The Real Reason Your Last Course Failed

Hey guys, today we’re going to talk about something that’s actually been on my content planner for about a year, the wheel of branding. And don’t let it scare you, it’s actually going to be a short, impactful article. It may just change the way you create info products and it certainly will help you make better purchasing decisions when you’re ready to invest in learning.

the wheel of brandingThe Wheel of Branding contains the three things that every business needs to consider for its brand. You could write an amazing message on social media, but you need a visual to catch your followers’ attention. Similarly, if you have a beautiful photo, but aren’t showing up, that will result in a missed opportunity.

The Wheel of branding is three circles. I know you’ve seen a Venn diagram where there are two circles overlapping, I want you to add a third below the two here. 

But before we dive in there, I want to tell you why this might be important to you. If you are an online business owner, i.e. you create courses, you run group programs, or you sell digital information products. You’re an online business owner, whether you’re a service provider, or whether you’re a coach, so you’re marketing those services.

If you’re like me, or basically all the other online entrepreneurs I know, you have bought at least one course out there. But they might not have all hit the mark for you.

One of the reasons this topic has spent so much time on my content planner before publishing is because I’ve experienced this! I launched what I thought would be my signature course last year and it was a flop. And I want to talk a little bit about that. It was something I poured a ton of time and resources into. Let’s talk about why my offer failed last year, and why so many of the courses you’ve taken have failed you.

Those courses that you’ve taken in the past didn’t work because they didn’t take your whole brand into consideration.

  • It taught you what to say, like content, but it wasn’t based on your brand message, so it fell flat.
  • They taught you how to create brand photos, but they ended up just being pretty.
  • Or it taught you how to design your own website. But again, it just ended up being pretty.
  • And maybe you even hired a website designer and it wasn’t even a course. And you came out with a really beautiful product. But it didn’t really do a whole lot for you because again, it wasn’t based on your whole brand.
  • Maybe you took a course that taught you how to create a content calendar or launch like a pro, but you guessed it, not looking at the whole picture.

The whole picture is that wheel of branding, they are all interrelated to the point where even as a brand and marketing strategist, I have trouble separating them out.

Yes, what you say matters. But when it comes to social media, you still need a scroll-stopping visual to get attention to those words.

I have said in the past, that a picture is worth 1000 words, but the right words are worth all the pictures and I will stand by that statement till the end of the days. But if you don’t have a decent picture with it, no one’s gonna read the words. It’s just reality, friends.

The wheel of branding, the big promise of my course last year, Secret to Sought-Out was that it was your whole business. I won’t go so far as to say business-in-a-box because I wasn’t teaching sales. And I wasn’t teaching, you know, some logistical things and whatnot. But I had the big course promise of what to say, where to say it, and how to show it visually.

So why did it fail? It should have done really well, right?

It’s everything somebody needs to show up online successfully for their business.

The answer is, it was too much! They’re all equally necessary–and how would I unpack that? Even looking at the different modules I had in the course they all still kind of flowed one into another. There weren’t separate results, they all blended. The answer to why it failed is, out there in the great wide interwebs there’s still an education issue on what a brand is.

I’ve written many times before, your brand is your reputation, and brand strategy is you choosing to manage or attempt to manage that reputation.

So let’s talk about that course promise I had, what to say, where to say it, and how to show it visually.

Enter The Wheel of Branding.

Each one of the pieces in my course promise is one of our circles.

  1. “What to say” where it overlaps “where to say it” is going to end up looking like courses on launch plans or strategic courses or courses on how to measure your success.
  2. Where “what to say” overlaps “how to show up visually,” you’re going to get products like content prompts, or how to do reels, things like that.
  3. And then where “how to show it visually” overlaps “where to say it,” you’re going to have things like funnel design, conversion metrics, all of that kind of fun stuff.

As for each of the circles themselves, what to say is pretty obvious, that is your message. You could go so far as to say it’s your brand message. But it could be as micro here as literally, what are you going to say in the caption.

Where to say it, that’s going to be a lot of your offer, that’s going to be a lot of the things that you are putting out there, you’re deciding where to put it to get people’s eyes on your offer.

How to show it visually, that’s going to be everything from what your website looks like your brand board, the pictures you put out there, the graphics that you create that once again, pretty obvious.

Your Brand vs. Applications of Your Brand

But those overlaps that I started with. That’s the part right here, that’s not so obvious, because it depends on a couple of different areas of your brand, what to say, where to say it, how to show it visually, they’re all different areas of your brand. But really, they’re all just applications of your brand (which again, as a reminder, is your reputation).

