Hey family! I'm so excited to be back with you. It's been three months since the last episode because I took a bit of a hiatus. Thank you for hanging out and giving me the leeway to take that break and come back. In this solo episode, I’m going to report on what I did over these past three months, including finally launching my YouTube channel. I’m happy to say that it’s been up for almost a month now. In line with that, I’ll share my thoughts on YouTube for course creators. Is it really worth the effort? Then, on a serious note, let’s talk about COVID-19. I’ll get into how it’s affecting online course creators and business owners, and what to do in terms of launching and marketing your course in these unprecedented times. Finally, we’ll wrap up with what you can expect going forward on the podcast. I was so encouraged during the hiatus by your kind notes, emails, and tweets, and I’m excited to share what’s coming up. Episode Quotes "Part of being a business owner is being able to adapt and be agile because there's always going to be uptimes and downtimes." "In this COVID-19 crisis, it's the time to double down on building awareness and serving your audience." "Be sensitive with your audience and be empathic. This is not the time to be using scarcity tactics on your marketing." Listen to Learn 02:20 - What I did during my 3-month hiatus 06:58 - Is YouTube worth it for course creators? 13:22 - COVID-19: Business impact and what to do as course creator 24:51 - What's coming up on the podcast Looking for the Transcript? Episode 121
Hey family! I'm so excited to be back with you. It's been three months since the last episode because I took a bit of a hiatus. Thank you for hanging out and giving me the leeway to take that break and come back.
In this solo episode, I’m going to report on what I did over these past three months, including finally launching my YouTube channel. I’m happy to say that it’s been up for almost a month now. In line with that, I’ll share my thoughts on YouTube for course creators. Is it really worth the effort?
Then, on a serious note, let’s talk about COVID-19. I’ll get into how it’s affecting online course creators and business owners, and what to do in terms of launching and marketing your course in these unprecedented times.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with what you can expect going forward on the podcast. I was so encouraged during the hiatus by your kind notes, emails, and tweets, and I’m excited to share what’s coming up.
"Part of being a business owner is being able to adapt and be agile because there's always going to be uptimes and downtimes."
"In this COVID-19 crisis, it's the time to double down on building awareness and serving your audience."
"Be sensitive with your audience and be empathic. This is not the time to be using scarcity tactics on your marketing."
Listen to Learn
02:20 - What I did during my 3-month hiatus
06:58 - Is YouTube worth it for course creators?
13:22 - COVID-19: Business impact and what to do as course creator
24:51 - What's coming up on the podcast
Looking for the Transcript?
Don't let your inner critic get to you. Don't let your anxiety, if you can help it, get to you and make you doubt yourself. Try it. Build community. Community is going to be super important during this time. I mean, we're all inside right now. We're all, you know, missing human interaction. And so building community and delivering value, whatever that looks like, putting things to market, even if they're imperfect. That's what I believe we need to be doing right now.
Welcome to Level up your course where we pull back the curtain on what it takes to create learning that transforms lives. You will hear stories from business owners like you who share their success and their struggles. This is not where you come to hear passive income plus friends. This is where you learn the truth about building a profit. learning platform. I am your host, Janelle Allen. And this is today's episode.
And we are back. Hey, family, it is Janelle. I am so excited to be back with you. It has been about three months since the last episode. And I took a little bit of a hiatus. I knew it was coming, I announced it at the end of 2019. But thank you, thank you for hanging out. Thank you for listening. Thank you for giving me the leeway to take that break and come back. I have to say, as soon as I announced that, I mean, I got so many emails from many of you, who were just kind of… some people were just bummed out about the podcast being gone. And that was so touching, I felt -- I felt good about that. It really encouraged me to consider coming back sooner than later. So thank you for your kind notes. Thank you for everyone who shot me an email or tweet or a pigeon, whatever it was that -- whatever way you got your message out, I definitely received it.
