There’s no right way to format your offers …. but there is a way to create it so that your students will get the results they are looking for (and be raving about how awesome it is to work with you!).
If you are deciding whether to create a course, membership or coaching program then listen to this episode where I talk about the differences between each format and give you a simple method that you can use to invite people to your offer today!
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You’re listening to marketing chaos, episode number 89. Okay. How excited am I allowed to be? That my kids are going back to school this week? I feel like it kind of makes me a bad mom to be excited that they’re going back into school, but you get me. If you have small children that have been at home with you while you are creating your business and running a business online, it’s not the easiest thing in the world. And I must say they really love school. And this is very exciting because they’re going into first grade and I have twins. So they’ve been together their whole life and they will be in separate classes for the first time. And they’re very excited to have different teachers in different classes. We actually ask for that because we find that they get along a lot better when they have some space.
Do you guys understand that one? I’m mean, I know it’s probably true for all of us. We just like each other more when we have that space. So I get it when they, when they have time apart, they’re so happy to see each other. And when they’re around each other together all the time, I just feel like they’re bickering and fighting and I’m just like, Ugh, you guys need to take a break from each other. So we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s really good too, because they’re super competitive with each other. And when one learns how to do something quicker than the other one, it just leads to issues like, and my son is so good at math and my daughter is really good at like writing and reading. And so they just have different talents. I, I feel bad that they compare each other, you know, their, their gifts to each other.
And I think that they having a little bit of space will allow them to really develop those capacities in their own. Right. So speaking of capacities, we are talking today about courses memberships and coaching program. And where do you start? Which one do you start with and what are the differences and how do they all go together? And so on, this is my segue. Uh, some of this depends on your capacities as a, as a creator, as a leader, as the expert. And some of it is going to depend on where you are in your business. And some of it comes down to what your audience or your, your customer client base really requires. So that’s what we’re talking about today. I wanna start out by saying there’s no right way and right place to start. I have worked with people that have started on any of these three areas and, uh, they all work.
So there’s pros and cons to each one. And I think asking a lot of questions about what you wanna create with your offer is gonna help you create the right format for your offer. So these are really just different ways to deliver content and value and get someone results that they’re looking for. So we have that in different formats. So we have courses, usually a course, an online course is something that is a set duration. Like it is eight modules or it’s 12 modules, or it’s an hour and a half, or it’s, you know, a workshop or something like that. There’s different levels of courses. There’s like signature courses that are really robust there’s intro level courses that are more topical and shorter. There’s, um, you know, all different length of courses. But the point with a course is that you sort of have an agenda and you have a start, a middle of finish, and then it’s done it doesn’t go on forever and ever.
Um, whereas with a membership, the way I see memberships are usually not a defined finite period of time, but it’s more appropriate or an ongoing transformation or evolution of something. And when you’re working with someone on something that takes a longer period of time or more support, that can be really effective in a membership format. And then we have coaching programs, which a lot of you are facilitators or life coaches or health coaches is, or that sort of thing. And you wanna really work with people on a deep level, whether that’s ongoing in a group or individual and it’s online, uh, or it’s sometimes live in person, but it’s more of a coaching program. So let’s say you have a group of people who all are trying to get pregnant. So it’s like a fertility program that you offer. And there’s some level of support where they get to ask you questions, or maybe they relate to each other.
And so they get support from each other. And so it’s not just a course where you’re giving like one direction of information. Like, here you go, I’m educating you, but it’s actually got a, a coaching aspect to it. So sometimes that can be mindset. Sometimes that can be just helping them, you know, answering live questions or, uh, facilitating them around some issues that they may be having that come up. And as a course creator, you don’t always, well, you, you, you can’t always know what questions people are gonna have or come up with in advance, which I love adding some aspect of live support to whatever you’re creating at the beginning, at least so that you get that feedback. So that being said, now that I’ve given you like a, a broad overview of the different things that you can create, where do you start?
