Ninja Tips for course completion, engagement, and transformation - Jamie Palmer Online Business Coach & Marketing Strategist
Course Engagement tips for coaches blog

If you’ve created a course and your students don’t actually consume it, engage with it, or never finish it, which is a super common problem in the online coaching space, you have to face the fact that they’re never going to move on to that next step with you.

So today I’m going to share with you 12 different tips that you can use to create more engagement with your students.

12 Course Engagement Tips for Coaches

#1 Course engagement tip: It takes longer than you think

When I first launched my business ecosystem builders program, three years ago, I imagined students would be able to move through each one of the phases in six to eight weeks. Well, turns out that six to eight weeks was more like 10 to 12 weeks!

I always encourage new course creators and people who are creating a group program to remember that it always takes longer than you think it will. Why? Because people have other parts of their lives that they are active in. So, set really clear expectations for yourself when it comes to how quickly people are going to be able to move through the content. From my experience in working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, most of the time it takes students longer than the course creator expected.

#2 Course engagement tip: Always have Q&A Calls

When you think back to your college experience, professors always have office hours. In high school, you could always raise your hand and ask a question. I feel this is a step that entrepreneurs kind of skip. They don’t have open office hours or a Q&A session for their students.

Depending on your price point, this is something you want or don’t want to do. If you have a lower ticket item, I highly recommend having a Facebook group where the people within your community can communicate so that you can actively support them in that way.

Please keep in mind, if they don’t consume and finish this course they’re not going to move on and buy your next course or your mastermind or whatever comes next. Therefore, it’s really important to make sure that you’re answering the questions that arise along the way so that they can be successful.

#3 Course engagement tip: Have accountability buddies or check-ins

Accountability buddies are when you pair people up within the group to hold each other accountable for getting the course done or getting whatever the homework assignment might be done. It’s really important to do that to ensure they’re actually moving forward and making progress. You can use a Google form that people fill out, mentioning where they’re at and any questions that come up. Alternatively, you can do an end of the week, share your wins, share where you need support, check in within your Facebook community or via email.

I highly recommend doing this process, as it will help assure people take the time to consume the content, implement the teachings, and actually move forward in your business.

#4 Course engagement tip: Break down even the most simplest of tasks

One of my superpowers is taking this big vision and breaking it down into many little tasks. For most entrepreneurs that doesn’t always come naturally. When you’re teaching and when you’re creating course content it’s really important to break things down to the lowest common denominator.

Take a step back and think about how you could break a task down into multiple steps? When we have something that we do on autopilot that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to translate into our teachings. Have 10 to 12 five-minute modules instead of three 60-minute modules. People will actually consume those shorter modules and therefore move forward. It also gives you the opportunity to break things down step-by-step so that you can help them make lots of progress in their business.

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#5 Course engagement tip: Meet students where they are at

In my business, I’m rolling out a private podcast feed for all my private clients and the members of my Business Ecosystem Builders program. I will also do it as part of my front-end low ticket offer in the form of a nurture sequence.

Essentially it will be two separate private podcast feeds. Does it create more work for me? 100% it does. However, the whole goal for me is to get my clients to consume the content. The fact of the matter is we realized that no one was logging in to Thinkific and consuming the content from there. So now, I want to meet my students where they are at.

I know the vast majority of the clients I work with. They’re super busy and constantly on the go. They don’t want to sit in front of a computer any longer than they have to. From the perspective of I can meet them where they are, you know 90% of the content that isn’t a how-to video, is going to make their lives a lot easier when it helps moving their business forward. Think about how your ideal client likes to consume content. I’m using a software called Hello Audio. It makes it really easy to get started with doing this and consuming courses this way.

#6 Course engagement tip: Understanding the midway slump

A midway-slump is when halfway through your course or program, people disengage. If you can anticipate it, you can create content in a manner that actually keeps people more engaged. I always encourage people to make something fun and really engaging happen at that point in the program, so that you can keep them engaged and ultimately encourage them to finish the course.

#7 Course engagement tip: Mindset matters

Since the early start of my business, I got into the habit of having my course creators address mindset stuff that comes up along the way. Whenever you’re learning something new, especially if you’re working with entrepreneurs, it can start to feel uncomfortable. You have to step out of your comfort zone, and sometimes imposter syndrome can creep in.

I often encourage people to start a podcast or a YouTube. That’s really scary. How wants to be sitting in your office by yourself and talk to a camera!?! But, through that, you can help address those mindset issues. You will also keep people more engaged along the way and you’re going to retain them. Oftentimes people will get into that state of overwhelm and they’ll let their minds win and they disengage.

If you can address that and create awareness around that from the start, you can really avoid a lot of that falling off when it comes to your students.

#8 Course engagement tip: Help clients get wins really quickly

I love helping clients get wins really quickly when they sign up for any of my programs. Why do I do this? I do this because I want them to know that I have the ability to help them do those things.

What is a quick win? In some cases, it might be sales. In other cases, it might be solving a problem. That’s really in the forefront for them and they can’t figure out how to solve it. Help your clients get a quick win out of the gate.

#9 Course engagement tip: Don’t be afraid to adjust based on the feedback you’re getting

Whenever I create a program I always run it live the first time around. Part of the reason why I run it live is that I want that real-time feedback. I want to be able to see my clients’ faces to determine whether or not the content is resonating. I know that if you run it live you’re going to be able to get feedback around where you should change, adjust, or modify the teaching or the way in which you’re teaching it so that it really resonates and sticks with students.

The fact is that adult learners need you to be constantly shifting every seven minutes. So, when you can create the content in this way that keeps them engaged and, you will have a higher course completion rate than if you didn’t.

#10 Course engagement tip: Have your students score themselves based on different categories at the beginning of the course

I do this at the beginning of every course. I have my students score themselves and write a little note to themselves. I then do the same thing at the end of each course. Oftentimes if you have an outcome from your course that isn’t as tangible as building a funnel or, getting online, it’s really important to be able to have students look back at that score and see how much progress they have made. Often, we make this incremental progress over time and we don’t realize how far we’ve come. It’s really important in the beginning to say, here’s where you’re at and here’s where you were when you started. I think it also helps create and show that transformation, even if it’s been incremental along the way.

#11 Course engagement tip: Celebrate small wins along the way

One of the things that we do in all my groups at the end of every single week is celebrate all the wins that we’ve had. I do this with my clients to make sure that they’re slowing down enough to celebrate those wins. When you take that and you put it within a course, it really helps people to

  1. create a sense of community 
  2. realize all the progress that they’re making.

Ultimately if they see that they’re making progress, they’re going to continue moving forward with the course. So it’s super important that you celebrate those wins along the way.

#12 Create an experience

You don’t want to be just another vanilla course creator. You want to create an experience! One of the books that I love for this is Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman.  They have so many amazing tips in there for really making an incredible client experience but also remember that if you’re running a program live the first time around, don’t worry about making it so much of an experience but creating a really amazing culture. When you run it again, or as you start to reiterate and iterate and iterate the course, or turn it into a self-study, you can add in more layers of those experiences.

Don’t feel like you have to have all those layers in on the first go-round. But as you start to add in more layers over time, create more of experience.

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