Course Creation as a Form of Thought Leadership

A woman with dark hair, wearing a floral dress, sits on a step beside a white column and flowers, smiling and resting her head on her hand.

Have you ever thought about having a course for your business? Or,  maybe you have a course or courses right now and you’re wondering how it fits in with your overall thought leadership

Regardless of how you answered that, I want you to stop and think for a second: What do you want to be known for? And can the courses that you’d hope to create or that you already have fill the role of thought leadership for your business.

In today’s episode, launch strategist Christina Rava joins me on Talk Copy to Me to chat all about course creation. We’ll talk about how it’s a sustainable form of thought leadership and how to go about developing a curriculum and improving on your course to hone your thought leadership and provide for a larger audience. If you’re interested in adding a course to your product suite, this is a must-listen episode.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Here is what Christina and Erin want you to know about course creation

  • What is thought leadership?
  • Whether you can jump right into building courses as you’re developing your thought leadership
  • Building an audience or re-engaging a quiet audience before selling a course
  • How to get VOC research in preparation of creating your course
  • How copy, content, and messaging are integral in course creation and the selling of the course
  • How to get started with course ceration
  • Whether you should have one main course or a few smaller courses
  • The importance of testing and editing your course as you develop your own thought leadership
  • Why every single bit of your thought leadership doesn’t have to be packed into your course for it to be valuable
quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about course creation and thought leadership from Christina and Erin

  • “Before jumping into course creation, you really have a very good, solid understanding of your audience and what problems they have and how to solve them, like what will work.” – Christina Rava

  • “I’ll hear people say, ‘Well, I have such a huge social media following’ or ‘I’m very present on social.’ That’s great. However, when it’s sales time, we still are not owning that audience in the sense that you can contact them all directly, but you are fighting an algorithm that is not set to sell for you.” – Erin Ollila

  • “It’s not just what the topic is and what result it’s going to get them. It’s also about having them feel like this course is for me. This is exactly what I needed. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” – Christina Rava

  • “People forget that in almost all methods of thought leadership, there is messaging and copy that’s related to it.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Why start from scratch when people are literally telling you what their needs are, when people are literally telling you what they’d like help with. There is zero need to write copy from a blank page when you’re able to either have conversations, to do some social listening, to do research when it comes to like studies and the data that like you get from them.” – Erin Ollila

  • A course is really not about providing people with information. It’s about providing them with a roadmap or a process to get a result, to either solve a pain point or to get some kind of desired result.” – Christina Rava

  • “You don’t just throw up a sales page and suddenly all of the products will just go out the door and you’ll be making passive income while you’re eating dinner out at restaurants every single night with that is a misconception completely.” – Erin Ollila

  • “It is good to do this beta founding members launch, but think of it as something that’s valuable for the people who are going through it, and they’re not just guinea pigs.” – Christina Rava

  • “If you’re generous with your information, people will be a lot more attracted to you as a thought leader.” – Erin Ollila

Meet this episodes guest expert on Talk Coy to Me

Christina Rava is a launch strategist and Kajabi expert dedicated to helping coaches and consultants to free up their time, magnify their impact, and create scalable revenue through online courses.

As a former meditation instructor, Christina has a mission to help her clients to grow their businesses with as little stress and hustle as possible.  Her signature program, The Coach to Course Creator Accelerator, focuses on how to create, market, and sell a course that adds at least $5k of automated revenue to your bottom line each month so that you can step off the trading-time-for-money hamster wheel and scale your business in a more sustainable way.

Check out Christina’s Profitable Course Blueprint to get started right away on funneling your thought leadership into a strategic course for your business. Oh, and don’t forget to check out her website to learn more about how you can work with Christina to improve your launches, courses, and more!

