Is your course a vitamin or a painkiller?

Is your course a vitamin or a painkiller?

Are you creating vitamin or painkiller courses?

If the answer is vitamin courses, then you should consider shifting to creating a painkiller course to increase the enrolments and engagement in your courses. Both types can be well developed and well delivered courses, but a painkiller course is something that your learners are going to desire more.

What are vitamin courses?

In his article, George Deeb describes vitamins as “nice to have, and not need to have.” Just as people take vitamins to improve their health, a vitamin course is one that someone takes to improve themselves.

These can be great courses. They can provide much needed information and really help people to gain valuable knowledge and skills and improve performance. However, they are not the courses that generate a huge desire. They are not the courses that attract huge enrolments, and often they are not the courses with high completion rates.

When statistics are thrown around talking about the low completion rates of online courses, I believe that many of these are vitamin courses. Just like the numerous containers of unfinished and expired vitamins many of us have laying around (I have a cupboard filling up with them) many learners also have a collection of unfinished vitamin courses. They had great intentions of taking but because it was not a “need to have” other distractions occurred and the course was left on the digital shelf, unfinished.

Why build a painkiller course?

As the name suggests, a painkiller course addresses the individuals pain points. As opposed to the vitamin course that is “nice to have” a painkiller course is a “must have”. As a result, it is a course that people will desire.

The pain killer course addresses an immediate and unmet need. It is something your learners will want. Something they will consume readily. Something that they will be willing to pay for, if it solves their pain.

The painkiller course also often has a shorter sales cycle. They are in pain and they want the pain to be taken away as quickly as possible. If your course clearly explains how it solves their pain, then you are going to find it much easier to sell it. You may not have to put much effort into selling the course to them.

The difference can be time or positioning

The difference between a vitamin and painkiller course can often be time or positioning.

A great example of this was a vitamin course we built about 18 months ago. The course taught people how to take their face-to-face training and deliver it in the virtual space. Some people were interested in the course and saw the benefits of improving themselves in the online space. However, time has changed the course from a vitamin to painkiller course. Due to COVID many facilitators have the immediate pain of needing to deliver their content in the online space. It is the same course, however time has changed the need and desire.

How you position your course can also have an impact. In some cases, people may not understand that they need the course. When positioned as a painkiller, the desire for the course will increase and enrolments will flow.

So next time, focus on designing a painkiller course and hopeful people addicted to what you are offering.


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Superb Learning
The modern entrepreneur is shifting to become an ‘edupreneur’ – providing an educational and entrepreneurial income generating business, driven by visibility, scalability and profitability. With more edupreneurs delivering online learning programs than ever before, the online education market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025.

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