Tell me if this sounds familiar. You begin to write a blog post, and before you know it, your “quick update” has turned into a rambling, 3,000 word novelette that covers everything from where to find a graphic designer to how to design a business card.
Now, a 3,000-word blog post can be great for traffic, but only if you’ve kept it tightly focused. But what happens all too often (in blog posts and in course development) is that every point covered brings up a new point to be addressed.
Logo design leads to business card formatting.
Business cards lead to taglines.
Taglines lead to ideal client avatars.
Avatars lead to…well, you get the idea. The point is, when you strive to provide the very best information for your audience, it’s easy to want to include one more important detail. Soon, you’ve outlined an encyclopedia’s worth of content that overwhelms not only you, but your clients as well.
One Problem, One Solution
Most people don’t need or want an all-inclusive answer. If your course helps your clients identify their ideal client, then including information about choosing a domain name might seem relevant, when it’s really just a distraction.
Worse, if you try to branch out too much, you run the risk of overwhelming your customer. Too much of that, and she’ll log out and never return—for this or any other course you create. Not necessarily because you’re a bad teacher, but because she’ll be convinced she’s a bad student.
Here’s another issue with trying to include too much info in a single course: Depth of knowledge. When you try to include too much information, what you end up with is very thin coverage of a lot of different topics.
Instead, when you focus your course on a single problem and a single solution, you can dig deeper and present ideas and information that won’t be found just anywhere, such as:
- Case studies
- Planning documents
- Multi-media content
These are the types of things that your audience will happily pay a premium for, because they cannot find them elsewhere. When you focus your course on a single problem, you’ll have the leeway to create these and other resources. Take a broader approach, though, and you’ll be forced to scrimp on the “extras.”
But make no mistake—there is still room for that all-inclusive, massive eCourse. One look at powerhouse course creators such as Marie Forleo and her incredibly popular B-School will tell you that.
Keep in mind, though, that if you decide to go ahead with any course of this magnitude, you will (by necessity) have to:
- Expand the length of the course to accommodate all the extra information. Each week (or module) becomes its own “mini” course, focused on a single issue/solution.
- Increase the cost of the course. If your market will bear a high-ticket, multi-module course, then by all means you should produce one. But do keep in mind that the more information you provide, the higher the price point.
Remember, too, that a large course is a much more difficult sell—and we’re not just talking about the price. There’s a bigger commitment on the part of the buyer as well, and that’s something she’s going to have to carefully consider before she takes the plunge. A smaller, single-problem course is easier to commit to and easier to complete and be successful with. So keep it simple whenever possible.