Okay so creating an online course these days is quite the rage these days. Every entrepreneur and their cousin are out to sell you an online course. Therapists are becoming coaches and selling courses so they don’t get trapped in the therapy mill. I must say that fifteen years ago when I started work on building my course, I didn’t anticipate all this rage. I didn’t know about creating funnels and email campaigns and perfecting an evergreen project that I could sell. I didn’t know about testing it out on my audience and making sure that it will sell etcetera.
Writing my award-winning memoir has taught me the importance of marketing. It never occurred to me during all those rewrites that I would get to the end of the project and find that no one cared about me, my story, or my awards. I did what I could to build a writing platform so I could market the book in spite of this. I blogged for years, built my website blogged three more years, and the results: maybe three books sold off my website.
It’s true my frustration about the futility of this effort did start to make it into a few of my blog posts. I recognized that I was feeling negative and putting out stuff that was attracting nothing but negative. I retreated and licked my wounds and finished my course.
Now thanks to Facebook I am learning that I need to go through a process so I can create a business so that I can sell my course.
I remember fondly days when I was writing my book and learning to present my training. There were some good times.
I remember one year I stood in front of an attentive crowd at a CASRA Spring Conference. I was explaining how it had seemed to me like the traffic lights were getting messed with to set me up to be late to the conference. I was explaining that I had to stay cool and not become emotionally impacted by these thoughts as I had in the past when I thought I was being harassed by the Italian Mafia. Right when I said the word mafia, smoke started filling the room. I recognized this as the likely work of a smoke bomb in the air conditioning vents. The hotel workers suggested maybe the air conditioning was broken. The room was forced to evacuate, and a woman looked at me through the smoke and said that that was real smoke coming out of the vents. Believe it or not, I knew that the smoke was real! I laughed.
Determined to finish the presentation we found a new room and got through what I had prepared. In fact, I got very good feedback for the hour and a half presentations year after year. I learned that I had to get comfortable and be myself in front of the crowd.
The online course I have created is approximately twelve hours. I plan to run it a few times with about ten participants. I hope to be able to do this over the summer.
Because there are a lot of moving parts to creating an evergreen course that will sell, I am shopping for a coach who can tell me what I have to do. It seems key to finally building an online audience so the same thing that happened with my book does not repeat itself. I know I am needing to find a way to get more support on social media. That might mean having to come out of my shell a bit more because blogging didn’t work. So I have to get someone to teach me how to do this.
January 25th at 3:32 am I got messaged on messenger by someone I must have accidently friended. It reads”
Based on the membership criterion of the illuminati,
we find you are of great interest in possession of a good
manual dexterity and academic proficiency. With this,
we look at you as the class that will be the platform for
which you stand to meet the wealthy people who can raise you
to wealth, power, fame, and glory. I strongly
recommend that you join us in the illuminati.
Joining us you become wealthy and live the life you desire.
Do you accept the offer?
Now if you are thinking I don’t have to hire a coach and jump through internet hoops to get my presentation out there, then you don’t know me very well. A month and a day after I received this message, this man named Larke followed up and I still haven’t answered.
Sure, one could argue, all I really must do is keep quiet and accept wealth and power and find out if the illuminati is real by having a conversation with Larke. But clearly, I believe in transparency and no secrets. I have tried to avoid belonging to secret societies as much as possible. Being part of a treatment team at my job is bad enough. Joining the illuminati takes belonging to a secret society to a new level.
Sure, I want people to read and consider what I have to say, but I feel I have been harassed by secret societies in the past, I don’t want to join that which nearly broke me and ruined my life. I was told that I had schizophrenia, would need treatment the rest of my life, and that I could not be cured. I believe I lived the life of a modern-day indentured servant, and no one cared or believed that what I went through was real. I wrote a book that got some good reviews, but still people didn’t care. Many people I knew judged me. I guess many prefer to use words like sick or crazy to describe me.
So I choose to ignore the Facebook message I got from a man named Larke. I just keep trying to do what I believe is needed to get my work out there. But all this effort suffering and hurt that I have gone through feeling invisible continues because I am stubborn. The whole thing makes me feel the world is fake and stupid.
To learn more about my course click here.
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
Hi Tim, I think Luke is just a spammer trying to cash in on the recent attention that is being given to the disbanded ancient group named illuminati. I get many emails describing this conspiracy and that conspiracy, all claim to have secret knowledge that will protect or enhance my life if I aceept this or that dogma and acquire the secret kniwledge of the enkightened inner circle (for a price). Our society is overrun by fear of death and its cousin, the fear of being forgotten after death. Nearly every scammer and false prophet is capitalizing on this fear. The antidote is to find a balance between screen time, time spent in nature, and time spent in loving relationships characterized by sacrifice and alruism.
It’s true he could be a spammer. I am not extraordinarily upset about the message. I was kind of having fun with the thought of it. Like the smoke coming out of the air conditioning vents, it’s kind of a funny thought.
I agree with Sarah’s comment. There is so much spam out there, It refers to a secret society which might exist..but there is no real connection to it.. Before you meet the spammer, you have some very thoughtful and useful thoughts about your new online course.
Hi Katie, thank you. I was just enjoying being a little mad in a crazy world.
