Transcript: Course Creation Pitfalls: Avoid the 5 Most Common Errors

August 24, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Now, I told you that I was going to share something with you that my students pay a lot of money for me to teach them. And here it is. Aren't you glad you're here today? So to quickly avoid this mistake of believing that you have to know exactly how you're going to teach it to even get started, all you need to do is sit down and create a really simple roadmap. And remember that this roadmap is fluid. It can change. You can morph. You can morph it or—morph it, that sounds weird, right?—you can tweak it. You can change it as you go. What you do today is just the start. And again, the only thing that can truly perfect how you're going to teach your content is by just updating it over time, meaning you're going to get better over time.  

“Digital Course Academy, my program where I teach people how to create courses and launch them, that has gotten better year after year after year. But the beautiful thing is that when people first bought this program in, I think it was 2019, they got huge results. But over time, I've been able to get people results even faster and more easily as I perfected the way I teach it. So over time, you're just going to get better and better. But you've got to start somewhere, right?”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the 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 a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. 

Here's the deal. I've been an entrepreneur for quite some time now, and I've seen a lot over the years. And to be honest, I've made a lot of mistakes as a digital-course creator. But for every mistake, I'm grateful—truly I am. Although dang, many of them really stung—but I’m grateful because they helped me to become a better entrepreneur and quite honestly, a better mentor to you. So just recently my team and I were chatting about some mistakes that I've made and seen over the years, and although I can laugh at them now, I was not laughing back then. But it made me realize that I've made more mistakes than I care to count, but I've also figured out a whole lot of solutions for those mistakes.  

You know, I've also been talking about AI a lot, and I really do believe that AI can absolutely help you create your digital products faster in your business. And, you know, I'm known for helping people create digital courses. So I'm really excited to start teaching my Digital Course Academy students how to use AI to fast track their results.  

But one thing AI will not give you is the good, the bad, and ugly of what this journey looks like, the behind-the-scenes insights, nuances, details of what it looks like to be a successful digital-course creator and a successful launcher of digital courses. And so today I'm going to share things with you that you're likely never going to get out of AI but you're going to absolutely need when you are on the journey of creating and launching your digital course. So I'm really excited about today's episode.  

I'm covering the top five little-known mistakes I see digital-course creators make, but more importantly, how I have overcome them and how you can avoid them. So my goal for you with this episode is to help you sidestep these mistakes, to literally never make them part of your journey, because, believe me, there's other mistakes you're going to make that I won't even have thought of. They're coming, right? We're entrepreneurs. That's how we learn. We experiment. We try things. We make mistakes. We crash and burn. We get back up. That's just part of our process. I can't guarantee you from never making mistakes, but I can help you avoid the most costly ones. And that can help you fast track so you get your course up and running more successfully and faster than I ever have in my past, and you feel really great about it, and you have less stress than I did when I was first venturing out on creating digital courses. That's what I want for you more than anything. And I also want you to feel confident and excited about your digital-course journey, and that is where we're going to get you today.  

So those of you who do not yet have a digital course but are hoping to one day create one, this is for you. But this is also for you if you already have a digital course, and maybe you've struggled along the way, and it's something that you thought you'd see bigger success with, but you haven't yet, and maybe I can help you start to understand what you can do differently. I want you to be able to identify these challenges and boom, just sidestep them without dealing with the headaches and stress that come from making the mistakes.  

And I got to be honest, there's a lot in this episode, so I highly recommend that you get ready to take some notes, revisit this episode, maybe listen to it twice. Maybe on your next walk or next workout, take me along so that it can really penetrate your brain and really make a difference when you start creating your courses or when you start revamping those that you want to see more traction with.  

At the end of this episode, I'm going to recap what I taught you and what action steps you should take. So don't worry; it will wrap up really nicely at the end.  

Oh, and guess what? I'm even teaching you a little something that people pay me a lot of money for, and you're going to get it free in this episode. So get excited because this episode is jam-packed with some of my favorite stuff that I love to teach. So let's dive in.  

Mistake number one. I've seen this happen over and over again, and it's telling yourself that you need to have a rock-solid idea before ever even starting your journey of creating a digital course. And a lot of the times, I get the question, “Well, how do I even know what to teach or what I should put into a digital course or what the topic should be?” And I have a really easy way to come up with that decision right away so you can knock it out and you could start getting more clarity. And you don’t have to start with a rock-solid idea, but you ease into it.  

