When you’re using brandable, done-for-you content, you might have one or two concerns about delivering something that’s too similar to someone else’s content. How can you make your online course unique, so that it stands out as something people want to sign up and pay for?
Once you’ve added your branding, images, colors, and all those things that really associate your content with you, you’ll see how easy it is to set it apart visually from anything else. But if you’re intent on going the extra mile and creating something truly unique, the key is to get a little creative.
Not sure where to start? All it takes is a little direction and practice to find a variety of ways to position yourself, your business, and your course.
Start by using that age-old adage to ‘think outside the box’ and explore options for delivering something better than anyone else. Then select one or two as the focus for how you customize your course, and use those in all your marketing when you explain how you’re different.
We have a whole course with creativity boosting exercises that can help you think more creatively and come up with innovative solutions or decisions. But for now, you can start with some straightforward brainstorming, using some common areas businesses compete on.
Use these competitive advantage areas to trigger your brainstorming on ways to make your online course unique.
1. Be the Fastest
Make your course easy to consume in as little time as possible. Depending on your audience, many people don't complete courses because they just don't have the time.
Make yours unique by finding ways to make it easy for them to complete in tiny bites. For example, make sure no video is longer than 3 minutes and no worksheet takes longer than 5 or 10 minutes to complete.
2. Be the Easiest to Understand
Especially if your content is geared for beginners, look for ways to break it down into simple language and clear, visual steps. Many course creators forget that this is all new content for most of their students. Or they dive right into a complicated topic that could be explained more clearly.
You can stand out by taking those complex topics and distilling them so that anyone can learn and apply their new skills.
3. Be the Most Flexible
It’s very unlikely that your clients or customers are all exactly the same when it comes to things like their needs, expectations and budget.
Make it easy for them to see you as the natural choice by making sure you’ve given a variety of options to fit different needs. It might be that they only need certain parts of a bigger package that you offer, so consider putting together smaller options. They might also be looking for something that meets a pre-defined budget, so think about a range of affordability options when you’re putting together your pricing packages
4. Be the Most Convenient
People are busy. Not everyone has the luxury of sitting down and digesting content in the structured and simple manner that most courses require.
Let your students know that you’ve considered this by offering multiple ways to take your course so that they can find an option that fits nicely with their lifestyle. Provide them with options in the tech they’ll use to take the course, let them download materials that they can use whenever they like, or perhaps offer direct contact methods via phone or email to show them you’re there when they need you.
5. Be the Friendliest
Excellent customer service is essential in making sure that your brand develops and maintains a stellar reputation.
Let your customers feel taken care of by giving them access to support features, such as FAQs and a super-fast and friendly support desk. Also, develop a community environment for them to share experiences, questions and ideas between one another. You can even go as far as to organize in-person get-togethers to really cement a reputation as caring and heart-felt.
6. Be the Safest
If you’re asking customers to part with a significant amount of money, they’re going to want to feel that they’re taking as minimal amount of risk as possible. Implement a money-back guarantee policy and make it very clear that this is available to new and prospective customers.
If appropriate, you can also make some guarantees of success for students; just make sure you keep your wording very clear and not open to misinterpretation. Better yet, try to get creative with your guarantees.
Offer something that your competitors don’t, such as a guarantee that you’ll get on the phone with them for 30 minutes and talk through their biggest challenge if they’re not seeing progress.
7. Be the Most Luxurious
Make your customers feel like VIPs to really stand out from your competition.
Go above and beyond usual expectations by offering exclusive meet-ups, such as a resort retreat, and make sure you take lots of photos to show other prospective customers!
8. Be the Most Exclusive
Turn your business into an exclusive club with limited access to make people desperate to be a part of it.
Offer a small group of customers access to you personally for advice and guidance, and charge them a premium for the privilege. You’ll find people breaking the door down as soon as word spreads how successful those with that extra level of attention find themselves.
These are just a few areas where course creators can steal a page book from typical competitive advantage strategies. It’s up to you now to use a bit of creativity to come up with ways to make your online course unique, whether it’s through one of the areas we listed above or something else.
To get you started, we’ve put together a worksheet you can use that lists some common elements of online courses, along with places to brainstorm what you’ll do to make your course unique.
CLICK HERE or on the image below to get your download:
And if you really want to kick it up a notch, join us in an adventure in creativity:
You’ll learn how to tap into a limitless source of new ideas and solutions, whether it’s for your courses, or for other areas of your business or your life.
CLICK HERE to get started with Creativity & Innovation Boosters >>