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SPI 763: Optimizing Your Online Courses and Community with Ashley Gore

Have you ever considered creating an online course? This episode’s for you!

Already have a course, but your completion rates are low or declining? This episode’s for you!

Are you curious about how we’ve restructured our entire business at SPI around better student outcomes and steady, recurring revenue? Well, this episode’s for you!

We have today’s guest, Ashley Gore, to thank for one of the best things we’ve ever created: the All-Access Pass. Ashley is our Community Experience Manager and an expert in learning facilitation and curriculum development.

In this session, Ashley pulls back the curtain to reveal the strategy behind our cutting-edge online education experience. She and I discuss leveraging backward-design concepts for higher completion rates, why community-powered courses are so effective, running asynchronous accelerators, and more!

So, how do you create an amazing journey for your students? Join us for this chat to find out!

And if you happen to be a teacher, check out Ashley’s incredible resources for educators at Learning with Miss LaGrow!

Today’s Guest

Ashley Gore

Ashley Gore is an expert in curriculum, instruction, and all things learning. She is currently the Community Manager for SPI’s All-Access Pass. In this role, she oversees SPI’s learning-centered community of over 1,000 members where she creates and facilitates accelerated cohorts, designs learning pathways, and enhances the library of courses and other materials to make it relevant, engaging, and accessible.

She also owns Learning with Miss LaGrow, a business devoted to providing low-prep, high-engagement instructional materials to upper elementary teachers around the world.

You’ll Learn


SPI 763: Optimizing Your Online Courses and Community with Ashley Gore

Ashley Gore: As a course creator, you wanna make sure that you’re making your content as accessible as possible. And the biggest thing I mean by that is how many different ways are you actually showing the point you’re trying to get across? So anytime I create a course or I audit our courses, I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, Pat’s saying it, so they can hear it. Can they see the concept anywhere? And then, can they read it?” Thinking about all the different ways that you can get that content across because people learn in different ways too.

Pat Flynn: If you’ve ever thought about creating an online course and you are curious about how to encourage people to get through that, well, then this episode is for you. Maybe you have an online course, and you look at your completion rates, and you’re like, how can we increase those numbers? Or, man, it’s declining, what can we do about this? Well, this episode is for you.

If you’re curious about how we at SPI have some of the highest completion rates in our courses and how we have restructured our entire business over the past couple of years to make sure that is the case and Continue to generate more recurring revenue or business than we ever have before, well, then this episode is for you.

I’m so excited because I get to introduce somebody to you who has been on the show, like, briefly in the past, but never has been featured on here. In fact, this person, when she came on, she took a look at everything. I mean, this is kinda what we hired her for, but, yeah, she took a look at everything that we had, all the courses and the students and the completion rates and our content and everything that was going on, she’s like, “You know what? I think we need to do it this way.” And we did. And it’s been awesome. Honestly, the best thing we’ve ever done with SPI, and we have Ashley Gore to thank for that.

If you are inside of our All Access Pass, then you definitely know Ashley. If you’ve ever participated in any of our SPI accelerators, Then you know Ashley. And whether you know who she is or not you’re gonna get to know her and the work that she does and the tactical and very strategic things that you can do to just do better with your online courses and your community and perhaps, even how to combine the two together. If you have any one of those things, an online course or a community, and especially if you have both and or want the other, Well, then you’re not gonna wanna miss this. Here she is, Ashley Gore, SPI’s community experience manager.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he played right wing on an intramural dodgeball team in college, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Ashley, welcome to the SPI podcast. It’s about time that you’re on. I’m so excited that you’re here.

Ashley Gore: I know. Thank you so much, Pat, for having me. It’s been I’ve been on a couple episodes, but kind of with the team and talking about what we do at SPI within the All Access Pass in our community. So excited to really dive in today with you.

Pat Flynn: Yes. For sure. We’re gonna dive into courses and creating great curriculum and kind of the stuff that we’re doing at SPI to put community on top of that curriculum and how to best approach that. And whether you’re just starting out creating online courses or sharing information online or you’ve done this and wanna know how to restructure things, this is definitely gonna be an episode for you. But, Ashley, before we get into that, I’d love to know, and I I’m sure the audience would love to know and get introduced to you a little bit more. What’s your background and and then how did you get involved with SPI?

