Ever wonder what it actually looks like to create and launch a course from step 1 to step done?
If so, then stick around, cause that’s why I’m writing The Fire Path Project series: to give you an inside look at how I went from answering an email to creating an online course – step by step.
In my intro post to The Fire Path Project, I outlined the 9 steps that I took in order to go from no idea to launching a course.
Step 1 was: Listen to your audience.
Step 2 was: Create content.
Step 3 was: Repurpose your content.
Step 4 was: Test your idea.
Step 5 is: Brainstorm the next level.
So what does that mean exactly, how can you do it in your business, and why is it important? Let’s take a look…
How to brainstorm the next level
At this point, you should have checked the following blocks:
- You have an idea;
- You’ve created multiple pieces of content all related to that idea; and
- You’ve received feedback from your audience to confirm you’re on the right track.
Now, it’s time to brainstorm the next level, and because this is The Fire Path Project: From answering an email to creating an online course, for many of you, that next level is going to be your online course.
But what will your online course include?
In the last couple of steps on The Fire Path Project we’ve done a lot of creating, testing and listening, and you might be wondering, “Am I giving away too much content for free?” This is a common fear, but I’m happy to share that you’re definitely not giving away too much content for free – there is always that next level that people WILL pay you money for.
So, how do you go about finding that next level so you know what to include in your online course?
The next level brainstorming session
The next level brainstorming session consists of four parts:
First, look back at all the content you’ve created and the feedback you’ve received from your audience.
In step 4, we talked about testing and listening to your audience, so you should have a somewhat organized “bank” that you can refer back to in order to say “Okay, this is the content I’ve created so far, and this is the feedback I’ve received“.
In doing so, you’re going to see where the holes are: what have people requested from you that you haven’t created yet? Write down all of the things that are missing.
Second, pull out the top 3 recurring themes, requests or pieces of constructive feedback you’ve received.
What’s most important in this second part is that the next level be something your audience wants and needs: your online course needs to have something for them that is so good, they’re willing to pay for it. This is not a matter of guessing: the next level is what your audience is telling you they want.
By pulling out the top 3 pieces of feedback, you’re giving yourself a springboard for coming up with that next level.
Third, start talking.
Whether it’s out loud to yourself, over Skype with an business or accountability partner, or in an online community you’re a part of, start talking through how you can use the top 3 pieces of feedback to help you come up with the content you’ll include in your course.
Remember, the next level should be a reflection of the content your audience is asking you for.
Forth, write it down.
Once you’ve discovered what that next level of content is going to be, start writing it down.
We’re going to get into a lot more detail in the next step, which is step 6: Create an outline, but for now, you just want to write out what your online course is going to include.
When I looked back at the content I had created and the feedback we’d received from The Fire Path, I knew that creating an online course that followed the step-by-step process for creating, growing and monetizing your dream business was the next level of content for The Fire Path – this is what people would pay for.
This is what my brainstorming session looked like:
You’ll notice at the very top of this poster board I wrote out all the different pieces of content that I’d created, and how each one funneled into the opt in giveaway that I talked about creating in step 3.
This allowed me to see where there might be holes (things missing) that my audience had been asking for.
Then, I have bullets of the most common themes that I heard from my audience throughout my time repurposing The Fire Path content on the bottom right, including things like:
- The step-by-step format being something that really resonated with people, (and highlighting the importance of each stage in creating and growing your dream business < this is something I heard a lot);
- That videos and worksheets would be a huge benefit to help people take action (remember in the last step when I gave a few examples, and one of them was someone asking me for a worksheet?); and
- That accountability and deadlines were something that many struggled with (I can’t even count the number of emails & comments I’ve received in response to The Fire Path content from people who were so grateful for the amount of detail I was including – a “how-to” guide they could follow without having to go off and do their own research to figure out how to implement what I was talking about.)
It’s a little tough to see because it’s on the bright green sheet that is slightly cut off in the image above, but for me, that’s what The Fire Path Course would “look like” – everything I wanted it to consist of – including the medium I would deliver the content through, the different “pieces” of content that I’d bring together, and some potential ideas for “bonuses” once the course was released.
Why it’s important to brainstorm the next level
Without that next level, you’re never going to get yourself closer to creating an online course, because before you create your online course, you have to know what you’re going to include in it that your audience wants and needs bad enough that they’ll pay for it.
Next up is step 6: Create an outline. Now that we’ve established our next level of content based on the content we’ve already created, in addition to the feedback we’ve received from our audience, we’re ready to create an outline in order to make it happen.
Are you with me?!