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[Making Of… #1] The Teacher Learns More Than The Student

The Making Of An Online Course Part 1

In 2021 I made a new course, From WordPress To Webflow. This post is one of a series of behind-the-scenes emails I wrote as I went along, exclusively for my email list (start here).

They say the teacher learns more than the student.

And while I have no idea who “they” are… what they say is very true, regardless.

The first thing I do at the start of a new course project is to consider the lessons I’ve learned from making previous courses.

Every single time I make any kind of training, there are:

  • Things that worked really well (do more of that next time)
  • Things that didn’t work so well (do less of that next time), and…
  • Things I’ll 100% never ever repeat again. 😜

There are three main ways of figuring out what worked, really, it’s not rocket science:

1. What was the feedback from students?

I ask and listen and get a feel for what they enjoyed and got great results from, and also where they struggled or seemed to stall.

2. What were the engagement and completion stats like?

Did students actually take part, take action and get results?

3. What did I personally enjoy and also not enjoy about the process?

There are always aspects that felt good and like fun (very important)—as well as parts that just didn’t feel so great.

The thing is…

Sometimes you’ve just got to try stuff out. It’s the only way to know what works and what doesn’t.

And not everything you try will be successful. Nope.

But it’s by trying—and sometimes failing—that you improve and ultimately become a more effective online teacher.

The important thing is to take a bit of time to reflect.

So with that said….

The last training I delivered was very different format to my usual fare.

It was a live series of Webflow workshops, for which just over 100 people enrolled late last year.

Rather than a series of pre-made, short, bite-sized videos in a structured sequence, this was a small number of much longer live sessions—a ‘live bootcamp’ kinda thing.

In fact, it was a bit of an experiment.

I’ll talk more about some other reasons for running this particular experiment, later in this series.

But the three main reasons were:

1. At the time, I was still learning aspects of Webflow myself—I’d only been using it a few months and had built just one website with it.

I’d learnt a ton of hard lessons, and developed my own framework/system that would save others a lot of time and head-scratching. But my knowledge was not battle-tested.

2. I had only a little experience in teaching Webflow to others(of course, I was very open about this when promoting the training)

3. While I was absolutely certain that Webflow solves a whole load of problems I see people experiencing, I had no idea if there was any interest in me teaching it!

So with these considerations in mind, I saw the main benefits of running this ‘live bootcamp’ style experiment as….

1. It was way quicker for me to deliver than a more traditional course

And therefore quicker for students to learn and take action.

2. It was way more affordable

I didn’t have to spend many weeks/months creating a more traditional course, and this was reflected in the price.

In fact, this live series was just $97 (for 10 hours of training, in the end, plus a support community) as opposed to 4 or 5 times that amount.

3. Attendees had the chance to ask questions live.

This felt especially important as I wasn’t familiar yet with the kind of questions and sticking points people would have.

4. I learned faster.

The faster I learn the best way to teach Webflow and help people get results, the better my future training/courses on the topic will be. In fact, I improved each subsequent session of the series this way.

5. It validated that people wanted to learn the topic.

The ONLY way to know if there’s interest in what you want to teach is if people actually pay you for it.

And unlike a more traditional pre-sale (where you take pre-orders for a course and then go off and make it), this had the advantage of me being able to deliver real value much faster for customers.

So what happened in reality?

And more importantly, what did I learn?

How will the experience inform how I’ll make the new course?

That’s the topic of tomorrow’s post