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[Podcast] Course Creator: Serve a Wider Audience Teaching What You Know (Gemma Bonham-Carter)

By Bob Sparkins  |  Published Mar 16, 2023  |  Updated Feb 08, 2024
Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A marketer with 17 years of experience, Bob has taught over 1,000 webinars and spoken at over 50 events.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 54: Gemma Bonham-Carter

Have you been thinking about creating an online course, but you're not sure where to begin? Well, you're in luck with this episode. My guest today is Gemma Bonham-Carter, the founder of Course Creator School, where she helps smart people like you turn your knowledge and expertise into a course that generates some really great revenue for your business.

During this episode, Gemma shares her best advice on what to include in your course, how to stay focused on the success of your students, and how to price your course. She also shares the tools that she's using to create and deliver her programs.

Key Takeaways

  • Start with what you know. If you don’t have a clear picture of what your first course will be, pay attention to what people are already asking you about.
  • Know your personal success metric. Set your goals on what success means to you, whether financial or lifestyle elements.
  • Don’t overstuff your course content. Your course should not feel overwhelming and it shouldn’t be difficult to articulate what’s inside or who it’s for.
  • Consider teaching a paid workshop first. Test your course idea by teaching it to a live cohort of students and fine tune based on their feedback.
  • Increase your course value with community and/or coaching. Provide a wider experience to your students who want more connection and implementation help.
  • Experiment with your pricing. Charge based on the ROI your course will have for your students and the value you are able to articulate to them.
  • Supplement your income as an affiliate. Connect course students to related products and services that they’ll benefit from — while receiving a commission from those companies.
  • Provide course materials that match the needs of your ideal students. Include time-saving resources to help them get the most from your training.

Resources Mentioned

Podcast Block Blog@2x

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Transcript

Who is Gemma Bonham-Carter

Bob Sparkins: Gemma, thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Lead Generation.

Gemma Bonham-Carter: So excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Bob: Really looking forward to diving into all things course creation, delivery, revenue generating, all the fun things. Before we do that though, I'd love for you to share what's a way that you transform the lives of the people that you work with through your business?

Gemma: I just feel so grateful to work with the students and clients that I do. I really help people create and launch courses, but beyond that really turn them into successful businesses that can offer a level of financial security and a level of freedom that people are really after. And so a lot of my students tend to be people, often I'm working with parents, people with kids at home, people who want to maybe travel more or quit their jobs, have more flexibility and freedom in their lives. And yeah, it's such a pleasure to be able to get to really make that a reality for folks.

Bob: That's awesome. And it sounds like you've just described your own background as well. We're going to get into just a touch of this, but you have a great story on your website over at gemmabonhamcarter.com. I won't go into too much detail with you today because we want to get into the courses, but I do think it's fascinating that you are, A, a Renaissance woman with all kinds of hobbies, talents, and skills, but you also didn't start in your professional life as somebody who wanted to be an entrepreneur. Can you share with folks what it is about your initial passion that you had for health, and how that kind of turned into an entrepreneurial journey instead?

Gemma: Yeah, so I was pursuing a career in public health, a very academic-based one, and had a real clear vision of where I thought I was going to be heading. And really it was when I had my daughter, my first child, that I realized really the office life, the nine-to-five and the commuting, that just wasn't going to be for me, at least at this phase in my life. I had always had a side hustle. I couldn't just be that one side of my brain and be really academic all the time. I needed to have something creative going on. And so I had been blogging for quite a long time in a completely different industry or niche, but had this creative thing happening on the side all the time. And it was really, once I had my daughter, that that fire was lit to say to me, "Okay, how can I turn these hobbies that I've had on the side and these little projects into something much bigger," that would allow me to really leave my career in public health?

And as a tangent to that too, I also thought that maybe I would never be fulfilled in the same way that I was in my public health career, given that I was doing a lot of global health initiatives and things that were really, to me, felt like world-changing type of things. But interestingly in the entrepreneurship space, getting to change people's lives still happens just in a different way. And so it really gave me that feeling of fulfillment, but also tapped into that creative side and gave me that freedom I was looking for.

Bob: That's really cool. And as a masters degree holder, is there any lesson that you learned going through school yourself that you continue to take on as an entrepreneur now?

