Last week, I was asked to speak in front of some lovely ladies at Hera Hub about course design (I mean, what else gets you up in the morning, I ask you?!)

I was delighted to be asked – so many business owners are looking to launch courses and info-products, these days! We had such a great time talking, we ran way over time & laughed a lot – probably two things you’d never guess would happen during a discussion of curriculum. But maybe you had to be there. 🙂

I kicked things off with 3 myths about digital courses, and 3 pieces of advice to counteract the common mistakes. These were my remarks.

1. Myth: More is better.

More content. You know:

  • “..and get this 90 page ebook on…”
  • “Over 4 hours of video.”
  • “6 Modules over 8 weeks..”


You’d think content was gold, as we seem to move it by the metric ton.

But think about it: Your end-goal is better performance. Would you rather spend 8 hours learning to perform better, or 2 hours?

You want the 2 hours, if it did the trick. So why on earth would the size of the course content be a selling point. The boost in performance is the selling point, and the faster you get to THAT, the better.

So, how, as the content CREATOR, can you apply this?

AdviceStop solutioneering before you define the problem.

Gary Vaynerchuk quoteUse your expertise – not to ship sandbags of content our way – but to isolate & solve the real performance barriers. (Missed that post? Get it Here:  Defining & Solving Your Customer Problem.)

Time & attention are the biggest commodities – prioritize THOSE & you’re golden.



2. Myth: There’s nothing new in delivery.

Three methods seem to dominate the delivery market: PowerPoint, PDF’s and blog-simulated membership sites. All text heavy and visual-design lite.

There’s better. And I mean, even for us non-designers, there’s better.

Advice: Don’t bore us with text. Good design is within your reach.

Here are two great resources.

Resource #1: is a hub to share (really well-designed) slide presentations. It’s the YouTube of slide presentations, and if you’re in the B2B space, you need to pay attention to it. Since it’s owned by LinkedIN, it’s used by more established businesses (and LinkedIN members).

Why would YOU use it? To see what great design is out there:
– check out Designing Around Storytelling to get a sense of what Slideshare can do
– publish your blog post as a slide presentation, and cover a different set of readership

Nancy Duarte's slidedocsResource #2: Nancy Duarte’s slidedocs. Have more info to share that will fit in a Powerpoint (but still crave great visual design)? These free templates are for you.

Slidedocs are visual documents, developed in presentation software, that are intended to be read and referenced instead of projected. They are the great-design alternative to PDF’s: embed them on your site, like Nancy Duarte does, or email the files. There are three beautiful templates to choose from.


3. Myth: This should be easy.

You’re the subject matter expert, right? This course will build itself.

Except…it rarely is. Content creation (which is the easy part – you know your stuff) is only part of the battle.

What’s left?  Lesson-design, organization, deciding what’s in & out, digging deep into those performance barriers and finding clever ways to solve them.Course Incubator

Those things, and the 500 decisions you have to make as you work through your material, which can take a toll on your momentum.

AdviceGet help, like you would with any other major business endeavor.

Especially if you intend your course to be a flagship product for your business. There are free resources, and this is exactly the time to harness your mastermind or your business BFF for some out-loud collaboration.

The more care & effort you put into creating a solid, well-thought out foundation, the easier and more graceful the creation process.

Ease and grace doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Are you joining the ranks of those creating courses this Spring?