In this behind-the-scenes interview, we’re talking with Megan K. Harrison who designed Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi’s new “Digital Product System” online course.
Megan is known for creating stunning course designs and putting all the pieces of an online course together in a way almost nobody else can. Today, she is sharing with us some of the strategies she used to build Tony and Dean’s course.
We’ve highlighted some of the important lessons and key insights below, but if you’re someone who is thinking about launching an online course or you’re wanting to give your course a ‘fresh coat of paint’, this interview is worth the watch.
Megan’s design process is probably a lot more involved than most people would be interested in doing themselves. In an effort to relate everything Megan shares back to you and your site, I asked her what she would recommend for someone who isn’t a designer, doesn’t have the budget to hire a designer, but wants to improve the student experience on their course. You can watch the full answer to that question starting at 33:15
At the end of the interview, Megan shared that she actually has her own online training you can enroll in where she gives you the entire course design process including templates you can use on your own site. If you’re interested in that, visit Megan’s site to learn more.
Important Lessons & Highlights Shared In This Video
04:45 – Megan’s Course Design & Building Process
07:25 – Preventing buyer’s remorse
10:00 – Using a points and credits system
15:15 – Importance of navigation
21:40 – How long does it take to build a site like this?
28:53 – How to structure a free-flowing course (not lesson by lesson)
33:15 – How to ensure your site looks professionally designed
37:35 – Work on the content outline before anything else
Full Video Transcript
[00:00:00] Ben Denny: All right. Hey everybody. It’s Ben from Memberium and, uh, joining me today is a very, very special guest. And then Memberium certified partner and someone who we’re going to learn a lot from today about design your online course. It’s Megan from Megan K. Harrison Consulting. So, Hey Megan. Thanks for joining us.
[00:00:18] Megan Harrison: Thank you so much for having me again, I’m excited.
[00:00:21] Ben Denny: Absolutely. So for those of you who are watching and who may not know, we have previously done an interview with Megan where she showed us behind the scenes and gives an inside look at another system that she had designed for Tony Robinson, Dean Graziosi. And she has been working on another one. And that’s what we’re going to be looking at today.
But before we dive into that special content, would you just mind introducing yourself for those who may not have watched that other interview or just may not know who you are?
[00:00:46] Megan Harrison: Yeah, I’d love to. Thank you. So Megan Harrison, Founder of Megan Harrison consulting and creator Online Courses Academy. I’ve been doing this for about eight years now, really solely focusing on online courses on end development.
And I absolutely love it. This has been one of my favorite projects. I’m really excited to share it with everyone.
[00:01:03] Ben Denny: Awesome. Yeah, I’m excited too. And this is the first time I’m seeing it. Uh, I’ve seen a couple of screenshots and things, but I know it’ll be great. Uh, and so I know that you do consulting work.
Do you primarily do that just with larger clients or just kind of anyone or?
[00:01:18] Megan Harrison: Um, I would say… the target market would be people that already have a successful online course. They might’ve started on Teachable or Thinkific or Kajabi, and now they’re ready to take it to the next level. For whatever reason, maybe they’ve outgrown the platform or a branding.
And aesthetics is really important at that point. And then also just the advanced functionality that can be incorporated with Memberium. LearnDash um, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, whatever that might be, but there’s so many really cool features that you can implement when you do have your course built on a platform like WordPress.
[00:01:51] Ben Denny: Awesome. Yeah, I got you. And so, okay. And I guess at this point, maybe you want to share your screen and we can just kind of look at what’s being built and you kind of walk us through some of it and we’ll ask some questions.
[00:02:03] Megan Harrison: Sure. Let me make sure, um, okay. So can you see it?
[00:02:15] Ben Denny: Okay. I can, yes.
[00:02:17] Megan Harrison: Okay. If you need me to like zoom in or zoom out, whatever. So essentially this is the course. Maybe I should start actually at the programs page. So we built a number of courses for Tony and Dean starting with the first version, which was about, I think like almost four years ago, maybe three years ago.
And at the time. Hard to tell, but that was the Knowledge Business Group Blueprint. And then the upgraded version was the Knowledge Broker Blueprint, and most recently has been, um, the digital product system. So that’s what we’re going to share now. Well, let me make sure. Okay, so this would be the course homepage is where you have all of the different courses available.
And then we would go to the actual, um, course from there. And so this has the newest program. Um, the Digital Product System we’ve scrolled down. You always said your next step to the top, the welcome video. And then you have the modules listed here. So this is the design, and then clicking on the first module that would take you to that page.
And I always explain courses the way that I think about it. It’s kind of like a book. Um, so just like a book has sections within it. And then each section has chapters. So I think of the modules is like a section and then the lessons in the module, or like the chapters of the book. So this will have the modules for that, or for that lesson to that page.
And you click there and it actually takes us to the individual lesson pages. So let me know what questions you have on what you want to show.
[00:03:58] Ben Denny: Yeah, sure. And, and so I guess, um, just to kind of tie back to something, maybe our audience can relate to a little when they’re, do you actually help, uh, plan out the course, like the content and like how it’s structured or are you just wanting to design for this?
