The online education space is getting increasingly crowded. So how can you stand out from the crowd? The answer: by adding valuable extras to your online courses.
There are many ways you can add value to your online courses so they have higher perceived value, help your students engage with your course materials, and increase the chances of them getting results.
(1) Upgrade the contents instead of lowering your price
You may think that lowering the price will make it more worthwhile to your students, but that's not necessarily the case.
Price isn't the only deciding factor when it comes to buying an online course. Not many people are out looking for a bargain course specifically.
In fact, quite the opposite. When someone wants to solve a problem, they don't mind paying good money for a solution that works.
A bargain price can subliminally give the impression that your course is of low quality and won't deliver the much-needed results.
So, instead of lowering the price, consider what you can add to your course to increase perceived value.
- Pre-course materials that will help them maximise the chance of success
- Insights and advice from past students
- A community where students can discuss the course materials and support one another
- If you have video lessons, consider providing written transcript for those who prefer reading text (I'm one of those people that would be a huge incentive for me)
- Physical workbooks
- Some 1:1 interaction with you
- Certificate at the end of the course
(2) Review your course structure
From my own experience, one of the biggest frustrations for me is when an online course has a poor structure. A poor structure makes it difficult for you students to navigate through the lessons and find the nuggets of information they need. So a lot of time is spent in actually locating the appropriate content.
When frustration like this grows, the chances of your students abandoning your course, or requesting a refund, will go up dramatically. They will leave your course with the impression that it hasn't provided the results it promises. And they certainly won't be recommending it to their friends!
Your course structure should, at the minimum:
- Follow a logical structure so that it's clear at a glance what each lesson is about.
- Make it easy for your students to find the resources (workbooks, downloads, etc) they need.
- Make it clear to your students where they are in the course so they can resume from where they left off easily.
- Provide everything your students need to complete any assignments or exercises you set them.
(3) Fill in the gaps
Research courses out there that are teaching a similar topic and find out if there are gaps and missing steps that you can fill. Then make sure you create killer content to fill those gaps and tell potential students about it.
(4) Help your students
Make sure you're helping your students as much as possible. Now, this may seem like common sense, but it doesn't always work out that way.
Some of the ways you can help your students:
- Creating a new path and doing things differently, but more effectively, to your competitors.
- Taking some courses yourself on how to teach, film or present your course.
- Asking your students how they'd like to see you improve the course.
- This has already been mentioned: Creating a community for your students.
- Finding ways to help your students study and implement what they learn.
- Simplifying your course or breaking it into more than one course.
(5) Educate your audience before they take the course
The content you provide to woo your audience into purchasing the course will educate them about your topic and prepare them for what's to come in your course. This can bring your potential students to the level of knowledge they need to be at to benefit from the course and help to keep them engaged while they're studying.
(6) Avoid adding too much content
In your quest to add more value to your online course, you might start adding as much information to it as you can.
This is a big mistake.
A major reason why someone abandons a course is overwhelm. If you're throwing a million different things at your students, their brains will go into overload. The immediate reaction to a feeling of overload is to withdraw. And there goes your chance of engaging your students and helping them get results.
So, before you add any content to your course, ask yourself: "Is this going to help my students achieve the goal of the course?"
If the answer is no, leave it out.
Don't stuff your course with unrelated useless stuff simply to make it look like it has more content. This approach looks tacky and unethical, and will damage your reputation as a course creator.
You must take time to figure out the exact steps you want your students to take to solve a problem, and then teach these messages clearly and concisely.
The size of the course is irrelevant when it comes to how you add value to a course. People have limited time; they want results fast. They need a clear step-by-step path, not overwhelm.
(7) Offer additional options
Offer your students options additional services to help them on their journey. We all learn differently, and some people need more time to grasp a subject or feedback than others and they don't mind paying for it.
Think about tutors for school children. They already go to school for education, but some children need extra tuition that provides the 1:1 help and encouragement they need. And parents don't mind paying it. It's no different for an online course.
Additional services you might provide:
- Online private coaching
- Group coaching calls
- Paid masterclasses
- Question and answer sessions
- Paid feedback
In many ways, creating an online course is easy. The difficult part is offering high-quality learning material that engages your students and delivers results. Adding value to your online courses provides encouragement and support to your students, helps them apply what they've learned, and increases their chance of success.