Is your online course scalable?

Mar 15, 2022

Is your signature online course scalable? If you are struggling to grow past a certain point, or you feel overwhelmed at the idea of supporting hundreds of students in your program, but want to listen in, let's chat about it.

Today I am talking all about the scalability of your online course, which is something that I've really been reflecting on and digging deeper into in my own business. I’ve recently been reflecting on and really observing the process that I have gone through to scale the signature program in my other side of my business to over 800 students. This has been such a fun journey to go through in the last three years, and I'm actually working on putting together an ebook that's really a case study of this whole thing that I've experienced over the last few years of really launching this online course, scaling it using both live launching and evergreen (stay tuned for more news on that!) But what the heck is scalability anyway? How do I make sure my course is scalable? What does it mean to have a truly scalable business.

Scalability is such a buzzword nowadays, it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost impossible to decipher the actual definition. You can scale something small, like your offer, or something huge, like your impact on the world. And when you start to apply the same buzzword to things that are so vastly different, it not only feels unattainable but it feels fictional. So lets bring scalability back down to earth. When I say “scalable” what I mean is a truly leverable asset. I realize that whole sentence can sound like Greek and not actually helpful, but what I mean is something that you create once and can sell to infinity with little to no impact on delivery, or outcome. So take that aforementioned e-book for example. If I created an ebook, and it doesn't matter if one person downloads it, or 10,000 people download it, it's still an ebook. The delivery is the same, the outcome of reading that ebook is likely the same, there is very little about that ebook that changes between one person having access to it, and 10,000 people having access to it. And the same should be true for your online course.

So now let's talk about what isn’t scalable. A 1:1 coaching program is a great example of a non-scalable program. If you have 10 students in your 1:1 coaching, and you promise them 1 hour a week that’s 10 hours a week. There’s no physical way you could jump that number to 1,000 students or 10,000 students without totally burning yourself out or using the car from Back to the Future. So how do you take your 1:1 coaching and put it into a more scalable format? Group coaching can be a band-aid solution - meaning you could group coach 300 people maybe but not 3,000. A truly scalable solution would be a Zoom call. In a Zoom format, it doesn’t matter if there's 100 or 1,000 people on the call. What your teaching is the same, how it’s being delivered is the same, and each student will likely have the same experience. Makes sense, right?

So how do you ensure your offer is truly scalable? It starts with making sure you have a scalable transformation. Ask yourself, if 1,000 people went through my course at different times, would they all still come away with the same transformation? You want to make sure you have consistent results, predictable delivery, and you’re catering to as many different learning styles as possible. Next you want to make sure your delivery mechanism is scalable. This can be done by hiring coaches, offering support in a non-1:1 context, and really empowering your students to seek discovery on their own. And the last and most often overlooked is scalable onboarding. If you don’t give someone a map, how do you expect them to reach their destination? Onboarding is critical to the student journey (especially if your program is constantly welcoming new students) so automate your onboarding process so they get started on the right foot.

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