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

Here’s the transcript for episode 121 on course creation with guest expert Christina Rava

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, courses, business, audience, leadership, create, sell, thought, talk, information, messaging, marketing, launch, content, social media, providing, email, creators, creation, clients SPEAKERS Erin Ollila, Christina Rava Erin Ollila 00:00 Have you ever thought about having a course for your business? Hey, maybe you have a course or courses right now, regardless of how you answered that, I want you to stop and think for a second, how two courses factor in to your overall thought leadership? What do you want to be known for? And can the courses that you’d hope to create, or that you already have fill the role of thought leadership for your business? Today, I’m joined by Christina Rabbah, who is a launch strategist to talk all about how courses are a way of showcasing thought leadership that has been developed over time. As a former meditation instructor, Christina has a mission to help her clients grow businesses, with as little stress and hustle as possible, which I absolutely appreciate. She has a signature program that’s called the coach to course creator accelerator, which focuses on how to create market and sell a course, that’s adding an automated revenue to your bottom line so that you can step off the trading for time, money hamster wheel, and scale your business in a way that’s more sustainable. So stay tuned and hear what Christina and I have to say, about course creation, and thought leadership. Hey, friends, welcome to the Top copy to me podcast. Here, we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Let’s just jump right and what is thought leadership to you. Christina Rava 01:51 When I hear thought leadership, what I think about is the willingness to, to break the mold. I think in the beginning, like the earlier stages of our business, we were followers. And that’s not a bad thing necessarily. But we lay we follow a path that more experienced people have laid out for us. But then eventually there comes a time where you realize, well, maybe this other way of doing things might work, you know, or my audience needs this other thing from me, and they want to hear this contrasting opinion. That’s different from what everybody else is saying. So I think it’s like the willingness to step out, step out of the crowd, and try new things, experiment, and be brave enough to to voice opinions that may be a little bit different than what people are hearing elsewhere. I Erin Ollila 02:50 really liked the way that you described starting a business, learning from others, and then really kind of dipping your toe in and starting to say like, okay, maybe I can do this right, like So you’re finally kind of stepping into your own presence, when I’m excited about it for this particular series is the idea that thought leadership can be many different things. I very often hear thought leadership talking talked about in a couple specific ways. Things like speeches or workshops and conferences, things like that. Another way could be like written content, such as articles or blog post, or most often I very hear people talk about thought leadership on social media. And in some ways, not that I don’t think that you can have thought leadership on social I absolutely think you can. But in some ways, I think that’s kind of cheapen the the way that people consider that term thought leadership, right? They think, oh, everyone’s got something to say, Right. Which is, it’s sad, in a sense, because I think most people do have a very important insight to share. And they just have to find the right way to share it for them. So I’m excited today to talk to you about the idea that thought leadership can be shared via creating courses for your business. Before we talk about whether it’s right for the people who are listening and how they’d even consider going about creating courses to share their thought leadership. I’d love to kind of hear your story of how you got into the course creation space, and whether or not you’ve shared any of your own thought leadership through courses. When I Christina Rava 04:29 started my business it was about seven years ago, it was as a health coach. And it was because when I was in a corporate job, the people that I was working with were working such long hours, a lot of people were actually calling their kids at night to say goodnight on the phone. And I said to myself, I don’t want to do that I was you know getting ready to have kids and I didn’t. I didn’t want to be in that situation. So I I had this idea, you know, I’ll go into business. And I’ve always been interested in health and wellness. So I became a health coach. And I had these dreams of replacing my corporate salary using coaching. But at the same time, I also wanted to work part time hours so that I could be present with my family. And then when I sat down to do the math, I was realizing like, these numbers aren’t working, you know, there’s only so many outs, like so many hours, I can work in a week, there’s only so much I can charge per hour. Plus, all of my work time is not paid. You know, there’s the time that goes into like lead generation and follow ups and marketing and that kind of thing. So there’s only so many hours, I’m like, actively coaching and bringing in revenue. So it dawned on me like this business model is not going to get me to where I want to be. So that’s when I started to explore the idea of courses and digital products with the idea that it’s something that you create once and you sell it over and over again. So you have the ability to generate revenue. That’s not tied to your time, one for one. So I started learning all about courses and kind of like, experimenting. And finally I did create my own course. And it’s been such a blessing to me, you know, because I’ve been able to continue to help people and serve and grow my business. But I also have that balance that work life balance that I was searching for when I first started. And that’s so different than what I had when I was in corporate, Erin Ollila 06:36 I think it’s a very common story, the idea that business