We discuss how to make and market your online course or get some help with that with Grant Weherley of MonetizeMyExpertise.com. Chris and Grant dive into several topics relevant to course creators, from what philosophy to take when planning out your course, to how you can improve your course content by focusing on what adds value.
Grant has a great analogy for course building. He compares it to building a house. When you build a house, typically you don’t attempt to build it by yourself, unless you are an architect. The same situation applies to course building, and that is why a lot of experts fail early in the process.
One mistake Chris sees with course creators, is trying to go at it alone. There are five roles that are necessary to success with an online course: expert, teacher, community builder, entrepreneur, and instructional designer. It is rare to find one person who can do all of these things, so that is why it is important to include others in the process.
Getting feedback from students on your course content can help you to shape your program around what adds the most value. Grant suggests a clever method of doing this. If you are a freelancer offering services, you can give your course away to clients or include it in a package in order to receive some early feedback before selling it as a stand-alone product.
At MonetizeMyExpertise.com Grant and his team work with people who want to create a course to help them turn their concept into a reality, and they work with people who want to revamp their course or need help getting it to the point they want it to be at with marketing, editing, design, etc.
When building courses, we often focus a lot on the course outline, but you will also want to place emphasis on your project outline of what steps need to be taken along the way to get you to the point of success with your course.
Focusing on the best way to communicate concepts in your course is very effective for teaching. Course creators will sometimes put the flash aspect above the consumability of the content, but this is generally ineffective for learners.
To learn more about Grant Weherley you can head to MonetizeMyExpertise.com, and you can set up a call with a member of his team. Also remember to connect with Grant on Twitter at @GrantWeherley.
Head over to LifterLMS.com to find out more about how you can use LifterLMS to build your own online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.
Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a repeat guest, Grant Weherley from monetizemyexpertise.com. How are you doing Grant?
Grant Weherley: Good. Thanks for having me.
Chris Badgett: It’s great to have you back. You’re one of those people that we could probably do like a 10 hour episode about course creation and just issues people face in this industry and solutions and processes and frameworks to help people. One of the things that’s really fascinating about what you do and you offer at your business is that you help experts or would be course creators or course creators that aren’t fully happy with what they did on their own do the whole process from the very beginning to figuring out the course, building the course marketing, launching the course. You do it all.
Chris Badgett: If you’re talking to a would be course crater, how do you describe your service offer?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, it’s a good question. I came up with the analogy that I really like and that typically resonates with people, which is if you wanted to build a house, and you could picture exactly what you wanted your house to look like, and maybe you could draw it on a piece of paper and know how many rooms are going to be, and which rooms are going to be which and know what color the drapes are going to be, all that good stuff.
Grant Weherley: But at the end of the day, you wouldn’t want to actually then dive in and start to try and hammer the boards together and build the house yourself. You’d want to hire an architect and a construction crew to actually specialize in assembling everything and make sure it’s still standing at the end of the day. That’s a good analogy for how we approach courses, which is we have the skill sets around the architecture, construction of courses. And then the clients that we work with, they have the topical expertise, and you got to pair the two together. Which is something a lot of people don’t really think about as they get into courses because they think, I know my topic really well. Therefore, I can make a really good course, which skips over the fact that the skills of course creation and instructional design, video editing, marketing, all that stuff is a completely separate piece from the actual topic of the material.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I think there’s a name for that in the cognitive bias world called the fundamental attribution bias. Which is, if we are good at something, we think we’re good at everything or something like that. Which is not the case because I remember when I was a kid, I went into the woods to build a little cabin and I laid some logs down crisscross style, and it didn’t really look like an actual building, or even a playhouse. I didn’t know what I was doing. Course Creator behave that way.
Grant Weherley: Yeah. You’ve got your vision, but you typically need a little bit of help making that vision a reality.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s a good point. One of the things we talk about a lot on this show, it’s a framework that I used to help describe and help people with course creator problems, is they have to wear five hats at once. You have to have the expert hat, which is what you’re saying, the other person brings to the table. They got to bring that hat. But then there’s all these other hats. There’s the teacher hat, the instructional designer hat, there’s the community builder, the list builder, that kind of stuff. Building community after the sale, if you’re going to do some kind of group coaching component or have a community aspect or whatever.
Chris Badgett: There’s the technology hat, and then there’s the entrepreneur hat, where you have to do marketing and build an actual business and connect bank accounts and not get in trouble for taxes and all these different things. There’s a lot of hats that have to be worn. I love your analogy about construction. Because most of us don’t build our own house. We realize that it takes some expertise to do those various trades.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s a great service. Really the five hats problem … The big mistake is trying to do it all alone and not building a team or hiring other companies to help with all that. I’ve definitely noticed that with the people that had the big launches of the big programs, of the course that’s in business year after year, they’re definitely not doing it alone.
