This is a question that I get asked over and over. There are so many membership options out there that if you don’t know what to look for, it gets overwhelming pretty quickly.
What does building a successful Ecourse mean to you? To mean it means creating a great learning experience for my students, and to get them results. My success starts with their success and I put client success at the top of the list. If they are successful then I know I will be (and the money will come too! ).
Now let’s get on those 7 tips that will help you build a successful Ecourse or membership.
1- Put Your student’s success first (and yours will come)
When they have results, they talk about it and share it. And that will get your more students.
They send you testimonials and become great case studies you can use to bring in more members.
Your content/course/membership needs to solve a problem or fill a need. The student/member needs to have actionables to take.
2- Know your audience
it can sound obvious but you need to know exactly what their expectations are as far as content, support, access, live elements,.. the more you know the better course or membership you can build for them.
You might have ideas on what you think they want but it’s always a good thing to survey them to find out where they really need the help.
This is especially true if you are running a monthly membership where you have to come up with new content regularly.
Never assume. Ask.
3- Teaching format
I have purchased too many courses to count and the ones I have actually completed are very few.
One of the reasons is the format of the course: you can’t throw a series of video and PDF and call it a course (though some people do).
It might work for some but it won’t for most people even if the content is rich and very useful.
The reason? We all have different ways of learning: some like video, some prefer audio, some prefer to read. So whenever possible it’s a pretty good idea to provide different formats for your teaching.
It really comes down to finding out what your audience is the most receptive to. Again there is no better way than to Ask.
4- A Functional Platform
Choosing a membership plugin for your course or membership is probably the number 1 source of overwhelm for people. You can ask 10 different people and they might give you 10 different answers!
While it’s great to ask for recommendation, you need to take it with a grain of salt: what works for them might not work for you. You might (and probably do) have different needs and requirements and a solution that works for someone might not work well for you (and ultimately your students).
So what do you do? You should definitely ask for recommendations, just make sure that this is a platform they actually use and can talk about (like they have set it up!), it’s not because their course uses it that they know the inside and out and they might not be aware of the nightmares the tech team had to go through to make it work.
My recommendation is to make a list of functionalities that you absolutely want and a list of nice to haves. Then you can go shopping for a membership solution knowing exactly what your needs are.
My 2 recommendations for membership solutions are :
5- Outstanding Support
Support is key when you are running a course or membership. Because we’re all online and we don’t meet face to face, it’s easy as a member to feel alone and isolated and that’s usually when people drop.
it’s important that you encourage them to interact with you and the other members, that can be in the form of a private facebook group or a forum inside your member area. Forums tend to be less used unless you have a very big audience. I have seen much better results with facebook groups.
Another great way to show you’re there for them is through email.
Reminders of new modules coming available, weekly checkins to see if they have any questions, asking them to hit reply to let you know where they are at, those are all great ways to keep your members engaged in the course.
I know it sounds like a funny word to use when talking about Ecourses and online learning. What it really means is making learning engaging & fun.
Gamification is something that not many talk about and for a very good reason: most membership solutions do not have that capability.
Thankfully there are things you can do to help your members engage and consume your content (and get results!).
I love to use ProgressAlly for gamification, it’s a WordPress plugin that allows you to :
- easily add quizzes,
- add one-click social sharing to build buzz,
- add Progress checklists and Video bookmarks
- and more!
You can check it out here.
7- Make it easy on the eye
Make it look pretty!
I know people will say that the look does not really matter just as long as the content is great, but we have to admit it’s a lot more fun to learn when the platform is also easy on the eye!
I like courses that are no fluff and all about the content but that does not mean you can not make it pretty. It also shows you care about your audience and you want to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to learn, a place that they’d enjoy coming back to.
That’s what we did for one of my clients Sarah Hart and the result is spectacular (and students love love it!)
Another reason why I think that going with a membership solution like AccessAlly or MemberPress is the way to go is that it provides you will full control over the look of your member area, so you’re not tight to a framework.
Did you find these tips useful? Are you ready to build a successful online course? Leave us a comment below!
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