Thank you to everyone who completed our recent survey about what is stopping you teaching online. As the responses flooded in we were struck by how many of you see this as an exciting opportunity but have been held back by very similar obstacles. I thought I’d take a moment to tackle your questions, in the form of dealing with the top three major stumbling blocks standing in your way today.
(1) I don’t know how to turn my idea into a series of lessons. It’s just a jumble in my head.
Firstly you need to understand your idea as what I call a ‘Promise of Change’. How will your course transform the life/situation/knowledge/expertise/behaviour of your reader? Then you need to understand how you are going to bring about that change through a curriculum.
Your curriculum forms the bones of your course. It’s the skeleton that everything hangs off. It is the way you ensure your learners progress as the course goes on, and get the outcomes you want by the end. It is also your single most helpful tool for organising your ideas into manageable content chunks.
Demonstrating the Easy-as-pie Curriculum Builder in Reach Teach Profit (Yes, with all the technology available today, I still opt for good old sticky notes when planning a new curriculum!)
In a nutshell, these are the main steps you need to take to build your curriculum:
- Do a brain dump of all your content ideas
- Sort your ideas into themes
- Fill in any gaps
- Reorder your themes to build your story arc
- Name your themes. These become the weeks/modules/chapters etc of your course
- Populate a curriculum matrix with your content ideas
Of course that is curriculum building at its most basic and there is a lot of detail to fill in with each step, and a lot of decisions to make along the way. In ‘Reach Teach Profit: The E-course Creation Masterclass’ I share my ‘Easy-as-pie Curriculum Builder’ and curriculum templates to help you do this in a snap. I also share some great worksheets to help you create powerful content and exercises that really work (whatever you are teaching).
(2) I am full of self-doubt
Oh my friend. Aren’t we all? Really, we are. But that mustn’t stop us doing what we have to do. This is a shot from one of the films I made for the Do What You Love course just ten weeks after having my first baby:
Screenshot from one of the videos in the Do What You Love e-course (Please note this is a screenshot only and does not play as a video!)
I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to appear on camera at that point in my life. I was about three stone heavier than usual, really self-conscious about my weight and exhausted from the lack of sleep and constant demands of a newborn. I could hardly remember what I needed to buy for tea, never mind feel confident in what I was doing. The last thing I wanted to do was make videos. To say I was full of self-doubt when I made these class films would be an understatement, but it was important to me that I bring our flagship course up to date, and for various reasons it was the only time I could get it filmed that year. Plus, I had a script. So I did it anyway, and the feedback has been amazing. I mean, people have told me the course has been life-changing for them.
Sometimes you just have to do it anyway, because it’s about more than just you.
The thing about self-doubt is that it’s always there, in some way, shape or form. Whether it’s about what you are saying, what you look like, what people are going to think of what you are sharing or whatever particular thing is eating away at you today.
In the E-course Creation Masterclass we tackle a whole host of fears that are likely to come up for you when putting your e-course out in the world. For example, the one about not being high profile enough will come up for most of you. It sure came up for me at the beginning.
When I launched my first e-course, I had a tiny mailing list, no industry contacts and absolutely no profile amongst my target market. But I was really clear on who I was aiming at and why they needed what I had to offer, and I was driven by a strong desire to help them in the way I knew my course could.
I built my profile, my brand, my mailing list, my community and my company a bit at a time, and I am still building it every day. Step by step. In our first six months we had 114 students. In the past six months we have had thousands of people on our courses. Skillshare has had over half a million students. I’ll say it again – everyone starts somewhere. Author Jon Acuff once said “Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle”. My point exactly.
The only way to get past a concern about not being high profile enough is to get out there and take action to raise your profile.
The course will give you clear action steps, confidence-boosting tips and a feeling that you aren’t alone, so you can get past your self-doubt and share your gifts with the world.
(3) I don’t have the time
I get it. You’re busy. Perhaps you have a job and a family or other commitments, a business you are trying to build on the side or a full social calendar. Perhaps your house is a tip, or you have DIY that keeps winking at you every time you put your feet up just for a moment. Every time you clear a space in your diary something hops in and it seems like there isn’t even time to go to Zumba, never mind build a whole e-course.
Me, multi-tasking as I work on my latest course with a little help from Maia
But the thing is this. There’s never enough time, and there’s always enough time. It comes down to focus and priorities. If your e-course idea is a wishy washy concept that floats around in your head and comes to the surface only when you see someone else doing something similar, which reminds you that you haven’t done yours yet, then yes, it’s going to feel like you don’t have time. But if you get crystal clear on your concept, your students and the difference you can make in their lives, your content ideas will start to flow and your course will follow you around like a wasp around a picnic basket. Lessons will come to you in the middle of the night. Themes will emerge fully formed. You’ll get ideas for exercises standing in the queue at the supermarket. This is what happens when you put your attention to something that really matters. It starts to burn in your conscience like a bright star, pulling you back to it when you get distracted. Once you really get into it, you find time, you make time, you carve out time.
This Masterclass will help you get crystal clear on your concept so you feel fired up about your e-course and cannot wait to get it out in the world. It will help you understand your motivation, so you can remind yourself why you need to do this now. And it will help you build powerful content step-by-step efficiently and effectively, get organised and put all the jigsaw pieces together.
It just comes down to motivation, focus and effort. And the investment.
You’ll be glad to know that we go into much more detail on these topics in our upcoming new course, ‘Reach. Teach. Profit. The E-course Creation Masterclass’. We also cover nearly all the other things you mentioned in your survey responses within the class, which launches on February 29. And if there is anything NOT covered, you can ask me about it directly in one of several Mastermind Weeks I’ll be hosting throughout the year, online in our private community space.
So mark your calendars. There are no more excuses. The world needs your e-course and the Masterclass is coming to help you get it out there! If you’re not already on on it, hop on the waiting list now and get ready to Reach, Teach and Profit!