Grant Weherley: Yeah, exactly. That doesn’t even get into the five hats, within each of those five hats, there’s probably like 10 sub hats. Like course creation, video editing, graphic design, instructional design and writing a curriculum. There’s a dozen things within each of those categories too, that you have to do well to make the end result positive. A lot of things you got to think through to make sure it works well.
Grant Weherley: You’re right, everyone I know who has a very successful course or course business that they either have built a team over time, or they work with another company, basically, it’s very rare to find somebody who sat down alone in the dark behind a computer screen late at night, and then ended up building something that was really effective. Because at the very least, if you think about it, just doing that has the one immediate problem of getting out of your own head. And the fact that you’re probably very familiar with your topic, and you’re an expert on that topic, it’s very hard to go back to think, okay, if I was starting from scratch and learning this step one, step two, step three, step four, it is really hard for people who are very familiar with the topic to actually take a step back and do that.
Grant Weherley: At the very least, even if you’re not going to hire somebody or a company to work with, it’s very helpful to at least be sharing with somebody like a friend as you’re building it to describe it to them and teach them as you build it. That way you can see if it actually makes sense to somebody who’s not next [inaudible 00:06:04] topic.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, the curse of knowledge or expertitis, it has a lot of different names is very dangerous to what I say is when a course creator goes into a cave for months to create the course, it’s a very dangerous time to spend too much time alone without getting feedback from-
Grant Weherley: Exactly.
Chris Badgett: I love that idea of even if you don’t have any customer [inaudible 00:06:25] make sure somebody off the street can learn from you.
Grant Weherley: Yeah. Most people are building a course after having worked with clients directly. There is an agency or the consulting clients or what have you, they just find three of those who are willing to, you’re going to give this to them for free as you build it. You just want their honest feedback. That will make it 10 times better immediately.
Chris Badgett: That was a great tip. That’s worth the price of admission, and we’re just getting started here. That’s awesome. You mentioned course craters often come from the one on one consulting world or they run maybe in person workshops at corporations or retreats or whatever. And they are authors, experts who publish on a certain topic, and you also mentioned that you help people who tried to do it themselves and they had the hard truth and they hit that wall. And they’re like, “Okay, I’m ready to work with a professional to help launch this.” Could you talk about when someone brings you in to look at a course I’m happy with, what did they do wrong?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, that’s a good question. I’d say there’s probably two main categories, and I can tell those through two client examples. One is … I think I have a case study about this too. There’s one of our clients a couple of years back named Nigel who in his own words spent a year and something like this ridiculous amount of money, like $50,000 honestly taking courses above courses and thousands of hours of work, like scribbling all these notes and all these different ideas. At the end of the year, again, in his own words, he was no closer to having a completed course. He just threw 50K in the whole, and a whole bunch of waste of time.
Grant Weherley: Then he came to us and said, “Okay, well, let’s actually build this.” That’s one common scenario, just getting overwhelmed and just hitting a wall and not even getting it done. The second one was a little bit different. With this client of who I’m actually still working with, and we’re going to be working with a couple new projects. It’s the organization behind [inaudible 00:08:42], the Millionaire Mindset guy. They have a lot of really great programs, a lot of them are based off of the in person workshops that they ran.
Grant Weherley: We’ve worked on two of their programs essentially like refurbishing them, because they were largely again, recording those in person events. The design wasn’t as good as it could be. The sound quality wasn’t that great. In some instances there was these long hour and a half blocks of video. What we did was we worked with them to essentially break it down, more like you would intentionally do creating a course, a series of shorter lessons to go through creating workbooks and pretty things to make it look professional. And a couple of other things like that.
Grant Weherley: The results they got from that were really great because it dramatically increased the engagement of the users as they could track it going through the course material, as well as dramatically decreasing the refund rates. The extra, cherry on the top can make a big difference in some cases.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. There are a couple of things I heard there too, which are, if you do a live event or a workshop, and I’ve done this. I have courses in the organic gardening niche, permaculture, where I would show up with a camera, a video camera or I would find someone on Craigslist to go film and in person workshop. But the truth is, like you’re saying, it’s not really designed for the at home computer course taker, you’re just repurposing a live workshop. Which is good and adds a lot of value. But it could be so much better if you put some of that polish on there, like you’re talking about.
