by Cara Lumen
I first became aware of an easy way to make stuff happen when I became a Reiki Master Teacher in New York City years ago. I had come back from being Certified, I was ready to teach and my thought was “how do I make this happen?” Then I realized I simply had to make it up – just the way I wanted it to be. So I picked up my calendar and started writing in dates for first degree classes and second degree classes – allowing enough time for there to be two first degree classes before there was a second degree class. That’s it. That’s the big secret. Simply schedule it.
Keep it realistic
I recently was asked to provide a whole year of training for a membership site. It involves 12 introductory calls on topics of interest that would introduce the upcoming six three-week telecourse. First I decided on the six telecourses, then I thought of topics that would lead into them. I picked a date on the calendar to begin and I had my schedule.
Then it occurred to me that if I’m preparing all of this material for a closed community I needed to find a way to leverage all the work into value for my own community. So once again, I pulled out my calendar and scheduled three teleclasses for the first half of the year accompanied by some free intro teleclasses to be offered to my own community. I made longer classes out of shorter ones and repurposed intro talks for the two communities.
And that’s when I begin to feel full up. The schedule looks great. I love to write teleclasses. And that’s a lot of work over a long period of time. As you make up your schedule be realistic about what you can do. Remember, scheduling it is only half the fun.
Schedule plenty of time to create the product
Fortunately I’m working two and a half months ahead on the teleclasses so I’m having a great time creating the courses because I’m not pressured. And I’m expanding a six week course I will give in January into six three week courses for the membership site so the material will only grow richer. And it will all turn into a book at the end of the year. Leverage every idea you have. Repurpose. Chunk up. Chunk down. One idea can show up in a lot of different costumes just like an actor in a play. The actor it the same, the role is different.
I love to make stuff up and I never schedule my creative time so that I feel pressured. Allow yourself time to do your very best – to make the most stimulating handouts, to find the richest resources, to outline the most fascinating intro calls. Work steadily. Schedule time to create. Make a project management schedule so you get written what you need to write – steadily, without pressure. Mark off whole mornings or afternoons so you can concentrate and get your work done in a flow of deep concentration. Enjoy your own creative process.
Make a strong marketing plan for each event
For me the fun stuff is in making up the course or writing the book. But I have made a list of what I have to do surrounding each and every event or product launch. It’s a template I use for each project. I have four sections: Creation, Participant Emails, Publicity and Promotion. I work in Word with a column to check off when each step is completed. These are the steps I take for a teleclass that can be translated into any product launch. Here’s how it is set up:
- Write landing page (I do this first to clarify my intentions. I tweak it after the product is complete)
- Autoresponders set up to reply to those who purchase or enroll
- Buy now button set up for the product on the landing page
- Write the first draft
- Have the interactive elements completed (handouts for a class)
- Create Power Points if used
- Complete the second draft
- Create Student Participation page on line (This is where I deliver the handouts and homework and MP3s. It is a web page for the participants)
- Put the Student Participation Page up – it is complete and ready for the course
- Create five emails to promote the event or product to send to my community and contacts who might help promote
- Write instructions to be sent to students three days before which includes call in number and any post course instructions
- Write email reminder of the class starting to be sent the day before
I start actively promoting six weeks out. There is an Early Bird special with a deadline. But even before that I have been talking about the product in my blog posts and emagazine to begin to get people interested.
- Add announcement of product or course to web site
- Put the landing page up
- Post event date on blog & web site
- Write in newsletter
- Write Media Questions out
- Put out press release
- Email to my community of Book Yourself Solid Coaches with Early Bird Special and ask them to promote it to their communities. Send out email promotional copy to make it easy for them to promote. (I’m lucky to have this group who are willing to help each other. This is different than sending to my list. See if you can develop a community of colleagues with similar target audiences who will help you cross promote.)
- Post on FaceBook
- Post on Twitter
- Write six blog post discussing aspects of course & post them as continuous reminders of the upcoming event
- Get scheduled on some radio shows
- Find some new JV partners for the project
- Contact others in person who may not be on my list to see if they will promote
- Comp a person or two into the class. That helps you have people who you know will participate and feels supportive. If an ebook, send out some advanced copies and ask for a review.
- Ask for testimonials after the course or after the book has been read. Put those on your landing page or in the front of your book.
PUBLICITY TO MY LIST
Statistics now say that people need to hear of something 24 or more times before they will buy. That’s why I start mentioning that I am working on the product a few months out to start an awareness in my community. I can’t bring myself to flood my community with emails so I got with this schedule.
- First announcement to email list – six weeks out
- Second announcement to email list 5 weeks out
- Third announcement to list – Early Bird ends tomorrow
- Announce with emagazine
- Starts tomorrow email out (You’d be surprised how many people this email adds to your event.)
It’s like having two separate projects – one to create the product or service, the other to launch it. As you work on your schedule add these promotional steps to your list and leave time to get them done.
Why I love to make stuff up
Every time I write a new ebook or create a new telecourse I learn something new. It may be that I write a better landing page and thus strengthen my skills at that. It may be that I deepen my own knowledge while deciding how I want to teach a certain point. And always it is about the joy of preparing something that will serve others – that will give them information that will make a difference, or motivate them to take a bigger next step, or inspire them to know they can do more.
If you have an idea it is probably yours to do. And if you choose to do it simply put it on your calendar and start talking about it in your blog posts and emagazine to start creating interest and to get yourself committed to the project. Then do it. That’s how to make stuff happen.
© 2010 Cara Lumen
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