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!

The Guide to Instagram for Video Marketing

Instagram video marketing

You’ve probably heard of Instagram or are maybe even using it to share images. But did you know Instagram can also be used to create videos you can share. Instagram is fast and fun way to freely share the memorable moments in your life.

Instagram video lets you take a video and transform how it looks with several built in filter effects. You can instantly post those videos with your friends and family and to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare.

Instagram is an app available for both Android and iOS systems.

How to install Instagram

If you haven’t already installed Instagram, it just takes a few simple clicks.

Begin by going to Instagram.com. Download the Instagram app for your iPhone/iPad from the App Store or download if for your Android in Google Play. Click on the install button.

Once you have the app installed on your device, tap it to open. Register your account and fill out the profile. Click done.

How to Record a Video

You can begin recording video almost immediately after you download the app.

To record a video, tap the blue button at the bottom of the app and then tap the video button to switch from camera to video.

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Press and hold the camera button to begin recording. When you are done recording lift your finger from the video button to stop recording.

Tap Next to add a filter and share your videos your videos. You can add your cover clip by moving the Choose Cover Frame slider to where you want it. Press the green arrow to save it.

Now you are ready to share your video.

Sharing

Sharing videos on Instagam doesn’t have to be with new videos. You can share videos that you’ve previously recorded on your phone.

Upload a video from your phone to Instagram, by tapping the camera icon at the bottom of the app on your phone. Tap the video camera icon to switch from camera to video.

Tap the box in the bottom-right corner to show your phone’s video album.  Choose the video you want to upload. (On the iPhone, you need to tap the Next at the top.)

Choose the 15-seconds of the video you want to share by putting your finger on the video strip along the bottom and them sliding it to the left. This lets you set where you clip starts playing.

Drag the blue slider bar across the top of the video strip to set where your video clip will end.

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Tap Add on the iPhone or the green next arrow at the top on the Android.

Sign into your social media account if needed, and click done.

For iPhone, you can combine more than one clip together to make a single 15 second video. Go back to your phone’s video album and repeat the steps or record a new clip from the app.

Marketing Idea

Use Instagram to create How-to tips and demos of your products. You’re an expert in your product or field. Show samples of your expertise to tease your audience into wanting to see more.

Get your audience excited and involved in your brand by offering them a contest to enter.

Add a Filter to Video

There are several filters you can use to make your videos stand out.

After your video is recorded, tap Next. There is Maven, Gingham, Ginza Skyline, Dogpach, Brooklyn, Moon, Helena, Asby, and Charmes available at this time. Select the one you like, tap Next to continue on to the share screen.

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Marketing Tip

Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds long. In comparison to the Vine app which is only 6 seconds long, you can create a quick promotion that showcases different elements of your business such as a special offer, a new product, the footage from an upcoming event or even a live video of your tradeshow or conference booth.

Or how about showing the daily work life of your brand or business.

Short, 15 second bursts of video capture interest and hold short attention.

To get your point across in the brief videos while keeping your audience’s attention, focus on images and create quick, interesting headlines.

Miscellaneous Tips

Previous clips can be deleted by tapping the X and then tapping the trash can to confirm you want to delete.

Take multiple clips by lifting your finger off the record icon during the recording process. This pauses the recording. Tap and hold the button again when you are ready to move to the next clip.

The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 come with the built in Cinema feature that allows you to stabilize your video after you have taken it.

Sound                                                                       

Sound can be set to play instantly or be turned off by default on your Instagram videos.

On the iPhone/iPad, adjust the setting by going into your profile by tapping the speaker in the bottom corner. Tap gear/settings icon in the right corner to access your settings. Swipe down and tap Mute. Choose to always play with sound or to turn sound on and off with your ringer switch.

5-dotsOn your Android, adjust the settings by going to your profile page and tapping the speaker icon in the bottom corner. Tap the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner.

Swipe down to the sound setting. Tap the setting to turn the sound on or off.

If the sound is off you can turn it on for individual videos simply by tapping the top right of the

You’re already using Instagram photo to share images. Now you can use Instagram to create videos to share. Instagram is a fun and creative way to freely share what is happening in your life and business.

