Episode 171 Extending Your Reach | Building A Dream Online Course: Interview With James Marland

Mar 6, 2024

This episode is sponsored by Alma. Alma is on a mission to simplify access to high-quality, affordable mental health care by giving providers the tools they need to build thriving in-network private practices. When providers join Alma, they gain access to insurance support, teletherapy software, client referrals, automated billing and scheduling tools, and a vibrant community of clinicians who come together for education, training, and events.

Sign up today at: https://helloalma.com/for-providers/?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=holisticcounseling

How can you add another stream of revenue to your private practice? How can you use your expertise to help others achieve their goals?

MEET James Marland

James Marland, the Learning Experience Designer at Course Creation Studio, holds master’s degrees from Lancaster Bible College and Shippensburg University. With 18 years in mental health and social services, he was COO of Moved Forward Virtual Assistants from 2019-2022. A faculty at Lorman Education Services, James is passionate about helping therapists develop impactful online courses. An enthusiastic reader and gamer, he organizes monthly game nights and enjoys online gaming with long-time friends. Summers see him at Pennsylvania State Park campgrounds, indulging in photography, hiking, and campfires.

Find out more at Course Creation Studio and connect with James on Facebook


  • How to start an online course 5:56
  • How to find your dream client 10:24
  • How to expand your reach 19:30
  • What are the benefits of starting an online course? 21:10

How To Start An Online Course

  • How to research your topic
  • Resources for finding information on your subject matter
  • The importance of adding value within your community
  • How to build relationships within your niche    

How To Find Your Dream Client

  • Who can you help the quickest?
  • The importance of identifying your core values
  • Finding where your dream clients are and adding value
  • Staying top of mind for your ideal clients

How To Expand Your Reach

  • How to set goals that work for you 
  • The importance of in-person connections

What Are The Benefits Of Starting An Online Course?

  • How to add a new stream of revenue to your practice
  • How to help more people
  • What are the common struggles when starting an online course?
  • Resources for building your online course

Connect With Me

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast


Join the private Facebook group

Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

The Art of Breath: How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions with Chris McDonald, LCMHCS

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more at Course Creation Studio and connect with James on Facebook

Scaling Therapy Practice Podcast – Conversations with therapists about expanding your practice with intentional steps toward sustainable growth

Descript – an easy-to-use audio and video editing program that makes editing as easy as a Word document

Kajabi – the all-in-one platform for launching a course business, now with AI tools

Teachable – an easy-to-use course hosting platform

Dream Client Worksheet – Identify the clients you can help the quickest and most efficiently

Destination Planner – find your most important values 

Hero on a Mission by Donald Miller – Use this book to discover you are the Hero of your own story

Learning Event January 25th at 2 pm EST: 7 Steps to More Clients with Lead Magnets featuring Joshua Brummel from Therapy Flow

AppSumo: Early access applications, resources, and huge deals on new software


Chris McDonald: Have you thought about offering an online course, but are unsure where to start? In today's episode, I talk with James Marlin. He brings together how to get started, how to identify your dream course client, as well as the benefits of extending your reach beyond the couch. Tune in as we unravel the secrets to building an online dream course that resonates, inspires, and offers more options beyond your counseling practice.

Let's get to it. This is holistic counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Hey there and welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I am so happy to bring you today's guest. He is the mastermind in helping me to develop my yoga basics course for therapists. And I know firsthand how amazing he is and what a wonderful resource he is for you as well. Joining us today is a true expert in the field, James Marlin, With his wealth of experience in both counseling and online education, he is passionate about helping therapists develop impactful online courses, and he's here to share his insights on how to get started in creating an engaging and impactful course to extend your reach and build another stream of revenue.

We'll be exploring everything from how to determine your dream client, time management, As well as platform selection, we'll also be looking at the unique challenges and rewards of bringing your counseling expertise to the digital space. Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, James. Hi,

James Marland: Chris. Thanks for having me on.

So let's

Chris McDonald: start with what inspired you to get into the online course space?

James Marland: Yeah, absolutely. So I was looking around at what therapists were doing and, uh, reading, even just reading like some of their Facebook posts and blog posts and really appreciating how much wisdom there is, even in a simple, I don't think.