Chris Badgett: The other cool thing too is, I think that’s a brilliant idea. Some people come from the workshop space and they’re tired of traveling, sleeping on planes and hotels, and they just want to figure out how to get it online. In some ways, they have it a lot easier because they’ve already validated with live audiences. If you’re like an expert, but not really a teacher and you haven’t really done the workshop thing, maybe try doing a workshop before you try going online just to validate and work with real people, have that feedback loop wide open so you can literally see if somebody is picking up what you’re laying down or not.
Grant Weherley: Yeah, for sure. At the very least, like, if you do record live workshops, it’s better than nothing. Obviously, it could be better, but if that’s all you can do, at least it’s a start for a version 1.0.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. You also do something called an audit. This is making sure people don’t go into the cave for the wrong thing. Can you tell us more about your audit process?
Grant Weherley: Yeah. This is when somebody comes to us. And again, one of those two scenarios where they have a concept for a course that they want to create, or they have a course that they’ve already created that’s not as good as it could be. Also, they’re a little bit hesitant about getting a sense of the lay of the land as to whether or not … Building a course is a large initiative in your business. It takes many months, it’s a significant investment of time and energy and financially as well if you’re going to do it right.
Grant Weherley: People will oftentimes want to make sure that makes sense especially from an opportunity cost perspective that the other things that they could be doing with their timer or their marketing budget, for example, makes sense to allocate there versus somewhere else. In some cases, when clients come to us, they’re very interested in making a course. But they are a little bit hesitant for that reason, and they want to see it all laid out. We do what we call an audit and a project plan, which is essentially going through either the existing material with the concept that they have for it, and then we build out this report, which is essentially all the different milestones … his is the project plan, all the different milestones associated with building really effective course. We essentially lay out, here’s the exact plan that we as an agency, professional service provider would follow to build this really effectively. Here’s a little bit of market research about it. So you can get a sense of what the ROI might be. Basically, laying it all out so they can get a sense of it as a whole and feel comfortable about whether or not to move forward. They can either take that and share it with their team and follow that plan or bring it back to us, and say they want our help.
Chris Badgett: That’s brilliant. It’s like going back to the house analogy. It’s like, before we swing a hammer or go buy anything, let’s draw up a plan.
Grant Weherley: Yeah, it’s the blueprint essentially of the house.
Chris Badgett: That was that was really cool. Well, if someone moves forward with you, how do you help break and cure expertitis? What are your top tips around curriculum design for an expert that has spent so much time just being awesome that they forgot … And maybe they’re not trained as a teacher. How do you help chunk things out into lessons?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, good question. I can tell you the process that we follow, and there’s a pretty close parallel to this that you can follow if you’re going to do it independently as well. What we do is we gather all the reference material that they have. It might be a published book or in person workshop materials or recordings of workshops, things like that. We go through all of that and we set up a series of interview based content development calls, essentially to pick their brain and start pulling out anecdotes and ideas that are going to become the Lego blocks that we start to build everything out of.
Grant Weherley: The parallel to that would be, again, sending this to existing clients or to your friends, and setting up a series of conversations, where you’re essentially going to talk them through the ideas and then find the points where it doesn’t make sense, or you skip over something really quickly. Or it’s out of order from their perspective, from a vendor perspective. That can be quite helpful as well.
Grant Weherley: From that, we’ve gathered all the Lego blocks, then we have a couple of processes and structures that we can start breaking it down into. For example, naturally like to do this through a series of frameworks or questions that lead to what the answer should be. Who exactly is the client avatar coming into this course? What’s the point A that they’re coming in, and the exact Point N that by the end of this course, you will have done or understand X, Y and Z. Then break that down into five to 10 steps. Point A to Point B. what are the five to 10 steps along the way?
Grant Weherley: That usually maps pretty closely on to what the modules could be. For each of those modules, the first step is setting up a WordPress site, and then for that module, what are the five to 10 sub steps to get from point A to point B of that module. That usually becomes the lessons. For each of those lessons, step on, create a WordPress account. What are the three to five small steps which become like the main points of the lesson? That pretty nicely maps on to what their curriculum.
Chris Badgett: That was beautiful. That was probably the best I’ve ever heard of curriculum design and how to create that structure in such a short amount of time. It’s as incredible.
Grant Weherley: I have these conversations a lot.
Chris Badgett: I can tell. Am I correct that you’re company is capturing lesson content from the expert anywhere in the world, or do you do it on location? How does it work?
