Archive for March, 2013

Converting Your Live Classes into Self-Study Programs

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We are seeing a change in the way students like to receive education.  Students are used to on-demand everything. Their new philosophy is, “I want training where and how I want it,” and that culture is becoming the norm. We’ve got TiVo and Netflix and Hulu and Kindle — and these things give people complete control over access to what they want in their lives: whenever they want it and wherever they want it.

Why Create Self-Study Programs?

I have been teaching Designing Effective Workshops as a live teleclass series for seven years. I was finding that my students would sign up for the class but they wouldn’t always attend live because of busy schedules. They would simply pick up the recordings and listen when it suited them. These students were very clearly voting for self-study by saying, “I’m just as happy to do it via recording versus doing it live.”

Should you convert some of your live classes to self-study programs?

Here are some thoughts to consider when making the decision for your business:

  • You may find your customers are demanding it.
  • It will make you rise above your competitors because creating an effective self-study product is not easy.  Many of your competitors won’t even attempt it.
  • You want to add passive-income products to your business model.

Things to Consider When Doing the Conversion

  • Start with your lesson plan.  You need to have a written outline of what you’re going to teach and the order you’re going to teach it in.  If you’ve taught the class before, use the same lesson plan that you have already created and tested because you know it works.
  • Edit the exercises. If you already have a lesson plan for a live class, you’ll need to modify the exercises or the homework assignments, changing them into ones that an individual student can do on their own.
  • Decide if the students will have access to you for questions. Typically you will do this through some sort of online message forum, email, or a weekly teleclass. I thought it was important that students be able to ask questions, so I decided to add a message forum to my Designing Effective Workshops self-study online learning program.
  • Decide which media types you will be using for delivering your self-study material. You can deliver your self-study program through video, audio, ebooks, and transcripts. You can choose just one of these delivery media types or a combination. For Designing Effective Workshops, I chose all three: video, audio and transcripts. That way, whichever media type the students preferred, it would be available for them.

Creating self-study programs can be fun and rewarding for you on many levels. And converting your live classes into self-study programs is a smart move to better serve your students and increase your revenue stream.

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes

3 Headline Formulas For Non-Copywriters

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This article is for the rest of us – people who are NOT professional copywriters, but need good copy and good headlines for our websites and email newsletters.

Let’s focus in this article on writing good headlines. Or, in the case of email newsletters, good subject lines.

The purpose of a headline or subject line is to grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to want to read further. If you can’t get them past the headline, the rest of your copy is wasted, no matter how elegantly it’s written.

Most of the examples are funny, but you’ll get the point. When you’re done, check out my companion blog post, 6 Copywriting Steps for Non-Copywriters.

I’ll share 3 headline writing tips today:

  1. Use numbers
  2. Tell a secret
  3. Use emotion

Use Numbers

Formula:

  • _____ (number) _____ (adjective) Ways To _____ (thing they want to do or to have or to become)
  • _____ (time) to Learn/Get _____ (topic)

Examples:

  • 10 Easy Ways to Wash Your Dog
  • 5 Exciting Ways to Make Spinach That Children Will Eat
  • 20 Minutes to Learn Chess Like a Pro
  • Get a Complete Personality Makeover in 10 Minutes or Less

Tell a Secret

Everyone wants to the learn the insider secrets of people who have been successful.

Formula:

  • My Secret Formula to _____ (thing they want to do or have or become)
  • Insider’s Guide to _____
  • Easy Success Secrets to Create _____

Examples:

  • I’m Drawing Back The Curtain and Revealing My Secret Formula to Buying Pencil Holders
  • 10 Secrets Steps to Finding Online Grammar Mistakes

Use Emotion

People are only motivated by two things: to go towards pleasure and to get away from pain. But pleasure and pain can be subtle. For instance, I find it a pleasure to learn something new, to increase my mastery of a subject. So if I see a headline that promises to teach me something, I will always continue reading.

Another thing that motivates people is scarcity. If you TRULY have a limited number of items available (don’t lie to people about this, folks, they can see right through a scam), then telling them how many are left can get them to read the rest of your web page or email newsletter. Also, if there is a time limit, that motivates, too.

Think about what emotion your customer wants to feel. Confident? Energetic? Free? Safe? Take a moment and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Then you can write a headline that speaks to their emotional needs. (Look at the photo above…who would respond to a Stop sign like that?)

Formula:

  • _____ (number) Keys to_____ (topic or outcome)
  • Learn _____ (topic)
  • How to _____ (outcome)
  • Only _____ (number) of _____ (item) Available
  • You Have Done _____ , Now Try _____
  • Do You Have _____ (name of problem)?
  • _____ (name of problem) Got You Down?
  • Do You Want _____ (name of desired item or outcome)?
  • Never Be _____ Again!

To increase the motivation level, use phrases like hurry, last chance, and only.

Examples:

  • 3 Keys to Better Prison Life
  • Learn to Buy Fresher Bread
  • Only 5 Seats Available for Seat Sitting 101 Seminar
  • Last Chance! Special 1 Percent Off Coupon Expires Wednesday
  • Do You Want a Better Goldfish?
  • Find Your Keys. Find Your Children. How to Solve Your Clutter Problems.

Plain and Simple

Don’t forget the basic, informational headline. You don’t always have to get jazzy with your headline or subject line; sometimes just saying what the article is about is motivating enough. What if you were to see these simple headlines or subject lines?

  • 50 Percent Off All Classes
  • How To Type Faster
  • The Recording Is Available Now

TAKE ACTION NOW: Now take these headline tips and write three possible headlines or subject lines for your next article or email newsletter. Play with them until they feel right. Then try them out and watch the results!

Want more information on copywriting? Let me know in the comments area of this post and I’ll create more copywriting blog posts in the future! I could write about this stuff all day. 🙂

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing, Marketing
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