Therapists understand exactly how much, how much knowledge and wisdom and just insight they have into the human condition. And so you read like simple Facebook posts and like, wow, this could be a blog or this could be a course. And so then I started like looking around and seeing who has courses. And in a previous job, I worked doing virtual assistants, uh, for therapists.

And so I had contact with some therapists and contact with web pages and. I did not see a lot of courses out there by therapists, even the ones that had like just good blog posts or just well known for certain things. A lot of them were focused on doing the therapy, which they should be. But I kept thinking, what if this person had a course?

What if, what if they could reach more people with a course? And so I, I found somebody who had courses out there and, uh, it was Dr. David Hall from PsychMaven and he has online education courses and business courses, and he's always offering webinars and things. And I just got in touch with him and said, Hey, why aren't more people doing this?

And we chatted about that and out of that came my podcast, Scaling Therapy Practice, which he co hosted for about 30 episodes. And then, uh, the Course Creation Studio

Chris McDonald: webpage. I love that. And I think that's so important. That we think about the beginner mind. And I know I've had to do that with creating my yoga course, that you helped me as well, because I think we forget there's so many, so much knowledge we have and that we gain with our experience and training that not everybody knows this stuff.

I had a family member reach out, like they saw one of my TikTok videos was something I would share and just about a general thing with emotion. I'm like, doesn't everybody know this? No,

James Marland: they don't. And on a more personal message, I had a family member looking for services. In a specialized area for family services, and there just wasn't anything in their area.

But I know there are specialists out there for this. And I just kept thinking, I wish there was a class for this. I wish there was a class for this. Because people are looking for that expert knowledge in certain, you know, niche areas. I decided to try to help people. And someday. There will be a course out there for what, what my family was looking for.

There, there might actually already be, but we just couldn't find it. So someday there's going to be a course for that. And I'm, I think every therapist has a course in them, just something they're really good at, something that they are passionate about, something that they help people with, whether it's a paid course or just an intro course, it doesn't matter.

I just, I really think that there's just too much knowledge. Sitting on the sidelines that could be put in the game. And I think

Chris McDonald: of how many people, more people you can reach extending your reach with, of course, because we all have those things that we say over and over to the, to the clients and even just bringing that together, writing that down, you know, all of this knowledge that you think that everybody knows, but everybody doesn't, the general public does not know.

So putting that together and figuring out what am I passionate about? I wonder if that would be helpful.

James Marland: Yeah, I was talking with Gordon yesterday and he said the Gordon Brewer from the practice of therapy and he was saying the same thing like you're saying it over and over and it could be a course or just a limited series.

Uh, if you think about a podcast, a limited series podcast is, of course, you can do it as well for sure. And that then that's evergreen marketing if you launch it and say, this is who we are. Absolutely.

Chris McDonald: There's so many brilliant ways that you could market this and figure this out for yourself. But let's say that somebody listening though has an idea for a course, but they're not sure where to get started.

So how could you help them?

James Marland: So if you're not sure where to get started, I would do a little bit of research on your topic, which means talking to people about how. The topic, but also doing a little bit of research with your fingers, you know, Googling and whatever. And there are, there are a couple of things you could do.

One is I would look up your topic on Amazon and in their book section, and see if there are books on that topic, and then look at the comments. Uh, and see what people like about them and what they don't like about and then also an Amazon. You can open up the table of contents and look at the topics. And so now you already have somebody who spent money on research and marketing and content creation to see if you are in line.

And it's actually good if there are Books and topics on, on your topic, because that means that it's something that people are interested in. If you're too specialized and there's nothing about your topic, then maybe you just pull back one layer and be a little more broad, but the, I would do research like, and, uh, then there's this other.

Really neat website called answer the public. It basically takes Google searches and turns it into a graphical representation of all the questions that people ask about it. So if you put in, you know, yoga for therapists or something like that, it will tell you all the searches around that topic. And so then you can look up what are the questions people ask about it, which can help for.

creating the course content and validating your course. And then also ongoing, you can go back every once in a while and look and see what are people asking and then do some SEO, you know, blogging on those type of questions.

