146: Behind the Scenes of Launching a New Program (Part III): Tech, Marketing & Sales

Dietitian Success Center Podcast Cover Photo 22
We’re launching a brand new program and we want to take you behind the scenes on exactly how we’re doing it. In this series of 3 episodes, we’re going to cover:  Can’t wait to bring you along on the journey!...

We’re launching a brand new program and we want to take you behind the scenes on exactly how we’re doing it. In this series of 3 episodes, we’re going to cover: 

  • How to come up with a program idea 
  • How to conduct market research and an environmental scan + using that information to inform your program components 
  • The tech involved in program development 
  • Pricing strategy 
  • Sales & marketing 
  • Online course development – our start-to-finish signature process 

Can’t wait to bring you along on the journey!


Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Dietitian Success Podcast. Here at Dietitian Success Center. We’re all about making it easier for you to build your confidence and expertise. So whether you’re a dietitian or a dietetic student, we’ve got something for you. I’m Krista, your host and the founder of D S C. Now, are you ready to ditch the imposter syndrome and join our incredible, vibrant community?

If so, let’s jump in.

 Hey there and welcome to part three in this three part series where I take you behind the scenes of what it looks like to launch a new program now apologies because as soon as I went to press record, a thunderstorm started, which is real convenient. But I don’t think the microphone will pick it up. I’m going to pause the recording every once in a while. And go back and listen, and just make sure you can’t hear the thunder in the background because that’s not super pleasant. But I think it should be okay. And the show must go on. Today, if you’ve been a listener already to this three-part series. That’s awesome. I’m so happy to have you here. As promised today, I’m going to talk about tech, marketing and sales. If you haven’t already go back and listen to parts. One and two of this series, which is just episode 144 and episode 145. This is episode 146, because it’s going to make so much more sense to you. This whole process, the start to finish process. And it’s just, I think really interesting to see how this all plays out holistically. We can see, what is the step process that we are using? To launch our new nutrition counseling and coaching certificate under the Dietitian Success Center umbrella. In the first episode, I talked a little bit about doing an environmental scan and really understanding the word environmental scan sounds so boring, but really it’s market research, right? It’s understanding. What do people need? What do people want? What can you create that? Fits that need. And then episode two, we talked a little bit more about program structure. So how do you actually then come up with a program idea that meets those needs? And then, like I said today, let’s talk about tech. Let’s talk about marketing and let’s talk about sales. And by the way, if you haven’t already joined the waitlist for the counseling and coaching program, make sure and do that. We are going to have limited enrollment because there is a component of the program that is alive group session, practice session, and we have to cap the number of people on that. And so we just have to make sure that we are not Over enrolling. And so the wait list is already very full. There’s a lot of people on the wait list already, which is great. So exciting. We are so thrilled that you’re excited about this program, because we are so excited about this program. But if you do want to enroll in this first round, just make sure you’re on the wait list because the program launches on the 20th, but we will. Open enrollment to weightless participants a couple of days earlier. So you can get first steps. The link for the waitlist is in the description of this podcast episode. Or you can pop over to dietitian success center.com and click the. Counseling certificate tab in the top navigation. Bar of the website. Okay. So why don’t we get into the content? I want to start by talking a little bit about tech and then let’s talk more about marketing and sales. So tech. Look is one of the most overwhelming. Pieces when you’re creating a new program, because there’s the question of, okay, there’s so many different options available to me. Which ones do I, which platforms do I use? How do I piece them together? How do I, if I’m spending money on a tech platform, how do I know it’s the right thing? There’s just so many options available. And so I hope that this provides you with a little bit more clarity in terms of just where to start. So when it comes to creating a program and last week, I talked a little bit more about what a program means to me and a program to me is a little bit more of a holistic, comprehensive perspective or. Or collection of items that help to address a problem and not just an online course. So an online course is a series of video modules that people can watch on their own time. Whereas a program includes other components. It typically has an online course, but then it also has other pieces. So for us, we have a workbook, we have a live group practice session. We have some guest workshops. There’s other components involved with. It. So it makes more sense to call it a program versus just calling it an online course. Now having said that. When you’re creating a program from the tech perspective, and you do have an online course component. Typically that is going to be where you’re going to start. In terms of. How to build your program. And which tech to choose. And that’s because I would say that an online course is going to be the most tech intensive. You have the highest needs from an online course in terms of, needing somewhere where you can upload video modules, where somebody can make the purchase, where they automatically get access, where they can log in and access the content in the future. That’s all found within an online course platform. And because that’s the most intensive, that’s generally where we’re going to start, we’re going to choose an online course platform and then we can choose other complimentary tech components to fulfill the other con. The other. Components of our program. But that’s going to really be the foundational piece is the online course. So when we’re thinking about the online course we have to have a space where someone or where we rather can from a builder’s perspective. Where we can upload course videos in a certain sequence or order that we want people to consume them. We have to make sure that it’s only accessible to people who have purchased. We have to make sure that people can log in and log out so that they can access it in the future. We have to make sure that it’s connected to a payment processor so that it actually comes the money that they pay goes through. The platform comes to our bank account. And so it’s always best. To use. A preexisting online course platform for this I highly recommend. This is a good investment. Of your money is to use an online course program like teachable, like Thinkific, like Kajabi. There’s a number of different options out there that are available to you. We started with, or back when in the early days of my business, I started on teachable. And then I switched to Kajabi when I launched dietitian success center. And then since then we have actually had a custom site built for us. Where we have a, it’s called a plugin. If you’re familiar with the world of WordPress, which is basically how you build custom sites. WordPress basically works by putting a bunch of plugins together to do what you want them to do. And we have a plugin now to manage the course component, but at the same, at the end of the day, it is an online course plugin. So we’re using a preexisting plugin. That’s already been created to upload all of our course videos to manage that sort of course, side of things. And again, the. Key here is that we want something that’s going to be a seamless user experience. So investing in the right tech is important and I recommend, honestly, you can take the guesswork out of it. And I typically recommend just start on teachable or Thinkific if you’re just getting started. Those are the ones with the lowest price point. They’re easy to use. They are really user-friendly. They changed their pricing plans a lot. And so I don’t, I can’t speak to the specific price for each one, but that’s where I’d start. It’s just teachable and Thinkific. And then a next component that you may want to have or add into your program is a community like a community forum, a community discussion board where people can ask questions and chat with one another. Now, some people use Facebook groups for this purpose, which is totally fine. If you want to do that, we don’t use Facebook groups. Just because. We find that it’s limiting. If there’s people that are not using Facebook anymore. And so we have our own custom community board, but previously. We just used the community boards that were embedded in Kajabi and teachable. So that’s the great thing too, is these online course platforms have community forums that you can just easily set up and then people can use those to ask questions. So it’s important to, to think here when you’re creating a community, is where, how are you going to manage that community? What’s the expectation around responding? How often do you respond? When do you respond? Who responds? Is it you or is it somebody on your team? And just making sure that your setting, the expectation. Upfront for people. So we typically really try and stick to like a 24 hour turnaround time max for community posts. And usually, that’s a max. I would say. More often than not Things are responded to within a couple hours. Just depends on the question and how intensive it is. And we manage that as a team where the question will get directed to the person who knows the most about that topic and can speak to that topic. So that’s how we manage it. But it’s not, when you’re first getting started in your audience is a little bit smaller. It’s totally doable to manage a community yourself. Totally doable.

