No Shortcuts in Life? Plan Your Online Course to BE a Shortcut!

When you’re planning your online course, your focus should be on the outcome.

The solution to a problem.

Relief from a pain point.

The results.

That’s what your clients are really paying you for when they buy your online course.

You’re probably thinking that you already knew that. But is it what you’re really focused on when you’re planning your courses?

course content is a shortcut

What’s the Key Question that Drives Your Course Planning & Creation?

So often, I hear online entrepreneurs asking, “How much content should I include in my online course?” But here’s a better question to ask: “How will I facilitate the transformation my clients are looking for?”

Better yet, ask this when you’re planning and creating your online course: “How little content can I provide while helping my clients to achieve the transformation they’re looking for?”

Now, the “how little” question isn’t about skimping on the content they truly need or about making the creation process as easy as possible for you. (In fact, you might find that the “less is more” approach is harder in that it requires more strategic thinking!)  It IS about doing your participants the favor of creating the shortcut to the solution to their problem.

How Do People Get Results? How Do They Get from “Here” to “There”?

you are here

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

When you “PLOT Your Course,”* there are probably a million ways to help people get from here to there. Some of those ways will be people getting themselves from here to there – without any help from you! After all, potential solutions to their problems are just an internet search away. It’s all right there at their fingertips, 24/7.

So why would anyone pay you for your solution?

Because they want to bypass all the time and energy they’d spend, scouring the internet for answers, and piecing together solutions from three blog posts here, five YouTube videos there, a couple of infographics, and so on. And let’s not even mention that they’re almost 100% likely to encounter conflicting opinions during their efforts.

Your audience wants the shortcut to the results you can provide because 1) you clearly understand your clients’ pain points and 2) you are an expert who can tailor a solution to the problem that they’re having. They want your online course because it helps them reach their outcome faster and easier.

When you PLOT Your Course, put your participants on the express train to the results. Give them a ticket for a direct flight – no crazy connections and long layovers – to the outcome.

Get them there fast. Don’t waste their time by “adding value” to your course by loading it with content. Provide exactly what they need – and only what they need – allowing them to achieve the transformation as quickly and simply as possible.

An Everyday Example to Illustrate

Here’s my favorite “concrete” example that helps to drive the point home.

Say you need to hire a plumber because your toilet is broken. It’s a big deal because you’re in your first apartment with only ONE toilet, so this needs to be dealt with pronto. You get the names of two plumbers from your friends.

You call Plumber Joe. Joe says, “No prob, I can fix that! It’ll cost you $300, and I can be at your house at 9:00 tomorrow morning.”

Then you call Plumber Jane, and she says, “That’s a cinch! It’ll cost you $360, and I can be at your house at 9:00 tomorrow morning.”

You’re calling Joe, right? Sixty bucks is 20% higher – and we already established that you’re in your first apartment, so you’re not rolling in the dough. (If you were rolling in dough in your first apartment, kudos to you! But this is my example, so play along.)

But what if I add a detail?

Joe says, “No prob, I can fix that! It’ll cost you $300, and I can be at your house at 9:00 tomorrow morning. I should be done by 4:00 or 5:00.

Jane says, “That’s a cinch! It’ll cost you $360, and I can be at your house at 9:00 tomorrow morning. I’ll be out by 10:00.

Now, who are you going to call?

Are you still thinking Joe? I mean, he IS willing to work for you ALL day for $300. He’ll make somewhere between $40 and $50 an hour, whereas Jane wants a whopping $360 dollars an hour! Would you say that Joe is the better value because you’ll get more work out of him?

No! I’m guessing you’ll call Jane because it’s worth the extra $60 to have a working toilet within the hour, instead of having to wait all day. Plus, you won’t be stuck in your house, hanging out with the plumber all day!

The Same Is True for Your Online Course

When you’re planning and creating your course, be like Jane. Find a way to solve a problem quickly and easily, and don’t hang around forever. The value is in the results, not the amount of content you provide. Focus on that result – the transformation – you’re providing and PLOT Your Course along the shortest route to that destination.

*If you didn’t already know, “PLOT Your Course” (Planning, Lessons, Outcomes, Tools/Tales) is the title of my upcoming course on course creation.

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