So this episode is the first one after the hiatus. And so what we're going to do is keep it short and sweet, right? So I'm going to talk about a few things. One, I'll give you an update on what I was up to during the three months away. Two, we'll talk about one of the things that I, so I'll give you a little sneak peek, I left because I wanted to focus on launching a YouTube channel and we did that so I'll give you a little bit of a report on that and my thoughts on YouTube for course creators. And then three, as of this recording we are a couple of weeks into the coronavirus situation. So I'm going to share my thoughts on that situation. I've already shared them on the blog and with my newsletter, but many of you may not have heard that. So I'll give my thoughts there and what I think that means for not just course creators, but business owners, particularly small business owners. And then finally, we'll get into what you can expect going forward. Now that the podcast is back, we are officially back, what can you expect? What is going to change? What is going to say the same and all of that good stuff. Cool? Cool.
So let's talk about my hiatus report. What the hell was I doing in the three months since the last episode? Well, as I mentioned, the main reason that I took a break was, I know myself, and I knew that I needed to put some things on pause so that I could have time to work on some other things without burning out, even with support from my team. I just knew I needed to take that break. And one of the things that I wanted to do was launch a YouTube channel and I really needed time to wrap my head around all of the different things that I needed to do for that. So we got the YouTube channel launched, it has been, as of this recording, it's been live for about a month. I'm really excited about it. It's still technically a test, and I'll get into that a little more later. But we did get it launched.
The other thing that my team and I were working on is overhauling marketing systems. So just really simplifying. One of the things that happened at the end of the last season was I took a hard look at what is it that I want to focus on? And what do I need to let go of? What I realized is I was moving in the direction of supporting clients with setting up marketing systems for their courses and doing copywriting as part of that package. So I basically pivoted and made the adjustment to focus on that.
The second thing that I am still doing, and still enjoy, doing is teaching my group program. So helping course creators who are just getting started with a course or who have a service based business and want to turn their service into a course, helping them to do that, but in a group format, and I really love group teaching, I really, really do. So those are the two things that I do. That's it.
And I needed my systems to reflect that because I had some courses that I had sales funnels for and I had services, funnels for those, I just had a lot of different stuff going on. And so we simplified. I had a million lead magnets and we really just got everything down to the simplest form as possible. So we got it down to just a couple lead magnets. We got it down to two offers and along with a down sell offer, which I'll you know, talk about I'm sure in one episode. And yeah, but it was a lot of work because what it really came down to was first, you know, I basically hired myself, right. So what I do with clients as I look at, I audit their system. So that's what I did I audited, what I had going on, what needed to stay, what needed to go, what needed to be optimized, and then rolled up my sleeves and got to work, rewriting copy, mapping out what the sales funnels needed to look like, writing that copy, shooting videos, all of that good stuff.
And it took longer than I thought it would, I really thought I was going to be able to knock it out in a month or two, which I know is ridiculous. And it ended up taking the full three months. In fact, it probably took a little bit longer because during that I'm still working with clients, right? So that's the other part of the hiatus report, you know, I've still been working with clients and helping to optimize marketing systems for clients. So -- which is something that I'm loving, by the way, but it just, you know, extended that timeline a little bit. And quite frankly, I'm okay with that. Because, you know, the way that I try to do things now, as I really have been working to put boundaries on when I stop my work day, so that I'm not burnout because being burned out doesn't help me. It doesn't help you. It doesn't help my team, it doesn't help anybody. So it's okay if things take a little bit longer.
So that's what I've been up to: launching the YouTube channel if you haven't checked it out. Thank you so much. If you haven't, I'll make sure that there is a link in the show notes. I have been optimizing my email marketing systems and working with clients. And like I said, during all of this, I just kept getting emails from people and notes on Twitter, saying you I really love your podcast. I really miss it. And so I just decided it was time, it was time to come back.
So let's talk about YouTube before we get into kind of the more serious part of this episode. YouTube for course creators, is it a thing? So I don't think I shared my, the genesis of the YouTube idea with you. But I noticed something when I made the pivot last year to helping clients with their marketing systems. I noticed that a lot of my clients were using YouTube and having a lot of success with YouTube. And it was something I had never even considered. I have recorded video, you know, sales videos, but never marketing on YouTube. And then fast forward. I had a conversation I was interviewed on a podcast and the host and I got to talking about YouTube and she said she was thinking about it. This is Claire Pells, I don't know why I'm being anonymous with everything, but Claire said she was thinking about launching a YouTube channel. And I was like, yeah, I'm thinking about it too. And we were like, Ah, it feels like it's gonna be so much. I was like, yeah it does. So, you know, we both kind of deliberated a little bit about launching a channel. And for me, I just kept putting it off. I just made it into this big monster of work. It was just this work monster looming over my head. Every time I thought about it, I'd look and see the monster and the monster would be like, “Ahhh,” and I’d just be like, okay, yeah, I'm not gonna deal with you right now.
