+ 10 Top Tips from delivering my first online programme
I am really proud to have delivered my first online programme ‘Set up your own Successful Social Business.’
However – despite having delivered learning programmes for the past 15 years – I found it really hard to do it under my own name.
I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable to be so visible and self promoting.
In order to deliver online programmes I had created my own brand and website. To help these succeed I need to be really visible on social media, however this was more challenging than I’d realised.
My name has always been prominent when marketing my work but usually it has been on behalf of another business or organisation.
So why do I find it so difficult to be really visible? To promote myself and to tell my personal story?
Is it the fear of the judgement which being visible can create?
Why is it so hard to be visible?
It’s made me consider my own feelings when I look at other women who are in the limelight. I may feel admiration, perhaps be a bit envious, sometimes negative judgements come up; too fat? too angry? too full of herself?
I realise that these are valuable learning tools, as judegements are actually just reflections of our own fears about ourself.
Fears which we project as judgements onto someone else and then experience reflected back at us.
These negative thoughts are draining and self-sabotaging.
My life changed the day I realised that my judgements were actually really about myself. As it meant that I had control over them and could choose to change them. Even though I still have to remind myself of this most days!
So running my first online course has been an invaluable learning experience for me as well as – hopefully – the other women who joined me. Fifteen women all at their start of exciting but daunting journeys to create their own successful social businesses.
Over four weeks we explored their purpose, customers, money, along with loads of other practical tips and strategies for running a business.
I will share here some of my other key learning from delivering it.
My Top 10 Tips – key learning from delivering my first online course.
- Give more time for networking – In the feedback everyone requested more time to meet the other participants at the beginning and throughout. It is such an important part of the journey yet I squeezed this aspect because I wanted to include so much content.
- 1-2 weeks is enough for marketing – I would normally have a longer lead time than this. However I have been taught recently that a short selling window is the most effective way to market an online programme. Although it is easier if you have a large and engaged email list, which I don’t have yet. However I have good social media networks, especially Linkedin, so I was able to market the event through these.
- Keep it simple – For the marketing and delivery I used software which I am already familiar with e.g. eventbrite, zoom and google drive. This all worked really well and was sufficient for the size of this group and course objectives. I would like to use other more sophisticated software for my online courses in future, but I can develop these as I grow.
- Set up a communication group – I created a Facebook group, which was useful for communication during the course. It was useful however only about half the group actively used it and it does take time to keep people engaged in this way. I might try a Linkedin group next time to see if it works better.
- Take them on a journey – It’s really important to enable people to go on a learning journey with their business idea and personal development. So create a programme which allows this to develop, with time to reflect on the process and learning individually and as a group.
- Less is more – In order to give value I always include lots of information. However on reflection I think I probably included too much. As people can only take on board so much and will only actually use a fraction of it. So next time I will aim to streamline the content and give the extra time for group networking and discussion.
- Give some surprises – Don’t publicise the details of all the content upfront, as it’s always good to keep back some surprises eg. I included a section on wealth consciousness, in the money module, which provided something unexpected and new to most of the group.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – If some people fall by the wayside, or if some elements don’t really work, then don’t waste time worrying about it. Just make sure you try to get feedback and take it on board for next time. But don’t let it get you stressed and drain your energy this time.
- Keep Learning – The whole process is a learning journey for everyone. So keep assessing what worked well and what didn’t. Ask for feedback at the end of each session and also do a proper quick survey at the end of the course (google forms or survey monkey work well). As this means you have proper data for your own benchmarking, development, social impact measurement and hopefully to help with your marketing too.
- Get Testimonials – From the survey ensure you ask questions which provide quotes you can use on your website and future marketing. It is a rich resource so don’t miss the opportunity. Also the feedback is always more authentic and enthusiastic if you capture it straight away, so have the survey form ready to use at the last session.
I really enjoyed the experience of running my first online programme. It was a significant and successful first step for me, in my move away from freelancing. Providing me with an exciting opportunity to create my own income online doing something I love.
It actually made me feel really empowered to create my livelihood in this way. So I will be running it again soon (3rd – 18th December in fact).
Go For It!
So, if you are hesitating about putting something out under your own name, I highly recommend you just go for it.
Push your comfort zone a little. Also remember you have to start somewhere.
So just make a start and don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough.
If you would like to join my email list for updates about my latest courses and events then please get in touch [email protected]