Ashley Gore: Yeah. So I, by trade, am an elementary teacher was an elementary teacher. So I taught in the public school system for 7 years in the Midwest, couple different schools, very different school types, realized I was in need of a career change. And so I actually took so shout out to her, I took the Teacher Career Coach course, and she has a podcast as well, Daphne Gomez who is an SPI Pro member.

And so I took her course, kind of figured out what exactly I wanted to do, figured out I really Still wanted to be involved with learning somehow and curriculum design, that sort of thing. And she messaged me one day and said, Hey, have you heard of SPI before? And I said, Actually, no. Tell me more about this.

And so I listened to the podcast. I dove into what SPI was, and I immediately applied for the community manager position to help create the All Access Pass. And here we are a year and a half later and I I am doing all things, not only community, but course related as well. Yeah. I’m just really happy to be here.

Pat Flynn: That’s amazing. What grade did you teach in elementary school?

Ashley Gore: I taught both Third and fourth grades. Different times, not at the same time.

Pat Flynn: There’s a lot of teachers that listen to the show, a lot of teachers who have a little side business or might want to go into a career just like you have using their skills.

What would you say would be your best advice for somebody who might be in that position?

Ashley Gore: So I would say my biggest advice is I feel like a lot of teachers only feel that they can move into roles that are directly, like, K 12 related, and that’s how I felt for a while. So I was originally looking for jobs and ways to show my expertise through, like, actually traditional teaching. And when looking for jobs and exploring my strengths and what I really enjoyed, there’s so much more out there. A lot of what I do from day to day can fit into the categories of, like, instructional design, community management in terms of, like, digital community, Learning and development, so there’s so much out there, and your skills are transferable.

And there are companies out there that will see that expertise and really value it and turn it into something awesome.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. And you have turned it into something awesome. And we’re gonna talk about online courses, we’re gonna talk about community and, of course, the All Access Pass and how that was built and kind of where your ideas came from and inspiration for that. But let’s just talk about online courses first.

When it comes to curriculum online, what would you say is the best approach somebody can take to making sure that not just, you know, we we make sales. I mean, that’s, that’s the byproduct of creating something amazing. How does one approach creating an amazing online learning experience for their people?

Ashley Gore: I feel I could give a 6 hour seminar on that and still not be done. So some of my biggest tips, I would say, is especially since it’s online, keeping it as flexible as possible, especially considering your audience and thinking what are their lives like outside of this actual online course that they’re sitting down to do.

Do they actually have time for a half hour long lesson, or should you be breaking it up into 5 or 10 minute chunks? So that’s a big thing. Also, in knowing your audience too, so figuring out what do they already know. I feel like a lot of people, no matter what industry you’re in, kind of just assume, oh, they know these acronyms. They might not.

And so anything you say, making sure even if it’s just quickly saying so if I’m talking about an LMS, which some people listening might not know what that is. That’s a learning management system. And so if I’m teaching about online courses like I am right now, when I say LMS or learning management system. It’s so easy just to be able to insert, Okay, this is what I’m actually talking about in case you’re lost or in case you don’t have that prior knowledge. Those are a couple things. I don’t know if you have more specifics you wanna cover. I have a lot!

Pat Flynn: I mean, I’ll I’ll I’ll plus one that last one for sure. I mean, it’s so easy to make a person feel like they shouldn’t be in the course because you’ve just kind of spoken over them and have not considered that.

At the same time, you also don’t wanna go, Okay, put your hand on the mouse. Move your mouse to this button here, and you don’t wanna make people feel like, okay. Well, this is You’re just making me feel dumb at this point. So there is a balance there, and I think a lot of it involves conversations with your audience.

So research is important. Obviously, we teach how to build online courses inside of the All Access Pass with our Heroic Online Courses curriculum. But in general, the overall, like, here is all the information you need. We live in an age now where we want to help people get that result as quickly as possible. Right?

Which means pruning is very, very important and making sure you’re not overloading. And I think that and you can speak to this as well, actually. I think a lot of people when they come across Even our content, they worry about it being too much. And so can you speak to this idea of, you know, if you’re gonna teach something, literally putting the entire encyclopedia of something into a curriculum versus getting just what’s there to get the result that a person’s purchasing for and and to get them on their way. How does one begin to sort of wrap their head around that?

