New Home Forums Monthly Challenges October 2017 Pass me the comfort blankie please…

87 replies, 12 voices Last updated by  Sara McCann 6 years ago
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    Sara McCann

    Validations Swamp – Validate your idea.

    What my course is called (name and tagline)

    Escape from Nicotraz – Freedom from smoking starts here

    Who you made it for (what they’re wanting)

    This is for people who have spent too long trying to be free from smoking and now feel like there’s no way out that. I want to show them a way to make it fun, an adventure to freedom (I believe this is what they’re wanting as everything else on offer is putting them through misery!)

    What the transformation is you’re providing (results) 

    To achieve COMPLETE and HAPPY freedom from smoking. To change the way they even think about it, so that it’s not something they have to refrain from and resist. Instead it becomes something so strange to them, something they don’t even consider – like going to work dressed as Tinkerbell!

    How long the course will take them to get through

    This will differ from person to person as I advocate that people take their time, go at their own pace and only move on to the next step once they’re ready and feel like everything has sunk in, repeating steps where necessary before moving on to the next. As this course is about changing their beliefs and mindset it is paramount they are ready before proceeding. However, if they were ready straight away, every time then it would take 21 days to progress through the whole course.

    A list of some of the lessons or tools I’ll take them through

    I will take them past the man with the elephants which teaches them that it is only their beliefs that keeps them chained.

    I will take them out of their prison building, through smoke and mirrors, which will alter the social conditioning they have been exposed to that has only served to keep them fearful, stopping them from even contemplating freedom.

    My theme and how it weaves into the experience

    My theme is based upon escaping from prison. This is how it can feel to someone who smokes. Like they’re trapped and frightened of the consequences if they try to leave. And then if they do manage to leave, how will they integrate with society again after so many years of being imprisoned and doing things a certain way? (thinking of the movie shawshank redemption here when morgan freeman can’t handle being free)

    Regular Price and Pre Launch special

    The regular price will be £250 (need some help on whether that should be dollars? I guess dollars is the standard currency online but should I keep it pounds with me being from the uk?) I have selected the price £250 as this is what I used to charge 15 years ago for one to one help in my Hypnotherapy practice to help people stop smoking. I remember being extremely nervous that no one would pay it but I ended up with so many people I couldn’t cope! I have also chosen this price because this is the amount (rounded down) that a 20 a day smoker will pay to smoke in a month. Therefore, they will recoop their money after only a month of stopping smoking.

    Pre Launch Price – I think this should be half price? So £125?

    I can’t really think of anything to add. I had wondered about the idea of offering people £50 back once they have been successfully stopped smoking for one month if they are willing to share a testimonial of their experience. Hoping that this would offer them a further incentive to quit.

    I cannot offer a money back guarantee on a course like this. Psychologically this would be very damaging. Part of a smokers problem is that they self sabbotage and will find excuses like ‘well, i can’t stop now as I have this stressful thing coming up’ etc etc. The human mind is a very clever piece of equipment, and when you are dealing with breaking habits the mind will do all it can to cling to that habit…it just needs a reason for doing so that it can convince you is logical. A refund for failing would do just that. Their minds will sabotage their good intentions and work if the promise of a refund was there for failing.


    So…now I need honest feedback and at least two of you to approve  my pre launch pitch! (fingers crossed!)


    DavidJ Jurasek


    Love how it’s coming together.

    A few thoughts about pricing…

    • I think making the distinct price and cost of smoking very explicit when you tell them the cost — like you explain it here — is pretty potent and reminds them of how small the risk is in terms of $.
    • I like that you don’t want to give a money back guarantee. I would love to see you write that out where they expect to see one (so standard these days) telling them why you don’t offer it and how this ecourse is different. IF they join, this is about real change – not just shopping and trying stuff out with a convenient back door out.
    • I would even consider — if in your shoes — to ask them to APPLY to join the course. Make it simple — they fill out a questionnaire or watch or read a short “Who this is NOT for” page before they click to do it. Self-selection and filtering people out is very powerful in my experience. It deepens their desire to start and commitment to follow through and also makes them take the first step in an active way as opposed to just consumed content or putting it on you to fix them.

    PS ~ Mucho thanks for all your amazing support lately. I am heartened by it and encouraged to put out my imperfect offering…


    Chris Gilmour

    Catching up on this thread, amazing start Sarah,

    I echo a lot of what has been said so far. I LOVE the video and didn’t even mind the music although the questioning of it does make senses to me as well. I definitely think a few more smoking shots especially early on are important just to make sure ppl catch the point right away and you don’t lose anyone. Any way to capture a really dramatic/artsy shot of someone blowing a big puff of smoke that fills the screen then fades to the prison shot?

