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What is the first step in creating a program or course?

Congratulations! You've decided to create a signature program or course. But with all the advice on line- where do you start???? Is it with the content? How you'll market it? What is the first step in creating a program or course? In this article, I'm going to share with you the first step I start with when working with clients- and the reason why.

Grey wall with 9 yellow post it notes on
There are so many steps in creating a course or program, where do you start?

We're going to start with RESULTS

Results in two parts- for YOU and YOUR students. Why? By starting with the end in mind it will make the rest easier to design-from curriculum to support, marketing to selling. And the way you think about results probably isn't the same way as I do: so keep reading.

Results for your clients

It's not just as simple as stating the end result eg: creating a group program. It needs to be detailed. In the same way that you probably have an ideal client profile that is extremely detailed- we want something similar. When your ideal client completes your program what will their business look like? What will their life look like? We want tiny details- down to how what their day will look like. And this is not going to be like your ideal client profile as this will be super useful. (This ideally will be based on your experience with past and current clients). Because not only will you be able to realistically explain what the result will look like- but also what knowledge they would need to have before they start your program/course and any learning they would need in addition to your expertise. This helps with the design of your curriculum, client experience and support elements of your program.

Results for you

It's also important to get clear on what YOU are looking for from your program. After all, its your business and if you don't factor this in, it will lead to discontentment down the line. For example, we often see online that you could sell your program through launching or evergreen- but this is not a result- it is a method of getting more clients.

Instead, it is important to look at your current business, possible frustrations you may have AND your business vision. In 3 years time, what would you like your business to look like? What would your role look like? Are you looking to reduce the amount of hours you work in a week? Are you looking to have a summer shut down? Do you generally want to have less client work so you can mange your business better and bring on team members? Take the time to identify what it is you WANT from this next evolution, because this will help you design an offer that lasts- that is sustainable.

Taking the time to get this right

Taking time at this stage is super important- and it doesn't take long. A few hours to figure this out, put to one side and come back to check how it feels. But by getting this right in the early stages, you have a guiding light for ALL the decision making needed in the design stages.

THIS is just the beginning of building a program that becomes the next online obsession AND sustainable for you and your business.


Looking to start the next online obsession with your group program? Get my free guide to help you make more impact and profit by getting your clients results here.

Rachel Aiken helps experts create obsessive online programs for more impact and profit. Her skills are a combination of online business strategy, instructional design and client experience from 20 years in the UK Education Sector.


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