Want to know how to grow your e-Course Business in 2017 ?
“2017 is going to be my year!”
I’ve seen this kind of thing plastered all over social media lately.
And understandably so – the juiced-up energy of January is exciting, and I know many business owners are pumped for a clean slate, a fresh start, and a renewed injection of energy.
But, as we all know, raw enthusiasm will only carry you so far (like ‘til the start of February, for example!), which is why it’s important to back up your ideas and excitement with a concrete, tangible plan.
So today, to ensure that you (and your business) don’t finish 2017 in the same place as you started it, I want to share with you a planning technique for rapidly growing your ‘e-Course business’ in a smart, strategic way.
What’s an ‘e-Course business’, you ask?
Excellent question. The short answer is: It’s a business that’s built entirely around one or more premium e-Course offerings – à la Marie Forleo, Denise Duffield-Thomas or Ramit Sethi or Kimra Luna or many others in the ‘7-figure club’.
It’s important to note that these ‘e-Course businesses’ don’t just “have” an e-Course; they’re structured in a specific way, with a strategic suite of complementary offerings that allow multiple revenue streams to feed into each other and generate continual (and lucrative) income.
Adopting this model changed my business – and my bottom line – completely, so as you can probably imagine, I love talking about it and it’s one of my favourite topics to teach on.
Full disclosure, though: I’m going to be delving into some advanced stuff than I don’t usually share on the blog (I usually reserve the high level stuff for my premium clients). So if any of this seems too advanced for where you’re at in your business, don’t worry. Just choose to view it as ‘vision expansion’ for what’s possible in the future (and make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you’re ready!).
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
This technique is for you if:
- You’ve already got an e-Course
- You’ve already got an email list (even if it’s not as big as you’d like it to be)
- You’ve launched your e-Course before (likely multiple times), but aren’t experiencing the kind of results you want
- Your business structures feel like they’re holding you back (i.e. they’re not designed for growth and expansion)
- You really want your e-Course to become the premium flagship offering that supports your entire business
(Psst! If you’re not at this level yet, I recommend starting with How to come up with a profitable idea for your e-Course and Predict your future business success: The ‘crystal ball’ exercise that will blow your mind.)
You can download the 20+ page rapid growth plan workbook to go along with this blog below.
1.Start by digging within and asking yourself these questions about your business…
Before we can plan your next year, we need to take a close look at the year that’s just passed. Click To Tweet
The following questions will help you hone in on what worked and what didn’t with your e-Course and your business during 2016.
I recommend sitting down with a journal to answer them – preferably with a nice cup of tea, a beautiful candle burning, and even some crystals around you for support, if that’s how you roll.
(Also: Be as honest with yourself as you can – the more candid your answers, the more you’ll have to work with later.)
- What products or services did you offer in 2016?
- For each one, what percentage of your total income did it generate?
- For each one, on a scale of 1-10, how much time, energy and stress did you expend on them?
- For each one, on a scale of 1-10, how much did you enjoy delivering them?
- How many people were on your email list at the start of last year? How many people did you finish the year with? How do you feel about that level of growth?
- How many times did you launch your e-Course/s last year?
- For each launch:
- What kind of marketing did you do?
- How would you rate your marketing efforts on a scale of 1-10?
- What was your conversion rate?
- How many enrolments did you achieve?
- How much revenue did you bring in?
- How much profit did you make?
- On a scale of 1-10, how was your wellness and emotional health during the launch?
- What was most stressful about your launches?
- What activities were the most time-consuming during your launches?
- What business/tech support did you have during the launch? (For example, VA, designer, copywriter, etc.)
- How did you support yourself through the launches? (For example, massage, pedicure, meal delivery service etc.)
- For your e-Course itself:
- How do you feel about your product?
- What are its strengths?
- What are its weaknesses?
- In general, what has the positive feedback been focused on?
- In general, what has the negative feedback been focused on?
- How would you rate the experience your customers have with your e-Course?
- How would you rate your customer service?
Whew! This kind of reflection can be confronting, right?!
But let me tell you, digging deep now (even if it means admitting the times you disappointed yourself, or when things didn’t go as planned) is going to pay off exponentially down the road. #Promise’
2. Clear, cut, release!
After going through these nitty-gritty reflection questions, you’ve likely got a lot of emotions churning through you right now.
To ensure you enter the next phase of the process with a clean slate, it’s time to do a little energetic clearing.
In your journal, ask yourself:
- How do I feel answering these questions?
- What do my answers reveal about my business?
- What clearly didn’t work in 2016?
- What am I ready to let go of?
I’m now going to encourage you to take this step to the next level by engaging in a releasing ritual of your choice.
- Write everything you want to release on a piece of paper and burn it.
- Close your eyes and visualize the old, stale energy exiting your body – perhaps being sucked out by a spiritual vacuum cleaner, or washed away by an enormous jet of metaphysical water.
- Literally move the old energy out of your body – dance it out in the privacy of your bedroom, sweat it out in a yoga session, pound it out on the treadmill, walk on the beach… My husband will think this is hilarious to say, but sex is also an amazing ‘releasing’ activity. (Ha!)
3. Identify your vision for your e-Course.
Now it’s time to look to the future:
- How many students do you want in your program this year? Next year? In five years?
- How do you want to expand or refine your product?
- How much income do you want to earn from it?
- What other products or services do you want to offer that complement your e-Course?
- How do you want your customers to feel as they go through your course?
- What do you want to be known for?
4. Identify your vision for the lifestyle you desire.
Just as important as laying down your business vision is laying down your lifestyle vision. Click To Tweet
- How do you want to feel in your business?
- How often do you want to launch?
