online courses

How to Automate Onboarding in Your Online Course

How to Automate Onboarding in Your Online Course

If you’ve ever worked a 9 - 5, you’re probably familiar with the term onboarding. Here's how Wikipedia defines it:

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.

In simpler terms, onboarding means providing the necessary information for your new employees to navigate your organization.

Without onboarding, your employees are stuck trying to figure out where to go for information, how to do their job, who to contact for questions, etc. Trust me, it sucks.

Onboarding applies to online courses too. It’s how your learners know how to navigate your course

Why I Don't Believe in Learning Styles Anymore

Why I Don't Believe in Learning Styles Anymore

A while back I listened to Pat Flynn’s podcast episode with Derek Halpern about selling. In the episode, Derek explains his POD technique for writing sales copy. But before he described his framework, he said something that I had never heard anyone else say out loud: you don’t just have one target customer, you have multiple.

Derek was right. (You have customer segments.) And yet, countless Internet gurus spread the myth that you have a single ‘customer avatar.’

(Sidebar: there is a good reason why people tell you this but it sends us down a rabbit hole, so let’s ignore it, k?)

The same is true with learning styles. They’re a myth. At best, they're an outdated theory on how we learn.

Technology is a distraction

It's been pretty quiet around here lately. Today you're going to find out why.

If you've followed my articles, you know I've spent a lot of time reviewing hosted online course platforms (like Thinkific and Coach), Learning Management System (LMS) plugins and talking about online course technology.

Starting today you won't see any new platform or plugin reviews on the site.

Why am I making this change?

How to design for obstacles in your online course

How to design for obstacles in your online course

Creating an online course isn’t just about making your content look pretty. To create online courses that change lives, you’ve got to consider all the things.

Like where your learner is when they start your course and where they want to end up.

This is called your learner journey. It’s a great way to put yourself in your learner’s shoes. But there’s another aspect that’s often overlooked.

Obstacles.

Your students will have resistance to changing habits and behavior. Not to mention trying to finish your course while dealing with kids, a full-time job, aging parents, and all the other stuff that tries to poo on our goals.
 
How are you, dear course creator, going to design for that?

How to motivate people to finish your online course

How to motivate people to finish your online course

You've spent months creating your online course. You launch it and sell out in a week. In the first couple weeks, people are excited, they're engaging...asking questions even!

But then you start to notice things drop off. With each week it seems that less people are working on the material (you know because you've checked the stats).

Here’s the truth: people will buy your course and never complete it. 

Online courses have a reputation for abysmal completion rates. Generally around 20%.

How do we solve this problem?

The good news is we know the source...

Should You Use Udemy for Your Online Course?

Should You Use Udemy for Your Online Course?

Have you ever thought about selling your online course on a marketplace like Udemy? If so, you're not alone.

Dozens of readers have emailed me questions about online course marketplaces. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to investigate! 

While I've never built any courses on a marketplace, I know several course creators who got their start on Udemy and other platforms. In this article I'll share the skinny on whether you should use a marketplace for your online course.

Is it too late for you to create an online course?

These days it seems like everyone is making an online course. And if yours is still in the works it’s easy to get discouraged. 

Maybe you’ve seen a lot of ‘competition’ and feel like it’s not worth the hassle?

Maybe you’re just overwhelmed and talking yourself out of doing the work?

Maybe you struggle with the technology part and feel behind the curve?

Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you it’s not too late. Take it from someone who’s spent the past 8 years creating online courses: when it comes to entrepreneurs building courses, the market is young. 

How to Get More Love (Testimonials) For Your Course

When I launched my first course here on Zen Courses, I didn't have a clue about how to get testimonials. So I decided not to worry about it.

That was a huge mistake. I didn't hit my sales goal and, looking back, I know that a lack of testimonials was a big factor.

It took me a long time to figure out how to leverage specific strategies to get testimonials for courses (and other digital products). Here's what I wish someone would have told me way back when.

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