Yes, my friend. I have a treat for you today. A serious expert (in the form of trial and error and success at getting organized and making her projects flow well) is giving us the behind-the-scenes, no skimpiness version of how to really use Asana (a tool the whole byRegina.com team uses) to manage your clients and projects. She’s even taking us through specific actions we’ll want to take in Asana and giving us some screen examples. Check it out.
Hi, I’m Nesha! I design brands and websites for lady entrepreneurs + teach other brand & web designers how to build profitable and sustainable businesses.
Let’s jump into organizing your clients and projects.
Have you ever tried to manage your projects through emails? You end up with hundreds of emails between you and the client, making it impossible to find the feedback they sent you last week or the attachment they sent you the week before.
To make matters even worse, your client seems to think it’s best to start a new thread instead of hitting reply on your emails, so your conversations are now broken into dozens of threads.
If that doesn’t sound familiar, how about this: have you ever gone to start a project and then realized your client hasn’t completed their pre-project homework or handed over the files you need? It halts the project right in its tracks and adds days (sometimes weeks!!) on to your deadline.
If you’re a freelance designer, photographer, writer or any kind of service-based business owner, you’ve experienced this before. It kiiiinda makes you want to pull your hair out with frustration.
When this kind of project disorganization happens, I’m guessing some of these thoughts fly through your head:
Why is my client always starting new threads even though I’ve told her not to?!
Why do my clients NEVER remember to hand in their files on time?
How come my clients NEVER remember to make their payments on time?
Why do I constantly have to remind my clients to send me their feedback on the work I’ve done?
Spot the common thought here? We like to blame our project disorganization on our client’s forgetfulness. But the reality is this: WE should be the ones making sure our clients remember to send us feedback on time or hand in files on time. WE should be the ones making sure our clients make their payments on time. WE should be the ones organizing the project management; we should’t rely on our clients to handle it.
So how can you finally get these problems solved? By using a project management tool.
A project management tool is a private space online where you and your clients can organize everything that needs to get done in your projects. You can communicate, create to-do lists, attach files, set deadlines, set reminders and tons more.
Each time you take on a new client, you simply create a new project in your PM tool of choice, name the project and invite your client! Then you can both discuss things in one neat, organized spaced.
Oh, hey there. Regina here. Talking about one of the most exciting (to me) forms of content ever. Ever, ever.
Like, my friends, and other epic people that I belong to online communities with, all know that this is the type of content that currently makes my world go ’round. I mean, basically.
The lovely Tors even said this:
And here’s the deal. There are a few super valid reasons to start with workshops if you want to get into info products, or build your email list, or create content that you can re-package as an opt-in or bonus, or show yourself as a coach or expert on a topic you’re passionate about. Tons of epic reasons.
Like, 8, to be specific.
Hosting workshops . . .
1. Helps people start to see you as a teacher and an expert in your niche. A great workshop topic, attractive graphics to support your event, a simple signup process, and a helpful agenda/worksheet to go along with it and you will seem professional, experienced, and amazing.
This impression goes a long way whether you’re providing services, trying to line up speaking opportunities, or creating information products, membership programs, or coaching/mastermind groups.
2. Causes you to create actionable worksheets, tips, and content so that you can see if you even have enough material, information, etc. to create a full course/program out of your topic, or if it might be better as a book, or if it should be a one-on-one service, or be left alone as a workshop, or abandoned completely, or done as a collaboration, or made into a group program, etc.
3. Gives you tons of packaging options. You can use your workshop as a free opt-in event conducted live, a free opt-in conducted live and then packaged as an evergreen opt-in or product bonus, a free opt-in conducted live and then sold afterward, or a paid product . . . among other options.
4. Allows you to test out EVERYTHING. It would be horrible to waste time (or money) developing something as intense as a course or book that turns out to not actually work for you or your audience. Developing worksheets, slides, and a script or bullet points of info for your workshop will help you figure out if the content works for you, of course, but actually presenting the information to your audience will allow you to get a real understanding of how it works for them. Was it too long? Too short? Too hard? Too confusing? Just right? Etc.
