COM0015–Assignment #5: Event Participation: “7 Steps to Creating and Launching an Online Course”

The Event

“Do what you love, make an impact, grow your tribe”. This was a quote from the hour-long, free, online professional development event that I chose to attend for my participation in an event,  7 Steps to Creating and Launching Your Profitable Online Course 2021.  I picked this event, because I have an interest in creating online courses in my chosen field, Computer Programming. I want to share with others what I have learned in my more than 25-year IT career. Essentially, I do want to make an impact and grow my online community through course creation.

Revenue Models

Jeanine Blackwell, the presenter for the course, reviewed two types of models to use when selling an online course. Both allow for increased revenue by the 3rd quarter of selling a course. From the screenshots below, you can see that her first model increases sales by the third quarter of the first offering of the course by proposing more advanced courses, as well as offering the original course again each quarter. The second model, in the screenshots, shows how you can increase revenue, again by the third quarter, by offering group coaching along with a mastermind course. Jeanine indicated that there is a large amount of money going into online course sales every year. The statistic that she quoted was that there will be “325 billion online course sales per year by 2025”

Screenshot of Model 1 for Selling an Online Course
Screenshot of Model 2 for Selling an Online Course

Interaction

Unfortunately, there was no interactive, live chat in this session. As you can see from the screenshots above, the chat box specified that the responses to any questions would be sent by email. This indicated to me that the course was pre-recorded, as opposed to live. In any case, I now have a contact to follow-up with if I want to pursue the full paid course that includes 7 modules. I will however look into taking a few more of these types of free courses before committing to paying for a course.

Takeaways

7 Steps

In terms of ideas to walk away with, Jeanine listed the 7 steps to creating and launching an online course (screen shot below) but only expanded on the first one, “Narrow Your Idea to Win”. She discussed narrowing your audience and your problem to make sure your course is targeted to a specific group of people and is solving a focused problem. The other steps are apparently covered in more detail in the modules of the paid course.

Screenshot of the 7 Steps

Storyboarding

Another valuable idea that I took away from this event is Storyboarding. I am excited about this concept, because I think it is an excellent method of organizing the content to put into each module of a course. A feature that I like about this model is that ideas can be added as they come up, instead of having to put everything together at once. I will definitely use this idea in my own course creation.

Screenshot of a Storyboarding image from the course

Future Events

I will plan to attend similar free events in the future because I assume that most have different perspectives and will provide new suggestions. Even if an event offers no new ideas, there is no cost, except my time. This event, for example, was worthwhile to get an idea of the steps that may be involved in course creation, as well as using Storyboarding as a course content design method.

Overall, this course was very successful in accomplishing its purpose: it made me excited to want to bring the ideas out of my head and onto paper to create my own course. This is exactly the kind of inspiration I would like to give people taking a course that I create. I want to make a positive impact and motivate.

COM0014 – Blog # 6: Do People Know Your Story?

Who is my super-fan? What do they want?

My biggest super-fan is my nephew Tristan. He is my biggest supporter when it comes to my YouTube channel.

Although he is just six years old, Tristan keeps on me to stay consistent posting my videos.

My nephew is an avid gamer who will stop playing his game to be the first person to watch my latest video, regardless of the length.

Tristan will go the extra mile to call me and give me his review of my video.

He will tell me what he likes and what he dislikes. Tristan will also remind me to get started on making my next video.

After watching, Tristan will tell his siblings and parents that I have a new video and remind them that they need to watch it.

Tristan encourages me to continue making content for my YouTube channel, regardless of what negative comments or issues I come across.

My nephew will even recommend products and content he wants to see on my channel.

Tristan has seen all my videos multiple times. He is even able to tell how old or new the videos are.

Tristan is my super fan because of his dedication to my channel. He has continuously supported my YouTube channel for the last four years.

