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AMY PORTERFIELD: “Successful webinars address a problem and give insight toward a solution. Your webinar will show your audience what's possible. The goal of your webinar is to lead your attendees to one of the following: a new mindset, a new opportunity, a new understanding, a breakthrough, a new habit, or a new decision, or maybe a new direction. And it all starts with the webinar topic.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY: Content. Now, I know in my bones that you love this topic. In fact, I feel like I know you pretty well, and I'm certain that if I'm talking about content, you're all ears. But today I'm talking about a very specific type of content. I'm talking about differentiating between three specific areas: prelaunch content, webinar content, and course content. I see a lot of questions pop up around knowing how to come up with enough content for each part of your launch and how to share just the right amount of content without giving everything away for free. So today I'm breaking it down for you.
We'll talk about what you're prelaunch content should consist of and how your audience will actually tell you what to create this content around, how to give just the right amount of value and content away in your webinar without giving too much away, and I'll talk about the pillars that you can use to do just that. And then we'll talk about your course content and how to lay out a framework that makes it easy to build out each section of your customer’s journey to get results. You'll walk away with a clear understanding of how the content in each area of your launch will differ, in what ways they will build on one another, and what kind of content to create for each phase of your launch. Also, stick around until the end because I have a very exciting invitation for you.
All right, my friend. Grab a pen and paper. Let's dive in.
Let's kick this off by talking about your prelaunch content. Your prelaunch content is going to be all of the content that you create and share with your audience before you open registration for your webinar and before you launch your course. If this is your first launch or one of your first launches, I always suggest you start with just a thirty-day prelaunch time period, and each week you'll release just one new piece of original content. So I'm talking a Facebook Live or an IG Live or a blog or a podcast or a prerecorded video. That's what I'm talking about when I say “one piece of original content.” As you become more experienced and have more of a reach, you'll most likely up that timeline. For example, I'm doing a ninety-day prelaunch for my Digital Course Academy®️ 2020 launch. However, as you can imagine, that takes a lot of preplanning and a whole lot of content, which is why this is a more advanced approach to prelaunching. So stick with thirty days when you're just starting out.
Okay, so let's talk about that content. I can't talk about prelaunch content without talking about the invisible bridge. You're probably wondering what the heck is an invisible bridge, and how the heck does it relate to prelaunch content? This essentially means that before you launch, you're going to answer any objections that your audience might have around investing in your program. And by addressing these objections, you will create a bridge that they can move across, through your content, so that they'll be ready to join your webinar and buy your course by the time that they get to the other side of the invisible bridge. You'll bridge this gap from their objections to becoming a student or customer by answering those objections, talking about them, building their confidence, and steadying their footing. Essentially, it's the invisible bridge that will take your ideal-customer avatar, your ICA, from where they are now to where they need to be when they're ready to purchase your course. That will be the bulk of your prelaunch content.
So to help you get clear on what topics or content you'll create, ask yourself, What must my ICA need to know or understand or believe in in order to be in the perfect position to purchase my course, and what objections must they overcome? So, for example, one of my Digital Course Academy®️ students, Allie Peach, serves busy moms who need help planning and prepping meals. Some of the objections that she's heard from her audience included, I don't have time to plan and prep. I'm not organized enough to successfully plan and prep. I'm afraid planning everything out won't leave room for a little flexibility or a little bit of fun with my family meals. Or I'm a terrible cook and totally intimidated by the kitchen. Now, imagine if her audience had all of these issues or objections and she never addressed them. By the time that she does her free webinar and offers her course, they're all up in their head, like, “I'm a terrible cook, or I’m not organized enough, or I don't have the time.” So they're not ready to buy. So that's what a prelaunch does.
So since Allie knows what the objections are because she pays attention to her audience—she asks questions. She does fun polls on Instagram and Facebook. She really engages with them—so she knows what they're thinking and feeling so she can completely plan out her prelaunch content, addressing these objections, offering solutions, debunking them, and sharing success stories around these objections that she has. So, for instance, if someone says, “I'm not organized enough to successfully plan and prep,” she could give three organizing tips for the kitchen in her prelaunch content. See what I mean?