Because we’re so trained, at least at my age and where I came from in the in the Internet space, it’s like more information equals better, but that’s not true anymore. Right?

Ashley Gore: Absolutely not. And with the age we live in, they can find that information if they want to find that information. The reason they’re purchasing your course or your membership is they, first of all, probably like you or at least trust you and your brand enough to be able to, okay, provide this information in a way that makes sense to me and to help me sort through all of that noise that I could already find on Google or YouTube or whatever it is.

So a big principle I follow is called backwards design. And so how that works, there’s three big components. So you wanna start you’re basically planning your course backwards. So you’re gonna start by thinking, what is the goal they need to reach through my course? What should they be able to do at the end of it?

And then maybe what smaller goals or milestones can they had along the way? So you’re thinking of what they should do at the end. I feel like a lot of people when they do courses are thinking of just all the things they know because you’re the subject matter expert. So you’re just wanting to teach everything that you know, and that’s not great for your student or audience member. And so once you have whatever they’re supposed to know at the end or be able to do, thinking of, okay, how can I or they check that they know that?

How am I going to assess them? So if it’s a live cohort, which I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more about, like, how can I check their knowledge? Or if it’s asynchronous and just a course that you put up, are there little quiz knowledge checks I can put along the way that help them reflect, Okay. Do I actually know what I’m doing? Am I ready to move on to the next lesson?

Then the third thing, you can start thinking about the actual content. So what do they need to know to be able to perform that? And a good rule of thumb is your lesson should be as short as possible to get the point across and reach those goals. Ensure that every piece of content you’re putting in has a purpose. And if you want to expand upon that, that’s, first of all great material for supplemental events or work shops or webinars or a future course or just something you could link below.

Like, if you wanna know more about x y z, go check out this article. So I would say those are the big things to try to prevent the overwhelm and actually have some direction when you’re creating.

Pat Flynn: That’s really smart. And I think Even removing parts that are still useful, but not necessarily needed to get to the goal is really smart. And I love that idea of putting it into an addendum or, you know, learn more here or we’ve even put those into bonuses.

Right? You kinda take them out just to put them back in and make the the course more valuable because It’s quicker to the result, but there’s some other things that you can go you can if you wanna go further with it, which is really great. It’s very obvious that you have had a lot of experience with thinking about it from the student’s perspective. Now you are shifting from, you know, third and fourth graders to mostly adults. Kids come with their own struggles.

What are these struggles that adults have when it comes to learning? You mentioned time being obviously one of those things. But what else might an adult struggle with when it comes to learning in an online curriculum fashion.

Ashley Gore: Yeah. So a couple things come to mind.

So one of the things is as a course creator, you wanna make sure that you’re making your content as accessible as possible. And the biggest thing I mean by that is how many different ways are you actually showing the point you’re trying to get across? So anytime I create a course or I audit our courses, I’m thinking to myself, Okay, Pat’s saying it so they can hear it. Can they see the concept anywhere?

And then can they read it? Thinking about all the different ways that you can get that content across because people learn in different ways too. And so for me, I would personally struggle if I went into a course and it was just someone talking to me the entire time. And I have no time to actually see visuals. I have no time to pause and have reflection opportunities. So that’s a big one.

Pat Flynn: How much do you think self doubt plays a role in this? You know, the training that we’ve had, the conditioning over the years to learn a certain way, how does that matter when it comes to, you know, learning and teaching?

Ashley Gore: I think imposter syndrome can be really real, especially depending on your audience. Anybody who’s going into your course obviously has a goal they wanna meet, and it’s obviously not a goal they’ve been able to meet on their own.

So there’s always going to be a little self doubt going into it, whether they realize it or not. And so it’s your job to make sure that they have the tools to be able to do whatever the goal is or the skills are, then have the knowledge that you’re trying to get across by the end. And I think going back to your original question, which is related to me moving from kids to adults, one of the biggest things that adult needs is an intrinsic motivation. So they need to be able to understand why what you’re teaching is important. How does this apply to me?