owners, whether they’re new to the journey, or they’ve done it for a while, are looking for a way to increase their income. And I think a lot of us understand that, you know, depending on the industry or the work that we do, we can’t help or serve everyone. The one way that we can reach more people, is by doing something like creating a course. So I think it’s very easy as a business owner to think of like, well, I’ll share my knowledge or I will package up my expertise in a way that can better serve my audience and increase my income. But I don’t think a lot of pre planning goes into having a course, do you think it’s something that people could just jump right into, Christina Rava 07:22 it’s not something that I recommend people jump right into. And I am thankful for my journey, because I think that having years of experience doing one to one coaching, and one to one services really prepared me to have a course. And now that I work with other course creators, I see the people that are more equipped to have a successful course business are the ones that have that background, in terms of first knowing what works and what doesn’t work to solve their client’s problems. And also knowing what like what messaging to use around those clients around those problems. Understanding like, what people are looking for, what results they want, at the end of the day. That kind of thing. I think that comes from having a lot of conversations with people, and a lot of really close experience working with people. So you don’t necessarily have to do it, like you know, full time for years and years. But I do recommend that before jumping into course creation, you really have a very good solid understanding of your audience, and what you know what problems they have, and how to solve them, like what will work. And then also, it does help to have an audience. A mistake that I see a lot of beginner course creators make. And this is something to consider if you’re considering launching a course is the size of your audience. A mistake is that people have course goals, sales goals that are not in alignment with the size of their audience. So they’ll have an audience of, let’s say, under 500 people, and sometimes those people aren’t really even engaged. You know, they’re not emailing their list. They’re not posting that much on social media, their Facebook group is dead, you know. And then they tell me that they want to sell 10 spots in their course every month, you know, that’s 120 spots with an audience of like under 500 people that it just doesn’t work. So I think that if you are considering launching a course, I would think about first of all, do you have an audience that you can sell to and then are you in tune with that audience? Because really, what you need to do is create a call Course, around what they want and what they need, and not what you think the course should be about. I want Erin Ollila 10:07 to stick with audience size for a second, what’s taught very often is the idea of like, here’s how to create a course. But it’s not necessarily here’s how to create an audience. So if someone does not have an audience, or their audience that they have is not very engaged. Where do you think that they should focus their time before even starting building a course? Christina Rava 10:28 Well, I’m a big fan of email marketing, I’m not really a social media person. So the route that I personally took was starting, growing and engaging my email list, so I had some freebies out there, and then I would drive traffic to them. But then, the more important piece is that after people were on my list, I was really, really consistent about emailing them every single week. So they got to know me, and they got to basically trust that I know what I’m talking about in this space, so that when it comes time, when it came time to launch my course, I had the authority. So other people don’t necessarily have to go that same route of building an email list, you can choose, I would say, to choose a method and a platform where you can be consistent, that’s really the most important thing where you can show up, you know, so if you’re more comfortable, let’s say on Tik Tok, or Instagram, and you can show up and provide value and have people get to know you and establish yourself as a thought leader as an authority in your space. Then you can do that I’m, you know, like I said, I’m more of a show up by email kind of person. But to put in a plug for email, the nice thing about it is that you, you own your audience, whereas in social media, we’ve all experienced those, like days where everything was down, right. And people have had their accounts closed, and their accounts hacked and that kind of thing. So even if you are primarily active on social media, I would still recommend that you drive the traffic to an email to like a free resource to get people on your email list. Not only because you own your list, but also because the it’s just been proven over and over again, that email marketing has a much harder higher ROI than other forms of marketing. Erin Ollila 12:32 I wholeheartedly agree, I think that it doesn’t really make a difference what specific marketing channel we try, right? Like it could be being a podcast guest, it could be doing live is in people’s group, like that’s your opportunity to one stop test your thought leadership, if you know, we’re going to bring it back to that and test your presence and get people to pay attention to who you are and build your expertise and authority. But then it’s still you need to sell to someone. So if you don’t have that method for reaching all of those people, which you don’t like, as a podcast guest, I might be heard by hundreds of people on someone else’s show if I’m the guest, but I can’t just like call them up when I’m ready to launch something and be like, you remember, you listened to me a year and a half ago on so and so show, right, because I don’t know who they are. And neither does the podcast host very often. So by directing them somewhere where you can get them on a list emails kind of the key right? Then you at least when it’s time to sell, then you have the audience to sell to you also have the data that you need. So a lot of the times I’ll hear people