Episode 54

The Top 3 Mistakes eLearning Entrepreneurs Make

Whether you are just beginning to develop your first courses or are a seasoned online educator, chances are you are making at least one of the top 3 mistakes eLearning entrepreneurs make. In this LMScast Joshua Millage and Christopher Badgett tell you what those mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Mistakes cost you time and money, and the greatest problem most people struggle with is time itself. Most of us start off motivated, progressive, and productive, but at some point we encounter barriers and lose momentum. If you look ahead and eliminate as many obstacles as you can from the start, you can avoid hitting that wall later on.

Make sure going in that you have a market that wants to learn what you want to teach. Then build your courses with a platform like our LifterLMS course development plugin for WordPress. Having the best courses and presentation won’t mean anything if no one is buying, or if you never get those courses prepared.

Another way people sabotage themselves is by making their courses and systems overly complex. This pit is easy to fall into with all the capabilities and options available in current course building platforms. Again, looking ahead is the best solution.

Know exactly what you want to accomplish and include only the elements you need to deliver the most basic information you want to present. Keep your layout simple, stay on topic, present information in digestible bits, and focus on the learning experience you want your students to have.

The third mistake most people make is failure to seek help. Nothing is more frustrating or more likely to derail your success than bleeding time, energy and resources by winging it when you could get immediate solutions from the experts.

For example, with the LifterLMS platform you get access to support from the team that created the software. There are also tutorials and videos to guide you and get you over the humps that could otherwise shut you down. It makes sense to use those resources instead of spinning your wheels and burning yourself out over problems others have already solved.

The LifterLMS team is dedicated to changing the way eLearning is done by creating innovative learning environments, making new technologies available to our users, and leveraging the power of the global web. Let us help you avoid the top 3 mistakes eLearning entrepreneurs make and grow your capabilities quickly. Try a demo of lifterLMS and see for yourself what it can do for you.

Remember that you can post comments and also subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

And if you’re an already successful expert, teacher or entrepreneur looking to grow, check out the LifterLMS team’s signature service called Boost. It’s a complete done for you set up service where your learning platform goes live in just 5 days.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Joshua: Hello, Everyone. Welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m Joshua Millage, and I’m joined today with this beautiful mountain man, Christopher Badgett. Today we’re talking about the top 3 mistakes eLearning entrepreneurs make. I think that even if you’re at the beginning, middle, or end of your entrepreneurial journey, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re making these mistakes, you’re leaving time and money on the table. So, Chris, let’s jump into it. What’s the first mistake that people are making?

Chris: It’s a time mistake. You’re only going to get so many turns on this earth as it goes around the sun. Life is short, and if you don’t figure out how to leverage time, you’re just going to block yourself, and you’re just going to be frustrated. To put it into context, if you’re just seeing this video on YouTube, and this is the first time you’ve met Chris and Josh. We have a WordPress learning management system plugin called LifterLMS. We also do custom learning management systems of various levels of complexity with the client services side of our business at codeBOX, and that’s at gocodebox.com. But one of the things you’ll notice on LifterLMS is we’re getting a lot of feedback and seeing people make a lot of mistakes, so we wanted to introduce a done-for-you set up service that could help accelerate people through the mistakes.

Joshua: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris: One of those is the time factor. We’ve seen people get going and then get bogged down and not get it done. There’s nothing wrong with getting it … For example, if you’re going to build a WordPress site and put in a learning management system, you’re probably going to like LifterLMS. To go ahead and get it, install it, and start messing around with it to see how it works … I mean, that’s how a lot of people learn. That’s great, but what you want to avoid doing is getting bogged down and wasting too much time. Now you’re making mistakes, and now you’re getting frustrated when it didn’t have to be that way.

Time is a big thing to be aware of. Be aware of how you’re spending your time when you’re building your online community.

Joshua: Right. I think it’s all phased. First and foremost, make sure there’s people out there that want to learn your content. That’ll save you the most amount of time. Figure out …

Chris: We have a great … Look for it, a LMScast episode on preselling. Go find that one.

