Creator Stories:

Online Yoga Classes: Shelly Coffman teaches us how to create engaging, personalized online fitness courses.

Shelly Coffman is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, and Holistic Health Coach.

Through Heights Platform, she created two different online courses: Humble Seed Yoga members site, where she teaches the basics of Yoga and Ayurveda to students all over the world, and Teach Yoga Nidra, a program where she trains other Yoga teachers and helps them achieve their CEU (continuing education units) requirements.

Shelly Coffman Heights Platform Yoga Fitness creator

From Manager to Yoga Teacher

After a 20 year long corporate career, Shelly decided to quit her job to pursue her dream of becoming a yoga teacher.

Today, her courses help students all over the world master their yoga skills, overcome physical injuries and gain better health overall.

Yoga has always been a passion for Shelly, but she considered it no more than a hobby for most of her life.

Shelly lives in St. Charles, a town about 20 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. For over 20 years she climbed the corporate ladder and worked in management positions in employee development.

In August 2019, she decided to leave the corporate world and turn what was mainly a hobby into a full-time business.

This is when she started training to become a certified Yoga teacher and got inspired into Yoga therapy, the personalized therapeutic application of Yoga for each individual.

Let’s see now how Shelly manages to create a living by sharing her passion and knowledge with online courses:

Online fitness classes: how Shelly delivers a personalized experience

The general concern with teaching fitness or a sport online is the lack of an individualized experience for the students.

Let’s see why this can be false and how Shelly manages to deliver a unique and personalized experience for all of her students.

Before getting into details, it is important to understand the structure of her course. Humble Seed Yoga is not just about learning new Yoga positions, it’s also about healing through Ayurveda, learning the philosophy behind it, in order to recover from physical trauma and regain movement.

Shelly Coffman Yoga Teacher fitness online course creator Heights Platform

"The problem that online courses solve for me is that I have a ton of information to teach, and students need to understand the philosophy behind Yoga or Ayurveda."

So in order for the course to be beneficial to the students, they need to go through a learning process that teaches them all about these philosophies.

Once the students have learned the theory and gained the right mindset, they are ready to start the physical work one-on-one with Shelly.

So the way she has structured the course is to have pre-recorded online lessons plus live online training with each of her students.

"To be quite honest with you, if I teach everything in person, I am not able to give my students an individualized value: there is so much information they need to learn, and if I teach all of it in person, it doesn’t give them an impactful session with me"

Pre-recording the theoretical lessons and letting her students access them through the online course, allows them to learn at their own pace, on their own time. This way, once they’ve completed all the lessons on the online course, they’ll be ready to have a live session with Shelly, where she can focus 100% on the student and provide valuable, highly personalized feedback.

"The online courses contain all the basic information students can watch on their own time, and progress at a state that's easy for them. Then we have a one-on-one session, just about them, since at this point they already have some basic understanding of the theory."


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This is how Shelly manages to bring her personal touch to the online classes and create personalized, valuable teachings for each of her students. As most of the lessons in the online course are pre-recorded, she can easily scale her program and focus her energies on improving the content, reach more students and create an overall personal experience for them.

"That's where the magic is!"

How to keep students engaged in online learning

Another big concern related to online courses and online education in general, is keeping students engaged and motivated until the end.

The freedom of online courses can have an opposite effect on students since they might lose motivation over time as a result of the lack of set deadlines or specific time requirements to respect.

So what can you do as a course creator to avoid this? Shelly offers us some insights into the problem.

"I think the most important thing is the mindset. It's getting your students in the habit."

If we think of an in-person Yoga class, students might be more engaged as they have to respect a few deadlines; they need to physically go to the class and be there on a set day and time.

If they don’t, they’ll miss the class.

With online courses, students generally have the freedom of learning at their own pace and choosing the best time for them to attend the class. While this is a huge benefit of online education, it can also lead to a lack of motivation and less urgency.

Fortunately, in this case, the problem is also the solution.

As a creator, you have the power to educate students on your area of expertise. So why not educate them on how to stay motivated as well?

Shelly doesn’t limit herself to teaching Yoga, she also trains her students on how to be consistent with their learning.

"And that's where an online course can really help to show techniques that really address the problem of motivation and help educate students along the way. There's a lot you can say about helping them stay connected. And I think an online course can really support you and help you with this."

If you wish to learn more about how to keep students engaged in an online course, check out this article from our blog: 9 Proven Ways to Increase Student Engagement and Completion Rate in your Online Course

Shelly Coffman Heights Platform online course membership site creator

"Some people think that a fitness course has to be all in-person teaching. I don't believe that."

Marketing a Result

When it comes to promoting her online course, Shelly knows one thing: how important it is to focus on communicating the result that the course provides to its students.

Whatever your value proposition may be, make sure to always communicate it to your potential students. Starting from your course title, your teachings’ values and results should be crystal clear to your audience.

"The important thing is getting clear on what the message is, what do I want to say? And saying it in my client’s language, not in the language of a yoga teacher"

So the benefits of your program and the results your students will get from it should be immediately clear to someone visiting your course's landing page or seeing your promotion.

Landing page builder feature from online course creation software Heights Platform

This is the main landing page of Shelly’s course “Teach Yoga Nidra”, where she trains other yoga teachers and keeps them up to date with CEU requirements.

The results her students will get from the course is immediately clear, if they enroll in the course they will:

1. Get the required CEU

2. Transform their students' experience

Of course, there may be other benefits to the course that the visitor will understand as they scroll through the page and read the program’s description, but by highlighting the main results, Shelly is securing the attention of her target audience.

Following the same logic, if she simply wrote “Improve your Yoga skills”, her target audience (for instance someone who needs to update their CEU requirements) might not be interested in the course, as they would not relate to her value proposition.

If you wish to learn more about how to successfully communicate a specific result, do not miss this article from our blog: The Most Important Thing You Need to Know When Creating an Online Course - Build it Around a Result


Why Shelly Loves Heights Platform

What Shelly loves the most about Heights Platform is the flexibility it offers.

Whether you need to create several courses, link them together, offer different pricing options, membership sites, upload various types of content, and more, Heights allows you to tailor your program the way you want.

"So I think that the flexibility of having multiple courses, the flexibility of how I charge for it and being able to have coupons for all my courses. That's really the ease of use that makes it really, really helpful."

Course creation software product list for online yoga course

Within Heights Platform, you can build Bundles of many different courses and digital products, which offers you the flexibility to create collections of content and offer personalized pricing options to your students.

"Heights Platform truly is a company that listens to their customers and did amazing work to create the bundles with various pricing options so that creators can offer their programs in many different ways!" - Shelly Coffman

Shelly's tip for new creators

We asked Shelly and other Heights creators if they have any suggestions and tips for someone just starting out with their online course.

"Just put it out there: you don’t need to have the perfect course! As you gain more insight into your course you will build upon it. So, don't let perfection be your enemy. Put your course out there and allow it to evolve!"

Read More Tips from Our Creators

"Game changing platform for course creation.

The software is ridiculously easy to use, right out of the box. The dashboard is well designed and incredibly simple to navigate. You can switch into different views to experience the course as a student too, which really helps as you build your lesson plan.

The course looks professional once completed, with the added bonus of being able to customise the look and feel of the course, to match your branding.

You can set up a discussion board too, and create and sell additional resources to compliment your course, and it all works seamlessly to create a sense of community for the students.

The support for the software is second to none, and the team at Heights obviously care about their customers, and work to support your course's success."

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