What’s the best number of people to have in a course? This is a question I get asked ALOT and to be honest there’s no one size fits all kind of answer. It really depends on a lot of different factors like what content is being covered, what interaction is required between the facilitator and the participants, how much support is needed before, during and after the ‘lessons’ have been delivered, and what the clients are EXPECTING from the experience.
As this study out of the US cites:
“Overall, students rated their online instruction as moderately satisfactory, with hybrid or partially online courses rated as somewhat more satisfactory than fully online courses. “Convenience” was the most cited reason for satisfaction. “Lack of interaction” was the most cited reason for dissatisfaction. Preferences for hybrid courses surfaced in the responses to an open-ended question asking what made the experience with online or partially online courses satisfactory or unsatisfactory. This study’s findings support the literature to date and reinforce the significance of student satisfaction to student retention.”
So in other words, we like the convenience of being able to study online, but we don’t really like the lack of connection with the facilitator or the people we’re learning with.
So it’d be safe to assume that the smaller the group, the more interactive time you provide, (online or offline), the happier your clients are going to be. Having said that though, there will obviously be a higher price point on that product as you’re delivering a more personal experience and expending more of your time.
At the end of the day, it’s less about the NUMBER, and more about what your clients are EXPECTING.
I remember paying well over $1000 to do an online course run by an online guru in The USA – the weekly ‘calls’ had about 1000 people attending so being able to call in and actually get your question answered was about as likely as finding a carpark at a department store at Christmas time. Waiting, waiting, waiting, get frustrated, go home.
I was not impressed.
I also hadn’t done a lot of research into the course but had purchased thanks to FOMO then found out what it was really worth the hard way. I then did a $27.95 SEO 10 Day Challenge (mini course) with the phenomenal Kate Toon and was completely blown away with the value I got from spending the same as I’d spend on a decent bottle of Shiraz. Upgrade to her $1000 course? No brainer. There’s a cap on the number of people joining live (so I’m guaranteed to be able to ask Kate questions and actually have them answered), and if the value she provides in her $27.95 course is anything to go by then I know what quality to expect in the VIP course.
Moral of the story?
Make sure whatever product or service you’re offering, the expectations are clear. If you don’t, your clients won’t know what to expect and will more than likely walk away disappointed, asking for a refund and more than likely telling the world about you – for all the WRONG reasons.
Set CLEAR expectations, then you can over deliver on the promises you make and blow your clients away with the quality and professionalism with which you deliver it. Happy campers all round. #ThisisKateToon.BelikeKateToon.
At a bare minimum, you should be covering what is involved in the following areas:
- Content & outcomes
- Equipment & tools required
- Delivery mode & expected involvement
- Expected Communication
- Assessment and Feedback
Ready to design a learning experience that sets clear expectations, minimises refund requests and complaints, and has your clients recommending you left right and centre?
I’ve got a tutorial, a template and a worksheet that will help you write course outlines (and sales pages for that matter!) that clearly define what your clients are getting so there are no misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations.
The lesson is available here.
It’s located in the FOUNDATIONS Level of the Library, in the Product Development course:
Lesson 1.3 Setting clear expectations
Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already a member of the Product 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.