Step 1 of the OCS Blueprint

Creating online courses is an involved process that I have divided into 5 steps:

DEFINE your audience, content, and scope of the course
DETERMINE the outcomes, structure, and instructional approaches
DESIGN the elements of your course using your rich content
DEVELOP engaging activities to draw the best out of your learners
DELIVER, promote & sell using a variety of digital & social media tools

This post will focus on the first part of DEFINE

As we work to serve our followers and clients we can do it most effectively by knowing who they are and what problems they struggle with.  They want to feel like we’re talking directly to them and that what we’re telling them will solve their specific problems.

Also, there’s no way we help everyone.  So the better job we do of identifying the folks that we feel called to work with … their specific characteristics, likes, dislikes, needs, desires, and problems … the better we will know them and the greater the connection we can establish.

In essence it’s all about relationship!  To know and to be known.

Think about the people you live with and spend time with.  If one of them was your ideal client you could describe them down to their toenails! <smile>  I want you to get to the same place with the folks that you want to work with.

So let’s start there … who do you want to work with?  Visualize the best case scenario … no money or time worries … just the person you feel most led to work with.

Describe that person:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education
  • Profession, expertise, experience
  • Hobbies & fun
  • Fears, dreams, goals
  • Movies, books, newspapers, and magazines they read
  • Blogs, podcasts, email lists they subscribe to
  • Key quotes and phrases
  • Are they high-tech or low-tech
  • Organizations they belong to
  • Events and speakers they follow
  • Social media sites they frequent and where they hang out online

Start brainstorming in a mindmap.  If you aren’t sure what a mindmap is check out this definition at Wikipedia (

Begin with the topics above, write down everything you can think of about your ideal client.  If you’re not sure who your ideal client is, use yourself – that will get you going on the process and then you can replicate the process to figure out and finely define who you want to work with.

When you’re done, put it all together and then synthesize it into a short statement describing your ideal client in 140 characters for Twitter.

Send me a Tweet describing your avatar!  If you’re not following me yet, I’m @cheritoledo on Twitter.

Now … just because you’ve fine-tuned your ideal client, you’re not limited to them … you can still work with other people, too.  But this activity will help you define the IDEAL!

Once you can thoroughly describe the characteristics of your ideal client, go through the same process to brainstorm their problems.  Again, if you’re not sure use yourself and your problems.  Can you imagine if your greatest problem was solved by working with you?!!?

Now you can write directly to your tribe – they will know your voice – your words and phrases will resonate with them and they will feel connected to you … the best part?  The connection will be authentic because you know them so well.