Grant Weherley: Primarily, virtually through Zoom calls and things like that. In terms of the actual video production side of things, the majority of them aren’t purely talking head in the studio. They usually have some pieces of that, but it’s pretty rare that the whole thing is that way. But for the segments where it’s that, then we oftentimes coordinate with a local video studio in their area, but the rest of it where it’s like slide based, or screen cast, or what have you, it’s very, very easy to do in your own house with a laptop and a microphone. It’s pretty simple to do virtually, which is pretty nice, because I live in Columbia.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. How do people know … I see people get hung up on this question of the content type. You mentioned talking head, there’s screen sharing, there’s PowerPoint, there’s animation, there’s audio only, there’s text, workbooks, infographics and … I don’t know, I’m sure I’m missing some. How do you know which media you should use?
Grant Weherley: That’s a good question. It’s a little bit of a subjective answer in some situations. But the way that I typically start out answering this question or exploring this topic is given whatever the topic of say the lesson is, what’s the best way to actually communicate that? Not just like, how can I make it look flashy by being in the studio with this dude and crazy overlay animations or something. But what’s the actual, most effective way to communicate this plan-
Chris Badgett: To get this point across. The goal number one is to install WordPress. You don’t want somebody in a suit talking about-
Grant Weherley: It’s very hard to verbally talk through how to install WordPress. Most likely, maybe there’s a couple of slides to lay out the main ideas and then the screen cast. It’s pretty clear that’s the result. There’s some situations where it could go either way. But it’s typically, is this a situation where it’s more powerful to do it live?
Grant Weherley: Oftentimes, that’s, if you’re telling a story of a client or some kind of anecdote or trying to connect with them as a person, it’s talking about your own story. Oftentimes, it’s a little bit more effective showing your face. If it’s something that’s more … Here are the main literal points, where you’re showing an algebra formula or something. Again, probably want to see that visually as you’re talking about it as well.
Chris Badgett: That was awesome. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the marketing and launching of the course. What do people get wrong? What do you see as-
Grant Weherley: Marketing.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. One thing I say sometimes is the launch of the course is the starting line, it’s not the finish line. There’s still a lot of other work to do. How do you help people be set up for success when it comes to the actual selling of the course, or having an audience to sell to?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, good question. I usually break that down, I like to like distill things down, like concrete things. Usually break it down into two primary things. One is the funnel leading into the sale of the course for the marketing, and then the second part is the driving of the traffic to that funnel. Those are, if you’re going to think about it as two main steps, everything falls within those categories. There’s a bunch of different ways to do both of those. But if you just understand that’s the starting point, you need really those two things because it’s hard to drive traffic straight to a core sales page and have somebody buy it. It’s also hard to make sales if you have a funnel but no traffic going.
Grant Weherley: The funnel, there’s a bunch of different ways to do that. You can probably just google online course sales funnel and find some good diagrams or something.
Chris Badgett: If you could describe, what would just a generic funnel for a course creator be? I’m sure it depends on the topic and stuff. But could you just describe the outline-
Grant Weherley: Sure. We have some diagrams that lay it out in sort of a flowchart. I’d be happy to send it to you as well. If you want, I can include those images-
Chris Badgett: That’s be great.
Grant Weherley: -alongside this. But in terms of the structure, the skeleton of it, there’s probably two most common ones. One is opt into this free mini-course or short video series or in some cases, articles. It might be three or four, very short clips, which are leading up to the sale of the course. The logic there is obviously you’re capturing their email, you’re nurturing them along through the lessons and also the other responder, which is going to follow along with that. Again, all of it leads to the sales page on the course by the end of that process. The idea is that you’re essentially trying to educate people exactly to the point they need to be to buy the course.
Grant Weherley: The reason why I say that is because in a lot of circumstances, education is required to get to the point to be ready to make a purchase. Because you have to educate people about the problem, about what the solutions could be. Maybe they don’t have the problem well defined in their head or the goal that they’re after. So, you’re defining what is possible.
Chris Badgett: Education based marketing is not new. If you buy a car or a house or whatever, whoever is helping facilitate that sale is educating you on, oh, well this is what this thing does. You might need this.”
Grant Weherley: And that they can trust you to give them good information, stuff like that. So, you’re leading them along that process to then be ready to buy the course. The other main funnel is more of a webinar based funnel. This can be combined in a way we have the three video lessons culminating in a webinar or just focusing really strictly on the webinar.
Grant Weherley: Again, the logic there is pretty similar, it’s just of a different format. The process they’re educating them through to be ready to buy the course is just done through the webinar versus the video lessons. Both of them; Optin page, thank you page, core sales page, autoresponder, sequence follow them along. This was some of the main pieces that go into that.
