You have made a fantastic course, launched it, but it has been three months, there have been no sales yet. Yes, it is indeed frustrating to know that people aren’t interested or not even aware of the knowledge and expertise you would like to share. This is because you haven’t put time and effort into learning a few things such as marketing and promotion of your courses. Unless people know about your courses and their existence, they will not sign up for the same.
Hence, we have a short process to help acquaint yourself with a few important things before launching an online course. Here we begin!
Identify two selling options
Selling an online course can happen in two ways. Either you sell it to your existing audience or community and promote it by yourself. Another way is to sell the course in a public market such as a CMS platform or a reputed eLearning domain.
The primary criterion of differentiating these two options is the responsibility that you undertake for marketing your courses. For example, when you sell it to your community, you are solely responsible for marketing and promoting it to the right audience, market analysis, and segmentation, connecting with them, responding to their queries, and doing follow-ups till they sign up for the course comfortably.
The next example is selling it to the eLearning domain in which the third-party platform takes up complete responsibility for the marketing and student support services as mentioned above. You simply have to create the course content and hand it over to the platform and sit back. They will execute the rest of the tasks and ensure that your course reaches the target audience.
Price courses consciously
Of course, the primary intention of building up an online course is to earn passive income. But how much can you charge your prospective students? The average prices of online courses in the United States range between $5 to $2000, depending upon the duration of courses. Unfortunately, newbies often think that this price difference is due to the quality of course content.
Let us get the myth busted right away. The price differences in courses are not due to the content quality but because of the marketing done. For a course to be successful, you need to place it on the right platform (self-hosting or third-party, it doesn’t matter), promote it effectively, and try to pitch it to the right audience. When you do all these things in the proper manner, the course prices will go up automatically. If not, there won’t be any reason to ask for higher prices.
Determine two ways of hosting
Hosting is the way you store your course content and make it accessible for the students. While selecting this method, you are not concerned about the responsibility of marketing (as discussed in the first point). But you care enough about the way your students can access your materials. Hence, choosing the hosting platform is essential and needs to be planned beforehand.
- Self-hosting – As we mentioned earlier, self-hosting is an option. But when it comes to accessibility to the content, it beats competition as all the content resides on your website and no other platform. You can manage the materials and alter them as per your preferences. You can use a plug-in on WordPress and be required to be in charge of the said tasks.
- Third-party hosting – In this method, you seek assistance from a full-fledged third-party platform such as Teachable. Here, the courses are handed over to the eLearning platform. It is much easier to use as you are not required to bother about the technical aspects. But when it comes to content changes, you cannot do so freely unless the platform allows you.
Build a dedicated audience
If you do not have an audience, it is challenging to sell courses. People do not know you, and they prefer buying courses from credible personalities. Hence, building an audience is as important as creating the course content. You cannot expect the sales to take place just by posting the online course and leaving it for the audience to decide. You have to create awareness, convince the audience about your quality content, and assist them to make the purchase. You can build an audience through Instagram following or by posting consistent and quality videos on your YouTube Channel.
Newbies have a misconception that the audience does not matter; advertising matters. Yeah, we never underestimate the magic of marketing and promotions, Facebook and Insta ads, but they are insufficient if you do not have an audience. Hence, the audience comes first, and then the miracle takes place by marketing them at the right time and place.
If you rely only on advertising, you might have to spend thousands of dollars on them without expecting a realistic sales figure. Furthermore, you will have to blindly test your advertising techniques and analyze customer behavior, which is really time-consuming.
We will always recommend building an audience to pitch your courses. You look more credible and can seek the trust of your new students and learners.
Plan your course launch properly
Course creators normally engage themselves in creating, curating, researching, and presenting the content. But they fail to recognize the importance of choosing the right platform, hosting it on their website, marketing the courses, and providing future assistance to the students. Planning is the essential key, and you should not take any of the tasks lightly.
It sounds glamorous when we check other creators’ success stories and wonder how we can manage them. Of course, you can nail it, no problems. But this doesn’t infer you have to treat it as a dream. You should accept it as a goal and make it specific and time-bound. Work on the things given above, and you will be able to launch an amazing course for future learners.