But, you know, one of the things about being an introvert is you get to know yourself really well. So I knew that if I put the podcast on pause, I would have to do something else, right? I would have to. And so launching the YouTube channel, it was a great thing. And here's what I have learned. So enough rambling.
For course creators, is YouTube worth it? I think the answer is going to be yes. It's still too early to say. But I think the answer is yes. And here is why: I knew this going in, but seeing it is different -- already, the YouTube channel has only been live for, as of this recording, not even a full month, three solid weeks. And we're already seeing it in our top five search results in analytics, which is huge. And you know, if you think about it, YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. So it makes sense. I do it all the time. When I'm looking for something, I Google, and then sometimes I'll see YouTube up there right at the top, and I'll click on a video if it's something -- especially if it's a tutorial or something like that. Then I'll watch it. And I'll feel like oh, I just learned something. So I think if you're a course creator, particularly if you have something that translates well to YouTube, like if you're into productivity, if you're doing screencasting for software, or you do a lot of tutorials or you're in, I don't know -- I'm not going to attempt to make things up because who knows what my brain is going to spill out? But if your content lends itself to a visual format, then just give it a shot.
It can be intimidating, but here's the thing, I reached out to Trina Little, I'll be sure to link her information. She is a YouTube strategist. She has her own YouTube channel, which is great and she basically teaches people how to get started with YouTube. And Trina gave me -- I did a consult with her and she just gave me an action plan for how to get started. But the thing that I loved about her, the plan wasn't the thing that really made me feel great. It was great, but she helped me realize that I was making it too complicated, right? So I was freaking out because I was like, oh, I've got to, you know, use my fancy camera. And then I've got to fiddle with the settings and the lens and all of these things I was, you know, freaking out about and she's like, No, just start with your webcam. And I had just bought a webcam, and it was the same exact webcam that she recommends that you use. So that made me feel great. And if you're curious, it's a Logitech C930 I believe. So yeah, I did that with Trina. She gave me a really simple action plan. And it still took a couple of months to put that into action. And finally, I had a call with one of my clients that I mentioned and you know, I said, many of my clients are using YouTube. And one of my clients, Stephanie, she just said, You know what? My best videos, my most popular videos sometimes are just me literally reading And not trying to be a perfectionist, but just reading something and people still like them and they still comment. And even with the production quality not being where I would want it to be, it still works. And that was, I think that was the last thing that made me feel, just feel okay about launching.
So long story short, YouTube is not as scary... It's not scary at all. Once you get over the mindset stuff of just like, Oh, I have all of these, all of this technology stuff to figure out and then I've got to put myself out there in that way. And, you know, once you can get past that and realize that, look, get yourself a good webcam, pop it on your computer, get yourself a good microphone because audio is more important than the video quality to be honest. And go for it and start learning how to use the number two search engine in the world. That is what we're doing with YouTube, we are going to test it out for a quarter and just see how things go. You know, when I work with clients, I always recommend that they test for a quarter, a full three months before they optimize or just pivot. Because, you know, ultimately you want to see if there's an ROI and you can't quite see that if you're just giving yourself a couple of weeks or even just a month. You really need a good solid quarter in my opinion.
So let's talk about, you know, now we kind of come to the more serious part of the episode which is, as of this recording, as I mentioned at the top, we are a couple weeks into... I mean technically we're more than... but as of this recording, it is March 23, 2020. And the coronavirus situation has hit the US. It's about two weeks in to hitting the US. It is in Italy, France, of course, China and South Korea. And you know many other places, there are countries in Africa that are reporting it. So the question that a lot of course creators and small business owners who were planning to become coarse creators are wondering is how does this impact us?
