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September 5, 2021

Sarah Lacy: Adding value with special guests

Creator Spotlight: Sarah is the founder of Chairman Mom, a private network for incredible working women. In our conversation, Sarah shared her lessons learned in building a thriving learning community, and her strategies in creating exceptional online courses that are fuelling her business and delivering so much value. Today, we talk about one of her lessons around nurturing top talent to deliver amazing value.

What motivates people to offer a live learning course?

Many of us creators are driven by the same thing - a passion to share our knowledge and experiences with a broader community. At the brainstorming phase, we often imagine ourselves at the centre of the vibrant conversations with a cohort of participants.

Despite common conceptions of teaching as a solo endeavour, we can enhance our course plans by involving guest instructors.

Here are a few benefits of featuring special guests in your online courses:

  1. Boost interest in your programs. When marketing your course, you can leverage your guests' profile to reach a wider audience.
  2. Enrich the learning experience. By exposing participants with different views and backgrounds, you will deliver a more robust perspective on the topic.
  3. Expand your professional network. In the podcast world, people commonly invite guests to their show and then reciprocate by appearing on their program. Bringing new people into your community could result in opportunities.

During the Disco Creator Session on April 29, 2021, Chairman Mom founder Sarah Lacy offered practical tips for working with guest instructors:

  1. Select dynamic people. Online courses are an entertainment medium. "There are a lot of really, really smart people, but if they're not engaging and not entertaining, that's a problem."
  2. Treat guests like talent. If you want to reap the rewards of special guests, then you need to take care of everything: technical troubleshooting, administrative details, customer service, marketing materials, and more. "Basically, they just show up and be brilliant. They're being brilliant. They're being talent. They're being genius. It's my job to get that in a consumable fashion for people."
  3. Help structure their wisdom. Although your guests possess expertise in a specific subject area, they might be less familiar with effective strategies for online learning. "One guest instructor is absolutely brilliant. A best-selling author. But it's hard distilling her genius into a 45-minute class. So I spent a lot of time going through her books and highlighting stuff that fits the curriculum."

Watch the full session with Sarah here: