How to Launch Your First Online Course!

Are you ready to create a course but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple process and you will get your course done in no time flat! 

Step 1: Define your Marketing Position 

Ever heard the story that if you have a day to cut down a tree you should spend 7 hours sharpening your ax and one hour cutting down the tree? That is exactly what this step is!

Before getting started creating 300+ power point slides and 20 fillable PDFs, make sure you identify WHO your course is for and what result (transformation) they are going to get or achieve after taking your course. Here are some questions you should be able to answer:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Who is not our audience?
  • What are their hopes, desires, dreams?
  • What are their fears, frustrations, & pain points?
  • What results do they want? What transformation will your course give them?
  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What have they tried and why hasn’t it worked?
  • How can you solve the problem better?

Answer these questions in detail and everything else you do will be easier.

Step 2: Map Out Your Modules 

The biggest mistake in course creation is trying to teach too much.  You are an expert in your area and you have a burning desire to help people so naturally you want to give them all of the information they need to be successful. Unfortunately this is a losing proposition. If you give away too much information and create a 25 hour course, most people will never finish watching all of the videos, and even less will take action.

You can solve this by giving away just enough information to keep it high level, and use weekly live coaching calls to fill in the gaps. (Which can also be recorded, transcribed, and uploaded as bonus content to your members area!) 

A good structure I have found, is this: 

  • A course has 6 modules of about one hour each. 
  • Each module has 6 lessons of about 10 minutes each.

That means that a course will have about 6 hours total of content and it will be laid out in an easy to consume format! 

What I have found that is also very helpful, is to write out a bullet point for each lesson in a “sales language” format so that I can use those bullet points on the sales page. 

Step 3: Write Your Sales Page 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the next step is not to record your course, but to write your sales page. This will help you to further narrow down what you are going to be teaching and make sure that the course you have in mind is actually an appealing offer. 

After writing your sales page you can add it to your site, let people know that it is currently closed but they can join the wait list, and start capturing leads. This is a great way to also gauge interest for a course before you go to all the work of building it!

Step 4: Record Your First Module or Pre-Training Material 

You don’t make money in draft mode! Get your first module done or pre-training material ready and then get ready to sell! If you are doing this for the first time and will be doing live coaching calls as you move through your course, you are going to be able to customize your training for your students. Each week let them know what you are going to be teaching the next week and ask them what their biggest questions are related to that topic. Guess what! You now have your lessons mapped out for you! Take their questions and incorporate them into your lessons and your content will create itself. 

Step 5: Time to Sell

Don’t let that course sit on your virtual shelf too long. Once you have done steps 1-4, get busy selling! 

What questions do you have about course creation? Let me know in the comments below!

How to Join the Brand Boosting Blogging Challenge

blogging challenge

Blogs create a face to your business that your customers can identify with and participate along.  It has become a valuable part of today’s consumer-generated media, giving consumers a platform to engage actively and participate in dialogs with key personnel within a company.

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Companies like General Motors, IBM, Boeing, and Microsoft have set up blogs to market their services or products because it is such a cost-effective way of communicating quickly with their prospects and customers.  By providing a blog for their customers to talk about their product, a company can easily find out what their customers really want and tailor their products accordingly.  The open-dialog between company and customer has dramatically cut costs and boosted revenue because companies are getting first-hand research information for next-to-nothing! It is the perfect instant feedback mechanism.

The ease in publishing a blog makes it a perfect marketing vehicle for any type of business.  Whether you work from home or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, blogs will make an ideal addition to your marketing strategy.

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Setting up a blog can take as little as five minutes (and that’s if you’re unsure of what you’re doing) and you are ready to publish your content.  It is that easy.  If you can send an e-mail, you are more than ready to start blogging. The real beauty of blogs lies in its simplicity.  It negates the tedious process of learning HTML, Web design or coding, otherwise needed to operate a functional website.   You can update a blog via any Internet connection, even updating it using a cell phone.

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Use the blog to:

  Provide value-added content

  Build a relationship with your readers

  Establish trust with your customers while gaining credibility

  Create awareness about your product offerings

 → Test ideas and research your market by getting your readers and customers to participate in discussions

If you discover that you enjoy blogging, then take the next step and try the 30-Day Blogging Challenge.

Back to Basics: 10 Facebook Marketing Tips to Get Off to a Good Start

social-media

Facebook continues to grow amongst most demographics. It’s widely used by many target audiences and can be an effective tool to grow your audience, and ultimately your sales. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step as you plan and implement your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

#1 Choose a Facebook name that is consistent with your business. Customers will be able to easily identify your business Facebook page and profile.

