So you’ve decided that you want to create a course but nobody warned you that…
How to Make Your Online Course Logical and Easy to Follow
Have you ever taken an online course or a class where the information was hard to follow? And while the instructor had some amazing pearls of wisdom, it just wasn’t efficient or engaging? You may have even walked away more confused than when you started.
I know that feeling. I took an online course once that I’d paid a significant amount of money for. It was marketed as being an efficient system to achieve a particular outcome. But the course was mostly videos of the instructor waffling on about anecdotes and stories.
While yes, there was probably great information hiding in there, I couldn’t be bothered sifting through all the waffle to extract the gold. I felt especially ripped off because the course was marketed as being a system. And there was no presentation of that system, at least as far as I got into it.
Creating a course that has the right blend of stories and is well-delivered, easy to follow intellectual property is key. You must make your ideas, your unique processes and methods clear. You have to distil them down into something you can explain efficiently and effectively.
So, I’m here to tell you that you need to get your intellectual property into shape. It needs to be moulded, systemised, and made digestible for your course participants. If you don’t systemise it, you’ll find that you create something that’s messy and hard to follow. And if it’s messy and hard to follow, your customers may not get amazing results and they’ll probably drop out and ask for a refund.
So in this post, I’m going to walk you through an exercise to set out the blueprint for your online course . While there are many different bits of intellectual property we create, I’m going to focus on a signature one – your “Stages or Steps” – e.g. your process or method. This won’t work for every course, but for many, it does.
Once you have this mapped out, creating modules and lessons that make logical sense, are easy to follow and give your clients the best chance at success is easy.
Stages and Steps
Stages and Steps illustrate the process or journey for your clients and can be a powerful tool to use in your marketing as well as in structuring the content for your course.
This whole process should take you a few hours, but it is SO WORTH IT.
Items you need:
- Post-it notes (get colourful ones – make it FUN)
- Pens (colour is where it’s at!)
- A blank wall or large clear surface – e.g. kitchen table, wardrobe doors
- Your phone (or another camera)
Take your post-it notes and on one write down where your clients are at when they start working with you. On another post-it note, write down where they want to end up.
Now, think about all the different things your clients need to do to get from where they are to where they want to be.
Take each of those little action items and write each one on a post it note. One item per post it note. Add all the different exercises, activities and processes you could or would like to take them through.
Next, grab all those post-its and stick ‘em up on a wall. And then arrange them in as many different ways as you can. Take a photo of each arrangement.
You should be able to see what is the best way to chunk all these items together. Can a whole set of items be grouped together to form one module/stage in the process?
Choose the best arrangement. And then do two things:
- Sketch it up into some kind of diagram or infographic
- Create a checklist of action steps from it and use that as your free opt-in gift. It’s incredibly useful and packed with value. Yay! Product created!
While this only scratches the surface of the number of intellectual property elements you should think about creating for your course, it’s an amazing exercise to really get clear on your process and chunk it in the most logical way.
You can use this as the basis of your modules as well.
And now you have a clear system to show your clients how you’re going to get them from A to B. It’ll help you create a course that is clear, and logical to both you and your clients.
What did you think of this exercise? Let me know in the comments below!
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