Using eCourses to Leverage Your Expertise Online

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Donna Gunter You’re a wonderful service provider, whether you’re a massage therapist, real estate agent, mortgage broker, web designer, etc. However, as a service provider, you have only so many hours in the day to work with your clients, yet there are still hundreds and hundreds of people in the world who could really use the knowledge and expertise you hold about the service you provide. Enter the eCourse. eCourses are a timed-released format of delivering valuable information to your customer base via email. The course segment emails consist of shorter pieces of information that can be consumed in generally 1-2 minutes. Using autoresponder technology, the lessons can be delivered with a specific interval of time in between and delivered automatically, with no regular human attention needed beyond the setup of the eCourse. How cool is that? Never been exposed to an eCourse? Here’s one you can sign up for right now: «5 Keys to Putting Money in Your Pocket with a Virtual Assistant», found at http://www. The eCourse can be offered free of charge and used as a marketing tool to gather contact information from prospective clients and to expose them to your expertise and sell them on your products and services. Or, it can be offered for a fee for clients who might want to get a taste of what you offer but aren’t willing to pay your full service fee yet. An eCourse is pretty simple to write. Come up with a topic that is appropriate for your target market. Each lesson becomes a simple article. Write 5-10 lessons, and you have a terrific eCourse on your hands. Or, if you like to write Top 10 lists, create one of those and make each bullet point become one of your lessons for the eCourse. Write your eCourse in a comfortable and conversational tone–just as though the reader were sitting down to have a chat and a cup of coffee with you. Include new and innovative information in what you’re writing so that the reader is assured that you’re the expert. Give some real-life stories or practical applications about how the reader can apply the information in your eCourse. Cite valuable resources in your materials that will further help your reader. To keep your reader motivated and empowered, sprinkle some inspiration in with your eCourse message. You’ll want your reader to come away with useful and valuable information and be anxious to receive or buy further information or expertise from you. If you’ve been in business for awhile, you know that it takes 7-10 «touches» for a client to decide to buy your product or service. A multi-issue eCourse gives the prospective client multiple opportunities to «check you out». And, because you’re getting in front of the prospective client each time s/he receives a new segment of the eCourse, the eCourse permits the prospective client to get to know you before hiring you, thus making the eCourse the perfect relationship builder and lead generator.

Once you have the content for your eCourse, you can format it in plain text, or in HTML, using a program like FrontPage. However, you won’t want to have to personally send out the ecourse to everyone who subscribes, so I use the autoresponder and subscription features that come as part of my shopping cart program. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here and use all of the features of the program: Demonstrate to the world what a phenomenal service provider you are. Start drafting your first eCourse today!

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