Working with contributors for your e-Course is a valid model and has a number of benefits. Contributors are wonderful and can bring so much vitality and knowledge to your e-Course (and even increase the perceived value). But to work with contributors for your e-Course can also bring challenges so I created this blog post as a guide for how to work with them and the types of issues you may need to consider.
WHY SHOULD YOU WORK WITH CONTRIBUTORS FOR YOUR E-COURSE?
Let’s start with why working with contributors is a smart move for your e-Course (and why I choose to work with them too):
- It allows you to cover content that your audience needs but you might not be an expert in
- It increases perceived value of the e-Course as they get access to multiple experts
- Reduces the load of writing content
- Provides your audience with different learning tools and presenter styles (reducing boredom for them)
- Gives you the opportunity to help other businesses
- Can help with the promotion/distribution of your e-Course
- It spices it up a bit
WHERE CAN YOU FIND CONTRIBUTORS FOR YOUR E-COURSE?
Most of my contributors approached me about working with them (quite a compliment) and I have asked friends, service providers and colleagues. I’ve even used my e-Course forums as a way to source interested subject matter experts.
The first e-Course I ever ran had three contributors and while I was really nervous, I pushed through the fear and was really lucky that all three contributors provided quality content that was on-time.
My second e-Course had only one contributor and it was a bit of a different story. I learnt lots of hard lessons during this time (some of which I’m about to share with you).
And in my third e-Course, I decided to work with seven contributors.
It was an amazing course with wonderful content but involved managing deadlines with seven busy business owners, editing and formatting seven modules at the last minute and feeling like a nag all the time.
But with all of my good and bad experiences, I now have stellar relationships with my contributors and have a few strategies in place to ensure that the collaboration runs smoothly. If you want to avoid the issues that I had then here are my top tips for working with contributors.
Use a contributor agreement so that the expectations are clear to both parties
Contributor agreements are a great opportunity to ‘lay it all on the table’ and make sure that your contributors are all on the same page.
There are lots of things you can include in your contributor agreement depending on your situation.
Here are some topics you might like to include:
- Details about your e-Course so they understand your vibe
- Details about their contribution (what is expected from them)
- Due dates for their content (we’ll talk more about this soon)
- Details about remuneration or payment (there are various remuneration models you could use)
Look after them and help them feel good about their contribution
Part of a successful contributor relationship is looking after them and ensuring that they feel good about their contribution.Have an attitude of gratitude. Click To Tweet
Here are some ways that you can do that:
- Let them share a call to action or special offer at the end of their content
- Add them to your resources or referrals list
- Send them a card or gift to thank them for their contribution
- Showcase them on your sales page
- Mention them in your newsletter during the e-Course period
- Add them as an affiliate with potential to earn money by recommending the course
As you can see, even without financial remuneration there are ways that you can make it a win-win for you and your contributor. These benefits can be added to your contributor agreement too!
Be clear about content due dates and ask for content well before you need it
Keeping contributors to specific due dates is always difficult when you’re working with other busy business owners. While it is completely understandable, I also think that it’s important to honour the commitment they agreed to.The ultimate inspiration is the deadline - Nolan Bushnell Click To Tweet
Here are some ways that you can work with contributors to get the content delivered on time:
- Give contributors 2-4 weeks to submit content (this amount of time isn’t too short or too long) and detail this deadline in contributor agreement
- Give contributors a deadline that is 1-2 weeks before you really need it (just in case something goes wrong)
- Check in before the due date to ask if they need any help (embrace the fact that you might feel like a nag and do it anyway)
This might seem like a lot to take in and you might be thinking that it would be easier to avoid working with contributors. But know that contributors always bring so much life to your e-Course and if you implement these tips before you start working with them then you are setting the foundation for a happy and successful relationship.
But before you start thinking about contributors, you’ll want to refine your e-Course idea!
The e-Course Idea Generator is a proven system to help you hone in on a profitable idea for your e-Course.
If you’ve got no idea, it will help you brainstorm a bunch of viable options. (Like a shot of jet fuel for your creativity, it will get your juices flowing and your cogs cranking like nothing else.)
And if you’ve got too many ideas (Hello, Ms Multipassionate!), it will help you discern which one you should focus on.