This is a major HOT TOPIC (again) that does NOT get talked about enough amongst course creators, soon-to-be course creators, and group coaching program creators that could potentially prevent massive business headaches for you now as well as in your future.
I’m seeing so many entrepreneurs, even seasoned veterans with huge brands, totally hurting their reputation and customer experience because of this one thing!
I don’t want to see you ACCIDENTALLY or UNKNOWINGLY make these CRUCIAL mistakes!
We need to talk about the Pros & Cons as well as what you need to be aware of when you offer “LIFETIME ACCESS”! What does that REALLY mean anyway?
We also need to chat about your Terms Of Service, what you include in your offer, what’s considered a bonus, and making sure you are CLEAR with the expectations for the clients and students you are building those all-important relationships with.
In this conversation, I’m sharing the hard lessons I’ve experienced and exactly what I’ve done to avoid the pain, heartache, and straight-up anger I’ve seen in some of the programs I’m a part of when inevitable hard decisions and pivots need to be made in your business!
Here’s a sneak peek of what we talked about:
- [6:93] What you must think about when creating your offers!
- [8:48] You cannot evolve unless you are willing to change!
- [10:32] What is your definition of lifetime?
- [15:21] Will your students have access to course updates?
- [19:35] Clearly define your bonuses!
- [31:17] Think long term and like a CEO!
- [35:13] Spell it all out in your Terms of Service (TOS)!
What You Must Think About When Creating Your Offers
There are so many people that have gone through this before you and it is your duty to learn from them or you’re going to repeat their mistakes. What it really comes down to is that there is no “takesies backsies.” In other words, you cannot change the terms of service or take back something you’ve either alluded to, verbally said, or put into writing.
That’s why it’s so important that you stipulate:
- What is a part of your program or course?
- What is a bonus?
- How long does your student get access to certain things?
- What is included for a specific amount of time, and what is included for lifetime?
We talk in further detail about the things to consider when creating your offers. Skip ahead in the video to 6:93 to hear more.
You Cannot Evolve Unless You Are Willing to Change
Entrepreneur years are like dog years, and they go by so fast. What you offer today is going to totally change six years from now and even a year down the line. When it comes down to what you offer your students there are no takesies backsies! You need to set up your offers for everyone’s success to include your students as well as you, the business owner.
What Is Your Definition of Lifetime?
You don’t have to offer lifetime access. If you do, it’s important to think about what your personal definition of lifetime access means. It is going to change and differ from business owner to business owner. Thus, you must consciously create that definition for yourself and your students.
For me, lifetime access means: “Lifetime of my business and lifetime of that program.”
Every time I launch my signature program, Lights Camera Branding there are different bonuses and guest experts, and even the content that is inside the program changes. Every time we relaunch, I call it a new “season” and we make it very clear that while you get lifetime access to the course, the course is going to look different for every new season that we launch. It is your responsibility as a business owner to clearly define what you mean by lifetime access so that your students know exactly what you mean and don’t mean by lifetime access.
Will Your Students Have Access to Course Updates?
Sometimes the hardest decisions you will have to make in your business will not please everybody. There was a moment in my business where we pivoted and no longer offered our bonus Alumni group for my signature program, Lights Camera Branding. Instead, we gave our students the option at the end of their season to upgrade and come into my Alumni only, backend membership.
In hindsight, I know that it was one of the best decisions I made in my business, but at the time there were a lot of angry people. That being said, they got what they paid for in the Alumni group, but they don’t get the continuous support that I now offer in my backend membership.
When it comes to course updates you must decide if this is something that you’re going to promise to your students. This is your opportunity to think about who you are as a business owner, who you are serving, what they need, and how you can best serve them to get to the transformation that you promised!
Clearly Define Your Bonuses
Your offer is not just your course or program. A lot of times we are making our offers bigger and juicer, because we are adding bonuses (i.e. group coaching, implementation weeks, guest speakers, recorded training.) While we love adding bonuses, we must make our bonuses crystal clear so that you do not set expectations for your students to expect things that are not ongoing.
- Clearly define what is a bonus and what is part of the course offer: Make sure there are clear definitions of what they get forever and what has a specific end date. My students know that they get me live, my coaches, and my private group for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, they still get access to all of the content and live training inside the group, but the group gets archived and they can no longer create new posts.
- Specify If Certain Bonuses Have Lifetime or Limited Access: When you clearly spell out exactly what your students are getting it makes them more confident to invest. Specify what bonuses your students have access to for a lifetime and what bonuses they have access to for a limited time.
- When Will Bonuses Become Available: There are certain bonuses that may not be available until after you launch, such as a launch debrief or a live workshop. If that’s the case, make sure you stipulate when those bonuses will become available to your students.
One more thing!! If community and groups are a big part of your program, you must determine how long you’re going to serve that group once “X” number of weeks or months are over. This is a decision that you need to make early on and clearly define it as a part of your launch offer so that your prospective students know exactly what they’re getting.
To hear more about clearly defining bonuses for your prospective students skip ahead to 19:35.
Think Long Term and Like a CEO
You have to be able to openly, honestly, genuinely, and authentically communicate with your students your intentions. I have seen some ugliness in some groups and I know that what it comes down to is a misunderstanding. My intention is not to point fingers, but to open up your eyes and create awareness for something that I didn’t really think about until years into my business. We are no longer in the “Wild Wild West” of online business and you need to cover your bootie, protect yourself, and most importantly, do you disappoint your students!
If you think about this ahead of time and are crystal clear on what you offer, when you offer, and how long you offer access, you’re going to wow your students. You’re going to create lifers who become your best testimonials and affiliates! We don’t want to create expectations that we can’t fulfill, so think about what you’re offering with great intention.
Spell It All Out in Your Terms of Service (TOS)
You need to spell out exactly what you’re offering on your sales page, checkout page, and terms of service (TOS) page. You need to be the CEO and business owner. If you’re purchasing very generic templates that you need to customize, you need to customize them!
Don’t use them as-is and just insert your name where it says “insert business name.” Make sure that you customize your TOS to be as crystal clear as you need it to be. Go above and beyond and spell it out. Your students will love you for it and you won’t destroy the trust that you’re creating with them!
With Grit & Grace, xoxo!
Tiffany aka Coach Glitter