As you're designing an online course, the incorporation of extraordinary value PLUS a stand-out student experience will make the purchase decision easy for your prospects.

A stand-out class:

  • Acts as a catalyst for change for the student in it. It reveals to students things they didn't even know they'd appreciate learning, and it takes them on a journey.
  • Incorporates principles and ideas from fields RELATED to the primary topic. This results in a rich and layered experience that makes the coursework compelling and rewarding.
  • Delivers a form of mentorship by covering mindset right alongside tool and skill mastery.
  • Gives students a community of like-minded trek-makers where they can find peers and friends. They find company for the journey now and in the future.

What I hope you're now wondering is: so how do I create a stand-out course?

I've developed a system for doing this work–but I can also tell you that there are regular practices that will make you a natural creator of stand-out courses and programs.

Here are five “ways to be” that will help you create stand-out courses:

1. Always be growing the skills and practices you're teaching.

Keep practicing, learning and, especially, experimenting with the very things you teach. Challenge yourself to try new approaches. Search out fresh sources of inspiration. Stay current as your field evolves. Take advanced training. Keep finding ways to be doing the very work you ask your students to do. This work will fuel new ideas and your passion for the topic you're teaching.

2. Always be thinking about your systems–and be BOTH evolving and simplifying them.

Understanding the best path to success for your students is crucial. Critically examining that process as you use it–and as your students use it–will lead you to new ideas. It will also enable you to clarify and even simplify how you present this process or system, which will make it easier for your students to use it and get results.

3. Always be teaching.

Teaching stretches you. Teaching keeps you in contact with students and their concerns and challenges as they work to get to their goal. Even if you're not teaching a current live course, you can be teaching via email and your social platforms.

The content for the first two modules in the new class I'm creating–Create Stand-Out Courses and Programs–came out of the group coaching sessions I offer at Teach What You Do. It came out of my desire to guide creatives to create courses that can get a premium price and take students on unexpected journeys.

4. Always be developing and finding illustrations of what you're teaching.

By this I mean you should always be looking for (and even developing) the stories, examples, and case studies that show the how-tos you're teaching in action. Look for examples that are varied yet still illustrate the same point. These illustrations are the bridge between theory and real action.

Your teaching will be at its richest when your students have these guides. When students first go through a lesson, the right story or example enables them to future-pace, to see themselves doing this work, which builds confidence and motivates. Later on, as they implement what they've learned, the examples are useful guides to the work–again providing both confidence and motivation.

5. Always be studying related fields and looking for intersections.

When you can find ideas, frameworks and models from a related field that can be layered onto the topics you're teaching, you have the opportunity to take your students on a fresh and unexpected journey . . . And there are students out there who are ready for that unexpected journey.

Are you ready to adopt these ways of being that develop your ability to create stand-out courses?

To do that you need to always be:

  • Growing your skills and practices.
  • Evolving and simplifying your systems.
  • Teaching.
  • Developing illustrations, stories, and examples.
  • Looking for intersections with related fields.