Okay, so where do you share this prelaunch content? Well, you share it through Facebook Lives or IG Lives or IG Stories or IG Reels or podcast episodes or LinkedIn videos or articles or YouTube videos or blog articles. Now, you don't share it everywhere. That's going to be overwhelming. Spend time where your audience is spending time. Double down there.
So start paying attention to the objections you're seeing from your audience. Or you could even just ask them, What are you struggling with? What's your pain point here? What's a challenge? Where are you seeing resistance, or what are you missing that would make your life so much easier?
You could even use the fill-in-the-blank approach. So I actually do this on webinars, so I'm kind of fast forwarding to the webinar topic. But on a webinar, when I get into my Q&A—this is a hot tip, so pay close attention—but you could probably use this tip even on social media even before you get people on your webinar. But for me, when people are on my webinar and we're in Q&A and I've been going for a while and there's tons of people still listening—my webinar’s over. I'm just doing Q&A. There's hundreds of people on—I'll say, “Okay, so if you're still on the fence, what is keeping you from signing up? What's keeping you from taking the leap and joining me in Digital Course Academy®️? Let me know, and let's talk about it.” So I actually have them type in the comments on a webinar, “I'm on the fence because…” I'll say that. So type in, “I'm on the fence because…,” and fill in the blank. So you could use this kind of approach even on social media. Like, okay, “If you've ever thought about meal prepping and planning,” taking Allie's example, “what's keeping you from actually doing it? Tell me. Fill in the blank here. I don't food prep because…” And this is something you could do on a Facebook Live or an IG Story to start to get to hear those objections.
So from there, you want to just start asking questions, engaging with your audience, and choose just three to four objections total that seem to be the most popular, and double down on addressing those in your prelaunch content so they aren't an issue when you start inviting people to your webinar, and then, of course, on your webinar, you're inviting them to buy your course.
Now, you may feel like you're repeating yourself a lot in your prelaunch content. And that's the point. That's exactly what you need to do. Just because you mention it once on a Facebook Live does not mean your whole audience just heard you, nor are they all paying attention, even if they are on the Facebook Live. I repeat myself a lot in the prelaunch phase.
All right. So that's your prelaunch content. Get clear on three to four objections that are holding your audience back, and plan your content around those. Remember, think about where they are right now. You want to help them walk across that invisible bridge to the other side where they're ready to get on your webinar and they're eventually ready to buy your course. What are the things that are circling around in their head that you need to help them kind of straighten out so that they're open minded to get on your webinar and then they're very willing to buy your course? Remember, you really only need one new original piece of content every week, like a video or a podcast or a blog post. Or you could post a lot on social media as well to address these objections in different ways. In the grand scheme of things, you only need to plan out four main pieces of content if you do a thirty-day approach, because it's one every week. But I would sprinkle the conversation into random social-media posts as well.
All right, let's move on to my favorite: webinar content. Successful webinars address a problem and give insight toward a solution. Your webinar will show your audience what's possible. The goal of your webinar is to lead your attendees to one of the following: a new mindset, a new opportunity, a new understanding, a breakthrough, a new habit, or a new decision, or maybe a new direction. And it all starts with the webinar topic.
Now, I'm not going to go into too much detail here about choosing your webinar topic because I did that back in episode 145, which I’ll link to in the show notes. Or just to get there easily, you can go to amyporterfield.com/145. But I'll briefly touch on it here and then really dive into the bulk of the webinar, which is the content.
So basically, your webinar topic should be aligned with the content of the course that you'll be selling on your webinar. I think that's a given, right? Think of your webinar as a way to guide your audience to the next logical step, which is your course. So when choosing your webinar topic, you can think back to the objections that you addressed in your prelaunch content. I like to answer, what I call, “the golden question,” which you'll recognize from the prelaunch content, but it goes something like this: What's the one thing that my ideal-customer avatar needs to know or understand or believe before he or she is willing to buy my course? So now you're really drilling down. Like, but what’s that one thing?
