Join business coach Tina Tower as she explore's how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.

Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mumma and traveller. She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.

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This week's podcast guest is a legend in the online course industry as a programme ghostwriter and course creator for some of the most impactful online programs in the world. 

In this value-packed episode, Jasmine Jonte takes a deep-dive into the common mistakes that she sees course creators make, how to get your course all put together, how to increase completion rates (and whether or not completion rates are even that important)
 and everything in between!

Tina Tower Her Empire Builder


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Show Transcription: 

Episode 174 - Creating Quality Courses with Jasmine Jonte


Tina: Hello and welcome to episode 174. I have a beautiful guest today on the podcast, Jasmine Jonte. And I met Jasmine online as we do in this day and age. Only a couple of months ago when a friend introduced us and knew we would connect and we did. I spoke to Jasmine I was like oh my gosh, like hi friend. You know you have that moment like my sparkly bits are talking to your sparkly bits and we have a lot to talk about. This is very good.

So I started talking to Jasmine now, I love and I'm intrigued by Jasmine because she works in the online course industry as a programme ghostwriter and course creator. So if you are filled with all of your expertise, and you're really good at what you do, but you're like “you know what, I don't know how to put it together in a course that converts a course that sells a really quality, incredible course that people are gonna go through and go this is the goods right here.” She makes that for you.

So in a lot of ways as you know, there's Ghostwriters for books, she does it for courses, and I was trying to find someone that did that because so many people that I work with want someone to do this part for me. And what I find so intriguing about Jasmine is she works in this wonderful world of online courses and tried and ran a successful online course herself but loves the done-for-you.

And for me that is like the opposite. I hate the done-for-you! And so we're a match made in heaven.

And in today's episode, Jasmine is going to share with us all of the common mistakes that she sees course creators make when they put their course together, how to get your course all put together, how to increase completion rates and whether or not completion rates are even that important and everything in between. So I know 95% of people that listen to this podcast are in the online course world. So this one is essential listening, to be able to take that look at your own online course and go “Is it as good as it can be?” How can you make the improvements so that we're constantly striving for customer success and to have the best possible experience that there is here she is the awesome Jasmine Jonte!

Gorgeous Jasmine, Welcome to her Empire Builder!  

Jasmine: Hi, thank you so much for having me. This is gonna be a really fun conversation. 

Tina: I know because you are awesome sauce. I mean, we haven't known each other all that long. But I knew as soon as I started talking to you, I was like oh, hi friend.

Jasmine: Exactly. I feel like this world is so filled of just really like cool, kickass badass chicks. And I'm like a nerd. Like I was a band geek. I was in the Science Centre, just like not cool. So it's nice to meet other other gals who are crushing it

Tina: It's where we can all come to play.  Okay. So I want to get straight in, and what I found interesting about you is you love the online course world and you are amazing at creating other people's online courses. But don't have your own online course, too. Can you start off by telling us why you do the thing that you do for people instead of doing it enmasse in an online course delivery

Jasmine: I did it myself before I did it for other people. I was a teacher before this and I love teaching and started building my own programmes and my students got incredible results just totally out like just so good. And I for some reason, despite their great results couldn't get past this scale wall. I would build something and then try to scale it and like just like build something and try to scale it and deflate. And I realised after shutting everything down like I had a mastermind I had a membership I had all kinds of stuff I shut everything down and was like this is just not working for me anymore. You know, you get those intuitive hits? It was like, I don't know, I'm gonna pay rent next month. I don't know how but I'm gonna figure it out. And it was in the space that I realised the reason nothing was scaling is because what I loved the most was building programmes. And so anytime I got outside of that genius zone, it's like I didn't feel confident. I didn't feel excited. I wasn't lit up and like who can sell something that they're not lit up about doing? Yeah. So I was like, Okay, well, how can I pivot this? And at the time, I had just joined a “Scale your business” programme, of cou

Tina: You would have been feeling too like you were missing something because all these people are scaling and you're like I feel pulled over here it would have felt very "pully"