COMM0015 – Event: The WOW Factor

It has been a long while since I’ve been able to attend a professional development event in-person, so today I’m throwing it back to my absolute favourite event that I’ve attended! This event took place in 2019 and was called “VENUS presents: Chris Appleton – The WOW FACTOR”

Now most may not know who Chris Appleton is, BUT I promise that you know who his clients are. Chris is a celebrity hairstylist who works with Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, and many more celebrities. As a hairstylist, I was SO excited to learn from him. As soon as the event was announced, I bought a front-row ticket and a train to get there. This was also the first time I attended an event like this by myself! I had to commute from Ottawa to Toronto for it, but it was totally worth every minute. After booking an AirBnB and packing a bag, I was ready to head to an event that would forever affect my career as a hairstylist! 

The event was held at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and was set up as an evening cocktail-style event. This event was a look and learn format, so our participation mostly involved watching while Chris demonstrated his techniques. I wanted to get the absolute most out of this event so I made sure to actively take notes during his performance as well as a few videos of demonstrations! At the end of the show, we had the opportunity to meet Chris Appleton! I may look collected in this photo, but let me assure you, I was screaming inside like a fan-girl.

After the event concluded, we also had the opportunity to chat with other event goers. At this point in the evening, I stayed to chat with a few local salon owners and had the chance to network. We exchanged our social media profiles and kept in touch after the event. This part took the most work for me as I was quite nervous being there by myself. 

I chose to walk to my AirBnB after the event because I was so hopped-up on adrenaline. This event was a major inspiration for me, and that was my biggest takeaway. While the tips and techniques were very valuable, my biggest asset was the confidence it gave me. My absolute favorite quote from the evening was when Chris said “let me tell you about a time that I f**ked up Katy Perry’s hair”. This man who works with the biggest named celebrities was humble enough to admit that he makes mistakes too. He talked to us about what it took for him to make it big in the industry and it really inspired me and my work from there out. 

Would I attend an event like this again? YES. Absolutely yes. This event was a pivotal moment for me, I use the techniques I learned at this course nearly everyday in my professional career. Most importantly, this course gave me the courage to really put myself out there more when it comes to social media. For me, this course taught me that I was on the right track to achieving my dreams! 

COMM0015 – Out Of The Box

The main thing that this program has really reiterated and reinforced for me is that social media is ALWAYS changing. Anyone who commits to working in this field will have to constantly educate themselves and learn new techniques and materials. Personally, I find that idea enticing. 

Where is social media applicable?

The short answer? Everywhere. Social media is no longer optional for businesses that want to thrive in 2021. Every business, entrepreneur, and brand needs to either learn social media skills or hire someone who has them. Instagram is the new Google search, and if your brand wants to be found, you have to be there and have an updated profile. 

Applications to make it easier?

The application that has done the absolute most for me when it comes to social media is Later. It’s a scheduling tool that also provides easy-to-digest analytics and tips. The website is more user-friendly, but they have a mobile app as well! From the website, I can schedule and caption my content, as well as tag other accounts, add hashtags, and set my location for the post. From that same website, I have access to helpful visual displays like this to show my progress with 

Screenshot taken from the Later dashboard

Later helps me to stay on-track with social media. I manage four business accounts and it can be overwhelming if I don’t stay on top of my game. Using scheduling software allows me to manage all four accounts within a manageable time-frame. This application has saved my digital life many times!

Overall, this program really helped me to hone my social media skills. While I had already been working in the field, having this formal education helped me to build confidence and work on refining my skills. Social media can be overwhelming, and I would recommend this program to anyone trying to figure it out!

COM0014 – Blog #7: Personal Reflection 

Thanks to this course, I have realized that storytelling is even more important to digital content than I had first figured. I always knew that storytelling was the main way that digital content from long blog posts to quick 140 character tweets, but this course showed me that there are so many different steps to ensure that the storytelling method is successful. If you do not choose the right style of storytelling, then your digital content will not be successful and not make a splash in the way your business wants. If you pick the right style of storytelling and do it effectively, then that can make a world of difference in regards to site traffic, sales and your target audience. 

I will keep my content consistent with what my business and I am. Business to Consumer (B2C) is the communication style I will be focusing on as my business is writing commissions. I will keep a personal touch to my promotions and interactions while ensuring that my clients feel as if they are talking to a professional, but also a real person. I want them to know that I am not a faceless company behind the words I write, but a person just like them. I will build current and potential relationships to the best of my abilities using personalized storytelling styles. 

