My First Online Course - Request for Feedback

16 replies
Hopefully this post is appropriate here. I originally posted on a sub-board and got almost zero responses. My one response said that my request was too vague, so I will try to give sufficient details here.

I am putting together an online course. This course will initially be presented boot-camp style with live content through Google Hangouts on Air. After this initial trial, it will move to a membership site. There is approximately 40 days worth of content (for the boot-camp, I will try to squeeze that into 30 days (5 days on/1 Summary day/1 day off). The live training will last about 20-30 minutes each plus Q&A.

This course will be free (both the live version and the membership site version). Participants will have to register (opt-in) and will receive content plus marketing email messages for coaching and additional paid training. No pitching except to briefly mention what's available (probably on last day of course).

The broad topic of this course is: "advanced thinking skills", which means:
  • Go beyond logic, reasoning, and critical thinking skills
  • Learn and understand structured thinking
  • Learn how to monitor your thoughts to understand how you think
  • Learn how to use "brain apps" that you can install in your brain
  • Learn to reprogram your mind (similar to NLP but not as complex)

Benefits (why would you want to learn this?):
  • Make better business decisions
  • Process marketing information faster (quicker implementation)
  • Potentially double your thinking speed
  • Develop new and more effective decision making skills
  • Learn how to generate multiple options to choose from in decision-making
  • All current skill-sets automatically increase in performance
  • New skill-sets are much easier to acquire
  • ...many more benefits

Now that I've explained a little about the course, here's what I would like to know:

Would you take a course like this, if you received the promised benefits? Why or why not?

On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is improving mental skills and thinking ability for you?

On a scale from 1 to 10, how good are your current thinking skills? Don't post your number. Instead, tell me how much of an increase would you like to get from a course like this (1 point, 2 points, 3 or more points)

If it would be helpful to see a sample list of topics, I can post that for you. If you need any additional information about the course in order to answer the three questions, let me know and I'll gladly post it.

Thanks in advance for you help. I'd really like to provide good content for my participants, so your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
#feedback #online #request
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
    I think you have laid out your post with plenty of information with no problem whatsoever.

    I would not take a course like this. I would not take it because I doubt these skills can be taught in a group setting. And I don't like Google Hangouts on Air, mostly because I have never been on one that did not crash.

    I am satisfied with my thinking ability for the most part and I would not want to wait 30 - 40 days for it to get better. So I guess my number would be 1 for both questions.
    Signature


    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750818].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      Michael -- that is exactly the type of feedback I'm looking for. Thank you so much for that.

      I'll just mention a couple of things.

      First, the program was originally created to be delivered by auto-responder and the content dripped out over the course of about 30 day. 5 minutes to read the lesson, 5 minutes or less to do a short exercise.

      This course has been offered in other places going back to 2005 and earlier and has been massively popular, so if I hit the right target audience, I don't think the time-frame will be an issue.

      Google Hangouts can be quirky, but 9 times out of 10, they crash because the host doesn't know how to properly setup a hangout. The technology is improving significantly, from what I've seen. I haven't been on one that has crashed any time in the last year.

      If you are satisfied with your current learning skills, that's awesome. But, I would like to ask this question: if you could get better results by learning a new set of thought patterns and thinking strategies, and if it improved your overall results -- do you think the right person would see the value in it?

      If it isn't for you, that's perfectly okay...but do you see value in the concept? My assumption is that you're as busy as the rest of us and so it might be hard to justify the time investment unless you could see some significant reasons for it. Let me know if I'm on the right track.

      Thank you so much for your feedback. Much appreciated.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750854].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
        @Coach Comeback -- Thank you. I really appreciate that.

        I really like your suggestions. When I write the actual marketing for it, I will transform those bullets and key points.

        I didn't want to do that here for a couple of reasons. First, I'm more interested to get opinions on the concept of the course. I'm not quite ready for the marketing aspect yet, but once I do, I would like to get some feedback around that as well.

        I also didn't want to sound like I was "selling" the idea here. So, I tried to tone it down.

        I will definitely make notes of your suggestions. I really appreciate the feedback.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750867].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
        The issue with most things to learn isn't so much content delivery as it is feedback and adjustment. People have a tendency to not tell the truth in a group setting. If there was a way to obtain pertinent feedback within a short time frame after the changes were implemented, that would be a most powerful class you were offering.

