Over the past three months, I’ve achieved something that I’ve doubted I could do for a long time:
I created, marketed and led my first online photography course.
Having procrastinated on doing Make Friends with the Lens for quite literally *years*, I am thrilled to say I have genuinely enjoyed every minute of it, and plans are afoot for further courses and training videos.
I know that creating income from online resources is something that many of my clients want to achieve, so I thought today I’d share the three biggest things I learned putting this course together.
Watch the video below or read on for more info:
Lesson 1 :: Get Out of Your Own Way
I wanted to launch Make Friends with the Lens last Summer, but procrastinated until it was too late to do it and the opportunity passed me by.
This year, I did something different – I set myself a really tight deadline for getting the videos and content finished. At the start of June, I decided I wanted to launch the course on July 1st, and therefore I had to produce everything in just a few weeks.
Usually I don’t work well under intense pressure, but I’ve come to realise that it is possible to use it as a tool when I’m consciously procrastinating on something.
Guess what?! The worksheets, marketing and videos actually got done!
Lesson 2 :: Keep it Simple
If you’re new to creating courses (or in fact, even if you’re a seasoned pro) there is a tendency to over-complicate the content you give.
In this instance, I struggled to find a way to cram several years of professional photography practice into six 5 minute videos. There was so much that I could teach in this course… and the more I tried to fit in, the more stressed out I felt.
I realised I had to pare it all back to just the essentials. Because let’s be real here – even though the people that join your eCourse are fired up and want to learn, the reality of day-to-day life is that they won’t have hours and hours every week to dedicate to doing the ‘homework’.
The simpler, easier and more fun you can keep your course, the more your participants will enjoy it (and perhaps come back for more when they’re ready).
The other thing to bear in mind when you’re keeping it simple is to work with what you’ve already got.
For Friends, my husband Sam (who’s handily a professional TV director!) was making the videos, and he wanted to hire in lots of expensive equipment.
Also, being immersed in the visual content industry myself, I questioned if I needed to hire a professional hair and make-up artist, a stylist, and maybe even a studio for the videos to look ‘good’.
But what I actually decided to do was work with what I already had – we shot the videos on my parents’ farm in the New Forest (which was great as it is somewhere I feel really relaxed, and it has lots of different locations to demonstrate the various photography principles I was teaching) and we chose not to hire in any additional kit or suppliers.
Next time, perhaps I will… but it kept me sane to keep it simple for this first course.
Sneaky Lesson 2.5 :: Start Before You’re Ready
I didn’t feel ready to take this course, and like many of my clients who hesitate to book their photoshoot with me, I felt like I needed to:
- get a new wardrobe
- lose weight, and
- have perfect skin before I was ‘allowed’ to do the videos.
There was a massive part of me that wanted to put it off until this ‘magical time’ in the future where everything about myself was perfect.
But you know what? That time never comes! I really wanted to get the course out there, so I just went ahead and did it. And you know what? For someone who’s never presented before in her life, I think I’m actually pretty good on camera!
Lesson 3 :: Have Fun!
I think sometimes we just take things TOO seriously (especially in business).
The more I tried to perfect everything about the course, the more stressed I got and the less fun I had.
But as we started to get into filming, I began to get SO excited – photography is what I’m deeply passionate about, so OF COURSE I had a blast sharing it with other people!
To be in front of a lens, highly visible, and sharing my gifts with the world was and is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done in my business… and I’m so glad I did it. Now that I’ve got over my initial fears, I can’t wait to create even more magic and share the joy of photography with clients all over the world!
Now I’d love to hear from you – have you been procrastinating on creating products which require you to be ‘on screen’ or more visible? What are your biggest fears? And what are your biggest dreams? I’d love to hear in the comments below…
‘Til next time,
All my love,