98. Business Tip with Suzana Somers: Three Tips to Creating a Course

Suzana Somers left her job by teaching others how to use Excel and Google Sheets the same way she taught herself - by crunching data on The Bachelor. Here she shares her tips to do the same.

Alessia Citro 0:02
Welcome to the corporate dropout podcast. I'm your host Alesia Citro. If you're sick of the corporate hamster wheel and looking to feel inspired and empowered to live a high vibe life as your own boss, you're in the right place. Dare to drop out in 321. Before we start the show, I want to tell you about the business I'm launching. Starting a business can be hard work, but it doesn't need to be confusing too. And that is why I founded Theia collective, a learning community for entrepreneurs. Learn from experts across law, finance, tax operations, marketing, sales and more, and get the blueprint on how to set up and run your own business. Text biz, that's BIZ to 949-577-8709, or head to Theia dash collective.com to learn more. Hello, friends today i am back with Susanna summers. We had a great interview yesterday, so be sure to go listen to that if you haven't yet. And today she is back to tell us all about digital courses.

Alessia Citro 1:02
First, let me give her a quick intro. So she is an entrepreneur and a data analyst who founded bachelor data, which analyzes the bachelor using fun and engaging data visualizations on the hit reality TV show. And she founded her own digital course, which is bachelor data Academy in 2020. And what they do they help Excel users how to become proficient in the platform in a very unique and fun way. And spoiler alert, this is also what enabled Susana to become a corporate dropout. So today she's back. She's going to be teaching us all about why if you have any expertise that you want to share, why you should consider creating a course. So with that, Susanna, thank you for being back, I cannot wait to learn from you.

Susanna Sommers 1:48
Thanks for having me. I'm so excited to share about what I truly think is the next wave of it's just like the jackpot of content creation.

Alessia Citro 2:01
All right, well, take us away, what are the main things that we need to know when it comes to creating a course? Anything that you want to share that you have learned? We're here for it.

Susanna Sommers 2:13
Yeah, so digital courses. They're basically if you don't know what they are, they are basically a course that people can buy online to learn from you. I mean, it's it's not too difficult. But what's really great about digital courses that I have found is that you spend a lot of time at the beginning making the course. And then once you're done, you sell it passively, like it's passive income. So I'm not gonna lie like building up the course it took some time, it took a lot of planning, it took a lot of video editing. Some people will do like live videos within their digital courses, and then share those recordings afterwards. Mine was totally pre recorded. But then once you're done putting it together, your account then just turns into promoting the course. So it's really, it brings a lot back to your life so that you can have time with your family. You can create other content that you love on social media and just I guess for me, it's just getting my life back.

Susanna Sommers 3:14
Okay, well, I have to edit out the part the awkward pause since Mila just woke up from her nap.

Susanna Sommers 3:19
I can pause right now if you need a break. No, it's okay.

Susanna Sommers 3:22
I'm okay. So passive income. What were the other pieces to because I was not able to listen to all of it because I was typing and hearing her yell.

Susanna Sommers 3:31
Sorry, getting no you're good. You're good. Passive income, getting your life back and then creating more content that you love.

Alessia Citro 3:38
Okay, perfect. I think also, let's add in like anything that you learn from it like major mistakes, things that you wish you had included. Yeah, anything like that, that you think would be helpful? And I'm gonna mute again. Sorry. Okay. All right, 321. I'll let you go for it.

