Return on investment. We all want to make the money that we spend on things back, especially when it comes to business investments. Today’s blog post is all about getting the best ROI from any online course you take. No matter the money you spend on an online course, it’s important to get your money back when you are running a business. Last week we chatted about picking the best online course, so this week let’s talk about making the most of the course we purchased.
1. Pick The Right Course For Your Knowledge Level
As we discussed in last week’s article about picking the best online course, you need to consider what you need help with. When considering where you need help, you also consider the knowledge level. To get the best ROI from any online course, you need to pick a course that is at your experience level. If you purchase an advanced level course, but you don’t even know the basics, learning will be incredibly difficult for you.
Take it one step at a time, and don’t try to get to advanced. Think about taking a foreign language class in school. Unless you were already fluent in the language, you needed to start at the beginner level. Otherwise, you would feel lost.
If it is necessary, taking a beginner course will help you make a sound investment. You don’t want the course to be so advanced that you cannot understand the language.
On the other hand, you don’t want a course to be so simple that it is a waste of money. If you have a more advanced knowledge of a subject, don’t take a beginner course. Think back to your time in school when you got something before all your classmates did. It was frustrating to have to continue to learn something you were already confident in.
You should feel comfortable about the contents of a course before you purchase. Make sure that the course is on the level that you need. Look through the course modules, or even email the course teacher with your concerns if you think a course will be too hard or too easy for you. Let them know your prior history with the course subject and ask them about their thoughts. Hopefully, they will get back to you quickly with their assessment on if you are right for the course, and if you are not, maybe they can provide an alternate class for you to take.
2. Do An Overview Of All Course Modules
Before you start any online course, it is important to do an overview of all the course modules. Doing an overview will help you get the best ROI from any online course because it will allow you to understand what the course has to offer. From the overview you will be able to tell:
- What modules you can speed through.
- What modules you will need the most help going through.
- What the course covers as a whole.
- What the course spends more time covering
- …and hence what you need to focus more on.
- What the course structure is like
- Is it mostly videos? Mostly text? Are there are a lot of work sheets?
This overview should be quick; it is just a way to see what kind of content you are in for. Then you can come up with a detailed plan to tackle every module that the course has to offer.
3. Create Time In Your Day To Review & Take Notes On Material
It’s time to go back to school. The thing about courses is, to get the best ROI from any online course, you have to take it seriously. A simple premise, but it’s so easy to mess up.
You need to calculate how long the course is, and then give yourself an adequate time to finish the course. Whether you want to complete the course in 7 days or give yourself a month, you need to create a schedule for yourself. You may want to complete a lesson a day, a module a week, or something in between.
Make learning and taking your online course a habit by setting aside a particular time each day to work on advancing your business education. Maybe you have a busy schedule, so you want to set aside every night at 8 PM to take a course, read a book related to your discipline, etc. Making learning a habit will help you learn faster.
While you are reviewing a lesson (or immediately after you review a lesson), you want to take notes in the method that works best for you. Once you find a method that works best, your note-taking experience can help seal in all the information that you are learning from your classes.
It is important that you review your notes within 24 hours after you take them, especially if you want to retain more of your information. Retaining is important if you want to get the best ROI from any online course. Retaining information allows you to store more of the course information in your brain instead of wasting hours re-reading notes rewatching modules, and redoing worksheets.
4. Take The Class With Others In Your Business (If You Have A Team)
If you want to get the best ROI from any online course, consider taking the course with a business partner or a person who works in your business. For instance, if you are taking a course on social media, it might be great for you to take the course as well as the person who runs your social media accounts. This will allow you to cross-reference and get more out of the course.
Sharing a course can cause controversy. You want to make sure that you are following all the rules of the course creator. Be sure to ask before you let an employee or business partner use course content. If the course owner doesn’t approve of you sharing the class, do the right thing, and don’t share your log-in info. The course teacher has worked tirelessly to get this course together, so follow the rules.
If you can take the course with a business partner or employee, let’s chat about how to do it efficiently.
Create A Google Drive Folder For The Course
An excellent way to get the best ROI from any online course you take is to create a Google Drive folder for the course when you take it with someone else in your business. As they take notes that can create a document for their notes about the course, and you can create a separate document. If you have questions about a particular part of the course, you can mark your questions. If they have a better grasp on the topic, they can explain it to you. This can obviously work both ways so that you both advance in your knowledge of the subject.
If you are working with another person, make sure that you set up a similar course reviewing schedule. After you have set up that plan, create weekly meetings where you can both come together to discuss the course. This will help you make the most of the course by having someone to chat with.
Take Advantage Of The Course Community
If you cannot take the course with a partner or an employee, take advantage of the course community. Most courses have a Facebook group or other community attached to them. Introduce yourself to the community and ask if anyone would like a course accountability buddy. Then you can share notes and discuss the course with a course participant.
This is a great alternative for anyone who is a solopreneur or if you just want an outside perspective to share the course with.
5. Take Time To Implement Each Activity
One of the most important things you need to understand to get the most out of a course is implementation. It’s really easy to throw your hands up in frustration without genuinely trying a course. As a student, if you want to get the best ROI from any online course, you must take the time to implement course work.
Depending on what your course is about, it may take months or years to implement a course topic fully. For example, when it comes to search engine optimization, it can take years to get a steady flow of SEO traffic. Sure, some quick fixes will start you on the path to search engine optimization, but fully optimizing your site takes a long time.
If you purchase an SEO course and you implement all of their suggestions, there is a chance you are still going to wait a while to see accurate results.
Keep implementing, keep experimenting, and if you took your time to pick the right course, things should fall into place with time and hard work.
6. Read/Watch Again If Necessary
Last, but certainly not least, don’t be afraid to relearn things. Most courses offer lifetime access, so don’t be afraid to rewatch things when appropriate.
It is important to give the entire course a once over, but after that, you may want to revisit a lesson, worksheet, or module. As you are implementing a certain piece of the course, you may want to do it while watching the course video attached.
Likely there will be course components that are walk-throughs, and the best way to learn those sections is to do it alongside the course teacher.
There may also be times when you just want a refresher on a piece of the course. For example, if you are taking a Facebook ads course, you may remember the basics of launching an ad. On the other hand, you may want to rewatch for anything you may have missed before you start your ad, just to make sure your ad is right.
Don’t be afraid to rewatch, relearn, and delve deeper into any video. When it comes to courses, your goal shouldn’t be just to watch once. You are paying for this course so that it helps you grow, so you should feel free to look at the course videos as many times as you need to implement them successfully.
Digital Branding University
Did you know that Digital Branding Institute has our own course called Digital Branding University? This course gives you all the information you need to build your online presence and convert your online following. Branding is so important, so if you are stressed out trying to gather branding advice from a million sources, Digital Branding University is an excellent way to take your brand to the next level.
Taking an online course can help your business succeed online. To get the best ROI from any online course you take, though, you need to be clear about taking the course seriously. Hopefully, this blog has provided a great blueprint for you as you determine how to get the most out of any online course you take.
What is your best advice for getting the best ROI from any online course you take? I would love to know how you stretch the money you spend on online courses by taking advantage of the classes you purchase. Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.