Hi Entrepreneurial You readers! As promised, here’s the exact text below that I sent out to promote the pilot offering of my Recognized Expert course in April 2016. To my shock, the 40 slots sold out in only 45 minutes! If you’re thinking about creating your own online course, I definitely recommend doing a pilot offering first, and hope this example might help spark some ideas for you.
Note that the links in the text below aren’t active – because, of course, the pilot is over – but I wanted to leave them underlined for you, so you could see where they were. (If you’re interested in joining the Recognized Expert course, which is now out of pilot mode and has graduated 150+ participants, you can learn more or sign up here.)
Hope you enjoy!
A Chance to Work with Me – Special Pilot Offer
Hi there !
When I started consulting a decade ago, I built my business with referrals, but it was slow going. Outside of a small circle, pretty much no one knew who I was.
One time – convinced I needed to grow my business through public speaking – I sent a sample DVD of one of my talks to a local Chamber of Commerce. I called to follow up, and they said they’d never gotten it. “That’s strange,” I thought, so I sent another. When I called again, they said the same thing. Then I realized: it was just a line. They were throwing them out because they didn’t know who I was, and they didn’t care. When I gingerly mentioned how odd it was that they hadn’t received two packets in the mail, they leveled with me: “Look, everyone wants to speak to our group. What makes you so different?”
To be honest, I’m still irate about that.
But that’s how a lot of potential clients or speakers bureaus or agents or meeting planners treat people they haven’t heard of, unfortunately. I knew I had good, valuable ideas to share – and they didn’t even give me a chance. I realized there was only one way to stop being treated like a disposable commodity, fighting for scraps and begging for free engagements. That was to become a recognized expert.
As some of you may know, I’ve been kicking around the idea for a while of creating an online course, structured specifically to share the most important things I’ve learned in the past decade of fighting to build my brand and grow my business. Today, I write regularly for the Harvard Business Review, TIME, and Entrepreneur, give paid speaking engagements around the world, and am now working on my third book, which will be released next year by Harvard Business Review Press.
But none of that came easily, and I’ve developed very specific strategies for how I built my brand and a reputation in my field. I know you have valuable ideas to share, too, and I’d like to see more of them get heard.
In the past, there have really only been two ways for me to share what I’ve learned with you – either through reading my books, like Stand Out, or doing private, one-on-one coaching. Both are great options, but reading a book isn’t always the best vehicle for figuring out how to apply the strategies to your own life. Personal coaching definitely does that, but may be out of the price range for some folks.
I thought an online course could be a good hybrid model – reaching people with more personal interaction and help, but at a lower price point. My pal Danny Iny, a master of online course creation (some of you may have joined us for his webinar in December), always suggests doing a small pilot before launching a full-blown course. So that’s what I’m planning to do. I’m only offering this to folks on my email list, and will cap it at 40 participants, because I want to keep the opportunity intimate. Here’s what I’m thinking about, and perhaps it might be of interest to you. Here’s the link to sign up.
The Pilot and What We’ll Cover
The pilot – based on the feedback from your surveys in December about what topics are most of interest to you (thank you for responding, btw!) – is about how to become a recognized expert. It’ll be a five-week-long course, with weekly live webinars covering the following topics: Finding Your Breakthrough Idea, Multiplying Your Following, Building a Power Network, Expanding Your Public Profile, and Overcoming Obstacles (confidence, time management, etc.). Plus, there’ll be a special bonus “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session.
When Is It?
I’m doing the sessions for five Thursdays in a row, starting Thursday, May 12th at noon Eastern/9am Pacific (May 12, 19, 26, June 2, and June 9). The bonus Q&A will take place at noon Eastern/9am Pacific on June 7th. They’ll run at least an hour, but maybe up to 90 minutes apiece depending on your questions. There will be a high degree of personal interaction and every question you have will get answered. Also, if you can’t make a particular session or sessions, don’t worry: everything will be recorded, and if you send me questions in advance, I will answer them all.
Who Is This For (or Not For)?
Because the topic is how to become a recognized expert, obviously there are some professions where this matters a great deal. For coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, and many types of entrepreneurs or service professionals (realtors, lawyers, accountants, etc.), your personal brand is your lifeblood, so this is pretty relevant information. If you work inside a corporation and feel that becoming known as an expert in your field would be beneficial to your career, this is also for you. If your main concern is, let’s say, selling a particular product, then this won’t be so relevant for you.
How Much Does It Cost?
The pilot course is $500. If that doesn’t fit into your budget, don’t worry, because I’ll continue to offer a lot of free resources and webinars through this list! But if you’re interested in developing your expert reputation and are looking for more personalized assistance than is possible from just a book or a video, I think this is a pretty good value. When I launch the fully developed course in the fall, I haven’t determined the exact pricing, but it will cost a minimum of $1500, so this is a substantial discount from that.
What Will the Course Entail, and Why is the Pilot Cheaper than the Full Course Will Be?
The pilot is kind of unique. It’s small and personal, and I’ll be getting to know everyone who takes it. It’s collaborative, because we’ll literally be creating it together. That means, if you’re wondering whether it will address the questions you have, the answer is yes, because I’m creating the course based on the issues of interest and concern to the pilot testers.
That also means there’s more work for you as part of the pilot group. I’ll ask you to send me the questions that are of most interest to you related to the topic of the week, so I can be sure to address them. I’ll also ask you to fill out surveys letting me know which parts of the course were most interesting/helpful/relevant, and also the least, so I can fine-tune and adjust. I’ll be assigning homework, and you’ll get *a lot more* out of the course if you actually make time to do it. And finally, if you get good results from the course – and that’s very much the goal – I’d like to ask for a testimonial, so that others in the future can see if it might be a good fit for them.
I’m only opening this pilot to the first 40 people who sign up. If you’re interested in becoming a recognized expert and would like to join me, it’d be a pleasure to work with you and get to know you. You can sign up here.