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    How to Create an Online Certification Program for Coaches, Consultants, and Experts – with April Beach (Episode 269)

    How to Create an Online Certification Program for Coaches, Consultants, and Experts

    This episode is for those in Phase  2 – 4  of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™

    Who is this episode for? 
    Established coaches, consultants, and experts who are ready to scale their business to the next level.  Coaches with well established methods, processes and/or frameworks that have proven to give people transformational results, who are considering creating a certification program and want to know where to start. 
    Summary:
    Certification programs are a great way to scale your coaching business. However, most people don’t know where to start or how to go about building, releasing and managing a certification program. 
    In this episode we break down the steps to building an online certification program. 
    Download the Checklist to Build an Online Certification Program HERE
    In addition, we’re also discussing who should and who should not create a certification program, the pros and cons of this business model, how this type of offer will affect your long term business growth, what your future life will look like with a certification program, and of course the elephant on the room regarding the legitimacy and credibility of certification programs. 
    At the end of this episode you will: 
    1. Know the steps to create and launch a certification program
    2. Have a clearer understanding of launching a certification program is for you
    Resources mentioned: 
    How To Launch Your Certification Program Checklist
    Access the checklist here
    Apply to work with us https://www.sweetlifeco.com/apply
    Organize your assets and ideas into a Leading Offer – 

    April Beach on LinkedIn


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    Full Show Transcript:

    269

    [00:00:45] Hi you guys. Welcome back to the show. This is episode 2 69 and of course, all of the show notes and everything that we’re gonna be talking about here can be found by visiting sweet life podcast.com/ 2 69. This episode is really, And the reason why I actually changed our content recording calendar to make sure that you guys had this training was because I have received so many inquiries on how to build a certification program because many of you guys know that’s what I do.

    [00:01:17] If we don’t know each other yet, I’m April Beach. I help experts, coaches, and consultants scale their business by building million dollar programs, engineering offers that truly bring in the impact that they’re making into the world while scaling their business in a way that they wanna live their life.

    [00:01:33] And so that’s what we’re talking about in this show in very specifically regarding certifications. So again, all of the show notes can be found where I promised you. As well as I have created a checklist for you guys that goes along with this show. This checklist is the how to launch a certification checklist that can be found in the same link to the show notes.

    [00:01:56] Again, sweetLifepodcast.com/269, or also by texting the word certify to the number 8 0 5 2 5 4 0 8 8 0. Okay, so let’s get into it. This is what we’re talking about on this show. If you are not subscribed yet, I would love for you to subscribe to this show and share this with your friends.

    [00:02:16] Here we are talking about how to actually build a certification program. First and foremost, who is this for? This show is for established coaches, consultants and experts who are ready to scale their business to the next level. This is for those of you guys that are well-established. You have well-established methods, frameworks, and processes, and you have proven to get other people results through these processes in the past.

    [00:02:45] This is not a show for you. If you are not a well established consultant or expert, or teacher or coach, and you haven’t gotten other people results yet. If you’re to that place where we’re just building your first course or your first program, cruise over to sweet life co.com and I will teach you exactly how to launch your first course or your first program that guarantees a transformation.

    [00:03:09] But this show is for those of you guys, you’ve already done that, in that we are ready to go to the next level. So if that’s you, stay tuned with me. If it’s not, you go listen to another one of our episodes on how to scale your business with online courses, and we’ll get you to this point.

    [00:03:23] I’m committed to get you to this next level. So what we’re talking about here on this show is all about certifications. So we all know certifications are a great way to skill your business. However, most people don’t really know how to do. Don’t really know how to navigate those process of certifications.

    [00:03:39] And so in this show, what you can expect at the end of this episode is I’m gonna give you the steps to launch a certification. All right? We are gonna walk away here. You’re gonna have the steps. I’ve already created a checklist for you, so you can take this cheat sheet, you can take notes, you can download it.

    [00:03:55] Make sure you do that and be able to implement what we’re talking about today in addition to. We’re also gonna talk about who should and should not create a certification program. We’re gonna talk about the legitimacy of certification programs, and we’re gonna talk about why you may want to create a certification program.

    [00:04:14] So if that sounds good to you, let’s go ahead and go. So first and foremost, I wanna talk about the fact that it’s gonna sound terrible. Actually, in the beginning of the show. I’m gonna talk about the fact that there’s a lot of certification programs that mean nothing out there. So let me tell you a little story without naming names.

