4 BIG Mistakes Coaches Make When Creating An Online Course

There’s a lot to think about when creating an online course. Everything from design, content flow, how it’s packaged, and the overall result you’re intending your students to walk away with.


Now, I LOVE consuming content through online courses, and personally purchase anywhere from 5-20 per year (depending on what I want to learn)! In saying that, I’ve been able to see a lot of very well done courses, and some horribly done courses, as well.


That’s why today, we’re going over the 4 big mistakes I see coaches make when creating an online course… in hopes of you avoiding them! 


And don’t forget to stick around until the end because I’ll be sharing my favorite Online Course resource that will have you creating and launching your course faster than you ever thought possible!


I’m KellyAnne Zielinski and I help online coaches build profitable coaching businesses by creating, monetizing and scaling their genius in signature programs, online courses and other digital products.


That’s why I care so much about helping you avoid mistakes that could potentially cause your students to:

  • Ask for a refund
  • Leave a less than positive review
  • Not complete the course due to confusion or overwhelm
  • OR WORSE… not receive the result they anticipated when they joined!


So, if you’re in the process of creating a course, or if you already have a course created, take a look at these four mistakes to be sure your brand has the best online course experience possible for your students.



Online Course Mistake #1: Using Unedited Videos

Coach, people are purchasing your course to save themselves time. The last thing you want is to WASTE their time by not editing out irrelevant content from your videos. 

Here are some things I’ve seen that have wasted my time in the online courses I’ve purchased:

  • First, watching a recorded Facebook live where the host spent the first 8 minutes calling out names and welcoming viewers.
  • Next, watching a recorded Facebook live where the host had tech issues for literally 17 minutes.
  • Then, watching a pre-recorded training where the Coach went off on an irrelevant rant and then apologized for it. 
  • And I’ve seen countless videos where the coaches were gathering their thoughts, lost their train of thought, or had a million “um’s” and “ya know’s”... all of which were super distracting to the content they were trying to get across.


The point here is, you always have the opportunity to edit your videos and audios so that it creates the most impactful on-brand experience for your audience. 


If you want your students to stick around long enough to get results, it’s important to create distraction free videos that allow them to get in and stay in the impactful energy.


All we have is time, so don’t waste it for people! 


Online Course Mistake #2: No Supporting Materials 

When someone purchases an online course they anticipate MORE than what they can find online for free. 

This typically includes a full scope of fluff free content that’s in an order of importance, as well as opportunities to APPLY what they’re learning so they can create long-lasting change.


 RELATED BLOG: How to Create A Signature Program [THAT SELLS]


That’s why the best online courses I’ve seen include support materials like fillable workbooks, journal prompts, tutorials, done-for-you calendars, challenges, Trello boards and other opportunities to create an internal and external shift.


The goal for each of your online course modules is for your students to combine a KNOWINGNESS, DOINGNESS, and BEINGNESS that will ultimately shift how they show up and interact with their world differently.


The support materials are one of the main pieces to this puzzle that makes it all work! Without them students are sort of left hanging with content and no way of grounding it. 


Online Course Mistake #3: Sloppy Packaging

Coach, everything you do is part of your brand experience. Proper packaging can make or break someone receiving results and purchasing from you again. 


Sloppy packaging can look like:

  • Not having your course in a solid online course platform or learning management system. And if you’re thinking it’s too expensive there are free and very reasonably priced options, or you can click here and learn about Kajabi which is the online course platform I use.
  • It can also look like not having any kind of branding or unique design elements. With resources like Canva and Fiverr.com there’s no excuse to not have at least basic design elements to your online course.
  • And finally it can look like accessibility issues. If your course is in a google drive folder, or on a platform you haven’t done proper research on, your students may have trouble accessing the content (which is a BIG problem).


RELATED BLOG: Want to see the backend of my business? Check out this blog >> KAJABI REVIEW: WHY IT'S THE BEST ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM


Overall, your job is to make learning and applying your content an easy and simple experience because this is how your students will get results and become your greatest ambassadors! 


Online Course Mistake #4: No Next Steps

This one baffles me because by the end of an online course I’m typically feeling inspired and ready to keep taking action! 

Wrapping up an online course can be an awkward process if you don’t know what you’re doing. 


I’ve seen courses end abruptly when it felt like there was more to be said. 


I’ve seen others briefly share what the student could continue to do or what they could do next but without a solid offer or steps.


But the BEST online courses have a final next steps lesson.  This is a brief lesson that wraps up what they’ve accomplished and then outlines the exact next step they’ll need.  This typically includes an offer that has a solid step by step that will help them accomplish the next step.


So, be sure to keep in mind as you’re creating your online course that you’ll need some sort of next step as your course begins to wrap up. Whatever you do, don’t leave them hanging!


BONUS MISTAKE: No Email Campaign 

If you don’t have an automated email campaign set up for after someone enrolls into your online course you’re missing a huge opportunity!


An online course email campaign is used for things like: 

  • Checking in to be sure they’ve logged in and are staying on track.
  • Or Reminding them about support resources like forums, facebook groups, or commenting below training videos.
  • Your emails can ask for a testimonial once the course is complete.
  • And of course you’ll be wanting to let them know about next steps aka your next offer!


Without an email sequence set up you’re missing an opportunity to build a relationship and community, so be sure not to forget this important step!


 RELATED BLOG: What Do I Put In My Welcome Emails? | Email Marketing For Beginners


Okay, so now you know the 4 big mistakes + bonus mistakes that coaches make when creating an online course, and hopefully if you’ve already created an online course you don’t have too much that needs to shift.


Like I promised, I wanted to share a resource I created called Online Course Simplified.  This is going to walk you through not only mapping out and building the curriculum for your Online Course from scratch, but also the process you need to SELL it ...whether that’s by having an evergreen course, or open/close cart dates, or even selling it as part of a group coaching program! 



So, go ahead and click the picture above to learn more about that now.


📣 And, if this blog was just what you needed in your coaching business, please let me know by sharing it with your coach friends.


Until next time, Coach… keep building your empire!


XO, KellyAnne





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