Why e-learning is not just an option, but a necessity.

There was a time when most experts – such as speakers, trainers, consultants and thought leaders – delivered one-off face-to-face programs, and nothing else. A few – the smart few – complemented their programs with electronic products, but they were in the minority. Now it’s the other way around. Clients and audiences expect more than just a keynote, just a training workshop or just a coaching session. It’s fast becoming the norm that you’ll send your audience a pre-event survey before your keynote, or offer a follow-up webinar to your training course, or provide password-protected resources for your coaching clients. If you don’t offer this form of “e-learning”, you’ll fall behind other competitors who do offer this and more.

There are five key reasons why you should be adding e-learning options to your business now – not just because they’re attractive, but because they’re now essential:

  1. Clients expect more. In the past, you could be a “hit and run” presenter, who waltzes in, delivers a keynote, acknowledges the standing ovation, and leaves. That’s no longer an option. Clients expect you to deliver more – much more – than just your standard face-to-face time with them. If you don’t deliver it, they’ll find somebody else who will.
  2. The world is flat. In Thomas Friedman’s book of this name, he talks about the rising middle class throughout the world. These are the people who can create and deliver the same value you deliver, but do it faster, cheaper and more effectively with e-learning.
  3. The tools are accessible. Even amateurs can create blogs, YouTube videos, on-line forums, even entire e-learning sites. Yes, they are amateurs, and some of their products are amateurish. But your clients don’t necessarily see it that way. Rather, they see other people offering e-learning technology, and wonder why you don’t.
  4. Your speaking fee is insignificant. You know how you’re always struggling to get clients to accept your fee? In fact, your fee is insignificant when compared with the cost of the lost productivity of their people who attend your events. E-learning allows them to learn from their office desks – and sometimes even their homes. This productivity gain is worth many times more than what they pay you.
  5. You won’t be seen as serious. When I first started showing clients how to use e-learning technology, 12 years ago, it was a significant point of difference and a strong selling point. Now it’s significant if you don’t offer it – and a strong point against you.