Description: Interview with inspiring teacher Jennifer Louden, creator of TeachNow. Topics include authenticity, self-trust, and key questions to ask as you develop your course.

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About Jennifer Louden and TeachNow

Jen is the creator of the amazing TeachNow program which has helped 1,000+ teachers develop their authentic teaching philosophy and create inspiring courses.

She’s also a personal growth pioneer whose books have been translated into 9 languages and sold 1 million+ copies worldwide. She also walks her talk, creating her own online courses such as the Life Navigation Course.

Learn more at

Key Points & Takeaways

  1. Authenticity & self-trust are intertwined. As a beginning teacher, Jen had to learn to authentically own her experiences and how to create learning experiences for others — to dial them into their own knowing. This required learning to trust herself, and trust that she could help others learn too. To develop your voice as an authentic expert, you must first begin to trust yourself.
  2. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “helicopter teaching” — hovering too much over your students and stifling their exploration. Instead, strive to emphasize the container of the learning experience and allow people space to explore in that container.
  3. Authentic experts can struggle to build a successful business around their teaching if they fail reflect on what they really want. Ask yourself 2 key questions: What do I really want to create in this business? What am I hungry for?
  4. We have the biggest impact when we teach small bits, then iterate… so people can really take away and digest small — but applicable! — pieces of insight and knowledge. You can’t take people from Point A to Point C all at once. Don’t skip the seemingly small journey from Point A to Point B. We’re human, we can only do so much at once.
  5. To focus your course, ask: What’s a small accomplishment/success that you can help people achieve? What will make the 1st course in your curriculum really rewarding? Who are you helping, are you focusd on the “1st rung” of beginners? Or the 5th rung of experts? Wherever your focus, chunking your content down into small bits is essential for everybody.
  6. In owning what we know, we become specific… if we drift away from from trusting what we know and what we’ve experienced, we become generic — and no one wants generic.
  7. Always push to reduce, edit, and simplify. No one wants a “firehose” of content from you. Make a mindmap or outline of your course — then cut it in half!
  8. It’s not enough just to be excited about your teaching and content… a big part of your time is building relationships and being in front of people in different ways so they can learn about your work. If “marketing” turns you off, think instead about having conversations, building relationships, and sharing your expertise with the world. But you must do this consistently if you want people to discover and enroll in your courses.
  9. Recognize that it’s inherently challenging to get everyone in an online course to engage and participate. But do everything you can do with technology to make your online programs as intimate and dynamic and engaging as possible. Some of the techniques Jen uses online include: bringing her personality and voice into her content, video, email reminders, online community & discussion, games, quizzes, and prizes to bring people back to the learning. What techniques can you try?

Jen’s 2 key questions to inspire your teaching

Start, first with this: What do you most passionately deeply want to teach? (Or, What is the beauty and truth of what I really want to teach?)

Don’t downplay or overlook this: it matters to your energy and commitment.

Next ask, What are the things that my community/tribe really need?

Then bring your answers to these two questions together.

It may be uncomfortable at first… often we’re either in “my personal passion” or “I’m teaching others” mode, rather than integrating them elegantly together.

But if you spend the time to work through these uncomfortable questions, you can find the teaching opportunity that will light you up — and have students flocking to you.

Resources & Links

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Abe Crystal: Can you tell us little bit about how did you get into teaching yourself, what’s your story and what led you into focusing on being a teacher?


Jennifer Louden: What is my story? I am always trying to figure that out. Well, I wrote a book in my 20s called the Women’s Comfort Book and it became a word of mouth bestseller and I was literally called to teach.



