What commercial business problems can an instructional designer solve?

Good question. All organisations look for ways to save time, money and resources. An instructional designer working with your team can help you save all three – scaling your operations so that you’re making the most efficient and effective use of your IP and human resources. One of my clients has doubled her profits and halved the time spent facilitating. The proof is in the real life examples below – all clients I’ve worked with in 2024. Interested in how we made that happen? Read on.

Is this you?

  • you have face to face training, an induction or an onboarding process that is repeatedly delivered one to one or to small groups, almost verbatim every time it’s delivered
  • the online training you have is ‘tick and flick’ style, not getting high engagement / completion rates, or is not having the desired learning outcomes (which is a known risk / weakness in your business model).

The alternative is to create high quality digital learning assets as part of a blended learning solution.

Instructional designers can help you do this by separating your training into two parts: 

  • THEORY and DEMONSTRATIONS: what can be consumed in a self study digital version, and
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION: what needs to be facilitated by a professional, face-to-face or one-to-one
Need a sample of a high quality digital asset? Try my sample lesson here. 
instructional designer with online learning

What are the benefits of doing this?

1. How can it SAVE TIME, MONEY and human RESOURCES?

If you are recreating the wheel, repeating the same content over and over with different learners or clients, you’re not making efficient use of your human resources.

If part of your training is self study online, you will be able to save days or weeks per year in face to face training costs and time. 

Imagine what else your facilitators could be working on if they didn’t have to go over the same content again and again for each audience?

2. How can it help SCALE your business model?

If your facilitators are delivering the same training face to face over and over, this is not scalable, and again not an efficient use of time.

To scale your business model, create one high quality learning product that can then be sold over and over for a higher price point, that requires less facilitation, and is more customised to the individual clients. 

If you transform your learning products into high quality, transformative digital products, your content can 

    • reach far more people
    • be sold over and over in customisable ‘packages’ depending on individual client needs (industry/organisation/client specific examples or language, levels of support/facilitation/mentoring required)

Your facilitators are employed because of their experience, qualifications and expertise – less time facilitating the ‘theory’ means they can invest more of their time on what is most beneficial to the client – individualisation, personalised examples and practical application of the concepts.

Less time spent facilitating means more time can be invested into work that will maximise the earning potential of your business – focusing on new content development, selling more packages, or supporting clients in more efficient and impactful ways. 

How would you prefer your facilitators to be spending their time? 

4. How can it make learning more FLEXIBLE and ENGAGING for the learners?

Noone wants to sit in training classrooms for hours and hours on end being lectured at.

If you can create high quality digital self study versions of your learning experiences, there’s more flexibility and more opportunity for different learning styles to stay engaged. Learners can engage

  • in smaller chunks at a time and a time that works for them
  • at a speed that is convenient to them
  • without having to sit through hours of lectures

When they DO come to the classroom, it’s to workshop and apply all their new knowledge in practical activities like role plays, live demonstrations or case study investigations – that’s where you and they will really know whether they’ve ‘learnt’ the concepts in the theory!

Ready for some real life examples?

Here are 3 of my clients from just the past 3 months. 

Organisational psychologists delivering psychosocial workshops to clients who work on a minesite..
  • Previous model: facilitators spend one week onsite training a group of learners in a mining organisation
  • New model: facilitators spend one day on site testing learners knowledge in role plays and case study scenarios, after the group has engaged with the online learning modules in their time offsite
  • Benefits:
    • facilitators spend 20% of the time onsite (and 80% of their time on business development activities)
    • learners spend 80% less time in classrooms (meaning they can spend that time back on the tools)
    • costs are halved for the mining organisation (actual training costs are reduced, and learners/workers can spend that time working back on the job instead of studying) 
    • classroom time is far more upbeat, focused on practical role plays and case studies, and ensuring learners can apply the new knowledge in real life situations

Win win for the organisation, the facilitators and the learners no? 

Consultants delivering workshops on respect at work and leadership training for corporates.
  • Previous model: facilitators spend days or weeks delivering face to face training
  • New model:
    • create digital assets out of the workshop resources (online course, workbooks and quizzes)
    • sell packages to organisations that include the digital assets and any support or facilitation as an add on (including teacher training for facilitators within the organisation if required)
  • Benefits:
    • one investment in the digital asset = can be sold multiple times to different clients
    • can customise the digital asset so as to use personalised examples or case studies, focusing on issues within the organisation that already exist
    • can upsell support packages, and facilitator training 
    • time is spent selling more packages rather than delivering the training again and again
    • the client gets to retain and reuse the training in their own learning management system, meaning it can be sold at a much higher price point

Again, a no brainer for the client buying the learning product, and the consultants who are designing and delivering a customised, high ticket product. 

Personal Trainer preparing clients for hiking expeditions
  • Previous model:
    • every client’s program is created and delivered face to face, discussing one to one all elements of the program including nutrition, strengths training, cardio requirements, hiking gear, itineraries, etc etc and all the new terminology and concepts a non-hiker needs to be across to be physically and mentally prepared for a 26 day adventure at altitude.
    • a ‘firehose’ of (very helpful) information delivered over a 2 hour period that is not retained long term because of the length and depth of the information covered.
  • New model:
    • online library houses 95% of the learning content which is continually upgraded and updated for all clients
    • online community is where all trainer’s clients can learn from each other and the trainer when new content is uploaded or old content is upgraded
    • 5% of the learning content remaining (personalised program) is delivered once the client has completed the online induction program which walks you through all of the resources that have been collated and prepared in the online library
  • Benefits:
    • Trainer spends a fraction of the time making sure the client understands their own individual program, AFTER they’ve passed the online course which assesses their understanding of all the concepts and terminology they need to interpret and follow their individualised training program.
    • Learner has a workbook that helps collate individual notes, major learnings, terminology etc
    • Learner has the online library to work with if they need reminding or clarification of any points within the training
    • Learner has the opportunity to ask questions within the community, that all the trainer’s clients can benefit from knowing the answer to
    • Questions from clients in the community, continue to build the FAQ bank and resource bank in the Library

Again, an absolute no brainer for the trainer and his clients – so much time and effort saved for the trainer, and such a more robust learning experience and resource bank for the client.

The investment in setting up these systems pays for itself in terms of time saved within the first few months – not to mention the success of the program improving because the learners are more motivated to use the resources to achieve their fitness and preparation goals! 

Can you see a gap in your own business model that could be improved?

If so, it could be time to work with a qualified professional in education and training, to help you close these gaps.

There are lots of names for what I do – an instructional designer is just one of the terms that is gaining in popularity at the moment – other terms are: Education and Training Project Manager, Senior Learning Solutions Consultant, Professional Learning Developer, Curriculum Developer, and Teacher Trainer – I’ve held all of these roles over the 25+ years I’ve been teaching and training teachers internationally. 

instructional designer and learning creator

What does an instructional designer actually do?

Discover Learning Designs has already written a good article on this so I’m not going to recreate the wheel – suffice to say our job is to ‘design and develop instructional materials and learning experiences’. 

I’ll take that one step further and say we develop learning experiences that are highly effective, and have your learners engaged, applying new knowledge immediately and achieving the goals they need to succeed. 

If you want to scale your business, save time and money and maximise your earning potential, create quality digital learning assets that confirm you as an expert in your field.

Are you ready to create transformative learning materials that pack the punch you know they’re capable of? Are you ready to scale, save and elevate your business to the next level? 

I can help.

The best way to work out how I can help you progress your learning product project is to have a quick chat. Book in below and I’ll send you a quick questionnaire where you can tell me more about your project.

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