When's the last time you purchased an online program?
Sometime in the past year, you’ve been faced with the decision to buy, enroll or download a training course online. Or maybe you really wanted to go to a big event hosted by someone who really inspires you… and it bummed you out a little.
Ok, maybe it bummed you out a lot.
The pressure to buy comes at you from all angles…
Rejection: Not wanting to feel left out.
Belonging: Wanting to be part of the cool kids group or something bigger.
Reputation: Hearing so much about a program and why it’s the ONE thing you haven’t done that would turn your business around.
Cost: A high cost program has been broken down into so many payments that you can’t resist.
Information: You love to learn and are a bit of an addict for more and more info.
And the truth that you need to know is this… no 1 program is going to do it for you. In fact, I’ll go so far as to tell you that no program is going to be the reason you succeed.
There is no on switch to turn your business from struggling to successful.
But stick with me as I share how to choose those programs you invest in and then how to make sure you get the most out of them.
How To Choose & Get The Most Out of the Best Online Program In The World
There is a secret to getting the most out of all the programs and conferences and coaching you buy.
Brace yourself – this may seem obvious, but it's the only way to achieve the “success” that lured you to them in the first place.
Your Business BFF
I know. It’s that simple.
Someone said this to me when I was stressing over where to apply for college in high school–
“You can get a good education anywhere.”
What that meant (to me) was simply it doesn’t matter whether you attend an Ivy League, private, or public institution… only your action, your implementation, your initiative matters.
YOU are the reason you’ll learn or not learn something.
You see the promises made by creators of business programs, coaching, and events.
If you come this event, this weekend will change your life. If you enroll, your business will stop sucking the life out of you. If you buy this – your life will forever be altered and you’ll be on the path to riches.
And it’s true. Kind of.
Let me explain…
When you see all the promises programs make about you changing your business overnight, creating the life you want and building a sustainable business, all that is true IF you show up and make it happen.
Promising to change someone’s business or life for the better is possibly the easiest promise you can make when you’re selling a product.
Change happens when you take action. If you take action (or your customers do), businesses can change.
This all boils down to one thing – that I've made a rule for myself – plan to implement or save your money – I’m not joking.
Think before you enroll or hit buy now. Make the commitment to take action or wait.
What To Work and What To Ignore
So what do you do once you’ve taken that step, and you've shelled out your hard-earned cash?
Make a plan on what you’ll work through and what will wait until later. It’s that simple.
This one’s going to be a touchy subject for us product creators out there. We all want to believe that our entire program must be gone through from start to finish.
But I'm here to say that's just not true.
The only way to know if something should go on your to do list or not is to go through the content for an entire program and THEN decide what to work and what to just ignore.
Sometimes, you’ll find a huge takeaway in a bonus video or bonus piece of content that you might have skipped over because it’s not part of the core training.
You get to make the call here – so do it.
The Basic Steps:
- Go through all the content in the program.
- Create an action list
- Take action quickly on anything you can – right away.
- Schedule everything else for the MONTH you purchase the product.
It’s going to be tempting to stop, listen, do worksheets, re-listen and listen again to the audios, because there are some amazing programs available – programs that look amazing, have content up the wazoo, and that can help you grow your business.
Your job is to choose the steps you can do right now. Schedule time to go back through the material you didn’t implement at a later time. Understand that you can’t do it all at once and you don’t have to.
Examples of Implementation
Don’t make the process of “taking action” complex.
Pick 5 things from each course that you’ll implement while you’re going through it.
If you know there’s more you want to do, use the basic steps above and schedule time to go back and pick another 5 things.
Courses that drip out content can be handled EXACTLY the same way.
Each module – watch through the content – list out to-dos as they are mentioned. Then, for each module pick 5 actions you’ll take as a result. When I say actions, I don’t mean complete the worksheets. I mean do the worksheets and then tie them into how you run your business or do something specific as a result of those worksheets.
Just because you DO the customer avatar worksheet, doesn’t mean you’ve implemented. Now that you know what you know about your ideal customer, take it to the streets.