Jennifer Louden: This is the fore-email people, [laughs]this is back in the 90s and the phone would ring, I would get letters, I would get requests to go out and give talks, give speech, give a keynote, my first key note, I must have practiced for three weeks straight and to teach at average read centers and book stores and YMCAs and you name it, and I said yes to everything, partly because I was young [laughs] and partly because I am somebody who just jumps with both feet, and then once I jumped in, I was like Oh! My God, what am I doing? And how do I structure learning experiences which is everything, training, speaking, workshops, retreats and I had a lot of road bumps along the way and those eroded my confidence way more than they needed to and if I am honest then I do talk about this in Teach Now, so why not be on here, probably for the first 18 years of what now has been about 22 years of teaching,



Jennifer Louden: I suffered and I wanted to quit most times when I was done and I second-guessed myself and I became I think sometimes more a effective teacher but sometimes a less effective teacher and there were so many things that I didn’t know about the inner work of being a teacher, about how it is this intersection to paraphrase the teacher between the inner life and the public life. It’s a very vulnerable place and I just didn’t have an context for that or tools and that’s what eventually gave birth to Teach Now when I saw other people especially if you are a very talented master teacher, spiritual teacher suffering through the same thing and I wait, Oh! wait, there is something wrong with it, this shouldn’t be. So my teaching has evolved through doing which is true of all my work, it’s evolved through someone coming to me and saying, I want this, or from my own desire to be of service.


Abe Crystal: You say that you experienced these struggles and challenges in your own teaching,



Abe Crystal: and the idea of authenticity, did you struggle with the idea of feeling that you are having trouble teaching authentically or able to express your ideas or your voice authentically and how did you approach that?


Jennifer Louden: That’s really a brilliant question, Abe, and I never really honestly thought of it that way but it strikes at the heart of what I was struggling with. I often felt like a fake, I often like who am I to be up here teaching this and because I didn’t have a degree in what I was doing because it was all self taught from my own life or from my own very messy intuitive research. I am not a sociologist like Rene Brown or didn’t go to MIT, so it was really about authentically owning my experiences and authentically observing through trial and error how to best create learning experiences for others to dial them into their own knowing about the different subjects…



Jennifer Louden: that I was exploring and I just didn’t trust that, so I think the question of authenticity and self trust are so interrelated, plus experience, we have to be test driving things and then having ways to really see what is the impact and how does it match up with the impact we want to have versus the impact we think we should be having.


Abe Crystal: How is your practice of authenticity evolved as you have gone through all these experiences? How do you practice authenticity in your business and in your teaching today?


Jennifer Louden: That’s a good question, Abe, I just came back from leading two back to back one week retreat, it was a little bit of a marathon and writing retreat but the were also deeply about life and how do we –ourselves more of what we want, how do we shape and build the life we want which is really the core message of everything I teach and shape and build more of the world we want and I was…



Jennifer Louden: so amazed to watch myself, I have been teaching at his particular retreat. It evolves every year but for 12 years in the same place with a lot of the same basic building blocks. It has really been a laboratory for me to watch my own growth and 12 years ago, I would have over provided what I call helicopter teaching. I would have dealt with some of the difficult students, the ________ [00:06:23] ones, the talkative ones by second guessing myself and instead what I did was do more firmness and fierceness and really emphasizing the container of the retreat. You might call it rules but I don’t think of them as rules, I think of them as guidelines that allow everyone to have a deeper more generative experience.


So what authenticity looks for me in those last two weeks in the practice of teaching was really owning what I know works even when there was little passive aggressive comments and another thing that sometimes groups of women do [laughs].



Jennifer Louden: I wish I could give you a picture of what it looked like in my body. It looked like rootedness, standing up with a full sign, looking people in the eye with no sense inside of, I am screwing up or they don’t like me, or it’s not working for them. I also don’t want to give the idea that it was rude or like leave it because I don’t think that’s good teaching either but it’s offering it very clearly and firmly and then they do with it what they may and that was the clearest experience I think I have ever had and it was so wonderful and I left the two weeks, instead of being exhausted, I left the two weeks just patting myself on my back, so really own the authenticity of my experience of what I believe and know works through trial and error even when it wasn’t working for everybody. There was one student who clearly like you kind of wonder why is she here, what is she looking for, she won’t let herself out, didn’t really participate…



Jennifer Louden: and lots of kind of fake smile and everything is great when you know, like just sort of the deceiving, it’s so neat to watch myself not get triggered by that, yeah.


