I’ve been very quiet on here recently and that is because rather than talking about developing training I have actually been developing training! A whole training pathway in fact and the process we are going through has got me thinking. So bare with me, there’s a tip coming!

What I’ve Been Doing

Chris and I are launching Success With WordPress: The Master Course next week. Over the last few months we have been releasing short courses in the series leading up to the main course. We are also running a webinar next week called Planning The Perfect Website For Your Business. This is a free one hour piece of training that will give the learners some really valuable knowledge and tools to take away with them. It will also help them decide whether our Success With WordPress courses would be right for them.

We have also developed a series of six mini tutorials that we are releasing weekly and number two is being released today. The aim of these is to introduce people to WordPress to enable them to decide whether they think it is the right platform for them to create their website on. If they decide it is then they may want to check out our Success With WordPress courses too.

Reflecting On Our Process

Now, clearly, much of what we are doing with the free tutorials and webinar is to get people to buy our courses. People aren’t silly. They know that. But the bonus is they still get some learning for free.

As I mentioned, going through this process got me thinking. I should have used this method years ago when I was a trainer for a local authority. Obviously I didn’t need to sell my courses then. I trained other staff in the organisation or who were linked to the organisation. The training we created was based on what people needed to know legally for their job role or skills that would be useful. We would advertise the courses with a bit of blurb about what was being covered and the learning outcomes. Even then people would still turn up and the training wouldn’t be relevant to their role, they had already done something similar or it went over their heads because they weren’t ready for it yet.

Here’s The Tip!

If I had produced short, online tutorials accessible via the staff intranet for potential learners to go through before applying for the training then I wouldn’t have got as many evaluation forms with the various reasons the training wasn’t right for them detailed on them (I’m sure there would still be some!). They and their managers have to take some responsibility for that but I and my colleagues at the time have to as well. So, to anyone out there, planning and delivering training, I highly recommend that you give your potential learners a short and free taster first. You will need to do this using a clear training pathway, so ours looks like this:

That way you will get better engagement in your training. You will get more positive feedback and if it is your business you are less likely to find yourself offering refunds and have many more word of mouth referrals. I know in some organisations you will have to fight to be able to do this. There may be arguments that having videos on the intranet will take up too much storage space. Or the time it takes to make them and upload them isn’t justifiable. Bit I think it is. Think of the time and therefore money you will be saving the organisation by helping ensure people don’t attend whole days of training when it isn’t relevant. This is just my suggestion though. What do you think?