Breanne Dyck is the founder of MNIB Consulting and helps online training businesses scale their impact and their revenue. Her strategies help to create transformational learning experiences, which she has written about in her upcoming book, Beyond Satisfaction. Breanne regularly consults on flagship products and programs including CreativeLive courses, and workshops for thought-leaders such as Chris Guillebeau, Tara Gentile, and Natalie Sisson.
I interviewed her about Beyond Satisfaction and her tips for entrepreneurs wanting to create their first online course.
- How much time did it take you to write the first edition of Beyond Satisfaction? And what changes have you made in the second edition?
The first edition of Beyond Satisfaction came together very quickly. I developed it as part of the Gumroad Small Product Lab, in which you start, finish, market and sell a book in ten days. That said, the first edition was probably better called a “micro-book” rather than a proper book. For the second edition, it’s been dramatically revised and reworked. There’s three times as much content, extended case studies, action step sections and more. It’s basically a whole new book.
- Can you describe your writing process?
It’s probably more fair to call it an “assembly” process. For the book, it was a matter of pulling together blog posts, emails and other content I’d generated previously and then structuring it to form a cohesive body of work. Even for blog posts, though, I usually start by “talking it out.” I’ll record myself talking about the topic, and then turn that into written content.
- How do you schedule the time to write in the midst of all your other commitments?
I set aside time each week — at least 3 hours but ideally 6 — to work on my current quarterly strategic priorities. In addition to that, I have a half-day each week for content production for our website and email list. The simple truth is that marketing the company is one of my most important jobs as an executive, given the size and makeup of our team. As such, writing isn’t something I fit in amongst my commitments — it is a commitment.
- Do you plan to create a companion course for Beyond Satisfaction (like Pat Flynn)?
No; Beyond Satisfaction isn’t intended to be a teaching book. That said, we do offer an online program called The Master Class which walks people through the process of designing a transformational learning experience. It was developed well before the book, and in fact, many of the exercises included in the book are adapted from that course.
- Are you providing any extra bonuses with the book?
Since my goal for the book was to maximize impact and reach, it was critical to incorporate a way to encourage people to come back to our website from the book. Including bonus resources — worksheets, videos, etc. — to accompany the book was a natural fit.
- How can we convert our non-fiction books to courses?
Don’t think of it as a conversion process. Books are for information; courses are for action. If you want to create a course, start by thinking about what actions you want (and need) people to take. Design your learning outcomes and associated exercises first. Only once that is done should you start to look for ways to integrate the content of your book as a way to help people accomplish those activities.
- Can text-only courses be successful? Could you name a couple of examples?
Absolutely. Function must always come before format. When I first delivered The Master Class, there was no videos or audios or anything like that. Tara Gentile’s Quiet Power Strategy: The Foundation was originally delivered the same way. Provided you’re giving people a chance to apply what they learn (through exercises, activities, etc.) the format of the content is really secondary.
- In Beyond Satisfaction, you say that course completion should not be the sole criterion to assess the success of the course? Why is that?
Here’s a question to consider: What does completion mean? Does it mean that the participant has watched every video? Done every worksheet? Completed every activity, twice? The problem is that completion is nearly impossible to truly measure. Plus, just because someone “completes” a course doesn’t mean they’ve received the promised benefit. Getting the promised result is what matters.
- What are the top three benefits of creating online courses? Or is it already too late because of increasing attrition and apathy?
It’s definitely not too late. Online training is a very popular way to build more leverage into a business model that would otherwise be limited to the capacity of the individual. You can reach more people, have more impact and earn more money when you build in leverage. That said, it’s not right for everyone; I recommend that before anyone embarks on creating an online course, they review the 18 Reasons NOT to Create an Online Course.
- What is your top tip to keep in mind for those who would like to create their first online course?
Sell it before you make it. Seriously — too many people spend all this time creating a course without first trying to figure out if anyone wants it. So before you jump into creating content, sell 5-10 pilot seats. After all, if you can’t find anyone to sell it to now … how will you be able to find people to sell it to later?
- What is the ultimate successful outcome for readers of Beyond Satisfaction?
Tara Gentile and I were just talking about that the other day. Beyond Satisfaction should result in a mindset shift: a recognition that if you want to have maximum impact, you need to do more than just teach what you know. Ideally, readers should be equipped with the basics of crafting a transformational learning experience that has that maximum impact.
- So the readers (online course creators) need to be skilled in not only delivering / teaching what they know but in a transformational experiential way so the learning experience brings the information alive?
Yep. In fact, teaching what you know shouldn’t be the goal at all — creating a transformational learning experience that helps the learner to do what they want to do is the real goal. Leads to better results for the customers, and the business, when you do so.
- Where are you publishing Beyond Satisfaction and where? How can we get a free copy?
Beyond Satisfaction is available on October 11, 2016 exclusively on Amazon. You can learn more about the book and find links to purchase it at beyondsatisfactionbook.com.
Beyond Satisfaction is out today and it’s completely free for the next five days.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle for Mac or Kindle for PC apps. There are also Kindle apps for Android and iOS.
If you want to ensure your Learning Experience turns into a remarkable customer experience, this is a must read.