So first thing I want to say is if you are listening to this, and this situation has negatively impacted your business, I just want to just extend my empathy because we're all feeling the wave of everything, right? We're all feeling the impact and to let you know that it's okay to pause if you need to, it's okay to you know, regroup, give yourself some time to regroup because there are a lot of people who are struggling in dealing with this. So I think it's important to acknowledge that before we talk about anything else.
Now, my take on this situation is, you know, part of being a business owner is being able to adapt and be agile. There's always going to be things that -- there's always going to be up times and down times. This situation is an extremely volatile one, because we have not only the coronavirus, but also the effect of the coronavirus on the economy, right? So, what does that mean for us? What does that mean for course creators? What does that mean for business owners? I think it's too early to tell right now. But what I will say is, now more than ever, it is going to be important to be able to find clients and deliver value in different ways. So particularly, for people who have been thinking about creating an online course, now is the time to get it done. Just point blank, get it done, and put yourself out there. If you have a course but you haven't been marketing, now is a time to market, build awareness, put yourself out there. If you have a successful education business, now is the time to see how you can deliver or offer new value to your audience.
But what I think needs to happen is really what has always needed to happen. This is the time to really double down on building your audience, building awareness, and serving your audience. But that's not new, right? So that's always been the case. And now there are a lot of people who are suddenly having to do things on an accelerated timeline, which is new, what we need to do is not new. So there's added pressure. Definitely, I'm not trying to downplay that at all. I think, you know, I just wrote about this, for small business owners, especially, let me just say, for online business owners, we don't have any extra free time. I keep hearing people talking about free time. And I have to remember that that -- those are people who maybe work in sectors where they've been sent home. But for online business owners, if anything, it's more pressure. There's more to do. Because being online as business as usual for us, but now we are tasked with pivoting, right? How do we pivot our business? One of my audience members said she lost 80% of her sales, 80% of her business for the next foreseeable future. And so when I heard that, I thought, this is exactly it, this is what's, you know, not everyone is going to be in that situation. But the takeaway from that is now she's got to figure out how to pivot. And so for online business owners, or small business owners, we have more on our plate during this time, and I believe that that is the pressure.
So the solution is, in my opinion, the solution is to focus and double down. And when I say that, I mean, what we know is if in-person is out, then it needs to go online. And we need to accelerate our timelines and not worry about things being perfect. So if you were worrying about creating a masterpiece, your magnum opus course? Screw it, do a live launch, right? Do a live workshop, do a workshop series. How can you get to market quickly? If perfectionism is your thing, this is not the time, this is the time to try things, experiment, put yourself out there. And also remembering that it's important for, right now more than ever to, like I said, pause, to focus. And just try to knock out one thing at a time. Once you get that one thing, if you feel like you can take on more great, but I just don't think this is the time to try to be everywhere and do everything. I think it's the time to really evaluate what's important, what's not, what is the best course of action to get you where you need to be, and then taking that action.
So as far as online learning is concerned, this is great marketing. I know that sounds shitty, but for online courses and online learning in general, there's so many people out there who I realized hadn't heard of online courses, right? They didn't even know it was a thing. It wasn't in their purview. And now all of a sudden it is, you know, you have trainers, and teachers and professors who suddenly have to figure it out, they have to figure out how to support their people online. And that, that's kind of exciting. But it's also scary. It is. So I guess what I'm saying is, take space if you need to, and figure out what the best course of action would be. And then do it. You know, don't, don't let your inner critic get to you. Don't let your anxiety, if you can help it, get to you and make you doubt yourself. Try it. Build community. Community is going to be super important during this time. I mean, we're all inside right now. We're all, you know, missing human interaction. And so building community and delivering value, whatever that looks like, putting things to market, even if they're imperfect. That's what I believe we need to be doing right now.
So, the last thing I'll say is, you know, we haven't really talked about the part of pivoting and what I mean by that. What I mean is, this is the time when we have to change our plans. So you know, if you teach in person and your in person contracts are affected as they, they are going to be during this time, then it is time to pivot to an online offer. If you have a course that's, you know, maybe it's a signature course and it's expensive and sales are not coming in, then maybe it's time to pivot to a workshop series for a fraction of the price. This is just the time to try different things. One of the things that I have done is for my group program, and I was already going to do this, I just escalated the or accelerated the timeline rather, is offered a a larger fee for access, if you want to buy access for the year. And there's also a monthly option if you just want to go month to month to give people the flexibility.
