Easy Ways to Impress Your Online Students (Right From the Start)

Unimpressed students lead to unimpressive sales. 

When you give your online students an experience that says, “Hey, I care about whether you learn something”, they respond with, “Hey, I should tell my friend Betty about this.” 

And when you have enough students telling their friend Betty about you, the good word starts to spread naturally.

But it all starts with making a good impression. 

Easy Ways to Impress Your Online Students Right From The Start

Spiritual texts say the answer is found within, and the same goes for your course.

Instead of looking outside of it for the answers to your success, try working within it.

Here’s what I mean:

I recently had the opportunity to review two online courses:

  1. How to Be a Pilot (super cool)
  2. The School of Self-Worth (#needs)

Both of them were amazingly informative, but both were missing a few easy opportunities to impress their students.

And when students are impressed, they give great testimonials.

Even better: they volunteer great testimonials.

(Like me over the weekend, sending a DM to a course creator after getting amazing results from an SEO course I loved.)

Let’s talk about a few opportunities you have to impress your students, so they're saying good things about you.

Easy way #1: Add multiple ways for online students to consume your course.

I promise you, every student who buys your online course expects the same thing: more than what they were expecting.

Even though most students know what comes in courses (lessons, modules, worksheets, etc.), they still secretly expect there to be more content/value than they thought.

Wouldn’t you expect to be blown away after dropping $300-$500?

A great way to impress your students when they start checking out all the lessons/modules in your course is to add four things to each lesson:

  1. A transcript of the lesson
  2. An audio download of the lesson
  3. A video download of the lesson
  4. A PDF download of the course slides

Amy Porterfield does this VERY well in Digital Course Academy:

Amy Porterfield Impressing Students Online in Digital Course Academy

Not only is it exciting to see all of these little “gifts” in each lesson, but it offers opportunities for people to consume your course at any time or place.

Almost like a “choose your own adventure” type of deal.

Here’s exactly what you tell your students when you do this:

“I’m making sure you have everything you need.”

I guarantee they will appreciate this.

Easy way #2: Make content consumption easy.

If you have talking head course videos that go on for 6-10 minutes without any interruption, your students are going to get bored.

“Does. not. Compute.” is what their brains will say (hopefully in a robot voice).

The information might be relevant and interesting, but it’s hard to fully process it without some kind of interruption to break up the flow, or without a visual pairing.

Breaking up your talking head videos with quick transitions, text, or images gives students a break and keeps them interested. (Tweet this!)

They’re more likely to stay focused on the concepts you’re talking about, which means they’ll retain a thing or two.

Here are some easy ways to break up your talking head video without having to re-shoot the whole thing:

#1 Insert slide transitions.

Click the image below to see an example of great slide transitions to break up video content in the School of Self-Worth online course: 

Sam Osbourne School of Self Worth

#2 Insert overlay graphics to illustrate your points

This graphic is from a course by Bryan Harris from Videofruit (now Growth Tools). 

I like the way he used the overlay to illustrate the concepts he was teaching. It allows students to take notes, and cement the concepts in their head.

#3 Insert images/text to the side of your head.

You might recognize this guy. He’s Ray Edwards from Copywriting Academy, and he uses text and sometimes images to the right of his talking head to illustrate his points. Another great strategy! 

Ray Edwards Copywriting Academy

Adding in some nice overlays and transitions to your talking head videos doesn’t have to be a ton of work, either.

There are plenty of freelance video editors looking for work on Hire My Mom, my preferred place to hire talent. 

Do whatever you can not to lose your students.

Easy way #3: Add a complete downloadable checklist for the entire course.

If you’re an online teacher, it means you’re like Yoda taking students on a Jedi journey.

If they are to become masters, a road map they must have. (My best Yoda voice.)

In your Welcome module, consider adding a full-length checklist for the entire course that walks them through their action items step-by-step.

Divide sections of the checklist up by modules, and leave some space in case they want to jot down a few notes as they go along.

Here’s a great example from Digital Course Academy in 2019.

It’s a perfect reference guide for students to see where they’re at on their journey at any point.

If your students know where they are, then they know where they’re going.

And that kind of clarity keeps students taking action.

Over to you…

What are you doing to impress your students? Is it working? 

Let me know in the comments, I always respond. 

To your online teaching success,


Click here to subscribe

Monique is an online course proofreader from sunny Los Angeles. She creates info products related to writing course copy, like her flagship course, Course Copy Essentials. And she loves helping course creators look good in copy. You can find her curled up with coffee and a good book when she's not proofreading course content and absorbing everything related to online learning.