I think a lot of the times, the reason why people don't actually embrace starting a digital course is they overthink it. I think we've all been guilty of overthinking things and then being paralyzed and actually not doing them, right? I think that's very normal. So I'm going to help you get past this hurdle right now.  

So there are three different approaches that you can take to create your digital course, and they're all based on your experience. And as I go through each one, I want you to notice what comes up for you, like, what approach resonates with you the strongest. And remember, we're not overthinking this; we're going to keep it simple.  

Everyday things that might seem boring or basic to you, well, someone else is probably dying to know how you did it. So don't rule anything out. I mean, you might be surprised to know that when I think about how to create a digital course and how to launch, sell, market a digital course, which is what I teach, feels very easy to me in my head. It's like, “Oh, yeah. You first do this; then, you do that; and then, you do this.” And I could talk about it in my sleep because I've been talking about it for fourteen years. But I mean, I know that that is not easy for somebody else, and I know that they would have no idea how to do that because they'd never been taught. So you have to remember that unless you're taught something, unless someone sits down with you and works it all out, how would you know? Well, that's the same for the stuff that you know as well, my friend. 

So let's look at these three approaches.  

The first approach you could take is that you look at where you've gotten results for yourself. Maybe you ran a marathon, and you trained for it for three months, and it went really well, and now you have the perfect plan to share with others. So you got results for yourself, and now you want to put a roadmap together and teach other people how you got those results. That usually is the most popular way where my students are creating courses because they don't have a lot of clients yet, they haven't been doing it for ten years, but they have a rock-solid plan that they can get other people results.  

Okay. Next up, the other approach is you've gotten results for your clients. So perhaps you're a marriage counselor, and you have gotten great results for your clients who have had marriages on the brink of divorce, and you've helped them fall back in love with each other. Or you're a weight-loss coach or a mindset coach, and you help others manifest their destiny. Whether you've gotten results for a family member or friend or a client, that all counts. But you have taught it to other people, and they've gotten results. So that's the second approach.  

And then the third approach, it's kind of a hybrid of the two. This one is that you've gotten results with a technique or a method. So let's say there's a certain kind of software that you've used. For example, you are proficient at teaching others how to use the software Excel, and you teach others how to do so. So you're using a software that you did not develop, you did not create, but you are a whiz, and you know the shortcuts, the behind-the-scenes nuances that other people don't know, and so you’re teaching others how to do it. First, you taught yourself probably, and now you're teaching others had to do it. I have a student—I have many students, actually—that are proficient in software or apps or different applications, and that's what they teach all day long, and they're making bank from it. So it's a hybrid because maybe you've gotten results for yourself or for your clients, but you're using some kind of other tool, and you're teaching that method to others.  

So think about which approach aligns with you and your life and your experiences. Go ahead, just say it out loud. Is it that first one? You've gotten results for yourself, and now you want to teach it. The second one, you've gotten results for your clients, a friend, a family member, and you want to teach that. Or you're going to use some kind of software platform, some type of application, and you're going to teach others how to do it because you've gotten results probably for yourself and for many other people, and now you want to teach it inside of a digital course.  

All right. So you're going to make that decision. That's the first decision. If you're feeling stuck or maybe you have tons of ideas popping up for you, go ahead and just write them all down. And if you have multiple things to choose from, start with the one that's most exciting to you. Like, which topic lights you up?  

Now, if you're struggling to come up with anything, just take a day or two and just start noticing things that you do or that you're proficient at. Or text a few of your best friends and say, “Look, if I was ever to create a digital course, based on what you know from me, my expertise, what do you think I should create a digital course on?” because your friends typically see things that you do not. 

So I hope you're starting to realize that you have a few ideas boiling up in your mind, and maybe you don't know 100 percent for sure what will work, and that's just fine. My hope is that what I've just shared with you will keep you from making the mistake of believing you have to have, like, a rock-solid idea from the get-go, and it has to be fully fleshed out before you even start. That is not the truth.  

Okay. So moving on to mistake number two, believing you have to know exactly how you are going to teach your content. The great news is that you actually don't. You don't have to have it all figured out just yet. That will come with your journey of creating the course.  

Now, I told you that I was going to share something with you that my students pay a lot of money for me to teach them. And here it is. Aren't you glad you're here today? So to quickly avoid this mistake of believing that you have to know exactly how you're going to teach it to even get started, all you need to do is sit down and create a really simple roadmap. And remember that this roadmap is fluid. It can change. You can morph. You can morph it or—morph it, that sounds weird, right?—you can tweak it. You can change it as you go. What you do today is just the start. And again, the only thing that can truly perfect how you're going to teach your content is by just updating it over time, meaning you're going to get better over time.  