- write a blog post specifically for that ideal customer and advise them how to solve ONE of their big challenges
- revise a sales page where you talk about “who” your offering is for using your worksheet to guide you
- add a section on your about page about who you like to work with or who your business serves and use language from the worksheet
Here are the top 5 implemented tips from my own business mentors and what part of my business they impacted the most — meaning they led to me make sales, add new subscribers to my list or change some very visible part of my business.
Can you guess who these mentors are?
- Get clear on where the cash is coming in.
I got clear on where my profits were really coming from by listing everything out and determining actual dollars and cents revenue. Now, I focus on growing those areas. No more wasting time with activities that don’t thrill me, bring in the moolah, and help me build the “dream biz”.
- Create epic + insanely useful content.
Put together a launch essentials toolkit that actually helps you plan your first online launch. The visible results were watching my list jump several hundred percent over a 3 month period.
- Create an autoresponder email to find out what challenges your readers.
I did – and respond to each and every one of the emails. 50% of my sales for the last launch of Fearless Launching were people I had responded to over the last 6 months.
- Write guest posts for blogs that cater to your audience.
First successful post had more than 250 comments on it and led directly to e-book sales. Now I get asked to guest post.
- Know how you want to feel in your business.
This is one of those sneaky ones. Knowing how you want to feel helps you make decisions. This one helps me decide if marketing strategies are right for me, gives me intuitive feedback on what I’m offering and if there’s ever anything off, and also dictates whether I post or not.
Share your story
Please share specific tips from programs, coaches, conferences that you’ve implemented and also ‘fess up where you’re guilty of buying something but then never opening it, going to a class, watching the training.
If you're looking for a little more help with a launch check out the Free Launch Workshop or become part of the next Fearless Launching.
This post look familiar? It should! I first published it in 2012 but have made some much needed updates and now you can listen to the podcast version with even more tips on getting the most out of your online programs!
Jo Ilfeld says
I absolutely love this blog post. It has so much truth to it all the way through -first about how programs woo us and second about how to take actionable steps right away to make a program worth it, even if you can’t do EVERY single step the program recommends. I find that some of the best programs are really good in parsing out what are good actionable steps and giving you the time and space to do them. Thanks for an insightful, as always, post!
My mentors are Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham, I started with their books. Then I think If I invest in a program that really help ME or help my BUSINESS.
By the way: There is a book from Robert Cialdini “Influence: The art of persuation” that teach you HOW TO SAY NO or WHY YOU SAY YES?
I agree with you, IMPLEMENTING IS KEY!
Your blogs are great!
Catherine Just says
Love this. and of course I was trying to figure out WHO told you these things. I know a few of them!
I’m off to change my autoresponder message. I’ve heard him tell me this over and over. Ask people who sign up for your list what is the one thing they are struggling with the most. He JUST posted it again today. Then you said it. So no more reading and NOT implementing. I’m on it.
So many great points here. Thank you.
When you ask – people respond. When you answer – people realize that you care and come back. The only part of “his” suggestion that I need to do is have someone pull all the q’s into a google spreadsheet so I can categorize and look at the big picture of what people are struggling with.
Go Catherine Go!
Roman – thank you so much for responding! I love the how to say no and why to say yes part of Influence. Sooo important.
Jo – you are so right. Now – I gotta know… tell me when implementing something you learned gave you a huge return on your investment?
Theresa D'Ambrose says
Hi Anne, I love this post. This breaks it down so very well, I will use this before pulling the trigger on any new program! Thank you ;))
Theresa thanks for commenting! And – I like pushing people, so … what’s the most recent example of a success you had from implementing and/or taking action as a result of a course, conference or something you invested in for your business?
Hi Anne 🙂 Love this post. (and your work!)
So you’ll love this: I could truly be the perpetual student and do LOVE LOVE LOVE to keep learning and trying new programs. In the last 4 months, I started with Marie’s Bschool and started my biz at the same time; worked through her course + FOUR other amazing programs (yes I’m on program purchasing freeze!!) and I really have been implementing like CRAZY….but of course my problem is that I only have so many hours in the day + 2 young kiddos 🙂 I love your suggestion to take action on what you can. 🙂
I was doing the same thing. Finally decided to change things. I’ve always been fairly good at implementing, but now I make it something I do on purpose. I just went back to Derek Halpern’s Blog That Converts and also B-School (which I helped launch the first 2 years and had access to the content and still didn’t implement right away!) and now I’ve got specifics I’m working on in both program. Love to hear how the implementing goes! Make sure to apply those B-School worksheets TO your business… don’t just complete them in a vacuum! Marie is amazing and she’s totally redone the program. Make her proud and apply everything to some specific part of your biz! Can’t wait to hear more Shari!
