Online courses are all the rave these days, and for good reason! You create the course, you market the course, and then you make money, and if you’re course is good enough, you can have years of passive income. What’s not desirable about all of that?
What some people don’t realize is how much effort it takes to create a great online course. After creating 2 courses on my own with the use of an iPhone 6, a GoPro Hero 4 and iMovie, and a basic microphone and lapel mic, I have learned a thing or 2, and I want to share what I’ve learned with YOU!
Here we go:
Tip #1: Do Your Research
Just because you decide to create a course doesn’t mean that it will sell. I learned this lesson the hard way on my first online course.
I thought to myself, what am I passionate about? What do I love teaching?
So I created a Beginner’s Yoga Course on Udemy. That is all fine and dandy, except that yoga courses don’t sell super well on Udemy. The Udemy market is geared more towards tech, making money, coding, digital illustrating, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I have made money off of my course, but it hasn’t done nearly as well as I would have thought initially.
Not only do you need to pick a topic that you know well and that you are excited to teach, but you also need to research what platform is the best for you, and if none of the marketplaces are the right fit, I would recommend creating your course through a platform like Teachable that allows you to host it on the back end of your website and market it directly to your network of people.
Tip #2: Good Audio Matters
Audio actually matters more than video quality because people are listening to what you are teaching them. Plus, we can all relate to listening to something that is super quiet, or where there’s banging. It’s annoying and it will most likely cause people to either not buy your course, to refund your course, or to leave you a bad review!
Here is a link to the basic microphone that I use for all my podcasting + course work >>> LINK!
If you’re going to get into course creation, invest in a good microphone. No exceptions or excuses. That’s all I have to say about that.
Tip #3: Create Value for Your Students
When you approach course creation, approach it from a value proposition mindset. Someone is paying you for their time. They are choosing to spend their precious time with you, so what are they getting out of that?
Are you sharing everything you know about that subject with them? Are you providing them with something that they couldn’t just find online for free? Why should they choose your course over the other 10,000,000 courses online?
In business, we often talk about competitive advantage, so I would encourage you to think about what your course’s competitive advantage is. What do you offer that is different from every other course on topic x?
This is something that I missed with my first online course on yoga. A student could go to a beginner’s class and get basically the same thing that I offered them in my course. The only difference is that I did it online and I have my own unique teaching style. This is certainly not the competitive advantage that you need to make millions.
Tip #4: Don’t Create a Course with the Expectation of Getting Rich
Let me be clear – I am not saying that you can’t get rich off of online courses, because I truly believe that you can if you do it well; but, I would highly recommend that you to approach course creation from a place of wanting to provide your audience with value and NOT from a place of getting rich fast.
Getting rich takes work. Unless you win the lottery, you will not get rich overnight. You will not release your course and wake up the next day to $4,000 in your bank account (in most cases – I’m sure there is someone out there who is an exception to this).
I truly believe that the best way to make a successful course is to create a course about something that you are passionate about, give your audience your expert advice, create something powerful and valuable, and approach it from the perspective of sharing your wealth of knowledge, instead of from the point of slapping something together, putting it up and waiting for people to pay you for it.
Tip #5: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing!
This tags along nicely with the last point. Your course won’t sell itself, and the most successful course creators will tell you that they work to sell their course. In other words, marketing is important!
A few ways that you can sell your course are:
- Leverage your network – post on social media, send your course links to your friends and family, send them in your newsletter (if you have one!).
- Offer your course for free to get reviews + feedback – I know it sucks to offer up something you’ve spent a lot of time on for free, but it pays for itself when you have a handful of great reviews for potential buyers to read through before they decide if your course is for them or not.
- Pay a bit of money to get your course out there – Facebook advertising can be really great to get your course out to your target market (especially if your target market isn’t your friends on Facebook). You can also pay to boost your posts, or advertise in other channels.
I did a fun podcast episode with course creator, Lauren Lapointe a few weeks back that you shouldn’t miss if you are interested in creating an online course. Check it out here.
If you have any questions or additional tips for creating a successful online course, please don’t hesitant to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love hearing from you!
Happy course creation!