Should you offer lifetime access to your cohort-based course?

Should you offer lifetime access to your cohort-based course?

Topic
Publish Date
Feb 18, 2022
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If you’re running a CBC then this question will pop up at some point.
 
But before we can answer that question, we need to understand: Why would someone repeat a live course?
Shouldn’t students only need to take a course once to get everything out of it?
In theory, yes. But it’s not that simple!
 
Take Write of Passage, for example. I’ve participated in the last 3 cohorts and always gotten something out of it. Coming back felt like rereading my favorite book.
But is it just me? I asked Twitter and discovered that many people feel the same way.
Here are the 3 main reasons why people repeat a course:
  1. To go deeper and discover new things. With the best courses, it’s almost impossible to pick up and implement everything in one go. Every time I joined Write of Passage, I had new epiphanies and takeaways.
  1. To regain momentum. Sustaining the practices taught in a course isn’t easy, either. Joining a new cohort can give you a much-needed jolt of motivation and energy. It feels like you’re part of something bigger again.
  1. To keep active in the community. You could become an alumni mentor or peer supporter, gain new skills, and give back to the community by helping new students succeed. This is extremely rewarding, I can tell you that.
 
Now, back to the question of should you offer lifetime access to your CBC. Because chances are at least some students want to return.
 
I see two options here:
Option one is letting students join the next cohort for free.
Building a Second Brain generously offered this up until cohort 12, and it helped the course grow into a highly dedicated and loyal community.
So, if you’re just starting out and want to gain momentum, then this might be the right option for you.
 
Option two is offering optional lifetime access for an additional fee, like Write of Passage.
I’ve seen many of my peers upgrade to lifetime access during the cohort as they saw how much value they were getting.
And that’s the critical point: If you charge for lifetime access, there needs to be clear perceived value. That can take many forms, for example:
  • Access to new and improved content and an updated curriculum
  • Continued access to the community to receive feedback and continue learning from each other
  • Opportunities to meet new people and expand your network in future cohorts
 
Which option will you choose? I’m curious to hear about your experience with offering lifetime access to your CBC.