    [00:04:32] Back in 2006, I created the baby planning parent coaching industry . First of all, many of you guys have no idea about that. It’s so fun. Like those of you who’ve been a legacy business mentor and coach, talking about your origin story and where you came from. So I just so happened to be the creator of the scope of practice and the international baby planning and maternity consulting industry years ago.

    [00:04:58] With that being said, I was also the co-founder of this international association, and we had a member in this association who was launching her business and her business wasn’t going well. She wasn’t making money, she wasn’t serving clients. As a matter of fact, as far as I understood, she had never actually served a client before, and so she came up with the idea of launching a certification program for baby planners.

    [00:05:29] All right, because it was a great business idea, but yet this woman had actually never done that before, and since she has gone on to make a ton of money, because it’s a great business model, certifications are a great business model, and I hate to throw somebody under the bus, but I mean, I’m just calling it like it is here on this podcast. You guys know me. Those people that launched certification programs as a money-making scheme who aren’t actually amazing at what they do, don’t have a proven methodology, haven’t served clients before. They’re full of shit, you guys. Okay? So we have to have a conversation first about the legitimacy of certification programs.

    [00:06:04] I mean, my son could create. Dog walking certification and he could teach the other kids in the neighborhood, like his process of walking dogs. That could be so great. Right? And then he could actually make money off referring the local residents here to certified dog walkers. Right. You guys, first and foremost, we really need to have a conversation about the legitimacy of certifications.

    [00:06:29] If you are launching a certification in an area that has a whole bunch of certifications, take a look at that, see what’s out there, and see why those things are needed. The fact of the matter is that many certifications, especially those in the online coaching space, are created by people as a genius business.

    [00:06:51] I mean, it’s a genius business model. That’s why you’re here. That’s why we’re talking about it. I mean, frankly, That’s why I coach clients to create certifications. But we always wanna first have the conversation of making sure your certification program isn’t total bullshit. Just being honest. Okay, . So let’s talk about what governing bodies are in your niche.

    [00:07:14] Niche that oversee the legitimacy of certifications. If you are in an area where there is an established governing body, That oversees this process of this, whatever it is that you do, then I recommend that you first start there and find out what their requirements are to create a certification program to become accredited or to be recognized.

    [00:07:43] That’s what I help clients do. I have clients with accredited certification programs and, and it is an amazing way to scale your business, but I really wanted to make sure, as you know, those of you guys have listened to this show before. I’m always gonna keep it real. So on the pro, the pro side of it is building a certification is a very, very smart way to build your business as long as we have a unique method, process, and framework that is.

    [00:08:12] Sometimes totally different or it could even be similar to some other things that are out there, but you’re bringing in your genius on the way you’ve done it, the way you’ve proven to get people results, and you’re amazing at it. And now it’s time to certify other people in your process. All right, so I just wanted to get that outta the way at first because I don’t feel like I can dive into this episode of how to create a certification program until we talk about who should not create a certification program.

    [00:08:42] The second part, kind of prerequisite here I wanna talk about before we get into these steps is I want you to really think about what a certification program is gonna look like with your life. So if you have not. Grabbed my ultimate guide to online offers and business models. You totally should. It’s like 30 pages that tells you that when you launch a certain type of business model and offer exactly how that’s going to affect your life.

    [00:09:10] All right, so you can grab that just by texting guide to that same number, 8 0 5 2 5 4 0 8 8 0. All right, but in the meantime, let’s kind of dive into that and I’m gonna give you some background. A certification program is not one of these offers that we can launch, that you might just decide like a year from now you don’t want to do anymore.

    [00:09:31] This is a longer term business model, and we really need to make sure that it is going to align with your longer term goals for your business. So that’s step number. And there are processes in like the building and the frameworks of that certification that we’ll get into in a second that affect that.

    [00:09:48] But I want you to just like take a second here, and just because somebody says it might be a great idea to launch a certification, I want you to understand that just like launching a podcast, a podcast is a long-term game, right? We’ve been doing this for six freaking years, right? What, what is that going to look like for your life. For your teams, for your cadence, and what is launching a certification going to do to elevate your personal professional goals? How is it gonna look like on your time and your life and your travel and your profit?