I want to tell stories that make an impact on each person who reads them, no matter how small or large. I want them to come away from my writing feeling good, feeling as if they spent their time wisely and hopefully willing to return to my writing regularly. I want my stories and the emotions they bring out in people to bring them back for more via my writing commission business. 

COM0014 – Blog #6: Do People Know Your Story?

What is your greatest fear for your business?

When I began taking writing commissions, I truly worried. I knew that I had a decent-sized fanbase for the free writings I put online, but expanding into paid writing? That was a big step that had left me unsure. My readers enjoy what I post and have been lovely enough to leave reviews to tell me so in their personalized ways, but I worried that people don’t enjoy my writing enough to pay for it. That is a fear for my business that is still at the forefront of my mind each time I promote my commission business online. 

Thankfully, I have been slowly but steadily building up a stream of clients that have become my regulars over the past few years. There is always room for improvement like in any business and I fear that my commission business will remain stagnant. That I will ever only get a few commissions every few months and this side of my writing will never take off. I fear that my writing will not reach a wider audience if I can’t figure out how to expand my business and remain a small name in a niche market. 

What’s Your Preference?

Networking : In-Person or Online?


Photo by Visual Tag Mx from Pexels

Taking this course has taught me a lot about the business side of social media. With the on going pandemic, many businesses have shifted online. On one hand, you can quickly connect with others all over the world but on the other hand, it has made in-person networking a bit difficult.

My initial reasoning for taking this program was to get into a career in this field. I am hoping this happens sooner than later. With that being said, it’s essential for me to develop a networking strategy both in-person and online.

Online Networking

In order to have a successful strategy, I can’t just dive into different platforms. I need to have goals. What exactly do I want to gain from this? Quite frankly, I’m not 100% yet. This would be the first step for me, creating goals.

From there, I will be more active on different platforms and form my personal brand. I believe having a personal branding strategy will be key to my networking strategy. I will admit that when I first meet someone or find a new company, I go to social media to look them up. Do they have a completely different persona online? I want to see how they portray themselves and how they engage with others. I know this will be something that any future employer or connection will look for.

In addition to my personal branding, I will be connecting with others. I can’t expect to complete my goals without introducing myself and forming connections.

In-Person Networking

Carrying on with the connections, this will play a major role in my in-person networking. Personally, I am more introverted so the thought of putting myself out there and attending certain events isn’t my first option. Regardless, I understand the impact of having that face-to-face connection can provide.

Networking in person will give me the opportunity to show my personality. To give life to the person behind the screen. Ultimately, this can be a true test one my end because I will be able to find out who I want to associate myself with.

Keeping these connections is just as important as starting them. Staying in touch with others and keeping that friendship alive is going to help in the long run. Whether this means meeting others via that initial connection or gaining opportunities, it will pay off to put myself out there.

For the foreseeable future, online webinars and classes will be my go-to in order to gain more skills. Depending on where my future job gets me, I will be attaining skills that will aid in my occupational development.

Before learning any of these skills, I will be updating my LinkedIn profile and putting my networking to good use.

Pre pandemic, I would attend IMATS which is a makeup trade show. Not only did I meet others, but I also gained tips and knowledge about the industry. I would love to attend an event like that again or another show to connect with others.


Which type of networking do you prefer?

P.S. my favourite pre-pandemic activity to meet others was going to concerts (minus leaving the venue).

Com0015 — Blog#3: My Professional Networking Now and in the Future

Photo Courtesy of FreeImages

Professional Networking is, by definition, when you build relationships with other professionals in your career and in other unrelated fields. You can let this type of network develop naturally or you can create a strategy to establish your professional network, both online and in person.

My parent strategy to develop my professional network, in this Covid world, is to build on my online network and, at the same time, look for potential safe opportunities to continue to develop my in-person networks. When it is safer to do so, I can put more emphasis on expanding my existing off-line networks. Below are some short-term activities and commitments that I want to undertake to expand my networks.

