In this episode, Tara breaks down what a certification program is and why it is a great way to add an additional revenue source to your online course experience.

About the Host:

My name is Tara Bryan. I help business owners break into the next level of success by packaging their expertise into an online course experience. It’s my passion to help to find the fastest path to results to create a greater impact and income for you and your tribe.

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Tara Bryan:

Hey everybody, it's Tara Bryan. And you are listening to the course building secrets podcast. Whether you're a coach or a CEO, the success of your team and clients is based on your ability to deliver a consistent experience and guide them on the fastest path to results. This podcast will give you practical real life tips that you can use today to build your online experiences that get results and create raving fans. Why? So you can monetize your expertise and serve more people without adding more time or team to your business? If you're looking to uncover your million dollar framework, package it and use it to scale you're in the right place. Let's dive in.

Tara Bryan:

Hey, everybody, welcome back to the course building secrets podcast. In today's episode, I want to talk about certifications. For some reason, certifications has been coming up over and over and over again. Maybe it's the new hot thing, I don't know. But we have been working on certification programs for over 20 years. And so what I want to do is just talk a little bit about why you would want a certification program what it is, and how you start thinking about a certification program versus an online course experience or an online course or whatever, like how are they different? And how what do you need in order to create it? Okay, so a certification program is really a way to create a training course or, or something that gives people a demonstrated approach to learning, right? So instead of saying, well, here's my course, go ahead and take it as you want and go through these videos and, and these activities and data data, as certifications like built the same way, for the most part. But the difference is, is the eye is on being able to show and demonstrate that they actually have been able to do something with the material that you're teaching. So like I said, any course could be a certification program, that the piece that's not usually involved in an online course, is that assessment piece, how do you assess whether or not they have learned what you need them to learn in order to say that they have a certificate or they have, you know, continuing education credits, or they have some sort of designation that you want to give them.

Tara Bryan:

