Some course creators think that the journey ends with launching a program. However, you can still leverage the relationship with clients after. In this episode, we’ll talk about what’s next for people who’ve graduated from your online course, and discuss how to increase your customer lifetime value.
Jane helps her clients scale their genius and help the world get rid of crappy online courses. Today, she shares her tips for course creators to maintain a connection with clients who have finished her programs.
Content creators need to realize that their audience needs continuity. Utilizing strategies that not only focus on bringing in clients but also entices them to stay, helps build relationships that last long-term. Also, when clients feel valued, they are more inclined to continue the business with you.
So if you’re a course creator looking for ways to leverage the connections made through your online programs, this episode is for you.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- Challenges of transitioning from corporate to entrepreneurship (07:13)
- How course creators can maintain a connection with their audience (10:25)
- Upgrading courses by bridging the gaps (16:03)
- The dangers of asking for feedback (21:10)
- The core fundamentals in offering courses (22:30)
- Jane’s tip on how to create a standout program (26:50)
- “Focus on the one person you want to help and create something for that person.” – Jane Sagalovich
- “As we evolve, we’re always learning new things, it’s very easy to add products, but to be able to scale effectively, you really need to simplify.” -Samantha Riley
- “It’s so much easier to create and to sell when you have that one specific person in mind as you’re creating something for them.” -Jane Sagalovich
WHERE TO FIND JANE SAGALOVICH
- Scale Your Genius: https://www.facebook.com/ScaleYourGenius
- The Genius Tribe: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thegeniustribe/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jsagalovich/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/scale-your-genius/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.sagalovich/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scale_your_genius/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAGWzRP3bf3Dpr6irCkNOgA
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/scaled_genius
This episode is sponsored by Your Podcast Concierge. Affordable podcast production for coaches and speakers who want to increase their authority and generate leads from their show. You press record, and let them do the rest.
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ABOUT JANE SAGALOVICH
Jane Sagalovich, CFA is the Chief Strategist at Scale Your Genius where she is on a mission to rid the world of Crappy Online Courses. She does that by working with in-demand professionals to help them bring their wisdom to the world via high-value and results-optimized courses and programs.
Jane Sagalovich (00:00): Leverage the effort that you already put in to bring the people to where they are. And more importantly, to give those people who just fell in love with your process, and fell in love with your work a way to continue being in that energy with you. And the other cool thing about that is if you while they’re in this membership container, now you’ve got the space and time to think of what else should you create for them, who, and they’re there, and they’re hanging out, and they’re probably going to, you know, if you create an offer that they love, there’s your audience right there ready to buy from you.
Samantha Riley (00:30):
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for coaches, course creators, and experts who want to grow their influence, income, and impact to take their coaching business to a million dollars and beyond. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. Create the influence, income and impact you need to build your business, so you can create your ideal lifestyle, it’s time to make a difference and scale-up. This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Welcome to today’s episode of influence by design. I’m your host Samantha Riley, and I’m very excited about today’s topic. We’re going to talk about online courses and programs, and specifically what to do after you have people graduate through your programs like what’s next. So today I’ve invited Jane Sagalovich, who is the chief strategist at scale your genius where she’s on a mission to rid the world of crappy online courses. Oh, my goodness, this is going to be so amazing, because I absolutely agree. And I’m on this topic. So welcome to the show, Jane.
Thank you so much. I’m so excited to chat with you today.
Yeah, I know that this is going to be good. I hope I don’t give us the mockers. But you and I have had a few conversations, and we are very much on the same wavelength. So this is going to be great.
You are someone that helps people put together really amazing online courses. But today, we’re not going to talk about putting courses together. Because many of our listeners have an online course today we’re going to talk about what’s next, and what do they do once they’ve got people that graduated out of their course. But before we dive in, I’d love you to share a little bit about sort of what got you to this point where you started your business, and you really got into this niche.
