Choosing the Right Course Format

When choosing what format to release your next course in, there are sometimes too many options.

Video? Audio? Written? Live?

When it comes to creating course content, you have a dozen or more options, and all of them are useful in their own way, so how can you choose?

There are three primary considerations:

Your Buyer

Chances are, your ideal client has a clear preference as to the preferred format. Some people love watching videos, while some prefer to skim through written instructions. Some people learn best by doing, with a checklist as a guide. Still others much prefer to have audio they can consume while doing other things. 

Your Content

Let’s face it, some information lends itself well to certain formats, and simply won’t work in others. It’s difficult to explain how to use software, for example, without a screenshare video. By the same token, if you’re asking clients to work through a discovery process, a fillable worksheet is a must. 

Your Comfort Zone

While your biggest consideration should be your clients and their needs, your preferences matter, too. If you aren’t comfortable with video, then it’s a safe bet you’ll procrastinate getting your course done, and stress over it unnecessarily.

Similarly, if writing isn’t your forte, trying to force yourself to create 50 pages of content is going to be extremely frustrating, and, unfortunately, if that’s the case, it will mostly show through in the finished product. 

Beyond the obvious format choice, you also have to consider how you’ll present the material. Again, you have a variety of options. 

Email Delivery

This is the simplest method of eCourse delivery. All it takes is an autoresponder set to go out on the schedule you choose, and a series of messages with your training materials. You can include attachments as well (although your delivery rates may suffer) or you can link to a page where buyers will find more resources, such as video or downloadable files. 

Membership Site

A more sophisticated option is to set up a membership portal where buyers can log in to retrieve their material. This gives you the option to choose between delivering the content all at one time, or letting it drip to the member over time. It also allows you to better protect your content from unauthorized access. 

Zip File Download

If your eCourse is small, or if you aren’t concerned about overwhelming your buyers, a zip file download is a viable option. In this case, you simply set up delivery through your shopping cart by providing a link where buyers can download the entire course. This format works best if your course does not include a video element, because the download could be too large for those with a slow internet connection. 

The bottom line is this: When you’re planning your eCourse, your most important consideration is your buyer. What does she want, and how does she want it delivered? Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful course. 

Pro Tip: If your ideal client prefers video, but you’re not comfortable getting on camera, you can do a Presentation-type video using Powerpoint, and just show text and screenshots rather than a live camera on you. That’s a win-win: the client gets to watch their preferred format (video in this case) and you get to stay off-camera.

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