back to search all episodes

    Episode 223: How To Create A Transformational Online Course – with April Beach

    Sweetlife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

    This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

    Episode Bonuses:

    Join the Waitlist to Create Your Leading Offer™ with April Beach

    Who This Episode is Great For:

    Entrepreneurs who are launching online courses.


    Launching an online course isn’t enough. In fact, the sale of on-demand online courses fell by 13.4 billion dollars because people are weary of buying another course they’ll never finish, the material is not good, or they don’t receive the outcome they had hoped. 
    For entrepreneurs and businesses looking to scale, online courses are still a powerful tool, but how to curate your content and deliver a transformation to your participants will determine whether your course is a huge hit or a huge fail.

    At the end of this episode you will:

    1. Understand the basics of Transformational Course Design™
    2. Be able to assess your current course for needed change
    3. Have 4 steps to take action if you’re building an online course right now

    Resources Mentioned:

    SweetLife Podcast™ Love:

    Are you subscribed? If not, there’s a chance you could be missing out on some bonuses and extra show tools.  Click here to be sure you’re in the loop.  Do you love the show? If so, I’d love it if you left me a review on iTunes. This helps others find the show and get business help. I also call out reviews live on the show to share your business with the world. Simply click here and select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review”. Thank you so much ❤︎

    Need faster business growth?

    Schedule a complimentary business triage call here.

    Full Show Transcript:

