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We’ll update this once Think in Color 2023 has ended. Register for the on-demand replays here!

Learn from creator economy change-makers at Think In Color.: Download Now

Think in Color 2022 has officially wrapped up! We’re really happy you took the time to listen to some of the most brilliant creators in the industry. We hope you left the virtual event feeling inspired and empowered by our speakers’ stories and breakdowns (I know we did). 

No matter where you are in your course creation journey, hopefully, you learned how to connect with people, create an in-demand offer, and sell your course on repeat, among other things. 

There are so many educational moments from the event, that it was hard to choose just a few highlights — we did our best. Read on for the top tips from our speakers. 

Want to jump ahead?

  1. 2023 Line-up
  2. 2022
    1. Online Course Foundations
    2. Audience and Community
    3. Scaling Up

Think In Color 2023 (Coming soon)

Creating Cozy & Collaborative Virtual Communities

Cicely Blain, Anti-racism Consultant & Founder of Bakau Consulting

Cicely Belle has organized virtual conferences with over 1,000 global attendees, numerous online courses, sell-out online cohorts, and mentorship programs. They will discuss their experience in creating a welcoming and intimate atmosphere in digital spaces, developing safe and inclusive communities of practice, and using online courses and digital tools to connect people for collective growth.


Funds in the Funnel: How to Maximize Sales with a Customer-Focused Funnel

Ellie Diop, Content & Funding Coach at Ellievated Academy

Ellie Diop has built a 7-figure business in 3 years, teaching thousands of women how to build and scale their businesses. In her talk, attendees will learn how to create three key areas of a sales funnel that maximize sales: social media, lead magnets, and infinite upsells.


Growing Both B2C and B2B Services for Multiple Revenue Streams

Jessica Chen, Global Communication Expert & CEO at Soulcast Media

Jessica Chen will discuss the potential of LinkedIn as a business platform that connects eager customers with businesses ready to invest. She will unveil her winning content strategy to help diversify business services, attracting consumers who want to collaborate and businesses looking to hire for speaking to their global audience.

Crafting a Visible Personal Brand with Video

XayLi Barclay, Thinkific Expert and Visual Content Coach at Start Shoot Grow

The session will explore the potential of video content, whether it’s long-form edu-tainment or short-form micro-learning, to leave a lasting impression and solidify your brand in the minds of your customers. Attendees will learn how to promote their online course and see sales growth through the power of sharing their unique story on camera.

Head of the Table Panel discussion

Diandra Marizet, (Host) Executive Director & Co-Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist

In a panel discussion hosted by Diandra Marizet, speakers will share their personal perspectives and insights into how identities shape our actions, the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey, and how women and BIPOC business owners are influencing the creator economy. Diandra will also share her experiences as the Executive Director of an education-focused non-profit and as an advocate for the accessibility of diverse stories.

Think in Color 2022 (Past Year)

Track 1: Online Course Foundations

1. Resonance, Relationships, and Customer Research: 3 Keys To Nurturing Your Dream Audience 

Zakia Haughton, Launch Strategist & Coach, Host of Easeful Living Podcast

Session description: To have a sustainable offer that sells repeatedly, you need to learn the voice of your ideal customer and speak to them in a language they understand. In this session, you’ll learn how to conduct market research, build authentic relationships, and use marketing language that resonates with your dream clients and customers.  
Key takeaways:
Serve others by offering them what they need that comes naturally to you

The ideal offer is a blend of what people need the most or come to you for and the skill that comes most naturally to you.

When you can combine these two elements together, you’ll be able to create a valuable digital product for people. 

In this session, Haughton advises:

“Take a moment to think about, ‘What is the thing that people come to me the most for? What is the thing that comes most naturally to me and how can I offer that to my audience?’” 

Market research is the most effective way to find and nurture your dream audience 

Market research is the process of gathering information about who your ideal customer is, their pain points, and what they need. To do market research properly, there are four key things you need to consider your customers’ 

  • biggest challenge
  • deepest desire
  • current gap
  • the reason they want to solve their challenge

This data will help you create an offer that shows your expertise and supports your customers’ desired outcome.

Building authentic relationships is key to nurturing your dream audience

To sell a course, it’s just as important to build authentic relationships as it is to market the course. 