say, Well, I have such a huge social media following or like I’m very present on social, that is all great. However, when it sales time, we still are not only owning that audience in the sense that you can contact them all directly, but you are fighting an algorithm that is not set to sell for you. So again, I think you’re spot on any method that you’re comfortable with blogging, showing up on video showing up on audio, being on social, that’s all great, but then drive people to where you can actually build an audience that you have measurable data for that you can then start to make some projections when it comes to selling the course in the future. And that you can actually do some voc research if you don’t know your audience. But you do have one, put out a survey to your email list. If you don’t have the email yes lists yet put out a survey to your social media followers and maybe that could be tied in somehow to like a reward when they join your list. There’s a lot of ways to get data and grow the list. But I do agree I think it all really does come back to email when it comes to the future of selling the course. Now another thing that you had said to go down that different route, is getting to learn about your audience’s pain points. And I think that this is very important because so Often, what I see being done in the course creation part of this business world that I think is done poorly, is that people have an idea. And then they jump, like right into the idea without knowing if it is going to either serve their audience or serve an actual funnel in their business, like, you know, a way to bring new people into another part of their business. So how, how do you recommend people start making decisions, when maybe they are ideating things that they’d love to share? Or maybe they have a general scope of what their thought leadership would be. And they, they can’t quite figure out what to focus on, when it comes time to actually create a course, Christina Rava 15:40 there’s a number of things you can do. One is something that you just mentioned, which is sending out a survey or doing some kind of research, it could be an email survey, it could be a poll, on social media, you can also just sit down for a little while and reflect on what are the questions that people have been asking me, whether that’s one on one or, you know, questions that they’re responding to emails with or asking in response to your posts. In your Facebook group? What if you have one? What are people asking? So see, what are the themes? What are the things that are coming up over and over and over again? And then you can also look at, aside from questions, what’s getting the most response with your topics? You know, regardless of where you’re posting your content, which pieces of content are getting the higher engagements, you know, you can also invite people to get on calls with you. And people love for the most part, people love sharing their opinion, and being able to not only ask them questions, but see exactly how they word their responses is hugely valuable, because you want to use that information not only to influence your course topic and content, but also your messaging around the course. What are you going to say on your sales page and your sales emails, you need to have those words resonate with people. Because when they purchase when people make purchase decisions for a course, it’s not just what the topic is, and what result is going to get them. It’s also about having them feel like this course is, for me, this is exactly what I needed. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. And the best way to get people to react like that is to really listen to the words and the phrases they’re using to describe their own struggles and painful thank you so Erin Ollila 17:45 much for saying that, you know, because I was talking to a business friend, and she about like this, this new series that I’m doing. And she said, Oh thought leadership, like I kind of get how it relates to like copy and marketing. And my I kind of just laughed because I’m like, but you’re missing it though. Like I can’t even say from the way that you just responded that you’re missing it because people forget that in almost all methods of thought leadership, there is messaging and copy that’s related to it. If you give a speech, how do you like, well, even if you are a keynote speaker in someone else’s event, how do you publicize the event? How do you get people to buy tickets? How do you get that like? Even those tiny little blurbs that describe like what type of events there are at like major conferences? How do you get people to want to attend to that particular thing. When you are doing something like writing a book, people forget, like the words in the book are one thing. The way that we attract people to buy books is another thing. Same thing right now like a new set it yourself with courses, the way that our clients or our audience in this instance, phrase things is the way that we sell to them, not in a minute manipulative way, but in a way where they can acknowledge that what we are offering is something that they actually want or need. Why start from scratch when people are literally telling you what their needs are. When people are literally telling you what they’d like help with. There is zero need to write copy from a blank page when you’re able to either have conversations, to do some social listening to do research when it comes to like studies and the data that like you get from them. Use those words so that people feel comfortable with you. I think there’s so much misinformation in the copywriting world in the business world from copywriting gurus or business owners with no copywriting background who are giving copywriting tips and that’s why people tend to think like there’s a lot of sleazy copywriting and marketing ways to sell when there is not you know, if people tell you what they need, it’s a it’s a service Have them to provide the need as long as you’re doing it correctly. And I think that’s really key to consider that thought leadership and whichever byproduct that you have thought leadership that you’re creating, you do have to sell it as well. And the way that people know