Digital Course Academy, my program where I teach people how to create courses and launch them, that has gotten better year after year after year. But the beautiful thing is that when people first bought this program in, I think it was 2019, they got huge results. But over time, I've been able to get people results even faster and more easily as I perfected the way I teach it.  

So over time, you're just going to get better and better. But you've got to start somewhere, right? 

So what we're going to go over today will give you a great foundation for this roadmap that you're going to start to create. And also, it's going to give you a lot of insight on how you teach it. That's one of my specialties. That's something that in Digital Course Academy, I think it's one of the most important things I do is I teach people how to teach content in a course. It's very different than how you teach it on stage. It’s very different than how you might talk about it in a podcast interview. It’s very different than how you might write about it in a PDF. Teaching in a course is kind of an art and a science, and this is something I get in depth into inside of Digital Course Academy. This is one of those things that AI cannot teach you in terms of the nuances of how to teach something in a digital course where people will understand it, take it up quickly, and get results. And this definitely is my specialty, so I wanted to share on this podcast kind of how I do it.  

So keep in mind that this is just a podcast episode, so we're going to move pretty quickly, but my goal is just to get those wheels turning. And as I mentioned, I go into this in much more depth and a whole lot slower and in a patient step-by-step style in Digital Course Academy. So if you’re loving what you learn here, and you're like, “Amy, I want you to teach me all the things,” in just a few weeks, I'm opening up the doors to Digital Course Academy, which at this point I only do once a year. So if you want to get on that waitlist, if you want to be the first to know when that program opens up—and it goes by quickly, so you got to pay attention to that email when it comes through— You can join the waitlist and be the first to know when I open the doors. 

Okay. So first up, take some time to pinpoint the problem and the promise. What problem does your audience have, and what promise can you make to them? So when it comes to the problem, when you think of the people that you want to support, what's their biggest problem or challenge? What's keeping them from moving forward? What's keeping them from getting the results that they want? So this will help you formulate your promise, the results that you are promising. So what results will you help your students get based on the results that you've gotten for yourself or someone else? That's your promise. Simple as that.  

So let me give you an example. My student, Sukaina Rajabali, created a digital course called Food Photography Boot Camp. Her potential students were spending way too much time trying to take delicious food images, like the ones that they saw in Food & Wine magazine, but they never measured up. That was their problem. Their pictures looked horrible. Her promise, “Learn how to take magazine-worthy food photos that sell for premium prices.” When you're clear on your promise, it’s so much easier to create and sell your digital course. 

So I want you to put pen to paper and just, like, jot down some ideas here. What is the pain, and what is your promise? Now, number two, start mapping out your course lessons. Make sure that you're writing this down. Remember, this doesn't have to be final. Just start brainstorming some of them. Like, treat this like the overarching roadmap that you're going to put together. Like, I might teach this first or teach that or teach this next. Like, how might you break down the process or the system or the strategies into lessons?  

Now, here's something cool. This is where you can use AI. And I actually have an episode all about how to use AI for this kind of thing. It's episode 599, so I just did it two episodes ago. But in that episode, I talked about how you can say, “Okay,”—let's use the example I just gave—“So I want to teach people how to take magazine-worthy food photos that sell for premium prices. What could I teach them in a digital course?” And AI will give you a bunch of different ideas of different, essentially, modules and lessons and videos that you can teach.  

Now, this is where I come in as an expert to guide you. AI’s not enough. Like, it will give you a bunch of ideas. They're going to be watered down, a little bit too general, and not necessarily rooted in heart or experiences of real people who have done this. And so that's where you are actually going to come in. That's where I'm going to encourage you to say, okay. Once AI spits out a bunch of different ideas, then you take your expertise, your understanding, and this idea that I just shared with you of, like, putting together a roadmap, and ask yourself, “Would I want to teach it in this order? What would I change about this? How can I use this AI information as inspiration but not Bible?” It's not like, “Okay. AI said I should do this, so this is what I’m teaching.” That's, like, the biggest mistake you can make. So we're just going to use AI as inspiration, but not the end all, be all. It's missing so much heart and so much soul and all of your experiences of how you've gotten results. You are not in the words of AI that is spitting out, right? So that's where you come in and use it as inspiration, but not the end all, be all. Promise? Because I promise you, you're going to have a really watered-down digital course if you just use AI through this whole process and don't use your own expertise, knowledge, knowhow, and, hopefully, some guidance from me along the way.  