Abe Crystal: Sort of the experience with that teaching container or practice, how does that then carry through in to how you think about your business and how you develop a sustainable business.


Jennifer Louden: Another great question. It’s all part of the whole. I have struggled in being self employed for all these years so often with asking for what I want from my business and from the support people I hire and so often making a mistake, I am so proud to say I don’t want to do this anymore of wanting to hire someone or find some magic bullet solution that would take the pain out of the slow incremental growth of our work, of our message of our bottom-line, of our process and that’s…



Jennifer Louden: gone because that’s not authentic, that’s again not trusting myself, not rooting and grounding and referring back to my own experience and my own knowledge base. Really taking the time to step back, like a painter from a painting, right? Have you ever painted, you are up there and you are working really close and your teacher always tells you step back, step back or if you are a writer and you step back from your work and you go back later in the day or a week later and read it over, you read it out loud. So we actually did the same thing with our businesses, we have to step back and this authenticity and self trust it just allows me to do teaching that and then not go running for someone else for the answer, but go, Oh! what do I see that I need, what do I see that I need to ask my support people for, what do I really want to create in this business, what am I hungry for and then the other part which we never talk about in business I don’t think enough at least is the humanity of it. I had a team meeting yesterday with my two VAs and I have a new idea and I just told them,



Jennifer Louden: I processed the new idea and I know we can’t do it because it’s not possible right now and in the past I think not being authentic would mean not realizing the limitations of my humanity. There are only so many hours in the day [laughs] that I can work and I am not young. I don’t work 12 hours a day without a big cost the next day. Yes, so it’s boundaries, humanity, owning my desires, clear requests about them, clear offers, boldness all of that I think comes from the question of self trust and authenticity.


Abe Crystal: That’s great and so linking that into your work in helping people become teachers through Teach Now and your other work just wondering if you have noticed patterns among the community of teachers that you work with. what are the questions that people have when they want to move into…



Abe Crystal: teaching themselves or expand the teaching that they offer? What are the questions that you hear, the challenges you see people having as they go through that journey of becoming teachers?


Jennifer Louden: It’s very interesting, I may observe this, because this is the way the curriculum is set up but the questions seem to go with the curriculum flow of Teach Now. So the first one is just owning that they want to teach, a lot of them, they come around teaching especially among educated creative people, especially among women because teaching was considered a pinketto profession and a sure route to poverty and burn out and as teaching is being reinvented because of the internet it’s helping access that deep desire. Many people have that as a child or a young person and honoring that there is a way to do it either part-time or full time as part of your income that there is a new model. I see that right away being a huge gap for people.



Jennifer Louden: The next thing I see people having a really hard time is wanting to teach everything they know [laughs] Wanting to cram it all in and overwhelm people and I know because I struggle with that. Can I just say how proud I am? I just led those two writing retreats and I cut so much out of them and it worked beautifully and I was nervous doing it even after all these years of seeing people, that was fantastic and it was a lot and this year what they did that was fantastic. So I see that all related to authenticity those first two things because of the authenticity of our desires of really listening to the call but not insisting that it look a particular way and setting ourselves look at what does our life look like, what are our needs, what are our skills and put together realistic plan, and that’s authenticity too and then authenticity of how people actually learn, it’s not the fire hose as we say in Teach Now, it’s appropriate dosing. So there is a lot of self trust in there, we got that…



Jennifer Louden: theme again and then I really see people and you are helping them with this and Teach Now helps a little bit with this. This is really learning how to make clear strong offers repeatedly because that is being seen authentically. It means being seen for what you are offering and people have a really hard time being seen and if they are seen making an offer they want it to be the end all be all offer for everybody instead of a very specifically targeted offer for a very specific population and again come back with trusting with work and find the ecosystem for those people are that what we have to offer and it’s not about offering everything to everybody.


