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Onboarded for the Expert Methodology Course


Matt Lambert



We got onboarded on a new program by Cathy Raffaele, the expert methodology course. It was the highlight of the week.

This journal is to share the experience of building out our methodology for the sake of both the tutor (Cath) and the pupil, for learning about teaching. There is massive value in profoundly understanding your audience’s problems and spotting patterns.

So this is that share of the problem we were facing.

We are beginners at being experts

At Conversationware we developed a particular way of looking at search marketing and website content architecture. Those two things combine to create a dynamic which we are now calling Search Audiences. A framework with multiple concepts that need explaining.

Website visitors are classified and categorised into recognisable audiences. Content is arranged to serve them better. It turned out to be a good idea: for traction and all that.

Now we’d like to share our knowledge and make it actionable by anyone. This is where the trouble started, 6 months ago.

The climb into expert clothing

I have heard that the more valuable a new idea, the more people fight it.

More likely, I am annoying them because I wasn’t articulating it. Or maybe I’m making it more difficult than they want it to be.

Its hard to make things easy, simply put. The work for me to explain the problems, let alone the solutions was getting me down. It’s hard to do and harder to scale. Messy. The trough of disillusionment was scrambling the brain. The harder you chase, sometimes the more rabbit holes you get stuck down.

The real issue is that over 15 years I have internalised the learnings and conflated multiple concepts. It now has the guise of intuition.

The ability to know it without thinking is the opposite of what we want to do now.

I now realise this is because we need to have our methodology.

Looking at the list of activities on Cathy’s site, there was a moment of clarity. This explains how we can explain things.

Oh, look, wow, a course designed to help us at the exact moment we are thinking about concepts, labels, categorisations, frameworks, and branding. Timing is everything!

A methodology is exactly what we didn’t know we were building.

The water broke

If creating a methodology is like birthing a child, we have a head start, as it’s been in the works for a while. It could be a shotgun wedding, our clients are probably all out of patience.

The confidence is growing; we are onto something important.

Fascinating concepts, we have a process that nobody else seems to have; we label things in a strange way. Worksheets and diagrams exist. The blocks are there. Thanks to the encouragement from internal and a network of champions, we are well on the way to our framework signature sessions.

Come to think of it; if people are interested, the first few intro sessions are being planned – join my new list – this is still our ‘building site’, but it will go up quite quickly now.

Start before you are completely ready. Get comfortable with it.

Cathy is helping experts BE experts.

Already, we have experienced so much value. If getting unstuck is part of what you need, I can recommend this program.

A champion for methodology, frameworks, and teaching methods, Cath enthusiastically coaches independent experts in their delivery.

Her pioneer course on expert methodology creation just started.

Leading by example

The onboarding call was full of value and insight bombs. But, more than that, how Cathy developed and ran the course session was an exceptional example of what we are trying to do.

Here are a few insights for the journal with my spin. For when it’s our turn.

  • Energy in the room is important and lifts the atmosphere
  • Iteration: We need to try the first few dozen times and mess up to get to the point you can explain simply.
  • Publishing before you are ready is a positive forcing function. We fail to succeed.
  • You don’t need to be an expert at everything; you will feel like an imposter at times
  • A lot of feedback will not be helpful. This fits my theory that the same audience gives you utterly different feedback at different times depending on ‘where they are’.

There is no conclusion. This is a process that can take a while. It will be quicker now.

That’s it, this is the news.

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