Yeah, absolutely. So I spend my first 20 years of my career in the corporate space. I’m a refugee from Ukraine, and coming to the United States at age 10. The American dream was what to me was just so inspiring, and so amazing. And what that meant to be what that meant to me was kind of climbing the corporate ladder becoming you know, something in C suite. One of my dream jobs when I was in high school was doing marketing for Ralph Lauren.
Oh, and that’s like, as true Americana as you can get. Uh-huh. So I studied Marketing and did all the typical business stuff. And then 20 years into my career, I just remember having everything looks so good on paper, but being so miserable inside. And so it got to the point where the company I was working for was so well renowned and soul respected and just a really amazing place. And I knew that if I’m not happy here, another company is not going to solve the problem.
Now, if I had to do it all over again, I would do I would work with, you know, one of the amazing mindset professionals that are out there today. At that point, all I did was kind of jump, I said goodbye to the company, and I left with no plan other than I know, I need to do something different than then work for somebody else.
At that time, I had a good friend starting a consulting business working with small business owners, and I’m like, hey, you know what, I’ve never done consulting. I’ve never worked for a very tiny company, all the companies I’ve always worked for were 20 billion and above. So really huge companies. And like, let’s see what this is all about. So, Trial by Fire jumped in. And he’s had some successful consulting businesses before. So it did ease my transition in that I didn’t have to figure everything out completely on my own. But there was a lot of I still had no idea what I was doing.
Like we knew what we were doing inside of our business, but I was having so much, so many issues of you know, being really good at something and all of a sudden being really bad at something else. And just the whole transition that comes from corporate to having your own business. So we did that for a few years. In our last year, we started putting together an online program.
And what drove that need was, as I mentioned, all the mindset stuff and all the personal issues I started having because of this transition, I found I don’t remember if I was Googling or how I came across this stuff, but I started finding online courses on various personal development topics and I started taking them and partly what I saw was damn this business model is amazing for me as a client, I love being able to turn on my computer, grab a glass of wine, put my feet up on the coffee table and say this is how I’m going to Learn.
But also I saw a lot of things that were missing in the way they were delivering that left me wanting more. And we can talk a little about what those things are. And then the third thing was thinking of our business, my partner and I, my business, I’m like, why are we doing this stuff? Right? Why is everything live? Why are you teaching training live every single time we come in front of our group of business owners.
And so that’s how that process got started. I’m like, Hey, I’ve been doing this thing. It’s awesome. I see what could be different from the ones that I see out there. Let’s do it on our own. So then, what the next thing that happened is, I tried to find somebody who can guide us on the journey, and really didn’t find anybody who I resonated with, there were courses on horses, which, you know, that’s great. But I wanted, I never felt like we fit into any kind of cookie-cutter system. So I always wanted something a little different. And that’s what we were unable to find. So I said, Cool, we’ll just create our own thing.
And so that was our first that was my experience with the Creator side of my first program, that business imploded for various personal reasons back in 2018. And coming into my first true gap of now, I really don’t know what I want to do, you know, I was used to having a partner. Now just even the idea of doing something fully on my own was not yet real to me, I was trying to replace a partner.
And so I’m gonna fast forward a story into talking to other brilliant entrepreneurs who are like you’re creating this program, you have a way and approach of looking at it, you bring an experience that no one else has in this field at that time that they knew of, you know, why don’t you try playing in this. And so I created my first program, I took a beta, I took a beta group through it, because I’m like, I’m making some stuff up here. So let me make sure that the things I’m coming up with actually, are actually real. And then had an amazing response. And, you know, that was, what, five years ago, and it’s just been a very unexpected, but amazing, amazing journey.
Yeah. And I think that’s what entrepreneurship is, right? It’s an amazing journey. Before we jump into the courses, you did mention that, within a short amount of time you went from working in corporate America, you then went to working with a partner, and then you went to working to being on your own and solopreneur, I want to know a little bit about that transition, because this is what trips a lot of people aren’t because we’ve gone from something where, you know, we’re part of a huge team, and our team is part of a huge corporation, we’ve got people that support, we’ve got tech support, we can go, you know, we can go to the and pick up our own stationery, just with a little slip of paper and all of these kinds of things.