Gemma: Yeah, I think maybe just the skills of even just critical thinking and reviewing things and seeing things maybe at a bigger picture scale, rather than always getting caught up in the smaller details or the minutia. I think that one of my abilities is to see things with a grander vision and be able to navigate my way there and understand the pathway to get to where I want to go. And although that wasn't exactly tied to my classes in epidemiology or something in my masters degree, having that bigger picture vision, I was studying population health, interestingly it kind of applies in a totally different way. But having that same vision, I can see it. It's funny, I can always see the bigger picture for entrepreneurs too. When I'm working with a client, I can be like, "Well, I can see exactly where you need to go and we're going to work backwards and figure out how to get there." But I think that was just an interesting skill that has certainly stood the test of time.

Bob: That's terrific. And I imagine your life the last three years would be very different if you were still in the public health space, but we won't talk about that today.

Gemma: I mean, yeah, whole conversation for a different day.

Initial Success with Blogs

Bob: Yeah. I'm interested to know if there is one of the little niche blogs that you had created initially that when you tell people about it, they just are surprised or they get a big smile on their face about it. Any of those types of projects that you either had back then or you still carry forward as a continued side project?

Gemma: Yeah, the main one was a blog called The Sweetest Digs. So I'm outing myself here, because if anyone goes onto the internet, they'll be able to find it because it actually does still exist. And interestingly still pulls in some revenue for me, that was the thing I was trying to build with blogging in the early days, was these streams of more passive income. To this day, I don't publish on it anymore, but I still make commissions and ad revenue and stuff like that. And it was around home decor.

I had bought my first fixer-upper home with my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, and it was a teeny tiny house and needed a ton of work. I had just discovered bloggers in that particular niche because I was looking for ideas. And I thought, oh, okay, this is cool. They're sharing the projects that they're doing around their house. Maybe I'll do the same thing, because my family and friends are keen to see what we're up to. And that's really how it began.

It was not with any intention of being a business or making money off of it in any way. It was more like a diary. Yeah, it still exists.

Making the Leap into the First Course

Bob: That's crazy. And I know you're still passionate about real estate as well. Again, maybe a topic for another time as a real estate investor yourself. But let's talk now about that first course that you created. How did you decide that it was time, and what was your first course able to do for you?

Gemma: I got the sense that it was the right time after I had been invited to speak at a couple blogging conferences and I was giving these talks, I really enjoyed that. I really enjoyed putting the talks together, teaching, being in front of an audience, helping people learn strategies. And I got a letter or a card in the mail from one of the participants or the attendees, saying how sort of much she appreciated my talk, how transformational it was for her. And it was just this really sweet card. People had come up to me afterwards and asking additional questions and stuff like that, and I just thought, okay, there's something here. I really enjoyed that, people are resonating with it. They're asking me more questions. This obviously hit something in folks, so maybe there's something here.

To be honest, I initially thought about doing an ebook, which was the thing in those days. I kind of was like, okay, I'll put everything I know into an ebook and sell it for $19. And as I started to write this ebook, it grew and grew and grew, and I was like, this is more than what I can stuff into 60 digital pages.

So I then thought about courses. And they weren't really a big thing back then. This was 2016, I feel like it was early days of the course world. But I found a few folks who were mentors in that space and learned from them.

And the first course I ever launched was basically a topic from one of those conferences, which was how to make money as a blogger, how to monetize your blog, and I turned it into a course. And I'll tell you, I think I made about $2,000 from that first launch, and I thought I hit the jackpot. I was like, this is it. This is huge. I couldn't believe it. I was so thrilled. It was that first key that led me to so much more. Yeah, it was my first taste of that, and I went on to create more courses from there.

Bob: About how many courses are you up to now?

Gemma: Oh gosh. Okay. Well, the one that I created after that was called Launch Your Shop, which is really diving more into the e-commerce side of being a blogger, how to sell physical products as part of your blog. That was the one that took me, I scaled it to six figures a year in revenue and was really my sign of, okay, hang on a second. My entire business could be the course business. I don't need to be doing all these other things anymore if I just focus on this one. And so from there, I probably have created and launched eight to 10 courses since then of different varieties, like mini-courses, all the way up to very high level group coaching programs.

