One really easy way to avoid nasty reviews, is to
- ensure that you have clear outcomes before you start working with someone
- then actually deliver on the outcomes that you promise.
Failing to do either of these things will most definitely land you in hot water with your clients because when outcomes aren’t clearly defined, they can’t be delivered on and at least one of the following things will inevitably happen:
- expectations of what they are buying will not be met, as yours and theirs will often be very different, and then
- they will finish your program or course disappointed, let down or frustrated and THAT is what they’ll go away telling people.
Now. No one wants that right?
That first point, is a bit like going to a restaurant because someone says it’s ‘awesome’.
It may well be for some people, but what if you were recommending a steak house to someone you didn’t know was vegan – your idea of an ‘awesome’ meal and their idea of an ‘awesome’ meal will be polar opposites – but you’d never know unless you asked them, and if they didn’t ask you specifically what sort of food is served there, they’d never know either.
So they’d turn up on your recommendation, be disgusted by what they found, and blame YOU for the wasted trip. See where I’m going with this?
The same thing happens when outcomes aren’t discussed and agreed on prior to starting a course or program. Here’s an example, one of the ways I learnt this lesson the hard way:
- I signed up at the gym because I wanted to lose 10 kilos.
- In my ‘free PT session’ a fitness trainer when to TOWN showing me a program that was more than likely a one size fits all model they showed to every new gym member.
- I didn’t tell her my goals as I naively thought EVERYONE was at the gym to lose weight, and she never asked me what my goals were.
- I followed the program religiously, watched what I ate, and 6 months later I was a muscly beefcake with 10 EXTRA kilos (of pure muscle, but still, not what I wanted).
- I never went back to a gym again.
What went wrong?
The outcomes were never discussed from the outset and now, I refuse to step foot inside a gym ever again (probably a bit of an over-reaction but I also have an adverse reaction to being the curvy girl in a sea of buff fitness bodies).
I relied on the expert to know what to do, instead of making sure the outcomes I wanted were in the plan – and consequently, was very disappointed with the results.
Moral of the story?
Clear expectations revolve around many things, but most imporantly the OUTCOMES you’re hoping to achieve.
Create CLEAR outcomes that demonstrate exactly what your clients are going to achieve from your course or program. Use verbs to show the ACTIONS that they will be able to perform after having worked with you, make sure the meaning of the verb is in alignment with the level of ability they’ll have (don’t over-promise on what they’ll be able to achieve!) and if anything, under promise so you can over-deliver like a mo-fo and have them RAVING about how much they got out of your program (instead of how little).
Anything less than that and you’ll have disgruntled clients, who are disappointed with their investment and NOT referring you as the go-to-expert in your niche. No-one wants THAT now do they?
Here’s a quick way of knowing you’ve got clear outcomes.
In your sales pages, course outlines, the start of every video, worksheet or activity, start with the words:
‘You will learn how to <insert appropriate verb>‘
and then make sure you’ve got an activity that allows your client to put their new knowledge straight into action and prove to themselves and you, that they can in fact do what the lesson promised they’d be able to do. Here’s an example:
In Lesson 2.1 of the Curriculum Development course (links below), you’ll learn HOW TO:
◊ create discrete modules of learning that have client centred, realistic goals to work towards, and therefore
◊ avoid nasty reviews from disgruntled clients.
The activity that will help you learn how to do these things, is writing a Course Outline that helps you work out the Course Goals, Module Names and their corresponding Outcomes and Tasks.
Long story short, that’s exactly what every course, lesson or presentation should include, if you’re hoping to receive raving reviews from clients who achieve the results that you’re promising. Goals which have clear outcomes, and tasks which help them achieve them.
Ready to create discrete modules of learning that have client centred, realistic goals to work towards?
Great! Because I’ve got a short online tutorial and worksheet that steps you through the process of creating a course outline that will demonstrate to your clients exactly what outcomes they’ll achieve by doing your program.
The lesson is available here.
Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already a member of the Curriculum Development course, make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can become a member.