Behind the Scenes of Launching a New Program (Part II): Program Structure & Creation Process

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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 DSC. Now, are you ready to ditch the imposter syndrome and join our incredible, vibrant community?

If so, let’s jump in.  Hello? Hello. Hello. Welcome back to a new episode of the Dietitian Success Podcast. We are on part two of the three-part series that I’m doing, which is documenting and walking you through. A behind the scenes perspective on how to launch a new program. From the ground up. And if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, which is episode 1 44, I would definitely recommend doing that before you listen to this week’s episode. Just so that you can get some of the, I’ll be referring to some of the information that I shared in last week’s episode throughout this episode. So just to make sure that you’re up to speed. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The reason why I decided to do this three part series is because we are actually in the midst of creating. A nutrition counseling and coaching certificate program. And so this is a new program for us, and I think it’s such a great learning opportunity to document well, so it’s good in two ways. It’s a great learning opportunity to share exactly what’s happening as it’s happening, because I think sometimes. It’s just, if we’re doing some, reflection or rather we’re really good. I think it’s sharing the final product. But sometimes we don’t share the details about how we got to that product. And I think that’s where a lot of the really great learning comes from. And, it’s an opportunity too, for me to reflect. On, like, how have we been doing this? And what’s maybe been working what maybe hasn’t been working, how might we replicate this process in the future, et cetera. I really liked doing these episodes. It’s a little bit reflective and therapeutic for me. And apologies. Currently. Almost 33 weeks pregnant. And I’m really finding that the talking for extended periods of time is getting to be a lot more difficult. So I apologize if I sound a little bit breathy.

As I’m speaking. To you today. But what I’ll do is I’ll just take some I’ll pause and I’ll take some deep breaths throughout. Hopefully it doesn’t get too breathy for you. Okay, so let’s just jump into the episode and by the way, too, I do want to share that we have a waitlist for this program. Currently we are going to be limiting enrollment for this first round because we need to make sure with the live session that we’re doing. That it’s not too many people. And so we are limiting enrollment. So make sure that you join the wait list. In order to get first dibs on the program. Because it will go out to waitlist participants first. So the link for the waitlist is in the description of this podcast episode, you can also pop over to our website and there’s a tab on the website. That says, so dietitian success And there’s a tab for this program. You’ll see it right at the top of the screen.

Okay. So in this episode, in last episode, rather, we, I talked about how we came up with the idea. So what does the process look like for, or what did our process look like for market research and conducting an environmental scan? I also went through our pricing strategy. And then this week, I want to talk a little bit more about structure and creation process. So what exactly are we including within the program? And how did we decide on those different pieces and then the step-by-step for actually how we’re going about creating the different components. And I think that’s something we have done really well over the years because of how much content we have created within DSC. We have such a great. Process for content creation, course creation, resource creation. And so this will give you a little bit of insight into how we do that. And I teach some of this process. Now you will find as I’m going through this content, I think because we’ve been doing it for a while. Our process has gotten a little bit more detailed than what you would probably do if you were going to be creating a program or a course. And that’s totally fine. Expectation. It’s not that include all of these detailed components that we’re including. I teach a more simplified version of this in online course blueprint. If you are interested in creating specifically your own online course. I’ll link to that in the description of this episode, but you can also go to online course for more info on that course. Okay. So let’s just jump in. Why don’t we. All so last week I mentioned, I had talked about how we came up with really the curriculum. So the curriculum is what exactly. Are we going to be teaching? And the curriculum was informed by mostly by the environmental scan that we did, where we asked people who were interested in this type of program, what do you want to learn? And that gave us really good insight into what we need to teach. And so therefore, how we were going to structure our course curriculum. And so I shared more details about what exactly. We’re teaching within the course last week, but basically we decided to divide it into the following modules. We have an intro to the course. We have counseling mindset, counseling foundations. We have how we help clients change behaviors. Running counseling sessions, structure and format. We have charting, we have counseling and coaching skills, and then we have troubleshooting and navigating difficult simulate or. Difficult situations rather. So those are our main core modules of the course. But now let’s talk about what exactly is included within the course. And how did we decide on those different components? So I think that in deciding what to include within a program, And again, I refer to program and I’m not saying course because this is not just a course to me would be defined as a. Series of video modules that you are watching in a probably self-paced capacity. You, as the participant decide when you’re going to watch through these video modules. And you’re learning a start to finish process through these. Video modules. Whereas a program, in my opinion. Includes other elements. So it’s a little bit more all encompassing. It’s a little bit more holistic when we think about. You know a course, but then what else are we providing in order to help people get results? So that’s why I’m referring to it as a program and not a course. And so how we decided on what to include within this program is a combination or rather was a combination of asking. So asking in our environmental scan, how do you learn best? What would you like to see in this type of a program? But then also leaning on our own internal experience. So what has worked in the past with regards to. Courses and programs, what hasn’t worked. What do people actually do and what do they not do? So what I mean by that is are there components of a program that people tend to. Maybe say that they want but then they don’t actually use it or they don’t actually complete it or whatever and so it was a combination of both of those factors