Thankfully, social media makes it easy to engage with people and forge lasting relationships. You can do this by:

  • Engaging with people’s content (or having them engage with yours)
  • Having a conversation with them via Direct Messages

“I love DM conversations,” says Haughton. “… In my content on social media, I’m constantly inviting people to either comment and share their thoughts, or also to send me a direct message on Instagram or Facebook.”

  • Joining groups and engaging in existing conversations that are directly related to your offer. 

Having important conversations in these spaces will get you on people’s radar and help them see you as a leader in your industry or niche. 

Connect with your dream customers by sharing your story 

While it’s great to center other people’s experiences in your offer, nothing beats talking about your own experiences and sharing why you’re creating that offer.

Haughton explains how to find your story:

“So you want to think about, ‘What is your why? Why are you creating this offer? Why was it important for you to do this and why does it matter for your audience? What are some of the challenges you had to overcome in order to create this offer?’” 

Your story humanizes you. It’s what makes people think of you as a person who wants to help them, rather than a brand that just wants to make money. 

Advice for aspiring creators

Follow your curiosity and trust that you’d be perfect for the client you’re desiring to serve. It’s normal to overthink things and believe you’re not ready. But, chances are, you’re more ready than you think!

2. How to Turn Your Expertise Into an Online Course 

Maya Elious, Personal Branding Strategist and CEO of Built to Impact

Session description: From baking to drawing, public speaking to languages, you can learn anything online these days. If you have skills or expertise in a particular topic, you can turn it into an online course so that other people can learn from you. In this value-packed session, you’ll learn how to turn your skills into a profitable online course or program.

Key takeaways: 
Anyone can create courses  

If you have a skill set and real-life experiences you can draw on, you can create a course. If people constantly pick your brain or ask you for advice on topics you’re familiar with, take their questions and turn it into content that you can host on a course platform.

Be clear on what you want to be known for

As you run through ideas for a course, you need to identify what you want to be known for. Then make that messaging clear as you promote yourself.

Drawing from her own experiences, Maya Elious says:

“For example, I love being known for helping people get clear on their message, articulate their value, attract high-end clients and run a six figure business.” 

To attract your ideal client, you need to be clear on the specific

After spending hours creating the most extensive course on a particular topic, you’d naturally want clients who are willing to pay the course’s worth. To attract higher-paying clients, you have to ask yourself these questions: 

  • What caliber of client do I want to work with? 
  • What type of results do I need to provide to satisfy my client? 
  • Who do I need to become to produce these results? 

Create an outline of your course content to keep you on track

Before you start writing or recording videos for your course, you want to create an outline of the course first. To do that, consider these three things:

  • What’s the ultimate goal you want your clients to have?
  • What are the biggest reasons your clients haven’t achieved this goal? 
  • What do your clients think they need to hit their goal? 
  • What do your clients actually need to hit their goal? 

3. How to Land Your Best Paying Clients

Marshawn Evans Daniels, Reinvention Strategist and Creator of the Godfidence® movement, SHE Profits®  and The Destiny Collective

Session description: To boost course sales, you need more clients. But not just ordinary clients. You want clients that will pay the big bucks to gain access to the reservoir of knowledge that is your online course. In this lesson, Marshawn Evans Daniels teaches the secret formula to attract the best paying clients.

Key takeaways:

The first step to attracting high-paying clients is to define your ‘what’

What is your core outcome? 

To get people to see your course for what it’s worth, define the measurable outcome clients would achieve through the course. Clearly state the results people will get from working with you, buying your product or investing in your course/program. 

“If [your client’s] life is not better than it was before they get the outcome that you say you can provide, then it’s not a big enough ‘what’. It may be generic,” Daniels says. “You can’t just say, ‘I’m in business and I help people grow their businesses’ or ‘I help people make more money’. You want to be as tight and concise as possible.” 

The second step to attracting high-paying clients is to be clear about your ‘who’

Who needs what you’re offering?

If you’re just starting out with offering your services, it can be hard to clearly define who you’re trying to help. But when you get clear about your ‘what’, the ‘who’ starts to reveal itself. 

