Don’t talk about your future course plans while your community is meeting with you on a live event.

Welcome to the “What NOT to Do When Building an Online Community”  In this article, we talk about a very simple concept, but one that seems to come up way too often because it's way too easy to fall into the trap of doing it:
Don't talk about your future course plans while your community is meeting with you on a live event.
Let's talk about why you don't talk about your future course plans while your community is meeting with you on a live event.
If you're hosting a live event, the main expectation which your attendees/students/participants have for the event is for you to impart powerful information and applications of that information.  What they should not be expecting is for you to ask what they want to learn, or how they want to learn it.   If you want to gain that information, there's a simple way to do that: host a focus group and set up expectations to ask them questions and create discussions about what content they want to receive.
Don't fall into the trap of talking about the “next course” you want to teach during a class session or debriefing session of the material you covered in a given period.  When people show up to a live discussion, they expect to discuss the material you told them you would explain in more detail.  If they did the work to prepare for the discussion, don't disrespect them by covering something totally different than what you scheduled.  Again, if you have questions and ideas which you want to cover with your current students, schedule a specific event which the schedule, content and expectations are very clear.
You might be thinking that it's highly important to promote your future courses with your current students.  And that's not a bad idea!  But it's good for you to separate those presentations and embed them into emails or separate live events so that your students can tell the difference between what you are teaching and what you are promoting.   Yes, there are upsell strategies which work very well and we agree it's necessary to promote the upsell opportunities – but they have their time and their place.  If you want to upsell your participants, do it at the end of a live event – but don't twist the live event's content into an upsell opportunity.
Looking for help on your live events?  We have some of the best experts on call for you.  Email us at questions@OnlineAdvisor.com and let us know what you need.  We're glad to help you.

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