Just like every person is different, your online course should be different to all the others in the market. What makes it unique to the eyes of others is what draws people in…
As part of the process of evaluating your course, you need to ask yourself an important question: ‘How can I add more value to my online courses and increase the chances of standing out from the crowd?’
Increasing the price of the course can work, but how can you justify that decision and make sure that you are not going to lose any students?
This article provides a list of ways that you can try out to make your course more worthwhile to the public. Let’s have a look.
1Upgrade Your Course Content
An easy and effective way to speed up your game is to upgrade your course content. More spot-on texts, more eye-catching and effective headlines, visuals that are more aesthetical and relevant to your course that convey the type of message you want to deliver, can improve your school’s design and achieve a better result in the course sales.
2Make Use of Pre-Course Resources
Apart from content design, you can improve your learning material so that it contains free – but at the same time – essential written material prior to students enrolling on your course.
Offering pre-course material shows a sense of commitment and eliminates any fears or concerns students have regarding the course. Examples on pre-course resources are:
Such material can help them prepare for their learning journey and ensure that you are providing an excellent educational experience.
3Use Written Transcripts
So here’s a fact. Some people don’t like watching videos – yes, not even the 5-minute long ones. Using written transcripts to accompany your videos, whether these are instructional or course-related, can offer huge help to students.
Transcripts are seen as more ‘student-friendly’ because they can save them valuable time on note-taking and studying the course material. Also, students can refer back to the written material at any time they want and find that one piece of information they need instead of watching the whole video.
Transcripts improve the web-accessibility of your elearning material can work for people with hearing impaired difficulties too.
4Offer Some Coaching
Another way to add more value to your course is offering coaching to your customers. By adding a tutorial guide as course navigation resource on your site, an additional service that offers one-to-one coaching calls through Skype, email or a private course, you give your students a chance to discuss more profound issues that are troubling them and get the answers they need.
A great idea would be to arrange daily or weekly scheduled sessions where your students get the opportunity to talk to industry experts, influencers or career mentors. As part of the coaching session, the teacher or the ‘expert’ can discuss the progress of the student and establish mutual goals.
A coaching service can add a more personal note to the customer/support service of your school and tell your students that ‘you are there for them’ whenever they need you.
How to do this: You can offer coaching as part of different course “add-ons”. For example, offering a course for 100$ and offering a course “add-on” with coaching sessions for 150$.
This can be done using a Course Bundle including a private course to track which student has an add-on such as coaching, consulting, one-to-one mentoring etc. In case you offer your courses on a subscription basis then you can create different pricing plans, with the more pricier ones including coaching or one-on-ones.
So, let’s say your basic subscription plan costs $299/mo. You would be surprised to know how many people would pay an additional $200/mo in order to get 2 hours of one-on-one mentoring per month from you or $100 to participate in a weekly classroom skype call.
5Create a Community
From the learners’ points of view, a student community is a place where they can hang out, interact and share their ideas and experiences throughout the course duration. It offers an opportunity to exchange tips and answer each other’s enquiries and provides an environment that more or less ‘feels like home’.
With the recent news about Facebook data security, a Facebook group might not be so exciting to many people, and if you are looking for in-course communities, LearnWorlds’ Community is a great place to offer added-value to your students.
Some people even tried Slack, which usually end up being boring and gets abandoned. Instead, the LearnWorlds community is built-in and seamlessly connected with the courses. People don’t have to go somewhere else to talk to you and their peers.
Opportunities to connect, engage and network within your school’s community as well as interacting with the instructor/coach (you) are too valuable to ignore.
6Sharing Experts’ Insights
If you have managed to sell courses till now, it means that your course already offers a profound value to students and that you have knowledge on the topic.
To add to that, you can ask from industry leaders and influencers in the field to say something about the subject, or the course you offer. This can rule in students who admire these influencers and follow them on social media.
You can invite past or future speakers, authors of assigned readings and make sure that they have something valuable to teach students so that they can get that ‘little extra’ they need. In return, you can offer these experts more media exposure.
7Offer Training Certifications
Giving out the best to your students means utilising the best of resources and adhering to the most modern practices. Students like receiving diplomas and certificates as proof of acquiring further knowledge. This can be done through the offer of an unofficial certificate from your own school or an official one that can be recognised by global institutions. The latter is more easily recognised by big companies as they have more impact and look better on CVs.