Abe Crystal: So the guidance you give people then is to focus very specifically on what they teach to make it really compelling to and valuable for a small group of people rather than trying to create something that will appeal to everyone, and that essentially…



Abe Crystal: will lead to a more authentic course because if they focus deeply on a small group that they really care about they can express their personal perspective and experiences and teaching through that very focused course.


Jennifer Louden: That’s a great summary and you sure made me sound smarter [laughs] and the only thing I would change in that summary, Abe, is that it doesn’t have to be a small group but that’s our fear, that’s our fear if we are really owning a clear piece, a small piece of the whole of who we are and what we know that we won’t make the income or have the impact and all the research and I know your personal experience shows the exact opposite, it has an impact when we teach a small bit and we iterate it and we teach it in different ways so people can really take it away and they can really ingest it and digest it but absolutely in owning what we know we are able to then bring our authenticity to it, of our stories of our life examples and of the students and research examples…



Jennifer Louden: that we have and we don’t do that owning or knowing process it’s often when we get in very generic, we get generic about everything about our teaching and that’s when it doesn’t work for us, doesn’t feed us and inspire us and keep us learning and doesn’t reach the audience that we want.


Abe Crystal: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. How do you help people through that if you encounter someone in Teach Now or if you see someone struggling to create a course that is focused that meets the deep needs of a well understood community or ecosystem of people, how do you guide them to get through that and get to the place where they are excited about teaching and it’s focused effectively.


Jennifer Louden: It’s definitely an iterative process. It’s messy like every other creative process and you have to find the tools that work for you, and so I often use mind maps, I invite people to use mind maps in Teach Now and to start with their topic and mind map it out and if you don’t know what mind map looks like Google it everybody…



Jennifer Louden: but now that they are really complicated, artistic ones are not the ones I am talking about. Mine looks very crude. They have one topic in the middle with a circle around and in spokes and more circles filling the page. Did I ask them, to kind of cut that in half like on that mind map what really fits with that topic or is the mind map pointing to actually a subtopic within that topic which would actually be the class or the course. So to begin to use the mind mapping sometimes it’s perfect, it comes out with a really good sense of what the curriculum and the flow will be but often it’s an initiation to cut it in half and then to cut it again. That makes people really nervous, so I do a lot of normalizing of the nervousness and a lot of the conversation we are having here is the conversation we have in Teach Now. How can we keep stepping back and looking at that sense of discomfort that we are leaving people out, that we are cheating because are not telling them everything we know and realize that…



Jennifer Louden: doesn’t serve the learning, that is not authenticity to tell everybody everything we know all the time. That’s the 1970s, it didn’t work so well. [laughs]


Then the next thing I do is counsel or help people realize that knowing and seeing the thread of your own work is one of the most difficult things we do. It’s why we have researchers and teachers and mentors, so you need to get a couple of people who can reflecting back to you what are the themes so that you can see them clearly which helps you chunk them down more.


The third thing we start collecting your stories, we are all story tellers, a story can be 2 or 3 sentences. Stories are happening to us all the time and we can mold the stories and use them for 10 different teaching situations but we can’t if we are not capturing them if we are not seeing them and stories are what bring teaching alive, but they also bring our authentic voice alive. So I can tell you a story about dealing with a difficult student,



Jennifer Louden: in this past week and making a real practice every time I encounter her to drop the feeling in my body that I needed to fix her and to take a breath into my heart and just being compassion at her. I can use it in a bunch of different – I can use it to teach about teaching, I can use it to teach about heart brain, I can use it to teach about fear, because I think she is a very fearful person. So collect those stories and keep them, keep an index card if you want, keep them in a note, but keep them in a way that you can find them and then know that you can repurpose them, that’s not lying because the story core remains authentic. The other thing I will say is always incredibly beneficial to start with where you want your people to end up. You can’t take them from A to Z you can take them from A to maybe B because first of all learners I have seen, and put yourself in those beginner shoes of how long it takes you to do something,



Jennifer Louden: and what a disrespect it is when a teacher tries to fire hose you.