Chris Badgett: Is there any particular reason why somebody might be better fit for a webinar versus the email mini-course or the launch series course?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, good question. I haven’t distilled that one down to a nice [inaudible 00:22:48] sentence, yet. But essentially, I would say think about what you need to educate them to get them to be ready to buy the course. And then, think about is that better communicated again through a couple of short videos or through an all in one webinar? There’s some other factors. That might give you an idea as to which way to go. There might be some other factors too, like the overall marketing strategy that you’re using. Is it a launch when you’re doing it live, or is an evergreen funnel. In an evergreen funnel, either they use an evergreen webinar or the video sequence. If it’s more of a launch, then it might be more effective to do a webinar especially if there’s time based discounts, you’re trying to get them to iron out the end of the webinar for some specific reason in terms of your overall marketing strategy. Those would be a couple things to consider that might help go in [inaudible 00:23:45]
Chris Badgett: That’s really awesome. I think another one too there might be attention span. It’s easier to commit to just some video lessons coming through really quick, versus coming to an hour webinar. But if there’s some big burning problem that the course solves, you might be able to get away with the longer form content or whatever, right out the box.
Grant Weherley: Yeah. That’s a good point, which is, what at the end of the day is going to make it easiest for you to follow through? Because if you really, really, really hate doing live presentations and really don’t want to do a webinar, but you feel like you should, maybe not the best approach even if it might be slightly more effective, just because you’ll hate your [inaudible 00:24:25] You might actually … That’s a good point, [inaudible 00:24:28]
Chris Badgett: In my experience of webinars too, I think it’s a mistake to make an evergreen too early. You really have to run, if you’re going to do a webinar. Ideally, you’d want to do it many times before you even think about automating it, because it’s a learning process. You’ll realize based on the questions you get and just how the audience responds, it’s going to evolve over time. I think that’s an issue with people is just automating too early sometimes.
Chris Badgett: Well, I wanted to ask you if somebody is as obsessed as me about course creation, about course pricing. This is like a burning question people ask who want to build a course, or do a training based membership site or whatever, they’re like, “How much should I charge?” How do you answer that one?
Grant Weherley: It’s always a burning question, because it’s one that people get really hung up on in a way that it doesn’t even make sense sometimes. The thing about courses is that, there’s not really a … Well, I guess you have a cost of marketing or the cost of customer acquisition. But to a large extent, the pricing is somewhat subjective, because you don’t have a cost of delivering the goods, essentially. Again, except marketing.
Grant Weherley: For that reason, there’s a couple things to think about. One would be, how much are you investing into marketing. For example, if you’re running paid ads, you can reverse engineer what the price might need to be based off of, how much does a Facebook ad cost? What would the average conversion rate be from the ad, and then work out, what’s the cost of customer acquisition. And then maybe it’s like $600, where you were planning to charge $500 for your course, and you realize the numbers don’t work.
Grant Weherley: That could be one way to think about it. The other way to think about it is just essentially, what is the perceived value in your customer’s ability to pay. Perceived value, and not just like, “I’m going to make it flashy. So, I’m going to charge a million dollars for it. But just the result that you’re helping them achieve, how worthwhile is that to them? If you’re going to help them generate 100K in extra revenue in their business, you probably get away with charging quite a bit for that if you can reliably do that. Because 10K would still be a 10X return a year.
Grant Weherley: And then the other thing is the ability to pay. Even if it’s something objectively worth 100K, but they’re a 12 year old kid that has $20 in their bank account, then it doesn’t really matter. Those will be a couple of things to think about.
Chris Badgett: Yes, those are really good points. Value based pricing, knowing your audience and knowing your expenses. I think it’s easy to underestimate, especially in a digital world, like the hosting, the advertising, your email marketing Service. You can have a big profit margin, but all that stuff adds up. The longer you’re in an online business, I’ve noticed that just the months … For me, I just call it the monthly SAS expense, the software that I use just to run my online business, it adds up. You need to take those expenses seriously.
Grant Weherley: For sure. Which is, also you can’t, which is another thing that’s easy to do, skip over pricing out or valuing your own time. Because you’re spending lots of time creating it or maintaining it in one way or another. If you’re not factoring in the cost of that, you’re not actually paying it out of your pocket. So, you value your time at $25 an hour and you’re spending 100 hours a month creating or maintaining the community or whatever, that also adds up and should be something factored into the profit margin.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, and especially if you’re going to offer any kind of group coaching or even private coaching as part of the offer. You’re on the hook after the sale to do that, especially if it’s just a monthly forever kind of pricing model. You really want to take that into account.