- How do you ideally want to take care of yourself – spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.? (Get specific here. For example, ‘Hire a personal trainer once a week.’ ‘Finish work at 4:00 p.m. each day and go for a walk.)
5. Get aligned with both these visions – the inner and the outer.
You might think you’re ready for more success and results in your business.
But if you’re already feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted, the subconscious message you’re sending out to the Universe is likely not aligned with that desire.
In fact, it’s probably something more like, “Please, for the love of wine, just leave me alone! No more, Universe! Just give me some peace and quiet already!”
… Which ain’t exactly conducive to attracting in abundance, right?!
Yet it’s amazing how many clients I see who are in this exact position: wanting more (more money, more clients, more students, more tribe members) while simultaneously wanting to be left the hell alone so they can overcome their burnout and exhaustion. I’ve been there myself and got the adrenal fatigue t-shirt!
So how to reconcile these two competing desires?
This is where it’s important to shift your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want, which is essential for internal alignment. This tiny flip in focus makes it so much easier for you to vibrate at the right level and attract in everything you want.
So to take the above example, rather than sending out a message to the Universe that you don’t want any more stress or commitments, try shifting your language and asking for what you do want: more ease, space, and flow.
Now it’s over to you: create a short 2-3 sentence statement, phrased in the positive, that helps you focus on all the things you want to attract in 2017.
I’ll start you off:
In 2017, I’m ready to call in more ________________________________ , while also experiencing more ___________________________________ .
Ideally, pin this statement up somewhere where you’ll see it each day, to remind you that it’s safe to pursue your goals, and that you’re completely aligned with your desires.
6. Generate an emotional connection with your vision.
The best way to add potency to your manifesting is to create an emotional connection to your goals. Click To Tweet
Visualizing is my favourite way to do this.
Set aside 10-20 minutes for this exercise. As you visualize your desires, explore how good it feels to wake up each day doing what you love, to feel rewarded for what you do, to serve the people who need your unique gifts, and to know that you’re taking care of yourself and your loved ones in a heart-centred way.
7. Create your visual anchor.
Woohooooo! It’s vision boarding time, baby! (I know you guys were waiting for this part!
This is where you can embrace your artistic side, while also creating a strong visual anchor that keeps your vision front and centre.
You can choose to go the “paper and glue” route, if you like – chopping up magazines and printed-out images and sticking them on a piece of card or a corkboard. Or you can go digital and create a desktop wallpaper (in Canva) or Pinterest board that contains images of what you want to attract.
Things you might like to include on your vision board: The magic number of customers you want to call in, your revenue goal, magazines or podcasts you want to be featured on, new business friends you’d like to meet, travel or events you’d like to attend as well as pictures that embody the emotions you wish to feel (such as ‘wellness’, ‘ease’, ‘light’, ‘spaciousness’ etc.).
8.Create your plan by focusing on the 5 pillars of a successful e-Course business.
Now that we’ve got the high-level energetic stuff sorted, it’s time to get more granular, get the left side of our brains on board, and make a detailed plan.
We could literally spend a whole week discussing this stuff (and that’s exactly what I do with my high-end clients) but for now, I’ve narrowed it down to the five key areas, and have included three thought-provoking questions for each.
Grab your journal again and ask yourself:
Take your overall income goal and break it down:
- How many enrolments would you need to sell to reach it? How does this number make you feel?
- What other complementary products or services can you add to your income streams to help you reach your goal?
- Are there any additional upsells or downsells you can add to your e-Course for added revenue?
Take your ideal email list goal and break it down:
- What strategy can you use to attract an extra 10% of new sign-ups each week? What about an extra 50%? What if you had to add an extra 100% (i.e. double them) each week?
- What new opt-in could you create that would attract a whole new raft of customers? Ideally, come up with 5 opt-in ideas and pick the best one.
- What kind of free content upgrades could you offer to encourage more sign ups? (For example: Can you create a worksheet to accompany your blog post? A companion guide for your podcast? A transcript of your video? Bonus points here for reworking your existing resources – #WorkSmarterNotHarder!)
This is one of the most important areas to focus on when it comes to achieving your lifestyle goals, which is why I spend so much time on it with my high-end clients.
Take a close look at your existing systems and structures, and ask yourself:
- What part of my reader’s journey is not currently as smooth and automated as it could be? (For example: Could your ‘welcome sequence’ do with an upgrade?)
- What systems have I been meaning to implement (that would make my life easier) but have been putting off purchasing until I’m “more established”? (For example: signing up for Xero, Infusionsoft or LeadPages etc.) Note: more often than not, the investment comes before the expansion.
- So much of having a successful e-Course business is a numbers game, which makes audience growth an essential priority. So: How can you put elements of your lead generation process on autopilot?
Creating outstanding content is still the best way to carve out your niche, position yourself as an expert, and attract new customers to your e-Course.
- What type of content creation am I best at – Facebook Live? Blog posts? Cute Instagram pics? Podcasting? How can I do more of this in 2017?
- How can I make my content stand out this year? How can I be more creative and push things to the next level?
- How can I ensure consistency? When will I create the time to make my content? Schedule it in your diary now. (Remember: if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not real!)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no entrepreneur can go it alone! (At least, no successful one can.)
Take a moment to ask yourself:
- Who do you need on your team to help bring your vision to life? How can you find the time/funds to make this a reality?
- Who is your mentor? Who can you turn to for expert advice when you get stuck?
- Who are your sisters? Your ‘inner circle’? Who’ll be by your side when you need understanding and support?
And there you have it!
You now hold in your hot-little-hands a grassroots plan for turning 2017 into your best year yet, and taking your e-Course business to the next level.
Here’s to 2017 being YOUR year!