Avoid Being Labelled as a Scammer. Sell Online Courses with Integrity

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Over the last couple of years, online courses have started getting a bad wrap.

A select number of people have seen the financial result that you can achieve with creating and selling online courses, and turned that into their own personal get-rich-quick-scheme.

This had led to many people handing their money over to these charlatans, and either never receiving the product, or receiving a poor level instruction.

This forces legitimate educators to rise above the noise, and provide more value upfront to gain the trust and respect of their audience before they ask for a sale.

Another result of the rise in online course scams is that customers have become much more critical before they hand over their well-earned dollars.

This is great news!

It forces online course creators to list their credentials, continue their education, be clear and realistic about results, as well as stick by their money back guarantees.

Course creators are being held accountable, and it’s a GOOD thing.

To create a course with integrity is to always follow these guidelines:

  • Be honest about who the course is right for, but also who it is wrong for
  • Lay out exactly exactly what is included, so there’s no misinterpretation
  • Have a period of time where you allow refunds (even if it’s only 7 days), and be clear about your refund policy
  • Prepare your audience for what to expect (6 modules + 1 coaching call per week etc.)
  • Be clear with the expected results
  • Make sure the format best serves your users, and the content (not just how you ‘want’ to deliver the course)
  • Be open to feedback, and constantly iterate on your programs to best serve your audience goals

Remember, the cream always rises to the top!

Until next time,


What do you setup first when creating your Online Course?

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Start with the end in mind. Always Setup Your Finances First

At the end of the day, after you’ve sold your programs you want to be sure that the money gets deposited into the right places, and everyone has an easy way to pay through a protected source.

This is why I always set this up first. Here’s a quick overview on how you want to set up yur finances when getting ready to launch an online course.

Who is Collecting the Money?

First off, you need to establish who is collecting the money. Most likely it’s you, but we need to clarify if YOU are a singular person, or a company.

If you are a singular person, and you operate as a sole proprietor, you will be using your own bank accounts to collect money. In this case for organization reasons, I would suggest opening up a separate checking account for these funds so you can monitor this income flow for tax reasons.

If you are an LLC or Incorporated, you should visit your branch and open up a dedicated set of accounts under the name of your company. Your funds should go directly into these accounts once people pay for your products.

How is the money being collected?

People who are purchasing your online course will not be sending you money directly, as there needs to be a payment processor in between the two parties to receive online payments, and then transfer the money to your accounts.

The payment processors you’ll need to setup are Stripe and PayPal.

These are the two most highly used and trusted payment processors in North America, and are generally well accepted around the globe.

These processors are free to setup, but take a fee off approximately 3% from every transaction they process.

When you set these up, they will ask to be connected to your bank account as one of the setup steps. This must be done to achieve the transfer of funds into your accounts.

You can create links to send buyers inside these payment processors, and use these as a checkout for them.

There are other softwares that you can integrate with these payment processors to create a more robust checkout experience like ThriveCart and Sam Cart, but we will dive into these in more depth in future posts.

The Final Flow

The checkout software step is optional, so without it the funds would go directly from the purchaser, through the payment processor, and ultimately deposited into your account in a few days.

Happy course creation!

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.


What is the difference between a Membership and an Online Course?

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What is a Membership (or Members Portal)?

In the world of online business, there seems to be an infinite amount of business models and terms for what your online offers could be.

Let’s talk about two of the most popular info-product models to emerge in the last decade from online business owners.

The Membership Model and The Online Course Model.

These are similar in that they both offer the knowledge and expertise of the creator to their audience, for a fee.


What is the difference between hosting a Membership Program and an Online Course?

The answer is simple on its surface, money.

In the realm of memberships and online courses, a membership is a content delivery method (webinars, weekly lessons, forums…) that you pay for monthly for and loose access after you cancel your payments.

An online course is a chunk of knowledge that you pay for upfront (or in a payment plan) where the payments end and you still get access to all of the material from anywhere from a full year to indefinitely. These are usually in the form of traditional video lessons, PDF downloads, and a sequential timeline of instructions that lead you to a specific result.

These models correlate to other places in our lives where we use memberships, like Netflix or a gym membership. Those are recurring fees where your contend delivery/service only lasts as long as you’re paying for it. Whereas, online courses don’t necessarily correlate payment with length of service.


What should you do?

It depends!

In simplest terms, if you have a community where you’re offering hands-on support with continuing education, and new material constantly being introduced and updated, you should package it as a monthly membership.

If you are teaching a number of lessons meant for people to achieve a specific result after your lessons are completed, you should package it as an online course.


Hybrid Models

Are you offering step-by-step guided lessons with a ton of hands on support in an ever-evolving industry? You can also consider a hybrid model which charges a flat rate for the online course portion, and an ongoing membership fee to be part of the community.

There is no right or wrong way to sell your info-products, just be sure that the model serves the content, and not the other way around.

