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LearnDash Expert Opinion: How Do I Ask Customers What They Want?

LearnDash Developer Explains

As a LearnDash expert, I have people ask me, "How can I learn what my customers want out of my online courses?" Way too many times, I see first-time course builders start building a course without first confirming the demand for it. They decide what the course should have based on gut feel. More times than not, they miss the mark. That never works.

What I recommend, as a LearnDash expert who for years has been building online courses using tools like LearnDash for my clients, is to ask. Survey some potential customers and get them to tell you what they need. If you find the right people to ask and you ask them the right way, you will get the answers you need. My Breakthrough Course Selling System provides a step-by-step plan for launching your first online course. That includes how best to survey potential customers without doing more work than necessary to get the answers. In this LearnDash expert article (and I say that proudly), I'm going to share with you advice from our program that will shed some light on the subject for you.

LearnDash Expert Advice #1 - Make Sure NOT to Sway People in Your Survey

When we are getting ready to build our course, we will typically have something for our online course. I can be what our gut tells us we should teach. It may be what we would most enjoy teaching. That doesn't matter. What we want to do from the very start is put our ideas aside and honestly seek out what our potential customers want.

As highly knowledgeable people in our field, we are contaminated. We know too much about what we teach so it's difficult to put ourselves in our potential customer's shoes. We must set that aside and make sure in surveying people that we don't sway their answers hoping to get the answers we want from them. That would just plain invalidate our survey results. If we do that, we might as well have not surveyed them at all.

LearnDash Expert Advice #2 - Define the General Topic Your Serve

When looking for people to complete your survey, you have to explain to them the topic you teach. For some people this may be easy. If you are a tennis coach, an expert selling real estate or a skydiving instructor, you can select the topics: "Learning to Play Tennis," "Learning Skydiving," and "Dog Training." You want your topic to naturally fit into the sentence below:

I'm planning on creating an online course about (your topic).

If it sounds unnatural or your topic takes too many words to explain, you are going to need to work on it. I recently worked with an author of a book on leadership. His book taught a lot about subjects like leadership, team motivation, team building, etc. It was difficult for him to define his topic. As he was developing his topic, it always seemed like he was working to explain his topic. You couldn't just fit it into my sentence above.

The problem is that he had so much subject matter to work with. In coaching him, I recommended he divide what he teaches into multiple topics. His problem is that he had several topics each of which could become it's own online course. I recommended that he review his book and define a topic for the different sections of his book. Now he was coming up with topics like "Career Development," "Team Leadership," "Motivating Teams," "Team Productivity," etc. What became clear is he shouldn't build a single online course to teach all that was included in his book. He needed to teach it as a curriculum that was made up of small online courses that together included what he taught in the book.

LearnDash Expert Advice #3 - Select Your Audience Precisely

Let's go back to my sentence above using the topic "Dog Training." Let's discuss how we write this sentence to help us explain to people the course we are considering.

I'm planning on creating an online course about dog training for (your audience).

Step one in asking our customers what they want is to make sure we can talk about our potential online course clearly. If we are a dog training, we want to be able to identify potential people to survey. In dog training, we could serve several diverse audiences that hope to solve very different problems. Think about a new puppy owners versus owners of problem dogs versus guide dogs trainers. These are three audiences with different needs. Now if I'm looking to gather information for the following, I have a sentence that helps me focus my attention on a very specific audience. I am clear on who I'm looking to talk to. The people I talk to have a good understanding of what I want to know.

I'm planning on creating an online course about dog training for new puppy owners.

When we reach out to discuss with people that are potential students for a course like this, and we share with them this exact line, they have a good potential idea of what you are doing. If I train guide dogs for the blind, I'm not going to be interested. That's OK. If I have a dog that is three years old and has a problem with barking or with biting people, that's not my topic. If I had issues with my new puppy or are having that issue right now, I'm someone that would be perfect for my survey.

This is one of the first things I recommend new course builders focus. They have to be able to clearly fill out this sentence so when someone asks you, "What kind of course course are you building?" that can easily respond with their sentence. If they can, the are ready for connecting with 10 to 15 people to survey them about the course you want to build.