Chris McDonald: I wonder too, just looking in some of the Facebook groups for therapists, that's one thing that I've done is some research to see what are people asking?

What do they want to learn about?

James Marland: Yes, and we talked about this, where you go into those groups, not necessarily looking to sell like, Oh, buy my course or go to my web page, but you're actually looking to develop a reputation of being helpful and also adding value. And then also, as you look for those questions, I remember going into Facebook groups and looking for questions about audio and video and web pages and Canva and just the different programs, email marketing.

And then when people. Ask those questions. Like, I know this, I know this, I know this answer, like, like typing it out and being helpful and just being a good citizen of the Facebook group. And eventually there will be, there'll come a time when they'll be like, okay, it's marketing Wednesday. What do you want to do?

And so you type in your webpage and say, Hey, I offer this service for this. People hit me up. And if they know you and you've been helping other people in the community, people are more likely to say, Oh, they're not just somebody who's in here to get a bunch of sales. I know them. They've helped me. I think they can help me further.

And I'm going to check out their webinar or check out their free download or check out their newsletter. And then that. Starts the relationship. Yeah, it's

Chris McDonald: just, it's kind of an amazing resource that we have this. Cause I know when I first started to try to build a private practice in 2013, there was none of these resources.

We didn't have Facebook groups, podcasts, all these things. So utilize that, but it's a good way to connect with people. Sometimes what I've done is if I found somebody who's interested in yoga and therapy, I send them a DM and say, Hey, do you want to just meet sometime? Just to chat. And we're not, not there to sell, just, just try to get to know them.

What are they interested

James Marland: in? Yeah. You're trying to figure out what, what their needs are, what their values are, where they are in the situation, and then let them tell you if they're ready, you know, let them guide the, Oh, do you have more on this? Or yeah, I just don't like, I'm not a pressure salesman. I just don't know.

I know you're not,

Chris McDonald: but it's a good though.

James Marland: Yeah. Yeah, I respect the customer timeline and if you can take my free stuff and use it, great. If you'd like to, you know, get more support and accountability, that's great too. But I'm not going to be like manipulative deadlines and things like that. It's just not, it doesn't fit in my helper mind.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. I know you mentioned you have a dream client handout that is helpful. Can you share some of that with my audience?

James Marland: Sure. It's a simple worksheet that helps you identify who you are trying to reach. It's called the Dream Client Cheat Sheet. It comes from, um, I took a program, Atlas. Joey allowed me to recreate it.

He's Heart Center Marketing. That's where the Dream Client words come from. But what, what I mean by Dream Client is who would you like to serve day in and day out? And. Even if you weren't necessarily getting paid for it, you would still, you know, have them over for dinner and talk with them and spend time with them.

One of my partners, Scaling Therapy Practice, Steve Besaw, he works with first responders. In his mind, a lot of his work is on first responders, but even if he didn't get paid for it, his heart is still in the first responder realm. So when I'm talking about dream clients, I'm talking about those types of people.

Who you just have an inclination for that you would serve, even if you would choose to be with, even if you weren't getting paid with the other thing about a dream client is these are people that you can help the quickest, help the quickest, easiest with less friction. They are, if you're traveling on a bus, these are the people that are going and you're driving the bus and you're going to like, I don't know, Florida, the Daytona beach, you know, every you're taking people who want to go to Daytona beach, they're getting on your bus.

They're all like unified and excited to go there. You're not necessarily taking people who want to go to, uh, Austin, Texas, you know, it's still South, you're kind of heading in the same direction, but they might be disappointed and grumble a little bit if you stop off at Daytona first. So these are the types of people that you, you can just help the quickest, best, fastest with your.


Chris McDonald: and I think determining, do you want to work with the client kind of clients you're working with in your practice? Or do you want to work with other therapists? Because that's a whole other market too, to think

James Marland: about and on the sheet, I start with a core values. Like, what what are your values?

Because I think. When you think about your dream clients, you also have to think about it's going to sound selfish, but you got to work. You got to do it for yourself. Okay, your authentic business, the business that's going to be the best for you is the one that aligns with your values and the ones that you're not going to fight against as you do it.

If you identify those, you're also going to be attractive to the people that have the same values and it's going to repel the people who have different values. So when you think about dream clients, you also have to think about your values and where you're headed and things that are non negotiables for you that keep you Uh, heading the right direction.