One example of that is, let's say you get this great idea from AI, and you think, “You know what? That's great. I could teach that. But here are three stories that I can add to it to really round out this idea, make this lesson more rich, really make sure it sinks in.”  

Also, one thing I teach in Digital Course Academy that I know you won't find in AI is how to prune your ideas. So one thing you need to look at is once you get together, like, an outline of, “This is what I want to teach,” now we're going to go back and say, “Does this really matter?” I teach this strategy of how to prune and how to take out things that are just going to overwhelm your audience. It's too much. A lot of times, first-time course creators like to add everything and the kitchen sink into their digital course to prove, “Look, I'm the expert. I know what I'm talking about.” And then we end up overwhelming our audience, and that's why they don't get through our entire digital course.  

So pruning is part of the process that I teach in terms of making sure we're not overwhelming our students. So when you're brainstorming, it's important to get all your thoughts on paper, but in the end, it's important to trim things up because if we overwhelm, the students don't get results.  

So, from there, you get to decide how to enhance your course with PDF guides. Often, that stuff you took out, maybe it's to not overwhelm. Maybe some of that stuff could be a really great PDF to enhance the experience but not overwhelm them, let's say, in the actual lesson.  

Again, I hope this sparks some ideas for you. I can only get so deep in a podcast episode versus a training program, but this is kind of where you're going to start to formulate your ideas of “What might I teach in this digital course?” All in all, what I just taught you should give you the confidence you need to avoid that big mistake of believing you have to exactly have it figured out in terms of how you're going to teach it before you even begin. You begin, and you start to unravel how this might look, what the roadmap will look like, how you might teach it. It's just part of the digital-course journey.  

All right. Next up, mistake number three, and this is a biggie, waiting until you have a huge email list before you launch your digital course. Come a little closer, my friend, because the real truth is you do not need a huge email list. I've had students who have had a hundred people on their email list, three hundred, five hundred, and they've had five- and six-figure launches.  

I'm going to give you proof. Are you ready? So I have a student. His name is Rob Greene, and Rob helps photographers that are frustrated by traditional teaching methods take flash photos that look like natural light. Very specific, right? At the time of his very first launch, he had a hundred email subscribers. One hundred. Guess how much money he made with this first launch, first time ever launching a digital course online. Twelve thousand dollars. That is a lot of money.  

And then I've got another student, Denai Wolfe, and Denai teaches accounting to small-business owners who are struggling with numbers, that they just need some extra help. She has this course called Profit Perfect. Her email list, two hundred seventy-seven people. Her first launch revenue, twenty-seven thousand eight hundred twenty-seven dollars. Come on. That is so good, right?  

And these are just two examples of many. And this part, it's just so important for you to hear that we don't need to wait until you have a bigger email list. Now, do we need to focus on growing your email list? Absolutely. You know, my motto: always be list building. 

But something that I've added to my program Digital Course Academy is an entire bonus session on how to start growing your email list while you create your digital course. And the reason I did that is I don't want anyone to wait to create their course. And I believe that while you're creating your course, you can be growing your email list at the same time. So do not wait.  

And here's something else I want you to know. Did you know that you can actually pre-sell your digital course with just using social media? When I teach people how to create and sell a digital course, I give you all the details you need to create your digital course from A to Z, starting from scratch. And of course, not only how to create it, but sell it. 

But I also teach people how to sell a digital course before you even create it. The reason I encourage people to pre-sell their digital course is that, let's just say you pre-sell it on social media, and your goal is just to get ten people to sign up for your digital course before you actually create it. And let's just say that no one buys it. For the record, that is highly unlikely, but it happens once in a while. But let's say nobody buys it. Well, no harm, no foul, because you haven't even started creating it. You just created the idea, the outline. You got your messaging together. But now we're going to go back to the drawing board, rework the idea, the outline, the messaging, and go back out with a new idea.  

This is called entrepreneurship. Let's normalize not always hitting it right out of the park. This is very normal. And so if you allow yourself to experiment, if you allow yourself to pre-sell your digital course in terms of how I teach it step by step in Digital Course Academy, well, then, my friend, you cannot lose, because we'll go back to the drawing board, come up with a new idea, and go back out. You will nail this. Sometimes it just takes a little more time than others. Listen, I'm a late bloomer. Things take me longer than I'd like to admit, but I eventually get it because I normalize experimenting and not always hitting it out of the park the first time out.  

