How to Create A Personality for Your Online Course

Maeve Ginsberg
5 min read

Who’s guiding your students through your online course? It’s you, of course, but what makes those students want to follow you as an instructor? Regardless of how personal or impersonal your course is (whether you are on video or audio, whether it’s written in your voice, etc.), every online course has a personality. Even if you write your program content the way that you talk, it will be perceived differently online than in real life.

Determining what personality you want to give off in your content is an important step in online course creation. It gives your content direction and, when implemented, gives your students a stronger sense of connection to the course, helping to build trust and adherence.  

If you’re in the midst of creating an online course, read on to learn more about creating a personality around your course. Need help launching and marketing your online course? Get in touch with us today and be sure to check out our Online Course Master Guide

How do you build a personality around an online course? 

Include biographical information

Tell your students who you are! This helps them to trust you and feel like they know you, which can improve their adherence to the course. This is about more than just your experience, which is important but isn’t the only information about you that matters. The more your students feel like they know you, the stronger their connection to the course (and your overall brand) will be, yielding better results. Share why you’re passionate about this topic, what makes you excited within the niche, what your own goals within the industry are, and anything else that relates to your personal connection to the topic and the course content. 

Establish your communication style 

Everyone has their own distinct style of communication: direct, gentle, assertive, enthusiastic, and so on. Be sure to have a consistent method so that students come to recognize and understand your voice, which will help them better absorb information, resulting in stronger students. This is where your personal sense of humor comes in, too!  While online courses are educational, they aren’t exclusively serious. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your students.

Create a tone

If your communication style is the method, tone is the feeling. The tone of your language naturally constructs a personality (whether you mean to or not!). Be intentional with your tone so that it reflects your brand and style. If your topic is highly technical and specialized, a more formal tone might be appropriate. If your topic is more creative and excessive, a fun, friendly tone may work. It’s helpful to know what tone you want to have before creating your course content so that it informs the content, rather than having to go back and redo lessons after the fact.

Build in interactive touchpoints 

You don’t have to give direct feedback in a course to interact with your students. In fact, interaction occurs more than you might realize. Every time they navigate through your website, every lesson they take, every image of you they see is an interaction. These touchpoints are crucial moments that inform your personality in the course. 

Run through your sign-up flow to see how the experience might feel to someone who isn’t familiar with you, your company, or your work. Is the personality consistent across each step of the process? Things might read differently when you try on different personas, so it’s important to test the process with this lens.  

Why does personality matter?

Personality is one of the many important differentiators that will set your course apart from others in your niche. It gives an identity to the program and, in turn, offers students something with which to connect or aspire. You have the knowledge that they want, so if your personality appeals to them, it will help sell your course. Conversely, if your personality rubs them the wrong way, they are less likely to enroll. 

Be smart about your course’s personality. If the personality feels incongruous with the content—a silly tone for a highly technical niche, for example—it will take students out of the experience and even cause them to question your expertise or compromise their adherence to the program. That said, any combination can work if implemented the right way, so don’t be afraid to play around with the personality to foster a creative edge for your content. If you’re not sure how your tone is coming off, have someone else go through it and give you feedback.
Feeling ready to launch your online course with a strong personality that supports your niche and ethos? Join forces with the online course pros at Picante Collective for a successful online course launch.