Abe Crystal: If you were going to teach someone about how to write a memoir, the goal of the first course is not for them to write a Pulitzer prize winning memoir, it’s to write something very short and simple that they could actually accomplish and feel like they have really done something that gets them excited and ready to move on to the next step.


Jennifer Louden: That’s a perfect example, start by writing a personal essay, start by writing a scene from the material that they have been contemplating and then from there maybe to start thinking about what’s the heart line of the story because in memoir for example we just talked about that a lot. Memoir is not the memoirs of your life [laughs] which is what we think about, Winston Churchill writing, it is one ark within your life, it’s one lens, it’s one story.



Jennifer Louden: So then I might start working on the heart line with them, what do you think is the character arks, the main thing? Is this a woman who goes from feeling disconnected to connected, is this a woman who goes from thinking the world is a horrible scary place that she can’t trust anyone to feeling connected to every one. That was one of the heart lines that came out, so yeah absolutely we would break it down and these would be courses you would offer sequentially. Find and write your first scene, draft a personal essay out of that scene, extended and submitted, find the heart line of your whole book, begin to build the characters.


Abe Crystal: It sounds like some guidance for anyone who is struggling to create a course that’s appropriately scoped and focused and isn’t trying to put everything under the Sun into this one course which we know will not work, some guidance for them would be think of it as a curriculum not one mega course and think of it as what’s a small success that would make…



Abe Crystal: that first course really rewarding and how can you guide people towards that, sort of that first run on the ladder.


Jennifer Louden: Absolutely beautiful said and if you are not interested in teaching people, the first rung you might want to teach them the fifth rung because you know, there is a bunch of courses out there that teaches the fourth rung, for example, I saw on a Facebook group yesterday, someone was looking for mid level small business help, not getting started because they are already well started, so you may have a set of skills that you want to impart to people that are for a very specific niche thus farther along. Maybe you don’t want to teach beginning caliber first but you want to teach caliber for those that have the basic skills and who really want to build the business doing invitations or signage. So you can get very specific, you don’t have to start at the beginning if that’s where your interest in skills lie but the chunking it down is absolutely essentially for everybody.



Abe Crystal: Talking this into the design of online programs specifically, I have gotten a sense of what a lot of people want to do but you have actually been able to do it is to expand or transition from offering in person workshops or retreats or courses to also offering online courses or programs, now I was wondering if you can kind of reflect on your experience having worked in both of those worlds or both those media, what have you learned from teaching in person and faced to face where you have this very deep connections with people versus doing it over the internet where you have tremendous flexibility but you also don’t have that sort of face to face connection either, it’s a big topic but curious to hear just sort of your reflections on it and then we can talk more specifically some of the challenges people have in that area.


Jennifer Louden: Well, it is harder and I think just embracing that for me it’s harder, I would much rather be in person with people but it’s really…



Jennifer Louden: so much work for myself and for my team if we were doing 6 or 8 live events a year, that we choose not to do that, we choose to do 2 to 4 and then to have several courses that are online. So it’s really about deciding, I think first and foremost, what if it’s your personality, what if it’s your business, what if it’s your energy level and not assuming that you have to do it one way or another, so that’s my first learning. And then I really work to use the technology which is why I am an early adopted of your wonderful platform and keep exploring the technology to find out how I can make it as intimate and dynamic and engaging on line as possible. The third thing I work really hard to do is to be aware of the barriers to people learning online,



