For the sake of simplicity and helping any aspiring eCourse creator craft their ultimate customer experience, we’ve broken the kinds of eCourse experiences you can create into four different categories.
We also share the five mistakes that so many eCourse creators are accidentally making.
Each category is measured by the amount of time it would take a participant to get through the experience you’ve created for them and achieve the promised result.
We also highlight the amount of personal support that would be recommended for each eCourse level to help your customer succeed.
Note: We could go so much deeper into details with each of these categories. This is just a primer 😉
So here we go, your four levels of eCourse experiences…
1) Walk in the Park (measured in minutes)
This is like going for a nice casual stroll through the park with someone. A walk in the park would be a low investment of time and energy for the person going through it and a zero dollar commitment (cuz honestly, who charges money for a walk in the park?).
The purpose of a “Walk in the Park” is to build a connection between you and your potential customer or community member.
Offerings at this level should…
• Be easily digestible.
• Something they could work through or experience in less than an hour or two.
• Provide a specific outcome or transformation. (otherwise, what’s the point?)
One of the BIG mistakes eCourse creators and coaches make is they half-assed the Walk in the Park. They put very little thought, time, energy or heart into this experience and therefore they fail to make that connection.
This step is the most important thing for us to focus our energy on because this is where we build a real relationship with the people we are seeking to serve. At this stage, it is about the conversation and connection. You can not skip this phase in the relationship building process and nor should you want to.
Offering a shitty, half-assed experience for your new potential customer is is a sure fire way to send them running the other way.
Ask yourself: if you were your Ultimate Customer, how would you want to be treated when being introduced to you and your work? My guess is you wouldn’t want the experience to be shitty and lacking in love, right?
Just like a going on a walk through the park, the main goal is for the person to walk away feeling better than when they arrived. So, do the work and create a memorable first impression!
2) Day Trek (measured in hours or days)
A trek is equivalent to going on a mini adventure or day-trip with someone. A participant should be able to go through the content (AKA: experience) and achieve the results promised within a half day to a weekend.
Treks are great for learning a new life skill or achieving a result in a short period of time. These types of experiences would be a lower investment (time + money), have a minimal amount of personal support and the customer would likely go through it at their own pace.
If questioning what to charge for a Day Trek, we’d say a ballpark price would be $50-150, but that obviously depends on your industry, Ultimate Customer and what the promised transformation is.
3) Vision Quest (measured in weeks)
A quest is for the true seeker; one who wants to attain a new set of skills. Going on a quest will require more of an investment of time, energy and money. Therefore there should also be more support involved for the participant to ensure their success.
Support may include an online community, access to the facilitator through private coaching or live trainings. It’s even recommended to add a game-like feel to enliven the learning experience.
Quests are a linear process where the participant is guided through a series of exercises, lessons and experiences, all of which lead them to the ultimate outcome or transformation.
Quests generally range from a week to ten weeks in length. They have a clear beginning, middle and end. They should also be predictable for the participant, meaning lessons should be sent on specific days and in a specific order.
The trap eCourse creators get into is they start out seeking to create more money, time and freedom buy building an online course. Because they’re more focused on their own success than the success of their customers, they skip the most important piece – crafting a highly supportive, engaging customer experiences that help their students get results.
We believe that OUR success is measured in the success of our students.
The biggest focus for us when building the Great eCourse Adventure was to craft the ultimate customer experience. Every single feature we’ve employed is to make for the most awesome learning experience we could dream up.
We wanted to create an environment that gave our participants the support and motivation they need to move past their resistance, climb up the steep learning curve and launch the greatest eCourse they could possibly imagine.
When coming up with the idea for the Great eCourse Adventure, we asked ourselves how we could craft our own Ultimate Customer Experience. What would we want? You should do the same.
Create your eCourse experience as if you were going to be the user. What would you want/need to succeed?
We use entertainment, gamification, adventure, buddy systems (accountability), the community campfire (forum), weekly coaching webinars, fun autoresponders that inspire action, a sophisticated journaling system that makes building the content easy, web templates that help developing your platform more streamlined and a whole lot of tools that make the process enjoyable, fun and exciting to grow through.
Essentially, we are merging a variety of artforms and media sources to create an online learning experience that supports our participants to transform and learn new skills with more ease and fun.
4) Great eCourse Adventure (measured in months)
Great eCourse Adventures are a series of quests within one epic journey. Participants will learn a plethora of new skills and experience many mini transformations along the way. Each new skill and transformation builds upon the previous, and they all lead to one extremely specific end result.
A Great eCourse Adventure is NOT where first time eCourse creators should start. Building a customer experience of this scale will require a team of gifted people. No single part of a Great eCourse Adventure can be mediocre, the world in which your customer will immerse themselves in needs to be epic.
Great eCourse Adventures can take participants anywhere from 3 months to a year (possibly more) to complete and achieve the ultimate transformation. They are extremely in-depth with many steps and details along the way.
Because the stakes are high, the investment is larger and the results students will achieve is greater, the support participants receive needs to match.
Creators of Great eCourse Adventures must be completely dedicated to crafting their ultimate customer experience that ensures their students receive the support necessary to move past their resistance, overcome setbacks, move through the hurdles of growth and achieve their intended transformation.
The key word to explain a Great eCourse Adventure is “EPIC”.
It is not recommended that a newbie eCourse creator starts by building a Great eCourse Adventure. Something of this scale (if wanting to be done masterfully) will require a team of gifted people.
You don’t just want to create an eCourse, you want to create a new media experience that takes people on a journey and changes their lives.
Three Mistakes eCourse Creators Make
1. They try to create a Great eCourse Adventure when they have little to no experience in the art of creating highly engaging eCourses. What happens is they get overwhelmed, lost in the details, stuck when it comes to using the right technologies to make their big vision come to life or they realize how much work goes into doing this and they give up.
2. They don’t do the research and spend many months and hundreds of hours of hard work, only to realize that nobody wants their big fat crazy eCourse adventure. Their ultimate customer would actually prefer something of a smaller investment or time commitment. DOH!
3. They think bigger, longer, more expensive and larger commitment is better. They then discover that they’re wrong. The most important thing any eCourse creator needs to consider is, “How do I take my ultimate customer from where they are, to where they want to be in the easiest, most enjoyable, straight forward way?” Do this and you have succeeded at facilitating the Ultimate Customer Experience!
4. They build a behemoth sized eCourse but don’t offer the necessary support that ensures all their customers succeed and get through the course. Or they simply don’t yet have the experience, skills and resources to support students through such a great adventure.
5. They skip the “Walk in the Park” relationship building phase and go straight for the sale of a Day Trek or Vision Quest. Taking a Walk in the Park is foundational in the relationship building process. Once we have a strong foundation, we can support our ultimate customer to do anything.
Given that eCourses have a 97% failure rate, meaning only 3% of people who sign up for a course actually complete it, we need to make sure we’re making the RIGHT kind of course for our intended audience, based on what they want, need, where they are on their journey and what our creative gifts are (and the gifts of our team).
As the eCourse Creator and transformation facilitator, your one and only job is to ensure your participants get through your course and receive the results they came for. That is true success!
Journaling Exercise (if inspired, answer in the comments below):