Nicole-Munoz-Facebook

#2 Create a vanity URL that you can use to promote your Facebook page. For example, Facebook.com/yourbusinessname is professional, consistent and apparent to your customers. (Go to Admin panel, Edit page, and Update info to set your Vanity URL).

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#3 Design and brand your Facebook page with current photos, logo and other images that are representative for the business. Upload a stylish cover photo and a header image that are also relevant to your business. Your tagline should be present on your Facebook page (usually in the cover photo).

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#4 Create an “About” page that embraces the company brand, voice, and communicates current and relevant information about your business.

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#5 Create a goal for your Facebook page and social media marketing activities. You can use Facebook to:

  • Drive traffic to your site
  • Provide valuable content
  • Promote/sell products
  • Build opt-in list

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#6 Establish a message for your Facebook page that supports your goals for Facebook marketing.

  • This message supports your brand and is authentic.
  • This message is engaging and provides value to your friends and followers.

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#7 Create a content schedule that provides a steady and consistent flow of valuable content that supports your goals and message.

Social Media

#8 Set aside time each day so that you can consistently connect with potential prospects and build your followers while building your business and reaching your marketing goals. For example, set aside fifteen minutes two times each day to share, comment, and post. Schedule one post for each day of the week.

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#9 Integrate Facebook with other marketing tactics including:

  • Blog
  • Website
  • Email signature
  • Email marketing
  • Other social media pages

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#10 Leverage technology and automate the process as much as possible. For example, your weekly email newsletter is posted on Facebook.

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#11 Create systems to test and track your Facebook marketing results. Set tests for:

  • Content
  • Delivery/posting time
  • Clicks
  • Subscribes
  • And measure the results as they relate to your specific Facebook goals. 

Facebook can be a useful tool to connect with your prospects and begin to build a community around your business. Create your message, follow through, and track your results.

How to Create a Consistent Brand

brand

Visuals play an important role in creating a consistent brand. Changing a logo can create confusion so it is best to choose the appropriate one when starting a new business. Follow these steps to make sure you will not have to double the work in the future.

1. Choose an appropriate logo and tagline that describes your services to your target audience.

Nicole Munoz Youtube channel

2. Ensure that the colors, text, and usability of your website are topnotch. Then, carry over this design to your social media, business cards, and any marketing collateral that you have. By keeping colors, fonts, logos and the style the same you’ll start projecting a particular image or brand of your business. Whatever you create, remember that you’ll use it across all your online marketing channels and in any print materials that you will use.

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Choose wisely and seek expert help if you’re not sure. In general with websites and with offline marketing collateral you don’t want anything too busy, and you want to use colors and white space to your advantage. The trick is to always think about your target audience when you create anything. This will keep your design as well as your copy in line with what your audience expects.

Maximize Your Brand By Claiming Authorship

Maximize your brand on google plus
Using Your Google Plus Profile you can connect a lot of the work that you do together. You can connect your Google + Business Page with your business website, you can add +1 buttons to your blog posts, and anything you write, badges to your online real-estate so that people can follow you on Google +, but did you know that you can also verify and claim everything you write by claiming authorship using your Google + profile?

It’s simple to do if you use WordPress. Go to you user account, edit profile, then scroll down until you see the Google+ information then paste your information into there. It’s really that easy. If you have multiple author names that you use, or your business hires several authors, be sure to verify with Google each of your names. If you don’t use WordPress, you can use Google +  Profile under Links to add and connect your work across the web.

One Author sites is easy to do, simply past the following code into the head section of your website’s code.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][message type=”info”]<link href=”http://plus.google.com/YourProfileURL/rel=’author’/>[/message]

Multiple Author sites you will need to link each author’s about page to their Google + Profile by changing the code above to rel=’me’ instead of rel=’author’. This will link your authors to their Google + profiles and thus give your website a lot more authenticity. Since Google verifies businesses, this will make your trust quotient go up, thus maximizing your brand wherever you write or place content.

You can also implement the Rel=’publisher’ Google Authorship mark up too. Instead of adding the authorship tag to your site, because you have many writers who all write for your brand, you can add in the head of your site the code with the URL of your business site adding the rel=’publisher’ tag instead of the rel=’author’ tag. Note: Some sites coding requires the use of ” instead of  ‘ around the word. You may need to test various forms of the code.

