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The second week of this course is going to be focused on writing and creating your product but before we get there we want to finalize the concept. I’m a big fan of testing the concept by simply beginning to flesh it out. I do this whenever I’m planning a new course or webinar – I pull out my notebook and start sketching what I think the course will contain.

One goal here is to make sure there’s enough “meat” on this idea to warrant a full product – or if there’s not, to brainstorm ways to combine it with other things (maybe it’s a video series or case studies) to give the product enough substance. One the other hand, we also want to make sure that there isn’t so much here that we risk never getting it done.

It’s difficult to measure content, especially when you start considering cross-format things like a FB community or weekly calls, however for our purposes we’re going to use word count as a rough measure.

If you’re not in the habit of counting words, you can count words in MS Word under Tools / Word Count.

How much can you write in a day? You’ll find out! But most new writers can complete 250-500 words in the margins of their day. If you’re not able to complete 250 words a day, that’s usually a sign that you’re not sure what to write about and perhaps you need to return to the outline phase before pushing forward.

That being said, if you’re familiar with Nanowrimo, it’s a novel writing challenge over one month that tons of brand new writers have completed – each writing over 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,600 words a day – which is doable, even if you have a full time job.

This is just to give you an idea of how much time your information product will take to create. So for example if you have a 250-page ebook planned, and you’re a new writer, it could take you 4-8 months to finish the writing.

So how much is the typical product? Here are some rough guidelines (not “rules” by any measure):

Ebooks:
at least 5,000 words but typically not more than 50,000 (250 words = 1 page)

Ecourses:
for written courses: usually at least 4 modules, with approx. 1,000 words per module or more – beyond 12 modules could be broken out into a different course
for video courses: usually at least 4 videos, at least 20 minutes each – beyond 12 modules or more than 2 hours per video could be broken out

Workshops: Assume about 100 words per minute of presentation time, if you’re writing it all out. So a 2 hour workshop, where you present for an hour, then discuss for an hour (or other activities) will be about 6,000 prepared words (250 words = 1 page)

Webinar: Assume 100 words per minute (see above) – and I highly recommend writing out your first webinar as it’s all talking – but understand that you’ll be presenting slides that summarize your ideas.

Live Call: Most live calls involve a short introduction then active listening and engaging your audience… it’s typically not a presentation but more of a coaching call, so you might prepare some prompts (“what has been challenging this week for you?” or “everyone share one positive thing from this week”).

Coaching: I’d highly consider preparing some documents for coaching clients that you can use over and over again… perhaps that’s an intake form, some general guiding principles, metrics you want them to track and so on.

Consulting: depends on the type of consulting, you may be able to create a portion of the work in advance and reuse it with clients (for example, social media consulting might include some best practices and case studies that you prepared in advance and use with every client).

Membership Areas: typically blog posts or short articles from 500 words and up. It can be somewhat like a blog where there’s a certain amount when you start but you’re continuously adding more every week. I’d plan an editorial calendar around the number of 500-700 word posts per week you feel you can complete.

Exercise: Your sketch

Yesterday, you wrote a one-page summary of your product. Today, let’s start breaking out major themes and topics and take a look at our format.

You can do this by hand on paper if you wish, but we have also put together a worksheet that will allow you to have your answers as a PDF. You can download the worksheet here:

Your product:

Name:

Short description:

Target audience:

Problem this solves:

Primary format (choose one: Ebooks, Ecourses, Workshops, Webinar, Live Call, Coaching, Consulting, Membership Areas)

What are the main topics covered (up to 12):

(Note: don’t get too stuck on this section, this should be a light and free brainstorming session where any and all ideas are okay, there is plenty of time to polish and evaluate ideas later – this is the rough sketch. If you have trouble coming up with any ideas, just use this section to free-write about your product and how it will help people – write for at least 15 minutes – and see what comes up. You can use a different colored pen or marker to highlight ideas in your writing worth exploring more. If needed, you then free-write around those concepts you highlighted, until you drill down to the core concepts of your product. The key here is to just work at it piece by piece and I promise it will all come together over time).

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(If you have more than 12 topics covered… is your course too big? Are you trying to cover too many aspects? Will it be difficult to quickly explain to your audience? If you’re not sure, come to the FB group to discuss!)

Marketing tool (choose one: the bonus product, the freebie and upsell, the cross format product, the tiered product).

What format will your marketing tool be? What will it cover?

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Questions? Join us in the FB group!