Susanna Sommers 4:00
Yeah, I think as far as the creation of the course, one of the best things that I did was, first things first, I surveyed my community to even see if they wanted it. So as we talked about in the previous podcast, it the idea actually came from a follower. And then, you know, I did some stories about it. I did some polls to learn a little bit more about my audience who used Google Sheets who used Excel. I started with doing the Google Sheets course because it was the lesser used tool when I surveyed my audience. And then I didn't go down the route of pre selling so a lot of people will pre sell at that point, where they'll be like, Hey, I'm gonna I'm gonna launch this course you can buy it now for a discounted price. I had never done this before. And I wanted to build it out first. So what I did was I collected all of their their names and their email addresses on a Google form. And then I chose 10 beta testers who were interested. And I basically went through the process of I built the curriculum, which luckily, I used my own experience learning how to use Excel, plus my own experience as an educator to build out what that roadmap would look like. And then I recorded some modules and sent them to my beta testers. And they sent all of this feedback that I was basically like, All right, we're gonna go back and rerecord all of those. And I realized I lost like a few weeks of work. So I think there is one of the things is that I really wish I had done differently, which was record one module, not three, and send them out to a few people to test. And it's even just the smallest things like I was missing, that I left gaps in. And I use this really awesome tool that would really help with video editing, but just having to go back and listen to myself was something I didn't enjoy doing. So having beta testers was essential to me. And then and I gave the beta testers access for free. And then when it came to the time of the launch, not gonna lie, I had no marketing background experience, or experience. And I basically just had my email list and I was like, Hey, guys, it's gonna launch in a few days, I just wanted it out there. I was, like, I'm so tired at this point, like I because I wanted to launch something that I felt good about that would, you know, was quality. But that took a lot of time and effort. And that was time and effort that I was doing after work. So I also wish I'd given myself a little bit more time for video editing, and really give myself some grace and didn't hold myself accountable to the deadlines that I had in my own head. But yeah, once I launched, I really had no strategy, I was just like, hey, guys, we're going to launch here's the price. And you know, the first so many people who sign up will get it at this rate, and in the first 24 hours, you'll get it at this rate. The other thing that which was very unexpected about launch day was we managed to crash the website, which I use Thinkific, which is a massive platform, and that didn't crash, but stripe did, which is a global money processing platform, like it is not a small, it's not like a you know, small startup, like they are one of the biggest platforms out there. And it crashed. And I had no plan for what would happen in that instance. So there's a little bit of panicking, but it was, it was also really exciting that day, just to see how many people were excited to take the course.

Alessia Citro 7:26
That's so awesome. And I'm curious to like, if there's anything else that you learned around, you know, how long should of course be? Should it be self paced versus, versus live? Is it evergreen versus like cohorts, like any other takeaways that you learned?

Susanna Sommers 7:43
I mean, I haven't done cohorts or live components within mine. I think, for me, I have a very big passion on making my my content accessible. So I always try to use captions. And I know that that isn't as easy with a live component. And I know that there are programs like zoom will do some captioning now, but captioning won't pick up when I say you know sell before, it's it's going to say like sale, be E for it's just not gonna be accessible. So, for me, I went back and I really spent the time building it out to be accessible. I do think that there are some benefits to having live components if you have more of a coaching program built into your course. For me, that just didn't make sense, though, because I had that proven curriculum. And basically what I've done now is if I see people asking certain questions, I went back and added one lesson in the Excel version. And then in the Google Sheets version, I added an entire extra module on pivot tables that Excel ended up having but the Google Sheets one didn't have at the beginning. I just basically listened to my community, I have access to a private Facebook group that they that they can join once they buy the course, to ask any questions like again, having that community access, if they have questions on how to use Excel in a specific situation. By listening to them, that's when I kind of know when to go in and tweak my course.

Alessia Citro 9:06
Such good advice. Yeah, I think having a channel for feedback and actually implementing it. That's how you get raving fans and customers for life. Well, this was amazing. Thank you so much for coming back. Tell us where listeners can connect with you work with you, as well as the very generous promo code that you provided for listeners of the show.

Susanna Sommers 9:25
Yeah, you can find me on bachelor data across Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, you can just go into my DMs or you can my email is also in the link in my bio. You can use code corporate drop out for $100 off my course. And it works off of any one of our courses or the bundle it feel free to connect with me too. I'm really excited about this whole space around, you know, launching courses. So if you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Alessia Citro 9:52
Well, thank you so much for being back here. This was awesome. And again, listeners if you didn't check out our interview yesterday. Be sure to go do that and we'll see you next This week This episode was brought to you by Theia collective the learning community I found it for entrepreneurs text biz, that's BIZ to 949-577-8709 or head to Theia dash collective.com. That's THEIA dash collective.com to learn more. Thanks for listening to the show. If you enjoyed today's episode, please help me get the word out about the corporate drop out by screenshotting and sharing this on social I would appreciate it so much if you would subscribe and leave a five star rating and review as well. And I do this show for you and I want to hear from you. So tell me what is it that you want more of text me at 949-541-0951 or slide into the DMS at corporate drop out official or Alesia Citro with two underscores until next time