I see people and it’s funny because I’ll, I’ll teach like a membership launch accelerator. I’m teaching people how to create memberships and then they get in there and they’re like, actually I wanna create a coaching program or they’ll go, oh, I need to create a course first <laugh> and then I’ll do, you know, teach people how to create courses and then get in that. And they go, oh, I think I need to do a membership. And I’m like, okay, well clearly there’s no one size fits all here. And, and it just depends what you wanna do in your business where you wanna start. So here, here’s a few questions to ask and let me give you a story. First, when I was starting this business, I knew that there were people who wanted to work with me based on my experience, the work that I have done with access consciousness on the back end of their business, with a, all of their, uh, systems, their website, their graphics, um, they’re building out a lot of their systems and so many things, uh, running their membership program.
So people knew me from that and they saw me create things for access and for the founder, Gary Douglas. And co-creator Dr. Name here as well as the worldwide coordinator, Simone Milles. So people kind of knew me already in that capacity and they wanted to work with me, however, I didn’t know what exactly they wanted to have help on or what I wanted to teach. So I started and I was going to create a course. So I’m like, okay, I’m gonna create a course. And I had all these notebooks of, uh, from Amy Porterfield, she teaches digital course academy and I took the program and I printed out all of the resources and I have these notebooks and I was traveling at the time and doing stuff. So I like like care, read them all around the world. I’m like, okay, I’m gonna study this, take this on planes and hotels rooms.
And I’m gonna figure this out. And I couldn’t settle on a course topic and I couldn’t figure out what it felt. So like solid and final, it felt like, you know, um, this is the course that you must, and it was just unchangeable. And I was like, I couldn’t commit to that. <laugh>. And so what I ended up choosing was to create a membership and it was very open. It was very non-defined and it was basically, I, I sent out a, you know, call to action to my list. And I was a like, Hey, do you wanna work with me? Like, I don’t know what this is going to be, but here’s some things that I have in mind and we’ll create this together. Are you, are you in? And I had about a hundred people join. And, uh, I know now that that was a really good turnout.
I, I thought, oh, that’s pretty cool. That was good. Um, it’s really, really good. And, and I am super grateful that I had that what I was really looking for was the numbers in order to have enough people to get a lot of feedback. So I did, I started at a low price point and I knew that it would be a really good value for people who jumped in, but it was also a risk for them because it wasn’t very defined. And I wasn’t like, here’s what you’re gonna get, and this is what you’re gonna learn. And here’s the outcome. Here’s a transformation. Like I didn’t have any of that figured out. So they were taking a bit of risk and jumping in being first. So I wanted to reward that and, and honor that I giving them like a grandfathered in rate, which they still have.
And a lot of them are still in years later and it’s evolved and it’s changed over time. Um, but that was coming from a place of, okay. I want a group of people to really learn from and create this with. And, and from, I mean, I was the teacher, I was the guide, but I’m also learning from them constantly and asking them all the time, uh, what are you working on? Where are you getting stuck? What are you wanting? What are you needing? Like, how can I support you? What is your favorite part of this? Where, where am I doing stuff that you’re not interested in? Like <laugh> and all of that was part of the exploration and it, and it still goes, uh, on. So that can be one thing to consider if you aren’t sure what course you want to create. And it feels like a big decision and you aren’t prepared to make that big decision.
Like, I wasn’t like, uh, I’m gonna do this course. It was like such a vague thing for me. Like, I don’t know, there’s so many things I could do. So that’s one option and I teach people how to create, I call it the OG launch, cuz they’re like, you’re original gangsters. And I just think it’s funny. So my OGs, uh, I teach an OG launch strategy and that’s how you can also create an, a first launch, you know, without having a predefined idea. Okay. So that’s a really good first launch strategy. If you know, there’s people that you, even, if it’s 10, it doesn’t have to be a hundred, it could be like 10 people to get in and start working with and get feedback from. So having a membership will allow you that flex. So you don’t have to have it defined, you could do the same thing in a coaching program format.
If you had a topic, I don’t think you would have it be so vague. I mean, mine was very like, okay, it’s gonna be online marketing and business creation strategies, but it was, it’s still pretty vague and broad, but you could do that if, let’s say you wanted to work with women on fertility or, uh, weight loss, or you wanted to do something for entrepreneurs on team, team building, or even more broad than that, you know, you could kind of like have a category of, of people that or relationships, right? Like, whatever it is you have already been doing, whether it’s in your private practice or one-on-one coaching, or it’s, you’ve done a one-off class, a live class or workshop or something. And it did really well. So, you know, okay, this is a topic that I can teach on or facilitate people around. And they want that from me.
