#188: Avoid these 5 Mistakes as a Digital Course Creator

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made some mistakes as a digital entrepreneur. Some cost a lot of money and others cost me time and energy. Regardless of the cost, I’m going to pull back the curtain today on my 5 biggest mistakes so that you don’t have to make them too!

Yes, there are some who might say that we need to make mistakes in order to learn, but can’t we also learn from others so that at least we don’t make the same mistakes?

We tell our kids that they need to slow down earlier to stop behind the line at a stop sign. We don’t just let them make the mistake and learn for themselves, right?

In business we need support from one another so that this journey isn’t any harder or complicated than it needs to be.

Today, I’m going to share with you the 5 mistakes that cost me the most in building my business and at the end I’ll be sharing the best way to avoid Mistake 5 to give you an added boost forward.

The Worst Mistakes to Make (Don’t be Like Me!)

When I got started as an entrepreneur years ago I had very little business experience, but what I lacked in experience I made up for in sheer determination. That determination didn’t protect me from making mistakes, though some of them were a doozy that led to completely failed launches and wondering whether I could make my business work.

Maybe you are in that place right now and wondering what next steps to take or maybe you are thinking about your business and how to move forward in the next step. Regardless, working hard and sheer determination isn’t a guarantee for success. After all, what constitutes hard work so that you can figure out when you’ve made it?

Instead, isn’t it more important to look to others and learn from their experiences so that we can emulate what works well and ditch what doesn’t sooner?

Let’s pull back the cover on the 5 biggest mistakes I’ve made as a digital entrepreneur so that you can learn from and maybe even keep some of your friends from making the same mistakes.

You’ll want to stick around to the end because I’ll share the best way to counteract Mistake 5 that will save you time, money, and energy.

Mistake 1: Focusing on product/service before building an audience

One of the early mistakes that I made in my business was to focus on my service or offer before ever building my audience. I made the same classic mistake that I see so many course creators making. We are experts in our area, know what people need, and then build what they need assuming that they will be clambering for it.

And what happens is that our audience doesn’t just come flocking and knocking down our door. In fact, it is more like a situation of tumbleweeds rolling over hot, dry, cracked barren dirt. It might look like others have been able to simply create an offer and sell it, but they have audiences already built even if you can’t see it. They have a solid email list, connections or partners who will be selling their offer for them, or some other situation that remains hidden.

The solution to this mistake is to build your audience. Get to know them. Learn what they want alongside what they need. When you understand what they want you will be better able to sell your offer to them successfully. This, combined with having many people to make your offer to, is why it is a mistake to build your offer before your audience.

Mistake 2: Buy tons of courses without a clear path and goal

We all make mistakes in our business and although it might be something that we want to dust under the rug, I’m pulling back the rug today because I want you to benefit from my mistakes. I want you to avoid them and make progress faster!

One big mistake that I made and see the majority of entrepreneurs making is buying all kinds of solutions, courses, and workshops without having a clear plan in place or a decisive need.

The reality is that you can buy an endless number of courses and never make a dime if they aren’t targeted progress-driven learning opportunities that you take action on. The key is to stay focused on the pieces that you actually need to get in place and only buy learning opportunities that support that.

If we needed every course out there to be successful, no one would be profitable. I bet you can even imagine a time when you were doing something new and didn’t feel like you had all of the answers, but instead of looking for more help you just jumped in.

It feels big and scary. This entrepreneur thing is outside of your knowledge and experience. I get it, I slipped into this same trap at the beginning as well. It is made easier when expert marketers are helping you to see that you need them in a very persuasive way. This is because they are master marketers. You can actually learn from their techniques. Observe, but don’t get sucked into their funnel.

Instead of buying endless courses, choose the ones that have a clear outcome that you need in your business and cannot otherwise figure out or would save you a ton of time.

Mistake 3: Building a huge launch before having a validated offer

Have you noticed that social media tends to show us the successes, the big sales totals, and the easy breezy process of building a business? That fact isn’t reality for most entrepreneurs. Building a business takes time and we all make mistakes. So far we have talked about two mistakes, focusing on your offer before building an audience and buying a lot of courses without a solid plan.

The third mistake that I made was to build a huge launch before validating my offer. What does that mean? It means that I created a massive webinar, wrote the email sequences, created the content for the offer, built sales pages, and even ran ads.

The result was a big flop. The truth is that this happens to a large percentage of course creators. They create their course, build their launch mechanism and hit go only to be met with low or no sales.

