How to Create Coaching or Office Hours for My Online Course?
One of the most common questions we get from first-time course creators is, “Should I have office hours for my online course?” To figure out whether you need office hours or coaching hours for your online courses, you should ask yourself three questions in this order.
Question #1. Would the Pricing Make Sense?
The very first thing to ask yourself is what is the price of the course. If you are creating a premium course, it should provide more value, which can be in the form of office hours included in your online course. If, on the other hand, your course is very affordable, you can provide minimal office hours, group coaching or not include them at all. To make this decision, consider an affordable course to be about $50 and an expensive course to be $500 or $1,000 or more.
Remember that the price of your course can have more to do with the value you provide outside of the course than what is inside it. Expensive courses don’t have to be long and packed with content, but they should have plenty of interactions with you as the subject matter expert.
Question #2. How Much Time Do You Have?
The other major consideration when deciding office hours for online courses is how much time you have. Your goal here is to under-promise and over-deliver. Otherwise, you will have disgruntled learners.
When it comes to thinking about how much time you have, be realistic. If you don’t have enough time to provide individualized attention, then don’t offer it. Or if you can only offer an hour a week of one-on-one time, offer that.
Remember that you can also get creative to make the most of your time. One-on-one coaching and office hours aren’t the only possibilities. You can also do group coaching sessions or group office hours. You can use text threads or audio threads.
Question #3. Do Your Learners Request Office Hours for Your Online Course?
Finally, consider whether your learners even want office hours or coaching. Not all learners want or need this, and if yours don’t, then there’s no point in offering it. It won’t attract more learners or improve their experience, and it will take up more of your time. Just ask your learners for feedback to see if they would like you to include office hours in the package.
Importantly, this should be your third consideration. The reason for that is simple. Even if your learners want office hours, but your schedule is full, or you are charging $50 or less for the course, it doesn’t make sense to offer them. You need to be realistic about your offerings.
To decide how many office hours or coaching hours to offer your learners, think about the price of your course, how much time you have, and what your learners want. If you have a lot of time and have a high-priced course, then you want to offer more office hours, possibly including one-on-one coaching or very small groups. If your course is expensive, but you don’t have time for individual office hours, you may want to rethink the price and consider group coaching options. If your course is priced very low, then you can offer minimal office hours, if any. While you want to consider whether your learners want office hours, remember that your available time and the price of the course are more important factors.
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