Bob: Cool. And I imagine there's a blend of courses that are top shelf for maybe a year, maybe two, and some maybe that have longer shelf life. Is that true, or do you find a different type of cadence?

Gemma: So I made a pivot, I was in that blogging space for the first roughly three years of my foray into creating a coaching and education business. And then of course the thing happened where people say, "Well then Gemma, okay, we forget about blogging now. How did you do what you've just done, which is create this successful course?" And so I made that pivot.

And interestingly, since then, since making that pivot, the programs that I created out of the gate have stayed. Those have remained my main offers. But it was probably because I had done that work before. It wasn't my first step into this arena. And so I kind of had a sense of, okay, what is my customer journey going to look like and what are the different areas in which I can help them? And not to say that those programs haven't hugely evolved and frankly gotten a lot better since the first time I launched them, but they have ultimately remained.

The Impact of Course Income

Bob: That's great. So I want to dig into some of the tips that you have and advice you'd give to first-time course creators. But the first thing really is that big picture. What has having these courses in your life allowed you and your family to be able to do?

Gemma: I mean, they've been a total life changer to be totally frank. They've given me the option to run my own business, to not have to rely on outside employment for financial security. It allowed me to stay home with my kiddos. They're both in school now, but it really transformed my maternity leave and early years with them, which was really amazing. And the original goal, really. Like you mentioned at the top of the show, my husband and I now, we love to invest in real estate. So we have several properties that we've since purchased, and one we're working on right now in terms of a renovation. We travel more than ever.

For me, the definition of success hasn't necessarily been a number, a revenue number, but it's been what can we do with our lives that feels like we've really hit the jackpot. And for us it means time with our family, being able to travel and take those holidays every year, and to just feel like we have more flexibility in terms of how we design our days. And I feel like we've made that happen, which just feels like, yeah, like I hit the jackpot.

Bob: Yeah, no doubt. And how cool to be able to share that with other people through the courses that you're creating for people to create their own courses too.

First-Time Course Creation Pitfalls to Avoid

Bob: Let's dig into some of those bits of advice. You've obviously had a number of courses under your belt, some have likely done better than others. You didn't know that going in which ones would probably be better than others. What are some of those initial pitfalls you'd share with the first-time course creator that they might be able to avoid the hard knocks school as they create their first course?

Gemma: Yeah, I think one of the most common things that I see people do is they come up with their course idea, and it's huge. It's everything that they know about that one particular topic and they want to put it all in this one course and have this giant transformation that they're offering to a potential student. And I think that the danger there is, A, it can become not clear to the audience of what is truly going to happen in that course. What's the result truly going to be. It seems unbelievable when it's so big and grand.

And second of all, it becomes really overwhelming to create. It turns out that you've bitten off so much more than you can chew sort of thing. So I think one of the biggest initial steps for a new course creator is identifying that one problem that you are going to solve for somebody and make it really specific. You should be able to articulate that to me in one or two sentences.

If you're having to take two minutes to explain to me what your course is going to be about, it's too complicated. Nobody's going to be able to understand it and want to purchase it. So getting really, really dialed in on what that one problem is that you're solving. And then once you know that, also understand, be able to articulate how you solve that problem and how it might be different from how other people do it. Because the more you can demonstrate that you have a unique method to solving this problem that other people maybe haven't tried yet, the easier it's going to be to get people to purchase that course or that offer from you.

Bob: Yeah, that's really great. And having created a number of courses myself over the last 15 years or so, I can say on a side note of that I first understood this and share it with others, your first course should not be your last course.

Gemma: Absolutely.

Bob: And so give yourself permission to not try to stuff everything into that first course, because it can't impact people till it's out, and hopefully you'll have the seeds of the second course and the third course within that first one.

Gemma: Exactly. And another idea, if someone's really on the fence about taking this path, is maybe just try out a paid workshop. If you don't want to necessarily go fully down the route of creating a full course, well, why don't you just test the waters and do a two-hour live workshop where someone's going to pay, maybe it's $97 or something to come to this workshop and learn this, again, very specific topic from you that you can teach within let's say 90 minutes and then have 30 minutes for Q&A. What a great way to test the waters to get some revenue in the door, but more importantly to see if people are willing to purchase to establish your credibility and expertise in that space and to just test things out.

