What It's Like to Work With a Project Manager

If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you know I’m all about laying out a project schedule and plan before you dive in to create your course or group program.

But I also know that that's a lot easier said than done, which is why I think that bringing a on project manager is totally worth the investment. But I ALSO know that you’re more likely to have worked with a coach, a VA, or a designer than with a project manager.  

That's why today I'm going to tell you exactly what it's like to create your course or group program with a project manager on your team.

Watch or read below for more!

 

When you start thinking about working with a project manager, you might think that you're hiring someone to do something that you should be able to do yourself. But the truth is if you're even considering it, it's probably exactly what you need.  

When you're creating your course or group program, especially if it's your first one, there are inevitably details you're going to forget about, questions you're going to forget to ask, and things are going to fall through the cracks.  

When you go through the whole process with someone who knows exactly what she's doing, it makes a dramatic difference. Plus, trying to keep yourself on track while you also manage the day to day tasks of your business can be nearly impossible. So, having someone on your team who can make sure that your project doesn't take any longer than it absolutely has to will usually pay for itself.

Here's a little peak of exactly what it looks like to create your course with me keeping you on track:

Creating a Custom Project Schedule

The very first thing we do is create an agree upon a custom project plan and schedule. It's like a roadmap that we can refer pack to whenever we need to for the whole rest of the process.

Here's how we do it:

  • Walk through all the details of your course idea and translate them into detailed tasks. Let’s take the example I’ve used in other posts: you want to have video lessons. We'll break that down into writing a video script, filming the video, editing the video, and uploading it to YouTube or to your course host.

  • Identify any of the unknowns that are still lingering around. This could be something like what tech platform you might use for a certain part of your program. we'll create tasks to figure them out and make sure those don't fall through the cracks. We'll decide who's going to be responsible for what and identify upfront if you're going to need any sort of additional or extra help from people like video editors or designers.

  • We'll also consider your current workload and how much time you can devote on a weekly basis, plus any upcoming events that need to be factored into a project schedule.

  • From there, we give each task a specific due date, which is when it becomes a deliverable, and your custom project schedule is born!

This whole process takes about two weeks to make sure that it includes all of the details and that it works for everyone. Once we've got that nailed down, we can hit the ground running and get to work.

Weekly Deliverable Reports

Once you start moving on your project schedule, you'll start every week with a deliverable report from me. That's a list of all the tasks you have in the upcoming week with their exact due dates, so you can plan your week out accordingly.  

I'll also include the tasks that are coming for the next week so that you can plan ahead and/or let me know if something's no longer realistic so that we can make changes to the schedule when we still have plenty of time.

Bi-Weekly Check-ins

We'll also have live check ins every other week. It's an opportunity for you to ask questions, for us to troubleshoot any problems that have come up, and to talk through any stuck spots that are holding you up. Whatever you need to stay on schedule and to keep the project moving!

 

By the end of ten weeks, you'll have a finished course that's ready to launch. That's the beauty of working with a project manager!

 

If you sign up for my project management service, Course Construction Sidekick, by June 30th, I'll also throw in a complementary launch strategy consultation. I'll already be super well versed in you, your business, and your course, so I'll be able to talk next steps with you about what makes sense in terms of launching your course.  

Click the button to get more info & schedule a free consult call with me!

Sign up before June 30 and get a FREE course launch strategy session!

 

The #1 Thing You Need to Know Before Creating a Course

In case you haven't picked up on the point I've been trying to drive home this week, I figured today I would just be really in your face blunt about it.

We're going to talk about the number 1 thing that you need to know before you start creating a course or a group program…

Watch or read below to see what it is and why it’s so important!

 

So what is it?

Creating your course or group program without pulling together a game plan before you start, can cost you a crazy amount of wasted time and money.

I've already told you how to use user experience to create that game plan. Now I'm focusing on why it needs to be your first order of business.

Let's start with time.  

When your one-on-one services are full, that's absolutely a sign that you're ready to start scaling with a course or a group program. But, it also means that you're time to actually make that happen is super limited. When you do have time to work on your program, you need to spend it on exactly what needs to be done in that moment and nothing else.