By claiming authorship everyone in your Google+ circles will be able to see where you blog or write. Plus, each search result will look better and stand out because your profile picture will show up next to your content on search results. That picture will draw attention to the search results over the other search results. As you build your authorship reputation your brand will be noticed more than ever before. If you get confused you can go to this page on Google to learn how to do it.

Content is your most important asset, whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business. Content helps you get more visitors and educate your customers and future customers. Content is the life blood of your online presence. Being able to claim authorship across the web of everything you’ve written is a great opportunity to maximize your brand beyond anything thought previously possible.

Remember that these changes will not show up instantly on your website or in search results, it might take a few days for Google to index your updates. However, the change will be well worth it.
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If you’d like to know more about Google+, then don’t miss our free Webinar on November 7th, “How To Maximize Your Business Brand On Google+”.
How to Maximize Your Business Brand on Google+[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Smart Branding: Choose the Perfect Domain Name for Your Business and Register It

onsite_optimization

Choosing your domain name, registering it and finding a hosting solution can feel like an overwhelming process. Use this checklist to help you manage the process without missing a step.

#1 First thing, you need to create a list of potential domain names that end in .com.

The names you choose sound professional and support the business vision, brand, and mission. They should be easy to remember, easy to spell, and unique.

#2 You have identified a preferred domain registrar service.

The domain registrar can be the same provider as my website host. Or it is not the same provider as the website host. (Note: If you didn’t register your domain name with the service provider who is providing the hosting services, you need to transfer your domain name to your chosen hosting service.)

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#3 For branding purposes and not only: you need to register your domain(s) including your primary domain name and relevant and supporting domain names. For example, business.com, business.biz, business.net.

#4 You need to double checked to make sure that the contact information is correct with your domain registrar.

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#5 One of the things that most people forget to do and end up in despair: to set the domains to auto-renew. This step prevents you from missing a notification email and accidentally losing the domain name.

#6 You can chose to register your domain as:

  • Private
  • Public

#7 You have verified your information in the Whois database. (Note: Unless you specified Whois privacy during the registration process, your contact information should show up on the master Whois database within 24 hours.) What you need to do is to go to whois.domaintools.com and search for your domain name to see how it appears in the Whois database.

checklist#8 When choosing your hosting you need to check the following:

  • Web space – the amount of storage your website will require on the web server.
  • Bandwidth – the measure of traffic, both into and out of, your website.
  • Price
  • Support, Uptime and Backup
  • Telephone support
  • 24/7 Customer support
  • An online trouble ticket/help desk system
  • Email support
  • High percentage of uptime
  • Daily automatic back-ups
  • Plan provides all the features I require
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) – A protocol used to provide extra security for ecommerce transactions. 

#9 Set up your business email addresses with your website host. It looks professional and you have less chances that your email is considered spam.

#10 Next step is to choose a template, hire a designer, and/or put up a placeholder page so visitors will find information rather than a blank page.

Once you’ve completed these 10 steps, you’re ready to start creating content for your website and driving traffic. Congratulations!

Do You Really Own a Brand? 10 Questions that Will Make You Reflect

brand

Your brand is the image that people observe, develop, and relate to. It connects you to your customers and prospects. The branding process, including the planning and decision process are important. These decisions have an impact on your future success. By working through this checklist, you’ll have established a solid brand and a plan to move forward and integrate it into all of your marketing and sales efforts.

#1 Have you identified your business vision and mission? Your branding decisions must remain true to your core business vision and mission in order to provide a consistent and comprehensive image to prospects and customers.

#2 Have you identified colors that best represent the brand that you want to portray? The colors you choose will embody the vision and mission of your business along with the message you wish to convey.

#3 Have you chosen a brand name / business name that is easy to remember, easy to spell and can be registered as a domain name?

#4 Do you have a solid understanding of who your target audience is? Do you understand what their needs, interests and goals are? Remember that your branding efforts will influence your unique target customer.

#5 Do you know what differentiates you/your company from your competitors? Do you realize the value that you bring to your prospects? Answer these questions to make sure you are on the right track:

  • How do you benefit your clients?
  • Why do they like you?
  • Why do they buy from you? 

#6 Do you have a logo? Does it convey your brand in a way that is simple and easy to understand? Do you think that the colors support your vision and mission?

#7 Have you developed a brand purpose? It should be a statement that highlights what makes your business distinct.

#8 Have you created a brand personality?  It should be a statement or list of characteristics that best describe your brand. Your brand personality embraces elements of your personal personality so that you can create a stronger connection with the audience. A stronger connection results in a stronger brand.

#9 Have you created a brand promise? Most business owners don’t even know that they should create an emotional statement.  This promise should evoke a positive emotion.