5. Helps you create a larger product or series as you go. Instead of planning one major resource (think course, online school, etc.) and leaving it looming over you, you’re able to plan it and create small sections/modules of it as workshops. #Brilliant
6. Gives you an additional price point to serve your audience with, as well as a different level of intensity/urgency of information—many times, a workshop will be more actionable and comprehensive than a blog post, eBook, or other type of resource.
Serving your audience at varying levels of need (amount of information, price, learning style, etc.) is a way to show you care and to impress your ideal people.
Truth be told. The first, and second, and every time I’ve published an eCourse, I’ve done something “wrong.” Considering that the whole concept of making money from online courses as independent publishers is incredibly new in the grand scheme of things (we haven’t been doing it for 50+ years like many other forms of business), this is not too surprising.
When I started, I had less than zero idea what I was doing. I picked a random timeframe (90 days), and a topic I was passionate about (establishing a blog—because I did WordPress for a living at the time), outlined each day, and published a signup blog post. << This first course was a free one by the way. One that I did not even finish. #Shame
Even still, it was valuable to the people that stuck with it, and it became the core substance for a course that would later help me make an unexpected six figures. I don’t say that to be flashy; I say that to encourage you because I still had no idea what I was doing when I released even that course.
But here’s the thing. Releasing courses, learning how to create content that helps, figuring out how to sell your materials . . . it all gets more organized and efficient as you go. Things start to make sense. Things start to flow. You start to see patterns. You become more epic at it. I truly believe we will never become “perfect” at releasing courses or other information products, but we can certainly figure out what works well and set ourselves up to learn more as we go.
So my friend, I’m going to sum up the steps of course creation in a framework I haven’t seen presented before. Mainly because I had to learn this as I went and because I don’t read other posts on courses—not because I’m the only legitimate resource (ha!), but because I want to share what has worked from my experience and from the plans I’ve been able to help others put in place. This is not information I read from someone else’s book some 2.3 years ago. This is stuff I believe in, and I hope it helps you create an online course that delights your audience, matters in the marketplace, and sells well.
One of the wisest things you can do for your course from the jump is to plan its position in your market, in your audience’s lives, in your brand, and yeah . . . I’m about to repeat myself, in your market.
Seriously. Even if it’s a free course, it needs a position.
Think about it, on a basketball team, there’s a point guard, but there’s also a post player and a wing. Somebody has to direct traffic, somebody has to take and make those 3-point shots, etc. Okay. Actually. I don’t jack about basketball, so if that’s incorrect, just smile and nod and give me a virtual pat on the head for trying.
But the point remains. The coach doesn’t need to and doesn’t want to put five point guards on the court at the same time. Can we say disaster?
So, if within your industry/niche, there are already 17 metaphorical point guards with similar skills, all playing—why turn out a point guard? And if you do decide to make a point guard (figuratively speaking, here), how will you position said player (your course) to be distinguishable and desirable outside of the 17 that already exist?
Figure out your course’s position first. It will help you know how to frame it for your audience, what to build into it, how to price it, and what you need to produce in order to make it epic.
And yes my infopreneurial friend, I do have a 2-day workshop and crazy cool workbook for you on creating courses from scratch—in case you want to go deeper into framing and positioning. Let’s move on to the next step.
Dear ninja friend, not long ago I was coaching business owners and doing a few remaining freelance projects for a full-time income. While I was coaching, I unintentionally (at first) then intentionally diversified my income and added teaching products into the mix. I was part coach, part infopreneur, part freelancer–which really helped me find the place I could be most effective.