Okay. So let’s go through item by item, what we’re including. And just so you know, this may change depending on when you’re listening to this episode. So we are running this first round as I’m going to be outlining it right now, but that’s not to say that things might not get tweaked or changed in the future. We may decide to add different components. We may decide to swap out different components. So for this round, if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, yeah, I want all of those things, then this is probably. A good round for you to join and so make sure and join the wait list. Okay. So of course. A self-paced course is. One of the major components of this. Program and reason being is because I think a self paced course. Acts as the perfect go-to resource for people to use. Ongoing. So that’s the great thing about having a course on hand that you’ve purchased is that you always know. You can go back to it and look at different lessons or different modules to refresh your knowledge. And so it’s a really great way to be able to scale education, to be able to educate more people when you’re doing a self paced course. That is created based on prerecorded video modules. Versus trying to teach things live right. Because that’s the other issue with live teaching is that. You run into scheduling issues, right? There’s people that can attend there’s people that can only attend on certain days, times, et cetera. It gets really complicated. And so by making something self paced, By creating video modules, uploading them to your online course platform. People can watch them whenever they want. Then it acts as that really great scalable educational resource. So there’s the self paced course component. Of course. Now the next piece, which we’re so excited about. Why do we get so excited about a workbook? Let me look. Do you feel that. Because I certainly do the idea of having a print workbook gets me really jazzed. I have no idea why. But we did feel like having a workbook as part of this program was essential because we want to be able to. We want you to be able to have what we’re teaching at your fingertips, because we know. That when you are going to actually work with a patient or client and you have, five or 10 minutes to refresh or to prepare before that patient or client. You’re not pulling up your course and trying to sift through video of modules. You need something. That’s going to be a lot more on demand, right? It’s a tool. We envisioned this workbook being like a tool that you could have beside your workstation that, you could go to, if you feel like you need some question prompts or goal ideas or whatever. And so we’re going to provide this print and digital as well. So you’ll actually get a print copy of it, mailed to your home. But we also feel like the digital component is helpful too, for those that prefer learning that way, because there are a couple. Like reflective activities in there, places where you can write your own responses. And so you can choose to do that paper and pencil if you want, or you can do that. Digitally. That’s totally fine. So we’re giving you both options so you can use them as you prefer.

We will also include a community forum as well. So you can ask on demand questions as they come up as you’re going through. The course material, you can ask your peers how they might navigate. Different counseling or coaching scenarios. Now the next component, which is a little bit unique, but I’m so excited about it is we are going to be including a 90 minute group virtual practice session. So this is going to be facilitated by a dietitian named crystal Merrill’s crystal. Actually, this is what she does. She runs these types of communication sessions. For various groups of healthcare providers. And do not let this scare you. But she has a background in improv and that’s really why she does what she does. Because she had identified that, that fear around thinking on the spot and knowing how to. Roll with things like awkward pauses or unexpected outcomes, silences, lack of progress, et cetera. Those were big pain points for all healthcare providers, not just dietitians. And so she basically took her background in improv and created, turned it into something that, or into tools and resources that can be used by healthcare providers. When they’re actually working with patients or clients now do not be scared.

I know for me, this session is not an improv session. I promise you. And D. Trust me, her and I have had this conversation where I’ve said as someone who is a, who is more of an introvert. The idea of a group improv session terrifies me and she’s don’t worry. I know.

That’s not what this is. This is a friendly, fun. Welcoming. Come as you are group practice session, where she’s going to give you a lot of really. Tangible practical tips. For how to navigate some of those things that are going to happen. Awkward pauses. How do you come up with responses on the spot? How do you keep a conversation flowing? What do you do if there’s an unexpected response or outcome, how do you deal with silences? How do you deal with lack of progress, et cetera? So don’t be stressed about this. I promise it’s going to be awesome. And it is virtual. So you’ll be able to attend from anywhere. We are going to do a doodle poll when we have all of the course participants enrolled, just to make sure everyone can attend this session.