Chris McDonald: And if you're not sure, you might have to do some self reflection,

James Marland: too. Yeah, uh, one of the things that helped me, Donald Miller had this book that I think was really important in my life at a time when I was searching. It was, um, Hero on a Mission. It talked about Goals and writing out mission statements for yourself.

Oh, this book. And I read at the same time, the toilet paper entrepreneur from Mike Michalowicz. So those two books helped me kind of come up with a eulogy planner or a destination planner, as I call it, because. At the end of the day, if I'm thinking about the end of my life and who I want there and what is important to me, do I want to work one more day or do I want to have my family there, you know, reading to me or holding my hand, you know, that those types of end of life discussions.

And so in those books, they had questions about. About your eulogy. And so I did, I did make a handout on that called the destination planner. I can give you the link for that. Yeah, that we

Chris McDonald: can have that in the show notes

James Marland: for sure that that was really helpful because then I created a one page document that is very emotional for me about what my dreams are and where my destination is heading and what I want.

To happen in my life and it's aspirational and it keeps me on track and that kind of like highlights my values. And so then, you know, when I reference that frequently, you know, throughout the week, it keeps me on track and it keeps my, it has identified my core values and then I get to remember my core values and then I get to take action on them daily.

So. That destination planner is a pretty good resource. If you've never done something like that, I would do it. If you have the book, Lying Around Your House, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I think there's a similar exercise in there. It's like imagine you're at your 60th birthday or, you know, your retirement party or 80th or whatever, and then it goes you.

Takes you through some questions. I find that is very helpful for identifying your values.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. And, and knowing, knowing yourself, I think, and what gives you that passion, that drive. Cause I know for me, once I found yoga and, you know, begin to practice and learn more, it just, It just is a passion for me and I want to extend my reach and help other therapists to bring this into their sessions.

And that's what a lot of my listeners love, holistic modalities, James. So I wonder if that would be something for them to think about too. Is this something that I want to teach other people, other therapists, you know, how to use some of these holistic modalities? Because it is becoming so much more mainstream

James Marland: in therapy.

In the early stages, like what you're doing, it takes a little bit of work. You know, it takes, nobody's done this before. Very fewer people have done it before. So, but if you're passionate about it, you're going to take steps to incorporate it. Building

Chris McDonald: and managing the practice you want can be challenging.

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Plus, they guarantee payment within two weeks of every appointment. You support your clients, Alma supports you. Visit helloalma. com to learn more. That's hello, a l m a dot. So what about once they find their dream client? So what would be their next steps?

James Marland: So I would do some of the things that you are doing.

If you if you've identified your dream clients, I would go to the places where they are and hang out with them and help them. The other thing I would do is if I was going to try to create a business out of it or just a resources, I would start blogging on it, you know, have a webpage and start taking those questions that you're getting from people and turning them into a blog or a podcast or a YouTube short video or some way to get your, where people can find you.

And I would start a, uh, I I'm a firm believer in email. You know, email marketing, content marketing, just adding value after value and getting enough people in your circle. It doesn't have to be a large list. You have to get the right people in your circle, helping them and then have an offer that is attractive to people when they're ready.

And then every once in a while say, Hey, I'm, I'm starting a new cohort. It's open for this amount of time. Do you want to join me? And then if, then whoever joins, great. If they don't join, then you keep, uh, keep your newsletter, keep your blogging. And then when you're ready to do a new cohort or another class or, you know, If it's just a recorded class, it's, there are certain times of the year where people are looking for education.

I don't, if it's a CEU course, there are different times of the year where people are like scrambling for courses. So you could offer it at those times of the year, um, to help people or Christmas time was a big time, but I would just, so if you've identified your dream client, I would look for more ways to add value to them.

So that when they are ready, they will think of you. Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So, cause if you especially get your name out there and, and even coming on podcasts is another way to extend reach if you want to teach therapists.

James Marland: Podcasts, partnering, like webinars with other people, going to conferences, I think is huge. Yeah, that's a

Chris McDonald: huge one for me too.