Joshua: Absolutely, because I mean, if you don’t know … If you’re just like, “I want to create a training video on trombones.” It’s like, that’s awesome, but do you know that there’s a community out there of people who are interested in buying your training on trombones? Because if you don’t know that, if you can’t answer that question or have an idea, it’s probably not a good idea to build that course yet. Figure out where that starving crowd is.

And that’s a really great story from Gary Halbert who said … He was asked if he was starting a hamburger joint, what’s the number 1 competitive advantage that he’d take over anything else. The guys on the panel that he was on were saying different things like, “I’d have the best meat,” or “I’d have the best service,” “I’d have the fastest time.” He said, “I’d just have a starving crowd. That’s my competitive advantage. I just want a bunch of hungry people.”

It shocks you, but it’s true, like what’s your starving crowd for your product or service or what have you? Because if you don’t have that starving crowd, it doesn’t matter, and that will … You’ll save the most amount of time by answering that question. You’ll also have the most amount of resistance answering that question.

Chris: Yeah, and there’s a nuance to that. If you go to Udemy I’ve seen people do this. They go to Udemy, and they see that one of their top sellers is a course on how to do Excel. Whoever was behind that is making millions of dollars and has tons and tons of students, so there is a crowd there, but you have to be able to answer the question is can you reach them? That’s an important consideration.

Joshua: It’s hugely important.

Chris: A lot of people start from zero. We all start from zero, so that’s … Just because you can’t reach them today doesn’t mean you can’t.

Joshua: Exactly. That’s great. What’s the next mistake, Chris?

Chris: The next one I would call it the classic mistake is overcomplexity, or creating too much complexity in your learning management system than is required for what you’re trying to do. So that’s one of the reasons we built our done-for-you service, is that we can help you avoid the classic overcomplicate things mistake. We also have some other episodes here. If you could go through this LMScast, and you can learn about hard won truths that we’ve experienced, and try to avoid some of those.

I guess you can overcomplicate the number of integrations. You can overcomplicate the layout of your course. You can overcomplicate a course by trying to put too much in it and being too broad on the topic. You can overcomplicate your lessons by putting too much in each lesson, that little bite-size module of learning. There’s just a lot of ways to overcomplicate learning unnecessarily, which is crazy, because there’s never been a better time and more technology at your fingertips. It doesn’t mean you need to use it all. At the end of the day, just focus on that learning experience with the user, and I would encourage people to try to go as minimalist as they can, especially if they’re just getting started, to help that learner get where they need to be.

Joshua: That’s a great point of feedback, and it’s true in almost anything we do, is just get to the bare bones first, and then build from there based on feedback from students and customers. That’s a great one. What else, Chris?

Chris: The third one is just to not do the journey alone. Get some expert help. With our done-for-you setup service we just mentioned, another great benefit of it is you get access to us, the team behind LifterLMS, and our team has also done a lot of custom LMS builds, so you can leverage the power of others. I love standing on the shoulders of giants. I listen to a lot of podcasts, because I’m always listening to get that curated information from people who’ve spent a lifetime mastering something and condensing it down to the best lessons. If you’re not leveraging other people and expertise, then you’re slowing yourself down.

Joshua: Absolutely. That’s fantastic. I want to hear what people think about these and if they’re going to implement them, so head over to LMScast.com, find this episode, leave us a comment there or hit us up on YouTube comments if you’re over there or Twitter. You can find me, @jmillage and Chris @chrisbadgett. We want to interact with you and help you avoid these mistakes in your entrepreneurial eLearning journey, because we’re all in this together, and we’re learning all the time too, so as we learn, we’re sharing with you what we’re learning, too. Any final thoughts for the crew, Chris?

Chris: I would just say that we’re a big believers in on the movement to change learning or to empower others to adapt to a new learning model, because we know that our traditional education system around us, a lot of it is very archaic, very ineffective. It’s not really focused on learning, so if you’re going to be a part of the change and create innovative learning environments and leverage the power of the global web and all these technologies that are available, it’s important to integrate with people like us and other leaders in the education space and technology to really grow your capabilities quickly.

Joshua: Absolutely. Absolutely. I love it. Right on. All right. Well, we’ll talk to everyone next week.

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