And then the next component, which I’m also so excited about is we are going to be including a prerecorded workshop with the registered dietitian Kimmie Singh. Now I actually, so Kimmie Singh practices from a fat positive anti-oppressive framework. And I actually had the privilege of seeing her present at a virtual conference that I was at and I found it so informative and so practical that I thought I have to have her. Come up with a session for us or come up with a workshop for us because. It was just, I think that there’s a lot of questions I myself have. And I know a lot of you have about navigating things like body image, weight, inclusivity, all of those components. And we don’t really know how to deal with it. We don’t really know. We don’t really have some of those practical tools in our toolbox for what’s the right thing to say. How do we respond, et cetera? We’ve basically given Kimmy this. Overview of some of the responses that we got back with regards to what people are struggling with or wanting to learn about. So she’s going to speak directly to those things, like what to say in response to negative comments about the body. Both from family members, but also clients and patients like, what do we do if or how can we respond if a friend even, expresses to us, I just really hate my body. What, how do we respond to that? How can we introduce weight inclusive care if we work in a weight loss focused environment. So for example, bariatrics or a weight loss clinic with clients who are wanting to lose weight. How do we navigate that? How do we ease some of that anxiety on our end, in terms of staying body positive, but also honoring the client’s goals? And then some examples of counseling questions that we can ask to challenge a client’s belief around food. Food rules. Body, et cetera. So that’s going to be an awesome session. So excited about that. And then lastly, Is, we are including a, because we know that. Sometimes you just want to sit down with somebody who has more experience than you and ask them questions that are unique to your situation. I totally get that. And so we’re also including as an optional add on. One-on-one supervision. And so we have an amazing dietitian that we’re working with for this. Her name is John Marks. She has 27 years of dietetics experience. In a variety of practice settings. So currently she’s in private practice. But this is really your opportunity to be able to sit down with somebody and talk through. Cases counseling techniques strategy. This is just going to be a really great if you feel like you want more of that, one-on-one support. And this is going to be a really affordable add on option. And then you can continue to work with her as long as you want. We’re including two 30 minute sessions as an optional add on, but Joan is amazing. And so you have the option of continuing to work with her. If you want to, after those two sessions are complete. Okay. I’m just getting so excited as I talk through all of these different components. And then, so last week I had talked about our pricing strategy. But basically we decided that we wanted to just to recap that we had decided that we wanted to keep the course within a range that. Felt more accessible than some of the multi thousand dollar programs out there. We know that those are commonplace and, no shade to any of those programs. There is absolutely a time and a place. For those types of programs, however we know. That we know that for a lot of RDS or healthcare practitioners in different areas of practice. That might not be. Some of those multi thousand dollar programs that there might not be quite as accessible to you. Which is totally fair. So we have basically made it so that DSC members. Get a thousand dollars off the course price of the course price ends up being 9 97. And it’s regular 1997, but again, You can join DSC for $34 a month. If you want to and get it for 9 97. We’re doing that. On purpose. Because we know that using DSC resources in tandem with this program. Is going to be the best way for you to get results. And so we’ve done that on purpose. And so we’ll also include payment plans as well, so that you can pay over installments, if that feels better for you. And then this is something that you’ll be able to also get a receipt for in order to reimburse. It reimburse get reimbursed from your employer. If you have funds for professional development.

And I think, I guess when I think about this course I feel like. If I think about this course. And then I think about the number of patients or clients that I had worked with when I was working with patients and clients, and then. Thinking about if I was doing that for X number of years, I feel like. This is such a personally It’s just such a great investment for the confidence that is going to help you with every single client you work with from now moving forward in your career. And honestly, I feel like for me, the workbook would have been worth that investment. Just to have those really practical. Question prompts, motivational interviewing prompts, goal examples, et cetera that I could rely on before. Each of my sessions. And so having all of that in one place and in that easy user-friendly guide would have really been exactly what i wanted personally when i was working with patients and clients

