In education, outcomes are easy – a student comes in to your class not knowing how to do a square root, and they leave knowing how to do that. You have a test to prove how well they can do that. It’s direct and you get real-time feedback on progress.
In business, educational outcomes linking to business outcomes are a little more tricky. You see, it’s not about the learning itself like learning square roots (I mean, who really does that on a daily?), it’s about how the learning drives business outcomes like leads, conversions, profit and margin. Someone who purchases your course may not immediately come back for more.
In adult continuing education, there is a middle ground. If you’re lucky enough to be an adult continuing education provider, you know that being an expert can drive your business’s bottom line results. The links are not as direct, though. It’s about how those opportunities and exposure can give you perceived authority as an expert. It eventually makes you the only logical choice in your field. After that perception is entrenched, business results follow. It’s a longer-term proposition.
We see a lot of folks who have a great course concept. It’s a super cool idea – and we think so, too. It’s sexy content, but will it drive business results?
The first step to converting your content to an online course is setting a measurable goal for that effort. In that goal setting process, you have to have a realistic idea about how long it will take to achieve the outcome you’re looking for.
As a long time educator, I know each student is different. It will take some students a few minutes to master square roots (dern geniuses), while it will take everyone else a few weeks (that’s more like it).
As a business person, I know that I have to give a strategy some time before I know it’s working. Successful online courses have clearly defined goals. Here’s a list of things to start with:
- Making production costs back within a designated time frame
- Getting X qualified leads that convert
- Increasing close rates because clients are more educated
- Decreasing the percent of your time spent on non-revenue generating activity
You can’t just depend on a cool idea to get you more customers – just like you can’t depend on a discount to build long-term client relationships. Your course concept should build long-term success for your business. Your goals are up to you – we are here to help you make your online course goals a reality.