Bob: Yeah, I really love that concept. Because, A, it's a take action, revise later sort of thing, which is kind of my philosophy in business. And secondly, it does show you whether you should make it or not. And if nobody buys it, you don't make it. If somebody does buy it, then you get that real world feedback, which is really awesome. So I really love that.

Deciding Between Workshops and Courses

Bob: My next question for you is kind of diving a little bit deeper into what you just said, and that is this idea of workshop versus a course. For some people they may be equivalent. So other than this one shot timeframe, what other logistical things would you say are different between that one time workshop versus the effort and things that you do for an actual course?

Gemma: Yeah, I think often with a course, it can be designed in any kind of way, but it's generally speaking a bigger experience for your students. So rather than just being, let's say, some teaching material via video, there is also going to be a whole component of downloadable resources or other digital resources that you're going to give them to help them with implementation. Whether these are templates or spreadsheets or workbooks or guides or roadmaps or whatever that looks like. There's definitely an asset of some additional teaching tools there.

There might also be an aspect of community. So maybe you're offering a Facebook group or a Slack channel or monthly coaching calls, or access to you as the founder via Voxer or something of that nature where you can offer either community or continued coaching. And that obviously would be very different from a one-time workshop. So generally with a course, it's a bigger experience, it might be a longer experience.

We tend to be solving the problem for our students in a you want to create a step-by-step framework or system or approach that you're teaching inside of your course that's probably bigger than what you would teach let's say in a two hour or a 90 minute workshop. So I just tend to think of them as courses are bigger, there's probably more to them, and there's likely additional components to them than a simple workshop.

Bob: And I think that's an answer that is going to be different from 15 other people who teach about courses. So obviously what I'm hearing from you is what you have decided for yourself works really well, and some other course creators I know will talk about other things and they don't have live components, and some of them they only have live components. So really it's up to you listening to take what's your strength, I think, and move forward a bit with that, knowing again that it's not your last course, so you can take your best guess as to what the first course is going to look like.

Gemma: Yeah, and it's great point of thinking about your strengths as the course creator, but also thinking about, okay, who is my ideal student? I know what result they want to get. How can I make sure that I'm giving them the best chances of getting that result? Because if you let that guide the components of your course, you may not need a community or a Facebook group or coaching calls or any of those things if they're not going to be really helpful in helping someone get to the finish line. In other cases, you might really need them. And so allowing that to guide some of your decision making I think will mean that you produce a program that is going to have the highest chances of success for your students. And the closer you can get to that, the more you're going to have word-of-mouth marketing working for you. People are going to talk about the course, people are going to be raving about it. I mean, what a great way to make more sales.

Pricing Your Course Efficiently

Bob: Yeah, for sure. So I think that the pricing is, or it should be probably the last thing that you think about, but I know that a lot of people who want to do their first course, it's probably the first thing that they're thinking about. I want to make a course, I'm going to sell it for this much money, blah, blah, blah. What kind of considerations do you have hopefully when your course is already in flight or is in the later stages of production where you set the price, what kind of changes do you make? Where do you start? Where would you recommend the first-time course creator begin? What are they thinking about as they're determining that price point?

Gemma: Yeah, it can be such a challenging question to answer for a lot of people, and they get really stuck or hung up on this. I guess the first thing I would say is know that the price that you put on your program the first time you launch it, doesn't mean it has to be that price forever. You can go ahead and launch your offer and increase the price six months later, 12 months later, whatever it looks like, especially if you are getting a ton of great testimonials through the door and it warrants a price increase, that's fine. So don't feel like you're making the decision that you have to stick with forever. So let's reduce the overwhelm in the beginning.

I think there's a couple of important considerations to take into account here. First of all is when you think about that problem, think about the cost of solving the problem for your customer let's say if they were hired to hire that out as a service.

So let's say for example it's someone in a health and wellness space, so I'm thinking of an actual student of mine. She is a clinician specifically in gut health. So she helps people fix a lot of gut health disorders that they might have. She does a lot of one-to-one client work. However, she launched a course for people who would prefer to learn in that capacity, and it's a more affordable option than working with her one-to-one. But part of her analysis on, well, what was she going to price it at was, what does it look like if someone comes to me and needs to hire this as a one-to-one service? So gauging the cost from that perspective I think is an important first question you can ask yourself.

