Take a look around the web these days.  Online courses are everywhere and about everything under the sun.  When you have a niche course like bra sewing or hoop dancing, being unique can be easy.

But what if your course is about healthy eating or business strategies or continuing education for professionals?  How are you going to stand out when there are oodles of other courses on similar topics?

The secret to creating unique, distinctive courses is simple: focus on learning, not just selling.  It really is that simple.  Give your students un-effin-believable  learning experience, and I promise, you will stand out in a sea of mediocrity (and some real $h*t that is out there.).


You might want to think of it like this:


Look at all those princesses only worrying about selling.  That girl in the batman costume is you, focused on learning. See how she pops out of the picture, your eyes drawn toward her, wanting to know more about her?

The irony is that by focusing on learning, you stand out and actually sell more.  Bam!


A 4-Step Method

The secret is simple and implementing it can be easy with my 4 step method that helps you state clearly what specific actions you want your students to do as a result of the course.

If you can’t say how students will act as a result of what they’ve learned, your course might have lots of information but won’t be a full and transformative learning experience.

Here’s a quick and dirty way to get at the action outcomes for your students. For illustration purposes, I’ll use a class about Stress Reduction as an example.

Download a worksheet to start implementing this strategy immediately


Write down all the things you think students will be learning.

Using the example of a course on Stress Reduction:

  • They will learn to relax in difficult situations
  • They will understand the fight or flight response and constant stress leads so many health problems.
  •  They will know how to use a simple relaxation technique.
  • They will understand how breath, body and mind are interrelated.

Eliminate “learn,” “understand,” or  “know.”

Using the same example of a course about Stress Reduction:

  • Relax in difficult situation
  • Constant stress causes fight or flight responses and leads to many health problems
  • Use simple relaxation technique
  • Breath, body and mind are interrelated.

Identify the verb that shows the action of the student using the information.

In some cases, you may have already identified the action by getting rid of “learn,” “understand,” and “know.”   (The worksheet at the end of this post also has lots of suggestions)

Using the example of a course on Stress Reduction:

  • Relax in a difficult situation
  • Describe how constant stress causes Fight or flight responses and leads to many health problems
  • Use simple relaxation technique
  •  Apply the interconnectedness of breath, mind and body

Get Specific

For this, you will get very specific and add a parameter of either a time frame or an amount of times to do the action.  It often helps if you start with the phrase, “At the end of the course, students will be able to….”

Using the example of a course on Stress Reduction:

  • Relax in at least 1 difficult situation that used to trigger stress  (here I have added both a number – 1 situation – and the parameter that the situation had triggered stress prior to the course).
  • Describe how constant stress has led to “fight or flight” response in their own bodies and the process of this creating one of their health issues.  (I made this one very specific to the student, so that it was not just a generic description of a physiological process).
  • Use the (signature) Relaxation Technique at least once per day (specific amount added)
  • Apply the interconnectedness of breath, mind and body in at least 1 action each day.  (specified the amount)

That’s it!  Are you ready to be Batman in a Sea of Princesses?  Download your worksheet so you can implement this strategy right now.