    You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator, April Beach to the show. I’m April beach host here at the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast and founder of the Sweetlife company. Thanks for joining me again on another episode where you can take what we deliver to the bank.
    This show is known for delivering new business trainings and coaching that other businesses and coaches charge thousands for. So thank you so much for tuning in with us before we get started today. And we’re about to talk all about online courses, which I know is a popular topic for so many of you. I want to make sure that you know how you can connect further with us here on the podcast.
    Delivering information is one thing, but then you usually have questions or you want to know maybe how this applies in your business. So if you are on clubhouse every single week on Wednesdays at 12 o’clock, we host a room and this room is all about the podcast topic of the week. And I take your specific questions on what we talked about on this week show.
    So if you’re listening right now to episode number 223, and you want to know all about how to launch a transformational online course, you’re listening to this podcast, and then you want to workshop with me and ask your questions. That is where you can find me totally free every single Wednesday on clubhouse at 12 o’clock Eastern time. In order to find that room,
    you just need to follow me on clubhouse and I can be found at April beach, super simple. So let’s take this podcast from where we are now over to clubhouse, and I’m happy to have a deeper conversation with you and give you support in this area. So who is this episode for this episode is for those of you guys that are in the business launch or scale phase,
    and you’re thinking about doing so with an online course. So here are a couple of important things to note launching an online course isn’t enough. All right. In fact, the sale of on-demand online courses in free courses actually dropped the consumption of them has dropped over the last couple of years. And that’s because so many people are weary of buying another course or,
    or even spending their time on a free course. And they understand the material they’re getting really isn’t good, or it isn’t transformational. And they aren’t really getting the outcome that they had hoped that they would receive. So if you are, which you are listening to me here, an entrepreneur or a business, and you’re looking to scale online courses are still really a powerful way to do that.
    In fact, we help most of our clients watch online courses, but how you curate your content and deliver a transformation to your students, to your clients will determine whether or not your course is a huge hit or a huge fail. And so that’s what we’re talking about today on the show. At the end of this episode, you’re going to understand the basics of transformational course creation and design.
    You’re going to be able to assess your current courses and whether or not you need to make changes. And you’re going to have four steps to take action if you’re building an online course right now. So if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and dive into the show and all of the show notes and everything we have here for you can be found by going to sweet life
    Okay. So let’s first dive in and talk about what is a transformational course. A transformational course is an online course that delivers measurable transformational results, where your students, your, your clients actually are able to understand what you have taught them and actually practice and put it into action. Instead of so a lot of course, creators, actually, most of them just teach you how to kind of outline your content in benchmarks and basic reverse engineering.
    You need to do much more of that. If you want to scale your business and become an undisputed leader in your space by creating a transformational online course. So that’s why this is so important. The problem is more content is not better. You know, nobody needs more content. Nobody is out there saying, please inundate me with more content. I know I’m not.
    And I’m sure you’re not either your students and your clients and the people that are going to go through your course. They just need a transformation. And that transformation could be a micro transformation, or it could be a major transformational outcome for them. So in able to do that, or being able to do that as a course, creator means that you need to understand how to design your course,
    that includes delivering a transformational measurable result in the end. And according to content overload is when too many different blog posts and articles and ideas and suggestions cover one specific area. And I know that as entrepreneurs, that you’re struggling with that if you’re talking about something that so many other people are talking about in that same area, it is a huge issue for your business.
    And it has a couple of negative effects for one, it creates a vast quantity of material covering this one topic, and it makes a really hard for you to stand out. Another problem is that it turns off a potential audience and they don’t want to shift through endless content to find the one thing they’re looking to achieve. And you can read that article.
    We’ll go ahead and put that link to that article in the show notes for you guys on our website. And so as an entrepreneur, I know you’re struggling with this. I know that you need to understand how to stand out, how to become known, how to become, like what I call undisputed leader. And I talked to hundreds of entrepreneurs every single month that are asking,
    how do I make my course or my program or my service stand out. And it all starts with simplified transformational program design. So I want you to write those words down in your memory. If you’re driving your car to say with me transformational course or service or program design. Okay. And that’s what we’re talking about here today. That’s what we teach within the Sweetlife company.
    If you’re looking for a resource beyond this podcast in this area. And so here are some steps I want to give you that you can walk away with though immediately so that you can take a look at your course. Step. Number one is if you already have a course, take a look at your curriculum, take a look at it. And if you’re in the process of building your online course,
    take a look at what you’re proposing to build, and you need to be able to articulate the injuries Results so that people can expect, know what to expect fully in the end with the transformation they’re going to get from your course, not just what is the end, but what is the detailed transformation that they can expect? You don’t want to just say,
    Oh, they’ll feel better as a parent, if you’re launching a parent coaching course, or they’ll know how to land speaking gigs, if you’re a speaking coach or they’ll know how to run or moderate a part, a clubhouse room, those are all too general. I recommend that you were able to specifically articulate and identify the transformation like this. So instead of they’ll feel better as a parent,