[00:04:14] Megan Harrison: It’s not something we normally do because I was so involved in this project. I, what I did do a big piece of that, um, starting at like three years ago with flat out Dean’s office and really helping to synthesize and kind of unpack, um, Their knowledge because Tony and Dean, I think together have a combined 64 years of experience, which is absolutely amazing.
And so how can we take all of that? Like genius was, um, knowledge, expertise, and put it into a framework that really. Is easy for your customers consume and actually implement, because I think that’s the most important thing when it comes to courses, it’s not just sharing knowledge, it’s more structuring it around an implementation program where someone’s actually going to take action on what it is that you’re teaching and then ultimately get results.
And at the end of the day, that’s also, when I think the course creator is the most successful because when you have a reputation for like creating real results for other customers, Those customers are a lot more likely to purchase from you again, and then also refer you and become raving fans. So that’s my mindset.
When I think about the course creation example.
[00:05:19] Ben Denny: Yeah. That’s, that’s completely true. Uh, in, in that’s an I’ll try to ask a couple of questions too on maybe some things that you’ve done on this site that maybe advance that or, you know, get people more engaged. Um, maybe we can kind of look at some gamification there.
Uh, you just kinda mentioned how you structure the courses, how you think about that. And we teach something similar where we want people to, for example, when they’re playing their course, write everything down on note cards, and then look at the note cards one at a time that way. You know, you’re not seeing it from the top down view, you’re seeing, uh, just how your students will see it as well.
[00:05:51] Megan Harrison: Exactly. That’s how I start every course. Pretty much that I’m creating for myself is with post-it notes. And it was even on, it’s usually on my window or the coffee table or somewhere that you can just stick them, kind of like let it sink in. And then as you’re thinking through the process, again, it’s really easy to move around.
So that’s usually how I start. And then. I move it to a cloud, like a digital version of that, whether it’s Trello or Airtables. Now is my obsession. So typically do everything in Airtable.
[00:06:18] Ben Denny: Awesome. Um, okay. And so just to kind of continue with that then is there a gamification built into the side?
[00:06:25] Megan Harrison: There is, if I was logged in, actually as I think it’s a, would have to clear my browsers, but as soon as you log in, there would be.
Uh, a badge pops up. And so it’s amazing to see how many people share that. And just the excitement of starting with the program. I think the first thing that you always want to overcome, like the first, I don’t know if it would be obstacle, but you have to realize that. Regardless of how excited someone is to purchase the program.
There’s always typically a little bit of buyer’s remorse. Anytime someone makes a significant investment and that investment always relative, it can be a hundred dollars to them. $2,000 would be very, very significant. So I always try to keep in mind, like what’s everything that we can do right away to one feel like they’re part of a community and then to help.
The gate, any of that buyer’s remorse that might be setting in like, oh, I should’ve done that. Or I am actually gonna follow through with this or was that the right decision? So just having something as simple as that badge, that pops up as soon, and it’s Tony and Dean, has like fireworks behind it, a gift, um, interacted or interactive.
Um, from there, I don’t know if you can see this even better, like zoom in a little bit more when we are, um, on your screen. This is the course outline again, it’s another important thing really important is having clarity as far as navigation and what’s everything involved. So I love having this piece of it.
Um, just, uh, or just the whole course very easily to see. And if you can notice that these are bonuses that have a lock or unlock there. So that’s a little bit of a gamification that we’ve built in. Again, when you’re thinking about the gamification strategy, it’s not just about like, oh, incorporating badges or points.
It’s, you’re using them almost as ethical bribes to get your customers to, um, whatever result you want them to do. And so the result we’re trying to achieve here is to consume the content because when they consume the content regularly and consistently, that’s when it’s actually going to sink in and really learn the content and then implement it.
So. The ethical bribes here after you complete the course, after you complete the lessons, then you would take the quiz. And if you, once you pass the quiz, then you would be able to get the bonus. So let me go back to one of the modules actually. Um, so here. You’ll see if you hadn’t completed these lessons, there’s a lock image on this. And then once you complete the lessons in the quiz, then you, this would be unlocked and, um, you’d be able to access the content.
The other gamification is points. So we have the badges listed here. Anything that we’ve, um, achieved is going to be in color or anything, not it’s going to be greyed out. And then you’ll also see that, um, the points will. Um, you’ll add more points anytime that you complete content.
[00:09:24] Ben Denny: Yeah. And so what are the points?
Did they, can I do anything with the points right now, or?
[00:09:30] Megan Harrison: We didn’t incorporate, um, what we did in the Knowledge Broker Blueprint, which I do love, and I could share that, um, quickly, but we had points and credits in the Knowledge Broker. Um, Blueprint. And they were able to purchase bonuses or other content with the credits.
So it’s kind of like audible, where each month you get a credit and you can purchase a book. It was that same concept with the credit system in this program.
[00:09:59] Ben Denny: Gotcha. And so, but you are doing cause you, you showed the bonuses with the lock next to it. So I’m assuming after they complete certain things, content actually unlocks.
[00:10:07] Megan Harrison: That that bonus would unlock. And just so we can show the, the credit system.
[00:10:13] Ben Denny: No, that’s great. And it seems like a simple thing, but I think a lot of people stop at gamification with, oh, okay. They have awards and badges and we’ll just leave it at that. But you can actually take it a step further and unlock additional stuff to really, like you said, ethically bribed them to go through it.