Uh, it’s interesting what people resonate with you teaching on and what they won’t, um, which is probably a whole nother topic. We can do another time, but basically you have some idea what it’s gonna be, but it’s not really defined. So an OG launch membership can work really well for that or a coaching program where you have it be a bit more defined in the timeframe. So it’s like a six month weekly group coaching, you know, and you don’t really have an agenda. You don’t really have modules or lessons it’s sort of open ended. And I think that format can work really well to start, but here’s where I would really back up and start asking questions around. And that is your audience. So, and if you are like, I don’t have an audience, uh, we, we need to look at that. <laugh> we need to look at like creating your audience, which you’re gonna create based, done the topics that you do in your, in your visibility content.
So in your brand awareness, uh, content, which could be coming from your podcast, your blogs, your video blogs, like whatever it is, you’re creating content around. And if you do have an in person practice or based business, that’s what you should teach on. Like, let’s just make it easy on you. Um, but if that’s pretty bra broad, like I have one student she’s a Pilates instructor in the bay area and she’s working in her studio with an elderly population. And she actually created her online course for moms that are in chronic pain, like moms with young kids who are in pain. So it’s actually two different audiences, but she only discovered that by really asking questions about who she wanted to work with and who she got really excited to work with online. And she has her in-person business still as much as she can, uh, with all the pandemic restrictions, but she has them.
It’s not like she needed to get rid of those clients. But when she started her online business, it’s like she had the same skill set, but she wanted to work with a different audience. And I think it’s a great opportunity to branch out if you really, you know, wanted to work with somebody different. So let’s say, you know, who you wanna work with and you don’t have that audience already, you’re gonna need to start creating some content that will attract them. So create some free content, you know, um, start a podcast, like do your visibility and brand hint around those subjects that your audience is really gonna resonate with. And that will start to build your audience. So back to starting with your audience’s needs, you wanna actually talk to them and discover what it is that they need and what they want and what they think they need and what potential problem are you helping them solve.
So the success that you’re gonna have is going to depend largely on your ability to D to tie your offer to the desired results that they’re looking to achieve. So that problem that you’re helping them solve and how you’re tying your offer around to that. So your ability to communicate that is, is really important. And the difference between the, the vehicle coaching program, the course or the membership, it really needs to, to be what vehicle best suits, the fulfillment of that. So which of those is gonna help your person get the results that they’re looking for. So we start with them, not, not necessarily with you, we start with them and we start with what they need. So some examples like weight loss, okay. Weight loss, and maybe you wanna help people with like the mindset and the, and the judgments of their body and like that, that angle.
That’s not something you can probably do. Like, and then it’s done, you know, it an ongoing thing. Like it works really well in the format of a membership because people will experience ups and downs and setbacks, and also the community feature of a membership. So they have each other for the support. So if it’s something that is like an ongoing evolution that will change and go up and down over time and even indefinitely, and this could be like an ongoing, as long as you have it, they could continue to get value from it. Like they’re not ever gonna be done. Like they might be done with the weight loss part, but then they’re dealing with keeping it off and they’re dealing with whatever other stuff was underneath the desire to gain the weight. Right. So something like that would be really well suited to a membership.
Also, uh, something where you have like, like the Pilates lady was dealing with like increased flexibility, mobility, pain, relief, like that sort of thing. You not aren’t necessarily ever done with your body becoming flexible and feeling better. Like it could be an, uh, evolution over time, or it could be a specific thing you teach. And of course, maybe it’s a, um, exercise sequence that you’re teaching them. And you really wanna to take the time to set up a camera, demonstrate a position, like maybe work with a model and, and put them into a certain position, show them how to do stuff like that might be better suited for a course. That might be something that you could teach them in a set number of modules. They can take that they don’t need the support or the questions necessarily once you’ve delivered it a few times, you probably know all the questions that they’re gonna ask, and then you just prepare those in advance.