So let's talk about how you can do this. Let's say you have a small social-media following. You can share your own transformation on social media, or you can share some successful student stories. You can take your audience behind the scenes of what you've done to get results. You can highlight how they get to work with you, let's say, through your digital course, share what's possible with them, and then let them know that you are going to open this up for the first ten people—they get a discount because they are your founding members—and so you are going to open it up to the first ten people, and then everyone else has to wait until you create it.  

Now, those founding members, they're going to wait as well, but they just got a huge discount, so they're very happy to wait. And you can even use them, as your founding members, to throw ideas out as you create your course and get their feedback, which they love to be a part of the process.  

So each time you do one of these pre-selling course campaigns, you're inviting your followers to come on this journey with you. And I'm telling you, this creates customers for life.  

And let's talk about that small email list you have or the non-existent email list you have. The reason why I have a very big, robust email list is that I launch digital courses. Launching digital courses with webinars or boot camps or challenges or any kind of really neat, fun campaign that you want to come up with, people are opting in to, let's say, your free boot camp or your free webinar. Whether they buy or not, they're opting in, meaning they're joining your email list. And maybe they don't by this time, but they're more inclined to buy next time because you've built rapport with them.  

So any time you launch a course, especially if you use the model that I teach my students to do, you will be growing your email list. So because I've launched courses over and over again, every single launch, no matter if the launch was successful or not, I've grown my email list. So the next time out, that launch tends to be even bigger because I've nurtured my list. 

So, want to grow an email list? Start launching digital courses. 

So there you have it. Avoid the mistake of waiting until you have a huge email list before you launch your digital course. We are not waiting. We are growing our email list while we're creating our digital course, and we are pre-selling our course so that you can use social media to pre-sell and validate and get that confidence in advance.  

Okay. Mistake number four, believing you have to be a marketing and tech pro to create and launch a profitable digital course. So to help overcome this mistake, let's make a decision together. And remember, whenever you make a decision, you can always change your mind down the road. But if you know me, I like action takers. So that's what I'm going to encourage you to do. Make some decisions so that you can start taking action.  

All right. So here's what we're going to decide together today. Are you going to deliver your digital course live or prerecorded? So the reason why I want you to think about this—again, you can change your mind later—but believing you have to be a marketing or tech pro to create and launch a course is just a lie. Ninety percent of my students are not marketing pros. They're not tech pros. And the girl that’s talking right now, she's not a tech pro either. That's me. That sounded weird, right? That was awkward. But you know what I'm saying.  

So, if you decide, “Okay. I'm going to deliver my course live. Like, week after week, I'm going to do a live module,” or “I want to prerecord it, so I don't want to be live,” right there, you're making some decisions that will determine how you actually market it, how you record it, and what kind of tech you need. 

So, a live course is when you deliver it in real time. When you deliver your course live, you don't have to worry about editing it. Mistakes are expected. Plus, there's a higher-perceived value when you are live.  

Now, the cons are when delivering your live content, you won't be able to read a script or heavily use your notes to guide you. Plus, if you want to fix something in the moment, it's just more challenging.  

Now let me explain prerecorded along with the pros and cons. Prerecording your course is when you record it all ahead of time; then, you edit it; and you have it really ready to go and dialed in for your students. The pros of a prerecorded course are that, one, you're not live. And I know that freaks a lot of people out, to deliver their content live, so we're just going to take that stress off the table. Also, when you prerecord, if you mess up, you can start over; you can edit it out; you could change direction. And so it's just really, quite honestly, less stressful.  

Now the con is when you prerecord it, it's expected that you will edit out most of the mistakes. This is going to take a bit of time, energy, and money if you hire someone to do it for you. And it's really just a preference of what works for you. I personally like to prerecord, but a lot of my students keep it super simple, especially their first time out, and they just do it live so they don't have to edit, and they can keep it really, really simple. And when they make a mistake, they just kind of laugh it off, and they keep going. And it works really, really well. 

