Artwork for podcast Selling the Couch
ENCORE: 10 Lessons Learned from a Successful Cohort-Based Course Launch
3rd November 2022 • Selling the Couch • Melvin Varghese, PhD
00:00:00 00:32:50

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Today’s show covers lessons I have learned from launching a successful cohort-based course (CBC). The process takes a lot of work but is very rewarding, so if a CBC is in your future, don’t miss this episode.

You’ll Learn:

● How I launched my first online course, The Healthcasters, in 2015, even though I felt like an inadequate novice

● How Online Course School launched in late 2021, with 16 workshops for nine colleagues in the beta cohort group

● Ten lessons learned from my CBC launch:

○ Get your beta students through your email list, previous courses, and Mastermind class colleagues.

○ Screen the participants well. (I did this through one-on-one Zoom calls.)

○ Do welcome calls with breakout rooms, so the students get to know each other.

○ Keep the CBC length around 6-8 weeks, or structure a break after a few weeks if it is longer.

○ Have an assistant with you on all workshops.

○ Tier your support for students at multiple levels.

○ Start with the “I do/we do/you do” framework for teaching.

○ Prep your lessons ahead of time before the cohort begins–not at the same time.

○ Don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.

○ Charge your worth.

Resources mentioned:

Accelerator programs through Maven


Disclosures: Please note that all opinions are my own and based on my personal experience. Sponsors are acknowledged. Some links in the description are affiliate links where if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I use these funds to continue to create helpful content to serve our field. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

MY FREE ONLINE WORKSHOPS (These Can Be Watched At A Date/Time That Works For You):

🎙️ Using Podcasting To Grow Your Business (Lessons Learned From 9 Downloads On Day 1 To 1.2 Million And a 7 Income Stream Business)

💻 How To Launch And Grow A Successful Online Course (Lessons Learned From A $297 First Sale To $150k Online Course)


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Since 2015, I've hosted a weekly podcast where I interview successful therapists in private practice and other business owners to help us grow our impact + income in and beyond the therapy room.

The podcast has been downloaded over 1.2 million times and is heard in over 140 countries.

You can find also it by searching “Selling The Couch” on any podcast app (eg: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify etc) or simply saying "Alexa, listen to Selling The Couch" on your Amazon device. =

Or simply click below for ease =).



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Hi. I'm Melvin. I'm a psychologist (PhD), entrepreneur, and online creator living in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2014, I began to think about how to use the therapy skills we learn in grad school, and in our clinical work into different realms (e.g., podcasting, consulting, online course creation, etc).

This allows us to serve others on larger scales while diversifying our income beyond 1 to 1 work.

I make podcasts and videos about business, tech, productivity, and lessons I'm learning from becoming the CEO of a lean, mean 5 person 100% remote team (we're not really just rhymed =P).