So we’ve talked about the course. We’ve talked about the community. Now, what about if you want to offer live sessions? So there’s so many different ways you can do this. We just use zoom. We love zoom. Zoom is easy. We know how to use it. Everyone knows how to use it. And so we just conduct any live group sessions that we’re doing via zoom, and then we can record it. We can upload the recording as a course video. So people can access it later. We are also for the counseling and coaching program. We are going to. We don’t have dates set for the live sessions. We’re going to conduct doodle polls at the beginning. Just to make sure that we’re. Choosing times that everyone can attend for those live sessions. So that’s covered that covers course community live sessions. We also have a workbook as well. And this is a fun one that we’re excited about. We’re going to be offering a digital workbook, but then also at print one, too. So when you enroll, you will get a print workbook that has a copy of all of the question prompts, all of the simulations, all of the. Scripts everything within it so that you can. Literally have it beside your workstation and circle a couple of questions that maybe you want to try, maybe motivational interviewing questions that you want to try with your next client. And so how we are doing that’s been a new process for us because we’ve never done anything print before. So we are going to, we basically built the workbook in Google docs, and I just want to say. If you are building any sort of a document where you are having other tea, other people collaborate on the document you need to use Google docs do not use word doc. Do not use Microsoft word. Because you need to have one single source. That is the final copy. I, it drives me nuts when word documents get circulated in emails and nobody knows. Which one is the most updated final version. It becomes so hard to track that. And so Google docs is the best because if you’re working in a team, everyone can go into the same doc. You can all track revisions. So you know what people are doing within the document. You can go back to old version. So if you don’t like changes, somebody made, you can revert to an old version. That’s totally fine. And then you have one final copy. You don’t have a million word docs floating around. So that’s really important. Get in the habit of using Google docs.

And so those are really the core components of our course. And so we also, obviously within our DSE platform, Have a payment processor that we use to manage all payments. But if you are using a, an online course platform, then that’s all going to be managed through that platform. Teachable essentially how it works is you will. You will link your. Bank account sometimes, or sometimes it’s your Stripe account. So Stripe has an intermediary that collects the money and then distributes that to your bank account. So you might have to set up a free Stripe account Stripe, you linked to your bank account, and then you link your Stripe account to teachable. I can’t recall. If teachable links with Stripe or if it links with your personal bank account. I just, yeah, I’m not remembering that, but I think maybe it is just links directly to your bank account. I know Kajabi linked to Stripe. And yeah. So basically you just link it to your bank account and then when people make the purchase, it just, the money is sent directly to you. Which is great. So easy. And they handle things like, somebody needs a refund, you can do it then through teachable, if somebody you, if you want to set up payment plans for people, you can do it through teachable. The they handle all the security as well so credit card protection and security all of that good stuff all handled through that platform

Let’s switch gears a little bit now and talk. Bit more about marketing and sales strategy. And so what are we doing from a marketing and sales strategy perspective for this program? So we are really focusing on. Two primary marketing tactics. And a few other secondary. Marketing tactics. And the decision criteria here has really just been paying attention to what we feel like works and doesn’t work so much. So we are putting our focus for the launch of this program, into marketing via the podcast. So these three episodes, and then also having a call to action in podcast episodes that are going to run during the launch.