A huge challenge with making the 30 and 45 minute breaks between your client calls productive is knowing what to use them for. When you sit down and create a project plan and schedule before you even start working on your course, you know exactly what you should be doing and you can just dive in and get to work.  

There's no more spending the first 15 minutes trying to figure out what you should be doing with the final 15 minutes. It's productivity at it's best!

 

Now let’s talk about how this is costing you money.  

Courses can be expensive to produce, but they don't have to be. When you make things up as you go along, you might wind up spending money on tools that you either don't need or aren't going to work the way that you want them to. You might also start subscriptions before you’re ready to use the services that you're paying for. 

When you work through all the details of your course up front, you can layout everything that you need, identify the tools, extra help that you'll want to bring on board and spend a little time searching for budget-friendly options or exploring alternatives if those aren't available.

One of the worst things you can do is invest in something you decide isn't actually right for your course or group program, but you've invested so far you feel like you have to follow through. You wind up wasting a ton of money on something that doesn't even feel in alignment.

Here’s an example: say you want to do videos for every lesson or module of your course, but you only want to do them if they're going to be really high quality. If you know that up front, and you know how many you're going to need, you can research, good at video editor, plus the cost of things like graphics and music that you'll want to put in your video.

Then you can assess up front whether it's something that you want to move forward and invest with or if you would rather just do Facebook live videos the first round of your course.

 

Shooting from the hip and making it up as you go along will quickly leave you overwhelmed, over budget, and take twice as long for you to complete your finished product.

That alone is something you can't afford because time is money and every extra day you spend trying to finish your course, is a day that you could've been selling it.  

I can help you put together your game plan and I can keep you on schedule! I do it with my Course Construction Sidekick program: a 10-week project management service that makes completing your course a smooth, quick and easy process.

But you have to ask for it!

Click below to schedule a free consult call with me & get started:

 

What is UX and Why Does Your Course Depend On It?

Today we're demystifying common tech jargon and using it to make sure your course or group program is the best it can be.

Watch or read below for the deets!

 

As I mentioned a few days ago, there are a lot of steps involved when you're creating a course or a group program. They're not hard, but it's super important that you get them all.

I think UX is the perfect road map to start with, so today we’re talking about what UX is and why your course or group program depends on it!

User experience, specifically in the context of courses or group programs, can be broken down into two major parts:

  1. Course Content: This is your actual lessons and modules, the thing that you're teaching.

  2. The Purchase / Communication / Tech Part: the experience that takes place outside of learning the content that you're teaching.

"UX" is short for User Experience.  

Your clients, your customers, your students - anybody that interacts with your course or your group program - those are your users. The experience is what it's like when they interact with that course or group program including all of the different stages that surround the program.

We want to work through each of the two categories, exactly as one of your users would experience them.

Course Content

As I said, this refers to how all of your users will receive, absorb, and interact with the actual course content (your lessons) and what that process looks and feels like for them. It might be helpful for you to ask a few questions to figure this out:

  • Will people receive all of the content at once or are they going to receive a new lesson or module every day / week / month? (The latter is called a “drip” course.)

  • How is the content delivered to them? Are they going to get videos or audio lessons? PDF workbooks? Worksheets?

  • Will there be homework?

  • Will there be a live component? If there is, what does that look like? How is it delivered? Who's eligible to participate and how are you going to let them know about it?

  • Is there a way for people to ask you questions directly and or interact with the other people that are taking the program as well? If there is, what does that look like? Is there a Facebook group or a Slack community that they can utilize?

Once you answer a lot of these questions, you'll know exactly what you need to be creating for each of your lessons. You'll also have a much clearer idea of the tech systems you need in place to deliver everything according to plan.

Purchase / Communication / Tech

This pertains to:

  • Anything that happens leading up to the point that someone starts taking your course

  • Anything that happens outside of the learning process, while they're taking your course

  • Any follow-up that happens after the course is over

  • How you manage any of these details behind the scenes. 

