An alarming study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania showed that online courses have an average completion rate of 4%! That means as an online course creator, 96% of your customers are failing to see value in your courses. Failing to impact the majority of your clients is a recipe for disaster. Not only does this guarantee a low client retention rate, but it also means your chances of growing your client base are slim. After all, would you purchase additional courses from an instructor who didn’t deliver results the first time around? Would you then go on to recommend their courses to your colleagues, family, or friends?
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.
So, you are excited…you have finished developing your online course! Kudos! Now the real work starts! Just because you have finished building it, the money does not automatically start rolling in; you have to do the work. “More work?” you ask. “I just spent all that time developing the course!” But, how are you going to make an income from the course? People don’t even know it exists. Now is the time to plan the marketing of your course. Laying out a well-thought-out plan on the front end will increase the likelihood of building a profitable online course.
Today’s busy, but knowledge-hungry learners do not mind paying for an online course that they can take at their own pace and in their own time. Enter you, the specialist with the knowledge to share and plenty of industry experience to guide those who want to learn. But wait! This is not enough to make your prospects stick around and take your course and then come back for more. In this post, I’m going to walk you through the process I used with my clients in creating six-figure online courses from scratch: 1. Choose a topic that will sell. It is all about that one stellar idea that will hit the ball out of the park. You may have several great ideas about the topic you want to teach, but to zero in on one, keep the following pointers in mind: Brainstorm and list all your ideas. Take a look at what your competitors are offering, so you can select topics that will make your course unique compared to other that already exist. Figure out what topic motivates you the most. Remember, passion is contagious. Make sure that the topic resonates with the audience. More specifically, the topic you choose should address a specific pain point of your audience. (To learn about their pain points, read the comments they post on your blog, the type of posts they like and share, and the questions they pose on forums.) Ensure that you craft the topic title such that there is no ambiguity about the theme and focus of your course. In other words, the topic title should spell out the what’s-in-it-for-me information upfront.
According to novoed, the completion rate for online courses stands at an abysmal 13 percent. If you are a subject matter expert who wants to share your knowledge with your audience or a course developer, you will want to do something to make sure your courses don’t end up being a piece of statistic. Right? I’ve got a solution for you: Incorporate videos in your courses. They are great instructional tools and up the engagement value of your course. But the trick is to produce ones that appeal to your audience. Here are four tricks of the trade: 1. Aim for the right length Today’s busy learners don’t want to wade through frilly introductions and fluffy content (read: irrelevant information) to learn. They want the answers to their questions right NOW. Kaltura’s State of Video in Education Report of 2016 lists the best practices of using videos in eLearning. The report emphasizes that the right duration of an instructional video is instrumental in making for an engaging and memorable learning experience. So what should be the ideal length of an educational video? According to the findings of a study carried out by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, most online learners prefer that instructional videos be less than 15 minutes in length.