[00:10:29] Megan Harrison: Yeah, exactly. So this would be the example of the credit system and the other course that you had the points and then the credits, and then you could purchase additional content with the, the credits that you earned.
[00:10:42] Ben Denny: Oh, that’s awesome. So I know this is, this is a larger site, obviously, and you know, between Tony and Dean, like you said, like 60 plus years of experience, not everybody watching is going to be at this level.
And I’m sure you can understand, but what do you think? I mean, when it comes to gamification like, should somebody just starting out in your opinion incorporate that or should they kind of hold off until maybe they get some traction or.
[00:11:06] Megan Harrison: Uh, the most important thing is speed of implementation and getting your course out there as a minimal viable product and testing, and then reiterating.
And it’s not like it’s a one and done type of thing. It’s always a continual progression of making it better and better as you go along. So I don’t think you necessarily have to start with gamification as you’re creating your first course. I think a lot of people can be overwhelmed or it’s just a feat and challenge to get the course out there to begin with.
So. Maybe not necessarily having to add that additional level of complexity, but then once you do see that there’s an ROI, um, you validated that people are actually really interested in purchasing the course and you can scale it from there. Maybe it would be the next level. But I think thinking through a way of just like, how can you increase the likelihood that your customers are actually going to implement what it is that you teach, regardless if it’s gamification or just adding additional resources.
Uh, I think that’s a really important part. And it’s what separates the good from the great courses. So as a course creator, I think you should always be thinking about what’s something that I can give additionally that can make it easier or faster for them to actually implement on the information.
[00:12:21] Ben Denny: Yeah, for sure. So, uh, kind of yes and no a little bit,
[00:12:24] Megan Harrison: yes, and then it’s a hard, it just always depends on your seat of business and the resources that you have available to you. So if it’s something that I guess the answer would be, if I think that it’s going to delay the implementation and actually getting a course out there, I would say no, if it’s like you have the resources, you have the bandwidth, you have a team that can implement and go for it. Definitely.
[00:12:43] Ben Denny: Yeah. Completely agree on that. Alright. Awesome. So I guess on kind of we’re talking about gamification and how that kind of helps with the engagement. Is there any other aspects on here that maybe tie into the engagement? Um, just anything that you’re doing maybe unique or even not that helps people really go through the content at the, I can see there might be quizzing or other things involved too.
[00:13:05] Megan Harrison: The quizzes.
And I’ll just go back to one of these lessons too, and kind of walked through the different components on it. Um, so everything. So just like I was mentioning before, I think the implementation is always the first thing that you should have as the focal point. So what can I give that makes it easier and faster for them to implement what it is you’re teaching.
And I think of the resources as a way of basically synthesizing the information that you’ve taught within the lesson. So they’ve consumed the content. Now you want them to actually go do something. So each lesson has a number of resources in there. So then it can be templates. Some of them can be worksheets.
Some of them could just be a summary. There’s a lot of different options there, but that would be this piece of it. And then also thinking through how do you, do you think your customers are going to want to consume the content? And there’s a lot of people that like to read along with actually watching the videos or they watch it and then they want to read it separately or highlight things.
Um, That also depends a lot on the demographic and age base. Like I know my dad is one that loves, like he wants to print out everything. It doesn’t, it doesn’t matter who it’s a printed out an actual paper and then read it that way. Like he still sends me mail and like, like, I don’t know, put it in Dropbox or something and actually puts in the mail and like send it to me.
Something that he found on the internet I’ll print out and he’d send it to me and just like, what are you doing? But there’s this, you have to think through like how your customers are going to want to consume. Also from there, the timestamps, I think we have a good feature we added here, um, cause these videos were a little bit longer than typical.
So mapping out what, um, is talked about in each of the sections. And then the other part that I think. It’s often overlooked and we can also look at it on mobile as well is just the importance of navigation and clear progression of so that your customers know exactly what they’ve completed. And if they want to get back to something it’s super easy.
So although it doesn’t look like. You probably wouldn’t notice it like right off hand, but there are so many different ways to navigate through this course, whatever the customer wants to do. So we have the next and previous very clearly there the mark complete, which will move them forward. The menu is always in the same spot, so I never have to like guess as far as like the other additional pages.
And then when I’ve already shown here, the course outline, um, everything they would need in a glance.
[00:15:35] Ben Denny: Right. Yeah, that that is, that is very important. I agree. Um, and can you show us too, like how does, how does this look on mobile? Because I think that you, you brought up an interesting point, which is people consume stuff in like so many different ways. And so, yeah.
[00:15:50] Megan Harrison: Yeah. Maybe afterwards I can, I’ll definitely show you now on the design, but I can send, and we can embed it here. Just a. My phone and go through that. And that might be helpful because, but I’ll show you so this is Figma. This is where everything starts with the design process and a lot of different iterations.
Um, but I can scale in here. So this would be the mobile version of the home page. That’s pretty much the same. The modules are quite different because. I mean, it’s still the same branding and design, but if you can see the layout here is what it looks like on a phone it’s very different than what it would look on desktop, just because…
[00:16:32] Ben Denny: Like an app.
