The 4 Horsemen of the Course Apocalypse

The 4 Horsemen of the Course Apocalypse

Let’s talk about the four biggest factors that impact whether or not your students are going to finish the incredible course that you’ve put together for them. 

Now, I know you are not pouring all your effort, heart, soul and (probably) a lot of tears into creating an online program that no one will finish.

I know that you want to get your people life-changing results.

But I’m here to tell you that only happens if they’re actually able to move through the transformation that you’ve mapped out for them. 

Now having seen behind the scenes and been a part of creating hundreds of courses, I have narrowed in on the four biggest factors that impact whether or not someone’s going to complete your course.

I like to refer to these factors as The Four Horsemen of the Course Apocalypse

Are you ready for them? 

They are confusion, overwhelm, boredom, and procrastination. 

If any one of these four nasty dudes shows up in your program, it means that your learner is most likely going to exit the experience and come back another time, or worse, maybe never come back at all.

Let’s face it, we are typically working with adults in our programs and that means they have a lot on their plate. 

They all have lots of priorities and a lot of life going on. 

So when you are designing out your program, you really want to make sure that your program experience has as much flow, ease and amazing energy as possible.

This makes it so your people have no excuses, and can move through this incredible experience that you have created for them. 

Let’s go ahead and dive into talking about each one of these horsemen and what we can do to stop them from showing up in your course. 

#1 Overwhelm

How it shows up:

I would say this is probably the most prolific kind out there in the online space right now.  Everyone is likely dealing with this horseman every moment they spend online. 

He shows up most of the time because we are just fire-hosing people with content. 

Ex. super long videos, assigning multiple action steps all at once or huge tasks to do

It’s just too much. But I’ve got good news for you. 

How to avoid it in your online course:

We can counteract this horseman by being really intentional with what we put in our program and making sure it always comes back to what your people need to know to be able to take action and get that transformation you are promising them. 

Instead of including everything in your brain and dumping all of that into a course program, ask yourself:

What does my learner need to be able to DO in order to take action? What do I need to teach them so that they can take action? Is this concept a need to know or a nice to know?

#2 Confusion

How it shows up:

So coming up right behind overwhelm is his bestie CONFUSION

This is also related to having too much going on in your course. 

If you have too many things happening inside your course, your people don’t know where they should be looking or what they should focus on next. 

They’re confused. 

There’s likely not enough detail in their action steps and that is when people are going to be like, “You know what, I’m going to come back to this later when I have more time to focus and like really figure out what’s going on in here.”

How to avoid it in your online course:

So with confusion, this is where you check in with your program and make sure you’re not overwhelming them, and ensure there’s not too much going on inside of your course.  

And when in doubt, I really want you to be extra clear about what you want your people to be doing.

For example, if they have homework, remind them that you want them to do this action step using this tool in this timeframe. 

The more specific you can be, the more clarity there’s going to be for your people and there’s less opportunity for them to get lost along the way. 

It’s also great to include a checkpoint so they can check in with you and either ask questions, share in the community, or just shoot you an email letting you know how it’s going. 

This will let you see if there’s confusion coming up in the same spot in your course that it holding your people back and you can dive in and add a bit more clarity where it’s needed. 

#3 Boredom 

How it shows up:

The next horseman is boredom and he can come up in a couple of different ways. 

The one that I find happens the most is when we’re not showing how, what our people are learning and doing, is relevant to the transformation that was promised on the sales page. 

I see this happen a lot in business coaching courses because with anything we need to start with our why is this important to us we want to our values, why are we doing what we want to do? 

For example, if you’re selling a course that is all about how to make more money in your business and you’re hitting people with a values exercise right off the top, chances are they’re gonna not necessarily see the connection to the transformation they’re there for.  

I like to refer to this as High School Algebra Syndrome.

We’ve all been there sitting in Algebra in high school asking ourselves why we have to learn this information, right? 

We weren’t sure how Algebra was applicable to our life at all. 

How to avoid it in your online course:

So what you’ll want to do when designing your program is outline examples of why that values exercise is super important to reach their transformation. 

Make sure you’re explaining why people are doing things every step of the way and continue to showcase how it connects to the bigger journey that they are on as part of your program. 

For example, if we are referring back to that values component, you want to showcase how when they focus on their values, it informs decisions they will make later on. When they do X, it plays into Z. 

This will help people feel more engaged and see the reasoning behind what they’re doing in your program. 

Another thing I want you to focus on in terms of engagement and excitement to make sure that boredom is not showing up is giving yourself permission to show up fully as you in your course. 

You don’t have to put on some kind of weatherman reporter persona or talk really monotonously on camera. 

Think about where you feel the most alive and how you can show up fully as yourself. 

How can you incorporate that into your program, so that you’re showing up with full enthusiasm, which is going to be engaging and magnetic for your people? 

#4 Procrastination

How it shows up:

Our fourth and final Horseman is procrastination and he shows up a lot because we, as adults, have competing priorities. 

Anytime it seems like something is going to take a bit more time or a lot of effort, we say we’ll come back to this later when we have more time. 

But unfortunately, there’s not always the return back to the thing that we said we’re going to do.

How to avoid it in your online course: 

So with procrastination and your online programs, what I really want you to do is think about how you can make your program a no-brainer for your people to do right now. 

This can look like short, seven-minute videos. 

Ideally, this could look like breaking your homework into tiny little action steps. So instead of it being two hours of work, it’s only 10 to 20 minutes.

This can also look like reminding your people why they need to take action now by telling them you know it’s tempting to leave that action step to later, you want them to do it right now because it will only take them five minutes to do and they will feel so great once it’s done. 

The more that you can call them out on their procrastination behavior, while also making it so easy for them to take action, the better off it’s going to be. 

Let’s recap, shall we? 

We’ve got the four pesky horsemen: overwhelm, confusion, boredom, and procrastination. 

At the heart of addressing all four of these horsemen is having a really strong program design is making sure that you are being intentional about how your structure is woven together so that you can make sure you’re getting your people those life-changing results. 

Action Step

Alright, I’ve got some questions for you to ask yourself. They will only take a couple of minutes and you will feel so amazing once you’ve faced one or all of your horsemen head-on. 

Is there one horseman over the other that you feel is more likely showing up in your program or is going to show up in your program? 

How can you be intentional about making the program designed to make sure that you’re giving your people the best experience possible? 

If you have questions or if you’re worried about any of these horsemen showing up in your program, I’d love to invite you to come to our next course cafe. Click here to get all the deets! 

We can definitely chat through these things there to make sure that none of these horsemen are showing up in your program, so we can make it the best it possibly can be.

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