Or what online program marketers might pay attention to…
We want to grow our business — Fast.
We look for the magic solution. As we do, what starts popping up in our Facebook feed? Ads that look like there are going to solve our #1 problem.
I clicked on an offer recently from an online marketer claiming to have found the perfect solution to building an email list. The claim was fast and Big! Since this is a goal of mine I clicked on the free pdf for a checklist to build your list.
The link took me to a page that flashed by in a microsecond and brought up the second page to a webinar sign-in. I could not get to the checklist.
After fiddling around some, I was finally able to find the checklist. Just to be clear, the definition of “checklist” is
“a list of items required, things to be done, or points to be considered”
What I received was a one-page workbook that probably is the page that you would have open for the webinar.
How many times have you received something free or spent money on a program to only find that it does not live up to its promises?
A couple of years back, I was afraid I was going to get blacklisted from ordering anything more because of all the refunds I requested.
I could get into a rant about the shortcomings of online programs. Attempting to be more positive, here are my key criticisms and suggestions of what could be better.
How Online Programs Could Improve
1. There is no clear-cut path to follow.
- When you first begin, you have no idea where to start. Or, where to go next.
Recommendation: Use a module system that is easy to follow. Having forums, videos, pick and choose courses confuse the learner and waste time in ‘figuring it out.’
2. The program started from a beginner’s point of view when you were looking to go beyond an intermediate level on that topic.
Recommendation: Be clear who the program is for — what level training it is.
Share specific knowledge or business practices a person will already have before entering the program.
Be absolutely clear on measurable results a person will attain when they complete the program.
3. We all get busy. It would be great if someone were watching to see if you are following the modules or active in the private group
Recommendation: Maintain a private group on Facebook or in Slack and have a system to check in on people’s activity level.
Additionally, set up the modules in a program where you can follow people’s accomplishments or completion.
Responsibilities of the Learner
Online learners do have their responsibilities before signing up for an(other) online program. We have to own this and not just criticize the person who has put their heart and soul into their program.
Hey — don’t many of us have programs out there or are planning to launch one soon? Listen up.
Participant’s Responsibility in Taking on an Online Program
- Enroll in only one program at a time.
- Before enrolling in the next best thing, be sure you haven’t already purchased a program that has the same goals. There are hundreds of programs to choose from and I bet that you already have something in your inbox.
- Consider if it is the next shiny object or something you will institute in the next three months.
- Check for external reviews. Type in the person’s name and program and the word ‘reviews.’ See what comes up as well as where it is coming from.
- Read the program details carefully. I admit that I have quickly skimmed the sales page because the lead in was so perfect. Just what I needed. But when I looked carefully at what was being delivered, I could see the holes in it and knew it would not give me what I was looking for.
- Wait a day before deciding to hit Purchase.
- Be honest with yourself that you
- Like the person, the content and the delivery. Try the content creator’s free stuff first.
- Have the time needed to insure you get the best ROI (return on investment) for the program. Will it give you what you are looking for?
- Have the money to enroll in the program as well as other funds you might need to complete the action steps the program is teaching. For example, if you are looking to build an email list, there are programs and subscriptions you will need. You will need to build the website, gifts, opt-in pages. Can you do this all yourself or will you need to outsource it? Do you have storage space for these items?
- Consider what will potentially suffer if you enroll in the program. If you are already short on time, what will have to be put aside for you to commit to the program?
BEFORE you press a Sign Up Now button, consider your investment and your true Need.
And if you are designing or have launched a program, please check that you are truly delivering what you promise.