Why the โ€˜Post-Its Course Planningโ€™ Strategy Doesn't Work: A Better Way to Quickly Plan Your Digital Course

kajabi for coaches Jan 31, 2024

For five years now, we’ve been hearing that the ‘Post-its on a Wall’ course planning strategy is the best, maybe even the ONLY way to plan a digital course. I just read another post linking to a training video with the same message, selling the same pitch. And since everyone seems to be saying it, it must be true. Right? 

Uhh… no. 

I think most of this advice is coming from a place of good intentions. But it’s easy advice. And not only does one specific method or strategy not work for everyone, the ‘Post-its on a Wall’ definitely isn’t the best option out there. 

Also, how do you know that the “experts” are following their own advice? Or that they’re getting great results from hiring an actual instructional/curriculum designer?

It seems to me that you can spend a lot of time feeling frustrated or like a failure because post-its on a wall isn’t creating the digital course you wanted …it isn’t working for you and, news flash,  you’re not the problem! 

I know because back when I was starting building online programs outside of academia, I tried the “Post-its on a Wall” strategy thinking this must be the fastest way to build an easy to understand course, and I just didn’t get great results. 

In fact, hours and dozens of posts later I had a basic course outline that didn’t have any substance for actually creating the transformation I wanted for my clients, or give me much of a leg up on planning my course details. I was frustrated, because this is what the ‘guru’ said to do! I went back to my instructional/education roots and put in the work to create a transformational learning experience that my clients would love. 

I also didn’t feel like I was being authentic when I just added post-its to my wall. I didn’t have a framework, a learning plan, and most importantly, actual outcomes to base the course topics on. And believe me, your clients can tell when you’re not being authentic. 

Always remember people buy transformation not information. So don’t focus on all the things you know about your niche, focus on where your students are and where they want to be. 


What’s Not So Great About the ‘Post-its on a Wall’ Planning Strategy

Here’s the thing. Adding post-its on a wall to create your digital course isn’t a good idea because:

  • You’ll waste your time crafting a course that didn’t start with outcomes.
  • It’s a strategy that focuses on what you know, not where your clients are. 
  • You are most likely to add too many topics to one course, which leads to overwhelm for you and your students.

Want proof from actual online learning experts? 

So what can you do to plan a transformation, effective digital course in less time? Fortunately, there’s a better way. Instead of using the post-it approach, try something else. 

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time doing something that feels like it’s actually going to change your students mindsets, understandings, and behaviors that’s also crazy effective at planning your entire course in one day? Well, now you can. And it doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming. 


A Better Way to Create Your Digital Course Plan

Here’s what I did to create an effective and efficient digital course instead of the ‘post-it on a wall’ approach. 

Step #1: Get Clear About What Your Students Will Be Able to DO 

I got clear about my ultimate goals for my course: to build an automated sales funnel to a stellar digital product and build the skills to repeat the formula for future digital products. 

You can’t determine what needs to be in your course before you are clear on what students will be able to do (not just know) by the end of your course. 

If you don’t establish your learning goals first, you’ll end up adding either too little, too much, or miss-aligned content that won’t support the transformation you are promising.


Step #2: Validate, Validate, Validate 

I spent time connecting with ideal clients in groups, on free coaching sessions, and in authentic DM convos where I provide value in exchange for validating their challenges with a specific goal. 

I look for gaps in popular thinking, strategies my clients and customers had tried, what seemed to work, as well as what didn’t seem to work.

For example:

In the validation process of my course The K-Effect, I initially thought my ideal clients were struggling with the technology parts of leveraging Kajabi. However, through many conversations, I learned that my clients were ‘afraid’ of the tech; they just didn’t know what to build in Kajabi to create automated funnels connecting excited leads to their programs and digital products.

If I didn’t invest in the time and energy learning, clarifying, and validating course learning outcomes and relevant challenges, then I would have gone on to build a basic “how to/quick start Kajabi” course that didn’t actually solve the problem for my ideal clients. 


Step #3: Build Your Simple 3x3 Framework 

After keeping records of what worked and what didn't, I came up with a better way to plan a transformation digital course.

The 3 x 3 Framework is simple, yet effective at ensuring your expertise in the area isn’t the focus of your course design. Instead the framework creates the space for you to map out how to move your ideal clients from their point of feeling stuck to the transformational outcome, with overwhelm. 

  • Steps 1: Determine the 3 Phases to move from stuck to success 
  • Step 2: Map out 3 Core Steps to move through each phase - these are your modules
  • Step 3: List 3 - 5 actions and required knowledge needed to complete each step - these are your lessons in each module


Next Steps

Before you plan your first (or next) digital course, determine the transformation (what your students will be able to DO) and map out the pathway to get them there using the simple 3x3 framework. 

Use my free Course Curriculum Planner to plan your entire digital course in one place. 

Keep challenging yourself on providing a transformation not just information for our clients. 

Current wisdom can be little more than fads that don’t stand the test of time. Many won’t even get you where you want to go.

The good news is, you can absolutely build an amazing transformation digital learning experience in a way that feels authentic to you. You just need the right roadmap - and a little independent thinking. 

If you want more help with building digital courses in Kajabi, check out my program The K-Effect, to help you build a digital course with an automated sales funnel.  

Questions? Comments? Drop them below. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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