James Marland: It's, uh, December time now where you start thinking about goals. So I have a goal of going to one conference, but I think I need to expand my goals to like speak about creating online courses at least one conference and yeah, maybe hosting some webinars. And things just to answer the questions that people have about courses.

Yeah, I would, I would start expanding your network and going, going to put it in the budget, you know, like it's, it's so easy to say, Oh, I don't have the money, but if you saved 50 or 100 a month, yeah, it's worth it. You're, you're going to get a lot out of going and just in person stuff you, you said in 2013, you didn't have the Facebook groups.

You probably had to, where did you get your. Connections? Well, you went and went out in

Chris McDonald: person. I had one consultation group that I found, so that, that was

James Marland: my start. But those, those in person stuff have really led to some rich

Chris McDonald: relationships. Yeah, for sure. That makes a huge difference.

James Marland: That's where I met most of the people from this network, like Whitney and Daniel and Gordon.

I don't think I've met Lisa, but I met Lisa through the network. That's a

Chris McDonald: Psychcraft network, yeah.

James Marland: Those in person stuff. It's, it's really awesome. Uh, it's, it's very valuable. A lot of return on your investment

Chris McDonald: for those. Yeah, no, I totally agree. And that's how I found some people for my, for my course that I started actually.

And, and presenting, it just allows people to see who you are and to really make that connection, that relationship. It's really getting yourself out

James Marland: there. Yeah, you gotta get out there. So

Chris McDonald: what are the benefits though? Because it sounds like a lot of work, right? And it is a

James Marland: lot of work. Well, yeah, that's the, that's the thing.

That's the secret though. You see, if you start, if you start Googling or looking up online courses, you're going to get inundated with ads. You know, they'll show up on your Facebook feed, buy my 30 course. And you'll, you know, in two hours, you're going to create this instant moneymaker. And I think that's what I kind of want to, it's one of the things I want to fight against is just like.

Oh, I'm going to, I'm going to, you know, plop down 100 and then I'm going to get all this passive income. It's, uh, how do I call it? It's like disproportional. You do a lot of work up front, and then once you have the course, you can either teach it live or record it video. And then you're just finding people through your blogging, or your networks, or your connections, or your podcasts.

That's it's still work, like it's still doing that work, but I think it's a little more fun. When you think about it is like, I am developing relationships with people that I can help. And I want to spend time with, like, if you look at it like that and it's not like, I'm. selling or I'm like manipulating people.

You're just looking for people who want to go to Daytona beach, right? You're looking for people to get on your bus and you're like, Hey, we're going here. So another benefit is there is a time when you're going to run up against the, I don't have enough time to see one more client barrier. Right? Like my needs are, the need is too great.

There's too many people to see. I'm already seeing the max amount of input. Like in person stuff is hard work, right? Like it's energy draining and there's just, there's even if you, you're, you're like perfect and all your systems are great, you're going to run out of time. And so an online course is a way to go from the one to one to the one to many.

So even if you have a cohort where you're doing 10 people, you're still doing 10 at once. You know, you're still sharing that message. Or even if you have a video course, then it's a product that is not dependent on you sitting behind a desk. For the whole hour, you still might have to do some work and some manipulation and, and like some emails and things, but you're not, uh, you can, you can expand your earning potential, just another revenue source.

I also think you could reach more people, right? That's true. If you run out of time to see people there, there are some things that you could communicate with them that are the standard things across the board, which then elevates your in person time. Just think if you can teach something for a lower cost.

in a video course, what is your in person time worth? So it can also increase your rates or increase what you can charge for in person if you offer some of the basic information in a video.

Chris McDonald: So what have you seen as far as struggles with therapists who are trying to create their own course? Is there some

James Marland: common ones?

Yeah, I think the big one is technology and time and then imposter syndrome. That's a lot right there. Yeah. So let's talk about imposter syndrome first. A lot of people don't believe that they are teachers or they don't have an audience. Like they listen to the lies in their head. Uh, who are people, who am I?

