Let’s get into the shape of your course now. If you want to see the overview on planning a course, check out my article from earlier this week.
After you’ve written up an outline of your e-course content, think about the funnel idea. I’ve seen it work really well for a writing course I participated in. The funnel allows people to access your content at different price points and at different levels of involvement by you personally.
The funnel goes something like this:
- A sequence of emails you send out automatically
- A larger group with, say, weekly sessions with you for an hour each over a month’s time
- Small group lessons involving more detail, homework, and more feedback from you (once a week for two hours each, more often for less time, etc.)
- One-on-one mentoring sessions (meeting up to daily for a set period of time, with homework and structured exercises/practice)
The Plenty in the Funnel
Or, where your content goes and what its structure is. You’ll need the following “fruits” for your funnel of course-plenty.
Email Drip Course
A lesson plan with theory, instructions, and practices. Think of it as the story of something you’ve learned that you are passing on. Go through the process yourself and write down what you do to make something (book, painting, sweater, ring, website design, changing your brain). Make the first iteration really basic, but don’t just tell people stuff; give them exercises to practice with. Break it up into individual lessons, and then you can use a tool like Mailchimp or one of the course tools I’ll go through later to send out those “drip” emails to your students.
Large Group Sessions
Then put your microphone on and get your calendar and teleconference tools ready. After you get all those people from your email course to sign up to your expanded course with group sessions, you’ll need to schedule those sessions. Have at least your computer microphone available and a way for people to call or log in. I suggest audio rather than video for this level. More than 10 to 12 people in a group can be overwhelming on video. Video is better, though, if you need to demonstrate something. Your call.
You can work a closed or secret Facebook group with scheduled Lives for an easy way to work this (membership group and teleconference in one). I don’t like to work off a platform owned by somebody else, though. A membership group of some kind is a great resource for your group so they can support each other. I’ll cover e-course tools and membership elements in another post.
You can use these sessions for Q&A, or you can do visual demos, or lead a meditation, or just discuss ideas. If you have more than 10 to 15 people, though, don’t try to have everyone do anything too involved. Time limits are important for them and for you. With more people it will always take more time to do a single task together.
Small Group Sessions
When you are done working with the larger group, you can invite them to join you for an intensive in the subject in a small group setting (no more than 15 people and more like 10 for, say, an hour and a half). When you get really popular, you can have more than one small group going with meetings on different days. Most of the time though, only a small percentage from the large group will be willing to pay a premium to work with you in a small group. The tools are the same as the large group setting, but you can be available more often to teach at a more advanced level. You can provide an advanced lesson plan and exercises, etc. You can offer to give individual feedback, too.
The ideal is to then have some of the small-group folks decide to work with you on a one-to-one mentoring basis. For this level, you will offer a program to fine-tune what they’ve done already or go further in their process of changing themselves or whatever it is they are learning. It will be a coaching type of experience, likely with a mix of written materials, homework, frequent sessions (couple of hours each, usually) to talk about progress. It’s up to you how involved you want to make this.
The Money Thing
Think of the monetary exchange on this as a way for others to express their understanding of the value of what you are offering. Know that your pricing should reflect the amount of both talent and time you dedicate to each level in the funnel. Wait. Read that again. Talent and time. Not just time. And I’m not calling it expertise, either. You know where your wisdom central is with whatever it is you want to teach. Other people will only value you based on how you value yourself.
Actual pricing is up to you and to a certain degree the “going rate” for whatever it is you are teaching. But the email drip level should be very affordable (usually less than $30USD or free, even). Large group can start at around $150USD and up, with small group creating a big jump to several hundred or over a thousand. One on one could be at least several thousand. All depends on you. 🙂
Thanks for coming along for the ride, and if you need a one-on-one tutorial on starting an e-course or using a specific software tool, just let me know and we can figure it out together.