For this part, you'll want to think through questions like

  • How and where do people pay? If you are offering payment plans, how are those managed? Are they automatic via your e-Commerce vendor or are you going to have to follow up manually?

  • How and when are you going to get your money? (Working through PayPal or Stripe usually allows you to get your money immediately, but it might require you to pay for a third party integration. If you use the e-Commerce platform included with your course host, some of them will only pay you every six to eight weeks.)

  • What emails are sent after someone buys? Where are they coming from? How many are there? What kind of information do they include?

  • What kind of tech support is available? Who's responsible for maintaining that and how is it communicated to your customers that that's who they should contact and how to do it?

  • What kind of follow-up is somebody going to receive while they're going through their course or after they've completed it?

This second piece is much more tech heavy than the first, but it's also super important. It's so important that it can affect your current or future enrollment rates!  

That’s because if it's really hard to pay you, you're going to wind up with a couple people (at least) that say, "This is too hard. Never mind." Or, if accessing materials and using with the course is hard or clunky, it's not going to leave people with a great taste. They won’t be as likely to come back for something more from you.

When you're putting together a course or a group program, having the right content and the smarts to teach it effectively is absolutely essential, but it's not the only thing. You've got to make sure the user experience that is smooth and easy so that everyone who enrolls in your program wants to keep coming back for more.  

I've laid this whole process for you - plus how to handle bonuses & add-ons - and put it into my Quick Guide for Creating a Course.

Click the button below to that and start bring your awesome program idea to life:

 

Two Truths & a Lie: Creating a Course Edition

Despite the title of this post, creating a course or group program is no game!

Today we're walking through 2 must-knows plus one HUGE misconception about creating your program. Watch or read below for more!

 

Hey mamma jammas! Today we're going to play one of my favorite games: Two Truths and a Lie...Creating a Course Edition!!!

Right now, there's a lot of people on the internet talking about creating and selling courses. But when it gets down to the part of actually creating the program, it's usually glossed over and chalked up to "just do it." In reality it's a huge part of the process...duh!

Today we're going to dig a little bit deeper than that. Let's get started!

Truth #1: Creating a course can be a Pandora's box of to-do's

Once you start creating a course, it doesn't take long to realize that a lot of the tasks needed to get it done have about four sub-tasks that have to go with it.

For example if you're creating videos for every one of your lessons or modules, you might write down on your to do list that you just have to make the video for the first module. But pretty quickly you realize you also have to make a slide deck, write a script to go with it, film the video, and then edit the video - or maybe find a video editor who can do it.

Pretty quickly you can go from thinking, "I just have to do these few things and drop it into a course host." It is that simple - but, it's also not that simple at all.  

That's not something that should discourage from creating a course. You just have to leave yourself enough time to complete all the right steps in the right order.

Which leads me to…

Truth #2: Figuring out what to do when can feel like a total clusterfuck.

When every step turns out to be five mini steps, you have to make sure that you can get them done in the right order. If you don't know what the order is or you don't plan it out, it leads to a lot of wasted time - you can't sit down to film a video if you haven't written the script yet!

When you're trying to chip away at your course between one-on-one clients or between childcare this is so important! Getting it right saves you a ton of overwhelm, frustration and you not getting anywhere.

Lie: This shit storm of to-do's and timing means that I need to drop two clients or sleep three hours less a night just in order to get it done.

That is not true! What you need is a little organization and a game plan.

More specifically, you need to get organized and great a game plan before you start work on your program. By doing this, you can

  • Thinks through all of the steps so you don't miss anything
  • Takes into account all of your other responsibilities (like your one on one clients and any family responsibilities)
  • Make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew and create a plan that is unachievable.  

From there, with a little accountability, you'll be all set.

If you need a little help putting together your plan, click the button below to grab my Quick Guide to Creating a Course or Group Program:

I condensed the process I've used for years to think through all the steps of creating a course and put it into an easy-to-follow guide. It’ll help you finish your course so you can move on to selling it!