So if you think about it this way, what do you say? Well, that’s an application of your reputation. So what do you want to say to put that reputation out there? What do you want to say to shift that reputation? What do you want to say to give that reputation authority?

How to show up visually–same thing. What does it look like for someone with a certain reputation?

And then where to say it? Where would someone have a reputation you were trying to build be? Where do they hang out? Where do they find their people?

This is why you get so many courses on really specific topics, because when it comes to start playing these overlaps against each other, they are very different things. How to do Instagram, how to build a funnel, how to measure traffic from Facebook ads to your website–all of those things are very different, but they all still stem from your brand.

If you’ve been around for a little while, and you have bought The Show Up System in the past, you will know that I love ripping on people who sell lists of 200 content prompts because they have nothing to do with your business. I have 100% honestly read the exact same content prompt from at least three different lists that I’ve either seen, acquired, or purchased. And it goes something like, “Tell me about a time when things weren’t going so well for you.” What does that have to do with my brand? I could tell you a whole bunch of times in my life where things weren’t going so well for me. But what does that have to do with my audience, because my audience might be different than your audience or Person X’s audience or Person Y’s audience. You have to take all of those content prompts with a grain of salt because you have to match them with you, your brand, and your offer.

The same thing goes for a launch plan. How I launched might be very different than the way you want to launch. I have friends who love doing webinar launches; they are not my favorites and I’m actually going to be taking a program here in just a hot minute because I want to get better at it so I can guide clients with their webinar launch funnels. But it’s not my favorite. So therefore how I launch isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all thing. The same thing with the kind of marketing funnels that you have, those kinds of pictures you put out there, the places you hang out on social media, all of that depends on you and your unique brand.

If you’re struggling with the idea that your brand is actually unique compared to all the other people out there in the great wide interwebs you need to go back to the archives. If that’s something that you’re struggling with, I’ve got multiple episodes of The Know, Like, and Trust Show all about that, like Authentic, Automated Marketing. I had a whole episode about how falling in love and branding are the same thing–that would be a great one for you to check out, too. I have an episode called who to be when you’re not selling. So you can go check that one out too.

That said though, your unique brand is going to feel different, look different, than other people’s–and therefore the wheel of branding is something you have to take into consideration every time you’re considering taking somebody else’s advice on how to do your business.

Back to the Wheel of Branding visual–we have one circle, that’s what to say one circle, that’s where to say it and then the final circle of how to show it visually and they all overlap each other and they have parts that overlap with only one of the other circles. And then we have The Center.

The center where all three of those circles overlap is your brand.

It’s your big brand message. It’s who you are. It’s what you stand for, the kind of people you like to serve, and how you serve them. And if you are not taking into consideration all of those things, each time you make a marketing decision, each time you make a business decision, you’re going to struggle, and you’re going to end up in the position I was in last year.

I had an offer that by all accounts was fantastic. And it just didn’t sell because I didn’t take into account who I was serving and where they were at. Maybe they weren’t ready for all three pieces at the same time even though they are interrelated. I have since de-packaged that program into multiple other areas. And I’ve really honed in on where my people are at. And that is what Content Lab came out of. That is why The Show Up System 2.0 will be coming out as soon as a way to further help people there. And ultimately, that is what the Biz GPS intensive came out of. Because you can’t know what to say, where to say it, or how to show it visually until you have a business plan that says where you’re at now.

Your Brand EcoSystem

If you have had an offer that’s failed, or, and this is probably more of a thing here, where if you have taken a course that you thought was going to be great, and it wasn’t, and you can objectively look at it and say it wasn’t the course creators fault, they actually put out a good product, but it didn’t serve you–this is why whatever you learned in that course, or whatever you were teaching, and your offer didn’t take the whole brand ecosystem into account.

When you take the whole brand ecosystem into account, when you take the wheel of branding into account, you have successful offers left and right. And that is what I want for you. That is my promise on the podcast, that we are navigating the world of marketing online together. We are exploring what works, what doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s just a little tweak along the way.

If you need help, and you know that you’re on the right path, you’ve got all the pieces but they’re just not meshing very well, you’re probably going to want to hit me up. Let’s talk and find out whether the Biz GPS is the next right decision for you. Having that 30,000-foot view of your business is something I love offering my clients and I love seeing what my clients are doing with it. They are doing such amazing things and they aren’t having to make huge shifts and big changes. They’re tweaking little things and all of a sudden everything flows really well together and it all starts playing nicely. 

Are you ready for you business to flow again? Let’s chat about the Biz GPS Intensive.

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