In terms of SPI, how does this apply to my business? How does this apply to my niche? And so, like, with kids, I get an extrinsically motivate them pretty well. Rewards, all that kind of thing. Adults need to know, okay, why does this matter?

And so one of the best things that you can do while throughout your course is not only say why it matters and how it applies to them, but give them opportunities to reflect often and have, like, exercises or scenarios to where they can truly apply it to their own life and take action throughout your course.

Pat Flynn: That’s really good, and that makes complete sense. And and we do that, and you’ve done a great job of injecting that into our courses. Now another thing that we’ve recently injected into our courses is community, other people around the learning experience. And this was something that was not here when you initially came on board.

So I’d love to hear how you were able to take the stand alone solo adventure online courses that we’ve had and then really turn them into what we now call community powered courses. And, hopefully, through that example of our own, You, the listener, might be able to consider how you might be able to inject community into your learning experience as well. And there are different levels of that. So why why don’t we go into some of them?

Ashley Gore: Yeah. So the first thing I kind of want to mention is whether you listening, if you already have a course. First of all, if you have a course, go in and see what the finish rate actually is. Across the board, finish rates for courses that have 0 community component are really low, like anywhere from, like, 5 to 15 percent across the board. And so when you inject that community component, people are more likely to reach goals when they have the support of, like, that’s just that’s a fact. Under plenty of research studies. A lot of them show you’re about 65 percent more likely to reach a goal just by stating it to others or going through it along with other people.

And so knowing that and seeing what we did at SPI in the past with community and just trying to figure out what was going to work best for us, I decided kind of a blended model was going to work best for us. Because with our audience, they’re entrepreneurs or they’re in the beginning stages or maybe they’re in, like, the middle stages. And so a lot of them are busy. Most of them are busy. And so what we needed to do is we couldn’t have completely live cohorts.

So we we tried that in the past before I came on. And so completely live cohorts were not going to work for our audience, especially when we have a global audience. We can’t accommodate for so many different time zones at the same time and have, oh, you have to be on this live call. That’s not going to work. And so what I decided to do, and there’s been a little bit of tweaking along the way, but it’s gone really, really well and is the accelerator model is what we’ve kind of branded it. And so what that is is it’s an asynchronous cohort with optional live opportunities.

So how we run that is they get access to our whole community, but we’re focusing on one course or one topic at a time. What they do is they have access to that, but it’s usually, I would say, about anywhere from a month and a half to 3 months depending on the course or the goal that they wanna reach. And they are put into a specific private space where there’s lots of discussion opportunities throughout the week. There’s asynchronous weekly check ins to keep them on track, and I, as the facilitator, am watching that and helping cheer them on. Also seeing the group cheer them on, which is incredible.

But in addition to the course, they’re also getting your office hours, which you’ve talked about a lot and is a great resource. But they’re also getting a very narrowed in office hours with me and other special guests. And so once a week during those accelerator experiences, we’re focused on the week of content. So let’s say we’re in a course right now, and they had to do module 1. Well, this call, we’re only talking about module 1, and we have a guest on who is an for in things about module 1.

So they’re getting multiple perspectives. It’s helping keep them on track. They have ample opportunities to ask questions, and those are the calls too that we can really help them workshop through things and relate it to their own life, their own business. So that’s the gist of how our accelerator cohorts go.

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

I’ll I’ll expand on that. But before that, let’s talk about the results of structuring it in this way, what what have been the results of rejigging everything to this format?

Ashley Gore: They have been incredible. And so it it’s really kind of cool to look at. If you look at a course, like I said, courses have anywhere from about a 5 to 15 percent finish rate.

I would say our courses by themselves are anywhere from about 10 percent to 20 percent, so a little higher, which is great, but that’s still not the best that they could be. And so what we saw when we put them just into the All Access Pass. So with the All Access Pass, our members Have the access to all of our courses, lots of different recordings and workshops as well, but they have that access to the community, the office hours, all of that. The results went up at least a few percent of people actually finishing. With accelerators, it’s going even higher. And so for a latest example so on my mind right now we just finished our Power Up Podcasting accelerator where students came in with an idea for a podcast and at the end launched. If we’re thinking traditionally, if they were to take that course on their own, only about 10 percent that actually started would finish.