There's been a lot of conversation around, is this a good time to be marketing right now? And that's a big topic. My thoughts on that are yes, you can still market right now. However, at this point in time, everyone's, you know, I heard someone say everyone's avatar has changed and what that means is you have to really be empathic. You have to understand what your audience is dealing with right now, and adjust the tone and language of your marketing. This is not the time to be using scarcity tactics and, you know, sending multiple last call emails in all caps and telling people that, you know, making people have FOMO. We already have so much anxiety right now. So this is definitely the time to adjust your tone and really be sensitive to what your audience is dealing with. That is how you market. You acknowledge the experience, you acknowledge the humanity that we have, and I feel like that's something that we should always be doing, if we're just going to keep it 100, but that's another conversation.
Anyway, so those are my thoughts. Those are my thoughts on, you know, what the situation means for business owners particularly course creators. Those are my thoughts on how to pivot. And those are my thoughts for how to market right now. Because you have to market, right? This is our livelihood. If you are a full time business owner, particularly an online business owner, marketing is how you eat. It's how you feed your family. It's how you pay your team members. And so there's absolutely nothing wrong with marketing. But there is something wrong with tone deaf marketing right now. So I've gotten a lot of emails from certain people who shall not be named, where they've just, it's just not... It's not.. Just, it's tone deaf. That's all I'm going to say. And it's quite frankly, it's just been annoying. I’ve found myself getting annoyed with tone deaf marketing right now to the point where I'm just unsubscribing. And that's where you don't want to be. You don't want to not acknowledge what people are dealing with.
So with that being said, let’s about what to expect, now that the podcast is back. And here's a few things. So we are -- it's not, nothing major, Don't get nervous. But we are going to still have interviews, still going to be doing interviews with guests, with course creators. But just like I started to do this last season, talking about marketing more, you know, to connect to what I just said, I feel that there are so many course creators who shy away from marketing. And that's not the thing to do. The thing to do is to learn how to market and how to market in a way that feels good to you. So we're going to talk about how successful course creators are marketing, what systems do they have set up, what are they doing so that you can learn and not just put those things into action, but hopefully feel differently around marketing. We'll still talk about what their courses look like. We'll still talk about how they deliver results, how they structure their courses and just add to it, and get deeper with it.
There's going to be more solo episodes. So, full transparency, I was going to wait another month to bring the podcast back and get some more episodes recorded, some more interviews recorded, but because of the coronavirus situation, I decided to move the timeline up because I know a lot of you are listening to podcasts right now. So what that means is I'll be doing more solo episodes and I think that's okay. At least I hope that's okay with you. But these episodes are going to be me talking about particular strategies with you and just kind of breaking things down. Maybe I'll share some things that I do behind the scenes for clients, just giving you some insight into more how to stuff right? But also sometimes just talking about what's going on with me, my business and giving you a little little person to person interaction. So more solo episodes. And lastly, so this is something that I've been kind of thinking about doing for a while, but I've never done ads on the show. And I don't ever intend to, that's sponsorships or anything of that nature. But what you will start to hear are short spots where I'll be sharing, you know, offers for you to look into or take advantage of, and these will be offers that I've created. So it could be a workshop, it could be a download, it could be you know, it could be a course, it could be anything, but just letting you know about it because I’ve found that sometimes people will listen to the podcast and not know what I have to offer. So I'll be sharing that with you to make it simpler and easier for you to know what, you know, if you need help with your course or you want help with your marketing, how you can get in touch with me. So that is what's coming up. Next week we're going to have an episode with Stephanie Taylor from Rent to Rent. And I'm not going to get into too much, but Stephanie is from Rent to Rent Success out in the UK and she is going to be the first guest back since the hiatus I can't wait to share that with you. And I'll see you next time.
All right, my friends, that is my time. Remember, before you can level up your course you must first level up your mind. As always, thank you for hanging out with me for another great episode. I do not take it for granted. I am Janelle Allen and this has been Level Up Your Course. Peace.