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Single Problem, Single Solution: The Benefits of Keeping It Simple

  • By Pam Langord

OK, girlfriend – tell me if this sounds familiar. You begin to write a blog post, and before you know it, your “quick update” has turned into a rambling, 3,000-word novelette that covers everything from where to find a graphic designer to how to design a business card.


Now, a 3,000-word blog post can be great for traffic, but only if you’ve kept it tightly focused. But what happens all too often (in blog posts and in course development) is that every point you covered brings up a new point to be addressed.

Logo design leads to business card formatting.

Business cards lead to taglines.

Taglines lead to ideal client avatars.

Avatars lead to… Well, you get the gist.

The point is, when you work so hard to provide the very best info for your peeps, it’s easy to want to include one more important detail. Before you know it, you’ve outlined an encyclopedia’s worth of content that overwhelms not only you but your clients as well. And let me say – that’s not so good.

One Problem, One Solution

So here’s the deal – most people don’t need or want an all-inclusive answer. Really!

If your course helps your clients identify their ideal client, then including information about choosing a domain name might seem relevant to you but it’s really just a distraction.

Worse, if you try to branch out too much, you run the risk of overwhelming your customer. Go down too many bunny trails and she’ll log out and never come back—for this or any other course you create. Not because you’re a bad coach, but because she’ll convince herself she’s a bad student.

If that didn’t hammer the point home, here’s another issue that rears its ugly head when you try to include too much info in a single course: Depth of knowledge.

Say what?

Yup. Depth of knowledge. What I mean is that when you try to include too much info, what you end up with is just a little coverage over a lot of different topics.

Ever heard “keep it simple stupid?” or is that “keep it stupid simple”? Hmmm…..

So instead of going down all of those bunny trails, focus your course on a single problem and a single solution. That way you can dig deeper and present ideas and information that won’t be found just anywhere, such as:

  • Case studies
  • Worksheets
  • Planning documents
  • Checklists
  • Multi-media content


These are the types of things that your audience will happily pay the big bucks for because they can’t find them anywhere else. When you focus your course on a single problem, you’ll have some leeway to create all these great components plus some other resources. If you take a broader approach, you’ll have to scrimp on the “extras.” And nobody likes that.

All that said – there is still room for that all-inclusive, massive eCourse. Just look at coaches like Marie Forleo and her massively popular B-School. (Yours truly is an alumna)

You have to keep in mind though, that if you decide to go ahead with an eCourse that huge, you’ll (by necessity) have to:

  • Expand the length of the course to accommodate all the extra info. Each week (or module) becomes its own “mini” course, focused on a single issue/solution.
  • Increase the cost of the course. If your market will bear a high-ticket, multi-module course, then by all means you should produce one. But do keep in mind that the more information you provide, the higher the price point.

And remember – a large course is a whole lot harder to sell—and we’re not just talking about the price. There’s a bigger commitment on the part of the buyer as well, and that’s something she’s going to have to carefully consider before she ponies up and takes the plunge. A smaller, single-problem course is sooooo much easier to commit to and much easier to complete and be successful with.