In a nutshell, creating and launching an online course requires rigorous research and planning, and it takes quality time and effort to earn out of it.
How to find a good and profitable online course idea?
Online courses are an excellent way to earn passive income. You can utilize and leverage your skills and abilities and spread your knowledge with others who do not have. An online course is not just a curriculum; it can also help people solve their daily problems and challenging concerns. So, why not create and launch, and an online course?
But you are overwhelmed with the thought of which course to start working on? It happens with any new course creator; you are not alone. But with our 3-step formula, you can select a viable online course idea and launch it easily. Let us begin.
Thinking of all possible course ideas
This is the brain dump phase in which you develop possible course ideas. But this doesn’t have to be a mindless task in which you note down all the course ideas existing in the world. You need to analyze your expertise, skills, and abilities, and then think of the courses you can develop.
For instance, you could be an expert in photography; you have a skill in copywriting, or the ability to deal with business marketing issues. Yes, you can build a course on any of these, but before that, list them on paper. When you have noted all your skills and abilities, you create a database of the possible courses.
If you are not very confident about your abilities and expertise, we have an alternative for you. You can think and list out all your accomplishments and determine the kind of courses you can create. For instance, if you have fought life’s grave issues alone, you can even set up a course on how to deal with life’s challenges and cope with the same. You can help people get rid of guilt, self-doubt, and procrastination if you have overcome those issues successfully.
It is all about who you are helping in what way. Remember that people will transform into students not to earn any kind of certifications but to seek a solution for their problems. When you list out courses, you should come up with solutions that can help resolve people’s problems.
Evaluate each course idea consciously
Once you have a long list of all course ideas that you can create, the next task is to choose a few of them. This evaluation will take time, and you have to be mindful throughout the process. You need to ask yourself relevant questions which help you eventually to a good course idea. Some of the analytical questions are as follows:
- Does your course help someone solve a problem or seek a perspective? – it could be anything from earning money online, learning a new skill or language, and even fighting anxiety.
- Is the person signing up for your course frustrated with the particular problem? – All problems are not problems; they are mere situations in life. Hence, you should know whether the problem is really bothersome for your students or not. If it is, you need to build your course instantly.
- How many people can your course benefit from? – Yes, this requires a bit of market research and feasibility study. You need to know how many people will be really interested in signing up for your course, and how it can benefit them. Only then can you expect a decent number of students for your courses.
- Are you confident in creating the course content and the outcome? – This question is self-analytical, and you do not need audience opinion in it. You need to figure out your confidence level in the course content and structure. Are you sure that your course content will help a person and change his life?
Validating your course ideas
You have the list of courses, and you know which ones to develop. But the next step does not involve launching the course. You need to test it before you launch it online. You can do this in different creative ways.
Our first suggestion is to create a short webinar or an online workshop that will provide a glimpse of your course. The audience will seek a precise idea of what is in the course and how it can help them. For example, if your main online course is ‘How to become a content writer in 30 days,’ you can create a webinar about opportunities in the content writing field and an overview of your course. Or you can even share ‘5 secrets to becoming a content writer.’
A webinar or a workshop is a one-time event, and you can charge a nominal fee for it or do it for free; it is completely up to you. This is the best and trusted way to validate your course idea. Once you see a good amount of following for the webinar, you can expect students to sign up for your course.
Another suggestion is to read books about testing your business idea. Well, there isn’t a definite book on testing an online course idea, but the basic idea of validation of business ideas will certainly help. Books such as ‘The 4-hour work week,’ ‘Launch your business’ by Rosetta Thurman, and ‘Will it fly’ by Pat Flynn are perfect for reading.
In addition, you can learn a lot of insights and tips from these books on launching your business or online course ideas and also earn a great deal out of it.
In a nutshell, you can develop course ideas as a brain dump activity, analyze each one of them as per your interest and proficiency levels, and then validate it properly. Remember that the validation step might sound tedious, but it is a step to seek a greater number of students and attention.
Lastly, a good course idea does not mean your course should be a top-selling one on the list; it means it should be properly structured and worded. It should help the students or learners solve a particular issue and get out of it. Only then will it be known as a good online course.