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Behind the Scenes of Creating an E-course Part 6: The Post Op

It’s been awhile since I launched and closed the cart for Stress Less & Impress. I’ve learned many lessons from the whole experience and now I’m running the course again.

The last step in creating an ecourse is to do a post mortem. To reflect back, see what worked and what didn’t as a way to really absorb the lessons learned and know what to improve on next time.

This is Part Six of this series, if you haven’t yet, I’d recommend reading Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five first.

As a whole here are some of the lessons or surprises I encountered along the way of my e-course journey.

1. It takes longer than you expect and that’s ok. Mainly because of the fear of not doing to things right (is the content good enough, do I need to add more stuff, have I added too much,etc). Be kind to yourself and don’t compare yourself to others that seems to create & launch stuff so fast. At the same time, remember not to be a perfectionist and that you can learn & improve on it more (to be exactly what people need) after getting those first clients through the door and getting their feedback.

2. Get some accountability. Tell your friends, family, mastermind, network and most importantly, your audience that you are working on something to be launched soon. That’s why I created this series. I knew that #1 was coming into play, and I knew I could sit on this idea forever if I didn’t have public accountability. Telling you guys gave me that. I didn’t want to let you down. Or have you thinking I’m all talk and no action. So yes, it took longer than I expected to finally get it out there (and therefore this series is pretty spread out over time), it still may not have happened if I didn’t get the accountability by telling you about it first.

3. Keep it simple. We are all surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things. Huge launches, affiliate programs, scholarship contests, videos and worksheets and bonuses, free video training series…..the list of possibilities goes on and on. The first time around, keep it simple. Drop all the extras. Get your course out there as quick as possible by keeping it as simple as possible- otherwise you’ll never actually launch. A big trend right now is doing a video optin launch series. I was tempted. But I knew the more tasks I put on myself and the bigger I tried to make it, would only delay me actually putting it out into the world. So I didn’t (and I always can the next time around if I want to go bigger).

4. Bring someone on board to help. Even if you stick to #2, it’s still scary, it’s still stressful, there is still a lot to do and having someone to be your partner in crime makes it soooo much easier. Whether it be a VA to help put your course materials together, a strategist to help write the outline or collegues to contribute content, don’t do it alone. (I hired the amazing launch strategist Farideh and her awesome launch strategy package, if you’re curious: check it out here and even if you don’t hire her, grab her launching checklist that made planning so much easier.) She took care of all the little details, helped me break through the fear, and set extremely high goals for me that I first laughed at, then eventually surpassed.

5. Make time for customer questions. One element I hadn’t anticipated was the many emails I received with additional questions. While I had an FAQ, my community wanted to know more, specifically if it was right for them. I’m very glad I cleared my plate for launch week so that I could be available for these questions instead of stressed out. You will get more questions and emails, no matter how well you plan out your sales page.

6. Be ready to make changes. About 3 days since opening my cart I realized that the course platform wasn’t optimal for feedback and learning. Most people spend a lot of time on Facebook, and I realized how much easier it would be for people to ask questions where they already hang out rather than need to login to the course website. Since I was already used to being a FB group admin with the FTF Facebook group I realized that this would be a much better platform to host resources, post questions and have everyone contribute to the learning.

Post mortems aren’t just for e-courses. Any large undertaking deserves reflection and a taking of lessons learned.

Talk to me!

Have you created a new course or product recently or planning to  soon? How did you/are you preparing with the above in mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

-Leah

P.S. If you’re new here and thinking about creating an e-course, here’s all the posts from this series!

Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Congrats on finishing the series! I’ve enjoyed following along and even referred to some of the posts and resources while helping one of my clients plan a launch recently. Thanks for always putting out helpful content!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh thank you for sharing it! I hope it has helped some of them!

  • Yes, it always takes more time, doesn’t it?
    Thanks for the honest review!

  • I’m in my third round of running my e-course Big Blogging Bootcamp and I can totally relate to everything you’ve just said. I wish when I’d started your email series was there already. I learnt so many things the hard way.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Hey, but sometimes that’s the best way- it tends to stick more when we experience it ourselves!

  • It definitely takes more time and preparation than I initially thought it would take. Great thing about not getting the first time you can improve and try again. Having help is so important unless you have experience doing it alone. I am entering into my second launch of my course and I predict it will be much better!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Exactly- the JUST DOING IT part is sooo important because there is no reason you can do it again, and better the second time!

  • Accountability is #1 in getting things done for me, otherwise this is something you can easily push off. Definitely a great learning process. Loved reading your experience Leah!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Glad you enjoyed it, can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned during your recent new course!

  • Great post, and fantastic tips. I’m still in the midst of editing my first bigger course and I am doing it all alone – I’ve found that accountability is a huge part of actually following through otherwise it’s going to just get pushed to the side and never worked on.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, HUGE- especially when doing it alone.

  • Excellent post again, Leah! I LOVE how this is like “Stress Less” to Launching – haha! Simple steps that make it realistic, manageable and flexible. Definitely bookmarking for my future course plans… 😉 Thanks!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      YES! Didn’t think of it that way but I sure hope it was 🙂 Love step by step stuff so I hope others do too.

  • Thanks so much for sharing all of these tips. Will definitely look at all of them. I’m thinking of creating a course. I like your advice not to be a perfectionist and to keep it simple-sometimes we procrastinate because we have made it harder than it needs to be in our minds! Great job!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      I think that whenever we launch new big things that scare us, it will NEVER be done and it will NEVER be perfect in our minds. But our customers don’t always need what we think is perfect, they just need it. So yes, keep it simple, especially the first time!

  • “Post mortem” — ack, so morbid haha.

    Great post, Leah, as usual 😉

  • This is a great way to wrap up the series. I particularly like points #2 and #3. I often think about creating a course but I get put off by the time required to create something to my standards (high quality videos etc). So this is a great reminder to just keep things simple and iterate over time. Congratulations on the course Leah and thanks for sharing your experiences along the way. 🙂

  • So, you are inspiring me to do this! Thank you for sharing all of your insights from going through the process. I will read the first parts of this series.

    I think you’re right on about the perfectionism/keep it simple warning. When we have too much built up in our minds, we tend to procrastinate and put it off. Your post inspires us all to get started. Thanks and congrats!

  • Oh LOVED this post Leah! All in all I felt very similar to you with my first group course launch. I’m glad I just told people and DID it without over-processing, the launch week WAS crazy, and now I’m in the processes of tweaking it all to re-launch in September. I don’t know about you, but I almost feel more overwhelmed by the re-launch than the first launch 😉

  • Thanks for sharing the process! I love your honesty and today’s advice of keeping it simple the first time. Now that I think about that fact that you did not do the usual 3 videos plan, and I still felt attracted to buy your program. A good point that it can be done other way. Only to think about having to manage the videos part was stressing me out! So now I feel less stressed!;-)

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m keeping it bookmarked as I’ll be launching sometime within the next year and know this information will be useful. I’ve also shared it with friends who I know are launching products soon!

  • Oh evaluation…I am SO HAPPY that you’re including this! So many people don’t, and I find that incredibly frustrating. It’s important to understand your audience and ensure that the solution you’re developing is working for the audience! Evaluate, revise, version up!

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