What You Can Do to Help People Finish Your Online Course


What You Can Do to Help People Finish Your Online Course

When you think about creating and launching your online course, your stomach knots. What if people drop out or *gasp* ask for a refund? Trust me, it’s going to be okay. While you can’t prevent every drop out, there are strategies you can use to improve client retention and commitment. After all, you want your clients to get awesome results.

I’m going to walk you through 5 common reasons people drop out of courses and what you can do as a facilitator to help them stay onboard and get amazing results.  When you understand these 5 reasons, you’ll create more engaged clients who finish the course, get the amazing results, and rave about how awesome their experience was to anyone who will listen. Ready? Let’s go!

5 reasons people drop out of courses and how you can keep them engaged:

1. The course is boring!

The first reason people drop out of online courses is that the course is… well… boring. I slept through most of the lectures at uni because the lectures were giant snooze-fests.

Making your course interactive and keep people engaged doesn’t have to be a mammoth effort. Live calls and interactive Facebook groups make it real to your students and can help keep them engaged and accountable. Set times where people can actually talk with you and with each other on live calls about the course content and any problems they’re having. Set up a secret Facebook group where you’re in there regularly providing feedback on your clients’ specific situations and needs.

2. Your clients just feel like a number

If no-one will notice if you’re gone, are you likely to stick around? If your clients are not feeling the love, they might quietly disappear into the ether. You can fix this by making it personal. Demonstrate that you genuinely care about your clients getting results by personally touching base with them.

Are you feeling worried about them because you haven’t heard from them for a while? Send them a text message. Oh, and don’t forget to reinforce the positive. If they’re kicking goals, let them know you noticed! A little personal touch goes a long, long way.

3. The course material is overwhelming

It’s tempting to cram a whole bunch of stuff into your course to “add more value”. But…. more content makes it harder for clients to stay on board and complete. If people feel overwhelmed, they will drop out. Then it’s not valuable at all!

Fix this by just sticking to just the content that keeps your clients on the critical path. Less is more. Only include what they absolutely must have to get the desired result.

Also, make it easy to digest. Chunk your course into bite-sized pieces. Think of 1-3 minutes per lesson as a guideline for online content. Make it incredibly easy to finish pieces of content. Where you might present content live in a 1 hour presentation, you need to chop it into much smaller chunks for online learning. Generally, each lesson should contain a simple Teach-Then-Do.

4. Your clients downloaded your course and are saving it for a “rainy day”

I bet you ten bucks your target market says they want all the course material up front. Don’t give it to them. This is the one time I give you permission to ignore what your ideal clients say they want. Trust me, they’ll buy it, maybe do the first module and then never look at it again.

And why is that bad? Well, they’ll never get the results and become raving advocates for you and your awesome course! Avoid this by making sure you drip-feed your content. You want people to take steps over a dedicated amount of time. Also, live calls to the rescue again! Use your live calls to hold people accountable and encourage them to finish the tasks required.

5. Expectations weren’t met

And last, but not least, people will drop out if they didn’t get what they wanted or were expecting. Fixing this comes down to being truthful in your marketing. For example, if you’re going to call yourself the XYZ formula, then give your clients a formula. Like A + B + C + D = E, where E is the result they want.

Tell them EXACTLY what A, B, C and D are and tell them exactly how to do them. Don’t waffle on with anecdotes or people will expect refunds. If you’re selling a formula, that’s what your clients are expecting. So make sure you’re clear in your marketing what your course is and deliver on that in the content.

Now you know 5 reasons people drop out of courses and what you can do to keep them engaged, kicking goals, and getting results. And clients who get amazing results become your biggest advocates and referrers.

Stay tuned for my next instalment where I reveal another 4 reasons people don’t complete online courses. Have you ever dropped out of a course? Was it for any of the reasons above? Something else? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Rosemary

    I was discussing just this with a client yesterday. There is nothing more encouraging than knowing that the person who created the course is watching to see how you are doing. And nothing more easy than to run away if noone is watching. Absolutely.

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