If you have never created a course or DVD program, I will share some of my top knowledge, secrets, and tips on how I create my courses and programs. I must warn you it is NOT easy. Before educating someone on a subject matter you must be an expert or have expertise.
For me, I have studied over 10+ years in the subjects of marketing, internet development, sales psychology, finance, and stock trading (which are all the different subjects that I have programs on).
This alone can take years, but if you do not have the expertise you can be creative and do an interview process with other experts. If you decide to take this route, you must have a questionnaire path for the interviewer to follow or for you to ask. You need to have knowledge of the subject matter to some degree – you just don’t have to have 50 years of experience.
Okay, so let me start and explain to you my process in some detail. (In my DVD programs, of course, I reveal this process in much more detail, but this will allow you to get an idea of the process).
Brain Storming Process
The first step is to brainstorm the category or subject matter you want to create a program on. Personally, I have 3 main topics that I educate in:
- Business (Includes productivity, marketing, sales psychology)
- Finance (wealth building, money management, investing)
- Stock Trading (self-explanatory)
Note: I tend to think in terms of product suites instead of one-product wonders. So when I brainstorm or get ideas, I think of 5 or 10 products and then work on the best ones or the ones that seem to fit my schedule, time, desire, or customer demand. This just works for me and my lifestyle. Remember its more than just about business – it’s about your life, so you have to determine what works for you.
If you never made a course before, and you don’t have past customers that you can get feedback from – the best bet is to start online and do some research.
When you make your first course or DVD program, try to make it just one (1) Disk. This will save you time and headache designing covers, editing, filming, etc. It will allow you to fine-tune your development process and also gauge how fast you speak and how you want to film. Basically, it will allow you to take the kinks out of your production workflow.
Once you are ready to do some research, taking business, for example, you have a few sub-categories such as marketing and they can be huge categories on their own. I will often do a quick search on eBay to see what is selling in the marketplace.
You can get a good idea of what is selling, at what price, and it may give you a starting point.
Feedback From People
Feedback from past customers or talking and speaking to people is probably the best way to come up with ideas. Asking questions such as:
- What frustrates you?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What have you tried in the past that worked?
- What have you tried in the past that did not work?
These questions help you read the customer and create a specific solution for that demographic. Products are not thought of or chosen, they are given to you by the needs of your customer.
How I Plan Things
Step #1: Notebook Planning
Once I decide on a course I start outlining in my notebook a few primary topics to cover. In this example for the rest of the article, I will use my course “Build Your Business Brick by Brick”
You can see in the following example I have a few primary categories. The order at this point is not relevant. All I am trying to do is capture the main points to use for a more deeper planning session that’s about to occur. I may include some notes or other little subsections.
In this screenshot below you can see the main categories being planning, mindsets, marketing, and productivity. This is not the final say on the categories but it gets my brain working. In the subsection of planning you can see there’s things like niche discussion, domain names, naming, types of businesses, etc. Again, this is just to get the brain thinking of where to go from here.
Step #2: Planning in More Detail
Once I wrote down things in my notebook, I go to a sticky board. On here is where things start to take shape and get finalized.
You can see in the following pictures that there’s again three main sections. We have mentality, business structure, relationships, and products which you can barely see. There is also marketing and productivity which I did not take a picture of. The picture only shows 3 little parts of the program – at the end, the course came out to 6 DVDs.
Here under mentality, you can see that since it’s the first DVD I put in some success tips my story then of course under that the mindset that like to share in the program.
Each sticky is basically a section or topic of discussion. So for the business structure section, I have a few main points that I want to cover such as how to run everything like a business, creating the right business sequence, choosing the category of your business, and how to properly name your business.
The sticky method works fantastic because it allows you to move things within the category up or down such as the order that you want to discuss them in. And it also allows you to move them among different categories such as DVD 1 and DVD 2. Maybe you want a certain section move from the products into the business structure – sticky notes allow you to quickly move things around.
Again, this is not going to be the final storyboard or project plan however this now finalizes it to about 90%. I do manage to shift things as I’m also filming on the spot that I feel may work better as I’m running through the material but this is very minimal.
Don’t Forget Your Avatar
One last point I want to make during the planning process is do not forget to put your customer avatar on your plan. In my example, you can see that I took a picture of one of my coaching students and tag him to my planning board. This allows me to focus specifically on that type of customer demographic while working or planning on the course. Chances are if this avatar is struggling with a certain situation or topic than many other people are his shoes as well.
If you try to target everybody your product is just a jack of all trades, kind of like a Swiss Army knife. It does many things, but it doesn’t do one thing exceptionally well.
The Setup and Filming
Once all the planning is complete, I start creating my PowerPoint slides. After making quite a bit of courses I found out some of the things that really help expedite my workflow which I will share with you.
If you’re making a simple one DVD course, you can just draw things on the board reveal them as you go through the material. However, the courses longer than an hour three hours you may want to create PowerPoint slides to help you with the presentation. It’s just so difficult to stay on track or focus for such a long period of time.
I typically use my laptop behind my camera that guides me in my lecture series and then I will overlay the slide at various points during the video in the editing process.
When I film, I have a savage paper backdrop and two lights that help fill in my face as well as a ring light. You can see most of the equipment that I use on my personal website at https://backstageincome.com/resources/vid-tools-equipment/
The Editing and Checking
I use Adobe Premiere to edit and do it about 90% pretty well the first time. (Even though I think of it as 100%, I know usually I will want to tweak something later).
When I run through the video the first time after its initial composition, I take notes at the errors I made within the video and take a time stamp so that way I can go back and fill those sections either again, add to it, or adjust the effect, add music, etc. Basically whatever the video calls for or that I messed up on in the editing process. Often times I noticed I don’t give a title slide enough time to show.
At the same time that I am checking the video, I am also taking notes for the study guide. This helps keep the focus and it also produces a book for me by the time I am done checking the video. I get my books manufactured through createspace.com which is an Amazon.com company. It allows me to list my books on Amazon and other distribution of works.
The submission process for your DVDs and books can be complicated or easy depending on the company you choose to go with. After I finish all my final edits, I will go to Adobe Encore and create a final composition of my DVD’s. Then I submit all my material to Kunaki.com for my DVD production. (Disk.com is also great).
The Final Output
After a bit of manufacturing time you get your DVDs in your book in the mail you’ve done everything right. If not you may need to resubmit your material and get another print!
It is for this reason, especially if you have not produced products before, I recommend you only order one set of your product. After all who wants this printed products, typos, or improperly functioning material?
Anyways here is the result from my latest course and that’s how it was done! Check it out!
If you have a production system that you like to use in order to create your products or have some other tips, let me know…. I would love to hear from you on if this article was helpful.
Resources & Helpful Tools