Why You Need to Build Systems and Structures for Your Course
Today we will be talking about building systems and structures for your online course. We’ll cover why you need them and some tools to help.
Before you launch your online course, you need to have systems and structures in place to help you stay on track and improve. These systems are there for repeatable processes - meaning you create it once, tweak it, and then redo it. It makes life so much easier and simpler. This is a crucial part of your online course creation. When you develop a system, you won’t have to start over every time to get ready to launch your online course. In order to do this, you need to know what you need to set up to make everything sync together.
By systems and structures I mean the kinds of emails you are going to send, how you will collect payment, where your course will be located online, and how people get to your course.
Why You Need Systems and Structures
If you’re like me, when you buy a new computer, you spend time setting up the user accounts, loading the programs you want on it, and customizing your desktop, folders, and images. We do this right away, so when we use the computer, we are able to find the documents and programs we need faster. You wouldn’t want to have to download Word every time you wanted to create a new document. If you don’t have systems and structures in place for your online course, each time you offer your course will be the equivalent of working on a new computer. You’ll waste a lot of time organizing documents and downloading programs you already used for the first course.
When you run your own business, time is money. All the time you spend redoing your systems and structures is time you could spend developing great content, working with clients, or even designing your next course. Get organized now, so you won’t have to scramble around later.
I have a ridiculously organized Google Drive Folder System and very specific document naming conventions. This may seem a wee bit over-organized at first glance but rules and processes were put in place to make sure that all of the people working on my projects put things where the next person needs them to be to get their work done! No one needs to waste time searching around for documents. Everyone knows EXACTLY where everything is when they need it. It’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page- if you work by yourself you still need to put things in order. You don’t have any time to waste when you don’t have a support team in place!
Once you develop your own systems and structures, you’ll be able to put that portion of your course launch on autopilot and focus on engaging with your attendees and making sure your content is spectacular.
Tools for Building Systems and Structures
Systems and structures only help you reduce stress when you have the tools you need to create them. You don’t have to start from scratch. There are plenty of tools available to help you get organized and look professional. Here are some programs I recommend:
If you want to sell your course through a webinar, you’ll need tools to help you create a landing page to capture name and email addresses and host the webinar itself. Some options are Webinar Jam, GoToWebinar, and Demio.
If you’re on a budget, you can always look at Google Hangouts on YouTube, Business Hangouts on Google, and Zoom for your next webinar. You can create a powerpoint presentation through Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva, or Keynote and use that to add interesting visuals and bullet points for your audience.
You’ll need a way to not only capture emails, but to lead people through a sequence that will encourage them to hop onto your webinar. This email sequence will also lead your prospects into the online course benefits, the burning desire your course addresses, testimonials and much more. It’s a way to get in front of their eyes without them having to watch the webinar. The emails will lead potential attendees to the course page so they can purchase.
I recommend segmenting your email list, so you can create emails specifically for people who clicked but didn’t register, people who watched the webinar, and people who didn’t even go to the landing page. Some good email tools are Convertkit, Mailchimp, Mailerlite, Aweber, Active Campaign, and Infusionsoft.
There are many different types of email marketing systems that can help you with all of your email needs, you just need to find the right one for you and your business. What kinds of emails do you need to send? How big is your email list?
Building your email list should be a top priority. People who sign up for your email list are interested in you and your services and want you to send your current offers. That’s why they signed up. Unlike your social media followers, you own your email list. No one is going to suddenly change the rules on you and make all those names and emails disappear, but Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn could make your followers disappear.
Landing Pages are a place to get email signups and can be your webinar sign up page, your online course sales page, or even a freebie page. When people click on your ad, this is where it takes them. Some of the leading Landing Pages out there are Lead Pages, Click Funnels, and InstaPage
If you’re on a budget, many email marketing systems have landing pages you can create within them. Use and explore your email marketing tools to make a landing page before sending your prospects to a Checkout page
You’ll need a way to collect payment for your online course. Since many landing pages don’t take payment, you might have to lead people to a page where they can pay you, such as a checkout page. You will not need to create this page or landing pages if you’re using a course site to hold your online course, like Thinkific or Teachable. They have sales pages that you can use, and they accept payment. If you’re using your website to host your course and need a checkout page, you can use SamCart or Another one?
Thanks to our new sponsor, we can now discuss what Infusionsoft can do for you and your business in regards to your online course funnel. You can map out your funnel systems using Infusionsoft, so you know which customer did what in regards to your campaign. You can create follow-up emails based on what your customer did to make your system even more personalized. You’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not working in regards to your funnel systems. They even have integrated order forms, online sales and payments to make buying easy.
If you’re in the process of creating systems for your online course, look into webinar tools, email services, landing pages, check out software, and InfusionSoft to see if any of these tools can help. When you use tools like these to develop your systems and processes, you don’t have to build everything yourself or spend weeks studying how to code a landing page or develop an email sequence. Someone has already figured that out and developed a tool to help others skip the learning curve and dive right into application. You have your area of expertise, and the people who created these tools have their genius. You don’t have to master everything.
Special Guest Drew Griffiths
Drew has had a passion for the science & technology field for over 10 years. Learning, creating and solving is what defines his life. He has been an avid self-taught web designer for over 4 years an working with computers and systems for over 6 years. He helps bring the joys and progress of what technology has done for him as a human being to others here in Colorado. In his spare time, he’s working to enhance and improve his skills, to help shape the DIY-Bio Movement.
Colorado Tech Team was started to bring the community of small business owners, hobbyist, and freelancers in the IT/digital field in Colorado together. Having Drew as your personal tech broker means he will either take care of all your technical needs, or get you connected with a certified technical partner that suits your specific needs.
What tools do you use in your systems and structures?
Are there any tools you wish were available?
Where to Start Building Systems and Structures
So far we’ve covered why you need systems and structures when launching your online course and some tools you can use to create those processes. Although it may seem like a lot of work while you’re building your systems, you’ll thank yourself later. Trust me! Now let’s talk about what you need to do to get started building your processes.
Know your budget. A webinar host, landing page, and payment processor can all cost money. Knowing what your budget is from the beginning will help you narrow your options and make it easier to choose which tools to use.
If you’re going the webinar route, then find a webinar platform that works within your budget. No matter if you have a big or small budget, we all start somewhere. Don’t feel like you need to impress people with your webinar hosting abilities. If you’re a 6-figure business owner who wants to use Google Hangouts, then fine. You do you. Your content is far more important than your webinar host. People can sell anything from any platform, so don’t get distracted by pretty or shiny. It won’t matter if your content isn’t valuable.
Take time when creating your landing page. This can be the make or break point for your prospective attendee. You put a lot of work into making your course, but the landing page will be the thing that gets people to show up. Use your audience’s burning desire and language to illustrate the benefit of your course. Show them what they will gain by participating. Having someone you trust look at your landing page and provide feedback can be very helpful.
No matter your budget, you can use systems and structures to create a funnel that flows well, builds trust, and entices your ideal client. The tools we’ve covered are only tools. The content creation is up to you, and while these tools will help deliver your content, they won’t create it for you.
If you develop your systems and structures now, for your current launch, you won’t have to redo them when you’re ready for round two of your online class. They will help you fill your class and save you time.
I have a question for you.
Answer me on your favorite social channel.
What tools do you use in your systems and structures? Are there any tools you wish were available?