I don't have an audience like Chris or James. Are you in

Chris McDonald: my head? See, this still comes up for me. Exactly. That's how common

James Marland: this is. Yeah, it's in my head too, and it's amazing because, you know, you're, you're a master of your craft, you've been doing it for a long time, you have higher degrees, you've helped a lot of people, and yet you still think you're not good enough, like, oh my word, it's vicious, like it's just in there, so I think a lot of, a lot of therapists can struggle with, I don't have an audience, or I don't know what I'm doing, who would listen to me, and then those, those fears kind of They, they strangle the dream before it even gets off the ground, which is, uh, the other, the other thing is time.

I think time is a, is a big thing because as I said, uh, as we talked about, and as you've experienced, this is not always, um, you know, take two hours and create. Create this massive passive income course, it takes time and you've spent time doing research and you spent time developing your course and going through things.

And so where do you find that time? I think that what I would tell people is just try to just try to do it in small chunks or sprints. You know, schedule 30 minutes or an hour a day and just limit yourself to that. It's called, uh, Jim Collins from he's the good to great author. It was big when I was going through business school.

Um, and he wrote great by choice and he talked about the, I think it was a 20 mile march and where there were people racing to is I think the North pole. And there were two groups and one group. Just did 20 miles a day and they stopped on good days. They did 20 miles and I'm bad days consistent to get to their course.

Then there was another group that on the sunny days or the better days, they would try to go like 30, 40, 50 miles and on the snowy days and the bad days they would, you know, hunker down the 2nd group. Demotivated and they made it to they were months behind just months behind the first group that was committed to making those small steps day after day.

And I think when you're creating a course, and there's all these distractions. If you commit to a certain amount of time, even, even though you might be making slow progress, the thing is you're making slow progress every day and that compounds and that adds up and it's easier to maintain a slow progress pace that is sustainable for your life than to try to make up for all the craziness and all the distractions that come up day to day.

So I would, I would commit to doing. A little bit every day. So that was time. Time is a big thing. As I'm sure any yes to something means you have to say no to something else. You got to figure out what you're where you're headed and where your priorities are. Yeah, and

Chris McDonald: I appreciate you saying that because that's something that I've had to do as I create this course as I go.

It's I've had to let go of some other things in my practice. I'm doing less supervision. I'm what else can I let go of? I was thinking of because. I have to be able to make space and time and I can't be working 24 hours a day. So it is kind of looking like you said, the priorities. Is there some things that you can put on hold for now?

James Marland: And the last, the last thing there's, I'm sure there's more. It's like technology. Technology. Yes. Yeah. Technology is a big barrier. Like what. Where do you host it? How do you record it? What microphone, you know, what microphones do you use? How do you edit it? Who's going to edit it? Uh, all those things. Uh, and for that, uh, so I love technology.

Like, I'm a, I, I'm the type of person who goes onto web pages and looks up, like, what's the new computers and the new microphones. And, oh, I don't know how to do this. I go to AppSumo. I don't know, I don't know if your listeners know about AppSumo, but AppSumo is a, uh, it's a place where the programs are released that in beta, I guess, that like they're being tested out.

And, but, but because they're being tested out, they're often offered at a deep, deep discount. And so I love looking at those things. Finding gems in that and they're all technology, then you got to learn them. So you either need to find somebody like me that loves technology or find something that's simple that you will use.

We were, we were talking about recording webinars and before we started the show and zoom, if you, if you're using zoom and you're familiar with that, you don't necessarily have to move to something else unless, uh, it has a advantage. So I, I grabbed this program called sessions. That is my zoom replacement.

But it's a little more complicated. It's, I got it on AppSumo and it has a little bit of rough edges, but I love those things. But if you're not familiar with new products, I would, I would think about sticking with what you know for now and then adding new things as you go. You don't have to be the master of everything.

Things I can figure out in an hour can often take other people a lot longer just because they, like I, I grew up. tinkering with these types of things. So it's, it's fun for me. So I would find somebody where that the technology is fun for them and then they can help you with it.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I appreciate that because I know some things takes me forever and you seem to get it really quick.

So I totally relate to that, but I will say that I took James's course on course creation. It really helped me out and he was such a great supporter. But I do love how you broke it down. Cause for me, I always stood there. It's like standing on that and looking over like, okay, I see this whole course and all the steps, how do I get there?