    Cheers & keep up the momentum!


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    I love @davidj suggestions. So good.

    Wondering if a better tagline is: 

    Escape from NicotrazBreak Free from Smoking!

    It more speaks to the Alkatraz theme and jail break. Just a thought.

    re: $50 back at end. 

    I think the $50 back at the end of the course is absolutely brilliant. It would have to be on the honour’s system though, taking people’s word that they indeed have quit smoking. I think having them send a picture + testimonial is a great idea. You could have a “Nicotraz Escapees” wall of fame and showcase all the people who have successfully quit and share their stories. That’d be worth giving $50 back for sure!

    re: The Timeline.

    I would suggest making it a 21 day process and speeding everyone through from start to finish as quickly as they can. Then, at the end of the 21 days if they are still smoking, then they go back through.

    The only reason I suggest this is because “work at your own pace” will create a place for them to procrastinate and quit. They may stay on the same audio for weeks without ever moving forward because of that fear. Whereas, if you tell them, dpeending on who you are and how deep the programs go, you may have to go through the 21 days two to three times. Others, you’ll quit before your 21 days are over.

    That’s my thoughts on it anyway.


    I love this course. I think you’re going to change a lot of lives with it too.

    Let’s find you the best branding artist we can that’lll really bring this Escape from Nicotraz theme come to life.

    I wonder if @elijah is back on the mountain yet? He’s amazingly talented!



    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Wonderful tips and resources Rebecca @LearnAndGetSmarter

    I like the lyrics a lot @saramccann, but I’m not 100% sold that Rock’n Roll is going to be the music that your audience is drawn to. Check out and do some searching. Their music is super affordable. 

    I also don’t think it’ll serve you to have lyrics in the song. Not for a trailer (usually).

    I’ll keep my ears open too!



    Brilliant work @saramccann

    Great suggestions by all (I’ll add, lots of fluids and a proper fry up for the hangover – with a very sugary drink – the fizzy stuff in the red can works for me – and I don’t like it)

    I agree, no lyrics.. though they are good lyrics.

    I like the £50 back and I think charge it using UK currency, cos it’s a UK based course and you don’t want to do all that converting. That may be because I’m always thinking… how much? when I see things in dollars.

    I also really like @davidj suggestion of filtering through application. And agree with @bradleytmorris re procrastination. Let them do it several times if necessary, but get them moving whilst the momentum is there.

    You’re going great guns. Not bad for a woman under a comfort blankie!


    Rebecca Cuevas

    Thanks, @bradleytmorris for the link to the audio files on audio jungle. What do you all (especially @saramccann think of this one:

    I put in “edgy dark foreboding” as my search terms lol.

    I agree. lyrics will be distracting.

    Other than changing the music and adding more pics of smokers up front.. what else?????

    Brad, does envato market allow these clips to be used in commercial products?


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Not quite the sound I’m hearing in my head. Although, I’m hearing a lot of things in my head these days  LOL

    I took a bit of time and found some other possibilities. Below are some I like.

    I like this one because it’s got suspense mixed with inspiration.

    This one makes me feel like it’s life or death.

    This one feels like sorrow and hopelessness. I like it.

    This one feels hopeless and then becomes more hopeful.


    Sara McCann

    What on earth would I do without you guys!?! You are all amazing!

    @davidj I LOVE the idea of asking them to apply. I was reading up about this the other day as a launch idea and it appealed to me. Though I have no idea how I would pull it off exactly. Thank you so much too for liking my explanation and ideas about pricing. This is an area I am nervous about and so greatly appreciate the feedback and support for it.

    Thanks @chrisg I really appreciate your support and feedback. Definitely looking like more smokers in the trailer is a good idea! 😉

    @bradleytmorris Genius! Break free from smoking works soo much better!! Now why didn’t i think of that?! This just goes to show you need a community to help you see more clearly and consider more options!

    So pleased too that the idea of $50 back is appealing and I really like the idea of an escapees wall!! This Nicotraz picture is building by the second!

    A huge and massive thank you to you too for taking the time to look through audio jungle for me. I’m sure I don’t know the half of what you have on your own plate to do and yet you took the time to do that for me. I am so thrilled. My favourite so far is the 2nd one that you chose…the life or death one!