#10 Have you created a marketing strategy? You should always include the social media marketing, email marketing and link building efforts into one marketing strategy. The most important elements of a marketing strategy are:

  • Social media profiles
  • Website
  • Blog name
  • Email signature
  • Phone message
  • Networking associations

Your brand is who you are, what you represent, and what makes you and your business unique and different from your competition. Spend time creating your business brand and working through this checklist to ensure a comprehensive and clear brand – a brand your prospects won’t be able to resist.

How to Maximize Your Business Brand on Google+ Checklist

Google+

Creating a Google+ business page is just the beginning. Brands need to be consistent, follow trends and interact with their followers in order to increase their brand visibility. Check these questions and see what you should be doing to maximize your business brand on Google+.

 

Branding

brand

Do you have a clear Google+ branding plan?

Have you created multiple Circles for different topics?

Have you decided on Google+ features that will work well for your branding goals?

 

Page elements

GooglePlus

Do you have a cover photo (background) that eloquently tells your brand’s story or says what the company is all about?

Do you have a professionally designed logo?

Does the design match your website color scheme?

Do you use the same fonts as on your website?

Have you included a company tagline?

Have you included keywords in your company description?

Have you filled out the About section?

Have you started posting relevant information for your followers?

 

Page marketing

google-plus-circles

Have you added customers or followers to your page’s Circles?

Have you shares Google+ content with followers and Circle members?

Have you invited people to like your (+1) comments?

Are you posting high-quality photos? How about videos?

Are you updating the page profile regularly?

Are you sharing posts instantly with your Circles?

Have you created events?

Are you focusing all the efforts on brand consistency and

Have you created a ‘voice’ for your followers? Are you easy to recognize?

Are you paying attention to your followers – and their reactions to your company branding? Do they approve them? Are they being indifferent?

Are you constantly creating rich, quality content for your followers?

Are you posting and interacting through Google+ and my Google+ Business branding page consistently and regularly?

Is you Google+ presence optimized for mobile users?

 

Website requirements

website

Do you have the G+ button installed?

Do you have a G+ badge?

Do you have Google Analytics installed?

Is your website optimized for mobile?

Do you have the Google Authorship verification set up?

Are your website and Google+ Page eligible to use Google+ Direct Connect?

 

YouTube

Nicole Munoz Youtube channel

I have come up with a strategy and schedule for branding my company through Hangouts on Air (and YouTube)

Is your YouTube channel optimized and uses the same design elements as your website and Google+ page?

Is your YouTube channel optimized for your main keywords?

 

Hangouts

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Have you tried Hangouts on Air? Have you checked it with your team?

Have you created a series, using the principle of repetition in the episode titles to create event awareness?

Are you paying attention to branding by creating strong, keyword-optimized titles that include the company/ product name?

Have you added the Live Q & A feature to Hangouts on Air sessions?

Are you promoting your Hangouts on Air across several platforms? Here is what you should start with:

  • Blog or website
  • Email list
  • Local platforms
  • Twitter
  • Google+ posts
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • SlideShare
  • Other social networks

Are you using Google+ hashtags to promote the page, company, events, posts – and Hangouts?

 

Google Products

Have you checked Google Ripples?

Have you tried Google Offers for local businesses?

 

Analytics

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Have you set up Analytics goals for the traffic referred from Google+?

Are you evaluating audience characteristics and behavior?

Do you use data collection filtering and management features?

Do you perform performing A/B split testing to measure conversions?

 

Follow

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Are you following these blogs and sites to be on top with what is new in the world of Google+?

At least one other social-network measuring authority blog, such as:

 

How many of these tips are you actually implementing?

Building Brand Authority with Pinterest

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Using Pinterest offers you a unique opportunity to influence your audience and build the visual message of your brand. Pinterest is free to use and since it has over 70 million users, you have a large audience to reach out to. This is also an audience that has money to spend. With over 25 percent of the majority female audience having household incomes of over 100K per year and a bigger buying mindset than any other social media, it would be crazy to miss out.

Becoming a major influence on Pinterest is more than being an everyday user; you will be taking advantage of every tool and benefit Pinterest has to offer. During which you will discover that Pinterest may be the best opportunity to help you build influence with your target audience.