But as I was learning and going and making many mistakes, I did definitely see and experience the benefits of monetizing my coaching brand in multiple ways. If you are looking to get into coaching, or if you want to expand your coaching business through workshops, courses, books, and other passive income, this post is for you. Also, this intense, action-packed, 2-day workshop on creating courses might be for you too, but let’s get into the main course of the day: how to monetize your brand as a coach without putting all your eggs in one basket.
Let’s look at this in terms of services that you can monetize as well as digital and physical products you can monetize. And don’t worry, there is definitely a handy checklist to go with this post, that you obvi get for free, because we’re ninja friends and all.
16 Ways to Monetize Your Coaching Brand
a.k.a. 9 Services and 7 Products that are Super Epic for Coaches
1. Custom 1-on-1 Coaching Calls w/ Friendly Recaps
When you are first getting started in coaching, this will likely be one of the services that is simplest to offer. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think you need to plan what it entails along with what you will and won’t do, and I do still think it needs a signed client agreement. But, it’s a great place to begin because you can figure out what people really want and need, what really troubles people, and where you truly fit as a coach and teacher.
With your custom 1-on-1 calls (Skype sessions, telephone calls, or even in-person meetings), you’ll typically:
- send your client a questionnaire and/or meet with them to discover their specific needs and where you fit in
- decide on a timeframe that y’all will work together or set up a rate per meeting or per month
- send out an agenda before each call (if you have some general talking points for the meeting–and hopefully you do)
- send out client notes sheets or a link to a shared doc where you client can take notes digitally (optional, but cool)
- conduct your session (usually 30 – 90 minutes depending on the type of call–this should be clear and communicated ahead of time)
- (with permission) record your session
- recap your session via email (or send the recording/replay to your client)
2. 1-on-1 Coaching Program w/ Calls, Check-ins, and Homework
Once you’ve done custom 1-on-1 coaching for a while, or once you have an understanding of the general steps your audience needs to go through to reach the goals you help them with, you can develop your custom coaching into a program. A coaching program is a setup in which you have the same general steps + processes that you’re taking multiple people through individually.
You still check in with your clients, have calls, and provide customized recaps and help to them, but it’s all based off of one system.
In a coaching program, you’ll usually:
- give your potential client an overview doc/email that outlines the programs, timeline, and steps, to help them decide whether or not it’s a good fit
- have a call/questionnaire that helps you determine if the client is a good fit
- send a welcome kit (optional, but wonderful) with your client’s first homework assignment and an invitation to schedule their first call after the homework is completed
- conduct your first call
- send the next pre-developed homework assignment (w/ a recap of your call)
- repeat this process for as long as your program lasts
Note: To fully protect yourself and your client, your signed agreement with them should outline your refund policy, and the point at which the client is forfeiting the rest of their package (ex: you haven’t heard from them in 45 days and you’ve emailed them at their provided email address at least three times).
I once had a web project that lasted over a year because my client would never get back to me but I didn’t have a helpful “forfeiture clause” in my agreement–and P.S. I had spent every dime they’d paid me, so I wasn’t to keen on refunding them. Side note: The project ended up being super attractive and the client loved their site.
Soooo, let’s take a deep dive into how to create an email course (correction: an epic email course) that you can use as an opt-in for your email list to grow it wildly and to impress your savvy audience.
And yo, the first thing to note, is that there’s a 3-day online bootcamp this weekend (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) that is free for you, complete with live video, worksheets, guest appearances by Kory Woodard, and more . . . all focused on helping you create an epic email course (planning, content, design, promotion, etc.). I’ll tell you more about it at the end of this post, but you can also hop over to EmailCourseBootcamp.com and RSVP for it. It will only be available over the weened and for a short replay time after that.
Okay, let’s get started with the 18 steps of creating an epic email course that people go insane for.
Really, Regina? 18 steps. Are they truly necessary?
Yes, my email ninja friend, they are. We don’t make weak email courses around here. Stick with me, and I think you’ll have several solid ideas and clear steps to make them happen.