So, I just want to let you know that you've got options here. You can prerecord. You can do it live. I almost encourage most of my really first-time students to consider doing it live. And what I mean by that—and this is something I get into more detail in DCA—but I mean, like, every week, let's say you've got a six-week digital-course program. Once a week, you do a live training. And it's recorded, so anyone that doesn't make it live, they can watch the recording, but you don't have to go back and edit out any mistakes because, again, when it's live, we know that there are going to be mistakes. It's just part of the deal.  

So making a decision now will then allow you to know, “Okay. What kind of technology do I need? How do I want this process to go? When do I need to prepare to get it all done?” So it really takes out some of the tech overwhelm and just the overall marketing overwhelm.  

And also, one more note here. This mistake is believing you have to be a marketing pro, you do not. Once you know, “Okay. I'm going to use social media, I'm going to use emails, I'm going to use webinars to sell my course. Then, I'm going to have somebody who's gone before me,”— whether it be me or somebody else you love that teaches how to do this, find your guide that will tell you how they did it, how many emails they sent out, when they sent out the emails, how they did their webinar, what was on the slides to actually sell the digital course. This is the stuff that you want to learn from someone who's gone before you. Again, if it’s not me, find someone else that you resonate with more. But having a guide to teach you how to create and launch a course, someone who's gone before you, has done it successfully, is so valuable.  

That's why, like, when I talk about using AI, I like to look at AI as an assistant, and then I want you to find a mentor or a guide that will map out the entire journey for you and point out “To fast track this point in the journey, use AI to get these this kind of data or information to keep moving forward.” So I think for digital-course creation, your best combination is a guide that's gone before you and using AI as an assistant to get it done faster. I think that's the best way to do this.  

Okay. So moving on to the homestretch, mistake number five, believing that creating a successful digital course is just too hard. It's too much work. So I've heard this one, and it kind of breaks my heart because, obviously, I don't believe that it's true. And my motto with how I teach and how I encourage you to do this is let it be easy. Keep it simple; get fancy later.  

And are you ready for me to help you make it easy? Here it is. You only need one digital course to be extremely profitable. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur thinking you have to create a complex business to create a sustainable income; or you're an entrepreneur in the thick of it, burning the candle on both ends and juggling too many offers, this is what you need to know. You truly, truly only need to create one digital course to create a profitable business.  

Now, of course, it takes a little elbow grease up front to get that course up and running and a foundation laid out to launch it successfully. And I always say the first launch you do is as much for you as the course creator and entrepreneur as it is for your students, because you're going to figure out what you do well, what you need to work on, what you love, what you don't, what works, what doesn't, what you want to tweak for the next time out. So that first launch is so important for you to lay it all out, get it all out, and then, you get to go back and refine.  

But once you do that, my friend, you have already created the course. You have already laid out the foundation. You never have to start from scratch again. Think about this. This is what I teach all my students, and I've seen success after success after success with this. But I've been launching Digital Course Academy for several years. So this year, when we put together our launch, when I put together the content to promote it, it's so fun to elevate my thinking and think about new ideas and new stories. But I am never looking at a blank Google Doc. I am only building on what I did last year, what worked, what didn't, the feedback I got. So I feel so much more empowered to be incredible at this because I have a track record. So the smart entrepreneurs, the smart digital-course creators create one course, and they double down on it. They don't go create five different courses; one course, launch it over and over again. I want you to at least launch it two or three times before you ever decide on creating or launching a different type of course. And you might even want to do it four, five, or six times before. 

I went to recently to an author mastermind, meaning the people in the room were either New York Times’ bestsellers or they've sold over two hundred fifty thousand books in their book-marketing journey. And so these are people really well accomplished. They do really good things. And there were, I don't know, like, twenty or twenty-five people in the room. There was a huge handful of people in that room that have only launched one book.  

One of the guys in the room, he only launched one book back in 2009, and he's been able to build an entire business around this book without having to come out with a new one. He recently got this huge opportunity, based on the topic of his book, to iterate that book in a new way and in a new media. It was incredible to watch.  

And it made me think, “Yes, this is what I'm talking about.” One digital course that could literally be the foundation of your business, what you're known for. If you want to be put on the map for being known for something, like when someone says, let's pretend you are a therapist, you're a marriage therapist, and you help people that are on the brink of divorce save their marriage. And so if someone went to a friend and said, “My marriage is in trouble. I need a therapist.” Boom, your name is at the top of the list. That's what you want, right? Well, that doesn't happen if you create five different courses on different topics around relationships. People do not know what you're known for. But imagine if year after year you have launched the same course, whether it be live launching or automated—I love both. I teach both—but it puts you on the map. And that's what I teach my students to do so that you don't get lost in the sea of noisiness online.  