    you should be able to say something about your course, like they will have crafted their parenting plan with confidence. So it’s really specific. And you’re talking about how they’re getting the transformation, or instead of they’ll know how to land a speaking gig. It’s something to the effect of, they will have completed the pitch process to land their dream stages. See it’s much more specific.
    And it also alludes to how you’re teaching them, how to do that. And instead of launching a course that just says, Hey, you know, they’re going to know how to run a great clubhouse room. Instead. We want you to identify the transformation you’re delivering. And an example could be, they understand the guidelines of moderating inclusive clubhouse rooms. You see the difference in that.
    So step number one is really taken a good look at your curriculum. Number one, do you actually understand the transformation that you’re giving people? Is that really, really clear to you? And if you don’t it’s okay. I don’t want you to feel like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe, I don’t know the transformation because I literally speak with entrepreneurs all the time that are like,
    wow, April, I’ve created this course. I bought all these other course creation programs. And I put all this content in there and laid it out. I still can’t articulate the transformation I’m giving people. So if that’s you just, first of all, know that you’re not alone. There’s a lot of people out there talking about how to teach course creation that might not even understand instructional curriculum design.
    And so that’s not a reflection of you, and it’s certainly not a reflection of your content. So the very first thing to do is to look at the curriculum and be able to clearly identify the transformation in a detailed description. Number two, create transformational benchmarks. And so let’s talk about what I mean by this. I was just hosting a clubhouse room on this topic last week.
    And I was asked this question and a woman said she’s had a course forever. And they were, I was so excited for her because they were going back through her course and actually understanding the importance of transformational course design they’re going back. And they were updating to redoing their course. It’s been, this killer course has made a ton of money for years.
    And she asked me, should I measure the transformation in the whole entire course, or also, should I do it in each one of the benchmarks, each one of the modules. And here is the answer to that. Yes. As an expert, you need to understand, to be able to articulate the sub transformations within each benchmark of your course, or of your service,
    or really this applies to any single business model. We teach transformational program development and design that applies to mastermind creation, membership creation. This can apply to a one hour coaching call with somebody. This can apply to any way that you deliver your content right now in this podcast, we’re just talking specifically about course creation. So step number two is create transformations within each one of your benchmarks and take a look and make sure that you understand them,
    that you can articulate in a detailed way, the sub transformations within each one of your modules or benchmarks as well. And number three is to curate content the way people learn. Okay, this is really, really important understanding. The more content does not equal a better course or a program. We talked about that in the beginning, right? So your responsibility is to actually remove the content that does not directly apply to the end result that you are giving.
    That is step number one, take a look at your course, or if you’re in the process of building the course, take a look at it and say, okay, what doesn’t actually have to be in here to deliver the transformation that I’m guaranteeing people, but there’s even more than that. As an entrepreneur, I understand that you’re not an instructional design expert or a scientific learning expert,
    but if you’re offering a course, you have to curate curriculum with transformational program or service or coaching design. This is how you lead people to amazing results. And this is how you become an undisputed leader in your space. So I want you to understand this. Most people believe that repeated exposure to material, right? So going over the things that you teach them in each module and rereading it and practicing it and memorizing it is like the best way to get people Results.
    But according to the McGraw center for teaching and learning at Princeton university, this is super time consuming and it’s actually less effective. Instead. They recommend making, learning difficult in strategic and desirable ways to enhance retention, retrieval and transfer of knowledge. Let me see, say that all again. You’re probably going like, Whoa, Whoa, you’re talking about Princeton university,
    April, I’m a nutritionist or I’m a marketing coach, or, you know, whatever it is is totally doesn’t apply to me, but yet it does as course creators. It is important that we understand instructional design, especially if you are building your company and scaling your business with creating a product that gives people results and they have to go through a process of learning.
    Let me say that again. A lot of course, creators<inaudible> course creators out there, put a bunch of content in a course, lay it out in a time in line and then give people homework for each benchmark. That is true. Really not the way to get people Results in your program. And what we find is just going over their notes or rereading the things that you’ve done isn’t necessarily the way to do it.
    In fact, to this study by Princeton university, they actually recommend understanding and absorbing some of your content in your program and intentionally making it difficult, but doing so in desirable ways, creating challenges within your course that people want to overcome. They want to do. And it’s not super easy, but let’s go ahead and dive a little bit more into this because you might just be like,
    totally tuning me out at this point, which I really hope you’re not because again, as a course creator or somebody that wants to offer a course, it’s important that you understand this in the process of building your curriculum. So does it irritable difficulties? So let’s kind of dive into that. What does that actually mean? Desirable difficulties is a term that Dr.
    Robert York from UCLA came up with over 20 years and refers to conditions of learning that create challenges for the learners and even slow down some of the rate of learning. But in the end, they actually enhance the long-term retention of the knowledge and the skills that you’re giving that. So tell us, okay, this is, this is very instructional design and scientific learning,
    and I totally get it. You’re like, okay, April, I’m not offering it MBA. I’m like just teaching somebody how to get more YouTube fans or whatever it may be. I totally totally get it. But you are a course creator and bringing your clients also known as your students from one place to another in knowledge or skill is what you’re promising them.