So once you have your webinar topic, you'll want to keep it in mind because you're going to use your webinar to teach them something new. But you're not going to tell them exactly how to do it, because that's what your course is all about, right? And no one-hour webinar is going to figure this all out. So your webinar should leave them excited and inspired and saying, “Okay, I get it. I understand it now. But how do I get started? How do I do it?” You do not want your webinar to leave them saying, “I don't need to pay for your course because I learned everything I needed to know in this webinar, and this is going to keep me busy for weeks.” That's not the point of a webinar, because now you're misleading them. You know the webinar is not going to get them the results they’re after. No webinar could do that. So it's irresponsible of you to make them believe that they can leave a webinar and they've got it all figured out. Doesn't work that way. They need your course. They need to dive in deeper.
So once you decide on your webinar topic, you want to look at the layout of your webinar. You'll start with the possibility. So there's three sections of a webinar: possibility, path, and promotion. So the possibility is where you kick off your webinar content by showing your viewers what's possible. You do this by briefly sharing your own experience, which explains why you're the perfect person to teach them today. And then you talk about the importance of the topic, like why should it matter to them, why this is important for them to understand, to get, to really just pay close attention to this new decision, this new understanding, this new way.
And then, next step is the path, which is the bulk of the webinar. This is where you're really going to dive into your content. This is where you offer value and you serve and you teach. I'll come back to that in a second. And then the third part is the promotion, which allows you to convert your attendees, your viewers, into paying customers. So the possibility, the path, and the promotion.
So for today's training, I'm sure you can guess, we're going to talk about the path, because that's where the bulk of the content comes into a webinar. So within the path portion of your webinar, you're going to support this idea of a possibility, that you laid out in the beginning, with three to five, what I call, pillars. They’re like coaching points. So some common ways to teach pillars is strategies or three steps or five shortcuts or five mistakes, or lessons, secrets, techniques, insider tips, myths. So those are your pillars. So typically, I’ll do five steps to x, y, z, or three secrets to x, y, z, or something like that. And while it might be tempting to try to include as many pillars as possible, keep it simple and aim to use around just three to five max to teach and offer value.
So here are a few ways to build out the content in each of your pillars. One, go back to those objections and use your pillars to address them. So see how repetition is coming into play here? It's important. So avoid reinventing the wheel every time, and use repetition as a tool throughout every phase of your launch. So you can borrow some stuff that you did in the prelaunch.
Two, now that you've addressed any objections or frustrations, you can reframe their mindset. So you're going to paint the picture of what their future could look like or what's in store for them. And of course, what's in store for them is what you're going to teach them in the course. But at least they can understand what their future could look like or what results they can get by following your path.
Now, also, you want to think about filling these pillars with personal stories and case studies and behind-the-scenes insights, like lessons learned or mistakes you've made or strategies that have worked for you or research. So if you want to see this in action, I have a live webinar right now that's going on. I call it a masterclass. And it's called How to Create and Launch a Profitable Digital Course from Scratch: The Five Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Generate Revenue Year Round. So in my webinar, I help people understand what's possible if they were to create a digital course. I also help them understand what goes into creating and launching a digital course. So at the end of my webinar, my audience is very clear about what it looks like to create a digital course, what it can do for their business, and how to get started. So notice I said “the five behind-the-scenes secrets.” Those are my pillars. Those are my teaching moments in my webinar.
So I've been doing webinars for eleven years. I know what works, and I know what doesn't work. So if you want to see one in action, go sign up for mine. It's at amyporterfield.com/masterclass. It's free. It's a live. It won't be around for much longer. So if you're listening to this episode when I go live, you can still sign up. If it's months later, you're probably going to hit a wait-list page. I'll tell you the next time I do it.
Okay, so there you have it. That's the bulk of the webinar content you're teaching. Think in terms of those pillars.
Okay, moving on to your course content. Now, as we talked about, if your webinar is the what, showing them what is possible, then that means your course content becomes the how. It's the actionable step-by-step roadmap, where you are taking your students from point A, where they are now, to point B, where they want to go. And you're promising a transformation, whether it be big or small.