Ok, from a consumers view, I feel like I have to jump in on this issue of training and coaching VS therapy I agree with Kate on one level because I get deluged with offers for expensive trainings from trauma informed therapy to how to soothe my Vegas nerve. Then there are the conference invitations, oy. And they aren’t cheap! Who would want to compete with that, it’s a jungle, everyone selling their pet theory from attachment theory to Jungian dream analysis. Sometimes I think the audience is other therapists because of the few therapists I know, it seems like that’s all they do is attend conferences and trainings, and I think, how can they afford this stuff?? And when are they actually healing real people, not just singing to the choir?
In my work at MFI, I routinely get crushed with calls from people who are being subjected to inhumane, ineffective therapy or their loves ones are being subjected to ineffective and inhumane therapy, like forced drugging. These folks are desperate for a second opinion, an expert witness, a comforting hand, a listening ear, and most of all, HOPE. But they can’t pay because 99.9 % of them live in the ghetto known as MEDICAID/MEDICARE. On top of that consider this….people who have been subjected to the horrors of forced psychiatry, the last thing they want is to sit in a cubicle or office with fake potted plants, pour their heart ♥ out to a medical- model trained ‘therapist’ who is oblivious to the harms meted out routinely by the mental health system, while suffering the indignity of being on a fifty minute timer. There is no transference happening on Medicaid’s dime and no hope of a human connection without truth and reconciliation, something which most therpists/ trainers cant deliver unless they have lived experience of the worst that the mental health system can dish out. Anyone who underestimates the need for effective therapy for those who have been ignored by the therapeutic community or cast off as hopeless, has one’s head in the sand. If one sincerely desires to help this population and it is not lucrative enough, then trainings may be a cost-effective solution. Most therapists run for the hills when presented with a patient who has been instutionalized, groomed for permanent learned helplessness or who is at risk of living on the streets. Most tremulously reach for their copy of the DSM, holding it like a bible or a talisman to give them protection against this kind of client.. Most therapists arent going to dive into the deep end with their client no matter how much they get paid in my opinion. The only benefits of a training is that it nay be abke ti cost effectively address a need while correcting some of the fatal flaws of traditional-on-one-therapy. What is the cost and is it accessible? Is it going to be only offered virtually? That would be a downer.
Is there insufficient time and means to form human connections during the training? Can these connections thrive organically outside the confines of the office where the training takes place after the time meter has expired? What is the follow-up like? Does it build community and offer opportunities for ongoing fellowship between the training participants? Does the trainer have lived experience of being subjected to harm in the mental health system? From my vantage, entire families are hungry for alternatives to the harmful ‘treatment’ their loved ones are being subjected to. These alternatives can and should include trainings. They can fill a void. I’ve been on a waiting list for 4 years, for the only Open Dialogue practitioner on the west coast. What does that tell you about demand for alternatives and the slowness of therapists to read their audience and tool up to meet existing demand?
Does your training address an established need? Have you asked what consumers want and integrated them into the design if the training? Can the entire family participate in the training? Can the training overcome guild barriers? For example, an Oregon resident can’t receive valuable help from a counselor in California if that counselor is not licensed to practice in Oregon. Taining opens up new possibilities. My entire family traveled to Santa fe, New Mexico to attend a 5- day training by Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor on psychosis. Two years later, our family traveled to Florida to attend a 2- day training by Pete Bullimore on paranoia. When one calculates the expense of airfare, car rental, lodging, and tuition each training was very expensive but well worth the $$$. I once helped Karen Taylor organize two trainings on the west coast just so i could participate.
This year we are considering flying, as a family to the Isle of Lewis, Scotland to attend Karen Taylor’s training on recovery from psychosis to build on what we learned at the last training. We are of modest means. This will cost upwards of $7,000 but we know the trainer to be effective, compassionate, and not bound by the ridiculous confines of the medical model.
So I think trainings can fill a void depending on if they meet an existing need.
Hi Sarah, thank you so much for the comment. The need to build community over training is an important consideration. I appreciate the point and it helps me think about what I can do to make things happen. I find your suggestions and comments to really help me think about what I am doing and give me new directions.
You are welcome. I would put more thought into the quality of the training itself and less thought around marketing. I sell organic soap and herbal bath products that are substantially more expensive than Walmart products. Of the supplies I don’t personally grow or wildcraft, I personally vet and form relationships with all of my suppliers, ditto for my customers. I don’t invest a dime in marketing and I can barely keep up with the demand from word- of-mouth. When people ask me why I don’t have a website I reply truthfully that I am barely able to fill my word-of- mouth orders. The demand created by marketing would overwhelm me and force me to hire employees. Then I would have to become a business manager not a crafter.
People want to hear the stories of survivors in the context of delivering alternative models and roadmaps to recovery. Those who were psychiatrically incarcerated who liberated themselves from the low status that society assigned to them have sonething that other trainers do not have. People are hungry for your perspective. You not only have your own lived experiences of the mental health system, you have invaluable experience as a mental health professional. Wow. You don’t need marketing skills, you just need to figure out how to deliver wisdom and hope in the most effective manner possible.
You are capable of creating a training that is vastly superior to 99% of the schlock offered on the internet. The demanwildcat, already
Sorry for all the typos. I’m using my tiny phine!!