Facilitator + Trainer + Creative Coach |
Based in Connecticut, Working Worldwide

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Justine Ickes

Read This Before You Create Your First Course

Read This Before You Create Your First Course

Lately, I get lots of inquires about my “Launchpad” package for folks looking to create in-person and online workshops and courses. 

And you know what? I think long and hard before taking on new clients in that program.

Yes, you read that right: I sometimes turn down that type of work.

Why? Well, first off, it’s about my own integrity and what I know based on decades of experience as an instructional designer, trainer and coach.

Here’s the thing: While live workshops and online training can be perfect for some businesses, one size for sure does not fit all.

Sometimes your clients are better served by your staying true to your core services and offerings.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I understand the lure of creating a signature learning program. I get where you’re coming from. I really do.

* You’ve made it as far as you can with your current business model.
* You’re excited to reach more clients and make a greater impact.
* You’re looking for a way to package the tools, tips and strategies you’ve worked long and hard to develop.

And now you’re thinking, what’s next? How can I grow my business, create a new income stream, and reach even more clients? 

So you take a look around and see lots of other people jumping into creating and selling e-courses, webinars, and the like.

And then next thing you know you’re lost down the rabbit hole of online learning — Adobe Connect, Zoom, and a host of other platforms.

My advice? Before you start, get crystal clear on what will best serve your clients. Get in the habit of asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the real reason I want to create a course? 
  • Will a course truly serve my clients?
  • Is what I have to share better delivered in another medium or format? (Podcast, anyone? Printable worksheets? A mini learning sprint delivered by email?)

So the next time you feel the urge to cook up an e-learning program, make sure you’ve got the right recipe for your clients. Need help figuring out what makes sense for your business? Schedule a consult with me to learn more about my coaching and consulting services.

Justine Ickes online training trainer coach facilitator

Are you ready to create an online course?

Prospective clients often ask me, “Do I have what it takes to create an awesome online course?” 

My answer?

Of course you do!

With today’s user-friendly e-learning platforms, you can have a course up and running fairly quickly.

But don’t take my word for it. Read on to see if you’re ready to create your own online course.

You’re Able to Commit.

Let’s be honest. Developing an online course takes a large investment of energy, time and resources. 

From crafting your course outline to writing learning objectives and from sourcing images to editing videos, you’ll need to juggle a variety of tasks before your course goes live. 

Add all that to what you’re already doing to run your business and you might find your head spinning before you’ve even started on your course. 

Does that mean you should put off your course until the time is right?

No. But you’ll be much more effective if you’ve got realistic expectations and have a plan in place to keep your business running while you dive down the course creation rabbit hole.

You’ve Got Friends and You Know How to Use Them. 

Ringo Starr got it right when he sang about the importance of friends. In e-learning, too, things are easier when you’ve got support. 

Plus, as far as we know, no one’s figured out how to extend the day beyond 24 hours. That’s why it’s important to figure out your strengths and then seek help for everything else.

Are you great at writing copy but easily frustrated with technology?

While you don’t need to be a tech guru to create a successful online program you do need to have some basic technical skills and be comfortable navigating online. 

So if words like “jpeg”, “metatags” and “bandwidth” send you scurrying, consider hiring someone to help you with the tech-side of your course.

Do you have an eye for layout but stumble over spelling and grammar? Then delegate the copy-editing to your company’s resident grammar geek.

You Know Your Learners.

No doubt about it, online learning is an ever-changing environment. What’s popular today might not exist a year from now, or even a month from now. 

The good news is you don’t need to be up on the latest app or have the skinny on the newest technology coming down the pike.

When it comes to great e-courses what matters is that you know your target audience. What e-learning tools do they like to use? How do they prefer to learn? Will they be happy to follow along with a slideshow? Or do they love on-line chats and discussion boards?

How do you find out? Ask them! 

So, how’d you do? If you can answer yes to the three criteria I’ve outlined above, you’ve got a good foundation for creating a course that your clients will love.

Want some support to get your signature learning program up and running? Check out The Launch Pad, my hybrid coaching + consulting program here. Or contact me for a consult to find out how I can help.