And then coming down, especially, and I don’t know about you, but I’m in an external process. I need people around me I need to talk through things. How did you transition from that, you know, being in the corporate to being on your own? And what are some of the things that you had to embrace, I guess, and change up so that you could birth this new course out into the world on your own?
Yeah, you know, I’ll first share something that’s not a direct answer. But I think that’s something that actually has allowed me to be successful quicker than maybe other people because of the minds. Because I had so many people supporting me in corporate, I was very unwilling to do some things. And I was very quick to outsource. Even if I had to borrow the money or put it on a credit card, I outsource things. And this is something I really see entrepreneurs not doing is like they will fiddle around in Canva, all day long. When they could have paid somebody five bucks to do this.
I totally agree.
Or set up their email or whatever else, right? They think they need to be good at all this stuff. And I’m like, no, no, you don’t need to be good at anything. You don’t need to be good at. So I’ll say that as kind of the flip to your actual question. Just because I think that’s something I just I see so much, and it’s holding people back so much more than they know, Otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing it.
Well, I don’t think that really was a segway because that is 100% how you’ve made that transition. You know, that’s the first piece is understanding that you still need people around you. But so that’s really great.
Yeah, yeah. And so the piece that this really became very apparent to me when I went from having a partner to being on my own. Just me personally, I’m good at setting the vision. I’m good at the initial strategy creation. I’m good at execution, the messy middle where we need to take the thing that we think our plan is and massage it into something that is actually a that is the best strategy you can do.
That requires a conversation like you said that requires external processing, and ideally another human that can reflect back and mirror and have the content ask you questions that you haven’t thought of yourself. So to me hiring coaches was a huge part of that, specifically for me was marketing and sales. I have a marketing undergrad. I’ve done a lot of things around marketing in my career yet when it came to selling myself basically, the block was real.
Yeah, I mean, I just came to a hard stop and just refuse to do any of the stuff. So it was I hired somebody to help me brainstorm that messy middle. But a big part of what we were doing it is a lot of the mindset stuff of me just like her helping me get out of my prison of like self-sabotage, basically.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I love that so much. So let’s talk about courses. And specifically for people that already have their course launch. They’re already selling it, they’re already taking clients through it, they’re getting success with their clients. And all of a sudden, is this Oh, like people have come to the end.
Or if it’s a course that’s got a specific timeframe, or maybe they’ve even got clients that have got to a point where they need the next thing. And we might be sitting there as course creators thinking, Oh, now what do we do? Or what I’ve also seen is people not even realizing that there’s a gap here. So what are some of the symptoms that you see from coaches, whose clients may be maybe leaving or don’t have the next step? And then they may not have even realized it yet.
So what I really love about this question is, that when we launched our first course, our first program, we put so much time, effort, and energy into getting the people into the program, right, not just creating it. And so when we get to that point where they’re either leaving, not resigning, whatever it is, it hurts or it should hurt. Because we, you know, we really, I’m a big fan of like leveraging anything we create, right? So anything we’ve invested time or money into, how do we make it work for us for the long term.
And so you just, you know, you’re the creator of the course have just build this amazing relationship with the people in your program. So I’ll say it first with the programs that have a beginning and an end, because that’s really where I see the biggest need for continuity. And what a lot, of course creators don’t often realize is how much the client needs that continuity. I was on a sales call this morning with a woman who has this nine-hour boot camp, that’s her first-course program she’s putting out there who didn’t want to have, you know, she’s like, oh, I’m gonna do this. And then a year later, I’m gonna do a retreat.
And I’m like, these people just spend nine hours with you in this beautiful deep immersion, they need the energy, this abrupt energy ending feels really weird and awkward to people. And so it actually creates, even if the program itself is so amazing, it actually can create a negative experience because of the abrupt ending, right, you just build those relationships with somebody, and then you’re like, I’ll see you next year.
