This episode, Jason and Bridget are joined by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. He's very active on Twitter as well as YouTube. So if you're thinking about designing an online course, go check those resources out. You can even watch his 13 video playlist of starting an online course.
Thank you for being a preroll sponsor, ServerPress! ServerPress is the maker of DesktopServer, WPSiteSync, and so much more! Check them out at serverpress.com.
Are you looking for brand awareness?
You could be a show sponsor. We think it is a great idea to let people know you’re still in business and supporting your products. Supporting podcasts is a great way to repurpose your WordCamp Swag budget.
Historically, we've had revolutions and evolutions: the enlightenment age, the industrial revolution, the information revolution. Now, Chris says, we are in the integration age.
"So the, the way I look at it is that they were kind of transitioning out of the information age into the integration age. And that includes integrating information, boiling it down, getting past overwhelm. And, honoring the limited lifespan we have and attention we have. So the old model of education is really around getting access to the best information. The new model is about getting results efficiently and going direct as the shortest path possible to the ideal outcome." Chris Badgett
We all have access to thousands of libraries -- free, thousands of courses -- free. Yet, how many of us take advantage? Few. We're overwhelmed with information. We need to know how this information is relevant to our lives.
"When you design around your expertise in the information and not the learning journey and the result of the person, once you end up with these like giant, I call them, resource courses, like giant courses that are extremely dangerous and get abandoned a lot." Chris Badgett
Support the Learning Journey
Supporting the learning journey with your online course means you design the course with the end in mind. What are the expected results?
Being overwhelmed is a factor of motivation. Why is the learner taking the online course? Is it to get a certificate? There are two types of motivation when it comes to learning: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation could be a monetary reward (raise at work) or earning respect (credentials on LinkedIn). Intrinsic motivation comes from a desire from your soul to improve. Knowing what motivates your learner, helps you design your course.
Adding a map for your online course, reverse engineering it from the end result, with milestones helps with course retention.
An easy way to do this is to have a challenge. They lend themselves well to steps and pre-training/gamification.
"One of the things that’s exploding in marketing right now is what are called challenge funnels. ...Why is it, why are challenged funnels exploding? Well, what’s the challenge? The challenge is designed around a result and a challenge is time bound. So, you know, there could be like a 30 day challenge, a 90 day challenge, a four day challenge, whatever it is, health, wealth, relationships, whatever." Chris Badgett
Transformation is Over-Hyped
Not every course needs to lead to a caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation. Most of the transformations we see, in nature or otherwise, aren't overnight anyway. Rather, they are a series of steps, completed.
When it comes to marketing your online course we tend to pitch transformation. But when it comes to any kind of product, the marketing has to revolve around one question:
"What's in it for me?"
Creating early wins and adding support for the learner as well as community will help retain learners to your online course. You can even move to the coach model with weekly office hours in a group format. You spend the same hour a week, with many learners.
"The easiest way to do that add a weekly office hour call that you don’t have to prepare for, and they just show up with questions. It’s a group format so it can scale, like, okay, if you have a lot of people that follow you or in the program, it’s still just one hour on your calendar." Chris Badgett
Coaching Over Information
Information is great. But if you create 10 courses that is simply a vault of your information, without any coaching, you won't have a high course completion rate. Further, you're not supporting the learner in their journey.
An important part of coaching is the right fit. This isn't about a good fit for your online course. It's a fit between the learner and the coach. Do their personality and communication styles match? How about the learner's style of learning? What about loyalty?
"Real coaching, whether that’s business coaching, life coaching, relationship coaching, it’s about fidelity." Chris Badgett
We tend to have these types of courses that circle around and around, like a spiral road going to the top of the mountain. There is no personalization or way to test out. That's frustrating for the learner.
When your online course includes personalization, you are supporting the learner's journey and reducing frustration. When you can tell a client to take this course over that one, then they are no longer overwhelmed.
Tool or Tip of the Week
This Tool or Tip of the week is brought to you by Cloudways. Is your website slow? Or are you looking for a reliable host for your WordPress projects?
Whether it’s an existing website or a project on your drawing board, Cloudways offers a hosting environment with all the features you need to succeed online.
Cloudways is optimized for speed and delivers outstanding performance and security, all supported by 24/7/365 support by expert cloud engineers.
It is an ideal platform for WordPress projects because of the choice of FIVE cloud providers including AWS, Google Cloud, Linode, DigitalOcean, and Linode. The best part – your managed server and WordPress websites are ready in a few minutes.
Once the app is up and running, you can add more power to your business operations, thanks to exciting features such as free SSL certificates, CloudwaysCDN, automated and on-demand app/server backups, and custom-built Teams features to onboard distributed team members.
Cloudways extends your in-house team and takes care of all server management issues, and lets you focus on building amazing websites for your online businesses.
If you like what you have heard, start with a 3-day free trial of Cloudways now!
Chris recommends his YouTube Traffic System course.
Jason recommends Descript.com. It allows you to edit the transcript and the video. Super cool.