August 22, 2023

Evergreen vs Launches

A question that comes up often in Ditcherville is this:

“Why do you launch your workshops only a couple times a year instead of as evergreen self-paced courses that people can buy whenever they want?”

It’s a great question because, TBH, launches are a GIANT pain in the butt.

There are a million little details, lots of date math, and tricky coordination between many systems that don’t always play nice together (e.g., email marketing, podcast promos, open/closed sales page, website banner, payment processor, etc.).

By contrast, evergreen self-paced courses make it relatively easy to “set it and forget it.” Heck, I could probably turn all my workshops into self-paced video courses in a day or two and never think about all those infuriating date-sensitive details ever again.

Which brings us back to the question of why would I do it the hard way (i.e., launches) instead of the easy way (i.e., evergreen)?

And the answer is...

(Drum roll please)

Because launches are better for the students.

The thing that you get with launches that you don’t get with evergreen is a cohort.

What’s a cohort?

It’s a group of people who all want the same thing at the same time and made the same decision to do something about it right now.

Because of this, they understand and connect with each other very easily. They provide accountability and encouragement and support to each other in a way that doesn’t happen when you’re watching a bunch of videos at your dining room table in the dark by yourself.

So, having a cohort go through a workshop together is TRANSFORMATIVE in terms of key metrics like enrollment, engagement, and practical application of the material.

Well... it’s USUALLY transformative.

I have five workshops that I have been launching a couple of times a year for a while.

In all of them, the cohort-based launch approach has clearly benefited the students.

All of them except one, that is.

I have this one workshop that teaches people how to run a sales interview, conduct The Why Conversation, write a value-based project proposal in five pages or less, and handle any negotiation and/or follow-up that may ensue.

For some reason, this particular workshop has never seemed to benefit from the cohort-based launch approach. I don’t know why for sure, but my suspicion is that there are two main contributing factors:

For these reasons, I have decided for the first time to experiment with launching Automatic Proposals as an evergreen course that people can buy anytime they want and binge-watch if/when they need to.

(I couldn’t completely let go of the idea of a support community, so there’s still a private Slack room where students can ask me questions and connect with each other if they want, but it’s totally optional.)

Here’s the thing...

To launch or not to launch... that is the question.

If you’re thinking about creating a course, the answer is:

It depends.

Launches are a PITA, but they give you a cohort. And if your students would really benefit from going through the material with a group of fellow travelers, then you probably ought to give it a try.

If, on the other hand, you think your students would NOT benefit from a cohort for whatever reason, then the evergreen approach is way WAY easier.