It’s no secret that online education continues to be a growth industry. With the technological advances and the pandemic we’ve seen in recent years, it’s only natural that more and more people are opting for online courses over traditional classroom instruction. What does a quality online course bring to your business?
Here are the top 3 benefits an online course can bring to your business:
- Stop trading time for money. Packaging up your expertise means that you can sell again and again for the price of creating once. Having even just one small online course can add a revenue stream that delivers with compounding interest.
- Deliver at your best. It is very easy to get complacent when you are repeating information again and again. The information might be shiny and new to your clients. But when you have delivered it more times than you can count, it is hard to maintain the delivery with the same enthusiasm. The temptation to cut corners, or imagine that your clients already know your stuff, is very real. Recording your content when you are delivering it at your best – creates a lasting impression about your professionalism.
- Clients learn at their own pace. I started my fitness career working with mums, who usually had their little people with them. This meant that I was often competing for their attention. Plus clients who signed up to work out wanted to work out! Their expectation was a physical workout. But I needed them to know why I was training them the way in which I was. Allowing clients to learn at their own pace and in their own time is a win-win situation. It also enhances your face-to-face coaching.
But of course, to make anything look simple takes skill. And when creating an online course, it is very easy to get things wrong. Very wrong.
Here are the top 3 ways to achieve a terrible online course:
- Your course is an information brain dump. This is the commonest mistake I see. You imagine that everything you have is gold or will “value add”. People are time-poor. Your learners don’t want everything – they just want the quickest, most effective way to solve their problem. Your job is to take them by hand and guide them through all the noise to the destination of their problem solved.
- The learner is an empty cup. This is so common, I know that you have shared this experience. This is a presentation where the expert knows their stuff so much that they can hardly take a breath. Their PowerPoint is so full of words and graphs and information, that you don’t even know what to concentrate on. So swept up in the delivery of their information that they have overlooked one vital part of the relationship. The learner. The learner leaves not only feeling overwhelmed by the volume of information. But the overwhelm results in not even knowing where to start! Their cup is overflowing. The presenter has failed in the most important step. Giving their learner the next best step.
- Details matter. Do you remember the fly on Mike Pence’s head? That fly now has his own Twitter account. Did that fly help you remember what the Vice President of the United States was saying? Absolutely not! Because you were too distracted to listen! This is the same if your presentation does not look professional or your background is messy or busy. These details don’t cost anything but attention. Having uniform fonts, colours and layouts are soothing to the brain, which is constantly looking for differences. Having a background that is pleasing, yet nondescript stops internal conversations that the learner has with themselves in their distracted brain space.
I get it. You are a content expert in your field. And as a teacher, you may be communicating your expertise that is either the way that you learn, or you remember being taught. Which for many of us, extends to someone at the front of the class talking at us.
Or perhaps in the rush to communicate all your wisdom, you have not really given any thought to how people learn? And to be fair, it is a science all to itself. Pedagogy or andragogy is the science of how children and adults learn. But you don’t need to do a degree at university to learn these skills. And it is important to remember, that relatively few people are natural teachers. Like relatively few people can pick up new languages, or instruments easily and quickly. But quality teaching is simply a collection of skills. Which means anyone can learn them.
Even with a background in education and a teaching career, I have made all the mistakes when making online courses. But over time, (I have 19 online courses under my belt – everything from 1-hour masterclasses to in-depth university courses) I have finessed the process of how to create an engaging online course into 5 essential steps.
And I have learned a truckload of hacks that save me oodles of time (and heartache). This means my courses get finished.
Because only published courses can make money.
My latest masterclass – Clever course content creation – 5 essential steps in creating an online course holds your hand and shows you exactly how to turn your expertise into a product that you can sell again and again. I am ridiculously excited to share all my goodness, to help you create and publish your own online course.
Oh, and I reckon you will enjoy the process too.
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