So using our own podcast to basically put ads. Ads about our own program. And this is really why I love podcasting because it allows you to. Really explain what you’re doing. And I think that is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to sales. And selling and marketing something effectively is getting the opportunity to really explain to people exactly what they’re getting with a purchase. That’s such a challenging thing to do in a short amount of space. Like you might have if you’re only posting on Instagram. So that’s why I love podcasting because it allows for more of that. Long form. Let me explain to you exactly what’s happening and allow you to make an informed decision based on all of the information that I’m giving you. And so that’s why I love the podcast. I love a podcast to be able to market highly recommend. I recommend it to anyone to start a podcast. And and just to note on that is, is, I don’t want to harp on social media. But it’s not the be all end all when it comes to marketing. And in fact, I do want to. Challenge practitioners or challenge you if you’re thinking about launching something new to think about what are some of the other ways that I can get this in front of people? Because one of the biggest things that we need to remember. When it comes to effective marketing and sales is that effective marketing and sales really requires several touch points and several points of education and trust building. Like I was just talking about right. I want to explain, I want the opportunity to explain something to you. Explain exactly what you’re getting so that you can make that informed decision. And unfortunately with tools like Instagram, because of how the algorithm works, it just doesn’t allow us to get in front of the same people consistently. I’m sure you’ve noticed that where you started following somebody and then, maybe you were following them for a bit and then. Maybe they just dropped off your feet. You still follow them, but you don’t see their content anymore. That happens and that’s because of the algorithm and how the algorithm is working. And so because of that lack of control. I really like to rely on other. Other marketing platforms to do that work of getting in front of the same people consistently. And

we are relying on podcasting and then also email marketing as well. And over the last X number of years, we’ve been building up our email list. And so this, again, email marketing, like podcasting allows us to get in front of people in more of a long form way to be able to answer their questions and really clarify and explain. Exactly what we are doing. And we are going to be using the email list to educate people about what this program is all about and answer questions that they might have in advance of participating or purchasing this program. So for instance, today, I sent an out an email to the waitlist all about what is the difference between counseling versus coaching? Because this might be a question that people have, right. They see the name of the course and they think, oh I’m only doing nutrition coaching. So this isn’t relevant for me. Or, I don’t know which one I do. So this isn’t relevant for me or what have you. And so we clarified. Okay. Here’s what counseling is. Here’s what coaching is. According to us, these are our definitions. And here’s why this program. Is helpful because it incorporates both

And it allows you to help clients based on their history. So more of a retrospective approach, but then also their futures. So more of a proactive perspective approach. And so that was the intent of the email is to provide some education and clarification around that. We’re also going to be sending out examples of what can you expect from the scripts? What can you expect from the question prompts? Just giving people a sneak peek of what it looks like to have access to all of the content that you are making available through the program. This. Also, it gives people an opportunity to test drive before they buy. And it really just helps to build trust again. With that perspective audience. And so those are really our two primary platforms, podcasting email marketing. And then utilizing social media as a supplement. So Instagram as a supplement to talk about the program. LinkedIn Facebook. Those are really the three primary channels that we’re focused on. And then also as part of this marketing and sales strategy is, and I had already explained this earlier is just building up that wait list. And this can be a really great way to gauge interest before you launch your program is to. Is to build up a waitlist of people. This gives you a sense of whether. Yeah, whether there’s interest. And what you can expect from a launch now, just to be very clear. Not everyone on a waitlist is going to convert to a paying customer and that’s totally normal and totally fine. It’s still gives us a sense of, okay. What’s the interest level, like what types of people are interested in this course? And so on and so forth. So great idea. If you’re launching something for the first time or. If you launch something occasionally, so maybe you only bring it out twice a year and you want to build up a wait list in between those launch periods so that you’re not losing people that are interested. You can still collect their email addresses somewhere. But you don’t have to launch it consistently.

Okay. So that’s really the gist of our tech marketing and sales plan. What we’re doing, what we’re working on. For this counseling and coaching certificate. And I hope that these episodes were helpful for you. I hope that they were fun for you to listen to. I had a lot of fun creating them. Like I mentioned as the call to action from this episode is join the waitlist. Even if you’re just interested in seeing. You know how we position some of those marketing emails, just join the wait list and you can check out how we write our emails. Because the course, the program is coming on September 20th. This is 2023, depending on when you’re listening to this podcast episode. And we’re going to open up the enrollment for weightless participants a couple of days in advance, because we will have limited enrollment. So if you are interested, make sure you join that the. Description. Or rather the link for that is in the description of this episode. Otherwise next week, we will be back to regular programming. But i hope you have an awesome week and i will see you next Thursday!

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