Historically, we’ve had a course for sale on Becoming a Top Content Marketer for the past few years (if you’re curious you can read all about that old course here). But this year, we are working on a total redo…
We’re changing this from a “course” to a full, private, G&C Members community.
Here’s a video that explains more and gives a peak inside the course the course/community we’re building:
Here’s why this happened and what our vision for it is…
At first, we simply wanted to update our course because a lot of our content marketing processes had changed over the course of the last 3 years working with dozens of clients: how we do ideation, the role of SEO, how we measure conversions, how we promote content, etc. We’ve improved all of these dramatically in 3 years and wanted to update the course to reflect that.
While working on that, one of our team members gave us good feedback on making the course more interactive. He said some of the best courses he’s taken were less of a course, and more of a workshop, where students were heavily encouraged (in some cases required) to share their “work” from each “lesson” and give feedback on everyone else’s.
In those courses, everyone had a profile photo, real name, and links to their social, so you know the people you’re interacting with. Course members gave feedback on the lessons, but they also started new topics themselves where they shared their problems, helped each other, and built relationships.
That sounds awesome.
The courses that were shared with us were all built inside of a forum/community software: Discourse.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like from Discourse’s homepage:
So we’ve started to build our new course in Discourse. By having a course live in a forum setting, it naturally creates more interaction and discussion, instead of passive, solo consumption.
A Private Community for Top Marketers
It was in the process of building this new course in Discourse that we realized it could be a lot more than a course: we could have a full private community of top marketers, discussing ideas, sharing wins, helping each other.
We could also interact a lot more by doing Live Q&As, sharing insights from our agency work that we don’t publish on the blog, and bringing in experts from our network on different marketing topics and doing live video Q&As with them as well.
So this is what we’re working on now.
Now, as for the course…
Our Course Is the Foundation of The Community
The content marketing course will be the foundation of the private community — an in-depth, interactive content marketing training program. So everyone has a basis in which to discuss and improve their skills.
Here is what this course section is looking like so far:
The modules are pinned topics at the top of the forum for every member to go through or reference back at any time.
The modules go through the exact process we use today in our agency work:
- Strategy – We show our user research process via case studying 3 real companies, showing our recorded calls with them, sharing the keyword and topic idea spreadsheets we made for each and covering how to do this for yourself.
- Writing – Here we continue the case study based approach and show how we turn the ideas into high quality posts. We contrast most blog posts and show why they aren’t at the right knowledge level and share our process for getting that right. We case study dozens of articles we’ve written for our clients using different content frameworks. We also show actual video feedback during our editing process, so you and your team can learn how to produce high quality content that speaks at your customers knowledge level, not just beginner level fluff that everyone else publishes.
- Promotion – We show how to drive traffic to your blog using both short term and long term methods. We walk through case studies of how to drive traffic through community promotion, paid promotion, PR, influencer marketing, and SEO. We’ll continue to update this section with new learnings because the promotion tactics that work continually change.
- Conversions – We walk through how we setup analytics to measure first and last click conversions from individual blog posts, how we setup a google Datastudio dashboard so anyone at the company can see results, and what CTAs we use to maximize conversions from content.
- Hiring Writers – Finally we share our current process for hiring and testing writers. We walk through where we post our writing jobs, our application form, what we look for, our test project process, and how we filter. Hiring is not easy and we share what’s working and what’s not so by the end you’ll know as much as we do on this topic.
Inside each module are the lessons, for example:
Then each lesson is now like a special, extra in-depth Grow and Convert blog post, with video walkthroughs and spreadsheets interspersed throughout:
Then, for lessons where it makes sense, we have a “workshop” CTA, where members are asked to do the work of that lesson themselves and share it as a new topic in the community, where everyone can give feedback and collaborate:
This New Course is Case Study Based
When we thought about the best way to make an update to our course, we came up with this idea:
What if the new course was based on us applying our process to real companies?
Instead of a typical course that’s all theory, what if we taught all the concepts as applied to actual companies? We think this will be a way more instructive and engaging way to learn. You can see exactly how the theory applies in real life to real businesses, and your brian will naturally make connections and analogies to your (or your client’s) business.
So we asked our existing G&C email list to apply, we got 68 applicants in 5 days, and we chose 3 companies, each of a different business type. Here they are.
Why we like it:
- It has an established customer base (1000+ customers). They know exactly who their customer is and why they buy.
- It has a clear value proposition. Their method gets really high recovery rates, so the ROI for customers is really good.
- There is search demand for both solutions like this and the pain point (cart abandonment in general) so we think it will make for an instructive example for many other SaaS businesses.
Service business: TryoLabs
Tryolabs.com A machine learning consulting company. They do large development projects for companies like Grubhub, Halliburton and Drone Deploy.
Why we like it:
- They have clear differentiation and a clear niche. They’re not just “a development agency”. They are a machine learning development agency.
- They have a long track record of expertise in this area, so they know exactly what kind of projects and clients they want. It’s not just “anyone who wants x”.
- Their experience also means they know really specific pain points of customers and have stories of solving those problems. So this will make for a good example of showing how content strategy for service businesses like this differs from SaaS in terms of being more expertise and case study driven.
B2C business: GrowthMentor
Growthmentor.com a marketplace that connects mentors with individuals looking to be helped in marketing, sales and business.
Why we like it:
- They have a subscription membership with lots of customers, so there’s good ROI if we can get them more members.
- There are few companies that do what they do, well.
- There are lots of reasons people come to them for help, so there’s tons of things to write about and topics to cover.
In addition, we also draw on case studies of our client work throughout the course.
We are extremely excited about this shift from “static course” to and “interactive community”. We hope it will fulfill a long standing dream of what Grow and Convert was meant to be – a community by marketers for marketers.
We are working hard on this while we continue to run the agency, and will keep our email list updated on when it’s available. You can sign up below to join the email list and be one of the first to know.
Finally, pricing. We don’t want a recurring monthly charge to make people question the value, so we’re going to keep it as a one time, lifetime cost. $750 for the course and members community. One payment, lifetime access (there will be monthly payment plan options as well), no ongoing subscription.
When we launch this, we will likely do a 1 week promotion where the price is dropped to $500.
To get notified of this promotion period and the launch of this community, you can join our email list here.
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