Isn’t it more important to focus on building something that will sell than building the mechanism to sell it. Even though it creates a slower journey to that first launch, isn’t it better to have a successful launch than to simply have a launch?

Validate that offer, get people lined up and ready to say yes. Ask for feedback and get their thoughts on pricing, resources, and parts of the offer so that your launch is successful and doesn’t flop like one of my launches did when I rushed the process!

Mistake 4: Thinking success and six figure status happen quickly

There are always exceptions to the rule, but honestly just like a brick and mortar business takes around 7 years to become profitable, the same is true of digital businesses as well.

There are so many successful entrepreneurs out there selling their products and offering, telling you that you can do this too.  It feels like success is merely around the corner. The truth is that success in your early years of business probably won’t be measured in dollar signs but instead in how much progress you’ve made in developing your business, new connections you’ve created, the processes and systems you’ve put in place to get to profitability, and even the mistakes that you’ve made and turned into gains.

Instead of thinking success and a six figure business are going to happen quickly, instead develop a mindset of consistent work and progress to get to that six figure point.

Mistake 5: Feeling guilt over the slow progress

Making mistakes in business is part of the process. It is one of the ways that we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean that we have to make all of the mistakes to be successful. Today I’ve shared 4 mistakes that I made with the hopes that you don’t have to make those same mistakes. You’ll make your own, but hopefully not these. We’ve talked about focusing on your offer before building an audience, buying courses without a plan, building a launch without validating the offer, thinking that success will come quickly in the digital space, and that brings us to the 5th and final mistake that I’m sharing today. And you’ll want to hang out to the end of the episode because I’m going to share how to manage this in a way that keeps you moving forward and saving you angst, time, and energy.

The biggest mistake that I made was feeling guilty over the slow growth and progress early on in my business. That guilt served no beneficial purpose, in fact when we slip into feeling guilty it can slow down our progress, make us dread the business that we started with such passion, and even doubt our ability to continue on.

Feeling guilt, while normal, is a pressure that we are better off without putting on ourselves. The question remains how do we do that? I’m going to share how I manage that in my business, but before we do that I want to take a moment to set some action items with you.

Action Item: Make a Change

In hearing the mistakes that I’ve made in business, you might be thinking about the mistakes that you’ve made. Maybe they are some of the same ones, or you are currently about to make one of the mistakes that I’ve made.

This week be sure to look at your business, the actions that you take, and explore that is beneficial in your business and what you might want to ditch in an effort to make faster progress.

Getting to the Six Figure Level

Growth in your business is all about strategy. But finding the right strategy, especially when you take into account the need to focus not just on magnetic messaging and course design, but on mindset and progress-driven learning can feel big.

This is something that I’ve been managing in my own business, with my students, and in my own college courses for over 15 years as a psychology professor, mentor, and entrepreneur.

One of the key things that I’ve learned is that we can’t just rely on learning to get up to that six figure mark as a course creator. The books, podcasts, courses, and workshops get us partially there maybe about 10% there, but the other 90% often comes down to mindset work through 1:1 support.

If you are listening today and realizing that you are ready to take the next steps in your business and get 1:1 customized, tailored help with building your digital course business, let’s talk. I want to help you avoid the mistakes and lean into the actions that will not just earn you money, but create longevity in your business. Send me a DM on Instagram or Facebook and we will sit down to figure out the next right steps for you and your digital course business.

Now I know that not everyone is ready for a 1:1 Coach or strategist, but you might still have questions, need help getting unstuck, or just plotting out your next step. I’m here for that as well, because we all deserve to have support in our business. If you need a little extra support, I hold at least two slots each week for strategy calls that are designed to help you get unstuck and take action in your business. These are free, no obligation calls and you can schedule your call at coursecalls.com.

If you are ready to make the next 12 months THE year that you go from being an uncertain Course Creator to a Six Figure Course Creator, schedule a strategy call today. Again, the link to schedule is coursecalls.com. I’ll also pop that link in the show notes for you.

Sixty-Second Solution

One of the best ways to overcome guilt when your business isn’t growing as fast as you’d like is to look at the progress that you’ve made. When you look at how far you’ve come instead of what you haven’t yet achieved it does a few things.

It increases motivation, gives you hope, and generates ideas for how to keep that momentum going because you can see what has been working. You can do more of that and abandon the actions that aren’t having an impact.

If you were to focus instead on how far you have to go to achieve your goals, you will find that guilt, despair, frustration, and anxiety begin to take root. Even if you just have one of those it can stop your progress as effectively as walking into a brick wall.

Look for the progress you’ve made, regardless of how small it might seem and do more of that.

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