that the course is for them is just by listening to what they’re saying, and then providing that for them. 100% Christina Rava 20:22 Yeah, it’s about like, connecting, when you make a connection that is selling in a way, you know, like showing that you understand them, and that you can help them. That’s like the non sleazy way of selling Erin Ollila 20:37 him. And I think it takes that like, uncomfortableness out of the scenario for the course creator, right. So often people who are creators, or who are able to do something like create a course, even if they don’t see themselves from the Creator lens, they tend to be the people who are not a natural salesperson, right? Like, if you’re able to share your experience and education and provide that to educate someone else. You’re, you’re not always in that camp, where you can just turn a salesperson rule on. So for these type of individuals, there’s often a lot of uncomfortable feelings about how to approach the created course and getting it out there in the world. So you know, when it comes to like doing that, it’s the practice of building that audience with email marketing, or whatever method in the early days, it’s the practice of working through the create course creation, to fine tune your messaging, having these conversations doing the research, and then it’s so much easier to, to feel that confidence yourself. Because you know, you’ve created something great, and you know that you’ve created something that people need, and you’re excited to put it out there. So that fear of selling or that anxiety of selling in a way that doesn’t feel right to you, it just dissipates because you’re already doing it in a way that feels good for you and your audience. Christina Rava 22:02 I agree. It’s such a win win. And the other thing that, you know, doing this due diligence helps is that, unfortunately, I see a lot of people create courses, and hope that you know, if they post information online, people know that I have this course available now that people will buy it, that doesn’t happen. And what happens is they end up scrapping the idea, they they end up thinking to themselves, people don’t want this course I’m going to create another course and they literally start from square one again, when it’s not the course that the that’s the problem, the course could be the most amazing, valuable thing ever, it’s really the fact that you’re not selling it, you don’t have the right messaging in place. So by doing by doing your homework, and by listening to your audience, and then positioning your course based on that, you’re doing yourself a favor, not only making more sales, but also just getting the product in the hands of more people as opposed to scrapping the idea. Yeah, Erin Ollila 23:09 I think that’s a great point, and kind of leads me into the next place that I’d like to go really well. Because what I see even if it’s not particularly, particularly a scrapped idea, it’s that people are often like mass producing courses, instead of like honing in on courses that could be really ideal for like the next phase that they’d like that the student to take. So I don’t think that there’s a wrong approach. You know, there are some businesses that I think do very well with a tiny consumable courses in multiple different topics. And in other instances, I think some businesses do well with like a signature course. So I don’t think that this is like a prescriptive advice type of question. But if if someone is considering the idea of creating courses for their business, how do they know like, what order to create them? Or if they should be doing multiple courses for their business? Christina Rava 24:04 Chances are most business owners can help their audience achieve more than one thing like do do more than one thing, get more than one result, right. But there may be one thing that particularly stands out, you know, you have the most experience with this one area, or you have the most people coming to you seeking help in that year area. And then you build a course around that to start with because a course is really not about providing people with information. It’s about providing them with a roadmap or a process to get a result to either solve a pain point or to get some kind of desired result. So if you think about your skill set, which skill is the strongest, you know, and where do you have the most social proof around? Getting people results. And I would prioritize that thing for your course. And don’t be too quick to then move on to other things. Because if we’re trying to not only create and launch different courses, but then remember, you have to serve the students in the courses, you know, there might be some kind of component of coaching and community and customer service that you have to do for each course, there’s the marketing that goes into each course. And if you end up creating a lot of things, you’re spreading yourself thin, and you’re not focusing your your time and your attention and your energy behind any one. And so it’s going to be difficult to grow, let’s say a suite of offers all simultaneously than it is to take one have that be your flagship course, grow it to the point where it’s like meeting your your goals, like let’s say, your revenue goals. And then at that point where you feel like it’s truly like up and running and serving people, and it’s also meeting your goals, then you move on to the other things. Erin Ollila 26:11 And I think even to add to that, we also have to think about the what’s next, you know, if this is our piece of thought leadership, what do you do with it right, like, So, we talked about how to grow the audience at the beginning and the different methods? Well, now we have to talk about the sales process. And we Yes, one that we mentioned, was emailing your list in order to sell, but you cannot just sell once, right? Like you don’t just throw up a sales page. And suddenly, all of the the products will just go out the door. And you’ll be making passive income while you’re eating dinner out at restaurants every single night with that is a misconception completely. One of the ways that you continue to bring new audience to the great course that you’ve created, is moving thought leadership, going