We are excited to bring you this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes. We hope you enjoy!
In today's Course Building tip, Tara gives a framework for defining your process. Defining your process is critical for not only successfully helping your 1:1 customers but also essential for packaging what you do into an online course business. Tara gives 3 steps to start to define and communicate your process.
My name is Tara Bryan. I help business owners break into the next level of success by packaging their expertise into an online course experience. It's my passion to help to find the fastest path to results to create a greater impact and income for you and your tribe.
Check out my free Step-by-Step guide to building your online course. In it are the top steps and questions you need to ask before you get started. Check it out here: https://goto.taralbryan.com/step-by-step-guide
This group is 100% focused on support, knowledge and example sharing, and building a community of online course builders who are passionate about building awesome learning experiences.
In this community, we are passionate about building learning experiences that produce results for our learners. We do that by building engaging, motivating, gamified, and learner-centered courses. We come up with ideas and strategies to ensure that our learners can thrive and succeed in our product.
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Hey everybody, it's Tara Bryan. And you are listening to the course building secrets podcast. Whether you're a coach or a CEO, the success of your team and clients is based on your ability to deliver a consistent experience and guide them on the fastest path to results. This podcast will give you practical real life tips that you can use today to build your online experiences that get results and create raving fans. Why? So you can monetize your expertise and serve more people without adding more time or team to your business. If you're looking to uncover your million dollar framework, package it and use it to scale you're in the right place. Let's dive in.Tara Bryan:
Hey, everybody, I want to talk today about communication. And this is primarily in terms of communication of your process to your clients, to your team, and, and really into your market. One of the biggest things that I think as experts we forget is that not everybody knows how you do things. Not everyone knows that there is a you're probably following some steps, you're probably following a we call it a proprietary framework, which you're probably following some sort of standard way that you that you do things, even if you haven't actually specifically defined them, there's probably something that you do on a regular basis, when you're working with clients. And even if you break it down by phase, right, you're probably doing some things consistently. So just from the broadest level, if you think about, you know, bringing in new prospective clients, right, you have some sort of way that you get new clients, in terms of how you're communicating with them, what you're sending out, maybe you're doing ads, maybe you're doing outreach, whatever it is that you're doing, you are somehow getting people to raise their hand and say, Yes, I'm interested in what you have to do, right. So you have sort of this lead generation prospecting phase, then once they become a customer, you probably have some way that you get them started, you probably onboard your team, onboard your customers in in some way that you are, you know, kind of consistently do, then when you have a project, there are probably steps that you follow within the project that are somewhat consistent, right, somewhat, you start you have a starting point, and you have an ending point, right? There's some sort of consistency there, whether or not you have defined it or not, you have some sort of consistent way that you do things. And then once the project is over, you probably have, again, some sort of process that you follow, or your team follows when a project is over. Now one of the things I can tell you is it's super important to just sit down and define that journey that that that customer is going to go through each and every time. So most of the times it oh, well, Tara, every client is a little bit different, their needs are a little bit different. What we do for them was a little bit different. What you know how we communicate with them is a little bit different. Of course, every client, while similar, especially if you are niching down is similar? Yes, every client is going to have some sort of nuance. However, at the foundation at the base, there are steps that you actually follow for each and every client. And if you don't, it's different conversation because that means that that you're not specialized enough in terms of how you're helping your clients. And so you're probably doing too many things, which is stretching you too thin. But again, that's that's a totally different conversation.Tara Bryan:
But anyway, so you will probably have some way to, you know, some consistent way that you take somebody through from when they meet you all the way to when they're finished working with you. So take some time this is your action point, is to take some time to really think through what is happening in each step. And then from there, you really can look at, you know, what needs to be a, you know, something that that you can automate or something that you need to actually follow up on or how do you pass it off to your team and teach your team how to do it. So again, I'm not going to get too far into that. But I want to give you some examples. And, again, this is all about communication and setting expectations. But here's the thing is you cannot communicate enough, or set expectations appropriately, if you haven't done the work to really think about what you're doing, and each one of those phases, because if you don't have it documented, you don't know exactly what you're doing. from a process standpoint, it, it shows and it shows in having it be more chaos, that's then is needed. And because you know, nine out of 10 times, you really can probably boil down what you're doing in each phase to a couple of steps. And then if things change, great if you add something in great than just, you know, change your process. But, but this comes out so much in the construction industry. And I don't know about you guys, but we are just on the tail end of a remodel. It seems like everyone's remodeling right now, after COVID. And being stuck in your house and thinking about all the things that don't work in your house, that everyone seems to be on a path to doing at least a little bit of remodeling. But here's the deal, we have worked with a lot of small business contractors, and construction people and cabinet people, and plumbers, and electricians and all of the people. And this is a great ripe industry, for some process improvement, but just want to go into a couple of different examples of where communication and in clarity of process would have been so helpful. So we were working with, well, I can unpack like a million different examples. I'm just gonna do two right now. And I may dive into more as we keep going.Tara Bryan:
