Create Your Online Course 10X Faster with Scripting TriggersJan 20, 2021
Want to get your online course done fast? Scripting your content doesn’t have to take a lot of time. In this post, you’ll learn how to create your online course 10X faster with scripting triggers.
Writing your online course content can be hard.
You’ve got your expertise, ready to share.
You have your outline at the ready. All systems are a “go” to write.
Then you procrastinate.
You say “I just have to do more research on this.”
You start and stop.
Or worse, you just stop.
As a course consultant helping hundreds of course students and done for you clients throughout the year, scripting is one of the top areas that holds course creators back from bringing their programs to fruition.
Put in another way: Course creators get stuck, and give up.
I think there are a number of reasons why course creators stop writing—but I think the #1 issue is around Expectations.
When it comes to your course content, you may have what I call "Outstretched Expectations:" it has to be perfect! It has to be the BEST course ever created!
When I worked for personal development coach Tony Robbins as his Content Manager, Tony talked about how unhappiness lies in our expectations not meeting our life conditions. So instead, Tony encouraged us to “trade your expectations for appreciation.”
I encourage you to trade your expectations for serving your students with a worthwhile transformation.
All of this rolls up into the idea that I don’t want you creating your scripts with other’s expectations in mind, of genius introductions, dazzling stories, and A++ content. I would rather you focus on content that gives your student a result. As course creators, we are here to provide a transformation. At the end of the day you are providing your online course students with a better life, even in a small way.
Once you have this mindset in place, your success (I believe) comes down to having the right framework to follow.
There are two parts to how I work with my students to help them script with far less frustration and fewer headaches.
Part One: 5-Part Scripting Flow
There is a certain rhythm to how you should script your main course content (typically your videos). For each video lesson you write, think in terms of this flow:
#1: Start with a hook. You want to engage your audience from the get-go. You have likely heard the statistic: You've got eight seconds to engage someone before you lose them. It could be a story, a statistic, a quote. Whatever it is, you want to hook your student as soon as he or she hits ‘play’ on your video and stats engaging with your content.
(Yes, even in an online course that your student has invested money in, you need to work hard to engage them. Sadly, just because someone has purchased your course doesn’t guarantee that they are going to finish, let alone, OPEN, your program! You want to make the extra effort to start with a compelling piece to get your students excited.)
Say you have an online course about how to find your compelling personal narrative (in order to generate more leads for your business). One lesson could be focused on how to choose the best personal story to start with when you are meeting new potential students. A hook for that lesson may be a statistic about how personal stories build instant rapport. Or I may have a hook about a client who went from just introducing herself and what she does, to starting off with a story, and how that helped her really grow her leads and conversions.
Both of these examples can immediately engage the viewer, and pique their interest in the topic.
#2: Then you're going to tell them what they're going to learn. You’re telling them upfront: here’s my outcome for you for this lesson. As a course creator, you are constantly orienting your student to where they are in your program. Think about yourself when you’re learning something new—you’re (at times) confused, checking in on where you are. Your students are in the same boat, and you need to guide them.
Using the story example, the outcome / what you are going to learn could be “show the why behind sharing your personal story in a business setting, and how to come up with the best personal story for you to share.” This sets the stage for what you plan to share in the rest of the lesson.
#3: Then you're going to go into the meat or core of what you're going to teach. Here I may talk through my 7-point checklist for choosing a story that connects and ultimately converts.
I would go through each point, in detail, as the bulk of this lesson.
For example, step one could be the more personal, the better. And then I would talk for a minute or two about how to choose a story that is truly personal, and how not to shy away from sharing more vulnerable details.
#4: Then you're going to go into your homework. With most lessons, you are going to include a ‘take action’ piece with each lesson—these translate to your downloads/handouts for each lesson.
Your downloads can be a critical piece of your online course, and can add massive value for your students. There are many different kinds of downloads you could use for your course—including templates, checklists, cheat sheets, worksheets, comparison grids, etc.
The homework in our sample course could be to go through the 7-point checklist, and/or a worksheet that helps you brainstorm three options for a personal story.
#5: Then finally, you’re going to give them next steps. Here’s where you are going to remind them to complete their homework, and clue them in on what their next lesson will be. You’re also going to give them any other reminders they may need for that section of the course, then keep them moving on to the next lesson.
After these 5 steps, you have a plug and play system for creating your course scripts. Then you’re ready for the next part.
Part Two: Scripting Triggers
Now that you have your flow, I want you to fill in the different areas to create your “scripts.”
However, I don’t want you to script.
That is, I don’t want you scripting word for word, because a lot of times, you don’t need all of that detail! And I have found that intensive scripting bogs down course creators to the point where they stop working, stop creating, and BAM no more genius. And then that course creator never makes it across the finish line.
Instead of sitting down and writing and writing and writing, you are going to write prompts, or reminders, of what you want to say. Here is an example:
"Welcome back! You have very likely heard that stories are the ultimate way to access instant rapport—in fact, studies show that when you hear a story, your brain waves start to mirror those of the storyteller. Powerful way to make a connection, right?
"In this lesson, you’re going to learn why story is so important when creating content that nurtures your audience, and leads to raving fan buyers. You’ll also discover a 7-point process for choosing your best personal story.
"Let’s move on to point one -- is it truly personal?"
Script with Triggers:
Stories / instant rapport
- Study: Brain waves, mirror storyteller
What You’re Going to Learn:
- Why stories are important
- 7-point process
1: Is it truly personal?
2: Does it connect with your course, and promised results?
With the triggers, you have everything you need, organized in a shorthand that makes sense for you. With your prompts, you’re saving time not writing transitions and other fluff—you’re going straight to the crux of your content.
You may want to use a whiteboard or Post-Its to create your Scripting Frameworks with triggers (v. sitting down and formally writing or typing). Get in a creative space, and write down the five parts:
- What You’re Going to Learn
- Core Content
- What’s Next
And then fill in the blanks, with shorthand.
Then transfer that to a Google doc, and move on to the next lesson.
This exercise may feel uncomfortable at first. But once you start to get the hang of triggers, you’ll never go back to writing out scripts.
You also may be afraid that you’ll mess up without a script, or that you’ll leave something out. I have a lot of course creators who want to cram every detail of their expertise into their course. You don’t have to include it all—just the content, examples and stories that lead to the student transformation.
Plus you can always add in future updates. Course creation is an iterative process, and your online course is a living and breathing asset.
A few final tips for creating your course content:
#1: One script at a time.
Be laser-focused on one script. Don't worry about all the other scripts you have to do!
I’ll talk to course creators who have 30 or 40 scripts ahead of them, and they can go into overwhelm. You are not swallowing the whale whole (so to speak)! Spend an hour creating triggers for a few lessons, take a break, then finish up the module.
#2: Find your flow before you create your triggers.
Writing (even triggers) can be TOUGH. The best creators have routines.
For me, I get a cup of tea with honey, I play some music, and I set my timer for 45 minutes. I know I can write for 45 minutes, then I get to take a break, stretch my legs.
If you want to learn more about getting into your flow, I recommend picking up Deep Work by Cal Newport and setting up time—and your environment—that really supports your best course creation. Newport notes the differences between shallow and deep work, and how we can optimize our knowledge and expertise by making time for more focused work.
#3: Done is better than perfect.
Your course isn’t going to be perfect. But it will be YOU, and at its best, will serve your students in an amazing way.
So go create, and get it done.
Gina Onativia runs the Course Creation Boutique, where she coaches course creators with her Course Creation Incubator podcast and builds done-for-you trainings for experts, speakers and entrepreneurs. Take the quiz to help you determine what may be holding you back from course creation success.