Derek Halpern’s blogging e-course review

derekhalpern1In the last few blogs, I have been reviewing biz and marketing e-courses I have taken from:

  • Leonie Dawson
  • Nathalie Lussier, and
  • Kimberley Wilson

In this blog, I review an e-course I am took by Derek Halpern of social triggers.

About Derek

In his blog posts, emails and e-course, Derek offers a buffet of rich content, clever strategies, and research about how to create killer blog posts that attract traffic, followers and potential customer. BOOM [my attempt to be a New Yorker].

His knowledge stems from his background as a web designer and marketer, and his ample success at applying his own wisdom.

More so, he drills down into his blog’s user statistics, responses from his readers, and the questions they pose. He listens, observes, learns, and in turn serves the actual needs of his followers and clients. Sorta catchy, eh?

Yup, he has street cred, as they say. And he has credibility with me as he walks his talk, though a bit rough around the collar at times. Additionally, he bases his ideas on the field of psychology and human behaviour – which he nicely translates into customer behaviour. I like psych.

We chatted

Derek and I had a nice chat about his blog course as I pointed out some small adjustments that could hugely impact the learning experience of his students. I outline those below.

I enjoyed my chat with Derek, he’s a nice chap. And he’s a sharp man, who is taking on the wild and crazy virtual world. It takes gumption to keep on top of that.

I appreciated his willingness to listen to my ideas, and we ended up talking about course designing in general and possible future projects.

He also made me realize that a professional course designer serving the entrepreneurial world is unique, and that my services and products will serve others well. Thanks, Derek! My shingle is out.


Course Review #4

Derek Halpern: Blog that Converts (approx. $800 for Level 1; $1000 for Advanced Level)

I give this course an A-

NOTE: The e-course info is not available right now, but I think it may be offered again. You can sign up for announcements at the link above.

This Worked

Derek understands the need to offer content in multimedia for today’s learner – videopeople that are on the go, enjoy rich media, and need stimulation to learn. In his e-course, there are video and audio-based lessons with transcripts, worksheets and extra resources. All are downloadable for later use, though the course has lifetime access.

Each video and audio lesson has Derek’s animated delivery of key ideas and the reasons behind his strategies (again, backed up with real data and successful results). The worksheets narrow down the strategies and help students apply them.

There is a private Facebook group for former and current students. It’s quite a large group that can be used as a sounding board for ideas, questions, and support.

The advanced course has 6 interviews with Social Media and Internet Superstars, such as Jonathan Fields, Kenny Hyder, Jeff Goins, Emerson Spartz, Steve Kamb, and Will Hamilton.

Course Content

Over a 8-week period, the course modules generally address the following:

  • Determine and uniquely address the needs of your market
  • Overall plan of attack for blogs posts that attract readers
  • Choice of zinger content types to reproduce in blogs
  • Specific ways to gain traffic to a blog
  • Methods of selling via a blog

The advanced class offers BEST tips and strategies from the superstars mentioned above, and cover the following:

  • Gripping headlines and opening words
  • Key SEO tips
  • Launching a blog or product with impact
  • Going viral
  • Building community


This Needs Improving

I discussed this with Derek and he appreciated the following strategies to help tweak his course, so that his learners experience great results from successfully creating a killer blog.

Advanced Organizers

I mentioned advanced organizers in a former post, so I won’t cover it again here. Derek really liked the idea.

Playful Exercises

Think about this. You are needing to improve your knowledge or skills in a certain area, so you decide to take a course to develop yourself more. Learning and growing is a good thing!

So you find the best e-course out there that has all you need to learn, credibility, price point, instructor and delivery format that you like , so you sign up.

In the back of your mind, you are preparing yourself for the course, and willing to learn and apply it to your life or biz immediately. Okay, let’s go! [rub hands]

But in the course, you are hit with a wall of content. You desperately try to apply what you are reading to help improve something … your body, garden, marketing, services, etc.