[00:16:33] Megan Harrison: Yeah. That’s always, my goal is to make it as app-like as possible. Um, and this design just wouldn’t translate well on a mobile, the exact type of layout. So it’s similar. But different. And again, you can still, you can see the lock image here to take. The quiz is really clearly laid out. And then the previous and next, along with the menu and, um, course outline here.
And then from the lessons, Let’s go to a lesson. I love the way that the lessons turned out to look at them.
This again looks very different than on mobile than it does the desktop, but we have. The video, the summary and then each of the lessons, worksheets and MP3. So there’s a lot of content here. And I think that’s always a challenge from a design standpoint, for a lot of people. There’s a lot of content that you want to have, but how can we make it not look overwhelming?
So the way that this is laid out with the tabs being here, it’s a very clean and not overwhelming presentation. But still having everything that you need to. So they know very clearly, like what they’ve completed with the check marks, the bonuses, other locked or unlocked, and then can easily return to the module mark complete or continue next on to the next part of the course
[00:17:55] Ben Denny: For sure. One question because I know will, will get ask this. I think I know the answer, but this is all built in WordPress. Of course. What do you use to build the sites with?
[00:18:05] Megan Harrison: So WordPress with Hello Theme and Elementor page builder.
[00:18:11] Ben Denny: So, yeah, Elementor and, and that’s, that’s what we always recommend at least some sort of drag and drop builder, but that’s our favorite too.
[00:18:18] Megan Harrison: Yeah, they they’ve got they’ve come so far up. Know they’ve had a lot of funding and at this point, I mean, there was say never, but, um, I’ve found it to be pretty hard for the other page builders to catch up just because they’ve hit that critical mass. And so the great thing about that, the reason why I would think that’d be the smartest one to use is they have, then you have so many other developers that are building on top of it to increase the functionality of the platform.
So Elementor basically integrates with everything and anything out there now, and they’re doing a really good job of continually optimizing um, the page builder from a speed standpoint and just usability. So it’s, I love it.
[00:19:02] Ben Denny: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s a hundred percent our favorite and we’ve, we’ve used all of them.
And so Memberium does integrate with the other ones, but yeah, Elementor is, is by far our favorite. I wanted to ask that though, because a lot of times people will see a site like this that is. It’s so well-designed and I think that it’s just like custom coded, you know, by hand.
[00:19:21] Megan Harrison: Yeah. Nope. I mean, everything can be done with the page builders now I think the misconception there and I hear it a lot too. Um, we will cause I, I love LearnDash, and Memberium and I’ll hear sometimes like, oh, I don’t want, I don’t like the way that LearnDash looks. I’m like LearnDash, isn’t the aesthetic part of it. That’s designed. I think of Memberium and Learndash is like the engine that fuels the car, but the interior and the, whether you have leather seats or red or black paint that has nothing to do with the LMS system.
So you want the engine to be running as smoothly as possible with the best? Um, I’m not a car person. I don’t know. I use this analogy, but like the best, um, Systems in it. And so I think that’s it LearnDash and, um, Memberium provide, and then it’s up to you or your designer to make it look however you want.
And that’s why, I mean, there’s a lot of time that’s putting too, and we’ve done a lot of courses that have done very, really well. So by this time there’s like a, there’s a method to the madness. There’s a certain layout and structure that works really well for, um, learning and consuming content. And there’s a lot that goes into the design.
I guess the whole point of design is simply like, if it looks as simple, that means that you’ve done design well.
[00:20:44] Ben Denny: Yeah. I’m not a designer. So, um, but you know, this, I think everyone would agree this, this, um, this site is amazing and it just looks, it just flows perfectly. And I love how the mobile does look like an app.
Um, and so I guess my question. Like, how is this? How long did it take you to get to something like this, but with your design process, and maybe we can kind of move over to that a little bit.
[00:21:09] Megan Harrison: Yeah. So it’s always a continual improvement process. Design came naturally to me and I didn’t, I had no idea. I didn’t realize that because.
I never considered myself a designer, but when I started my business, I couldn’t afford someone to, I couldn’t afford to hire someone to build a website. So I ha I learned how to code and do HTML. I don’t, I didn’t even know WordPress existed. Then I went the hard route, but that actually helped me a lot because having the coding background, um, even when you are building on WordPress, it you’re allowed to do, or it helps you do a lot more things easily.
So the design part of it. I realized it was because when we were younger, we used to scrapbook all the time. And they’ll, although it’s not the same, it’s, there’s a lot of, um, correlation or the skillsets and Scott booking. It’s still white space and laying out, um, laying out the elements in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.
And so that part was actually kind of more natural to me. Um, but then really zoning in and focusing on how it works for courses. I always, I love taking courses. Like I have a bazillion courses and anytime I want to learn something, the first thing I look for is who’s who is the best at it. And then. Do they have a course on it that I can purchase, because I think that is it’s gonna just minimize the amount of time, why try to learn everything on your own.
And so I, as I’m going through the course process or looking actually consuming content from the user side, I pay attention to the things that I like or the things that have helped me implement. And I think it’s just doing that over and over again throughout the year. Has helped me like actually come up with the framework and the design and layout, if that answers your question.
[00:22:55] Ben Denny: Yeah, it does. And, and that just, I kind of left a little open-ended um, so I guess my next question, that kind of ties into that a little bit. Was, was it primarily you that actually built all of this or do you have a team as well? Is it multiple people working.