Tanya McGill Freeman says
One of my coaches, Christine Kane (Uplevel Your Business program), taught me that it’s absolutely okay to have an imperfect launch. That was and still is a huge eye-opener for me. Although I’m still in the prep stages right before launch, those words in my head have forced me to refocus on moving the business forward when I need to most and not let all the details of everything weigh me down and hold me back (or just overwhelm me in general). Thanks for another fabulous post, Anne!
These are such great tips and reminders! Thanks so much 🙂 It came at a perfect time for me when I am about to re-launch a program.
Jo Ilfeld says
Well I’m right in the middle of Bill Baren’s Master of Enrollment course right now and loving it. I’m working really hard to implement all the homework and stay on top of the practices and I notice I’m getting a lot more out of it than the courses I sign up for and don’t commit fully for. The return on investment is a work in progress though. . . 😉
Great advice. Thank you!
Sheila Viers says
Anne! You hit the nail on the head with this one, girly. I find this is true both for myself, and with my clients. If you don’t practice (i.e. implement) what you learn, then the material is just… words. But with practice, those same words really can be life changing.
It all comes down to the commitment though – the commitment to yourself and what you really want. We get caught up in thinking we need to keep learning more or that it’s too hard or our schedule is too busy to do the work, and the “work” can be as simple as sitting down and getting clear on what you want and WHY you want it.
In the past I have TOTALLY gotten caught up in the “Oh, I KNOW this next program will solve all of my problems” mindset, but the truth is, what I really needed to do was stop looking for the answers out there, and instead start checking in with myself and really listen to what my intuition was telling me to do. It seems so simple and cliche, but how often do we really stop to check in with ourselves to see how something feels? And to take that even a step further, so many people have forget HOW to check in with themselves.
Anyway, way to ROCK it! Great post!
It’s so easy to get sucked in, right Sheila?? And it’s funny because we know that it takes looking within to actually create lasting change, yet everyone of us falls into the “this is going to be the game changer” mode about external people, coaches, and programs!
I know you are an implementer and already see it EVERYWHERE in your business.
Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment!
Jo Ilfeld says
I loved your comment and your self awareness. I also checked out your blog and loved your romantic date night escape. Thanks for sharing that self-awareness with everyone. It’s a great reminder!
Thanks Tanya! I want specifics girl! Do you have any specific actions you’ve taken as a result of a course? (putting you on the spot here I know!)
OMG – Sheila, I loved that too! I felt like you were talking to me over the phone or something while reading it! LOVED it.
Tanya McGill Freeman says
Definitely, thanks for asking, Anne! Immediately after beginning the program (which kicked off with a retreat) I established my business: an LLC. I obtained my toll-free business line, began setting up the backbone of systems to support the business (my website, accounting functions, membership forms…all that good stuff) and am now working hard on my content so I can finally launch! The most important thing I think I did was elevate my self-confidence to a completely new high. THAT’S been the very best part so far. Thanks again, Anne!
My goodness, Anne! This is such a power-post! “Your Business BFF is implementation.” Simple to the point of being painful. One of the biggest truths in business. Thank you for the reminder!
Wow Tanya! Great job on all the steps you’ve taken. You are ahead of the game having your systems set up – the first launch will be that much smoother for you! Thanks for supporting and stopping by! :)Anne
Jennifer Louden says
so right on and smart – this post could be a little course or a book!
thanks jen – been thinking a lot about this post…it’s funny to see your comment!
Heather Thorkelson says
Oh my god Anne, so much yes! It’s so painful to see people waffling and what-iffing and comparing instead of DOING. There’s so much meat in this post. And I agree with Jen Louden, this could be a mini-course/book and would help a lot of people.
Book with more details incoming – and including the actual courses that are the easiest to stick with and why…
Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg says
Just saw this post…just at the right time…needed it right now…thank you!