But the first one is, we are working with a cabinet maker, custom cabinet maker. And if you're curious about why we chose that over, big box store, reach out to me, I will be happy to let you know, but but we ended up with some challenges around what was being created. So my husband was very particular in terms of what he wanted, how he wanted the the cabinets built, and, you know, the drawers and all the things. So he's very particular had a conversation. And then what was delivered was not actually what we talked about. And so we had to have sort of a meeting of the minds of all the people together who were involved in the project, having a conversation and he said, Well, I couldn't get these, you know, this particular type of wood. So I had to order this other thing would have been a very easy phone call for him just to call my husband and say, hey, you know what, I'm having trouble getting this particular wood. You know, are you okay? With, you know, one of these two options, which one do you want, right, so he easily could have picked up the phone and, and made the call. But he didn't. And so what came to our house was something totally different than what we had asked for. So of course, expectations were not met. So we had to have a conversation about that. And, and so, you know, that was such a big defining moment for this business to say, oh my gosh, I should have just called like, that would have just eliminated a whole lot of hassle.Tara Bryan:
And during the same phone call, and the reason I bring this up is that he actually for the first time articulated his entire process, like we do this, and then we do this and then we do this and we do this and then we come back to your house. And we do these four more things. And we make sure that we have white glove service on this. And this gets taken care of after this other like all of this process. And I sort of chuckled to myself since this is what I specialize in a nice. I said well, this would have been super helpful to have at the beginning of the project. So we knew exactly what to expect each each phase each. Each time we were here each time you were here. So we knew what was what you're working on and what came next and what we could expect. And it's such a great lesson and how easy it was for him just to rattle off all the things that he does and his entire process. But he never thought about actually telling us that ahead of time. Never thought about, you know, maybe creating a one page you know visual or model or whatever you whatever you want to call it, to say here, here's the process, here's how we work. Here is why, you know, you're paying for what you're paying for. And here's, you know, the expectation, if you'd like something different, then we can negotiate that and talk through that. But here's the process. Super, super helpful. Here we are at the end of the project. And he just, he was here the other day, and he said, you know, what, never again, will I rely on someone else to communicate about my process, when I am working with a customer, because I've learned how important it is to not make assumptions about, you know, people knowing what the process is, or knowing what tools are going to be used or knowing when things are happening. So that was a huge lesson for him. And obviously a lesson for us in terms of communication, but so easy to just communicate process, if you can define what it is ahead of time. Before you're sort of forced into that. So on the flip side, we had hired a plumbing company and this plumbing company had an admin person. So they had someone who's dedicated to answering the phone, they had someone who's dedicated to setting up appointments, they had someone dedicated to answering questions. And the experience was completely different. We knew exactly what was happening, we knew exactly what the estimate was, we knew exactly what was going to happen. In each appointment, they showed up on time, they showed up when they said they were going to, they asked for payment in this particular way. And, and, and the process was was set. And it was such a huge difference in you know, those two experiences. And so and but what's interesting is, we actually paid more for this plumber than we did for another one, because the other plumbing company that we had looked at had no process had nobody answering the phone. So you would call and it would go into voicemail, and you may or may not get a call a week later, you know, telling you that they could come over, you know, at some random time. And in so because this company had a process because they had, you know, their their ducks in a row, they're able to actually ask a premium for what they are doing. And you had the confidence that it was going to happen, you have the confidence that they were going to show up, and they were going to show up on time. And they were going to do what they said they were going to do, because the process they had was so strong and dialed in, you could just tell that they had sort of a method to the madness, if you will, versus some other companies, like I said that we had had called and they would just randomly call us back and not call us back for a week or two, or say they're gonna stop over and then not come over, well, where's your confidence level with that company is very, very low, and you're not going to pay a premium, you're not going to pay for their service. And it's a completely different experience.Tara Bryan:
So as you think about the stories that I shared with you today, and you think about how you can articulate your process better. The first thing is, is just, I would just take out a piece of paper or your computer however you you know, kind of do your brain dumps and, and just are articulate how it is that you work and put it into a process. Once it's in a process, once it's in a series of steps, if you will, then you can look at it and say okay, how can I leverage my time, my expertise, my energy, my team, to really be able to, you know, enhance the experience and stay consistent in the process. So you know exactly what's going to happen, you know, the sticky points, you know, that if you know something's not available that you can just call the client and say, Hey, this isn't working right now we're not able to get these materials, how would you like to handle this situation. And that level of proactive communication really allows your your customers to have the confidence that you're going to do what you said you were going to do and really helps the experience more than you know gamifying more than adding all these other bells and whistles. If you can dial this in and be consistent first. Then you can add all those additional bells and whistles as you go which Again, we'll keep talking about as we get into the podcast. So Alright, there we go, there is my tip for the day. really dial in that process and see what you can come up with.