1. Pick a topic.
There are so many legitimate ways to generate great ideas for what you want to communicate through an information product. I shared 15 of my top ways in this free Infopreneur Workshop (and 15-page workbook) recently—they came from the 25 ways I go over in Infopreneur Ninja.
Let’s get into seven of the most actionable idea-generating categories.
1. Teach the beginning.
As a freelancer who works on individual projects with clients, you probably have a lot of pre-work, or work you do towards the beginning of your project that can be translated into an information product of some sort—and in this case, perhaps an email course.
For example: When I was freelancing (creating WordPress websites for people), I quickly learned that people needed way more definition and information about their brand and purpose before they started on a website project. In order to save their time, their money, and my time + sanity, people needed so much more clarity at the beginning of a project.
Legit. So, I created a questionnaire, then a workbook, then a little brand discovery process that all my clients went through before really getting started on their project. That workbook was the first digital file I sold (clients got it for free though). It still sells right here. Anyone not willing to go through that process was someone I had to direct elsewhere.
What is it that you need your clients to know, do, discover, create, or understand before they start working with you? What would make your job simpler? Why not create the process as a free email course? You can hit us with videos, worksheets, whatever you want to in an email course. #Epic #MindBlown
Your clients will feel indebted to you since you will be the one who brought such [fun, clarity, organization, direction, etc.] to their very important project.
2. Teach the end.
Can you guess where we’re going here? Create an email course (or perhaps another type of product) that teaches:
- how to maintain the products you create (ex: best ways to maintain your WordPress website)
- how to grow what you make (ex: now that you have a website, how do you get traffic to it?)
- how to get the full benefit out of what you create (ex: now that you have a brand identity, where can you use it? how do you integrate it into your existing platforms? etc.)
3. Show them how to do what you do.
So, if you’re considering creating an email course, chances are you’ve done something epic that you can teach others about, such as:
- starting a business
- getting your first few clients
- letting go of fear and publishing your art portfolio online for the world to see
What have you done in your freelance business that other people ask you about? How about a simple email course or challenge to help them out with it?
Wait. Are the ideas flowing? If so, you may want these completely free worksheets to accompany this blog post as you work through it. You don’t have to sign up for my email list or anything. Just click and download.
4. Structure the madness.
So here’s the reality: the steps required to accomplish ________ (whatever you coach on) are simply not that apparent and are truly overwhelming for some of us. Here’s the other deal: you don’t have enough time to coach tons of people through similar processes individually. There’s a cap on how many clients you can take on.
BUT. There’s not a cap on how many people can benefit from your email course (or other product) that structures the madness for them and takes them through some of the same processes that you would take them through one-on-one.
Bring order and clarity to the process that your potential clients and audience members really want/need to go through. #TheyWillLoveYouForIt
5. One-step wonder.
Yep. Kinda like a one-hit wonder. Except, nothing like it at all. A one-step wonder is an information product (such as an email course or tutorial series) that helps your audience with one simple step. It appeals to your audience because that one simple step is something they’ve been wanting to learn or get past.
Examples: “Learn how to set up your website’s email list sign up form.” “How to set up your new Mac laptop.” “How to configure XYZ plugin in WordPress.”
What’s one step that people want to take that you’re willing to teach for free? What’s a step that could be part of a larger series? What’s a step that could be part of a paid course?
6. Key results.
Have you achieved some key results that you can teach the methods behind? For example, I noted the specific actions I took when I was growing to my first 100 email list subscribers, then my first 1,000, then my first 10,000 friends and beyond. Teaching those methods, though the results will vary, is exactly what I do in my Audience-Building Ninja course. And though I haven’t taken it, I’m sure that teaching actual methods is what my buddy Kory does in her email course too.
Can you think of any key results you can boil down to an email course?
7. Current content.
Sure would be nice if there was a whole blog post on expanding a blog post/series into a book that could also be used to help us expand it into a free email course that we offer as opt-ins to our email lists. Yes?
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