Okay. Now let’s talk about our creation process. So how do we actually go through the content creation? Peace. Cause I know. That sometimes this can feel overly complicated. And again, I just want to reiterate that. If this is your first time creating a program, or if you’re creating, if you’re relatively new to creating new programs, you probably, there’s no expectation that your process will be this. In depth. Or detailed there’s. There’s no expectation around that. We’ve just, we’ve done this so many times that I think we’ve come to a point where we’re able to. Add these different components and add these different details without it necessarily taking us way more time. We’re just cause we’re just faster in our process as well. Okay. So first we wanted to make sure this program was equal parts theory and practice actually, no, not equal parts. Mostly practice. So a little bit of theory, but mostly that practical application piece. Okay. And then what we did, which was a little bit unique for this program is we wanted to, in order to really get that practical component, we were thinking to ourselves We want to get a gauge from how practitioners in different settings. Would navigate some of these scenarios or would structure their sessions or would ask questions or would phrase things. We did this because we wanted to provide a really well-rounded. Program where you could take what resonates from you or rather what resonates with you and implement that. And it’s not so prescriptive, here’s one way of doing things. Here’s a few ways of doing things and you can really choose what you feel like works best for you. What we did is we worked with six dietitians in a consulting capacity who worked in a variety of different practice settings. And we had them fill in a really detailed questionnaire. At first, we were going to sit down and actually do informational interviews. And then we thought to ourselves, you know what. I feel like we could get the same level of response and detail from doing a questionnaire while not taking so much time because an informational interview. That’s a lot of time for each one of those. Individuals. And we decided to do a super detailed questionnaire where we ask them things like, if this happened, what would you do? How would you respond to this? What do you say in response to this? The whole goal was to get as detailed as possible so that we could get plenty of examples of how different experienced counselors work with clients in different settings. And so then what we did is we, as we normally do with a, we do a literature view on the topic so that we can. Gather all of the current evidence with regards to whatever it is that we’re teaching. This is the same process we use for DSE. So we combine that literature with those practical responses. And then also with our internal knowledge as a creation team. And that’s really how we came up with the program content.

And then what we did from there. So I had already told you that I already laid out the curriculum for you based on the needs from the environmental scan. And so we took all of that and we built out a course outline in a Google doc. And I think having this detailed course outline is just, it’s a super essential part of the process because. You want to be able to see how things flow together. And I think it’s helpful to do this at the beginning. So that you can really think through what is the start to finish process? What exactly. Am I teaching. And so when we create. Courses, we refer to modules and lessons. So the modules are like chapters of a book. And the lessons are the individual topics within each one of those modules. And so we are big proponents of including more shorter lessons so that you’re not having to sit down. And watch a 30 minute video because sometimes that feels really hard to do. We’ll end up pushing it off cause we think to ourselves, oh, I just, I can’t set aside 30 minutes right now. And so we try and keep them as short as possible. And then that way, too, it’s easier for you to use it as to use the program or the course, rather as a. Resource in the future because you can go through your list of really short lessons and pick which one you want to revisit. And so from building the course outline what we did is we wrote out scripts in Google docs for exactly what we were going to teach within each lesson. And while we were doing that, we created the corresponding sections of the workbook. So we created those components in tandem. And and then what we did is we then took those scripts and we sent them back to our RD contributors for review. So one of the things just as a an insider’s tip is if you’re going to get your content reviewed, make sure and have the make sure get the scripts reviewed before creating your slide decks. Don’t. Don’t try and do both because there’s really no point. If you have to do a bunch of revisions on your script. Then you’re going to also have to do a bunch of revisions on the slide deck. So just for efficiency sake, just get the script reviewed and then you can create the slide deck afterwards. So that’s what we are currently doing. So scripts have been reviewed. We are currently. Creating the slide decks. Once those are done. Then we are going to go through the recording process. So we record our lessons in Canva. They have a really great built-in recording feature. And then what we do is we export those as video MP4 files. And then we upload them to our course website. And so we’ve built our own course interface or our own course hosting website. We don’t use a course platform anymore, like Kajabi. We are teachable. We used to use Kajabi. We don’t anymore. But if you are just getting started with creating online courses, you’re probably going to use a platform like teachable or Kajabi or Thinkific. And so again, this is a big course. This is a big program. You may not be going through this extensive of a process. It might be a little bit more simple and that’s totally fine.

All right. So that’s our start to finish process. In the next episode, I’m going to build off of this and I’m gonna talk more about the tech piece. So what exactly are we using from a tech perspective? This might help you, if you are thinking about program creation or just create creating different. Offers that you can sell and what you could use for the tech piece. So I’ll go through, how we’re creating the course, but then also, how are we creating the workbook? All of those different components. I’ll also go through sales and marketing strategy too. So how are we thinking about. Getting this course out there into the world, getting it into the right hands. And the hope here is that this will be a great learning opportunity for just how to think about your own marketing and sales strategy in the future, regardless of what you are trying to sell. Okay. I hope that was a fun episode for you. Again, I really love doing these ones. This course, this program is coming to you September 20th, 2023. Just depending on when you’re listening to this. And again, we are doing a waitlist because we will have limited enrollment for this first round. So the waitlist, the link for the waitlist is in the description of this episode. Or you can pop over to dietitian success And just depending on when you’re listening to this again it will probably be, it might be. But it might not be in the top. Navigation bar of the website. If it’s not there, then just click the link in the description of this episode. Cause we’ll leave that link there. All right. I hope you have an awesome week. I hope I wasn’t too breathy for you in this episode. And i will see you next thursday for our third part of this three part series

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