Jennifer Louden: the feeling of being disconnected, the asynchronicity which can be a good thing and a bad thing and the proclivity of people to sign up the and be excited and then drop out after 2 or 3 or 4 weeks and I try to build that into my design as much as I can, how can I keep them engaged, how can I use my personality and my own writing skills, how can I use video, how can I use email remainders, how can I use Ruzuku to keep bringing people back to the learning, how can I use games and quizzes and prizes and then finally we go back to giving up on helicopter teaching. A percentage of people are going to drop out. The people who go through my programs and do most of the work are incredibly happy and they get a lot out of it but that’s only going to be, honestly I don’t even know what percentage, I keep doing everything I can about it, but I can’t force them to learn and I can’t force them not have life emergencies,



Jennifer Louden: I try to write my sales pages both persuasively and realistically as possible. I tell exactly how much time it’s going to take and then I just keep experimenting, like in the life navigation course we ran earlier this year, we had small groups, we paired people in actual small groups where they met in whatever format they wanted and I think a few people met in person but almost all of them met in conference lines and that worked for a few small groups and for some of them it was a pain in the ass, so we are going to drop it next time. so we are always experimenting, how can I engage people, how can I chunk down the material, and then I interact on the Ruzuku platform, I am there five days a week answering questions and encouraging people, that goes a long way.


Abe Crystal: So it sounds like sort of in person when you are in the room with people, you get engagement little bit more for free. Someone can be less engaged or checking their cell phones, so if they sign up for a workshop to be with you…



Abe Crystal: they are rarely likely going to be paying attention to you.


Jennifer Louden: You have to work for it because there is a disembodied, easily distracted nest built into the system and that said we are going to try within the Ruzuku platform for the life navigation courses next time, we are going to try using a new service that allows people to see my desktop and/or to see me at the same time, because I think having a video component might help some people stay engaged and of course let’s strip it as an mp3 for people who just want to listen to it.


Abe Crystal: There is something powerful about having these scheduled events within an online course, right, because it’s something you can put on your calendar and say, I am going to commit to this as opposed to Oh! I will just get into the website when I have time which can easily become never.


Jennifer Louden: I feel strongly that it is not to the benefit of most learners to have a course that doesn’t have some interactivity or remainders…



Jennifer Louden: built in mentorship something and there is lots of models of how to do it, how to scale it, if you don’t want to wear pants, if you have too much demands to keep up with yourself but I just find the whole life by the course, you dump it on to the hard drive and nobody ever interacts with you again, for most people it just doesn’t work. Just speaking from personal experience you are not going to get past more than module 1 or 2 and don’t take that personally, play with your designer and play with who you are and what your life is and what you want out of your teaching business of course, there is not one size fits all here but do know that it’s not you and you are not alone, it happens to everybody, even the most big teaching line dealers that people drop out or they don’t dive deeper into the material.


Abe Crystal: It’s really just a fundamental reality of teaching online and you start with that as a baseline and then you build on top of that. It’s not something that anyone should be surprised by that you have to work…



Abe Crystal: for engagement and activity, that’s just simply part of the job description.


Jennifer Louden: Aah, I love that, well said, absolutely and you don’t feel about it, and taek it into consideration and design accordingly.


Abe Crystal: In your experience working with people who are getting started with online courses, what do you hear from them in terms of what’s stopping them from getting started and what questions they have about being able to teach online effectively and how do you guide them down the path of helping them be able to offer them the online programs?


Jennifer Louden: The two biggest gaps I see are either believing that they can create it, I see a tremendous amount of people who just don’t believe in their own ideas, they don’t see or cannot shape their ideas to be specific enough to a niche or compelling enough, it’s a self trust authenticity question we were exploring earlier and the second camp I can see do that, they believe in their work but they are completely overwhelmed by technology,



Jennifer Louden: they just don’t know the basic things about how to record audio or how to schedule a tele-cal or conference call. How to make a PDF, they just don’t know where to get help with that. So, I really see those very broad categories stopping most people, and then the third one if you don’t fall into either one of those, you work past them it’s how to market, how to get a message out.


