How Jim Costa helps businesses and entrepreneurs reach tons of their ideal customers or clients through the power of media, without spending big bucks on advertising

 

  • Course Instructor: Jim Coster
  • Website: The Media Mentoring Program
  • Course Topic: I have 2 courses the first teaching business owners how to get F-R-E-E advertising in mainstream media and the second teaches people how to use the editing software Adobe Premiere Pro.

 

  • Interesting Stats: 
    • 1-2 course sales per day
    • 5-6 inquiries per day on my courses
    • Youtube channel averages about 1000 views per day I get 10-12 inquiries from the 1000 views
Jim Costa-2531

 

    • Via Facebook, I receive about 250-ish new leads per week. I also market to those leads as well.
    • I can expect about $1500.00 USD per day on average in sales despite the pandemic and economic downturn.

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The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course

1. Who are you?

I’m a photographer, video producer and YouTuber with over 3 decades of experience. I create television commercials, corporate, social media and sports videos and I teach others how to create videos themselves and how to use them to gain free online advertising on my YouTube video blog as well.

2. What’s your course all about?

My course helps businesses and entrepreneurs reach tons of their ideal customers or clients through the power of media, without spending big bucks on advertising. The program is called the Media Mentoring Program and it will help you to take advantage of mainstream media so you can stand out from the competition, because that’s not something everyone has access to.

Best of all, unlike paid ads and sponsorships, you can gain lots of exposure and credibility to become the go-to brand everyone talks about and wants to do business with, without spending a fortune on advertising because the program is geared to get you free advertising on mainstream media sources such as local news channels, radio, newspapers, etc. 

How to create an online course1

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3. What makes you an expert in this field?

I am a professional with an education and many years of experience. I have worked in broadcasting for both KGTV (ABC Affiliate) KTSD (now KNSD: NBC Affiliate). I also currently work freelance for the PAC 12 Network on college level sports including football.

Additionally, I have worked as the head video producer, shooting and editing television commercials for over three and a half years for an ad agency, Adlib, Inc., producing television commercials.

I have two college degrees in Television Production including a degree in Telecommunications and Film from San Diego State University. I have extensive experience in all areas of audio-visual & video production, using cameras, microphones, Elmo Projectors, video projectors, computers (both Macs & PCs), amplifiers, and video conferencing equipment. Additionally, I have experience shooting, editing, lighting, sound design, VTR, directing, producing, etc. for in-studio and EFP/ENG video productions. I have shot and edited thousands of productions including corporate videos, industrial videos, broadcast television shows, legal videos, sports videos, and event videos. 

I have years of management experience working within the video production, legal video, and photography industries.

Specifically, I worked for 5 1/2 years for the University of California, San Diego as an audio-visual specialist servicing the entire campus as well as Scripps Institution of Oceanography and various locations at the UCSD Medical Center. I also worked as Legal Video Manager for a Court Reporting Firm in San Diego for 2 1/2 years producing legal videos such as depositions and “Day-in-the Life” videos for attorneys.

Part of my work involved presenting these during courtroom procedures. I am trained in the use of legal video software including: Trial Director, Sanction and Summation and I’m familiar with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. I am also trained in the use of Final Cut Pro, LiveType, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Adobe Production Suite and Avid.

4. What is the transformation your course offers to the students?

Having worked in advertising I recognize that it’s something of a catch 22. When business is new, they rarely have the budget to advertise even though it’s important to do so spread the word about your business.

In tough economic times, advertising is often among the first things business cut to save on expenses. This is a mistake. Businesses that continue to advertise in tough economic times come out the other side in a much stronger position than businesses who fail to advertise. 

What my course specializes in is helping businesses gain free exposure on traditional media. Think about it. A 60 second television commercial on your local station might cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on when it airs. However, if you can get featured on the local newscast or have an article written about you in the local paper, the value of that exposure is at least the cost of the commercial spot fee and, if you cross promote the article or footage, it’s worth much more. How to get this exposure is what I aim to teach students.

5. Which market does your online course serve and how did you get into it?

I specialize in helping small business owners from sole proprietors to under 50 employees although any business owner can benefit from the course. Many of my clients are startups who are trying to grow and are in their first year or two of business operations.