[00:23:09] Megan Harrison: I have a team, so and a developer.
And then I actually did the design part of this just because it’s a, it’s a project that’s so close to my heart. Like Tony Robbins was, I say the reason I started my business after going to UPW Unleash the Power Within, it was six months afterwards. They, I made the leap and left my corporate job. So I always told people after I left that Tony and I were going to work together when one day he just didn’t know it yet.
And we were going to create courses. So when that came to fruition, it was. It was a, like a manifestation in real life. I’m like, I can’t believe that happened. So I’m very particular about the design for this, but I do have a team of, um, designers are all bring on additional contractors as needed to scale up as, as different projects coming in.
[00:23:55] Ben Denny: Yeah. And I know it really has nothing to do with this site, but, uh, I have to ask, like, how did that come to fruition? Like, how did you end up doing this for, for those times?
[00:24:08] Megan Harrison: Uh, his team called called me and I still have the, I found the zoom recording of it because I listened to it three times afterwards to make sure that I didn’t like misunder or like misunderstand what it was. They said, I know they said Tony Robbins and, um, yeah, they contacted me and I think it was after, yeah, they were looking for what they called the black card experience because they said they have a full team.
Obviously themselves that they could hide or they could have just build it internally, but they wanted to bring in an expert that really understood cause they wanted this to be the best course in existence. Um, and I think together we’re able to really implement that, but it was probably through seeing a few of the other courses that we’ve built like there.
Um, like Dino’s Ryan Laveck well, and we did the first iteration of the Asthma at The Masterclass, which got a lot of publicity. And, um, Todd Hermit worked with him as well. So it was just, I think a little bit of word of mouth and, and magic word of mouth.
[00:25:08] Ben Denny: That’s that’s so cool. And, um, all right, but to get back to the site a little bit, we know what theme you’re using.
You said that you’re using Elementor or LearnDash. Is there any other unique thing that you want to share about that? Any other plugins maybe, or
[00:25:22] Megan Harrison: the other one that played like goes that is huge with this is Advanced Custom Fields. So. The way the Elementor are works as you build the initial, the template, and then you assign it to different types of post types or pages based on categories.
But in order for that to work, you need to have a custom fields, which is similar to merge fields. If people are familiar with Infusionsoft, how you can merge an information into emails, advanced custom fields is the same way. So on the backend, each of these are tied to a field. So the headline, the lesson.
The title and the summary and the video stamps, the links to the downloadable files and resources. All those are fields that can, that can merge into, um, this, this template. And what makes that really powerful is that if you need to change something, I could literally change the one template and then it’s going to change the entire course with that.
One-click but because we’ll always have the same. Um, content on the page. It might just be designed different or laid out differently, but, um, you don’t have to change anything on the individual pages. And that’s why we’re able to kind of have the mobile version look different. Cause it’s just, it’s just other changing the CSS to make it, um, designed and laid out differently.
But the content is all the same on the pages.
[00:26:46] Ben Denny: Yeah, no, we, we use the, the Advanced Custom Fields too, for a couple of aspects, our documentation for one, and yeah, it’s a very powerful plugin. Um, it’s a little bit, uh, has a little bit of a steeper learning curve, I guess.
[00:26:58] Megan Harrison: Yeah, and just like anything it’s like, well, once you learn how to ride a bike and riding makes easy, but, and you remember when you were trying to ride a bike and your dad like let go of the of the bike the first time.
That was scary, but I think that just playing around with it and then once you understand the concept yeah. Yeah. Like, oh, that’s not as complicated as I, as I thought it was same thing with learning how to code like code. When I first saw it, it looked like a complete different language because essentially it is, this is another, it’s a foreign language, but once you learn the basics of it, now I can read it.
And I’m like, oh, that makes complete sense. Like, because you understand the different parts of the language.
[00:27:33] Ben Denny: No, that’s absolutely true. And actually, when I started working here at Memberium, I had never heard of Infusionsoft or, you know, WordPress. I mean, I knew what WordPress was. I wasn’t super in tune with it, but, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s cool how you can quickly pick up on all that stuff.
[00:27:48] Megan Harrison: You have a good mentor is like David and Micah are geniuses.
[00:27:52] Ben Denny: That does help. Right. So, uh, and okay. Let’s see, um, there was a question here that I had skipped over that I wanted to ask you, but yeah. What was one of the more challenging parts of this site? And I know you kind of talked about the lesson page and how there’s a lot of content on that and you condense it down.
And so that could kind of be one part of it, but was there anything that was, that was kind of a challenge to you that maybe you could share that with other people? Yeah,
[00:28:18] Megan Harrison: I’m sure there are a lot of challenges I’m trying to think through. Um, Uh, one of them was the way that we laid this out. It was kind of thinking that through the user flow.
So if we go back to the course outline, there is a lot of things that think through the process, because this course is, um, it’s free, it’s free form. So you can take, you can consume the content any way that you want. You don’t have to follow it, um, lesson by lesson. And when you’re adding in the game, effication feature.
There’s an additional layer of complexity there because you don’t want them to be able to take the quiz if they haven’t completed the other, uh, the lessons first, and then they can’t unlock the bonus until they take the quiz. So there’s a lot of just testing going through the user flow. And it’s hard for me even to articulate it, but thinking through that process of, okay, when they click on the quiz, we don’t want to let them put click.