  • 2-insightsGain Consumer Insights — Using Pinterest to test marketability of new product or service ideas is an excellent way to gain consumer insights that will help you improve your brand visibility. Using Pinterest analytics will help you know how many people pinned your information from your site, and what pins are most popular right now among all pins being pinned. If you have insight into what your audience wants and needs you’ll be that much more likely to become an influence to your market. 
  • Make Valuable Connections — By creating a group board you can invite others to contribute to your board, creating a valuable way to connect with other movers and shakers. Even with regular boards, if you are creative enough and promote it well enough you can connect with others and become the influencer. 
  • Develop Authority — By demonstrating your knowledge about a certain topic through your boards, and through the boards and pins that you share from others you can become a thought leader in your industry. 
  • Get More Traffic — There is no doubt that Pinterest, when used right is a dynamo at helping improve traffic to your online real estate. Most businesses report getting more traffic from Pinterest than any other social media. 
  • Showcase Your Work — Boards are a great way to demonstrate what you do. If you have a visual business it will be easier but there is no reason you can’t create visual elements to any number of bits of data focused toward your audience. 
  • Get New Product Ideas — Surfing around Pinterest looking at other people’s boards and pins will enable you to spark ideas for new products. People who are on Pinterest are product and service minded, therefore you will find a lot of wish lists and vision boards that can give you terrific ideas. 

There are so many benefits to using Pinterest that it’s hard to list them all, but I think you get the idea. Using Pinterest can help you build the authority you need to become an influential voice in your niche.

10 Things Not to Do on Facebook When Posting as Your Brand

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Let’s discuss a little bit about posting as a brand on Facebook. There are many examples of brands messing up on social media and you don’t want to be one of them. Think: Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro ( https://www.facebook.com/amysbakingco ). Look it up to see what happened with them. Essentially, they’re a fabulous example of what not to do.

9-no-slashDon’t Argue & Defend — So you get a poster who is complaining about you, your product or both, and you feel hurt and defensive. This is not the time to post an argumentative post back to the person, putting them in their place. It’s okay to admit mistakes and it’s okay to delete obvious spam, but it’s never okay to be rude, no matter how bad your feelings are hurt.

Don’t Post Only a Link — Everything you post should have a blurb about what you’re sharing, or posting. Whether it’s an image, a video, sharing other people’s content, or your own blog posts — always post a tease about it, plus don’t forget an obvious call to action. If you don’t ask your readers to share, follow, buy, or like, they probably won’t.

Don’t Automate Too Much — This might seem like a time saver, but in reality it’s pretty much a waste of time to automate too much. While all kind of apps and plugins exist to help you with these tasks (some mentioned in this report) it’s really not helpful to post the same thing to Facebook as you do Twitter. They are very different systems. Also the way EdgeRank works is that automatic status updates are relegated to wherever posts go that don’t wind up in newsfeeds.

Don’t Post Only Text — Images and Video get more love, that’s just a fact of both the EdgeRank system and human nature. Humans love video and images more than plain text. It adds interest to the page and gets fans curious to look further. Plus when someone who has not liked your page sees this as shared from a friend, they’ll be prompted to like your page.

Don’t be a Control Freak — It’s okay sometimes to let others take care of some choices for you. For instance, you can let your audience choose your next product title, the features of the product and more by posting a poll asking for their opinions or posting a link to a voting page. Offer incentives for participation.

Don’t Skip Days — It’s understandable if you get sick, or something like that happens, but it’s imperative that you keep a consistent pattern to your updates to guarantee maximum exposure and engagement. If you have a plan, and it’s only taking you 10 minutes a day there won’t be may excuses to not seeing it through. When you need to be absent use a scheduling feature or outsource it.

Don’t Ignore Comments — When people take the time to comment on a page, or share something, it’s nice to make a comment back, or “like” their share. They’ll see that you did that through notifications and appreciate that you noticed and do more of it in the future. Making people feel special will always win them over.

Don’t Post Too Much — Posting a continuous stream of stuff can actually cause your fans to be turned off. Try working your way up to three posts a day by starting with just one per day. Consider your target audience as to when the right time to post your updates are. Each audience is unique.

Don’t be Irrelevant — You have a target audience, and you have a niche. Stick to that niche and make each posted update fit into that niche. Don’t try to go outside of your area of expertise or you’ll create confusion amongst your target audience. Be relevant and post only useful, valuable and targeted information on your Facebook page.

Don’t Ignore Metrics — It’s imperative that you know whether what you’re doing is affecting your goals or not. There is no point wasting time doing things that are not seeing the results you want. If you don’t study the metrics you will be shooting in the dark without benefit of night vision.

Not only should you avoid these actions when posting as your brand, if you’ve connected your personal profile to your business page, be very careful about what you post there too. People can get offended very easily.