Because usually, with a certification program, what you're saying is, by having these people go through my program, I am,you know, guaranteeing that, that if they have this certification that they have a certain skill set that that you're kind of standing behind, right. So if you think about a traditional method, which would be continuing education credits. So if you are in a field that requires continuing education credits, then when you take a program that has these continuing education credits, or certification, you are tested in one way, shape, or form, that you have not only learned what you need to learn, but then you can apply it. And oftentimes this is done through some sort of test, or, you know, quiz or an assessment, however you want to think about it. And so what you're doing then is, is creating a quiz or creating an assessment that assesses whether or not they've learned what you need them to learn. And they've been able to apply it. So you can create a so say you have a course that you want to teach somebody, something you could have on the end of that course, or the end of module or lesson or topic or however you wanted to think about it, you have a way to get them to be able to demonstrate that they have not only learned that information, but they actually can do something with it. And so sometimes this is a quiz. Sometimes this is a scenario where they have to answer a series of questions. Maybe it's a simulation. If you think of pilot, for example, you don't just put a pilot, you know, you don't put a pilot through some some sort of general training, and then say, Okay, now you're ready to go up and fly a plane from Minneapolis to New York with 400 passengers. Right, like, that just doesn't happen. And the reason it doesn't happen is because you have to have some way that they have demonstrated that they've learned and applied what it is you want them to be able to do, right. And so that's a great example of how how you would, you know, add in an additional step to make sure that you're testing that they have, actually, you know that they can do that, right. So, so people put them in a flight simulator. So they are tested in a flight simulator, based on a lot of various variables that could happen in real life. And so when you think about creating a certification program, it's really just that right, you're taking your content, you're looking at it at the end and saying, Okay, so if I want to put my stamp on this person, being a certified graphic designer, a certified, certified doctor, a certified pilot, a certified funnel hacker, whoever it is that you want to certify, it's really about how do you come up with ways to demonstrate that they're ready to do that. And most cases, what you want to do is you want to put them in an actual scenario or situation where they actually have to show you that they not only, you know, have have taken in what you're teaching, but they've been able to practice. So an internship program is a great example of that, or having them work on an actual project is another great example. Giving them a project to work on that, that then you look at, you know, how they've applied what you've taught, to that particular project? And when so when you think about a certification program, it's really just taking it to that next level, how do you have them demonstrate that they've learned what you need them to learn? When you're doing a course or an online course experience? There, you're hoping that they're applying it to their business, you're, you're hoping that they're applying it to whatever it is that you're teaching, but it doesn't matter, necessarily, if they if they have or not? Right? Some people just like to learn to learn, some people don't ever apply anything. But when it's a certification, you're saying, Yes, I have proof, I am standing behind this person to say that they have this demonstrated skill set, or this demonstrated behavior, whatever you're trying to do. And so that is the biggest difference is that application piece, that practice piece that you would add in at the end in between your course. And when you would give them a certification. A lot of times people when people use a certification as, as a business owner, right. So you know, you have a program that you give out, most of the time, what happens is you start looking at a different audience, you're maybe selling to straight to a consumer, or maybe you're you're selling to a business. And what you start looking at is an additional audience are people who want to do what you're doing. And so, you know, they're gonna take your approach and use that with their own customers and their own clients. And so a certification program is a great way to not only maintain sort of intellectual control over what you're teaching, but also to use that as an additional revenue, revenue line where you're teaching people who want to use your approach, you're certifying them, and then you can help them find jobs. Or you can, you can, you know, connect people together in different ways. So it opens up an additional revenue source, it opens up you being more of even an authority over the topic over the industry that you're in. Because you're able to create that certification, there's a ton of ways to map it out, there's a ton of ways to automate it, there's a ton of ways to really create an engaging and interactive online experience where people can demonstrate their abilities, demonstrate their skills. And just like, again, if you think about the pilot going into a flight simulator, it's actually simulating an actual experience. So think about that, as you're mapping out your certification is, what is the experience that somebody's actually going to do in real life? Then how do you break that down? And actually simulate that in, you know, again, the best way to do that is have them work with either a practice client, or even if you did a fake client, but you had the the situation teed up as if they were a real client, right? It's sort of a virtual activity. What would that experience look like? What would they need to be able to do? What are the deliverables? What are the pieces that they would have to demonstrate skills in in order for you to put your stamp of approval on it? And, and really look at that and then that's, that's really how you create a certification program.

Tara Bryan:

Now, I will give you the caveat that if you're creating a continuing education program for a regulated field, like nursing, or physicians, or lawyers, or bankers, or anybody that has a required number of continuing education credits that they need to take, each year, there's actually an accreditation process for that, which is not that complicated to go through. But there are some rules and in sort of requirements that you're going to have to follow in order to have your program accredited, but the benefit of having an accredited is that it's then available in sort of a database for whoever you're creating this program for. So I have a lot of clients who are looking to sort of get involved with continuing education credits, because it helps them grow their business, right, it adds more credibility, if you can add CEU credits to it. But again, there are a lot of rules and, and requirements for that, again, not not impossible, right? Not difficult, but you just have to make sure that you're following what the requirements are. Alright, that is my corresponding tip for the day is if you are thinking about a certification program, it's really important to think through what are the demonstratable skills that you want somebody to show you before you're going to put your stamp of approval on what they're doing, right? Because at the end of the day, like if somebody gets hired, and they're like, Oh, I was certified as a XYZ, and they're terrible, they may come back to you and be like, Well, wait a minute, like, you told me that this person had the skill set, and they really don't. So your program doesn't, you know, doesn't have integrity, it doesn't have, you know, what, what it should, if you're certifying people that they are demonstrating these skills. So definitely keep that in mind, as you are thinking through how to create, and automate and really work on taking that revenue stream to a new level in your business. Because it's a great way to go. It's a great approach to, you know, think about how you train the people who are trying to do this for other companies, or other businesses or other individuals or whatever, it really gives you that ability to elevate to that next level. Alright, and as usual, if you have questions about certification programs, if you're, you know, just exploring what that looks like, and how, how to do that with your business, definitely reach out. This is something that we do all the time for all of our clients. We'd love to talk to you about it, so give us a shout. All right. Until next time.