on podcast as guest and spreading your message telling them about your course, maybe writing content for other people’s business blogs for news outlets, could be press releases a social media. So it’s like you grow your audience to be able to offer them a course with your thought leadership. And then you continued to use other methods of thought leadership to attract people to your course. So if you are creating many different courses on many different topics, then your bandwidth of work that you have to do is to provide thought leadership on every topic that you have continuously to get people within that funnel of buying for those courses. So I think if this is if course creation is new to someone, the focused approach is really going to be like the most successful approach for them. And if they are, if it’s not new, if they already have courses, I think maybe just asking that question of like, how does this fit with the overall selection of courses that I have? Like, am I able to talk about these in a way that they work together? Is there going to be extra work to market these things because they don’t seem to fit and that might be able to help people make decisions as to whether they want to continue to grow their course catalog? 28:18 Yeah, I totally agree. And not only is your bandwidth, stretched, right with talking about multiple offers, but you’re also your messaging is diluted, you know, and it can confuse your audience. If one day, you’re putting up a blog post or an email or a video on one thing, and then the next week, it’s something else like you never really establish that authority. And to be truly successful with a course I think it’s good to become almost synonymous, like your brand, your name become synonymous with expertise in a certain area. And you’ll also grow, I think, a more targeted audience. If you focus primarily on one topic, Erin Ollila 29:10 I think that’s really important. When we look at a course suite, if you do build out more than one course for your business. Think of what is the course that you are doing the heaviest duty work for. For me, that could be something like writing copy, right? If someone takes that course and then they wants to want to work with me on like a one off strategy session, or on a VIP day or something, it’s very natural for that student to then become a service based client. So that would be where I am focusing my marketing and my energy on however, those smaller courses could potentially help those same clients. For example, I have one on FAQs, because websites do really well with frequently asked questions. I can talk to them about it, but I don’t create an entire marketing ecosystem. stem around those little pieces of thought leadership, I think if you are excited about using courses as a way to share thought leadership, that’s how you can be more strategic with what you decide to create, create what is Ever Most aligned with your business. And a way that your students could possibly intersect your service based clients, if that’s the type of business that you have. And then the additional things that you create are pieces that would fit in that same world, but they don’t have their own ecosystems around them. 30:35 I love that. And a coach that I worked with once told me, you can have multiple offers. But remember, all roads should lead back to the one thing that you want to be known as an authority and a leader for so if you are going to have the smaller offers available, be intentional and strategic, about how do these fit into my overall online presence and my overall strategy? And can they be used to funnel people into my primary offer? Erin Ollila 31:13 This is kind of a two part question here. But I think it’s great to talk about testing and adjusting courses. One, I’d love to know your thoughts on beta courses on whether you should invite people in to test out but you know, that idea that thought leadership that you want to get out there so that you can adjust? That’s question one. Question two is, what are your thoughts on putting a full course out there? And then depending on the feedback that you’ve gotten, or even just, you know, a length of time has gone bad editing, adjusting in updating your courses to maybe make them better aligned with, like you just mentioned that ecosystem that works best for their business? 31:56 Yeah, I think what I teach my clients is that when you launch a course, you’re really creating a foundation, you’re not really creating your finished product, because it’s going to evolve over time for a number of reasons. So I do believe in beta launching it, I don’t like to use the term beta, because I think that people might associate that with free, or not very good, you know. So I prefer to use the term founding members launch, where I tell people that this is available for presale, I’m going to develop it based on your feedback, because I think when you do an to backup a little pre selling a course basically means enrolling people before you’ve completed all the content, maybe you can have some of the initial content ready so that you do have something to deliver once people enroll. But then after that, you complete the content, and you’re a few steps ahead of where your students are. So to answer your first question like that, that’s my beta method is the the pre sale founding members method. And it actually is a super valuable experience for the people who are going through it one because they normally get a discount. But more importantly, they’re shaping the future of the course they’re providing you with feedback, and you’re literally tailoring the course content to what their wants what they want. So for example, maybe they’re asking you to teach them something that you initially weren’t intending on, including in the course you know, but you end up putting it in, because that’s what they want. And that’s what they need. It is good to do this, beta founding members launch, but think of it as something that’s valuable for the people who are going through it. And they’re not just guinea pigs. And then they don’t recommend creating the entire course ahead of time, because you might put in an awful lot of time and money into it, and then realize that it’s not quite