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💻 Course Creators Weekly #65 🗓 September 20th, 2021 - Hosting Better Live Workshops

Jason Zook writes about live workshops, Marie Schacht talks with Ish Baid and Will Mannon about building altMBA, and Julia Saxena writes about the operational side of running cohort-based courses.

A quick note…

Today's featured piece includes affiliate links to wanderingaimfully.com (← except this.)

I seriously admire Jason, Caroline (his wife), and their duo business, Wandering Aimfully. I'd promote them any day of the week, even if I weren't affiliated.

Step-By-Step Guide to Hosting Better Live Workshops Step-By-Step Guide to Hosting Better Live Workshops
✏️ Article 🥗 Mixed Salad

Step-By-Step Guide to Hosting Better Live Workshops

This is a pretty lengthy but super informative article/guide on how to run great workshops online. If you're planning a live workshop, I absolutely recommend checking out the complete guide! 💪

Why host live workshops?

  • 🦄
    Create a direct connection with your audience + have fun + deliver value + sell
  • 💪🏻
    Establish authority by showing you can solve a pain point for your audience

Creating your live workshop curriculum and presentation

  • 🎯
    Have a clear goal—e.g. building awareness, growing an email list, sales, paid training
  • 🔎
    Pick a topic that serves your audience AND the specific goal you have in mind
  • 🩹
    Find your tip of the "iceberg"—it's like a band-aid/quick pain relief for your audience
  • 🪜
    Break it up into these key phases: Problem → Intro → Preview → Teach → Pitch → Q&A
  • 🧑🏽‍🏫
    Follow a process: Outline (brain dump) → Organise → First Draft (slides) → Design
  • 🔚
    Start with the final result for your audience—use that to reverse-engineer the content
  • 🎭
    Use stories and metaphors to help people retain more information
  • 🎨
    Keep your slides consistent, use fewer words at a time, and don't forget to have fun

Figuring out live workshop tech

  • 🎙
    Don't get distracted by the tech—your content is the star of the show, not the tech
  • 🤳🏽
    Start with the bare minimum—upgrade once you gain more experience (and revenue)
  • Merott Check out the article for webcam, mic, lighting, and more tech recommendations
  • 🖼️
    Be prepared to redecorate a little (not too much) for your backdrop—avoid blank walls

Preparing to teach live and workshop replay tips

  • 👀
    Stick to topics on your slides—avoid getting sidetracked or going on tangents
  • 🔁
    Practice, practice, practice, so you know your slides really well
  • 🤪
    Show your personality—be yourself but bring some energy
  • 🗣️
    Write your bullet points in a conversational tone, so they sound natural
  • ✅
    Create a GO LIVE checklist you can refer to before every workshop
  • 💃🏻
    Pump up on adrenaline by dancing (yes, dancing) 10–15 minutes before going live
  • 👉🏻
    Set expectations for your audience—tell them how they can interact + ask questions
  • 🎁
    Give people a heads-up if and when you're going to pitch your products or services
  • 😬
    Be prepared for when something inevitably goes wrong (it happens)
  • 💻
    Plan how to deliver the replay—please don't build fake urgency by expiring it

How to use live workshops/webinars to sell your product or service

Jason and Caroline share an 8-step process for running webinar launches. I'll only share the high-level steps to keep this short, so make sure to check out the full article if you're interested to learn more!

  • 💎
    Create your webinar sign-up page—keep it simple and crystal clear
  • 📣
    Promote sign-ups by driving traffic to your sign-up page—email list + social media
  • 👯
    Create your curriculum/presentation—practice with a friend, and sell proudly
  • 🖱️
    Create your replay page—share the slides as a PDF, with a prominent Call-to-Action
  • ⏳
    Create your limited-time offer sales page—if evergreen, throw in a bonus for urgency
  • 💪🏽
    Deliver your webinar—present your tip of the iceberg, and nail that sales pitch
  • 📧
    Send your post-webinar sales emails—don't just pitch, deliver value, and include a CTA
  • ⏹️
    Wrap it up and shut it down—remove/replace CTAs, and perhaps repurpose the replay

