The course creation journey is full of lessons. As we create our courses to teach others the knowledge that we know, we in turn also learn valuable insights and lessons for course creators along the way.
These lessons and insights are huge, especially for beginner course creators like you who are just starting out. Learning these lessons from someone who’ve made it can help us bypass common mistakes and help us launch our own online course in no time.
In this episode of The Course Creators Circle Podcast, we are joined by Melissa Hiemann and Maria Fernandez who are both course creators just like you.
Mel and Maria will give you an insider’s perspective to help you create your online course. They share with us the biggest lesson they have learned creating courses, what it taught them, and advice they can give to their fellow course creators.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Please tell us a brief introduction about yourself, your business, and the courses you teach.
Mel: My name is Melissa Hiemann, and I am the co-founder of the Center for Healing. Through our online courses, we teach and certify therapists, counsellors and healers or people that want to help people heal and create a trauma-informed business that they can be passionate about and love.
I have authored a book, the Natural Secrets to Letting Go of Instant Gratification and Finding Inner Peace. I have also created two internationally recognized and accredited methods and certification training called Root Cause Therapy and Trauma-informed Manifestation Coaching which we all teach online.
My business partner and team have also created numerous other methods and training. We have an amazingly supportive student community comprising over 5,000 incredible people from all over the world who have taken our courses.
In the last two years alone, we have sold over $1.5 million in course sales alone. My partner Ryan and I also consult and mentor people who want to start their own online course business to gain time and freedom to be with their family, as creating online courses is what has massively and positively changed our little family’s life.
Maria: My name is Maria Fernandez. I’m a language teacher and also a language learner. I’ve been learning languages since I was a teenager and for the last six years, I’ve been teaching Spanish and English online.
Before that, I taught languages for over 5,000 hours, one on one or in group lessons. That gave me the experience and motivation to create online courses. It is much easier today than it was six years ago.
I have created several courses for Spanish and English. I’m constantly learning not just the languages themselves, but how to create courses faster and how to create courses that my students like.
I love the challenge. It’s been difficult. Sometimes I still don’t get it right. But it’s a marvellous business. What I like the most is the freedom that it gives me because I can work from anywhere, travel around the world, work at any time that I fancy, and take holidays. The freedom is exceptional. There are very few jobs that are going to give you this kind of freedom.
Lessons are part of the course creation journey. As we start to create our courses, we’re going to learn lessons along the way. And it’s pretty exciting because that is the evolutionary and ever-changing world of course creation. So today, we ask our course creators, what was the biggest lesson you have learnt when creating courses?
Mel: One of the biggest lessons that we have learned in creating online courses is that you really need to believe in yourself. There are going to be doubters and people that might project their fears onto you, but you’ve got to really dig deep and believe in yourself.
A part of that is letting go of being perfect at the start. You’ve just got to build something and put it out there. And as you mentioned, it is something that will be an evolution over time. As you learn more, as you grow as a human being, that will reflect in your online courses and what you put out there.
I think the other thing, too, is sometimes we’ll do a launch and won’t get signups, or sometimes we’ll make an offer and no one’s interested. But at that point, you’ve got to keep going and not give up.
Maria: The biggest lesson I have learned by creating courses is that before I do anything, I have to ask my students. If I don’t ask my students what it is they want, what it is that they have trouble with, what they want to improve the most, and what they want to work on, then I’m going to create a course that they are not interested in.
If I don’t ask those questions, I will create a course that I think they need. And time and again, my students have proved to me that that is not the way I should do it. I have created several courses that literally nobody was interested in, only myself.
And when I have asked them, when I said what it is that you really want, what it is that you would pay for, and they’ve told me, because people will tell you very clearly, you create the course that they need, the course that they want, and the course that they will pay for, and you will succeed.
If I don’t ask these questions, I will get it wrong every single time.
Lessons are all about learning. As we’re creating our courses, there’s going to be something that particular lesson taught us. So we’ve asked our course creators to share with us, what did that lesson teach you and what value did it bring to your business?
Mel: That lesson of believing in ourselves and also just putting yourself out there even when you feel like no one’s listening, but doing it consistently over and over.
The biggest thing that taught me was the resilience that you get from that. It always pays off. Because if you keep showing up, at some point, people are going to recognise you, start to get to know you, or you’re going to come across the right people and they’re going to enrol.
So that would be the main lesson that I learned from that. And our sales just went crazy after that when I stopped giving up.
Maria: Easily by asking my students what it is that they want to learn and what they would pay for in terms of online courses. What I’ve learned is that when I create those courses, they will pay for them. They will be interested in the courses, a lot more than the courses that I come up with in my head.
The courses that I create now are 1 hour long with just a few videos focusing on one topic. For example, I just created a 1-hour course on English accent reduction. That’s a 60-minute course with five videos of 12 minutes each. I would have never thought of a course like that.
I never thought that people would be interested in that kind of thing, but people want courses that are short, to the point, and not very expensive, even if they end up having to pay for several courses. That is the way it works in my industry.
I’ve learned that by asking my students what it is they want. And since they’ve told me, these are the courses I’m creating now and they are much more successful than anything I’ve created in the past.
What is your advice for other course creators about what you learned from your lesson and how to avoid it? Or how to grow from that lesson that you learned within your course creation journey?
Mel: My background is therapy and coaching and healing, so I’m going to explain it with that kind of filter. There have probably been times in our lives growing up where you’ve gone to do something like speak in front of the class and you went blank and felt ashamed, or you got a sales job and you had to do some kind of presentation and you felt rejected.
These little moments in our lives create memories in our nervous system and having your own business and online course business can really activate those memories. We can’t remember the memory, but our body goes into this fight-or-flight response and we can either shut down or get really anxious.
Working through those can be super helpful. You can do it on your own with meditation or you can sign up with someone to work through those things. But sometimes it’s deeper than just mindset.
Just keep in mind that your body is trying to protect you from that past pain, but you can let your body know that it’s safe to go ahead.
Maria: The advice I would give other course creators is to ask your audience questions like, what is it that you need from me, what is going to make the biggest difference to your knowledge, and how can I help you improve the fastest?
If you ask these questions, your students will answer. They will tell you because they do want to help you help them. If you ask these questions, they will tell you and you will create fantastic courses. The courses that they want and the courses that they need.
About our Guests
Melissa Hiemann is the co-founder of The Centre for Healing. Through online courses, they teach and certify therapists, counsellors and healers who want to help people heal and create a trauma-informed business that they can be passionate about and love. With her partner Ryan, she also consults and mentors people who want to start their own online course business to gain time and freedom to be with their family.
Maria Fernandez creates Spanish and English language learning courses. After teaching in person for over 5,000 hours, she set up a Spanish learning website, KeRapido.com. A couple of years later, she set up Learn English with Maria.
[0:00] Welcome to The Course Creators Circle Podcast
[0:45] Lessons from course creators just like you
[0:57] Introducing Melissa Hiemann
[2:20] Introducing Maria Fernandez
[4:05] The biggest lesson you have learnt when creating courses
[4:17] Mel: Believe in yourself
[5:00] Maria: Ask your students what they want to learn
[6:29] What did that lesson teach you and what value did it bring to your business
[6:48] Mel: You get resiliency
[7:20] Maria: Students pay for what they ask for
[8:34] Advice for other course creators about what you learned from your lesson
[8:53] Mel: When you get anxious, let your body know that it’s safe to go ahead
[9:51] Maria: If you ask questions, your students will answer
[10:35] Thank you to our guests Mel and Maria
[10:55] Join The Course Creators Circle Community of Facebook
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