It's just like an overwhelming thing, but you kind of broke it down and said, here, we'll work on this bit by bit, week by week. Giving, you know, small bits of homework. So just to make it digestible, cause I think it is overwhelming, especially if you do have a caseload and in your practice and you're juggling multiple things personally and professionally.

So figuring out if this is important for you, then you can find a way and reminding yourself of that.

James Marland: Absolutely. And I, and I do think, uh, hard things, uh, if it was easy, everybody would do it right. And if it was too easy. Is it even worthwhile? Right? I mean, if everything was easy for you, are you challenging yourself?

Are you getting the most out of it? Are you heading in the right direction? So, yeah, um, that was, uh, something, something challenging for, for myself. Do some hard things in 2024.

Chris McDonald: Yes, uh, that sounds great, great thing to follow for sure. So as far as the platforms for hosting, so what do you recommend for that?

Cause I know it's overwhelming. It was, I was looking at all the different platforms to host.

James Marland: So my, my favorite right now is Kajabi, uh, just because it's an all in one platform. And it includes your email marketing, your web page, and your, your course hosting platform. Those are all three programs that you need.

And then it also, if you want to, I haven't engaged with it yet. It has a community feature, sort of like Facebook groups. So it does have a community feature built right in. So it's a private community. And, uh, one of the things that, uh, I have Kajabi's because it also has a podcast hosting platform. So I host my podcast on Kajabi.

And so for one price, it gave me the four programs that I needed. So that, that's my, that's my number one. If you already have some, uh, platforms or programs, I think Teachable is my number two. That's where I started. Uh, I, I did, I really do like Teachable with how some of their services and how easy it is.

Teachable is also integrated with Acuity scheduling. Uh, I think you probably have to pay a fee, but Teachable keeps adding more and more. Maybe with Squarespace is, Squarespace is affiliated with Acuity, sorry. I also have a Squarespace page too, so that's probably why I got. Confusing. If you're going to have a, uh, online learning course, I would host it on one of those two.

Kajabi keeps offering more and more courses, on demand courses for doing your course. I signed up for one later today. It's on creating. They just came out with something this year on recording one video and then creating. Courses with it, social media, blog, like they're, they're using AI, they're using AI.

And it's like, they're baking that right into Kajabi. Kajabi also has like this, it's like, uh, you give it a topic and it will give you a course outline for it. And then you just adjust the course outline. It's super. It feels like cheating. Okay.

Chris McDonald: It's like chat GPT does.

James Marland: It's it's a chat GPT feature baked right in.

It just feels like cheating. So I like it just with all AI. It, the human touch is what. Makes it special. AI can get a rough cut in there right now. Maybe in five years from now, you won't be able to tell the difference. But right now you can still see some AI rough. But so that's where the human touch is going to become more and more important as AI becomes more and more prevalent.

Because. You're going to your knowledge, your experience is going to become more valuable. Uh, when anybody can just, you know, click, you know, give me 3, 3 steps to help me with this and it'll spit out something. But is that something. Is that something going to be beneficial to your main client? Uh, can I talk about another program?

Yes, go ahead. Okay, I don't know where we are with time, but we're getting close, I guess. But okay, so another program I really like is Descript. Uh, Descript is, uh, it's where I record my podcasts and where I edit my video and create some of my social media content. They also have some AI features. What I really like for Descript.

Is they added this remote recording feature when I record my podcast, I get out links to people and it will record if I have four people on the podcast, it will record four tracks and then it will, I'll be able to edit every track individually. And it also saves their recording on their hard drive and then uploads it.

All right, this is getting a little technical. You can tell I'm a nerd, but, uh, but what it does is it creates, uh, if somebody drops out because of internet issues, it has recorded a better version that it uploads. And so everybody sounds good. There's not, not things dropping out. And then there's this feature called studio sound that records like a lot or that removes a lot of background noise and makes you sound like you're in a more professional recording room.

It's stunning. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. It's stunning what it can do. Do you use Descript?

Chris McDonald: Yeah, I did for my videos for that. I Okay. And did

James Marland: you use the studio sound? Yeah. Oh man. Well, isn't it a big difference? It's it's like

Chris McDonald: magic. Honestly, I wasn't sure about editing video. I was hesitant. I was like, I don't know if I could do this, but once you kind of get rolling with it, I figured it out, it's really not that bad.

