A love letter to myself two years ago
It was New Year’s Eve 2019. Also, my anniversary. I remember how frazzled I felt. I got a gold sparkly manicure only to pick it all off by the end of the day!
After two years of working on a course with lots of delays, I was honestly so sick of trying to get birth trauma training for birth workers off the ground that I was over it. It still wasn’t perfect. I had a lot of things I wanted to fix, but I also just wanted it off my ‘one day’ list. I wanted to stop saying it would be ready ‘soon’. This course took me two long years to create. It was full of failures, some crappy advice and some epic let downs I still have yet to talk about publicly. I was exhausted. I’m still exhausted from doing this work.
Looking back, here’s what I would say to 2019 me if I could get back in a DeLorean and know then what I know now.
Creating, filming and editing the course is actually the easy bit. I know it might not feel like that now and it’s not what you want to hear. Experience has taught me this is actually the truth though. Once you’ve learned to write, film and edit a course, it’s pretty easy. Launching and marketing is the tricky part. Understanding sales when you come from an industry that teaches you nothing about sales (psychology) is a huge learning curve.
Stop obsessing about the exact right shade of pink for your logo (you’ll hate it soon anyway!) and instead invest energy in understanding conversion rates. AKA understanding what percentage of people who click on your landing page, open your emails, download your freebie or watch your webinar will ultimately buy your course. 1 sale for every 100 people who click is actually excellent. This will save you many, many episodes of sitting on the kitchen floor crying into your prosecco while you feel like an utter failure. Read microtrends Squared now. Also, Denise Duffield Thomas, Grace Lever and Leonie Dawson are 3 Aussie Mums in business who teach some of this stuff – for free!
“Build it and they will come” is not only a frequently misquoted movie line, it’s the mantra inside the head of WAY too many women in healthcare. We’ve been falsely taught the idea that if you are ‘good enough’ then you will succeed. It’s wrong. Look, and you’ll find plenty of shit courses, shit books and shit coaching programs that sell incredibly well. It’s not about you or your product/service being ‘good enough’ it’s about understanding how sales works AND having the confidence to just have a go.
The whole “sell business to business” doesn’t necessarily work very well for some perinatal courses like birth trauma. Businesses won’t pay their staff to take birth trauma training….which is exactly part of the problem of birth trauma! Yes, you’re going to feel angry and sad, but take heart in the fact that there are individuals who will invest in their own learning.
Word of mouth referrals are gold. I once enrolled something like 760 students in 24 hours due to a word of mouth referral. You can read about that HERE
People are way too fixated on Facebook ads and promoting the idea that you ‘need’ to be on social media promoting your business. Very few people seem to test this ‘need’. I’ve never spent money on Facebook ads for my courses. Pareto’s principle (that 80% of your work will result in 20% of results) didn’t add up at all when I finally looked at the conversion stats for social media in my business. Like everything in business, test it, ask yourself what your goals are how you actually want to spend your time?
You can Google just about anything you need to learn. A professional videographer isn’t necessary for your first course. You can totally learn to shoot and edit yourself. I personally really enjoyed the process of learning to shoot and edit but I actually learned it by complete accident. I took a handmade film making course for fun and consequently learned everything I needed to know about how to shoot my own course.
You learn by doing and trying to prevent failing just delays things. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get it all ‘right’. It can take a few tries to find the software that you like to use, the platform that suits you and the pricing. Two years on, I’m looking at switching to what will be my third platform and a third pricing schedule. It’s normal to change things around. Nothing is set in stone.
It’s worth learning how to plan for a launch. Even if you have no plans to do a ‘proper’ launch and are just hoping to hit publish and hope for the best, learning to launch will ease some of that anxiety and self-doubt, because it gives you systems and a plan. I still hate launching. Lots of creators do. Just learn anyway!
Your worth as a person, or how ‘good’ your course is not reflected in how many sales you make. You need to embrace being ok with failure and fail fast and often. It’s just part of the process. You grow so much through the process of creating and failing. Hey, here I am now, two years later teaching other people how to create and launch courses! Who would have thought
For quite a few weeks now I’ve been feeling like I don’t really know how I’m going to emerge from 2021. Will I launch all the projects I’m excited to launch and emerge as a beautiful butterfly? Will I come out as one of those tattered, dusty moths? Or will nothing come out of my cocoon but a pile of goo?
Cue the slightly random but delightful appearance of this little caterpillar. Trying to get close enough to take a decent photo was entertaining. I have no idea where it came from. I was literally just siting down watching TV and it appeared on my finger.
Mum as You Are
Episode 26 is about a new Happiness App I’ve started using. I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin’s work and refer to her 4 tendencies personality types a lot. She’s launched an app that comes up with happiness activities suited to your own personality tendency. It also has a fun ‘spin the wheel’ to get an idea for a happiness boosting activity. Not sponsored or anything, I just think it’s a bit of fun and potentially more useful than mindless scrolling if you’re on your phone anyway!
You can listen to the episode HERE
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