And so one of my favorite and easiest strategies is a simple membership community, this doesn’t have to be anything fancy, this doesn’t have to be technical, you know, techy, built out in the beginning, over time, it can and should, because you’ll start getting more people into it. But in the beginning, just give them access in whatever scope makes sense to have touch points once or twice a month, and give them some value.
And you know, people coming out of your program, give them free access for the first few months, so they can get that continuity, and then start charging. And so now you’re getting your passive income, everyone that comes out of your program is entering this container, that’s only taking a limited amount of time from you.
So it’s a really beautiful way to leverage the effort that you already put in to bring the people to where they are. And more importantly, to give those people who just fell in love with your process, and fall in love with your work a way to continue being in that energy with you. And the other cool thing about that is if you while they’re in this membership container, now you’ve got the space and time to think of what else should you create for them, who and they’re there and they’re hanging out. And they’re probably going to, you know, if you create an offer that they love, there’s your audience right there ready to buy from you. So strategically, it’s the easiest and just most profitable way. So that’s my favorite, obviously, you know, nuanced everyone, everyone’s situation is different, but not knowing particular situations. That’s usually my, my go-to.
I love this so much. And the process of the experience that you’re talking about, I kind of liken it to if we were sitting in a theater, and we’ve just seen this most amazing musical, and then you know, that curtain comes down, the lights come on, it’s just like, oh, okay, it’s over. All right, we’re going home now, you know, and imagine that, you know, there was no bows or curtain call at the end, or maybe, maybe think about it even as if the curtain came down, sort of before you even saw the ending. There’s this, this feeling of oh, what just happened? So this continuity is just making it so much easier for your clients to keep that energy out for themselves too.
Exactly. Yeah. And then you know, when you leave the show, and you might get the emails from the theatre company telling, you know, giving you some behind the scenes of what happened and kind of Yeah, continuing that relationship inviting you to the next show. Yeah, yeah. As I said, I learned In this, you know, partly because my first program didn’t have a follow on and I was feeling that gaps so strongly yet, I’m sure it’s a lot of the listeners will resonate, you just spent so much time creating something and delivering it that like, the last thing you want to do is create something new. And that’s kind of how the membership idea came about and like this, it’s minimal effort, there’s not You’re not creating a new course a new program to give these people you’re really just putting them in the container with your energy. And so, you know, the idea was something I wish I had for myself back when I started delivering my first course.
But that’s okay, because I think it’s really okay to acknowledge that is entrepreneurs, as coaches as business owners, we’re learning as we go. And it’s not, there’s not a problem with realizing there’s a gap and creating something new or a new understanding to fill that gap. In actual fact, it’s worse if you notice that and don’t do anything about it. So there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Yeah, I think I totally agree.
Okay, so what about for people that are ready to scale? They’ve got this continuity happening? They’ve created this? At what point? Or do you ever go back and have a look at your course and see if there are any gaps, so you can sort of make your course better? Is that a good scaling? I guess system?
You’ve just well, you didn’t ask me about my favorite model, but I’m going to answer it in the in the scope of my favorite model. So absolutely. No matter what offer you have, I believe that you should update it quarterly. So one tip I’ll give people because of that is when you record videos, so when you create a course, there are usually videos and some other forms.
I’m a huge fan of providing tax that’s more comprehensive than video, the video might be the introduction, and we might teach some court points, but more that goes in my text, because that’s the easiest to update. Because every quarter when I go into my courses, and I update them, I’m not re-recording every single video, or doing weird edits that are like, Oh, this is no longer applicable do this, that’s the core teaching usually remains the same, right? That’s the core of our frameworks, our fundamentals, everything else can go into texts where, again, process-wise mine lives in a Google Doc.
So I just track changes, I give it to my assistant, and she can make it happen inside the course platform. So see your role, it’s going to take me minimal amount of time to completely update the course. So that’s just a side tangent of updating and how to make that easier, and that it should be done quarterly.