Jasmine: Yes, it was not a fun place to be. Yeah. And I got into this programme thinking that this is going to solve my problems and the programme - I paid like 7500 bucks for it got into it and it was just not good. Like, like the portal was horrible, the content was not well put together. I couldn't and I was like, if I can't get results from this, then nobody else can get results because I'm a very good student. And I thought, Okay, well clearly there's a lot of bad programmes out there. And there's a lot of experts who know something but don't know how to teach it. And as soon as I started kind of doing the market research around the offer, it was so clear that this was big, wide blue ocean because so many people teach how to create your own course but nobody is willing to go in there and do the 100 hours of work it takes.


Tina: You've chosen a really difficult but very highly needed job. Yeah. And so you go in, someone comes to you and they've got a whole lot of expertise, and they've got this big dream and they're like I “know I need to but I don't know where to start. I don't know how - can you do it For me?” Essentially, that's the people you get, right?


Jasmine: Yeah, that's one main person and they usually have some kind of business but they want to add an educational arm to it. And then we also have people who come to us who had a programme, they beta launched it a couple years ago, but they've evolved since then. Yeah, and their programme hasn't. And they're like, I you know, I want to charge more. I want for really good about my next launch. I want to upgrade it but I did it last time and it was really really hard and I don't want to do it by myself again. So we come in and we revamp the whole thing. And sometimes we'll also have speakers like keynote speakers will come to us because they are still trading time for money and they're like “I need to figure out a way to use this knowledge but not trade my time to deliver it”

Tina: Completely! How do you extrapolate the expertise and the knowledge that they have out? Because you would have worked in all different types of industries that some you're more familiar with than others? How do you actually systemize that process where do you even start?


Jasmine: It's probably not too far off from how someone tries to do it by themself. First we start with what is the offer? Right like what's the big promise? What's the transformation? Who's it for once that unique process to transformation, that framework you know, we start there, and then we go into what's the outline? What are the modules, the stepping stones on that path to transformation, what are the lessons inside the modules. In my terms, like module is like an hour of content and less than is a five to 15 minute video or piece of content that is inside of that so it's kind of chunked down.

And then from there once we have all that mapped out, including how we're going to surprise and delight them, I call that like the architect phase. Yes, it's really it's what is the blueprint for the whole thing that we're building? Then we just start to build it out section by section, lesson by lesson worksheet by worksheet, you know, deliverable by deliverable, and it's kind of like a ghost writing a book, where they talk to us for an hour, and then we develop the lesson and take it back to them to report it.


Tina: You will have seen a lot of people with a lot of different experience a lot of different knowledge. What do you think? - Is there like one thing or like a few things that you know this makes a course a good one?


Jasmine: Yeah, there are. One piece is reverse engineering it. So a lot of times we'll just say okay, here's the modules, and I'm going to dump as much knowledge as I have into a programme to help people get results. All of the knowledge doesn't actually get them the results. Yeah, it's the right knowledge backed by action steps so that they know what to do with it. So if we're thinking about a lesson, the first thing I always ask is, what do we want them to be able to do as a result of this lesson? Because no one's gonna get results based on listening to a video they're gonna get results by taking action in response to the video.

Tina: Oh, I love that distinction. Yes.

Jasmine: So that's a huge thing. Are there action steps? And are they easy to do? Have you given me a spreadsheet, a workbook, a template, a thing, that I can just plug in something and what would have taken me, you know, three hours just took me 30 minutes?

Tina: Yes. And I think that's one of the biggest things that I've seen change as well over the last few years is going from that. Even three or four years ago, there was still a lot of value in those Mega lessons, like let's go like an hour thing. Whereas now I find people drop off if it's anything over like 10 to 15 minutes, that is too much information and one of the things that I see with very smart expert people, and well meaning people is you go: Okay, I want to make a new cause I'm gonna value packet with like, everything I know. And it ends up being this behemoth that people are overwhelmed by and then they don't get results with, so I love that distinction in saying that it's not the knowledge that's in there. It's what they can do with it and how they can get that result with that transformation promise.

