In this episode, I talk about my course creation planning process. I discuss the ADDIE Method, SAM Method, and my own unique take on how to plan and launch digital products and courses. Over the past year my team and I have created over 25 courses and my own brand developed 7 digital products and courses. I share my unique strategy about how to analyze your offers, complete market research, and design your first beta program.
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Online Course Creation Timeline
Coming from a corporate training and education background I’ve learned so much about different ways to handle planning and developing online courses. I’m going to share with you three different ways you could approach your course creation timeline based on my experience whether you are an experienced online business owner that leads a team or a solo based business owner. Your course creation timeline will increase in scope and length based on the complexity of your online course.
Using the ADDIE Method
In this method your focus is to analyze, design, develop, and implement on the course curriculum in a very linear fashion. Your timeline would be approached in steps. This works very well in a production line. Think of this as building a Model T Ford in a factory. If you want to create courses at scale that are complex and very in-depth, this method works well.
Using the SAM Method
In the SAM method, short for the “Successive Approximation Method”, the focus is about getting your minimum viable product out quickly. Feedback is implemented quickly based on swift development in direct response from subject matter experts as well as from your end user. In this process, the development is much more cyclical instead of linear. I find that I favor this approach for small business owners looking to develop their digital products quickly that don’t have a large team. There are generally three stages: Analyze, Design, and Develop. You’ll often create multiple iterations of a product based on feedback instead of waiting at the end of a project to get customer and subject matter expert feedback.
My Course Creation Timeline
When I create my course creation timeline, I have a slightly modified process of the ADDIE Method borrowing from the rapid prototyping process. This process involves aspects of analyzing, planning, designing, and development borrowing concepts of pre-selling your programs through a beta testing process. When you are first creating your online course you’ll need to analyze the market. Research your ideal clients and decide on which course platform and tech you’ll need to set everything up. Define and refine your course outline and then design and develop your minimum viable product by preselling your program using social media, email marketing, affiliate marketing and more. I personally recommend launching your offer organically to your audience first before investing in paid advertisements like Facebook ads. This method allows you to refine and hone in on making your courses better over time. Launching your offers through a second or third iteration, you can increase your prices since you’ve added additional curriculum that will support the overall student’s goals and experience.
Course Planning Timeline Example
If you are launching your first, second, or third course having a plan is important. I’m going to give you an example of what it looks like to have a plan in place for your course launch.
Create a Content Marketing Plan
In your content marketing plan, you can create easy bite-sized tips or strategies using social media and repurpose this content in emails, captions, videos, Facebook lives, Clubhouse rooms and so much more! Plan to have a variety of free resources related to your course content, group coaching program, or services.
Develop Affiliate Marketing Content
As a solo-based business owner or an organization affiliate marketing is still a viable way to grow your audience and income without having to invest in Facebook ads. Some important information that you’ll need will include payout dates, launch dates, pricing information, email marketing swipe files, course descriptions and easy access to social media graphics. Before you decide to launch with affiliates, you’ll need to create easy promotional materials for your affiliate to use.
Setting Deadlines for your Course Launch
To plan out your quarterly launches, you’ll need to identify the deadlines for your launch, then plan backwards for what content needs to be developed for your promotional materials. I recommend that you only offer one course or program at a time. If people are overwhelmed I find people will be less inclined to may a purchase due to decision overwhelm.
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