Now, I want to remind you that sometimes new course creators will say, “Amy, everything I want to teach, this roadmap you're talking about, if you Google it, if you go on YouTube, you can find free videos, teaching what I want to put in my course and have people pay for.” Have you ever had that thought before? Well, listen, most people are looking for convenience. They want to go from point A to point B as fast as humanly possible, and they're willing to pay for that convenience. They want an all-in-one place that they can find that roadmap, that blueprint, so that not only can you save them time, but a lot of headaches, a lot of frustrations. And also, remember, they want to learn from you. Your audience wants to learn from you, not some stranger on YouTube that they're not even sure if that person can get them results. So don't ever get caught in the limiting-belief trap that just because your content and your paid course can be found online, scattered all over the web for free, that you can't sell it. That's just not true.
Okay, so the content that you'll use to put together your actual course, again, it's a step-by-step system or a roadmap or a pathway that's used to get the results that you've been promising during your entire launch. So to help you organize your course content, I suggest you lay it out in a framework, like I said, like a roadmap or a path or maybe use phases or steps. So these are just a few ways you could do it.
In one of my programs, Momentum, it's a membership I have, I actually use seasons. So my students go through four different seasons to get results. So there's a season of list building, there's a season of course creation, and there's a season of launching, and then there’s a season of automating your business. And because seasons come and go, it's really cyclical in Momentum because you can go through these seasons multiple times. So that's my roadmap inside of one of my programs.
One of my students, Lydia Walker, she organized her content in terms of phases. So she has a three-phase plan in which she teaches a six-week album-release strategy. How cool is that? She takes them from point A, preparing for their album release, to point B, promoting their album. What I love about her approach is that it's really simple and easy to follow so that her students don't get overwhelmed.
In Digital Course Academy®️, I teach a launch framework that takes my students all the way from their thirty-day prelaunch, which is starting from scratch, point A, to actually putting the course in the hands of their students, which is getting results; that's point B. And the course content that I create in Digital Course Academy®️, it walks my students through every section of the framework step by step, putting together marketing materials and webinar and delivering the webinar and creating the course. No stone left unturned. So the transformation I'm promising is a really big one. So that's why I walk people through step by step.
So when you're thinking about your course content, lay out the transformation. So think about what you're promising, and then think about, How could I get them from point A, where they are now, to point B, where they want to go, which is what I'm promising them, and then start to think about all the things you'd like to teach, the insights you want to share, the lessons you want to add. That becomes part of your framework, your roadmap, your phases, your steps, whatever that might look like for you.
Let's recap. Your prelaunch content should be all about addressing your audience objections, limiting beliefs, doubts, and fears. Your webinar content is showing your audience what's possible and leaves them excited, inspired, and asking, “Show me more,” which is exactly what your course content does. It shows your audience the how, by using a framework to achieve a transformation.
I hope you're feeling excited and clear about each phase of your content so that you're ready to rock your next launch. Or if you have never launched before, you have a clear understanding of how you'll lay out all of your launch content. After all, being ahead of the game is always a good thing.
All right, my friend. Now for that exciting invitation that I promised you. If you're listening to this episode when it goes live, the doors to Digital Course Academy®️ are officially open, but they're closing very quickly. If you've been wanting to create a digital course or if you're looking for more financial security in your life and in your business, and you're thinking about exploring the idea of adding a digital course to your business, I want you to take this opportunity and join me in my live free webinar, which I call a masterclass. It's all about How to Create and Launch a Profitable Digital Course from Scratch, and I will share with you the five behind-the-scenes secrets to generate revenue year round. Go to amyporterfield.com/masterclass to grab your free spot. Now, you want to hurry before it's too late for you to join me. So make sure to sign up for the webinar right away to see if Digital Course Academy®️ is a good fit for you and your business.
Here's what I know for sure. Creating a digital course will be the very best thing you do in 2020. And I think we could all use something good right about now. Your digital course can make an impact in the lives of others and give you a sense of financial stability no matter what's going on in the world around you. So go to amyporterfield.com/masterclass to join me on my free webinar, and let's see if you and your business are a good fit for creating a digital course.
Thanks for joining me here today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.