I ran across an old newsletter sent out by Nesha Woolery not long ago where she shared a few things she learned after launching her Shelancers course. I was inspired and felt that sharing my personal experience of how a course I created actually failed.
Back in 2013, roughly a year after I started working my design business full time, I put together a course for bloggers who wanted to learn how to design their own blogs from scratch. With my experience, I decided to take the leap into sharing all the things I've learned about building blogs and wanted others to know how too.
I had never created an online course that would require me to be available to an actual "class" so needless to say, yes I was super nervous. For Blogger's Design, I laid out a plan of what I would share, I recorded a few videos, created downloads, and even hosted a giveaway to allow a few people to take the course for free. The course was short-lived... but I did learn a few things that taught me what to do better next time.
Prior to launching, a few great things happened:
It's safe to say my marketing and advertising of the course didn't lack spunk at all! Then came the bad of hoping all would go well from there.
This was my very first mistake. Again, I was only a year into running a legit business full-time so my "recruit" skills weren't super sharp. I hired two interns to help me keep the course afloat, respond to emails, and keep the schedule live!
When I look back on this, I could have easily avoided using interns and just created a more automated workflow to handle it all for me. But big talk of automation wasn't really mainstream at the time. Outside of the sales funnel, the course timeline would have been better with better strategies in place.
2. BAD THINGS HAPPEN
I thought I had my life together and that my course would be worthy and great. I didn't have the best "workflow" in place. I figured that if I could record video trainings in advance and then record more as I went along that it would work out.
Nope. Don't do this people! Things happen in real life and in my case - not really factoring in the "what ifs" of life was a fail on my end. Not only that but I had major technical issues throughout the course. No bueno. Needless to say, I'm sure I lost some credibility with a few people who expected more out of me.
3. STREAMLINE EVERYTHING
Like in point one, this is one lesson that has stood out most and allowed me to do the same throughout the process of building my business. I love order and I'm sure order was expected of me. I was super embarrassed when I had to send out emails to my sign ups letting them know things had to be postponed and such. Like... I wanted to just go rock myself in a dark corner.
From this experience, having things in order especially for "bad days" could have saved me so much time. Tips: Implement automation processes, create all course resources/materials and videos in advance, and enjoy not having to lose your edges.
4. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, TRY AGAIN
It's understood that we fail at many things in order to learn from them. Note that just because you failed at something doesn't make you a failure. I created a great product, it just needed a better flow. I didn't allow this failure to hinder me from continuing to excel in my business so if I do decide to create another course, I'll have the tools and knowledge to do so successfully.
Tips: Before creating a course, ask your audience what they need most, do the research, and fulfill a need that is already there. It'll save you a lot of headache if you KNOW what to create instead of assuming. Understand who you're creating the material for.