If you’ve ever been around a friend or a family member who just didn’t get what you do, you know how judgmental someone who “just doesn’t get it” can be.
However, the world experienced a massive shift in 2020.
Online business as we know it has shifted.
Online education is even more commonplace.
Zoom is now a household name.
The number of people working from home has tripled, according to the U.S. census.
Coursera, the popular online course provider, has increased its user base by 438% over the last 5 years.
Since 2020, Thinkific has had a 200% increase in the number of courses created on their platform.
And, the online education industry has more than doubled over the last decade.
As of 2023, it’s hit $300 billion in market size and is projected to continue growing quickly over the next couple of years.
So a lot of that judgment has turned into curiosity.
And that curiosity has turned into an influx of people working and doing business online.
I think that’s a very good thing, for you and me, and for the people buying from us.
I’m a fan of access, fewer gatekeepers, and the ability to reach the people you work with and market to, easily and effortlessly.
But, of course, there are downsides we have to take into account too: an influx of misinformation, more scams and scammers, and a few less informed people selling their mediocre wares.
(These things happen when every industry grows. This does not make us special.)
There’s good and bad. Pluses and minuses. And those things do impact you (if you’re a business owner with a signature program).
So what are the pros and cons for business owners that have a signature program for 2023?
And, on what side do you land?
I’ve listed the major pros and cons below, in no particular order below.
I’ve included the good, the bad, the ugly, and the unforeseen.
Which ones resonate with you?
#1 When you’re a business owner with a signature program, you have a repeatable process you can use to get your clients a particular result.
#2 Having a signature program makes you part of the proven elearning industry (currently over $300 billion).
#3 My B2C (business to consumer) clients are a triple threat because they are at the intersection of three different billion-dollar + industries:
- « B2C e-commerce/direct sellers (5 trillion)
- « elearning industry/online programs (300 billion)
- « online coaching (2 billion)
They can mix and match from the best of all 3 worlds.
#4 Cross-industry opportunities for the e-learning industry continue to grow too. Selling and facilitating online programs are becoming more and more popular in corporate, academia, and K-12.
#5 Mobile first learning – I’ll agree that you don’t absolutely need to create your own app. Instead you need to make your content easy to access on the go. That means it’s easy to use on your phone, but you don’t necessarily need a mobile app for that. You just need to be thoughtful and make sure your program is easily accessible on mobile. Although an app is a very cool thing to have (when it works well). And nowadays, there’s more than one platform that allows you to plug in your info and make your info accessible on an app.
#6 AI (artificial intelligence) can make learning online easier. AI can: automate translation and transcription. use data to make adjustments based on behavior and performance. create personalized learning paths. Although, nothing can replace:
- « original thought.
- « on-the-ground real-time experience.
- « deep understanding of trends, vibe, and culture in micro-communities.
Effectively using AI is like having an assistant with superpowers.
#7 Cohort-based learning combats the idea that in-person learning is the most effective way to learn. A well-held, well-designed learning experience always wins, regardless if that is in person or online. Cohort basically means that you learn together. You also typically get more personalized attention; a mix of live and recorded training that focuses on taking action; specific start and end dates; and deadlines for submission and review. These things can lead to greater accountability and well above industry-average completion rates.
Here’s a note on how I do cohorts: Inside my signature program (Concept to Cash Flow: Take Your Program Idea and Turn It Into Cash Flow), we walk through the program together. It’s a live implementation program that comes with curriculum. Your onboarding call is a 1:1 welcome call with me where you set your strategy and plan for your program. We have weekly coaching calls, and quarterly 1:1 calls to make sure you’re on track and to keep you accountable. The cohort is all about making it fast and easy for you to create your program and turn it into cash flow. You leave with a finished marketable program, that you know how to sell in a way that works for you, using what you currently have. And, it’s a short, focused, to-the-point training that you’ll actually want to finish. Plus, It’s been recently updated for 2023. More about that here.
#8 Microlearning is trending. Using a micro lesson or sharing a brief lesson in a digestible way, typically 5 minutes or less, helps anyone who is short on time and attention span. This is helpful for initially learning about a topic and for preventing “knowledge decay” Learn about it and remember it.
#1 It’s a process, you have to work it.
#2 A lot of people are still confused about what signature programs are, and what they aren’t. You’ll likely have to educate them.
#3 B2C business owners often think they have it harder than B2B business owners. There’s this perception that B2B is easier to sell, but it’s not true. You’ve got to overcome your own objection here, get your mind right, and get in the game for this one. Industry trends and stats agree, neither one is harder than the other. They are just different.
#4 ChatGPT forces you to be thoughtful in approach, share your specific opinion, showcase your talent and experience. It’s not an ending, but it is a game-changer.
#5 Technical issues. You will have them. Your clients will have them. But, your options for running your program, like the ecosystem it is, have vastly improved over the last few years. A smooth, well-put-together online program is within your reach, right now.
#6 More competition, but I kinda see that as a good thing. They say (and science agrees) that the cream rises to the top. Well, I say consistency and niching win in most cases. Show up, keep going, and see it thru. That’s more than many will do – because of burnout because there is more competition because there is always something else to do. Bottomline: Following thru on a regular basis will get you farther than you think.
#7 Inequity and lack of access to education. Not everyone has it – there’s a growing wealth gap – including one here in the states that makes it harder for some to access these tools. If you’re in business, you’re likely in it to do good in the world, but make money in the process, so inequity might not be top of mind. There are small (and big) things that can be done just by being thoughtful in your design process. You absolutely can do your part. One easy thing: Mobile first learning (mentioned above) can be a game changer for making it accessible if a desktop or laptop is unable or when wifi access is low or nonexistent.
#8 I maintain that a well-held, well-designed learning experience always wins, regardless if that’s in person or online. However, there is definitely a very common bias that learning in person is better. You’ll have to educate on that and show how it’s possible. Most importantly though, if you’re like me, you need to believe it and know it’s real. Start here for more insight.
Check out the list above, then, check out Concept to Cash Flow. It might be just what you’re looking for…