    [00:10:22] If the answers to those questions are like, yes, this is gonna be amazing for me. This is exactly what I want. I’m ready to take leadership and ownership in this. , then you’re in the right place. Okay? If you’re like, gosh, I’m not really sure that I wanna be in a certification for that long, or I, I wanna be responsible for all these people, then definitely you do yourself a favor and take a pause. There are so many coaches out there that tell you guys, you have to launch a course, or you have to launch a mastermind. You have to launch a membership. All these things.

    [00:10:52] I’m here to tell you that yes, we can scale your business with all of those, and I will teach you exactly how to do each one. But they will affect your life. And if you’re like me, I travel with my kids six months a year, and my business model is very carefully engineered because I know the outcome of having that offer and what it will do to my time in my life.

    [00:11:12] All right, so I got that outta the way. Now you guys ready? Let’s go ahead and dive into the steps of how to create and launch your certification. Again, the checklist that goes along with it is a really important tool for you guys. You can grab by going over to sweetlifepodcast.com/269, or you can text the word certify to the number 8 0 5 2 5 4 0 8 8 0, and you guys can grab this and you’ll be off and running.

    [00:11:44] All right, so step number one, to, creating a certification program, you need to have a unique method, process, or framework that guarantees results. All right? It doesn’t have to be totally different, and I have podcasts for you. We have resources, and I’m here to coach you on how to create a method, process or framework, but that’s not where we’re diving into today.

    [00:12:09] First and foremost, we just need to make sure that you have a method or process or framework that has been proven to get people results in the past. That is step number one. All right, so if you pass step number one, great. Let’s go to step number two. Number two, we need to then build out that into a coaching program with your process, your systems, your videos, your downloads, your assets, just like we are building it when we build it into a course.

    [00:12:38] So for many of you guys, you already have this built. Okay? We need to clone that because we’re gonna build it for a different audience now, right? So it’s not necessarily going to the end user. Now we’re fitting a middle user in the middle who is becoming your student, who’s becoming certified in your methodology.

    [00:12:58] So we wanna clone that because there are other things that we need to add to that, which I’m gonna tell you next. And there are other things that we might actually not include in a certification program based on what it is that you’re teaching and the audience you’re delivering it to.

    [00:13:14] So step number one is your method and framework as well established. You are like the bees knees at what you do. You’re amazing. You’ve got people results. Step number two is actually building out that training Now. Again, not getting into the nitty gritty of this, but on a side note, if you are licensing your certification program to another company to deliver for you, there’s gonna be different places where you may build out your program in, it might be in their l m s instead of your database.

    [00:13:44] Hit me up if you have questions about that. That’s what I help our clients figure out, but I just wanted to share that with you on a side note. Okay.

    [00:13:50] Number three, you need to be sure that you have gotten people results in this course before. I know that I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but you guys have no idea how many people want to create programs to certify or license that have actually like never sold it before and you know, I just shared with you that story in the beginning, it will blow your mind again, we want your certification program to be like amazing.

    [00:14:16] Step number four, consider how this business model is gonna affect your life. Okay, so now let’s kind of get into this a little bit. With certifications, you’re gonna have a choice of how you deliver them. Is it only on demand? Is it on demand with some coaching? And what is the, like, the lifetime of a client or a student? Or a certified person going to look like? And is that something that you want to do and be responsible for? What is the cadence of your week gonna look like? Is this something that is going to fit into your long-term business model?

    [00:14:54] And does it elevate all those other things that you wanna do in your business? Or if this is the primary thing you wanna do in your. Awesome. That’s amazing. This is exactly what you should be listening to right now, but if this is just kind of another piece to a whole bunch of other stuff you do, we have to be really careful of what that’s gonna look like and frankly, how well you’re gonna be able to execute that based on your teams and your operations and how we’re scaling your company.

    [00:15:22] Number five, you are going to create a trainer guide. Okay, so this kind of Train the Trainer Guide actually teaches your students not only the contents that’s in the program, but then how to turn around and teach it. Most coaches, most people are actually not teachers. They just are great at doing their one area of expertise.

    [00:15:46] So it’s really important that you engineer an amazing Train the Trainer guide that teaches people how to deliver your systems, philosophies, and methods and processes to the end user in transformative ways. Nobody needs more content. They need a transformation. And we need to assure that those people that you’re certifying are going to be able to deliver a transformation to the people that they are delivering your processes to.

