By Guest Blogger, Shawn Driscoll
Learn more about Shawn at the end of this article.
You do work that changes people’s lives. And you know you can have a bigger impact if you lead programs in addition to your one-on-one work. But if you’re like most of my creative, high achieving clients you also want to make sure you ‘get it right’. If your name is going to be stamped on a class, group program, workshop or event, it simply has to deliver amazing results.
And if you’ve been around the block at all, you’ve more than likely run into a program or two that simply didn’t deliver. It’s not because the presenter wasn’t a pro at what they do. And it’s not that they weren’t well intentioned. It’s because they made at least one of these simple, yet all too common mistakes in delivering their program.
Mistake 1: Too Much Information, Too Little Application
A program is about more than the information being delivered. In the age of the internet, information is a dime a dozen. Your information is only as good as how it’s presented and how ‘usable’ it is for your ideal clients.
Clients who sign up for your program want to learn your information, system, process, approach or philosophy. But they also want to be taken care of in the process. And they want to APPLY it. The most successful programs lead people somewhere they want to go (and can’t get to on their own). You have to know exactly where you’re starting, where you are taking the client, what issues might come up along the way and once they’re through with the program. And plan your program to meet them where they are. Application trumps implementation every time.
Mistake 2: Firehose Brigade
Information overload is everywhere. You don’t want it in your program!
Sometimes, in an attempt to quiet our own inner ‘is it enough?’ doubts, we throw in everything but the kitchen sink. It makes us feel better, but the clients feel overwhelmed and shut down.
Think of it like this: the client comes to you saying they are thirsty. You offer them a sip of water and they feel better. Yay, you think! You ask them if they want more…and they say “Yes, I do” (this is when they sign up for your program) and instead of giving them a big glass of ice cold water you turn on the fire hose and douse them in your content.
Now, the client is left soaking and trying to keep their head above water. They need time to dry out. To soak up what you just poured on them. So they disengage. By overloading your program with too much bonus material or too much actual content, you can cause people to backoff.
If you really believe in the value of a lot of content, pace it so clients can absorb what you’re giving them. Spread your bonuses out. Pace your content so it’s there when they need it, but they don’t feel like they’re drowning in the firehose. They’ll thank you for it!
Mistake 3: Too Many Bells and Whistles
Sometimes we overdesign our program. We give people too many ways to engage—there’s weekly calls, forums, material to listen to, online material, private calls, cds shipped—and so forth. It all sounds great when we’re planning our program, but it’s not so great on the receiving end.
My Grandfather, a consummate businessman, always said “Keep it simple. Too many bells and whistles are just opportunities for breakdowns.” He was so right!
Offering too many bells and whistles—too many features—can trigger a feeling in your clients that they’re not getting their money’s worth. They feel like they’re wasting the investment because they can’t access it all. Or worse, they feel like they are ‘failing’ in some way because they can’t do it all.
And when we feel we’re wasting money or failing…what do we do? We want out. We want to feel we’re making SMART investments, not wasteful ones, right!?
I think it’s more sophisticated, elegant and ‘signature’ to give a simply structured program that delivers exactly what it promised and not overload it with features. I tell my clients to remember the ‘Power of 3’-no more than 3 ‘features’ (and make sure each feature serves a true purpose in the program and supports the path of growth you are leading clients on.)
Mistake 4: A Delivery Format that Doesn’t Deliver
Quite simply, the format has to fit the program. In my research, one of the big complaints I hear is about all-lecture, no-way-to-interact programs.
For example, you’re on a “mastermind” call with 150 other people and you’re muted. This isn’t a ‘mastermind experience’ and so the delivery format isn’t delivering on its promise, which creates a disconnect in the minds of the participants.
Another complaint I hear often is a lack of focus. Presenters and teachers who go down so many rabbit holes that they lose track of where they are and never deliver what they told you they were going to cover. Sure, they might have told you some great stories and gone down some valuable sidestreets, but they didn’t get to the content you came for. No one minds getting a little something extra, but they do mind when they don’t get what they came for!
Mistake 5: One Size Fits All Positioning
It’s great to believe in the power of your work, but you also have to discern who it’s best for. For a program to truly be effective it has to be right for a certain people and wrong for everybody else.
The best signature programs meet that need of exclusivity because they’re not for everyone. You’re not saying, “Come beginners, experts and everyone in the middle. I can get you there.” You’re really articulate about who it’s for and who it’s not for.
Take the time to truly describe who your ideal clients really are. What do they need to know coming into the program? Who isn’t your program right for?
Follow these tips and you can look like a Pro even if this is your first time running a program! Clients will become raving fans (and referral machines) because your program is a breath of fresh air!
About the Author:
Shawn Driscoll helps visionary entrepreneurs stand out, make a bigger impact, and stay relevant in a highly competitive climate by showing them how to create and deliver Signature Programs that get amazing results. To learn how to cash in on the Signature Program Payoff visit www.ShawnDriscoll.com