You’ve got a digital product. It sells okay and you’re happy with the feedback you’re getting. But maybe it could be more?
Or maybe you only have the outline for the product but you know just what you want to build. How can you make sure that purchasers get the most out of it?
The answer is group coaching, or cohorts, or live courses. No matter what you call it, it can make you a ton more money than just selling an on-demand product.
Although this approach to your digital product doesn’t mean building something completely new, you will need to do some work to get everything ready for your first group. The good news is that once you’ve been through this process once, the work for a new group is very minimal.
Break down your digital product by week
Your product should already be at least outlined, if not fully built, so breaking it down into weekly pieces shouldn’t take too long.
Ideally, you want your program to last six to eight weeks. This is long enough to dive deep into the information but not so long that people lose interest and stop showing up.
Your goal is always to help your students to get the best result they can, so it’s a good idea to build in a week for review/feedback in the middle and a week for final questions and feedback at the end.
Ideal number of participants
Think about your course material and how much hands-on time each student will need when deciding how many students should be in a cohort.
Ideally, start with a group of between five and twelve. This will give you a good idea of where the sweet spot is for you. You might be able to go a bit higher than twelve, but honestly, you’ll find it hard to provide individual feedback and answer every question if you do.
You have a few choices for how to deliver the information. You can teach during the live sessions and give the students homework to complete between classes. Or you can have students go through the material on their own and then ask questions and complete work during the live sessions.
How do you decide which way would work better? Ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of teacher am I? Am I better at presenting information in lecture style or would I rather have a more interactive class that included diving into specific questions?
- How is my content best delivered? Does it make sense to have students understand concepts on their own or would it be best to be able to answer their questions as they learn the content?
- What is the best use of students’ time? Would live class time be best spent absorbing information, answering questions, or creating an outcome?
Plan out what tasks need to be completed between live classes.
If you decide that students should go through the material on their own to prepare for the live classes then make sure it is easy to find what they need to watch or read each week.
If you are going to have students learn the material in the live classes, then make sure to have the tasks they need to complete between classes ready to go over at the end of each lesson.
It can be helpful to create worksheets or handouts so that it is clear what needs to be done. In order to help your students get the best results, make it easy for them to do the required work.
Remember, the better their result, the better your result.
A program with live components should be 2-5X the price of your on-demand product. Having access to you and your knowledge is a valuable piece of what you are offering. Make sure to price appropriately for your time, effort, and knowledge.
Set up your tech stack
If you’ve already built and sold a DIY course, then you probably already have the tech stack you need. But if this is a new process to you, then here is a visual of what you’ll need to build.
The software that you choose will depend on many factors but the most important thing to think about is choosing software that will automate your processes.
If you already have some pieces but not all, make sure that the new pieces are compatible with what you are already using. You can use something like Zapier if you don’t have direct integration between programs.
Course content host
You might already have your course hosted somewhere and if you like it, there is no need to change.
If you don’t already have your course built on a platform, you have a number of options. A few of our favorite hosts are:
There are also plugins you can use on a WordPress site such as:
- Restrict Content Pro
If you are going to continue to sell a DIY version of your digital product, then you should consider duplicating your product for the group programs. That way you can include information on upcoming live meetings, Zoom links, or other updates away from the DIYers.
The downside of this is that you’ll need to update two different versions if you change any of the core content.
What you use to process payments for your program will depend on a few things.
- What works with your course host
- How you want to be paid
- How your students prefer to pay
Consider including Paypal as one of your payment choices. Then choose a credit card processor such as Stripe to go with it.
Depending on the type of students you have enrolling, you might want to offer an invoicing option such as Quickbooks. This can be preferred if students are getting reimbursed by an employer.
You’ll need to have the ability to build landing pages, sales pages, etc. We LOVE BeaverBuilder for all of our sites, but some course host platforms include the ability to create pages so you might not need a full website builder.
If you use an all-in-one solution such as Kajabi or Katra, you won’t need to purchase separate software for each of these needs.
Video meeting software
For the live component of your course, you’ll want to have some way of interacting with your students through video. Common software includes Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype. Choose one and use it for the whole course so that students know where to meet each time.
Plan to record all meetings so that students who can’t be there live can watch at a later time. These videos can usually be hosted on your course platform or you can upload them as private videos on YouTube or Vimeo and include links in the course material.
- Start with your sales page. Once you have that written you can reuse parts of the copy for emails, paid ads, and organic promotion.
- Automate as much as possible! For example: Add students to an email sequence that sends them reminders of live sessions and homework.
- TEST! Before you launch your promotion strategy, test the entire funnel to make sure that everything works and automations are doing what you need them to do.
Get people to sign up
Now comes the part of the process that most people dread, writing copy. But, since you’ve been smart enough to get this Playbook, you’re going to have it easy! We are including templates for everything you need to write.
Before you plan your promotion schedule, you need to choose a start date for the course. Everything will then work backward off of that date.
Once you have your start date, plan your promotion launch date 7-10 days before. You’ll then want to give yourself at least a month to create all the assets you’ll need for the launch.
There are many different ways you can promote your new group program. Here are a few of the most popular ones.
- Webinar or Mini-Webinar: teach a concept or task that sets people up for your program and then sell the program at the end.
- Challenge: a 3-7 day program that teaches a concept or task that sets people up for your program and then sell the program at the end.
- Paids ads: either direct to the sales page or to one of the free promotion strategies.
- Personal outreach: through social media messaging, your Facebook group, or personal emails to people you think would be a good fit.
- Emails to your current list: a series of emails that explains the program and benefits and links to the sales page.
- Social media posts: either point to the sales page or one of the free promotions.
In most cases, you’ll use a combination of a few different approaches.
Run the program
You’ve set up your tech stack, promoted the program and now you’re ready to run it live. Before you dive in, make sure to prep.
Set up reminder emails
The best thing you can do for participants is to remind them of when you meet. People are busy and having email reminders or calendar invites will go a long way to ensuring they show up.
It can be helpful to share the topic that will be covered each week as well as any homework due.
Create worksheets or a workbook with detailed instructions for homework. Make sure to go over the instructions and answer any questions at the end of each live session.
If you get three weeks in and realize something isn’t working, don’t wait to fix it the next time. Make changes as you go or for smaller issues make a note for next time.
Once the program is completed, get feedback from your students.
The best way to do this is to set up a one-on-one interview with each student over video. Have some set open-ended questions to ask them and take notes. Ask them if you can record the interview and use parts of it for a testimonial.
You can also create a form to request feedback but your results won’t be as detailed. Google Forms is free and easy or you can use something like SurveyMonkey or TypeForm.
Use the feedback you receive to make your program better. Use video testimonials on your sales page or for social media posts. Pay attention to the words that your students use and see if you can use them for your sales page or sales emails.
Run it Again
Choose your next start date, plan your promotion and launch schedule and run it again!