Everyone who’s creating an online course wants to deliver results to their clients, but course creators sometimes struggle to figure out the best way to do that.

The top questions I get from coaches and consultants designing their first course are

  • “How long should my course be?”
  • “How much content do I include in my course?”
  • “How do I make sure my course delivers value?”

Those may sound like different issues, but all three questions roll up into the same issue: Ensuring your course doesn’t under deliver. Stated another way, it’s making sure the course has enough content to be worth the selling price.

Courses that Deliver Results Are Shortcuts Clock Image

How do we determine how much course content is “enough” content?

People are going to give us money for our courses, so we tend to want to cram everything we know on the topic into the course, thinking that is how participants will assess the value of the course.

The belief is: “more content = more value.”

But I’m here to tell you some super-good news. That’s not how it works.

The course that has the most value is the course that delivers results and does it quickly.

Instead, the right approach is: “realized results = maximum value.”

That is, instead of asking, “How much content is enough?” ask:

  • “How am I going to help the participant to achieve the promised result?”
  • “How short could my course be and still deliver the result?”
  • “What is the shortcut to the solution to the problem my participants are having?”

Ultimately, what people are paying for is the shortcut to the result they’re seeking. After all, they could go to the library for books, find a bunch of blog posts, and watch some YouTube videos and figure it out for themselves. For free, no less!

But what they really want is the time and frustration they’ll save because you gathered everything they need (and nothing more!), put your personal spin on it (they dig you; they told me so), and put it together in a structured, easy to understand and apply way.

When you think of it that way, “how much” content is needed becomes clear.  The answer is always, just enough content to deliver the result you’re promising.

I Love Analogies – A Non-Course Example

(I also love props, but I digress.)

I was interviewed on The 10 Minute Mindset podcast, and Mario, the host, came up with this everyday analogy that anyone could relate to. Now, I’m taking it a little further.

[If you’d prefer to watch me tell this quick story, pop on over to my YouTube channel.]
Watch Plumber Analogy on YouTube

Hear the Story on YouTube

Pretend that you have but one toilet in your home and it isn’t working. Wildly inconvenient, right? You don’t know a plumber, so you ask your friends (on The Facebook, of course) for recommendations. You get two phone numbers.

First, you call plumber Joe and explain the problem you’re having.  Joe says, “Oh yeah, I can fix that!  I can be at your house tomorrow morning at 9:00, and it’s going to cost you, $300.”

Next, you call plumber Jane (hey, I’m a feminist), and she says, “Yep! I can fix that right up. I can arrive tomorrow morning at 9:00, and it’ll cost you, $360.”

So far so good, right? You’re calling Joe back because his price is 20% lower.

Where’s the Value?

Allow me run the scenario by you again, adding one more detail.

Joe: “Oh, yeah, I can fix that! It’s going to cost you $300. I can be at your house tomorrow morning and 9:00 and I should be done by 4:00 or 5:00.”

Jane: “Yep! I can fix that right up. It’ll cost you $360. I can be at your house tomorrow morning and 9:00 and I’ll be out by 10:00.”

Now which plumber are you hiring?

Are you going to call Joe back to save 20%? I mean, it’s going to save you $60. Plus, Joe is willing to work for you all day for 300 bucks. Isn’t that a value? His hourly rate is a steal, right?

Or are you going to hire Jane? She wants $60 more to be at your house for a single hour. (Three hundred and sixty dollars for an hour, is she nuts?)

Unless you’re nuts, you’re coughing up the extra 60 bucks for Jane. Why? Because hiring Jane for $60 more means you’re going to have working toilet within the hour. Plus, you’re not going to have to hang out with the plumber at your house all.damn.day.  Bonus!

There ARE Shortcuts in Life (Because They Deliver Results)

Does that concrete, real world analogy help you look at “enough course content” through a different lens? Creating your course is the same as hiring a plumber, only you have a slight edge over the plumbers because your audience bought from you because they know, like, and trust you. But no matter how much they love you, no matter how loyal they are, they don’t want to spend that much time with you.

They want just enough from your course to get results. Deliver it. Give them the fastest way to get there.

As always…

Until next time, stay brilliant, my friends.


  1. Sara Jane on February 8, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    This is spot on Melissa – It goes for Powerpoints and presentations in general as well!

    Thanks, Sara Jane

    • Melissa Lehman on February 8, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Hey, Sara Jane! Thanks for reading and good to hear from you!

      And YESSSS. I think it goes for all content – and there’s a fine line between PowerPOINT and PowerPointLESS!

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