        I am not sure about what people think about their thinking - not trying to be funny here, but the skills it takes to recognize that there is an issue with your thinking are the skills that it sounds like you are going to teach.

        And if someone didn't have them already, they might not recognize that they needed a change.

        Perhaps if you could offer some more tangible benefits, with immediate gratification that might get people to sign up.
        Signature


        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750869].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
          @Michael -- That makes perfect sense to me.

          If there was a way to obtain pertinent feedback within a short time frame after the changes were implemented, that would be a most powerful class you were offering.
          That will be my next high-priority item to work on. Thank you for that.

          Perhaps if you could offer some more tangible benefits, with immediate gratification that might get people to sign up.
          It sounds like if I get my marketing right -- when I get to that phase -- then I should be okay. I will take all of this into consideration.

          Excellent feedback. You've been very helpful.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750883].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
            Originally Posted by rbarnhart1 View Post

            @Michael -- That makes perfect sense to me.



            That will be my next high-priority item to work on. Thank you for that.



            It sounds like if I get my marketing right -- when I get to that phase -- then I should be okay. I will take all of this into consideration.

            Excellent feedback. You've been very helpful.
            Awesome, it sounds like you have got a good thing going here. I wish you the best of luck with your class. :-)
            Signature


            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750888].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
              I appreciate the responses. Very helpful info. One thing I should probably mention, it is possible that my target market is only a segment of the Warrior Forum. So, if you're reading this and feel like this isn't for you, that's okay. I'm just looking for opinions and ideas. Feel free to share ideas even if you wouldn't actually take the course.

              Also, this is a course that has been taught in Fortune 500 companies throughout the world (companies such as GE, etc). I am a certified instructor for the course and just getting started with customizing the curriculum for my classes.

              The course is proven to be effective and has been quite popular for awhile. So, I'm confident that the material itself is sound. My goal is to make it slightly more practical (the introductory course sometimes sacrifices depth for brevity -- which was a primary goal for the online version).

              Thanks again. I appreciate any feedback you are willing to offer.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9751844].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Coach Comeback
    Sounds like it will be a solid course.

    I would probably take it. But the benefits/bullets need work. The content does not have to change, but you have to hit more on the core desire of what the potential person who joins REALLY wants.

    Its the difference between:

    Gain more confidence vs. Be able to pick up any girl at the bar

    lose a few pounds vs look good naked or have a washboard abs women will drool over.

    Learn how to create a product vs passive income system brings in 4 figures while you sleep


    Thinking ability and mindset rate a HIGH 10 for me in importance

    How much of an increase I would like? Tough to answer. I will always be striving and growing. SO when I get one increase, the goal changes to grow and get to the next level.

    Hope that makes sense. Good luck to you on your launch
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9750835].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author xradical
    Originally Posted by rbarnhart1 View Post

    Would you take a course like this, if you received the promised benefits? Why or why not?

    On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is improving mental skills and thinking ability for you?

    On a scale from 1 to 10, how good are your current thinking skills? Don't post your number. Instead, tell me how much of an increase would you like to get from a course like this (1 point, 2 points, 3 or more points)
    Answer #1: I would take such a course.

    Answer #2: 7+

    Answer #3: anything which gets a 2+ increase would be a great value for money and time invested.

    Some additional general notes to the OP (please understand they are just based on personal opinion based on available information above):
    #1. It would make it more appealing if the marketing copy of the promised benefits are written in a more targeted manner for the intended audience to appeal to their business/life needs, the current wording makes it sound too academic in nature.

    Currently it is more like "thinking skills" linked to "decision making". Decision making is generally not a very appealing call-to-action, apart from really indecisive people or procrastinators, it may probably have limited appeal to general public as a takeaway.. makes it read like you are repackaging college level data analysis techniques under 'thinking skills'.

    some examples of marketing copy that would work for me: link thinking skills to 'productivity' as a keyword for outcome association. or link it to 'prioritization', 'get-things-done', etc.

    #2. Asking for a 30 day upfront committment is in itself a big-sell! So, it would make more people signup, if you can condense it into one week to two week max. If possible have a two-week Level 1 course and a two-week Level 2 course as an upsell at a later date, for folks who want to continue up the learning curve.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752168].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      @xradical -- Excellent feedback. Thank you for sharing that.

