How to Plan Your Curriculum as a Digital Coach

While there are tons of courses available, most online courses have a low completion rate.

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By Siddharth Rajsekar

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Every coach should have an online presence. But being a digital coach is not as easy as it seems. The biggest challenge a new digital coach faces is planning the curriculum. A curriculum should be set in a way that the students gain maximum knowledge, without a moment of dullness and at the same time stay connected. Within that connection, the concepts shared should be linked to one's own experience to make the curriculum more profound. A coach should constantly keep their material and methods updated. The curriculum should be designed in a way that not only increases the completion rate but also provides certainty to the people signing up.

Research by Global Industry Analysts suggests that e-learning will be a $325 Billion industry by 2025. However, the industry average completion rate of e-learning courses can be as low as 5%. Nevertheless, I have cracked a methodology that has made my average completion rate 50%. With my experience, I recommend a six-step process to designing and planning your curriculum.

Step 1: Define your end goal and identify your micro-niche

Solving your students' problems and helping them attain their end goal is not what every coach focuses on, but should be. The first step to do this is to create a survey to understand the problems your target student faces. Business growth, career growth, making money, health and relationships are the five areas where people have problems. Identifying the area where you can help them and fixing their problems at the core is what will create value in your offerings. Anyone can create a course on public domains like Udemy and Coursera, but not all of them reach the end goal. For example: My business goal is to help people adopt a lifestyle of freedom by breaking barriers of the standard 9-to-5 job culture. When I surveyed my digital coaches, I understood their challenges and it helped me create an insightful curriculum that catered exactly to my audience's needs.

Step 2: Define the customer journey

A customer does not want to buy a course from you, but a better version of themselves. A possible lead starts from not knowing you to wanting to know you to trust you enough to buy from you. From there, you nurture the relationship when you over deliver to increase mileage and turn a customer into a recurring one.

  • Pre-framing stage

The first point of defining a customer journey is the content piece that introduces you to your lead. A well-made content piece from any social media medium plays an important role in converting a cold lead to a warm one.

  • Decision-making stage

Your first content piece can lead the customer to a more informative content piece, which addresses their core problems. This will help convert the warm lead to a hot one.

  • Nurturing stage

The coach has to nurture the customer to maintain an online relationship. This will ensure converting a hot lead into a super hot one, which means creating a lead that will bring more mileage. Usually, in the online space, the customer relationship ends at the buying point but mine starts at the buying point. My trick? Weekly coaching classes with every student for the rest of their lives.

Related: 4 Digital Marketing Lessons To Scale Your Brand in 2021

Step 3: Three-level structure

  • Level 1 - Conceptual

This will be an introductory course, also known as the tripwire level. It can be a short course but a groundbreaking one — a summarized course that will also be easy on the pocket can be your level one course. This should cost somewhere around $97 to $200, depending on the area of coaching.

  • Level 2 - Core product, implementation level

Develop a course to put into action. The first level is theoretical, second should be practical, not only knowledge providing but also action-taking. For example: A wellness coach can share his knowledge in level one, but at the second level, the coach sends videos of actually doing the exercises.

  • Level 3 - Coaching and consultation

This level comes at the nurturing stage where the coach provides coaching and consultation. This is the level that will generate maximum profits. For a three-month course, one can charge anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000.

Step 4: Assignments, exercises and research

Make your students do exercises, research or assignments — this will help them imbibe certain learnings themselves. When one discovers theories, they understand various paradigms that do not come about by just teaching. The coach here must understand the results of the exercises.

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Step 5: Production

As I did my research, I realized that many digital coaches face an issue with the technicalities of online coaching. One should not get bogged down by technology and keep it simple. A basic laptop, basic recording software, a clear webcam, some natural sunlight and earphones should do it. One should not invest in technology at least in the initial stage of your coaching business. One should take feedback and analyze statistics so they know the right technology required for their audience.

Step 6: Platform

A coach can approach three types of platforms to reach out to their audience: public domain platforms like Udemy and Coursera, free domains like Youtube and a platform you create. Some websites help one create and sell online courses.

Related: How to Take Online Criticism in Stride

Siddharth Rajsekar

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Master Digital Coach & Author

Siddharth Rajsekar is the founder of one of the world's largest communities for coaches, trainers, teachers and experts with 15,000-plus members. He's developed the Freedom Business Model, teaching individuals how to take their expertise online and build a super-profitable digital-coaching business.

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