Chris Badgett: Let’s talk a little bit about traffic. You mentioned Facebook ads, what’s your go to for traffic? You can have other content on your site, like blog stuff or whatever, where you’re going for just organic Google indexing, just organic traffic. You can pay Facebook, you can pay Google Ad, Google Pay Per Click or whatever. You can do affiliate marketing, joint venture partnerships. What do you see is the most effective for course creators? I’m sure it depends on where they’re at and what stage they’re at. But what seems to be working?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, good question. Actually, the paid advertising is definitely not the first thing that I start with for our clients as recommendations in general, because a lot of industries are just really expensive. Unless you’re really, really good at paid advertising, which is not like my foremost specialty. It’s incorporated in some cases, especially like retargeting ads, because that’s pretty straightforward how to do and it’s pretty easy to get that to be profitable. But in terms of I’m going to pay Facebook to generate cold leads to my core sales page and hope that some percentage of them buy it. That can be a riskier expensive proposition if you bet incorrectly.
Grant Weherley: The way that I think about the traffic piece is, essentially, your existing audience, Somebody else’s audience, outbound and inbound. We break this up into categories. First and foremost, using your own audience, if you have one in anyways is obviously really, really, really effective. It doesn’t really take that many people on an email list to have a successful course launch. The metrics for that can work out really, really nicely, and you don’t have to have a 10,000 person email list to make that successful.
Grant Weherley: You can also think about the other types of audiences that you have. Maybe you have a whole bunch of reach on social media and there’s a couple of other ways to do that too. The second one is other people’s audiences. Like you mentioned, JV partnerships, there’s different ways to recruit people. Like I’m going to reach out to 10 other experts in this industry and get some bonus content from them, and recruit them to promote the course when it goes up. We’re going to work out some kind of partnership agreements so they’re excited to do that.
Grant Weherley: It’s a little bit hard to get people to reliably follow through with that, but obviously, it’s a big win if you can get a couple people with decent sized audiences. Outbound and inbound, inbound would be things like you mentioned, like producing content to have people organically come in. That’s also a long term proposition. It’s pretty straightforward as to the best practices for doing that. But again, it’s something you want to incorporate with things that will be more effective in the short term. And then there’s the outbound, which is something I think a lot of people overlook. If you have a more expensive course offering, especially if it’s like a business, B2B, executive training, corporate manager, sales training, stuff like that, where you can pretty easily find and target and reach out to people in those types of markets that would be very, very interested. Especially if you have a very well defined customer avatar.
Grant Weherley: You can actually just do outreach through LinkedIn and you can find sales managers and say, “Hey, I have this three video sequence, which is the funnel that we just talked about. That I just wanted to send to you, because I noticed your sales manager, here’s some results that my clients have gotten from implementing what we talked about/” You can just reach out to people in a very scalable way through LinkedIn, for example.
Grant Weherley: There’s different channels that you can do the outreach through. But those would be a couple different categories and things to think about for each category.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s awesome. Outbound, I agree with you, it’s highly underrated. I think, maybe if some people have had a bad experience with somebody cold calling them that’s not relevant. But if you’re hyper relevant and you have something that can genuinely help that particular type of person, it’s just totally underutilized in this space. Especially if you’re an expert in an industry and you don’t have any kind of sales background, it just feels really strange and foreign. But it’s actually like as old as time to help people you can help.
Grant Weherley: For sure. You don’t need to cold call people. I do quite a bit of [inaudible 00:33:02] generation for our business, and also on behalf of our clients courses as well. You don’t have to be spammy about it. You don’t even have to necessarily call people. You can set up some systems to be like, okay, based on this type of demographic, there’s a pretty high percentage chance they’d be interested in this thing that I have for them.
Grant Weherley: You can just do it in a pretty genuine, helpful way. Some percentage is going to convert and again, if it’s very high ticket, course prize, if it’s a $1,000 course, then it doesn’t really take that high of a percentage conversion rate to make those numbers work out really well. It can get pretty exciting to start to actually do some [inaudible 00:33:39]
Chris Badgett: Yes, that’s an excellent point. If you have not that big of an audience, but let’s say your course is $1,000, 100 people, $100,000, 100 people isn’t that many people. It really isn’t.
Grant Weherley: Yeah. If you have a 1% conversion rate and work out the math as to how many people that would take the target and break that down into, “Hey, I’m going to send a message to 10 people a day or something. In I helpful way, get out pretty quickly.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Any other lead magnet advice? Or just if we are doing outbound, we’ve got something they can optin to. Is there any other … What else seems to be working at the top of the funnel? Any ideas or tips there?