    @mars. Yes…I think the comfort blankie has definitely been discarded for now…though things seem to be mounting and my to do list growing…so might pick it up again sometime soon! lol Thank you so much for your thoughts on the time of the course and the dollar/pound perspective. It is hugely useful to get the opinion of everyone and I am very grateful to you. One day soon we’ll have to meet up for that fry up…not many excuses not to, being on the same small island! 😉

    @learnandgetsmarter You too, are so incredible to take the time to look through audio jungle for me, when you have so much you could be getting on with for yourself. I am worried that by throwing all these changes at you I am creating more work and stress to you and I really don’t want that to be the case. I appreciate your generosity so much and don’t want to take advantage of it by asking for more work to get it right. Please, please, feel free to back out and walk away if this has become too much for you to do. I really don’t want to take up your precious time. It is seriously worrying me now. I am sure I can sort something if this is looking like a far bigger project than you first thought so don’t worry either about leaving me in the lurch. Honestly.

    I have put together a few clips etc of things I had earmarked to go in my trailer video.

    Maybe this will help to get a feel of the kind of images I imagined?  There are other changes I would like to make but before I throw anything else at you I really want to make sure you are ok to continue.


    Sara McCann

    Aaargh! Apart from the elephants playing video!! I just downloaded it because it was elephants and I have an elephants step in my course….hadn’t realised what they were playing WITH! 😀  Yep, won’t be using that one!! LOL!


    Laura Koller

    EVERYONE is pitching in to make this great!  I love it!

    Here’s one that could work well.  It sounds like prison doors slamming shut, and yet grows heroic towards the end:

    So many other ideas to like – applying, no money-back guarantee, 21 days (to build a DAILY habit, and YES to the suggestion of repeating the course multiple times since research shows that the average time to form a habit is actually more like 66 days and can go up to 200+ depending on the person and the habit).

    What momentum!!!!


    Rebecca Cuevas

    Hi Sara @saramccan,
    The issue is not about me spending the time, so much as about, would me spending more time lead to the results you desire? I can really relate to the challenge of one creative person trying to have another creative person create their creative thing lol. For example, I once had the vision for a piece of music I wanted to write. I do not know how to write music.. but I had a very clear vision of what I wanted (sound, mood, style, tempo, etc) in my head. I found a musician who was willing and able to create songs for others, and he was very happy to work with me. I wasn’t taking his time away from is other valuable work.. this WAS his valuable work (and of course, I was paying him for his time). He did a professional job and the end result was a fine product.. but it never really matched MY vision for what I wanted to create. It may be that my vision was not technically achievable (though I am sure that, had I had the musical skill, which I totally don’t, I could have achieved it). But it was not technically achievable through the process of me explaining what I wanted to someone else who did have the musical abilities to create it.. and having them do it.

    I think that’s what we are facing here. The issue is not about my time. It’s that when I take a look at the images you have selected, I understand that they relate to your course (which is the whole purpose of your video, naturally). They do not so much relate to the original Escape from Alcatraz movie (which is just a metaphor for your course… this is a subject I got into with Brad @bradleytmorris and find very fascinating.. the metaphors are helpful containers for the ideas in our courses, BUT… the course and what you want to teach needs to be in control. The metaphor should not control and limit what we want to teach.

    SO.. that said, the video the way I made it, was true (ish) to the actual Escape from Alcatraz movie, which I had just watched the day before. That’s where I got the look and feel, the extreme closeups which create a kind of fragmented, PTSD type of feeling, and so on. I think that it will not really be possible for me to create the video that you envision in your head, for you (just as it was not possible for the musician I hired to create the piece of music that I envisioned in my head). In my case, with the music, I had to give up because I lack the musical skill to write my own music. That is not true for you. You certainly have the skill and ability to create your own video. You know the sound you want, the mood you want, the images you want…I think that what my sammple video did (hopefully) was create some energy and inspiration around the concept that it does not have to be a big long production to make a video (that only took me about 2 hours to put together). Just jump in and do it. I will share the tools I used here, and others are sharing their suggestions and tools.. but I think that in order for you to get a video that really works for you and does what you want it to do, you are going to have to make it yourself. That is my only reason for bowing out at this point, not any other. If I thought that putting more time and energy into it would yield a better result, I would. But for example, I can’t make a video that is true to the original Alcatraz movie, and also includes elephants, snakes, etc. That’s because those images are referencing off your course, not the Alcatraz movie. I faced the same issue with Course Crafters Camp: Brad pointed out to me that some of the things I was including (thrill rides, personal trainers, etc) are not typically found in adult summer camps. I did not care, because the camp metaphor is just there to serve what I’m trying to teach, not the other way around. BUT, that said.. if we are going to be using these metaphors, we have to create a context for the learner or potential purchaser to understand how our course content relates to the metaphor. Those are issues you understand in your own mind in a deeply intuitive way (just as I understand how thrill rides and personal trainers are part of course crafters camp). But this is not something I can help you create as a finished video, as a person who is not within your own mind. Only you can do that. So for that reason, I would say, take the video I made as a fun demo of how to put something together fast.. then go from there to make the video YOU want, that expresses YOUR creative vision and truly showcases your course.
    I’ll be happy to share my tools elsewhere… but I think that’s the issue with another, not-you, person trying to create this video for you. I don’t think that is going to be effective.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    I actually think the video you made was 85% there Rebecca @LearnAndGetSmarter. You nailed the feeling with the images and way you laid it out. It’s really good. I think it just needs a few more close-up smoking pics to tie it all together and a different sound. Regardless of what’s used in the end trailer, you have sparked some serious magic in this project and I know you are appreciated for that.


