Why Most Online Programs Get Little Results
“I HAVE TAKEN ALL THESE PROGRAMS BUT STILL SEE NO RESULTS”, says every second person I talk to.
Do you want to know WHY?
It is my personal experience-based take on it. But you may enjoy reading this article and see my way of thinking.
My client journey often started with getting very excited about the people behind the idea/concept/ strategy that I am exploring.
I started consuming a lot of their free concept. I get sold on their personality and I genuinely believe I need what they are promising. Most of the time, generally the promises were around what I was hoping to master or needed a breakthrough with. Occasionally it was something I did not actually need, but somehow my excitement about the person convinced me otherwise.
DISCLAIMER: I am talking about various online programs in this post. Not 1:1 coaching.
I am sure you have been in this position before. Most entrepreneurs are. Give me a GIF in the comments if you have purchased a program because you were excited about the person behind it, not necessarily doing more research about what is going to happen after the enrollment.
But here is the thing. Whenever the program did not bring me the results I expected, one of the reasons was that there was just too much content to consume inside it.
Hundreds of hours of content to learn and much much fewer systems or support to get me taking action around it.
Oh yes, there were homeworks as such in most programs. But was it enough for me?
And yes, I totally understand that a self-paced online program does not include full-time mentorship. I also take full responsibility that taking that action was on ME.
Yet, I felt so tremendously overwhelmed with the number of modules to go through, I just had no energy or motivation to focus on the action part. I felt behind all the time because I felt I might be missing an important piece hidden in yet another module ahead.
And on the other hand, so many videos included overwhelming amounts of the WHAT and the WHY, where I just needed a bottom line and straight into the HOW, and then build my understanding of the rest WHILE taking that action.
The thought of sitting through yet another 1 hour of video content actually puts me off finishing the program altogether.
Full transparency: I have something like under 100 courses sitting in my “To Complete” list. Most I have not gone past module 1. Rarely 2-3.
In the programs that included some coaching elements, I did better because there was accountability to take action and report back, BUT again the results largely depended on the ratio of taking action vs learning.
The only program that I stuck to till the end, implemented imperfectly, but consistently and even through frustrations and hardships right in the middle of it (and that had to do with my physical and emotional state changing) was Wildfit 90-day challenge.
Why? Because it required doing something more than learning something.
Now, before I even finished this program, I already knew what works for me, generally. As a coach and content creator, I also have offered different types of programs to clients and watched which ones get the best results.
With my online Fearless Client Attraction Academy I was shocked to see how little people actually go through it all, 90% of my students just watched a few initial videos and then stopped logging in. My survey confirmed it was not the value of the course. Life “interfered” and they fell off track.
The sweet idea of passive income for me (deciding to offer an online course with little active involvement) was not as sweet after seeing those stats and therefore, getting very little good testimonials or being able to claim that the program brings results. It did to me (I just laid out my own strategies inside), but
I felt so much dissatisfaction as a creator and promoting it felt simply inauthentic. This is why the Academy was discontinued (as well as the fact that it was all based around Facebook marketing and Facebook has changed dramatically in 2020, so most tech trainings would be obsolete now).
I also tried running a membership-style community. I enjoyed this model so much better because I was able to really step up as a coach, especially in our sessions. But as a person who does not necessarily require an active social life, I do not hang out in communities for long myself. Just being part of the group is not enough for me. (It may be for you because we all have different social needs.)
As a group leader, I felt that feeling of “not enough” in a different way. I thought if this would not be enough for me, how can I make it enough? So I tried to create frequent and multiple trainings for my members, covering everything they may need to know about online visibility, so they can make good decisions and take action consistently.
The last part was the problem. I mean my clients tried, some more successfully than others and they loved me as a coach and always spoke so highly of me. Yet, I was still not satisfied. In a long-term membership setting with no set end date – the feeling of “I am not giving enough” is debilitating for me.
The next experiment was to create a shorter program, which I did last year. I designed a 6 weeks program around growing your highly targeted audience and creating content that generates raised hands. There were 6 modules (some 2 -part) explaining the What and the Why and the How and homework to follow.
In theory, you stick to the strategy I explained in this program and you will see big shifts in about 90 days.
In reality some of the actions that this strategy includes, required a lot of discipline and patience. The two factors that often fail most of us. And I saw it again. No matter that my clients had the know-how – implementing it was not as smooth as they would want it to be…
And that was the time when I started my WildFit journey. And as I went through one week to another in the 90-day challenge. I found clarity around what my gut feeling has been telling me for 4 years.
I realized WHY I had such a resistance to creating trainings for my clients and always felt “not enough” after I released them.
I saw clearly exactly the point when all my clients had the a-ha moments, breakthroughs, and huge shifts.
And I also observed myself (someone who tends to leave a lot of programs unfinished) sticking to something based on the same principle that this clarity was deeply rooted in.
ACTION DRIVEN PROGRESS
I started with the first bunch of awesome coaches inside my Visibility That sells Accelerator program.
For the first two weeks I did not get my VTSA clients to go through any modules (apart from the onboarding training). I forced them into taking action imperfectly (this is a program around building your authority as a go-to coach and finding new clients using Facebook).
Some of my VSTA clients have never posted on Facebook before EVER. They are creating daily posts and some of the posts were turning out to be brilliant already. They are going live twice a week (minimum).
They have no clue how to create a “perfect post that converts”. They have no full understanding of different types of CTA and how to vary them to reach more eyes and influence the good ones.
They haven’t got a “perfect” set up for their videos.
Some do not even understand Facebook or Messenger. YET.
But what I have been doing with them is focusing on imperfect action. So you divorce the idea of “being ready” or “Knowing the scope” before they can do XYZ. That idea is the most dangerous, deceptive, evil notion anyone who needs to be visible can get stuck at.
READINESS comes from taking action and pushing through the first 5% – which are the most confusing, difficult, and overwhelming part of ANYTHING!
CLARITY comes from experiencing the action you are taking. As you create posts, go live, work with your engagement, you get to understand what is it that works for YOU, and what may need adjusting, tailoring and at the very end, only when you have exhausted other options, perhaps, eliminated from your routine. That is when you get clear. Not BEFORE you take action. You learn as you observe the process, the effects, the results of your actions. NOT from watching hours of informational content.
Taking small action every day soon starts feeling like second nature. Focusing on creating versus overthinking and getting information overwhelm will get those hands raised sooner than if you hold back, no matter how “imperfect” you think your content is.
When showing up becomes a habit – THAT is when you can focus on finessing your messaging. On speaking more clearly. And even on defining your ideal client. As when you start showing up a lot, you also open up to more conversations that help you determine so much more about the people you naturally attract. It is a journey, and a process full of discoveries.
But you won’t find out much standing at the START line. You have to start moving.
I just experienced the same in my WildFit journey. The focus was on doing, taking action, observing, changing, adapting. NOT much on learning the information. And I am here on the final week of 90 days, completing with tremendous results and knowing that this program has had a lasting change on my entire future life. And that of my family.
THIS is what I want for my clients.
To find out more about working together on your social media presence, your messaging and your online visibility – check out my latest offers here.
VISIBILITY THAT SELLS
Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and service providers, host of the Show Up! Stand Out! podcast, and an expert on organic marketing.
She teaches how to get more & better clients online spending less time on marketing.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia with her husband and daughter.