And we ended up with 25 percent actually finishing and launching. So those 25 percent actually have podcasts out in the world right now or are set to within a couple weeks of recording this. And so we’re seeing the results. They’re about doubled, and that I’m assuming that’s probably across the board for anybody that has a strong community or cohort component because they have not only just the support along the way, but just, like, increased motivation all around to actually get it done. And I’ve heard someone in our community describe it as positive peer pressure.

Pat Flynn: Positive peer pressure. That is so good. It’s so true though.

Ashley Gore: Yeah. It’s like You get to know the people around you that you’re seeing every week or even just seeing in the community.

Like, so often I give surveys at the end of every accelerator, which I highly recommend doing when people finish your course or finish your cohort, give a survey. And also insert testimonial opportunities, but also insert opportunities for growth. And one thing I’ve heard every single accelerator is, oh, I wasn’t able to attend the live calls, but the recordings of those live calls were invaluable. I’m so glad I joined this accelerator because I was still able to interact asynchronously, but also just get that really valuable timely information from the recordings.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. And because the recordings are specific about perhaps a particular module or just a group of lessons, A person who might not be able to go specifically to that live session will still get value from that recording versus even my own office hours. Right? There’s, you know, dozens, sometimes up to a hundred people in there each week, and the questions are all over about all different kinds of things. And and typically people do walk away with some value, but it’s not specific knowing that you’re going to get something out of it about a particular topic. So A little bit of a more history lesson here about SPI.

At one point, pre pandemic, we had run what we called and dubbed boot camps. And these were literally cohort based. You show up and you learn, and then you show up and you do the work together. And it required you to be there live to collect the information and then implement it. And we had probably an 80 percent to 90 percent success rate on that because it was so much of just learning together, but there were only 10 people taking them at a time because that’s all who could actually attend each of those things.

So, of course, like, most people are going to succeed, especially at a 5000 dollar level. Those people are committed, and they’ve committed because they have carved out that time. And we’re like, okay. This works really well, but we can only serve so many people. Our goal is to serve the masses and as many people as possible.

So, A, time, B, just the finances for that, it just doesn’t make sense. So we brought you on board. You developed this plan for the All Access Pass, and we were like, this looks great on paper. Let’s let’s run it. And it has been a massive success.

And although it’s not 80 to 90 percent success rates, the fact that after a couple weeks, already 25 people who went through the power of podcasting accelerator now have a podcast live is incredible. And that number’s gonna go up because some people, you know, just pushed back their launch date or maybe didn’t have a lot of time halfway through, but they’re gonna get through it because they had that support and they got the momentum going. So it’s been a tremendous success. And although on the front end, yes, we’re making less money as a business upfront, our goal is long term. You don’t just come in and launch your podcast or, you you know, do affiliate marketing or launch your webinar.

You come in, you get some results, and you go, this community is amazing. I’m gonna stay here, and I’m gonna learn the next thing that I need. And this is where the All Access Pass also plays a big role. It’s not just to get the one solution and then you’re off on your own. It’s to get the solution with the community and to go on to the next part of the community or or to your next stage, how may a person listening to this begin to think about holistically Their users experience through the brand versus a customer of said course, number one, versus let us take you on this journey, Which starts with course number one.

Talk through the sort of bigger picture for an audience member and and perhaps their students.

Ashley Gore: I think you bring up a good point that What do they do when they’re done? And so that’s a really great place you can start. So if you’re starting with an online course, think about, okay, so what’s the end result? And kind of assume that your person has this end result.

Think, first of all, how can you repurpose your course material? And you do it really well with our webinars that we do for SPI. You pull out little tidbits that they’re going to learn in the course and share it in webinars to bring people in. That’s one way you can do it. We could also one thing we did recently is after you make your course, first of all, the landscape of whatever you’re teaching is always going to shift or change in the future a little bit, Or maybe there’s something you could expand upon from the course.

So, like, one thing we did is so, like, our Amped Up Podcasting course teaches how to market your podcast. But one thing it doesn’t dive into is how to repurpose your podcast content. So I brought in our producer of the David Grabowski to teach a workshop, an hour long workshop, all about that for people who want to dive into that topic more. So thinking, what do I teach in the course that people can maybe want to dive into more? Another thing you could do, like I said, is when you survey your audience, ask what they want.