In this instance, you can charge a course that offers an unofficial certification at $99 and another awarding students with an official certification at a higher price, let’s say $199. Alternatively, you can include an option for posting a premium physical (printed) copy of the certification for a small extra fee.
Generally, it’s a good idea to reach out to professional awarding-bodies to make sure that you provide a high-quality training service. For example, you can offer CPE training with LearnWorlds, an area that goes hand-in-hand with skills development. CPE certified training is varided by geographical location, which means that you should research your local government’s requirements or professional associations before you are ready to offer the CPE certification and to whom.
8Give Take-Away Material
The more course material you prepare for your students ‘to take home’ (offline-access) the easier you make it for them to go through your course and understand what you want to say.
A checklist on examination material, a set of templates, a physical gift e.g. a book or digital one – an ebook, ready-made guides, an outline of the most important chapters of the curriculum gives an additional boost in the learning experience of your students and at the same time, it makes them feel more appreciated.
Include downloadable PDFs, a video or an offline assignment to upload or send to you later. A ‘real-world’ activity might help to make a physical connection with your course and turn a student into a loyal follower!
9Praise Your Students
Prizes and awards encourage students to complete a course and progress faster through the lessons. These two can act as motivational triggers to learn all there is to learn, and get to the bottom of the learning pyramid.
Offering personalized certificates upon the completion of the course provides them with some incentive so as to complete the course, but also boosts their confidence by reminding them that they have successfully passed the tests and exams.
10Teach Something Specific
Apart from your basic courses, you can create a subject-specific course (niche subject) and target it for sale to a certain group of students (a different age group or level of education/capability) who are requesting more information on it. You can set a higher price for it as well, and determine who your target audience is.
Niche subjects should be connected to your specialty, be hard to find elsewhere and offer great specific value to small groups that would pay the price. For example, teaching “How to run a business” is a very general subject, but teaching “How to run a flower shop business” might be a better niche that interested a number of people who would pay a premium price.
11Start Your Own Podcast
Podcasts provide an additional reason to students to join your course. Why? Simply because they show that as an online instructor you know what you are doing.
Podcasts can solidify your reputation as an influencer, give sneak peaks to your knowledge and promote your courses. Building a good reputation and a loyal followership will allow you to sell more courses and at higher prices.
12Conduct Webinars, Q&A sessions or Meet-ups
Webinars give the chance to students to communicate with you in a more direct way. Instead of just watching you talk in a video, without the ability to ask questions, with webinars they get to chip in, and contribute more actively to it.
As a result they can largely increase participation. Through webinars, students can also take notes, meet and engage with other students right on the spot.
You can also offer weekly or monthly meet-ups, a regular catch-up only for paying students or a Q&A session for all your students. Those can both offer value and repeated questions can be repurposed as new content to expand your course.
Now that’s something not all instructors do!
13Offer Help on Assignments
Provide students the ability to have their work checked or reviewed either by you or an external instructor. For example, if it has to do with business, allow them to discuss with mentors, or other business people who ‘have been there and done that’ and know how a business proposal looks like.
Other examples could include:
14Give Discounts to Your Students
You can offer discounts to your students as part of a course bundle so that your students can use. For examples, if you suggest Grammarly for spelling checks, reach out to them and offer discounts to your students.
If you work with other course creators, you can offer discounts or free courses to supplementary material.
If you work with other professionals, companies or freelancers, you can reach out to them and offer a giveaway or discount to their services. Cross-promoting can add value to your course. For example writers/ghostwriters, graphic designers, computer programmers or others whose help would be beneficial to your students are a great source for discounts.
15Think Outside of the Box
Finally, experiment with the different tools you have available online – and offline. For example, use Pinterest or Instagram for business to give insights on your school, share your own interests and experiences, to talk about yourself, offer case studies examples, tell stories or anything else that makes your course material more engaging and interesting.
Alternatively, use Meetup to host industry events, conferences and organise VIP sessions with alumni sending invitations to your students around the world.
Offer a unique experience to your students and make it a memorable one that they will want to join!
Creating an online course is easy. Offering high-quality learning material that attracts the right people though usually requires more time, effort and lots of trial-and-error before you make it happen. But then again, this is the actual recipe of success. To ensure that you create a valuable course that is worthwhile for students to enrol, you will need to fail a lot until you get it right.
Just like Mark Cuban puts it, ‘it doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once and then everyone can tell you that you are an overnight success’… Are you ready to take your chances?
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