Welcome to the Expand Online podcast, I’m your host Jaime Slutzky and this is episode 235.
Today’s topic came about after a recent conversation with a prospective client who was just so unsure how to take his music studio from where it currently is to where he wants it to be.
See, he has consumed a lot of free content online and didn’t know how to invest in his business to see those results.
He wanted to know if I thought a course was the right next step or if I thought a more interactive program would do better or if he should just work with me privately.
I knew that all three options could work for him, but that it wasn’t up to me to tell him what to do. It was best for me to lay out the key differences and potential of each option.
And I did… and now I’m coming here to the podcast to do the same for you. But before we get there, know that this conversation came about because he booked a call with me at https://callwithjaime.com and you can do that too. Or if you are all about the DM’s send me one over on Instagram or on Facebook.
Now, then, let’s talk about getting to the next level for your studio.
Buying a Course
Online courses are a fabulous way to learn something new. They work really well when you are certain you know what you want to learn and you have the self-discipline to take the time to consume the course material and implement the suggestions provided inside the course.
I love courses; I’ve been helping clients create courses since 2016 and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon… that being said, for your business, you want to be really discerning about what the course promises are and make sure that they fully align with what you want to achieve.
If you want to get started with online marketing, then I would strongly recommend joining Elevate! which is the course that Brocha and I have developed. This course will help you start and grow your email list and begin to truly leverage social media for business growth. And we do everything in this course to keep it completely relevant to music teachers.
There are thousands of courses you can purchase. Some are sold directly by the course creator, like Elevate! others are sold through course marketplaces like Udemy and membership sites like Skillshare. While many of the courses on those types of platforms are fine, they are discounted in such a way that the creators don’t make a lot of money from them and you’re likely not going to get any level of support from those creators or platforms either.
Most likely, the courses that are going to help you get to the next level for your studio are going to teach something about marketing or sales or product development or product delivery.
Before buying a course, make sure that you like the style of the course creator… do a little research on them. If they have a podcast, listen to a couple of episodes. Or check YouTube or Facebook or TikTok or Instagram and watch their videos. Even shorts and reels can help you determine if you like their voice, mannerisms and style!
A course is a lot like what you do – your teaching is generally linear, your students need to be able to identify how to play the notes on the instrument before they can play the notes on the staff on their instrument.
Truth be told, a course is only going to get you so far… they don’t come with accountability, support or personalization.
For that, your course creator is going to either offer an upsell to the course or a higher level program.
Now, the next level of offer to consider is an interactive program. This is more than just a course with support. It’s really built differently. It’s built with individuality in mind.
OMCA is an interactive program. We have the underlying structure of instruction which is linear and then we overlay it with individual attention for each of our clients. One client might need to spend more time on sections 1 or 2 whereas another client will breeze through 1 and 2 but then spend more time on 3 or 4 or 5.
I really think that interactive programs are perfect when you want to do something bigger, like build a course or expand from a single teacher studio to a multi-teacher studio. These programs are going to help you spread your wings.
When looking at interactive programs, understanding the timeline and recommended time investment is paramount. The coaches who run interactive programs have ideas on how long each component is going to take their participants in order to achieve the promised results, staying on track is going to help you keep going.
At this time, I recommend linear interactive programs to most people, because frankly I’ve been burned in a few non-linear programs that I’ve joined. When you’re looking at joining a program, you’ll find that some are evergreen and some are open-cart close-cart. The open-cart close-cart programs provide you with built in accountability because you’re starting the program at the same time as a cohort of participants and by default you’re all going through it in parallel.
Evergreen programs allow students to join at any time which is extremely convenient for participants because you don’t have to wait, but you might not find your biz bestie in those.
Just as with courses, do a bit of due diligence as you seek these programs out. Make sure you believe that the program is going to help you take your studio to the next level and that you can effectively learn from the provider.
Also ask questions about past participants and other leaders in the organization who will be working with you. Right now inside OMCA, our clients work directly with me and Brocha. In time, we are hoping to bring on additional advisors or coaches who can work more closely with our clients providing them some of the technical and wordsmithing services that we do right now.
I was just looking at an interactive program for myself and the structure is that the recorded content is from the provider and all the interaction is done with their staff. This isn’t a bad thing, but it was an important thing for me to understand as I determine if it’s the right program for me. And that’s what I want for you as well.
Oh, and one more thing about interactive programs, most of the time they are going to come with the strongest guarantee. More than courses and more than coaching too.
So, now with coaching, this is where the relationship is entirely one-on-one. It’s like your private lessons. You’ll work with your coach to get to a certain objective or for a specific period of time. Most coaches book 3- 6- or 12- month packages which may include done-with-you, done-for-you, reviewing your do-it-yourself elements or a hybrid of these.
When hiring a coach, it’s helpful to understand what they are best at and how they can help your business move forward. There are seriously thousands of different coaches who each approach coaching differently. Some will provide you with templates and methodologies to work through together while others will ask a ton of questions to help you get to the answers that are inside you.
When I coach clients, I mostly do the latter. I want to understand what they are wanting to create or do and then work through their tech roadblocks. I generally include done with you and done for you services because it’s far easier for me to get in and do the technical work and then provide a cheat sheet to my clients to use over and over again.
And coaching is going to be a unique relationship. No two clients that I coach are going to come to me with the same wants and needs and goals. It’s my job to truly understand them and only offer coaching services to those people I believe I can truly help move their studios forward.
I’m not going to coach my clients on things that I’m not the best at. And I hope any coach that you consider working with is going to be as discerning as I am.
Oh, and while I’m here, I just want to mention that group coaching is something that I consider an interactive program. It’s much more coach guided and not goal driven.
What’s your next step
Well, if you’re looking to add a new way to bring students into your existing offers, then a coach or a course is probably going to serve you best.
If you are looking to add a new revenue stream to your business, then an interactive program or a coach is likely the direction I would recommend.
If you’re looking to become more efficient or streamline processes, you can probably find what you need with any of the types of services I have mentioned in this podcast episode.
Now, before I leave you to take your next step, the last thing I want to mention is the investment…
There are three investments we’re going to make: financial, time and energy. Courses, interactive programs and coaches are all going to require each of these.
Going all in on a course, program or coaching opportunity is the best way to get a return on your investment. If you spend a lot of money but don’t put your best time and energy into it, the return is not going to necessarily be there. If you put a ton of time into a program but the financial investment is low, the return might be positive but it might not truly move your studio forward. And if you put a ton of energy into it but the program doesn’t align with your studio growth goals the result is not the movement you were hoping for.
OK, I’m going to wrap up with this… if you are ready to get to the next level, then decide what that looks like and do your research. Feel great about your course, program or coaching investment and visualize what your studio is going to look like on the other side!
I see great things for you… and I would love to chat, so book a call with me https://callwithjaime.com and we’ll connect soon.