And there you go. There’s a call. Um, another example would be like safe and effective herbal treatment for children. That’s something you could probably deliver in a course. Like you would just do the work, prepare the, the lessons, the materials that would go along with the course, you would record it and deliver it. And there would be done. It wouldn’t necessarily be something people need ongoing support around. So is this something that could evolve and change and grow like the outcome for them would never really be done? That’s something that could be more of a coaching program or a membership. If it’s something that is finite, I would say more of a course. And so sometimes we have memberships or programs that are not indefinite. Like they are a set period of time and that’s fine too. Like, you wanna give people a sense of, okay, this is a six month program, or this is a three month program.
Then maybe you have something else for them. Maybe they graduate that program and they get to go to the next level. People like, like to know that they’re making progress, they’re hitting milestones targets. Like they are sort of, um, graduating to the next level. It gives them a sense of confidence and accomplishment. And it knows it helps them know that they’re making progress and that they have somewhere to get to people like to know where they’re going. Like if I do this, then I go to this next level. And that’s, that can be really cool to think about in terms of what people are achieving with you and how do they know that they’re on track. And then once they get to a certain point, is there something else for them? And that’s where you can look at your whole offer suite. And maybe you have one of each of these, or maybe you have just one type of these, like just courses, but you have different courses or maybe you have two different memberships.
One is like a beginner. One is a more advanced, or maybe you have like a high ticket coaching program that is a higher level of a investment. It’s a higher price, but it’s more one on one. And so people can sort of maybe get to that point or maybe they start at that point. And then they go into more of a group setting. There’s no right way to do this, but hopefully you’re getting some ideas as I’m talking about what would apply for you in your business and where you wanna like with, or start. Some people will teach you to always start with a signature course. And here’s why the reason being a S signature course would probably be like over $500, maybe a thousand to $1,500 in price. And having that price point when you’re selling, it can make a big difference for you as a beginning entrepreneur, as a beginning online course creator.
Whereas if you start with, with a low ticket membership, like a $37 a month membership, it can be a lot harder to create the numbers necessary, to get to any sort of, uh, amount of revenue. That’s gonna make a difference for you. That’s gonna allow you to see the progress at and move the needle. And most of my students, when they start out, they don’t have any sort of like nest egg or venture capital or investments. They’re working off of limited funds and limited time. So they’re probably still working a day job or they have a family or whatever. So it’s like a side hustle. And I think that the trick, if you do start with a membership and it’s low ticket, you, if you don’t have the audience to like get the numbers and the volume, that’s gonna be tricky for you. So it’s something to consider.
It doesn’t mean, okay, now everyone go create signature courses first, cuz that’s the answer, but it is going to help you. It is gonna be easier for you to make more money faster. If you have something that is a substantial price that you’re able to sell it doesn’t do you any good if you’re not selling it to have that course and to spend, you know, weeks, months, or even years creating a course that isn’t going to sell that is not going to serve you either. But if you do think, okay, I have an audience for this at least a small audience for this, what I would do is not spend the time to create it in advance, but bring those people in at a beta rate at a, uh, you know, first time only best rate it will ever be and allow them to create it with you.
So the way you would do that is like, okay, I’m offering this for 10 people only. It’s gonna be this really great deal, uh, in exchange, you’re gonna help me create it. I’m gonna be really hands on with you. You’re my Guinea pigs. You know, this is what we’re gonna kind of work on. And along the way you would say, okay, week, week one, okay, what are your two biggest questions about, you know, this, they give you your questions. You create the course to answer and solve and address those questions. And then week two, you do the same thing on the next topic. And then that’s how you create the course at the end of that bait around you put all that information together, the materials you’ve already created as you went and you, uh, make it an online course at the higher price that you wanna actually sell this thing for.
And it already addresses. And not to mention it along the way, you’re gonna get testimonials from this first group as they start to get results and have outcomes that you can share. So you’ll, you’ll ask for a lot of feedback and get them to share that with you. So you can tell the case studies of those people, which will give you that. So social proof for your next launch. So if you’re gonna start with a course, that’s how I would personally do it because, um, I see too many people who are trying to perfect this big signature course and it’s taking them a lot of time. And then by the time they actually have it done, they actually don’t know whether or not it’s going to sell. And too many times they, it doesn’t sell sadly. Um, and we don’t want that to be you.