This is how I've built my business. But I want to share a story of another student of mine who has done this. And I have many examples, but I’m just going to share one. 

Anne LaFollette. Anne teaches how to create, perfect, and sell your artwork in the surface-design industry, something I know nothing about, but she is an expert. In sixteen months, she went from generating twelve thousand five hundred dollars in course revenue to over one hundred thirteen dollars in course revenue. That's life changing. And the way she did it is she took the same course and she launched it over and over and over again. And she became known for this one thing. And each time she launched—remember what I said—she grew her email list. Launching grows your email list. So not only does she stay in her lane, but her audience gets bigger and bigger. And that is why she's able to generate over a hundred thousand dollars with the launches she does today, even though her first launch was twelve thousand dollars. 

So if you've been wracking your brain trying to figure out all the avenues you need to create to generate big cash as an entrepreneur, give yourself a break. Put your time, money, and energy into creating and perfecting one digital course. Less is more. And I promise it will make your life easier. You won't have to burn the candle at both ends anymore. You'll have more time to spend with the ones you love, doing the things you love. There will be no cap on the number of people that you can help and reach.  

So do you see why I love digital courses so much? It's not just for me. I see it in my students’ success every single day. So if you have ever made the mistake of believing that creating a successful digital course is too much work, it's too hard, you can put that one to rest because I can give you a foolproof blueprint of how to do it from scratch, but then never having to start from scratch again. 

Whew. That was a doozy. I just covered a lot. And remember, you don't have to take action on everything just now. I really just wanted to get those wheels turning and really help you understand that this is doable. You have it in you. You already have ideas in you for a digital course, and you are absolutely capable. My specialty is working with people who have never done this before and showing them that it is absolutely doable for them one step at a time.  

So speaking of one step at a time, let's review, because I really want you to actually bring this to life. I want you to really use this and start moving forward. So, again, mistake number one, believing that you need to have a rock-solid idea before starting. You don't. Now I want you to sit down and think over what you can teach. Where have you gotten results for yourself, for somebody else, or with some kind of technique or system or software that you can teach? Do a brain dump because I think you have more than one idea in you, and ask some friends for help if you get stuck.  

Mistake number two, believing you have to know exactly how you're going to teach your content. Once you've got some ideas after working through mistake number one that I just shared with you, you can start to put together a roadmap. That roadmap, once it really comes into light for you, you'll start to see how you might teach it. And we're going to start with what's the audience's problem, and what's your promise in terms of what kind of results can you get them? Once you figure that out, you can start to say, “Okay. If the problem is this, and these are the results that I'm promising, what does the roadmap look like step by step to get there?” And that’s something you can start to play with, and that's where AI can become the ultimate assistant for you.  

Mistake number three, waiting until you have a big email list to create your course. Start sharing information right now about your topic. Start creating content around ideas you have for your course and stories you can tell about it. And when you're ready, you can pre-sell your course before you even create it. It’s the ultimate validator. It's something I teach in Digital Course Academy. You can make money upfront, but also validate your idea, and you do not need a big email list to do this. You can do it using a small social-media following. 

Mistake number four, believing you have to be a marketing and tech pro to create and launch a course. Ninety percent of my students are not marketing pros, and they're not really great at tech, but there's easy ways to create your course. And remember, you can prerecord it, or you can live launch it. And deciding on this will allow you to, then, choose the path that you want to go. And also, the marketing doesn't need to be over the top. You don't have to spend hundreds of thousand dollars on paid ads. You don't need to have a PR team to help you. You can do this all grassroots, and you can keep it simple. And as you launch over and over again, you can get fancy later.  

And lastly, mistake number five, believing that creating a successful digital course is too hard; it's too much work. It's not, especially if you allow yourself to learn from someone who's gone before you and will map it out for you. And if you’re good at a checklist, if you’re good at checking things off, “Tell me what to do, Amy, and I will do it,” then you have everything you need inside you to figure this out. And more importantly, you only need one course to be very profitable. I've got success story after success story that I would love to share with you, but this is one episode that's gotten a little too long. But one course that you launch over and over again, whether you want to live launch it or make it automated so you don't have to be live, one course, and you can be incredibly profitable and make an impact.  

And if you want me to be your guide for creating your digital course, well, I'd be honored. So head to to learn more about my digital-course program.  

Thanks for joining me for another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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