James Marland: And one of the big features is you can edit it like traditional editing with the timeline where you see everybody's voice, but you can also edit with text, like it transcribes everything. And so then you can just do it and, and also you can remove, um, ums, like I just did ums, you can remove the ums and filler words.

And yeah, there's just so many, we live in this magical time, Chris, where the tools are getting easier and cheaper to use. So, um, yeah, the Descript, Kajabi for hosting and, uh, Descript for editing is my, uh, my go to tools. I use them all the time. So what,

Chris McDonald: what's a takeaway you could share with listeners who are on the edge of wanting to do a course, but not sure about it?

James Marland: So the, the, the enemy. It's often trying to be perfect. The enemy is often like, Oh, I'm not, I don't have my, my slides perfect. Or I don't have my video. Perfect. Guess what? Your first class is going to be your worst class. Like the first one's always the first one is always the training one. And then your next class.

That's going to be your next worst class, right? Your next class is still, you're still going to find things that you're going to want to improve every class. So my advice is get over that, like get over wanting to get everything lined up and perfect because what happens is, oh, I need to have perfect slides.

And then it'll, you'll, you won't do it for a day and then two days and then three days. And then all of a sudden you've invested all this money and time into something that just get it gathering dust. So my, my advice is think of it as an experiment. You are experimenting and seeing what works. After your experiment, evaluate, did people respond to my course, what did they respond to, okay, this didn't work, I'm going to change this variable, and then I'm going to redo it, and then just keep doing that, doing many experiments, and think you're a little scientist as you're trying to explore, how can I help people.

My people the best and I'm going to try one thing. So I would, I would get out there and this is something that I still struggle with. I'm not, I'm not saying I'm like, uh, I've mastered the, the art of getting over my insecurities. If you don't get out there, you're not, you're never going to know, like, you're never going to know how it's going to work.

I would get out there knowing that, uh, there are people, there really are people looking for what you have to offer and. The more you get out there, the more you network, the more you look in the groups, you're going to find those people who want to get on your bus and get what you go to where you can take them.

Chris McDonald: Absolutely agreed. So what's the best way for listeners to find you to learn more about you?

James Marland: Yeah, I have a couple of ways. Course creation studio. com. Uh, that's my main web page. You'll find a little bit about me. I also have the podcast scaling therapy practice. It's iTunes and other places this season, I did 12 episodes on marketing.

So, uh, marketing therapy services. So we talked about SEO and networking and blogging and conferences and podcasting and a lot of different, different things to network in it. It was great. And then I'm going to do a, uh, a webinar with Joshua Brumell from TherapyFlow. He did a presentation on lead magnets.

And so he's going to do it live with me. And that's the, it's called seven steps to more clients with lead magnets and just go to course creation. studio. com slash more clients to sign up for that. And yeah, I have blogs on the webpage. Um, you got a whole lot going on. I got a lot of ways to reach out, but I'd love to hear your questions.

I really, really like questions, emails. My email is james at course creation studio. com. Send me an email, send me your questions. We'll see if I can help you out or point you in the right direction. Cause One of the things that fulfills me is being able to help other people. So make me feel good by asking,

Chris McDonald: asking me a question.

James is very resourceful. He has helped me so much. He's amazing. But thanks so much for coming on the podcast, James. Oh, it's

James Marland: my delight. Thanks, Chris.

Chris McDonald: And that brings us to the end of another episode. Be sure to tune in next Wednesday when another episode drops. If you are a new listener, I want to say welcome.

As a listener, you have access to my free nine part email course, how to build confidence as a holistic therapist. In this course, we will explain different holistic modalities, how to boost your confidence and how to manifest your holistic practice. You also get bonuses, including a free script to teach a yoga asana.

and journaling prompts to guide you through. Go to hcpodcast. org forward slash holistic therapist. That's hcpodcast. org forward slash holistic therapist. And once again, this is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love till next time. Take care.

Thanks for listening. The information in this podcast is for general educational purposes only, and it is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are giving legal financial counseling or any other. Kind of professional advice. If you need a professional, please find the right one for you.

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is proudly part of the Site Craft network.

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