So instead of doing it that way, if you create it as you go and you are, you’re essentially people are paying you for the market research as you’re creating it. So how does it get better than that? You’re not actually wasting any money or time. You’re actually being paid to create it as you go. So even if you’re breaking, even that first time, that’s really good because now you have this like, like super, uh, invaluable resource of live people, giving you feedback and you’re tailoring this course to what they want and what they need. And so then all you have to do is go find more people like that to sell it to, and it will be perfect for them. So that’s how I would do it. If you start out with a course or you could do like I did and start with a membership, but you kind of have to have the volume, most memberships aren’t, uh, super high price when you’re starting out, however, can do a high ticket membership or coaching program.
And that can serve the same purpose as a signature course, as far as bringing in revenue without the volume of clients or a big audience. And there’s different ways you can position it as well. So we have courses, memberships, coaching programs, right? So we’re just talking about those three things today and people will have different definitions of each one. So if you hear someone refer to something, just find out like what it is that they’re actually talking about. Cause I think sometimes we use the wrong terminology or we use a different terminology than someone else. And really they’re talking about something D so these are just words for things, but it is good to know what the industry is calling something like if you’re gonna call it a mastermind or a mentorship or something like that, do Google around and see like what people mean by that, because you can actually charge different pricing for things based on what you call it.
Like we had this chat in one of my groups, someone has been selling a membership and what she realized was this is actually a group coaching program and she was selling it at a group coaching program rate. She was delivering a group coaching experience. People were getting the value of her coaching, but she was calling it a membership. And so people were showing up expecting a, a lower price and not buying. So see what happens, but she’s changing just the way she talks about it and what she calls it and not changing anything else. And let’s see if that helps her sell it and reach the right people who are actually looking for group coaching, right? They’re not looking for membership, which might mean something different to them. So position where you position in these different things is also important. So we could have a course that at the end of the course leads people into a membership and that would be a back end membership.
So if you have, let’s say you are doing the safe and effective herbal treatment for kids, right? And you deliver this as a course. So parent are buying this. Teachers may be buying this, I don’t know, online educators, anyone that’s working with kids and they wanna know herbal therapy for kids. Now they take your course. They learn about that. And then at the end, maybe you have a membership where it’s something more ongoing, like it’s all different or herbal therapies for all. Like not just kids, maybe it’s also parents, or maybe it’s not just, um, one type of symptom. It’s all different things. So, but it’s more of an ongoing experience. You do like live, um, fresh, you know, topical, seasonal things. Like you learn about allergies in, in the spring, you learn about immune system in the, uh, winter, what, whatever. So the membership comes at the end of the course as an offer, and that would be considered a back end membership.
The cool thing about this is everyone in the membership would have already the information and the knowledge that you’ve delivered in the course. So you’re able to kind of use that as a jumping off point. And in that case, you can usually charge more for your membership because you’re working with people that already are at a certain level, right. Or you could flip that around and have a membership that leads to a course. So think about the membership as an entry point for people, they get to know you in there, they get to experience your community, get to like, kind of play around, see what you have to offer. It’s like maybe under $50, they’re just like, it’s kind of an easy price to pay monthly, but once they’re in there, they learn about your signature course. So it’s like, Hey, if you’d like to take what we’re doing in here to the next level, this signature course available.
So that would be a front end membership. So think about that in terms of where you can position it. Right? And then with the coaching program, you wanna just have a look at, is it group, is it individual? Is it both? Is it combination? Um, and lots of, lots of choice, lots of room to play in here. So we have these three things that you can create and what I would have a look at overarching for all of this is the benefit to you as an online business owner of hurrying online revenue, that’s gonna help you take the next step out of working trading time for dollars or being attached to a particular location. So this is gonna give you that time location and financial freedom that I think all of us deserve and desire. I hope the was helpful and I will see you next time on marketing chaos. Bye for now. Bye.