How do you create multiple learning products from the same IP?

Good question. The key lies in systemising it so you can easily grab ‘like elements’ from each of your topics. That way you can leverage the same set of Intellectual Property (IP), into free and paid versions of learning products that all serve different purposes. 

This article will step you through how to systemise your knowledge so that you can pull various one-on-one, group, live, evergreen, online, or face to face learning products like books, opt-in surveys, webinars, podcasts, keynotes or courses – all out of the same set of IP. 

Leverage your time. Sell your expertise. Create a suite of learning products that help direct your ideal clients to you. 

Want the short version?

Here’s the short and tall of it: 

  • The Painpoints = articles, articles, blogs, podcasts
  • The Outcomes = opt-ins
  • The Theory + case studies =  books (or online course content)
  • The Practical activities = workshops or one-to-one coaching sessions. 

If that makes sense to you, go forth and start mapping out your content – you’ve got resources ready and waiting to be created! 

If you need a bit more help wrapping your head around this concept, read on. Once you see the formula, it’s hard to un-see it. 

If you’re an entrepreneur or thought leader, this line of thought might resonate… click on the > to read more...

When you reach the point where you’ve been practising your trade for years, you will more than likely have an enormous amount of IP in your head, or scattered across your hard drives; you’ll also more than likely have a healthy list of clients (or colleagues) who you’ve successfully taken through your process so you know it works, you’ve refined your content and the way you deliver it, and you’re confident that your knowledge and expertise consistently produces results.

It’s at this point you may come to the decision to evolve your methods from a one-to-one model of teaching, (time consuming, and not as financially savvy or efficient as you’d like) into a one-to-many model, leveraging your time and energy.

This is the case with many of the professionals that I work with. They’re sitting on a tonne of ideas and have a load of experience working with individuals and want to translate that into a group learning experience so they can scale. They just need a plan.

There's a formula. A framework to follow.

If this is where you’re stuck: you’ve got the knowledge and expertise, but you’ve got no idea what to do with it all, you need clear steps to systemise it so you can create learning products and services that start serving your people more efficiently.

Following is a simple framework that will help you do just that – systemise and package your expertise.

1. First of all, commit to the process.

You know you have a lot of IP – all the workshops, presentations, articles and client worksheets you’ve created over the years as you’ve been honing your expertise – there’s a LOT. Chances are there’s some kind of system, but it’s not fully systemised. 

ACTION: Go find all that knowledge and bring it into ONE folder. 

Start with all the existing theory (presentations, articles, scripts) and activities (worksheets, checklists, templates).

It’s a painful part of the process, but it’s worth it – this is the step that most people never get around to doing – which derails the whole process! 

systemising process

2. Do a brain dump.

Brainstorm out all the Painpoints, Outcomes, Theory + case studies, and Practical activities that are related to your content.

If you’re unsure what the difference is between PainPoints, Outcomes, Theory and Activities, and why they're important in any learning experience, click on the arrow to expand this section.

Here are some examples to help: imagine the topic is ‘Presentation Skills’.

  • PainPoints = the WHY – what’s in it for them? Why would they want to study this with you

    • Example: If you’re feeling like a bit of a goose when you need to present in front of an audience, you don’t have much confidence, and you can tell your audience is drifting off when you’re speaking. 

  • Outcomes = what you’ll be able to DO at the end of the training – ‘outcomes’ usually start with a verb

    • Example: You’ll be able to ‘give an engaging presentation’

  • Theory + demo = all the things you should and shouldn’t be doing, including real life examples where possible 

    • Example: To do this, you’ll need to learn about: 

      • Animating bullet points (show an example of this – what it looks like before and after animation – the pros and cons of animating lines of text as you’re delivering them vs all bullet points appearing at once etc etc ) 

      • Using Images vs text (worked examples of how to deliver an image based slide, over delivering text based slides)

      • Asking questions vs delivering lectures etc etc

  • Activities = the practical task that reinforces the outcomes you’ve promised 

    • Example: Deliver a 5 minute presentation using 5 of the techniques you’ve learnt about. 

When you read all them together, it makes sense why it’s also best practice structure for building each lesson:

  • Painpoint: If you’re feeling XYZ and would prefer to feel ABC.
  • Outcome: You’ll need to learn how to DEF.
  • Theory: To learn how to do that properly, you’ll need to go through these topics including K, L &M.
  • Activities: And once you’ve learnt all of that, you’ll bring all that knowledge together and show us that you can do DEF as we promised you’d be able to do.

Some people can brainstorm these categories best when they’re focusing on one at a time – ie – brainstorm out all the activities you’d do with clients first. Then think through all the theory they need to know to do those activities. Others prefer to systematically go through each topic one at a time. It’s really up to you and how your brain is wired. Do what feels easiest! Which of the three images above looks like the easiest way to brain dump your content? 

