Is video content necessary in your online courses ?
What’s the difference between a book and pages filled with words? It’s simple. Structure.
Creating an online course is a lot like building a machine. There’s a lot of planning and a whole lot of parts to it. Too many entrepreneurs dive head first into e-learning without really knowing what they’re getting themselves into. They get lured by the money, but get caught off guard by the work! I know how overwhelming starting an online course can be, which is why I wanted to create a guide for every new ‘edupreneur.’ While I can’t promise you this guide will guarantee your course’s success, I CAN promise you that it will save you a lot of time and a lot of stress. Honestly, I wish someone had given me this list before creating my first course. So here you have it! From me, a seasoned education technology expert (that has created online courses for the top guns in the industry like Digital Marketer), to YOU!
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re in the process of creating an online course and are looking to have a successful launch. Or maybe you’re already a seasoned course creator looking to launch a course better and stronger this time around. Regardless of where you are in experience, EVERY online course creator can benefit from reviewing this checklist. In general terms, building a successful online course involves three key tasks: Creating the right offer and attracting the right audience Launching the course successfully Achieving Student Success Working with my fair share of companies, I know how daunting and challenging all this can seem. As a result, I created this 6-week checklist to help guide you through the online course launch process. Week #1: Set Course Launch Goals Ever play darts? The rules are pretty simple. The main object is to hit parts of the board with the highest points—the highest scoring part being the bullseye. Now, imagine the game without targets. How would you know what to aim for?
It always amazes me how course creators will put massive amounts of effort towards creating and developing a course, but fail to think twice about WHO they’re trying to sell the course to (a.k.a. their ideal client).
Knowledge is more accessible than ever thanks to online learning. In addition to giving millions of people around the world access to industry insight, the online course market has also given entrepreneurs the opportunity to get paid for sharing their knowledge. If you’re reading this post, chances are, you are an entrepreneur looking to start your own online course business. According to “Entrepreneurial DNA” author and BOSI Global founder Joe Abraham, there are four types of entrepreneurs. You have Builders, Specialists, Innovators, and Opportunists. No matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, you can also benefit from becoming an edupreneur . Here’s why you need to start an online course according to your entrepreneur type: 1) Builder – Increase Your Reach You’re motivated by the desire to build a highly scalable business within a short period of time. While turning a profit is important to you, you measure success through business growth and infrastructure. So why should Builders enter the e-learning space? Increase your visibility. Thanks to the Internet, you’ll be able to sell your course to a wider audience—giving you a greater chance of expansion. Create passive income. You want growth and you want it fast. Income plateaus are an especially frustrating thing for Builders. An online course can help you counter income plateaus by creating another channel of sustainable income. Developing and launching your course may take a significant effort initially, but stick through it, and you’ll be awarded with a nice stream of passive income. If you’re just starting out, read this article: 5 Steps to Creating a Profitable Online Course (And Mistakes to Avoid) 2) Specialist – Establish Your Reputation As a Specialist, you tend to lean more analytical and risk-averse. In business, you value networking and referrals most.
Let’s say you’re teaching an online course on how to build a successful online business. Now, imagine your course attract hundreds of new customers, and you’re making thousands of dollars a month, WOW…that sound like a successful online course business, right? But what if I told you that only 8% of students actually finish the courses they buy? And of those that do end your course, most of them forget or don’t apply what they learned. ZERO results. NO outcomes. Would you still say your course is successful? Too often, course creators get lost in the numbers. They put all their energy into attracting new customers and generating income but fall short in understanding their needs and desires. They fail to engage, retain, and (most importantly) educate their students. And as a result, their course fails to produce value. Successful course creators are invested in the potential and performance of their students. They know that positive client experience is correlated to client value and course success. Here are five components every successful online course has in common. They Produce Student Outcomes. There’s a reason why your students are taking your course. They want to achieve an outcome. Failing to help your client achieve this outcome will result in them becoming dissatisfied with your course, leading to poor engagement and eventually, leave your course and never finish it. To counter this, you need to understand why your students are taking your online course and center your course material and resources around these desires. You also need to give them actionable tools to produce tangible, real-world results. For instance, at the end of each module, give them spreadsheets and cheat sheets – this will help me take action and do something with the recently learned knowledge. Tangible results allow your members to see in what way(s) your course is making an impact on their lives. Your members believe your course will give them a “transformation” that they could not have achieved otherwise. Depending on the topic of your course, your students’ desired transformations could be anything from learning how to code a website to make a successful career change. Be sure also to send your students updates on how they’re working towards their objective. One way would be to send them a bulleted summary of the topics they learned in the previous lessons and how it will help them in their lives (personally, professionally, etc.). Allowing members to see what they’re gaining from course WHILE they’re taking it and not just after, will help increase student completion and retention rates. If your student completes your course, applies the material to their life, and has a positive experience in doing so, then you’ve succeeded in making an impact. Also, you’ve also succeeded in gaining a valuable client. Satisfied customers will take additional courses from you, as well as recommend new customers to your site. Their Content is User and Mobile Friendly.
When you start building a business selling online courses, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing in myths. From doing big launches to dwelling on names to creating too many courses, there are plenty out there. Believing in myths can distract you from what really matters, causing you to focus your energy on the wrong things. As you make your way into the online course business, try to learn from the mistakes of others. In that spirit, I offer you my top picks of online course myths to ignore—and why: Myth #1: Your Course Name Is Everything Your course name isn’t a headline. Nor is it the sole thing that grabs your audience’s attention. Obsessing over the wrong things is a common mistake new course creators make. A lot of new creators debate their course names for hours, days, and even months. They dwell on this minor detail instead of putting their energy into developing their coursework and growing their audience Truth: The name of your course matters, but it shouldn’t keep you up at night. What really matters is your course “hook,” also known as the OUTCOME people will achieve if they purchase and implement the lessons in your course.
When you’re creating an online course, you need to make sure you’re properly compensated for your hard work. The best online courses are designed with some success factors “baked in.” This requires thoughtful planning since you’ve got to craft the exact educational experience that your audience wants to buy. Then, of course, you’ve got to deliver that experience. Don’t make the mistake of skipping these planning steps, or your digital education business will take much longer to gain any traction. Here are the five steps on the road to paving a profitable and scalable online course business the first time: 1. Find your niche and make sure your course idea is profitable It’s actually a myth that to create a successful course, you need to pick a broad topic to attract a broad audience. This isn’t true. You actually need to target a specific audience and solve a specific problem for them. That’s how you make a course that sells! So let’s rewind for just a second. If you want to sell your course, you need to cater to a particular kind of person and attract people who will buy what you have to offer. The key here is to focus on QUALITY over quantity. You might reach thousands of people with your marketing, but if none of them are interested in what you’re selling, you’re not going to get anywhere. Narrowing down your audience into a niche is powerful.
Innovation in educational technology and the shift to a digital world has necessitated huge changes from instructors, coaches, business owners, and entrepreneurs alike—they’ve had to make drastic alterations to not only the way they instruct, but to their entire business models, and at a much faster rate than predicted. Investment in Educational Technologies Continues to Increase