Are you ready to charge what your program is really worth, and stand out in the sea of cookie cutter courses?
Online, perception is everything. Particularly in the world of course creation.
Today I want to share my quick and dirty tips for upgrading the perceived value of your online course or program.
Let’s start by looking at how our perceptions influence our buying decisions.
It all starts with the recognisable brand names. If something is known, or recognised, or so ubiquitous that it has become a synonym for the thing itself, we’re instantly more drawn to it.
For example, when you’re in a bar, you’ll ask for a Jack and coke, not a whiskey and cola. When you're getting ready to leave the house, you’ll grab your Converse, not your running shoes.
There’s just an assumption that brand names are better. Really high-profile course creators have this premium vibe working for them.
But what about everyone else? What about the insanely talented, inspired, slightly-less-famous entrepreneurs looking to make an income through teaching online?
They don’t have the brand name, so they have to work a little harder to create the perception of value around their offerings. But fear not, it can be done!
I know, I know. You’re sat on the edge of your seat waiting for me to drop the secret in your lap…
It’s all about the 3 P’s - packaging, positioning, and pricing.
Packaging: the actual contents of your offer, and how you put them together. This would include everything from the presentation of your offer, your training materials, bonus freebies, one-on-one support, community and everything in between. It’s all the little strands that are woven together to form your course or program.
Positioning: this is very much about personality. It’s about your core values, the problem your offer solves, and the people you’re called to help.
Pricing: well, this bad boy needs no explanation.
Here I want to focus on the packaging, because once you’ve got that sorted, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to position yourself before a more exclusive audience, and price your high-ticket products accordingly (and that’s the dream, right?)
So without further ado, here are 21 packaging hacks to help you upgrade the perceived value of your online course FAST:
Design a log specific to your course or program. This should be something different to your regular logo, but try to keep it on-brand. Add this logo wherever you can - social media profiles, landing pages, training materials, everywhere.
Tip: I would highly recommend having a logo professionally designed, because this is something you’ll be showcasing a lot over the lifetime of your program. However, if you know your way around Canva you could knock yourself something up for free.
Make sure you have a consistent colour palette for all of your course content. Again, this can differ slightly from your usual brand palette, but don’t go too wild.
Tip: Keep that colour palette petite - aim for 2 primary colours, 1 accent colour, a light (such as white or cream) and a dark (such as black or navy).
The fonts you use say will say a lot about your program. As with colours, you want to keep these consistent (and few) across all of your course materials.
Tip: Browse Creative Market for interesting fonts to use in your designs.
Bookend your video content
For each video you create in your course, add an intro and outro. For those not in the know, that’s the short animation and/or jingle that opens and closes a video.
Tip: Look for a video expert on Fiverr, and order a bespoke, on-brand intro and outro.
Use icons to indicate specific actions, or types of resource. They’re a really effective way to break up fields of text, and make your pages more dynamic.
Tip: Peruse Flat Icon (http://www.flaticon.com/) for free and interesting icons.
If you use a slide pack to create your training materials, invest in something well-designed. For the purpose of consistency, you’ll be using these again and again, so you want something that goes well with your chosen colours and fonts, and doesn’t look amateurish.
Tip: Buy a professionally designed slide template from Creative Market.
Include well-designed worksheets alongside each of your lessons. These are overwhelmingly popular, because they help your students work through and implement what they’ve learned.
Tip: Check out my bundle of plug and play worksheets here.
Create a resource library to support your course content.
Tip: Collate all the tools, books, articles, etc that you’ve referenced throughout the course, as well as any others you believe will be helpful for your students.
Transcripts save time. They allow your students to quickly reference your materials, rather than sitting through your full video multiple times. They also appeal to different types of learners, and are great for any students that are hard of hearing.
Tip: Submit your videos to Rev.com and within 24 hours, you will receive a transcription. Edit and format this document, and then include it alongside your training materials.
Again, audios are a time saver. In this fast-paced world, it’s quite a luxury to have the time to consume training materials and then implement the lessons, as well as working/cleaning/taking care of the kids. Offering an audio download enables your students to consume your content on the go.
Tip: Use this free audio extractor (http://audio-extractor.net/) to turn your videos into audio files.
Include a course completion guide. A course completion guide is exactly what it sounds like - a document that walks your learners through each step they need to take in order to complete your online course.
Tip: Take a look at my templates bundle - I have a specially designed course completion guide just waiting for you to customise!
Offer a set of cliff notes (also known as a ready reckoner) so that people can reference something quickly, or refresh their memories of a previous module. Think of these as a “bare bones” breakdown of your materials, containing only the key points.
Tip: Again, take a look at my bundle of templates - I have one for these too!
Show up live to support your students, even if your course is evergreen.
Tip: Take advantage of Facebook’s livestreaming capabilities and hold a live Q&A once a week.
Consider offering a course completion bonus for anyone who implements every single one of your lessons. This could be included in your marketing to make your program seem extra exciting, or you could use the element of surprise to really delight your students.
Tip: Make this bonus something that people wouldn’t be able to buy elsewhere, such as a one-on-one call with you.
Include access to a community in your offer. Companionship is a really important factor online - if you add that opportunity to bond, you will be associated with that additional positive experience. The accountability that comes alongside a group setting will help your students see bigger results too.
Tip: Again, take advantage of Facebook, and set up a secret group to accompany your online course or program.
Give people a roadmap or action plan to follow. This is a much-loved way to help your people see where they are, the progress they’re making, and the next steps on their journey.
Tip: Once again, I’ll direct you to my bundle of templates, because once again, I have a template for this!
Be a good host(ess)
Your first and last impressions are incredibly important, so include a welcome and wrap-up video on your training platform.
Tip: These videos are more about connection than information, so aim to film yourself speaking into the camera, rather than recording your screen.
Rave about your start students. Show off the brilliant work they’ve been doing as a result of completing your course.
Tip: Give your students an informal shout out on social media, or share a case study of their results with your audience.
Develop a way for your students to get direct feedback from you.
Tip: Take a look at Bushra Azhar’s process for inspiration. As part of her membership site, Persuasion Hacks Lab, she offers free weekly teardowns in the PH Labs Facebook group. How could you make this work for your program?
Go old school
Send your students something tangible in the mail - everyone loves receiving something in the post. This could be something related to your course materials, or just a fun little bonus.
Tip: Take a look in Gemma Went’s Facebook group for inspiration - recently she unveiled the box of awesome that she sends all of her one-on-one clients, and trust me, it’s tempting to sign up just for that!
Supercharge your content
This should go without saying, but make sure your course content is absolutely superb. Offer as much value as you can. Include amazing bonuses that would be worth paying for on their own.
Tip: Don’t slap shit together and call it a bonus. A bonus should help people accelerate their results, or make things cheaper, or more effective.
To figure out which of these upgrades are right for YOUR course or program (and a nice, pretty checklist) - click here (it’s free!).