Grant Weherley: In terms of what’s the most effective way to get people to Optin?
Chris Badgett: Yeah. If there could be a mini-course or there’s the webinar, do you see any other things that people are using? eBooks … Like on your site, if what Grant is saying, if you’re really resonating with this or you’re interested in maybe this audit experience, go check out monetizemyexpertise.com. But there’s a console that you can get on a call, schedule a call, right?
Grant Weherley: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. That’s one thing you can do as well. Obviously, there’s a whole bunch of different things you can do. You mentioned quite a few. Actually, just to circle back one second is, if you do it in the right way, outreach can actually be a way to build an email list for the people who now have been verbally interested in one way or another in what you have to do. I know it’s not like the traditional internet marketing styles, like they’ve put in their email. But it’s one way of doing that. You got to think about the exact rules about how that works.
Grant Weherley: That would be one thing that’s a little bit outside the box. I think that’s what most people think about. And then yeah, just traditionally, giving something away that’s valuable. That might be a call, it might be some piece of content in one format or another. Maybe being able to tap into other … For example, the attendance list of a certain type of workshop that you ran or that somebody else ran, and that they talked about you and got people to volunteer to find out more information about what you do. There’s different ways to think about that. But the general principle is pretty much standard, which is what can I give away that’s helpful and valuable and that would grab people’s attention?
Grant Weherley: I guess one of the things about that, that I think might be helpful, that maybe people haven’t thought about before, which is, it’s not just like what is most helpful to them, but it’s also have you bought enough of their attention span to give them something helpful? When you think about marketing stuff, you got to grab their attention enough to be able to give them something. Because you say, “I’m giving you four hours of content about sales training or whatever.”
Chris Badgett: I wasn’t [inaudible 00:36:41] for that.
Grant Weherley: Exactly. Unless they brought them to yours, what you have to offer, that’s actually-
Chris Badgett: How do you do that? How do you earn the right to give them something? How do you do that?
Grant Weherley: There’s obviously lots of ways to do that. But the most important thing is if I were to create a headline for something, whether it’s an email or a landing page or a LinkedIn messaging or whatever. How could you write down some kind of value proposition that would make people in your target market go, “Oh, this is interesting. I’m now bought into enough of what you do to at least spend five minutes watching a single short video or something like that.” But you got to hook them with that first before you start throwing random stuff at them. Because otherwise people won’t watch it.
Grant Weherley: I think that’s a mistake a lot of people make, which is, how much stuff can I throw at people because that’s more valuable. But it’s not unless you’ve done the hook part first for instance.
Chris Badgett: That’s a really good point. I think a key thing to help with that hook is when you talk about whatever the pain point is your core solves, or the opportunity that it offers, and you verbalize that through the headline so that it really grabs your attention, I’m just thinking of, let’s say you’re targeting brand new parents and you say something about you tap into how all your time goes away, and there’s no time for anything anymore. And that someone’s feeling that, but hasn’t even really verbalized that yet. That could be a very powerful hook.
Grant Weherley: Yeah, exactly. The way I put it, because I was going through this exercise with one of our clients just the other day, if you were to just sit down with somebody in your target market and do something with them for 15 to 30 minutes, which would get them excited enough to spend $500 to take your course. What would be the topics that you would hit to make them go, oh. The moment when their eyes light up, and like yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with and what I’m annoyed about or what I’m really excited about. If you can hit that … Actually, a good reference point for that is actually sales. The book, The Challenger Sale, which is a fantastic sales book and actually hits all this stuff.
Grant Weherley: But there’s one thing I really got from that book that I love, which is searching for those moments where you hit on some kind of hidden problem or opportunity that they haven’t even told you about, because you’re just so familiar with the topic and their situation, whatever, and can find those moments and you’re like, boom. And they’re like, “Oh, yes, that’s it. Exactly.” Then you’ve got them in the sense that again, they’re bought into you enough to keep going to the next time.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You’re probably, you’re watching or listening to this right now or having some of those moments right now, we’re hearing two people who are obsessed with course creation and the process and the people really dig into it.
Grant Weherley: Yeah, and they’ll buy our stuff.
Chris Badgett: One other thing I wanted to ask you about was, I just want to go back to this problem that I call the five hats problem where people they DIY, they try to do it themselves too much or for too long. I’ve seen this similarly in the people who want to write books niche. But in my opinion, making a course is even harder than writing a book.
