually streaming through zoom at the moment, but it would be no different. I have this live stream also going to our Facebook group, right?

So on my monitor that I'm looking at right now, I have my zoom window. And then over here on my second monitor, I have the Facebook window pulled up and then I could see comments as they come in. Usually sometimes there's a glitch and you don't see them, but I have that window pulled up here. And the only thing that you want to remember if you're doing it this way is to mute your browser or mute that tab on your browser. Cause otherwise I'd be hearing myself talk while I'm talking. And that would be no good. Um, the other way that you could do it is actually have an entirely separate device. So let's say I'm presenting right now through zoom and I don't have another monitor, but maybe I have my phone. Well, on my phone, I could, same thing. I could go to the broadcast as if I were a viewer.

I just, again, want to make sure that it's mute so that I'm not getting that audio coming through. And then you could look at the comments coming through on that other device. And that's really the other best way to do it. In fact, sometimes I've done Facebook lives with my phone as the camera, cause I've done like a cooking class or something. And the phone's way, far away over there, up on a tripod. But then right next to me on the counter, I'll have an iPad or my laptop or something specifically so that I can see the comments as they come in. So lots of different ways to do it. I hope that helps. All right, you guys, I think that's all for today. Thank you so much for joining me. And again, if you want to get your first online course figured out I have a free guide to get you started and you can grab that right now at healthcoachpower.com/onlinecourse. Have a great week everybody. I'll see you soon.