Abe Crystal: Yeah, we hear that one a lot as well, and maybe we could kind of think about that from model or example case, we talked through the scenario of some of these offered in-person workshops and programs and want to expand into doing it online, if you were advising someone like that, I mean they have some community or groups of people that are interested in their work and have done workshops with them, what kind of guidance or suggestions would you give them in terms of how would they…



Abe Crystal: market an online program in a way that engages their community or their ecosystem?


Jennifer Louden: No, I am not going to have anything to say, that is everybody has heard a million times before but you have to work on building that ecosystem over time and you can’t just leave it, because Oh! now I have the course, Oh! now where are the people, that’s the biggest mistake that I see, it’s learning where this ecosystem and putting the time into developing those relationships and being seen in those ecosystems at the same time or honestly well before you are developing your courses and offers and so people that teach wants to teach and they want to create content and curriculum and often they don’t feel the same way about marketing [laughs] and that’s true for me too, it has taken me years and years to not love marketing but at least really like aspects o it and embrace it…



Jennifer Louden: as the truth of my life or the big part of my time is going to be about building relationships and being in front of people in different ways in different formats so that they can learn about my work and build trust with me and it doesn’t have to mean blogging. I mean again at the writing retreat I just led, so many people were like, Oh! I know I should have a blog, and I just always hold out my hand and say “absolutely no should.”


There was one gal there who was writing book for people who hate to cook and I said YouTube and Pinterest are where you should be putting your time. People get distracted with a blog, again it’s just a bunch of stuff about her and you are putting your writing time into writing a book. So there are other avenues, there are other ways, don’t think that you have to do it a certain way. Another client who I worked with for years and years and has her second book coming out and she is like, doggone, I hate social media. I am like, let’s create a story about Facebook that serves you,



Jennifer Louden: what’s the narrative of showing up there, that support this book which is for young mothers, young working mothers.


We begin to talk about curating content and looking at it, so often it’s the lens that we look at marketing through that needs to be changed. It’s not about manipulating people, it’s about building a bridge to them, it’s about serving them and one of the ways you serve them is by letting them know about your offers often, often, often, often, in clear compelling ways that talks about the benefits to them. So starting to look at what are the models that the people are doing in your industry that you are admire. What parts of that do you admire, what parts are effective and it’s not about having a big list or a big profile. Yes, there are some big profile people in your industry who are raking in the box but there is people who are way under the radar, there are people who aren’t even on social media, at least the social media you are seeing that are also raking in the box. I have had good friends with small email lists…



Jennifer Louden: and social media profile footprints who were making double or triple figures gross, not net, so it’s certainly very possible, and don’t forget LinkedIn, for those who are listening, who are professional, who have a particular professional or trainer aspect LinkedIn I think is an incredible platform for building special interest lists.


Abe Crystal: It sounds like it all ties back to what you described about having self trust and being authentic you have to trust that what you share with the world whether it’s through your blog or through specific social media channels, through email, that it will help people and if you ill continue to trust that you will do that and do it consistently then you will build the relationships you need over time.


Jennifer Louden: You will but you have to also be converting that, you have to be making regular offers to join your email lists to get into your world so you can talk to them but I will say I am a big believer in the email list.



Jennifer Louden: I do think it’s super super important, I don’t think that’s going to go away for a long time but I could be wrong. I was interviewed by somebody yesterday and she is like I am a huge fan of yours, it’s amazing to get to interview you. But then she revealed in the course of my interview she is not even on my email lists, she waits for my blog posts that come by Facebook, I mentioned that because it’s very important to think of the different channels that you are reaching people and to make sure that you are serving them by offering good advice or good contents or good quotes or whatever it is, good teaching info like the podcast but you are also positioning yourself regularly as the expert, as someone who is going to sell this teaching to them or hired to come in to their company and do this training or whatever your examples are. So it’s important to tie it together.


Abe Crystal: Great, that’s really helpful.