Mindset tips

  • 😎
    Practice to increase your confidence in delivering your live workshop
  • 🧮
    Have realistic goals based on YOUR audience size—expect 3-5% registrants
  • 🤷🏾
    Mentally prepare yourself for something to go wrong—just roll with it
  • 🌉
    Remember your "marketing bridges"—live workshops are only one way to market
  • 🍰
    Delivering live workshops can be intimidating, but the more you do, the easier it gets

Check out the article for more depth (a LOT more depth), beautiful analogies, and plenty of examples, including ones from Jason and Caroline's own business, Wandering Aimfully! 👇🏻

🔗 Jason Zook via wanderingaimfully.com

🌟 Picks from past editions

Marie Schacht on Building AltMBA Marie Schacht on Building AltMBA
🎙 Podcast ✊ Cohort-Based Courses

Marie Schacht on Building AltMBA

Marie Schacht, Will Mannon, and Ish Baid talk about altMBA, cohort-based courses, and the future of education.

Here are my biggest takeaways:

  • 🕔
    Consider grouping people by timezone—caveat: you'd need a fairly large cohort
  • ☑️
    Use project prompts and peer-to-peer learning to scale + encourage accountability
  • ⏱
    Be clear about the time commitment you need from students—communicate it early
  • 🗓
    Encourage students to block off time for group meetings and coworking sessions
  • 💭
    Educate students on how to give valuable feedback and ask insightful questions
  • 🙌🏾
    Create a generous culture by encouraging and celebrating the act of giving feedback
  • 👋
    Enable students to build new relationships—happens organically, but you can boost it
  • 👣
    Create a space for students to reflect and share daily progress, #buildinpublic style
  • 🔄
    Always be iterating—operationalise what works, experiment, improve, repeat
🔗 Ish Baid + Marie Schacht + Will Mannon via tryvirtually.com
How to run a cohort-based course How to run a cohort-based course
✏️ Article ✊ Cohort-Based Courses

How to run a cohort-based course

This article from Julia Saxena is PACKED with practical tips on how to run a cohort-based course—possibly the most actionable piece of content I've shared in this newsletter! 💯

  • 🔦
    Make sure students always know what to expect, when, how, and where
  • 🗓
    Set up a separate calendar, schedule Zoom calls on it, then share it with your students
  • ✍🏻
    Design an elaborate onboarding process to better understand and help your students
  • 📋
    Ask students to rate their current skill set, creating a snapshot of their starting point
  • 📩
    Create an onboarding email, with all the key information in one place
  • 🤙
    Invite your students to an onboarding call, either 1:1 or in small groups
  • ⏰
    Send reminders before live sessions—explain how to join or find the recording later
  • ⏺️
    Make sure to record, and pause the recording if/while students are in breakout rooms
  • ⬆️
    Upload the recording, the slides and the chat soon after each session
  • ✉️
    Email students after each session—recap what's been discussed + next steps
  • 👋🏿
    Check in with students directly + make sure they're comfortable reaching out to you
  • 📗
    Set up a knowledge base or resource hub for the most commonly asked questions
  • 📩
    Create an elaborate offboarding process—it's just as important as your onboarding
  • 🗣️
    Ask for testimonials, and be specific (e.g. why they joined, what they've achieved)
  • 💬
    Create space to provide ongoing support to students, either directly or indirectly

My summary above only scratches the surface of what Julia covers in her article. Make sure to check it out for more tips and detailed examples of how to do everything you just read.

🔗 Julia Saxena via juliasaxena.com

If you feel you don't have a big enough audience to build a cohort-based course, you'll definitely enjoy Julia's mini-essay on Twitter: How to start a cohort-based course without starting a cohort-based course.

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Hey, I'm Merott 👋🏻

I'm an indie maker and freelance web developer from London.

I'm building my own business, because I'm terrible at following other people, and because I want my work to matter. I hope it will, to you and to your students.

Making progress, slowly and steadily, I'm also documenting and tweeting my journey every Monday @merott .

Thanks for visiting!

Merott