You can also ask yourself, is this helping my client make money, save money, save frustration, earn back some of their time? What is the ROI on this investment that they're going to be making in the course? And obviously the greater the pain point and the greater you're able to save someone time, frustration, and money, or make more money, the easier it is to put a higher price tag on it. And speaking about that pain point situation, that's really where we can think of, I'm sure a lot of the listeners have heard this before in the marketing world, if you are solving a problem for someone in one of these three big categories, it's usually health, wealth or relationships, you can tend to charge more because those are the areas which we as humans tend to value the most.

So if you're in one of those categories, you can probably put a higher price point on it. If you are in a hobby niche, let's say watercolor painting, you might not be able to put such a high price tag on a course in that niche simply because it's harder for your potential buyer to compute that as an ROI. Does that make sense?

Bob: Yeah, for sure. Unless you're teaching that person how to become a watercolor professional.

Gemma: Exactly.

Bob: Getting them to sell their artwork, which is a level two, right?

Gemma: Which actually it's not in the hobby niche, then it would be in the wealth niche. You're actually in the wealth niche, even though you're talking about watercolor painting. But if you're talking about it from a business perspective, you're teaching people how to make more money, so we can charge more for that.

Supplement Your Course Revenue with Affiliate Income

Bob: Exactly. I want to talk a little bit more about the content in a moment, but while we're on this revenue concept first, one of the ways that you add additional revenue to your courses is through affiliate marketing. And I know that's something that I enjoyed personally as well. Give people an idea of how are you using affiliate marketing to help basically subsidize the cost of your program. So you might be able to charge a little less than you might otherwise, but still generate a lot more revenue from your courses.

Gemma: Yeah, I love affiliate marketing. And interestingly, I've been doing it since back in those blogging days, it was one of my first revenue streams that I built into that blog. And really what it comes down to is are there products and services and software that I'm already using that I'm inherently going to be talking about to my students and clients and audience anyway, and if there are, why wouldn't I get a kickback for making that referral. So I don't necessarily go out looking for affiliate products to recommend. I internally look at what are we using in our business today, and are there programs for those products that would be a natural fit.

And so I think anyone, any course creator or business owner, if they have an audience and are working with clients, in all likelihood there are things that you are already recommending and you maybe just haven't thought about having that be a revenue stream where you could actually get a bit of a kickback for making that recommendation.

And one of the fun things that I have enjoyed doing, which is kind of like a bonus tip, is crafting some additional gifts for anyone who purchases through my affiliate link. So I won't do this for every single thing that I have an affiliate link for, but for the main ones that I talk about more frequently, are there things that I can offer to someone if they purchase through my affiliate link that will help them have an easier time with that product or service or software?

So an example might be, I love to be an affiliate for Leadpages. Well, if I'm giving my affiliate link to someone, I have some bonus templates that are directly pulled from my business that I think would probably help them get started on Leadpages, and I'm happy to gift those as a free bonus. So when you're thinking about integrating affiliate marketing into your business, think about that too. It's kind of like a gift with purchase. Remember when we used to go to the department store and you'd get a free tote bag if you bought, I don't know, I used to always go to the Clinique stand where I'd buy a makeup, like a mascara, and I'd get a free tote bag. And I love the tote bag, that was half the reason for purchasing the mascara. So it's kind of the same methodology.

Bob: Yeah, we're an Aveda household for that same thing. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Curriculum Design for Online Course Creators

Bob: All right, let's talk a little bit more about the content of the course. So we've already talked a little bit about trying not to stuff everything in there, making sure there's one problem to solve for. What are some things that you're thinking about when it comes to content, both in the quantity but also the quality? Are you making sure there's video components? You already talked about some handouts and things like that, but how are you thinking through what makes the content-rich enough to be in that nice, cohesive course?

Gemma: Yeah, great question. So it comes down to a couple of things. So like you mentioned, one really important thing is not to stuff it with everything you know. Think about your student as being someone who probably has limited time. They just want to get to the end result. One of the things that they're paying for is a curated experience where you can get them to that finish line without a bunch of noise or fluff. So how can you create the most direct route for that person to solve the problem? That's one of the first things you want to be thinking about.