Actually access the quiz until the other lessons are completed. So what we use for that a lot, um, it’s tagging based in the background with Memberium so they have to have the completion tags for each of these lessons before they can access this module and that, or the quiz. And this uses a Memberium short code that is like that.
If then logic, if they have lesson one, lesson, two, lesson three tag. Then let them access the quiz if they don’t, um, make it not clickable. Um, so it just looks like it’s other hidden or I can’t remember. I think it just had it hidden or it doesn’t show up until after, um, they have these three on the lesson page, but if they don’t have them in, it’s just not a clickable link.
And then the same thing with the bonus, they have to have all these tags in order to have the bonus. And then they’ve added next level of training, which is. Thing to think about, um, because this was this actually isn’t part of the course outline. So that was one challenge is like, how can I make it still structured?
Like a course, like a course. Um, but have it not be an actual lesson and the reason why we didn’t want to have these as lessons is cause we didn’t want them to. This is like next level training it’s for people that have, um, they’re ready to go deeper into the content if they’re at that stage. But if they’re not, we don’t want them to have to complete this because someone might not be ready for this yet.
So this is actually just a regular, um, custom post type. And then we use Memberium to actually build out the outline.
[00:30:55] Ben Denny: Okay. Yeah. And that’s, that’s an interesting point too, because I know that, uh, We get a lot of questions with people who do bonus content or even bonus lessons. We’re only some people will get them.
Like, for example, if someone doesn’t have access and maybe it doesn’t apply to this site, but they don’t have access to the bonus content. Does it still show up or you hide that?
[00:31:17] Megan Harrison: Yes, because we want them to be able to see. But it’s there. So that entices them to actually complete the content or just like leveraging the curiosity or FOMO fear of missing out.
So I do think it’s important to have it show also we use that a lot on the course library page, where they have all the different courses available because. You want people to, or you want your customers to see what else do you have to offer? I think a lot of times we think people know all of the different offers that we have because it’s ours and we know we know everything and you have to remember that they don’t.
And so just top of mind, awareness of always being like, okay, well here’s the next step? And it’s a course as a little lock on it, but I think really helps increase your conversions. Um, and our customer lifetime value by having repeat customers.
[00:32:06] Ben Denny: Yeah, that, that makes sense. Uh, and the other thing too, is you can even use like Memberium One-Click Upsell to they click on something.
They don’t have it, you don’t sell them to it as well. Uh, so kind of coming back to the design a little bit too, is there anything maybe that you can share, uh, for somebody who is going to be building a new course, or maybe they’re trying to update their, their site? Design-wise uh, I know it’s, it’s super open-ended, but it’s, you know, I’m just trying to relate it back to our audience a little bit here.
[00:32:37] Megan Harrison: Yeah. So like tips on how to, how to design it or, um, what exactly.
[00:32:44] Ben Denny: Yeah. You can take it either way. Um, I know you probably have a more complex design process than most people will want to go through themselves. So
[00:32:52] Megan Harrison: yeah. Now I understand your question.
So the most important thing is consistency. When it comes down to branding and having a style guide, you can have the most amazing design, but if there’s inconsistencies within it, that’s what makes it look unprofessional. And just in congruent. So coming up with your, um, three hot three fonts are gonna use and no more than that, and then your core color palette and sticking to only that.
And when it come up, when I’m talking about the fonts, then city biography, it’s also having. Consistency and the way that you’re using them. So the same spacing, um, within the, within the text, um, the line height. And even if you have a pretty like basic. Um, design that consistency will lend itself to feeling professional and cohesive.
And I think that’s one of the most important things. And that’s always where you should start is with that core style guide. And it makes it so much faster to create content when you have that, because you don’t have to have site design this page, or if you go to the chorus, you’ll see that it’s actually easier for me to just pull up the design, even though it’s laid out differently.
There’s consistency in everything. Like all of the fonts, the same fonts are used the same letter space. And all the different elements. So that would be the most important part.
[00:34:14] Ben Denny: Yeah, that’s a that’s. That’s perfect. And for, just to fill in the audience a little bit, here we are as well, working on a membership site and membership.coach on that.
You might even have access to that. And we had sent that to Megan to get some feedback, and it’s pretty much the same stuff that she gave us. And it’s just, it’s very true. Uh, and if you’re not a designer, you need to get one involved. At least it build to that initial style guide and they can kind of, that will help guide you.
[00:34:39] Megan Harrison: I actually just show if people don’t know what a style, a style guide is.
Okay. Yeah. So this right here would be a style guide and you could use this template as a starting point is being slow. Um, it’s reloading, but you’ll see for this brand, like you pick your main color. I like adding imagery. So it gives you idea, like the type of images that you’ll use and the mood, and then you have your heading font, your body font.
And then what I call an accent font or a personality font that’s used sparingly, but it gives it a little bit more. I don’t even like this possess is the best word I can, um, or personality to the course. And so going back to the. How would you use this in the digital product system? Like, you’ll see, we have these, the main fonts, but then very sparingly.
We use the accent font to give it just a, more of an aesthetic, um, appeal.
[00:35:37] Ben Denny: No, absolutely. It really, it really does title together. Um, yeah. And even your, even your brand guide, your style guide it’s it’s it looks like it looks great!