First priority should be how to best serve your audience this information by making it as accessible and digestible as possible, not shoehorning content into a specific model.

Happy content creation!

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.


What’s your zone of genius?

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When I first read about the “Zone of Genius”, I had an internal twinge. As if to say “Genius? pfft, I’m lucky if I don’t trip over my cat on the way to the washroom”. But as I read more about it, it really is just another word for ‘flow’ or being ‘in the zone’.

Genius is simple, but not always easy.

Genius is flowing, but needs a direction.

Genius is passion, but not always pleasure.

Genius is excitement, and often intense.

Genius is desire.

The world needs your genius.

The zone of genius question is what I always ask clients to start with when it comes to creating their online programs (or expanding their existing library), so let’s start at the beginning.

What’s your zone of genius?

I can’t wait to see where it takes you!

Until next time,


PS: If you’d like to read more about the zone of genius, there is a great , and the book.

What are no code platforms?

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Image of computer coding on a desk

What are no code platforms?

In the last 2 – 3 years there’s been a large emergence in what are called “no code” tools in the online world.

What is “no code”, and what are those platforms?

The term “no code” refers to tools and platforms a person can use that accomplish something online without the need to use code. The no-code movement is meant to allow a high amount of flexibility and customization fo non-developers.

What can “no code” tools and platforms accomplish?

These days, just about anything! Whether it’s a content creator looking to build a simple blog, to a startup company creating a complex app, there’s more and more solutions everyday that allow the average person to bring their vision to life without any programming experience.

What are some examples of “no code” tools?

Some of the most popular no-code tools out there, you are probably already very familiar with. Here are a few very popular companies dedicated to creating products and resources that can be usable by nearly everyone.

  • Shopify — build your own e-commerce website
  • Squarespace — build and deploy your own website
  • Bubble — create a custom app from scratch
  • Zapier — connect a bunch of different platforms together, and allow information to be transferred from one to another automatically with prompts
  • And many more…

Will “no code” mean the end of developers?

No way! In this movement, we need developers more than ever. Developers won’t go away, but their roles will begin to change dramatically. My prediction is we will no longer need web developers to build websites, stores, and online program portals, but rather developers will take on more of a role to build the tools that people can use to build these things themselves.

This also opens up a whole other industry of “technical consultants/advisors” who know these tools inside and out, and will act as a guide for their clients to navigate and configure no-code systems, because no matter what there will always be a large number of people who want to contract this work out, instead of navigating this landscape alone.

Get ready for the world of no-code, it’s exciting and accelerating quickly, so get on board!

Want to learn more about no-code platforms? Check out my course page here.


Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

How I bought an investment property in the middle of a pandemic

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An honest review of my purchasing process of an investment property (as well as my first property) as a single self-employed woman during a pandemic.

Note: I am not a financial or real-estate expert. What shared below is my personal experience, and should not be taken as advice.

In September of 2018, I had a meeting with my friend Beth who is a Real Estate Broker in Toronto, Ontario.

Continue reading “How I bought an investment property in the middle of a pandemic”

What you need to know when building your first website

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Building a Website

There are many ways to build a website. Here we’ll go over some pros and cons about what software can be used. Let’s shed some light on the differences and what’s best for you.

Basically there’s 3 camps


A Website Builder (WIX, Squarespace)

These sites are very easy to  use, and I often recommend them to someone who is just starting off, is conserving funds, and wants a place to direct people to that is clean, simple and easy to update. They are also hosted by their servers, and you pay a monthly fee to “rent” a website from them.

Between these two, I would recommend Squarespace as it’s much more flexible and faster than WIX. It also has nicer templates.


A Self-hosted Website (typically WordPress)

WordPress sites have much more flexibility both in terms of style, and functionality. WordPress allows full access to the code, so that everything on the site can be changed. However, in many cases you’ll need a web developer to do so.

WordPress does have a marketplace for pre-made themes so that you don’t need to hire a developer to implement. Beware, as the marketplace is unregulated and some theme creators can take advantage of this and inject malicious code into your site. 

When shopping for a premade theme, always go with a referred, trusted theme creator.


An eCommerce Website (Shopify)

Shopify allows you to either purchase one of their themes, or create your own from scratch. Shopify’s theme marketplace is strictly regulated, so you can trust the themes when purchased directly off the Shopify website. They also give you full control to edit the code of the theme and customize the look of it, should you want a more unique look.

Shopify is an excellent ecommerce company, but is not the ideal platform for blogging and selling services. It’s core engine is built for physical goods.

If you are selling physical products, Shopify is the gold standard. It’s easy to use, and has great support and security features. 

At the end of the day, for flexibility and growth, I always go with WordPress. There are plenty of people that use Squarespace, and are perfectly happy with it, but just be mindful because you may end up building yourself into a corner.


Ultimate, it depends what you’re trying to accomplish.

When in doubt, start small. Start with a builder.