And then I also think it's really important to appeal to different learning types. So there might be some people who love watching a video and that's how they learn, versus someone else who wants to put it into their earbuds and listen kind of like a podcast, versus the person who loves to print out the workbook and actually physically brainstorm or answer questions or take notes in a workbook.

I'm someone who loves using templates and tools. If you can give me something that's going to save me time, because one of the things I value the most is time, and I will often purchase courses or programs for the element in it that is going to be the time saver. So appealing to those different types of learners, but also different types of buyers. We all are going to value different things within the course based on our own desires and interests. And so having that kind of wide-reaching experience inside of your course I think is really valuable.

So I would take that approach, and this is, again, not to say that you necessarily need to have all of this the first time you launch your program. I'm a big believer in if we have a great idea, let's take it to market and let's actually just fill it as a live program the first time around. Maybe you get 10, 15 students in there, teach it live, make it a six weeks experience or something, and really get the feedback from those folks in that first time around to see what they liked, where were their gaps, what additional things could you be creating, and then build it out from there. So yeah, you don't need to have it all to start would be my bottom line there.

Tools and Process for Producing Your Course

Bob: Very cool. Let's talk about producing this course now for a couple moments. Are you doing on-camera work? If so, what kind of equipment are you using? And secondly, when you're actually editing your course, if you are doing video, what kind of tools are you using to help you with the editing process? Or are you farming that out to other people at this date?

Gemma: Typically for where I'm at in business, I do have someone who does the editing for me. I think they use Movie Maker or whatever would come with Mac, but I can't really speak to the editing piece. But in terms of doing the video content and the tools that I use, so I do two things. One is I do use slide decks a lot with my lessons because I find that it's a more engaging way for some learners to actually see imagery or words on a slide deck versus just my head talking. So I definitely lean on slide decks a lot. And if I'm presenting with a slide deck, there's a ton of video programs that you can use for this. Some as easy as QuickTime or Loom, or you can even use Canva these days and use their recording studio and they put your head in the little corner. So I typically do something like that.

I also use screen share type video a lot, where I will take someone through, this is especially useful for tech tutorials or taking someone through the backend of doing something online, where I will just share my screen and walk through whatever it is I'm trying to teach them as my voice is narrating as well. So I'll do a lot of that type of video production for my courses. And then from a tech point of view, I have a Blue Yeti mic, which is what we're using today for this podcast, and I will use that for all of my course content. I have a Logitech webcam. I keep it pretty standard and simple over here. I think that's sometimes something that holds people back, is thinking that they need a professional-level setup for their courses. When in actual fact, as long as you have great audio and you're teaching something compelling, it's more about do you have a really great lesson that you can teach someone? Doesn't really matter if it's perfectly filmed or perfectly edited.

Bob: Yeah, especially again if it's not your last class, you can always redo something that's popular to make a version two in the future.

Gemma: Absolutely.

Considerations for Delivering Your Courses

Bob: Okay. Now my final primary question before you wrap up is around the delivery and support of your course. So you've talked a little bit about this, but I'm interested to know what platform are you using for your courses, and how are you supporting members? Do they get a certain amount of time? Is it an ongoing thing after forever, basically? Do you have someone on your team that's handling support? I know that's different today probably than what it was six years ago when you were getting to the beginning of things, but what are some of those considerations that you would like to offer for some advice?

Gemma: Yeah, so for course platforms, gosh, we could have a whole episode just to talk about course platforms because there are so many out there these days. I have been with the same one since pretty much the beginning, and it is definitely more of an underdog platform that people don't know so much about. It's called Teachery. And I will tell you, it is lovely and the founders are lovely people, and I have really enjoyed being on their platform. We've used it for all the courses, and many products we have are all built out on Teachery, so you can go to teachery.co.

Usually though I will say when I'm recommending a program to a newer course creator, one of the ones that I also love these days is ThriveCart. And they have a whole course platform built within ThriveCart called Learn. So I talk about that with my students a lot these days as well.

And then in terms of support, you're right, it looks really different today than it did in the very beginning. In the very beginning I was like a one-woman show. I did all the things. I was answering all the questions. It looks a little different today. I have a really lean but mighty team of people that help me with my business, and one of whom is my lead coach, and she's a lead support coach who offers incredible feedback and advice inside of our Facebook groups. And so we do use Facebook groups to connect with our students.

