The easiest and hardest way to pilot an online course
The easiest way to pilot a course is to do it live. The hardest way to pilot a course is to do it live.
Easiest partly because expectations of production quality (e.g. the slides) are lower. Partly because you don't have to figure out everything to cover in advance: you can just do Q&A at the end to plug any gaps.
And partly because doing your pilot live is a “forcing function”. You have to set a date in the diary publicly and commit to it. With pre-recorded video it's just a little too easy to keep working on the slides and the videos in the background promising yourself you'll release them soon but never actually doing it.
But of course, live is scary.
What if the tech fails? What if you “dry up” or fluff your lines? What if you can't answer all the questions?
Valid concerns. But manageable.
If you're like most everyone in the world you've lived on Zoom for the last couple of years.
You should be able to get the tech to work. And if it fails, people will understand.
You should be able to present for an hour or two just fine. But if you do forget something you can always send out what you missed later.
And if your course is on a subject you know well (obviously it should be) then you should be able to answer any reasonable questions. And if you can't you can just get back to people later after doing a bit of homework.
Live workshops are the way I would pilot any program these days. Or if the program is too big to be done in a couple of hours live, I'd pilot one part of it that can make an immediate impact and at the end offer the full program.
That's not to say I haven't messed up the occasional live session myself. Usually I try to cram too much in and overrun.
But setting a date and promoting and selling the session really makes things happen much faster than it would have otherwise.
And ultimately I find it leads to better quality too as you have feedback from the live session(s) before you finally cast your course into electronic stone.
So if you're looking to get going with a pilot I'd recommend a short (1-2hrs) live workshop as your first option.
Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win the clients they need using Value-Based Marketing - an approach to marketing based around delivering value, demonstrating your capabilities and earning trust through your marketing.