However, the way the course is designed, it requires you to go from zero to sixty, in a short time, and on your own.

What happens… you crash.

I want to emphasize this as MANY instructors teach too much and don’t really help learners digest, chew on, ponder, poke, and play with ideas.

It may seem there is not enough time in the course for this, but isn’t there? There is no time wasted like a confused and frustrated customer who drops out of the course.

Pare Your Course Back

Trust me, I’ve wrongly over taught for years.

After every major concept, stop and let your learners play with the idea by offering fun, riskless exercises to get a taste and feeling of the idea, strategy or method. They are newbies, remember, fresh and starry eyed looking at you to show them the way. :0)

If learners taste success from a smaller task related to a major one, they will attempt the latter.

For instance, the most daunting task I encountered in all the past 4 e-courses is finding my market. I was asked to:

  • Find my target market
  • Align my marketing goals to my potential customers
  • Speak to my market in my promotions
  • Determine my ideal customer
  • etc.

Arggghhh… that is a HUGE task! Failure #1 and not even opened Module 2. Faint.


experimentExample of Playful Exercises

Believe me in suggesting that doing (and permitting) short exercises will be warmly received by your learners. Here are a few different ideas for the above quandary:

  •  Have each student create a short synopsis of their ideal customer (give them 3 criteria to address). Have them exchange this with one other peer in the course. Each provides comments and feedback to each other on the viability & reality of the ideal customer, his/her possible issues that need solving, and social media avenues he/she may use.
  • OR, provide a profile of an ideal customer to all students, and ask them to describe the market s/he may be located in, determine how to reach this person, and perform a bit of research her/his needs. Make this an open group discussion. As the instructor, add final comments after a few days = teachable moment and correcting wrong assumptions.
  • OR, share a particular advertisement and ask learners to unpack it by suggesting who it might be targeting, what needs are being met, and best web or social media avenues for it. Provide the answer in the next module.

These are quick exercises for both instructor and students that are impactful in teaching concepts that are important, and at the same time developing base skills. We need them to walk before they can run.

From what Derek stated he is already working on the next version of his Blog that Converts e-course with some restructuring and new content. It will be a winner, no doubt. His strategies for creating killer blogs will serve me for some time to come.

  • Autumn March 21, 2014, 1:17 pm

    I love your first two playful exercises, especially being able to share and receive feedback from peers and/or instructor.

    • Dr. Kelly March 21, 2014, 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Autumn. Getting feedback is one of the most powerful ways to support learning.

  • Guillermo March 21, 2014, 10:40 pm

    Hi there!

    Liked your note. I admire Derek, I think he’s a brilliant guy and a great communicator nevertheless, as a BTC participant I think he still has to improve.

    I found it a bit disappointing the lack of guidance. The FB group is OK, but it’s full of people like me (us?) that is making their way into all this and sometime an expert guidance is well needed.

    He is the expert and he does not interact that much with the participants. I have questions that need his answers (or answers from a SEM) and not just kind guesses from fellow participants.

    Sorry for the rant…

    • Dr. Kelly March 22, 2014, 7:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing your view. I do agree that creating a guided learning community is vital and outlined that in a previous post. Learning and teaching online requires special consideration.

    • Dr. Kelly March 23, 2014, 5:48 pm

      Guillermo, in speaking with Derek he stated that Facebook group was a request from other students and he didn’t intend to facilitate/guide the course, but that it is a self-directed one. This is fair as it is a consideration to make of whether to get involved as an instructor or not. If they do get involved, they need to state it, plan their time well, and set up the structure and instructions for it.

      I am sure you can email Derek via Nicole at their support email anytime you have a question.

  • Tema Frank April 3, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Great post. Pretty cool when you can find ways for even a pro like Derek Halpern to improve!

    I’ll be referring your site to others!

    • Dr. Kelly April 3, 2014, 6:59 pm

      Thanks, Tema. Creating and delivering online is challenging for anyone. Derek appreciated the feedback :0)

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