How To Create An Online Course

With the outbreak of Covid-19, many entrepreneurs suddenly rush to get their business online. And the fastest thing to do this is to sell your knowledge online. So why not create an online course?

Even though this sounds simple, it is much more complex than it appears. Yes, everybody can grab their phone and start recording, but simply recording a course is far from actually selling it and making a profit.


Content Creation Types

There are two major types of people when it comes to creating courses in general:

  1. The “over-planners”: The ones that draft out everything all the way to the end but seem to never start implementing their plan.
  2. The “let’s-get-it-done” types: The ones that come up with an idea and simply start recording without hesitation or preparation.

The problem is that you need a little bit of both to be successful in creating an online course and selling it as well. On the one hand, you need to have a bit of structure to draft your outline and think about the content to provide and material to support your thoughts. You want to be clear about how this product will fit in your overall strategy and what you want people to do. But you also need to start and get going, knowing and accepting that it won’t be 100% perfect.

You see, the best prepared content – as beautiful and perfect as it may be – might not sell at the end. Maybe because the title does not speak to the audience. Maybe because you are just not doing enough in terms of getting it out. Maybe also because there is simply no need in the market.

On the other hand, you may have courses that sell but you are not unleashing the full earning potential. Maybe because your marketing is not strategic enough. Maybe because you did not include enough cross-references on your other products. Or maybe because you jump from one opportunity to the other without ever fully taking advantage of things that already work.


Your Online Course Strategy And Finding Your Topic

When you want to create an online course, start with the end in mind: What is the goal of this online course? Is it supposed to be a stand-alone course? Is this part of a strategy to win new customers and create a community? Do you want to prepare customers for higher-priced items?

Once you are clear about this, only then start thinking about the content. What is the topic? Do you have a validation that this topic is needed? Do you already sell similar products? Did you check in with your existing customers whether they would be interested in it?

Sell it before it is created! Sounds scary? But it is very effective, especially for the over-planners! You will be surprised, how effective you can record your material when you know that 1,000 people are already waiting for it.


Create Your Online Course Content

When it comes to creating the content itself, there are two considerations.

If you already have an existing successful (offline) course and existing clients that are waiting for your online product, you can go ahead and record the whole thing in one process.

However, if you never had such a product before and you start from scratch, then you may definitely want to use the pre-selling model. Because if you pre-sell, you can create as you go. That means that you can ask your buyers what they want. Everybody who signs up, receives a survey asking them for feedback on their biggest issue on your online course topic. With that information, you can move forward, create the first module and ask for feedback after each round. This gives you direction and the security that your content will be consumed because the buyers are waiting for it.


Three Options For Technical Setup

Once you created your course, you need to make it available. In terms of technology, you need to think about where you want to put your content. There are a bunch of options available but mainly there are three models:

  1. You host the content on your own website (e.g. via a WordPress Member Area) – this requires some technical knowledge and you are in charge of marketing and sales.
  2. You outsource the hosting via providers like Clickfunnels, Elopage or Podia – this involves some software license fees but they will take care of the technical part, you are in charge of sending traffic to your pages.
  3. You entirely outsource it to online course platforms like Udemy, Teachable or Coursera – fully managed technically, but high competition with other courses on the same platform (less profit).

Each option has a reason to exist. You need to decide on what is best for you.


Selling Your Online Course

And finally, after you have set it up, you need to sell your online course. The best course in the world is useless if nobody will ever benefit from it. Remember that people need to see an offer 7-17 times before even considering it. As always in marketing, you need to test, test and test again. What you think works, may not work. You need to listen to the market, understand their needs and communicate how your course will support them in solving their problem. Thus, you may need ads with pictures or videos that arise your customer’s attention. You need good sales copy to keep their attention and then you need to sell your product. You may need a landing page to summarize everything that the customer will get when investing with you and then guide them through your sales process.


Who Said This Was Easy?

You see, creating the course is indeed only a small fraction of what really needs to be done. I’d argue, 80-85% of the work is done apart from just creating the online course. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this. The market is flooded with offers like “Create Your Online Course in 3 Hours” or “Get Rich Selling Your Knowledge from Home”. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it, and everybody would be a millionaire. It is possible and it is simple, but it is not easy! Consider the different steps to make sure that your online course will be seen and sold. Take it step by step and keep the final desired outcome in mind. And then you will be successful with your own online course!

For more details and a step-by-step plan on how to create your own online course, follow this link.

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