Don’t you love that phrase? It’s also my favorite part of every project. Why? Because it doesn’t require much effort. It doesn’t need any focus and it doesn’t really need to make sense. (Does that make me sound lazy?)
Brain Dumping is simply pulling everything that comes to mind out of your head and putting it on paper (or google docs). And it’s the next step for me in creating my e-course.
If you didn’t see Part 1 yet of this six part series, it’s about how to find out what your potential customers really need. You can read it here. Once you know what they want and need, you can get started with the brain dumping.
You’ll remember that I found 2 very obvious problems that my readers struggle with.
Streamlining Your Process/ Getting More Clients
I have a lot to share on both topics, so I decided to develop them a bit side-by-side. I went through the braindump stage with both of them. Throughout the process, I realized that you can’t successfully implement my strategies for getting a steady flow of clients until you have your processes in place. So that made it easy to decide which to release first.
On to the brain dumping…
Creating a some-what organized brain dump space.
Start by creating a google doc with a few general column headings.
What do my customer’s struggle with? In their words.
What do I know about this topic?
What’s the solution to this problem?
What’s the over-arching theme of the course?
What are the big picture topics (modules) related to this theme?
What are the sub-topics of these modules?
These are just general guidelines I used for my course braindump. Many things can overlap in multiple columns, but having them gives your brain a little direction and helps avoid “brain dumper’s block”.
Now grab some coffee (or wine past 5 :)) and list EVERYTHING that comes to mind about those topics. It doesn’t matter if it’s not clear, doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t really fit. Just get it down on paper.
P.S I’ve created a template for this you are welcome to use. You can check it out here.
Organizing the brain dump.
After you’re fresh out of things to write down, it’s time to start organizing. Create a new document and pull from the braindump the over-arching themes. These become the modules. I personally started with about 10 of them. I knew that 10 modules will be way too much, but I kept them there to see how many sub-topics (or lessons) I had to go under them.
This is what I came up with:
Your Website & Packages
Hire Me Form & Consult Calls
Contracts & Invoicing
The Secret of the Welcome Package
The Secret of the Goodbye Package
A-Z Walkthrough of my Process
Blogging & Social Media for the time-starved
Tech Tutorial Videos
I then added sub-topics under each module. Most of these sub-topics also came from my brain dump. Here are a few to give you an example:
Module: Your Website & Packages
- The essentials to have on your website to get clients saying “Yes Please!” faster.
- Secrets of package creation
- To list or not to list (your prices)
Module: Hire Me Form & Consult Calls
- Why your Hire Me form is wasting your time.
- How to do a Hire Me form the right way.
- Don’t do consult calls without this.
Module: The Secret of the Welcome Package
- Why you need it.
- What to include
- How to build it.
I started out with way too many sub-topics. But then narrowed it down by considering which topics I knew the most about, what I enjoyed teaching about, as well as what made the most sense to get my customers from where they are now to where they need to be.
I created a template for this as well that you are welcome to use: Course Module Template
And there you have it.
Going from tons of ideas (brain dump) to knowing exactly what the course will cover, in only a few steps. I have my modules, each lesson, and just need to fill in the information for each lesson.
Breaking down everything before starting the actual work, makes the rest of the project super smooth and fairly easy to put together.
Now for the Result!
Over the next week, I’ll be brainstorming a name, decide on which format (email, videos, slides, etc) and get a sales page up to send people to. Stayed tuned for some behind-the-scenes on how that goes.
What are your secret strategies for brainstorming? I want to hear them!
Continue reading with the next part in this series: Behind The Scenes of Creating an E-course Part 3: Delivery Options of my course building adventure!