Grant Weherley: So much harder.
Chris Badgett: A lot of us, myself included are like, I’d love to be like a published author. At first, it’s like, I got this. I got plenty to say about topic X. But I was just wonder if you could speak to that problem a little more. What do you see is the turning point where people say, enough is enough, I need some help with launching my course? What happens when people realize that they shouldn’t go it alone?
Grant Weherley: Yeah, good question. But actually just to circle back one second, it is very true that it’s quite similar to books, but courses are much harder. I can say that because I’ve done both. I spent a week just to see if I could publish a book, and I did and it was so much research and building a course. I can objectively say that. I also know people who run book publishing companies. But anyways, if you think about it, it’s like the curriculum of lesson plans of a course, is essentially that’s a pretty close parallel to the text of a book. That’s just one small piece of the course.
Grant Weherley: But anyways, to answer your question about what’s the turning point as to when people realize that they need help, oftentimes, it’s … One, when they’re presented with the fact that that’s true, and that they have some option for getting help with. Which I think is part of the problem with this, which is, I think a lot of people have the assumption that they have to build their own course, and they have to do it to a large extent on their own. Because that would be the logical assumption that you would make. Because you know your topic, right? So, nobody else could make your course for you. Just like theoretically, nobody else could write your book but there’s a lot of companies that do just that, actually.
Grant Weherley: But it’s a weird thing that you got to wrap your mind around a little bit first. That’d be one part. The second thing I think it’s just people who just sit down and try and do it, and then realize one, this is just not turning out how I wanted at all for whatever reason I’m just not happy with it. Or, two, you just hit a brick wall and you get stuck at some point along the way. And then you realize, I really got to get some help here.
Grant Weherley: To add on to that as well, a simple exercise to go through. I actually wrote a really long form blog post about this, about the different options for building a course. It’s one of the cost benefit analysis of the different ways of doing it. Because there is a cost of doing it yourself. If you are a $200 per hour lawyer, or something like even a $50 per hour consultant, every hour that you’re spending doing that, you’re losing out on that revenue. That is a cost that goes into it. If you’re going to spend thousands of hours over the next six months doing this, you got to do a cost benefit analysis of if that really makes sense to do. At the very least, things that are easy to find contractors to help out with, like some of the smaller pieces like doing the graphic design of the slides or editing some videos, those are things that for every hour that you save doing that. If you’re paying like a $25 per hour video editor, your time’s worth $50 per hour, that’s a really good return on that time and that difference in cost.
Chris Badgett: It goes exponential to the those opportunity costs. That video editor maybe cheaper but also 10 times faster than you in video editing because you don’t-
Grant Weherley: Exactly.
Chris Badgett: Do you really want to learn video editing and instructional design? There’s so much to learn to do it yourself. The opportunity cost, it’s not the most obvious as the clear financial cost or whatever. But I think at the end of the day, it’s the opportunity cost that gets people, or when they wake up; weeks, months, years later and without much progress or not enough progress, or it could have been so much faster or better-
Grant Weherley: Exactly. The way I usually put it in a question, which is like, do you really want to become a course expert, or do you just want to have a course? Because those are two very different things, right? If your-
Chris Badgett: But that’s your job. That’s Grant’s job.
Grant Weherley: That’s my job, and it is your job on the technology side of things. That’s what we chose to specialize in. But at the end of the day, most people, they just want to have the course, just like they want to have the published book. They don’t necessarily want to go through the process and become an expert on the process itself. Unless they’re planning to spend the next 10 years pumping out lots of courses and books, then it would make sense.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, Grant Weherley, ley, thank you so much for coming back on the show. That’s monetizemyexpertise.com. Is there anything else, any final thoughts or places for people to go to connect with you?
Grant Weherley: Oh, yeah. I guess I just say check it out. We have some good case studies that break down some of the stuff as well. One of them goes through an exact launch process that one of our clients went through that was very successful. A couple other case studies that a lot of people find helpful and can derive really useful lessons from. Also as you mentioned, there’s some places where they can schedule to book a call with somebody on our team. If for example you’re listening to this, and fit into that category of you’re very interested in having a course done or made or able to utilizing your business, and you’d like to come to explore that a little bit further and you’re hesitant for some reason. Go to our website and book a call if you’d like to explore that a little bit further and see if it makes sense when we’re together.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks for coming back on the show, Grant. We really appreciate it.
Grant Weherley: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on.
Chris Badgett: That’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide Chris Badgett, I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS. The number one tool for creating, selling and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results getting courses on the internet.