Here’s what I think is the most amazing thing. And what I mentioned earlier was missing from the courses that were taking. And that is personal support. In addition to digital courses, I call it the hybrid online course it’s the model I’ve been teaching since day one. And that is a combination of those digital modules, which most of us think about as an online course, plus one on one or group support, whichever works better for your model.
Here’s how it ties into this conversation is that let’s say people are going through your digital course. You’re having conversations with them, you’re not asking them, how is the you know, do you see any gaps in the course? Is there any information you wish would be different? What you’re looking for are patterns in the questions that your clients bring to you. Or just in the conversation. Okay, everybody seems to misunderstand this part. Everybody seems to be asking questions about the center part. So what that does is identify the gaps in your course without having to do some surveys and things that don’t get you the right answers.
It gives you really true, timely, actionable feedback on how well your digital courses aren’t performing. So then you go in and you update and you updated on the update until the conversations you’re having with the people, they’re getting what you expect them to get. So then how that works with scaling is, I recommend almost everybody start with this hybrid model.
Because one, you make more money quicker, because you could charge more because there’s personal attention and to you get this continual improvement. So once your course is to a point where you love it, you’re like, alright, you know what that like people are getting what I want out of it. And you’ve been building your audience this whole time, right? Because he’s been selling people into the hybrid model. Now you’re ready to release the fully self-paced course out into the wild.
This is going to be your $300 whatever inexpensive course. But it actually is that fully passive income that most people dream about, but kind of hard to get to and even harder to put something out there that actually works the way you intended to. So by doing that piece first and updating it, then you can have that passive model. And that’s how I think that’s a great path to scaling bigger than then you could with this hybrid model alone,
Totally. And of course as you’re going through in this way, the way that you have just mentioned, this also means that the focus the whole time is on your clients getting the best results, rather than how can I remove myself or what You know, we’re flipping that from the focus being on us as the course creator, to us focusing on how can we get our clients the best results, which is I believe, where the focus should always be. But for many people, they forget this piece or, or don’t even, you know, acknowledge this piece.
And I also really love that you shared how you get this information by really paying attention to that feedback from your clients. I think that having group coaching calls is a really great way to get this information, because you will start to, to see the patterns. And that the as you mentioned, you know, by quizzes or or polls, that people don’t know what they don’t know. So you’re actually going to get really muddy information.
Because we’re the ones with the expertise. We know the core problems, where our clients at that point, they don’t understand the core problem yet. So you must get the information in a way that’s going to mean that we’ve got the cleanest information possible.
Exactly. I’ll mention in this happened, like a lot of things happened this morning that are relevant to this podcast. I was on Facebook today, I’m in a group program. And I was in their Facebook group. And what happened was a few weeks ago, they asked for some feedback on the program, and people gave feedback. And then they made a policy change that obviously didn’t align with everybody’s feedback, because it can’t. This post was just such an output of anger from people who asked for something different than what happens.
And this is one of the dangers of asking for feedback is because some people will say, you asked me for what I think I told you what I think and then you either didn’t do it or do something completely different. Whereas business owners, yeah, you survey 100 people, 20 of them will have an answer that that’s not going to be something you do. And so part of it is now you have people who are actually angry at you, because you just did something that’s different than what they asked for. So surveys, you know, we got to be careful with asking people for opinions. It’s never it’s not a no, of course, we want to know what people think. But I think having like the group convert the group calls and other conversations are just such a much cleaner way to get that feedback than asking people and then potentially have them be angry, because the thing you did is not what they wanted.
Totally. My goodness, that was gold. absolute gold. All right. So how many times? And I think this actually relates to something that you and I were talking about, before we even hit record? How many times do we iterate and create these ongoing programs? You know, is this something that we should do once? Or is this something that we should just keep creating and creating and creating? Because I think, actually, I’m not even going to put words into your mouth. I’d love to hear your take on this.
