Different Types of Online Courses And How To Structure Your Online Course Ideas

Written by Tina Dahmen

4 min Read

3 Main Types of Online Courses And How To Structure Your Online Course Ideas

There are three different types of online courses out there, an introductory course, a laser-focused course and a signature course. 

 

Some of my challenge participants have asked me which types of online courses they should create and how to structure an online course. 

 

When you are creating an online course, you always want to keep the client’s transformation in the back of your mind. And according to this, you will decide which type of online course you should create. 

 

As a rule of thumb, the bigger the transformation, the longer and more intensive the course. Newsflash: the bigger the transformation the more work your students need to put in to get there (people like to forget about that part). 

So, what exactly are those different types of online courses and how long should your online course be?

  • Introductory Course: This type of online course teaches a foundation of something and can usually be studied within 2-5 days. 

⁣It’s there to give your audience a taste what it would be like to a) work with you and buy one of your higher-priced products and b) to see if they wanted to dive further into the presented topic. 

 

So as you can imagine, the transformation is quite small and an introductory course sits at the very lower end of your value ladder. It’s usually been sold between $49 and $297. 

 

For example, my mini-course helps people to get their course idea kick-started and off the ground. It teaches the students the most important things they need to do in order to build a scalable and profitable online education business. Yet more than 80% of the people miss out on this and therefore fail. 

 

So, after they have been through the content I am offering in that introductory course, they know if creating an online course is right for them or not and if they would like to learn more from me or from someone else. 

 

  • Laser-Focused Course: This course teaches one thing. It brings one specific transformation to the customer. For example, my laser-focused course is called “From Idea to Course”, where the transformation for the student is a finished online course at the end of the programme which they have already sold during the programme. 

 

This type of course typically averages between 6-8 weeks. ⁣When people enrol into this course, they have committed to a somewhat bigger project, which means, in my case, add a more passive income stream to their revenue sources. This of course takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. 

 

People who enrol in a laster-focused course have normally read through lots of your content before, they know you already a little and they are more committed than people who just enrol in an introductory course. 

 

  1. Because it’s a higher price point (the higher the transformation the higher the price point), which makes them
  2. more committed to their own dreams and they are more likely to follow through. The more skin people have in the game the more effort they will put into anything. 

 

A laser-focused course sits usually in the middle of your value ladder and, depending on your transformation can range between $299 -$1,997. 

 

  • Signature Course: This is what people will know you for and where big magic happens. A signature course promises one huge transformation and can take up to 12 weeks (or more, depending on how much time your students put in on a daily basis). 

 

A signature course is the highest transformation you are providing to your students out of all the transformations in your value ladder so to speak. 

 

It’s usually a higher ticket programme which involves live calls and live support. You (or the coaches you hire) are going to be more involved into this type of course as people won’t be able to get to the end result by themselves through “just” watching videos and following a step by step blueprint. 

 

A signature course is on the higher end of your value ladder because it provides the highest transformation and therefore is also the highest priced programme. 

 

Normally prices can go between $1,999 – $9,999 (but again, this depends on the transformation so don’t think it will be the same for every course). 

How to create an online course PDF_124
Download Your Free Course Outline Template NOW!

Do It The Right Way From The Start

 

Your online course outline is one of the most important parts to pay attention to in the early stages of your online course development. Do it right and save yourself endless hours of headache and assure your students' speedy success.

So, just to recap on how to structure an online course within your value ladder and what type of clients those attract:

 

  1. Introductory Course: Lower-tier offer – “Get to know the topic & you”
  2. Laser-Focused Course: mid-tier offer – “They trust you and your ability to help them, they are somewhat committed”
  3. Signature Course: high-tier offer – “They are fully committed and have the right mindset to work towards their dreams no matter what”

If you want to learn more about how to structure an online course outline, read this article

How to create an online course PDF_124
Download Your Free Course Outline Template NOW!

Do It The Right Way From The Start

 

Your online course outline is one of the most important parts to pay attention to in the early stages of your online course development. Do it right and save yourself endless hours of headache and assure your students' speedy success.

Here are a few fun facts about the different types of online courses and some online course ideas:

  • ⁣Some courses could be an introduction to your clients to go through to catch up on knowledge before you start working 1:1 with them⁣.
    • For example, you could make them go through your “core content” so they have the basic knowledge when they get to actually speak to you in person. This way your coaching calls are going to be much more effective and you don’t waste time on talking about content which can be taught in video lessons. 
      • If you coach people how to manage a team effectively, online course ideas for this scenario could be: The foundation of managing people, reading body language the right way, how to communicate effectively etc. 

 

  • Some courses could be (and most likely will be) your mid-tier product so more people can afford to “work with you”⁣. 
    • For example, those types of online courses will teach your students the foundation they must have in place to “get to the next level”. In my case, this is having built a digital product. Without having something to sell, they don’t need to progress into the “higher tier” programme where we talk about sales calls, enhancing marketing strategies, fixing funnels, copy etc., as they don’t even have the basics in place. 
      • If you teach people how to land a gig and become a famous musician, and they don’t even know how to play a symphony, then that would be something they would need to nail down first. Some online course ideas for this scenario could be: How to compose your first song, how to land gigs in your local area (so they can get some experience before heading off to the big guys) etc.  

 

  • Or maybe your courses will be the only way to work with you and you don’t offer any private or group coaching  ⁣
    • Your courses don’t always have to sit in the middle of your value ladder. They can totally be the highest priced offer you have on the table. It depends on your lifestyle, how much you want to be involved in person and so on. 

 

  • Want to get into a partnership with somebody? Adding your course to their content library or membership site could also be a great way to get some traction going in your business.⁣ 
    • This is a very awesome marketing strategy and I see many people utilising it. The types of online courses for this scenario I would recommend placing in other people’s membership site are more introductory courses. 

 

This way you get a lot of eyeballs on your brand and maybe people will enrol into your other courses. However, there are also other options. A friend of mine hosts signature courses on his platform for his online community from different experts in the field and they split the monthly profit, depending on watch minutes. 

 

If you have your own membership site then you would need to upload new content on a consistent basis and offer different transformations for each of them. 

 

As you can see, the amazing thing about online courses is that you can repurpose them and use them over and over again for different scenarios. ⁣

So, which types of online courses do you have in your value ladder and which one are you going for next? 

How to create an online course PDF_124
Download Your Free Course Outline Template NOW!

Do It The Right Way From The Start

 

Your online course outline is one of the most important parts to pay attention to in the early stages of your online course development. Do it right and save yourself endless hours of headache and assure your students' speedy success.

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