Jasmine:Yeah. Well, it used to be like one course can now be broken into, I think like four or five courses. Because so many of us is like experts, we think oh, I'm just gonna do a course. When really like, you likely have dozens of courses in you. So it's just about like chunking the right knowledge together.


Tina:: Yeah. And what trends have you seen happening over the last few years in the way that your things that used to be the norm now you're having to change things to keep that really fresh and going and, and someone that kind of comes in from across two years ago? That was awesome two years ago that now you're like, Okay, this is no longer


Jasmine: Yeah, I mean from on a sales and marketing side I'm seeing micro niches work really well. And micro transformation, so rather than offering them everyday, all and everything like how to sell and market your course and they talked about YouTube and Instagram and Facebook and like all of the different options. Instead, just teach them one thing like how to rock YouTube organic. That could be all they want from you. So I've seen micro niches working really well.

I'm seeing communities start to shift. So like everyone was on Facebook groups for a long time and they're starting to go to different platforms and I think it's because now more than ever, people do value that community element of a programme. Especially post pandemic. They see it not only as an opportunity to get my questions answered, but they see it as an opportunity to connect. So they're valuing the community and I mean connect not just like meet people but do business together. People are trusting value virtual communities as an opportunity to do business together more now more than ever. So making sure that the community is intentional and set up the right way and aligned with the product. I'm seeing that shift a little bit. Also, and you might see this too, like people are making buying decisions differently. People are starting to make decisions based on sustainability initiatives based on diversity initiatives based on like things, those are starting to become more and more powerful. People are starting to pay way more money for aligning with the experts that align with their personal values.

Tina: Yes. Well, there's enough to choose from now that if you want, why, because you can actually there's so much competition in there. You can go who's the one that I aligned with most and you can go down that avenue, which I like. I've got a question about community because I know you work a lot with Kajabi as well. And most of the course creators that I have in her Empire Builder, when I talk to them, especially ones with memberships not courses so much. Other ones have memberships, and if you ask like what is the hardest part about running a membership? Most people's answer is the Facebook group. That is like the hardest thing in terms of maintenance and finding boundaries and accessibility and all of that sort of thing. And a lot of people have attempted the community products either on Kajabi or Circle or some of the software that they use. And the challenge is getting people over to that and getting people to actually open it. Have you got any tricks up your sleeve with enticing people away from Facebook and over to those dedicated community functions?


Jasmine: This isn't a trick, but remind people more than you think you need to remind them. Yeah, of course. Yeah. I mean, like sometimes the simple solution is the best solution. Also, I think it's powerful to showcase what's happening in the community as you're trying to pull people over. This happened this week. I'm a part of a course. She moved her community to circle Hey, we're on circle. Yay. But she's not telling me what's different. She didn't tell me what's exciting. She didn't screenshot me the channels are the new content she's creating. She didn't tell me what's going on. And so I'm like, “why do I need to go set up a profile and do a whole thing? What’s the benefit?”

Tina: I do think community is one of the most valuable things. It's one of the trends that I've seen change, which I really love in the online world is it's not alone. Bagua alone, there's support there too. It's like that hybrid sort of thing going in there and so I would never run a programme without community but yeah, it would be great to be able to move it off Facebook, I have many issues with Facebook from a social point of view, and from a moral point of view. But yeah, it's getting people over is the hub.

I would love to ask you what are the biggest mistakes that you see Course Creators making?


Jasmine: Yeah, so we've talked about a couple of them. One is just dumping all of their brain into a programme and thinking that's gonna get people results right, creating the right amount of content. And then action steps. A lot of people don't include action steps. We want to include those. I think another big mistake is not asking for feedback, and not asking for feedback consistently.