Figure out what maybe have been missing for them or what were their favorite parts. Expand upon those. And also asking yourself, okay, what’s the next step for them? So is there another course you could create or especially, like, the community around it, what Kind of events or programming is really going to be beneficial for these people to keep them in here and keep growing in whatever field or skill they got from that course. So when people come in for Power Up Podcasting, we’re not like, okay.

You launched a podcast. Bye. It was nice to know you. We have another course for that. We have workshops for that.

There are people who are done with our accelerator who are still talking daily, giving updates about their podcast, how many downloads. They’re saying, hey. I ran into x y z. Can anybody help me with this? And they get a reply within an hour from somebody across the world who has experience with it, and that’s the beauty of community.

So long winded answer for that one, definitely check out community.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. And, Like, that workshop with David, for example, that’s just in the All Access Pass, like, you already get access to that. It’s a part of the experience of being a part of this community.

It’s not, okay, there’s this workshop now. Here’s a price point in order to get access to it, and now it’s like, okay, now I’m just in front of a menu of things that I have to pay for. That’s not what people want anymore. They want to know that they are on a journey with not just you, the creator and the leader or the authority in the space, but with other people who are going through it with them. How do you encourage people to connect with one another who are going through something like a course together or just in a community in general?

A lot of us consider building communities, but then we go, okay. Well, then I have to show up, and I have to speak, and I have to do this event, and I no. You don’t have to do in fact, It’s better if other people are doing those things and connecting with each other. But how does a first time community creator or course creator injecting community, encourage that connection between the students.

Ashley Gore: So I think the biggest thing to remember is that when you have your own community, it’s not all about you anymore.

It’s about the community aspect. And so my role, even though my title is community experience manager. I see my role as a facilitator. I facilitate the learning. I facilitate the connections.

And I can relate this back to my formal teaching days that it’s not me talking. I’m barely talking in our events. And so I’m letting the community drive it. And so I’m asking these open ended questions, prompting someone to talk and just kind of seeing where it will go. If there’s a question that’s asked, I might know the answer to it.

But am I gonna tag in a community member that I remember told me 2 weeks ago that they were doing the same thing? Yeah. I am. And I also one space I created a few months ago that has been invaluable has been find a friend. And so we have a find a friend space to where people can post if they are looking for a person to be an accountability partner with, to take a course alongside, there was someone who created there were, like, 5 of them.

They did their own cohort together based on the style that I created of a course that I just wasn’t doing an accelerator on anymore. That’s cool. And that’s the beauty of community. So thinking about it in a way to how can I facilitate those connections and just thinking about how can I take a back seat more.

Pat Flynn: And even when you’re starting out, maybe you don’t have a large community with a thousand people like we do where you can utilize and, you know, people will eventually see each other and and connect as if they’re kind of just passing each other on the hallway? It’s like, hey.

You do that too? Let’s, like, Chat here in the DMs or something. And this is the power of Circle. I mean, we’re using Circle as the engine to really house all this, and and and we couldn’t do what we do without Circle and the way it’s structured, it’s it’s been really great. And they continue to innovate and and allow us to find even more fun ways to to bring the community together.

But for a creator who might have even, like, 10 people taking a course together, it can still feel, if the facilitator’s not doing their job, as if they’re doing their course on their own. And I feel like it is the facilitator’s job to see those connections and actually make them and actually make introductions. Hey, you might, You 2, you work with each other, and it’s it’s okay to do that. For a first time facilitator, if you will, do you have any advice or inspiration or motivation for them to actually Be authoritative and and actually do that, make those connections for people.

Ashley Gore: Yeah. And I think that there’s so much beauty in small communities. Agreed. And some of our best events, I’ve learned from trial and error over the past year and a half that I’ve worked for SPI, what works and what doesn’t. And so there are events where we’ll have 60 people join an event sometimes, but that’s overwhelming.