As you grow in the business and get some clients, you want to start looking for commonalities. The common age range, gender, problems, and desires that all your clients share. This will help you narrow down the kind of client/customer you want to reach.

The third step to attracting high-paying clients is to share your ‘why’

Why did you create this offer? 

Your ‘why’ is what bonds you to your clients. Sharing your story with people shows them that you have had a similar problem to theirs, you understand what they’re going through, and you genuinely want to help them. 

4. 3 Steps to Creating an Outcome-Based Course Outline

Cinnamon, Digital Marketer and Founder of Driven Spice 

 Session description: A course outline is a section that lets students know what your course is about, why it is taught, and what they need to be successful in the course.

In this session, Cinnamon uses a fictional analogy to teach how to create an outcome-based outline that reduces overwhelm and increases student satisfaction. 

Key takeaways: 

Determine the results you want your clients to get from your course

People don’t pay for courses just because they feel like it. They have a reason for taking the course and you should ensure that your outline is related to that reason. Ask yourself, “What should my students walk away with after taking my course?”

Outline the steps students need to achieve their desired results 

When you eventually launch your course, you’re going to have students who learn in different ways. Some students may be auditory, some may learn better with video, and others may prefer text. 

As you outline your course, figure out the format(s) that will best help your students achieve their desired results. It doesn’t have to be one specific format. You can mix and match different formats to cater to different learners. 

Clearly define how you will help your students achieve their desired results

Whatever the topic of your course is, chances are there are many other people teaching a course on that topic, too. To stand out from the crowd, think about what differentiates you from other people who teach this topic.

Track 2: Audience and Community 

1. YouTube Strategies for Beginners

 Erin Winters White, Content Strategist and Founder of Erin on Demand

Session description: With over 2.6 billion active users, YouTube is a great place to find people who are interested in your industry. In this training, you’ll learn how to earn dedicated subscribers and grow your YouTube channel. 
Key takeaways: 
Write searchable and strategic titles

While it is good to include keywords in your titles, you also want to infuse some personality into it. So instead of stuffing keywords into your titles—which can hurt your growth—craft a unique title that people can’t afford to scroll past.

It doesn’t really matter if the title doesn’t have keywords. You can add keywords to the description and tags to boost your SEO. 

Your thumbnail is the most important element that gets people to click your videos

Humans, in general, are visual creatures. So you want to make sure your thumbnails are exceptional. To create great thumbnails, here are some things you can do:

  • Use a clear image
  • Add text to the thumbnail
  • Use arrows, outlines, and other elements to show emotion

Learn storytelling

To get people to enjoy your videos, you need to have a storyline—a beginning, a middle, and a closing. 

  • The beginning should set the scene of the video. A short introduction of yourself and what the video is about will do. 
  • The middle should show you executing the topic of that video. Show the process of how something works and share the results. 
  • The closing should show you telling your viewers what to do after they finish watching the video.

This storytelling format can be used for any type of content, not just YouTube videos. 

Don’t stick to one thing. Explore and be yourself

You won’t know what will work out for you till you try it. So experiment with the elements available to you. Explore with your titles and thumbnails. Create different kinds of videos—short ones, long ones, vlogs, tutorials, voiceover videos, etc. 

Most importantly, create content that you enjoy and reflects who you are. YouTube is a long-term game. To succeed, you have to post videos consistently, and you can’t do that if you hate creating said videos.

2. List-Building to Sell Your Course

Regina Anaejionu, Bestselling Author and Founder of Online Outlier

Session description: If you want to sell your course consistently, you need to have an engaged email list. In this value-packed session, you’ll learn how to grow an engaged email list so that you can sell your course successfully.
Key takeaways:
Send a series of strategic emails to your subscribers

After you have found a way to connect with prospects and created a lead magnet for them, you want to send an engaging email series that spans a couple of weeks to your subscribers. 

Regina Anaejionu’s email series consists of eight emails. In this session, she breaks down the content and purposes of these emails and when you can send each of them to your audience. 

Actively connect with potential customers

As you grow your email list, don’t wait around for people to find your link and subscribe to you. Go out there, find and interact with people, too. You can do this by:

  • posting content and engaging with other people’s posts on social media 
  • doing cold outreach via email and LinkedIn
  • writing a guest post for someone else’s website
  • being a guest on someone’s podcast

If you don’t put yourself out there, nobody will!