And there's a lot we can do. We can ask for feedback, what I call “check for understanding” feedback: Did you get it? Which is what you'll see is like quizzes. Not only does it build their confidence, it lets you know what they're not getting. So that's really powerful, but also asking for feedback about elements like the community like the content, like the pacing, like the structure, like the support and resources. I think we think oh man, I really want to update my course I want it to be better. And then we're inside of a vacuum of what do I even need to make better and it's because of all the way you know along the way all you had to do was slip a couple of assessments, send out a couple of survey emails and even have all the information you need to know about what to do next. So I think it's a small thing to do and makes a big change.


Tina: Great. I've had her Empire Builder running. We've just hitting two years this month, and the evolutions and all of the iterations. And all of the improvements that we've done, 90% of them have come from feedback surveys from people going, I wish we had this or I'm getting stuck here or I need more of this. Some of it, we can go okay, no, that's an isolated thing. But a lot of it, we can go actually, that's right, that would make it even more kickass and then we can put all of that in there. I think a lot of the time people are a bit frightened of getting that feedback. And I would say to people that are listening as well. There is usually I reckon there was a great article that Tim Ferriss put out like a million years ago, going because he was copping a lot of flak from a lot of things and he was like “There's always 10% that is unhappy. And as your numbers grow that 10% can feel like a lot of people. And out of that 10% is always like 1% Crazy. And so it's being able to get that out and go and not take that bit to heart but getting the 90% of constructive feedback and going okay, how can we get this and implement it to improve our programmes and our offering in there as well?”


Jasmine: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of like when you put social media posts out there. Do you see what works and if somebody doesn't work, it's not a credit or discredit to you. It's just okay, that messaging didn't work. Right now I know what not to do.


Tina: Okay. So you just mentioned messaging. And I would love to talk about messaging for a moment, because we are in a weird stage in the online course world where you're, I think, I think things that sell have super clear messaging with great clarity but then there's also a segment of the online course world, that can bamboozle people with a whole lot of words that make no sense and they sell really well. What do you see in terms of messaging, that works the most for people? What advice would you give on messaging?


Jasmine: I think first is you have to nail the offer. And then work on the messaging is like the one caveat to this. But when it comes to messaging, the best copy comes straight from your ideal client. So don't overthink it too much. Go talk to your ideal client, record what they say, that's your copy.

Like I'm working with acquisition entrepreneurs, right? They did private equity, they moved into the course creation space. And you know, mastermind space, and they were having so much trouble like positioning this new mastermind offer, right because these are it's for seven figure entrepreneurs who want to grow to an exit. And it's an interesting challenge because they're not really in a position of pain. They don't have, you know, for people trying to get to six or maybe seven figures like they're in so much pain, there's so much going on. It's really, really hard. But for these people, I mean, they’re doing, seven, eight figures, they take vacations, they're getting paid. They're, you know, it's not really those struggles aren't really present for them. 

And so what he did, right this, this client that I'm working with, is he went into a room of seven figure of the ideal client, and he just talked to them. And we came to this understanding of the reason our positioning isn't working is because we're trying to fabricate a struggle that isn't there because everybody is telling us there needs to be a struggle in your copywriting. When these people there it's not a struggle. They just want to go faster and do it right first time. Yeah, there's no pain only pleasure.

Tina: You know, I have found that hugely lately. We try to go positive, not negative in our copy. Because I like the inspiration and I left the aspiration and I go like, you know, look how shit this is I could be the answer to all your prayers. I think you know, for my clients, I'm very similar in going my clients already have a lot of this stuff sorted out they they're ready to go bigger and they're already awesome. They're not struggling to pay their bills. They're not like it's at that point, but I think with everyone, I lack the trend of copy going more positive. Rather than having to drill in on all these pain points and make people feel like life's so hard and so bad and the only possible solution is to buy the thing

Jasmine: The market is savvy now it's more sophisticated. So anytime someone says on his like sales page, like the blankety blank method is the best way to do this thing. And here's why this is wrong. And this is wrong. This is wrong. I'm just like it's horse poop. Like it all works. It's just like what works best for YOU and your energy. So when you start to speak to what works best for, you know, your clients, because their energy is this way, then it's like, oh,

yeah, I like that and feel that.

