From January to March of this year, I’ve been eating sleeping and dreaming digital communications. Of course, it’s not that unusual for me to think lots about digital communications. I have the Remote Pep Talks podcast, a delightful YouTube channel, this here personal website, and even a few new websites. The Confident Presenter (for my newest book) and Dashwell Training and Coaching (for my work as a keynote speaker and corporate trainer).
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m relatively qualified to speak from a place of expertise on digital communications, and that’s without getting into my work as a creative copywriter, communications manager, and team lead/editor.
Why am I telling you this? Because for the first quarter of the year I was deep in the world of digital communications because I was making the Digital Communications Certificate course for Growth Tribe, a Dutch educational company.
The course covers everything from the neuroscience of persuasion, how to improve as a writer, strategies to become a more efficient content creator, to how to create and evaluate projects and plans.
It even includes a mini writer’s retreat in which I teach some of my favorite writing tips. The course has been challenging as heck to create (even with all of the support and guidance I received. And I received a lot.) I’m really proud of the outcome.
Here’s a bit of the background on how it happened.
Getting the course creation call
In November and December, I was looking at taking a course that could teach me about course design. See, I do a lot of teaching and workshopping, and non-fiction writing, and I wanted to learn about how to apply that into an online course. Of course, there’s lots to learn, but …
And then, in mid-December, I got a LinkedIn message asking me if I wanted to create a course with Growth Tribe, a Dutch company focused on bridging the digital skills gap. Of course I do!
Plus, I was coming off a year of having less than full-time work, so to find some time to dig deep into the process was amazing.
From there, it’s been a whirlwind. I’ve been subsumed by the hands-on experience of the course creation process. It initially seemed like it would be a big part-time gig. But I’ve scarcely done anything but for the past two months. In fact, I’ve been working evenings and weekends and my wonderfully supportive wife has been picking up the slack around the house. That’s been great.
Deep in the world of digital communications
The course is wrapped and the first cohort is working their way through the course. Here are some of the things they’re learning.
- How neurology makes us susceptible to influence
- The importance of crafting messages that are persuasive
- How to make our messages more persuasive
- A robust and efficient methodology for crafting online content (including AI!)
- What SEO is and why it matters
- How to create and use user personas to ensure your messages meet your target audience
- Using marketing funnels and user journeys to strengthen your relationship with your audience
- The importance of authenticity and how to keep your messages consistent
- How to create and execute a Strategic Communications Plan
- How to assess the effectiveness of your messages and refine them to make sure you’re getting bang for your buck
The final push
The course launched at the end of March, so a little less than a month ago. And now it’s out in the world I’m still synthesizing the whole process and what I learned. It was quite possibly the most intense process I’ve ever been involved in, and now I’m finally emerging from the fog.
One thing I can say for sure: I know a helluva lot more about creating online courses now. And I also feel pretty up-to-date on the hows whys and wherefores of creating online content. In fact, if you want to learn anything to do with Digital Communications, you can just reach out to me. Or Lou Benders, who I worked with. Or Noa Or, who was the fantastic Learning Experience Designer.
Or… just take the course.