3. Stories That Sell: How to Use Storytelling in Your Course Marketing Strategy

Jasmine Williams, Award-winning Writer and Founder of Jasmine Williams Media

Session description: Potential customers need to trust you before they buy what you’re selling. You can get them to do this by telling relevant stories that resonate with people. In this session, you’ll learn how to develop and tell compelling stories that sell. 

Key takeaways:

Start your story with an attention-grabbing hook

This could be an emotional statement, an intriguing question, or a hard-to-believe fact. Whatever it is, ensure that your hook inspires curiosity in your prospects. Make them yearn for more.

But be careful not to be overly dramatic. The last thing you want is to have a clickbaity hook. 

Tell prospects the benefit(s) of your offer

After delivering your hook, the rest of your story should show prospects the benefits of your online offer. Make them feel like they’ll get something from you, whether in terms of knowledge, inspiration, or entertainment. 

Have a strong close

Wrap up your story with a clear call-to-action that compels prospects to take the next step. Don’t focus too much on explaining the benefits of your offer that you forget to prompt your potential customers to actually purchase the offer. 

All stories are valid

If you think you shouldn’t tell your story because you’re not a writer, because you think no one would care or because your story is too personal to share, think again.

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic to be interesting. You could talk about your challenges or your unique approach to a popular topic. And if you’re too shy to tell your story yourself, you can get other people (beta testers, current students, coworkers, family members, etc.) to do it for you via video testimonials. 

4. From 0-100k Followers in 12 months: How to Grow a Loyal Community Quickly

Simran Kaur, TEDX Speaker and Founder of Girls That Invest

Session description: If you want to sell your course on repeat, you need to have a dedicated audience ready to buy from you. But, for some, building that audience is proving difficult. If you want to learn how to grow a loyal and engaged community, this training session is for you. 

Key takeaways: 

Find a niche with a gap—and fill it 

Virtually all niches you can think of have courses and digital offers centered around them. So you shouldn’t try to form a new niche. Instead, find a niche you enjoy that has a gap in it. Then use your online offer to fill that gap. 

Here’s what Kaur said about her first company, The Indian Feminist:

“I created [The Indian feminist] because there were all these great, amazing feminist accounts that I was following and enjoying. But no one was speaking about it from an Indian perspective. 

That was my background. And no one was speaking about the particular things that I was going through. So I found a niche where I thought, ‘Man, wouldn’t it be great if I could follow someone like that?’ And since I couldn’t find someone like that, I filled that gap.”

Create content that makes people feel good 

When people consume your content, you want them to feel good after. You want them to feel helped and to heave a sigh of relief. If people don’t feel good every time they see a post on your account, they’ll associate your brand with them feeling bad about themselves.

But if they feel good after seeing your content, they’ll be more inclined to come back and consume more of it.

Engage with content on your feed

A great hack to get more followers quickly is to reply to every relevant post on your feed. The goal is to get people to see your account in the comment section. You can leave a comment on what you think about the post, a compliment, or even an appropriate emoji. 

If you find posts related in your industry, you can drop some hot takes or opinions that will grab the attention of the account’s owner/manager.

Constant giveaways and promos won’t help you grow a dedicated following

Many people rely on follow-to-win giveaways and promos to grow a social media following. This doesn’t work. 

For you, the goal is to get an audience that is interested in and ready to purchase your offer. Giveaways and promos might get you the numbers, but those people are likely not there to buy what you’re selling. They’re only there to win the prize.

It’s much better to have 1,000 followers that feel like part of your community than it is to have 10,000 followers that aren’t there for the right reasons.

One piece of advice for aspiring creators

There’s a lot more positivity online than negativity. It’s okay to be scared of putting yourself out there. But with time, you’ll find your community to support and empower you.

Track 3: Scaling Up

1. How to Amplify, Accelerate & Automate Your Sales Using Facebook & Instagram Ads

Lorell Lane, Founder of Social Sales Lab 

Session description: If you’ve been posting ads on Facebook and Instagram without seeing much results, this training session is for you. Here, Lorell Lane teaches how to increase and automate your sales with Facebook and Instagram ads. 