[00:35:48] Megan Harrison: Yeah, I’m actually, I’ve found I’m launching a program coming up soon. It’s going to be a live program specifically on that it’s called Online Course Make-over and I’m really excited about it because I think a lot of people get stuck there or they feel website shame or, um, they just don’t feel like they have a really, uh, Consistent style guide because I think it is so important. And there’s just a process that I’ve done so many times I’m able to teach it pretty easily.
So I’m excited for that when it’s coming up. I don’t have the date yet, but I need to set it
[00:36:20] Ben Denny: well. Uh, you know, everybody who’s watching make sure you’re on a mailing list because if you’re we’ll promote that. Uh, awesome. So do you have any other advice just for somebody who. Yeah, like I said, maybe working through this, I know you touched on the fonts and the colors and just kind of having that brand guide in place.
Um, I’m just, uh, I can’t think of anything else. I mean, honestly,
[00:36:44] Megan Harrison: I’ll, you ought just say one more thing, this kind of the work for that you want. Cause I think this is important. Um, the way that I think about creating a course, as you all, before you even start thinking about design or technology, you want to have the content really, really.
Um, solidified and just adding more layers of complexity is going to delay the process. So I recommend, like, don’t even think about tech or design until you have, let me pull one of them up until you have your outline completely squared away. And I told you earlier, like I’m obsessed with Airtable. I use it for everything.
Um, but oldest, well, one of my clients. This is the course outline right here. So you put it in the module, the, the lessons, and then the content here. And what’s really cool about this. It was taken me years to come the system, but this is like, I love this system is each of these are mapped out to a custom Advanced Custom Fields. So like when we talked about that earlier, this basically becomes your database for your course. So when you’re using Advanced Custom Fields, you know, you need this, this content for every single lesson, you’re going to need your summary and your video, your audio style, the link to the transcript.
If you’re going to use checklists and each of them are going to need a thumbnail. And I think this simplifies, if there’s a field missing, you know, that you’re missing content, but once you have this completely finished, then you can move into the design process.
[00:38:22] Ben Denny: Yeah, that’s that’s perfect. And, and I mean, you don’t have to use a system like this for people who are watching you can, you can use post-it notes.
That’s how she said she started it, or she’s done it. Uh, you can of course use something digital as well, or
[00:38:35] Megan Harrison: You can start with post-it notes. And then once I feel like I have it more of, um, uh, closer to final version, this becomes almost like your project plan. So putting it here, you’re then able to. See all of the different company content that you create, but yeah, exactly. Post-it notes first or mind mapping like pen and paper.
[00:38:54] Ben Denny: Yeah. No, that’s, that’s what I was gonna say to you. I prefer to start with that and then bring it digital. Um, so that’s, that’s perfect. Um, okay. And let’s see, I know on the last interview we did, there was like huge milestones where that site had done, like in sales and numbers.
Is there any numbers maybe you can share on this site?
[00:39:15] Megan Harrison: Oh, uh, They did very, very well. I think, I don’t think we hit a million people in the launch um, a challenge when they first released the program. I think I’m going to be about 800,000 people. I’m not 100% there’s a lot of people though on that, that live challenge and the actual number of new clients that came through.
For some reason, I can’t remember what that was, but I know there’s 80,000. Um, 80,000 users on the Memberium site now, but that’s just, it’s not just for digital product system. That’s for, um, all four or six of the courses, but about 80,000. So I know that’s a big question. A lot of people will get or have is, oh, will this platform be able to handle this?
And it’s pretty scalable, like. You’re hosting is going to be the most important that’s, what’s what you’re going to need to be able to increase as the number of users increase. Um, but as far as the, again, like the engine that runs it LearnDash and Memberium can, I don’t know if there is actually a cap, as far as what it’s capable of.
It, it, at a certain point, it just kind of comes down to the hosting and then probably your CRM. What your, how many people Infusionsoft can handle if that’s what you’re using or whichever one you are.
[00:40:35] Ben Denny: Yeah, no that’s and we, I there’s really no limit on like the WordPress side of it. You’re right. It’s going to be that connection to the, to the CRM or, or whatnot.
Uh, and so we’ve, I think the largest Memberium site has like, 1.1 million users on it. I don’t know if they are active, but, um,
[00:40:53] Megan Harrison: that’s a lot of people
[00:40:56] Ben Denny: that’s crazy. Um, all right. Very cool. And so I guess that’s, I mean, that’s, that’s most of the questions I had. Was there anything else that you wanted to share about the site that, I mean, maybe we missed or kind of skimmed over
[00:41:10] Megan Harrison: pretty much everything and I love answering questions.
Okay. When watching has them, they can post them in the comments or something, or you could send it to me or tag me wherever we share this. But yeah, that’s pretty much anything I wanted to share with the course, um, with the digital product system.
[00:41:28] Ben Denny: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you for that. And I know as well that you had been working on something for, because like we kind of said at the beginning of this, you primarily work with more established sites.
