Why your course isn't getting results

When one of my former clients (let’s call him Bryan) reached out to me about a new program he was running, he was frustrated. 

He’d sold a high-ticket, high value program, but wasn’t happy with the results his learners were getting. In fact, a couple of them had started grumbling about not getting their money’s worth.

(Sidebar: I love working with clients who give a damn.)

Bryan wasn’t just frustrated; he was stuck.

Did his course work?

Well, yes, to an extent: the information was valuable. (He’d used it to grow his own 7-figure business and he had enough case studies to prove that the process worked for others too.)

But of the 40 people in his beta, only 2 were making significant progress. 

Not exactly a raving success story. 

I had a few ideas why Bryan’s learners weren’t getting results, but the first thing I noticed was that he was overwhelmed and, thus, too busy to see the problem:

  • Bryan was the sales person, the creator AND the facilitator of the course.
  • He was running the program as weekly group sessions and wanted to change the structure, but had no clue where to start.
  • Between running his agency, teaching and spending time with his wife and kids, he had ZERO hours left to figure out how to apply Instructional Design.

But I didn't want to assume, so I asked: “What’s keeping your learners from getting the results you promised?”

“I don’t know,” he sighed, “I know the curriculum works, but I can't figure out why people aren’t getting results. They keep running into the same roadblocks.”

When course creators tell me their course isn’t getting results, they generally mean one of three things:

  • Door #1 - "Help! My course isn't selling!" 
  • Door #2 - "People are buying, but they're not interacting!"
  • Door #3 - "People are super chatty but they keep having the same problems!" 

Bryan's problem was behind Door #3: low transformation. 

And that meant there was a learning gap.

A learning gap can stem from a number of things: knowledge, environment, habits, motivation or skills. Most course creators assume the gap is knowledge and try to pile on more information. But usually, information isn’t the problem.

In Bryan’s case, we knew that the learning gap wasn’t knowledge. And after some learner research and interviews, it became clear that the gap was behavior-related: Bryan's learners knew what to do but they weren’t doing it.

<sarcasm>If you’re like me, you always do what you need to do and can’t relate to this issue at all.</sarcasm>

Now we were getting somewhere!

Oh, wait, how do you change behavior?

You might think the answer is to create more assignments and *abracadabra* Bryan’s learners would automagically start doing the work.

via GIPHY

Nah.

If your learners aren't doing something, giving them MORE to do ain't the answer, friend. (At least, not yet.)

Because if you pile on a bunch of assignments, your course will look great on paper...

...but your learners still won’t get any results. 

There’s a critical step you need to take first.

In my next post, you’ll find out what it is.

Back to You

Think about a class or course that you bought but didn't finish. What was the learning gap? Did you need more information, better habits, help with motivation...or maybe the environment wasn't conducive to learning. What was it?

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