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  • The Beginner's Guide to Creating an Online Course for Your Business

  • The Beginner's Guide to Creating an Online Course for Your Business


     

    Goal for Your Course

    Why are you offering this course? Are you trying to:
     
    • sell your service
    • bring in new customers
    • market yourself during the pandemic
    • find a revenue stream that isn't tied to people physically coming into your business  
    • become a keynote speaker
     
    What you're trying to accomplish will end up influencing what you focus on. For instance, depending on the goal of your course you may charge for the course or you may give it away for free as a loss leader to get people to pay attention to your business, your knowledge, or to buy something else.
     
    How to Find a Profitable Course Topic
    How to Choose the Perfect Topic for Your First Online Course
     
     

    Designing Your Course and Understanding the Technology

    As with most things these days, there are a lot of options from a technology standpoint. You can place your course on a website with other courses like Udemy. You can select software that allows you to create your own course and distribute it as you see fit. Another popular option is to create a course on your own through self-made videos and marketing software.
     
    Again, the goal of your course will also influence your choice of technology and where you make your course available. For instance, if you are trying to build a name for yourself as an expert in a particular industry, you may want to put the course on LinkedIn or Udemy, where people are looking for experts to guide them in some sort of personal or professional development. If your course is being designed by employees for other employees, you may want to select software that makes it easy to share intraoffice.
     
    How to Make Smart Choices About Tech for Your Course
     

    Course Structure

    Your course structure should fit your ideal audience. Is this a deep dive into a niche topic or is this something that is designed to appeal to a broader audience at an intro level? There are a lot of articles on the intricacies of creating course content but there are a couple of things that you should know on a basic level. Your course should:
     

    Have a Gimmick/schtick

    You know how some comedians are known for a certain set up for all of their jokes? They do this to stand out and to be memorable. Your course will need the same. Popular memory techniques examples include:
     
    • 7 Deadly Marketing Sins (using a common phrase tailored to your topic)
    • The 5 Ms of Networking (using a pneumonic to increase memory on your content)
    • The Crafters Recipe for Awesomesauce Knitting (creation/use of fake words to grab attention an create a new addition to the vernacular)
     
    You want something that will make your lesson or course stand out from everyone else’s while helping them to remember what it is you're teaching them.
     

    Tell a Story

    It's not enough to simply walk someone through the how-to’s in your course. You want to make sure that you hold their interest and engage with them through vibrant storytelling. Storytelling is also very effective in illustrating points and helping your audience remember the lesson.
     

    Operate Under a Timeline

    Will your course be self-paced or instructor led? The benefit to self-paced is that people can take it anytime they want to. However, they also can become lost and disengaged if there is no one there to interact with. An instructor-led course can keep people on the path and engaged. However, it takes more of your time because you are walking each group through.
     

    A Completion/Call to Action

    After they complete your course give them something to do. They have spent some time with you at this point. Hopefully, they appreciated your knowledge. Now that you have their attention and you've held it, give them something else to do. This could be a call to action to buy your book, come into your business, work with you on a consulting level, or get you to speak at their business or organization. Whatever you do, select something. It is critical that you not squander this opportunity to continue your relationship with them.
     
    How to Make Money with an Awesome Online Course
     

    Reviews and Testimonials

    Many course creators offer the courses free to a beta group. They do this for two reasons. They get to test out their lessons on a group that will help them work out some of the kinks. And they rely on someone from the beta group, hopefully several, writing reviews and testimonials for them. These are critical elements of success if you want to charge for the course.
     

    Marketing and Ads

    No matter where you set up your course you are going to need to market it so that people know it exists. A common way to market your course is to point out the struggles your audience has and how your course will help them solve it. You'll want to include what makes you an expert on the subject and point out your own success on how you followed the same path or course of learning.
     
    You’ll also want to perform your due diligence to find out what else is out there in your field. Check out the free and paid courses.
     
    Depending on where you set up/host your course, the site may help you with the marketing.  But you should also be prepared to market through things like social media ads, Google, and possibly site specific upgrades to place you at the top of the courses listed.
     
    How to Create a Compelling Sales Page for Your Course
     
    Online courses can be an excellent way to make a name for yourself or bring in additional revenue for your business during this strange time. But there are a lot of components to designing a good course that are separate from just your knowledge on the subject. Before you begin creating videos, take a look at some of these pieces and do the research ahead of time. Doing this can ensure you get it right the first time instead of having to do a costly relaunch in the future.

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