      A couple of follow up points -- The course (both the membership version and live version) are 100% free -- no cost at all (only opt-in is required).

      Also, I haven't created any marketing around this course yet. The benefits that I provide here are the "actual nature of the product" not the marketing for the product. Having said that, your suggestions for the marketing portion are awesome and I will put that to use as I'm crafting those.

      The 30 day boot-camp style does have some time commitment involved. The online version is a self-paced, short read with short exercise and can be worked at a leisurely pace. The boot-camp version would be more intense. I suppose I could break it up -- although since the course is free, I couldn't really use upsell techniques.

      It's a transformation-based process, so I can't see how to avoid the time commitment. Even though the lessons are short, there is still the effort required to implement the ideas. The live class helps facilitate that process and make sure the student actually gets the desired results.

      Thanks so much for your feedback. Extremely helpful for me.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752498].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    It looks like you are 'over' delivering. Awesome!

    But the thing is, your course is very long, 30 to 40 days. You training material may be top notch but what I have found is that the great 'majority' of people are easily distracted and get bored easily.

    Even if the information that you have to share with them is 'top notch' and value based.

    People don't always pay attention to things that are good for them.

    I am not saying that this will not work for you.

    It may or may not.

    But it does sound like your not going to 'introduce' your product (what you are selling) until the final day. This is a mistake in my book.

    People need value and as marketers, we truly want to give it to them.

    But I have found that the great majority of people love hype, sexiness and drama.

    Take a look at some of the most successful Internet Marketers in the world. Many of them tell stories that 'hook' people's interests and then sell them on emotion based marketing.

    Take a look at what people are choosing to wear, drive and live. The top corporate companies hire the best 'copy writers', models and actors to do their 'emotional' based advertising.

    This is just my opinion.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752562].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      @Rory -- Thank you for your feedback. I'm putting that in my notes.

      What if I made just the first week of the course live and then the rest would be in the membership site?

      Keep in mind, for this particular course, I am just an instructor. I don't own the content (although I will be including some of my own content as well). So, if I'm going to offer the course at all, I have to do the whole thing. This has been in use since 2005 and earlier, so there is a group of people who are willing to invest the time.

      But it does sound like your not going to 'introduce' your product (what you are selling) until the final day. This is a mistake in my book.
      I could make multiple offers during the course, although keep in mind that they have to opt-in to the course and will be receiving marketing messages through that (along with relevant content). I would like to focus the course on adding value and developing my authority and developing a relationship with the participants. Think of it as an extended sale or launch event -- with most of the marketing coming by way of auto-responder.

      Based on that, how often do you recommend promoting the paid products during the class?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752614].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    I would give them real value 'daily' but at the end of each session or hangout, get your offer in front of them. You are putting in all the work and there is no guarantee that these people will show up for 'themselves' every day.

    Make sure you get paid for your hard work and time. You deserve it!

    Others may disagree but that's opinion again.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752619].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      @Rory -- Your opinions are fine with me :-)

      And, now that I think about it, you are absolutely right. I am providing quite a bit of value. The original content is great, but I'm building in more accountability, adding distinctions that may not be obvious, and pointing out practical application of the material.

      So, based on that, I think I will do it once per session. I can still make it a low-key and no-pressure type of offer. Thank you for your input on that. This is coming together nicely.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9752910].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author davaone1
    Looks like a very good plan so I hope you can pull this off. I presume you are using free angle to build a list which is a solid strategy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your strategy is to transform this later to a membership program to monetize it further. However, it can be very challenging especially if you are doing this alone particularly if it is going to be your first online course. Not saying you can not do it, just be prepared for the task ahead. Also hope you can add additional stuff in your membership site to increase the value.

    Hoping for your success.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9753681].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      @davaone1 -- Thanks for the advice and encouragement. You are correct. Two-fold objective on the free course: build the list (and relationship) and then monetize on the back end.

      My vision for the membership site is content plus forum (or Private Facebook group), where I will be participating in the discussion about the content. This keeps engagement high, plus provides support and makes sure people are getting something out of the material (accountability, etc).

      I used to moderate a forum board quite a few years ago and so I've got some skills in facilitating conversations as well. Hopefully I'm on the right track with this idea.

      If you have any tips on how to manage the membership process or what else I could offer to increase the value I would be extremely grateful for that. Thank you for your input davaone1.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9754255].message }}

Trending Topics