So she actually really handles the majority of the day-to-day answering of questions. I have two main programs, so in both of them. And I do monthly calls. And so that's really where my students can connect with me, is we hop on Zoom every single month and talk through their questions, any stumbling blocks, any obstacles. And sometimes those will be workshops from me as well if there's a new topic I want to share or teach on.

Yeah, I would say we have a very connected student body. It's really different from a fully self-study kind of course where you really don't ever see the founder or get questions answered, and those can be fine in certain arenas. For my particular niche, I think it's really important to offer that coaching and support. So that's how we do it inside of my business.

Bob: Cool. And does that ongoing monthly support come as a membership kind of extension to the course?

Gemma: Yeah. Good question.

Bob: Or is it built into the initial price?

Gemma: Good question. We do both. So with one of my programs, Course Creator School, which is for anyone who's looking to create and launch their first course, we offer lifetime access to the Facebook group. And that comes with a monthly Q&A call with me. And typically what we see happen is people are really active and engaged in that group for let's say the first six months as they are creating and launching their courses, and then it's just a natural evolution that they will kind of peter out from there. And actually it leads into my second offering, which is called The Passive Project, which is for experienced course creators. So it's sort of like the alumni of Course Creator School, they come into Passive Project, and that one is more of a membership style. So typically we want people to be in there for a year, but a lot of folks will then continue on in a month-to-month basis after that. Not only is it a group, but we're doing tons of different calls every month. It's a very high level, highly engaged kind of space.

Continue Learning from Gemma Bonham-Carter

Bob: Very cool. Well, you've mentioned your ability to teach before. This has been a great example of all the great lessons in a short amount of time. I know that people can learn a lot from your podcast, from your YouTube channel. What's a good first step that you'd like people to take if they are pursuing that first course especially?

Gemma: Yeah, I do have a free training that really takes you through my methodology on how to successfully create and launch that first course, particularly if you want to put it out into the world and get paid to create the course. That's really the strategy that I use, and I show you exactly how to do that inside of this free training. Now the link is long, so let's include it with the show notes. But it's learn.gemmabonhamcarter.com/class. Really long. So just go to the show notes and the link will be there. And actually it's a great example of an opt-in page that I built on Leadpages, because I use Leadpages for all my opt-in pages, and this one converts well, and it's my main lead magnet that we use in my business.

Bob: That's awesome. My last question for you, Gemma, is I imagine that over the last seven years or so that you've been doing this that you've run into obstacles, you've had things in your way, and you've needed to power through. Is there a quote or mantra or something that you tell yourself that helps you to get to the other side?

Gemma: Oh my gosh, what a good question. I feel like I'm the worst with remembering quotes. I will read them, put the little ones in my phone that I love, save them to an album, but I'm terrible at remembering. But I would say that the thing that keeps me going is I've always, since the beginning of building my business, had a very clear vision of not how much money I wanted it to make per year, whatever, but what I wanted it to feel like, what did I want my days to look like as an entrepreneur? Yeah, how did I want to feel?

I think through the harder bits, either when I need to power through those obstacles or when things aren't going as quickly as I would like them to, or I have to make maybe a bit of a shift in what I'm doing, I think just remembering and knowing that vision of what I'm ultimately trying to build has always kept me going. Because in my mind, there was no other alternative. That's where we're headed. Sometimes, of course, there's going to be little bumps in the road and that's okay, but ultimately there are no other paths. Like I'm headed there.

Bob: That's great. Well, Gemma, thanks so much for sharing such great wisdom today for course creation, entrepreneurship, and the like. I can't wait to see what you create next. And for the people listening, I can't wait to see and hear about your success as you pursue your own course, if you choose to do that. Thanks again, Gemma, for being here.

Gemma: Thanks for having me.

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Bob Sparkins
By Bob Sparkins

A former high school history teacher turned entrepreneur and marketer, Bob has educated business owners worldwide on how to leverage digital marketing to grow their brands. He’s taught over 1,000 webinars, participated in over 200 podcast episodes, and taken the stage at over 50 business conferences and events.

The Lead Generation Podcast Episode 54: Gemma Bonham-Carter
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