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DIY, DWY & DFY: Choosing Online Learning Strategies

DIY, DWY & DFY: Choosing Online Learning Strategies

Sadly, the online education industry has been riddled with scammers for years. Part of the problem, though, is that a lot of people don’t understand which method of online learning will suit their needs. They then end up buying products without really knowing which of the 3 online learning strategies they should be using, only to find that the product falls far short of expectations.

Another part of the problem is regulation and pricing. “Cheap” and “bargain” are not the same thing but because people want to upskill so badly in these economic downtimes, the definitions may become blurry at times.

Everything looks like a great opportunity… until you try it. Unregulated course content, unverified institutions, unusable qualifications, and unscrupulous educators add to the view that online learning is something best avoided.

Luckily though, we are finally seeing some great new products from fantastic educators and facilitators. Institutions like Stanford and MIT have joined the education race and now also offer free online courses. But how do you know which one of any of the products on offer are going to be right for your needs?


What’s on the pod?

There are 3 kinds of online learning strategies sold in the education space, and today we dive a bit into each and their differences, specifically:

  • What’s the best way to teach something online?
  • Best online learning strategies for your needs
  • DIY, DWY, and DFY – What do these acronyms mean?
  • Where can people go to learn marketing?
  • Because the answer isn’t college…
  • And all the alpha your earphones can deliver.

Let’s take a brief look.


The 3 Online Learning Strategies: DIY, DWY, and DFY

We’ve learned a lot about the online education space and its products over the past 12 months, but most of what we learned was that online education is not about making money; it’s about really teaching them on the subject or topic you’ve sold them on.

There are 3 tiers (or strategies) to online learning products, that is:

  1. Do It Yourself (DIY) learning is just that: you learn everything you can by bouncing around the internet until you know enough to complete the task at hand. Best for fiercely independent people who have a lot of time and want to learn autonomously. From a seller point of view, you get your product from me, and I go away. Our transaction is done. This is the space that most people think online learning happens in, but it is ironically the least useful way to learn just about anything.
  2. Done With You (DWY) learning: a pretty-straightforward arrangement for mentoring or coaching (whether free or paid for). Of the three online learning strategies discussed here today, this is the most rewarding and forms the basis of a give-and-take knowledge environment. This is a collaborative space, featuring calls, webinars, homework to do afterwards, live Q & A’s, and more. From a seller perspective, I hold your hand until you can walk alone and make sure you can accomplish the things my educational product says you should be able to.
  3. Done For You (DFY) learning: technically, no learning takes place to do what must be done. A 3rd party (like a virtual assistant or an agency) uses their existing expertise to put things in place so you can continue with what’s most important to your business goals.


Pricing options are limited, though more broadly applied within each category:

  • Free is obviously the cheaper way to go, but is it really worth that much time and unstructured learning? This option keeps you online for hours while you scrape the search engines, YouTube, podcasts, TikToks, and just about any PDF guideline or tutorial on the subject you can find.
  • The paid option means you buy an online course. Paid may seem more structured, but if it’s not really what you need, you’ve lost your money. Paid options can vary widely and also be very limiting to your progress if they’re trial- or subscription-based.


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