Key takeaways:

Use retargeting ads to turn cold audiences into new leads 

Using personalized ads, you can retarget anyone who has engaged with your ads in the last year. By sending them retargeting ads, you can convert these people from audience members or site visitors into brand new clients/customers. 

You can use Facebook Pixel to do this. Just insert a piece of code that collects data into your ads. This data will help you get back in front of people who have already shown interest in your offer.

Be gentle with cold leads 

Your first set of ads should not be aggressive. Don’t hound your cold audience with price points because that’s not what they want to know. What they want to know is the problem you’re solving and if your offer is going to help them. 

So your first set of ads should introduce the problem that you solve and the solution that you offer. 

Serve personalized ads to your warm audience 

You may notice some people that have engaged with—liked, commented, shared or saved—your ad but didn’t convert. Now show them a second set of ads that can get them to trust you.

A great way to do this is to use social proof. Send them reviews, feedback and testimonials that show that you’re a trustworthy and reputable brand. 

Go hard with your hot leads 

You might notice that some people have added your product to cart or are so close to buying but they haven’t made a purchase yet. In this case, you want to send them ads that will make them fall in love with you and click the Buy button. 

Here, you should sell to them directly and with urgency. Your ads should induce a FOMO feeling in your hot leads so that they take action immediately. 

2. Planning a Stress-Free, Feel-Good Launch

Tasha Booth, Founder and CEO of The Launch Guild

Session description: Product launches don’t have to be stressful. There are things you can do to ease the launch process and hit the ground running. In this session, you’ll learn how to create high-impact launches without stress or burnout. 

Key takeaways:

Set realistic goals outside of revenue 

Apart from making money from sales, what else do you want to achieve from your launch? These other goals would provide a baseline for future launches. 

Say, you get 20 people in your first product launch. They’re not many, but you can get testimonials from them to support your next product launch. For that launch, you won’t be starting from ground zero as you did for your first launch. 

Keep your launch process linear 

As you create your course, it is tempting to include a ton of bonuses, webinars, checklists, and other resources. But doing this will overwhelm you and your customers. 

So slow down. Your product should be a straight line connecting your customers with the solutions they’re looking for. Cut down everything that doesn’t serve this purpose. 

Present your content in a format you enjoy using 

There are many formats you can use to launch your course—a webinar, a blog post, a social media challenge, etc. But you don’t have to do all these things if you don’t want to.  

Prepare for your launch with the format you enjoy using to connect with your audience. If you like writing, use a blog post. If you like talking, a podcast is good. If you like being in front of a camera, a webinar works well.

Hire experts to help you with your launch

It’s not possible to handle all aspects of your product launch without breaking down. To ease the launch process, first figure out some things you can do really well, and then delegate the rest of it to experts—designers, copywriters, social media managers, etc.

3. How to presell a course

Melissa Ruiz, Founder of Melissa Ruiz Empowerment 

Session description: Preselling involves creating demand for a product or service in advance. This marketing strategy is an excellent way to increase interest in your offer before you officially launch it. If you want to learn how to presell your course, this session is for you. 

Key takeaways: 

Test the market to validate your course idea 

Before you create a course, you want to check in with the market to make sure there’s people who are actually interested in your offer. You don’t want to spend time creating a course that no one wants to buy.

Hype up your offer 

If you’re not excited about your own offer, you can’t expect other people to be excited about it. Even before you create the course, talk about it on social media, podcasts, and blog posts. Let people know what you’re working on and that you have something new coming up. 

Provide value to pre-sale 

As you hype up your offer, you want to give prospects a little taste of what you’re creating. 

You can give them things like free challenges, collaborations, mini trainings, and infographics that are related to your offer. The goal is to show them that your upcoming offer is packed with value.

Create an incentive to increase pre-enrollment 

To get people to enroll for your course before you launch it, you have to provide incentives. Incentives give people a reason to enroll in your course before launch. You could give them a discount, a  bonus call, or something else entirely. Just make sure it is enticing enough to make them want to get first row seats to your offer.

Want more? Learn how to launch your first course in 8 short weeks with XayLi Barclay.