Course Lab: Lessons from Successful Online Course Creators
Staggering Engagement (Ian Roberts)
January 3, 2022
Course creator Ian Roberts breaks down the key elements that contribute to his courses’ staggering engagement and completion rates. Danny, Abe and Ian discuss the importance of a strong foundation, small wins, and preserving quality in growth.
Ian Roberts has created a number of successful online courses using instructional methods developed over his many years of teaching in-person workshops. He starts off with what he calls “insanely simple” steps and gives students enough time to assimilate new skills, building confidence and momentum. Those ingredients, combined with super-focused subjects and deep interaction with students over the years significantly contribute to Ian’s high success in engagement and completion rates.

     This episode of Course Lab is densely packed with helpful information for course creators. Ian describes his creative solutions for growing sales while reducing his own personal involvement and preserving the quality of his courses. In the post-interview debrief, Danny and Abe dive deep into deconstructing the various elements of Ian’s courses that make them so successful.

In this episode we discuss:

“If you want to learn to juggle, you don’t start off with eight bowling pins…you learn to throw a ball so that you’re not looking at it, and it lands in your hands.” – Ian Roberts

Guest Bio:
Ian Robert’s father was a landscape painter. Ian accompanied his father on painting trips from the time he was ten years old, painting small 8”X10” oil paintings. Later, Ian attended the New School of Art and the Ontario College of Art, both in Toronto. For the past 35 years, Ian has been a professional painter, showing in the U.S., Canada and Europe. For 25 years, Ian has offered plein air painting workshops in Provence, France and venues in the U.S. and Canada through his school, Atelier Saint-Luc, named after the patron saint of painters.
     He is the author of two books, Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision and Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting, published by North Light books, and which have sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. He has produced several videos, including Plein Air Painting, shot in Provence, France and Mastering  Composition. Two years ago, Ian began teaching online courses on Mastering Composition and began a weekly YouTube series that currently has over 60,000 subscribers. He shows at the Marcia Burtt Gallery in Santa Barbara, California, and the Wiscasset Bay Gallery in Wiscasset, Maine. Ian lives in West LA with painter Anne Ward.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:


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Music and SFX credits: 

• Track Title: Bossa BB
Artist Name(s): Marie
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough

• Track Title: Grace
Artist Name(s): Shimmer
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

• Track Title: Carousel Lights
Artist Name(s): Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

• Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist Name(s): Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Episode transcript: Staggering Engagement (Ian Roberts)  coming soon