    [00:16:15] And so we have to have very serious conversations about making sure that we are creating and equipping them to do so. And what does that look like to you? You know, how do we get them into your mind? How do we get them into understanding like why you do things a certain way? All of that is within engineering of your program, by the way.

    [00:16:35] Number six, determine if you’re gonna give them marketing materials. Okay? So this is like this hidden amazing, like we’re gonna blow your business outta the water. When I talk about the swipe files and the marketing materials that we can give people who are certified in your method, It is so amazing because they’ve gone through the process of getting certified, and now we can create an entire marketing packet where they can share across their social that says, Hey, listen, I’m certified in April’s methodology and da, da da, da.

    [00:17:07] And what happens? It elevates your brand, it elevates your legitimacy, and it makes you more money in addition to making them look good. But not every certification program actually needs to include this. So you need to determine number six, if you’re gonna deliver marketing materials, licensing of your logo, your content, your videos, and your IP for them to deliver to their students.

    [00:17:29] All right, here’s a little sidebar. Come over here with me for a minute. Licensing and certifications in combination are the number one way that we can scale your business to exponential results and profit faster. But again, it’s not for everybody. If this is you, you wanna hear more about it, send me a message.

    [00:17:50] This is what we do again at the Sweet Life Company, but I want you to consider. When you are teaching somebody your method, are you also licensing your content to them? Are you also allowing them to use your materials? What does that look like to you? And we need to make sure that your licensing agreements are in place.

    [00:18:10] This is not a show on licensing your ip. I have many more of those, but I just wanna make sure that we’re talking about this in step number six is determining the marketing materials, the content, and the assets you’re gonna give people with a certifiication. This also helps us price your certification.

    [00:18:27] Number seven, are you guys with me? Is determining the best way to test for competency? Now let’s talk about that as well. The smartest people in the world. I think the smartest people in the world are terrible. Old school test, take test takers. They’re the people that like bomb the S A T s, and they’re the people that if you sit down and you let them explain exactly their awareness and understanding, they’re just going be amazing at teaching how they understand what you’ve taught them or sharing that.

    [00:19:06] So when we’re talking about measuring results, I want you to, I’m not gonna go into this in depth. This is what we do with our clients, but I want you to be okay with being disruptive in how you are measuring the learning based on what works for your program. It can be verbal testing, written testing, video, and audio submissions and more. But I want you to disrupt. The way things are done according to what makes sense for your program and your new certified student.

    [00:19:36] Number eight, consider if you will offer continuing education or require it. Not all certifications have to have continuing ed. So I want you to think about what this actually means for your business, and this is going to affect your life. All right, so whatever that looks like for you. Do you have advanced trainings? Can we actually take pieces of your program and offer them as next level certifications? What actually does that look like as far as your overall offer ecosystem?

    [00:20:11] And last but not least, what else can we do to scale your business through a certification? What other offers in that ecosystem can we create? Do you wanna build a mastermind? Do you wanna have retreats for your certified people? Do you want to have. Uh, online groups. Do you want to have office hours where you can troubleshoot with them some of the things that might be happening within their clients based on your certification?

    [00:20:37] Those are all ways where we continue to scale your business by having additional offers that always go back to support those certified students in your method. And when we as coaches do a really good job supporting our people, it builds their business, which therefore builds our business. Okay, so I hope you guys found this informative.

    [00:21:00] I know this is like a full blown crash course. Me just chatting here for 20 minutes with you. I promise you guys in the next generation here at the Sweet Life Entrepreneur Podcast, we’re gonna have high value shows in shorter time. So I have to be better at getting to the point for you, and I hope this did the trick.

    [00:21:16] In addition, don’t forget to grab that checklist for how to launch your certification program by texting the word certify to the number 8 0 5 2 5 4 0 8 8 0. And of course you can apply to work with us to build your certification, your content licensing program in your industry, leading courses and programs online by visiting sweet life co.com.

    [00:21:40] And last but not least, if you wanna find the exact show notes, the transcription and all the links and everything I said here for you, you can just cruise over to Sweet Life podcast.com/ 2 69. The implementation for this episode is the checklist I gave you. Download that checklist and go through the process and make sure you’ve made strategic decisions in each one of these areas to build your certification program.

    [00:22:09] If you’re stuck, you guys can always hit me up online. I’m on LinkedIn and we are on Instagram as well. All right, hope you guys have an awesome day and it’s so good to be here with you again. I love being back and recording shows at year six and I really appreciate you. Have a great day everybody.