ACTION: create a document you can brain dump into – don’t worry about the order just now, just free-flow and get your knowledge onto one page. 

3. Systemise your Knowledge Base

Open up a new spreadsheet, or a document with at least 5 rows, and however many columns you need for your core topics. Label the rows: Painpoints, Outcomes, Theory + case studies, Practical activities, then use the columns to list out the topics that would most likely be in the group program/set of workshops/online course you’d like to create. 

Save it as your ‘Content Organising Tool’. What you’ll end up with, is something that looks like this.

learning products and systemise database

Grouping your newly collated content into areas assists you to isolate how many distinct modules or workshops you are able to deliver. Again, this might actually take weeks before it’s all out of your head, and into some sort of order. I have tools that will help you get this system in place but the best place to start is by grouping things into like areas, and naming them.

ACTION: Go through this process for at least 2 topics – can you see how this would work for a larger set of knowledge areas?

4. Create various learning products from your Knowledge Base

Once your content is systemised using the Content Organising Tool, you’ll be looking at a clear picture of what you have to create a full suite of products. Here is an image that shows you which elements become the basis for different learning products. 

Is that summary I provided at the start of this article making more sense now?

  • The Pain Points = articles, blogs, podcasts
  • The Outcomes = opt-ins
  • The Theory + case studies =  books, online course content
  • The Practical activities = workshops or one-to-one coaching sessions.
learning products and creation
Here's that summary, expanded with examples and explanations.

The Pain Points = articles – imagine all the stories of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ success stories, how you came to learn the lessons you learned, it’s all motivational content that helps build trust with your target audience and helps them to see the benefit of working with you. 

  • For example: ‘Would you prefer to be the presenter that sends everyone to sleep or the type of presenter that has the audience laughing, asking questions and sending you off with an enthusiastic round of applause?

The Outcomes = opt-ins – outcomes are all the things you’re promising your learners will be able to ‘do’ – so create a survey that asks about their current level of confidence in each of those items – if they score low, they know the course is right for them! 

  • For example: ‘How confident are you giving an engaging presentation? 

The Theory + case studies = books (or online course content) – this is the core content that underpins the whole topic. A book could contain one chapter per topic for example, explain all the theory then show detailed case studies that demonstrate the theory. 

  • For example: ‘Chapter 1: Using animated slides – why, how, and some good and bad examples. Chapter 2: Using images rather than text – why, how, and some good and bad examples etc etc’ 

The Practical activities = workshops or one-to-one coaching sessions – this is where it all comes together – the practical activities are usually reserved for offerings that provide support like coaching sessions or workshops – but there’s no reason you can’t provide ‘self study’ versions of all practical tasks – they just won’t receive feedback. 

ACTION: Decide what products you could create without actually doing much work – the Opt-in ideas aren’t hard if you’re clear on all your outcomes – could you create a survey and use it to poll your target audience to see what areas they really want the most help with? Or do you have the stories you need to start writing articles or planning out a podcast series? 

5. Scaffold Your Knowledge Base

When you are able to demonstrate to your clients or colleagues how to digest your content, there’s a greater chance they’ll really engage with and get something out of the learning experience. It’s not just about putting things in the right order, but also layering the learning experience with the right elements so that learners are lead on a learning journey, not just fire-hosed with information they don’t know what to do with. As an added bonus, if you’re in small business, having happy clients who have really gotten something out of working with you, means the start of a referrals based business that essentially sells itself. Who doesn’t want that?

scaffolding learning products

ACTION: Decide how many ‘parts’ there are to your content, and how it might be organised – is it linear? Is it cyclical? Is it truly stand alone content that can be consumed in any order?

6. Package Your Offerings

So you’ve seen how you can create Opt-ins, and other self study versions of your IP. In essence, packaging your offerings is about knowing you have learning products that can be nested – like you can see in the image here.

The ‘Evergreen’ (self study) online course might have the same content as all the other offerings – but you could add a ‘Community’ element to it (a Facebook or LinkedIn group), or create a time limited ‘Intensive’ group study version (starting and finishing at designated times).

If you really wanted to add even more, the Workshop version could add the face to face element, and a Mastermind version could stretch the content over a longer period like 6 months or a year, and include options like retreats. 

What’s likely to stay the same (or very similar), is that core content you brainstormed right at the start – the Pain Points, Outcomes, Theory and Activities. 

learning products and packaging

REMEMBER: It might seem like a lot of work, but this is actually the fun part. The FUN part? Yes. Stick with me. This is the point where you really do get to engineer a set of learning products that are the right fit for you, your team, and your target learners. There are so many layers to which learning products ARE the best fit, that I’ve created a whole other article for you called ‘How do you choose which learning products to create?’ which you can access here

Ready to take action? Sick of sitting on a mountain of IP that could be out there helping people?

Want to chat with someone who has been there, done that, and created hundreds of learning products for small businesses, not for profits and government organisations? Find a time that suits for a quick chat here.

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