The Vine Way – How to Use this Popular App for Video Marketing

Vine

Vine is a mobile service that lets you create and share short looping videos. The Posts on Vine are short little windows showing the lives of people, the settings, ideas and objects you find in your life every day. They can be fun and quirky or seriously businesslike.

Vine is a part of Twitter, so using the app is easy and free to install. It lets you instantly post your videos on Vine and quickly share to Facebook, Twitter and many other social media sites. Any videos you post to Vine appears on your profile and in your followers’ timelines.

You can find, follow and interact with others on Vine while exploring trending posts, editor’s picks and featured hashtags.

Install App

2-deviceInstalling the Vine app to your mobile device is easy to do. Go to Vine.co and click on the “Get it on Google Play” for android devices or “Download on the App Store” for iOS devices.

You’re taken to the Permissions page where you see what the app has access to. Choose your device from the list. Any devices you own show up here. Click ”Install”.

You have just installed Vine to your device.

Getting Started

Now that you have it installed on your device, sign in with your Twitter account or you can use an email address.

If you use an email address you will need to enter your name, the email address and a password.

If you sign up with Twitter, you will need to enter your name.

Now that you are logged in you can go to your feed of people your follow, activity of what you are doing, explore other people’s videos, or go to your profile.

Adding Video

To add video, tap the “Activity” tab. Your first time you open this, you won’t have any videos here. To create a video, tap the camera icon at the top of your menu bar.

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Tap and hold the screen to record a normal 6 second video.

The 2 arrows at the bottom of your screen switches your camera from front to back.

Tap the grid option at the bottom to help frame your shot perfectly. The focus button (the target icon) lets you pinpoint an object in the frame.

The ghost icon allows Vine users to create stop-motion videos. Tap the ghost function and a small ghost shows in the last frame of your video and stays on the screen so you can perfectly line up you next shot according to where you left off.

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When you upload a Vine video add a category by pressing the new button below the add location.

Marketing with Vine Tips

Vine tipsUse Vine to motivate your customers to contribute by reaching out to them and asking them to submit their ideas about a specific idea you give them.

Take advantage of Vine and Twitters alignment to show off your campaign hashtags, letting people know about new products or services.

Take people behind the scenes of your brand. Give them a chance to see the environment behind of your business. This works great for covering events and conferences you attend.

Put your product in motion. Vine’s stop-motion video function is perfect for showing off your product. For example, if you a food brand, make your food fun by playing with it or if your brand is fashion, play dress up with your products.

Give your customers a sneak peek of a giveaway item. Post a quick clip of what they could win in an upcoming giveaway you are promoting.

Finding People

Quickly find people you already know who are on Vine by using your device’s address book and on Twitter for the people you follow. You can search for people on Vine or invite others through text message or email to join you on Vine.

Tap the menu button at the top left corner of your Vine App. Select “Profile” and then tap on the two people at the top right corner.

Finding Posts to Follow

Use the Explore section to find videos on the Vine community. Tap the “Explore” icon at the top of your menu bar. You can choose either “Popular Now” or “On the Rise” posts, Vine Channels and Trending Tags. Select specific people or hashtags here as well.

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On the rise posts are recently uploaded posts that are getting a lot of shares.

Channels are particular categories that include art, comedy, cats, dogs, family food, health and fitness, nature, beauty and fashion, music, special effects, news and politics, sports, urban and weird.

Term to know: Revining– sharing other people’s posts with all of your followers in one simple tap.

Sharing

Vine posts can be shared to Twitter or Facebook from your profile settings. Add a Twitter account or Facebook account under the Social Networks tab.

To share a video you posted to Vine onto Twitter or Facebook, tap the Share button (it’s the arrow pointing up and to the right) shown under your post. Select Twitter or Facebook to share it along with a caption of some kind.

Sharing someone’s Vine post can be done as long as the user hasn’t protected their posts from being shared.

Embed Vine Post

A public Vine post can be embedded on your website.  Tap the “Share” button below the Vine post. Tap “Embed”. You will get an email with the embed link.

Security

Your posts will naturally be defaulted as public and can be viewed and shared by anyone on Vine. Vine allows set the protection your posts. You control who sees your posts, meaning only people you approve to follow you can see them. If you protect your posts, you are the only one who can share them to Twitter or Facebook.

To protect your post, go to your Profile tab. Select Settings and then Your Content. Check the Posts are protected button. This will apply to all your posts.

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More Tips

You must deliver a clear message within 6-seconds. Use time lapse to all the required elements of your story. Highlight your products or services in a smooth flowing clip.

Make every second count to show your personality. Show creativity, uniqueness and originality but be authentic.

Showcase your content by creating a video teaser for a new eBook, blog post or book. Include visual elements that visually showcase your product and engage viewers.

Vine is an excellent mobile service to add to your video marketing plan. It lets you create and share short looping videos. The Posts on Vine are short little windows showing the lives of people, the settings, ideas and objects you find in your life every day. The videos can be fun and quirky or seriously businesslike.

How to Incorporate Video to Your Marketing Strategy

3-videoOnline video’s popularity has grown exponentially in a short time, thanks to video sharing sites such as YouTube.  The increasing availability of high-speed Internet has also had a hand in making video so popular, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. More than 1 billion unique users each month to the site shows us we need to pay attention. Add to that, including video on your website can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience.

Live streaming video is a great tool for online tutors and others who can benefit from a high level of interaction with their visitors or customers.  It makes it possible for you to communicate in real time, do live demonstrations, and answer questions with ease.  For your audience, it’s the next best thing to being there with you.

Recorded video can also be a tremendous asset to your website.  It’s much easier than you might think to make professional-looking videos to showcase your products and services.  Your site visitors can watch these videos at their convenience, and if they like them they will often recommend them to friends and colleagues.  For added exposure, you could make your videos available for embedding with YouTube or another video sharing service.

Ways to Use Video

Video is a very versatile medium, and it can be used in a number of ways.  Here are some ideas:

* Make viral videos.  These are usually entertaining clips that include a plug for your business and appeal to a broad audience.  As a promotional method, viral video is not usually very targeted, but it can result in a huge amount of exposure at a relatively low cost.

* Hold online video conferences.  These provide an unparalleled way to reach out to your target audience. You can use tools like Google+ Hangouts to easily hold your online events.

* Make how-to videos. Create them on topics relevant to your website’s subject matter.  Providing informative video content will generate buzz about your website, potentially resulting in an increase in traffic.  It will also help you establish yourself as an expert.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sharing Sites

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YouTube site makes it easy for anyone to upload videos to share with anyone with a computer who cares to watch them, and it provides viewers with a wealth of entertainment and education opportunities. It’s easy to do with a mobile phone, from your computer or just about any device. Sharing your videos on YouTube and other sites definitely has some advantages.

YouTube’s immense popularity can potentially result in lots of people viewing your videos.  If they find videos they like, they can embed them onto their own sites or blogs.  That will result in an even greater audience, and some of them may choose to embed your video on their sites as well.  You can see why some marketers love the idea of video sharing.

There are, however, some disadvantages to putting your videos on sites such as YouTube as well.  One of the biggest concerns of marketers is that video sharing doesn’t require users to come to your site to view the videos.  That means that while your videos may be wildly popular, they might result in very little traffic to your site.  It’s important to give viewers an incentive to visit your site once they are finished watching the video. Alternatively, you can change your videos’ settings so that they can’t be viewed on the YouTube site or embedded elsewhere, but that will limit your viewership.

Make sure you use YouTube’s handy tools to include promotions in your videos, clickable links and more. This will help bring more of your YouTube watchers back to your own site.

The sheer power and excellent features of YouTube likely outweigh and concerns you might have.

Embedding Video from Your Own Server

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Those who do not like the idea of uploading their videos to sites such as YouTube can upload them to their servers and embed them from there.  This gives you more control over your videos and ensures there is no “YouTube” logo on your videos.

But before you jump into that, it’s important to remember that video files are usually very large.  Making them available directly from your server can take up valuable file storage space, and it can also drain your bandwidth.  When you upload videos to a video sharing site and embed them from there, you use that site’s storage space and bandwidth.

Whether you should upload video to a video sharing site and embed from there or keep it on your own server depends on several factors.  If you don’t mind having another website’s name pasted on your videos and don’t want to overtax your server, video sharing could be the best option.  But if you want to ensure that users have to come to your site to see your videos and prefer not to provide free advertising for a video sharing site, hosting your own videos might be the best way to go.