5 typical mistakes first-time course creators make

Creating a course or group coaching program can be pretty complicated the first time round and like learning anything new, you’re bound to make mistakes purely because you don’t know what you don’t know, right? In this episode, I share some common mistakes that I see again and again to help you avoid them when creating your first course.

Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Sidekick to Success:

  • The common mistakes that I see again and again with my clients
  • What to do instead 
  • The biggest mistake that stops courses from getting created

Creating a course or group coaching program can be a pretty complex process the first time round – especially if you want to do it right.

First-time course creators find themselves having to learn lots of new skills and tech which can be a massive learning curve for some.

And like learning anything new, you’re bound to make mistakes purely because – you don’t know what you don’t know, right?

So I’d like to share some common mistakes that I see again and again to help you avoid them when creating your first course.

Here are 5 typical mistakes I see first-time course creators make:

Mistake #1 Adding too much into one course

I call this a kitchen sink course – because it includes everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink. Every single part of your course should have a clearly defined purpose. No ‘fluff” or filler. Before you create any course content make sure you have answers to these two questions:

  1. Why should my course attendees care about this?
  2. Is it worth their time?

Think of how frustrating it is when you attend a webinar that doesn’t have a clear message. You know what I’m talking about, right? The 60-minute sales pitch with 5 minutes of actionable information you were promised in the click-bait title. The ‘live’ ones that don’t have any video controls so you can’t speed it up or skip to the interesting bit. What a waste of time!

Your learners should never feel like they’re wasting their time. They should be keen to see what else you have for them.

If your course covers a very broad topic, rather create a couple of short courses instead of one BIG one. Creating short courses means you get started faster and are able to sell them quicker. And once you’ve created them all you could offer them as a complete bundle.

Mistake #2 Not understanding your audience

You have to have a good understanding of your audience and their needs.

Because when it comes to learning, one size does not fit all.

It’s important that you consider who’s learning needs have to be met with your course.

Answering this question will give you insight into the type of course and content you should create. For example, c-level executives would likely want to see numbers and statistics, while a DIY enthusiast will want to see how-to tutorials.

If you start creating your course content without considering who your audience is and what their experience with the subject matter is, you’ll just end up frustrating them.

Here are some important considerations you’ll need to consider when it comes to course content for your target audience:

  • Lifestyle considerations. Are your learners’ sleep-deprived Moms who need to work on your course while their baby sleeps? Then, hour-long videos are just not going to work. Shorter videos with downloadable workbooks would work better. Are your learners 9-5 workers? Then perhaps audio content would be best because they can listen to it during their commute to and from work.
  • Level of experience considerations. Make sure you create content that suits the level of experience your audience has. That way the experts won’t get frustrated if you focus on basic level knowledge. And those who are less experienced won’t get lost if you focus on expert-level knowledge.


Mistake #3 Choosing a course hosting platform before creating the course

If I had a dollar for every new course creator who starts out asking “What’s the best course platform?” I’d be a wealth woman.

Choosing tech and course hosting platforms keeps course creators stuck in analysis paralysis for far too long.

Or they sign up for the big complicated one their favourite guru advised them to use (using their affiliate link so the guru makes a commission off them signing up).

I’m going to let you in on a secret. There is NO “best” course platform.

Sure, figuring out where to host your course is an important part of creating a course. But first, you have to figure out what type of course you want to offer and what elements you’d like to include in it. Don’t rush out to buy a course platform before doing this. Otherwise, you’ll just end up shoe-horning your course into the platform you chose.


Mistake #4 Not testing everything before launching

This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many course creators launch a course without testing everything first.

It’s easy to get excited at finally finishing your course and understandable that you would want to share it immediately.

Please don’t do this. Get a couple of friends or family members to test the entire process before you launch. There will be gremlins.

And even when you do test it – it won’t be perfect 

There will still be things that go wrong the first time round. So, accept that this is going to happen and be ready to fix things as soon as they pop up. 


Mistake #5 Never finishing the course

This is the BIGGEST mistake and I see it all.the.time.

So many course creators start creating a course only to give up as soon as they face the first hurdle.

So much valuable knowledge gets dumped in a text doc – waiting for the right moment to get converted into a course. But the right moment just never happens, and it gets put on hold indefinitely.  

Creating a course or group coaching program take a committed effort and proper planning and time management. Get the proper foundations in place and you absolutely can get it done.

To recap the 5 most common mistakes first-time course creators make.

Here they are again:

Mistake #1 Creating a course that’s too big and overwhelming

Mistake #2 Not understanding your audience and their needs

Mistake #3 Choosing a course hosting platform before you know what features you’re going to need

Mistake #4 Launching before you’ve tested everything

Mistake #5 Starting and then giving up on creating a course as soon as it get’s hard

Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid the first-time course creator pitfalls. Saving you time and money so you can get that course out in the world!