This might sound obvious, but for a course to sell well, it needs to be useful. It should address a problem, a need or a desire, and provide the means to solve it. Moodle content that opens doors for people and changes their lives for the better is what represents real value in a course. If you can offer the missing piece of somebody’s puzzle, they will be happy to pay you for it.
The value of your courses will increase if you make sure to add these three critical elements:
1. Identify Your Audience (And Stalk Them!)
The most profitable way to interact with your learners is to build a lasting relationship so they will buy from you and come back for more. To achieve this, as you would with any relationship, you need to get to know them. Familiarity with their needs, desires, fears and preferences will also help you to craft better learning products for them in future. Ideally, you want to create a group of fans: people who love your courses and spread the word about them.
Focus your material on a group of people who will gain a direct benefit from what you have to offer. What are their demographics likely to be? Were they born into the digital world or is eLearning (still) a new frontier? Here are four key points to think about:
- What specific challenges and issues are they facing that you can solve with your subject matter expertise?
- What is their level of prior knowledge of the subject matter likely to be? This impacts how easily they will engage with new material. Find the right balance: content that is neither too basic nor too advanced.
- What is their general level of education likely to be? Pitch your offer accordingly.
- What are their key motivations and desires? If you can target these accurately and offer to satisfy them, you will have learners who are motivated from within.
While considering and profiling your target audience, try not to make assumptions. Look for real evidence for your generalizations by browsing relevant forums, joining their communities and interacting. Said another way – don’t fake it! One Moodlepreneur we know of set up a survey using SurveyMonkey and posted it in places online where his target audience were hanging out. It asked which course features and content they would like to see in that particular subject area. He got very useful feedback that enabled him to craft a better course for that audience.
2. Differentiate Your Offer
Success in selling Moodle courses tends to come from doing a small number of things in a niche and finding a unique angle for presenting them. Aim to dominate a narrow, specific subject area and make clear to learners the exact benefits they will gain from taking your course.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you are an Excel ninja. There are tons of free Excel tutorials out there, so how do you differentiate your offer? Try to offer a special hook. How about little-known Excel shortcuts and time savers, real-life case studies, Excel for silver surfers, common Excel mistakes and how to avoid them? That would help to make your course stand out from the pack of Excel tutorials. Can you think of ways to do this with your own subject matter?
3. Create Compelling Content
One problem with being an expert in something is the ‘curse of knowledge’. Experts are so entrenched in their subject matter that they can struggle to identify and highlight the value it represents to non-experts. Fully opening the floodgates of your knowledge might drown your learners. So it’s best to drip-feed your content in easily-digestible chunks. The insights you gained into your target market when researching your learners is invaluable in achieving the right pacing and depth.
Here are some points to help you create engaging content:
- Make it clear why they need to learn this. List learning objectives and outcomes.
- Make it as interactive as possible. Get learners to do active tasks frequently, like checklists and worksheets.
- Prune your materials to get rid of any content that is not essential. This gives it more impact and makes it more memorable.
- Split it into chunks that are easily absorbed and roughly equal in length.
- Use short paragraphs and bullet points.
- Stimulate more than one sense. Use video, audio and images to convey knowledge in addition to text. Embed relevant web pages in your Moodle course as well.
- Make sure key learning points are repeated often. Set quizzes to test their knowledge along the way.
What other ways have you found to create compelling Moodle courses by solving the problems of others? Tell us in the comments below!
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