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Stevie Dillon

BTS: The Six-Step Creative Process Behind $2m+ in Online Course Sales

February 21, 2024

Ever wondered EXACTLY how I create digital courses?

The nitty gritty “I do this, then this, then THIS”?

I have been creating online courses now since 2018, and have learnt a LOT about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the “creative process”.

When developing my very first digital course in 2018, I went to Bali for six weeks, wrote a 50,000 word manuscript in the final week because I had no idea what else to do and then came back to spend the next six months figuring out how to make it into a course that people would buy (more on that in this episode)!

I don’t recommend that approach 😉

With more than $2 million in digital course sales now under my belt, my creative process has developed over time and in today’s podcast episode I break down exactly how I do it now.

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Here’s my six-step creative process behind $2m+ in digital course sales.

Step One: Ideation

This ALWAYS takes longer than I think it will.

Ideation is THINKING mode, sharpening the axe, getting the structure and the IDEAS right. 

I break my brain going over and over the framework, methodology, how to lay it all out and how to make it feel simple.

This always takes me a long time (and inevitably, much longer than I think it will), and it always, always pushes out my timeframes (one day, I will learn!)

However, this part is ESSENTIAL:

In fact, it’s what I think makes all of the difference when it comes to the end result, so once it’s over I always feel a huge sense of achievement.

I find this part the most painful, and I’m not fun to be around in this phase. 

Step Two: Mapping

In this phase, I go into the course portal and map out each lesson inside there.

I move things around, and develop a rough “skeleton” of what the course will look like.

This feels fun, but also deceiving, because when I’m done, it looks like it’s all created (because the lesson shells, pretty headings etc).. buuut, of course, it’s not.

Step Three: The “First Pass” 

I then go through and complete a “first pass” of each module.

I will usually do this in Canva (for the slides) and Google Sheets (for my workbooks).

It’s messy AF, and what I imagine the first draft of a book would look like: 50% there, but needing a lot of love.

In this phase, I use Canva slides like “post it notes” – writing ideas, moving slides around, deleting things and adding things in.

I then move to the next lesson, because I know it will all move again as I build it all out. 

Step Four: The “Second Pass”

This is where I go back through EVERYTHING with fresh eyes and edit ruthlessly.

This takes a long time; but it doesn’t feel as hard.

I enjoy the process, because I know I am getting there, have a sense of accomplishment and can see the finish line.. and it’s not DEEP DEEP thought. 

Step Five: Record and Edit

Finally, it’s time to record!

Sometimes I do this per module, sometimes all at once over a few days.

Being on video of any kind feels draining, so I do it in chunks when I feel most energised as it reflects in the recording if I am tired or over it.. and I don’t want to NOT do all of the work justice!

Step Six: Release!

Finally, it’s release time! From there, I watch and listen.

Where are people getting stuck? What needs to be changed? What questions are coming up a lot?

I note these in my curriculum update library, so I can make amendments when its time.

So, there you have it – my six-step creative process behind $2m+ in course sales.

Lifestyle Business School Curriculum Creation Update

I am currently USING this process to develop curriculum for Lifestyle Business School.

Here’s what I am currently creating:

  • Traffic Playbook [Feb/March 2024 Drop]: Traffic Playbook helps expertise-based businesses generate the volume and quality of traffic required to sell their scalable offers with a simple but sophisticated marketing plan that doesn’t rely on inconsistent algorithms, slow social growth or tactic-heavy “hope-ium for sales.
  • Rinse and Repeat [Feb/March 2024 Drop]: The ultimate collection of done-for-you launch plans for every live launch and promotion under the sun.
  • Automate and Accelerate [March/April 2024 Drop]: Automatically cycle leads through a VALUE-SOAKED and sales-optimised web of automated evergreen funnels. You’ll be making sales while you’re asleep.

For the Traffic Playbook course , I am at the beginning of Stage Five, and think release date will be in the next one-two weeks yay!

Rinse and Repeat is currently also in Stage Five, so will be finished straight after. 

And of course, Automate and Accelerate after that. 

All on time, and on schedule, but I thought it might be interesting for you to peek behind the curtains into what I am doing behind the scenes to bring it all to life!

All of these programs will live inside of Lifestyle Business School; and all work together:

You need Traffic Playbook for a great launch, and you need a successful launch to build the automated ecosystem. For that reason, I am really happy that they are all being released as a “suite”.

I think the missing link is often working on just ONE of those things, but missing one of the others or not doing them in the order that will get the best results.

So, it feels really good to be able to offer them all, and a roadmap for what to do when. 

If you have been thinking about joining Lifestyle Business School, now is definitely the time. All of these programs will be dropped into the membership BEFORE they are announced publicly.

Join Lifestyle Business School here.

Keep Listening!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

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