What if it’s not good enough?
Perhaps the biggest concern holding people back from doing a live or “almost live” pilot – or otherwise getting a basic version of their course out fast – is a nagging fear that it won’t be good enough for their audience.
Personally, I’ve read so much about “best practices” for online courses that I end up with a wholly unrealistic view of what I should be aiming for with the first version of a course.
So yes, it’s great to have a more engaging presence with really high quality in-person video. Yes, it’s great to have all sorts of exercises and activities to split up the content. And yes, you want the purchase process and using your online system to be as simple as possible.
But these and all the other best practices are aspirations to build towards. They’ll give your course an edge in the marketplace. They’ll lead to better reviews and testimonials. But they’re certainly not “must haves” for the first version of your course.
That’s easier said than done though when the little voice in the back of your head tells you your slides aren’t good enough, your checkout could be smoother and you need to add more examples.
Keep listening to that little voice and you’ll never get your course out the door.
One thing I’ve found that helps is to recognise that your potential customers aren’t just one homogenous blob who all need and want exactly the same things. They’re a mix of human beings with different preferences.
Some indeed will want all the bells and whistles. But plenty won’t.
The initial version of your course shouldn’t be built with the most exacting customer in mind. The one who wants every little question answered up front and the course to look beautiful.
Instead, focus on early adopter types. The people who want the unique content you’re sharing to give them an edge and get them results fast.
The ones who don’t mind if the slides aren’t perfect or if they have to message you to ask questions for a couple of bits of content you didn’t fully cover. The ones who don’t need hand holding every step of the way but who will take what you give them and get on with it.
That’s one of the reasons I suggested you create outcome or results oriented courses.
If people are buying courses for professional development they’ll want as much information as possible. If people are buying courses for entertainment they’ll want high production values.
But if people are buying courses to help them get a result they tend to be OK getting just the basics they need to get the result they want. In fact they’re usually delighted if they can get those results with the minimum of effort and learning needed. It’s a means to an end for them.
So if you’re like me and you sometimes worry about whether what you’re creating will be good enough, take a step back.
Ask yourself “will this be good enough for early adopters who just want to get results fast?”
That’s what you should be aiming for with your first release of a course. You can add all the fancy stuff that appeals to other buyers later.
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.