8 Future Short-Term Activities to Develop my Networks:

1.Keep My Blog up to Date:

As well as adding relevant links and other information to my Demystifying COBOL blog, I would like to commit to adding original posts at least twice per month. Also, I would like to devote time every couple of days to reply to comments on my blog. The conversations have been mostly one way up until now, and I would like to correct that.

2. Develop my LinkedIn Group and Profile:

I currently have an “Online Learning Design and Development” LinkedIn group. I would like to work on attracting new members to that group. It will be useful for me when creating and marketing online courses. I would also like to develop my LinkedIn profile by adding a link to my blog and making sure the profile information is up to date.

3. Search on Twitter for People:

Another activity I would like to commit to is to search on Twitter, at http://www.twitter.com/search,  for people living around me, to follow them and possibly gain more followers in the process. Also, I would like to create a hashtag on Twitter to use for my posts to attract more people to my demystifying COBOL brand.

4. Current Events and a New Group on Facebook:

Another idea I want to take advantage of is to use Facebook to search for current events in my area to find ways to network and meet new people. I also want to set up a Facebook group to pair with my demystifying COBOL page and start some COBOL discussions in the group.

5. Pinterest as a Business:

While listening in on Social Media blogging groups, I have learned that Pinterest is an excellent way to attract followers to your blog and promote your brand. I want to put some time into finding out how Pinterest works and how I can use it for networking.

6. Search for Meetups:

I discovered that I could search on meetup.com to find free meetups in my area. This activity is mostly for the future when it is safe to get together with people in person again.

7. Attend Inexpensive Unconferences:

In addition to regular conferences, I want to look for opportunities to attend unconferences, which are user generated conferences that are less expensive or free. Anyone can present a session at these conferences. A type of unconference is a Podcamp which is a conference for Social Media.

8. Attend Free Online Webinars:

There are many free Online Webinars advertised everywhere in Social Media. I specifically want to sign up for those that talk about creating and marketing online courses. I enjoy listening to Webinars and feel that they could be a very positive networking opportunity.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

With all of these online networking activities to pursue during the pandemic, I will be able to easily occupy myself in the short term, by starting online conversations and acquiring Social Media followers, until I am able to attend in-person events again.

We are assuming that things will go back to the way they were before Covid. What if this way of working and meeting remotely is the new normal? Maybe the pandemic forced us prematurely into a future that we were destined for anyway.

Blog #3 – Networking

I have been working full time in a very competitive environment for almost two years and I the most important thing that I have learned is important networking is. Having a strong skill set will take you far but knowing the right people will ultimately be the most important thing when it comes to finding new opportunities and other jobs.

I have been working on building my network on LinkedIn. I find people that work in the same field as I do to connect with. This is a great tool to meet other professionals woking in your industry. In the short time that I have been on LinkedIn I have already been recruited, although I did not move forward with the interview, so I know that this has the potential to open doors for me.

I also make a point to make myself known within the company that I already work for. I like to get to know all the managers and make myself an important and know part of the company. The important thing is to make myself, my skill set and my role know.

Blog Post 4: Out of the Box

When I first started the Social Media course, I was only on the most obvious platforms. Facebook, Instagram ,Twitter (hardly) and LinkedIn. I learned that Twitter can actually be quite beneficial for getting people back to your main website, in my case, my blog. I have started to post to Twitter much more frequently, which in return has given me some more followers, and more traffic to Love Learning A Mom’s Journey.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Two of my favorite unexpected applications I will take away from this course is Hootsuite and Brand24. Now, they may be very popular to others, but to me they were brand new. I loved using Brand24 for an assignment in a previous course and Hootsuite is definitely my favourite content application. It’s great for scheduling and staying on track of things. Sprout Social was also one that I enjoyed learning about and hope to get the chance to use in a future career.

What I love most about social media is that it is such an evolving field. I was on ICQ, AOL, MSN… and now I am doing live video sessions with the potential of having hundreds of people watching. How cool is that?

There will always be new applications coming out, there will always be new platforms to learn about. It’s so exciting, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

This is been so much fun, and I am so glad to have taken the Social Media course. If you are reading this somehow and are debating taking the course…do it! There are tons of jobs out there in the field, and it is only going to keep growing.

Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com