The online learning industry has seen astounding growth over the last few years, having surpassed the $100 billion per year value mark a few years back and showing no signs of declining.
This can be attributed largely to the arrival of new online platforms, such as our own, that has made the process of creating and selling content easier than ever.
In this article, I will be teaching you how to get in on this success train by creating your own online course.
Courses are great. They cost little to nothing to produce and are easily scalable.
So what’s the downside? Apart from the time required to structure & create the content, which can be quite substantial if you start out from scratch, there are none.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Addressing A Pain-Point
First and foremost, in order to create a course that anyone will ever want to buy, you need to make sure that your course is addressing and solving an existing pain that people are actually experiencing.
In other words, you need to validate your course idea. The easiest way of doing this is to use websites such as Google, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin or Udemy to see if people are searching for your topic.
And don’t worry, if you find courses dealing with similar topics to yours, that’s a good thing! That means there is an audience out there for it.
Another way of validating your course idea is to ask your current community members/emailing lists/followers/group members what they would like to see you cover in a course.
(This can be done by using our Community Post feature on the platform to create a post, asking what they would be interested in -Which they can then comment on with their answers)
IMPORTANT: Always start with a phase of “internal research” -Find out what it is you really want to teach, it should be something that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about. If you base your course topic solely on a proven demand just to get sales, you won’t. People can sense when someone is genuine in their interest for things, and without that authenticity, your course will suffer.
Course Content & Structure
The content is obviously very important when it comes to courses. Valuable content can make people overlook other potential flaws, such as the design and appearance of your course. If the content is good, you’ll have happy clients.
How many lessons should I include & how long should they be?
To answer this question, firstly, you have to determine how much time in total it will take to deliver the content you want to include.
One rule of thumb is that no lesson/module should ever be longer than 30 minutes, nor shorter than 15.
So if you’re course is 2 hours in total, you should try to divide it into 15-30 minute lessons.
The reason being that even if your content is really good, it can be hard for people to pay attention and actively partake in lessons for longer than that.
(Example of course structure)
What about tasks?
(Example of course lesson/module)
Rather than just having your students watch your videos and read your pdfs and that being it, you can also include tasks or assignments for them to complete after each lesson, this concretizes the training and makes it more practical rather than just theoretical learning.
You can then also ask them to return the finished task to you, allowing you to monitor their progression and to make sure that they complete your courses, which then increases your chances of ending up with happy clients.
Content is king, yes, but so is interaction.
Just by doing small things such as checking in once or twice per week with the people who purchased your course, or sending out personal tips/tricks/pieces of advice, you will strengthen the relationship and make the person who purchased your course feel as if they are getting their money’s worth.
Depending on how much you charge and how many people you will have taking your course at a time, your interaction per capita will, of course, be affected.
Offering an hour or even a 30-minute 1on1 session upon completion of the course, to each participant can certainly justify a higher price tag, but may not be feasible when you’re selling it to thousands of people, in which case you have to interact in other ways.
TIP: Allowing for interaction between the people taking the course can also add to the experience.
Once your course is created it is time to see how well she flies.
Now, depending on what position you currently are in, this phase will look a little different.
If you are someone who already has a list or a following, you will be able to market your course directly to them. They already know who you are and what you do. This works especially well if you’ve done a good job nurturing your list continuously up until now.
If you are looking to generate new leads to sell your course, and are just starting out, the process will look a little different.
It can be tricky to sell your course cold through facebook ads since people won’t know who you are. I would, therefore, recommend doing it through a so-called sales webinar -A free webinar (which can be marketed cold through facebook) in which you, after delivering your content, try to sell your course to your audience. This works better because that then gives you the entire duration of the webinar to introduce yourself and your expertise to your newly generated leads. They will likely then feel more comfortable and open towards the idea of buying from you.
(Click here to read about our awesome Facebook Lead Ads integration)
TIP: You might even want to consider giving away your course for free in the very beginning, to collect as much feedback as possible and to see what could be improved/changed. The people who do participate for free and provide you the feedback then become excellent leads for future courses or services.
The last thing I want to highlight when it comes to creating and selling courses is client success.
Getting a sale is awesome, but building long-lasting relationships with your clients is awesome-er, this is what will lead to re-purchases, good word of mouth and other positive effects. So do spend time on making your course as good as possible and make sure to listen to any and all feedback.
Need any help getting started? Book in for a 1on1 session with one of our business strategists here.
Author: Oscar Norin
I help online coaching businesses grow by implementing proven strategies – Focusing in on content creation and cheap lead generation.