    Right? And therefore you should include some measure of desirable difficulties. And again, what is that? So let’s take a look at your course either you’ve created a course or you’re thinking about creating a course. It desirable difficulty is placing a challenges, certain number of challenges and everybody’s program is different within your course, that they’re ready for non a challenge at every single week or every single module,
    but really great challenges that your clients are ready to face. And by doing so, they get excited about doing it. They want to do it. They want to take what you’ve been teaching them and delivering to them over the past couple of weeks or months or however long or your program is. And they want to put it into action. It’s hard.
    It’s really, really hard, but it’s the best kind of hard because they know that doing it is for sure. What’s going to raise them from where they are to the next level of where they want to be with you. Here’s an example of this at my company, at the SweetLife Company, we have a program that’s called your leading offer, and we teach small businesses and entrepreneurs how to develop industry leading online courses.
    We have taught this for over 13 years, as a matter of fact, way back when in 2008, we launched an online course on how to create online courses like before the whole entire online world was talking about it. And here is why the process of curating your curriculum and building courses in a way that embraces what you are capable of as an expert,
    as far as scientific learning. But it also levels up your customer’s outcome. Your clients not only retention in your program, but the Results in your program. That’s how we build leading entrepreneurs and businesses. And we teach a process in my program called your leading offer. That actually takes your thoughts out of your mind and your expertise and puts them into a process that creates what we call transformational program design.
    It is really hard work, but by the time we actually teach that in my, your leading offer program, people are ready for that. And so they’ve gone through the places in the benchmarks where they’re like, okay, bring it on. I am so amped up for this. I’m totally Agra, ready to grow. It’s going to be great work.
    This is good, important work, because they’re ready for it. If we huge challenges for them throughout the whole entire program, they would never do it. If we created no challenges for them throughout the program, they would learn nothing and they’d have no transformation. So I always loved kind of showing you guys behind the scenes on our company and how we do things.
    So let’s take that example and let’s look at your course or your program that you’re creating or that you’ve already launched. Do you have desirable levels of difficulty that are strategically placed that cause challenges that enhanced the outcome and the transformation people are getting within your course, if you don’t, then it’s time to take a look at that. And if you feel like you’re actually having a panic attack right now,
    and you’re like, Oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to start then cruise over to and you can join one of my next white boarding sessions. I do these white boarding sessions for free all the time. And we’ll whiteboard out your course together. Or like I said, join me on clubhouse at noon on Wednesday, the week this show drops and we’ll,
    we’ll be diving into this together. And here’s some things I want for you to consider as we’re wrapping up this really important episode here on the show. Number one, understand that action is part of your client’s learning process, but how are you going to implement that action? What is the difference between them taking action? And you just giving them work to say you gave them work,
    or frankly you giving them no work because you just wanted your course easy to get through. Where is the measure there based on the transformation that you are promising they’ll receive from your course, number two, create challenges at the right points within your program, not just to create these challenges, but understand when and where people are ready to be challenged. And of course,
    number three, which is how we started out this show, cut the content and focus on the transformation and the output of the process that you are teaching more content is not better. And if you take anything away from this episode, because I know we talked about a lot, number one is to simplify the content within your course, don’t overload people with more and more and more content.
    Instead, look at the content within your course or your program and ask yourself, how am I going to make this transformational it, every single touch point within what I’m delivering to my clients. If you want to take your course, you want your course to take the lead in your space. You’re going to need to design it like a leader designs courses.
    And this applies to mini courses, leading courses, and frankly, any program that requires learning and implementation based on the information that you teach. So we talked about a lot of things today, today in episode number 222 here on this wheat life entrepreneurial business podcast, we were talking about how to launch a transformational online course. This again is for those of you guys who are just starting to scale your business with online courses,
    whether you have had a course for years like the woman I was speaking to in clubhouse, or you’re just now trying to tap into the power of scaling your business. Your online courses understand that launching a course alone is not enough. Also understand that the completion of online courses has fallen so much, that you have to understand how to engineer your curriculum in order to get people transformational,
    measurable, predictable results, and the resources we have for you. Again, our join me in clubhouse. Let’s have a conversation about this. I’m happy to dive in, roll up my sleeves and link arms with you in our regular weekly clubhouse room on Wednesdays at noon. Again, follow me at April beach and we’ll dive in with this together. Or I want you to also check out
    if you, to the place where you’re ready to take the lead in your industry. And you want to make sure that the courses that you’re developing are transformational industry, leading courses. That is where you get the steps to do it again. That and all of the show notes from this episode here can be found by visiting sweet life And I kind of geeked out on the research for this one.
    So in those show notes, there’s a couple of really important resources. We have actually put the Princeton resource in there for you as well, as well as I’m putting a link to how to create strategic levels of difficulty from Dr. Robert Bjork here in the show notes as well. So if you want to dive in deeper to that, I’ve made sure all of these resources are here for you.
    All right, you guys, thanks so much for tuning into the show. I can’t wait to talk to you again next week on a, another podcast that delivers a business coach. You can take to the bank. You guys have an awesome week. Bye for now.