    Rebecca Cuevas

    Thanks @bradleytmorris. I thought so too.. and as I had originally (and several times after that ) told @saramccann, it is easy to make a clone/copy of the original file, add photos, change the music, and re-produce it. I’ll be happy to do that if Sara wants me to. All she has to do is send me the specific photos she wants included (along with any text or captions to go with each one) and let me know at what point in the film to insert them.

    I would also need the music file (and it would need to be 100 percent copyright free for commercial use).

    So Sara @Saramccann if you want to do that, just send them and I’ll happily and easily create another version.

    What I CAN’T do (because it’s simply not possible, no one can) is get inside another artist’s head and see their creative vision from the inside out. I would need that creative vision to already be clear to them and then expressed to me in the form of sending me specific images (not a general list, because I can’t know which images to pick from a general list nor what to do with them). And I would need a specific, copyright free music file that I can use for the soundtrack.

    So Sara, if you’d like, go ahead and send me those and it’s quick and easy to do a remake. It’s not a big deal about the time.


    Sara McCann

    I’ve been having a good think about what to do and how. Especially pondering on your excellent example Rebecca,  of trying to explain the music in your head to a musician. Trying to get inside of someone’s head and see their creative vision in order to replicate it is certainly not an easy task at all! I’m not even sure I could explain it to you because in my head it is more of a vibe, sound and colours. There are no specifics laid out in my head for it is more of just a ‘feel’ Dear me, I’m not even sure that makes sense…and that’s before I even try to explain to you how I would like it created!

    Because of that, the task of even me making it feels impossible. So when you made the video for me it really was a light at the end of the tunnel…a vision of what could be. I guess you did what you promised you would…organized my brain! You picked up all the scarves off the floor and assembled them in your own interpretation to show me what could be possible. The effect that had was amazing! No, it isn’t exactly how I would choose to organize my scarves but it showed me how much better things could be if they were organised…what is possible…what could be within my grasp!

    There are no words I can conjure up to express how much your kindness meant to me.

    With all of that said, I have decided (anxiously and nervously) to try and make my own. Will mine be anywhere near as good as yours? I very much doubt it! Will I get frustrated and overwhelmed? Probably! I think there are many reasons why I think it might be best this way though…despite the disadvantages. I think I NEED to conquer this. Creating this video is part of the steps on the mountain. Part of what I need to learn and be able to do to create more in the future. I can’t keep coming to you every time I need a video! Of course, it would be lovely if I could afford to hire someone in the future to create these videos for me, but even when I think of that…I feel I need to know and understand enough about video creation in order to even explain my visions to someone…and right now, I truly don’t…which is why I can’t even explain it to you.

    And even though you have been so kind as to say you don’t mind spending the time to edit it for me, to how I like it. I would mind. It would bother me greatly that I am taking time away from you, I would worry at every step that I am asking too much, being too awkward, taking too long.

    I can’t help thinking of that saying…’give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Show him how to catch a fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I think that’s what I need to take from this. To take the fish from you would feed me for now but leave me hungry again very soon. Instead, I feel I should take from you the lesson on how to fish.

    Without your video I would have been out there fishing with a net in the sea….now, I know the right kind of tools and techniques to be able to stand half a chance of doing this.

    There is so much in your video that I love, and with your permission, I would very much like to take those elements and use them in my own as they had me saying ‘Now THAT’S the way to do it!’ So, in the end it will be more of a joint creation…a bit of you and I in there…with the added bonus that I have also learned my own trade. If you would be so kind as to agree to that?

    I hope you understand my decision.

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