Like, you can’t make connections In an event of 60 people. What I do when I know an event is going to be that big, I’m putting them in breakout rooms where there’s only 5 other people. I’m giving guiding questions. I’ve realized guiding questions is something that helps so many people because they’re able to actually think about it and have something to talk about. People love to know if you have an agenda for just even just a networking call or an open call, tell them ahead of time.

They love to be able just to be prepared. Another thing I would recommend doing is if you have a small community, if you have a community that’s beta launching, use your network to help bring people in to help you out. So let’s say I have a small community all about email marketing. Maybe I use my contact I know that is an expert in funnels to come in and do a one hour just educational event for me. And that also that gives them exposure, and then it helps me out.

So really focusing on how is that a partnership. And so that’s something people could definitely leverage to bring in some more content as well, but help you focus on the actual facilitation part too.

Pat Flynn: Love it. Ashley, this has been amazing. I have one more question for you as we finish up.

And first of all, I recommend everybody go and check out the All Access Pass. If not anything, to see how we do it because we are on the leading edge of that, like I will say. And it’s because of people like you, Ashley. So I just wanted to thank you publicly here for what you’ve done and the gift of of the curriculum and the way you’ve structured things for our All Access Pass members. And so if you’re curious and you wanna know more, is where you would wanna go.

To finish up here, Ashley, I wanna ask you about making sure the content that you have in your courses, especially if there’s any training or or or things like that, is kept up to date. What would be a great way to audit your own stuff? And this is something that we are always continually working on. We have some older courses that we know that we’re going to update soon and those kinds of things. What do you do when you go into a course to audit to make sure it is up to date and to just keep it fresh for everybody.

Ashley Gore: The first thing I do is super easy. So I’ll go through a course the best that I can because, of course, I’m the learning expert, and so if I’m auditing a podcasting course, I’m going to help bring in somebody, Hey, can you help me make sure this content’s up to date? one thing I do so as you’re going through your course, if there’s something that you’re like, oh, no.

That’s out to date. That platform doesn’t exist anymore, but I said it. Think about ways that you can remedy it right off the bat. So what I do is I put a text note underneath that, hey. Like, we notice we say x y z, but it’s actually this now.

You can click here to learn more. So figure out a quick fix, and then you can make a plan to actually remedy it. And the way you do a course, it might not have to be so you could always cut a little bit. You could always put a graphic up on the screen and then do another voice over so it kinda seamlessly goes in. You don’t have to recreate an entire course.

What we did when we revamped Power Up Podcasting, we didn’t rerecord the entire thing. We put in lessons to update it. So, like, when we originally recorded, AI was barely a thing. Was it a thing? I don’t know.

You know, it was in the early days. And so when we revamped that course, we put in new lessons about AI where they fit in. Or video podcasting is really big, so we added on a module. So that’s really big. I would say another thing you can do when you’re auditing is look at it from the lens of, is this interactive for them?

So am I just giving them the information, or are there things that I can actually go through and help them connect it to themselves? So could I add in a workbook? Could I add in quizzes at the bottom. Different systems have different ways of making content more interactive and just seeing, am I utilizing my platform the best that I could be? So platforms are always coming out with new features and just staying up to date and making sure that things are up to date on the that end.

I talked talked a little bit about it earlier, but people just they need more than just the actual, like, being talked at. Like, making sure that as you go through, Okay. If I was a student, do I have an opportunity to stop and connect it? Do I have an ability to take action? Are you actually saying, Hey, go do this now. Give them steps. We do. And our course, as you say it, we have them at the bottom with everything that they need, just thinking about so not only keeping the material up to date, but also ensuring that it’s interactive and engaging too.

Pat Flynn: Yes. For sure. When it comes to the actual audit of your own stuff, are you using anything in particular to keep track? Like, are you keeping track of every change that needs to be made and then going and and kind of doing a full swoop, or are you just kind of as you find them, you you kind of fix those holes?

Ashley Gore: I think it depends. And so people can do one of two things. We’ve done both of these. So what I do so I quickly audit a course before we use it for a cohort or an accelerator. So I’ll use we’re about to as we’re recording this, about to kick off our Amped Up Podcasting accelerator. So what I did for that one is I went through and I thought to myself, okay. Like, is this up to date? So every time something was mentioned, I figured out, is it up to date? And if it’s not, doing just the text. Like I said, like fixing the text, going in, fixing worksheets, and doing that sort of thing. But if you have the time and the bandwidth, actually planning ahead of time and doing, like, a full revamp of the course.