Oh, I wish I had a clean answer. I’ll see what I think is a good best practice, I think it is a good best practice to have a set of core fundamental things that no matter what the offers are, no matter what we do on the outside facing stuff that kind of remains consistent, and we don’t have to recreate the wheel. Of course, as we learn things as our skills as our processes up level, we can update those, but that there’s a core fundamental that states, and then there’s the flavor. And then there’s the layer on top, which is the client-facing layer that we were talking about earlier that really shifts so we’re talking about I have several offers the core fundamental of my I haven’t a process beginning to end that doesn’t shift that is the process no matter what the offers, I layer on our pieces, and various, you know, permutations of that process, depending on my perceived need from the clients.
And so Oh, I truly believe that the cleanest answer is to have one signature program. But the cleanest doesn’t mean the best or the most correct for any particular person. Right. So if one signature program works for your personality for your brand for your client, that’s probably the way to go. If you’ve got a squirrel brain, like me, we’re delivering one program is just not going to happen. There’s, you know, then it’s how do you how do you streamline them? And how do you communicate the difference between the different programs is what I see as a big struggle I’m having personally and I see clients have and, of course, it’s so much easier to guide clients than it is yourself on.
You know, how do you lay all that stuff out on a side-by-side grid and see do all the diff are all the differences clear? Do all the differences makes sense? And sometimes they’re not and they don’t and you know, that gets our marketing into a confusing place.
Totally. And the reason I asked her is because as we evolve, we’re always learning new things. It’s very easy to add products, but I think that to be able to scale effectively, you really need to simplify and I know At the beginning of COVID, I actually rolled two of my programs together and just turned it into one. Because A, it can be overwhelming for us as the person that’s delivering the program to have lots of offers. But also, it can be really confusing to the market of, you know, I don’t know where I fit. And as we know, a confused person can’t buy.
So, you know, it’s always there’s always that juggle, I guess, of how do we make sure that we look after everyone? Well, not everyone, the people that are in our world? And how do we how do we not confuse them? You know, it is that balance? Yeah, yeah,
Yeah, exactly. If I was advising myself, I think I would tell myself to to roll some of my programs together to
I like that. I like that. Now, Jane, I know that you’ve got some free resources to help people with this process. If this is where people are in their business, can you share a little bit about what you have?
Yeah, so I have the latest ebook that’s actually not live when we’re recording, but it will be within the next couple of days. So it’s all gonna work out perfectly. It’s the seven rules for creating online courses that don’t suck. It is applicable for your very first course it is applicable for for you are scaling further down the road, our latest offers always on our homepage, which is scaled genius.com. And right before the here right below, the top part is always the button to get our latest free resource, whatever it happens to be. So that is the best place to go. And that’s scaled genius.com. And I know you’ll have that in the show notes.
Absolutely, we will have that in the show notes over at influenced by design podcast.com So that you can go and grab a copy of that, to make sure that your course doesn’t suck. I really love that. Jane, it’s been an absolute pleasure chatting with you today. I think this is a really awesome conversation. You’ve given us a lot of value today, what I would love you to do is share one tip, for course creators that will have them creating a an absolute stand-out program.
Hmm, I want to tip I would say that this might not be new to anybody listening to this, but really focus on that one person you most want to help and create something for that person, I find that it’s so much easier to create and to sell when you have that one specific person in mind as you’re creating something for them.
So you know, as we were talking about scaling pasture first course. So if you think about your program, or your course now Is there somebody in it, who you’re like, I really want to help this person reach their next level of whatever it is make a course for them, of course for this one person, and then obviously others will flock but it’ll just make the whole process so much easier than trying to figure out all the things you could do for all the people coming out of your program.
Love it. And yes, whilst we may have heard that before, it’s just such a good reminder. And I know that whoever’s listening to this will hear that right now and go, Yep, good reminder. That’s exactly what I’m going to go and do. Jane, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Thank you. This was so fun.
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more, head over to samanthariley.global/podcast for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other coaches and experts who are growing and scaling their business to come and join the coaches course creators and speakers group on Facebook, the links are all waiting for you over at samanthariley.global