I have also noticed a lot of “Gig Economy” clients since the start of the pandemic. These are mostly soil proprietors trying to stay afloat after the shutdown in 2020. This makes sense as our economic recovery is “K shaped” with these at the top benefiting greatly and everyone else still suffering.

6. Why is it important to you to serve this market?

I’m in the same boat as most small businesses. I was hit hard by the shutdowns in 2020. I must admit, I never realized how interconnected everything was until suddenly the economy switched off like a light switch. For example, as mentioned, I create television and radio advertising & commercials. I could expect to create certain spots at certain times of year like clockwork.

For example, one client, a seafood restaurant would advertise whatever was in season throughout the year, so I always knew when to have a lobster season commercial ready or a shrimp season commercial ready or a crab season commercial ready, etc. because those seasons occurred at the same time every year. Another client, a mattress retailer, would always have a commercial advertising a sale for major holidays. I have these events marked out on my calendar and word gets them going about 60 days out.

After the shutdowns began, everything was cancelled as businesses were all closed. This meant no advertising anywhere so no commercials were being made by me, meaning I couldn’t hire any freelancers. 

But also, no spots on TV and radio stations which put them in financial jeopardy. That in turn, meant layoffs there. By the worst days of the summer of 2020 stations were offering 30 second spots during their evening newscasts for just $25.00 USD where there were about $1000.00 USD before the pandemic.

7. Describe the moment when you decided to create your own course. Where were you, what happened and why did you decide to do it?

I travel a lot for my business. A few years ago, I was gone for close to 8 months total. It is not easy to do. I’m not old, but I’m not as young as I used to be and living out of a suitcase is hard. Very hard. More than once I’d wake up and not be able to remember what time zone I was in. I was looking for a way to continue to earn an income without being gone 2/3 of the year.

Prior to the pandemic (in 2019) I was able to get my travel down to about 3 months; a vast improvement, but I needed to support my family and, well, live, so I started researching and settled on online courses as that’s good way to make a passive income 24/7/365 and I get to be home with my family and cats.

How to create an online course1

Try Thinkific for free here.

8. How did you overcome doubtful moments during your course creation journey?

I joined several Facebook groups for course creators to get tips and tricks and counseling sessions. I find that if you find the correct group, one with a true sense of community, you can get answers to your questions and the support you need. Fortunately, I found a couple of those and it has helped me when there were issues.

Personally, I don’t let fear rule my life or influence my decisions. Many people have this problem, but not me. When I commit to something, I’m all in.

9. What are some of your tricks to deal with imposter syndrome?

I suggest the only way to stop feeling like an impostor is to stop thinking like an impostor. I honestly believe that everyone has knowledge, information, and skills that others are looking for. No matter what it is, you know things others don’t know and need to know.

Tell them! If you don’t, someone else will. It takes time to believe in yourself. Separate your feelings from the facts. There are times you’ll feel stupid. It happens to everyone from time to time. Realize that just because you may feel stupid, doesn’t mean you are. You’ll still make mistakes, but so what? No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes so develop a healthy response to failure and the mistakes you will inevitably make. Instead of beating yourself up for falling short, do what players on the losing sports team do and glean the learning value from the loss and move on.

10. How long did it take you to create your course?

Only a few weeks initially, but that was the beta version. I tested it, offered it free to several people, made changes based on feedback, and still make updates from time to time as things change.

All that took a couple months total before I felt comfortable enough to make it truly available to the public.

where to host your online course2

11. How did your first launch go?

Not too bad, really. I made my first sale on the first day of release. I was practically doing cartwheels! it took a while to get to where I am now, but I’m happy that I received good feedback from minute one. 

12. How do you structure your launches in general now?

I promote courses through my video blog within every tutorial video and through social media and other low to no cost means that are a part of my course. It works so I don’t see why I should change it.

I leverage YouTube to grow my business. I provide informational and training videos on topics related to my business and skills and monetize the viewership. 

It works like this: The focus of my video blog is helping people to become more familiar with using technology to promote their business and services. I create enough content that is relevant to any audience while still specializing in the more focused niche mentioned. Along with the videos on my channel, I then offer free information via an email sign up. People enter their email address and get the freebie.

