Podcast #27 Janelle Allen page header

Courses are pretty common in the online business world these days. They can be an incredibly effective way for an entrepreneur to serve clients in a new and impactful way, and many business owners treat them as a reliable source of passive income.

But many people build them before they really know their target audience and what that audience actually wants. Instead of serving their clients, building their list, and pre-validating their product, entrepreneurs jump ahead of themselves and put a ton of time and effort into building a course that’s not nearly as good as it could be.

This week’s guest, Janelle Allen, helps clients avoid this trap and build courses that get serious results.

Janelle Allen is the founder of Zen Courses, where she helps business owners make actionable, learner-focused online courses that change lives. After studying Institutional Technology and working as an Instructional Designer for educational and corporate clients, Janelle turned her focus to online business. She brings this unique perspective to course design and building, and builds courses that improve student results, increase revenue, and boost authority.

Janelle is a really down-to-earth business owner and has a way of cutting through all of the complexity and confusion that surrounds course building. We start by talking about her background in Instructional Design and how it’s allowed her to bring a unique, much-needed perspective to the world of online course building. Rather than focusing on the marketing aspects of online courses, she talks about why she’s more concerned about building courses that really improve students’ understanding and outcomes.

Janelle and I then talk about how her business and some of the entrepreneurial lessons she had to learn after severing a relationship with her biggest corporate client.

Janelle shares the three channels she focused on to get traction with building her audience and why she thinks building a list is something every business owner should do before they create a course.

We also talk about the content hamster wheel that many entrepreneurs can find themselves in and how you can repurpose your content. And Janelle shares some great wisdom on finding your target audience and understanding the different segments within it that you can serve.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Janelle has built her business on an instructional design background and improved the results people get from their online courses.
  • Why entrepreneurs often struggle if they jump into course-building before building their audience.
  • The three things Janelle focused on when building her audience – her podcast, her email list, and her relationships – and how each benefitted her business.
  • Why she pulled back from selling courses to focus on building relationships and offering services instead.
  • How Janelle has grown her business by focusing on working not with newbies, but with people ready for more advanced content.
  • The three segments of Janelle’s target audience and how she has better served each of them as her business has changed.

Links mentioned in this show:

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workwithme2 podcast bio

Hey there. I know what it's like to try and fail over and over again. I've been through all the mindset ups and downs, feeling like a failure and wondering why it's so hard to attract amazing clients consistently.

I finally realized, more recently that I'd like to admit, I was still hiding. I was afraid to put my work into the world in case no one wanted it. What I really wanted was for someone to say, "hey you, your stuff is great, come share it with my audience".  Finally I realized that that would never happen, not until I started first.

Putting out my content and message into the world had to begin with me. I  committed to showing up consistently and building my own meaningful relationships. The result? Much more clarity about how to gain visibility and grow my brand. And, of course, THIS PODCAST which I'm thrilled to host!