Jennifer Louden: It’s really easy to forget that because you know, we are teachers and we love to help [laughs]


Abe Crystal: Yes, it’s being helpful but in a way that gives people a clear next step toward…



Abe Crystal: this is how you can learn more about me in the future whether it’s following me on Facebook or be on email list or ultimately taking my course, you are not just throwing information at the world with no action associated with it.


Jennifer Louden: Right, so I will give you an example. If any one listening follows me on Twitter, Jennifer Louden L-O-U-D-E-N, so you will notice that as I go on my seedly, I go to seedly where I follow all kinds of different blogs and websites and I will tweet some articles that I think are interesting or controversial around house, I just tweeted one about traitor Joe’s 2 buck chalk and how he makes it so cheap. Well, it has got dead birds and bugs in it. [laughs]


Abe Crystal: [laughs]


Jennifer Louden: So that’s not directly on brand for me but it’s about service and good information and help, you will also see a lot of quotes that we pull, you will also links to blog posts in my archives and then when we come up into launch mode soon, you will start to see more directed material,



Jennifer Louden: so I am keeping that up all the time, how can I be of service and how can I relate to the topics that I care about which are again building and shaping life that you want and desire and the world that you want.


Abe Crystal: Perfect, I want to make sure that we point folks to where they can find out more about you. Where is the best place to learn more about you besides here, which you have already mentioned.


Jennifer Louden: Just look up into the site [laughs] There are two websites and and that’s where you sign up, so you get the Teach Now newsletter which comes about every two or three and then we open Teach Now again, won’t be until next early spring and Jennifer Louden is the more active portal for my writers’ retreat and my life navigation course and coaching.


Abe Crystal: You don’t want to miss the Teach Now newsletter though if you are interested in any effective teaching because the tips that come though are really useful.


Jennifer Louden: Yeah, it’s really good. So it’s you sign up there and it’s free,



Jennifer Louden: and every two or three weeks I will just write something about, like I will write about this writing retreat, what was it like to lead it. Maybe I will write something about dealing with difficult people, holding the container, keeping people focused especially women who like to talk a lot [laughs] teenagers and middle-aged women, they are an interesting population [laughs].


Abe Crystal: I look forward to that. I would like to kind of close the conversation with giving folks who are working on, they are in programs and courses, some ideas, guidelines, or take-aways to help them move forward. So would love to just hear what’s kind of come out of this for you in terms of in action or suggestion that listeners to take today to start creating more authentic and more successful online courses.


Jennifer Louden: I have learned the hard way that the best way to do that is start first with what do you really deeply,



Jennifer Louden: most passionately want to teach. So often I see people over looking that, down playing it, it comes at them and sort of presents itself like a bird flying in your face and then you swat it away instead of staring in wonder and capturing what is the beauty and truth of what I really want to teach but then I want you to look at what are the things that my people or the people that I want to serve and if I am not already in relationship with them, what do they really need and bring the two together, it’s uncomfortable because we are usually more comfortable in one or other of those polls, we are very comfortable being passionate and I want to teach this and then they are not thinking about the people we need to reach and that often means you don’t make money or we are so into teacher archetype, we only think about what our people need and we don’t think about our own desires to keep learning and growing and be recharged.



Jennifer Louden: We need to have both. The tag line on is savor and serve and it’s a deeply important theme to me. We want to savor what we are passionate about, we want to keep learning and growing, it’s part of what makes us teachers right. I know there is lot of stacks of books by every single one of your – [laughs] I know there is a lot of courses on your hard drive people. I know you get really excited when the local continuing education catalog shows up in your [laughs] So you need to be considering that and we need to be considering what are the benefits that my people need, what are the things they are looking for, they are really looking for in their words and then do the uncomfortable shimming and dancing of bringing those together in a very specific targeted offer. That’s how you get stated.


Abe Crystal: Perfect, I think that’s a great place to end.