Tina: Yeah, that's it. Now I want to ask you about completion rates. One of the steps that they said from stage I think it's about 3% of people that start a course completeed and I was like what. But I also have purchased a lot of courses in my life and not completed them. So I've contributed to that statistic. And I think everyone that I know has bought courses and not completed them. But what do you see is you've mentioned assessments already and putting surveys in so they're getting those quick wins. But are there other elements that you think are essential to putting into a course to encourage that completion and that result?

Jasmine: Now, you might not like this Tina, but I firmly stand against course completion rates. I think it is a number that people use to get you to buy their platform when it's not truly indicative of if your students are getting the results.

Tina: This is true. Yeah,

Jasmine: This isn't true for every programme out there. Right. But I know last week, last week, I bought an email marketing course. I didn't watch a single video. I stripped the resources. I used them. I'm already seeing better open rates. I got the result. I didn't like if she were to go in and she were to like look at my completion and if I you know, use that as a measurement, it doesn't match up. So we got to ask ourselves, what's the true KPI we want to be tracking now? Is it something that we you know, of course progress is is something we can look at and gain insights from? Totally, you can see what people are watching the most, what are they really interested in, that can serve your sales and marketing can also serve like what you add, you know, additional content around there's so much you can do with that.

Similarly, there might be a percentage of your course that you actually do need people to watch to get the results. I'm thinking of a weight loss programme we did. And like the first three modules, if they didn't watch those first three modules, like they weren't gonna see results. Because it was just so foundational, but the back half of the course was more like Choose Your Own Adventure kind of stuff. Are there ways to get people to watch more of your content? Absolutely. But if it's in relationship to that number specifically, just don't use that as

the be all end all.

Tina: Yeah. Is there a stat or KPI that you think is good for course creators to watch that can give them an indication of I'm doing good here.

Jasmine: Repurchases and referrals.

Tina: Yeah, referrals I think is the biggest one.

Jasmine: Speaking to memberships, you know, like, what's your churn rate? So that retention figure but yeah, and referrals, like are people saying nice things about you. Yeah, Net Promoter Score is another good one. Yeah. Those are alI in my opinion better than course completion.

Tina: I love that. Okay, my final question that I have for you is, what are you most excited about? Going ahead in the online course world, because there's so many changes that have been taking place and I think it's really starting to get its stride. What are you most looking forward to?

Jasmine:  I am most looking forward to seeing people live their impact. And I think there's so many people out there who have such knowledge and wisdom and power and this opens the opportunity for them to reach more people in a way that is transformative. So that's what I look most forward to is just seeing those people come through and shine and I don't mean like huge faces titans of industry, you know, I mean people who have a micro niche - let's say they have a pitbull so let's go straight to dog examples. Like they trained Pitbull moms, you know how to rehabilitate a pitbull and if they can help those clients, let's say 100 moms and their dogs, that's massive. Now they're not going to be world famous. They're not gonna be on TV. But that's world changing, in my opinion. Yeah. So that's what I'm looking forward to.

Tina: And you do that as well. You live your impact. I do, too. And where's the best place for people to find you?

Jasmine: Instagram,just my name Jasmine Jonte but also definitely my website so you can find more there.

Tina: I love it. It's a beautiful Kajabi website. Gorgeous and talking scores. You have a 9.8 out of 10 is your client's score that you've got on there? I've never actually thought of putting that on a sales page. So like that that's going on as well.

Jasmine: Yeah, totally. I want to know how to make the dial turn - haven't quite figured that out yet. But, um, but yeah, we're we're really I'm really proud of that one.

Tina: Yeah. Good work!

Jasmine, thank you so much for sharing your expertise, and if anybody ever goes you know what, I don't have the bandwidth. I don't know where to start in creating my own course and you want it done for you. There is actually no one better in the world to be able to do it. So thank you so much.

Jasmine: Thanks for having me.