right, you know, maybe people needed more of something or less of something or they needed to go through things in a different order. And then you end up having to completely redo things. So I think it’s more efficient for course creators, to have it be a work in progress and to create as you go along with your students feedback, shaping the content. Erin Ollila 34:34 Yeah, and I think if there I could give any advice here something I have learned is like a business course that you sell for your own business does not have to be the same level as like a college course. You know, I’ve caught myself way too many times, developing like a curriculum that was so in detail that I realized it was a disservice to my clients like, too much detail is not Always a good thing, right? Like too much education is also not a good thing. Because you may never get if someone’s getting frustrated about their learning experience, because it’s a lot of information, they may not be able to move from being informed into taking action. That’s why it’s really important to work with someone like you when it comes to like understanding what goes into a course to know that you don’t want to overdo it. 35:25 I hear all the time, like, people create courses, and they just feel like to make it as valuable as possible, they have to pack in every single thing they know. And then the students say, they feel fire hosed with information. And it’s overwhelming. And one issue in the course creation world is completion rates, people enroll in courses with the best intentions, but then they go in and they see there’s like hours and hours of content. And they say, I don’t have time for this. And they kind of save it for later and then never go back to it. So it is true that you should not pack every little detail into it, it should really be intentionally shaped with just the right amount of information that people need to get the result that they want. Erin Ollila 36:09 And I think that’s really like a plug for why this is a good part of having a course as your business if you’re taking it from a thought leadership perspective. Because if you’re in that instance, where you have so much information about a topic, that is lovely, and you can use different parts of that, like thought leadership that you have in different arenas, right, develop the course so that way you can get it completed, by providing them the right information, even if it is not the whole of the information, you’re providing the right information in the method that they can then take action on whatever they’ve learned. And then all of the rest of that information you have that education and that experience. That’s what you use to promote it to do collab events, maybe where you’re working with someone else’s audience to do the speaking engagements. One thing that I’ve talked about with many people before is there’s no giving it all the way one, if you’re generous with your information, people will will be a lot more attracted to you, as a thought leader, and to if I gave away like everything that I had on, like, like all of the research I’ve done on testimonials, per se, like we’d be here talking for a very long time. So if you feel like you are in that college level of like I have so much information to share. And I don’t know how to get it all into the course. Take some notes on how you can use them in different ways how you can use them in your marketing, how you can use them to write the copy to sell the course, because no information is wasteful. And it does not need to be packaged into one pretty bow. You are creating a course specifically. So that way, I forgot how you phrased it. You phrased it so well before, but it’s like not giving information it is to get someone to take to move through a journey or however you heard described it. Yeah, 38:01 transformation. Yeah, the information or transformation, not information. So Erin Ollila 38:05 final final question. We’ve talked a lot about creating a course with the assumption that it’s right for someone to create a course. And you’ve even given some key like ideas of how to know the right time is for you in your business. But how do you know it’s the wrong time? Like are there any key indicators that you should not be creating a course as part of your thought leadership? 38:28 I think if you’re earlier in your journey, you’re still trying to find your voice. You’re still trying to get an understanding of the different ways that you can help people you haven’t really found like your footing yet in your business. I think it’s not the right time. And also, even if you are more established, you also have to be aware of how your audience likes to learn and how, how they work and how like what’s the best way to get them a result. And that’s not always through a self study DIY course. Some people need more handholding. Some people need like feedback and accountability and coaching. So maybe you might want to offer something else to address the needs of your audience. I Erin Ollila 39:20 completely agree. I think some of the people who I hear her who are excited about course creation, they haven’t figured out that back, like how does this work with how my business runs? And what do I want as the next step from the courses. So if I could add anything I would just be ruminating on what do you want people to do once they’ve moved through your course? How does this fit in with that bandwidth that you have to market your the rest of your business if course creation isn’t your entire business. All right. So this is a jam packed episode. I mean, we’ve talked for a long time at this point. Thank you so much for your time, I will put all of the information on ways that you can reach out to Christina In our podcast description and our show notes, but I just want to thank you so much for your time today because I think you’ve really served the audience well with your thought leadership. 40:09 Thank you so much, Erin. It’s been great chatting with you. Erin Ollila 40:14 Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today, I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation? Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends

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