So like we did with Power Up Podcasting, I knew, okay. We’re going to make this up to date. First of all, on its own, it’s one of our best sellers. It’s one of our most taking courses, so a revamp is also going to do really well for our brand. And so what I did is I went through it, and I had a robust spreadsheet of what content is outdated.

Does text need fixed? Does video need fixed? Is there an opportunity to Add supplemental materials such as a worksheet or a quiz or an interactive activity somehow to it, Giving little deadlines because thinking of it in the lens of redoing a course is a lot, and that can be really daunting for people. So making sure to break it up whether it’s by module, whether it’s okay. I’m gonna do all of the text this week.

Okay. I’m gonna do all of the video this And just taking it in chunks is really going to help too. So it it kind of depends on your situation and the bandwidth that you have too. But just know both are valid. Your students are going to appreciate any and all updates that you do because they’re going to see that you care, that they’re getting the best instruction possible with the resources that you have.

Pat Flynn: For sure. And it’s also a good opportunity to resell and remarket. Like you said, it was really helpful for you to go through Power Podcasting before our launch and have that full list because then what happened was I just asked Caleb, my videographer, to come over, and we just tackled it all in one day. And not all of it required video. Some of it did, but instead of just like, okay.

Here’s one video. Let me send it to you. Here’s another one the next day. And just let’s just do it all in one full swoop, and it was done almost in an instant. And so everybody’s happy.

I got it out of the way. It’s updated, and now it’s selling. And it was, again, like you said, our best selling. And so remains our best selling course inside of All Access Pass. But, again, you don’t need to pay for the course individually.

You just need to get the All Access Pass. And if you aren’t there already, smart passive income dot com slash all access, where you’re gonna see Ashley’s work in motion. Ashley, Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for what you do. And, also, you have a little brand of your own.

Right? You wanna plug a little bit because I know that not only are you an amazing person on our team doing what you do and what we just talked about, but you also have your own brand doing something. What is it, and and where can people go find it?

Ashley Gore: I do. So my niche is upper elementary educators. So what I do is I have my own business called Learning with Miss LaGrow where I sell low prep, high high engagement resources for upper elementary teachers, specifically third through fifth.

So I’m working on bringing my expertise and the parts I loved about teaching into an business, utilizing what I’ve learned from SPI to help do that, and it has been incredible. So if you happen to be a teacher listening or are adjacent to that space or maybe you have a third or fourth grader, I would love to connect. My brand is Learning with Miss LaGrow. That’s my maiden name, LaGrow. And you can find me at LearningWithMissLaGrow.Com, or you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok with that same handle.

So I love connecting with teachers and helping make their instruction just engaging and making school a place that students and teachers wanna be.

Pat Flynn: So important and you’re so great at it and your brand is not small. It’s growing and growing fast and so everybody should check it out. And we’re just so proud of of you and everybody else on Team at SPI who has their little side gigs going on, a lot of you know I have my own side gig going on at the Pokemon thing, which is going well too. So.

Anyway, Ashley, thank you so much for the time today, the education. Everybody’s gonna get a ton of value out of it, and we’ll put, obviously, all the links as we normally do on the show notes page. Thank you, Ashley. We appreciate you.

Ashley Gore: Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate you.

Pat Flynn: Alright. Isn’t Ashley amazing? We are So lucky to have her on Team SPI.

And if you are in the All Access Pass, you’re lucky to have her as well because you do get access to her and many of our other team members. If you’d like to check out the All Access Pass one more time, And it’s just so great that she has taken her superpowers of learning facilitation and curriculum development over to us and to you. So again, Ashley, thank you so much.

You were amazing. We all know that already on the team, but now everybody else knows too. I appreciate you. And you, the listener, thank you so much for coming in today. I appreciate you.

I hope this was inspirational and tactical for you. If you have online courses or a community, combining the 2 or switching from one to the other or injecting the other one into your brand, hopefully, this gave you an incredible way to start thinking about it. So, Ashley, thank you again. Thank you, listener. Look forward to serving you next week. Peace.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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