Despite doing it every day for other people, creating my own course was a huge learning curve and a source of significant pressure.
Here I condense some of my key learnings from going through this process and pointers for you so you can avoid some of the issues I found in the process.
Block out time
This was one of the biggest realisations for me – that I should have blocked out a chunk of time away from client work to focus purely on developing the course. If you can do this it will help to give you opportunity to focus that I didn’t get when dipping in and out, and producing it purely in my ‘free time’ when I was has already done full days of work, or taking my weekends to do it. It meant that not only did the process feel quite disjointed and inconsistent, but I realised the course was also when I reviewed it just before I was about to launch. Luckily I had to time to step back, review it and amend it and it was a stronger for it.
When your own work is competing with client work it is always going to be the lesser priority and be on the back burner. But you and your learners deserve for the course to have your undivided attention.
In addition to trying to cram the development into any spare moment, I had set myself the totally unrealistic deadline of getting it done in a month during a ‘Month of Massive Action’. I think I knew straight away this was unrealistic, but it did at least give me some initial oomph to get going and some momentum which I continued with when I then set a more realistic deadline.
Try new things
Use the development as an opportunity to try new things and practice your skills – whether that is a new process, technology, app or just the experience of creating a course. For me, the new things were the use of video (something I had previously swore I would never do) and the use of the LearnDash WordPress integration to build the course. I have always created eLearning int eh Articulate suite and am trying to expand my knowledge and skills so it was important that I did it win a new way, and one which my participants would possibly use.
If you are going to use new technologies and apps you are not familiar with, make sure you factor in some contingency time to get familiar with the tech and check them out in as much detail as you can on YouTube etc when you get started. Even as someone experienced with eLearning I found LearnDash a challenge (and continue to do so). You will no be alone if you find it hard.
Start building a following now
It’s never too early to start promoting your upcoming course. Don’t forget to promote it BEFORE launch – have a plan. Enlisting a VA was the best thing I did in this respect, though I admittedly did this a bit later than I should! Create a buzz and a following. BUT don’t try to do this across too many platforms. I found it difficult to keep up with them all.
Stay in your lane
Ever the magpie looking at the shiny shiny in other places, I have certainly allowed myself to get distracted by what is going on elsewhere, throughout the process.
So, don’t get too caught up in how others are launching courses and what all the coaches are saying. There are soo many people out there telling you how you should go about the promotions and launch of your course and I have certainly tried to take on advice from too many of them. There are so much contradictions and competing arguments for the best way to do it and you can get really bogged down with it.
It is difficult to know what is best for you, but I would definitely advice choosing one approach and sticking with it. If it doesn’t work you can adapt and use a different approach later. Go with your gut.
In this respect, also don’t try to spread your promotional activities across too many platforms. It leads to a diluted and consistent message.
If you would like to take a look at my course Take Your Training Online you can find it here. This course if for anyone looking to move their face-to-face training online or who is new to the world of creating courses. It will help you to ensure that you are creating a course that speaks to your learners and effectively conveys your knowledge.
It is currently on at an introductory price of £189 whilst I refine and develop the content, to make sure it is right for you and your needs.