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#162: 2 Steps to Guarantee That Your Course Idea Will Be A Success

Introduction

Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast!

Over the past few episodes, we have been talking about the process I use with my private clients as they build their courses and coaching programs. We talk about the details, the big picture, and the places that you are likely to get stuck.

In episode 160, we discussed the concept of course objectives and goals and the importance of creating them before you map out the content you’d like to teach. This week, we are going to take that information and do a little testing.

As a scientist, I’m a big fan of create, test, adjust, create. Our first ideas often need tweaking and adjusting to be exactly what they need to be and this is where making sure you have a valid idea for your business is key.

Imagine if you create an amazing course only to find out that your ideal client, the person you made this course for, doesn’t even know that they need this help. They aren’t going to search Google, they won’t pull out their credit card, and you will not see a boost in your business that equates to all of the work and effort you’ve put in.

Instead, with just a little extra time and effort, you can make sure that you are creating something that your potential clients will want.

Talking About Your Service

The first thing that you need to do is figure out how you are going to talk about what you built. If you can’t clearly talk about what you do, then you will not be able to test your idea and messaging effectively or efficiently and I know that you are all about efficiency!

So how do you talk about what you are offering? Keep it simple. In fact, in StoryBrand we talk about a one-liner. Despite the name, the one-liner is often 2 sentences, but it is simple, clear, and quick to share. 

The key is to highlight who you are serving, what problem you are solving, and how their life will be different as a result of this service that you are offering. For example, when I talk about my 1:1 coaching program, I say that I help course creators go from idea to implementation with 1:1 support so that you don’t get lost in the details and can actually get your course finished. 

I’ve shared who I serve: course creators, the problem I solve: getting your course finished and out the door, and how their life will be different: no longer lost in the details.

The key is that you don’t want to go on and on. Often that little bit of information can generate a response and even allow someone to express interest, ask questions, and get involved in the conversation. What I’ve found is that the more information you give, the more likely you are to see eyes glazing over and people check out of being an active participant in the conversation.

Now if this seems like a big task to create your one-liner, use your course purpose as a starting place. This will often give you a chunk of what you are looking for and you can then tailor it from there. If the course purpose doesn’t give you anything for your one-liner, then you might need to re-think the alignment between your course purpose and what you want to say about your course.

Validation

Once you have your one-liner, it is time to get out there and talk to people. There is a lot of temptation and trepidation to just keep your ideas close to your chest. Our tendency to do this can actually sabotage our success and the success of our students. Yes, you are the expert and know what people need, but that isn’t always what people are looking for. Yes, there are some people out there who might try to steal your ideas, but honestly, you are the only one who can do exactly what you do with your approach and methodology. This is a good reason to become a master at what you do! 

Getting out and talking to potential clients to understand what challenges they are experiencing is non-negotiable, kind of like chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie! This is one of the biggest mindset hurdles that you will have to deal with during the creation process because it is often one of the first times that you are getting your idea out into the public. This is an idea that is deeply rooted in your heart and soul. It hurts when someone says, I don’t think that is right. 

How do I know this? It has happened countless times in my entrepreneurial career. Not all ideas will be the right idea at the right time.

By committing yourself to talking with people and putting your heart on your sleeve you will end up with a better service or product, you will end up with better messaging, and of course better overall outcomes for your students and your business as a whole.

When you think about talking about what you’ve created, go in with an open mind. You can ask questions like:

  1. What challenges are you experiencing around ______ (topic)?
  2. When you think about what keeps you up at night, what are the biggest stressors?
  3. If you had the opportunity to _______ (solve the problem), what would that mean for your life?
  4. What have you tried in the past to solve _______? (what worked and didn’t work)
  5. What would make the biggest difference for you at this moment?

You can take these questions, tailor them to your specific course or coaching program and then really listen. That is the key. Listen with a completely open mind, not with an eye to the next question you can ask. Instead listen, repeat back what you hear to make sure you have understood and give your potential client a chance to add on. If they don;t, you can ask a follow-up question to get a better understanding of what they’ve shared.

This is so important because not only are you validating your course idea, you are getting messaging straight from your potential clients’ mouths! You can’t beat that. These are the words they and others are using. This is what they are searching Google and YouTube for. These are a gold mine.

As you are asking and listening you can also start recognizing the beliefs that your potential clients hold. Some of these beliefs might need to be shifted before they are ready to work with you. Think about how you can address these beliefs.

For example, I worked on shifting beliefs in Episode 160 by saying that sticky notes are not the best way to map out your course. Many people think they can outline their entire course with the key points they want to teach on sticky notes and they will have a cohesive course. That isn’t true.

Sometimes shifting beliefs is simple and sometimes it is a lengthy process that requires you going deeper with your messaging.

Again, you can uncover these beliefs by listening and asking questions. You are the expert on what you teach, but you also need to be the expert on what will help your potential clients take the step toward working with you.

Action Item

This week, I encourage you to create your one-liner and begin to talk about your course or coaching program. It will feel tough at first. It will feel like you are offering your most precious gift for criticism. I invite you to shift your mindset to one of service. The more open you are about what you are creating, the better you will be able to serve your potential clients. 

Make a commitment to talk to 5 people who would be your ideal client and share your ideas. See what they think, encourage them to offer feedback, get to know them and what they are experiencing. Once you have done this, breathe a deep sigh. You have just proven to yourself that your idea is important to you, that you want to get it out into the world, and that you are open to adjustments.

Congratulations! Doing this will save you so much heartache. I once launched a membership without doing this and it was a flop. As in, not a single sign-up. Learn from my misadventures!

Conclusions

Alright, let’s wrap this up so that you can get to the work of creating your one-liner and talking with at least 5 potential clients about your course or coaching program idea. Remember that as you create your one-liner, you are not out to share everything, you are hoping to open a conversation and create interest so that the person you are sharing with asks more questions. 

Keep it short, simple, and clear. You’ll find that the more you share this, the faster you’ll get to the clarity that you are hoping for. It truly does take time and repetition to find the right words and the ones that will resonate!

When you create your one-liner, I’d like to see it. Send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram at entrepreneursinflow

I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast, where we focus on mentoring, community and implementation. It’s all about taking action so that we can remove the overwhelm of building a successful and profitable business and add in a little dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

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