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Teaching in Alignment

Group of people joining hands over an iPad frame

There are two types of alignment that are important to consider in setting up your online course and the business that supports it. 

It's critical to be aligned "vertically", with our higher purpose...our mission, vision, values, and purpose for teaching online.

And it's also critical to be aligned "horizontally", with our ideal customers... the people we are here to serve.

Your course exists at the intersection of those two alignments, at the sweet spot where your vision of the difference you want to make in the world meets the people who want to achieve that transformation, with your guidance and help.

Where does your vision for the transformation you want to deliver meet up with the people who want to achieve that transformation, with your help?

In order to reach those future customers, we need to use the tools provided by digital marketing.  For some online course creators, marketing comes easily. But for many others, it doesn't. 

Many people who are drawn to teaching, are "people people", rather than numbers/data/algorithm people. But digital marketing works by skillfully using numbers, data, and algorithms to bring our ideal future course participants to us.

"People people" thrive in face-to-face teaching situations, where they get real-time interaction with and feedback directly from the people they are here to serve. For extroverts, for example, getting up in front of a live crowd can feel energizing as the audience's responsiveness flows back towards them.

But what happens to those same "people people" in an online teaching situation?

The technology itself can feel like an opaque wall rather than a transparent window, blocking the instructor's view of their online learners. The solution to that is fairly simple, fortunately: practice with the technology you'll be using, in a safe low-stakes situation, until you feel comfortable.

But how do we reach the people who haven't even shown up yet, for our online course, in order to make them aware of the course to begin with? There are many wonderful programs out there that teach digital marketing for online course creators, and we can learn from all of them. We can learn techniques and skills and methods of digital marketing.

What's harder to learn, though, is the mindset shift that has to happen in order to reach out to people we've never met, and bring them into our sphere of influence where our products and services can work for them.

For many of us in the Learn and Get Smarter community, our primary motivation for teaching online is to be of service. But how do we find the people we want to serve, especially when there is so much emphasis in the digital marketing space on making lots and lots and lots of money... on seeing our potential customers in terms of what they can give US, rather than on how we can serve THEM?

young woman using laptop PC and various pictures. internet streaming service concept.

Many people in the Learn and Get Smarter community struggle with these questions. I know I certainly do. That's why I'm so thankful that my path crossed with Korrie Olszewski, who focuses on digital marketing for service-oriented coaches and entrepreneurs.

Korrie joined us at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting on August 8th and shared her vision for creating alignment between our highest purpose and our practical goals of serving our customers.  Many of us found her approach to  digital marketing harmonious and in alignment with the way we want to present ourselves online. 

I am very much looking forward to learning more from her! Check out Korrie's website to learn more about her work and her unique perspective on digital marketing.

How do YOU feel about reaching out to your future potential customers? 

Does that come easily to you?

Or do you struggle with it?

Do you feel that your course, and your business, are deeply aligned with your central mission and vision and values and purpose and goals?  Do you have a clear sense of the exact type of people you'd like your course to help, and exactly how you want it to make a difference in their lives?

It's important to get clear on all those things first, BEFORE starting to actually build your course.  Come on over to the  Facebook group and let's talk about it...or if you prefer, drop me a line at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these important topics that every course creator has to face. 

 NO community meeting this week! 

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

because a lot of us will be attending a conference

Not allowed sign

We'll be back to regular meetings

on Saturday, August 22nd, 2020.

Hope to see you then!

Your audience and what they need to learn from you

colorful target with stick figures representing your audience, at the center of it

The internet has made it possible for anyone to become a producer or publisher..without any gatekeepers. Instead of having to please a gatekeeper, now we have to speak directly to the needs of our target audience. How can we best do that?

The role of the teacher is not to pour knowledge into empty vessels, but rather to elicit from our learners the energies and abilities that reside within THEM. We are not here to fill others' heads with what WE know, but rather to support their process of developing what THEY know. How can we discover what they need to know, and what they most need to learn from us?

As a teacher, you have to have something of value to offer people... some energy differential that gives you the power/energy/flow to help your learners achieve a transformation.

What's the difference you're here to make in the world? You are the sun of your "solar system"... what's the PURPOSE of your system?

You may have a BIG transformation for your entire online business enterprise... which in a course-focused business, may equate to a whole online "school" rather than just a single course.

How can you understand the market, understand your customers, understand your own central mission and motivating purpose, and create a course (or courses) that not only accomodates the market but also brings in the level of crafstmanship that leads to deep learning?

Young femal e engineer concept. GUI (Graphical User Interface).

We need to deeply attune to our target audience's VALUES... the things that are important to them.

As heart-centered, service-oriented, mission-driven entrepreneurs, how can we connect to our target market with deep understanding of their motivations, values, and needs? 

At the meeting on Saturday, July 25th, 2020, community member Shirley Pordominsky gave a fascinating presentation about the LAB Profile (Language and Behavior Profile) which evolved from Neuro Linguistic Programming.

As a Life Coach, Shirley works with entrepreneurs who want to reinvent themselves, to discover who they really are, what they want, and how to get it, no matter their age or circumstances. Shirley has been practicing from 1998 to today as NLP Master Practitioner, a LAB Profile Trainer and Consultant, is a CoachU graduate. She is a Lifelong learner pursuing knowledge for personal development, and to be up to date and to offer it to her coaching clients.

At last week's community meeting, Shirley did a masterful job of making us aware of different factors that may motivate ourselves, and/or our students and customers, in various ways. She helped us understand that there are different patterns of motivation, such as those that lead people either TOWARD a goal or AWAY from a negative consequence. 

Some people, she explained, prefer to think about options, while others focus on procedures. Understanding your own preferences and those of your students, customers, or anyone else you interact with, adds depth and effectiveness to your interaction in a particular context.

Business is about relationships and serving people's needs. Who are the people whose needs you serve with your business and course? How can you learn more about them and what those needs are? 

You can explore the LAB profile for yourself here, and use it to gain nuanced contextual understanding

of yourself and others as you interact in various contexts and settings:


 One of the wonderful things about creating community is the synergy and empowerment we can all give to and gain from each other.A huge thank you to Shirley for her fascinating presentation, which helped us all learn and get smarter! 

THANK YOU! brush calligraphy banner

Back in the day when we used to be able to travel, I was fortunate enough to attend Digital Marketer's Traffic & Conversion conference. Ryan Deiss gave a mesmerizing keynote speech in which he said that the businesses that succeed long term going forward will be those that can not only make the initial sale, but take their customers through ALL the stages of the Customer Value Journey.

If your business is focused on delivering online learning, it's critical to  understand what it takes to help your customers get value from the products and services you deliver. An online course is a much more complex product than, say, a toothbrush. It's not enough to just put a course online.. you also need to nurture, support, and guide your course participants along the path from Point A to Point B that your course represents.

How will you do that for your customers? An important consideration is, how can you determine what their Point A, the starting point for their learning journey, is? If you're interested in exploring that in more depth, I've created a low-cost action plan (mini-course) to help you get to know your customers' learning needs, further.

Course landing page screenshot from Action Plan A: Before You Begin

The focus of this mini course is on getting to know your customer's learning needs in relation to what you want to teach. If you'd like to talk more about this important topic, come on over to the Course Design Formula® Community Facebook  group and let's keep the conversation going.

Better yet, join us for next week's community meeting on Saturday, August 8th as we continue our collaborative exploration of how to survive and thrive during these unprecedented times. I was honored this past week to meet Korrie Olszewski, who takes a soul-centered approach to digital marketing. I've invited Korrie to join us next week and share more about her unique approach to getting to know and reach  customers.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call