I am then able to grow my email list and market directly to people interested in my videos, my services and training courses.

13. Where does your traffic come from?

It is possible to connect to customers by creating a “personal brand.” If you’re a small business owner, you can be the “face” of the company by posting video content that you’re personally in. If you’re a YouTuber posting content, it can work the same, you are still the “face” of your brand. This is what I personally do.

Video builds trust and credibility with your audience and allows them to get to know you and your business or services because it can establish you as an expert in your field and builds long term relationships. It is this point that I use to help others through my courses. Business growth through customer connections. In my courses, I train people to create their own photo and video content and then how to promote it free or for very little via social media and mainstream media.

If you can create engaging content that draws attention on social media platforms such as YouTube, it will rank on YouTube when other people are watching similar content. What this means is that YouTube will begin to promote your video content for you alongside the video you are watching because the topics are related and YT assumes that if you watched one video on a topic, you’ll want to watch more videos on the same topic. This will garner more views and more exposure for you by turning another video’s audience into your audience. 

Also, if your video ranks well on YT, it will also rank higher in Google and, if you’re lucky, you can appear on page 1 of Google and you’ll be set as this will truly help your business growth because people searching for information on a topic rarely move past page 1 of Google search. When you’re listed on page 1 of Google, you’re more likely to grow your business due to increased exposure and this can be achieved by creating good YT content and properly optimizing that content on YouTube. Best of all, you can do it all for very little money yourself. All business owners want to save money wherever they can, particularly in the current business environment.

One of the points I try to relay when business hires me is that YouTube is a place people go to watch videos, but, more importantly, it is a search engine. In fact, it’s the second largest search engine in the world and it happens to be owned by the largest search engine in the world, Google. By properly optimizing YouTube, you create tons of free advertising for your business.

I’m skilled in technology and my video blog focuses in this area as well since it’s related to my main niche. I do that so I can create authority within my niche. I create videos to teach technology topics, for example. I focus on less tech savvy people because while I’m fortunate enough to understand technology, I realize that many others aren’t, so I do what I can to help. I create videos that these people specifically can use, but anyone else (of any age or skill level) can use as well. For example, this playlist contains videos on technology related topics.

This series focuses on Google Chrome. Most people know Google makes a great search engine, but it is so much more, if you know how to use it properly. The video teaches people about the search engine, but the series also works as a gateway into learning how to use Google to grow your business by getting ranked on page 1 as mentioned earlier. 

When people watch my videos, they have the option to download my free .PDF file. I address in the videos how to receive your free information. I have different ones depending on the topic of the video.

As I mentioned, I teach people how to create their own video content. This cheat sheet is part of a video editing training course I offer to people who can do just that, edit their own videos.

I also offer cheat sheets on other topics such as using your DSLR/Mirrorless camera aimed as photographers, videographers & filmmakers for the same reason. One cannot edit a video if they don’t know how to shoot it.

After people sign up, I email them the .PDF freebies and once I have their email, I can market my training programs and business services. If business owners can’t or won’t create their own videos, I can do it for them. Once created, if they can’t or won’t promote them, I can be hired to do that, too.

14. Which content do you like producing the most?

I enjoy creating YouTube videos the most. I think it’s the most engaging type of content and, best of all, it’s free you do it yourself. It’s the focus of part of my course as well. It takes time and effort, but it’s an incredible way to promote your business.

How to create an online course1

Try Thinkific for free here.

15. What online course platform are you using?

I prefer Teachable. It’s priced well and they do all the hosting and work for you.

16. What is amazing about this platform?

I like their sales pages. Their customer support is great. I recommend it.

17. Which features do you wish this platform would have?

The ideas for designing online courses are numerous and can overwhelm you. This sounds like a non-problem, but it can be an issue when starting out and when you’re not certain what direction to go in with your course or how to structure it.

18. Why did you choose this platform over other platforms?

It was recommended to me by someone I know who used it for their own online course and they were an affiliate, so I was able to get a discount. Like any small business, every penny counts so I saw a way to grow while saving a few bucks, so I jumped on it.