So maybe there’s somebody who’s watching right now. Uh, is just starting out or maybe they’re already started, but, uh, they’re trying to redesign, I believe that you do have a resource for them, that they could work out for them
[00:41:52] Megan Harrison: Online Courses Academy. So that’s my flagship program and I’m really proud of it. And there’s a lot of work that’s been put into it. But my goal with it was really to give people the resources that they needed in order to create a platform at this level, with this. Level of design without having to invest like a hundred thousand dollars or $50,000. So we’ve taken the best of the best from all the years in study.
Like I mentioned before, really paid attention to what, um, the user experience and then design templates and elements. Um, based on that content based they’re modeled after our best courses and in Online Courses Academy, not only does it teach you kind of the processes and, um, share like the Airtable process for outlining your course, it also gives you everything that you need for actually implementing it and building it on, um, your membership site.
So the templates like within one. It will literally upload a template and a teach you and teach you how to use Advanced Custom Fields. So all the content gets merged in and it just such a cool process because. There’s multiple templates and you can just choose a different one and all of a sudden your entire course changes.
Um, so it’s a really, I think it’s a huge value for anyone that is ready to take their course to the next level, or maybe they’re building it and they want to go out and just have it like be a wow factor right away that will really help streamline and simplify the process for them.
[00:43:16] Ben Denny: That’s awesome. And so it’s not just training either.
You’re giving them templates and other
[00:43:20] Megan Harrison: the elements, they can actually click, um, everything that you need. As far as licenses, you get access to for a year, other than Memberium you have to purchase, um, on the monthly subscription, but like Elementor pro. And it basically comes, I think I did.
It’s about $800 worth of, um, The plugin and licenses that you could access to for the year. So it almost pays for itself.
[00:43:48] Ben Denny: And so if somebody wants to check that out, we’ll have a link below here as well, where they can go do that. Um, and awesome. Well, is there, is there any final things that you wanted to say before we kind of wrap it up?
[00:44:00] Megan Harrison: Um, no, just excited. If anyone does, is the process of creating a course, tag me and share it with me. I love seeing that, like something go from just an idea to reality. It’s amazing. The power that we have to touch so many people’s lives at this point is absolutely, it’s almost hard to really grasp because it’s not just your life that you’re affecting.
It’s not just your customer’s life. It creates this never ending a ripple effect. Um, whereas now there are customer, there are customers, customers are their customers, um, friends, and then their friends and it just is, it’s never ending. Thing that happens when you do take the step and courage and expertise to put your, um, wisdom out there.
So I think it’s something that’s like our duty to deal.
[00:44:47] Ben Denny: Yeah, it really is. And it’s, it’s fun as well to be part of Memberium. And it’s just great to wake up every day and work on membership sites and helping people share that with other people and just it’s crazy.
[00:44:58] Megan Harrison: Yeah. And when you actually think about like the impact that you’re having on people’s lives, like.
If you actually think you’re that you’re like, wow, like I’ve touched or I’ve been involved in literally changing people’s lives. Because the way that I started my business was learning through online courses. And that’s what made me like really looking at that business little more. I wouldn’t have been able to start a business if it wasn’t for the courses that I took, um, online that anything literally I’m Googling how to start a business. I had zero idea. Like there was no plan and it was through courses and programs that I was able to like now, eight years later do something that I absolutely love.
[00:45:33] Ben Denny: Well, we just recently did an interview with somebody who they sell, basically training on how to run like an Amazon business, like signed products on Amazon.
And they said that they had, uh, it’s in Australia, it’s Australian based, but they said that it was like a 12 year old had signed up and in three years, he’s 15 now. And it was all over the Austrialian News he’s his business was acquired for a million.
I know. It’s really, life-changing like you’re saying and it’s.
[00:45:58] Megan Harrison: Yeah. And it can be anything. What was the, do you remember what it was on? Oh, he, what was he creating? An Amazon.
[00:46:05] Ben Denny: Yeah. It was like Amazon FBA, I think. Or basically you would, you get products and then sell them on Amazon. But the course, which was Memberium based was train people how to do that. So
[00:46:17] Megan Harrison: that’s so cool.
[00:46:18] Ben Denny: I don’t know what he was selling. I haven’t, I’m not sure,
[00:46:20] Megan Harrison: but I think one of the, it can be anything but one that I thought was just like, so, uh, there there’s a client or a customer in digital product system. That’s creating a program on beekeeping. And he, like, I’d never thought of that, beekeeping but if there’s a business for it, if there are other beekeepers in the world, which there are actually really big business there, like there could be a course on that.
Like that is so cool.
[00:46:47] Ben Denny: Yeah. I know a beekeeper actually,
[00:46:51] Megan Harrison: Chicago, but I would be fascinated with that. I remember watching it and like the, uh, I don’t know, discovery channel or something like, wow, that’s insane.
[00:47:03] Ben Denny: Yeah. It’s, it’s, that’s crazy. And so really, I know there’s tons of different people watching, and we have so many different industries that use Memberium um, it doesn’t really matter what it is.
Maybe you’re not helping people, you know, make money. Maybe you’re helping them with something personal, but it doesn’t matter. It’s very important that you continue to do what you’re doing. So with that being said, uh, I don’t think there’s anything else. I want everybody to go check the link out below, especially if you need help with your course design, Megan has that, that training and all those resources there, and you saw what she’s capable of. So go check it out and thank you so much for joining us. Megan,
[00:47:36] Megan Harrison: thank you for having me.