19. Which other tools do you use to keep your online business running?

I use Lead Pages for landing pages and QuickBooks to keep track of expenses. I like both as Lead Pages is very reliable and QuickBooks makes doing my taxes a breeze.

20. How many students have you served so far?

Several thousand to date.

21. How much revenue have you created during your first launch, and ongoing?

Initially, in the first month I sold 15 courses at $1000.00 USD and have since sold 3025 in total. Do the math.

22. What are you running costs to keep the online course business going?

Not much at all. Under $2000.00 USD annually. That’s for Teachable’s annual fees, as well as QuickBooks and Lead Pages. I also use Dropbox for online file storage.

One advantage of an online course business is you don’t have the costs associated with a physical location, inventory, etc.

23. What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way?

I needed to have more direction at first as I was able to make my course quickly once I had it outlined, research done, etc., but getting to that point was a confusing and difficult time. My initial plan was to include tons of information, but it was unorganized and disjointed. What I needed to do was to focus my information. It would have gone smoother if I had. 

24. How has your business changed since implementing an online course into the business model?

I have been consistently profitable, and I’ve been able to survive the pandemic well. It has always been a struggle to keep my head above water, but no more. Things are going much better since adding passive income to my business. 

I have had enough income to reinvest into my business to grow it, investing in new equipment and starting work on new courses. I’ve also been able to grow my video blog. For example, I built a new set to improve the look of video tutorials. This has, in turn, has helped to improve my credibility and authority and made it possible for new opportunities to open such as interviews on podcasts.

25. How has your personal life changed?

I’m also able to be home with my family more which is what I wanted to do and why I created the course in the first place. I’ve had less stress because I’m not always worried about money. This has made life at home easier and helped improve my marriage and given me more time to spend with my kids. Who could ask for anything better? Family is the most important thing in life.

26. What’s the greatest transformational story you can tell about one (or more) of your students?

There’s one young woman who comes to mind, Colleen, in Pennsylvania. She went to film school and recently graduated. She followed my YT video blog and ordered my training course based on the info in my blog. I took a particular interest in her because we’re in the same line of work. I, too, struggled when I first got going so I wanted to help her if I could. I live in college town and have had interns so I want to do what I can for current students.

Colleen was struggling to find work after graduating and then the pandemic hit. She took the advice in my course and was able to apply it in two specific ways. First, she was featured on a local TV station and used that free publicity to gain freelance clients and several months later, a position opened at that same station. 

She contacted them and was able to land a full-time job. This only happened because they were familiar with her from the prior interview. She was then able to move out of her parents’ house and is now a responsible adult, as it were. I feel good in that I was able to help her in a small way. She did 99% of the work to get her life in order, but I take pride in having been able to start her on the path. We keep in contact and I noticed that she still follows my YouTube channel and learns from my tutorials.

27. If you could use a time machine and send yourself back to the time before you started out, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

Honestly, I’d tell a high school Jim to go to law or medical school. I don’t regret my chosen career. I do the work not to be a millionaire, but because I love it. However, I would have had an easier time if I had gone a different way. I should have taken more business courses in college. I think that a big problem people have when starting a business of any kind is not having a clue how to run a business. 

Having a skill or a great idea is wonderful, but it takes a business to get that idea or skill out there. That is where most people fail. I’ve made about every business mistake one can make so if I knew what I was doing from minute one, I would have had an easier time of it.

28. What is your million dollar piece of advice to those who are just getting started in their online course journey OR for those who are looking to scale?

Whatever you make your course about, make certain you know the topic front to back, inside to outside and that you absolutely love it. If you’re not passionate about the course topic, it’ll show in the course and will set you up for failure. Remember, you’re not a college professor teaching your course, but you are the expert. Think about your skills, talents and life experiences and include them in the course. If you love your topic, you are good at your topic and you have experience in it, then you have a topic that will work.

How to create an online course.png

How to create an online course.png

Would you like to learn exactly how to create, sell, market & scale your online course?

Join Our Free Event:

The Ultimate Online Course Conference

March 29th - April 4th

Registration Closes In

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course